Minutes of the Annual Meeting

Held on Monday, 13th May 2019 in Eardisley Village Hall

Present: James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Yvonne King, Andrew Layton, Terry Morgan, Lewis Price, Alan Watkins, Paul Whittall and Steve Whittall

In Attendance: Ward Councillor Graham Jones; Alison Morgan (Clerk)

Members of the Public: 11

1. Alan Watkins was duly re-elected as Chairman for the forthcoming year and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, which will be held on file.

2. James Forrest was elected as Vice Chairman for the following year; outgoing VC Ken Goodman was thanked for carrying out the role for a number of years.

3. Following the recent local elections, all councillors present completed Declaration of Acceptance of Office forms, which were duly countersigned by the Clerk/Responsible Officer. Expense declaration forms were also completed and signed. The Clerk undertook to return these to the Electoral Services team by the required statutory deadline.

4. No Declarations of Interest or written requests for dispensation were received for agenda items at this meeting.

5. All councillors present reviewed their Notices of Registrable Interests. The Clerk collected updates, which will be sent to the Monitoring Officer at Herefordshire Council within 28 days of the date of the elections. Forms for any co-opted councillors will be submitted separately.

6. Apologies were noted from Sue Prosser. The Clerk will follow up with Sue regarding the above forms as soon as possible.

7. The Clerk presented a proposed interim procedure for co-opting councillors to represent Eardisley and to fill as many as possible of the six vacancies following the 2nd May elections. The procedure was approved to be ADOPTED with immediate effect and will be published on the EGPC web site. The Finance & Compliance Working Group will review any revisions necessary for a longer-term policy and make recommendations in due course. Vacancies have been advertised via the village electronic noticeboard emails since the elections and councillors were encouraged to invite anyone they know who could be eligible and interested to apply.

8. Elections took place for the following roles:

Footpath Officers: Steve Whittall was re-confirmed for Eardisley and Terry Morgan for Whitney. Ken Goodman was proposed for Winforton, but a decision was deferred until the next PC meeting in the absence of current FO, Susan Warne.
Tree Warden: From now on this role will be merged into a responsibility of the Environment Working Group.
Eardisley Village Hall Representatives: Deferred until the next PC meeting once co-option appointments have been made.
Millennium Green Representatives: Deferred until the next meeting, as above.

9. Membership of Working Groups was reviewed and confirmed as follows:

Finance & Compliance: Alan Watkins, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Alison Morgan, Sue Prosser, Andrew Layton, Paul Whittall.
Planning: Deferred until the next meeting once co-option appointments are known.
Highways: Deferred until the next meeting, as above.
Environment: Deferred. To be discussed at the next Finance & Compliance Group meeting for recommendations to be made.
Community Services: As per Environment Group above.

10. The renewal paperwork had been received from insurance providers BHIB Ltd. No significant changes in coverage requirement were noted and, as previously indicated, EGPC remains signed up to a long-term arrangement meaning the cost remains stable while this arrangement is in place. It was, therefore, proposed and AGREED to renew the policy at the quoted cost of £304.57.

11. Cheque Signatory Arrangements: following the recent elections, it was necessary to remove two signatories and add two new ones to provide adequate coverage. Ideally new signatories would be existing Barclays customers. Volunteers were suggested, but a decision was deferred until the next PC meeting once co-option appointments are known.

12. Accounts for the year ending 31.03.2019 were presented by the Clerk and reviewed by those present. It was AGREED to adopt the accounts and the figures will feed into the 2018-19 Annual Return, which is being drafted by the Clerk for review by the HALC internal auditor, prior to being considered by the full Parish Council at their meeting on 10th June. A copy of the approved accounts will be published on the EGPC web site shortly.

13. The following policy procedures and documents were tabled for review as part of annual business. Nevertheless, due to the number of updates made during 2018, all were declared to be still valid. The Finance & Compliance Working Group will be conducting a new Risk Assessment following the recent elections; it was RESOLVED the review date on all other policies will be extended until May 2020, or sooner if required due to changing circumstances or statutory reasons.

13.1. Standing Orders
13.2. Financial Regulations for Smaller Authorities
13.3. Asset Register
13.4. Equalities Policy
13.5. Data Protection Policies
13.6. Complaints Procedure
13.7. Press & Media Policy

The meeting closed at 9:00pm