Minutes of the Meeting of Wardington Parish Council held on Tuesday 23rd July 2015 at 6.00pm in Wardington Memorial Hall
In Attendance: Mr G Page (Chair), Mr N Bankes (Vice-Chair), Mr G Martin, Mrs A Pascoe, Mr M Patterson, Mr M Hickman (Clerk)
1. New Business
1.1 Appointment of advisory committee
The chair proposed the appointment of an advisory committee to:
- Prepare a parliamentary petition on behalf of the parish council in response to the HS2 construction proposals.
- Set the strategy for the future campaign
- Represent the parsh council in the campaign, e.g. attending House of Commons Select Committee hearings.
This was agreed by resolution.
- In the first instance the advisory committee (hereby known as the HS2 Action Group) will consist of Councillors Page, Bankes and Patterson as well as non-councillor Charles Holbech.
- The HS2 Action Group may co-opt other members as they wish. All members may be non-councillors.
1.2. Appointment of chairperson
- It was proposed that Nigel Bankes be chairperson of the HS2 Action Group.
- This was agreed by resolution.
1.3. Agreement on Terms of Reference
- To allow it the flexibility necessary to perform the variable work required of the campaign, the HS2 Action Group has been established as an advisory committee (also known as working party).
- This exempts it from convening in accordance with the parish council’s standing orders.
- However, the HS2 Action Group is not empowered to authorise expenditure nor make decisions on behalf of the parish council save as specifically delegated.
- A copy of the HS2 Action Group’s Terms of Reference can be viewed by request to the clerk.
1.4 Allocation of budget
- Clerk presented a budget showing potential funds available for allocation to the HS2 Action Group.
- Concerns were raised about the relatively large amount of money being spent.
- It was agreed that the gravity of the potential impact of HS2 construction on the village supports the necessity for the authorisation of such expenditure. It is unlikely that there will be any further chances to petition against HS2 and to delay now could have severe consequences.
- It was also agreed that there has been considerable support shown by parishioners, via attendace of meetings and other communication, to the objections to the proposals.
- It was agreed that an allocation of £6000 over two years (2015-17) can be afforded without an increase of precept, by the forecasted parish council budget surplus and reserve funds.
- This budget is within the s.137 expenditure limit set for parish councils by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
- An initial £1750 (incl. VAT) was authorised to Pinsent Masons law firm, who will assist the Action Group in preparing a legal petition for submittal to parliament on August 12th 2015.
There was no other business
The meeting closed at 6:45pm.
The next meeting of the parish council will be the monthly meeting on Tuesday 28th July at 7:30pm in the village hall.