Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council Meeting held on 16th January 2014 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), P Jeffree, J Rider, J Thorne, J Hammond, G Walker, J Whittal and C Protherough
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Councillor David Taylor and 3 members of the public.
- 1. Introduction and welcome by the Chairman
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. He wished everyone a happy new year and thanked everyone for all of their contributions in 2013, which had been a productive year, and also thanked them in advance for the work to be done in 2014.
- 2. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Morgan.
- 3. Declarations of Interest
Resolved: Cllrs C Protherough, J Rider and J Hammond declared a prejudicial interest in matters relating to the Village Hall and Councillor Tomlinson declared similar in relation to Dore Community Transport.
- 4. Open Session
A member of the public raised the issue regarding the naming of the new development of houses off Poplar Road. It was resolved that the issue would be fully discussing under the Planning Agenda item.
- 5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. Not present but the Clerk detailed that she had been a victim of crime in that her garden summer house door had been kicked in over Christmas and the door damaged. 5.2 Ward Councillor. Ward Councillor Taylor reported the good news, especially for Eaton Bishop Parish, in that the Ruckhall Bridge repairs were finally in sight. Welsh Water would in January be redirecting the water main which at present is positioned under the road surface over the bridge, and then in February the repair works would commence. These were being carried out by a local contractor, Owen Pell, and should be completed by early July 2014.
Local Planning Applications were coming in and the County Council were required to have a five year land availability plan in place to meet requirements. Cllr Taylor suggested that the Parish Council might like to write to the Herefordshire Council Planning Department to put the request that no further developments were considered, for the parish, until the Neighbourhood Plan had been completed and land availability assessed and designated. The proposal was resolved and the Clerk would write to request this and copy Cllr Taylor in to the letter. The Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish would likely get under way, from April 2014, following the completion of the Parish Plan.
The Council Budget had been prepared and recognised the reduction in funding from Central Government. This would be presented the following week. There could be cuts to many services including the bus service and opening times of libraries. Council Tax demands will be increased.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. The new vehicle had been ordered and was being made ready for delivery later in the year. An e mail had been received on Monday 16th December advising that Herefordshire Council were withdrawing insurance for the Dore vehicles that very night. After negotiation it was eventually agreed that the Herefordshire Council would continue to insure the vehicles until the end of March 2014. The Council was not prepared to insure the vehicles because they are not named on the registration documentation. The grant from Herefordshire Council, to help with the running costs, will be awarded on a percentage basis and Dore was waiting to see how future subsidies might be affected, given the Council’s financial position.
5.4 Clehonger Jubilee Group. No update.
5.5 Broadband Champion. No further details at present.
5.6 Church No further news on improved anti litter signage for the church yard. Clerk to chase up.
5.7 Clehonger Primary School
There would be a Governors’ Meeting the following week and Cllr Whittal would ask the School to include the Parish Clerk on the circulation list for the Newsletter which she could then circulate to all councillors. It was suggested that the Clerk could send a list of meeting dates to the Head and invite his attendance at the meetings, should he wish to come along. A case study was currently in progress in regard to the possibility of the pre-school moving into the school building. All implications and possible outcomes, such as hall revenue, space, day time lettings etc. were being evaluated before a decision was taken but the children’s welfare remains the prime objective.
- 6. To approve minutes of the Meeting held on 21/11/13.
Resolved: – The Minutes of the meeting, held on 21st November 2013, were approved by the Council and then signed by the Chairman, with one abstention, from Cllr Walker, who was on holiday when the previous meeting was held
7. Clerk Update on Action Items
The Clerk updated the meeting re the action items including signs re the churchyard, prizes had been obtained and awarded to the winners of the Parish Plan Prize Draw, the delays at the main Hereford city roundabout had been queried and the answer was that the road traffic management system, Scoot, had malfunctioned and this had now been resolved with queue times back to a more usual level. Quotation had been received for the grit bins identified for the village. Information had been received, following support given to Eaton Bishop Parish, over the Ruckhall Bridge situation and resolution was now in sight. The Lengthsman had cleared the pathway of overgrowth on the way to the Seven Stars Public House and the Kerb Stone problem outside No. 31 Birch Hill Road had been logged as enquiry no. 11004536 and passed to the Locality Inspector.
- 8. To note correspondence
The Clerk advised re some of the correspondence received.
The Lengthsman, Mr Layton-Morris had resigned after serving the Parish for eleven years. The Clerk and Chair would arrange for advertising regarding his replacement.
A document, from the Council’s Insurer AON, had identified an administrative error on their part regarding relevant policy endorsements. They had now supplied a list of same for our records, in emulation of those appended to the previous year’s documentation.
The Parish Council’s Bank, RBS, had written to notify the Parish Council that they would shortly be commencing trading in conjunction with Williams and Glyn’s Bank.
The Council received a leaflet entitled “Save Our Buses” published by Rail for Herefordshire and identified a campaign to try to safeguard the counties bus services.
There was further information from Herefordshire Council about the awarding of the parish tax base and grant allocation which meant that the Parish would receive their full parish precept request amount.
Further correspondence would be detailed under the relevant agenda item.
- 9. Finance
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Lengthsman (R. Layton Morris) £320.00
Mrs A Wright – (salary £356.32 mileage £16.56, paper £3.50) £376.38
Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office) £89.00
Sub Total £785.38
Parish Planning for Real Payments
Wye Learn (Parish Plan Questionnaire Analysis) £770.00
PP Sub Total £770.00
Grand Total £1555.38
9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted
9.3 Precept: Two alternative forecast budgets had been prepared for consideration. The fundamental difference was an additional £300.00 allocation for Parish Plan quick win initiatives. After discussion, and examination of the proposals, the Council voted unanimously in favour of Budget B which requested a precept amount of £13,100.00. It was duly resolved that the Clerk would request a precept of £13,100.00 for 2014-2015 and the request form was completed and signed accordingly.
- 10. Planning
There had been no new applications.
The outcome of the appeal against the Home Farm planning refusal had been that the appeal by the applicant had been dismissed. This news was welcomed by all those who had feared for the future of the beautiful landscape of the area. A document holding full details of the refusal was held by the Clerk and could be viewed on request.
The Planning Appeal by the owner of the plot of land at the end of Birch Hill Road, adjacent to the Village Hall had also been dismissed. Details held, as above.
The naming of the new development of houses off Poplar Road was discussed at this point. The proposed name of Gardiners Oak was discussed and the general consensus of opinion was that the name Landimore was preferred. The Clerk would write to the planners suggesting Landimore Oak or Landimore Close as a preferred name to that proposed. It was noted that Landimore was the name of an existing property on the site and this was felt to be more appropriate.
- 11. Parish Plan
The questionnaires had been analysed and the final checking was in progress. The Council would be making a final assessment and then the details would be published. Hopefully feedback would be available in time for inclusion at the next Parish Council Meeting. There would be a Steering Group Meeting on 27th January. Assimilation of the volunteers into task groups was ongoing and the adverse weather group now had 22 volunteer members willing to help others during periods of adverse weather.
Fundraising had been ongoing and Alison Davies presented two cheques at the meeting totalling £129.00 towards the Playing Field Fund. Further ideas for fundraising included coffee mornings and a Race Night.
The latest quote from Kompan, for the Playing Field equipment, was circa £100,000.00. Drawings of how it might look on the Playing Field had been supplied and the ideas were progressing.
- 12. Grit Bins
A request for grit bins had been submitted to Balfour Beatty. Two pieces of correspondence had been received. The first was the Balfour Beatty Grit Bin strategy, reproduced here for information:-
“A decision has been agreed between Balfour Beatty and Herefordshire Council that we need to replace old damaged bins first which are already in situ across the county. Most of you will be aware of the old blue half tub type bins, many of which do not have lids. There are also broken and cracked bins where the salt is exposed to the elements and the bins fill with water and leech salt into the ground. This is an environmental issue which we must address.
We are carrying out an audit across the county as grit bins are refilled and where there is an issue with a bin, we are seeking to replace it.
This means that the 200 new bins we have purchased for this winter season will not be available to be placed in new locations. We understand there is a desire to add additional grit bins in particular locations, but believe the priority must be to replace broken bins already on the network.
To this end, we are advising that previously placed requests will not be fulfilled this year”.
The second piece of correspondence was the quotation for three bins reproduced below:-
“Installation of Grit Bins
Thank you for your recent enquiry to Balfour Beatty Living Places Ltd. for provision of 3 no grit bins for Clehonger Parish Council. We would be pleased to offer this service for a price of £572.41 + VAT.
If this is of interest, we would need payment in advance of the required date, please make cheques payable to Balfour Beatty Living places, along with a signed copy of the standard terms and conditions as attached. We will then send a receipt invoice. Payment terms and other conditions would be in accordance with our standard terms and conditions, attached for reference.
BASIS OF THE OFFER:
- Provision of 3 grit bins installed, including digging in to the verge, as per the locations you have provided. If you have any queries regarding the above please contact Andrew Middlecote on 07816 062987
This quote will remain valid for 30 days from the date of this letter.”
Giving due regard to the strategy and the cost of replacements, it was resolved to leave the grit bin situation as is for the current year. There was a requirement for a grit bin to be replaced at the top of Birch Hill and the Chair would advise the Clerk of the grid reference so this could be requested. The Clerk would also ask Balfour Beatty about the Self Help Grit scheme and the acquisition of grit supplies, in small quantities for drive/path safety and for use by the Adverse Weather Group during icy weather conditions.
- 13. Village Matters
The Lazy Oak road drainage initiative had proved a success and the Clerk had written to thank the contractors for a job well done. The thank you had been well received. The corner of Gosmore Road and Birch Hill Road was flooding regularly and it was believed that the drains required jetting to clear them. The jetting action would be requested, by the Clerk, from Balfour Beatty.
The defibrillator fund now stood at £1127.00 and the British Heart Foundation Grant had been obtained. The mechanics of installation were now being sorted out.
Slime on the path outside No. 30 Innesfield had been cleared, following a request by a resident of the parish, by Herefordshire Housing. It had been noted that a large number of newspapers had been stuffed into the drains which were now full and blocked in Poplar Road. These would require clearing.
There was some concern over trees in the neighbouring Allensmore Parish but, following discussion, it was agreed that no action could be taken in this regard regarding tree preservation orders but it was resolved that the Parish Council would ask for replacement trees to be planted where possible.
There had been a transformer placed adjacent to a property in Poplar Road but this was now being moved.
The Save Our Bus campaign was noted and a new bus shelter was being installed close to St Francis Xavier’s Church in Hereford. This should be in place by September 2015.
It was noted that the speed limit on the A465 would be remaining at 40mph. Cllr Philip Price was now the councillor responsible for infrastructure and any enquiries in this regard should be addressed to him.
The Lengthsman’s resignation had been received and the Clerk and Chair would create an advert, person specification and job description for the replacement.
14. Brief Reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep, Village Hall Rep and Tree Warden
Footpath Warden The steps at the Pump House are to be installed when the weather improves.
HALC Rep No further details,
Village Hall Rep details re defibrillator as under Village Matters item
Tree Warden no further details to report.
15. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
Apologies were received in advance from Cllr Rider.
- 16. Reminder of dates of future meetings
The next Meeting will be held on Thursday 20th February 2014, at 7.30pm, at the Innesfield Community Centre.
The Meeting closed at 9.20pm