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Westleigh Parish Council Meeting Minutes November 2022

Held at Westleigh Village Hall on Wednesday 2nd November 7pm

Attendees – Cllrs David Fairbrother (Chair), Colin Frajbis, and Lesley Burgess. Also in attendance, Parish Clerk.

1. Min 82 22/23 – Opening of the meeting at 7pm

2. Min 83 22/23 – Apologies received – DCCllr Frank Biederman, and NDCllr (& MP) Selaine Saxby, Cllrs Heard and Gear

3. Min 84 22/23 – Declarations of Interest – none

4. Min 85 22/23 – To confirm the minutes of the September 7th meeting – unanimous

5. Min 86 22/23 – Any matters arising – NDC had replied to the Clerk regarding the reported ‘missing’ Westleigh sign on the approach from Eastleigh, and suggested that Denice Daniels was the person to speak to. The Clerk to liaise with Kevin Sanders to see what he would like the next step to be, as he had raised the issue in September.

6. Min 87 22/23 – Correspondence – HMRC had written to the Clerk regarding a PAYE fine, which is an NDC responsibility, and now being dealt with by them. HMRC have responded, saying that the fine has been rescinded following NDC’s appeal

7. Min 88 22/23 – Public session – no issues raised

8. Min 89 22/23 – DCCllr Biederman sent an email headed ‘Devon’s Budget Position’, which basically indicates that as well as the budgeted £36 million savings to be made, a further £37 million in savings has to be made by the end of March 2022. To say that it is an email full of good news would not be correct! A full copy of his email can be obtained from the Parish Clerk on Westleigh.Clerk@gmail.com – NDCllr (&MP) Saxby submitted a nil report, but asked for it to be noted that District elections take place in May 2023, and that she is looking for nominations as per the leaflet delivered within the village. It is also worth noting that as part of those elections in May, Westleigh Parish Council will be looking for additional Councillors to join WPC – full details available from the Clerk

9. Min 90 22/23 - Finance – The balance, allowing for unpaid cheques stands at £4721.93. Retrospective permission (as the October meeting was cancelled) for Clerk’s salary and a maintenance sum were agreed, and also permission to pay a further maintenance sum, plus Clerk’s expenses (stamps, parking & mileage), and 50% of the cost of the Carbon Savers Course - approved. The Clerk also went through some calculations, explaining that if the precept increases by 5% in 2023/24 – the result would be that it would cost each rates paying dwelling, an additional 16.3 pence per month for the 10 month paying criteria. The Council thought this was reasonable, and agreed the increase once Precept requests are sent out. It should be noted that the Council will cover the increased expenditure for the elections next year at no cost to the Parish

10. Min 91 22/23 – Proposed by Cllr Heard, and seconded by Cllr Gear, that the Council reduce the number of meetings per annum, from 10 to 6. This proposal was rejected by a vote of 2 in favour and 3 against. Cllr Frajbis then proposed, with Cllr Burgess seconding, that the number of meetings be reduced to 9 per annum, with no meetings held in December, due to the number of commitments people have, August due to holidays, and February due to it being the shortest month. Motion carried, 3 in favour. It was also agreed that the January meeting should be moved from the 1st Wednesday in the month, to the 2nd or 3rd, so that it is midway between the November meeting and the March one. Clerk to liaise with Sara Cheesman as to the most suitable date.

11. Min 92 22/23 – Environmental update. Cllr Burgess reported that David Paull is in the process of writing an interim report for the Council on the Flora/Fauna project he is undertaking. Cllr Burgess also reported that there appeared to be less ‘savage’ hedge trimming taking place, which was welcomed. Cllr Fairbrother agreed that he would take Cllr Burgess’s place as Council representative on the Carbon Saver’s project, and would report back to Council accordingly. The Council also asked the Clerk to see if Cllr Heard could give a progress report in January on the Lovacott Solar Farm Project, as the most local Counsellor to that area.

12.  Min 92 22/23 - Planning – nothing further to report regarding Lester House application

13.  Min 93 22/23 – AOB. Council decided that they should become proactive in pursuing the acquisition of the land behind the Church, currently unused. Clerk to arrange appropriate meetings as soon as possible

14. Min 94 22/23 – Next meeting (to be confirmed), Wednesday 11th January at 7pm