Minutes of a Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 1st February 2017
at 7.30 pm in Yarpole Parish Hall
Councillors: Tony Paterson (Chairman), Jane Bayliss, Audrey Bott (Vice Chairman), Michael Denny, Duncan Grant, Linda Middleton, David Niblett, Barbara Nurse, Diane Russell.
Acting Clerk … Lynda Wilcox – HALC (Herefordshire Association of Local Councils)
Ward Councillor … Sebastian Bowen.
Two members of the public.
1. Apologies for absence were received from Harold Holder.
2. Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation
There were none.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor … Sebastian Bowen:
3.1.1 Council Tax was to increase by 2% for health & social care plus 1.9% general council tax. There would be a 2% increase for each of the next three years, totalling a 6% increase over that period.
3.1.2 Savings of almost £70m would need to be delivered by 2018 in response to an 80% reduction in funding from Government.
3.1.3 Consideration was being given to joining the West Midlands Combined Authorities. Depending on the type of membership this could cost £500k or £250k per annum.
3.1.4 In response to a question from the chairman on school transport,
Ward Cllr Bowen responded that the subject would be discussed again in around 18 months’ time.
3.2 Views of local residents on parish matters:
3.2.1 A local resident with highways experience who had moved to the area the previous year and had previously served as a councillor elsewhere, queried whether further measures could be undertaken to reduce the speed limits. Excessive motorist speed was causing vibration damage to local properties.
3.2.2 It was RESOLVED that the matter would be discussed at a future meeting.
4. Minutes of parish council meeting – 15.12.16.
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were signed by the Chairman.
5. Finance … Bank balances – Current £16,176.25 & Reserve £15,029.20.
5.1 It was RESOLVED to pay £10 expenses to the Footpaths Officer.
5.2 It was RESOLVED to pay £45.03 stationery expenses to the ex clerk.
5.3 It was RESOLVED to submit a grant application for a new website and a laptop to the Government’s Transparency Fund, via HALC.
6.1 It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 15th and 21st December 2016.
6.2 Comments on application 163964 Jubilee Lodge Yarpole – single storey extension to existing building: It was RESOLVED not to object to the application but to remind Herefordshire Council that it was within the Conservation Area. Comments were required the following day.
7. Neighbourhood Plan
7.1 Audrey Bott gave an update on progress and reminded members that planning applications were currently only considered against national policy and Herefordshire Council’s Core Strategy.
8. Reports … Updates and possible action were considered on the following:
8.1 Parish Hall (Cllr Russell):
8.1.1 The hall was happy to store parish council equipment on a temporary basis.
8.1.2 Lottery funding was thought to be available for storage. It was noted that the Village Hall did not need to ask permission from the Parish Council as the latter was Custodian Trustee which meant that it did not get involved with the activities of the Hall Committee.
8.1.3 The village had been chosen to receive £20k worth of stage equipment.
8.2 School Transport: dealt with above under agenda item 3.1.
8.3 Welsh Water meeting 6.1.17: Cllr Paterson reported on the article by Julian Stokes in the village magazine concerning a meeting with the Network Manager (Jason Turner) on foul water and sewage issues.
Consideration was being given to a remote telemetric unit which would be dependent on a good signal.
It was noted that Welsh Water was likely to undertake works when the new development was under way.
8.4 Telephone boxes (Cllr Grant): Nothing further had been heard about the box at the end of the road but it was RESOLVED to keep on top of what BT were likely to do. It was noted that Bircher Common had a phone.
8.5 Lengthsman Scheme (Cllr Grant): It was RESOLVED that the parish council would apply for both the Lengthsman and P3 (footpaths) funding
from Herefordshire Council. It was further RESOLVED that the clerk be given delegated responsibility to pursue participation in both schemes.
8.6 Audio version of the parish magazine (Cllr Grant): It would be clarified whether the £100 donation from the parish council had been used for general magazine purposes or specifically for the audio version.
8.7 Revisiting 10 year Parish Plan (Cllr Nurse): It was noted that a few items were being pursued but most had already been carried out.
8.8 Lucton & Bircher matters (Cllrs Nurse and Russell):
8.8.1 There was discussion on a retrospective application for an oil tank in Lucton. The Conservation Officer had been involved.
8.8.2 Results of the traffic control would be available in 3-4 weeks.
9. Correspondence, including HALC training schedule was discussed. It was RESOLVED that Jane Bayliss and Linda Middleton would attend HALC’s ‘Leading Lights training session on 6th February at a cost of £30 each.
10. Date of next scheduled meeting
7.30 pm on Monday 6th March in Yarpole Parish Hall.
A resolution was passed to exclude the public from the following confidential employment item.
11. Appointment of new parish clerk.
11.1 The interview panel consisting of the Chairman -Tony Paterson, Vice Chairman – Audrey Bott, Duncan Grant and Lynda Wilcox (HALC) reported on the recent interview process.
11.2 It was RESOLVED that Emma Lewis be appointed as clerk to the parish council on a six month probationary period from 1st February 2017 subject to references.
11.3 It was further RESOLVED that the initial hours would be five per week at salary scale SCP20 relevant to the national hourly rates recommended from 1st April 2017 in E02-16 dated May 2016.
11.4 Emma Lewis returned to the meeting and accepted the offer of employment.