Minutes 3rd October 2017


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 3rd October 2017 at 7.30pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.

Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr David Niblett, Cllr Michael Denny,Cllr Harold Holder, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Jane Bayliss, County Cllr. Sebastian Bowen, PCSO Adam Michniok, Parish Clerk Ms E Lewis.
8 parishioners were present.

1. Apologies for absence. No apologies were received.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation. No declarations were made.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Councillor Bowen recently toured the area with the Balfour Beatty locality steward. The money that Herefordshire Council is receiving from Amey will be focused on C and U road maintenance.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: PCSO Adam Michniok is one of two PCSOs based in Leominster currently covering the area, it is hoped that the vacant PCSO position will be filled soon. Since May 2017, the only incident reported in the Parish has been the report of a homeless person in the church which the police attended. There has been a spate of thefts from vans in neighbouring areas.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: The Parishioners present wished to raise issues concerning agenda item 7 and speeding in Bircher item 9.4. It was agreed comments would be taken during discussion of the relevant items.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 5th September 2017: The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record.
5. Finance:
5.1 Financial statement : The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £16672.04 and the Business Reserve Account a balance of £15,030.22
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows: Anna Morley (community directory) £25.00, K Davies (grass cutting) £ 440.00, Grant Thornton (external audit fee) £120.00, SLCC annual membership £65.50, Clerk September wages £350.09, S Woodfield (footpath work) £1668.50.
6. Planning:
6.1 173182 & 173181: Cockgate Farm – proposed conversion of offices and storage building to dwelling: It was agreed the Parish Council had no objections to the plans.
6.2 173017: Sunnyside Bircher, proposed detached garage/studio/workshop: The Parish Council agreed they felt they had insufficient information to make an informed comment on the application.

7. Lower House Farm, Yarpole, planning approval for 9 houses – size of layby included as planning condition and changes to how construction traffic will access the site: Parishioners raised a number of issues concerning the impact that the 20 metre layby required as a planning condition will have on the lane particularly the effect on the ancient hedgerow which will have to be moved. It was suggested that the Herefordshire Council proposal to move the hedgerow contravenes existing regulations and legal precedents. Concern was also expressed about the way that construction traffic will be accessing the site, which has changed from the access by the side of the applicants’ house noted at the Parish Council meeting in July, and how this will impact on residents. The landowner indicated that different routes for construction traffic accessing the site had been explored, but that none of these had proved feasible and given the planning condition requiring wheel washing, traffic would have to access the site via Brook House lane.

It was confirmed that a previous agreement under section 106 was in place on the grassland south of the village cemetery and the owner intends to gift this land to the Parish Council for community use. It was confirmed that, as the planning application is for less than 10 houses, there is no legal requirement for any section 106 contributions to be made as part of the application, nor for the site to include any affordable housing. It was also confirmed that in constructing the layby, the applicant is required to move and relocate the existing hedgerow at the boundary of the layby. The Parish Council agreed that they were concerned that the increase in size of the layby on Brook House Lane, which is a planning condition required by Herefordshire Council, was not something they were aware of at the time of commenting on the planning application. It was agreed the Clerk would write to Herefordshire Council to seek clarification on the rationale for the increase in size of the layby and to indicate the concerns within the village of the impact this will have. (Action Clerk)
8. Standing Orders: The new standing orders were discussed and agreed that the document should be changed to be gender neutral (rather than referring to his/her) and remove the references to “Vice-Chair if any” to clarify the council does have a Vice Chair. Based on these changes the new standing orders were agreed.
9. To receive updates and agree action on:
9.1 Casual Vacancy for Parish Council: As no candidates for the role were present, it was agreed to postpone this to the November meeting.
9.2 Neighbourhood Development Plan: John Mattocks has been confirmed as the examiner for the Yarpole Group NDP and is due to start the examination process in mid-November. The Clerk and Councillors Russell and Grant had attended a briefing at Herefordshire Council on the 28th September which included information on NDPs. It was clarified at the briefing that where a site is allocated for housing development, the number of dwellings included in the NDP is seen as a minimum rather than a cap on numbers. The importance of the website, and information being accessible on this, in the examination process has been stressed. The Clerk will ask Bill Bloxsome to undertake an independent check of the site prior to the start of the examination process to ensure it provides all the relevant information on the NDP and its development. (Action Clerk)
9.3 Lengthsman Scheme: There were no issues to report.
9.4 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The council is still waiting for confirmation of the order of the road sign for St Peters Square in Lucton. The issue of speeding through Bircher was raised, particularly with regards to the visibility of the speed limit signs entering the village from the Orleton end. The Clerk has raised this with the Balfour Beatty locality steward and asked for some quotes for increasing the size of the speed limit signs. It was agreed to ask the police to undertake speed checks in the area, and to investigate the Parish purchasing or hiring a Speed Indicator Device for use in Bircher and across the parish. (Action Clerk)
9.5 Parish Hall: No matters to report.

9.6 Parish Council website: The Clerk and Councillors Grant and Russell have received their training on the new website and the Clerk is now working to ensure the website is ready to be launched at the start of November. It was confirmed that the Parish Council information on the Yarpole community website will be replaced by a link through to the new site. It was agreed the Clerk would include information on the launch of the new website in her update for the November edition of the Parishioner. (Action Clerk) The new website can include a picture/logo at the top of the home page and it was agreed that a picture of the church bell tower would be good to represent the Parish. It was agreed that councillors would bring pictures to the next ordinary Parish Council meeting so that one can be chosen to include on the website. (Action all councillors)
10 Items for next agenda: No items raised.
11. Date of Next meetings: It was agreed to hold an ordinary meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday 5th December, but not to have a Parish Council meeting in January. Due to planning applications requiring comment, it was agreed to hold an extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday 17th October. In order to allow participants in dog agility training to leave the car park prior to Parish Councillors trying to get in, it was agreed to trial meetings starting at 7.45pm.

Tuesday 17th October 2017, Extraordinary Meeting, 7.45pm Village Hall
Tuesday 7th November 2017, Ordinary meeting, 7.45pm Village Hall
Tuesday 5th December 2017, Ordinary Meeting, 7.45pm Village Hall