DRAFT - Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 hosted by Cllr. Vaughan-Edwards on ZOOM at 6.30 p.m.

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Parish Councillors Present:Cllr. Alan WoodChairman
Cllr. Simon Vaughan-Edwards
Cllr. Victoria Jago
Cllr. Mrs .Corrine Gowman
Cllr. Mrs. Sheila Symes
Cllr. Greg Morgan
Cllr. Michael Beckingham
In Attendance1 Member of the Public
Mr. Joe LoveridgeClerk to the Council

1 .    WELCOME BY CHAIRMAN OF THE PARISH COUNCIL

 

It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of 10th March 2020 be accepted. 

 

APOLOGIES - Cllr. Michael Beckingham & Wiltshire Cllr. Ian Blair-Pilling

2 .    CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

 

In the year of the Covid-19 virus the Council has continued to function well with Council meetings on ZOOM and communication via Email. With the resignation of Mrs. Mary Towle, Mr. Neil Darg-Forsyth of Durrington became our Parish Clerk but had to resign due to a re-occurrence of his health problems. Cllr. Alan Wood held the fort for a couple of months, dealing with VAT, banking matters, grants and correspondence until Mr. Joseph Loveridge from Amesbury became the new Clerk. 

 

Planning applications were dealt with by Cllr. Victoria Jago and Cllr. Corrine Gowman, the applications for re-building of Magpies Cottage, the restoration of The Green Vine and the proposed development of land on Everleigh Road being the most important.

 

Cllr. Sheila Symes managed the allotments well, as usual. Highways problems have variously been handled by Cllr. Vaughan- Edwards (instructions to the WC Parish Steward), Cllr. Greg Morgan, Cllr. Mike Beckingham & Cllr. Wood.

 

Dangerous trees in The Warren & overhanging shrubbery on Everleigh Road were reported to Landmarc for action. 

 

Cllr. Jago and Cllr. Beckingham have undertaken care of flower tubs in Fittleton and mowing The Pound. 

 

Thanks were offered to former councillor Mr. Pete Hayward for keeping the footpaths clear over many years. He has now retired and Mr. Martin Symes has taken on this task.

 

Cllr. Wood has been heavily involved as Fittleton cum Haxtons’s representative on the Phoenix Hall Management Committee, as secretary redrafting the management procedures with the support of Chairman Mr. Charles Coslett of Netheravon Parish. He has also obtained substantial grants to help refurbish the hall and compensate for loss of income due to closure during the Covid crisis. They have contracted out or personally undertaken much refurbishment in the hall during the year.

 

The Councillors put up new Christmas lights but were unable to arrange carols, mulled wine and snacks due to Covid.

 

The good news is that the Council has made no increase in the Parish precept for FY 2021/22.

 

Alan Wood

Chairman

 

3.    REPORT BY WILTSHIRE COUNCILLOR

 

The Collingbournes and Netheravon Division Parish Council Report March 21 - Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling

 

Covid

 

General. Wiltshire’s infection and hospitalisation rates continue to drop and vaccine rates climb fast.  BIG well done and thanks to everyone for their high compliance and fantastic support for each other. This is now at a slower rate of decline and will be prone to localised ‘bumps’ as at lower rates even a minor outbreak can have a proportionally greater effect on the statistics.  I strongly recommend viewing the latest Wiltshire Council Covid briefing Leader, Philip Whitehead, and Chief Executive, Terence Herbert, and our directors in which they cover public health, business support and our reopening strategy/roadmap.  See COVID-19 WEBINAR, 02 MAR - YouTube

 

Or read all the latest statistics and advice at Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Wiltshire Council

 

Leisure and Libraries.  This is in my Cabinet bailliwick, and I assure you we are working hard to open up as much as we can as soon as we can.  Notes of caution:  some sites are being used for Covid activities e.g. vaccines at Tidworth Leisure Centre, many of our staff are still redeployed on a wide range of tasks from the Well-Being and Business Support Hubs to at vaccine centres and now the elections and finally the safety of both customers and staff remain forefront.  We shall publish details of our own roadmap very soon.

 

Budget 

 

With a year of very tight spending controls and the Government grants, we expect to end this year with a balanced budget and have put aside reserves to help with the expected substantial increases in need and anticipated loss of income next year.  Last week the 21-22 budget was agreed.  Highlights are:

 

  • 1.99% increase in basic council tax
  • 3% council tax levy for Adult Social Care for the £8.6m growth with increasing age demographic and needs.
  • £6.6m investment in Children’s Social Care and a further £1.5m for rising demand for special educational needs service
  • Increase of investment in waste services by £2.6m to a total of £42.3m
  • Six-fold increase in our discretionary hardship fund to £300k, to help families and residents who, after undertaking all avenues of support to reduce their council tax bill, need further support.
  • Nearly £2m to help fund the planned £214m investment in its capital programme, which includes:
    • £22m in maintaining Wiltshire’s road network.
    • £23m in schools, including the replacement of the lower block at Stonehenge School. 
    • Continued investment of over £20m in the council’s Health & Wellbeing centre sites, including Melksham Community Campus
    • Continued carbon reduction initiatives, with £3m for the final transition to LED streetlights and over £4m for our buildings and estate energy efficiencies. 
    • Over £50m into housing, with around 1,000 new council houses over the next 10 years
  • A £4m fund, made up of £1m a year for the next four years, to support market towns to bounce back. 

 

The budget report and a replay of the meeting (at its conclusion) can be found at Agenda for Council on Tuesday 23 February 2021, 10.30 am | Wiltshire Council  - About 8 hour meeting – you have been warned.

 

Elections

 

We now know our elections will go ahead on 6 May.  As I have briefed you, the division boundaries change at that time with the Everleigh, the Collingbournes and the Chutes joining the new Ludgershall North division, Tidcombe and Fosbury joining the Burbage and the Bedwyns division and Enford, Fittleton cum Haxton and Netheravon joining with Figheldean, Milston and Larkhill to form the new Avon Valley division.   

 

Our Chief Executive and Recording Officer, Terence Herbert, assures us that polling stations will be in operation for those who wish to vote in person, as is their right, but asks that as many as possible register and vote by post to reduce the risk and help keep us all safe.  All the details can be found at  May 2021 Elections - Wiltshire Council

 

Parish Specific Issues

 

As this is a general report for all parishes I shall cover parish specific issues verbally at your meetings

 

Farewell

 

At the May elections I shall be standing for the Avon Valley division, but will have to say farewell to you all pending the election result.  It has been my pleasure and pride to have represented and worked with you for the past 4 years.  I think we have done a lot of good together.  Thank you for your welcome and collaborative support.

4 .    SECURITY CAMERAS

 

The chairman reminded the meeting that a sum of money had been inserted in the budget for FY 21/22. Members of the public were supportive. Mrs. Dot Georgeson suggested a survey of the parish to ascertain who already had cameras that covered the roads through the parish.

5 .    QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

 

Nil.

 

The meeting closed at 6.45pm