Meeting of Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast Parish Council at 7:30PM on Monday 5th June 2023 at Longdon Village Hall, GL20 6AZ
Present: Trish Mullins (Chair), Nick Radford, Kate Cook, Phil Jones, Neil Gray, Jim Unwin
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), John Fellows (Longdon United Charities), Deb Gray (Longdon Parish Paths Warden), Cindy Foster (Holdfast and Queenhill Parish Paths Warden), Jennie Watkins (District Councillor), Tom Wells (County Councillor), one member of the public
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from Hugh Davey.
It was noted that Cllr Gray would be unable to attend the July and September meetings and it was RESOLVED that Cllr Unwin would cover the Vice-Chair’s duties in his absence.
2. Declarations of personal and prejudicial interest
2.1. Register of Interests: Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare interests and to update their register of interests as required.
2.2. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests: To declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
2.3. Other Disclosable Interests: To declare any Other Disclosable Interests in items on the agenda and their nature.
2.4. 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.
3. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session
3.1. Longdon United Charities
John Fellows provided an update on the Longdon United Charities:
• The first recorded reference to the charity is dated 1606.
• The Charity has five trustees, appointed by the Parish Council with the Vicar as the ex-officio Chairman.
• Various land assets are owned by the charity at Longdon Marsh, The Rampings and at Upton Ham, these are tenanted and provide income for the charity.
• The charity supports maintenance of the Thorley Stone memorial and provides donations to parishioners in need.
• Minutes covering 157 years have been kept up until to 2010 with a new minute book started in 2011.
• Donation recipients are considered by the trustees, often following referral from the Vicar.
It was suggested that the Charity Commission could be approached to change the remit of the charity with a view to modernising it.
3.2. Parish Paths Warden
Deb Gray and Cindy Foster provided an overview of the Parish Paths Warden Scheme as follows:
• The wardens aim to walk the majority of paths in their areas at least once per year.
• Waymarking improvements and paths clearance with hand tools is undertaken where possible.
• Issues requiring further work or investigation are reported to Worcestershire County Council.
• Wardens are not able to waymark unofficial diversion routes.
• Sign posts are often in a poor state of repair and assistance with installing replacement posts would be useful.
• Volunteer work parties have been organised to improve a number of paths locally.
• Worcestershire County Council have recently installed two footbridges and will look to replace stiles with gates where possible.
• Walks and volunteer working parties will be publicised on the parish WhatsApp groups and on the Parish Council’s website in future.
3.3. District Councillor
Jennie Watkins was congratulated on her election success and provided an update as follows:
• A presentation on the benefits of creating a Neighbourhood Development Plan was suggested.
• Land drainage issues (item 5.2) were being investigated.
3.4. County Councillor
Tom Wells provided an update as follows:
• Divisional boundary review – It was suggested that there was not currently any reason to make substantial changes as the current county divisional boundary makes sense geographically.
• Flooding opposite The Glebe – Cleansing and jetting of gullies has resolved the issue at this location but ongoing maintenance will be required.
• Flooding near Dowdeswell Cottages – A team has located and cleared some gully tops. Awaiting confirmation of the extent of the work completed and whether further work is required.
• Flooding opposite Green Farm and Flooding near Heath Hill Farm – The County Council has no drainage assets at these locations and the matter would be raised with Malvern Hills District Council.
3.5. Public participation
A member of the public commented on the number of speeding related concerns raised by parishioners at the Annual Parish Meeting.
A member of the public commented that item 14.4 in the draft minutes should be clarified to show that the payment covers a three-year period.
A member of the public requested an update on the streetlighting in Longdon and it was confirmed that this was in hand.
The meeting resumed following the open session.
4. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 15th May 2023
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record with the following amendments and they were duly signed by the Chair:
• Item 14.4 – To clarify that the quote for the extended service contract with Elan City would cover a three-year period.
5. Progress reports
5.1. Community Speedwatch
It was noted that a further update was awaited from the Police following the identification of volunteers.
5.2. Highway drainage matters
An update had been received during the open session. Thanks were extended to Cllr Radford, the County Councillor and District Councillor for their efforts in resolving these drainage matters.
5.3. Annual Parish Meeting and issues raised
It was noted that a number of concerns and suggestions had been raised regarding traffic speeds and safe routes for pedestrians on the B4211.
The County Councillor confirmed that Worcestershire County Council would have no objection to the creation of an unofficial footway adjacent to the B4211. It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gray would make initial enquires with the relevant landowners to seek their views on this proposal and the Clerk would make enquiries with the Parish Council’s insurers to ascertain the viability and potential risks.
6.1. The Local Government Boundary Commission: Consultation on division boundaries for Worcestershire
It was RESOLVED that no changes were considered necessary to the existing county divisional boundaries and to submit a similar response to the district ward boundary consultation submitted March 2022.
7. Play Area
7.1. To receive an update on remedial work following the ROSPA inspection
It was noted that repairs were in hand and quotes being sought for the fencing repairs and tree removing work.
It was RESOLVED to accept the kind offer from a parishioner to paint the goalposts and it was RESOLVED to purchase replacement nets for the goalposts once they had been painted.
7.2. To consider the provision of additional play equipment
It was noted that a £3,000.00 budget had already been identified for play area improvements and it was hoped that this could be increased through grant funding and crowd funding opportunities.
It was RESOLVED to make initial enquiries with play equipment suppliers to identify costs which would inform the likely extent of the project.
It was RESOLVED to make enquiries with Welland Parish Council regarding their play equipment supplier.
A community consultation on finalised proposals would be considered to ensure that the project meets local needs.
8. Highways and Lengthsman Scheme
8.1. To receive an update on the Lengthsman Scheme and the appointment of a Lengthsman
It was noted that one application had been received from Jeremy Moore (also the Lengthsman for Eldersfield Parish Council).
It was RESOLVED to appoint Jeremy Moore subject to satisfactory references and interview.
It was RESOLVED that the interview panel would comprise the Chair, Cllr Unwin and the Clerk.
8.2. To consider a work schedule for the Lengthsman
It was RESOLVED to discuss the work schedule with the new Lengthsman and to ask Worcestershire County Council for details on what maintenance activities they undertake routinely so as to limit any duplication of work.
8.3. To consider traffic management improvements (including gateway features) and funding
It was noted that second hand white gates may be available and the County Councillor would make enquiries accordingly.
It was RESOLVED to defer further discussions until a future meeting.
9. Parish matters for discussion/decision
9.1. To consider the proposed dissolution of the Longdon United Charities
It was RESOLVED that, due to historic significance, the Longdon United Charities should not be dissolved but the current trustees could stand down.
It was RESOLVED to discuss the matter with the Parochial Church Council to see if replacement trustees could be identified.
9.2. To consider grass cutting arrangements for the village green in the absence of a Lengthsman
It was RESOLVED that the Lengthsman could attend to this; if there was a delay in appointing a Lengthsman alternative quotes would be been sought from other local contractors to cover ad-hoc cuts.
9.3. To consider suggestions for developing the village green
This item had been considered under item 7.2.
9.4. To consider a welcome/introduction leaflet for new parishioners
It was RESOLVED to circulate a draft leaflet between councillors for consideration at a future meeting.
9.5. To consider options for replacement/upgrade of the Parish Council’s laptop
It was RESOLED to clear all data and dispose of the Parish Council’s existing laptop. It was noted that CeX Ltd would offer £37.00 for the unit (subject to inspection).
It was RESOLVED to approve the purchase of a replacement laptop up to £500.00. It was noted that the purchase costs would be shared with another Parish Council.
9.6. To consider applying to the Land Registry for replacement documents for parish land and buildings
It was RESOLVED to apply to the Land Registry for replacement documents relating to the Parish Council’s assets.
9.7. To consider and adopt a Complaints Procedure
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Complaints Procedure.
9.8. To consider and adopt a Freedom of Information Act publication scheme
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Freedom of Information Act publication scheme.
9.9. To consider and adopt a Tree Inspection Schedule
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Tree Inspection Schedule.
9.10. To consider and adopt a Play Area Inspection Schedule
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Play Area Inspection Schedule.
10. Planning: To consider the following applications to be determined by Malvern Hills District Council:
No planning matters.
11.1. Bank mandate: To approve forms to add/remove signatories
It was RESOLVED to approve the mandate variation form to add the Clerk as a limited power signatory and remove all ex-councillors as signatories.
11.2. Budget expenditure: To consider and approve
It was RESOLVED to approve the budget expenditure.
11.3. Bank reconciliation: To consider and approve
It was RESOLVED to approve the bank reconciliation.
11.4. Invoices: To approve the following invoices for payment:
11.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (Clerk’s salary and expenses June)
11.4.2. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund (Clerk’s pension June)
11.4.3. HMRC (PAYE June)
11.4.4. T Mullins (Annual Parish Meeting expenses): £47.40
11.4.5. J Hughes (coronation picnic): £59.67
11.4.6. D Gray (coronation picnic): £15.35
It was RESOLVED to settle the above invoices.
11.5. Direct Debits: To note the following payments:
11.5.1. 09/05/23 Google Cloud EMEA Limited (website hosting): £32.20
The above direct debit was noted.
12. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was RESOLVED to add the following item to the next agenda:
• Update on the streetlighting in Longdon
13. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Monday 3rd July 2023.
The meeting closed at 9:45PM.