Everleigh Parish Council APM – Tue 10 May 22 – Draft Minutes

EVERLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting

held at Collingbourne Ducis Village Hall on Tuesday 10th May 2022

Chairman:      Cllr D Bottomley (Chair).

Present:           Cllr K Wheeler-Mallows, Cllr T Martin, Cllr H Waight, Cllr A Earle and Cllr L Wheeler-Mallows

Apologies:       Cllr P Evans

In Attendance: Mr P Gill (Clerk), Wilts Cllr C Williams (Wiltshire County Councillor), PC S Duggan and no members of the public

  1. Chairman’s Report.  The Coronavirus situation remained on our radar screen throughout the year, with a gradual easing of restrictions from 19th July.  We continued to maintain our COVID-19 Support Plan, dividing the village into 6 areas each with a co-ordinator and volunteers to support our villagers as a team effort.  Plans were kept deliberately simple, with the intent of offering support to villagers in an unobtrusive way and to provide flexibility for inevitable changes.

An updated Village Emergency plan was circulated to all residents in early October. This plan was then activated on two occasions.  On Sunday 31st October a team of 4 volunteers deployed to clear trees from the A342 as a result of high winds; and on Friday 18th February two volunteers deployed to combat the effects of Storm Eunice, clearing trees from the A342 and Netheravon Road. Our plan remains fit for purpose.

The maintenance of our village playground remains a longstanding priority for the Parish Council. Last Spring, we also launched a 2 year Everleigh Enhancement plan, with an initial focus on Everleigh Centre in the vicinity of The Crown bus shelter. Cllr Kim Wheeler-Mallows has constructed a superb circular bench next to our World War 1 Memorial Stone, and Cllr Andy Earle has created an attractive flower bed as well as planting roses at entrances to the village and refurbishing the park bench on the embankment overlooking the A342.  

Over the past 12 months we have launched several initiatives: Cllr Peter Evans has developed a flower bed in front of the park bench in Everleigh Centre; Cllr Henry Waight has installed a new all weather bench by the SE pedestrian gate of the playground with views across the Plain; and Cllr Terry Martin has worked very hard to develop a village map to support delivery drivers. Other achievements include: the repair of Right of Way signs within the parish boundary; caution horses warning signs on the Netheravon Road; and a Christmas tree in December in Everleigh Centre.

This year we propose to focus on flower planters throughout the village, adopted by adjacent residents who volunteer to maintain a planter. The Parish Council would supply the planter, soil and plants; adopters would then water, feed and weed them. Our first flower planters have been sited at the playground and in The Street, West View and Marlborough Road. I congratulate Cllr Andy Earle for driving this flower planter project forward with such enthusiasm and energy.

As a result of the Covid-19 threat, our Midsummer Tea Party in June and Village Summer Party in July were cancelled. However, we have been able to conduct several events throughout the year.

A group of 14 hardy souls gathered at 9am on Sunday 16th May at V Tank Crossing/Weatherhill Firs to Beat the Bounds of Everleigh Parish.  We conducted a leisurely and very enjoyable 8 mile+ hike around most of our scenic parish boundary over a period of just over 3 hours. Congratulations to Cllr Kim Wheeler-Mallows for laying on such a well organised event.

Team Everleigh enjoyed taking part in the village games at the St Andrew’s Church Fete on Saturday 4th September.  The event was well organised and was a great way to develop community spirit with our neighbours from Kingston and Ducis. Congratulations to Ducis for their victory.

A Harvest Festival service took place in St Peter’s Church on Saturday 9th October. The Church was decorated beautifully by the Ladies of Everleigh, who arranged a stunning floral display. Rev Michael McHugh conducted an excellent service. Readings were delivered with aplomb and hymns were heartily sung. Harvest gifts were gratefully received and donated to the Trussel Trust food bank in Andover.

Our Christmas Carol Service took place at St Peter’s Church on Saturday 11th December. This was a great opportunity for the village to get together, to hear the Christmas story and to sing traditional carols. The church was again superbly decorated by the Ladies of Everleigh, with candles and flowers beautifully arranged.  Kim Wheeler-Mallows produced excellent light effects both inside and outside the church. Finally, our special thanks go to Gail Barkes for organising absolutely delicious mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies after the service.

We have also organised two village litter picks over the past year.  An Autumn gathering took place on Saturday 23rd October, with 16 volunteers collecting 15 bags of rubbish, and we conducted a Spring litter pick on Saturday 12th March; 19 volunteers collected 18 bags of rubbish. Everleigh certainly looked a lot cleaner as a result.

A village work party took place on Saturday 9th April to conduct general maintenance and tidying up at the playground. Many thanks go to the seven volunteers who cleaned and painted all the equipment and strimmed the perimeter fence. This play area is now looking very smart!

Last March we welcomed one new councillor to the team, namely Cllr Lucinda Wheeler-Mallows, who has recently returned to the village. The Parish Council is now at its full compliment of seven councillors.

The Parish is fortunate to receive excellent support from other directions. Our Wiltshire Councillor, Chris Williams, has provided close support for the Parish Council over the past year. On the policing front, Wilts Police Community Policing Team continue to provide security for the village within limited resources.

For the future, the Parish Council has 3 main objectives:

•           Maintain the village’s infrastructure, particularly the playground;

•           Develop Everleigh Enhancement projects in accordance with a two year plan;

•           Conduct several events per year to enhance village community spirit.

Finally, I would like to thank my fellow parish councillors and the parish clerk, Mr Phil Gill, for all their support, enthusiasm and hard work during the past 12 months; Team Everleigh continues to thrive!

No questions were asked of the Chairman.

  • Finance Report.  The Clerk reported that finances remain in a healthy condition with the cash balance in all accounts being £3223.27 at year end which is £355.77 more than FY 20/21 and reflects the funds earmarked for future projects and includes the Council’s reserves policy of £2100 minimum.  As a result, the Council raised the Precept for FY 22/23 by 2.46% to £3885.85 which equates to a £ 1.00 increase for a Band D property.  The accounts have been prepared by the Clerk, audited by the Internal Auditor and on the recommendation of the Internal Auditor the Council intends to exempt itself from a Limited Assurance Review which negates the need to send the accounts to the External Auditor.  Income for 21/22 was approximately £4510, namely £3689 Precept, £750 grant income and £81 VAT refund.  Outgoings were approximately £4154, namely, purchase of a new Bench £414, Insurance £292 grass cutting £600, Village Central Project £78 and the balance of the spend was on the Clerk’s salary, general maintenance, and other such routine costs needed to run the Parish Council. 

No questions were asked of the Clerk.

  • Wiltshire County Council Report.  Wilts Cllr Williams reported the following: Wiltshire is a thriving county with a rich and diverse heritage. We are home to half a million people and around half of the population live in towns and villages with fewer than 5,000 residents.  Our strong and cohesive communities continue to be some of our proudest achievements and the way we look out for each other and handle the challenges we have faced together is what makes our beautiful County the best place to live, work and raise a family. As a council we know our purpose.  We want the people of Wiltshire to be empowered to live full, healthy and enriched lives. We want our communities to be beautiful and exciting places to live. We want our local economy to thrive and be supported by a skilled workforce. We want to lead the way in how councils and counties mitigate the climate challenges ahead. We are committed to listening to and speaking for Wiltshire. The council is a modern and democratic organisation that focuses on learning and adapting at pace, paying continuous attention to our area’s changing needs and ensuring we do what is right for the people of Wiltshire. As a result, we are continually reviewing and refining our services to deliver better outcomes that empower local people. In all that we do we must continue to be inclusive and focus on preventing problems from arising, acting quickly when they do. We must strive to improve social mobility to ensure inequalities in our communities can be reduced. As we deliver on our next business plan, it is vital we focus on the long-term challenges and plan accordingly. We need to be clear about what we want to achieve, and we will do so by working closely with our local communities and partners as we cannot achieve anything in isolation. The administration will ensure we continue to work with and for our local communities to keep Wiltshire the distinctive place it is, creating pride in our county and our strong communities. It will be courageous and assured in what it is doing, focused on doing what is right for Wiltshire over the long term and taking the kind of action that may not yet have been seen elsewhere.

Wilts Cllr C Williams then answered questions from those present and The Chairman then thanked Wilts Cllr C Williams for his report.

4.         Wiltshire Police Report.  PC Duggan reported that Everleigh had been relatively quiet and mentioned the following priorities:   

  • Reassurance patrols, Collingbourne Kingston & Ducis – Following theft of catalytic converters.
  • We have been receiving a number of reports of rogue traders knocking on doors. Please ensure you check the ID of any visitors. Also, if anybody does come to your door offering work, it is a legal requirement for them to provide a quote and give you a cooling off period of at least 14 days. Should you have any suspicions of anybody knocking on your door please call 101 or in an emergency call 999.
  • Numerous other activities have been carried out, which cannot be disclosed for operational reasons

PC Duggen then answered questions from those present and the Chairman thanked PC Duggan for her report.

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5.  Questions.  There being no written questions or other business the Chairman thanked all who attend and closed the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30pm

Signed:                                                                                                 Date: