Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 15th September 2021 from 7.30 pm at the Clehonger Village Hall
Present: Cllrs S Savory, A Davies (Vice Chair), J Jones, C Protherough (Chair), W Watkins, K Langdon and J Whittal
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Cllr David Hitchiner (from 7.42 pm), Footpath Officer Blue Davies, Lengthsman Paul Wright and four members of the public.
1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair
Cllr Carole Protherough (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. Co-option of councillor and signing of forms
There were no candidates presented for co-option at the meeting.
3. To receive Apologies for Absence
There were apologies for absence received from Cllr J Harris and Tree Warden Alan Morgan
4. To note Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest made.
5. Open Session
Comments were made about the ditch in Gosmore Road being pushed in by vehicles. The idea of a possible barrier or markers was discussed. Locality Steward would be asked to review this. The Persimmon hedge bordering Gosmore Road was in need of reduction as encroaching out over the highway. This would be referred for action. The dog waste bin lid (by the footpath to the Persimmon site off Gosmore Road) was making a noise when being closed and this was causing a disturbance for the resident opposite. This would be looked into with a view to remedial action/possible relocation. Cllr Whittal to lead on this.
The dog waste bin for the Persimmon site would again be chased up.
Concerns were raised about speeding in the village, the possibility of crossings and the possible use of additional signs such as those designed by children (“20 is plenty” signage was mentioned as a suggestion for certain areas). The signs that were obscured by hedges would be cleared where possible.
It was agreed that a visit would be arranged for the Road Safety Advisor to the Police to come to the village and be shown all the points of concern. This visit would take place after the bridge saddling works had been completed.
6. Brief Verbal Reports:
(6.1) Ward Councillor: The Ward Cllr arrived at the meeting at 7.42 pm. He updated the meeting regarding a forthcoming road closure for the Bridge Sollers Road and the Canon Bridge Road would be taking the diverted traffic from 1 October. This would be for a period of a week. Concerns had been raised about the narrowness and unsuitability for large vehicles using the Canon Bridge Road. Lack off passing places could be a potential issue.
The Ward Cllr also explained about possible plans to sort out the broken bridge over the Cage Brook on footpath EB25. Balfour Beatty would be looking at this in conjunction with the Lengthsman.
(6.2) Footpath Officer: The Footpath Officer stated that “the paths were in good working order and that people were using them.”
(6.3) Tree Warden: The Tree Warden had sent his apologies.
7.0 Playing Field
(7.1) Update and details of any sub committee meetings/actions etc.
There had been no further meetings of the sub committee. The Coco Wave had been installed and was proving very popular. There had been some issues with youth on the field recently and the police were aware. A resident said that she felt there should be more for older children. New faces were needed for the sub committee. The Chair would include details about this in the Welcome Packs.
(7.2) To discuss placement of 2 x benches on the playing field
There were concerns put forward over the proposed placement of the benches towards the rear of the field. There was a discussion and various points of view were expressed. It was agreed that a further visit, by the parish council to the field, would take place so that the best spots for the benches could be agreed before fitting.
8. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 21/07/21
It was resolved that the Minutes of the Meeting, held on 21st July 2021, at the Hall, were approved by the Council. Cllr Langdon asked if the minutes could be sent out earlier and the Clerk agreed to aim to do this where possible.
9. Information and correspondence
• Parish Council Summit 14 September 2021
• Information for budget consultation with parish councils South and West area
• Democratic Services Officers – job opportunities
• Talk Community Newsletter 20 August 2021
• Leaders Newsletter – August 21
• Talk Community Newsletter 30 July 2021
• Launch of the new Neighbourhood matters initiative
• Parish Council Summit June 21 – Summary of workshop notes
• Talk Community Heat wave Update 20 July 2021
• 5 year Housing Land Supply
• Bus survey
• Talk Community Newsletter 16 July 2021
• Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Recovery Support Scheme 2020
From Sue Furnival JP
Recruitment to the Magistracy – information
Information Corner 14-7-21
It was noted that invitations to courses were often only communicated the day before the course, leaving insufficient time to book or participate. This would be taken up with HALC by Cllr Whittal.
10. Finance and Policies
(10.1) Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Clerk paid in accordance with contract (Sept)
Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins) £559.62
Clehonger Village Hall (Hall hire) £10.50
Kompan (play equipment and matting) £14421.68
Eyelid productions (web site services) £90.00
(9.2) Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £44682.81
(11.1) To consider response to Planning Applications, as notified, and then determined by Herefordshire Council
There was one amended application advised, 212344 – High Bank, Clehonger
This concerned the proposed change of use from agricultural land to mixed use and the erection of a small portal frame unit for general storage and for maintenance of land.
The Parish Council asked the Clerk to request an extension to the date for comments on the amended proposal.
12. Village Matters including road signs for road closure issues (Ward Cllr)
The Ward Cllr discussed the road closure signage and the inadequacies of information for the diversions that had caused confusion and misguided traffic. He asked whether the parish council felt that the signs should be amended for the current bridge saddling works but given the short remaining time that the signs would be needed this was thought to be an unnecessary expense. If the works were to drag on longer then this may need to be reconsidered. There would be lessons learned for future signage for diversions and improvements to these would hopefully be made.
A letter had been received from a resident concerning the movement of the 30 mph zone on Birch Hill. The Chair outlined some of the difficulties with visibility and access etc. plus increased use of the road by walkers etc. There had previously been the suggestion of the road being designated a “Quiet Lane”, but this had not been progressed. There was also the question of the village envelope in relation to speed limits and maybe the painting of the word “SLOW” on the road itself. It was agreed that the issues and the movement of the 30 mph signage would be taken up during the proposed visit with the Road Safety Advisor. One of the signs had been moved back off the highway and this had been raised with Balfour Beatty on several occasions. This too would be looked at with the Advisor.
It was agreed that a parish walk with the Locality Steward would be a good idea to look at a number of issues and the Clerk would try to arrange this.
The hedge outside 35 Poplar Road, opposite Yew Tree Farm, was growing out into the highway. The Locality Steward would be asked to check this.
The Vice Chair advised about some tourism initiatives including Cider Circuits and ley line Trail. Information on events etc. was available from the Tourist Information Centre in the Hereford city.
Cllr Savory advised that the map of the village had been finished and comments were invited before final copies were made. The map would be placed at the field and also there was a notice/information board opposite the church where it could be mounted.
Cllr Whittal advised that the commemorative tree(s) for Jane Rees would be planted in Church Field. This was highly commended by the councillors and thanks were recorded to Cllr Whittal.
13. To consider correspondence/progression for dropped kerb off Ruckhall Lane (funding for quote for works etc.)
The Parish Council discussed the proposal of assisting with the cost of seeking a quotation, jointly with Belmont Rural Council, for the provision of a dropped kerb off Ruckhall Lane. The situation was debated and all aspects of the proposal were considered. Concerns were raised about the potential for costs for the project to rise, given the initial indication of the requirement for there to be a traffic island – likely cost £6 to £10 thousand, and also there was the concern about creating a precedent for undertaking works that would ordinarily fall under the remit of the highways authority. There were also concerns about the general state of the pathway leading from the Close to Belmont and it was asked as to who would be keeping this clear as access also depended on the path being usable by mobility vehicles. It was commented as being an unsafe route of passage for mobility vehicles, especially in regard to negotiating the roundabout area near Tesco. Given all considerations the parish council voted unanimously not to co-fund the initial quotation for the provision of the dropped kerb et al. This decision was communicated to the Ward Cllr who had been in communication with all parties regarding the topic.
14. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
All of the usual items would be on the Agenda. Also – the co-option of a new councillor. Plus – Clerk appraisal at end of meeting in staffing item.
Clerk to set dates of next meetings, for 2022, and to book the hall.
15. Reminder of dates of future meetings
The next Meeting of the Parish Council would be held on Wednesday 20th October 2021, from 7.30pm, at the Clehonger Village Hall.
Due to the confidential nature of the business of this agenda item, under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 (3) it is proposed to put forward a motion to exclude members of the public during discussion of this agenda item (number 16 only)
16. To discuss implementation of NJC pay scale increment for Clerk from 1/04/21.
The members of the public and the Clerk left the hall. The Parish Council discussed the incremental progression, on the pay scale for the Clerk, and agreed that this should be paid from 1/04/21.
The Meeting closed at 9.10 PM.