MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BREDENBURY & DISTRICT GROUP PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY JULY 20TH 2016 IN BREDENBURY PARISH ROOM
PRESENT: Cllr D Sutton (Chairman) Cllr H Milton Cllr P Thorne Cllr B Fowler
Ward Cllr – B Baker Clerk – Rosemarie Sutton
16/67 Apologies for Absence: Cllr M Piggott
Absent – No Apology: Cllr C Gwynn
16/68 Declarations of Personal and Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
No declarations were notified or asked to be recorded
16/69 Chairman’s Remarks
The Chairman opened the meeting at 19-30 and thanked everyone for their attendance after the inconvenience of having to have the meeting re-arranged several times.
The Chairman said he had been made aware that there was a certain amount of misinformation and speculation circulating locally about the probable development of the land along the A44. He prompted Councillors to be alert to this and appealed for them to correct in a timely manner any of the speculation that was circulating by reminding folk that whilst there had been an informal meeting and some limited correspondence between the land owner and the Parish Council, no formal Planning Application had been received so far for any development on the plots of land either side of Brockington House. Any references to this topic during meetings of the Parish Council have been minuted and the minutes are published on the website for all parishioners to read and to acquaint themselves with the facts.
16/70 Meeting adjourned for Parishioners Questions
As no members of the public were present the meeting was not adjourned.
16/71 Adopt the minutes of the Annual Meeting of Bredenbury & District Group Parish Council held on Thursday 12th May 2016
To take as read and confirm as accurate the minutes of the Annual Meeting held on Thursday 12th May 2016.
16/72 Adopt the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on Thursday 12th May 2016.
To take as read and confirm as accurate the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on Thursday 12th May 2016.
The draft minutes of both of these meetings had been circulated prior and had been published as Draft Minutes on the Parish Council’s website. The minutes of both of these meetings were then proposed and seconded to be true and accurate reports and were duly signed and dated as such by the Chairman.
Proposed: Cllr Thorne
Seconded: Cllr Fowler
16/73 Report from District Ward Councillor Bruce Baker
Cllr Baker advised that he had recently attended a full meeting of Herefordshire Council where 4 motions had been put forward.
The first motion was that the British Legion had asked for details of ex-servicemen to be shown on the next census. They had requested this information in order that they could identify ex-servicemen who may be in need of help. This motion had been supported by Herefordshire Council and they agreed to lobby MP’s for this.
The second motion had been put forward by a Herefordshire Councillor colleague regarding Mental Health issues. He asked if Herefordshire could follow the example of some other counties by having a Mental Health Awareness Day, a day that was dedicated to raising the awareness of mental health issues. All Councillors were in support.
The third motion was that Herefordshire Council should make it clear that they would not tolerate any raciest behavior. Councillors were unanimously in favour of this motion.
The fourth motion was put forward by Cllr Baker himself. His proposal was that planning permission should be given for a private dwelling to be built on land in circumstances where normally permission would not be granted and that the type of application would be where there are exceptional circumstances of need. These applications would have to comply with various criteria and be supported by robust medical evidence. To be incorporated into the planning process this proposition would have to go before Central Government. Whilst most of the Councillors were in favour of this motion three Councillors had abstained from voting on the issue.
The Chairman thanked Cllr Baker for his report. He then expressed to Cllr Baker his concerns about the failure of both Herefordshire Council and Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) to notify the Parish Council about the forthcoming closure of Harp Lane (C1062). The closure will be for a period of 16 weeks whilst Welsh Water undertakes the renewal of water mains. Whilst most of the local householders who will be effected had been advised of the closure, the Parish Council themselves had not been made aware and the Chairman was concerned that the Parish Council could unknowingly have asked the Lengthsman to undertake work along this road unaware of its imminent closure and therefore could have wasted parishioners’ money on work that could have been rescheduled. He felt that the Parish Council should have been one of the priority bodies to have been informed. After all they were best placed with local knowledge to bring attention any local issues that these works could have impacted on. The Chairman stated that both he and the Clerk had already taken this matter up with Welsh Water who, whilst apologetic, had stated that the failure to communicate information seemed to lie with Herefordshire Council’s parish council liaison procedures. The Chairman requested that Cllr Baker take up the matter of communication with Herefordshire Council in order to ensure a better flow of vital information of this nature in future. The Clerk also agreed to ensure that Anthony Bush Herefordshire Council’s Parish Liaison and Rural Services Officer was using her correct email address.
Action by: Clerk
Action by: Cllr Baker
16/74 Financial Matters from Clerk
The Clerk handed everyone an up-to-date spreadsheet detailing the income and expenditure of the Parish Council and that of the Lengthsman to date. She explained the detail of each item and asked if anyone had any queries or concerns. None were forthcoming.
She reported that although the Parish Council’s accounts had been submitted to Grant Thornton for the annual official external audit she had not received return of the signed documents to date. The Chairman confirmed that the ‘Notice of Date of commencement of Period for the Exercise of Public Rights’ notice had been in place on the Parish Council Notice Board during the required period from the 7th June 2016 to the 18th July 2016.
The Clerk enquired if any of the Councillors that were going into Hereford in the near future would be prepared to collect a copy of the ‘Core Strategy’ planning document from Franklin House in Commercial Road. If so could they please advise her, otherwise she would have to ask for a copy of the document to be sent to her in the post and the Parish Council would then have to pay postage. There were no volunteers.
The Clerk presented a spreadsheet detailing her expenses totalling £27.77 together with receipts. This was for the period 10th November 2015 to 16th May 2016. She asked if the Councillors were in agreement that she could raise the necessary cheque for this amount. All were in agreement.
The Clerk requested agreement that a cheque be raised and signed for payment of her salary for the 6 months period up to the end of July, totalling £699.78. She also requested agreement that a cheque to be raised and signed for the rent of the Parish Hall for meetings from November 2015 to July 2016, totalling £112.00.
All were in agreement.
Action by: Clerk
There was no correspondence to be placed on the table or discussed, as the only correspondence received had been by email. These had been forwarded subsequently by the Clerk to all Councillors for their information and/or attention. No requests for discussion on any of these communications as an agendum had been notified.
The Chairman advised that whilst the Clerk had completed an Application for a Grant for the monies spent on purchases in respect of the technology that was necessary for the Parish Council to become compliant, nothing has been received from NALC to date. After having made enquiries with Lynda Wilcox at HALC the Clerk has been advised that our application will go before NALC at their next meeting which is scheduled for the end of July. The Clerk reported that Mark Millmore from Eyelid Productions, the technician who had set up the Parish Council’s website, has advised all Parish Councils that he is willing to input their Minutes, Agendas and Newsletters onto each of their websites for a fee of £30 per council per month. The Clerk stated that whilst she is still on a steep learning curve and might be struggling at times to input this data she wants to accept the challenge and continue to try to do this herself.
16/77 Planning Applications
No Planning Applications had been received.
The Clerk advised that she had received an email from a resident in Valley View who wishes to undertake a self-build project and is looking to purchase a serviced plot of land. The resident had asked if the Parish Council could furnish him with the contact details of the owner of the development land along the A44. The Clerk had advised the enquirer that under the Data Protection Act she was unable to do this without the express consent of the land owner. The Clerk reported that subsequently she had made contact with the landowner who had given her permission to pass on his contact details to the resident in question. The Clerk advised that she has now done this and had received an appreciation from the resident.
16/78 Neighbourhood Planning (update from Cllr Fowler)
Cllr Fowler confirmed that after several attempts he had managed to make contact with Lynda Wilcox the CEO of HALC. She had suggested that the Parish Council should hold an ‘Open Meeting’ to let the Parishioners know that the Parish Council is minded to resurrect the idea of a Neighbourhood Plan. She had suggested that flyers are issued to all households within our three parishes and that posters be placed on notice boards to promote this idea. Additionally information could be placed on the Parish Council’s website advertising an ‘Open Meeting’. Ideally all of these should ask for responses to gauge interest. Preferably this meeting should include light refreshments because this feature had been found to attract a better attendance. Lynda Wilcox had confirmed that she is willing to give an informal presentation on Neighbourhood Planning at a venue of our choice. She suggested that a Steering Group should be formed from within those people attending and should include others in the community with any relevant skills or experience. In her experience a group of around 30 persons is not unusual at the outset because after the initial group is formed some members inevitably will ‘fall by the wayside’. Once the Steering Group is up and running a grant should be applied for. Grants that are available could be for as much as £9,000.00. It normally takes around 12/18 months for any community to complete a plan in all its stages. Currently there are 99 parishes in Herefordshire who are preparing plans out of possible 133 who are eligible. To date only 3 of these plans have come to fruition and are operational. All of the Parish Councillors pointed out that the Council has already have gone down this route before. They were concerned that the outcome on that occasion had been very disappointing. At that time the Parish Council had tried to make every household aware of the benefit of having a NHP as well as the possible consequences of not having one and had leafleted every household within the three parishes trying to raise awareness. Whilst the original open meeting had been reasonably well attended, in the event only a sprinkling of the parishioners present had come forward to offer their services. Despite considerable effort on the part of the Parish Councillor who was charged with moving things along, this original steering group had then to be disbanded after only a short while due to lack of interest and commitment by its members. Cllr Baker pointed out that because the Government is anxious that more houses are built the Secretary of State can, if necessary, overrule a NHP. All Councillors were in agreement that this topic needed far more discussion in order to appreciate the timescale and the complexity of the task involved in producing an effective plan. It was agreed that the Clerk should arrange for an Extraordinary Meeting of The Parish Council to be convened and set for a date when all of the Parish Councillors could attend. The Chairman thanked Cllr Fowler for all the work that he had put in to research this topic.
Action by: Clerk
16/79 Highway issues
Parking along Harp Lane
The Clerk reported that she had received a reply to the letter that she had written on behalf of the Parish Council to Bredenbury Primary School regarding the inconsiderate parking that was taking place in the vicinity of the junction of Valley View with Harp Lane (C1062). This letter was read out by the Chairman. Councillors acknowledged the efforts that the school had gone to in order to bring the matter to the attention of parents but in spite of these they felt that the situation had eased hardly at all. Cllr Baker had had sight of this letter and in response had suggested in an email to the Clerk that ‘photos could be taken of the vehicles that are being parked in contravention of the Highway Code, i.e. within 32ft of a junction. He suggested that these pictures could even be put on the Parish Council’s website in an effort to name and shame the owners. Councillors felt that CSO Stephanie Annette should now be asked to monitor on a more frequent basis the congestion that was occurring and offer robust advice to the offenders. Councillors asked the Clerk to arrange for a CSO to attend one of their meetings in order that they could discuss their concerns as well as the concerns of the local residents who were being affected.
Action by: Clerk
At this juncture the Chairman moved the meeting on because the forthcoming closure of the C1062 had already been discussed at the end of the Ward Councillors Report under item 16/73.
Other Highway issues
The Clerk passed around an email that she had received from Balfour Beatty Living Places inviting Parish Councillors to attend a workshop for the New Traffic Regulation Order which is being held on 4th August at 1800 hours at BBLP Thorn Business Park. She requested that any of the Councillors that were interested in attending this seminar should advise her in order that she could make the necessary arrangements. There was no interest expressed.
The Clerk reported that in response to an email received from a resident of Brockington Grange via the Parish Council’s website, that she had made contact with the home owner in Valley View whose hedge was the subject of the complaint because it needed trimming back from overhanging the footpath along the A44. The resident was totally co-operative and understood the issue completely. The Clerk informed Councillors that on her recommendation the home owner had made contact with a garden contractor who had agreed to trim the hedge, but not until the nesting season was over. As the nesting season is now over the Clerk will contact the resident to ask for confirmation that the contractor will now trim the hedge. The Chairman enquired if any of the Councillors knew who owned the property on the corner of Harp Lane with the A44 (The Old Police house). The hedges belonging to this property also need trimming as they are beginning to obstruct the footpath. The Chairman understood that the property was let to tenants and that the issue was the owner’s responsibility rather than that of the tenants. Cllr Thorne confirmed she knew the address of the owner and would forward this information to the Clerk in order that a letter could be written to him as landlord accordingly.
Action by: Cllr Thorne
Action by: Clerk
Cllr Milton reported that had been asked by a resident along Wacton Lane whether speed bumps could be installed along this lane. The resident is concerned that more and more parcels and goods are being delivered by white vans and couriers and the speed of these vehicles along this lane is alarming her, as is the increasing use of the lane by large vehicles delivering and collecting from local farms. The resident has children who often ride their cycles in the lane. Cllr Milton enquired if the installation of speed bumps is something that could be undertaken by the Lengthsman and she asked the Clerk to make enquiries of the appropriate authorities with regard to this.
Action by: Clerk
The Clerk confirmed that she had received confirmation from Balfour Beatty that the Lengthsman Scheme has been renewed and that they had signed and returned the Contract.
The Chairman reported that he had tried to arrange a meeting between himself and Cllr Fowler with the Lengthsman Mr Poyner, on several occasions to discuss some minor works that needed doing in the parishes, particularly along Harp Lane (C1062). However Mr. Poyner had not returned telephone calls or responded to messages left. This was disappointing considering that Mr Poyner had been appointed by the Parish Council on the basis of his timely response to work that had been requested previously and the standard of his work, which was good. After discussion Councillors agreed that in the interim the Parish Council should persevere with Mr Poyner to undertake these necessary works in view of the forthcoming closure of Harp Lane, rather than revert to our alternative lengthsman, George Day & Son at this stage.
16/81 Defibrillator (Heartstart courses)
The Chairman thanked the Clerk once again for organizing and the arranging the three courses. They had been attended by a total of 38 local people. The Clerk reported that she had received an email from Mr Parkinson, who was one of the attendees, thanking the Parish Council for arranging the courses and he said how much he had enjoyed and benefitted from the particular session that he had attended. The Parish Councillors expressed their appreciation of the help and welcome that had been extended by the proprietors of the Barneby Inn to everyone who had attended these courses.
16/82 Update from the Footpaths and Rights of Way Officer
Cllr Milton confirmed that her meeting with the Locality Steward had taken place and that they did look at some of the issues that had been raised about the bridges that are on local rights of way. The Locality Steward confirmed that any of the work to the bridges would be undertaken by Herefordshire Council but she was unable to give any time scale as the Council’s budget has already been spent. The Locality Steward had also confirmed to Cllr Milton that nothing could be done at this stage about the cattle grid adjacent to Butterley Brook Cottage because the adjoining field has been put to grass and it now seems likely that animals may graze this field at some point. The Locality Steward had also confirmed that it is not permissible for the gullies in the vicinity of the Barnaby Inn alongside the A44 to be piped into the adjoining farmer’s field. Cllr Milton has informed Councillor Piggott., who had raised the issue, accordingly.
16/83 Update from Police and Rural Watch Liaison Officer
Cllr Milton advised that there had not been any meetings of the group recently and therefore she had nothing to report.
16/84 Items to be included in the next Agenda
No items or issues were notified to be included in the next agenda. The Clerk reminded Councillors that if any arose in the interim that they notify her well in advance of the next meeting.
The date of the next meeting was scheduled for Monday 19th September 2016
The Chairman closed the meeting at 21-20 with thanks to all for their attendance and for their contributions to the discussion.