Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 10th September 2020 from 7.30 pm via Zoom Platform during the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic
Present: Cllrs J Rees, S Savory, C Protherough (Chair), A Davies (Vice Chair) W Watkins, K Langdon and J Jones
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Cllr David Hitchener and one member of the public.
1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair
The Chair welcomed everyone to the Zoom meeting.
2. To receive Apologies for Absence
There were apologies for absence received from Cllrs J Whittal and J. Harris.
3. To note Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest made.
4. Open Session
A resident advised that the footpath bridge on path EB25 was still closed by Cage Brook. Capital for such works had been increased but there were a number (30 – 40) of bridges back logged and waiting for repairs to be funded.
Balfour Beatty would be chased up on action regarding the bridge repair.
Correspondence had been received, via a resident, concerning a request for a mobility (scooter) route from Clehonger Village to Tesco. The resident, who had been approached, had offered to meet with the enquirer but the resident had not followed this offer up as at the date of the PC meeting. The Local Access Forum would possibly be the place for the enquiry to begin discussion as there would be a lot of changes required to enable access to footpaths etc. There would be considerations regarding access and livestock. It was resolved that there would be no follow up action to the enquiry, by the Parish Council, at that time.
The missing footpath gate, exiting from the Persimmon site onto Gosmore Road, had been referred by the Parish Clerk to the Persimmon site management team and they were resolving the issue with the installation of a replacement gate.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
(5.1) Ward Councillor: Ward Cllr Hitchiner advised that Covid 19 was affecting train transport for students etc.
Halo Leisure was trying to re-open up the Sports Centres, in spite of losses. Schools were open again, with guidance for teachers on virus issues.
£5.6 million had been secured from the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) to assist with cleaning up the Lugg wetlands and reducing pollution.
(5.2) Lengthsman: The Lengthsman advised that bin emptying had taken place and that he was attending to the zip wire replacement.
(5.3) Footpath Officer: The Footpath Officer was not present.
(5.4) Tree Warden: The Tree Warden had advised that Tree Preservation Orders for the veteran Oak trees in Gosmore Road were in progress.
6.0 Playing Field
(6.1) Update and matters relating to Covid 19 (including decision process generally)
The zip wire had been broken again. The chain had been tied in knots and the sheathing on the chain had been cut. The Lengthsman had removed the broken parts and was looking into replacements. He would advise the PC on prices.
The field had been littered with rubbish including a vodka bottle and take away packaging, particularly on the area around the roadside shelter. There had been reports of late night noise, drinking and drug usage. Sweeps by the police and PCSO’s had been requested. The Chair of the Playing Field Committee was looking into an initiative to try to encourage police liaison with activity provision, and also trying to raise awareness of facilities and sports equipment etc. There was a discussion about how the system of Playing Field Committee and Parish Council should work with communications and liaison between the groups being essential. Clarification was sought about the role of the Playing Field Committee. The Playing Field Committee (made up from councillors and members of the community) would meet occasionally and then bring recommendations to the parish council who would have the final decision. There had been an incident where a rapid decision was taken due to Covid 19 and the playing field. There had been some e mails exchanged and a notice had gone out on the Parish Forum in the name of the Parish Council. The Playing Field Committee Chair advised that a full maintenance check had been carried out on the equipment and that Covid 19 warning notices had been placed ahead of the opening. There were issues highlighted in that Herefordshire Council did not immediately re-open their play areas but this was explained as being “because they had many more parks to check.”
It was noted that the 106 monies for the playing field had not been paid as yet.
(6.2) To discuss and approve possible ring-fencing of funds
This item was deferred until budget requirements for ring fencing had been set.
The first Zoom session ended at 8.10 PM.
The Second Zoom Session commenced at 8.15 PM. All councillors and Ward Cllr present plus Clerk and one member of the public
7. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 16/07/20
It was resolved that the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on 16th July 2020, were approved by the Council.
8. Information and correspondence
The Clerk updated the meeting on actions, correspondence etc.
Herefordshire Council Various, as circulated and including:
- Car Park Charges Consultation
- Drainage Grant Scheme
- WISH update
- Local public health guidance for community centres
- Call for Sites 2020
- Parish summit slides and papers
- Annual Canvass 2020 – Update
- Stop Loan Sharks Online Training Seminars – book through Eventbrite
- Letter to Parish Councils from John Harrington (re road building)
HALC Information Corner including 3 e mails of attachments
The Great Collaboration Zero Carbon Herefordshire
Cage Brook bridge
A letter had been received from local resident concerning repairs to the footpath bridge at Cage Brook on footpath EB25. It was advised that additional funding for such repairs had been made available.
9. Finance and Policies
(9.1) Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Stocksigns Limited (playing field signs and fixings) £213.67
Mrs A Wright (salary paid in accordance with contract)
HM Revenue and Customs (tax) £6.00
Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins) £360.00
HALC (web hosting) £66.00
Mrs F White (playing field inspection) £58.60
Mrs C Protherough (Welcome packs ink) £32.00
Eyelid Productions Ltd. (web services) £30.00
D J Lloyd (hedge cutting playing field) £100.00
(9.2) Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £41715.38.
(9.3) To consider adoption of Social Media Policy
The Social Media Policy was adopted as follows:
Clehonger Parish Council Social Media Policy (based on NALC Model)
Adopted 10th September 2020
What is Social Media?
‘Social media’ is the term commonly given to websites and online tools which allow users to interact with each other in some way – by sharing information, opinions, knowledge and interests. This interaction may be through computers, mobile phones and new generation technology such as i-Pads.
Examples of social media websites include:
Social networking – (e.g. www.facebook.com)
Video sharing – (e.g. www.youtube.com)
Blogs (e.g. london2012.com/blog)
Micro-blogging (e.g. www.twitter.com)
Message boards (e.g. www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbsn/home)
Wikis (e.g. www.wikipedia.org)
Social bookmarking (e.g. www.delicious.com)
Council Use of Social Media
- To publish information about the work of Clehonger Parish Council to a wider audience.
- To avoid entering into online debates or arguments about the Council’s work. Social Media must NOT be used in the recruitment process for employees or new councillors – other than for the sole purpose of placing vacancy advertisements – as this could lead to potential discrimination and privacy actions, as well as breach of data protection issues.
Approved Council Social Media
- https://clehongerparishcouncil.org/ (Parish Council website)
Users of Council Social Media
The Clerk is the Council’s nominated Press Officer with the authority to issue official press releases in conjunction with the Chairman where possible. No other Councillor has the authority to issue public statements on behalf of the Council.
1. Guidance for Council Officers on the use of Council Social Media
- No information should be published that is not already known to be in the public domain – i.e. available on the Council’s website, contained in minutes of meetings, stated in Council publicised policies and procedures, etc.
- Information that is published should be factual, fair, thorough and transparent.
- Everyone must be mindful that information published in this way may stay in the public domain indefinitely, without the opportunity for retrieval/deletion.
- Copyright laws must be respected.
- Conversations or reports that are meant to be private or internal must not be published without permission.
- Other organisations should not be referenced without their approval – when referencing, link back to the original source wherever possible.
- Do not publish anything that would be regarded in the workplace as unacceptable.
- Staff must remember that they will be seen as ambassadors for the Council, and should always act in a responsible and socially aware manner.
2. Third Party Social Media and Individual Councillor Usage
Councillors need to think about whether they are acting in a private capacity, or whether any impression might be conveyed that they are acting for and on behalf of Clehonger Parish Council. The Council has adopted a Code of Conduct which is binding on all members. If you use Social Media in your official capacity as a councillor, you should always be mindful of the Code, and of the seven Nolan principles applicable to holding public office – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
- Set appropriate privacy settings for any blog or networking site
- Watch out for defamatory or obscene posts from others on any blog or page and remove them as soon as possible to avoid any perception that you condone such views
- Be aware that the higher your profile as a councillor, the more likely it is that you may be seen as acting in an official capacity when you blog or network
- Ensure any Council facilities are used appropriate – if using a Council-provided blog site or social networking area, any posts that you make are extremely likely to be viewed as being made in your official capacity
- Avoid publishing any information that you could only have accessed in your position as a councillor
- Be careful if making ‘political’ points, and avoid being specific or personal about individuals.
- Blog in haste
- Post comments that you would not be prepared to make in writing or in face-to-face contact
- Use Council facilities for personal or political purposes
Cllr Krina Langdon kindly agreed to place the Agendas for the Parish Council Meetings onto the Clehonger Parish Forum going forward.
(10.1) To consider response to Planning Applications, as notified, and then determined by Herefordshire Council
One new application was considered:
APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: Planning Consultation – 202250 – Brook View, Clehonger, Hereford, Herefordshire HR2 9TJ
DESCRIPTION: Conversion of out building to habitable space (comments extension obtained to 11/09/20)
The Parish Council considered the application 202250 and resolved to support the proposals for the conversion of the out building.
It was agreed that application 202101, for the building of two homes instead of one at Apple Tree Close, Clehonger, would be looked at with a view to possible additional comments.
(10.2) To consider any response to Government white paper consultation on proposed amendments to national planning policy and impact for Neighbourhood Planning.
It was resolved that a working party would meet on Zoom to discuss responses to the questions in the Government White Paper consultation on planning
(10.3) Neighbourhood Plan update (examination completed) and way forward
Congratulations were recorded to all involved, including the consultant David Nicholson. The plan would now go forward to referendum and would be afforded “significant weight” in consideration of planning applications going forward.
11. Village Matters
(11.1) To consider any development site issues
The missing footpath gate, from the site onto Gosmore Road, had been reported and was in the process of being replaced by Persimmon.
(11.2) Zebra Crossing on main road by the Bines – discuss
The viability of a zebra crossing would need to be considered by Balfour Beatty and would be referred.
(11.3) To discuss the suggestion of a pathway from the Persimmon site to the playing field (Gosmore Road end by new fencing)
A resident had sent an “artists impression” of a second wooden handrail running parallel with the existing one at the rear of the site adjacent to the playing field rear entrance. The idea of making the rail a reality and creating a permanent path would be suggested to Persimmon for their consideration.
The Chair advised that another 20 – 25 packs had been distributed since Lockdown had ceased.
12. Clehonger Church (the future)
The Clehonger Church had been deep cleaned and would be re-opening for a service on 20/09/20 from 10.30 am. The Parochial Church Council was small in number and the church was struggling with little money coming in. Cllr Davies would assist with grant funding applications to try to help boost funds.
13. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
All usual items to be on the Agenda
14. Reminder of dates of future meetings
The next Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council to be held on Thursday 15th October 2020, from 7.30pm, on Zoom unless notified otherwise. There would be three consecutive meetings set up on Zoom.
The Meeting closed at 8.55 pm.