Minutes 05 February 2024

Minutes 05 February 2024

Meeting of Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast Parish Council at 7:30PM on Monday 5th February 2024 at Longdon Village Hall, GL20 6AZ

Minutes 02/2024

Present: Trish Mullins (Chair), Hugh Davey, Neil Gray, Kate Cook
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 Jim Unwin.

3. Declarations of personal and prejudicial interest

3.1. Register of Interests: With reference to items on the agenda councillors 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.
Nil declared.

3.3. Other Interests: To declare any Other Registerable Interests or Non-Registerable Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
Trish Mullins declared a non-registerable interest in item 6.3.

3.4. Dispensations: To consider any written dispensations from councillors who have declared an interest but wish to stay in the meeting during that time to aid discussion / speak / vote.
Nil requested.

4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.

4.1. District Councillor
Jennie Watkins provided a report as follows:
• Information would be circulated following the Neighbourhood Development Plan briefing session.
• Future parish meet-ups were proposed, with a possible future topic being the Police Smart Water Initiative. It was suggested that Longdon Village Hall could be the next venue.
• It was noted that public access to defibrillators was only available if within 500m of the cardiac arrest; it was hoped that this national policy could be reviewed as it was considered impractical for rural areas.
• It was noted that the Lower Severn Internal Drainage Board were looking to adopt and take on maintenance of Longdon Brook. Contact details would be circulated in the hope that the Parish Council could be briefed/consulted on the proposals.
• Malvern Hills District Council have launched a campaign on dog fouling.

A question on licencing was raised. It was suggested that Worcestershire Regulatory Services should be making available a public register of all licencing activity in Worcestershire; Jennie Watkins undertook to review this.

4.2. County Councillor
Tom Wells provided a report as follows:
• Tom was pleased to have been able to offer financial support to the Parish Council’s village gateways project.
• Worcestershire County Council were reviewing their budget; increasing costs for home school transport, adult care and residential care had put significant pressure on the budget. A 2.99% increase was proposed for 2024/25 which would result in an additional £90.00 on a Band D property.
• Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) had been identified at County Hall and investigations were ongoing.
• The new demand response bus service was now in operation and covers travel to Worcester, Upton, Malvern and Tewkesbury. Residents can book their journey by phone or by using the App.

4.3. Parish Paths Wardens
The following report was noted:
In respect of Longdon parish we have restarted our pathway clearing work and went out today clearing paths behind the Hunters pub. Significant progress was made and the area cleared and marked posted on the WhatsApp group. We will go out again in a couple of weeks.

Our main issue is siting of Waymark posts. Malvern Hills District Council do not have the manpower but would supply the posts, and other volunteer groups will not come as far as Longdon. It is relatively challenging manual work to ask local volunteers. The impact of this is people are unsure where to walk at key points of the paths and inadvertently stray onto private land. It is the landowner’s responsibility to replace stiles but not site posts. Places where posts need installing can be supplied if required.

4.4. Public participation: At the discretion of the Chairman members of the public will be invited to speak and/or question the Parish Council on issues relating to this agenda or raise issues for future consideration.
A member of the public contributed to discussions on defibrillators and waymarking.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 8th January 2024
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

6.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there were two vacancies on the parish council and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed.

6.2. Collaboration with AppFest organisers
Jennie Watkins provided an update; a dialogue with the landowner had been opened and enquiries were continuing. It was hoped that a substantive update would be available for the next meeting.

6.3. Unoccupied property, Marsh Lane
Trish Mullins left the room for the duration of discussions on this item.

Jennie Watkins provided an update; it was noted that the site had been inspected by Malvern Hills District Council and enquiries were ongoing.

6.4. Community Speedwatch
It was noted that the vetting process for volunteers was still ongoing.

6.5. Traffic calming gateway features and grant funding
It was noted that the new traffic calming features had been ordered.

6.6. Streetlighting removal
It was noted that the streetlighting was scheduled to be removed on the 14th February 2024.

It was noted that the Clerk was liaising with SSE Energy over invoicing discrepancies.

6.7. Play area inspections
No update was available.

6.8. Refurbishment of the goal posts and replacement nets
It was noted that refurbishment work was due to be undertaken.

6.9. Queenhill noticeboard signage obstruction
No update was available.

6.10. Longdon United Charities
It was noted that the Clerk is liaising with the bank signatory to add new signatories to the charity bank account.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Parishioners: Traffic/speeding concerns, A438 at Long Green
It was noted that Worcestershire County Council had provided approval to site a Speed Indicating Device (SID) at Long Green. The Clerk had liaised with the Chair and Clerk at Eldersfield Parish Council (who share a boundary at Long Green) and had suggested they submit an application to the Police and Crime Commissioner for grant funding to allow the purchase of a SID (Longdon Parish Council having already received grant funding under this scheme).

It was noted that Worcestershire County Council had approved the installation of Long Green village signs and a quote for supply/installation was awaited.

7.2. Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust: Natural Networks grant funding
It was RESOLVED to apply for a free biodiversity survey for the playing field.

7.3. Worcestershire County Council: Worcestershire Local Nature Recovery Strategy Issues and Options Consultation
It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council had no comments.

7.4. The Local Government Boundary Commission: Consultation on draft recommendations for division boundaries in Worcestershire
It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council had no comments.

8. Longdon Village Hall

8.1. To note additional fencing repair work instructed for the village hall car park (£293.00 plus VAT) approved under the Clerk’s delegated authority
The above delegated decision was noted.

8.2. To consider a draft updated Sole Trustee Governing Document and to receive any feedback
The draft updated Sole Trustee Governing Document was circulated and feedback would be collated for discussion at the next Sole Trustee meeting (4th March 2024).

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

9.1. To receive an update on fencing repairs and to note additional fencing repair work instructed for the playing field (£246.00 plus VAT) approved under the Clerk’s delegated authority
The above delegated decision was noted.

9.2. To consider quotes and a location for a new noticeboard at Holdfast
It was noted that no suitable location for a noticeboard could be identified. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would make enquiries to assess any potential implications for not providing a noticeboard.

9.3. To consider an update on a leaflet for new parishioners
An update to the leaflet was considered and it was RESOLVED to approve for circulation. It was noted that the leaflet would be updated in future as required.

9.4. To consider the date and arrangements for the Annual Parish Meeting
It was RESOLVED to hold the Annual Parish Meeting in April, the exact date to be confirmed.

It was RESOLVED that the Longdon Village Hall AGM would be scheduled for the same evening.

9.5. To consider and adopt a Grant and Donations Awarding Policy
It was RESOLVED to defer discussions until the next agenda.

9.6. To consider and adopt a Training and Development Policy
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Training and Development Policy.

10. Highways and Lengthsman Scheme

10.1. To receive an update on the Lengthsman Scheme and to consider any items for the Lengthsman’s work schedule
It was RESOLVED to apply to Worcestershire County Council for permission to undertake Public Right of Way waymarking under the Lengthsman Scheme.

10.2. To receive an update on highway drainage matters and to consider actions
It was noted that there was an impasse between Worcestershire County Council Highways and Malvern Hills District Council Land Drainage that was making progress on outstanding drainage issues difficult. It was RESOLVED to copy Jennie Watkins and Tom Wells into future correspondence.

11. Planning

11.1. To consider the following applications to be determined by Malvern Hills District Council:

11.1.1. Nil.
No planning applications.

12. Finance

12.1. Internal Auditor: To consider the appointment of an Internal Auditor to review the 2023/24 accounts
Three quotes were considered and it was RESOLVED to appoint Iain Selkirk to undertake an internal audit of the Parish Council’s 2023/24 accounts.

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)
12.4.2. HMRC (PAYE)
12.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund (Clerk’s pension)
12.4.4. Jeremy Moore (Lengthsman January): £256.00
12.4.5. Longdon Village Hall (room hire): £75.00
It was RESOLVED to settle the above invoices.

12.5. Direct Debits: To note the following payments:

12.5.1. 08/01/24 Google Cloud EMEA (email hosting): £27.60
12.5.2. 19/01/24 Southern Electric (streetlighting): £117.65
The above direct debit payments were noted.

13. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda: To provide an opportunity for councillors to report minor matters of information not included elsewhere on the agenda and to raise items for future meetings.
It was RESOLVED to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Grant awarding policy

14. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Monday 4th March 2024. There is also a Village Hall Sole Trustee meeting scheduled for 6:30PM on Monday 4th March 2024.

The meeting closed at 9:36PM.