Minutes of Annual Meeting of Council 10th May 2022

Minutes Uploaded on January 31, 2023


Of Witham Friary Parish Council

Held on Tuesday 10th May at Witham Friary Village Hall  7.30pm


Present:                                Chair H Brooke, Cllrs F Nicholls, W Sheppard, M Ferrari, L Sewell


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


Public Participation

Thanks expressed to Cllr Marcus Powell for the work undertaken with the Howard’s fence.


05/22/01              Election of a Chairman

Invitations to the post was given, Cllr Brooke was happy to continue the role. Cllr Nicholls proposed and seconded by Cllr Sewell

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


05/22/02              Election of a Vice Chair

Cllr Sheppard was proposed by Cllr Brooke and seconded by Cllr Nicholls.  Cllr Sheppard was happy to take the position

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


05/22/03              Welcome and Apologies

New councillors Ferrari and Sewell were welcomed to the Parish Council.  Apologies due to a prior engagement was received by Cllr Knowles

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


05/22/04              Parish Council Membership

  1. Members were required to sign the Acceptance of Office

Resolved:  The acceptance of office was duly signed by Councillors in attendance,  in the presence of the Clerk who countersigned the form.


  1. Councillors to oversee various responsibilities.

Communications was a bigger piece of work as it was agreed to investigate a move to another website with a sub-committee formation including community groups.   It was agreed for the time being to retain the services of Colin to update the current website at 2 hours per month at the Clerks rate of pay.

Resolved:  The following responsibilities were allocated

Highways                               Cllr Nicholls

Network Rail                         Cllr Ferrari

Parish Plan                            Cllr Knowles

Recreation Ground             Cllr Sheppard

Playpatch                               Cllr Knowles

Footpaths                              Cllr Sewell

Witham Water                    Cllr Nicholls

Sustainable Witham           Cllr Ferrari

Communications                  Retain Colin’s services for updates, consider a move to another provider, sub-                                                 committee to be formed including community groups.


05/22/05              Declarations of interest

There had been a Declaration of interests document circulated from MDC.  It was 10 pages long and the clerk would provide a link to its completion online given the volume of pages involved.  In relation to today’s agenda Cllr Ferrari expressed a conflict with the planning matter minuted in 05/22/07 and removed herself from discussion and decision.


05/22/06              Confirmation of Minutes

                                To agree the minutes from the previous meeting held on 12th April 2022.

Resolved:  The Minutes of the 12th April were agreed as a correct record.


05/22/07              Planning Matters for Consideration

To consider the following applications:

2022/0717/HSE Erection of single storey rear extension following the demolition of existing conservatory and erection of garage – 1 Manor Gardens, Witham Friary

Resolved:  To approve application


05/22/08              Chairman’s Report

                                As previously stated in the Annual Parish Meeting.


05/22/09              Finance

  1. To receive financial statement

Bank reconciliation completed and showing figure on cashbook as £42997.19


  1. To agree schedule of payments as indicated below


          Resolved:  The above payment schedule was agreed


  1. Update on Unity Bank

We signed the closure of the business reserve at the last meeting.  The Clerk has been in branch for an update and the matter is being progressed slowly.  A phone call from Natwest confirming the amount has been verified and the matter is now with a Case Handler from Natwest who will hopefully complete the transaction.


  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 was one issue where the RFO had placed a bill for insurance, containing insurance tax in the VAT claimable report which was incorrect and this has been subsequently adjusted.

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


05/22/10              Reports

  1. To receive Chairman’s Report on Jubilee Sub-Committee

There had been a provisional flyer of the jubilee activities posted around the village.  Provision was being made for a wet weather programme and those who wouldn’t be using picnic blankets.   Amongst activities the church bell would peel for 70 rings, a year for every year of the reign.  Volunteers were required and it was agreed to publish this on facebook and website.  The budget was within constraints so much so that the Council may be able to subsidise some of the activities.


  1. Cllr Nicholls report on Highways

Pothole correction was completed and top dressing was awaited to join up with what was done last year.  Cllr Ferrari questioned on behalf of a resident if Highways could repair the gully left on the side of the road that had been left.  Much discussion was had on why this had been left, along with passing areas and costs.  It was agreed not to pursue at the current time


  1. To receive report on Communications

Nothing to report new councillor in place


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

Cllr Sheppard stated that he had not had time to pursue the grass cutting maintenance renewal. He suggested that we work with Grass Valet this year with a view to getting quotes ahead of time next year.  It was suggested that the strimming around new trees could be looked at as this was quite aggressive in places. Cllr Ferrari would happily meet Danny the GV Representative and would arrange with Tom as he arranges the cuts to the field


  1. To receive Cllr Knowles report on the Play Patch

Cllr Knowles was not in attendance / no report given.


  1. To receive Cllr Powell report on Footpaths

Cllr Powell had produced a report stating there was nothing new. A handover report of contacts and incident references would be passed to Cllr Ferrari


05/22/11              Network Rail

As per footpaths.  A member of the public indicated that although the fencing work had been carried out much of excess materials had been left.  Cllr Ferrari would pick this up with Network Rail


05/22/12              Witham Water

The jubilee leaflet drop was imminent so work from Cllr Sheppard was needed on devising an appropriate leaflet regarding the Water situation.  The new communications were working well and Cllr Nicholls stated that we need to educate the village on the new process and keep contact away from Mendip and bombarding the water company.  It was suggested that a follow up leaflet could be devised on saving water and looking at if there were  any schemes relating to reduced costs in water butt purchases etc


05/22/13              Policies and Council Documents

The Clerk had a Health and Safety Policy for adoption.  All the matters were in place such as insurance etc but we needed to formalise this in a document.

Resolved:  Health and Safety Document adopted


05/22/13              Further correspondence

Sports Pavilion

The jubilee bid was not successful with the failure in meeting the eligibility criteria.  This was obviously disappointing but there were many other grant applications that could be considered.


Churchyard Maintenance

For information only we had received a complaint regarding the overgrown nature of the church yard. Whilst this wasn’t a Parish Council issue we do provide a grant for its maintenance.  The upshot being Gill Read was being consulted on ways to find balance with protecting wild flowers and some areas that required cutting.


Councillors Code of Conduct

There had been a revised Code from SALC due to the election and move to Unitary.  It was considered apt for the new councillors to read and comment before adoption so this would be included on the June Agenda.


New councillors Sewell and Ferrari would look at possibilities of solar usage and possible income generation perhaps a 2nd windmill at some point during tenure.


Cllr Ferrari had a parishioner query on drains.  It was stated that drain clearance is on a scheduled programme however if there was a blocked drain or missing drain cover this should be reported to Cllr Nicholls as a matter of urgency


The Clerk had heard there was a new team called Witham Youth using the pitch next season which would obviously need permission and we would need to carry out some checks of insurance etc. Cllr Sheppard would make enquiries and report further.


05/22/14              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 14th June.


As stated in the Annual Parish Meeting we would hold this in April, (11th April at 7pm) with invites and collation of reports during March.


September 12th meeting would look at half yearly budgets


In February we would review all the Council policies.


Cllr Sheppard advised the following:

Boundary Walk 22nd May 6pm


Sports day – provisional date set for 16th July


Before closure of the meeting the Chair, fellow Councillors and attendees would like to place on record their thanks to Marcus Powell and Colin Horstmann for their devotion, work and loyalty to the Council during their time as Councillors.  We recognise Powell’s work with Network Rail especially and his commitment to the upkeep of the footpaths.  Colin Horstmann has been instrumental in developing the Parish Website and helped with a huge undertaking with parishioners when the fibre broadband was installed.


Meeting closed at 8.35pm




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