Annual parish meeting


The most recent Annual Parish (Village) meeting minutes are below. For last year's and previous year's Minutes please use the link at the foot of the page. Please note that minutes are published as Draft Unapproved until they are approved which takes place at the next year's meeting Go to last year(s)? 

DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in the Parish Room, Westwood, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8 May 2019.


 Cllr. J Bishop                           Chairman, Westwood Parish Council.

Roger Coleman                      Clerk.

 There were thirty-five members of the public present (six of whom were parish councillors).

 1.         Introduction and Apologies.           

The Chairman, Cllr. Bishop, welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Clerk explained the nature of an Annual Parish Meeting.

Apologies for non-attendance were received from Parish Councillor Cllr. T Leeder, Wiltshire Council Cllr. J Kidney, Community Policing Team PCSO Andrew MacLauchlan.

 2.         To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 30 April 2018.

The minutes were approved and signed by the Chairman.

 3.         The Woodland Trust Presentation.

Joe Middleton, Site Manager (South West) gave a presentation on the Woodland Trust. He explained that the Woodland Trust was formed in 1972 with the aim of protecting, restoring and creating woodland and to protect and maintain existing ancient woodlands and that these actions helped to maintain the bio-diversity of the respective areas. He stated that the Trust had recently acquired Avoncliff Wood and he explained the unique character of this wood and the plans the Trust have to safeguard this wood and the adjoining fields that were also acquired at the same time.

 The Chairman thanked Mr Middleton for his presentation.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 4.         Iford Manor The Next Generation.

Parish Councillor Marianne Cartwright-Hignett gave a presentation on Iford Manor and the associated estate of some 900 acres with particular emphasis on the unique bio-diversity of the area and the actions that are in hand to improve and encourage additional bio-diversity. She also explained the challenges that need to be faced and addressed when managing an estate of this size, including undertaking necessary building restoration work e.g. at the Cloisters. Cllr. Cartwright-Hignett gave details of the new Tea Rooms and Information Room that are currently being built and emphasized that a key aim behind all this work is to improve and encourage engagement with the local community.

 The Chairman thanked Marianne Cartwright-Hignett for her presentation.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 5.         Annual Report of the Parish Council by the Chairman, Westwood Parish Council and a Statement on the Parish Council accounts for Year ending 31 March 2019 by the Clerk to the Parish Council.

 a.         The Chairman gave a report of the work of the Council over the preceding year. His report is shown below (in italics):

 Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 2019 Annual Parish Meeting.

 This year the Parish Council has continued with a full programme of work to improve the local community and to support local groups and to support events that took place in the village.

 The Parish Council owns substantial assets such as the Playing Field, Westwood Park, Nursery, Children’s Play Area and Play Equipment, Cemetery, Bus Shelter, Noticeboards, Bench seats, the Street Lights in the Park, a Defibrillator and now two phone boxes. All the above have to be maintained by the Parish Council from the Precept and my thanks go to all those who assist with the upkeep, especially those involved in the phone box upgrades to produce book swap locations.

 The Parish Council has communications with the Community Policing Team, who provide monthly information relating to crime in the Bradford area. The Parish Council has unsuccessfully made representations regarding the information provided as it is not directly related to Westwood in isolation. It is difficult, therefore, to monitor activities in the Parish.

 Westwood is in the Bradford on Avon Community Area Board. The Area covers the town of Bradford on Avon along with the surrounding villages. The Board provide an opportunity to request funding for local projects and Westwood is regularly represented. Wiltshire Council’s Councillor, Johnny Kidney, has attended most Parish Council meetings and provided a link with the meetings arranged by the Area Board and Transport Group. I would like to thank Johnny for his work over the past year.

 For the past year the Parish Council has consisted of eight members with a potential maximum of nine. My congratulations go to one of those members, Marianne Cartwright-Hignett, who gave birth during the year and became the first standing councillor for many years to do so, if not the first ever. Any member of the Parish who fancies becoming a Councillor should contact Roger in the first instance. It would be great to receive an offer from Avoncliff, in particular, as that part of the Parish has not been represented for some time.

 Twelve Parish Council Meetings have been held, eleven Ordinary meetings and one Annual meeting.    

Regular monitoring of speeds within the 20 mph Speed Limit continues. Regrettably, recent results have indicated a slight increase in the number of vehicles recorded above the speed limit. Westwood has one of the worst records in the County at present and the group involved, along with the Parish Council, are looking at further methods of making the village safer. Regular highway inspections are carried out and the Parish Council liaises with Wiltshire Council for repairs and remedial action through the Parish Steward. My thanks go to Councillor Julie Adcock, who has continued a very strong working relationship with the Steward and much work, including filling potholes, cutting back hedges and trees, etc. is undertaken by the team.

 The PC has considered around twenty Planning, Listed Building Consents and Tree Works applications and has commented accordingly. Concerns have been raised regarding the situation with trees that are subject to Tree Preservation Orders. A Tree Warden now assists with such applications.

Westwood has two Defibrillators, one located at Westwood Social Club and the other at Avoncliff. These are maintained regularly in accordance with recommendations. Should an emergency occur, these have full instructions and are easy to use. You could save a life.                                  

Councillor Tim Leeder is continuing to develop a Neighbourhood Plan and has recently received numerous responses to a questionnaire sent out to all parishioners. The results from this are being correlated and the Parish Council is looking to take this forward with the aid of specialist advice.

Westwood Park, the Playing Field and the Cemetery continue to be maintained by Derek Downes, to whom I extend my thanks. Derek has kept these areas to a good standard and I am pleased to hear of the many comments of approval for the hard work undertaken. The football team struggled in the Bath Sunday League Division 2, finishing seventh, although they did make it to a cup semi-final. The Parish Council receives an income from the Cemetery in the form of burial and memorial fees. This also helps towards the costs of maintenance. Derek also acts as the village handyman and undertakes odd jobs that do not form part of the remit of the Parish Steward. 

 Monthly inspections are carried out on the play equipment and appropriate repairs undertaken. An annual inspection is carried out by ROSPA. The play equipment generally, and the flooring in particular, are showing their age and the Parish Council is looking into the longer term replacement, which will be costly.           

 Westwood Nursery School continues to provide a place for the youngest members of our community and is fully supported by the Parish Council. It is unfortunate that numbers are currently low however the staff do sterling work to ensure the children are given every opportunity to flourish.

The Parish Council regrets that Westwood Stores continues to struggle. My thanks go to Ray and his team for continuing their efforts, especially considering Ray’s health.                                                                                                                    

The footpaths and bridleways of the parish are regularly walked and monitored. Any repairs, clearing, etc. are arranged either with the Footpath Warden, owner or a little elbow grease from a volunteer or two.                      

Correspondence in the form of emails, letters and notices received from a variety of sources including parishioners, Wiltshire Council, private and public bodies, etc. is considered and appropriate action taken.

 Parish Council Meetings are generally held on the First Monday of each month in the Parish Room. All members of the public are welcome to attend and to make representations during the Public Forum. My thanks go to the Parish Room committee who have continued to provide us with a suitable location for meetings along with tea and coffee, both of which are much appreciated.

 I would like to thank my colleagues on the Parish Council, the many people who have assisted or contacted the Parish Council and who care about their community and, above all, Roger Coleman, the Parish Council’s clerk, who works tirelessly, often without the praise due to him.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 b.         Statement on the Parish Council accounts for Year ending 31 March 2019 by the Clerk to the Parish Council.

 The Clerk gave a report of the accounts for the Year ending 31 March 2019. His report is shown below (in italics):

 The Clerk gave a brief report on the Accounts for FY2018/2019. He stated that he had balanced the accounts and had completed the Annual Return and that the accounts had been examined by the Internal Auditor who had signed the Annual Return noting that all matters were satisfactory. They will be submitted to the Parish Council for approval and will then be sent to the Government appointed  PKF Littlejohn LLP. 

 He stated that the balance brought into the year was £23642 and the balance carried forward at the end of the year was £31956.

 The Clerk stated that Receipts in the year totalled £37274 and Payments in the year totalled £28960.

 He reported that the main Receipts in the year were:

 Precept  £24556.

Cemetery Fees £1000

Open Spaces £162 (Football Pitch).

Bank Account Interest £52.

HMRC PAYE Credit £1274

Misc. (TLG) £42.

 He reported that the main Payments in the year were:

 Staff Costs £6374


Office Expenses £307

Open Space Maintenance £3839:

 ·         Grass Cutting

·         RoSPA Play Area Annual Safety Inspection.

·         Westwood Park.

·         Playing Field. 

·         Tree Works.

 Cemetery Maintenance £3076

Village Handyman £530

Westwood Update £695

Donations £1235 (includes £1000 for Westwood School)

Insurance/Audit Fees  £1194.

Website £468

Subscriptions £92.

Defibrillator £118

Hall Hire £362.

Picnic Table/Bin £813            

He concluded by stating that the Fixed Assets of the Council represented around £56467 and that these were based on acquisition costs and current insurance values including the actual cost of acquiring the Westwood Park, the Playing Field, Nursery School and Cemetery.

 The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

 6.         To invite the public to raise any matters of interest.

A parish councillor commented that the Parish Council is building up a cash reserve in order to refurbish the Play Area and Play equipment in Westwood Park. The Clerk responded by stating that the reserve to date totals some £17,000 and that a further allocation of cash will be required in order to meet the anticipated costs of some £25,000 to £30,000. He commented that Play Equipment is expensive.

 The Chairman gave a brief resume of the controversy surrounding the tree works recently undertaken on the limes at Great Orchard. He stated that this issue had highlighted the need to be more vigilant regarding planning applications for tree works in the village and he thanked the Tree Warden for his involvement in such applications and added that the formation of a Westwood WATCH Group to advise on safeguarding and enhancing the flora and fauna in the village was a very welcomed development.


The meeting closed at 9.15 pm.                                                                                 Chairman.

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