Minutes 16th February 2022

Minutes of a meeting held on Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 7.30pm in Clehonger Village Hall

Councillors: Carole Protherough (Chair), Alison Davies (Vice Chair), Jim Jones, Krina Langdon, Sue Savory, Nick Rider, Wendy Watkins & Jenny Whittal.

In attendance
Lynda Wilcox (Acting Clerk-HALC), Ward Councillor David Hitchiner & two members of the public.

1. Introduction and welcome
Carole Protherough (Chair) welcomed those present and introduced Lynda Wilcox from HALC who was ‘Acting Clerk’ for the evening in the absence of the Parish Clerk due to ill health.

2. Apologies for absence … There were none, all councillors were present.

3. Declarations of Interest … There were none.

4. Open Session with members of the public
4.1 West Mercia Police
4.1.1 Speed enforcement had been carried out twice over the last month which has had a temporary beneficial effect.
4.1.2 Janet Edwards was still missing (since December 2021).
4.1.3 In response to queries, it was confirmed that road safety measures such as roadside equipment to assess the speed of traffic, Community Speed Watch initiative or white gates on the sides of a road, would need to be discussed with Ian Connolly – Traffic Management Advisor (Road Safety Team) West Mercia Police.

5. Brief Verbal Reports
5.1 Ward Councillor, David Hitchiner, reported:
5.1.1 Consultation on spatial options for the new Core Strategy. The public were being asked where future housing should go – mainly in Hereford, in the market towns, in gaps or in new towns? The Chair commented that she hadn’t found it easy to respond to the consultation on Herefordshire Council’s website and the Ward Councillor responded that another parish council had given similar feedback. He offered to take the comments back to Herefordshire Council.
5.1.2 A Citizens Assembly had been held to talk about climate change and other environmental matters.
5.1.3 £1.3 million was to be allocated to environmental projects from the New Homes Bonus.
5.1.4 Government had issued a new White Paper encouraging the concept of elected Mayors where the population was at least half a million. Shropshire had suggested a county deal.
5.1.5 The Chair had raised concerns with the Ward Councillor concerning the emptying of dog waste bins. In the recent absence of the Lengthsman (due to ill health) the bins were unable to be emptied because the toxic waste licence was only applicable to him and no-one else was lawfully able to dispose of the waste. The Ward Councillor offered to look into the current process followed by Herefordshire Council for issuing waste licences.

5.2 The Footpaths Officer reported:
5.2.1 Some footpaths were in a very muddy state.
5.2.2 A local resident was collecting dog waste twice a week and depositing it in the litter bins.
5.2.3 It was noted that children were opening the gate at the Persimmon estate and running into the road. The Estate Manager was responsible for that area.

5.3 The Tree Warden reported:
5.3.1 He was disappointed with the outcome about the Oak trees on land off Gosmore Road, but it was left in the hands of a professional arborist who had said that the trees had to come down. He was hoping that the trees would be replaced with two or more.
5.3.2 He had attended a Zoom meeting for Tree Wardens and one Warden had suggested planting fruit trees alongside every stile, so that walkers could pick fruit as they walked along. Another face-to-face meeting was due to be held in March at Queenswood, when he would get to meet other Tree Wardens from across the county.
5.3.3 Some of the stiles were in a poor condition and would be reported to the Locality Steward, Paul Norris.

6. Playing Field
6.1 Update and details of Playing Field Working Group:
6.1.1 It was noted that the Footpaths Officer was looking after the mats and benches.
6.1.2 A meeting had been held with a representative from the school about the tree (Silver Birch) planting event at 14.00 the next day, followed by refreshments (paid for by the parish council) in the hall. The school would be reminding local residents via their facebook page.
6.1.3 Discussion took place on siting the stone from the old Oak tree (which had to be felled) either by the new tree being planted the following day by the school, or a further tree (Silver Birch or Oak) to be purchased by the parish council.
6.1.4 It was noted that the school would like to have the old football posts.


7. Approval of Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 19th January 2022
It was RESOLVED to approve the minutes with one amendment (initialled by the Chair) prior to signing.

8. The Information and Correspondence sheet
Members noted items on the sheet which included:
8.1 The concern of a local resident about vehicles parking too close to the junction of Croft Road with the B4349, thereby causing an obstruction, leading to vehicles swinging over to the opposite side of the road. This had led to his vehicle colliding with a bus and he was concerned about possible future accidents. The Police would be asked to consider the problem.
8.2 It was noted that the councillor vacancy had been advertised.

9. Finance and Policies
9.1 It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
9.1.1 Clerk’s salary (in accordance with contract) plus expenses of £18.12.
9.1.2 Longfield Services/Lengthsman – bin emptying £138.57.
9.1.3 Village Hall hire (19.1.22) £10.50.
9.1.4 PM Jones Builders – Christmas tree base, erection, fencing & lights £1020.
It was noted that around 100 people had enjoyed the tree switch on and carol singing event.

9.2 The Bank balance was noted as £37095.36.

9.3 Members considered request for donations from the following:

As a member of the PCC, Krina Langdon declared an interest in the following item & left the room

9.3.1 Clehonger PCC … Unfortunately, because NALC solicitors had advised that parish councils were at risk of a legal challenge if they funded the property of the Church, it was RESOLVED not to give a donation to the PCC for grasscutting.

Krina Langdon returned to the meeting

9.3.2 Dore Community Transport … It was RESOLVED to donate £650.
9.3.3 Belmont Country Park Supporters … It was RESOLVED to donate £200.

9.4 It was RESOLVED to request an ‘In House’ training session from HALC, prior to the March meeting. It was noted that training was not compulsory for parish councillors.

10. Planning
10.1 Planning application for determination by Herefordshire Council

Application 214131- Haywood House, Belmont – Proposed detached domestic garage.
No comments were made.

10.2 Local Area Plan (Core Strategy) Consultation
The Chair gave a brief outline of the options for consideration within the on-line consultation which was the first stage of the strategy to define where to build around 17k more dwellings in Herefordshire. It was noted that Clehonger had almost doubled in size over the last few years and was not looking to expand further. Following detailed discussion, it was RESOLVED that councillors would send their thoughts to the Chair via email, to enable the Chair to compile a response by the deadline of 28th February.

11. Village Matters
11.1 A noticeboard had a cracked glass door and a key which didn’t fit.
11.2 The hedge in Poplar Road had been trimmed but it was still overhanging the road.

12. Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
A representative from the school had offered to set up a meeting for all interested parties to work together on a celebration event. It was RESOLVED to work with the school, Church and other parties and a suggestion was made that the Village Hall might consider offering their venue free of charge on the day of the event.

13. Temporary cover arrangements in absence of Lengthsman
It was noted that this was no longer a major issue because the Lengthsman was getting better.

14. Clerk’s annual appraisal
It was noted that the Chair and Vice Chair would be holding an appraisal session with the Clerk, prior to the next parish council meeting.

15. Items for next agenda
15.1 Co-option of a new councillor.
15.2 Ideas for piece of open land – an area for quiet contemplation?
15.3 Noticeboards.
15.4 Road safety initiatives.
15.5 Siting of benches.
15.6 Football goal posts.

16. Date of next parish council meeting
Wednesday 16th March at 7.30 pm in Clehonger Village Hall.