Minutes of the meeting of Walford Parish Council on 16 October 2019

Held at Walford Village Hall
Wednesday 16 October 2019 at 7.30pm

Present: Councillors: Monica van Lienden (Chair), Ian Matthews (Vice-Chair), Joanne Akers, Karen Chinn, Simeon Cole, Ruth Dolman, Eric Drummond, Heather Evans, Richard Jackson, Elizabeth Jordan, Sian Newbert, Bob Puzey, Guy Smith
In attendance: Richard Abolins (Parish Clerk), Yolande Watson (Ward Councillor) and 8 members of the public.

1. Apologies: – none

2. Declaration of interests: – Cllr Drummond re item 15 Phoenix Meadow.

Cllr Chinn proposed that item 10, Walford Community Support Scheme, be heard after the Ward Councillor’s report. It was resolved to do so.

Cllr Akers proposed that after the end of the meeting there should be a closed session to consider an urgent employment matter concerning the Clerk. Since this was for information only and not to make any decisions, it was resolved to do so.

3. Adoption of Minutes of previous meetings:
Cllr Newbert proposed that the second paragraph minute of item 14.1 Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch on 4 September 2019 should be changed from “With the agreement that the Environmental and Safety Working Groups would pick up issues relating to the launch site and appoint co-ordinators to do this, it was resolved to terminate the Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch Working Group.” to “With the agreement that an Environment co-ordinator would be appointed to liaise with the maintenance co-ordinator, it was resolved to terminate the Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch Working Group.”
It was resolved to accept this amendment and to adopt the amended minutes of the meeting on 4 September 2019 as a true record of the meeting. The Chair signed the amended minutes.

Cllr Newbert proposed that item 20.7 items for next meeting agenda on 12 September 2019 should be changed from “Canoe launch co-ordinators for the Environmental and Safety working groups” to “Canoe launch co-ordinator for the Environmental working groups”. It was resolved to accept this amendment.
Cllr Matthews proposed that a sentence should be added to item adoption of minutes of previous meeting stating that “A request was made to add the name of the proposer of agenda items”. It was resolved to reject this amendment.
It was resolved to adopt the amended minutes of the meeting on 12 September 2019 as a true record of the meeting. The Chair signed the amended minutes.

4. Public participation session:
4.1 The Ward Councillor presented her report (see attached)
10 The WCSS co-ordinator presented her report (see attached)
4.2 There were no representations from the public

5. Policies and procedures:
5.1 It was resolved to approve the amendments of standing orders 5c and 5d following the change in meeting frequency.
5.2 It was resolved to approve the proposed meeting schedule. (attached)

6. Finance:
6.1 Cllr Chinn reported that the external audit process was now complete with a positive report from the auditors. The budget process for 2020/21 was beginning and she asked that committee chairs and working group co-ordinators send their group’s initial budgets to the Clerk by the end of the month.
6.2 The Finance Committee recommended that the Council open a twelve-month fixed term deposit account to hold it’s reserves at an interest rate of 1.05%. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.
6.3 The Finance Committee recommended that the Council obtain a charge card with a £1,000 spending limit and an annual charge of £32 for the clerk to use for expenditure between meetings. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

7. Planning: –
7.1 It was agreed to forward consideration of s106 projects to the Neighbourhood Development Plan steering group,
7.2 It was agreed that proposals for the community asset register should be sent to the Clerk for future consideration.

8. Neighbourhood Development Plan: –
8.1 The steering group co-ordinator presented his report (attached) and asked that copies were made available for the public. The Clerk confirmed that it was attached to the agenda and copies would be made available in future meetings. He also asked that draft consultant contract be approved. Subject to amending clause 8 to read “terminated by either party”, it was resolved to approve the draft contact.
8.2 Cllr Evans asked that agenda attachments were not all in a single document but in separate attachments. This would make it much easier to find specific documents. Cllr Chinn said she liked it all in one. The Clerk said he would try and provided both in future.
8.3 The co-ordinator confirmed that the cost of the consultant would be covered by funding. £10,000 would be required – £7,000 this year and the balance in the following year.

9. Personnel: –
9.1 Cllr Akers reported that the committee was meeting next Thursday, mainly to consider budget requirements for 202/21.

11. Community engagement: –
11.1 Cllr Puzey reported that the prime focus had been on producing a newsletter should be delivered over the next few days. The second focus was updating the website and, although far from finished, he encouraged everyone to have a look at it and subscribe for email newsletters and help cut the cost of distribution.
9.2 Working groups would meet quarterly in future rather than monthly.
9.3 Cllr Chinn asked if there was a process for ensuring that electronic subscribers would be removed from the physical copy list. Cllr Puzey confirmed this would be so.
9.4 Cllr van Lienden asked if attendees at the Parish Party would be asked for email addresses for them to subscribe. Cllr Puzey confirmed this a said it was an opportunity to show people around the website.
11.2 Subject to changing the meeting frequency from monthly to quarterly, it was resolved to approve the Community Engagement working group terms of reference.

12. Safety: –
12.1 Cllr Newbert reported that a Residents Action Group had engaged a consultant to look at the Leys Hill junction. Recommendations arising would be submitted to the Council for consideration.
Repairs to the steps and notice board at the canoe launch site were in hand.
The Clerk was asked to organise a community speed check. Cllr Newbert will give him contact details after the meeting. {Action – Cllr Newbert, Clerk}

13. Environmental: –
13.1 Cllr Newbert reported that members of the working group attended a recycling working which was very informative and resulted in an insert circulated with the newsletter. Cllr Newbert had attended the Wye Valley AONB Partnership Tour which was very useful for building contacts and information on managing the environment.
13.2 It was resolved to approve the environmental policy.
13.3 Cllr Chinn expressed concern that the Council were being asked to declare a climate emergency when it had no control over it, though this wasn’t to say that the Council shouldn’t follow environmental principles. Cllr Puzey agreed. Cllr Jordan has a lot information from Fownhope Parish Council who have declared an emergency. It was agreed to defer this proposal to the November meeting when more information would be made available.
13.4 It was pointed out that recycling banks were available in Ross. The existing bank at Walford Village Hall was not being emptied on a regular basis. It was resolved that there were no suitable alternative locations.

14. Highways / Rights of Way:
14.1 The Lengthsman co-ordinator reported that the overgrown foliage at the bottom of Leys Hill had been cleared.

Cllr Smith left the meeting.

14.2 The Clerk apologised for failing to circulate the draft lengthsman’s contract to the councillors. This will be added to the next agenda and the draft circulated in advance. {Action – Clerk}
14.3 The Rights of Way Officer was getting nowhere in following up on the recent accident on a bridleway. The Localities Steward was passing the issue of suitable bridleway surface material upwards within Balfour Beatty but there was little feedback to date. The surface of other bridleways in the parish needed examination, such as the one by Sunset Cottage. The Lengthsman Co-ordinator offered to help with the Localities Steward.
{Action – Lengthsman Co-ordinator}

Cllr Drummond left the meeting

15. Phoenix Meadow: –
The Clerk reported that the agent had made no progress. Cllr Chinn suggested that the Council should meet with landowner to come to a suitable arrangement. Cllr Jackson point out that the Council should be careful with its actions, because there could be legal implications.
It was resolved that Cllrs van Lienden and Cole should arrange to meet with the landowner.
{Action – Cllrs van Lienden and Cole}

Cllr Drummond re-joined the meeting

16. Telephone box removal: –
16.1 Cllr van Lienden reported that she had sent the Council’s objections to BT as agreed at the last meeting but had not yet received a response. She will follow up and report at the next meeting.
{Action – Cllr van Lienden}

17. Resilience co-ordinator: –
Since the resilience co-ordinator had left the meeting, there was little to discuss, and the matter will be deferred to the next meeting. In the meantime, the Council asked if Mr Berry would continue to act as Resilience Co-ordinator until the matter was resolved. (He was the Co-ordinator under the previous Council and his name was still listed as such)

18. Walford war memorial plaque: –
It was resolved to approve the positioning of a plaque to replace failing words on the war memorial.

19. Public participation session: –
A member of the public said that a few years ago a proposal had been made to plant trees at the side of the B4234 at Coughton corner. This had not been done then, but could it be done now? This was a matter for Highways because it was an accident black spot.

20. Items for next meeting agenda: –
20.1 To receive a presentation on “We Don’t Buy Crime”
20.2 Discharge of duties – proposal from Cllr Matthews
20.3 Lengthsman’s contract.
20.4 Resilience Co-ordinator – update on handover, training and readiness
20.5 Walford Community Support Scheme terms of reference
20.6 Draft budget 2020/21

21. Next meeting: – Wednesday 27 November 2019 at 7.30pm in Walford Village Hall

The Chair closed the meeting at 21:19.


PDF copy of minutes

Ward Councillor’s report

WCSS report

Meeting schedule