Minutes 7th May 2024

West Knoyle Parish Council

Parish Clerk – Ms S. Samokhina

Minutes of a meeting of West Knoyle Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday, 7th May 2024 immediately after the Annual Parish Meeting in West Knoyle Village Hall.


Present: Cllr Paul Yates, Cllr Marcus Randall, Cllr Alex Davies, Cllr Paul Vita and Lindsey Wood.

Clerk: Sofya Samokhina



189.To elect Chairman of West Knoyle Parish Council for 2024/25 and to receive the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office – Cllr Paul Yates was re-elected as Chairman for the ensuing year and signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

190.To elect Vice-Chairman of West Knoyle Parish Council for 2024/25 and to receive the Vice-Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office – Cllr Marcus Randall was re-elected as Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year and signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Apologies for absence received from Cllr Tony Davis.

191.To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting.

Members are invited to declare disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests in items on the agenda as required by the West Knoyle Code of Conduct for Members and by the Localism Act 2011.

  • None received


 Public Session – None.


192.Minutes – The Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday, 12th March 2024 were approved without any amendments.

193.To appoint/re-appoint representatives to outside bodies/organisations and arrangements for reporting back:


Organisation 2023/24 Representative 2024/25 Representative
Footpaths & Rights of Way Cllr. Alex Davies Cllr Alex Davies
Village Hall Cllr Marcus Randall Cllr Marcus Randall
Parish Steward Cllr. Tony Davis TBC
Area Board Chairman & Vice-Chairman Chairman & Vice-Chairman
Play Area Safety Inspections Cllr. Marcus Randall Cllr Marcus Randall


  1. To review bank accounts and signatory arrangements – It was agreed that bank account should remain the same. The signatories should stay the same. It was agreed that once the new Clerk’s address is added to the bank account, then it would be the time to change the signatories. Once everything is in place, the new Clerk will start the online banking.
  2. To appoint/reappoint internal auditor – Jinny Brockway would not wish to continue as an internal auditor. It was agreed to reflect on this as there was time before the next year end. Action – Clerk to keep this matter in the next Agenda.
  3. To review and adopt the Standing Orders for West Knoyle Parish Council and 197. To review and adopt the Financial Regulations for West Knoyle Parish Council – Financial regulations had not changed. There was no need to change the Standing Orders. It was agreed that the Standing Orders would need to be reviewed once the Online banking was live. PC would need to put the Safeguards in place.




  1. To fix the dates and times of ordinary meetings of the Council for the ensuing year – Tuesday, 17th September 2024 at 7.30pm.
  2. Matters Arising – None.
  3. Wiltshire Councillor’s Report – attached.


  1. Planning (All applications can be viewed on Wiltshire Council’s website http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/environmentandplanning/planninganddevelopment/planningapplicationssearchonline/planningsearch.htm – and type in the relevant application number)


a) Applications to consider at the meeting:

  • None


b) Applications considered/determined since last meeting:

  • None


  1. Footpaths, Highways, Traffic & Transport

a) Highway and footpath issues for parish steward – Closure of Lower Mere Park junction from 3rd June for 5 days to carry out verge overrun and related works. Cllr GJ also mentioned that if the area were marked, it would be worked on in the near future. There was a short discussion about the damage to small country roads by farmers working hard as the weather started to improve.


  1. Play Area

a) To consider quotations for replacement equipment – Cllrs discussed the two quotations they had received to replace some of the playground equipment. The material quoted for was recycled plastic, which would have a better lifespan. Delegation – Cllr PY took both quotations to explore the options and decide with a limit to spend of £3,613.00. The CIL money to be used to fund the project.

b) Signage for play area – Cllr PY received the sign from the previous Clerk and was going to install it the following weekend. Other signs had been installed on the gate at the main entrance.

c) Regular inspections of play area – clarification from RoSPA/Insurance Company as to frequency & retention of documentation – Clerk suggested to carry out inspections in summer weekly and in winter once a month. The Clerk passed Inspection check lists to Cllr MR. Clerk also mentioned that it would be easier to store inspection check lists online as they needed to be kept for 7 years. Action – Clerk to design Google Inspection List and share it with Cllr MR.


  1. Finance

a) Assets/Insurance – To review Council’s asset register & insurance provision – The Clerk read out what type of cover PC had and what items were covered by the insurance. The assets had been discussed in the previous meeting. The playground equipment was not insured for physical damage but had a public liability cover.

b) Payments – To approve payments as shown in payment schedule:

Community First Zurich Municipal Policy Renewal Premium (1.6.24 – 31.5.25) 268.14
WALC Annual Subscription 62.22
Mere Matters S. 137 Donation 80.00
Mere & District Linkscheme S. 137 Donation 80.00
Citizens Advice Bureau S. 137 Donation 60.00
H. M. Revenue & Customs PAYE 2023/24 – Quarter 1 NIL
Sofya Samokhina Clerks Salary NIL
Rob Pearce Ground Maintenance Play Area – Grass Cutting NIL

c) CIL Spend Report – Clerk had been contacted by Business Support officer from Wiltshire Council. Clerk reported back that CIL money had not been spent yet and was planned to be invested in new playground equipment. The CIL money had to be spent by 2028.

d) Audit of Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2024:

  1. To consider the Accounting Statements prepared & signed by the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) – members approved the accounting statement which had been prepared by the previous RFO and formed the basis of the completion of the Annual Return for the year ending 31.3.2024.
  2. To receive and note the Annual Internal Audit Report – the Clerk informed members that on 29th April 2024, Mrs Brockway had carried out an independent examination of the Parish Council’s accounting records, its compliance with relevant procedures and its risk assessments and internal control procedures. Mrs Brockway had agreed that, in all significant respects, the control objectives were being achieved throughout the financial year to a standard adequate to meet the needs of the council and had completed Page 4 of the Annual Return, answered ‘yes’ or ‘Not covered’ to all questions and had signed the Annual Internal Audit Report in the Annual Return accordingly.
  3. To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1) – Points 1-9 of the Annual Governance statements 2023/24 were read out to members and members answered ‘yes’ or ‘Not Applicable’ to each of the statements.
  4. To approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2) – members approved the accounts supporting statements which included the bank reconciliation & identification of variances requiring explanation which had previously been distributed to them with their agenda papers. From the information provided therein, the Accounting Statements 1-11 (Section 2 of the Annual Return) were completed and approved by the Parish Council.
  5. Certificate of ExemptionTo confirm that West Knoyle Parish Council meets the qualifying criteria to be exempt from a limited assurance review by the external auditor and to RESOLVE to certify West Knoyle Parish Council “exempt” from External Audit.  The Clerk informed members that at the conclusion of the 2023-24 financial year, if the authority is able to satisfy the various qualifying criteria set out on the Certificate of Exemption, and the higher of its annual gross income and gross expenditure was £25,000 or less, it will be, if it wishes, to pass a resolution and complete and sign a Certificate of Exemption which will need to be sent to its appointed auditor. The Council must pass a resolution, having first confirmed that it meets the qualifying criteria, that it wishes to declare itself exempt from a limited assurance review and only then can the Clerk/RFO and Chairman sign the Certificate of Exemption and send it to the auditor. It was confirmed that the total gross income was £5,353 and the total gross expenditure was £3,979 and that the Parish Council met the qualifying criteria to declare itself exempt from a limited assurance review by the external auditor. RESOLVED to certify West Knoyle Parish Council “exempt” from External Audit.
  6. Chairman & Clerk sign the Annual Governance Statement and Chairman signs the Accounting Statements Confirmation that the Chairman and Clerk signed the Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statements in the presence of the Parish Council at the meeting.
  7. Notice of Public Rights & Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return & to note commencement date for the exercise of public rights (as set by the RFO) – the Clerk confirmed that, as required by the Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 the Parish Council must now publish the Certificate of Exemption, the unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return and the Notice for the Commencement of the period for the Exercise of Public Rights. Publication is on the Parish website: www.westknoyle.org
  8. Chairman & RFO to sign the Certificate of Exemption – the Chairman and the Clerk signed the Exemption Certificate in the presence of the Council.


Before 1 September 2024
The authority publishes: (on its website)

a)       The Annual Internal Audit Report;

b)      The Annual Governance Statement;

c)       The Accounting Statements;

d)      An analysis of any significant year on year variances

e)      A bank reconciliation as at 31 March 2023

f)        A copy of the Certificate of Exemption;

g)       Details of the arrangements for the exercise of public rights; and

h)      The name and address of the External Auditor



205.General Items

a) Report on community litter pick – Cllr PY stated that it was a good turnout and a very nice day. It was good to do.

b) D-Day 80 – Cllr PY announced that he was planning to do a private celebratory beacon up at the top of the valley where the locals were invited to, not under the umbrella of the Parish Council.


206.Date of next meeting – 17th September 2024


Members are reminded that the Parish Council has a general duty to consider the following matters in the exercise of any of its functions:  Equal Opportunities (race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and any disability), Crime and Disorder, Health & Safety and Human Rights.







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