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 11 May 2009.





Cllr. J Robertson       (Retiring Chairman and newly elected Chairman)

Cllr. J Johnston          (Retiring Vice-Chair and newly elected Vice-Chair)

Cllr.T Biles

Cllr. J Bishop

Cllr. T Cox                 

Cllr. S Harding          

Cllr. A Parker            

Mr R Coleman                       Clerk


PC Martin Barrett attended the meeting.


Five members of the public were present.


1.         Welcome and Introductions.

Cllr. Robertson welcomed everyone to the meeting.  


2.         Apologies.

The Clerk stated that Cllr. J Beauchamp had offered her apologies for not attending this meeting and had, that afternoon, submitted a letter of resignation.

All other councillors were present.


3          Election of Chair.

Cllr. Robertson was elected Chairman of the Parish Council (Proposer: Cllr. Bishop, Seconder: Cllr. Johnston).

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


4          Election of Vice Chair.

It was agreed on the proposition of Cllr. Biles, and seconded by Cllr. Cox, that Cllr. Johnston be elected Vice Chairman for the ensuing year


5          Formation of Sub Committees.

The Council decided to defer the reconstitution of the Sub-Committees until a subsequent Ordinary Parish Council meeting.


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 £11.50 with effect from 1 May 2008. The Council decided that a further increase with effect from 1 May 2009 would not be justified..


7          Clerk's Salary and Expenses.

The Council noted that the Clerk was on SCP 21 (currently £9.814 per hour) on the NALC 2008/09 Interim National Salary Award for Local Council Clerks and that his salary will be increased from time to time in line with the nationally agreed rates for SCP21. The Clerk stated that the Final National Salary Award had now been agreed, payable from 1 April 2008, and that the hourly rate on SCP 21 was now £9.843. The Council agreed to pay this Final National Salary Award to the Clerk, recognising that Back Pay to 1 April 2008 amounted to £9.75 (Proposer: Cllr. Parker, Seconder: Cllr. Bishop).


The Council also agreed to change the level of expenses detailed on ‘Clerk’s Expenses and Allowances May 2009 (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, Seconder: Cllr. Cox).


10.       Cemetery Fees.

The Council agreed by a majority to increase all existing burial and memorial fees by 5%, rounding each figure upwards to the nearest £5 (Proposer: Cllr. Bishop, Seconder: Cllr. Johnston). The Council decided that the increase is to be applicable from 1 June 2009.


11.       Banking arrangements.

The Council agreed unanimously to maintain the existing ‘banking arrangements’ with Lloyds TSB for the year and to authorise members of the Financial sub-Committee to sign cheques on its behalf.


12.       Asset Register.

The Council noted the Asset Register dated 31 March 2009. The Clerk stated that he would add the Cemetery Secure Storage Facility to the Asset Register.


13.       Risk Register.

The Council adopted the Risk Register dated 1 April 2009 (Proposer: Cllr. Johnston, Seconder: Cllr. Parker).


14.       Insurance Cover.

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




15.       Accounts for the Year ending 31 March 2009.


a.         The Clerk gave a brief report on the Accounts for FY2008/2009. 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 and that they would be submitted to the Parish Council for approval and subsequent auditing by the External Auditor. 


He stated that the balance brought into the year was £15628.56 and the balance carried forward at the end of the year was £19064.72.


The Clerk stated that Receipts in the year totalled £13925.02 and Payments in the year totalled £10488.86.


He reported that the main Receipts in the year were:


Precept  £10000

WWDC Cemetery Grant £1013

VAT Refund  £866

Cemetery Fees £1300

Open Spaces £285 (Football Pitch).

Bank Account Interest £461.


He reported that the main Payments in the year were:


Staff Costs £3080

Open Space maintenance £1957

-                                 Grass Cutting £1743

-                                 Gate Repair/New Sign £140

Cemetery Maintenance £1777

Village Handyman £926

Westwood Update £340

Donations £240

Insurance/Audit Fees  £1101.


He concluded by stating that the Fixed Assets of the Council represented £30581 and that these were based on current insurance values and the actual cost of acquiring the Westwood Park, the Playing Field, Nursery School and Cemetery.


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 approved the completed Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2009 (Proposer: Cllr. Bishop, Seconder: Cllr. Biles). The Chairman signed the Annual Return on behalf of the Council.


16.       Financial Regulations.

The Council approved the Financial Regulations dated 11 May 2009 (Proposer: Cllr. Biles, Seconder: Cllr. Johnston).



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. Robertson, Seconder: Cllr. Bishop).


18.       Budget Details for Financial Year 2009/2010.

The Council noted the agreed Budget for FY2009/10.


19.     Standing Orders.

The Clerk advised the Council that he believed that the existing Standing Orders were satisfactory and that there was no need for additional Standing Orders, or amendments to the existing ones. The Council resolved to take no action in respect of Standing Orders.


The Chairman concluded the meeting by thanking councillors for their support and hard work throughout the year and the Clerk for the work he had undertaken on behalf of the Council.



The meeting closed at 8.10 pm.








Cllr. J Robertson




1 June 2009



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