I am pleased to be able to report that the Open Meeting called to discuss the series of complaints, featured in the Whittington Blog, about various matters concerning the performance of the Parish Council, have now resulted in some positive actions.
The Minutes of the PC Meeting held on the 29 March report that the PC have now agreed to provide a £50 donation to Wagtail. And about time too.
Another matter that pleases me greatly is that the PC decided to reduce the rent they pay to the Village Hall Committee to £100 “in line with many other Parishes.” Chairman Eric Pelter and Councillor Barbara Atkinson declared an interest in this matter and did not participate in the discussion, or vote. I have been pointing out, for a couple of years, the irregularity of Councillors voting on matters in which they had a well known interest.
The PC now needs to consider if it is acceptable to permit two Councillors to also be members of the Village Hall Management Committee. A quorum of the PC is three. There are only five Councillors, therefore if two Councillors are unable to participate in votes on matters involving the Village Hall and a third Councillor is unavailable to attend a meeting, there would be no quorum. As the meetings are only held at two monthly intervals it seems to me that the number of Councillors that should be permitted to participate in Village Hall affairs should revert to the original one member that was called for under the 1994 Village Hall Rules.
I am also relieved to see that there are to be discussions about Parishioner’s establishing an Official Parish Council website and propose to include news and information from the Parish Council, the Village Hall, the Church, Wagtail Parish magazine and general village news. Costings and funding are to be proposed and discussed when confirmed figures have been put to the Parish Council.
I have gradually reduced the amount of news and activity content, together with the diary of village events, from the information contained on my web since it was introduced thirteen years ago because of the lack of participation from the Parish Council and others organising events in the village. I have been forced to rely solely on information published in Wagtail, which is not a satisfactory state of affairs.
As soon as a Parish Council website is established I intend to remove everything other than the basic pages about the history of the village, Whittington Hall, walks around the village etc, including the historical photo’s and images. I will of course, continue to publish Gerald’s Musings.
The Village Blog will continue exactly as it is, and continue to provide a vehicle for people’s views.