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Minutes of Meeting of Full Council on Monday 28th June 2021

 

Those Present:

The Mayor, Councillor Marcus Harris

Councillors:

Beatty, Beauchamp, Holder, Holford, Hughes, Keats- Rohan, Kidley,Lester, Newcombe, and Whelan

In Attendance:

The Locum Town Clerk, Mrs T. J. Predeth (MPA)

Senior Officer in Attendance: Tracey Collins, Administration Officer: Emilie Perry

Public Attendance:

6 members of the public present

65/21. THE CHAIRMAN TO ADVISE THE PROTOCOL OF THIS MEETING

The Chair advised attendees to have their phones on silent, and asked that when they       are speaking to please stand up

66/21. APOLOGIES

The Responsible Finance Officer’s apologies were received

Apologies were received from Councillor Sinkinson.

Councillors Cattermole, McGregor, and Wilder were not present

67/21. ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC

To consider whether members of the public should be excluded from the meeting Agenda items:

– 28

– 29

– 30

– 31

– 32

– 33

It was proposed by Councillor Kidley, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT item number 24 be moved to the Confidential session of this meeting (unanimous)

68/21. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

Councillor Kidley declared an interest in agenda item 25, as he is a member of the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway

69/21. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION – NOTIFIED AND IMPROMPTU (Total 15 Minutes)

(i) Mr Paul Gibbon: Mr Gibbon gave his presentation to Council and gave examples of how he could benefit the Town Council were he elected, with extensive knowledge of personnel and finances within business

(ii) Mrs Sue Hendrie: Mrs Hendrie gave her presentation to Council which demonstrated her dedication to Historic Assets, the Bull Croft and the Neighbourhood Plan which was implemented this year

(iii) The Mayor read out Ms. Amy Smith’s presentation to Council for fairness, which gave examples of her plethora of experience and knowledge with ancient history and her passion for saving Agatha Christie’s House in Winterbrook

(iv) Dr Tony Stead: Dr Stead reported that the level crossing on the bypass will finally be repaired after many years in a bad state. He reported that the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway unveiled the new station canopy on Friday 25th June and that the Railway has reopened again. Dr Stead informed Council that around half of the Railway’s customers are from outside the Wallingford and Cholsey area, and then presented to Council about the Polar Express: it will be this year’s Christmas train event, and they have sold just over 6,000 tickets since Friday (25th). They are expecting to sell around 13,000 tickets in total which should bring around 30,000 visitors to Wallingford. Dr Stead asked Council for guidance on who to work with within the Council to promote this event within Wallingford, and if he could have leaflets to provide customers and visitors with alongside their tickets. Councillor       Whelan asked Dr Stead what form this Polar Express experience might take, and Dr Stead explained that it was interactive with marquees containing a shop and entertainment centre, readings from the book, excerpts from the film and actors dressed as the characters. Customers will then walk onto the station and the train   would pull in- a real-life Polar Express. The train would then embark upon a journey and the passengers would see Father Christmas in Cholsey, before returning to Wallingford for hot chocolate and a cookie

(v) Mr Colin Dolton: Mr Dolton thanked the Councillors and Staff for supporting him through his 14 years on Wallingford Town Council. He reported that there were plans to put together another Civil War re-enactment; this would be similar to the event in 2015, and although only an idea at the moment it would be a chargeable event that would be raising funds for the Town’s Historic Monuments and Town Hall. Mr Dolton suggested the date coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, on the  Spring Bank Holiday. He estimated that the re-enactment would bring roughly 5-6,000 visitors to Wallingford each day

70/21. FACE TO FACE MEETINGS

The Mayor took a moment to thank Mrs Predeth for stepping in as Town Clerk at such a busy time and such short notice. He then explained that the next five items will be re-read and ratified officially by this Council

To discuss reverting to face to face meetings in an emergency from the 4th to the 21st June if required after which the agreed diary of meetings will resume.

It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, seconded by Councillor Kidley, and

RESOLVED THAT this Council will revert back to face-to-face meetings in emergencies only until the 21st June, when Council hopes to resume the regular schedule of meetings.

71/21. LOCUM TOWN CLERK

(i)   To approve the appointment of a Locum Town Clerk.

(ii)  In the absence of a clerk, council to approve the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to sign the contract.

It was proposed by Councillor Kidley, seconded by Councillor Whelan, and

RESOLVED THAT the contract will be signed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, and the Locum Town Clerk will start on week commencing Monday the 7th June 2021.

72/21. HISTORIC ENGLAND GRANT OFFER

Councillor Keats-Rohan to report on the grant offer from Historic England, in the absence of a Clerk; Council to approve the Chairman to sign the contract with Historic England.

It was proposed by Councillor Keats- Rohan, seconded by Councillor Lester, and

RESOLVED THAT Wallingford Town Council accepts the offer with gratitude and the contract will be signed by the Mayor in the absence of a Clerk.

73/21. MARKET PLACE BENCHES

The office reported that four Councillors, Councillors Beauchamp, Harris, Keats-  Rohan and Lester, had requested that consideration be given to overturning the Resolution made by the Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Space committee on 24th April, minute number 750 (iv) refers, in that the benches are reinstated immediately.

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Beatty, and

RESOLVED THAT the Town Council’s benches will be returned to the Market Place as soon as possible; the Senior Officer has scheduled this for Monday the 7th June.

74/21. KINECROFT AND BULL CROFT- Low Mow Areas: Kinecroft and Bull Croft

Councillor Holder asked Council’s approval that the Town Council’s logo be used on posters in the two agreed ‘low mow’ areas on the Kinecroft and Bull Croft. Council was reminded with regards to the Conservation Areas in which the posters were to go up.

It was proposed by Councillor Holder, seconded by Councillor Beatty, and

RESOLVED THAT Council approves the use of the Town Council’s logo on the ‘low- mow area’ posters on the Kinecroft and Bull Croft.

It was proposed by Councillor Newcombe, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT these five items as resolved on the 3rd of June 2021 at the Extraordinary Meeting be ratified and officially carried by this Council (unanimous)

75/21  COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORTS

(Reports to be submitted in advance of meeting for councillor questions)

Noted by Councillors

76/21  VARIATION OF ORDER OF BUSINESS

Item number 24 will be moved into the Confidential Session of this meeting

77/21  MAYOR’S COMMUNICATIONS

The Mayor, Councillor Harris made the following comments:

·       thanked Dr Stead and his Committee for inviting him to the opening of the new canopy at the station; he described the experience as “magical” and “amazing”.

·       reported that he had enjoyed judging the Wallingford Carnival At Home this year, and felt “very English” in his chains of office walking around to judge this year’s entries

·       informed Council that the Corn Exchange and the Old Post Office have come together to create a theatre package: 15% off the bill when a valid theatre ticket is produced. They hope it will bring more people back out to enjoy what Wallingford has to offer.

·       reported on the state of the Town Hall, and invited Councillor Holder to get volunteers together to assist in cleaning the outside.

·       acknowledged the Siege (re-enactment), and thought it would be a good way to commemorate the Royal Family that still stands today

·       Invited Council to join him in welcoming the new Chairs of the Planning and Personnel Committees respectively: Councillor Nigel Hughes and Councillor Dan Beauchamp

78/21  MINUTES

The Chairman to sign the following minutes (copies previously circulated to Councillors) as a correct record:

  •             – Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting held on the 10th March 2021
  •             – Minutes of the Full Council Meeting held on the 26th April 2021 on pages 337-345
  •             – Minutes of the Full Council Meeting held on the 5th May 2021 on pages 1-5
  •             – Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting held on the 3rd June on pages 12-14

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Beauchamp, and RESOLVED THAT these minutes be signed as a correct record

79/21  TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING MINUTES

To adopt the minutes of the following Committee meetings held in 2021 (copies previously signed as a correct record and circulated to Councillors):

  •                – Minutes of the Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces Meeting held on the 18th January 2021 on pages 250-254
  •                – Minutes of the Personnel Committee Meeting held on the 15th February 2021 on 273-275
  •                – Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting held on the 7th April 2021 on pages 325-331
  •                – Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting held on the 28th April 2021 on pages 349-354
  •                – Minutes of the Planning Committee Meeting held on the 24th May 2021 on pages 6-11

It was proposed by Councillor Kidley, seconded by Councillor Lester and RESOLVED THAT these committee minutes be adopted by Full Council

80/21  AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN 2020-2021

Responsible Finance Officer to Report on the following:

(a) Internal Audit

(i) To Receive the Final Internal Auditors report

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Newcombe and RESOLVED THAT this report is received by Council (unanimous)

(ii) To Review the Effectiveness of the Internal Audit

It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, seconded by Councillor Newcombe and RESOLVED THAT this audit has been effective (unanimous)

(iii) To discuss and action any recommendations of the Internal Audit

It was proposed by Councillor Whelan, seconded by Councillor Keats- Rohan and RESOLVED THAT there were no actions to be taken (unanimous)

(b) To receive and approve the unaudited Accounts for the 2020/2021 Financial Year

Responsible Finance Officer to seek approval for The Mayor and The Town

Clerk to sign the accounts:

(i) Section 1 Annual Governance Statement 2020/2021

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Kidley and RESOLVED THAT this Council approves (unanimous)

(ii) Section 2 Accounting Statements 2020/2021

It was proposed by Councillor Keats- Rohan, seconded by Councillor Beauchamp and RESOLVED THAT this Council approves the AGAR. The AGAR was duly signed by the Chairman and Clerk.

81/21  CO-OPTION

Resolved: That Mr Paul Gibbon be co-opted as a Parish Councillor.

82/21  RIVERSIDE SUBSIDENCE UPDATE

Councillor Whelan reported that following the meeting on the 18th of January 2021, the license and permit the works needed to the Riverside Subsidence were put on hold. She and Councillor Cattermole plan to find out the extent of the damage with a non-toxic luminescent dye and a UV torch; the dye has been purchased but the torch has not as of yet. The Senior Officer reported that the license and permit had now been paid for and granted through Greenford, so the works could be undertaken.

It was proposed by Councillor Harris, seconded by Councillor Holder and RESOLVED THAT Councillors Cattermole and Whelan were to carry out their test and report back with their findings before spending out on any works by Greenford (unanimous)

83/21  TO CONSIDER FUTURE MEETINGS TO ENHANCE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Councillor Beauchamp reported the finding of OWL Labs technology to be used to stream Council meetings and keep the meetings more accessible for members of the public. It uses robotics to be able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ whoever is speaking at a   meeting at any one time, and stream that to an internet audience. The Mayor asked   Council if they were happy to be livestreamed, and if they were happy for the money to be spent. Councillor Holford confirmed that the “up to £1000” would be a one-off spend. Councillor Whelan confirmed that the £1000 would be a purchase, as opposed to a rent/ hire/ borrow

It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, seconded by Councillor Holford and RESOLVED THAT the spend of up to £1000 to facilitate the streaming of Council meetings.

84/21  USE OF TOWN COUNCIL LOGO

To delegate authority to the Communications Strategy Working Party to authorise use of the Town logo/emblem in line with the existing rules surrounding its usage

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT authority to use the Town’s Logo (the Portcullis) is delegated to the Communications Strategy Working Party, keeping in line with the existing rules surrounding its usage (unanimous)

85/21  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Councillors considered amending the  meeting structure so that members of the public looking to speak on agenda item are invited to speak at the point that agenda item is reached.

It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, seconded by Councillor Kidley and RESOLVED THAT the meeting structure can be amended so that a member of the public looking to speak on an agenda item are invited to speak at the point that agenda item is reached (9 votes for, Councillors Beatty and Lester against)

86/21  NOMINATIVE TRUSTEE – WALLINGFORD MUNICIPAL CHARITIES

It was proposed by Councillor Harris, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT Councillor Lester be appointed by Wallingford Town Council for another 4 years. Councillor Whelan thanked Councillor Lester for her years of service

87/21  DOCUMENT SCANNING PROPOSAL

Councillor Keats- Rohan has sought two companies who can scan and digitize the Town Council’s archived documents (information circulated to Councillors), Councillor Keats- Rohan reported her findings on most suitable option

It was proposed by Councillor Keats- Rohan, seconded by Councillor Holder and RESOLVED THAT the quotation is accepted from Cull, and work can begin after receiving a third quote from another company to comply with the Standing Orders (unanimous)

88/21  ELECTION OF A WALLINGFORD TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE TO THE WALLINGFORD AND CHOLSEY RAILWAY

It was proposed by Councillor Harris, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT Councillor Cattermole be elected the Wallingford Town Council representative for the Wallingford and Cholsey Railway

89/21. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

To consider any future agenda items

  •             Report from Riverside Subsidence Working Group

90/21  EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

Resolved:  that due to the confidential items about to be transacted that Members of the Public and Press are asked to withdraw from the meeting.

CONFIDENTIAL SESSION CONTINUES ON PAGE 31