Minutes 3rd July 2018


Minutes of the meeting held on 3rd July 2018 at 7.30pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.

Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Andrew Daniels, Cllr Linda Middleton, Parish Clerk Ms E Lewis.

3 members of the public were present.

1. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllr Harold Holder.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: No declarations were made.
3. Public Participation (limited to 20 minutes)
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Cllr Bowen was away at a conference.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: No report had been received.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: A member of the Mortimer Community Benefit society was present and provided an update on the progress of the group, which is now licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority. A steering group meeting is being held on the 3rd July at which officers will be appointed. 150 questionnaires have been returned and 133 offers of financial support with £180,000 pledged in principal.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 5th June 2018: The minutes were agreed and signed as a correct record once the title of item 9.2 had been changed to Armistice Commemoration Group.
5. Finance:
5.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £27.082.23 and the Business Reserve £15,034.71.
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows – Village Hall £14.00, Clerk (petrol) £41.40, Data Orchard (NDP) £488.64, St Leonards Management £7.00, Clerk wages £437.61, Kevin Davies £150.00, Footprath Officer £15.61.
5.3 Finance working group: The informal minutes from the working group were noted.
5.4 Revised reserves plan: The revised reserves plan was agreed.
5.5 Renewal of Parish council insurance with BHIB: It was agreed to renew the Parish Council insurance with BHIB at a cost of £454.17.
6. Planning
6.1 Knoll Cottage, Bircher: Herefordshire Council Conservation officer had emailed an update on the urgent building works on Knoll Cottage, which are scheduled to be completed on the 9th July. Originally the contractor planned to replace the bressemer, however there was found to be nothing to fix it to on the left hand side, so temporary repairs were carried out in this area. The left hand section of roof was found to be in much worse condition than previously thought with few rafters left, as such the contractor is putting in place a softwood frame to support the tarpaulins in this area. Once the works are complete, Herefordshire Council will then look at options available for the long term conservation of the building.
6.2 Update on current planning applications/matters: There has been no decision issued on the planning application in Lucton, and the Clerk will contact the planning department to check the status of the application. (Action EL)

7. Bell Inn Yarpole (Mortimer Community Benefit Society) – Public works loan: Following a member of the Mortimer Community Benefit Society raising the possibility of the Parish Council taking a public works loan, the Clerk had sought advice from the Herefordshire Association of Local Councils. Their advice is that as Parish Council has no power to buy pub, it also has no legal defined power to take out a loan to refurbish or contribute to buying it. It was also pointed out that even if the Parish Council did have a legal power to contribute to repairs this would mean using public money to contribute to a business which will eventually pay interest to shareholders, meaning taking money from every household in the parish (via the precept) to support payment of interest to a small group of residents. It was confirmed that the MCBS had made no formal approach to the Parish Council for a public works loan. The Parish Council restated their support for the project and it was agreed that the Clerk would contact them to restate that the group was welcome to apply for a grant under the existing Parish Council grant policy.
8. Standing Orders – to agree revised standing orders: The standing orders have been revised to reflect changes due to new data protection legislation, changes to allow for electronic issuing of agendas and new requirements to publish information on the Parish Council website. The revised standing orders were agreed.
9. Traffic & Traffic Calming
9.1 Budget for traffic calming measures in Bircher: It was agreed to allocate £3,000 from the reserves to pay for additional traffic calming measures in Bircher, such as roundels on the road. The Clerk will contact the BBLP traffic engineer to ask that a scheme be devised within this budget.
9.2 Parking at Church: The Clerk has been trying to make contact with the BBLP traffic engineer to ask for advice on possible options for addressing the issues with parking at the church.
10. Information, Consultation and Response
10.1 Footpath Armistice commemoration grant application: It was confirmed that the grant application was from the armistice commemoration group, rather than the Living History Group, which means that as such the group does not meet the criteria defined in the grant making policy and cannot be awarded a grant. The Parish council confirmed they would be happy to receive an application from the Living History Group should they wish to make one.
10.2 498 Bus Service: The letter from Herefordshire Council concerning the retendering of the service had been circulated prior to the meeting. It was noted that the Clerk had received emails from three residents expressing their concern that the service may be lost. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Transport manager at Herefordshire Council to discuss a possible financial contribution to the service, and a decision on this would be taken at the next meeting of the Parish council.
10.3 Aymestrey Neighbourhood Development Plan Regulation 16 Consultation: It was agreed that the Parish Council had no comments to make on the plan.
11. Updates and action
11.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The St. Peters Square sign is now in place. Concerns were raised about the potential fire risk of pile of straw in the grounds of Knoll Cottage and the Clerk will contact Herefordshire council to see if this can be removed. (Action EL) Councillors were asked to ensure that they bring any potential lengthsman tasks throughout the Parish to the attention of the Clerk or Councillor Grant.
11.2 Parish Hall: No meetings of the committee had been held.
11.3 PROW and Lengthsman: The hedge outside the Bell Inn is obstructing the footpath and the Clerk will contact Enterprise Inns to ask that this is cut back. (Action EL)
12. Items for next agenda: No items were raised.

13. Date of Next meetings: It was agreed to hold an extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 16th July at 7.30pm to discuss two hedgerow removal applications and any update on the 498 Bus service.
Next ordinary Parish Council meetings –  Tuesday 4th September 2018,  Tuesday 2nd October 2018