Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council Meeting held on 23rd October 2014 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), J Whittal, A Morgan, J Thorne, J Hammond, J Rider, G Walker, P Jeffree and C Protherough
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Ward Councillor David Taylor, Ward Councillor Adrian Bridges and 7 members of the public.
- Introduction and welcome by the Chairman
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. The Chair announced that the Clerk had successfully passed the CiLCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration) Qualification. Those present kindly congratulated the Clerk.
The Chair conveyed some sad news in that an ex councillor, Cyril Olds, had suffered a stroke. It was agreed that a get well card and all good wishes be sent to him on behalf of the Parish Council.
- Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies.
- 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.
- Open Session
There was a query regarding the circulation of the Parish Plan, one person had noted that he had not been included in the circulation list. This was believed to have been an oversight and would be rectified as soon as possible. Any further discussion would be held after the meeting with the Parish Plan Steering Group members. It was agreed that the Clerk would circulate the latest version available, this having the action plan at the back of it. Kathy Clay thanked the Clerk for the donations given for the table sales and said that the new garage sale idea would mean that larger items, also, could be accommodated for sale. All items sold were raising funds towards the development of the Playing Field and were gratefully received.
- Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. Not present and apologies sent. Cllr Walker updated the meeting that PCSO Katie Middleton had been selected for police training. It was agreed that a congratulatory card should be sent to her with a letter to say well done, thank you and all the best for her future. Cllr Walker would advise the Clerk of her up to date address.
5.2 Ward Councillor. Cllr Taylor updated the meeting with details of a meeting he had attended with Balfour Beatty at which the new lengthsman scheme was announced. The scheme would comprise a base grant, based on the kilometres of roadway within the parish, with the opportunity for the Parish Council to then contribute additional funds and then receive matched funding up to the amount they had contributed. The aim was to increase activities being undertaken by the lengthsman where possible and grass cutting and pot hole filling options may be considered if desired. Certain areas, such as the road by the school, and Ruckhall Bridge could always benefit from additional cuts as the grass quickly grows out to narrow the highways at these locations.
The Core Strategy has been deposited with the Inspector and following inspection there will be a date fixed for it to be inspected locally. It was hoped that it would be in place and adopted by April 2015. Cllr Taylor explained further details regarding the A49, A465 link road and it was anticipated that a planning application for this would be submitted in December 2014/January 2015. There was still some discussion as to the exact connection point although some ideas had been presented.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. Cllr Tomlinson updated the meeting and said that the new vehicle had already clocked up in excess of 5000 miles. The older vehicle had experienced alternator trouble and this, with other issues, had cost over £1000 to repair. Recently a new customer of Dore advised that they had been paying £29.00, per each way journey in a taxi, before they found Dore Transport. A question was asked about planned shopping trips and the answer was given for the customer to check with the co-ordinators for advice on how this might be arranged. It was commented that it would be useful if a leaflet could be displayed in the Notice Board(s).
5.4 Friends of Clehonger Parish: There was a question raised about comments made concerning the “welcome pack”. The questioner would be referring their query to HALC.
5.5 Broadband Champion. The Champion reported that there had been some slippage but the website advice had been updated again to reflect the position. Approximately 28% of house in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire had been upgraded so far. Clehonger would be upgraded in 2015.
5.6 Church. The new Rector for the benefice, Rev. Hilary Morgan, was to be installed on the 30thOctober 2014 at 7.00pm in Allensmore Church.
5.7 Clehonger Primary School A letter had been received from Clehonger Primary School. Cllr J Whittal summarised the content. The key paragraph was stated thus: “It is our (the school’s) intention to offer a pre-school service from the early part of next term. This is dependent on registration with OFSTED and recruitment of staff. Wrap-around care is clearly important and we will ensure this provision is maintained.”
5.8 Village Hall The Village Hall representative asked a question regarding the pre-school as to why the school was not taking up the existing pre-school. Cllr Whittal replied that the school would be setting up a governor-led pre-school starting with a clean sheet and for confidential reasons no further details could be discussed at this point. Existing pre-school staff would be eligible to apply.
The new Notice Board would be up by the end of the week. There would be no commercial advertising placed inside it as it was to be solely for the use of the Village.
The Lengthsman updated the meeting as to actions taken including a parish visit undertaken with Locality Steward from Balfour Beatty, Linzy Outtrim, and the Footpath Officer Chris Tomlinson. The trio surveyed the area and identified two main issues for attention, one being the project at the Pumping Station and Balfour Beatty have agreed to fund the materials for this piece of work. Fly tipping in Ruckhall Lane was also noted and the original tipped electrical goods had been joined by a carpet and mattress. The pot hole on the left hand side of the Bowley Hill was reported as having opened up again and was considered to be dangerous in that one councillor had broken a spring on their vehicle while driving over it. This would be highlighted to Balfour Beatty to inspect and fix it as soon as possible.
- To approve minutes of the Meeting held on 18/09/14
Resolved: – The Minutes of the meeting, held on 18th September 2014 were approved by the Council and then signed by the Chairman
- Clerk Update on Action Items
The Clerk updated the meeting on actions taken including that the area designation for the Neighbourhood Plan had been submitted to the Planners and the letters had been delivered to all houses on the side of Poplar Road designated as being within Allensmore Parish.
- To note correspondence
The Clerk advised re some of the correspondence received from HALC, Herefordshire Council, and others, including the Precept Request from Herefordshire Council. There was also information from the Government around safety on Bonfire Night, concerns about hedge trimmings being left in the road to block drains and a thank you letter, from Dore Community Transport, for the donation towards their work. There was also a lengthy letter from Welsh Water as sent to the Herefordshire Council. This letter was read out and concerned issues over sewerage and water supply obligations in regard to the proposed housing developments within the village. Cllr Bridges advised that the contents of the letter were currently being evaluated by the Herefordshire Council Legal Team.
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Mrs A Wright (salary £639.00 mileage £47.52, home office £50.00, ink £29.99 stamps £6.36, postage £2.34) £775.21
Longfield Services (Lengthsman) £173.00
Herefordshire Housing (room hire) £24.00
Plus from the Special Projects – ring fenced £4089.00
Grand Total £5061.21
9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted.
There were three planning applications (additional/amended & additional) received requesting comment:
Site: Land off Madley Road, Clehonger, Herefordshire, HR2 9TE
Description: Site for residential development of up to 90 dwellings with access
Application No: P141964/O
Application Type: Outline (Amended and additional)
Site: Land between Gosmore Road and the Seven Stars Public House, Gosmore Road, Clehonger, Herefordshire
Description: Residential development for up to 80 houses
Application No: P142349/O
Application Type: Outline (Additional)
Site: Land adjacent to Glasnant House, Clehonger, Hereford, HR2 9SL
Description: Proposed erection of four dwellings and construction of vehicular access (amended plan and drainage arrangements)
Application No: P141905/O
Application Type: Outline (Amended and additional)
The Planning Working Party would be sending comments to the Clerk for all three of these application amendment items and the comments would be sent to the Planning Department by the relevant closing dates. Feedback on the comments will be reported at the next meeting.
- To resolve to approve the draft Parish Plan as circulated
The Parish Plan draft had been evaluated by the Parish Councillors and it was unanimously agreed that it should be approved. The draft would be reformatted and would go to be printed. Quotes to print 700 copies of the Plan had been obtained as follows: PIP Printing £413.90, Print Plus £498.00 and Calendar Lady £390.00. All of these prices were subject to VAT. It was proposed by Cllr Protherough, and seconded by Cllr Morgan, that Calendar Lady be asked to print the plans. Carried
- Village Matters
The Parish Council website had been down while works were ongoing and was now up and running again. It was agreed that a notice would be placed in “Tracking the News” to seek help with running the website.
The Playing Field Hedge required cutting and this would be chased up.
It was commented that the road from Clehonger to Madley over the Cage Brook at Eaton Bishop was deteriorating. This would be commented to Balfour Beatty. This road was also subject to speeding vehicles and speed check would be a good idea here.
- Neighbourhood Plan application update
This was as previously stated under Clerk’s Actions; the application had been co-signed by both Parish Councils, Allensmore and Clehonger, and submitted to the Planning Authority.
- Playing Field update on fundraising and development
The Chair put a map of the Playing Field layout up on the wall in the Community Centre and gave an overview of how the current drawing stood. The rubber matting as shown was not definitive and the design could change. The open area will remain.
An update from Cllr Protherough stated that the Playing Field Fund stood at £21271.00. There was potentially a grant of £4000.00 from Severn Waste and there was still some evidential work required to finally secure the £36,000.00 Veolia Grant. There was discussion over the fencing which was agreed should be “bow-top”. The timeframe for all of the grants and the idea of involving the school with the wildflower planting were all underway and some other grant options were being explored and applied for, including the Kingstone & Thruxton Educational Charity and the Princes Countryside Trust. Fundraising had seen a further £500.00 raised at the Racing Night and there would be a Whist Drive on 2/12/14, 7.30pm at Innesfield, plus a Christmas Tea on 30/11/14. Help with all of these activities was always welcomed and appreciated.
- Computer Finance Software – possible acquisition
Two main software packages had been identified as potentially suitable. Quickbooks at £199.00 and Sage Accounting from between £94.00 and £159.99 (depending on how and where sourced). It was agreed that Sage would be the best option. Cllr Jeffree and the Clerk would look into the best way to acquire the package for the start of next year’s financials if possible. The current internal auditor has experience of using the Sage package and may be able to provide training assistance. It was agreed that a new memory stick should be acquired to download documents for back-up.
- Brief Reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep, Village Hall Rep and Tree Warden
Footpath Warden: The Footpath Warden had received a phone call and follow-up letter about two of the footpaths. These had been examined by the Locality Steward and deemed okay. The generally good condition of the footpaths, in the parish, was commented by the Locality Steward.
HALC Rep: The HALC Rep updated the meeting about recent operations and initiatives deployed to combat crime. There was an update on the Police Blue Light Meeting with feedback on speed watch initiatives and the safer roads partnership and information on how all organisations, including HVOSS, are working together to combat crime. Overall Herefordshire has seen a slight reduction in crimes and is better than the national average in regard to crime levels. There will be the instigation of a reinvigorated Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, a 4 x 4 vehicle has now been acquired to help access all areas in bad weather and there are new operations in force to try to stop the theft of livestock, particularly sheep.
Tree Warden: Has not had the opportunity to carry out the tree audit as yet but will be looking to do this when time permits.
- Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
Finance package (which one/version?), budget and precept, Finance Sub Group (CLT, AW and PJ) to report re financials and precept, speed-watch, HVOSS, Playing Field update
- Reminder of dates of future meetings
The next Meeting will be held on Thursday 27th November 2014, at 7.30pm, at the Innesfield Community Centre.
The Meeting closed at 9.30pm