Present: Cllrs: E Fairclough (Chair), K Shaw, C Wagstaff, T Saunders, S Leith, P Lee, C Pearson and J Carlon.
In attendance: Cllrs: M Cummings (Ward Councillor), the Clerk to the Council and 5 members of the public.
160. To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs: A Manifield (Ward Councillor), Cllr S Birkby and PC Craig Steele.
Before commencing the Chair asked for a few moments of silence in honour of HRH Prince Philip.
The Chair also announced members of the public will only be permitted to speak for 3 minutes as per the Standing Orders under the relevant section and asked not to make any comments throughout the meeting.
161. To receive declarations of interest.
Cllr Fairclough declared a non-pecuniary interest relating to a planning application – one of the applicants is known to her.
162. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 2nd March 2021.
Resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd March 2021 without amendment as a correct record.
163. To be notified of matters accomplished or arisen since the last meeting not included elsewhere on the agenda.
The Clerk advised all 10 additional hanging baskets/Christmas trees have been sponsored and the Parish Council awaits approval of licences from WMDC.
164. 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.
Cllr Cummings joins the meeting.
To receive a report on the
The Chair noted PC Steele is attending another meeting, but the SAFE report has been circulated in advance. PC Steele is keen to build up a rapport with the Parish Council and provide regular updates on patrolling throughout the village. The Chair confirmed there was no question prior to proceeding.
Resolved to note the reports.
166. To receive reports from WMDC Ward 5 Councillors.
Councillor M Cummings reported:
· A bin on Greenside has been requested and await 4 to 6 weeks for installation.
· Proposed roadworks on Chevet Lane circulated to Clerk.
· Two new bins have been secured at Walton Nature Reserve.
· Await ‘Pick up or Pay up’ sign locations around the village.
The Clerk advised still awaiting WMDC permission to cite new planter on Oakenshaw Lane to submit Community grant application.
A Councillor queried work undertaken near Goldwing Farm with the area tarmacked by Network Rail. Another Councillor advised British Transport Police appears to have undertaken the work to park vehicles. They have permitted development rights and the work is within their land. Cllr Cummings reported they had completed similar compound at Hare Park for access and storage.
Another Councillor raised the extension to Colliery Nature car park as cars continue to park on the public footpath on Shay Lane. Cllr Cummings advised WMDC could not support the extension of the car park due to cost and requirement for planning permission, but she had promised the area to be bunded and seeded. There was concern this would force traffic to park elsewhere and hardcore would be preferable. Another Councillor commented cars parking at the side could be dangerous and it would be better to have something like Sharlston.
A member of the public wished to raise an issue with the Ward Councillor and was advised to raise this directly outside of the meeting due to time constraints.
Resolved to note the reports.
167. Finance & Governance
1. To approve accounts to be paid, already paid under delegated powers and income received March 2020.
The Clerk submitted details (copy attached to minutes) of accounts paid totalling £6,186.65 and income received of £2,097.25 in March.
The account balances at the end of March 2021 are:
Current a/c: £2,337.19
Barclays Business Res a/c: £24,632.25
HSBC deposit a/c: £50,916.26
Resolved: to approve the financial statements and payments.
2. To receive a draft budget monitor for yearend 2020/21
The Clerk noted the Parish Council has received £25,000 higher income than forecasted due to COVID-19 grants and CIL monies. Anticipated expenditure of £18,000 was unspent due to delayed projects.
Cllr Lee felt that it was unacceptable to budget a deficit of £20,200 and achieve a surplus of £25,000. He went on to state the first review in his opinion was conducted in December, as the September monitor, does not occur early enough to take corrective action.
The Clerk advised last year to be an exceptional year with the surplus funds secured via COVID grants and CIL monies from the principal authority that could not be forecasted. The full Council also resolved to delayed planned expenditure listed in the budget due to uncertainty with recovery of loss and the pandemic. Corrective action has been put advised to transfer funds into ring -fenced reserves to deliver projects in the next financial year. Further, the Financial regulations stipulates the Parish Council review and monitor its budget 3 times a year in line with the Practitioners Guide. The RFO felt the current practices were sufficient to comply with legislation and best practice, and the current year should be regarded as exceptional.
The Clerk has been previously approached by Cllr Saunders with the exact same viewpoint and the addition to forecast yearend balance earlier. The RFO advised this would too early to provide a forecasted yearend balance or provide meaningful information as finances change on a monthly basis due to Council decisions. The work to complete this would outweigh any benefit. Cllr Saunders felt the new document created by the Clerk to provide additional information could be tweaked, if additional conversations were held with RFO and a proposal re-submitted to Council.
Members agreed with the creation of the following ring-fenced reserves and transfer of funds into the relevant reserves:
· Cllr Saunders and Lee to meet with the Clerk to consider and review proposals for budget monitoring;
· £ 5,000 into Roof to total £10,000.
· £2,673.37 into Playground equipment to total £6,000.
· Grants reserve of £1,000 – committed to Walton Community Library
· Village hall of £7,000
· Coronation cottage refurb of £5,000
· Tennis Club refurb of £5,000
· Leaving a general reserve of £43,885.70
2. To review the system of Internal Control and its effectiveness for 2020/21
The Clerk circulated a statement of internal control with changes from last year appearing in italics.
Resolved to approve the system of Internal Control and its effectiveness for 2020/2 as drafted.
3. To consider short-term investments of Council funds.
Resolved to invest £50,000 with Nationwide for 90 days from funds within the HSBC Deposit account with the existing bank signatories.
4. To consider the purchase of anti-virus software for PC Computer and additional devices.
Resolved to purchase new anti-virus software from Norton for 3 devices.
5. To consider renewal of the subscription of YLCA
Resolved to renew subscription of YLCA for 2021/22 at a cost of £771.
6. To consider renewal of the waste contract with WMDC
Resolved to renew waste contract and authorise the Clerk to sign the documentation at a cost of £458.94 plus VAT.
168. To consider correspondence received.
The Clerk summarised the correspondence received in March 2021 and announced the candidates nominated for forthcoming Parish Councillor elections.
Resolved to note correspondence received.
169. Planning Working Party.
1. To consider planning applications validated and decided March 2021.
There have been 8 applications for Walton validated and 10 application decided since the last meeting.
(i) To formerly object to application 20/02441/FUL on the following grounds:
· The PC objected to the proposals as first submitted because there was no Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), and the scheme materials were inappropriate for a building within the Historic Core – see Policy 4 Walton Neighbourhood Plan.
· The HIA describes the rear extension as “unsympathetic to the character and appearance of the house,” but claims the scheme will have a “neutral impact in terms of the setting.” The principal reason for the latter assertion seems to be that the proposed works cannot be easily seen from the public highway. The HIA does admit that there will be a negative impact on the setting in relation to the demolition of the barn.
· The PC’s view is that the extent of visibility of the scheme from the highway is not a relevant factor in the context of WNP Policy 4.
· Policy 4 states regard must be paid to “using high quality materials that reflect the historic character and palette of materials used within the Historic Core.” The application scheme does not do this. Indeed, in the Design and Access Statement, great play is made of the fact that the proposed extension, garage and swimming pool, have been designed to be “in stark contrast” to the existing Georgian house.
(ii) Planning application 21/00822/FUL- The Parish Council noted there is no Heritage Impact Assessment or Design and Access Statement filed as required within Policy 4 of the Walton Neighbourhood Plan. Policy 4 states regard must be paid to “using high quality materials that reflect the historic character and palette of materials used within the Historic Core.” The application does not provide enough information to comply with this policy.
(iii) Planning application 21/00517/FUL – The Parish Council wishes to comment if the proposed works are allowed at the front of the building line given Wakefield Residential Design Guide would suggest otherwise?
(iv) To note all other validated and decided applications.
Item 10.2 deferred to the end to allow public to observe remainder of meeting.
170. Village Hall and Coronation Cottage Working Party - to receive reports.
1. To consider quote for recommended remedial work on Hall’s drains following drainage survey.
It is recognised the quote is more than thresholds requiring three quotes. Due to the nature of work being follow-up to existing work/survey, it is considered cost-effective to continue with the existing contractor.
Resolved to approve the quote for remedial work at a cost of £3,295 plus VAT subject to it being considered necessary to reinstate paving at the front of the hall.
2. To consider quote for repainting of Committee Room/Entrance of hall
Resolved to approve quote of full redecoration of repainting Committee room and Hall entrance at £675.
3. To consider quote for maintenance work on the Village Hall roof.
A Councillor noted the potential damage to the flat lead roof near the clock tower and to ask the roofing contractor to address this at the same time.
Resolved to approve quote of £580 plus VAT for replacement of broken tiles, guttering to be cleared and moss above the kitchen removed/treated to prevent future growth.
171. Environmental Improvements Working Party - to receive reports.
4. To consider cost of refurbishing Millennium entrance benches.
Resolved to approve cost £200 for refurbishing Millennium benches.
172. To consider format of future Parish Council meetings and any necessary delegation to officers.
Following advice from the Clerk and YLCA on the possibility of legislation allowing virtual meetings to expire on 7th May and the uncertainty on holding a public meeting, it was agreed to bring forward the next Parish Council meeting.
Resolved to re-schedule next Parish Council from 11th to 4th May 2021 to be held virtually and to defer delegation of authority to the Clerk until next meeting.
173. To consider a project to create a village green/community space at the Shay Lane/The Balk junction.
Cllr Lee presented his project for an area of land identified on a circulated plan to be transferred ownership from WMDC to the Parish Council for the purposes of creating a Village Green. Members discussed the suggested area and provided feedback for the feasibility of adjusting the plan. It was agreed the plan would be revisited and for the Parish Council to support the idea in principle.
Resolved to proceed to support, in principle, to examine the feasibility of creating a village green/community space and for Cllr Lee to determine the position of the eastern boundary.
174. To consider action plan to designate Waterton Park as a historic park in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan.
Resolved to defer the item until further enquiries on historical intent.
175. To consider next steps regarding the allotments at the Grove.
Resolved to for the Clerk chase WMDC planning authority.
To receive matters reported directly to the
The Clerk updated members on the sewerage leak at the Jubilee Field and will follow up with a neighbouring resident and the Environment Agency.
Meeting closed at 9.50 p.m.