September Minutes

    The most recent Minutes are belo

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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DRAFT Minutes of the meeting of Westwood Parish Council held on Monday 7 September 2020 at 8pm.

A Virtual/Remote Zoom Meeting (as a result of COVID-19 ‘Lockdown’ restrictions).

 Present

Cllr. J Johnston           Vice-Chairman (and Chairman for the meeting)

Cllr. T Leeder

Cllr. G Mumford

Cllr. A Pittman

Cllr. P Phillips

Mr. R Coleman           Clerk

 

Wiltshire Councillor Cllr. J Kidney attended the meeting.

 There were two members of the public present.

 
 Welcome and Introductions.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed a particular welcome to Cllr. Ashley Pittman as a newly co-opted councillor.

 1.         Apologies.

Apologies for non-attendance were received and accepted from Cllr. J Bishop.

 2.         Declaration of Interests.

There were no interests declared.

 3.         Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 3 August 2020 and Decisions taken remotely (post Lockdown).

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

b.         The Council also resolved to endorse the decisions made following email consent from councillors and these decisions are shown appended to these minutes.

 4.         Wiltshire Council Report.

Cllr. Kidney gave a brief report on the following topics:

 ·                     Highways The Bradford on Avon ‘socially distancing’ traffic scheme at the Town Bridge has been abandoned because of major traffic congestion and an alternative solution is being sought. Meanwhile, the ‘one-way system’ Market Street/Mason’s Hill/Silver Street - in the town will continue.

 ·                     Limpley Stoke/A36 Trunk Road A review of the speed limit is being undertaken following concerns regarding the speed of some HGVs in that area, especially when approaching the many bends.

·                     Pavement Parking There is currently a Government consultation on ‘pavement parking’ of vehicles taking place.

·                     Wiltshire Council Finance The current overspend is estimated to be around £6m, down from the originally predicted £50m owing to increased funding support from the Government and from further ‘COVID support grants’.

·                     Bus Services Concessionary Tickets can now only be used ‘off peak’ contrary to their unlimited use during the recent relaxation of travel rules.

·                     Leisure Centres The Bradford on Avon Leisure Centre is re-opening this month. The Trowbridge Library is now open and it is intended to re-open the Bradford on Avon Library this month also.

·                     Wiltshire Council Website This website has been redesigned and a new password may be necessary for those individuals booking slots at the Recycling Centres.

·                     St Augustines School There has been a reported outbreak of COVID-19 in the Year 9 cohort.

·                     Area Board Grant the latest news confirms that applications for such grants can now be made.

 5.         Councillor Roles.

The Council resolved that Cllrs. Mumford and Pittman are to be authorised signatories for Parish Council finance matters.

The Council resolved to make appointments to the various Working Groups when there are more councillors on the Parish Council,

 6.         Highways and Environmental

a.         Cllr. Phillips summarised the Community Speed Watch Report (CSW) from the CSW Team Leader that had been sent in the form of a letter to the Parish Council. Cllr. Phillips added that the more recent CSW statistics may have been distorted by the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and by motorists driving through the village to avoid the now defunct Bradford on Avon Town Bridge social distancing scheme. The Council noted his summary and the content of the Report in which the Team Leader had recommended that the Parish Council supported the introduction of traffic calming measures in Westwood along the Lower Westwood Road and other local roads. Councillors expressed their doubts about the benefit of such measures especially in relation to the associated additional road furniture and lighting that would accompany the traffic calming scheme. The Council resolved not to support the traffic calming measures as proposed but, instead, Cllr. Mumford stated that he would contact Wiltshire Council (Dave Thomas) directly and would discuss the need to reduce traffic speed and that he would seek his advice regarding the most realistic and suitable ways of achieving lower traffic speeds. Cllr. Mumford further proposed that a site visit by Mr Thomas and Wiltshire Councillor Cllr. Kidney would assist in assessing the best solution.

 b.         The discussion on the traffic calming scheme for Westwood is addressed under 6a. above.

 c.         The Council noted the Parishioner’s concerns regarding trees/bracken at the eastern boundary of the Playing Field and the result of a discussion that Cllr. Bishop had had with the parishioner. The Clerk explained that he had consulted Derek Downes regarding the work necessary to tidy the area and to clear the ditch. The Council asked the Clerk to obtain a quotation from Acer Tree Surgeons to undertake the proposed work and to present the options from Mr Downes and Acer Tree Surgeons to the Council at its next meeting for a decision.

 d.         Cllr. Mumford explained that he is awaiting contact from the Tree Warden regarding the development of a Management Plan for the Playing Field.

 The Clerk explained that he had written to the parishioner regarding the Maple tree that was close to the Cemetery boundary hedge confirming that the tree was in their garden and was not the responsibility of the Parish Council a view supported by councillors who had also inspected the site.

 7.         Planning.

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

 

20/01308/FUL

 

120 Upper Westwood

Replacement dwelling with detached external store (resubmission of 17/11739/FUL)

Approved

20/03842/CLE

The Yard

Westwood

Retention of Menage (20mx60m) & Retention of 2 floodlights on American barn

Pending

20/04618/TCA

 

The Old Rectory, Farleigh Lane

T1 Sycamore remove to ground level.

G1 Sycamore Group Remove to ground level. Ivy clad, suppressed and heavily weighted over garden.

Approved

20/05544/FUL

 

134 Upper Westwood

BA15 2DE

Proposed Single Storey Front Extension

Pending

20/05730/FUL

 

Berksholme, 70 Elms Cross

Westwood

Enlarge internal floor area to create two further bedrooms etc.

Pending

 b.         The Council examined the following planning applications received and resolved to send comments to Wiltshire Council as shown in italics:

 

20/03928/FUL

 

The Yard Westwood BA15 2AL

Retrospective change of use of agricultural land to equestrian use, the formation of a manege measuring 20m x 20m and the retention of 8 pole mounted lights around the menage.

New

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

 In respect of the retrospective Change of Use:

This proposed development is contrary to:

  1. Wiltshire Core Strategy (Wiltshire Council).
  2. National Planning Policy Framework (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

 In respect of the lighting:

1.   This proposed development will by the nature of the significantly increased lighting levels (i.e. the erection and use of eight pole-mounted floodlights) directly affect and will be detrimental to the amenity of neighbouring properties.

 2.   This proposed development is contrary to:

and, if approved, would have a detrimental and lasting effect on a number of rare bat species.

 Wiltshire Core strategy.

CP50 Biodiversity and Geodiversity.

[extract] ’All development proposals shall incorporate appropriate measures to avoid and reduce disturbance of sensitive wildlife species and habitats throughout the lifetime of the development.’.

CP51 Landscape.

[extract] ‘proposals will need to demonstrate that the following aspects of landscape character have been conserved and where possible enhanced .... (vii) Tranquillity and the need to protect against intrusion

from light pollution, noise and motion.’

 National Planning Policy Framework.

Chapter 15 Conserving and enhancing the natural environment.

174. To protect and enhance biodiversity and geodiversity, plans should: a) Identify, map and safeguard

components of local wildlife-rich habitats and wider ecological networks, including the hierarchy of

international, national and locally designated sites of importance for biodiversity; wildlife corridors and

stepping stones that connect them; and areas identified by national and local partnerships for habitat

management, enhancement, restoration or creation; and b) promote the conservation, restoration and

enhancement of priority habitats, ecological networks and the protection and recovery of priority species;

and identify and pursue opportunities for securing measurable net gains for biodiversity.

 Bat Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) - Planning Guidance for Wiltshire.

Chapter 3: Potential impact of development:

3.1 Sensitive Features (especially (iii) Commuting Corridors).

Loss, fragmentation or illumination of commuting corridor features can impact on bat behaviour.

Removal of vegetation cover or increased illumination can increase vulnerability to predators such

as owls, and this risk may cause them abandon optimal commuting routes. Although alternative

routes may be used, bats tend to use the safest and most efficient route to move between roosting

sites and foraging areas. Loss of these routes and use of sub-optimal alternatives can therefore

expose bats to increased predation and impact upon fitness, body condition and reproductive

capacity through increased energetic requirements of commuting.

3.2 Core Roost and Core Areas (Note Plan 2 Bradford on Avon SAC Core Roosts).

4 Potential Impacts and Survey Requirements (especially 4.1 ‘Potential Impacts’ - artificial lighting close to potential roosting, foraging and commuting features. No survey has been undertaken. The need for a specific survey is a requirement.

20/06560/VAR

 

84 Lower Westwood BA15 2AG

Variation of Condition 02 of planning permission 20/00125/LBC (Proposed replacement of front door and windows)

New

 The Parish Council has no objections to this proposed development.

 

 20/06531/FUL

Well House, Upper Westwood

Replace garden shed with Robinson’s Raynham freestanding greenhouse.

New

 The Parish Council has no objections to this proposed development.

 

 20/07333/LBC

Well House, Upper Westwood

Replace garden shed with Robinson’s Raynham freestanding greenhouse.

New

 The Parish Council recommends that the views of the Conservation Officer are sought..j.

 

20/06893/FUL

 

16 Boswell Road, Westwood

Single storey rear extension

New

 The Parish Council has no objections to this proposed development. However, the Council understands that no Planning Application notices were posted on the site.

c.         The Council examined the following planning application received after 1 September 2020 and resolved to send comments to Wiltshire Council as shown in italics:

 

20/07172/TCA

 

123 Upper Westwood

BA15 2DH

G1 Horse Chestnuts limb failures over driveway. Pruneback end weight by 2-3m and remove individually selected over weighted or heavily leaningbranches over the drive to an appropriate pruning point. This would be 6-8m branch reduction on selected branches or limbs.

New

 The Parish Council has no objections to these proposed tree works.

 d.         The Council noted the various items of correspondence sent and received regarding further work being undertaken to the Lime trees that are protected by a Tree Preservation Order at Friary Close. In particular, the reply from Wiltshire Council (David Wyatt) was noted in which he confirmed that action was being taken by Wiltshire Council regarding this work to inform those responsible of the requirements for undertaking works to protected trees.

 8.         Finance.

a.         The Clerk reported the current financial position at 7 September 2020 as follows:

 

Lloyds A/C 1643417




Bank Statement

£28,061.54

30-Jun-20








Credits (1 July 2020 to 31 July 2020):

J Long

 £                                 110.00



 £                                 110.00




Debits (1 July 2020 to 31 July 2020):

Clerk's Salary (June) - Standing Order

 £                                 558.56

D Downes


 £                                 613.50

Acer Tree Surgeons


 £                                 408.00

The Print Centre


 £                                 113.00

Crown Gas


 £                                    29.30



 £                              1,722.36




Balance at 31 July 2020


£26,449.18




Credits (1 August  2010 to 31 August 2020):

CS Bowyer

 £                                    95.00

J Long (Memorial)


 £                                 110.00

Grave Purchase


 £                                 220.00

J Long (Memorial)


 £                                 120.00

Acer Tree Surgeons (Possibly September)

 £                                 385.00



 £                                 930.00




Debits (1 August 2020 to 31 August 2020):

Clerk's Salary (July) - Standing Order

 £                                 558.56

D Downes


 £                                 642.50

Information Commissioner


 £                                    40.00

Clerk's Expenses (June/July)


 £                                    29.41

Crown Gas


 £                                    30.27

npower (Possibly September)


 £                                 101.70



 £                              1,402.44




Balance at 31 August 2020


£25,976.74




Credits (1 September  2010 to 7 September 2020):

None

 £                                          -  



 £                                          -  




Debits (1 September 2020 to 7 September 2020):

Clerk's Salary (August) - Standing Order

 £                                 558.56



 £                                 558.56




Balance at 7 September 2020


£25,418.18







Lloyds A/C 7573321

Bank Statement

£                              2,346.00

01-Aug-20





Credits:



09/8/2020 Interest (Approx)


 £                                      0.10



 £                                      0.10

Debits:



None

 £                                          -  



 £                                          -  




Balance at 7 September 2020

 £                              2,346.10




National Savings Account (Park Fund)

Balance at 31 December 2018

 £                              7,037.60







Credits:



Interest 1/1/19 to 31/12/19:

 £                                 128.19

Transfer from Lloyds A/C 01643417

 £                            10,000.00



 £                            10,128.19




Debits:



None


 £                                          -  




Balance at 7 September 2020:

 £                            17,165.79




Total Funds at 7 September 2020


£44,930.07






Payments to be authorised 7 September 2020

Clerk's Salary September)

 £                                 558.56

(To be paid 1 October 2020)


Clerk's Expenses (August) Approx

 £                                    14.70

PKF Littlejohn (Audit Fee)

 £                                 240.00

D Downes

 £                                 613.50

Cemetery Fee Refund


 £                                    30.00


 £                              1,456.76

 b.         The Clerk confirmed that the External Audit for FY2019/20 by PKF Littlejohn LLP had been completed and that there were no matters that needed to be brought to the attention of the Council.

Clerk’s Note.

The Clerk stated that he had already sent a copy of the completed Certificate to councillor for confirmation.

 The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, thanked the Clerk for continuing to undertake his duties so conscientiously.

 c.         This item was addressed under Agenda item 5 above.

d.         The Council resolved to re-appoint Rebecca Randall as the Internal Auditor for FY2020/21.

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

9.         Nursery School Building.

a.         The Clerk explained that the building had lain empty for over a year and any initial interest by individuals or organisations in using the building had evaporated and, meanwhile, maintenance costs were continuing to be paid in relation to the utilities and insurance. The Clerk recommended that legal advice be sought regarding the ‘status’ of the building, especially in relation to whether the Parish Council had the power to dispose of it. There ensued a discussion regarding this building, its history and whether it formed part of the ‘Westwood Park Estate’ that was conveyed to the Parish Council by Beezers some forty or so years ago. The question of extant planning permissions pertaining to the building was also raised. To clarify the position the Council resolved that the Clerk seeks legal advice from Forrester Sylvester Mackett regarding these matters and he was allocated a budget of £2500 to meet the likely legal costs of seeking this advice.

b.         There was no work identified as necessary to the building although it was agreed that a tree needed clearing from the grounds.

 10.       Footpaths.

Staples Hill (Path 20) Cllr. Kidney confirmed that he was awaiting a response from the Wiltshire Council Rights of Way Officer.

 11.       Play Area.

a.         Cllr. Mumford stated that he had sent a written report on the progress of the Play Area refurbishment project and the possible funding requirements to all councillors. He confirmed that his analysis of the various options from different suppliers indicated that Sovereign Play represented overall the best value for money and the total cost of the project would be around £53,000. There ensued a lengthy discussion on the current state of the existing play equipment, especially the play surface, and whether or not some of the equipment and/or surface would be identified in the forthcoming RoSPA Annual Inspection as needing urgent attention thereby placing more emphasis on the need to embark soon on the Play Area Refurbishment Project. Councillors acknowledged that public consultation was necessary when such large sums of money are likely to be spent and it was also a requirement of the Public Works Loan Board if they were to be approached for a loan for part of the cost.

 At the conclusion of this discussion the Parish Council resolved:

  •  Sovereign Play is to be the Play Area Refurbishment Project Supplier at a cost of circa £53,000 and Sovereign Play is to be asked to provide details (specification/Drawings) of the Project and in a form suitable for Public Consultation. The change of two pieces of play equipment as proposed by Cllr. Mumford was agreed.
  •  A decision regarding the retention/repair/removal of existing play equipment will be made at the next Parish Council meeting following the receipt of the RoSPA Annual Inspection Report.

 b,         The condition of the Play Area and Play Equipment was addressed under 11a above.

12.       Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr. Leeder stated that he had passed the draft Neighbourhood Plan for Westwood to Wiltshire Council for comment.

 13.       Westwood Update.

The Chairman commented that she had been surprised that the Editor had unilaterally suspended publication of the Westwood Update without consultation, although she was conscious that difficulties in the distribution of it during the COVID pandemic might have been the reason. The Clerk added that ‘The Print Centre’ where the Westwood Update had regularly been printed had ceased trading. The Clerk stated that he would speak to the Editor and to those responsible for its distribution to confirm that it can be reinstated very soon

 14.       Date of Next Meeting.

Councillors agreed the date of the next Ordinary Parish Council Meeting (a ZOOM Meeting) thus:

 Ordinary Parish Council Meeting Monday 5 October 2020.

 The meeting concluded at 10.05pm 

Chairman                                                                                                       

Westwood Parish Council  

 DECISIONS

(Taken via email from 3 August 2020)

 

Payment of £101.70 to npower.

 Playing Field Ditches & Boundary Clearance as per James Crawford Report 11/8/20.

(to consult Mr Downes).

The response to the parishioners concern re. Cemetery Path Maple.

Planning application 20/05544/FUL 134 Upper Westwood

Planning application 20/05730/FUL Berkshome, 70 Elms Cross. Westwood

 Payment of £30.27 to Crown Gas.

Payment of Clerk’s July Salary.

Payment of £613.50 to Mr Downes.

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