Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council meeting held on 23rd February 2012 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), G Walker (Vice Chair), C Protherough, P Jeffree, J Hammond, J Rider, J Thorne and J Whittal
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), and 7 members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were accepted from Mrs A Hitchener.
2. Declarations of Interest
Resolved: Cllrs Protherough, J Hammond, and J Rider 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 two members of the public introduced themselves as Jane Whistance and Sue Tomkins from the Community Action Group.
4. Open Session
- A large vehicle had been parked regularly at the end of the Village Hall drive. There was also a van and caravan in the driveway of the property of the people who owned the large vehicle making parking of it in the drive impossible. The position of the vehicle was making access and exit to and from the Hall car park somewhat difficult. There had been some complaints from users of the Hall and it was sometimes difficult for the bus to pull up in the correct place due to where the vehicle was parked. As a result of this, it was agreed that the clerk would advise the Police of the problem to see if they could do anything to help facilitate more considerate parking.
- A member of the public stated that some of the information on the Parish Council Website was out of date and requested that the site be kept up to date. Cllr.
- Jeffrey stated that every effort would be made to do this. He would speak to the clerk about uploading minutes to the site also.
- Bowling Green accident involving the Dore Community Transport vehicle. This would be reported on in the Dore Transport update, later in the agenda. Police had confirmed that, at the time of the accident, visibility along the stretch of road concerned was “good”. Concern was expressed over speeding cars on this stretch of road.
- A member of the public raised the subject of communications with the Primary School. Cllr Whittal explained that she had a close link with the school as she was a governor there. Also the Parish council had been in contact with the school, very recently, re parking issues and the forthcoming Queen’s Jubilee.
- The Parish Plan was discussed and a wish for the public meeting to go ahead conveyed. Two aspects were highlighted, firstly the idea of engendering community spirit and secondly the fact that as over 50% of Councils have a plan it was felt that the community could be “missing out” if our plan did not go ahead.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. As there was no local policing officer present the clerk read out a brief summary of the crime trends, as described in the police e mailed update. The theft of fuel oils was still proving to be a constant concern.
5.2 Ward Councillor. Councillor David Taylor was not present.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. Cllr Tomlinson gave a resume of the accident that had “written off” one of the Dore vehicles and seriously injured the volunteer driver, Mr Tony Capon. The vehicle had been stationary at the time of the impact and had been hit at some considerable speed. Mr Capon had suffered severe lacerations to his head and leg and had been knocked unconscious. Passengers in the vehicle had been “thrown around” and had suffered bruising. Mr Capon was making a good recovery, at the time of the meeting.
The Herefordshire Council had undertaken a Review of Community Transport in Herefordshire but the resultant document was not felt to be representative and this had been fed back to the Council.
5.4 Clehonger Community Action Group. There was to be another Fun Day on the 29th July 2012. Cllr Walker would give the names of previous members to Sue Tomkins so that she could contact them to see if they wished to be involved in the future projects.
5.5 Broadband Champion, not present. Cllr Walker stated that he had seen a programme that highlighted the fact that Herefordshire has the worst broadband speeds in the country.
6. To approve minutes of previous meeting held on 19/01/12.
The minutes were subject to an alteration to item 4 Open session bullet 5, the word “resolved” was substituted with the word “agreed” and a comma was inserted in one of the sentences in relation to the parish plan preceding the neighbourhood plan. Resolved:- that the minutes were approved by the Council and signed by the Chairman.
7. Clerk update on Action Items
The clerk gave updates on the following,
- The condition of the bus stop at the top of Church Road. This has been reported and has been allocated a task reference number by Amey.
- The clerk had contacted the company who had supplied the playground swings. Photos of the broken seats had been sent and a claim made in regard to their unsatisfactory performance. Unfortunately they were outside of warranty or guarantee, however, the clerk was going to try to push for some favourable outcome, in terms of goodwill discount, on any future seats that may be supplied by the company.
- The clerk had made contact with Sgt Dugmore in regard to the Community Action Group
- The clerk had obtained prices for dog poo bins and salt bins, detailed at later point in the agenda.
8. To note correspondence.
Resolved: the following items were noted
Planning documentation for one refusal and one application.
The Church Treasurer, Mr Batty, had written letter of thanks for the council’s continued support with a note to say that all future help would be gratefully received.
Further details of the planning process, going forward, had been received from Herefordshire Council. The clerk would pass the internet links to the Leader of the Planning Working Party, Cllr Whittal.
Cllr Thorne had passed some correspondence to the Chairman in regard to the proposed housing development at Home Farm. Copies on file.
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Hire of Innesfield £10.00
Lengthsman (R. Layton Morris) £100.00
J & D Sanders £198.00
Mrs A Wright – (salary £233.65, mileage £28.08
Telephone £12.16, cartridge £18.97 stamps£5.52) £298.38
Longfield Services £275.00
Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office) £58.40
Resolved: The bank balance was noted
Cllr Whittal explained that there had been a refusal of permission for the application numbered S113567/F to build a three bedroom property on the land adjacent to the Village Hall, Clehonger.
An application had been received from The Acre, Church Road, Old Clehonger, number S120029/F, concerned with the proposed removal of condition 2 and variation of condition 3 of planning permission SH861243PF – to allow change of use to a holiday let. The working party had considered this and the Council had responded to say that they had no objection to the application and saw no reason to disagree with the change of use. This had been communicated back to the Planning Department.
A question arose about whether all councillors should consider all applications but, after discussion, it was agreed that the present system of a smaller group looking at the applications, and referring necessary issues to the whole council, was working well and should continue.
11. Park land off Ruckhall Lane
Cllr Thorne explained the situation in regard to the planning proposal to build approximately 100 homes on land at Home Farm, off Ruckhall Lane. There was to be a meeting on Saturday 17thMarch at Hedley Lodge, Belmont at 2.30pm where interested parties could discuss their concerns. Several documents were supplied by Cllr Thorne, including a copy of the Woodfield Gardens (Belmont) Management Co. Ltd letter written by Roy Cole the Chairman, and a copy of the letter written by Cllr Thorne to Father Simon at the Abbey. Cllr Thorne stated that he would be asking Clehonger Parish Council to support the opposition to the Planning Application, when it was received. This would be subject to further discussion when all of the facts were known.
12. Village Hall Extension
Following a tabled agenda item discussed at this meeting, it was resolved that the Parish Council would partner the Village Hall Committee in regard to the Village Hall extension fund raising initiative. This would be in terms of the administration of the development finances and a representative from the Parish Council would form part of the steering committee. The fund raising project is understood to be underpinned by the plan of providing an extension to the Clehonger Village Hall to increase the Hall’s usability and flexibility of space.
13. Queen’s Jubilee
After discussion, it was agreed that the Village Hall would fund the use of the hall for the start up meeting. The Parish Council resolved to pay for the production of advertising flyers to promote the meeting. Cllr Protherough would circulate a draft letter to try to co-ordinate the inaugural meeting.
14. Website. To receive report from the website working group
The web site is up and running and, further to previous comments during the open session, efforts would be made to try to “keep it going” and make sure that it was up to date. Cllr Jeffree would speak to the Clerk and advise her how to upload the minutes, agenda etc.
15. Precept. To identify capital projects
Cllr Jeffree gave a resume in regard to the Parish Council Finances and explained that it was not desirable to hold high reserves. It was also not acceptable to raise the precept and then not spend the money on things of benefit for the community. It was stated that the Playing field was in need of a radical overhaul and something could be done in this regard, perhaps in conjunction with the Community Action Group. The Village Hall and the Jubilee celebrations were also areas that could be considered. Over the next few months specific projects would be identified.
16. Speed of Traffic by Clehonger School
This has already been highlighted by the Parish Council and, unfortunately, it would appear that it is “way down the list” in terms of priority. The clerk would again reiterate concern to the Police Department and ask if they could lend their assistance to this perennial problem.
17. Dog waste and salt bins
Applications for new salt bins need to be made in July. Extra bins are available at a cost of £78.40 including VAT. Dog poo bins have proved to be costly at £170.00 each and with a monthly emptying fee on top of that of £31.85. This was discussed and felt to be too expensive an outlay, at the present time. The clerk would enquire how much a general bin would be for positioning at the top of Poplar Road. This could be emptied by the Lengthsman, for an incorporated cost.
18. Brief reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep and Village Hall Rep
Footpaths. Cllr Tomlinson explained that Path CH20 had been completed and further steps installed to complete the works.
HALC. Cllr Walker gave a resume of the meeting held on 30th January 2012. There had been a proposal for nine parish council localities to replace the three area meetings but due to low turn-out it would be kept as is for the next financial year. There had been a draft protocol for parish councils to take on devolved services via the revised charter. The detailed protocol form was not considered suitable for small parishes but more suitable for market town councils. It was resolved, at the meeting, that the Charter Working Group/HALC Executive would use the current draft for market towns and larger parishes, and create a simpler version for smaller parishes. There was also a section on the implications of the Localism Bill and a new Code of conduct would be made available. HALC would be encouraging Herefordshire Council to make sure that representation at outside meetings was within the Parish Councils’ choosing when instigating locality meetings around pilots, and the neighbourhood plan initiative. HALC were encouraging clerks to gain their CiLCA qualification.
19. Parish Plan. To discuss the implications of Lynda Wilcox’s presentation including financial commitment
Cllr Tomlinson explained his “Thoughts on Parish Plan” paper. Each councillor was given their opportunity to say what they felt the Plan could provide for the community. There were mixed opinions around the table but some of the comments were as follows, “that it may lead to a better community spirit”, “it was not a magic solution”, “monies would be better spent on the projects themselves rather than creating a plan detailing said projects”. Someone said that the problem was due to no “heart” in the village and the diverse areas, all with different needs, did not facilitate cohesion. An extension to the Hall was mentioned and improvements to the playing field. One comment identified four separate headings of how the plan could be viewed and these were, inspire, develop, protect and prevent. A description of each of these headings was then made. Following on from the discussion a proposal was made as follows:- “To invite HALC to facilitate a public meeting to discuss the Parish Plan and explore public opinion. The Parish Council agree to fund the publicity, hall hire and refreshments”. This was RESOLVED unanimously. The clerk would contact Lynda Wilcox, at HALC, for available dates.
20. Contact List (To circulate and update) Plus other council matters
The contact list was circulated (but unfortunately did not find its way back to the clerk). This will be revisited next time. A discussion on communications followed and it was restated that only the Clerk is legally permitted to put insertions in publications on behalf of the Parish Council. There was also a discussion on appropriate telephone contact and a request was made for the thoughtful use of this mode of contact in that it not be excessive, or at inopportune times (e.g. early morning, late evening, weekends, mealtimes etc). If in doubt, it was agreed that an e mail would be the first point of contact and then a phone call could follow at a convenient time. Emergencies are, of course, excluded from this protocol. It was stated that if anyone had any issues with items discussed at this point in the agenda, clarification and further information was obtainable from HALC, who would be only too happy to clarify points of concern.
21. Items for next agenda (no discussion)
Cllr Hammond asked if she could mention some points not mentioned earlier. The first was the hedge in Poplar Road. This is in the hands of Amey who should be dealing with our request. This has been chased. Also there is a door opening outwards in Pleasant Row onto Croft Road. This is in contravention to agreements made for access and could prove to be a hazard. This would be investigated. There is also a sign hanging off by the entrance to The Hollies. The Lengthsman would be asked to re-attach this.
Items for agenda:
Reminder re Hedley Lodge meeting on 17th March
Dates for future meetings
22. Reminder of date for next meeting (Thursday 15th March 2012 at 19.30 hours) and to review and set future meeting dates
Meeting closed 10.10pm