Minutes 21st July 2021

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting of Clehonger Parish Council held on 21st July 2021 from 7.30 pm at the Clehonger Village Hall (outside) during the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic

Present: Cllrs S Savory, A Davies (Vice Chair), J Jones, J Harris, W Watkins and J Whittal
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Cllr David Hitchiner, Footpath Officer Blue Davies, Lengthsman Paul Wright, Tree Warden Alan Morgan and three members of the public. Also in attendance, for the first part of the meeting, was PC Jeff Rouse.

1. Introduction and welcome by the Chair
The Meeting was held outside the hall on a warm and sunny evening. Cllr Alison Davies (Vice Chair) was in the Chair and she welcomed everyone to the open air meeting.

2. Co-option of councillor and signing of forms
There was no candidate presented for co-option at the meeting.

3. To receive Apologies for Absence
There were apologies for absence received from Cllrs K Langdon and C Protherough

4. To note Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest made.

5. Open Session
It was commented that some residents in the village had been having bonfires. People were reminded of the importance of not lighting fires, during hot weather, when it was more likely that windows would be kept open etc.
PC Rouse raised the topic of a forthcoming planned “festival” to be held at a farm venue in the village over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Previously some concerns had been raised about this but it was commented, at the meeting, that the authorities were “happy that the event was going to be run correctly”. The required licence application had been made, it would be a private party in a field behind the house and music would be finishing by midnight.
PC Rouse advised that anti-social behaviour reports in the village had been getting less and that there had been no real incidence of crime recently in the Clehonger area. There was just a renewed warning to be aware of “courier” fraud where vulnerable people may be tricked into passing sums of cash to criminals posing as police officers. This may involve escorting the person to their bank to withdraw sums of cash for “safekeeping”. People would need to be aware and it was advised to those present to warn anyone known to them who may be at risk of this type of crime.
The Monthly Bulletins were being circulated. Members of the public could be encouraged to sign up to receive police alerts and relevant messages via the website online. Link: https://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/west-mercia/news/

PC Rouse left the meeting at this point.
6. Brief Verbal Reports:
(6.1) Ward Councillor: The Ward Cllr discussed a request from a local resident for a dropped kerb facility at Woodfield Gardens, Ruckhall Lane to enable access for mobility scooters, wheelchairs etc. The Ward Cllr would find out possible costs and advised that Balfour Beatty had replied that there was a long wait for funds for projects such as that proposed. The Chair had sent a statement about the topic which had been circulated. Clehonger and Belmont Rural Parishes were jointly approached. The Ward Cllr would seek clarification on who was actually responsible for providing the access facility (query Herefordshire Council?). More information would be provided.
The Ward Cllr advised that the Gladmans site funding was going ahead for the 90 homes on the Madley Road. 70% of the homes would be available for rent and a percentage would be shared ownership.
There would be a Herefordshire Council Cabinet Meeting on the afternoon of the 22/07/21.
The Chair, Cllr Protherough, had submitted a question for the Transport Consultation.
The Ward Cllr advised that the “Old Bridge” in Hereford would re-open for traffic in September and not before this.

(6.2) Footpath Officer: The Footpath Officer stated that “the paths were not being much used as the fields were overgrown”. When the fields are cleared people could go back to walking the paths.

(6.3) Tree Warden: The Tree Warden advised that “there was not a lot to report on”. The Copper Beech at Beech House (subject of a Tree Preservation Order – TPO) had been the object of an application for removal. The two large Oaks on Gosmore Road were commented, in that the Tree Warden was not sure what was happening about them following previous recourse to the Tree Officer. The trees had some splits in their trunks and the Clerk would contact the Tree Officer at Herefordshire Council, again, to see what was being done about this.
7.0 Playing Field
(7.1) Update and details of any sub committee meetings/actions etc.
The Chair of the Playing Field Committee, Cllr Davies, would be chasing up on delivery of the two new benches. Cllr Davies and the clerk had met with the contractors who were going to be fitting the new equipment and matting on the field.
The county lock had been obtained and fitted. This would enable ease of access for the grass cutting contractor. There was a comment made that the old lock had just been cut off and tossed down onto the field (not sure who had done this).
There was a discussion about the poor condition of the Oak and the two Rowan trees on the field. Following a consideration of their habitat, state of growth and potential suffering from disease, it was resolved that the Oak and the two Rowans should be removed, with their surrounding cages, as soon as possible. The Lengthsman was asked to carry out the removals.

It was commented that the quotation provided for a map for the playing field, as circulated by Cllr Savory, should be accepted and the map progressed.

(7.2) To discuss request for memorial tree(s) on the playing field
The planting of a tree on the field in memory of Cllr Jane Rees had seen the request for an American Black Poplar Tree. It was agreed that this was not thought advisable due to the potential size that such a tree could achieve. Cllr Davies would speak to the family about the situation and the clerk would write to the enquirer to explain the reasons why the parish council could not agree to that type of tree.

8. To approve Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 16/06/21
It was resolved that the Minutes of the Meeting, held on 16th June 2021, at the Hall, were approved by the Council. There was one correction to the day of the week for 16/06/21 to “Wednesday”.

9. Information and correspondence
Council Leaders Report
Talk Community Correspondence
106 – Parish wish list
Annual Canvass information in progress

Leaders Report
Councillor Hitchiner’s Leader Report has been circulated

10. Finance and Policies
(10.1) Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Clerk paid in accordance with contract (July and August)
Longfield Services (Lengthsman/Bins) £202.10
Clehonger Village Hall (Hall hire) £10.50
Education Property Partnership Ltd (playing field lock) £30.00

(9.2) Resolved: The bank balance was noted at £47386.80
11. Planning.
(11.1) To consider response to Planning Applications, as notified, and then determined by Herefordshire Council
There was one new 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 resolved that there were some objections to the proposals in planning consultation 212344. The positioning of the building within the plot, impact in the environment and the potential for the overlooking of existing properties would be commented to this effect.

12. Village Matters including hedge issues and overgrowth in some areas
It was commented that the attenuation pond, on the Persimmon site, had had the liner removed and it had been lined with top soil.
It was commented that there were no steps up out of the pond to enable someone to climb up out of it, should they fall in.
It had been observed that the hedge opposite the Persimmon site was overgrown. This was also the case outside a property in Pleasant Row.
The area of land at the end of Birch Hill Road was once again overgrown and untidy. The clerk would contact the Enforcement Officer about this situation.

13. Parliamentary Review of Constituency Boundaries – response by the PC
The Parish Council discussed the proposal of the moving of Stoney Street Ward into the Northern Constituency. This was believed to be unsatisfactory, on a number of counts, and the parish council would respond that they wished the ward to remain in the south constituency. The clerk would submit the response accordingly to the consultation.

14. Consultation on the future of local bus transport – response?
The parish council agreed that individuals would submit their own personal responses to the local bus transport consultation, as opinions and requirements may vary.

15. To consider request for dropped kerb off Ruckhall Lane – letter refers
This topic was discussed in the Ward Cllr’s report item. Further information would be sought on the proposal and would be reported back.

16. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
All of the usual items would be on the Agenda. Also the co-option of a new councillor and Ruckhall kerb update.

17. Reminder of dates of future meetings
The next Meeting of the Parish Council would be held on Wednesday 15th September 2021, from 7.30pm, at the Clehonger Village Hall. There would be no parish council meeting in August.

The Meeting closed at 8.40 PM.