December Minutes

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The most recent minutes are below. For last year's and previous year's minutes please use the link at the foot of the page or refer to the annual collection of minutes in the collected pdf files section on the Parish Council webpage. Please note that minutes are published as DRAFT minutes and will be approved at the next meeting of the parish council. The minutes for an extraordinary meeting will also be posted to this page. Such a meeting could be held prior to an ordinary meeting or after such a meeting.

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 Minutes of the meeting of Westwood Parish Council held at the Parish Room, Farleigh Lane, Westwood at 7.30pm on Monday 2 December 2019

 Present

Cllr. J Bishop (Chairman)

Cllr. D Adcock

Cllr. J Adcock

Cllr. J Johnston

Cllr. T Leeder

Cllr. G Mumford

Cllr. P Phillips

Mr. R Coleman           Clerk

  There were six members of the public present initially.

 1.         Welcome and Introductions.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.  

 2.         Apologies.

Apologies for non-attendance were received and accepted from Parish Councillor M Cartwright-Hignett, Wiltshire Council Cllr. J Kidney and PCSO MacLachlan.

 3.         Declaration of Interests.

There were no interests declared.

 4.         Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 4 November 2019.

The Council resolved that the minutes of this meeting were a true and accurate record. The Chairman signed the minutes.

 5.         Wiltshire Council Report.

The Clerk stated that Cllr. Kidney had sent him a report that he had subsequently sent to all councillors. This report is shown below, in italics:

 Westwood Parish Council Unitary Councillor’s Report Dec 19

 Flood Plans Wiltshire Council is offering an opportunity for Area Boards to hold a workshop to enable any towns and parishes within our area the opportunity to sit down and work through drafting up a flood plan for their community along with a colleague from the Environment Agency. Please let me know if this would be of interest to Westwood Parish.

 Pocket Parks grant funding At last week’s Area Board meeting I secured agreement to support the Pocket Parks application from Westwood Parish Council with a formal representation to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that Wiltshire Council can act as the accountable body for funding. I will continue to liaise with the Parish Council as the grant-funding bid is finalised and can provide the formal letter as required.

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 Wiltshire Council’s drive to be carbon neutral by 2030 continues as our low energy street lighting project moves forward.
We are investing £12m to replace much of its ageing 45,000 lights with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting. Unlike older lights, LED lighting can be dimmed to save energy.

The project has been rolled out in Chippenham with more than 400 of the new modern lights installed. The lights will eventually be installed throughout the county, which will see the council make annual savings of around £1m.

The conversion will be carried out quickly in most locations with little disturbance and disruption as it is only the electrical equipment being changed. However, in a few cases it may be necessary to renew the lighting column which will require excavation in the pavement to provide and connect the new column.

As reported at a previous meeting, a new base station for the LED lights was recently installed at Westwood Park near the bus stop.

The project is expected to reduce the annual energy consumption of the council's street lighting from 12,977,500 KWh to 5,262,291 KWh. The reduction in energy usage for each light will vary according to the unit, but is expected to be as much as 69%.

 Area Board

I chaired a very well-attended Area Board meeting last week at St Margaret’s Hall. The theme of the meeting was Health and Wellbeing and it included a very engaging and informative presentation by Kate Blackburn, a Public Health consultant at Wiltshire Council. There was also a detailed presentation from the Health Centre in Bradford on Avon, particularly focusing on issues with their appointments system and challenges faced by the surgery more generally and how these are being addressed. I was grateful to my colleagues, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Protection, Cllr Laura Mayes, for attending the meeting, as well as the Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Allison Bucknell.

 Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) inclusion strategy consultation

People are being encouraged to have their say on long term plans to provide first class SEND provision for all children and young people at school and in their communities.

Local authorities renew their SEND inclusion strategy on a regular basis. The last strategy from 2015 to 2019 included a successful SEND local area inspection and nationally recognised levels of post 16 engagement in training and employment for young people in SEND.

The latest consultation runs until 5pm on Friday 6 December 2019 and will help shape provision for the future.

People can give their views on the consultation on the Wiltshire Council website at - https://consult.wiltshire.gov.uk/portal/education/send_strategy_consultation_november_2019?tab=files

 A36 Night-time closures

Highways England, who are responsible for the maintenance of the A36, are currently carrying out night-time works on the road, involving the closure of the road on stretches between Beckington and Bath between 8pm and 6am, Monday to Friday, for a period until approx. 14 December. The closure plans were poorly communicated by Highways England and there had been a lack of clarity as to whether access to Bath via the B3108 and Brassknocker Hill could be maintained throughout the closures, with Highways England originally stating that there would be no access. Following ongoing liaison with Highways England to express my concerns about access and the D1 evening bus service, particularly during the busy Christmas Market period, I can confirm that Highways England has now agreed that access to Bath via the B3108 and Brassknocker Hill will be maintained at all times during the works. Also, following liaison with our Public Transport Team at Wiltshire Council and First Bus, the D1 evening services will be allowed through the closure, so services will be maintained at all times.

 Wiltshire Council Full Council

Last week I attended Wiltshire Council’s latest Full Council meeting. It was a particularly busy agenda, with items including the revised Air Quality Strategy, Household Waste Strategy, Homelessness Strategy, Council house building programme, and phase 1 of our Carbon Reduction programme all voted through by Council.

The Air Quality Strategy continues to identify Bradford-on-Avon as an Air Quality Management Area and as Chair of the Area Board I have asked that we review and reinvigorate the local Air Quality Action Plan which is delivered by a local Air Quality Group with the support of the Area Board. 

 Area Board date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Area Board is scheduled for 29 January 2020. Timings etc to be confirmed, but it is my hope that we will hold the meeting in Westwood, subject to venue availability.

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 6.         Adjournment.

The Chairman adjourned the meeting for members of the public to raise any points of interest. Following representations from members of the public, the Chairman reconvened the meeting.

7.         Community Policing Team (CPT).

a.         There was no report.

b.         Cllr. Leeder stated that there had been a report of an adult approaching schoolchildren at the Westwood Stores Bus Stop and talking to them with a view, it would seem, to identifying specific individuals. He added that the police had been informed, action had been taken and it was likely that the issue was now closed. There were no other matters raised.

 8.         Community Speed Watch (CSW)/Westwood Road Safety

Cllr. Phillips reported that the Chairman of the CSW patrol had contacted Wiltshire Police regarding the use of ‘Autospeeding Cameras’ for detecting and recording speeding motorists as adopted by Community Speed Watch schemes in some Somerset villages - and had been informed that Wiltshire Police were evaluating its use alongside other means of detecting excess speeds but no decision to employ these cameras had yet been made.

Cllr. Phillips stated that four ‘camera signs’ had now been acquired and could be erected within the village. The Clerk commented that such signs should not be affixed to existing lampposts because when the lampposts are replaced with the new LED ones, the signs would not be returned to the CSW Team. The Parish Council resolved that the signs are to be erected on suitable posts.

 Cllr. Phillips commented that CSW Patrols are to take place again soon.

 Cllr. Leeder stated that he had contacted the designer/manufacturer of the ‘Autospeeding Cameras’ and that he had received some testimonials from other users of the device confirming their utility.

 9.         Working Groups Working Group Reports.

Cemetery. 

There was nothing reported.

 Planning.

a.         The Council noted the status of extant planning applications thus:

 

19/08855/FUL

 

118 Upper Westwood

Front and Rear extensions/alterations and a new garage with carport

Pending

 

19/09561/FUL

 

1 Lister Grove

Two storey side extension

 

Approved

19/09613/CLE

17 Staples Hill

Use of building as an independent dwelling for a period in excess of four years.

 

Pending

 b.         The Parish Council examined the following planning applications and resolved to send the comments (shown in italics) to Wiltshire Council:

 

19/10814/TCA

 

56 Lower Westwood

Spruce Tree Fell

 

New

 The Council has no objections to this planning application.

 

19/10893/FUL

 

Westwood Village Stores

Retention and Extension of Existing Shop and Flat to Provide 2no Additional Dwellings with Associated Parking Including Permission to Provide New Drop Kerb and Crossover for Vehicle Access,

 

 

New

 The Parish Council objects to this proposed development for the following reasons:

  •  It represents overdevelopment of the site.
  • There is insufficient vehicle parking provision.

 c.         The Clerk stated that no further planning applications had been received since 25 November 2019

d.         The Clerk reported that the Paris Council had received correspondence from a parishioner objecting to an anticipated planning application by the owner of a neighbouring property and that the Clerk had sent this correspondence to all councillors. The councillors and Clerk observed that the planning application that was the subject of the correspondence had not yet been received by the Parish Council.

 Finance.

a.         The Clerk reported the current financial position at 2 December 2019 thus:

 

Lloyds A/C 1643417




Bank Statement

£27,125.51

31-Oct-19


NB: Following Cheques Not Debited at 31 October 2019:

1789 - £111.60



1813 - £10.44 (Debited Nov 2019)



1818 - £51.37 (Debited Nov 2019)



Total: £173.41






Credits (1 November 2019 to 30 November 2019):

HMRC PAYE Month 7

 £                                     111.60



 £                                     111.60




Debits (1 November 2019 to 30 November 2019):

Clerk's Salary (October) - Standing Order

 £                                     558.56

Clerk's Expenses (October)


 £                                       34.59

HMRC PAYE Month 7


 £                                     111.60

The Print Centre


 £                                       68.00

D Downes


 £                                  1,070.00

P Phillips (Play Area fence)


 £                                       10.44

npower (Nursery School)

 £                                       51.37



 £                                  1,904.56




Balance at 30 November 2019


£25,332.55




Credits (1 December 2019 to 2 December 2019):

None

 £                                              -  



 £                                              -  




Debits (1 December 2019 to 2 December 2019):

Clerk's Salary (November) - Standing Order

 £                                     558.56



 £                                     558.56




Balance at 2 December 2019


£24,773.99




Lloyds A/C 7573321

Bank Statement

 £                                  2,344.63

31-May-19





Credits:



09/06/2019 Interest (Approx)


 £                                          0.10

09/07/2019 Interest (Approx)


 £                                          0.10

09/08/2019 Interest (Approx)


 £                                          0.09

09/09/2019 Interest (Approx)


 £                                          0.08

09/10/2019 Interest (Approx)


 £                                          0.10



 £                                          0.10



 £                                          0.57

Debits:



None

 £                                              -  



 £                                              -  




Balance at 2 December 2019

 £                                  2,345.20




National Savings Account (Park Fund)

Balance at 31 December 2018

 £                                  6,986.93




Credits:



Interest 1/1/18 to 31/12/18:

 £                                       50.67

Transfer from Lloyds A/C 01643417

 £                                10,000.00



 £                                10,050.67




Debits:



None


 £                                              -  




Balance at 2 December 2019:

 £                                17,037.60




Total Funds at 2 December 2019


 £                                44,156.79






Payments to be authorised 2 December 2019

Clerk's Salary (December)

 £                                     558.56

(To be paid 1 January 2020)



Clerk's Expenses (November

 £                                       32.75

HMRC PAYE Month 8

 £                                     111.80

Wheelers (NS Electrical Inspection)


 £                                     150.00

Forrester Sylvester Mackett (Trees)


TBA

Crown Gas (Nursery School)


 £                                       96.22

Wessex Water


 £                                       89.49

XYZ Web Ltd


 £                                       52.00

D Downes

 £                                     526.50


 £                                  1,617.32




Clerk’s Note.

Subsequent to the meeting an invoice for £594 (£495 + £99 VAT) was received from Forrester Sylvester Mackett (Solicitors) in respect of the Playing Field Tree Dispute.

b.         The Council resolved to make the payments shown under ‘Payments to be authorised’ above.

 Environmental/Highways.

a.         Cllr. J Adcock stated that the Parish Steward had undertaken a number of tasks in the village and that she will request him to ensure that he also undertakes any necessary work in Avoncliff and Iford. She added that he will be requested to clear the overhanging brambles at the corner of Linden Crescent.

 b.         The Clerk stated that the WATCH Group had supported planning application 19/10814/TCA.

 c.         The Council noted the correspondence from parishioners in respect of the use of Becky Addy Woods for motorcycle trials and Traffic/Parking at junction of The New Inn and Farleigh Lane. Councillors commented that the position of the Parish Council in relation to motorcycle trials was well documented and that its opposition to the trials had been communicated to Wiltshire Council and that the traffic/parking issue was recognised as a problem that needed resolution. The Chairman requested that this latter issue be placed on the Agenda for the next meeting when Cllr. Kidney, who had already been involved in the matter, would be present and able to contribute to the discussion and to identify a possible solution.

 d.         Cllr. Johnston reported that there are a number of instances in the village where hedges and other vegetation was overhanging the pavements and other public footways. Her offer of writing a suitable article for the Westwood Update requesting the property occupiers to cut back such vegetation was supported by councillors.

 Open Spaces.

a.         Cllr. Phillips stated that the repair of the bench in the park had been effected although he was not certain how long the repair would last. Cllr. Leeder explained the nature of the design fault that led to the defect and offered to undertake a full refurbishment of the bench. It was agreed not to take any further action at present.

 b.         Councillors noted the recommendations of the report from the arboriculturist (Acer Tree Surgeons) relating to Westwood Park. The Clerk stated that at the Adjournment the WATCH Group voiced its support for the need to undertake husbandry of the trees in Westwood Park, following the recent survey by Acer Tree Surgeons, but had requested that the minimum necessary work is undertaken to protect the habitat for wildlife, especially the birds. The Clerk was asked to send the Acer Tree Surgeons Tree Survey Report to the WATCH Group and the Council resolved to note any comments from the WATCH Group prior to commissioning any tree works.

Cllr. Johnston requested that the WATCH Group examine a conifer close to the Nursery School that appeared to be dead and might need to be felled.

 c.    Cllr. Mumford explained the nature of a Government grant opportunity entitled ‘ Pocket Park Grant Funding’ and the action taken to date in drafting a grant application. The following report was sent to all councillors by Cllr. Mumford prior to the meeting and is reproduced here (in italics) for information:

 [1] The Prospectus for this grant from the Ministry of Housing & Local Government was dated 27th October this year. The closing date for applications is 31st December 2019 and the successful bidders (community groups) will be informed at the end of February 2020. So this is a very tight timetable, especially as the grant requires the funds to be ‘committed’ to the scheme that formed the grant application by the end of March 2020.

 [2] Grants of up to £10,000 are available for new ‘pocket parks’ (areas under 0.4 hectares) and up to £25,000 for the refurbishment of existing play areas. The community group making the application must provide matched funding of at least 30% of the cost of the proposed scheme (i.e. for the maximum grant of £25k, a contribution of £10k); the Parish Council are regarded as a community group for this grant.

 [3] If we were successful in this grant application, the grant money would go to the ‘relevant local authority’, in our case obviously Wiltshire Council. Part of the grant application has to include a letter from the local authority to say that [a] they support the scheme and [b] that they agree to take responsibility for the distribution of the grant money.

 [4] My reading of the Ministry Prospectus is that the Ministry transfer the grant money to the local authority and it is the responsibility of the local authority to account for and ‘distribute’ the grant money, i.e. in our case they would pay the contractor (e.g. Playforce) on completion of the work and receipt of their invoice. I assume we would transfer our contribution to Wiltshire Council at some point prior to the work being completed.

 [5] I have been in contact with Johnny Kidney re the above and he has confirmed with Wiltshire Council staff that the appropriate ‘avenue’ for Wiltshire Council involvement is via the Bradford on Avon Area Board. As Johnny is now the Chairman of the Board, he raised this at last Tuesday’s meeting and they agreed that they would support the application and take responsibility for distributing the grant money in the event that our application is successful. Johnny will be writing a letter (in his role as Board Chairman) to that effect, which will be submitted with the application.

 [6] So the plan, which given the tight timescales I have agreed, is that Playforce will concentrate on putting together a £35,000 (Phase 1) scheme for replacement / refurbishment based on the existing size of the play area and the school age equipment (as identified in the school wish list). This would leave the Parish Council with £10,000 to create a Phase 2 scheme, probably concentrating on improving / increasing the ‘toddler friendly’ equipment, a modest expansion of the size of the play area and replacement fencing. The Parish Council could then seek grants from other sources to help with that second phase. For example, Johnny Kidney has said that the Bradford on Avon Area Board would be a possible source of subsequent grant money.

 [7] I spoke again with Ben Shears from Playforce on Friday; he has drawn up a draft scheme with some options which are currently being costed by their back office team. He was hoping to be able to give us some sort of draft plan and outline costs in time for our PC meeting on Monday. It isn’t clear at this stage what will be included in the first phase scheme e.g. replacement of the surfacing may be in phase 2.

 In response to a question from the Clerk, Cllr. Mumford confirmed that the order for the new play equipment etc does not have to be placed with Playforce.

 The Parish Council resolved that the grant application be made.

 Cllr. Mumford emphasized that the timescale for the grant application was very tight and a decision would have to be made soon regarding the nature of the play equipment that would be included in the application subject to Playforce providing a draft plan and a possible play equipment inventory. As the decision would need to be made before the next meeting the Parish Council resolved that  the decision is to be made jointly by Cllr. Bishop (Parish Council Chairman), Cllr. Johnston (Parish Council Vice-Chairman), Cllr. Phillips and Cllr. Mumford on behalf of the Parish Council.

 The Chairman and councillors thanked Cllr. Mumford for taking the lead on this project and for the work that he has undertaken to date.

 d.    There were no other matters raised.

 Footpaths.

a.         Cllr. Johnston on behalf of the Footpath Working Group stated that Wiltshire Council had corrected a Footpath Closure Notice relating to Paths WW024 and WW025 and this closure related to the need to clear a fallen tree. She added that a fallen tree on Path WW026 had been cleared.

b.         There was nothing reported.

 10.       Westwood Nursery School.

a.         The Clerk reported that he had received three responses from parishioners regarding the future use of the building following the article in the Westwood Update Nursery School (1) and Youth Club (2). The Clerk was asked to contact the Headteacher, Westwood with Iford CP School, to establish whether he had followed up his earlier expression of interest.

 The Clerk gave a report on the current position regarding the Nursery School building and the transfer of the responsibility of the utilities to the Parish Council. He stated that the monthly cost to the Parish Council of maintaining the building was around £157 per month and this covered the supply of electricity, gas, water and insurance charges.

In response to a question from Cllr. Johnston, the Clerk stated that he believed that weekly checks on the building would suffice with a record kept of each visit.

 b.         The Clerk thanked Cllr. D Adcock for undertaking a ‘Gas Safe’ inspection and for servicing the boiler. The Clerk reported that the Electrical Survey undertaken by Wheelers had shown that, except for one or two minor issues, everything was satisfactory.

 The Parish Council resolved that an Asbestos Survey be undertaken on the Nursery School property.

 c.         The Clerk reiterated that the decision on the future use of the building would be a difficult one for the Council to make and he was not optimistic that it would be sooner that March/April next year. He observed and a view expressed by some councillors that refurbishment of the building would be necessary before it could be put to a new use and that any refurbishment could be costly.

The Council resolved that there was no urgency to clear the building but that it should be undertaken progressively over the next two or three months. The Parish Council did not wish to take possession of any of the contents, although it was recognised that some of the contents may be wanted by a subsequent user of the building. The Clerk stated that some hard choices may need to be made if no tenant is found such as selling the building or inviting a commercial property letting agency to seek a tenant.

 Cllr. J Adcock suggested that Cllr. Kidney be contacted regarding the possibility of the Bradford on Avon Youth Group being interested in establishing a Youth Club in the building for Westwood youngsters.

 11.       Bradford on Avon Area Board/Community Area Transport Group (CATG).

Cllrs. J Adcock and G Mumford confirmed that they had attended the recent Area Board meeting that had ‘Health Matters’ as its theme and addressed the difficulties at, and the proposed changes to, the Bradford on Avon Health Centre. Cllr. J Adcock gave a full report of the proceedings. The Council noted that the next Area Board Meeting is to be held on 29 January 2020 at Westwood.

 12.       Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr. Leeder reported that he had sent the Neighbourhood Plan comments from the previous meeting to Troy Neighbourhood Planning Consultancy and was awaiting a reply.

 13.       Date of Next Meeting.

Councillors noted the dates of the forthcoming Ordinary Parish Council Meetings:

  •  Ordinary Parish Council Meeting Monday 6 January 2020.
  • Ordinary Parish Council Meeting Monday 3 February 2020.

14.       Any Other Business.

There was nothing raised.

  The meeting concluded at 9.40pm

 

Chairman                                                                                                        6 January 2020

Westwood Parish Council  

 

ACTION LIST Meeting 2 December 2019

 

Action 1 (4/11/19)      Clerk.

To write to WC - Planning.

 Action 2 (4/11/19)      Clerk.

To make payments.

 Action 3 (4/11/19)      Cllr. J Adcock.

To ask Parish Steward to cut vegetation (Linden Crescent) and to visit Iford & Avoncliff.

 Action 4 (4/11/19)      Cllr. Johnston.

To write article (Westwood Update) Overhanging hedges.

 Action 5 (4/11/19)      Clerk.

To send Acer Tree Survey Report to the WATCH Group.

 Action 6 (4/11/19)      Cllr. Mumford.

To make ‘Pocket Park’ grant application.

 Action 7 (4/11/19)      Cllrs. Bishop, Johnston, Phillips, Mumford.

To decide the Play Equipment inventory for the grant application.

 Action 8 (4/11/19)      Clerk.

To commission an ‘Asbestos Survey’ for the NS property.

 Action 9 (4/11/19)      Clerk.

To contact the Headteacher Nursery School building use.

 Action 10 (4/11/19)    Cllr. Leeder

To contact Troy NP Review.

 Action 11 (4/11/19)    Clerk.

To contact Cllr. Kidney BoA Youth Group..

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