Minutes of the meeting held on 11th December 2018 at 7.45pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.
Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Andrew Daniels, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Harold Holder, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Ian Salmon, Cllr Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E Lewis.
No members of the public were present.
1. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllr Diane Russell and Cllr Barbara Russell.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: No declarations were made.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Herefordshire Council has not yet been informed of their settlement from central government for 2019-20. A new control centre for the police and fire service has opened at Hindlip.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: No report had been received.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: No members of the public were present. A resident had raised concerns via email with the building being erected at Brick Cottage on Bircher Common, and these would be dealt with under item 6.5 (planning update).
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 6th November 2018: The minutes were agreed and signed as a correct record.
5.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £31,868.06 and the Business Reserve £15,039.76
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows: Clerk November wages £507.94, HMRC tax £47.40, Clerk mileage and stationery £61.49, Village Hall £14.00, Hi Trees (lengthsman) £258.00 and Clerk national insurance repayment of overpayment £213.39.
5.3 Budget and precept for 2019/20: The draft budget, which had been circulated prior to the meeting, was discussed. The finance working party had met on the 6th December and gone through the draft budget and made some minor amendments. The contribution to the PCC for maintenance of the burial grounds was discussed. It was agreed to leave £1550.00 in the budget for this, but a discussion will be held at the February PC meeting to agree a percentage contribution that the Parish Council will make on an annual basis to these costs. A figure will always be included in the annual budget as the maximum but the contribution each year will be as per the agreed formula against the actual costs. At the end of each year, the PCC will be asked for the figures the burial grounds (receipts and costs) and the contribution will then be confirmed. Following the discussion, the budget for 2019/20 was agreed, with the precept set at £22,000.
6.1 184380 – Fayreburn, Lucton – proposed tree works: The Parish tree warden had visited the site and reported that the proposed action would have no impact on the tree or environment. It was agreed that the Parish Council supported the application.
6.2 183876 – The Paddocks, Lucton Lane – proposed ground floor extension: The Parish Council agreed that they had no objection in principle to the application, but were concerned at the lack of specific information in the application, particularly relating to actual dimensions of the existing footprint and planned extension.
6.3 184173 – Lucton Court Farm, Church Road – erection of building over existing storage area: The Parish Council agreed that they had no objection to the application, but suggested some trees be planted around the building to soften the outline/view as the site is visible from the road.
6.4 184089 – Croft castle – proposed installation of sewage treatment plan: The Parish Council agreed they have no objection to the plans.
6.5 Update on current planning applications/matters: Now that the initial danger of collapse has been alleviated, Herefordshire Council are currently considering the long-term prospects for the future of Knoll Cottage and are reviewing the condition of the property regularly. The Clerk has emailed the Planning enforcement officer to chase issues related to hedgerow reinstatement in Yarpole, but has yet to receive a response. A resident had been in contact with the Clerk and Cllr Bowen regarding concerns that the garage/workshop being erected at Brick Cottage (application 162138) did not match the approved plans and this has also been raised with the planning enforcement officer. An application for non-material amendments has been submitted; such applications are not open for comment. The Parish Council noted their comment on the original plans remains (i.e. that the workshop not be converted to domestic use at a later stage) and there is a condition in place on the planning permission relating to this which remains in force. The Clerk was asked to continue to press the planning department to ensure they respond to the concerns raised and ensure that what is being built matches the plans submitted or the amended plans.
7. Updates and action
7.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: A dangerous tree by the Old Church in Lucton has been reported to BBLP via the on-line system. The ditches on the C1040 from the B4362 into Lucton are blocked causing flooding at the Ford in Lucton. The clerk will report this though the on-line defect log system. BBLP have indicated that they are no longer able to undertake work on clearing ditches and streams that are not on the public highway, and that maintaining water courses and ditches and keeping them clear is the responsibility of the riparian owner. This will also impact the homeowners adjacent to the stream in Yarpole, who will now be responsible for maintenance of the part of the stream adjoining their property. It was agreed that this change needs to be publicised in the parish, and landowner/homeowner responsibilities made clear. It was agreed that this information will be included in the next Parishioner article. BBLP are redrafting their information leaflet on the matter, and once the new leaflet is available, the Clerk will write to affected properties to inform them of the change. It was noted that British telecom have now sorted the issues with broadband in Lucton, and all properties should now have access to fibre broadband. Thanks were expressed to BT for the work and to the Clerk for all the liaison work involved.
7.2 Parish Hall: There were no matters to report.
7.3 PROW and Lengthsman: There were no matters to report.
7.4 Traffic Calming: There has been a slight delay in the results of the speed surveys for the Speed Indicator Devices, the results of which will likely be available within a week. Ray Wallace from BBLP has designed a traffic calming scheme for Bircher, information on which was circulated. The majority of the scheme (at around £5,000) will be funded by Herefordshire Council, with the Parish Council contributing around £1,000 towards improved speed limit repeater signs. Work on the scheme will take place in Spring 2019. Thanks were expressed to Ray Wallace for his work in designing the scheme and confirming the budget for this. The Parish Council element of the scheme can be actioned through the BBLP commissioning model, and the Clerk will submit the paperwork for this.
7.5 Parking at Church: Ray Wallace from BBLP has offered to visit Yarpole to discuss the issues with parking at the church and whether BBLP can help with any solutions; it was suggested that this be combined with a visit Lucton to look at whether additional signage through the village might improve pedestrian safety.
7.6 Armistice Celebrations: The Parish Council expressed their thanks to Ron Shaw and all the team involved in organising the armistice celebrations (including the sewing group, flower group and living history group), which had been magnificent. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Ron to express the thanks of the Parish Council.
7.7 Defect Log: The Clerk had prepared a defect log, following a suggestion from Cllr Grant that it would be useful to have a record of all the issues raised in the Parish and action being taken/when they are resolved. A draft log had been circulated prior to the meeting. It was agreed that the clerk would maintain the log and this would be published on the Parish council website.
8. Items for next agenda: No items were raised.
9. Date of Next meetings: The meeting schedule for 2019/20 was agreed. Meetings will be held on 5th February, 5th March, 2nd April, 7th May, 4th June, 2nd July, 3rd September, 1st October, 5th November, 3rd December.