Minutes 09.05.23 (Annual Council)

Minutes Uploaded on June 8, 2023


Of Witham Friary Parish Council

Held on Tuesday 9th  May 2023 at Witham Friary Village Hall  7.30pm


Present:                                Chair W Sheppard, Cllrs F Nicholls, J Knowles, M Ferrari, S Coate


Also Present:                       J Gregory Proper Officer, plus 3 members of the public


Public Participation

The opportunity was given to address the meeting with any further comments or queries ahead of the meeting.


2324/001              Election of a Chairman

Invitations to the post was given, Cllr Sheppard was happy to continue the role. Cllr Nicholls proposed and seconded by Cllr Ferrari – vote was unanimous(5)

                                Resolved:  Cllr Sheppard was duly elected to the post of Chair for the year


2324/002              Election of a Vice Chair

Cllr Ferrari was proposed by Cllr Brooke and seconded by Cllr Nicholls.  Cllr Ferrari was happy to take the position – vote was unanimous(5)

                                Resolved: Cllr Ferrari was duly elected to the post of Vice Chair for the year.


2324/003              Welcome and Apologies

Apologies due to a prior engagement was received by Cllr Sewell

Resolved: Apologies were accepted by Cllr Sewell in the circumstances given


2324/004              Parish Council Membership

  1. Councillors to oversee various responsibilities.

Resolved:  The following responsibilities were allocated

Highways                               Cllr Nicholls

Network Rail                         Cllr Ferrari

Parish Plan                            Cllr Knowles

Recreation Ground             Cllr Sheppard

Playpatch                               Cllr Knowles Cllr Coate

Footpaths                              Cllr Sewell

Witham Water                    Cllr Nicholls/ Knowles

Communications                  Cllr Ferrari


2324/005              Declarations of interest

There had been no changes to the signed Declaration of Interest.  There was no declarations in tonights meeting.


2324/006              Confirmation of Minutes

                                To agree the minutes from the previous meeting held on 11th April 2022.

Resolved:  The Minutes of the 11th April were agreed as a correct record.


2324/007              Planning Matters for Consideration

To consider the following applications:

2023/0584 The Caravan, Postlebury House

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of new dwelling

Deadline 4th May – Decision made via email canvass to recommend approval


2023/0561 Henleaze Farm, Holt Lane

Erection of 1no. Timber Clad cabin for tourist use.

Deadline 10th May – Decision made to recommend approval.


2324/008              Chairman’s Report

                                As previously stated in the Annual Parish Meeting.


2324/009              Finance

  1. To receive financial statement

Bank reconciliation to be completed for the June meeting


  1. To agree schedule of payments as indicated below

J Gregory Salary + WFH costs £279.96

DBD Play £2517.60

Grass Valet grasscutting November, March & April £528.00

Grass Valet annual maintenance of Track £342.00

Refund Roger Barnes £50 (Rental paid in error)

Grant Application for Coronation Skittles – Agreed £50

          Resolved:  The above payment schedule was agreed


  1. Bank Mandate

Log in details were now with the Chair having the bank mandate altered at the previous meeting


  1. Year End Accounts/ AGAR / Internal Audit

Members had received a copy of the accounts and AGAR circulated prior.


Andrew Liggatt has completed the accounts and his part of the AGAR.  There were no issues recorded

Resolved:  The Chair to sign off the AGAR, noting the accounts and signature by the RFO.


  1. To set period of inspection by the public – suggested as 5th June to 14th July

Resolved: Inspection period agreed as above


2324/010              Reports

  1. To receive Chairman’s Report

Report previously given in the APM.  The Chair advised that with Steve Orr as lengthsman he needed to assign tasks. This was the agreed list

Toilet – Dovecote

Clearing drain areas in preparation for Highways

Painting to area inside gateway at the Rec.field


He also said the gates (pedestrian and double gate) to the Play patch needed attention – Cllr Coate would look at costs of these with the potential of a metal gate post, wooden gates.


  1. Cllr Nicholls report on Highways

Nothing further to add from APM


  1. To receive report on Communications

Nothing to report.  The Clerk expressed her thanks to Mike Gorman at Witham Friary News for his patience with her IT skills in getting the right format of newsletter onto the village website. Community groups urged to update their “bios”.


  1. To receive Cllr Sheppard/Knowles report on the Recreation Ground

Nothing to add.


  1. To receive Cllr Knowles report on the Play Patch

Cllr Knowles stated that he would leave anything further requiring replacement for the ROSPA report to advise  this would also allow some time for grant funding to be applied for.  The remainder of the nest swing would be removed by the end of the month as the ROSPA inspection was due in June.  Cllr Sheppard advised that he would make a donation as he had taken the old nest swing for family use.


  1. To receive Cllr Powell report on Footpaths

Cllr Sewell was not in attendance to give a report.


2324/011              Network Rail

There was a smell of diesel under the railway bridge.  Cllr Ferrari to address.


2324/012              Witham Water

The leaflet was due for release.  Any leaks have been swiftly repaired.


2324/013              Dovecote

                                To be added as a regular item to the agenda.


The Survey was awaited however the Surveyor advised of a health situation which had delayed matters.  Cllr Ferrari stated that she would get an Electrical Survey done and for reliability and cost would approach Mark Norris who would provide a quotation.

Resolved:  Quotation from Mark Norris Electrical agreed


2324/014              Usage of the Playing Field by Witham Friary Youth FC

The Chair briefed the meeting as to the management arrangements of the playing field indicating that the gift of the field was to the benefit of the residents of the village.  He also said any decision needed to be mindful of the infancy of the group using it, the issues/comments raised both from villagers at various times and the statements expressed by WFYFC at the APM.  The PC were aware of the restrictions in recruitment to football being different from Cricket.


Cllr Coate said that he felt that the feeling within the village was very strong for them not to continue and as a Councillor that was a voice he could not personally ignore given the football club was external and not made up from anyone living in the village.  He went on to say there had been a number of incidents involving parking in particular brought to his attention where individuals were rude and abusive and that situation appears to continue to some extent along with some element of deterring children from using the pitch for whatever reason.


Cllr Ferrari proposed that Witham Friary Youth FC NOT be granted usage for Season 23/24, this was seconded by Cllr Coate and voted unanimously (5)

Resolved:  With WFYFC present the action to not grant them usage was advised


2324/015              Policy Adoption

                      The Clerk advised with the Parish Council holding personal information in some form or another and with a GDPR policy in place the next  step is to register with the ICO. Based on other Parishes this is in the region of £35 annual fee.


2324/016              Dates of Further Meetings

Full council meetings would continue to be held on the 2nd Tuesday throughout the year at 7.30pm with the next meeting on the 13th June.


September meeting would look at half yearly budgets


In February we would review all the Council policies.


Meeting closed at 8.43pm


A signed copy of the minutes can be viewed by arrangement via the Parish Clerk.