M I N U T E S
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
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
- 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.
- To receive financial statement
Bank reconciliation to be completed for the June meeting
- 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
- Bank Mandate
Log in details were now with the Chair having the bank mandate altered at the previous meeting
- 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.
- To set period of inspection by the public – suggested as 5th June to 14th July
Resolved: Inspection period agreed as above
- 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.
- Cllr Nicholls report on Highways
Nothing further to add from APM
- 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”.
- To receive Cllr Sheppard/Knowles report on the Recreation Ground
Nothing to add.
- 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.
- 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.
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.