Minutes 16th January 2017
Present: Cllrs: D. Sutton (Chairman), Cllr P Thorne, Cllr M Piggott, Cllr B Fowler,
Cllr C Gwynn,
Ward Cllr B Baker, R. Sutton (Clerk)
17/1 Apologies for Absence – Cllr Milton
17/2 Declarations of Personal and Disclosable Pecuniary Interest
Cllr Piggott disclosed an interest in 17/9 and signed and dated the Declarations of Interest Book.
17/3 Chairman’s Remarks
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2017 and wished everyone a happy and healthy New Year. He also thanked the Councillors who had asked after his health during his illness. He advised that sadly Cllr Milton’s mother had passed away, hence why Cllr Milton was not at the meeting. He confirmed that the Clerk would send Cllr Milton a sympathy card from the Councillors following her sad loss.
17/4 Meeting will be adjourned for Parishioners Questions
As there were no members of the public present the meeting was not adjourned.
17/5 Adopt the Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 21st November 2016
To take as read and confirm as accurate the minutes of the meeting held on 21st November 2016. The draft minutes had been circulated prior. Everyone confirmed they had received and read the minutes and it was proposed and seconded that they be accepted as a true record of that meeting and were signed and dated as such by the Chairman.
Proposed: Cllr Thorne
Seconded: Cllr Fowler
17/6 Report from District Ward Councillor Bruce Baker
Ward Cllr Baker confirmed that the Syrian refugees had arrived in November and were welcomed to Hereford and that there would be further refugees arriving in March. He wished to make it clear that these people were mainly family groups and were from the refugee camps in Syria and not from camps in Calais and elsewhere.
Ward Cllr Baker said that he was somewhat surprised to learn that domestic violence in Herefordshire was above the national average.
He informed Councillors that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had announced that the 40% tax bracket was moving up to £50,000 with effect from April 2017.
Ward Cllr Baker confirmed that Herefordshire Council are currently on target to save £87m for the period 2010-2020 and he praised the their finance team for doing a good job.
Hereford’s Southern Link Road has now been dubbed ‘The Road to Nowhere’. The purpose was to link the A49 to the A465 but there appear to be flaws in the proposed project.
The Council’s Transport Hub is to move from the present Bus Station to the Railway Station, which he felt made sense, but Ward Cllr Baker did not know what would happen to the Bus Station or even if it was owned by the Council.
He announced that Wi-Fi has come to Hereford at last and is free in the City Centre.
Ward Cllr Baker confirmed that some of the funding for the consultation work for the new by-pass has now been lost but the by-pass is still on course to be finished in 2020.
Whilst none of the Councillors had any questions for Cllr Baker the Chairman did enquire of him if he could ascertain what was happening about reducing the speed limit on the A44 in Bredenbury to 30mph. The Chairman said that the Parish Council had been advised about a reduction of the limit some time ago by the Locality Steward, Donna Tregenza, when she had attended a site visit with Councillors. The Chairman also asked Cllr Baker if he could ascertain from the new Locality Steward whether Donna Tregenza had requested a TRO for the vicinity of the primary school and when this was likely to be put in place. Cllr Baker confirmed he would look into these outstanding matters.
Action by: Ward Cllr Baker
At this juncture Cllr Baker left the meeting
17/7 Financial Matters
• To receive Financial Statement (presented by Clerk)
The Clerk handed everyone a copy of the spreadsheet setting out the Parish Council’s up-to-date financial position and she explained the detail of all the outgoings since the Parish Council’s last meeting. She confirmed that she had recently received a bank statement which agreed with the spreadsheet. She asked if everyone understood the Financial Statement and asked if anyone had any questions. None were forthcoming.
• Clerk’s Salary – as per Autela Payroll Services
The Clerk confirmed that her gross salary, paid by the Parish Council amounted to £1,749.96, producing a net monthly salary of £116.63. She stated that up to present she had preferred to take her salary on a 6 monthly basis. However Autela had advised her that she must now take her payments monthly and in future the salary would be paid on the 19th of each month. Failure to conform to this procedure would mean that the Parish Council would be breaking HMRC PAYE legislation. All Councillors agreed that the new rules should be complied with and that the Clerk must now be paid on the monthly basis stated above. The Clerk confirmed that she had already arranged to comply with this routine.
• Autela Payroll Services – Pension requirements
The Clerk advised that she had been informed by Autela that owing to changes in pension legislation the Parish Council is now obliged to make suitable pension arrangements for all of its employees and it is required to put these in place immediately. The Clerk informed Councillors that she is deemed to be an employee of the Parish Council but that she neither qualifies for nor wants a pension from them. However she still has to be registered onto the Pension Website. Autela had advised that because they have undertaken to administer the Clerk’s PAYE they will also undertake the necessary registration via the Auto Enrolment Administrator upon completion of the appropriate form. The Chairman then signed and dated the required form which the Clerk then undertook to send to Autela.
Action by: Clerk
• End of Financial year – Audit
The Clerk reminded the Councillors that the end of the financial year was 31st March and that they are required to undertake an internal financial audit at that time. She enquired if Cllr Fowler thought that his wife would agree to undertake the internal audit again as she did so last year. Cllr Fowler said he was confident that she would be happy to undertake this task for the Parish Council. The Clerk thanked him and said she would make arrangements accordingly.
Action: Cllr Fowler
The Chairman read out an email received from Herefordshire Council regarding the Council’s Travellers’ Sites Development Plan. This invited a representative(s) from the Parish Council to one of the drop-in-sessions. The Chairman enquired if any of the Councillors wanted to go to any of the sessions. The response was negative.
The Clerk advised that she had received an email from Samantha Banks, the NHP Team Leader at Herefordshire Council, in which she had requested confirmation that the Parish Council had made a decision not to proceed with a NHP. If this were the case she requested that the Parish Council withdraw formally, and that the Clerk should forward to her a copy of the minute where this had been agreed. Samantha Banks had advised that an alternative would be for the Parish Council to be included within the Rural Areas Site Allocation DPD. The DPD is produced by Herefordshire Council. The Parish Council would be consulted on the document in the same way as any other planning policy document but could not be directly involved in its production. Councillors debated this alternative and decided that the Parish Council may have to opt for inclusion in the DPD. Debate took place to ensure that all the Councillors were still minded that the Parish Council was not going to proceed with a NHP because of the lack of support for it locally, coupled with the previous aborted attempts to form a steering group. Councillors were unanimous in reaffirming their decision and it was proposed and seconded that the Clerk should now confirm to Samantha Banks that the Parish Council would not be going ahead with a NHP. The Chairman suggested that when writing to Samantha Banks that mention should be made of Mr Foster’s proposed development on the land in Bredenbury fronting the A44. Although no formal plans have been submitted by Mr Foster to the Planning Department as yet, if this development goes ahead then the number of houses built would more than meet the allocation that was suggested for Bredenbury in the Core Strategy. The Clerk was asked to reply to Samantha Banks accordingly but before doing so to send a copy of the proposed reply to the Councillors for their approval.
Proposed by: Cllr Thorne
Seconded by: Cllr Gwynn
Action by: Clerk
17/9 Planning applications
• 163387 Mrs. Jane Piggott, Grendon Manor, Bredenbury, HR7 4TH Extension to existing Poultry House
The Chairman advised that this application had now been approved by Herefordshire Council with conditions, which were read out by the Chairman.
• 163002 Mrs. Jenny Piggott, Upper Brockington, Bredenbury HR7 4TH
Change of use from Office space to Holiday Let
The Chairman advised that this Retrospective Change of Use to a Holiday Let had been approved by Herefordshire Council but would be subject to conditions controlling the occupancy.
17/10 Highway Issues
• Harp Lane
Cllr Fowler advised that he had spoken with Welsh Water who had confirmed that a ‘snagging list’ would be compiled following completion of their work. This would specify any correction work that they needed to undertake to restore everything to an acceptable standard. Councillors confirmed that they were under the impression that all work was meant to be finished by the 16th January but it is apparent that Welsh Water’s contractors will not meet this deadline as they are returning at intervals to attend to ongoing problems. It was agreed that once Welsh Water have completed all of the work, including ‘snagging’, that a site visit by Cllr Fowler and the Chairman should be arranged with representatives from Welsh Water, together with the Locality Steward in attendance, in order to confirm that all outstanding issues have been dealt with.
Action by: Chairman and Cllr Fowler
The Clerk advised that ‘photos of a very large tree stump which is in the embankment along the A44 in the vicinity of Brockhampton Grange had been sent to the Locality Steward. A resident had reported her concern to the Parish Council that this stump was in danger of sliding down into the road and a nasty accident could occur if this happened. Donna Tregenza had promised to visit the site and report her findings back to the Clerk but it appears that she had not attended to the matter prior to her promotion to another position within BBLP. The Clerk has therefore now re-sent the ‘photos to James Howells, who has now replaced Donna Tregenza as Locality Steward, requesting prompt attention to the matter.
The Chairman confirmed that the SID’s are now being sited as scheduled. He informed Councillors that he had been advised that the newer devices that were being provided had a short battery life and were prone to stop working much sooner than the old devices. He asked Councillors that if at any time they noticed that the devices were not working to report the matter promptly to the Clerk in order that she could take up the issue with BBLP. Cllr Piggott enquired if any of the data collected by the SIDs would be available. The Clerk advised that it is her understanding that this would be available to us in the future but that a long period of time would be needed before any meaningful statistics can be obtained from the devices.
• Any other Highway issues
The Chairman enquired if any of the Councillors knew if any of the properties in Valley View whose gardens back onto the A44 were empty because the bits of broken boundary fence and debris that were spilling out onto the footpath were becoming a potential hazard. The Parish Council had had to deal with similar issues in the past. Both Cllr Thorne and Cllr Fowler believed that to the best of their knowledge all the properties were occupied, albeit some of them by elderly residents. It was suggested that the Clerk write to all residents to gently remind them of their obligation to keep their boundaries tidy and free of any debris that could encroach onto the footpath.
Action by: Clerk
The Clerk advised that both she and the Chairman had registered to attend a HALC training course entitled ‘Cyber Protection’ which is to take place on the 31st January. Cllr Milton had also requested to attend. The Chairman enquired if any of the other Councillors wished to attend. Cllr Piggott asked if it was possible for his wife to attend in his stead as she dealt with all his emails and correspondence. The Clerk advised that she would need to seek guidance from HALC on this matter. None of the other Councillors wished to be enrolled onto the course.
17/12 Lengthsman Scheme
The Chairman suggested that when Welsh Water had finally finished all of their work along Harp Lane that the Lengthsman should be asked to ascertain what further work would be necessary in order to further improve the verges and passing places and the probable cost of the work and materials that would be needed. He reminded Councillors that the Council still has a stock of ‘road planings’ that could be utilised for some of this work. This material is being stored at Horsnet Farm. The Clerk advised that she is required to complete an Annual Maintenance Plan and that this has to be submitted to BBLP by 28th February in order to maintain the Parish Council’s funding that is provided by them for the Lengthsman Scheme. The Chairman enquired if Cllr Fowler would be willing to help with this rather tiresome task and help ensure that the plan was correct and realistic before submitting it to BBLP for ratification and acceptance. Cllr Fowler said that he was willing to help. The Clerk thanked him for this.
Action by: Clerk with Cllr Fowler
17/13 Parish Hall
The Clerk advised that she had been asked by Cllr Milton to include this topic in the agenda for discussion. As she was not able to be present Cllr Milton had asked the Clerk to speak on her behalf and convey her wish that a joint meeting of the Parish Council, the Parish Hall Committee and the Church PCC Committee should be arranged. The purpose of the meeting would be to discuss ways in which the ownership of the hall could be established and the impact that the actual ownership would have on any effort that could be made to improve the condition and the ambience of the hall and its facilities. Cllr Milton would like to see the hall modernised and extended. She suggested that some of the money the Parish Council will obtain as a result of any Section 106 Agreement or CIL levy resulting out of future housing developments in the village could be spent on improvements to the hall. After debate Councillors were in favour of such a meeting taking place. However it was agreed that it was not necessary to invite the Diocesan authorities at this early stage. Cllr Piggott was asked to liaise with Mr David Nowell the Chairman of the Village Hall Committee and convey the idea of a meeting to him, and report back. The Parish Council Chairman agreed to speak to whoever was an appropriate contact for the PCC and Cllr Fowler undertook to ascertain who this person was and to advise the Chairman accordingly.
Action by: Cllr Piggott
Action by: Cllr Fowler
Action by: Chairman
17/14 Update from Footpaths & Rights of Way Officers
In Cllr Milton’s absence the Chairman asked Cllr Piggott and Cllr Gwynn for their reports on the footpaths for which they are responsible. Cllr Piggott stated that the footpaths on their respective areas were walked regularly and that there was nothing to report.
17/15 Update from Police & Rural Watch Liaison Officer
In the absence of Cllr Milton, the Police & Rural Watch Liaison Officer, her report was not available.
17/16 Items to be included in the next agenda
• Parish Hall
• Reconfirm date of next meeting & the proposed meeting dates for 2017
It was agreed that the next meeting that is scheduled for 13th March would take place in the afternoon.
May 8th (evening)
July 10th (evening)
September 4th (evening)
13th November (afternoon)
The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and for their contributions to the meeting. He closed the meeting at 16-30