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August Minutes

    The most recent Minutes are belo

The most recent minutes are below. For last year's and previous year's minutes please use the link at the foot of the page or refer to the annual collection of minutes in the collected pdf files section on the Parish Council webpage. Please note that minutes are published as DRAFT minutes and will be approved at the next meeting of the parish council. The minutes for an extraordinary meeting will also be posted to this page. Such a meeting could be held prior to an ordinary meeting or after such a meeting.

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Minutes of the meeting of Westwood Parish Council held at the Parish Room, Farleigh Lane on Monday 2 August 2021 at 7.30pm.

 

Present

Cllr. J Bishop               Chairman

Cllr. T Leeder

Cllr. G Mumford

Cllr. P Phillips

Mr. R Coleman           Clerk

 

There were four members of the public present.

 1.         Apologies.

Apologies relating to personal reasons for non-attendance were received and accepted from Cllrs. Johnston and Pittman.

Apologies for non-attendance were received from Wiltshire Council Cllr. J Kidney.

 2.         Declaration of Interests.

There were no interests declared.

 3.         Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 5 July 2021.

The minutes of the meeting were agreed to be an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.

 4.         Wiltshire Council Report.

In the absence of Cllr. Kidney no report was given but refer to Minute 5e..

 5.         Highways and Environmental (including Biodiversity).

a.         The Council noted the proposal for a possible ‘Village Pond’ as presented by the Westwood Biodiversity Group during the Public Participation given by its members prior to the formal Parish Council meeting.

 b.         Cllr. Mumford reported that no progress had been made by Wiltshire Council in drawing up a detailed proposal for parking/traffic calming around the New Inn because the highways design team are still working on other priorities, particularly re-assessing what changes are required following the ending of the one-way system in BoA in mid-August, re-assessing the designs for the BoA Station Approach and the Winsley-BoA cycle path/lane.

 c.         Cllr. Johnston previously confirmed that she and James Crawford had undertaken the Tree Survey in Westwood Park and in the Cemetery sent the following written report (shown in italics) to all councillors prior to the meeting:

 1.The field maple nearest to the path and play area should be removed to allow the second one to grow more successfully.

2. The Scots pine should also be removed. This will mean the play area can be extended.

3. Mr Downes should be asked to leave a metre of uncut grass around the cherry trees to avoid the roots .

4. The apple tree nearest to the corner of the play area is not healthy and should be removed. This could be replaced by a cherry tree.

5. The next apple tree needs to have the lowest branch removed to assist upward growth.

6. The apple tree near the hedgerow south of the play area is dying, it looks like it has been damaged at the bottom. This could be removed and replaced with a second cherry. That would cover the two cherries that a parishioner wanted to plant.

7. We discussed the mowing and James said 10 cuts a year, which I think is what Mr Downes does now, but perhaps he could leave some uncut strips towards the edges further from the tarmac. Perhaps we could ask the biodiversity group for their views?

8. We didn’t really come to any decision about the crab apple tree that another parishioner planted that was vandalised. It seems unnecessary to replace it, the other two trees are growing well and the plum is covered in fruit. Perhaps, if they are really keen to replace it they could have the second cherry tree mentioned above?

9. What do you all think about leaving two of the humps uncut to revert to meadow grass? I thought the two backing onto the wall at the back of Chestnut Grove and Windy Ridge, they are the largest. They could be planted with wild flowers. I thought this would be a good project for the biodiversity group. They could be strimmed once a year, in the autumn.

10. We also looked at the cemetery and James thinks all the trees are fine at the moment. He agreed that he didn’t think the planting of any more trees there was appropriate. I think the plot of land set aside for interment of ashes will need to be made bigger as it is nearly full, probably only a question of moving the posts and chain over.

 The Chairman requested the Clerk to place this subject of the Tree Survey on the Agenda for the next meeting.

 d.         The Chairman commented that he is to request the Parish Steward to cut back the overgrown vegetation encroaching on the path between Linden Crescent and Lyefield Lane.

 e.         The Chairman stated that the recent road closures by Wales and West Utilities (WWU) had been badly handled and previous agreements with Wiltshire Council regarding maintaining access and signage had been ignored. He added that Cllr. Kidney had been very proactive in seeking a solution to the problem and that the situation was now improving. The Chairman stated that details of the problems and the action taken are detailed below (in italics) in the report submitted by Cllr. Kidney.

 I spent most of Thursday and Friday dealing with the chaos that was caused by Wales and West Utilities completely failing to implement the traffic management plan that had been agreed to help mitigate the worst impacts of the Lower Westwood closure. The situation has not been helped by inaccurate social media posts from one of the WWU workers on site, claiming that traffic management was nothing to do with them. This is not the case Wiltshire Council provides permits for the closure and diversion, however it is the responsibility of WWU to implement a traffic management protocol, including installation of appropriate diversion signage, arranging access at all times through the closure for emergency vehicles and residents. They failed in their responsibilities to do this last week, with resulting chaos.

 Following my liaison with Highways last week, they have been in touch with various officers at Wales and West Utilities (WWU) and this morning the Performance and Compliance Manager met with WWU officers on site to review the situation, with the following findings:

 ACCESS - It would appear that the site staff were not made aware by WWU management of their obligations to maintain access wherever possible.  This has been addressed with senior officers at WWU and they are now aware that they must maintain access for emergency vehicles and pedestrians and all time and access for residents within the extents of the closure, although there may be short periods of delay dependant on the works.  Please note it is a moving road closure which will be changing and the works progress along the road.

 SIGNAGE -It was found that WWU have not deployed all of the signage identified on their traffic management plan or the additional signage directed by our team at my request. WWU have this morning been instructed to ensure that the missing diversion signage is erected by the end of the day and to provide evidence of the correct signage in place. The additional signage to deter unnecessary traffic from the area has been instructed to go up as soon as possible.

 COMMUNICATIONS Highways have requested that updates on the progress of the work are provided by the WWU communications team to the local community’s social media (Westwood Waffle), to include progress and works programme updates.  They have also requested that WWU comms arrange for a weekly site visit from a WWU representative to take any queries on the project.

 f.          Other Matters.

 Community Speed Watch.

The Community Speed Watch Scheme Team Leader, provided the following written report to councillors (shown in italics):

We were in 2 minds whether to deploy as Freshford was closed for our 1st week and Westwood restricted then closed during our 2nd week. However, both the vehicle throughput and % of speeders was as high as ever.

Our only previous count this year in April/May provided us with the worst % speeders since we commenced in 2014 and this count provided virtually the same figures with 19.2% speeding of whom 13.3% were in the band of 25-29mph and 5.9% in the band of 30mph; the fastest @ twice the speed limit.

We had a Police presence on one count and they deployed their enforcement alongside us and issued enforcement notices and gave warnings as appropriate.

Chatting to the Police on site, they are conscious that post Covid’s initial lockdown speeding has become an increased problem, so we expect their presence may well be stepped up during future counts

 Road signs for 170-120 Upper Westwood:

Highways have come to the decision that they would only support the installation of a single sign at the access point to the footpath off Avoncliff Lane. A sign at the junction between Upper Westwood and Avoncliff lane would in their view be confusing and would not be appropriate on the same post as the Avoncliff direction sign.

 The cost of a single sign would be £150, which the Parish Council would be expected to pay 50% assuming the CATG agreed to support it.

 Waste Bin Bottom of The Pastures.

The Clerk reported that a new bin had been ordered some time ago and its delivery and installation by Wiltshire Council awaited.

Westwood Manor Trees.

The Clerk was requested to contact The National Trust and to request that the tree branches etc overhanging Path WW0015 the runs alongside the Westwood Manor wall be cut back as they are obstructing walkers.

Direction Sign (Trowbridge/Bradford on Avon).

Cllr. Phillips reported that the cast iron ‘Direction Sign’ located at Lower Westwood Road (opposite Lyefield Lane) was missing even though the post remains and it requires replacing.

 6.         Planning.

a.         The Council noted the current status of extant planning applications thus:

 

Planning Application No.

Address

Details of Application

Planning Decision

20/03928/FUL

 

The Yard Westwood BA15 2AL

Retrospective change of use of agricultural land to equestrian use etc.

 

Pending

 

20/11061/FUL

 

109 Upper Westwood BA15 2DP

Installation of Solar Array and Ground Source Heat Pump

 

Pending

 

21/00448/LBC

 

109 Upper Westwood  BA15 2DP

Installation of Solar Array and Ground Source Heat Pump

 

Pending

PL/2021/03320

The Yard

Westwood BA15 2AL

Erection of fencing in connection with use of the site for dog day care facility.

Pending

20/03928/FUL

(See above)

The Yard

Westwood BA15 2AL

Retrospective change of use of agricultural land to equestrian use, the formation of a menage measuring 20m x 60m and the retention of 8 pole mounted floodlights around the menage.

Pending


b.         The Council examined the following planning applications and resolved to send comments to Wiltshire Council as shown (in italics):

 

 

PL/2021/05553

 

No. 10 Tea Gardens

Avoncliff BA15 2HD

Variation of Condition 2 of 21/00694/FUL to allow a change in proposed roof material to seating area canopy from timber shingle to composite slate.

 

New

 

The Parish Council has no objection to this proposed development. Councillors commented that this application had been dealt with at a previous meeting.

 

PL/2021/05811

 

55 Lower Westwood

BA15 2AE

The application refers to the approved planning application for the erection of a single story detached double garage at 55 Lower Westwood. The garage will have a stone dwarf wall, be clad in oak and have a Roman tiled roof.

 

New

 The Parish Council has no objection to this proposed work.

 

PL/2021/05676

 

44 Lower Westwood

BA15 2AR

Demolition of existing porch and conservatory, and construction of single storey extension and entrance link to existing house

New

 The Parish Council objects to this proposed development for the following reasons:

The proposed development is in a Conservation Area.

The expanse of glass at the southern elevation will face open countryside and will have the potential of adversely affecting the ‘Dark Skies Policy’ requirements.

The proposed development represents overdevelopment of the site.

 c.         The following planning application was received after 27 July 2021.

 

PL/2021/06399

 

81 Lower Westwood

BA15 2AE

Proposed existing lawful use as a single dwelling and residential curtilage

New

The Parish Council has no comments.

 d.         The Council noted the pending Appeal (APP/Y3940/W/21/3275752) in relation to Planning application PL/2021/04022 and resolved that the comments made by the Parish Council and sent to Wiltshire Council previously should now be forwarded to the Appeal Inspectorate.

 7.         Finance.

a.         The Clerk reported the current financial position at 2 August was as follows:

 

Details of the Accounts

Amount

Credits & Debits

 

Lloyds A/C 1643417






Bank Statement

£36,453.24

30-Jun-21





Credits (1 July 2021 to 31 July 2021):


None


 £                                          -  



 £                                          -  




Debits (1 July 2021 to 31 July 2021):


Clerk's Salary (April) - Standing Order

 £                                 573.73

Clerk's Expenses (May)


 £                                    22.50

Clerk's Expenses (June)


 £                                    11.96

R Randall (Internal Audit)


 £                                 150.00

Information Commissioner


 £                                    40.00

D Downes (June)


 £                                 670.00

Clerk's Back Pay (1/4/21 to 30/6/21)


 £                                 215.79

Crown Gas


 £                                    28.98

Eon Next


 £                                    29.77



 £                              1,742.73




Balance at 31 July 2021


£34,710.51




Credits (1 July 2021 to 5 July 2021):


None


 £                                          -  



 £                                          -  




Debits (1 August 2021 to 2 August 2021):


Clerk's Salary (July) - Standing Order

 £                                 645.66



 £                                 645.66




Balance at 2 August 2021


£34,064.85




Lloyds A/C 7573321



Bank Statement

 £                              2,346.28

30-Jun-21





Credit (1 July 2021 to 2 August 2021):


10 July (Approx)


 £                                      0.02



 £                                      0.02

Debits  (1 July 2021 to 2 August 2021:


None

 £                                          -  



 £                                          -  




Balance at 2 August 2021

 £                              2,346.30




National Savings Account (Park Fund)


Balance at 31 December 2019

 £                            17,165.79




Credits:



Interest 1/1/20 to 31/12/20:

 £                                 123.59



 £                                 123.59

Debits:



None


 £                                          -  




Balance at 2 August 2021

 £                            17,289.38




Total Funds at 2 August 2021


£53,700.53



Payments to be authorised 2 August 2021

Clerk's Salary (August) (Paid 1 September 2021)

 £                                 645.66

Clerk's Expenses (July)

 £                                    14.71

R Smith (Nursery School Clearance) - Donation

 £                                    23.50

(Cheque to be made payable to Clerk)


Crown Gas (Paid  8/7/21)


 £                                    28.98

e-on Next (Paid 11/7/21)


 £                                    29.77

D Downes


 £                                 715.00


 £                              1,457.62

 b.         The Council resolved to make the payments shown under ‘Payments to be authorised’ above at Agenda item 7a.

 8.         Cemetery.

There was nothing reported.

 9.         Nursery School Building.

a.         Cllr. Johnston provided the following report (shown in italics) to councillors prior to the meeting:

The Nursery School building is very tidy and the grass has been mown. There are several appliances remaining - a fridge, microwave and small cooker, some tables and chairs, some fairly decent toys plus the shed and Wendy house outside.

 b.         The Chairman referred to the ‘Options Paper’ that he had circulated previously and that had been discussed at the previous Parish Council meeting. He stated that following that discussion he had written to the Nursery Group that had prepared the earlier Business Plan and had explained that the Parish Council could not go forward at this stage with their proposals. He cited many reasons for this decision which included their business model, parking difficulties and local opposition. The Council resolved to support this decision.

The Clerk stated that he had contacted Coopers & Tanner (Estate Agents) regarding the marketing of the building and whilst they would advertise its availability, if requested and for a fee, they were not optimistic of securing a tenant and it would also  assume that the existing covenant on the land permitted such a use.

The Clerk was instructed to contact Forrester, Sylvester & Macket (Solicitors) and to make enquiries regarding the restrictions of the existing covenants (if any) on the possible future disposals/use of the building. The Council also recognised that relevant planning permission would also need to be sought.

 10.       Footpaths.

There was nothing reported.

 11.       Play Area.

a.         Cllr. Phillips reported that he had inspected the Play Area and Equipment and although most was in a reasonable condition, he had identified possible failure/damage to the seats of the two Junior Swings. The Clerk was asked to contact Sovereign and to highlight the problem and to invite Sovereign to take the necessary remedial action. Cllr. Phillips added that he would send the Clerk photographs of the seats for him to forward to Sovereign.

Cllr. Phillips confirmed that RoSPA is to undertake the Annual Inspection in September and that he had added the new swings to the Inspection Schedule and that he had requested RoSPA to forward their Inspection Checklist for him to use in future.

 b.         Cllr. Mumford suggested that the Play Area Working Group comprising Cllrs. Johnston, Pittman. Bishop and himself reconvene at some stage possibly late August - to decide how best to proceed with the Play Area Project. He added that there may be the opportunity, again, to apply for grants in the future to assist in funding the Project.

 12.       Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr. Leeder confirmed that he had been in contact with Wiltshire Council (Chris Roe) and that they were in the process of agreeing a date and time to meet in order to discuss the Draft Westwood Neighbourhood Plan and necessary changes to it.

 13.       Date of Next Meeting.

Councillors agreed that the next Ordinary Parish Council Meeting would be held on 6 September 2021 at the Parish Room, Farleigh Lane commencing at 7.30pm.

 The meeting concluded at 9.10pm

 Chairman                                                                                                       

Westwood Parish Council  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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