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
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Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in the Parish Room, Westwood, at on Tuesday 13 April 2010.
Jeremy RobertsonChairman, Westwood Parish Council.
Parish Councillors T Biles, R Howard-Evans and J Johnston attended the meeting.
PC Martin Barrett attended the meeting.
There were 11 Parishioners present.
1.Introduction and Apologies.
The Chairman, Jeremy Robertson, welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited the Clerk to explain the nature, and purpose, of an Annual Parish Meeting. He extended a warm welcome to the guest speaker Dr Mike Rood, General Manager of the Kennett and Avon Trust.
2.Presentation by Dr. Mike Rodd –‘The Kennet and AvonCanal – The Challenge for the Future’.
Dr. Rodd explained the history of the Kennet and AvonCanal and its unique place in the system of British waterways. He explained the various engineering challenges that increasing use of the canal presents and detailed the difficulties of maintaining such a complex waterway against the background of decreasing financial support from the Government via the British Waterways Board. He commented on the superb work undertaken by the volunteers of the Trust, and by others, and observed that without this support – and, perhaps, with an ever-increasing use of this force in future – the longer term prospects for this valuable leisure and business amenity could be bleak.
Dr Rodd participated in a Question and Answer session following his presentation.
The Chairman thanked Dr. Rodd for giving such an interesting and informative presentation.
3.Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on 12 May 2009.
The Minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
4.Annual Report of the Parish Council.
The Chairman gave a full report of the work of the Council over the preceding year. A summary of the subjects covered is attached to these minutes.
The Chairman concluded his report by stating that Parish Council Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month - no meeting in August - at in the Parish Room. All members of the public are welcome to attend and to make representations during the Public Forum.
5.Statement on the Parish Council accounts for Year ending 31 March 2010.
a.The Clerk gave a brief report on the Accounts for FY2009/2010.
He stated that the balance brought into the year was £19064.72 and the balance carried forward at the end of the year was £20884.43.
The Clerk stated that Receipts in the year totalled £12572.06 and Payments in the year totalled £10778.72.
He reported that the main Receipts in the year were:
Precept£10000 (same since 2007 – although this year FY2010/11 raised to £10,500).
WWDCCemetery Grant £1038
Cemetery Fees £1370
Open Spaces £75 (Football Pitch).
Bank Account Interest £21.
He reported that the main Payments in the year were:
Staff Costs £3072
Open Space maintenance £2758
-Grass Cutting £1906
-New Sign £43
-Hedge Cutting £230
-Play Area Repair (£458)
-RoSPA Play Area Annual Safety Inspection (£76)
Cemetery Maintenance £1404
Village Handyman £621
Westwood Update £460
He concluded by stating that the Fixed Assets of the Council represented around £31500 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.
b.The Clerk asked those present to note that this year, the Annual Parish Meeting has preceded the Annual Parish Council meeting and it was this latter meeting that would approve, or not, the Parish Council Annual Return. He added that the Annual Return and reconciliation of the Bank Accounts was completed two weeks ago and that everything was in order. He commented that the Accounts would now be submitted to the Internal Auditor for him to undertake his Audit. Thereafter, and subject to a successful Internal Audit, the Annual Return will be presented to the Annual Parish Council meeting on 10 May 2010 for approval.
6.Observations from the Wiltshire Councillor, Cllr. Linda Conley.
The following report (shown in italics) was given by Cllr. Conley.
‘The year 2009 heralded the advent of the new Wiltshire Council.The transformation of the County into an effective and efficient Unitary Authority has been a huge task but all things considered the transition went smoothly and financial savings and efficiencies are expected to be greater than predicted.
Two major issues have had to be delayed until after the General Election:-
Number one (and dear to my own heart)– determining a common waste collection procedure across the county and two the requirement under the Regional Spatial Strategy to build houses in areas not always acceptable to Wiltshire.
Decisions related to the above issues need to be taken in conjunction with policies decided in Westminster and it has been deemed sensible to wait direction from the new incoming administration.
It had been an objective to freeze council tax at last years level but this would have resulted in cuts in some services.In the event the average increase across the county was 2.3% and for those in the west 1.8%.
The budget has allowed some slack to deal with the roads damaged by the severe winter and an extra £1.7m has been allocated for this purpose.
How Area Boards work and are being perceived varies across the county but are generally getting a good press.Extra money has been allocated to them to help young people, highway expenditure and reduction of street lighting.
Leisure facilities – including 23 centres across the County are in the process of being reviewed in order to produce a plan for the next 10 – 15 years.Some external grant funding has been obtained and across the board there has been an increase in swimming activities, sports projects for young people and ‘return to sport’ activities.
The Cabinet Member for highways has had his hands full over the winter period but has public safety as the top of his priority list.The Council and Police together have developed a Community Speed Watch programme to address speeding concerns.New schemes are prioritised on the basis of risk reduction before any design work is carried out.
The integration of street cleaning, grass cutting and amenity groups from the previous Districts remain an ongoing priority but will generate improved operational practices.
Other behind the scene work continues apace:-
Work place transformation and the efficient delivery of services using integrated IT systems is generating a huge amount of in house work and many services coming under the heading of health and wellbeing have been revamped and harmonised.Examples of this are Community Safety, Pest Control, Emergency Planning and Anti-social behaviour and of course Planning.
In December 2009 Wiltshire Children’s Services were rated by Ofsted as ‘PerformingWell’ and it is hoped that this degree of success will be reflected across the Authority as we enter the new financial year and the era of a new Parliament.’
The Chairman thanked Linda Conley for her report.
The Chairman invited PC Martin Barrett to introduce himself and to say a few words about the Neighbourhood Policing initiative.
PC Barrett explained that he and PCSO Vicky Huntley comprise the Bradford on Avon Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and that their responsibility for Neighbourhood policing extends to eight local villages, including Westwood. He explained the purpose of the NPT, its role and he gave examples of the duties that fall within the remit of the NPT.
7.To consider resolutions of which written notice has been given.
A parishioner made strong representations that the Parish Council should take effective steps to engage with the community and with the parishioners that it represents and that this ‘engagement’ would enable the Council to address those matters of direct concern to the community. He suggested that better publicity in the Westwood Update for Parish Council meetings – and the opportunity that they present for parishioners to make their views known – and that an annual ‘Community Workshop’ or Questionnaire could be utilised for obtaining the views of the community.
Other parishioners commented that sufficient opportunities already exist for community views to be expressed and that Westwood, in common with almost all other Parish Councils, was finding that communities were apathetic unless there was a key local matter that directly affected the community. In these cases, which are rare, the Parish Council meetings were well attended - as has been demonstrated recently at Westwood,
The parishioner expressed the view that the Parish Council must address the issue of how to engage the community better.
8.To consider other matters raised by those present.
Noticeboards, Bench seats, Street Lights (in Park)
…………..all of which have to be maintained by the Parish Council from the Precept.
Neighbourhood Policing Team.
·PC Martin Barrett and PCSO Vicky Huntley – Many thanks.
·Attend all PC Meetings to give report/listen to concerns.
·NPT Actions: Speeding through the village (Speed Checks), Road Safety issues/concerns, Cross Guns – Anti Social behaviour, Parking disputes, Suspicious vehicles/Persons, School Parking, Westwood – Anti Social behaviour (e.g.motorbikes), Abandoned vehicles.
·Cllr. Parker represents PC at NPT Tasking Meetings (held quarterly).
·Creation of Area Boards/Community Areas.
·Wiltshire Council Elections – 5 June 2009 (One member for Winsley & Westwood Electoral Division – The ED comprises Westwood, Winsley, Limpley Stoke and Wingfield) – Linda Conley.
Parish Council activities:
Full Council (9 Members) at last Annual Parish Meeting (12 May 2009) and a full Council for the whole year.
New Council member - Geoff Edwards appointed 11 May 2009.
12 Parish Council Meetings and one PC Planning Meeting (Westwood Stores) held.
Planning Applications: Around 18 considered (Planning applications, Listed Building Consent and Tree Works).
(incl. Westwood Stores).
Donations made by the PC:Westwood Garden Competition Prizes (£120)
Westwood Flower Show (£120) – Bratton Silver Band.
Westwood Update:Published every two months (Total Cost - £460).
Westwood Park/Playing Field:Maintenance (S & J Contracting – 2 Year Contract)
Grass Cutting etc –
£160/month in FY2009/10.
£166/month in FY20010/11.
Income from Football Matches = £75.
WestwoodPark Play Area:Replacing fence slats – vandalised fencing.
Monthly Safety Inspection – Repair work undertaken (£458).
Annual Safety Inspection (RoSPA) - £76.
Play Equipment Value = £17500.
WestwoodNursery School: Fully supported by the Parish Council.
You may wish to mention extending the outside Play Area and new wall (£4900).