Minutes for council meeting held 2nd March 2023

Minutes Uploaded on March 16, 2023



THURSDAY 2nd MARCH 2023, 7.30PM


Council Members present:  Cllr Margaret Rowley, Chairman, Cllr Michael Doolin, vice-Chairman, Cllr Chris Hartwright, Cllr Eve Holding, Cllr Mike Leci, Cllr Diana Nutting

Council Members absent:   Cllr Rob Grimer

In attendance: 12 members of the public; Gill Lungley, Acting Clerk/Support Officer

  1. Chairman’s welcome. The Chairman welcomed all to this meeting.
  1. To receive and note apologies for absence. Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr Rob Grimer.
  1. Declarations of interest. In relation to agenda item 10c Cllr M Rowley, as a trustee to the Tibberton Community Land Trust (TCLT), declared the interest and left the meeting during discussion relating to the lease.
  2. Written requests for dispensation. No requests for dispensation had been received.
  1. Public forum. a. Members of the public were invited to put questions and comment to the council: New Village Hall. Concern voiced about the paintwork deterioration at the external entrance lobby to the new village hall. Additional questions related to the builders’ warranty and maintenance of the building. The Chairman responded to say the builder has been contacted to attend to the entrance lobby and that the council continues to maintain the building. Coronation celebration. Will the parish council provide funding for the village celebration in May. The event organisers have received a contribution from Worcester6 but there is still a shortfall. The group is intending to also join in with the Big Help Out initiative.
  • Lengthsman work. Who supervises this? Footpath between Plough Road / Hawthorn Way. WCC adopted the road in July 2022, will the footpath also be adopted and maintained? New Village Hall. It is likely that there will be a loss situation for a while after the lease has been signed, will the management trust be supported financially by the parish council? The village is keen to see some movement forward on this matter. The Chairman responded to say all are keen to move forward.
  • b. To receive the report of the County Councillor, Worcester County Council. No report received.

c. To receive the report of the District Councillor, Wychavon District Council (WDC). Report received from Cllr Margaret Rowley (who is both the ward member for the Bowbrook ward and a member of the parish council).

  • There have been major staff changes in the planning department and concerns that the lack of a 5-year land supply is creating an increase in planning applications. However, government policy is providing new guidelines to reduce the importance of a 5-year land supply.
  • In response to a question asking when the decision would be made regarding the application to build on land to the rear of the parish hall, the response was that it would be considered by WDC’s Planning Committee only upon receipt of all the required information. It was recognised this is an unsatisfactory situation.

d. To receive the report from the local Police Officer. The priorities list had been completed based on members’ responses and promptly returned to the policing team after the last meeting.

6. To approve the draft minutes of the council meetings held 02/02/2023 & 09/02/2023.  AGREED The minutes of the meetings held 02/02/2023 and 09/02/2023 were agreed a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

7. Planning. No consultations had been received during the month since the last meeting.

8. Finance. a)To note the latest bank reconciliation. Noted, see end of report. b)To approve the payments schedule, printed at end of report.AGREED to approve the schedule of payments by online banking. The payment schedule was signed by three bank signatories. c) To note the budget comparison to 21/02/2023. It was noted the budget analysis had been considered at the meeting of the Finance Committee immediately prior to this meeting.

  1. Committees  ATo receive feedback from the Finance Committee which had met immediately prior to the start of this meeting. The Finance Committee Chairman, Cllr D Nutting, summarised the main points of that meeting including –
  1. Business continuity. Considering the council’s procedure in the event of none of the current members being re-elected on 4th May. It would be put to the next council meeting to agree to allow current bank signatories to continue to authorise payments (but not originally approve them) until the new councillors have been added to the bank mandate.
  2. Independent review of accounts. This is to be discussed by the council in the absence of members of the public.
  3. Update to annual internal audit process. The annual process was noted and the internal auditor would be undertaking an initial review mid-March.
  4. Financial Risk Assessment and Internal Controls Policy. Both documents were reviewed in detail and the exercise would be completed next month along with the monthly bookkeeping review.

B. To note updates from the Human Resources Committee. The HR Committee Chairman, Cllr M Doolan, summarised the main points of the meeting held 23/02/2023 that included agreeing the processes for appointing a new clerk, the key questions to ask, the appropriate salary level and the relevant dates. Now awaiting receipt of applications (closing date 31/03/2023).

  1. Tibberton Village Hall (New)
    1. To receive quotations for the landscaping contract and agree next steps. Three quotations had been received and summary information relating to contractors A, B and C was circulated to members. AGREED to appoint contractor C subject to acceptable reviews and quality of work. If this proves unacceptable, then to ask contractor A for more information.
    2. To receive an update on arrangements for maintenance work which is required before leasing the Hall.
      1. The heating system has been maintained.
      2. Fire fighting equipment has received annual maintenance.
      3. Alarm systems are to be checked / annual maintenance.
      4. Windows and gutters are to receive annual maintenance.
      5. The paintwork problem by the front door is to be pursued with the builder.

3. To note progress with the lease. Cllr M Rowley left the meeting. Cllr M Doolin took the chair. Members had received advice that it was important to maintain the separate identities of landlord (the parish council) and tenant (Tibberton community land trust), and that the TCLT would need to be independently legally represented when agreeing the lease. However, TCLT’s funds were limited as they had not yet started trading as a village hall. AGREED to support the tenant’s legal fees up to £1,000.  Cllr M Rowley returned to the meeting and the chair.

  1. New items for decision. A. To consider and agree proposals to celebrate the Kings Coronation 06/05/2023, to include: Partnership arrangements with Tibberton Events Group. The group will provide a list of events; the budget is £6,800 with some funding already received via Worcester6 businesses. AGREED to provide funding of £500 towards the Tibberton Coronation event. B Bid for WDC funding support. Wychavon District Council had yet to provide information about funding support, but when they do the parish council will apply for it. C Application for road closure. Cllr M Rowley undertook to apply for the road closure, having had previous experience of doing so.

c. To consider and agree the dates of: A. The Annual Parish Meeting. AGREED to hold this meeting on Tuesday 23rd May 2023, 7.30pm. B. The Annual Parish Council Meeting. AGREED to hold this meeting on Tuesday 16th May 2023, 7.30pm.

12. To receive the reports of Councillors and Clerk’s update 

a) Neighbourhood Watch (NW): Cllr M Leci

Currently quiet. About 80 households have signed up and there is a village NW WhatsApp group. Posters and stickers have been requested for windows and it is hoped to meet with police and district co-ordinators. Workshops are available and the police will be checking drivers’ vision.

b) Community Speed Watch (CSW): Cllr M Rowley

1,812 vehicles have been clocked over 8 sessions; the fastest vehicle was travelling at 44mph and 2.2% of all vehicles were exceeding the speed limit.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is supporting the use of model policemen / children to be positioned on the roadside outside schools.

A speed-measuring cable had been spotted across Plough Road, thought to have been placed under the supervision of the county council.

c) County Association of Local Councils (WorcsCALC): Cllr M Rowley

The Wychavon area committee had met on 01/03/2023 which included a presentation on ‘grants’. Grants are available including government funding for various developments; money is ready for converting the parish hall to a hub.

d) Telephone Kiosk Working Group (TKWG): Cllr D Nutting

The box is ready to be painted inside. Second thoughts about using it to host the map of village houses due to proximity to passing traffic; outside the parish hall may be more suitable. The kiosk will have new shelving for books.

e) White Gates: (Acting Clerk)

No notification of delivery date yet; this will be followed up.

f) Public Rights of Way: Cllr Grimer

No report.

g) Lengthsman: Acting Clerk

The Acting Clerk and Chairman had met with the Lengthsman, regarding the fee increase and it had been agreed by all to advertise the position.

AGREED to issue tender documents for the role of Parish Lengthsman.

Matters reported to highways included:

i.                 Verge markers destroyed in Plough lane, for which a work order has been raised.

ii.                Overgrown hedge, Plough Road (opposite Old Park), for which WCC had said there is no safety issue but they will continue to monitor.​ Council members agreed it would be helpful to write to the owner of the hedge for action to be taken.

Additional concerns were raised in this meeting concerning newly planted trees on the Pershore Lane that have died; the Clerk was asked to notify WCC.

h) Additional general updates not covered elsewhere: Acting Clerk.

–          Responses to questions asked by members of the public, are appended at pages 24 – 26.

–          Severn Trent response to TPC request for information on the sewage leak; the Tibberton pumping station manager has offered to attend the next council meeting. Members were keen to accept the offer.

Items of correspondence

–          20’s Plenty campaign to reduce traffic speeds (meeting being held 02/03/2023, 7pm). More information would be requested.

–          WorcsCALC update 23-02 circulated to council members.

–          Response from WDC regarding non-payment of CIL to self-build development, Church Lane.

–          Worcestershire has its very own Film Office, to promote Worcestershire as a film-friendly destination ‘helping to generate revenue from the film industry and increase screen tourism across the region’.

–          New poster outlining MP Nigel Huddleston’s contact details is to be published soon.

–          Coronation Mugs available from The Mugworks, Whitbourne. It was suggested more information is obtained with a view to funding something to commemorate the coronation.


  1. Members matters and items for inclusion on the next or future agenda. None at this time.
  1. To resolve to close the meeting to the public to allow for discussion of matters that may be prejudicial to the public interest if discussed in public. Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, s1(2). It was resolved to close the meeting to the public and the members of the public left the meeting.
  1. To receive the report on the independent review of the council’s accounts for the last five full financial years, which includes the summary statement: “In my opinion proper and complete records have generally been kept”. The report would be considered in more detail at the next Finance Committee meeting as well as being forwarded to the Internal Auditor. In the meantime, quotes would be sought from providers of payroll services and sector-specific finance software.
  1. Date of Next Meeting. The next ordinary meeting of Tibberton Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 4th April 2023 at 7:30pm in Tibberton Parish Hall. It was additionally noted the HR Committee would be meeting at 5.30pm and the Finance Committee would be meeting at 6.30pm on the same day.

This meeting ended at 9.30pm.

………………………………………………………………      Date……………………….

Signed as a true record of the meeting by the Chairman.

Minute no. 8a: most recent bank reconciliation.

TPC Bank Reconciliation to 21/02/2023
Opening bank balances 01/04/2022 £67,148.39 +
Add receipts for year to date £39,651.35 +
Less payments for year to date £42,073.46
Cashbook balance as at 21/02/2023 (A) £64,726.28
Bank balances as at 21/02/2023    
Unity Trust Bank  +£58,458.92  
Cambridge Building Society  +£6,267.36  
Total held in bank, as at 21/02/2023 (B) £64,726.28
Reconciliation balance should be nil.   A-B = £0.00 = balance.

Earmarked reserves include:

  • New village hall landscaping £20,000
  • Community Infrastructure Levy £3,554.44 + £694.97 due April 2023.

WDC are holding reserve of £9,968 re s106 funds to be spent on ‘off site public open space’.

Payments approved                                                                     Minute no. 8b

Invoice ref Payee Reason for payment Gross amount £.p VAT re-claimable
1037 Parkinson Partnership VAT review of TVH lease 100.00 0.00
KI-166E66CO E-ON Next TVH energy 119.54 5.69
230101 Tibberton Social Group Telephone kiosk re-furb1 275.00 0.00
GML Mrs G Lungley TPC Printer2 149.86 24.98
GML Mrs G Lungley Keyboard & mouse2 18.99 3.17
GML Mrs G Lungley Laptop2 299.99 50.00
GML Mrs G Lungley Printer paper x 5 reams 26.44 3.99
2765 NetWiseUK Upgrade to website3 158.52 26.42
CE00351 BCF Fire Protection Annual service, TVH fire extinguishers 47.00 0.00
1127 PP Business Advisers Ltd (Worcs Business Advice) Report to accounts for years 2017/18 – 2021/224 750.00 0.00
Feb23 C Brassington Lengthsman, Feb2023 90.00 0.00


  1. Payment approved 02/02/2023, minute no. 7e (as amended upon receipt of invoice).
  2. Payment approved 02/02/2023, minute no. 9e (total spend is £468.84 of £600).
  3. Payment approved 02/02/2023, minute no. 7f.
  4. Payment approved 06/12/2022, minute no. 12.1

Statutory authority to pay: Local Government Act 1972, s111

Responses to questions raised by members of the public at the meeting held 12/01/2023.
Regarding the lease arrangements for the new village hall and length of time being taken; confusion as to who, from the council, was contacting the solicitor.        i. In the meeting: the draft lease that had been prepared was not yet appropriate, assistance is being provided by Richard Timney, the Village Halls Advisor at Community First.
Regarding the precept which has been increased to the maximum amount.  *DLUHC is the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing & Communities.       ii. In the meeting: the chairman pointed out the increase was to cover the loan repayment.

Additional comment: there is no maximum, the precept is not capped; ‘referendum principles’ do not apply (yet): DLUHC* Local government finance policy statement 2023/24 to 2024/25.

Has all council documentation been received from the previous clerk.      iii. The basic documents have been passed over from the previous clerk sufficient for council business.
Will the Financial Regulations be updated in light of the proposed policy on document retention and disposal; to include ensuring the references in it to the Freedom of Information Policy, the Publication Scheme and the Data Protection Policy are relevant, and to include the addition of the Employees’ Handbook to the list of documents.     iv. The review of council policies is work in progress. The question serves as a reminder of good practice, gladly received.
On the matter of the council’s finances and the related Freedom of Information request seeking availability of financial information and concerns about the lack of transparency with no explanation as to what the money was spent on. The related paperwork was left with the Acting Clerk for a response.       v. This is work in progress. The council is aware of the lack of transparency that has occurred and is keen to overcome that position. An experienced support officer has been appointed to ensure legal compliance. Also, to support the move towards transparency and openness, the Support Officer has forwarded a spreadsheet relating to the last 3 full years’ accounts to the FoI requestors by email.
On the matter of the new village hall and the lease arrangements regarding furnishings, will the costs and use of furniture be included in the lease?     vi. The lease is undergoing legal scrutiny and as work in progress that has yet to be agreed by both parties, then nothing can be relied upon as fact.
On the matter of the lack of a business plan, (what is) the sustainability of the Tibberton Community Land Trust (TCLT) the lessee and their position if unable to pay the hall running costs.    vii. Response from TCLT: TCLT has had a business plan since 2015 which has been regularly updated. It was shared with the Parish Council in 2021 when the Council concluded that they were satisfied that TCLT is a fit and proper body to operate the village hall for the benefit of the community (TPC minutes 6th April 2021).
QUESTION / COMMENT cont.   TPC RESPONSE as at 21/02/2023
On the matter of the possible re-use of the existing chairs in the parish hall.   viii. The existing chairs will not be re-located to the new village hall.
Some minutes of council meetings are still not available on the website   and the council has had secret meetings. ix. The council acknowledges it should not hold secret meetings; however, the council may legally resolve to exclude members of the public when the discussion is related to legal matters, contracts and /or members of staff.

The missing minutes are to be tracked and will be uploaded to the website.

Residents feel frustrated because of the lack of transparency which has led to bad feelings in the village and the council was asked to reflect on its position. The issues had been highlighted by residents for some time and it was believed the council, in its role as employer, had allowed the situation to develop leading to division in the village. Not all minutes were available on the website. The training allocation had not been spent. The council’s conduct was considered shameful. Thanks were expressed to the new clerk for providing transparency. x. Comments noted.

NB The support officer is not the council’s new clerk but is a temporary placement prior to the appointment of a permanent member of staff.

On the matter of frustration about lack of progress with the installation of white gates and the perception that Tibberton has missed out on ‘Worcester Six’ funding; would the county councillor have more information? xi. Progress is being made with the White Gates, we are awaiting delivery to, and installation by, Worcestershire County Council (due end of February).

The county councillor has been asked about funding via Worcester Six.

Will the parish council be arranging an event for the Coronation? All were reminded that the Tibberton Action Group (TAG) was started to counter the council’s inactivity relating to the late Queen’s platinum jubilee. xii. This has not yet been discussed in a council setting.

Is there a wish within the community to support an event via partnership arrangements?

Now is the time to look forward with a new clerk in place. xiii Noted. There may also be changes following the election in May 2023.
Disappointment was expressed that no councillor had been seen to be involved in dealing with the sewage leak that occurred in the village over the weekend, which had threatened to swamp many houses. xiv It was the general consensus amongst the council that no councillor was aware of the problem at that time. Since then, Severn Trent Water has been asked to provide an update and explain the situation, despite several emails we are still waiting any comment. *See minute 12h for update 02/03/2023.  



Questions raised by members of the public at the meeting held 2nd February 2023.  
QUESTION / COMMENT   TPC RESPONSE as at 21/02/2023  
Is there an update on the lease yet? i. TPC is keen to move to completion as soon as possible and has delegated authority to the Acting Clerk to act on its behalf.  
On the matter of an abandoned hire car that is causing an obstruction. ii. Cllr Rowley advised that only the police can arrange for its removal.
Are any current council members intending to stand for re-election in May? iii. Cllr Rowley advised all voters are now required to provide photo-id when attending the polling station to cast their vote on 04/05/2023.

NB All completed nomination papers must be submitted to Wychavon DC elections office, Civic Centre, Pershore by 4pm on 4th April.

Does the council know, in regard to the county council’s adoption of Hawthorn Rise in July, whether the footpath will be adopted as a public right of way? iv. The county councillor had been asked but had yet to respond. This will be followed up.
With regard to the draft minutes of the meeting held 12/01/2023 and the matters recorded as ‘clarification required’, would these be referred to this evening and a request to record in the minutes the name of the person responsible for acting upon matters raised? v. Cllr Rowley recommended this be attended to by the Acting Clerk.

This document is the result. The expectation within parish and town councils is for all matters requiring action to be dealt with by the Clerk; only in exceptional circumstances would the minutes be marked otherwise.

With regard to the budget analysis, what was the reason for the staffing costs being over-budget? vi. It was noted this was due to settlement costs and legacy HMRC costs.
With regard to the Lengthsman service, could the hedge opposite the entrance to The Park on Plough Road, be cut back as it causes a nuisance to vehicles if they pass too close? vii. It was noted this would be reported to the county council. This has been done via the report hub, with pictures from google maps relating to WR97NN (opposite Old Park, Plough Road) “The hedge grows out and overhangs the eastern side of the road, there is no pavement so, to avoid scratch damage, the southbound vehicles travel in the middle of the round on this blind bend. It is inherently unsafe.” and the WCC response was “14/2/23 Thank you for your enquiry, we have inspected the site and there is no safety issue but we will continue to monitor.​”