Minutes 08 January 2024

Minutes 08 January 2024

Meeting of Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast Parish Council at 7:30PM on Monday 8th January 2024 at Longdon Village Hall, GL20 6AZ

Minutes 01/2024

Present: Trish Mullins (Chair), Neil Gray, Hugh Davey, Kate Cook, Nick Radford
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk)

1. Chairman’s welcome and announcements
Trish Mullins opened the meeting.

2. Apologies for absence: To receive apologies and to approve reasons for absence
Apologies were noted from Jim Unwin and Phil Jones.

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 7.10.

Trish Mullins declared an Other Registrable Interest in item 8.2.

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.
It was RESOLVED to grant a dispensation to Trish Mullins in relation to item 8.2.

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

4.1. District Councillor
No report was available.

4.2. County Councillor
No report was available.

4.3. Parish Paths Wardens
A short update was received as follows:
• Many of the paths were currently very wet and unwalkable.
• When weather improves it is hoped that working parties could be organised to undertake footpath clearance.
• New gates had been installed opposite The Hunters Inn at Buckbury.

4.4. 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 11th December 2023
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the chair.

6. To consider the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 6th November 2023
The minutes were noted.

7. Progress reports

7.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there were two vacancies on the Parish Council and applications and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed.

It was RESOLVED to make enquiries about advertising the vacancies at The Hunters Inn.

7.2. Community Speedwatch
It was noted that the Police had still not completed the necessary volunteer background checks. It was RESOLVED to contact the Police, and the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, to expedite this process.

7.3. Traffic calming gateway features and grant funding
It was noted that the gateway features for Longdon were still on order.

Concerns regarding traffic speeds had been raised by parishioners at Long Green and it was RESOLVED to:
• Review whether the Community Speedwatch Scheme could be extended to cover Long Green
• Obtain quotes for signing the hamlets of Long Green and Yard Bridge
• Ask Worcestershire County Council to review viability of siting a Vehicular Activated Sign or Speed Indicating Device at Long Green
• Liaise with Eldersfield Parish Council about a possible joint application to the Police and Crime Commissioner for grant funding.
• Invite parishioners at Long Green to consider the councillor vacancies

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

7.5. Play area signage
It was noted that the play area signage had been delivered and would be installed shortly.

7.6. Play area fencing repairs
It was RESOLVED to secure an update for the next meeting.

7.7. Play area inspections
It was RESOLVED to defer discussions to the next meeting.

7.8. Queenhill noticeboard signage obstruction
It was RESOLVED to discuss repositioning the church sign with St Nicholas Church.

7.9. Collaboration with AppFest organisers
It was RESOLVED to ask Jennie Watkins for an update ahead of our next meeting.

7.10. Unoccupied property, Marsh Lane
It was RESOLVED to ask Jennie Watkins for an update ahead of our next meeting.

8. Correspondence

8.1. Malvern Hills District Council: Coronation Community Orchard tree planting grant
It was RESOLVED to advertise the availability of funding locally.

8.2. National Association of Local Councils: Update on advice regarding grants to churches
It was noted that the Local Government Act 1894 was due to be amended to clarify that there is nothing to prevent local councils from funding churches and other places of worship. It is anticipated that a NALC advice note would be available shortly. It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council would consider any future grant applications from the Church in accordance with the updated legislation and advice.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

9.1. To receive an update on the Longdon United Charities and to consider the appointment of trustees
It was RESOLVED to endorse the appointment of Sue Birch as trustee to the Longdon United Charities.

9.2. To consider locations for a noticeboard at Holdfast
It was RESOLVED to make enquiries with landowners regarding a possible site for a small noticeboard at Holdfast.

9.3. To consider an update on a leaflet for new parishioners
It was noted that the leaflet was still under review.

9.4. To consider and adopt a Biodiversity Policy
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Biodiversity Policy.

9.5. To consider and adopt a Retention Policy
It was RESOLVED to adopt a Retention 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 approve an increase in the Lengthman’s hourly rate from £16.00 to £18.00 per hour. Thanks were extended to Jeremy Moore for the excellent work undertaken to date.

It was RESOLVED to review the Lengthsman’s hours to make sure that they stayed within budget.

10.2. To receive an update on highway drainage matters and to consider actions
It was RESOLVED to arrange a site meeting with Worcestershire County Council Highways and Malvern Hills Land Drainage to review the drainage issues on site. It was RESOLVED to collate photographs to document and evidence the issues experienced.

10.3. To approve a contract for services for regular grass cutting of amenity land and to consider quotes received
Tenders were considered for the grass cutting contract 2024-25 and it was RESOLVED to accept the tender from Elias Garden Services; the Clerk would issue the contract paperwork accordingly.

11. Play area

11.1. To receive and update on the refurbishment of the goal posts and replacement nets
It was RESOLVED to pursue the goal post refurbishment works and net replacement before the end of the current financial year to enable grant funding to be claimed.

12. Planning

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

12.1.1. Nil.
No planning applications.

13. Finance

13.1. Earmarked reserves: To review reserves and consider reallocation.
It was RESOLVED to transfer the remaining ‘clerk equipment’ reserve (£528.38) to the ‘Village Hall’ reserve to support the provision of Wi-Fi.

13.2. Budget expenditure: To consider and approve
It was RESOLVED to approve the budget expenditure.

13.3. Bank reconciliation: To consider and approve
It was RESOLVED to approve the bank reconciliation.

13.4. Invoices: To approve the following invoices for payment:

13.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (Clerk’s salary and expenses)
13.4.2. HMRC (PAYE)
13.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund (Clerk’s pension)
13.4.4. Jeremy Moore (Lengthsman December): £256.00
13.4.5. Longdon Village Hall (boiler/oil tank grant): £1,000.00
It was RESOLVED to settle the above invoices.

13.5. Delegated Authority: To note the following payments made between meetings:

13.5.1. 12/12/23 Netwise (website): £330.00
The above payment was noted.

13.6. Direct Debits: To note the following payments:

13.6.1. 06/12/23 Southern Electric (streetlighting): £113.67
13.6.2. 07/12/23 Google Cloud EMEA (email hosting): £27.60
13.6.3. 21/01/24 Information Commissioner (registration): £35.00
The above payments were noted.

14. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was RESOLVED to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Training session (starting at 6:30PM) to include planning
• Village Hall shared cloud storage
• Long Green traffic issues update

15. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Monday 5th February 2024.

The meeting closed at 9:24PM.