Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council Meeting held on 13th September 2012 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), A Hitchiner, G Walker, P Jeffree, J Hammond, J Thorne, and C Protherough
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Councillor Taylor, CSO Middleton, 14 members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were accepted from J Whittal and J Rider
2. Declarations of Interest
Resolved: Cllrs J Hammond and C Protherough declared prejudicial interests in matters relating to the Village Hall and Councillor Tomlinson declared similar in relation to Dore Community Transport.
3. Introduction and welcome by the Chairman
The Chairman welcomed everyone, including the members of the public, to the meeting.
4. Open Session
Grit bins were mentioned in that there were too few of them and that some of them were unsuitable, hard to get the grit out as they freeze up due to no tops on the containers. The Parish has registered for the Amey sited bins and are now on a waiting list but additional ones will need to be purchased by the Parish Council. David Taylor said that he would investigate options re the bins. Cllr Tomlinson said that he would look at the location of the wrongly sited bin and advise where it should be re-situated to optimise usage.
The evening bus service and possible withdrawal was mentioned, service 39A in the evenings could be withdrawn from 2013. Transport will form part of the Consultation process under the Local Transport Plan and this will be on the agenda for the next meeting. It is continuing until the 16thNovember and individuals were encouraged to respond and make their views count.
There will be a series of “Your Community – Your Say meetings held at various venues around the county but when the list was examined there was nothing local for the village of Clehonger residents. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the organisers to ask if more local venues could be used to enable more people to take part without the requirement to travel so far.
There were more concerns raised re speeding on the B4349 at Bowling Green Hill. Clerk to write to Graham Hornsby at Amey to raise the concern and to ask if the speed limit sign could be moved to past the Bowling Green Hill to try to encourage people to maintain a slower speed until past the hazard point.
There was an update on Team Jubilee and they had the intention to try to move towards Trust status. Kevin Mansell had been appointed as their Auditor. A grant was in progress to purchase items for the Playing Field, tennis sets and a basketball stand and hoop. The Parish Council would need to maintain the kit and it could be stored in the Village Hall by kind permission of the Hall Committee. The feedback at Parish Plan events has been a definite wish to do “something” for the Playing Field and Cllr Tomlinson said that he would be pleased to provide information on equipment that had been researched and acquired already to assist with choosing suitable items for the site.
The Parish Plan Steering Group advised that Herefordshire Housing had given them free use of a room at Innesfield and they were going to create a working Office for the committee to use.
There was some discussion on the Poplar Road Planning Application for five houses and someone had heard that the Council were intending to build affordable, or housing association houses, on the rest of the site. This suggestion was so far not confirmed. The next Allensmore Parish Council meeting would be held on 1st November and it was suggested that interested parties may wish to attend to ask questions.
The filming at the Playing Field would be going ahead in October. A contract would be signed between the Parish Council and the Film Company to protect everyone’s interests but there would be no insurance liability and public rights of way would be unaffected. The film company would be making a donation of £50.00 to the Parish Council as a gesture of appreciation.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. There had been some acts of criminal damage in Clehonger and a person had been arrested for the possession of drugs. There was some concern over the emptying and theft of grit bins and this would be investigated and reported to Amey by the CSO. Comments were made about noisy exhausts on vehicles and the CSO said that residents should obtain the registrations and report them so that action and follow ups could take place.
5.2 Ward Councillor. Cllr Taylor explained re the huge catchment area for the local policing team which meant that officers were very thinly spread. The new Acting Sergeant would be going on maternity leave. It was suggested that the Parish Clerk write to Chief Inspector Adam Thomas at Hereford Police Station to express concern about the seeming lack of local officers and the increased catchment area that they were required to cover. Cllr Taylor would be working to try to get local consultation meetings set up as discussed previously in the Open Session.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. The new vehicle was with the conversion company and should hopefully be ready by mid October.
5.4 Clehonger Community Action Group. Not present.
5.5 Broadband Champion. The Cabinet met on 13/09/12 re decision on the Broadband award but so far nothing had been communicated.
5.6 Church, A reminder of the shortfall between income and expenditure. More money needed to be raised to close the gap.
6. To approve minutes of Meeting held on 2/08/12.
Resolved:- Following one correction of speed limit on A465 from 50mph to 40mph, the minutes were approved by the Council and signed by the Chairman.
7. Clerk Update on Action Items
The Clerk updated the Council re the action points.
The garden at the end of Birch Hill Road had now been cleared and the Lengthsman had strimmed the ground level weeds.
Much of the overgrown grass and weeds, as reported, have been tackled by Amey -although some issues remain.
New signage was underway for the Playing Field to warn drivers that children were at large.
The large structure, close to the school, had been investigated and it had been established that no apparent planning violation had yet occurred.
The Police were investigating the possibility of collaboration with the school and village on a speed gun initiative.
8. To note correspondence
A reminder of the HALC AGM on the 13th October had been received. Bookings were no longer necessary and the initial advertised guest speaker would not now be attending.
The Clerk would be attending a Code of Conduct update evening on 18th September at Brockington. Any new information learnt to be fed back.
There had not, as yet, been any notification of the Parish Plan matched funding grant as applied for by the Steering Group.
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Hire of Innesfield £10.00
Lengthsman (R. Layton Morris) £350.00
Mrs A Wright – (salary £306.96 mileage £13.32, ink £15.83, paper £4.67
Phone £12.06) £352.84
Longfield Services (P3 Footpaths) £146.32
Parish Freighter £380.00
Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office) £76.60
Sub Total £1315.76
Parish Planning for Real (8/09/12) Payments
Hoople Ltd. (Large scale village maps) £202.32
Alison Davies (PP Expenses, Jewsons etc) £83.62
Thura Bread Bakeries Ltd (scones) £75.60
Clehonger Village Hall Hire (20/08 and 08/09) £49.00
Trevor Hill Falconry £200.00
Hanley Court Designs & Print (flyers/posters) £79.50
PP Sub Total £690.04
Grand Total £2005.80
9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted
There had been some further detail supplied re the 12 Poplar Road application in terms of bat and habitat surveys. A further comment sheet had been submitted with concerns being aired as to the requirement for the houses and reiteration of the issues raised previously. The Tree Warden, Cllr Protherough, had submitted a request for a tree preservation order on the mature oak tree at the head of the driveway of the property.
11. Parish Plan
The Steering Group Committee reported that a successful day had taken place on Saturday 8thSeptember. Around 130 people had come to the event and contributed ideas and suggestions which would now be analysed to draw out the themes. There will be another Planning for Real Day at Clehonger Church on the 30th September for those not able to attend on the first day and hoping to attract parishioners from Old Clehonger and Belmont. Cllrs Thorne and Jeffrey were asked to encourage their local residents to come along. Some suggestions that had come out of the first day included a cycleway, housing, playing field, potholes, basketball and a skateboard park. Focus groups would now be set up to look at the different areas re ideas. A youth worker, Pat Roberts, would be visiting the school to find out their wishes too.
The budget document, as completed by the Group and supplied to the Council, was considered by the councillors and it was resolved to accept the document as an indication of how the allocated funding would be spent in achieving the objectives of creating a Parish Plan. The allocation of £1500.00 (£750.00 per year for the two year project) would need to be spent carefully and with VAT reclaimed, where permissible, through the Council. There was a warning that Plans can cost more than anticipated and it would be important to monitor the budget effectively. Minutes of the Steering Group Meetings held on the 6th and 20th August were received and accepted. They would be kept in with the Main Minutes of the Parish Council as a record of the Group’s activities. There was an in depth discussion on the relationship between the Parish Council and the Steering Group and the importance of good communications was emphasised. It would also be important for any bills that required reimbursement to be presented before the meetings, going forward and relevant receipts supplied.
12. Precept 2013/2014
This year’s figure is £11,000.00. There will need to be discussions with the school re the grass cutting contract and if the Parish Council take responsibility for this then there will need to be an increase in the precept to cover the cost. There will be a school governors meeting on the 20thSeptember and more should be known of the school’s position on the subject after the meeting. Cllr Tomlinson has been making enquiries to get some idea of the likely cost that can be expected to keep the grass cut to a tidy and acceptable level with a view to avoiding the issues that have arisen in recent months, where irregular cutting led to overgrowth and problems with extensive clippings when the grass was cut. A specification will be drawn up and the contract put out to tender. It is hoped that the School will contribute to the cost.
It was suggested that, at the end of October, Mrs Price could check the accounts for the half year.
13. A465 Speed Limit update from Cllr Thorne
Cllr Thorne had attended the meeting held on the 17th August, at the Amey Office, and reported back to the meeting. All at the meeting were in favour of a continuation of the 40mph speed limit on the A465, although the Amey survey had dictated that a 50mph limit may be more appropriate due to the speeds observed in the survey. The scheme will remain in place until June 2013 and further consultation will take place to determine whether it becomes permanent, or not. Some of the decision making may be influenced by the eventual routing of the relief road.
14. Plans for the A465/A49 Link Road and the LDF
The Local Transport Plan had been taken out of the LDF. The Local Transport Plan is set to be adopted at a meeting in January 2013. A decision will be taken as to where the relief road will be in relation to the A465/A49. Further consultation will start on the LDF after Christmas.
15. Bike Lane/Footpath
Country lanes were described as lethal for those on bikes. Special lanes were desirable and would form part of a wish list. They may be included as a strong element in the Parish Plan. The Clerk was asked to write to Richard Ball and Graham Powell to indicate the village feels that a bike lane would be a benefit.
16. Brief Reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep and Village Hall Rep
Footpath Warden, the footpaths have been strimmed.
The HALC Rep reminded everyone about the HALC AGM on Saturday 13th October at Brockington, also the Southern Area Meeting to be held on the 29th October.
The Village Hall Rep supplied minutes of the latest meetings for the file and advised that there would be a ceilidh on 12th October.
17. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
Transport Plan, Parish Plan, Precept, Half yearly accounts
18. Reminder of dates of future meetings
Thursday 25th October 2012, 7.30pm Innesfield Community Centre
The Meeting closed at 9.45pm