Meeting of Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast Parish Council at 7:30PM on Monday 3rd July 2023 at Longdon Village Hall, GL20 6AZ
Present: Trish Mullins (Chair), Nick Radford, Kate Cook, Hugh Davey
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Jennie Watkins (District Councillor), Tom Wells (County Councillor), one member of the public
1. Chairman’s welcome and announcements
Trish Mullins opened the meeting and welcomed attendees.
2. Apologies for absence: To receive apologies and to approve reasons for absence
Apologies were noted from Neil Gray, Jim Unwin and Phil Jones.
3. Declarations of personal and prejudicial interest
3.1. Register of Interests: Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare interests and to update their register of interests as required.
3.2. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests: To declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
Nick Radford declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in item 11.1 (planning application M/23/00658/HP).
3.3. Other Disclosable Interests: To declare any Other Disclosable Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
3.4. Dispensations: To consider any written dispensations from members who have declared an interest but wish to stay in the meeting during that time to aid discussion / speak / vote.
4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.
4.1. District Councillor
Jennie Watkins provided an update as follows:
• A meeting to review land drainage matters has been scheduled with officers (item 6.3).
• Jennie Watkins had been appointed to the overview and scrutiny committee at Malvern Hills District Council.
• Updates from the District Council would be shared directly with the Parish Council as they arise.
4.2. County Councillor
Tom Wells provided an update as follows:
• A bus service had been reintroduced to the area, with journeys between Longdon, Upton and Malvern available. The on-demand service could be booked through Worcestershire’s app or by telephone. The service was not door to door and would utilise designated stops for each area. The scheme was initially funded for two years but it was hoped that this would be extended. Further details would be shared with the parish council for publication.
4.3. Public participation
No questions were received.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 5th June 2023
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.
6. Progress reports
6.1. Longdon United Charities
It was noted that the Chair would discuss the matter with the Parochial Church Councils to see if replacement trustees could be identified.
6.2. Community Speedwatch
Further updates were awaited from the Police.
6.3. Highway drainage matters
It was noted that a site meeting had been arranged with officers at Malvern Hills District Council.
An update was awaited from Worcestershire County Council regarding flooding remedial work near Dowdeswell Cottages. It was also hoped that regular maintenance of the drainage assets in the area would be undertaken by Worcestershire County Council.
6.4. Laptop disposal
It was noted that the Parish Council’s old laptop had been sold to CeX for £39.00 and would be removed from the asset register accordingly.
6.5. Laptop replacement
It was noted that a replacement laptop had been purchased (item 12.5.1) and the VAT could be reclaimed. It was RESOLVED to accept a donation from Whittington Parish Council (Worcestershire) to cover half the costs (excluding VAT) at £210.82.
6.6. Land registry documents
It was noted that the Clerk had arranged for new Land Registry documents for the Parish Council’s land and building assets and the Transparency Code information had been updated accordingly.
6.7. Response to Boundary Commission consultation
It was noted that the following response to the consultation had been submitted:
The Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast Parish Council considered the Boundary Commission review of Worcestershire divisional boundaries and would submit the following comments and observations:
The Parish Council of Longdon was amalgamated with that for Queenhill and Holdfast some time ago and a single Parish Council now represents all three villages and the surrounding areas. This amalgamation should be been taken into account in the Commission’s proposals and all three parishes should continue to fall under the same county division. To split the parishes between two or more county divisions would cause chaos and confusion, not only to Councillors, but also to parishioners.
The current division includes similar parishes all on the western side of the River Severn. While the boundary between Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast may appear contiguous with Ripple and other parishes on the eastern side of the river, this is a natural barrier which has no immediate crossing. By road, it is estimated that a round trip between Queenhill and Ripple would be 12 miles. There is, therefore, a considerable geographical distance between these areas.
In view of the above the Parish Council would not wish to see any changes to the current divisional boundary.
7.1. West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner: Town and Parish Council survey 2023
It was RESOLVED that the Chair would submit a response to the consultation.
7.2. NALC: Councillor training opportunities
It was RESOLVED that the Chair would attend a number of upcoming NALC training sessions.
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would provide an informal in-house training session for all councillors in the future.
8. Play Area
8.1. To receive an update on remedial work following the ROSPA inspection
It was noted that a number of contractors had been invited to quote for the work.
It was noted that the goal posts would be taken down and repainted by volunteers.
8.2. To consider the provision of additional play equipment
It was noted that enquiries with play area suppliers were ongoing.
8.3. To consider a volunteer working party to undertake tree/scrub removal
It was RESOLVED to coordinate a volunteer working party to clear vegetation on the play area to increase views to the Malvern Hills; work to start later in the year but with the date to be advertised as soon as possible.
9. Highways and Lengthsman Scheme
9.1. To receive an update on the Lengthsman Scheme and the appointment of a Lengthsman
It was noted that a contractor was being interviewed for the position on the 10th July 2023.
9.2. To consider traffic management improvements (including gateway features) and funding
It was RESOLVED to form a Highways Working Group, open to councillors and residents. The purpose of the working group would be to develop ideas for addressing traffic concerns in the group parish; for consideration at council meetings.
It was RESOLVED to obtain a quote from JACS UK for the supply and installation of white gates at the entrances to Longdon village (B4211).
The Parish Council thanked Tom Wells for his kind offer of £1000.00 towards traffic management improvements.
9.3. To consider an update on increasing footway connectivity in Longdon
Further updates were awaited.
10. Parish matters for discussion/decision
10.1. To consider a welcome/introduction leaflet for new parishioners
A draft list of ideas was circulated for feedback; suggestions would be collated ahead of the next meeting for further consideration.
10.2. To consider an update on streetlighting in Longdon
Residents had been surveyed regarding the possible removal of the streetlight at The Badhams; mixed responses had been received with the majority indicating that there was no need to keep the light. In view of the unsustainably high running costs, and that all other lighting in Longdon had already been removed, it was RESOLVED to arrange for the streetlight at The Badhams to be disconnected.
10.3. To consider adding streetlighting (and regular testing) to the risk register
In view of the resolution to item 10.2 (above) this was not required.
10.4. To consider and adopt a ‘balances and reserves’ policy
It was RESOLVED to adopt a balances and reserves policy.
10.5. To consider developing an annual ‘action plan’
It was RESOLVED to approve the development of a yearly action plan; suggestions would be collated ahead of the next meeting for further consideration.
11. Planning: To consider the following applications to be determined by Malvern Hills District Council:
11.1. M/23/00658/HP: Queenhill Lodge, Queenhill, Upton Upon Severn, Worcester, WR8 0RE. Replacement garaging.
Nick Radford left the room for the duration of this item.
It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council had no objections to the proposals. It was noted that there is an overhead power line in the vicinity of the proposed building and it should be verified that sufficient clearance is maintained.
11.2. M/23/00550/HP: The White Cottage, Longdon, Tewkesbury, GL20 6AR. First floor rear extension.
It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council had no objections to the proposals. It was noted that the Public Right of Way shown on the applicant’s documents does not accord with the County Council’s definitive map and a diversion order should be considered if appropriate. The applicants should be encouraged to take on board the recommendations for good practice outlined in the Dusk Emergence Bat Survey Report.
12.1. Bank mandate: To receive an update on signatory changes
It was noted that the bank mandate paperwork had not been processed by Lloyds and the Clerk would submit replacement forms.
12.2. Budget expenditure: To consider and approve
It was RESOLVED to approve the budget expenditure.
12.3. Bank reconciliation: To consider and approve
It was RESOLVED to approve the bank reconciliation.
12.4. Invoices: To approve the following invoices for payment:
12.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (Clerk’s salary and expenses July)
12.4.2. HMRC (PAYE July)
12.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund (Clerk’s pension July)
12.4.4. David Hunter-Miller (Microsoft 365): £59.99
12.4.5. Longdon Village Hall (room hire): £100.00
It was RESOLVED to settle the above invoices.
12.5. Delegated Payments: To note the following payments approved between meetings:
12.5.1. 14/06/23 David Hunter-Miller (Laptops Direct purchase): £505.96
The above payment, made between scheduled meetings, was noted.
12.6. Direct Debits: To note the following payments:
12.6.1. 08/06/23 Google Cloud EMEA Limited (website hosting): £32.20
12.6.2. 19/06/23 Southern Electric (streetlighting): £111.44
12.6.3. 22/05/23 Southern Electric (streetlighting): £111.50
The above direct debit payments were noted.
13. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was confirmed that the new noticeboard for Queenhill was due to be installed shortly.
It was RESOLVED to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Highways Working Group Terms of Reference
• Welcome/introduction leaflet for new parishioners
• Action Plan
14. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Monday 4th September 2023.
The meeting closed at 9:27PM.