MINUTES OF THE REMOTE WATER ORTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 25th NOVEMBER 2020 AT 6.30PM

Present:           Cllrs Robinson (Chairman), Hailstone, Bevan, Rees, Freeman, Chown,  B O’Meara & C O’Meara

Clerk- Daphne Robinson

CC & BC D Reilly, B.C J Macdonald                1 member of the public 

 359. Chairman’s Report

Cllr Robinson reported that Gary Marriner had been appointed as handyman/groundsman to assist the current groundsman.  He advised that Hs2 will be the big talking point for the foreseeable future.  It is hoped that Hs2 could be bought on board so as to obtain as much information for the village as possible as work progresses.

360. Apologies for absence and reasons given

         None

361. Declaration of interests and requests for dispensation on items to be discussed.

Cllr Freeman declared an interest in the Hs2 construction working in Attleboro Lane as she is a resident there.

362. Report from Police

 The Clerk gave a report supplied by the police:

One theft of vehicle – this was a theft of a Ford Fiesta by way of a            keyless theft.  This is on of a spate in North Warwickshire and in fact the rest of the country.  There seems to be an issue surrounding Fords and the keyless system, this is being looked into by Ford.

One incident called during the early hours whereby a male was seen to be trying car doors.  An area search was completed and there was no trace of the male.  A couple of calls were received where a male was seen as suspicious at about 5.00am on a couple of mornings.  The male was seen with a torch, looking up driveways.  There were no confirmed offences. A similar male was noticed in the Coleshill area.

No burglaries to report.  No shed/garage break ins to report.

363. Public Forum – A resident enquired as to the reasons why blood testing was being carried out in Coleshill rather that Satis House.  He asked if this meant that the surgery in Water Orton was closing.  Cllr Rees advised that due to Covid -19 many routine blood tests were being carried out at selected locations rather than at doctor’s surgeries. This was not an indication that the surgery would close.  Cllr Rees explained that the practice was being run by locum doctors at the moment.  This is due to the nationwide problem of GP’s unwilling to take on surgeries on a permanent basis

364. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 28th October 2020. Proposed by Cllr B. O’Meara, Seconded by Cllr Rees and Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 28th October 2020 were a true record.

365. Clerk’s Report

All tree work had been completed.  This included the clearing of the piece of Common Land on the Corner in Plank Lane. Removal of epicormic growth around the base of the lime trees on The Green. Removal of deadwood on the 2 lime trees on the playing field. Thinned and shaped the plum tree and cleared the epicormic growth by the war memorial. Cut back pyracantha hedge and removed dying horse chestnut tree on the Green.  Once the pyracantha had been cut back the workmen found small Yew and Oak saplings these will be transplanted to encourage growth.

The Christmas lights on New road had been installed.

Hancock & Brown will carry out the central heating work 9.00 – 9.30am  Tuesday 26th Jan 2021.  A new dog bin was on order to replace the bin on the Green which had been set fire to.

Broadband installation has been put back to 21st December.

366. To receive reports from the Borough and County Councillors

Cllr Reilly thanked the continued support from the volunteers helping with the Covid-19 project in the village.  Cllr Reilly gave a presentation detailing the data of Covid-19 within the North Warwickshire area.  He advised that it had been agreed by Warwickshire that a testing centre would be set up in Water Orton in early December.  The location would be at the Methodist Community Centre.

Cllr Macdonald advised that work had started on the station car park to increase capacity.  The work was expected to take approximately 2 weeks.  The landlord of the Dog Inn had agreed that rail users could use the pub car park while work was carried out.  Severn Trent had donated a Christmas tree to the village.

367.To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr Bevan reported that the group were still working through the comments received.

368. To receive an update from the maintenance committee including the Playground equipment.

Cllr Chown had completed his monthly inspection.  The see saw on the playing field was damaged.  The clerk was in the process of obtaining a quote for the repair.  In the meantime, the equipment had been taped off.

Cllr Robinson reported that an electrical fault on an underground joint to the pavilion had caused a power failure to a number of properties in Openfield Croft.  Cllr Robinson offered his apologies on behalf of the council for any inconvenience caused to residents.  Western Power had repaired the fault.

The metal box for the shutter door key had been removed to try and prevent young people from using it as a step to climb onto the pavilion roof.

369. To receive a report on HS2

Cllr Robinson reported that Hs2 had given a presentation at the Annual Parish Assembly.  The increase in construction traffic through the village from 12 to 40 per day was a cause for concern.  Steps were being taken to set up a meeting with Hs2 and residents of Attleboro Lane, as it was evident that they were going to be seriously affected by the construction work for the tunnel entrance.  Cllr Robinson explained he still believed setting up a focus group for Water Orton to engage with Hs2 would be beneficial to the village.

 370.To consider the proposal from Kingslea Homes to lift the Village Green status on the land at the Dog Inn on Marsh Lane.

The clerk reported that she had emailed the development consultant with the council’s response to their initial cash offer and was awaiting a response. The clerk advised council that the developers were not obliged to offer a cash contribution.  The legislation for deregistering village green status, only required the developer to offer an alternative piece of land to register.

371. Planning Applications

        PAP/2020/0575 – No objection

        PAP/2020/0507 – No objection

        PAP/2020/0596 – No objection

It was Proposed by Cllr C O’Meara, Seconded by Cllr Hailstone and Resolved  that the council had no objections to the planning applications listed.

372. Financial Matters

a. To approve the electronic and future payment of invoices

Proposed by Cllr B O’Meara, Seconded by Cllr Bevan and Resolved to approve the electronic and future payments of invoices as listed

b. To consider the cost of revising the website

Discussion took place on the current website and it was agreed that the council would benefit from it being revised to make it more interesting and user friendly.  A quote of £1200 had been received from Hyperbole Ltd, with the work being completed by end January.  It was Proposed by Cllr Bevan, Seconded by Cllr Freeman and Resolved unanimously that Hyperbole Ltd carry out the work to improve the website with a budget of £1200.

c. To consider the cost of a survey to enable replacing the railings on Birmingham Road.

The Clerk and Cllr Robinson had met with highways to discuss the possibility of replacing and extending the guardrails on Birmingham Road opposite the shops. The clerk reported she had been advised by highways that before permission can be granted, a proposal for the work would need to be submitted to the Traffic & Safety Team who will then need to carry out a safety audit. This would be at a cost to the parish council of approximately £850.  Its was Proposed by Cllr Freeman, Seconded by Cllr Bevan and Resolved unanimously to approve the cost of a safety audit being carried out.

373. To approve the Communications Policy

The clerk had circulated a draft of a proposed communications policy to members prior to the meeting.  After some discussion and two councillors reluctance to support the draft, it was agreed the clerk would submit an amended policy for the next meeting.

374. To consider changing the day for holding the parish council meetings

Having agreed to change the start time of parish council meetings to 6.30pm,   this meant that some councillors would struggle to attend the meeting on time.  After some discussion it was Proposed by Cllr Robinson, Seconded by Cllr B O’Meara and Resolved to change the meeting day to the last Thursday of the month commencing 28th January 2021.

375.To consider cancelling the meeting scheduled for 6th January 2021.

It was agreed to cancel the meeting on 6th January 2021 and reschedule for 11th January 2021. This meeting would be to approve the 2021/22 budget proposed by the finance committee.

376.Correspondence

There was no correspondence to discuss

377. To exclude the public & Press to consider matters the following matters.

Proposed by Cllr B O’Meara, Seconded by Cllr Bevan and Resolved to exclude the public and press.

a. To receive an update on the possibility of obtaining land for wellbeing and conservation.

Cllr Robinson reported that talks with the development agent had taken place.  The development agent was in talks with the landowners and a meeting to discuss the outcome of these talks would take place within the next 2 weeks.  It was expected that the landowners may be willing to offer a long term lease to the parish council.

The date of the next parish council meeting – Monday 11th January 2021 at 6.30pm