Annual parish council meeting minutes


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Minutes of Annual Meeting of Westwood Parish Council held in the Parish Room, Westwood at 7.30 pm, on Monday 10 May 2010.



Cllr. J Johnston          (Retiring Vice-Chair and newly elected Vice-Chair, Cllr. Johnston was                                     Chairman of this meeting up to, and including, Agenda item 2).


Cllr. A Parker             Chairman (newly elected Chairman. Cllr. Parker was Chairman of this                                     meeting from Agenda item 3).

Cllr.T Biles

Cllr. J Bishop

Cllr. G Edwards

Cllr. S Harding

Cllr. Howard-Evans


Mr R Coleman                       Clerk


PC Martin Barrett attended the meeting.


Four members of the public were present.



1.         Welcome and Introductions.

Cllr. Robertson welcomed everyone to the meeting.  


2.         Apologies.

There were no apologies to report.


3          Election of Chair.

Cllr. Parker was unanimously elected Chairman of the Parish Council (Proposer: Cllr. Johnston).

Cllr. Parker signed the Declaration Form, as Chairman, and this was countersigned by the Clerk.


4          Election of Vice Chair.

Cllr. Biles proposed, seconded by Cllr. Bishop, that Cllr. Johnston be elected Vice Chairman for the ensuing year. Cllr. Johnston was duly elected unanimously.


5          Formation of Sub Committees.

The Council resolved that Cllr. Parker be appointed to the Finance sub-Committee, that Cllr. Edwards will be the Parish Steward ‘Contact point’ and that Cllrs. Johnston and Howard-Evans be appointed to the Planning sub-Committee.


6          Maintenance Contracts.

The council noted that the following contracts had been let:       


-          Open Spaces S&J Grounds Ltd (a two-year contract for the open space maintenance was let in 2009).

-          Village Handyman Mr V Cooke.

-          Churchyard/Cemetery Maintenance Mr V Cooke.


The Council expressed its gratitude for the high standard of the work undertaken by Mr Cooke and following discussions on the current hourly rate resolved to increase his hourly rate to £12.00 with effect from 1 April 2010.


7          Clerk's Salary and Expenses.

The Council noted that the Clerk was on SCP 21.

The Clerk stated that he had been keeping a record of his activities over the last three months or so and it indicated that he was regularly working in excess of the six hours per week that are required in his contract. He commented that he would be presenting a case to the Parish Council in due course for a modest uplift in the number of contracted hours. The Clerk stated that such a case would be presented at the July meeting.


The Council noted and agreed the change in the level of expenses detailed on ‘Clerk’s Expenses and Allowances May 2010 (Proposer: Cllr. Parker, Seconder: Cllr. Bishop).


      8          Chairman’s Allowance.

The Council decided unanimously to provide the Chairman with an allowance of £150 (Proposer: Cllr. Bishop, Seconder: Cllr. Biles).


9          Football Pitch Charges

Cllr. Bishop declared a personal interest in this matter. The Council decided unanimously to continue with a single charge per match of £15, irrespective of whether it was a senior or junior match (Proposer: Cllr. Johnston).


10.       Cemetery Fees.

The Council resolved by a majority to increase all existing burial and memorial fees by £5 (Proposer: Cllr. Bishop). The Council decided that the increase is to be applicable from 1 June 2010. The Clerk was asked to compare the cemetery fees for Westwood with those of other areas to ensure that they are, more or less, in line. He was asked to report to the Council when this comparison exercise had been completed.


11.       Banking arrangements.

The Council agreed unanimously to maintain the existing ‘banking arrangements’ with Lloyds TSB for the year and it authorised members of the Financial sub-Committee Cllrs. Parker,  Johnston and Bishop - to sign cheques on its behalf.

The Clerk stated that he would obtain new Bank Mandates for the new signatory.


12.       Asset Register.

The Council noted the Asset Register dated 31 March 2010.



13.       Risk Register.

The Council adopted the Risk Register dated 1 April 2010 (Proposer: Cllr. Johnston, Seconder: Cllr. Parker).

The Clerk was requested by the Chairman to consider adding to the Risk Register  ‘Computer Security’ i.e. the loss of data from magnetic/optical storage devices. The Clerk stated that all Parish Council records are kept as hard (paper) copies and that all records that are stored in the computer are backed up on a portable drive on, roughly, a monthly basis. He considered that the risk of losing data was negligible but he recognised that a risk did exist and that it would be added to the Risk Register.


14.       Insurance Cover.

a.         The Council noted the existing Allianz insurance policy and agreed that it was adequate.  

b.         The Council resolved to renew the Aon/Allianz Insurance Policy and to pay the annual Insurance Premium of £1026.59.


15.       Accounts for the Year ending 31 March 2010.


a.         The Clerk gave a brief report on the Accounts for FY2009/2010. He stated that he had balanced the accounts and had completed the Annual Return and that the accounts had been ‘signed off’ by the Internal Auditor.


b.         The Chairman stated that the internal auditor had completed his audit and had written to him and the Chairman confirming that all matters were in order. The Council noted the contents of the letter from the Internal Auditor.


c.         The Council approved the completed Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2010 and authorised the Chairman to sign Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Return (Proposer: Cllr. Bishop, Seconder: Cllr. Biles) on its behalf. The Chairman signed the Annual Return on behalf of the Council.


16.       Financial Regulations.

The Council noted the Financial Regulations dated 11 May 2009.


17.       Appointment of Internal Auditor.

a.         The Clerk confirmed that Mr J Taylor was prepared to remain the Internal Auditor for a further year and the Council voted unanimously to appoint him, once again, as Internal Auditor. The Council agreed to pay Mr Taylor £100 for undertaking the recent audit (Proposer: Cllr. Parker, Seconder: Cllr. Bishop).


18.       Budget Details for Financial Year 2010/2011.

The Council noted the agreed Budget for FY2010/11.

Cllr. Harding observed that only £100 had been budgeted for the Website, whereas the costs incurred in FY2009/10 indicated that a higher sum should have been allocated. The Council agreed to address this at the June Ordinary Parish Council meeting.


19.     Standing Orders.

a.         The Clerk advised the Council that he believed that the existing Standing Orders were satisfactory with the exception of the one relating to ‘Contracts’. The Council decided that there was no need for additional Standing Orders, or amendments to the existing ones except for that one relating to ‘Contracts’. The Council resolved to take no action in respect of the remaining Standing Orders.


b.         The Clerk stated that the Standing Order on ‘Contacts’ that was approved in 2005 predates the Financial Regulations approved in 2009 and it needed to be examined to ensure that it was still relevant and, if so, to amend it to reflect the increased value of potential contracts in line with those stated in the Financial Regulations. The Clerk was requested to table an amended Standing Order at the next meeting.




The meeting closed at 8.15 pm.



Cllr. A Parker




7 June 2010



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