Minutes 20th December 2017


Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council
Held on Wednesday 20th December 2017 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

Present: Councillors: Carolyne Gwynn, John Hulse (Chair), Sam Sayce, Geoff Hancock
In attendance: Bruce Baker Ward Councillor, Vicky Hancock Clerk, Prospective Co-optees

1. Apologies for absence: Massie Piggott

2. Declaration of interest and written requests for dispensation: None

3. Co-option of Parish Councillors – Hugh Farey and Pete Jones (prospective co-optees) left the room whilst the council discussed the outcome of the opportunity to meet them both after the previous meeting on 22.11.17. It was RESOLVED to co-opt Hugh Farey for Grendon Bishop and Pete Jones for Bredenbury to the Parish Council. They were formally invited to join the meeting. The Chair congratulated them and welcomed them as Councillors for Bredenbury Group Parish Council. The declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed and witnessed. The notice of Registrable Interests was distributed to be completed and delivered to the Clerk within 28 days and a copy of the Code of Conduct was handed out.

4. Open Session

4.1 Ward Councillor Bruce Baker delivered a brief report to the meeting and an overview of Council work throughout the year. He explained about the week’s delay in the opening of the City Link road due to the snow. He talked about the proposed Transport Hub which will see the bus station moved to the railway station and the development of new emergency services and council buildings. The County had received successful Royal visits over the year. There was a good response from recent inspections regarding the work of Foster Carers and Care teams in the Local Authority. BBLP had worked hard to maintain the gritting on 600 miles of major roads during the heavy snowfalls. Snow ploughs and clearance vehicles had also been deployed by local farming contractors. The question of waste disposal and recycling continues to be an important issue for the Council and measures to encourage this are to be discussed by the Scrutiny Committee. The dispersal of council smallholdings as a result of consultation has seen some smallholdings purchased and some lifetime leases. There was to be consultation regarding the use of the funds from this policy. The decision regarding outstanding monies from Amey is expected to be resolved in 2018. There will be investment into maintenance and repairs by BBLP and NMiTE (University). The Chair asked a question regarding the dissemination of information if it does not immediately impact on our Parish. Ward Cllr Baker reported that we would not have the information directly as that would go to the affected parishes. The Chair thanked Ward Cllr Baker for his report.

4.2 No local residents in attendance. The Chair noted that the potholes on Wacton Lane had been repaired as a result of a complaint by a local parishioner and a report made by the Council.

5. To consider minutes of the previous meeting … 22nd November 2017
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes and they were signed by the Chairman.

6. Finance

6.1 Draft Budget. An updated waterfall chart was distributed building on the discussion by the FWG at the previous meeting. Included in the draft budget was the £8000 for Consultant for the NDP which would be offset by a grant. A discussion followed regarding the expenditure for this year. It was noted that there had been extra-ordinary costs during the year due to the resignation of the Clerk and some members of the Council which involved commissioning support from HALC with administration and business advice. One-off expenses to be considered were CiLCA training, registration and other training implications for a new clerk; the recruitment and administration expenses from HALC and the external audit. It was also noted that there had been an increased cost in SID deployment. In response to this increase Cllr Hulse was to investigate the cost and benefit of buying SIDs of our own. The Council was made aware of the increase in the cost of the hire of the Village Hall for meetings. A note of caution needed to be recognised as the expenditure could outstrip income therefore it would be necessary to look at making savings. With increasing costs it was highly likely the precept would need to be raised in 2019/20.

6.1.1 Precept The Council considered the draft budget figures for the FWG and RESOLVED to set the precept at £6800 for financial year 2018/19. Cllr Hulse signed the precept requirement to be returned to Herefordshire Council.

6.2 It was RESOLVED to agree the following payments:

6.2.1 Travel expenses J Hulse £27
6.2.2 Clerk expenses filing cabinet & files & extract file from hard drive £115.19
6.2.3 BBLP SID deployment £1200
6.2.4 Annual website support £100
6.2.5 HALC 2 x CiLCA Training £240
6.2.6 Clerk’s salary
6.2.7 Village Hall hire £100 Aug-Dec 2017
6.2.8 Autela Payroll £30.60

6.3 Notification of appointment of an External Auditor 2017/2018 PKF Littlejohn for the ‘Annual
Governance & Accountability Return’. This form will be sent out by the appointed auditor electronically at the end of the financial year. This reflects changes in the way smaller authorities are to be audited from 2017/18.
6.4 It was RESOLVED to apply to HMRC for a quarterly employer refund of £820.60 as referenced on Form P32 Employer Payment Record.

7. Planning Application P173872/FH Well Cottage approved with conditions.

8. Policies & Procedures

8.1 A copy of the Code of Conduct approved by the Council on 18th May 2015 was made available to all councillors. The Chairman requested an email to the Clerk to say it had been read, understood and would be abided by.
8.2 A copy of the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations to be made available to all councillors and it was RESOLVED to adopt them at the next council meeting on 22nd January 2018.The Chairman requested an email to the Clerk to say they had been read and understood.
8.3 Equal Opportunities Policy – the Clerk was still awaiting a model policy from HALC therefore this would be presented at the next meeting.
8.4 Asset Register and Risk – the Clerk was still awaiting a model register and this would be available at the next meeting.

9. On the Verge Scheme
Cllr Hulse reported back from the HALC Conference 25th November 2017 regarding the way forward when the current Lengthsman Scheme via BBLP comes to an end. HALC were delivering ‘On the Verge’ which gave information and advice to councils regarding the use of contractors and volunteers for any work within the Parish. It was noted it was advisable to avoid the use of volunteers and working parties because of the risk and liability which could fall upon the council. There was a clear indication that any work commissioned by the council should be via contractors who would need to provide evidence of their insurance, risk assessment and method statement. It was clear that any works should only be on the verges and under no circumstances should there be any highway work undertaken. Cllr Hulse suggested looking for a more acceptable cost for grit bins if any needed to be replaced as the ones from BBLP were £360 each. We had received communication from BBLP places regarding the filling of the grit bins and they said they would be refilled in the new year. Cllr Hulse also reiterated that the grit was for parishioners to use and it was not the responsibility as councillors to grit icy paths and pavements. Cllr Baker said there had been a problem in some villages about parking on verges. There is currently no byelaw to prevent this happening but it was hoped a motion could be put to council to prevent this happening without lawful authority. This wasn’t seen as an issue for Bredenbury parish however Cllr Gwynn reported the fly tipping problem in gateways and on farm access roads is an issue that is dealt with frequently amongst the farming community. Cllr Baker to contact Herefordshire Council for more advice regarding this issue.

10. Community Asset Update
A copy of the original indenture had been received regarding the ownership of the Village Hall. The building had been presented to the village by the purchaser of Bredenbury Court who left the hall in Trust by the church for the benefit of the village and its parishioners. There was no perceived issue with this regarding registration as a community asset under Localism Act 2011.

11. NDP Update
The Clerk had received a response from Kirkwells regarding their consultancy for supporting the Parish Council with developing the NDP. They requested contact after 8th January 2018 regarding an initial meeting for which there would be no charge. Clerk to make contact. The Clerk had received contact details for Dr David Nicholson from Tarrington Parish Council along with a good recommendation. Clerk to contact in the New Year. It was proposed to form a steering group to advance the NDP and a request was made for volunteers. Cllrs Hulse, Jones and Farey volunteered to form the steering group with the Clerk in attendance. It was RESOLVED to meet with the possible consultants prior to the January meeting.

12. Items to be included on the next agenda

• Equal Opportunities Policy
• Asset Register & Risk
• NDP update & report back from steering group

13. Date of next meeting Monday 22nd January 2018 at 7pm (note change of day)

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.15pm