Minutes 6th March 2018


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 7.45pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.

Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Harold Holder, Cllr Jane Bayliss, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Julian Stokes, Cllr Geoff Trotter, County Cllr. Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E Lewis.
2 members of the public were present for agenda items 1 to 6.1 inclusive

1. Apologies for absence. There were no apologies for absence.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation. No declarations were made.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Councillor Bowen undertook a tour of the parish with the locality steward and a number of potholes were logged on the system for repair; the cattle grid on Leys Lane will be cleared out in the near future. Councillor Lester has been elected as the new leader of the Conservative Group and it is likely he will become Leader of Herefordshire Council when Councillor Johnson steps down at the end of the week.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: An email report had been sent indicating that no crimes had been reported in the Parish. It has been confirmed that no speed checks can be undertaken in Bircher. The entire length of the 30 limit is a shade over 4/10 of a mile and under the police operating procedures they need to be a minimum 2/10 of a mile into a speed limit before they can target vehicles, so the limit is effectively too short to enforce. It has been suggested that the Parish Council might apply to the Police and Crime Commissioner for funding towards traffic calming measures and the Clerk will look into this. (Action EL)
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: The members of the public present were representatives from Croft Castle to answer any questions relating to the planning application for Fishpool Valley.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 6th February 2018: The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.
5. Finance:
5.1 Financial statement to date: It was noted that there had been an error on the finance statement and the amounts for the PCC and newsletter grant should read £1236.00 and £150.00 respectively. The account balances on the statement were correct and the current account has a balance of £21,770.09 and the business reserve has a balance of £15,032.27. The financial statement was agreed with these corrections.
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows – PCC (burial ground upkeep) £1236.00, Newsletter grant £150, Clerk (February wages) £350.09 and Village Hall £14.00.
5.3 Purchase of signs for St Peters Square: Quotes for the provision of two street signs, together with poles and clips, from three companies had been circulated prior to the meeting. It was agreed that aluminium signs would be better quality and that signs should be purchased from GB signs up to a maximum budget of £350 (excluding VAT). The installation of the signs at £150 was also agreed.
6. Planning
6.1 180386 Croft Castle Fishpool Valley – repairs of dams: The current planning application for work to the dams in Fishpool Valley was briefly introduced by Imogen Sambrook, Project Manager at Croft Castle. The repairs to the dams will be done on a rolling basis as, due to ecological restraints, work can only be undertaken during the months of July- September each year. This means the whole programme will likely take 4 years to complete. It was clarified that part of 1 footpath will need to be shut during work on one of the dams. The Parish Council agreed they supported the application.
6.2 180318 Land at Homelea Bircher – proposed conversion of existing structure to residential dwelling: The original application (172591) for this conversion had been discussed at the Parish council meeting in August 2017. It was agreed that the Parish council wished to make no comment on the revision to the original planning application.
6.3 Bell Inn Yarpole (Asset of Community Value): The Bell inn has been put up for sale, and as a listed asset of community value, community groups have the right to bid for the pub. The Clerk had been in contact with the Community Assets Co-ordinator at Herefordshire Council, who had confirmed that they had received notification of the sale and would be following the statutory process. This allows 6 weeks for a group to notify of an intention to bid, with the bid having to be submitted within 6 months. It was queried whether the listing of the pub included the field behind it, as the emerging Community Land Trust may wish to explore whether this would be appropriate for a small development of affordable housing. The Clerk will check into this, and report back accordingly. (Action EL)
6.4 Update on current planning applications/matters: The appeal against refusal of planning permission for the land opposite the village hall has been turned down (application 162068). There has been no decision yet on the planning application for 10 houses in Lucton and Councillor Bowen will look into this. (Action SB) It was noted that work to construct the passing place on Brook House Lane had commenced.
7. Neighbourhood Development Plan: The revised NDP (with additions highlighted in the text) had been circulated following changes required by the independent examiner. Two typos had been noted and with these corrections the revised NDP was agreed. This will now be forwarded to Herefordshire Council, with the referendum likely to take place on the 10th May 2018. The need to publicise the referendum and encourage residents to vote was discussed, and agreed that a leaflet to go into the Parishioner magazine will be discussed at the next meeting.
8. Information, Consultation and Response
8.1 River Lugg Internal Drainage Board revised byelaws: The consultation and proposed revision to the byelaws was noted.
9. Updates:
9.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The possibility of purchasing a grit bin for Lucton will be discussed at the next meeting. A response from the Principal Building Conservation Officer to the letter about Knoll Cottage had been received, which indicated they are planning to engage with the owner about repairs required to the building.
9.2 Parish Hall update and to agree new Parish council representative to hall committee: It was agreed that Barbara Nurse will be the second Parish Council representative on the Village Hall Committee as Jane Bayliss will be resigning from the Parish Council. The Parish Hall has been gifted a parcel of land of 450 square metres by the Bashfords. They are currently discussing plans for the land.
10. Items for next agenda: NDP publicity, purchase of a grit bin for Lucton, issues of parking by the church, PROW application for lane between Church Farm and the church, mobile phone signal.
11. Date of Next meetings: Tuesday 3rd April , 7.45pm
Tuesday 1st May, 7.45pm