Minutes 21st February 2013

Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council Meeting held on 21st February 2013 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre

Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), J Rider, P Jeffree, J Hammond, J Thorne and C Protherough

In attendance:   Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Councillor Taylor, Hayley Crane from Herefordshire Council and 9 members of the public.

1.  Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllr’s Whittall and Walker.

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 to the meeting and introduced Hayley Crane from Herefordshire Council who had come to talk about affordable housing.

4.  Open Session

Hayley Crane addressed the Parish Council, and the members of the public present, and explained about the identified affordable housing requirements. Housing need was identified and then suitable land sought to build the required houses. She said that the developments should fit in with the requirements of the village and that large one off developments of “18 houses may become a “ghetto”. There can be different tenures, rent/buy, rent or buy. In order to qualify for a property you need to be registered with Homepoint (which Hayley explained used to be the Council House waiting list). Herefordshire Council had partnered with West Mercia Housing which included Kemble Housing. The maximum first “for sale” price of an affordable house was set at £109,000.00. The resale value of the property would be index linked but would be set to enable future buyers to obtain it at a lower cost for perpetuity. There would be consultations held where everyone could come along and discuss the plans and look at the proposals with a view to providing comments and feedback.

Points were raised in the open session as follows

  • 30 mph road sign in Gosmore road is hanging off in the hedgerow. Clerk to advise Amey
  • Village Hall sign had been moved (Audrey Evans would sort this out)
  • Flood notification sign by the Lousy Oak was thought inadequate, Clerk to request a more stable and noticeable one.
  • Snow clearance at Innesfield. This had been delayed and the hazard persisted for several days. Clerk to write to Hereford Housing to ascertain their policy on snow clearance at sites such as Innesfield.
  • B4349 Road surface outside the Seven Stars Public House was breaking up. Clerk to advise Amey. It was commented that there is a website called “Fix My Road.com” where persons can log faults and they should then be picked up.
  • It was commented that the consultation on the budget cuts was too short but then it was explained that the time given to the Council by Central Government was equally tight.
  • The Village Hall Committee is pressing ahead with fund raising for the hall extension. They were not currently able to accommodate the pre-school requests for extended hours.

5.  Brief Verbal Reports:

5.1 Local Policing Team.  Not present but it was highlighted that 60 litres of fuel had been stolen out of a tractor in Birch Hill Road and that there had been a total of 9 burglaries reported, in one 48 hour period, in the group of villages covered by the bulletin update. The main issues centred round thefts of tools and equipment from outbuildings.

5.2 Ward Councillor. Cllr Taylor had ordered a new grit bin for the top of Birch Hill Road. This would be paid for by the Herefordshire Council. It was commented that it should be securely based as the previous one had been up-ended and had fallen out into the road.

5.3 Dore Community Transport. There had been a break in at the enclosure where the Dore Vehicle was housed. The key safe had been broken off the wall and the vehicle opened and the phone taken. It was likely to cost £600 to £700 to put things right.

5.4 Clehonger Community Action Group.  Cllr Protherough had communicated with Sgt Dugmore, during the previous few days, and had obtained some financial information. Work was still in progress finalising the accounts and the £1000 payment to the Help for Heroes Fund was to be made very shortly. A float would be retained and the balance on account would then be forwarded to be held in the “Playing Field Fund”. There was still an outstanding issue with the Sunshine Radio fee but paperwork was in hand.

5.5 Broadband Champion. The Champion updated that the joint venture to improve broadband for all was under way. Allpay and Herefordshire Housing had met to discuss setting up the links around Innesfield. The joint project launch between Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Councils and partners was scheduled for 20th March 2013.

5.6 Church. No update.

6.  To approve minutes of Meeting held on 10/01/13.

Resolved: – The Minutes were approved by the Council and signed by the Chairman

7. Clerk Update on Action Items

The Clerk updated the Council on action items including precept, road issues, bus stop and pavement and white lining at the bottom of Poplar Road. The precept award had been made as requested. We were still awaiting outcomes for the reported Amey issues. Some potholes and road repairs have been carried out but there are still may more to be fixed. The Clerk will stay on the case. It was suggested that the Clerk contact Ruth Kinsella, Andy Atkinson and Tim Ellis (842123) re the ongoing issues with Amey and the failure of response, or remedial action, in some reported cases.

The Clerk, having contacted Trefor Edwards in regards to the training/away day, had received a reply that indicated that he would require clarification of the purpose and content of the objectives before deciding whether he could assist.

8.  To note correspondence

Correspondence had included:

A letter from a resident had been received about the need for a pavement from the top of Church Road to the newly completed bus stop hard standing.

Herefordshire Council Local Plan – Core Strategy (Draft) Consultation papers had been received with an invitation to attend meetings to learn more and the opportunity to feedback via consultation papers etc. It was resolved that a sub committee consisting of Cllrs Jeffree, Protherough, Hammond and Rider would look at the strategy and feedback to the Parish Council for a response to be formulated. Prop PJ and sec JH, carried unanimously. Representations need to be with Herefordshire Council by 17.00 on Monday 17th April 2013.

An E mail from Sgt Dugmore, passed by Cllr Protherough, regarding The Community Action Group financials and also plans for the next Fun Day, scheduled for the 21st July 2013. The Clerk was still trying to ascertain insurance implications for this.

A letter had been received from Nick Griffiths, Housing Needs and Development Officer, Homes and Communities, Herefordshire Council concerning a Workshop on the Assessment of Rural Housing Need to be held at the Town Hall Assembly Room on 16th April 2013 from 1.00 to 4.00pm.

9.  Finance

9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:

Lengthsman (R. Layton Morris)                                              £340.00

Mrs A Wright – (salary £352.80 mileage £25.92, phone £12.95)                    £391.67

Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office)             £88.20

Mr C L Tomlinson (expenses)                                                     £5.85

Sub Total           £825.72

Parish Planning for Real Payments

Nil this month                                                                          £0.00

PP Sub Total              £0.00

Grand Total           £825.72

9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted

10.  Planning

No new applications advised but the wider issue of prospecting for house building plus the need for affordable housing will be discussed in various consultation meetings going forward.

11.  Parish Plan

The four focus groups were continuing to work through the finer points and were looking at transport, the playing field, housing and environment and amenities and services. The housing section, of a questionnaire, was nearly complete and this would be circulated and would be available in the Village Shop and at other venues. The Playing Field Focus Group had met with playground equipment suppliers and had asked them to draw up lists of options and prices. Cllr Powell had spoken to the Transport Group and highlighted issues to be considered. Amongst these were public transport and road provision and the links between traffic and housing. There was still the wish to engage more with the School and discussions would be sought with parents and children. A newsletter was planned and more information was to be displayed on a website with a link to it from the Parish Council website. It was hoped that each group would have a piece of information about their activities on there. The next Transport Group would be meeting on March 16th and the Fish & Chip Van would be coming to Innesfield.

12.  Neighbourhood Plan

There needs to be a wider planning strategy for the Parish. The Steering Group had spoken to Samantha Banks from Neighbourhood Planning at Herefordshire Council. The Neighbourhood Plan would be an agenda item on the March Agenda and with a view to inviting Samantha to attend the April Parish Council Meeting to talk to Councillors about the Neighbourhood Plan initiative.

13.  Donations Policy

A suggested clause re donations protocols was put forward but, after discussion, it was resolved that rewording it was desirable and a policy should be re-presented at the next meeting. The policy will aim to set out the criteria for those seeking support from the parish council in order to ensure legality, transparency and safeguarding for all parties. This may take the form of the requirement for certain evidence of standing to be supplied such as bank statements and accounts, constitution, headed paper, minutes of decisions etc.

14.  Playing Field Development and way forward

A motion was put forward by the Chair as follows:

“As Chair I am requesting an agreement from the Parish Council that the Playing Field development can continue without waiting for the completion of the Parish Plan project. This agreement will only apply to the Playing Field because it is wholly owned by the Parish Council and the Parish Council will have full control of the project. No money will be spent or committed or work carried out without the approval of the council.”

This was proposed by Cllr Protherough and seconded by Cllr Rider. Resolved

15.  Village Matters

A drain has collapsed outside No 2 Poplar Road. It was looked at in November and a cone has been placed over it. The drain has been jetted but the cover remains broken. Amey have been involved and a number allocated PAS207536. Clerk would chase this up.

A report was made of hedge overgrowth, also in Poplar Road. House numbers to be advised and Clerk to log call with Amey.

Cars parked on the pavement in Birch Hill Road, near to the school. Registration numbers must be obtained and reported to the police, or no action can be taken.

16. Brief Reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep, Village Hall Rep and Tree Warden

There were no reports from the Footpath or HALC Rep (not present). The Village Hall Rep reiterated the support for the trustees of the Village Hall in their decision re the pre –school because the hall extension is needed for the requirements to be met. It is hoped that it may be possible to obtain a grant towards the development costs. Funds are being raised whenever possible.

The Tree Warden reported that the TPO had been served on the tree at the entrance to No. 12 Poplar Road.

17.  Items for next Agenda (no discussion)

Core Strategy response feedback, Donations Policy, Neighbourhood Plan


18.  Reminder of dates of future meetings

There was some discussion over dates for forthcoming meetings and the years meeting forward dates had been published in good time. It was noted that it was inevitable that on some occasions it would not be possible to accommodate everyone in the setting of dates, due to various factors. The meeting dates for January and February had been arranged in 2012 and the March onward dates advised in an e mail on 14th January 2013. The dates were approved.

The next meeting will be Thursday 21st March 2013, 7.30pm at the Innesfield Community Centre.

The Meeting closed at 9.30pm