Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 2nd February 2021

 

Present:   Cllrs: E Fairclough (Chair), K Shaw, P Lee, S Birkby, T Saunders, C Pearson, and J Carlon.

 

In attendance: Cllr F Heptinstall and Cllr M Cummings WMDC (Ward Councillors), 2 members of the public and the Clerk to the Council.

 

125.        To receive apologies for absence.

             Apologies were received from Parish Councillors S Leith, C Wagstaff, Cllrs A Manifield (Ward Councillor) and PC Steele.

 

126.        To receive declarations of interest.

None.

 

127.        To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meetings held on 7th January 2021.

             Resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7th January 2021 with an amendment to some dates and a correction to 147(2)(ii) to include bench numbers as a 22 and 23 as a refurbishment rather than a complete replacement.

 

128.        To be notified of matters accomplished or arisen since the last meeting not included elsewhere on the agenda.

The VAT reclaim has been submitted early due to a correction from previous years following the billing by the gas supplier.

 

129.        Public forum session – To permit members of the public to make representations, answer questions, and give evidence in respect of any item of business included in the agenda.

Requested clarification of the location to the proposed new planters. The Chair confirmed this had no been decided but would be considered under the agenda item.

 

130.        To receive a report on the SAFE scheme and Police matters.

The Clerk shared the Police report for January 2021.

 

The Chair noted she had spoken with PC Steele who confirmed they had now 5 dedicated officers to work on the SAFE scheme. Speed patrols have been undertaken with a substantial number of drivers driving more than the speed limits.  Additional fines should have been issued but due to limited officers they were unable to process all drivers. 

 

             Resolved to note the report.

Cllr S Birkby joined the meeting.

 

131.        To receive reports from WMDC Ward 5 Councillors.

 

Cllr Cummings expressed the Ward Councillors’ sadness on hearing news of the passing of ex-Parish Councillor Prince’s wife.

 

Cllr Cummings reported:

·         She had met with Cllr Shaw at the Nature reserve to investigate if the car park could be extended. Costings were requested from WMDC which amount to circa £10,000 for various surveys and groundworks.

·         Results of the ‘Golden River’ survey will be shared once received via the Clerk.

·         Survey issued on Facebook on resurfacing of roads for Highways 2021/22 programme. This will include School Lane.

 

A member noted operatives were undertaking a temporary fix to the road outside Whisk, but the holes are now evident again.

A further member queried what works were being undertaken near the railway close to nine arches. It appeared hardcore had laid, lights erected and steps.  A grit bin was also requested near Cherry Tree estate.  Ward Councillors commented WMDC had taken the recent decision not to refill or install new grit bins as these are being targeted an emptied, Cllr Cummings noted Parish Councils do have an allocation of grit from WMDC.

The Clerk conveyed a resident’s concern on cars parking on the grass verge near the Nature reserve. Cllr Cummings agreed to chase this up.

 

Resolved to note the report.

 

132.        Finance & Governance

 

1.      To approve accounts to be paid, already paid under delegated powers and income received January 2021.

 

The Clerk submitted details (copy attached to minutes) of accounts paid totalling £8,704.62 for January 2021, and income received of £6,670.19            ,               .

 

The account balances at the end of January 2021 are:

Current a/c:                                          £1,644.94

Barclays Business Res a/c:             £35,631.39

HSBC deposit a/c:                            £50,915.44

Total                                                   £88,191.77

Resolved: to approve the financial statements and payments.

 

2.      To consider existing mobile phone contract for Parish Council and upgrade.

The noted the allocated number of monthly minutes as not sufficient and an upgrade following expiration on 2-year contract would be more cost effective to avoid additional charges. The proposed new 2-year plan was comparable and within budget.

 

Resolved to authorise the Clerk to enter a new 2-year mobile plan at a cost of £9.99 per month inclusive of VAT.

 

3.      To consider including a statement within the minutes to the effect that funds shown represent the present-day position, but the figures will be materially reduced because of planned expenditure between (the date) and the financial year end.

Cllr Lee proposed a motion to qualify the balance of funds held by the Parish Council was being ring-fenced for certain projects/priorities.

Cllr Saunders proposed a counterproposal a statement is added to stipulate “The budget expectation is that the total balance will be £Xk at the end of the financial year” to reflect monies held are not directly available for expenditure. The intention would be to reduce the end year balance by the budgeted annual expenditure for the forthcoming financial year.

Members debated the need for a statement. The Clerk advised the internal and external auditor would query this as part of the annual audit but for transparency and to inform residents, this would be sensible but cautioned that a forecasted balance could be misleading especially given the exceptional year we have had which has vastly impacted finances against the forecasted positioned.  A vote was held, and the motion was carried.

Resolved from 1st April 2021 to include a statement within the minutes against the reported figures: “The budget expectation is that the total balance will be £Xk at the end of the financial year.”

 

 

133.        To consider correspondence received.

The Clerk summarised the correspondence received this month and listed the invitations. The Clerk notified members Walton Community Library had indicated their lease would not be finalised before our financial year end and so the discretionary grant could not be paid before this. The Clerk proposed to deal with this by transferring this to ring-fenced reserves rather that itemising as an agenda item to consider release of funds held on account by the Library.

             Resolved to note correspondence received.

 

134.        Planning Working Party.

 

1.      To consider planning applications validated and decided January 2021.

There have been 6 applications validated and 5 application decided since the last meeting.

Resolved

(i)        To submit an objection for planning application 20/02862/FUL on the following grounds:

·           The building already in place is substantial with glazing, electricity and heating.

·           The building cannot be classed as permitted development as it is positioned beyond the building line.

·           The building infringes many aspects of the WMDC Residential Design Guide.

·           The building is located within the Historic Core, Policy 4 in Walton's Neighbourhood Plan, the ramifications of which are not addressed in the submitted Heritage Impact Assessment.

·           The erected building is not in keeping with the palette of materials and the character of other buildings within the Historic Core.

(ii)      To chase WMDC for an update on Brook Farm development following news of the sale completing to Persimmon.

(iii)    to note the validated and decided applications.

 

To defer item 10.2 to end of the meeting to allow public to remain in meeting.

 

 

135.        Village Hall and Coronation Cottage Working Party

1.         To consider quote for levelling out paving outside Village Hall

The Clerk commented in accordance with Financial regulations, three quotes were sought however a local contractor had declined to quote due to workload commitments.  Despite identical instructions being issued, both contractors have concluded different areas to be re-laid.  One quote also excludes specialist equipment.  Cllr Carlon will inspect the area to determine exact surface area that would need to be re-laid for a comparable quote.

Resolved to defer item to next month’s meeting.

 

2.         To consider quote for supply and installation of water boiler into mains at the Hall

Resolved to approve the quote at a cost of £734.13 plus VAT.

 

3.         To receive report regarding survey of the drains and consider recommended remedial work.

Following the drain survey, several drains were identified as blocked or cracked. A quote for remedial work was submitted.  A video of the survey has been dispatched to incorrect address.

Resolved to defer item until next month after reviewing video.

 

4.         To consider quote to replace outside lights with LED lights.

The Clerk noted during some maintenance work to inspect a side light, the electrician noted the outside lights should be replaced with LED lights for longevity and difficulty of access.

Resolved to approve the cost at £354.67 plus VAT to replace the lights.

 

5.         To receive Risk Assessment report on external of Tennis Club.

Cllr Carlon had attended the Tennis Club and noted there appeared to be some fractures over the door which he intends to reinspect after snow had melted. The gutters appear to be leaking and would need clearing.  The Caretaker had also asked to reduce the height of the hedge between his house and the Tennis Club as it was becoming unmanageable.

Resolved to note the report and approve reduction of the hedge by 2ft.

6.      To receive an update on Tennis Club refurbishment.

The Clerk and a member met with a WMDC project officer to discuss a feasibility study on the Tennis Club.  The Parish Council was advised based on the identified ideas, the project could be phased, and grant funding applied for different phases. Whilst a feasibility study was a possibility, costings and drawings could be acquired from suppliers direct to save costs.  A further officer from WMDC had significant experience and contacts to assist. WMDC had also arranged initial meetings with some contractors to collate outline ideas/costings.

Resolved

(i)                  To contact WMDC Sports officer for advice/assistance

(ii)                To write to Ward Councillors to request WMDC support and financial support for such a project;

(iii)              Cllr Saunders to attend meetings with WMDC and Clerk to consider outline ideas/costings and drawings.

 

136.        Recreation Ground & Playgrounds Working Party

The Clerk reported the bridge from the toddler multi-play unit had broken but has since been repaired by Kompan.

 

137.        Environmental Improvements Working Party

1.         To receive update on the village planters and approve commitment for ongoing maintenance.

The Clerk reported the Ward Councillors had arranged for the planters to be replaced by ENGIE however the proposed style was different to the planters currently in situ. The Clerk was able to source similar style planters and secure 4 for the price of 3 proposed by ENGIE.  If the Council wished to go with their preferred contractor, then would need to contract the work direct and apply to WMDC’s community grant with Ward Councillors support.

The Parish Council will need to commit to ongoing maintenance of the 4 planters. Currently, the Council outsource the summer planting to our hanging basket supplier and the grounds attendant plants/maintain the planters in spring.

Members considered where the new fourth planter would be located.  Suggestions included on Oakenshaw Lane before the bridge where neighbouring residents had previously tidied and planted.

Resolved  

(i)        To submit a community grant application for 4 new planters with our preferred supplier

(ii)      To locate the fourth planter on Oakenshaw Lane near the Railway bridge adjacent to path to leading to Sandal & Agbrigg station.

(iii)    To commit to ongoing maintenance of the four planters.

 

138.        To consider quote for website updates/improvements.

The working party had identified some improvements to the website that can only be undertaken by the website host. It is recommended these improvements are made to ensure the website complies with Accessibility legislation.

Resolved to approve the quote for improvements to the website by the host at a cost of £100 plus VAT.

 

Deferred item 10.2 from earlier in the meeting

139.        Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 s1(2) – In view of the confidential nature of the business concerned, to resolve to exclude the Press and Public to receive an update on the proposed lease for the allotment space.

Resolved

(i)        To exclude the public and press – 2 members of the public left the meeting.

(ii)      to write to WMDC expressing the need for a dialogue to resolves remaining issues with the work on the site.

 

140.        To receive matters reported directly to the Clerk.
The reported a late request by Working for Walton to store rubbish collected from resident litter pick until it was able to be collected by WMDC. The Clerk to include on next month’s agenda.

Meeting closed at 9.55pm.