Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council meeting held on 26th April 2012 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), G Walker (Vice Chair), C Protherough, A Hitchiner, J Hammond, J Rider and J Whittal
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), Mr D Taylor (Ward Councillor), CSO Katie Middleton and 10 members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were accepted from Cllrs P Jeffree and J Thorne.
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, including Ward Councillor Taylor, to the meeting.
4. Open Session
- The Parish Plan steering group set up meeting was discussed. A question was asked as to how many carers they are in the Parish. As there is no register of carers, that this information would be available from, it was agreed that they would be specifically invited to attend the set up meeting. There was some discussion of the wording in the agenda and the fact that the Parish Plan was voted on for a second time. The issue surrounding this was clarified by the Chair.
- The Tuesday Club expressed an interest in arranging an event and activities to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. A question was asked about the insurance on the sports field and it was clarified that all usual activities would be covered by the Parish Council’s insurance. If specific activities were to be taking place, and the clerk was advised of these, she would check with the insurers that the appropriate cover was in place.
- The freighter was mentioned and the group were advised that there would be an update under Clerk’s action items.
- This would also be the case in regard to the swings.
- Cllr Protherough gave an update on the Relief Road and the meetings that had taken place. The fact that a different route had been identified in the middle of the consultation may not have been fully reflected in the Council’s response to the LDF. Belmont had voted for the outer route of the three options. Dr Nicholson, of Herefordshire Council, had met with the Action Group re the A49/A465 and an examination of the three routes was being re-opened. It was resolved that the Parish Council would write to Dr Nicholson in regard to the concerns over the lack of information, and consultation, that had been afforded to the Parish Council as an affected body representing the views of a number of individuals. Cllr Protherough had prepared a draft letter that would be sent on behalf of the Council. Cllr Taylor gave some information and explanation in regard to some aspects of the proposed routes and explained that cost would be a major consideration. It was reiterated that no formal planning application had been received at present.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. The clerk gave an update in regard to local policing update news and demonstrated some useful leaflets that explained about security, in particular with reference to security of sheds and outbuildings. Cllr Taylor explained concerns over local policing and drew attention to a letter that he, and fellow councillors, had sent to the Chief Constable expressing concern over the proposal to close Peterchurch Police Station and to reduce staffing levels. He said that he would send the letter to the clerk and it was resolved that a letter expressing similar concerns would be sent to the Chief Constable on behalf of the Parish Council. Cllr Taylor then spoke of the proposals by a company named Archihouse to build factory made “kit” houses in Kingstone. CSO Middleton arrived at 8.05pm. CSO Middleton delivered the Annual Report. She spoke of destruction burglaries, theft from vehicles, criminal damage and anti social behaviour. Thankfully the number of instances of these had been in single figures. It was noted that the lock that had been thought stolen from the playing field lock had been found.
5.2 Ward Councillor. Councillor David Taylor had updated the Parish Council as above, and before the arrival of CSO Middleton.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. The replacement vehicle for the one written off in the accident, which also injured Tony Capon and several passengers, had been ordered. The settlement from the insurers of £14,000.00 had been added to by a gift from a client and by grants from Herefordshire Council and The Eveson Charitable Trust. Once purchased the vehicle would undergo the relevant modifications to make it suitable as a Dore Community Transport Fleet vehicle. The driver was recovering well and it was reported that, in spite of some ongoing issues, the passengers were also.
5.4 Clehonger Community Action Group. Not present
5.5 Broadband Champion, not present.
6. To approve minutes of previous meeting held on 15/03/12.
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 gate in Poplar/Croft Road had been reviewed by Amey technicians and they had reported that the gate did not present an issue, in their opinion, at the present time.
- The clerk had been investigating alternative freighter suppliers to see if any better prices and arrangements could be obtained. An alternative had been found, that may have been acceptable, with a price of £225.00 plus VAT for a 12 yard covered and lockable container available at three days notice and able to be kept until filled. After discussion it was agreed that more details would be found out about the freighter and dates would be requested as to when it would be a good time for the Village Hall to accommodate it. Cllr Protherough would follow up whether the Hall Committee would be happy with an alternative arrangement and would put the subject on the Village Hall’s meeting agenda.
- The swings. After a lot of work had gone into trying to secure new swings, obtain resolution from Trading Standards, find suitable replacement seats etc. It had become clear that there was no redress to be had through the fit for purpose route, due to the age of the items. It was also clear that manufacturers and suppliers of play equipment were reluctant to fit new seats to our existing structure and were really only interested in supplying the whole thing (at quite a considerable overall cost). Some swing seats, made by Longfield Services, had been seen by the Chair at another location. The clerk had asked Mr Wright of Longfield Services to supply a quotation to mend the swings with handmade oak seats fitted to the original chains, and with the appropriate safety pins etc. being fitted. The quotation of £220.00 is to remake, repair and refit the swings. It was resolved to accept the quote and it was asked if the works could be completed as soon as possible.
8. To note correspondence.
Resolved: the following items were noted:-
Letter received from the Parish Clerk of Peterchurch Parish Council asking for support for the number 39 bus service that runs from Brecon to Hereford, via Hay on Wye. There had been proposals to cut out some of the buses and in particular it was considered that the 17.45 bus leaving Hay on Wye was a valuable one to conserve in regard to employees, who work in Hay, and shoppers being able to return home to the Golden Valley on public transport. It was resolved that a letter of support for the retention of the service should be sent to Stagecoach on behalf of the Clehonger Parish Council.
- A paper in regard to Electoral Reform in Herefordshire had been received outlining plans for a reduction in the number of Ward Councillors from 58 at present to 54. This would involve some ward boundary changes and further details would follow.
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Hire of Innesfield £10.00
Lengthsman (R. Layton Morris) £200.00
Mrs C Protherough (Jubilee flyers) £44.00
Mrs A Wright – (salary £240.30, mileage £23.04stamps£14.16
Ink cartridge £13.97) £292.46
HALC (Annual subscription) £336.26
HALC (Training) £25.00
Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office) £60.00
Resolved: The bank balance was noted
There had been planning applications received for Breinton House Ref S120965/FH Grid ref OS 347157,239596 for a proposed extension to replace an existing conservatory. Also an application for The Acre, 1 Church Road, Clehonger Ref S120446/F Grid ref OS 346669,237637 for the removal of two existing sheds and the construction of one new shed on a concrete base for additional storage of fruit and feed store for animals and 1, Birch Meadow, Clehonger Ref S120884/FH ref OS 344897, 237499 for the construction of a single and two storey extension. All of the applications had been considered, and evaluated, by the Planning Group sub-committee and all had been given approval from the Clehonger Parish Council perspective. The clerk had conveyed, and would convey, the feedback to the Herefordshire Council Planning Dept.
11. 2012/2013 Budget
The Clerk and Cllr Jeffree had worked together to produce the budget proposal for 2012/2013. Cllr Jeffree had undertaken an internal audit of the accounts. Once finalised the externally audited accounts would be published. The budget was proposed for acceptance by Cllr. Tomlinson and sec by Cllr Hammond. It was resolved to approve and accept the budget.
12. Financial Orders
These had been remodelled and the final version was presented. They were proposed for acceptance by Cllr Walker and sec by Cllr Hitchiner. It was resolved to accept the Financial Orders. The Internal Audit Plan was also approved and also the new Lengthsman Agreement, with Robert Layton-Morris. Both documents were approved and it was resolved to accept them. All three papers were formally signed and dated this 6th April 2012, as accepted, by Cllr Tomlinson on behalf of the Parish Council.
13. Queen’s Jubilee
It was believed that every house in Clehonger had received a flyer promoting the meeting to discuss the Queen’s Jubilee. Only about 20 persons attended. People had been asked to put stickers onto boards detailing the activities or events they would like to see happening at the celebrations. Some suggestions had been a picnic, treasure hunt and an art competition, with prizes, for the children. There was a discussion over the previous title of this item in that the word “update” was originally used. This was because it was believed that this was to be an update as to where the celebratory organising was. Cllr Walker advised that, having checked with HALC, the word “update” precluded the council from voting on a funding award to support the Jubilee celebrations, on behalf of the council, and requested an emergency meeting to be held the following week, on the subject of finance for the Jubilee. After discussion, it was agreed that the word “update” would be removed and a proposal would be heard for funding. The original proposal put forward by Cllr Walker was for a “proposed grant of a maximum of £500.00, from the Parish general contingency reserves, for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations to be held on 5th June 2012. Any monies not used to be returned to Parish funds”. It was stated that any expenditure would be subject to detailed estimates and presentation of invoices which would have to be approved by the Parish Council. After discussion, an amendment from the floor was proposed to reduce the award to a maximum of £300.00. This amendment was carried by a majority vote.
The motion was then put to the vote and the award of a maximum of £300.00 was resolved.
Cllr Walker then explained that there was also the option for a Community Pride Award to assist with the purchase of a commemorative item(s) such as a bench seat, or trees, to mark the occasion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. If approved, the Council would pay 25% of the cost of the item(s) (up to a maximum cost to the Council of £250.00) and the Community Pride Award Fund would supply the remaining funds to enable the purchase of the chosen item(s). The proposal to participate in the scheme and apply for funding was proposed by Cllr Walker and sec by Cllr Hitchiner. Resolved. Cllr Walker would carry forward the proposal, in terms of permission for erection of item(s) etc. but the actual application would be submitted by the Clerk, on behalf of the Parish Council.
14. Website. To receive report from the website working group
The website had been updated by Cllr Jeffrey. More information and questions had been received through it.
15. Parish Plan and publicity for 11th June 2012.
Publicity for the launch meeting on 11th June 2012 was discussed. The clerk would design an advert for “Tracking the News” and find out the cost of the advertising. Notices would be put up and the draft wording for the advert would be circulated for approval. Tea, coffee and biscuits were felt to be appropriate refreshments for the evening. A proposal was put forward by Cllr Protherough and sec by Cllr Walker for flyers for every house in the village. After discussion on the merits, and demerits, of the idea a vote was taken and it was resolved that flyers would not be delivered to every house in the village.
16. Dog bins and Parish Notice Boards
The cost of dog “poo” bins is high. There is no guarantee that people will use them. Having discovered that it is permissible to bag the “poo” and put it in the ordinary litter bins around the village, it was resolved that the clerk would put an advert in “Tracking the News” to advise residents, and dog owners, of this fact. In regard to the notice boards, these could be used by other organisations and the key holders would be happy to insert any appropriate items, subject to space being available. Parish Council items would take priority.
17. Brief reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep and Village Hall Rep Footpaths The Footpath Officer reported that not much had changed since the last meeting except that he had heard that volunteer countryside wardens were being encouraged. Nothing further had been heard about the grant money for the forthcoming year and he would be checking with Vince Playdon, at Amey, as to the whereabouts of the funding for 2012/13.
HALC The rep reported that there would be a meeting for HALC south on Monday 30th April 2012.
Village Hall There was nothing to report, other than the fact that the Ceilidh had been a success.
18. Relief Road (From Grafton on the A49 to the A465)
This had been covered earlier on in the meeting. It was noted at this point, however, that 104 people had attended the Belmont Abbey meeting to discuss the issue.
19. Items for next agenda (no discussion)
Village Church (to be an agenda item under brief verbal reports) at each meeting
Queen’s Jubilee and Community Pride
Parish Plan meeting
20. Dates of future meetings
The next meeting will be the Statutory Annual Meeting and this will be held on the 24th May 2012 at 7.30pm. This will be immediately followed by the Parish Council Meeting.
By this point all members of the public had left the hall.
21. Clerks Review
The Chairman advised that there would be a re-ordering of agenda items 21 and 22. The clerk left the room for this agenda item. Upon her return she was advised of the outcome of the review and was awarded incremental points on the pay scale as recognition. The new salary would be confirmed to the clerk, in writing, by the Chair.
22. To clarify the financial responsibilities of the Clerk and Chairman
This item was included following on from an incident that had occurred at the Jubilee launch meeting on the 26th March 2012. It had been deemed necessary for clarification on conduct and matters relating to council protocols to be given. A discussion followed and it was clarified that only the whole Parish Council can determine funding initiatives and that the Clerk and Chair do not have individual powers in this regard. Applications for funding would be considered, and decided upon, by the Parish Council on their individual merit.
The Meeting closed at 10.15pm