Minutes 2nd February 2021


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 via zoom

Present: Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Ian Salmon, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Harold Holder, Cllr Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms Emma Lewis, PCSO Steph Harper (items 1-3.2 only) and PCSO Max Beswick (items 1-3.2 only)

No members of the public were present.

1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Bott and Cllr Daniels.
2. Declarations of interest: Cllrs Nurse and Russell made a declaration of non-pecuniary interest in item 8.2 and it was agreed that they could stay in the meeting for the discussion.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Herefordshire Council have now abandoned the western bypass and southern link road.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: PCSO Max Beswick was introduced as the new member of the Safer Neighbourhoods team. The team have been busy looking into potential breaches of COVID regulations; it was noted that meat was stolen from freezers at Lucton School just before Christmas.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: No residents were present.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 8th December 2020 and the extraordinary meeting held on the 12th January 2021: Both sets of minutes were agreed as a correct record and will be signed after the meeting.
5. Finance
5.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £27,017.55 and the reserve account has a balance of £15,088.06.
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows – Parish Hall (grant for double glazing) £2646.00, Kevin Davies (PROW) £382.50, Peter Greer (PROW) £10.00, Clerk (wages) £579.98, HMRC £5.40, Hi Trees (lengthsman) £306.
5.3 Bank reconciliation: The Jan 2021 bank reconciliation was noted.
6. Planning:
6.1 204343/204344 – Gatehouse Mill and Gatehouse Farm, Bircher – Extensive repairs and improvements including a rear single storey extension: The Parish Council agreed that they supported the principle of the application.
6.2 Update on current planning applications/matters: Cllr Bowen has asked for the tarpaulin to be replaced on Knoll Cottage in Bircher.
7. Recruitment of New Parish Clerk: HALC are organising the recruitment of the new Clerk and it was agreed that the Chair and Vice Chair would form the interview panel for any shortlisted applicants, with Cllr Middleton as an alternative should one be needed.
8. Updates and action
8.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The erosion of the verge in Bircher has been raised with the Balfour Beatty locality steward.
8.2 Parish Hall – to include update on transfer of additional land: The new windows at the hall have been installed. The contracts for the transfer of the additional land to the Parish Council (as Custodian Trustee) are now ready and it was agreed that these would be signed by the Clerk/Chair as appropriate.
8.3 Footpaths and Lengthsman: The tree affected by die back in Yarpole has been reported to BBLP. It was agreed that the Clerk would send in the expression of interest form for the lengthsman and PROW schemes, and that annual plans for both would be discussed at the next meeting.
8.4 Welsh Water: The sewer in Yarpole failed again in January, leading to another discharge of foul water. This had been reported to Welsh Water and the Environment Agency. The Clerk had contacted Herefordshire Council Environmental Health about the sewage discharges, but they have no powers to act in the matter. Welsh Water Waste Water Services have responded to the Clerk offering a meeting with the Sewerage Manager, Richard Davies to discuss the issue. It was agreed that the Clerk would look to set up the meeting.
8.5 Community Field: It was noted that Red Kite had drafted two outline plans for the field, which the Community Field will meet and discuss once COVID regulations allow. The plans, and recommendations, can then come to the Parish Council for discussion before community consultation on the plans is organised. Red Kite will provide costings for all the work once the final plan is agreed.
9. Items for next agenda: No items were raised.
10. Date of Next meeting: Tuesday 2nd March 2021