Minutes December meeting 2020

Withington Group Parish Council
Extra Ordinary Meeting held at 7.30pm Tuesday 1st December 2020

Present: Ralph Barber (RB) in the Chair, Alison Bainbridge (AB), Martin Kirk (MK), Kevin Hewison (KH), Barclay Rogers (BR), Judith Howe (JH), Bob Wood (BW), Jonathan Beech (JB), Simon Dent (SD), Julie Williams (JW); Ginette Chadd (GC); Keith Merrick (KM); Ed Simcock (ES) present from 7.50pm.

Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk),
The Meeting opened at 7.30pm

1. To accept Apologies for absence – John Baker (JBa);
Absent with out apologies : Tom Nellist (TN), Sue Rudd (SR);

2. Declarations of interest– JH and RB expressed an interest in some of the finance, both said they would identify their interests as the item came up.

3. Precept setting discussion for 2021/2022
RB ran through how we can vote through Zoom using the polling key, cllrs had a practice and all were happy to use this tool later in the meeting.
He then ran through the items on the budget sheet, explaining that the finance team had already been through them.
He proposed that the figures in grey should be approved: 100% of attendees approved this. proposal.
He then ran through in more detail the figures in yellow: 100% of attendees approved this.
The red figures included monies for the tree warden and for the Hereford and Gloucester Canal Trust. RB abstained, the rest all approved this expenditure.
Ref the grass cutting, he described what s137 was – basically a grant allocated per elector for schemes which will be accessible to most of the electorate. HALC identifies that we can use this money for any thing that is beneficial to the community. RB suggested that we put grant monies in the s137 line of the budget, and then the churches submit a request for funding should they chose to, giving an net sum ie the grant will not pay the vat for projects. He proposed that £2,500 should be put on the S137 line of the budget: 11 of 12 participants supported the proposal, one voted against, the proposal was therefore carried
War memorial: BW asked if S137 could be used for the war memorial’s upkeep. RB replied that it could and would as with other organisations have to apply. To have it as a separate fund it could help raise the further funds required via others. RB moved to put £4,000 in the War Memorial kitty for the coming year: 12 of 13 voted for the proposal.
Public open spaces: voted 12 out of 13 in favour.
Depreciation on Withington Field play area: there is currently £8,000 in the saving account towards this but we are still short should we need to replace items. 100% in support.

Setting the precept: The chair suggested going to a level of £31,000. He explained that with the additional houses now in Withington, the actual cost to a home owner will be almost the same as this year.
Proposal to raise the precept to £31,000: 11 of 13 cllrs supported the proposal, with one abstaining and one against.

Action: clerk to submit the precept request.

4. Consideration of planning applications received : – None

5. Update on any parish issues
Withington Field, we have had a request for a tree to be planted in memory of a parishioner. They would like it planted in Withington Field, the chair asked if the PC was happy for this to happen with MK identifying where this should go.
It was suggested that one tree was fine, but if lots of people wanted trees we might need to have a PC policy? It was thought that this is a good idea.
There was a suggestion that the tree donor should also donate a tree guard fence and undertake the watering of the tree for its first few months, this will be taken up with the donor.
The proposal was put that we support the placement of the tree, as long as support and protection is supplied for it: 12 out of 13 people supported the application.

Following the discussion, it was resolved that the PC should look positively on this request, especially this year in a ‘plant a tree’ drive.

Action: MK to go back to the family outlining the Parishes support but what we would expect the family to contribute to the tree’s upkeep.

A4103, KH, BW and JW have become advisory group to look at the problems there.

The Coppice: we have raised the problems that have been identified – gates from the back of peoples properties straight out into the ecological zone. RB, MK, AB and KH are looking into this.

Any other items of interest:

BW: there is a large pot hole at the entrance to Vine Tree although it has a white line round it now indicating that hopefully Balfour Beatty are on the case.
KM; the village hall would benefit from the softening by planting trees.

6. Receive items for the next agenda (no discussion)

Meeting closed at 8.20pm

Signed: ________________________ Date:_________________

Dates for future meetings:

2021 21st January 7.30 pm start
18th March 7.30 pm start
20th May 7pm start
15th July 7.30pm start
16th September 7.30 pm start
18th November 7.30 pm start