Annual parish meeting

   

The most recent Annual Parish (Village) meeting minutes are below. For last year's and previous year's Minutes please use the link at the foot of the page. Please note that minutes are published as Draft Unapproved until they are approved which takes place at the next year's meeting Go to last year(s)? 

DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in the Parish Room, Westwood, at 7.30pm on Monday 30 April 2018.

 Present:

Cllr. J Bishop                           Chairman, Westwood Parish Council.

Roger Coleman                      Clerk.

There were nineteen members of the public present (five of whom were parish councillors).

 1.         Introduction and Apologies.          

The Chairman, Cllr. Bishop, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies for non-attendance were received from Community Policing Team, PCSO Andrew MacLauchlan and Brian Oliver, Community Speed Watch Coordinator.

 2.         To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 9 May 2017.

The minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman.

 3.         The Community Speed Watch (CSW) Coordinator will provide an update on the Community Speed Watch Scheme.

Paul Phillips gave the following report (shown in italics) on behalf of the CSW Coordinator, Brian Oliver:

 Community Speed Watch is run by local communities and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, supported by Wiltshire Police and the Councils. It gives residents a chance to help combat speeding in their local area.

 Brian Oliver has recently taken over Team Leadership for Westwood’s Team from our longstanding Leader, Alan Wheals, who held the role with distinction for about 4 years.

 We are now in our 5th year and did wonder whether it was worthwhile continuing with Speedwatch in Westwood as, with Alan standing down, it would have made a clean break.  However our last Count Session has affirmed the need.  Of the 57 CSW Teams counting last month, it showed Westwood as having:

1.     The 3rd highest % of speeders.  (this being 10% over the Speed limit + 2mph which for us is25mph and over)

2.     The 2nd highest % of excessive speeders (this being 50% over the Speed limit which for us is 30mph and over).

 This comparison of information with other CSW Schemes is the product of a review within Head Office to provide improved information and backs up our empirical belief that we had a speeding problem in Westwood.

 Being the 3rd and 2nd highest is disappointing.  However looking back at data from when we started we have seen the % of speeders drop from an initial level of about 13% of all vehicles to about 8% and one wonders what the level of speeding would be without Westwood’s Speedwatch.  To let you have some other data from our Counts, we have counted some 47,000 vehicles of which about 4,500 were speeding and the average vehicle flow is 180 per hour or a vehicle every 20 seconds, a fairly busy village used by not just Villagers but also Commuter rat Running and latterly Construction Machinery vehicles.

 Some of you may have noticed the long tyre skid mark opposite the virtual pavement on the village side of the New Inn, this vehicle must have been travelling well in excess of the limit and it is lucky a child or horse was not around that area at the time, this being the site of an outbound car hitting vehicles last year, probably again due to excessive speed.

 We are proactive within Community Speedwatch, attending a Team Leader Event on 10th January this year at Tisbury.  It was led by Insp James Brain (CSW leader) supported by Leanne Homewood, the civilian Co-ordinator.

 The police have reviewed the status of Speedwatch within Wiltshire at the behest of the Police and Crime Commissioner and it is now elevated and treated akin to Anti-Social Behaviour.

 The effect of this is that every 2 weeks our Community Police Team meets at a Performance Meeting on which CSW is now included on the agenda.  Using the Police model of “intelligence led policing”, the 2 worst offender CSW Teams are chosen who will have a Police visit on site during their next count.  A 3rd Team is chosen on a purely rotational basis so no-one misses out.  Given the report I gave earlier, Westwood can expect to have a Police presence on site in the near future.

 Now that CSW is elevated in importance, CSW falls within the “Police Recognition Framework”.  This is what you hear about where the Police Chief and Crime Commissioner give awards for Gallantry and Public Duty, Service etc. and leads to a presentation and a visit to HQ.  Whilst we do not expect an award it is however gratifying that the Speedwatch is well considered by the Police in providing an “educational” function to motorists to reduce speeding.

 The Police have secured a “Police Community Vehicle” which is available for Teams to use at Counts and may also be used for recruiting and Speed awareness at fetes etc.  It comes with a gazebo, promotional material and a Speed Checking Device.  We may try and obtain this to have on-site during some of our future counts and may also be able to tie it into the Village Fete or Village Flower Show as an attraction.

 We may be welcoming a new member shortly; they are on a scheduled training, course next month at the Devizes Headquarters.

 If anyone else is concerned about speeding in Westwood and fancies coming on the Team then please contact us.  We only go out about every other month, count on random days and times and you only need to make yourselves available for a few Counts each time.  In addition you get the benefit of training at Devizes Police Headquarters and a look around their vehicle compound.

 I mentioned earlier that we believe Speedwatch within Westwood has had a beneficial effect.  The following graph details the % of speeders recorded over each of our 31 Count Sessions over the last 4 years.  If you look at the thick Blue line this details that there was an initial steady decline in the number of Speeders for the first 18-months, a hump over about the next 12-months for some unknown reason (but not as high as initial levels) and for the past 18 months a steady or slight decrease.

 The Chairman thanked Paul Phillips for giving the report.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 4.         Westwood with Iford Primary School/Radio Project Presentation.

Ian Rockey, Headteacher Westwood with Iford Primary School, introduced himself and gave a presentation on the Westwood School Community Radio Project. He explained the nature of the Westwood School Radio project and plans for the continuing development of this project to include the creation of an oral history of Westwood Parish. He explained in detail the nature of the oral history project and commented that it would be driven and managed by the children of the school and that it was a unique opportunity to engage all sections of the local community in its development. Mr Rockey explained that he had applied to the Lottery Grant Fund for grant aid and had been successful and that he was grateful to the Parish Council for its donation of £1000. Mr Rockey estimated that the overall cost of the project was around £10,000.

Mr Rockey explained that some key items of equipment had now been purchased and was set up at the rear of the Parish Room and that the children were now confidently regularly running the radio station with public broadcasts accessible by parishioners in Westwood and the wider community. Mr Rockey introduced James Batten, a pupil at the school, who is a presenter and interviewer on the radio station and James explained his role and was to be available to demonstrate the equipment after the meeting.

 The Chairman thanked Mr Rockey and James for their presentation.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 5.         A Report on Community Policing.

PC Vicki Howick gave the following report (shown in italics) on behalf of PCSO Andrew MacLachlan Community policing Team.

 Annual Parish Report for the Bradford on Avon Rural Beat

Period covered: 1st April 2017 - 31st March 2018

 The Bradford rural beat covers 8 villages and many hamlets. The villages are: Holt, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Farleigh, South Wraxall, Staverton, Westwood, Wingfield and Winsley.

 Under the Community Poling Team (CPT) model, emergency response cover is provided by police officers based in Trowbridge and PCSO cover is provided by PCSO Andrew MacLachlan. The Town beat is covered by part time PCSO, Maria Badder.

 There have been 513 crimes reported to us during this period which is around the norm expected for this beat. There were a total of 49 burglaries, which again sits well within the numbers from previous years. Four of these occurred in the Westwood area and were all non-dwelling (2 in November and 2 in March).

 Nottingham Knockers still continue to show an unwelcomed interest in the rural villages. They try to sell household items from their bag at the doorstep and do not hold a valid pedlars license. Our advice is to either not answer the door or politely decline buying anything from them and to call 101 to report their presence, ideally noting what they are wearing and their direction of travel from the reporting person’s house.

 There has recently been a successful prosecution in court of a male caught selling in a Wiltshire village by PCSO Andrew MacLachlan. He was fined £280, ordered to pay a surcharge to fund victim services of £30.00 to the court and to pay costs of £85.00 to the Crown Prosecution Service. This shows that we and the courts take this crime seriously and this sentence is welcomed as it will certainly put this male off from returning to Wiltshire.

 Community Speedwatch is going from strength to strength with new schemes starting up around the county, including one in Winsley this year. At a weekly tasking meeting, held in Trowbridge and chaired by Inspector Andy Fee, Speedwatch schemes are allocated to police officers so they can carry out enforcement speed checks.

 The Bradford on Avon NPT Facebook Page now has 1680 followers and is a very useful tool in allowing us to get messages out to the community. Community Messaging also provides a powerful tool for us to communicate incidents such as burglaries, thefts etc as well as safety information and tips. We strongly urge residents to sign up to the Facebook page (if they use Facebook) and Community Messaging, which can be done by visiting www.wiltsmessaging.co.uk.

 Please urge residents to report anything suspicious to the police using 101 for non-emergencies, 999 for emergencies.

 The Chairman thanked PC Howick for her report.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 6.         A Report from the Wiltshire Councillor for Winsley and Westwood.

Wiltshire Councillor Cllr. Johnny Kidney introduced himself and explained that he was keen to be seen to support all parts of the community irrespective of any political divisions. He explained that he was the portfolio holder for Health and Protection and Adult Social Care and that he was also the Wiltshire Council nominated Governor for the Royal United Hospital, Bath. He stated that he attends most Parish Council meetings in Westwood and he added that his contact details are easily obtainable from the Wiltshire Council website.

He addressed the following topics in his report:

 Bradford on Avon Area Board and the need to encourage a less Bradford on Avon centric approach.

Parish Steward Scheme Widely recognised as a very real success in the Bradford on Avon Community Area.

Libraries and the willingness of Wiltshire Council to support their work. He commented that the footfall in the libraries had seen a 3% increase over the last year.

Planning applications and his direct involvement in supporting the Parish Council’s decisions.

Litter and the need to be more proactive in discouraging indiscriminate discarding of litter the removal of such litter costs some £2.5m/year at present.

 The Chairman thanked Cllr. Kidney for his report.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 7.         Annual Report of the Parish Council by the Chairman, Westwood Parish Council and a Statement on the Parish Council accounts for Year ending 31 March 2018 by the Clerk to the Parish Council.

 Annual Report of the Parish Council by the Chairman.

 a.         The Chairman gave a report of the work of the Council over the preceding year. His report is shown below (in italics):

 Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 2018 Annual Parish Meeting.

 This year the Parish Council has continued with a full programme of work to improve the local community and to support local groups and to support events that took place in the village.

 The Parish Council owns substantial assets such as the Playing Field, Westwood Park, Nursery, Children’s Play Area and Play Equipment, Cemetery, Bus Shelter, Noticeboards, Bench seats, the Street Lights in the Park, a Defibrillator and now a phone box. We have recently agreed for the telephone box on Lower Westwood to be used by a group to run a book swap. All the above have to be maintained by the Parish Council from the Precept and my thanks go to all those who assist with the upkeep, often at no cost to the village.

 The Parish Council has communications with the Community Policing Team, who provide monthly information relating to crime in the Bradford area. Regrettably, reorganisation of the police activities has resulted in our local officers being unable to attend meetings as was once the case. Also, the reports are now general to the area and do not provide data on Westwood specifically, so it is difficult to know what crime has been recorded. The Parish Council has unsuccessfully made representations regarding this matter.

 Westwood is in the Bradford on Avon Community Area Board. The Area includes the parishes of Bradford on Avon, Holt, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Farleigh, South Wraxall, Staverton, Westwood, Wingfield, Winsley. The Board provide an opportunity to request funding for local projects and Westwood is regularly represented. Wiltshire Council’s Councillor, Johnny Kidney, has attended most Parish Council meetings and provided a link with the meetings arranged by the Area Board and Transport Group. I would like to thank Johnny for his work over the past year.

 At the start of the financial year 2017/2018, the Parish Council was a Council of eight members with a potential maximum of nine. Sadly, Alan Wheals has since resigned his position, but we have recently welcomed Marianne Cartwright-Hignett to the Parish Council. I thank Alan for his efforts during his time in office. He will be missed. There is still a vacancy, which the Council will look to fill by co-opting a member of the parish. We now have representation from Iford and it would be great to receive an offer from Avoncliff in particular as that part of the Parish has not been represented for some time.

Twelve Parish Council Meetings have been held, eleven Ordinary meetings and one Annual meeting.    

 Regular monitoring of speeds within the 20 mph Speed Limit continues and the statistics indicate that average speeds remain on a downward trend. Regular highway inspections are carried out and the Parish Council liaises with Wiltshire Council for repairs and remedial action through the Parish Steward. My thanks go to Councillor Julie Adcock, who has established a very strong working relationship with the Steward and much work, including filling potholes, cutting back hedges and trees, etc. is undertaken by the team.

 The PC has considered around twenty Planning, Listed Building Consents and Tree Works applications and has commented accordingly.

Westwood now has two Defibrillators, one located at Westwood Social Club and the other at Avoncliff. These are maintained regularly in accordance with recommendations.                                                          

The Westwood Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group now been disbanded. This was regrettable as a significant effort was put in by a number of individuals. The Plan has been taken in-house by the Parish Council for whom Councillor Tim Leeder is tasked with moving this forward.

The Parish Council has provided a donation towards the school’s radio project, pays for the publication of the Westwood Update that is issued every two months and funds a website, the address of which is www.westwoodparish.co.uk .

 Westwood Park, the Playing Field and the Cemetery are maintained by Derek Downes, to whom I extend my thanks. Derek has kept these areas to a good standard and I am pleased to hear of the many comments of approval for the hard work undertaken. The football team managed a creditable third in the Bath Sunday League Division 3 and this has provided income which helps towards the maintenance of the field and park.  The Parish Council also receives an income from the Cemetery in the form of burial and memorial fees. This also helps towards the costs of maintenance. Derek also acts as the village handyman and undertakes odd jobs that do not form part of the remit of the Parish Steward.

 Monthly inspections are carried out on the play equipment and appropriate repairs undertaken. An annual inspection is carried out by ROSPA and I am pleased to confirm that little of need has resulted from these inspections. The “Arctic Tower” was successfully repaired following the receipt of the appropriate parts. This was not an easy task and credit is due to Alan Wheals and Paul Phillips for their efforts given that this appears to be a country wide problem with this type of equipment. The play equipment generally, and the flooring in particular, are showing their age so the Parish Council has begun to look into the longer term repairs and replacement, which will be costly. 

 Westwood Nursery School continues to flourish and is fully supported by the Parish Council, which, last year, renewed the Lease (Licence to Occupy) for a further seven years.

 The Parish Council regrets that Westwood Stores and Post Office are still struggling to continue. My thanks go to Ray and his team for continuing their efforts, especially with the very sad news of Rita’s passing a short time ago.                                                                                                                    

The footpaths and bridleways of the parish are regularly walked and monitored. Any repairs, clearing, etc. are arranged either with the Footpath Warden, owner or a little elbow grease from a volunteer or two.            

 Correspondence in the form of emails, letters and notices received from a variety of sources including parishioners, Wiltshire Council, private and public bodies, etc. is considered and appropriate action taken.

 Parish Council Meetings are generally held on the First Monday of each month in the Parish Room. All members of the public are welcome to attend and to make representations during the Public Forum. My thanks go to the Parish Room committee who have provided us with a much nicer environment to hold meetings and lay on tea and coffee.

 I would like to thank my colleagues on the Parish Council, the many people who have assisted or contacted the Parish Council and who care about their community and, above all, Roger Coleman, the Parish Council’s clerk, who works tirelessly, often without the praise which is due to him.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 b.         Statement on the Parish Council accounts for Year ending 31 March 2018 by the Clerk to the Parish Council.

Accounts for the Year ending 31 March 2018.

             The Clerk gave a brief report on the Accounts for FY2017/2018. He stated that he had balanced the accounts and had completed the Annual Return and that the accounts had been examined by the Internal Auditor who had signed the Annual Return noting that all matters were satisfactory. They will be submitted to the Parish Council for approval and will then be sent to the Government appointed  PKF Littlejohn LLP. 

 He stated that the balance brought into the year was £15880 and the balance carried forward at the end of the year was £23830.

 The Clerk stated that Receipts in the year totalled £26473 and Payments in the year totalled £18711.

 He reported that the main Receipts in the year were:

 Precept  £23650.

VAT Refund  £235

Cemetery Fees £1145

Open Spaces £126 (Football Pitch).

Bank Account Interest £34.

HMRC PAYE Credit £1283

 He reported that the main Payments in the year were:

 Staff Costs £5955

HMRC PAYE £1283

Office Expenses £359

Westwood School Donation £1000

Open Space Maintenance £3914:

 -                      Grass Cutting

-                      RoSPA Play Area Annual Safety Inspection.

-                      Westwood Park.

-                      Playing Field. 

-                      Tree Works.

 Cemetery Maintenance £2378

Village Handyman £331

Westwood Update £457

Donations £1235 (includes £1000 for Westwood School)

Insurance/Audit Fees  £1254.

Website £690

Subscriptions £53.

Hall Hire £640.                    

He concluded by stating that the Fixed Assets of the Council represented around £53794 and that these were based on current insurance values and the actual cost of acquiring the Westwood Park, the Playing Field, Nursery School and Cemetery.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 8.         To invite the public to raise any matters of interest.

A parishioner requested that significant items of news that affect residents of Westwood, such as the need for identification to be produced at the Recycling Centres, be included in the Westwood Update.

 A parishioner enquired about the progress of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Chairman gave a brief response and invited the parishioner to contact Mr Tim Leeder (the parish councillor responsible) directly.

 Close.

The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.

 

Chairman.

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