Finance & General Purposes Committee

Minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee Meeting held electronically on Thursday 23rd July 2020 at 7.26pm.


Members Attending:
Cllr Appleby, Cllr Langford, Cllr Riley (chair), Cllr Percy, Cllr Legat, Cllr Stirrup

In Attendance:
Michelle Leadbitter-Allen (Clerk)

20.028        Apologies Received from:

Cllr Andrews, Cllr Rosewell, Cllr Jeffes, Cllr Moffatt

20.029        Approve the minutes from 18th June 2020

The Minutes of the 18th June were approved by all as a correct record of events.  Minutes to be signed in retrospect.
There were no matters arising

20.030        Bills to Pay:

Council agreed Clerk salary for August in advance.

Bills to Pay were viewed by all and agreed by Cllr Appleby and Cllr Legat.  Both Councillors to email agreement to Clerk.

Action:  Clerk to process payments

Action:  Cllr Riley to authorise payments with the bank when satisfied with the above

The discrepancies with the lengthsman payment of Invoice 1337 dated 6th July for works completed on the 24th June were discussed, IVPC resolved to pay this as per Financial Regulations by 6th August.  Headbourne Worthy to resolve this dispute by 6th August.

Action: Clerk to notify Headbourne Worthy of our intention to pay invoice by 6th August unless have been copied into communications with RP Gardening explicitly explaining the dispute. Cllr Riley will need to be copied into this communication as if it is not received by the 6th then payment will go ahead as per our Financial Regulations and the contract with the lengthsman

20.031        F&GP Committee Annual Workplan Update

Cllr Riley ran through the workplan to date explaining that she was happy with progress on all items with an Amber Rating. 

10.  Councillors Declaration of Pecuniary Interest Forms

12.  Review Monthly Inspection & Maintenance Contract

15.  Check Lease of KGVth to WYFC for next season

20.  Answer External Auditors (PKF) Queries

Action: Clerk to add updated Workplan to minutes (link to Updated F&GP Workplan)

20.032        Agree Date to Reopen Play Areas at Couch Green and Easton

Cllr Riley explained that the both play areas had been closed in line with Government Covid-19 Guidelines. During the closure significant repairs have been made as recommended in the Annual Play Area inspection 2019.  Cllr Riley referred to the Guidance and Signage that the Clerk had sent to everyone for reference as well as the advice given by our insurers regarding risk of opening without a cleaning regime and booking system as recommended in government guidelines.  Cllr Riley also said that the latest guidelines issued by the government were focusing on the importance of parental involvement in keep the children safe whilst using the play areas.

Cllr Appleby confirmed that the Covid-19 Group is looking for Council approval to open the play areas on the 31st July based on the information that has been circulated by the Clerk.

Council members were asked to share their views:

Cllr Langford asked what WCC were doing as they had reopened their play areas.  Clerk explained that WCC have implemented much the same as IVPC were proposing, but with the addition of a cleaning regime and hand sanitising stations.  Cllr Langford agreed that IVPC should reopen as outlined.

Cllr Legat agreed that the parks should be reopened with the signs that had been created.

All Councillors present decided that the parks should re-open.

Action:  Cllr Appleby to erect signs at Old School Field and Couch Green

Action:  Clerk to ask WCC if the ownership signs could be printed on Corex

20.033        Agree Footpath & Cycleway Priority List for submission to landowners

Cllr Appleby ran through the footpaths giving an update on progress where applicable:

Footpaths in Itchen Abbas:

1.     Boardwalk from the B3047 (vineyard permissive path) to the bridges in the SSI

Itchen Stoke & Ovington Parish Council are in favour of building the boardwalk.  Cllr Jeffes pursuing this with HCC and Hants Wildlife Trust.

2.     Create a footpath from the end of the Watercress way around the back of the houses in Station Approach which would create a path away from vehicles to link the railway line with Northington Lane and Footpath39

Action: Cllr Langford to review the proposal in terms of practicalities and discuss with BCM the land agent.

3.     Create a permissive path parallel to Footpath33 Northington Lane to Rectory Lane

Cllr Jeffes and Cllr Rosewell have discussed this with the landowner, and although there is nothing yet in writing the landowner is keen to allow the permissive path.  Cllr Jeffes has requested a kissing gate from the Ramblers.

Footpaths in Martyr Worthy:

1.     Extend Footpath 29 along the filed boundary next to the B3047 until a safe crossing to Footpath 44 can be made thus strengthening facilities & links to the community.

Action: Cllr Roswell to discuss with landowner

2.     Extend the Watercress Way westwards from Bridget’s Lane to Footpath 44 to create safe access to Princes Mead School & community tennis courts.

An easement on landowner’s land next to Princes Mead School will also be required.

Action: Cllr Rosewell to discuss with landowner after briefing from Cllr Porter.  HCC have allowed Watercress Way to take over the part of the railway closest to the A33

3.     Convert the square of footpaths 26 & 29 around the back of Rivermead and Tumbledown to one-way to meet social distancing requirements along a very narrow footpath.

This was regarded as low priority and should only be considered in a lockdown situation.

Footpaths in Easton:

1.    Footway along the edge of Easton Lane from B3047 to Footpath 24 or Footpath 26 increasing safety for walkers along roadside and providing pedestrian access to bus stop.

Action: Cllr Roswell to speak to landowner.

2.    Create a footpath from Southern end of Footpath 17 into Easton Village to alleviate safety concerns as walkers currently must use Chapel Lane.

Action: Cllr Roswell and Cllr Langford to discuss with applicable landowners.

Action: Clerk to add Footpaths and Cycleways update to FCM Agenda

20.034        Great British September Clean

All agreed it would be good to participate and resolved for litter pick to take place on 26th September 2020.

List Routes online with Jonathan’s input.

Zoom meetings for all those that would like to join, breakout groups for each village.

Cllr Stirrup suggested we use an interactive map which would allow participants to log the route they would be walking and litter picking.  Concern over groups of people gathering to litter pick.

Action:  Cllr Stirrup to investigate using interactive map and get back to Cllr Appleby before the 15th August.

Action: Cllr Appleby to advertise in Itchen Valley News

20.035        Appoint Climate Neutrality Support Contact

The Environment Workshop established in March has the following members : Cllr Percy, Cllr Riley, Cllr Andrews, Cllr Jeffes, Cllr Langford

Action:  Cllr Riley to arrange a meeting of the workgroup. The group to report back with lead Councilors name at the FCM on 3rd September 2020.

Action:  Clerk to add to agenda.

20.036        Present & Agree Vitaplay Maintenance & Inspection Renewal Contract

Current playground contractor Vitaplay contract is up for renewal.  We have looked at alternative contractors without success and we would like to renew with Vitaplay.  Clerk has circulated the revised contract for council approval. Clerk presented new contact to Vitaplay that came back with a counter with an increase of £6 per site which equates to a 14% increase with the additional cost of £65 to clean out the space under the jumping area of the trampoline at Couch Green.

Cllr Appleby said that he had not been happy with some of the inspections performed by Vitaplay in recent months but had met with Vitaplay at Couch Green and was satisfied that they had now completed all works due.

All members agreed to renew contract with Vitaplay until 2023, with the trampoline clearing as an adhoc item.

Action:  Clerk to send final signed contract to Vitaplay for agreement and signature.

20.037        Discuss/Approve funding requests:

1.    Section 137 Request from Citizens Advice Bureau

All agreed that we should support Winchester Citizens Advice Bureau especially as Covid-19 has led to increased demand. Based on this Cllr Appleby proposed that the Council pay £350.00, all agreed.

Action:  Clerk to make payment

2.    Roll on Goal & 1 Year Maintenance funding request from Worthy Youth Football Club

Cllr Riley explained that she had had a meeting with the clerk and chairman of WYFC to talk about the future needs of KGVth Playing Field, the action plan from this meeting was quite extensive, with some actions having some serious financial implications.  (Click the underlined link to access the action plan that was circulated before the meeting.) We have received an invoice for deposit for chafer grub from GreenThumb. We have had a grounds maintenance contractor look at the field and identified the problems such as rabbits, chafer grub, years of neglect, weeds and to correct these things in order for the club to continue playing will require us to enter into a more rigorous maintenance program. Our current maintenance program is limited to grass cutting and the pitches are suffering from years of neglect. Cllr Riley proposed that we bring the quotes to the Full Council Meeting to show everyone what costs we are looking at.  WYFC have talked about using one pitch on the upper section so we can make improvements to the lower section and then switching over.

The work in total means getting rid of the Chafer Grub, shooting the rabbits, killing the weed and aerating and seed the current pitches.  The quote received comes to roughly £4400 for aeration and seeding, which is an initial annual cost.

Action:  Clerk to look at funding opportunities.  Look at making a Boomtown application, look at Football Association, Hampshire Playing Fields, Action Hampshire, RSN.  A specific set of work for estimates is available to give as project details.  If we do not do this work, then it is likely that WYFC will no longer use Couch Green.

There was discussion around the cost of maintaining the field vs the income potential.
Cllr Langford would like to see how much it will cost us to run this over a 3-year period, including money in and money out.

Action:  Clerk to produce report for FCM

20.038        Chafer Grub and Rabbits

Cllr Riley to investigate further to determine if there is Chafer Grub present.

Action:  Clerk to cancel GreenThumb as we will not be using them, as they had let us down earlier in the year.


Too late in the year for ferreting or long-netting, the only real option now is to shoot them.  Discussion around shooting them as would present a health and safety issue. 

Worthy Youth Football Club are willing to fill in holes and scrapings, but this is not a long-term solution.

Action:  Cllr Riley & Cllr Langford will ask around to find someone to perform a shoot.

20.039        Lengthsman Discussion Quality of Service Delivery

Discussion around why the lengthsman work has not been completed and it was decided that the worksheet needs to be circulated by the councillors and given to Cllr Moffatt to liaise with Lengthsman.

Action:  Clerk to create and circulate a shared worksheet for all councillors to complete.  Clerk will send this to Cllr Moffatt who must prioritise them before submission to lengthsman.

20.040        Any Items for consideration for next meeting

Cllr Appleby told members that he had received an offer of help from an individual experienced in Emergency Planning outside the cancel to help with the Emergency Plan and that we should create a work group to include this  individual to create an Emergency Plan, members could include Cllr Appleby, the Clerk and Cllr Andrews.  Cllr Stirrup also volunteered to join.

Add to Emergency Plan to Full Council Agenda.

Review Electronic Meetings at Full Council Meeting.

20.041        Date and Time of following meeting:

Thursday 17th September 2020 at 7.45/8.00 pm until 9.00 pm. 
Location: Electronic – public welcome, contact clerk for entry.

The meeting was closed at 9.21 pm



List of Expenditure transactions for Approval 23/07/20

Figure 1:Payments for Approval List 23/07/20