The Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Ashwell Parish Council, held at Ashwell Village Hall on Friday 10 May 2019, starting at 7.25pm.
Present were: David Pettifer, Tony Graveling, Brian Farr. Clerk was Sally Harnett.
There were no members of the public.
1 Apologies for absence were received from Val Harvey: previous commitment; Wendy Cheesman: delayed by air strike in France; June Fox: illness.
All apologies were accepted.
2 The minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed.
3 Election of new officers for 2019-2020.
Chairman: David Pettifer was proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by Brian Farr. David Pettifer accepted the Office, intending this to be his last term, he was returned unopposed.
Councillors were urged to consider a new proposal for Chairman for the next term. It was decided that there was no need for a Vice Chairman in future.
Resolution: to co-opt Wendy Cheesman onto the council, proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by Brian Farr, Mrs Cheesman has indicated her willingness to return, consequently she was returned unopposed.
A welcome was extended in his absence to Val Harvey.
An appreciation was expressed of the long and careful work carried out by David Thwaites, all agreed, and discussion took place of a gift of appreciation.
Thanks were also expressed concerning the hard work completed by Wendy Cheesman, and gratitude that she has agreed to serve again although she had stood down at the last election.
4 There were no Declarations of Interest.
5 Matters Arising from the previous meeting.
The car is still in the paddock in Cottesmore Road, it was remarked that this is private land. Councillor June Fox was intending to enquire the position of Rutland County Council, she has been sent photos of the poor state of the area.
6 Finance report from Tony Graveling.
The balance stands at £13091.15. The precept for the year of £4100, as requested, has been received.
A Bank Reconciliation of the Parish Council account was carried out on 31March2019.
Membership of LRALC and CPRE for 2019-2020 were renewed as agreed. The balance is higher than expected as contingency sums are held for the Speed Indicator and footpath on Teigh Road.
As David Thwaites has stepped down, a new bank mandate must be made for signatories to the Parish Council account.
Resolution: To remove David thwaites from the mandate and invite Brian Farr to be signatory alongside Tony Graveling and Wendy Cheesman.
Proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by David Pettifer, passed unanimously.
The Parish Council Insurance needs to be renewed wef 1June2019. A quotation of £274.96 for renewal from Zurich Insurers, who now deal directly with customers. The premium is the same as last year. An access of £100 applies.
Resolution: to renew the Ashwell Parish Council with Zurich at a cost of £274.96.
Proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by Brian Farr, passed unanimously.
Mrs Fiona Tylecote kindly agreed to act as Internal Auditor for the Parish Council accounts for the financial year ending 31Mar2019. She has completed the audit with a small number of recommendations which will be incorporated. All councillors have seen a copy of the accounts.
Resolution: Approval of the accounts for the year ending 31Mar2019. Proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by David Pettifer, passed unanimously. The Chairman then signed the accounts.
As Ashwell Parish Council does not have income or expenditure above £25,000, the said council has declared itself exempt from an External Audit but the Annual Return and accompanying statements must be published on the Ashwell Parish Council website.
Any queries from members of the public regarding the Annual Return should be directed to PKF Littlejohn, the appointed External Auditor.
6.1 Resolution: To approve the Governance Statement for 2018/2019. Proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by David Pettifer, passed unanimously. The Chairman and the Clerk then signed the form.
6,2 Resolution; To approve the Accounting Statement for 2018-2019. Proposed by Tony Graveling, seconded by Brian Farr, passed unanimously. The Chairman then signed the form.
All documents relating to the Audit will be made available on Ashwell Parish Council website during the next few weeks. All financial documents will be available for inspection by members of the public between 17June2019 and 26July2019.
Resolution; to pay the Data Protection fee, proposed by Brian Farr, seconded by David Pettifer, passed unanimously.
The Clerk was thanked for her dedicated work, and wages of £244.44 paid for 21.3 hours’ work, and £5 for a council diary.
The Chairman thanked Tony Graveling for his work on Finances for Ashwell Parish Council.
7 Planning report.
The list of “pending” applications was read out. There was some discussion about the Grainstore on Whissendine Road application, and the recent correspondence with Rutland County Council. RCC had forwarded some questions from APC, and had received a reply which strongly denied any idea of future commercial use of the barn – the plan was to only use it for the Manor Farm. A councillor had noticed that the response from APC was not included in the documents on RCC Planning website, the Clerk will enquire the reason, and send a copy.
8 Highways report.
The main concern in Ashwell now for a long time previously is speeding motorists. A resident in Cottesmore Road has strongly appealed for action, the resident is concerned by the danger to pedestrians, there being no footpaths in Cottesmore Road after Woodside. It was decided to keep pursuing the matter with RCC and the Police. Despair was expressed by councillors at the seeming lack of care on this matter, the opinion is that there is enough technology to tackle this problem. It was again pointed out that the area around Woodside and the hill on Cottesmore Road is a constant danger to motorists and pedestrians.
The painting of the railings in Water Lane. Residents of Ashwell have complained that the railings are unsightly. RCC had painted some near to some culverts. APC had received an email from Mark Hathaway, Highway Inspector, stating that the remaining fencing could be painted, but at the expense of APC. There was discussion on this, and it was decided to persist with requesting that County Council should pay as it is a general Highways hazard, there is the stream the whole length of Water Lane, the railings should be prominent for safety.
9 Public Forum.
There were no members of the public present.
10 Meetings attended.
The Clerk had represented APC at the recent Bus Users Group meeting. Many comments had been made on the occasional unreliability of the service. The Centrebus representative stated that any problems should be forwarded to him immediately, he said he had had no complaints at all. This was strongly contested from the floor. An Ashwell resident stated that they had been left standing at official bus stops by “no-shows”, the Chairman Lucy Stephenson stated that this should be investigated further as RCC was paying for the service.
RCC Parish Council Forum. It was decided to inspect the agenda each time, and to attend if there is a relevant item for Ashwell.
11 Correspondence received.
A request by the Stamford Notebook Company for APC to purchase a Book of Public Mourning, it was decided to not purchase this.
12 Any Other Business for Discussion at the next meeting.
The wording of the rules on the full Electoral Register appears to contradict the strict ruling that the list must not be shown to the public. The clerk has asked RCC Monitoring Officer for clarification.
13 Dates of next meetings.
It was decided to provisionally book 5September2019; 12December2019; 19March2020.
The meeting closed at 8.25pm.