Minutes 13th February 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 13th February 2020 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre

Present: Cllrs J Rees, J Whittal, A Davies (Vice Chair), S Savory, C Protherough (Chair), W Watkins and K Langdon
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Cllr David Hitchiner, Lengthsman Paul Wright, Footpath Officer Blue Davies, PC Jeff Rouse plus three members of the public

1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. To receive Apologies for Absence
There were apologies for absence received from Cllr J Harris and Tree Warden Alan Morgan.

3. Co-option of councillor and signing of forms
There was no new co-option.

4. To note Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.

5. Open Session
There was a discussion following correspondence received, via the Ward Cllr, about traffic calming on Birch Hill Road. The proposal made was for there to be speed humps and this was discussed. Comments were that the humps do not deter people speeding and in some cases can be an attraction for “cyclebatics”. They are also not good for people with disability or who are in pain. There would also be issues for the buses whose route runs through the road in question. Speed humps were commented as being responsible for damage done to vehicles overall. The resolution by the Parish Council was that there should be no humps proposed. The Ward Cllr would convey this decision to the enquirer.
The ongoing condition of Birch Hill Road was again commented. It would be desirable to try to arrange a parish walk with the Locality Steward as soon as practicable.
Other items noted were:
Public footpath on the Persimmon site had been closed with not notices of closure displayed.
The Attenuation pond on the Persimmon site was commented as having an inadequate border fence and no steps to help assist escape if one should fall into the pond.
There were comments that the playing field hedge had been cut well.
PC Jeff Rouse was in attendance and he updated regarding an attempted theft of a mini digger from Church Road, the culprit had been apprehended.
A candlestick had been stolen from Belmont Abbey and it had subsequently been recovered.
PC Rouse left the meeting at 7.55 pm.

6. Brief Verbal Reports:
6.1 Ward Councillor. Ward Cllr Hitchiner updated
The Ward Cllr explained that there were attempts being made to amend the plan for the 10 houses in Gosmore Road to make it “acceptable.” The Madley/Kingstone Road planning application for the 90 houses was still being looked at. The liaison over the sewerage plant was still being negotiated.
The planning application to increase the number of occupied properties on the Persimmon site from 28 to 61 while still not connected to the main sewerage system was not yet determined. The PC had delivered a larger number of welcome packs to occupied homes on the estate than were presently covered by the planning permission, with around 44 properties believed to be occupied. It was resolved that the Ward Cllr would write to the Planning Officer regarding the number of houses that were being occupied.
Quick planning updates:
The Poultry Manager’s house for Bowling Green Farm had been approved.
The planning application for a four bedroom house had been substituted with two x 2 bedroomed houses.
Parking Issues on Ruckhall Lane
A letter had been sent to the Bursar of the Belmont Abbey. He had responded to advise that the NHS were using the adjacent buildings more intensively and there was a plan in hand to manage the available car parking space.
There would be a budget meeting for Herefordshire Council on 14th February starting at 10.00 am in the Shire Hall. Members of the public were welcome to attend. Resolution about capital amendments would be made with the Section 151 Officer having to approve amendments.
There would be extra funding of £2 million to look at the phosphate issues in the Lugg catchment area.
A change of cabinet structure for Herefordshire Council was being evaluated.
The Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure had extended the Pause and Review on the roads and options until 31/07/20. Alternative options were being explored such as an Eastern Bridge and traffic light timing adjustments. There was a public survey running on line if people wished to comment on the road plans.

6.2 Friends of Clehonger Parish: No further update

6.3 Clehonger Primary School: No further update

6.4 Locality Steward: Not present. Bulletins circulated.

6.5 Lengthsman: The Lengthsman was present at the meeting. There had been flooding issues but relevant issues had been sorted.

6.6 Footpath Officer: The Footpath Office was present at the Meeting. He advised that the Abbey Farm Orchard had been ploughed up, the potatoes were gone and the footpath was “non-existent.” The way mark signs now also appeared to have gone. This would be flagged with the Locality Steward and an April parish walk would be tried for. The Footpath Officer had been to the Farm and contractors were now in the orchard. The footpath was still the Landowner’s responsibility. There was concern expressed over footpaths in the area.

The Ward Cllr left the meeting at 8.20 pm.

7. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 16/01/20
It was resolved that the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on 16th January 2020, were approved by the Council and then signed by the Chairman.

8. Clerk update and correspondence
The Clerk updated the meeting on actions, correspondence etc. including:
Herefordshire Council Various, as circulated and including:
• Core Strategy/Neighbourhood Planning workshop event presentation
• MINUTES: 1st Red, Norton & Twyford brooks NFM Community Group Meeting
• October & November flooding, home and business support
• Short Breaks Capital Funding
• Marches Renewable Energy Grant Scheme
• Road closures notification
• Review of the Hereford transport strategy

HALC
• Climate Change in Action!
• Presentation from HALC Conference

Footpath Issues
General issues and information supplied regarding removal of finger posts from field near to Apple Tree Close.
Ward Cllr forwarded letter regarding traffic calming for Birch Hill Road

9. Finance and Policies
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved, proposed by Cllr Davies and seconded by Cllr Whittal:
Mrs A Wright (salary paid in accordance with contract)
Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins) £190.00
HALC (Subscription 2020 – 2021) £889.99
Hereford Tree Warden Sub £25.00

9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £42692.39.
9.3 To discuss letter received (via Ward Cllr) concerning traffic calming request for Birch Hill Road
The letter received by the Ward Cllr was discussed at the beginning of the meeting under item 5. It was resolved not to pursue calming humps for Birch Hill Road.

9.4 To consider adoption of Policy for dealing with planning applications between parish council meetings
The circulated policy, to enable delegation of planning comments in the event of not being able to obtain an extension to the deadline and discuss in a meeting, was approved.

9.5 To consider provision of Parish Freighter in May 2020
It was resolved that the Parish Freighter would again be hired on a Saturday in May 2020. Date would be confirmed.

10. Planning.
10.1 To consider response to Planning Applications, as notified, and then determined by Herefordshire Council:
No further applications had been received for comment.

11. Neighbourhood Plan
11.1 Update on Clehonger Plan and next steps
Clehonger Reg 16 SEA HRA and Policy Maps documents were still in consultation on Herefordshire Council website until 20 February.
The plan has been placed on the website at the following location: https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/directory_record/3044/clehonger_neighbourhood_development_plan
Following this stage it would be the examination by an examiner. The Parish Council would be given the choice from three prospective examiners.
12. Village Matters
12.1 Speed issues in the village – speed indicator device etc.
It was agreed that it would be good to have further yellow Community Speed Watch Signage if possible. It was commented that it would be good if the existing 30 mph in the red zones could be retained.

12.2 Village developments – flooding etc.
The drain by the Persimmon entrance required checking as was leaching water across the road. Potholes were advised in Oak Crescent between numbers 4 and 20.
A Parish Council Notice Board would be considered for the Estate once the building works had been completed.

12.3 Dog waste bins on Persimmon site
The Clerk had chased up the provision of bins for the site and a response had been received confirming the location of a bin to be fitted.
A question was raised about the provision of land lines on site. Persimmon have their own fibre optic system.

12.4 Consideration of Smart Water for the Parish
Following an evaluation of the scheme etc. it was resolved not to pursue the provision of Smart Water to all households at that time.

12.5 The Knife Angel – visit to Hereford 2021
Cllr Davies updated the meeting regarding plans to bring the Knife Angel to the Herefordshire Cathedral grounds in 2021. The sculpture had been created from over 100.000 surrendered knives. Workshops would be held alongside the visit to look at all forms of knife crime and aggression. There would be a knife amnesty. The Police, Hereford City Council, Herefordshire Council and the Members of Parliament were all on board with the idea. Volunteers would be required to come along and talk to people. (This would be arranged later on and with signposting to other help organisations.) Donations were being sought to help fund the £15 thousand cost of bringing the Angel to Hereford.

12.6 Litter Pick – to arrange
The litter pick would take place on Saturday 18th April from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. 4 bags of picking kits would be reserved.

13. Climate Emergency and initiatives
The Chair had attended a seminar on the subject. It was felt that the seminar had attempted to cover too many areas and so contact had been made to see if the contributors would be prepared to attend and expand on one topic at a time. There would be things to do in conjunction with other parts of the Golden Valley. The Chair was waiting for feedback.

14. Playing Field – Update including tree planting
Anti-vandal paint was again required on the shelter to deter climbing. The Lengthsman and the Footpath Officer would look at the entrance issues off Gosmore Road (muddy entrance).
There was a discussion around the planting of a gifted Elm Tree. The unknown final size of the tree, plus other factors around visibility onto the field to deter unwanted behaviours, led to the decision that the tree would not be planted on the playing field. It was agreed that it may form part of a screening of new trees on Cllr Whittal’s farm but this would be subject to checking with the donor. Thanks were recorded for the very kind gesture made by the benefactor.
Cllr Davies advised that there would be an opportunity to visit a “petting zoo” event on the playing field ahead of school breaking up in July. There would be teas and coffees served.

Cllr Davies and the Footpath Officer both left the meeting at 9.03 pm.

15. Brief Reports from Tree Warden (if available)
Tree Warden: Cllr Morgan had sent his apologies.
“Lousy” Oak at junction of the B4349 and A465
The Clerk had asked the Tree Warden about a possible application for a TRO for the oak tree.
Concern was expressed about recent events which had seen trees being blown over after their roots had become waterlogged. The stability of trees on the Madley/Kingstone Road site for 90 houses was a concern, given climate issues plus the potential for there to be heave and landslip. Also of concern was the issue of providing a landline service for residents. The Clerk would convey these matters to the Planning Officer to be recorded on the planning application for the 90 houses.

16. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
All of the usual items would be on the Agenda. Also: appointment of HALC Rep.

17. Reminder of dates of future meetings
There was a reminder of the date of the next Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council to be held on Thursday 12th March 2020, from 7.30pm, at Innesfield.
The Meeting closed at 9.10 pm.