Minutes of Clehonger Parish Council Meeting held on 2nd August 2012 at 7.30pm at Innesfield Community Centre
Present: Cllrs C Tomlinson (Chairman), J Whittal (Vice Chair), G Walker, P Jeffree, J Hammond, J Thorne, C Protherough and J Rider
In attendance: Mrs A Wright (Clerk), 9 members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies were accepted from A Hitchiner
2. Declarations of Interest
Resolved: Cllr J Hammond 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
Members of the public expressed concern re the hedges and verges, in particular the junction where Gosmore road meets the B4349 where visibility for turning was markedly reduced by overgrown plants. Clerk to contact Amey to chase up trimming and cutting etc. Concern was raised re cars speeding down Birch Hill Road and there was grave concern that a child could be knocked down and injured, or worse, by drivers speeding past the playing field. Clerk to contact Amey re warning signage to warn drivers re the hazard of children running out onto the road from the play area. The Police speed gun initiative, in liaison with local schools adopted in other areas, was mentioned. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Police re the concerns over speeding and mention the project idea.
Concern was raised over a large structure that was being put up at a property in Gosmore Road (a bungalow next to the primary school). It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the Planning Department to enquire that all was in order with the planning consent (believed to have been granted several years previously).
Mention was made that no planning application has yet been received for the proposed 90 houses at Home Farm, Ruckhall Lane but that a list of objections can be viewed.
The policy to change adult social care charging was highlighted. This would have implications for carers and people receiving services such as respite care and meal deliveries. A consultation was being held until 28/08/2012 for people to contribute to the discussion.
5. Brief Verbal Reports:
5.1 Local Policing Team. Not present. Clerk read out the briefing notification re local crime trends.
5.2 Ward Councillor. Not present.
5.3 Dore Community Transport. The new vehicle was not ready for use at present.
5.4 Clehonger Community Action Group. The Group reported back on a very successful day on the 29th July. They raised the issue of the playing field grass and the fact that it was still not really fit for purpose. The Chair advised that the intention was for Cllr Whittal to discuss the matter with the school governors, at a meeting to be held on 20th September, with a view to reviewing the responsibility for the upkeep in that it may revert to the Parish Council. There would need to be a rise in the Parish Share to cover the additional cost and it was hoped that a contribution towards said costs would be forthcoming from the school. There was a query about some old signage re restrictions on the field. This would be looked at and evaluated. It was believed to be an old council sign and may need to be removed. Thanks were extended to those who had assisted with grass clearing and litter picking before the events. There was a discussion around improving communications between the Group and the Council and Sgt Dugmore was named as main contact. It was pointed out that all members had a right to communicate with the Parish Council and were welcomed to do so.
5.5 Broadband Champion. The champion spoke of a Borders Broadband Project initiative that was based on a collaboration between Herefordshire Council, the Government Agency and Gloucester County Council. The idea was to go into partnership to provide a wider broadband service and to set criteria of minimum performance that was to be delivered i.e. a minimum of 2 “megabites” per second. There would be an event held at the Kindle Centre on the 7th August at 12 noon, for businesses and educational establishments, to present the initiatives. At 2.00pm there would be a BT sponsored “Faster Broadband Show”. It was anticipated that the contract for Broad band provision would be awarded by mid September. It was also hope that the service would improve mobile phone reception. The champion also highlighted that there were cheap reconditioned computers available for benefit recipients. They were also available to non benefit recipients but at an increased cost.
5.6 Church, nothing added.
6. To approve minutes of Meeting held on 21/06/12.
Resolved:- That 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. There would not be a new footpath constructed between Poplar Road and Croft Road. The following reply had been received from the Officer responsible for such considerations.
“As you are probably aware, funds for new footway requests throughout the County are limited and do not match demand. In line with Herefordshire Council policy, we use a ranking system to prioritise which new footway improvements should be provided. Simply, the process is used to prioritise all the requests received (once an initial assessment has been made to confirm a scheme is feasible) and seeks to ensure the most beneficial are constructed with the budget available (through the Local Transport Plan), the principle aim being to provide a footway where none exists. As part of the process we review if there have been any pedestrian personal injury accidents within the last 5 year period (via Police records), and those schemes naturally go to the top of the list. If not, then we organise a pedestrian count (with recommendation from the Parish/Town Council if there are any specific days that may generate greater usage) and a budget scheme cost is prepared by which a cost per pedestrian is used to rank the schemes. Hence the cheaper the scheme cost and the more pedestrians, the higher the position the scheme achieves and therefore it’s chance of construction. We would typically construct 1-2 schemes a year, bearing in mind there are currently over 50 no. footway ranked schemes, and a typical budget of £60k per year for the whole County. Whilst we do try and co-ordinate other works and review external funding opportunities such as Section 106 allocations in order to try and speed up delivery, implementation of the schemes regrettably can take a number of years. Following the 2012/2013 Local Transport Plan budget settlement, there has been a significant reduction across all budgets for improvement works, including footways. The Budget for this year has been allocated for one footway scheme and commitments given. Due to the number of footway schemes still to be constructed from the current ranked list, and the reduced budget, it has been agreed that no ranking exercise will be undertaken this year (HC Policy is to rank every 3 years and this would have been carried out last autumn). Therefore all we can offer you currently is to include your request when the next ranking exercise is next undertaken (funds permitting) and also to monitor any possible funding via Section 106 agreements that may arise in your area and which may help a scheme progress”.
The plot of land, at the end of Birch Hill Road, with the unsightly overgrowth had been followed up and the owner’s details ascertained. The issue was understood to be in the hands of the Legal Department at Herefordshire Council.
8. To note correspondence
Correspondence had been received from Graham Hornsby, Amey Traffic Engineer re the 50mph Speed limit trials on the A465. A meeting had been arranged for Friday 17th August at 2.00pm, at the Thorn Office Centre in Rotherwas, and it was agreed that Cllr Thorne would check whether he was able to attend, and represent Clehonger Parish Council, and then the Clerk would confirm his attendance.
Letter received re the future delivery of the Registration Service for Births, Marriages and Deaths in the County from John Jones and Richard Beavan-Pearson of Herefordshire Council. Comments on the proposals were invited by 28th September 2012.
News release received re the review of the Amey service delivery partnership with Herefordshire Council. A new procurement exercise would be underway in the forthcoming 12 months to sort out the future of service provision for the county.
Information had been received re the phasing out of Council-provided black bin bags for residents in the county. The lengthsman had expressed concern over this and it was resolved that the Parish Council would reimburse him for the cost of any bags purchased on behalf of the Parish Council. The Clerk would advise the lengthsman of this decision.
Bulletin re the Electoral Review of Herefordshire had been received and there is further detail on this topic later on in the minutes, at item 14.
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 £339.09 mileage £19.69, ink £13.97, post £2.55) £375.30
Kompan (Swings) £432.96
Mr G Walker (Queen’s Jubilee Grant) £300.00
Tax due on salary payment (Payable to The Post Office) £84.60
9.2 Resolved: The bank balance was noted
There had been no new applications since the last meeting. An issue had been raised re concern for a fine specimen Oak tree at the entrance to 12 Poplar Road where a planning application for outline permission for the erection of five houses had been received. It was agreed that the Tree Warden, Cllr Protherough, should make enquiries in regard to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to help protect the tree.
11. Parish Plan
Signs were up in the notice boards to publicise the next meeting on the 6th August. The brief for the Plan was to “reflect what the Village wants”. A grant had been successfully obtained and would be paid in two £900.00 tranches. The Planning for Real event was being planned for September and would include the maps and positioning of flags to highlight preferences. People were still welcome to join in and participate. It was hoped to capture people from all corners of the Parish so that all interests were covered. It was hoped to involve the school, church etc. and a skills audit would take place to make use of the skills and abilities available.
12. Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Receipts for the Diamond Jubilee event had been presented to the Clerk. Advice from the Auditor had indicated that a fully itemised financial statement of income and expenditure for events should be supplied wherever Parish Council funds were used. As such funding was coming out of public money it was reasonable and correct that full balance sheet analysis be provided. The Chairman also made the point that it would be advisable for any one running an event in the village, which has financial implications, to produce a financial statement to protect themselves and to prevent any suspicion as to what happened to any funds raised and that the Parish Council meeting may be a good place to present them. Cllr Jeffrey and the Clerk would devise a spreadsheet to be given out for future use. It was resolved that the £300.00 grant should be paid and thanks were extended to the Team Jubilee Committee for all of their work and efforts to make the event a success.
13. Plans for the A465/A49 Link Road and the LDF
Cllr Protherough read out a statement of chronological events with bullet points on the outcomes of the meetings and developments re the link road and the LDF. There will be a further consultation on the Local Development Forum (LDF) in 2013 but no vote or comment to be made at present.
14. Electoral Reform of Boundaries (Review of Herfordshire)
A bulletin containing information about electoral reform in Herefordshire including the reduction in the overall number of councillors from 58 to 54 had been received. A contact web site address had been supplied at www.lgbce.org.uk and comments on the proposals were invited. It was agreed that the Clerk would feed back the opinion that if changes re linkages with other wards is to happen then it would be desirable that they should also be on the south side of the River Wye, not the other side.
15. Code of Conduct (to consider and adopt)
The new Code of Conduct, as adopted by the Herefordshire Council on 20th July, was presented for adoption by the Clehonger Parish Council with no amendments to it. The Council resolved to adopt the Code of Conduct. The Clerk would attend a further information evening on the subject to be held on the 18th September and would feed back information to the Council.
16. Standing Orders (to set up working party)
It was resolved that the Clerk and Chair would comprise the working party to analyse and tailor the Standing Orders, as required, to suit the Council’s purpose.
17. Web Site (the way forward & development)
Cllr Jeffree had been uploading minutes etc but of course they were not always bang up to date because you are waiting for minutes to be agreed before publication.
The Chair asked Cllr Whittal, as Vice Chair, to chair the meeting and left the room declaring an interest in Dore Community Transport. Whilst the Chair was absent the remaining members discussed donations and it was resolved to award £650.00 to the Church, for maintenance of the Parish Graveyard, and also £650.00 to Dore Community Transport.
19. Bike Lane
Cllr Protherough had spoken to Cllr Hitchiner on this subject and said that there was desire to have a bike lane from Madley to Hereford. An initiative was taking place in Credenhill to install such a lane. There would be a meeting on the 22nd September re the Sustainable Transport Initiative where further details could be obtained.
20. Brief reports from Footpath Warden, HALC rep and Village Hall Rep
Footpath Warden had nothing further to add re the Footpaths. HALC rep informed the Parish Council re the role of the Hereford Health and Well Being Board who were represented by Cllr Patricia Morgan. This responsibility for this initiative could devolve to the Parish Councils eventually. The three regional areas will not now break down into nine, as previously suggested they may do. There will be a Living Villages Seminar in Sept/Oct. In regard to Amey, there could be new initiatives afoot re the P3 Footpaths and Lengthsman schemes etc.
Village Hall Rep. Minutes of the committee meeting were presented and retained by the Clerk for the file. Thanks were extended to Cllr Rider for her contribution re the accounts.
21. Items for next Agenda (no discussion)
Parish Plan, Link Road and Bike Lane
22. Reminder of dates of future meetings
Future meeting dates would be (all Thursdays, Innesfield, 7.30pm) 13/09/12, 25/10/12, 29/11/12, 10/01/13, 21/02/13.
The Meeting closed at 9.58pm