Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council Meeting held on 26th November 2012 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), J Whittall (Vice Chair), J Rider, P Jeffree, J Hammond, G Walker, J Thorne and C Protherough
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), CSO Middleton, and 8 members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were accepted from Cllr A Hitchiner
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, including the members of the public, to the meeting.
4. Open Session
Good news was reported in that the grit bin for the Village Hall had arrived and was full and in place, also one at the top of Church Road. Thanks were extended to the Parish Council and Clerk. It had been noted that the World War One Memorial Monument in the Clehonger Churchyard had not been decorated with a wreath on Remembrance Sunday and it was felt that it would be a good thing if this could be noted, and a wreath placed on it next year, as it was felt that it was rather overlooked and that the sacrifice made, by those named upon it, should be remembered. It was agreed that someone should be asked to make sure that this happened. Mr Tom Jolly was the contact and his number would be supplied so that he could be contacted to arrange for this to take place. Flooding in Church Road was mentioned and some pictures had been supplied by a local resident. This issue would receive specific attention later on in the meeting.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. CSO Middleton stated that there had been some positive outcomes in other areas in that some Tarmac scam contractors had been apprehended and some red diesel misuse had been detected. It had been relatively quiet in the Clehonger area but CSO Middleton reiterated the importance of vigilance and asked everyone to report suspicious vehicles as they could be tracked through the vehicle recognition scheme. The broken telephone box glass had been replaced. Dog fouling was mentioned and there was a problem on the Playing Field, where three dogs belonging to one owner had been observed messing there. A covert detection operation would be mounted and statements could be given to facilitate prosecution of the offending owner. There was a reminder that bagged waste could be placed in ordinary refuse bins, around the area, and it would then be disposed of safely.
5.2 Ward Councillor. Not present.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. The new vehicle had been delivered, ten months after the accident that destroyed the previous one.
5.4 Clehonger Community Action Group. Not present.
5.5 Broadband Champion. Nothing further had been communicated.
5.6 Church, Not present.
6. To approve minutes of Meeting held on 25/10/12.
Resolved: – The Minutes were approved by the Council and signed by the Chairman
7. Clerk Update on Action Items
The Clerk updated the Council re the action points.
The “Children Playing” awareness signs should be up by the Playing Field by the following week. The bus stop modifications at the top of Church Road were under way. Salt bins had been delivered and two more would be ordered, to be sited at exact locations to be advised. Signs to enhance safety at the Bowling Green Pitch would also be going ahead. The Chair commended the Clerk’s persistence and effort in getting the outcomes assured.
8. To note correspondence
Correspondence had been received from Herefordshire Housing re a new booking and charging mechanism for the community lets, including the Innesfield Community Centre. The Clerk would complete the form and send it in to register. Bookings would be for 2 hours duration and would now cost £6.00 per hour, so an overall increase per meeting of £2.00 would be levied, (current cost £10.00 per evening).
A letter had been received from the Parish Council’s Bank, RBS, stating that they would not be progressing with a “buy-out” by Santander.
9.1 Resolved: The following list of payments were approved:
Hire of Innesfield £10.00
Lengthsman (R. Layton Morris) £200.00
Mrs A Wright – (salary £249.80 mileage £13.32, telephone £12.06) £275.18
Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office) £62.40
Sub Total £547.58
Parish Planning for Real Payments
Nil this month £0.00
PP Sub Total £0.00
Grand Total £547.58
9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted
An application had been received for Site: Broad Leas, Church Road, Clehonger HR2 9SD Description: Replacement garage block with first floor self contained ancillary accommodation Application No: S122965/F Grid Ref: OS 346610, 238447 and Application Type: Planning Permission. It was resolved that the Parish Council would fully support the application and this had been returned to the Planning Department on 21/11/12.
The comments sheet for the Home Farm Development had been completed, and returned to the Planning Department, by the Planning Sub Committee due to the tight timescales. The Parish Council had objected to the application to build houses adjacent to Belmont Abbey at Home Farm, Ruckhall.
Outline Planning Permission had been granted for the 12 Poplar Road housing application. No further details had been heard re the tree preservation on the great Oak at the entrance to the site. Tree Warden would be chasing this up.
11. Parish Plan
Things were continuing to move ahead. There were three Focus Groups, Playing Field, Housing and Transport. The Playing Field had been identified as the most pressing need. Following Focus Group meetings and looking at available equipment, a door to door survey would help to identify what people would like to see and use on the site. Field visits would follow and a broad range of ideas were under consideration including adult fitness equipment provision. Claire Griffiths who had been instrumental in developing the Peterchurch Playing Field would be invited to come along and share ideas with the group. It was agreed that the Housing and Transport Focus Groups would need more help. The next meeting of the Transport Group would be held on 12th December at Innesfield. The Group had successfully obtained some grant money (£971.14) from Herefordshire Housing to provide a basket ball hoop and two sets of short tennis equipment. The money would be paid to the Parish Council and would need to be used by the 31st March 2013. There had been some confusion over the different Village groups and their status i.e. Tuesday Club, Team Jubilee, Community Action Group, Parish Plan Steering Committee. It was reiterated that any group seeking support from the Parish Council would be required to present itemised accounts.
It was hoped that the Group would have their own website and the Parish Council Website would contain a link to take visitors to the Parish Council Website to the Parish Plan one, if they should wish to see it.
There had been mention of the Parish Plan in the Kingstone School Newsletter and it was suggested that the Group might like to contact Lisa Honey at the Clehonger School to “firm up” links with that school too.
12. Precept 2013/2014
The setting of this was still work in progress. The Chair would circulate thoughts and suggestions to the Clerk and to Cllr Jeffrey and the Finance Sub Committee would discuss. The precept application has to be in by 31st January 2013.
13. Transport Plan
The Clerk read out an e mail from Tom Packham of the Grafton-Belmont Relief Road Group which highlighted the timescales going forward as follows.
- Amey is expected to report with their interim findings and recommendations for a preferred route at some time in December.
2. An assessment called a Stage 2 WEBTAG assessment will then be carried out and a ‘preferred option’ will emerge with a full report being released probably by Spring/Summer 2013.
3. Traffic modelling studies will be carried out on this.
4. There will be another public consultation at this stage, around spring 2013.
5. The final ‘preferred option’ could be confirmed by summer 2013.
6. Stage 3 then begins, preparing detailed plans and costings for the route, taking about 12 months to complete.
7. The earliest that the route could proceed to the Planning Application stage would be 18 months from now, i.e. mid -2014, but it could well be considerably longer than this.
Possible sources of funding may be:
– Application to central government for Major Scheme Funding based on making a strong business case for this.
– Community Infrastructure Levy, levied not just on housing but maybe also on retail developments, schools, etc on an £x per square meter basis. This is called CIL. There will be another public consultation on this.
There will also be more public consultation on the sustainable transport aspects of the Local Transport Plan and the Belmont Transport Plan.
14. Fly Tipping and Flooding issues in Church Road, Old Clehonger
Mr Harding had raised the issue of fly tipping in Church Road. There had been a number of letters back and forth with the Enforcement Department at the Herefordshire Council and a number of reported incidents of fly tipping at the Welsh Water site gateway near to his property. The last occurrence had been in early November and some kitchen unit components, and other rubbish, had been tipped in a matter of moments. Unfortunately, although Mr Harding had rushed out to look, all he had seen was a van vanishing and he was not able to get the registration number. There is considerable frustration about the tipping, the seeming reluctance by officials to provide covert surveillance, the cost incurred to the community to clear up the mess and the seemingly derisory penalties levied against offenders who are caught. There were some suggestions about fencing off the site level with the road and employing cameras to record offenders. It was also suggested that maybe the Welsh Water Company could be invoiced for the removal of the waste, to save the burden falling on the tax payer. It was also suggested that lobbying to raise the penalties, for those prosecuted, may provide a viable deterrent. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the Council and stress the issues and the feedback the response at the next meeting.
There were also concerns over flooding in the Church Road area and the lack of gullies and drainage provision in the road. The Clerk would take this up with Amey and both Mr Harding, and his opposite neighbour Mr Smith, would be willing to talk to Amey about their concerns. The Clerk would convey this to Amey and ask them to contact the householders, with their granted permission, to discuss remedial action planning.
15. Link Road
The Home Farm development was discussed. There had been a meeting at the Belmont Community Centre attended by 100 people. No–one was in favour of the development and the concerns over capacity on the roads were voiced. There does not appear to be the money available to build the link road at present. The Parish Council’s objections to the application had been sent in to the Planning Department and Cllr Thorne volunteered to speak out against the Home Farm Development at any resultant planning hearing meeting, if necessary.
16. Community Action Group
The Group representatives were not present but the issue of insurance had been explored previously and details of groups using the field and the requirements established. It was again stated that the Parish Council were happy to co-operate with the group provided that the relevant accounts had been submitted and that they were made aware of what was happening within the group, and in relation to its activities.
17. Grit /Salt Bins
There were further grit bins required and the Chair would advise the exact locations, likely to be in the Croft/Poplar Road and top of Birch Hill Road areas. The Clerk would then order the two new bins.
18. Brief Reports from Footpath Warden, HALC Rep, Village Hall Rep and Tree Warden
The Footpath Warden reported that there would be a gate at CH18.
The HALC Rep gave a report on the SAM Meeting of 29th October 2012. Geoff Hughes, Director of Places & Communities, had been the guest speaker and had given an update on localities.
HALC would be moving to a smaller office suite upstairs in the same building. There was a new Standards Panel system in operation. The Hereford Partnership had been involved in talks with the Health & Well being Board. There would be a Government announcement on 6th December about the capping of precepts. It had been advised that Parish Councils wait until January 2013 to set their precepts for 2013/2014.
Further news included no increase for NALC subs this year, and that SAM members are generally happy with electronic planning and that PC’s should say if they are not. Dog poo bins will be investigated at HC level, as some Parish Councils are paying for emptying and some are not, and there are varying numbers of bins from PC to PC.
Village Hall Rep presented a copy of the letter, sent to Jesse Norman MP, asking for his support re a Lottery funding application veto in regard to improving the Village Hall to cater for the Pre- school group.
The Tree warden would be contacting Herefordshire Council re the Oak tree in Poplar Road.
19. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
Parish Plan, Precept, feedback on Church Road issues, update on salt bins, dog mess update (CSO)
20. Reminder of dates of future meetings
Thursday 10th January 2012, 7.30pm Innesfield Community Centre
The Public were asked to leave the meeting prior to the discussion of the Parish Clerk’s Appraisal and Annual Review, as per the confidentiality allowed under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
21. Parish Clerk’s Annual Review and Appraisal.
The Clerk was asked to leave the meeting. After discussion the Clerk was invited to return and it was resolved that, following a successful appraisal, she should be awarded an incremental pay rise to £10.50 per hour, back dated to the 1st November 2012. The next review would be in April 2014. The Chairman thanked the Clerk for her contribution to the work of the Parish Council.
There followed a discussion on roles and responsibilities in relation to consultations set up by Herefordshire Council as there seemed to have been some confusion within the Herefordshire Council, and its consultants, in relation to the organising of a meeting locally for the organisation of an additional venue, and meeting, for the Your Community – Your Say Programme. There was an exchange between Cllr Protherough and the Chair in that the Chair tried to make the point that it may be better, in the future, if meetings which were generally the responsibility of the Parish Council, be dealt with by the Clerk as Herefordshire Council and its consultants did seem to get confused with whom they should be communicating when someone, from another organisation within the village, writes in. This should hopefully avoid duplication of effort and also ensure that everyone is kept aware of what is going on. Unfortunately, the resultant additional meeting had been poorly attended.
The Meeting closed at 10.15pm