Minutes July 2021

Minutes of


Thursday 20th May 2021 7.30pm start

Councillors present;  Martin Kirk, Bob Wood, Kevin Hewison, Jonathan Beech, Judith Howe,

Julie Williams.

Meeting opened: 7.30pm

  1. Apologies for Absence: Alison Bainbridge, Barclay Rogers.
  2. Minutes of previous Annual Meeting held Approved in July 2020
  3. Any other business          None

Meeting Closed at 7.32pm


Thursday 20th May 2021 7.30pm start

Councillors present;

  1. Apologies for Absence: Simon Dent, Sue Rudd, Ed Simcock

The meeting was not quorate, so did not continue. To be held in the Parish at a later date.

  1. Minutes of previous Annual Meeting held Approved in July 2020
  2. Any other business


Thursday 20th May 2021 7.30pm start

Councillors present:  Judith Howe, Julie Williams

Meeting opened: 7.34pm

  1. Apologies for Absence: None
  2. Minutes of previous Annual Meeting held Approved in July 2020
  3. Any other business          None

Meeting closed: 7.36pm


Signed Chairman:                                                       Dated:


Withington Group Parish Council

Annual Meeting Held on Thursday 20th May 2021


Present: Kevin Hewison, Martin Kirk, Bob Wood, Jonathan Beech, Judith Howe, Julie Williams, Ed Simcock.

Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk) and prospective councillors: Anna Green, Ingrid Heatley, Howard Mansell.

The Meeting opened at 7.38pm

  1. Election of officers (Chairman, Vice Chairman)

Chairman:       Kevin Hewison

Proposed: MK            Seconded:JH     all in favour

Carried unanimously

Vicechair:        Left open until next meeting.

Proposed:MK     Seconded: KH

Carried Unanimously

  1. Co-option of Councillors:- Howard Mansell, Ingrid Heatley (both for Withington) and Anna Green (for Westhide) were all standing for co-option. Their statements had been circulated prior to the meeting.

The votes were as following:

To co-opt

Howard Mansell:    In Favour:  6               Against: 0

Ingrid Heatley:       In Favour:  6                Against:0

Anna  Green :          In Favour:  6                Against: 0


Action: Clerk to arrange to meet with them to go through the paperwork to sign them up as cllrs next week.


  1. Chairman’s Annual Report

Chairman’s Annual Report  2020 – 21

Copy at end of report.  Accepted by all cllrs.

  1. Appointment of members to working groups etc

– Representative on Village Hall committee: Bob Wood to continue in post    Proposed JW, Seconded  MK

Neighbourhood planning working group: Jonathan Beech, Alison Bainbridge, Judith Howe,

Kevin Hewison to remain on the working group.

– Finance working group: would meet twice a year, once before the precept setting meeting and once before the audit meeting. It was resolved that the cheque signatories would form this committee, so this is KH and BW nominated from Withington and Judith Howe from Westhide.  This was agreed by all cllrs present. One more additional signatory was sought, Anna Green agreed to be a signatory and the Clerk will arrange the paperwork for this.

– Withington Field: Clerk to continue in this role, agreed unanimously. MK to continue on this working group along with KH.

– Changing rooms and car park at the Village Hall – KH

– A4103: KH, BW and JW

– Vine Tree: AB and MK

– War memorial: John Baker has agreed to remain on this working group along with MK and KH.

  1. Review of Footpath Officer, Internal Auditor, tree warden etc

Footpath officers:-

Julie will continue to cover Westhide

Ros Simcock will be asked to continue for Preston Wynne.

Martin Kirk will continue to cover Withington.

Internal Auditor:  It was proposed by KH to continue to use GVA, seconded by JH all were in favour.

Tree Warden:      Ingrid Heatley to continue in this role.  Also agreement sought for the arborist to continue to come and check the coppice twice a year.  All cllrs were in agreement for this to continue.


  1. Review of insurance policies

Renewal is in January.  It was resolved to remain with Zurich insurance for now.


  1. Review of subscriptions

Hereford and Gloucester Canal: £25 per annum.

HALC: Fees are set by HALC.

Tree Warden: £25 per annum. Waived for the year.


Agreed to all Proposed:JW      Seconded; JH


  1. To remind Councillors to update their Notice of Registrable Interests.

Done.  Clerk to send out the link to cllrs.


Ordinary Parish Council business


10 minute period is set aside for any members of the public who wish to raise any issues with the Parish Council.  No members of the public were present.


  1. Apologies for absence:- Simon Dent, Alison Bainbridge, Sue Rudd, Barclay Rogers, Tom Nellist, Ed Simcock.
  2. To receive Declaration of Interests.

KH declared a non pecuniary interest in the Church item at 13.

  1. Reports from:-
    • Report from Ward Councillor PA had informed the Clerk that the TRO for Lumbar Lane was still being pursued, but as yet he had nothing further to pass on to the PC.

11.2      Report from local police– sent by e mail

Clerk to inform the PCSO when the deadline is for the next newsletter and to let him have the up coming meeting dates.

11.3     Report from Balfour Beatty

Come out weekly and cllrs can comment on them.

  1. Acceptance of minutes of the PC meeting on Zoom: 18.03.21

KH asked for his paragraph to be considered being put in, with this amendment, the minutes were agreed to be an accurate representation of the meeting.

Proposed: KH                  Seconded:JH

13. Action points from previous meetings – KH had declared a non pecuniary interest in this item.

On agenda or addressed apart from:

– Discussion followed by a revote on; Grants for Church Yard Maintenance (Preston Wynne) and grass cutting (Withington Church) ; Arguments were given for an against supporting both of these very worthy causes, but the fact that it could invalidate our insurance going forward was the key reason that the councillors resolved not to give these grants this year, with a heavy heart. Proposed: BW  Seconded: JB  vote: 8 supported this proposal with one abstaining (KH).  It was suggested that the PC might look at alternative sources of funding.

– Freedom of Information request; delay in returning the information. A parishioner had put in a ‘freedom of information request’ for data going back to 2012. A response had been prepared by the clerk was advised to wait until the WGPC insurers, Zurich, had confirmed that they were going to take on the wider issue with the gentlemans property.  Easter fell during this period and the PC (Clerk) failed to get the information to the applicant in time.  We were lucky that the Freedom of Information office accepted our apology to the applicant and they only gave us a warning not a fine for not supplying the requested information in time.

  1. Withington Fields

Flooding issues:- We have been contacted by the Zurich appointed loss adjuster. He has been to see the Withington Field and has advised that any communication with the complainant now goes through their offices.

The litter picker:- over the last month litter has been allowed to build up at the dog poo bin by the dog walking area, and our other W/f bins. Our volunteer litter picker was not able to be contacted to ask her to empty them meaning that the lengthsman was tasked to do the job.

Fencing around the dog walking area has now been completed and looks very smart. There is also a stile now half way along the dog walk area to allow the footballers to go in and get their ball rather than climbing over it and damaging it.

Action ; Clerk to contact Shelly

  1. Working Parties:-   15.1  War Memorial – John Baker has volunteered to remain on this working group should he be required.

Mk and KH will also be on this group.  Decision has been made to face the base with York stone with an inner skin.  JB to be thanked and asked to stay on board.  S106 monies might be able to be used, clerk to ask Yvonne Coleman and Paul Andrews.

15.2  NDP: JH explained that the NDP helped significantly to win the Southbank appeal, come November this year our plan will no longer be valid. We wait for Herefordshire Council to produce their Core Strategy before we embrace redoing our NDP.


15.3   Changing rooms and car park at Village Hall: The car park work has started. Changing rooms are further down the line, but it is hoped that the car park will be completed by the end of June.  Clerk to ask the footpath contractor for the coppice to start to move the mud from the play ground to the coppice as kids are playing on it.


15.4   A4103 & A465: A meeting happened this week resulting in a speed device to capture the data of what speed vehicles are doing along the road. It is hoped that the finding allow us to have speed traps put along this road.  Due to the intervention of a parishoner, the A465 is being added to this working groups consideration.


15.5   Vine Tree: The foot path that runs out of Vine Tree in to our coppice. Work is still on going to create a path for the people of Vine Tree estate.


  1. Lengthsman and P3 scheme – jobs needed around the parishes. Still need him to complete the work at the top of the Duke St steps.  Clerk to write to Rachel Watkins to ask her permission to put a drain in at the top of the steps.
  2. Footpaths officer report MK: Nunnington Court footpath has been a problem path in the last months. He has met with the land owner who has clarified that there is no path through the farm yard, instead he will put in a path that follows the field edge bringing walkers out near the Radway nurseries.

Footpath round the back of Withington Court: MK has written to Matthew Dent, the land owner. He has replied and is happy for us to work with him to get an appropriate gate in place.

JW; no issues with Westhide footpaths.

Preston Wynne footpath sign missing. TG has been informed by MK of this clerk to chase.


  1. Tree warden update – they have waived the subs for this year as there has been no training from the Tree warden network in the last year.

Push to replace dying ash trees with Maples instead.   Queens jubilee trees are available.


  1. Feedback on training or meetings attended: JW did a ‘leading lights’ course with HALC, she found it interesting.


  1. Matters Financial.  20.a  Balances as at 09.05.21:

       Parish Account:                    £33,850.45;

       Withington Field Acct:         £1,751.47;

       CCLA:                                          £11,552.78;                Total in all accounts: £47,154.70

20.b Payments to be agreed including :

Parish acct:

Countrywide (church grass in April)          £91.20;

Halc Training (J Williams):                         £48;

Terry Griffiths; Bins and fly tipping March £90;

T Griffiths bins in April;                               £42;

HMRC VAT overpayment:                         £4,257.92;

GVA (internal auditor):                               £210;

TA Matthews (legal advice)                       £294;               Total Parish Acct Payments:

Internal transfers:

From Parish Acct to Wf acct from precept (£5k plus depreciation from last year £1,452, plus VAT reclaimed £1,130.20) Total: £7,582.20

From Parish Acct to savings acct – depreciation  £2,548

Withington Field Acct:

Litter Picking;                                             £80 (To be discussed);

Countrywide (April )                                   £156;

Terry Griffiths  H&S checks March:           £48;

Terry Griffiths Covid spraying March;       £120;

WF Covid spraying April 2;                        £48;

T Griffiths H&S Checks (April):                  £150;               Total WF Acct Payments: tbc

 20.c   Receipts: First payment of the Precept: £15,500 VAT return: £4,257.92 (They have paid us twice in error – so current account is showing this additional payment) Money from s106 £1,250.

 20.d   Requests for financial aid: Church Grass Cutting

Holy Trinity Church, Preston Wynne: £280

St Peters Church, Withington: £660

 20.e   Approval of Annual Governance Statement

The Annual Governance Statement was approved by all Cllrs present.

 20.f   Approval of annual Accounting Statement

The Annual Accounting statement was approved by all Cllrs present.


  1. Planning application to be considered including:

211076 : The Wyatt, Wyatt Croft, Cross Keys: Proposed demolition of existing annex and construction of a replacement positioned where it is not prone to flooding.  PC to not comment on this application as it is not in our parish.

211005: CLEUD for Elmhurst, Withington: Certificate of lawfulness for existing use of wooden constructed detached outbuilding constructed on home owners land.   PC do not comment.

211881: Approval of details reserved by condition: Land adjoining Duke St, Withington.  Application of approval of details reserved by conditions 3 & 4 attached to planning permission 204274.  PC have already commented.

211180: Subrosa, Westhide.  Proposed demolition of sunroom and erection of new single storey extension.   PC Comment: support with no additional comment.


P211629/EIA – EIA SCREENING – Request for installation of photovoltaic units.  Pre planning at this point so no comment from the PC

P210468 Land adjacent to , Veldo Lane:  PC objects: The drive way should be shared with neighbouring property.  The PC feels that the outline position was for 2 cottages sharing an access, this is in no way a cottage, it is much larger than the outline planning was suggesting.  The current application is too high and goes against the outline planning permission and the NDP only included this area for building 2 3 bedded dwellings.

211094: Withington Car sales   PC supports the application.

210953;  Thatched Cottage in westhide: PC has no objection to this application.

211039 Upper house, Westhide   PC has no objection


  1. Planning decisions made by Herefordshire Council:

200207: Land to the north of Southbank: REFUSED   Clerk to write to Charlotte Atkins thanking her for her hard work on this.   JH to write some thing for the Withington News thanking Keith and Ginette.

MK and AG to set up a facebook group for the PC.

  1. Receive items for the next agenda (no discussion) Face book site; dog fouling; Village Hall CCTV;

The meeting closed at pm



Signed: _________________________                         Date: _________________






Dates for future meetings:


  15th July 7.30 pm start
  16th September 7.30 pm start
  18th November 7.30 pm start



Chairman’s Annual Report 2020/2021

This has been a very interesting year in so many ways. Here I am writing the Chairman’s Report but to date I have not chaired a meeting. Paul Bainbridge retired last year, which was not unexpected as he had warned us in advance – we have missed him already as his presence has been missed as he was our expert on planning. Thank you, Paul, and have a happy retirement whether in Withington and/or Scotland.

Ralph Barber took over the reins as Chairman in 2020 but decided that with post-Covid reopening’s he was going to spend more time having holidays and working on the Hereford to Gloucester Canal. Good luck there.

So, what with Chairs coming and going a similar problem occurred with councillors. We had gained Ginette Chad and Keith Merrick who both did a stalwart job in opposing the ‘land north of Southbank’ residential development. This was rejected by Herefordshire Council, but it went to appeal, so they had to galvanise the troops yet again. Last week we heard on the 11th May that the appeal was dismissed, so hopefully that is the end of that project.

John Baker had started work on the improvement scheme for the War Memorial but decided that he wished to resign. He will be sadly missed, and we hope that he may retain some involvement in that scheme for the benefit of Withington.

The Parish Council have met during the year using the new phenomenon of ‘Zoom’, there’s a new word in our vocabulary. The minutes of our meetings are on the website for all to see.

There is another person who needs our thanks for all her work over the year and that is Sophie, our parish clerk. We do pay her a salary for the work that she does, but over the last year she has worked even harder, due in no small way due to the Covid pandemic, on Parish Council business as well as being our representative for Withington Fields. There is no doubt that the efficient workings of the Parish Council are due to Sophie – thank you.

The Parish Council is very much a team – we try to work together, and for most of the time we do so for the benefit of our three parishes and their residents. On the whole we hope that we do an acceptable job – we are all volunteers after all. Inevitably there are other councillors who also are very involved in WGPC, taking on extra roles, who have not been named in this report but we owe them our thanks and appreciation for the work that they do on our behalf.


Kevin Hewison

Vice-Chair, Withington Group Parish Council.

17th May 2021.