February Minutes

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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 7 February 2022 at 7.30pm.

Present

Cllr. J Bishop               Chairman

Cllr. Johnston

Cllr. A Dale

Cllr. P Phillips

Cllr. A Pittman.

Cllr. P Waller

Mr. R Coleman           Clerk

Wiltshire Council Cllr. J Kidney attended (part-time).

 There were six members of the public present initially.

 The Chairman welcomed Cllr. Dale as a newly co-opted parish councillor.

 1.         Apologies.

Apologies for non-attendance were received and accepted from Cllrs. G Mumford and E Triggs.

 2.         Declaration of Interests.

There were no interests declared.

 3.         Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 6 December 2021.

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

 4.         Wiltshire Council Report.

Cllr. Kidney gave the following brief report:

 Household Waste/Recycling Collections These have been revised and may result in a change to the days or time of day when the waste/recycling is collected.

 Wiltshire Council are holding a Budget meeting on 15 February to address a £27m shortfall and to agree the increase in FY2022/23 Council Tax anticipated to be 1.9% plus a 1% Social Care levy. There is to be no reduction in the services provided by Wiltshire Council.

 Wiltshire Council is now administrating the Government provided Omicron Support Grant a grant of up to £6000 per business.

 The Limpley Stoke Community is planning to purchase the Hop Pole Inn as a Community Asset and is currently seeking funding.

 The Wiltshire Biodiversity/Climate Change consultation results is to be discussed by the full Wiltshire Council the aim is for the Council to be carbon neutral by 2030. Wiltshire Council has recently been voted fifth in the country by Climate Emergency UK in relation to it taking steps to address the climate change.

 The Town Centre Regeneration Fund a Government initiative - has contributed £16m towards the improvement of Trowbridge town centre.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman, Cllr. Kidney stated that he would seek the latest information from Wiltshire Council Highways relating to the resurfacing timetable for the various roads in Westwood, including details of any proposed diversion routes.

 5.         Clerk Resignation.

a.         The Chairman advised the Council of the resignation of the Clerk with effect from 31 March 2022.

The Chairman, on behalf of the Council, thanked the Clerk for his conscientious service to Westwood Parish Council over the last twenty years or so and wished him well for the future.

b.         The Council resolved to appoint a new Clerk immediately following Mr Coleman’s resignation and that Mr Coleman will continue to be employed until mid-May to effect a smooth handover to the new Clerk, The Council recognised the significant end of Financial Year activities and the additional annual meetings in early May that would result in the need for additional support for the new Clerk.

c.         The Chairman, with the support of councillors, established an Interview Panel to select a new Clerk. It was agreed that the vacant position will be advertised forthwith and that interviews will take place mid-March. The Clerk commented that although he would take no part in the interviews he would be willing to participate in a single Question and Answer session for the candidates in order to assist their understanding of the role of Clerk to the Council.

 6.         Working Group Formation.

The Council reconsidered the originally proposed Working Groups titles and provisional allocation of councillors and resolved that the following be adopted:

                     Finance Cllrs. Bishop, Johnston, Pittman, Mumford.

                     Environmental (including Biodiversity, Allotments and Westwood Park) Cllrs. Triggs, Pittman, Dale, Waller.

·                     Neighbourhood Plan Cllrs. Triggs, Bishop, Dale.

·                     Planning Cllrs. Bishop, Mumford, Dale.

·                     Highways Cllrs. Mumford, Phillips.

·                     Footpaths/Rights of Way Cllrs. Johnston, Mumford.

·                     Westwood Park Building Cllrs. Pittman, Triggs, Waller.

·                     Westwood Park Cllrs. Pittman, Triggs, Waller.

·                     Westwood Park Play Area (and Playing Field) Cllrs. Bishop, Pittman, Mumford, Phillips

·                     Cemetery Cllrs. Bishop, Waller.

·                     Communication Cllrs. Triggs, Pittman.

       Planning.

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

 

Planning Application No.

Address

Details of Application

Planning Decision

 

20/11061/FUL

 

109 Upper Westwood BA15 2DP

Installation of Solar Array and Ground Source Heat Pump

 

Pending

PL/2021/05811

 

55 Lower Westwood

BA15 2AE

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

 

Approved

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

Refused

PL/2021/06849

 

70 Elms Cross BA15 2AL

Proposed new ground floor extension, including internal and external alterations to the existing dwelling.

Approved

PL/2021/04053

 

120 Upper Westwood

Variation of Condition 8 and Removal of Condition 9 of 20/01308/FUL etc.

Pending

PL/2021/09162

20 Linden Crescent

Rear single storey extension with roof terrace, rear dormers etc. 

Approved

PL/2021/09419

 

Land at junction of Elms Cross and Westwood Road, Westwood BA14 2AL

Removal of Condition 1 on W/11/02028/FUL to allow for some livestock to be housed in building,

Pending

PL/2021/10035

 

109 Upper Westwood

BA15 2DP

Extension and improvement of existing field track to run from existing gateway plus replacement, resiting and upgrading of existing field shelter.

Approved

PL/2021/10863

46 Lower Westwood, Westwood BA15 2AQ

Removal of old timber outbuildings and construction of new tractor shed.

Approved

PL/2021/10880

Prior approval Part 3 Class Q: Agricultural buildings to dwellinghouse

Land at Westwood, Elms Cross, Near Bradford-on-Avon, Bath, BA15 2AL

Notification for Prior Approval under Class Q for the Change of Use and Conversion of an Agricultural Building into One Dwellinghouse

 

 

No Prior Approval required

PL/2021/11932

 

6 Friary Close

Westwood

BA15 2DG

Crown thinning and reduction of not more than 6m on four lime trees etc.

Pending






 

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

 

PL/2021/11908

 

5 Orchard Close, WestwoodBA15 2AP

Single storey extension to front of dwelling.

No Objections

 The Parish Council has no objection to this proposed development.

 8.         Finance.

a.         The Clerk reported the current financial position at 7 February 2021 was as follows:

 

07 February 2022



Westwood PC





Details of the Accounts

 

Amount

Credits & Debits

 

 





Lloyds A/C 1643417





Bank Statement


£50,950.90

31-Dec-21





Credits (1 January 2022 to 31 January 2022):

None



 £                                          -  



Total:

 £                                          -  





Debits (1 January 2022 to 31 January 2022):

Clerk's Salary (Net) (December)


 £                                 516.46

Clerk's Expenses (December)



 £                                    11.95

Office Allowance (to 30 April 2022)



 £                                    67.00

Western Skip Hire



 £                                 300.00

HMRC PAYE Month 9



 £                                 129.00

eon-Next



 £                                    31.36

Office Flash Drive (Handover)



 £                                    26.21

Archive Crates (3) - (Handover)



 £                                    30.75

D Downes



 £                                 535.00

Plumbing 194



 £                                    70.00

eon-Next



 £                                    31.36



Total:

 £                              1,749.09





Balance at 31 January 2022



£49,201.81




Credits (1 February 2022 to 7 February 2022):

None



 £                                          -  



Total:

 £                                          -  





Debits (1 February 2022 to 7 February 2022):

Clerk's Salary Net (January 2022)



 £                                 516.46

HMRC PAYE Month 10



 £                                 129.20

Crown Gas



 £                                    41.63



Total:

 £                                 687.29





Balance at 7 February 2022



£48,514.52





Lloyds A/C 7573321

Bank Statement


 £                              2,346.40

31-Dec-21







Credit (1 January 2022 to 7 February 2022):



9/1 (Approx)



 £                                      0.02



 Total:

 £                                      0.02

Debits  (1January 2022 to 7 February 2022:



None


 £                                          -  



 Total:

 £                                          -  





Balance at 7 February 2022


 £                              2,346.42





National Savings Account (Park Fund)

Balance at 31 December 2020


 £                            17,289.38





Credits:




Interest 1/1/21 to 31/12/21:


 £                                      1.73




 £                                      1.73





Debits:




None



 £                                          -  





Balance at 7 February 2022


 £                            17,291.11





Total Funds at 7 February 2022



£68,152.05





Payments to be authorised 7 February 2022

Clerk's Salary (January) - To Be Paid 31 January 2022)

*

 £                                 516.46

HMRC PAYE  Month 10 - To be paid 31January 2022

*

 £                                 129.20

Clerk's Expenses (December)

*

 £                                    13.93

Clerk's Office Allowance (to April 2022 inc.)

*

 £                                    67.00

PC Clerk Transfer Sundries (£30.75 + £26.21)

*

 £                                    56.96

Plumbing 194 Ltd


*

 £                                    70.00

D Downes


*

 £                                 535.00

e-on Next


*

 £                                    31.36

Crown Gas


*

 £                                    41.63

Clerk's Salary (February) (To Be Paid 28 February 2022)


 £                                 516.46

HMRC PAYE Month11 (To be paid 28 February 2022)


 £                                 129.20

Clerk's Expenses (January)



 £                                    13.96

Acer Tree Surgeons



 £                                 444.00

D Downes



 £                                 245.00

Crown Gas (Inv. 2537914)



 £                                    31.73


TOTAL:

 £                              2,903.89





 

* These payments were authorised by Finance Signatories in lieu of (COVID-19) cancelled 10 January 2022 PC Meeting.

b.         The Council resolved to invite Mr Downes to provide a quotation for the FY2022/23 Open Space maintenance before deciding whether to invite other contractors to provide their respective quotations. The Chairman added that he would contact Mr Downes and he asked for this subject to be on the Agenda for the next meeting.

c.         The Council resolved to make the payments shown under ‘Payments to be authorised’ above at Agenda item 8a including authorising payment to E-ON Next of £31.75.

Cllr. Johnston requested that consideration be given at the next meeting for a donation to be made to the Flower Show Committee for hiring a Band.

 9.         Cemetery.

a.         The Council resolved that the Garden of Remembrance be extended as far as possible and the Cemetery Working Group agreed to meet at the cemetery in the near future to decide on the extent of the enlargement and how best to commission the work. .

b.         The cemetery was reported to be in good condition.

The Clerk commented that he had recently approved an application for a Memorial Stone to be erected on a grave and that the appropriate fee had been paid.

 10.       Highways and Environmental (including Biodiversity, Westwood Park and Allotments).

a.         The Council noted the proposals from the Westwood Biodiversity Group and following a lengthy discussion resolved:

 Park Building Garden.

To approve the following:

·         General weeding to include entrance walkways, patio areas, raised beds

·         Removal of leaves

·         Cutting back laurel & elder in front of garage to facilitate ease of use

·         Removal of moss from play area ensuring no further damage to surface

·         Remove brambles throughout the garden

·         Cutback some branches in ‘woodland area’ to create some play tunnels

·         Remove weeds from base of wall on roadside.

·         Create bug hotels from pipe cylinders (behind shed) & twigs in the garden

·         Planting of small wildflower area on ‘climbing frame square’. Alternatively grass seed could be

·         sewn.

·         Clear area behind garage (outside of fencing)

·         Cut a ‘hedgehog highway’ according to guidance.

 The Parish Council also resolved to consider the following proposals at a later date but meanwhile it requested the Working Group to investigate the proposals and to report back at a future Parish Council meeting:

 ·         Securing of leaning fence by conservatory area

·         Replacement or repair of current soft surface play area

·         Check wall foundations by patio area. There are some substantial gaps and a few cracks.

 Community Hedge Box.

To approve the following:

The introduction of a Hedge Box a ‘hedge box’ made of wood and no more than 80x120cms. next to the phone box in Upper Westwood to encourage the community to share / swap seeds or seedlings, share excess produce or homemade crafts, to share garden accessories such as plant pots

 Proposed Grass Cutting Adjustment.

Councillors noted the changes to the current Village Grass Cutting regime proposed by the Biodiversity Group namely:

 ·         To increase the frequency of mowing on the Sports field, preferably to the length prescribed by the FA of 25 37mm. This will encourage more parishioners to use the current sports field and will improve the experience for those already doing so. Keep in mind our proposal to increase the sports markings on the field.

·         To leave a 2-metre area around each tree uncut. This would make it easier for anyone cutting the grass. They won’t need to keep avoiding the trees and the root systems which in places penetrate the grass surrounding some of the trees. It would prevent any damage to the mower and any further damage to the trees one or two of which have been damaged and “taken out” following collisions with the mower in the past. 

·         To leave a quadrangle between the four trees indicated below. The grass doesn’t grow well here anyway because it is shady. What is marked as “Bobbin Lane” is of course the path. The play area is towards the bottom right. 

·         Any areas left uncut should be cut once per year in Autumn to allow for any wildflower seeds to have naturally been dispersed.

 The Chairman stated that he would discuss these proposals with Mr Downes who is currently responsible for the grass-cutting contract and that he would report back at the next Parish Council meeting.

 b.         The Council resolved to accept the revised quotation from ‘Meadow in my Garden’ of £300 regarding the wildflower planting of the ‘hump’.

c.         The Council resolved to fell the remainder of the storm damaged tree for a quoted price of £380 plus VAT from Acer Tree Surgeons Ltd..

d.         The Council resolved to new hedge planting at southwest corner of Playing Field at a cost of £200. Cllr. Pittman stated that he would take the lead on this project.

e.         The Parish Council resolved not to take any action regarding the apple trees that had been the subject of widespread publicity.

 In response to local concern the Council agreed to cut back the overgrown vegetation currently obscuring the Mine Saft Emergency Exit building that is closest to the Windyridge path. The Chairman stated that he would request Mr Downs to undertake this task.

 Cllr. Johnston remarked that the waste bin at the bottom of The Pasture was still missing and not been replaced by Wiltshire Council.

The Chairman and councillors had noted the strong representations made during the Public Forum in relation to the action proposed by Bradford on Avon Town Council (BoATC) concerning the felling of a large number of trees in Becky Addy Wood by BoATC. It appeared that the reason given by BoATC for the felling was because the ash trees in question were suffering from ash dieback and were dangerous especially to passing walkers. A point made particularly strongly was that BoATC had to date ignored the concerns and authoritative advice from Friends of Becky Addy Wood (FOBAW) regarding this proposed action and that BoATC had failed to produce the evidence to support their felling decision.

The Council resolved that the Clerk writes again to BoATC an earlier letter on the same subject received a cursory response from BoATC seeking the evidence on which the BoATC decision was based and requiring BoATC to meet with FOBAW for a meaningful assessment of the current situation.

 11.       Highways (including Community Speed Watch, CSW).

Cllr. Mumford provided the following written report for all councillors in advance of the Parish Council meeting (shown in italics):

 The Wiltshire Highways Engineer for the CATG has now commenced work on a detailed design for a New Inn / Farleigh Lane junction traffic calming scheme. 

The scheme has now been put into the Top 5 list for progress (as in for design work doesn’t mean that it has any priority as regards implementation or finance as yet). 

Just a reminder that the anticipated cost of this scheme will put it outside the CATG budget scope and, should we decide we want to support the scheme design that is produced by Wiltshire Highways, it will require [a] a significant contribution from the Parish Council, [b] support from the CATG and [c] a submission for inclusion in Wiltshire Council’s Substantive Highway Schemes budget.

 Cllr. Phillips stated that the CSW Team had been active and commented that a parishioner had recently observed the local bus speeding through the village and had written to the Parish Council.

 12.       Westwood Park Building.

a.         Cllr. Johnston confirmed that her latest inspection indicated that everything was in order.

b.         There was no report regarding the possible future use of the building.

 13.       Footpaths/Rights of Way.

Cllr. Johnston presented the following report:

 F/P 15: from Lower Westwood to Farleigh Lane, up steps. The kissing gate is rotting and may fall apart. Do we want to get this replaced or leave it to disintegrate? Dogs or children would then be able to run out into road. If we ask WC to replace they may use a galvanised gate which may annoy the house which is immediately adjacent. I think it could be patched up with a piece of wood or metal.

 Cllr. Phillips confirmed that he had repaired it.

F/P 16: The Pastures to Upper Westwood. The large stone that was knocked out by a lorry last year and re-pointed is loose again and needs to be correctly replaced.

 The Chairman stated that he would raise the matter with the Parish Steward but it was more likely that it would need to be replaced/repaired professionally. The Chairman added that he would request Mr Downes to add more gravel to the adjoining path.

 F/P 8: behind the pub. The upper rail has fallen off.

 The Chairman asked that this matter be referred to the Footpath Warden.

14.       Westwood Park Play Area. And Playing Field.

a.         Cllr. Pittman confirmed that the contract for the new boundary fence and gates had been placed with Premier Fencing Ltd and that work was expected to commence around mid-March.

The Chairman confirmed that the revised quotation of £5118.80 ex VAT had been accepted.

 15.       Neighbourhood Plan.

There was no report.

 16.       Date of Next Meeting.

Councillors agreed that the next Ordinary Parish Council Meeting would be held on Monday 7 March 2022 at the Parish Room, Farleigh Lane commencing at 7.30pm.

The Council agreed that the date of the Annual Parish Meeting will be Wednesday 4 May 2022 and that the main topics will be the future of the Park Building, Westwood Biodiversity and Westwood Allotments.

 

The meeting concluded at 10.45pm

 

Chairman                                                                                                       

Westwood Parish Council  

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