Everleigh Parish Council – 22nd June 2020 Minutes



Chairman:     Cllr D Bottomley

Present:           Cllr K Wheeler-Mallows, Cllr J Jones, Cllr E Hudson, Cllr P Evans

                        and Cllr A Earle.

In Attendance: Mr P Gill (Parish Clerk) and Wilts Cllr I Blair-Pilling

1.         Explanation.  The Chairman explained that on 4th April 2020 the Government introduced The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 which allows local councils to meet remotely.  These regulations apply to meetings held before 7th May 2021. In order to meet the regulations, the following conditions must be satisfied. Members in remote attendance must be able: to hear, and where practicable see, and be so heard and, where practicable, be seen by, the other members in attendance, to hear, and where practicable see, and be so heard and, where practicable, be seen by, any members of the public entitled to attend the meeting in order to exercise a right to speak at the meeting, and to be so heard and, where practicable, be seen by any other members of the public attending the meeting.  He then explained the protocol for the meeting as follows:

The way of the public accessing the meeting was explained on the published agenda and that the same standards of behaviour are applied to this meeting as to physical meetings.

Those in attendance are asked to physically raise their hands when they wish to speak and to switch to mute when finished speaking.

The usual public participation session will take place including those written questions that have been submitted to the Clerk up to 48 hours before the meeting commenced.  Members of the public are reminded that the Council cannot make any decisions on matters that do not appear on the agenda.  If members of the public have questions about matters not on the agenda, they are requested to contact the Council outside of the meeting.  The meeting host may remove anyone from the meeting who is being intentionally disruptive, using offensive language or incessantly interrupting the meeting proceedings.

2.         Apologies:       None

3.         Disclosure of Interest.  None declared.

4.         Co-option.  No applications received.

5.         Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 2nd March 2020. 

5.1       Previous Minutes.  Having reviewed the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 2nd March 2020 Cllrs RESOLVED that minutes were a true record of the meeting and authorised the Chairman to sign the minutes. Action: Chairman & Clerk.

5.2       Matters Arising.

5.2.1 6.1 Green Infrastructure and Open Spaces Collaboration and Household Surveys. Cllr Bottomley reported that he had completed the Collaboration survey which the Clerk forwarded to Wilts Council.  A copy of the Household Survey was placed on the Village Website for householders to complete and return.  Wilts Cllr Blair-Pilling asked for a copy of the comments relating to Broadband issues which Cllrs Hudson & Wheeler-Mallows agreed to provide to him. Action: Cllrs Hudson and Wheeler-Mallows.

5.2.2 6.2 SSEN Customer & Community Advisor.   Cllr Bottomley reported that he and Cllr Wheeler-Mallows had attended a Collingbourne Ducis PC meeting on 5th March 2020 which was briefed by the SSEN advisor. The advisor explained her role and the assistance that SSEN could provide in the event of a major disruption to the electricity supply to the public in general and vulnerable people in particular.  The advisor encouraged vulnerable people to register with SSEN via its website or by completing a registration form.  Cllr Bottomley will advertise this capability in his next article for the Courier.                                       Action:  Cllr Bottomley.

5.2.3 Workplace Pensions.  Cllr Hudson reported on an action from the 6 Jan 2020 PC meeting in that she had run a new eligibility assessment to check if there are any eligible staff and made a re-declaration in May.  The next check is due in May 2023.            

6.         General Public.  No questions asked.

7.         County Cllr Report.  Wilts Cllr Blair-Pilling reported the following:

COVID 19 Matters.  ‘R’ factor in SW.  Appears high, but influenced by Bristol and Weston Super Mare and is extra sensitive to changes as overall infection rate is substantially lower than other areas i.e. small local increase can have disproportionate effect on ‘R’.

Our Communities – Well done to all our communities for stepping up and looking after those in need among us.  Each community has approached it differently.  Our Community Engagement Manager (Richard Rogers) has been helping to develop a GIS based index of all the community support available across the Authority and assures me that all of our patch is covered, and continues to update it.  You can find everything you may want to know about what is happening and what help may be available in our Authority at http://wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus.

Workforce – The Council has hugely reconfigured its workforce to focus on the additional tasks while working from home. Nearly 5000 people working remotely.  Plans are in hand for some staff to return to work in hubs, but this will be a significantly reduced proportion (<50%).

Support to Businesses – The Council has redeployed staff to develop and operate systems to enact the various measures that Government and the Council have made available.  We have distributed £80+M worth of grants 6.5K businesses.  Now in process of calling for bids for £5M of discretionary grants aimed at those businesses who have not qualified so far on previous schemes.  Bidding closes tonight.  Fewer than anticipated applications, so allocations may be greater.

Finances – We are in a perfect storm of increasing requirements and costs and reducing income and savings caused by the COVID 19 crisis.  Dependent on a number of factors the gap is projected to be between £18M and £50M in this FY year. We have to understand what the financial deal between central and local government is and cut our cloth accordingly.  The Council is restructuring itself to focus on the workstreams associated with recovery: community resilience, health and well-being, economic sustainability, care safeguarding and education & partner organisations’ internal recovery plans.  Within this is a proposal to change soon to a single Chief Executive to provide greater focus. 

Decision making.  From the declaration of the major incident officers have operated under Wilts & Swindon LRF at required tempo and made decisions accordingly.  CEOs have submitted a COVID 19 Update and financial position report including of all decisions to Cabinet and this was accepted at full Council last week along with a revised Capital programme – essentially deferring some of capital spend to next year.  In the recovery phase (starting now) Wilts Council takes the lead separate from Swindon

Current issues:

HRCs –open from Monday 18 May. Initially physical queues with daily allocations split into 2 halves by post codes. Now using a web based booking system. Non IT users can book through customer services. Increasing range of items accepted, but need to check what and how, i.e. limitations on users.

Meetings – We are now reasonably well versed with how to run our democratic system remotely moving rapidly to Microsoft Teams. 

Schools – Decisions are with School leadership and parents.  Council doing all it can to assist. e.g. access distancing and risk assessment.

Safer places –– CATG staff focussed on plans and implementation to make high footfall locations and cycle routes safer, in terms of distancing and separation.

Also focussing on:

Overview and assurance of PPE etc

Care Home resilience, provide finance support, risk assess financial sustainability & assist with staffing and PPE

Local Outbreak Control Plan in support of national test, trace and contain service

Prep for future waves.

Parish Matters.   The flooding issue at Lower Everleigh is well understood. Wilts County Officer Mr D Everitt is content for the work to be done, the cost of which is estimated at £2K.  However, there are currently no funds available from CATG to finance this work.  Cllr Wheeler-Mallows asked for a design and if it would be possible for the residents of Lower Everleigh to carry out the work.  Wilts Cllr Blair-Pilling agreed to get answers to these questions.                                                                     Action: Wilts Cllr Blair-Pilling.

8.         Police Report.  PCSO A Jones reported the following recorded crimes by email

.           Criminal Damage.

25/05/2020 – Everleigh – Unknown male has damaged IP swimming pool.

Vehicle related crimes

31/05/2020 – Everleigh – Vehicle crashed into a tree, 5 x males exited the vehicle and made off into the woods. 

9.         Correspondence.  Having considered a previously circulated New Code of Conduct Consultation and comments made by Cllr Bottomley via email Cllrs RESOLVED to support Cllr Bottomley’s view that this revised model is comprehensive with the same 7 core principles and it captures the key standards, qualities and behaviour expected of local councillors.  However, he was to wait until 1st August before responding to the consultation in order to give Cllrs a further opportunity to make comment. 

Action:  Cllr Bottomley

.10.      Planning.  No applications received.   

11.       Property. 

11.1   Grass Cutting.  Cllr Wheeler-Mallows reported that J Bowen is up to date with                 the grass cutting contract and doing a good job of it.  He will continue to monitor the cutting.                                                                                 Action:  Cllr Wheeler-Mallows.

11.2    Play Area.  Cllr Wheeler-Mallows reported that the play area is in good order and that there were no areas of concern at this time. However, the equipment remains out of bounds due to COVID 19 transmission concerns.  Cllrs RESOLVED that Cllr Wheeler-Mallows was to monitor government advice with a view to bringing the equipment back into use as soon as it is safe to do so.                                      Action:  Cllr Wheeler-Mallows.

11.3   Streetscene Minor WorksCllr Wheeler-Mallows stated that there were no outstanding issues or works.  However due to an administrative error on the part of Wilts Council a road sweeper had turned up at Lower Everleigh without any prior notice and consequently a number of parked cards had to be swept round.      

Action Cllr Wheeler-Mallows.

11.4   ISO Container.    Cllr Wheeler-Mallows reported that the ISO Container had been moved but may need to be moved again which he will arrange with the Farmer. 

                                                                                    Action:  Cllr Wheeler-Mallows.

12.       Finance.

12.1    The Clerk presented a bank reconciliation and current liquidity statement as follows:

12.1.1   Balance at Lloyds CA (statement date 1 Jun 20) £6873.49

12.1.2   Reconciled Balance as at 22 Jun 20 £6462.24

Members noted the statements but had no comment at this time.

12.2    Having reviewed the effectiveness of the internal audit in line with the guidance set out in the “Practitioners’ Guide” and noted the subsequent report submitted by the Internal Auditor the Cllrs RESOLVED that the internal audit was effective and to note the Internal Auditor’s report and Page 4 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) for FY 19/20.          The Chairman agreed to write to Mr Keith Cockerton to thank him for carrying out the duties of Internal Auditor.    Action:  Chairman

12.3   Having considered the AGAR Sect 1 – Annual Governance Statement for FY ended 31st March 2020 Cllrs RESOLVED to approve the statement and authorised the Chairman to sign it.         Action:  Chairman

12.4 Having considered the AGAR Sect 2 – Accounting Statements for the FY ended 31st March 2020 Cllrs RESOLVED to approve the Accounting Statements, authorised the Chairman to sign them and to congratulate the Clerk on his keeping of the accounts.

                                                                                                Action:  Chairman

12.5  Having considered the AGAR criteria to allow the Council to certify itself as exempt from a Limited Assurance Review and having noted the advice of the Internal Auditor .Cllrs RESOLVED to certify the Council as exempt from a Limited Assurance Review (Certificate of Exemption AGAR Part 2) which negates the need for the accounts to be sent to the External Auditor.                                                                    Action:  Clerk

12.6 Having reviewed the risk assessment and insurance levels for FY 20/21 and agreed the Risk Register Cllrs RESOLVED that the Risk Register was appropriate.

12.7   Having considered appointing an Internal Auditor for FY 20/21 Cllrs RESOLVED to appoint Mr Keith Cockerton.        Action:  Clerk

12.8   Authorise cheques for payment and those cheques issued since last meeting or presented for payment.

            12,8.1 D Bottomley (Lawn Mower Fuel 14 Mar 20) £28.01 (VAT £4.67)

            12.8.2 D Bottomley (Flyer Printing 25 Mar 20) £20.00

12.8.3 BACS WALC (Annual Subs 1 Apr 20) £81.02 (VAT £13.50)

12,8.4 BACS Community First (Insurance 1 Jun 20) £294.22

12,8.4 673 D Bottomley (Lawnmower Fuel 23 May 20) £21.83 (VAT £3.64)       12.9   12.9 Note payments Received

                 12.9.1  Precept – £3647.58

12.9.2  VAT Reclaim – £260.40

                        Members noted receipt of the payments.

12.10 Having considered the list of authorised Bank Signatories Members RESOLVED that Cllrs Bottomley, Hudson, Jones, and Wheeler-Mallows be the authorised Bank Signatories.

12.11 Having reviewed the current Standing Orders Members RESOLVED that the Standing Orders were appropriate.

12.12 Having reviewed the current Financial Regulations Members RESOLVED that the amended Financial Regulations were appropriate.

13.      Village Events.

13.1 Village Litter Pick.  Cllr Bottomley reported that the Litter Pick took place on Saturday 7th March 2020 and thanked the 11 volunteers who took part and collected 18 bags of rubbish.  Everleigh is certainly looking a lot cleaner as a result of the litter Pick.

13.2 Other Events.      

13.2.1  The Village Summer Party planned for 11th July has been cancelled due to COVID 19.

13.2.2  In light of this cancellation Cllrs RESOLVED that an adjustment be made to the budget to transfer the £200.00 allocated to the Summer Party to The Everleigh Village Centre Project.         Action: Clerk

13.2.3   Although the Harvest Festival and Carol Service are not Council led events nonetheless the Council does play a major part in their organisation.  However, it will be a matter for the organisers to decide if the events go ahead as scheduled on Sat 10 Oct and Sat 5 Dec respectively.  The Cllrs agreed to review these events at the next council Meeting on 8 September.             Action:  Chairman

13.2.4 It was proposed to conduct another Village Litter Pick this year, in the Autumn.  Date options will be circulated by e-mail.  Action:  Cllr Bottomley.

14.       Marlborough Road Speed Limit.  Cllr Bottomley reported that the implementation of speed limit change to Marlborough Road has been delayed due to the Covid-19 situation.  Future timelines are not yet known.                                       Action: Cllr Bottomley.

15.       Rights of Way.   Cllr Bottomley reported that he had circulated by email a 2nd DRAFT of the Avon Valley Walking Group (AVWG) leaflet for our Parish Boundary Walk with explanatory comments.  In summary this DRAFT incorporates our comments although the script has been rationalised in order to fit the limitations of the designer’s template.  Councillors have been asked to comment by 1st July 2020.                            Action: All/ Cllr Bottomley

16.       Date of Next Meeting: The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 7.00 pm on Tuesday 8th September 2020.

Meeting closed at 20.21pm

Signed:                                                                                     date: