Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 7.30pm in Yarpole Village Hall.
Present: Cllr Tony Patterson, Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Harold Holder, County Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E. Lewis.
Plus Paul Beeden (490 Bus Supporters Group)
1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received from Jane Bayliss and David Nibletts.
2. Declarations of interest: Cllr Holder made a declaration in respect of item 6.1 and signed the book accordingly.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: The resurfacing of the road in Bircher has now been completed. The new University for Herefordshire has received £8 million from the government, with hopefully a further £15 million to come. There is an exhibition about the planned new relief road at the Courtyard which will include a new river crossing; comments about the plans can be made on-line. Dan Guerche is the new ambassador for the Police and Crime Commissioner and is keen to get out to meet and talk to local Parish Councils. It was agreed he would be invited to speak at the annual Parish meeting. (Action Clerk)
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: PC Dave Knight was unable to attend the meeting, but will aim to be present or send a report to Parish Council meetings.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: The parishioner present wished to speak to item 7.1 and had no other issues to raise.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meetings: The minutes of the meetings held on 1st February 2017 and 6th March 2017 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
5.1 Financial statement to date: The Clerk updated the financial statement, which had not included a deposit of £25 for footpath book sales and debit of £989.40 for repayment of the NDP grant. This meant the current account balance as at 4th April was £11738.47. The financial statement was agreed following this correction.
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows: HMRC (Tax payment) £74.24, HALC (Training) £72.00, Emma Lewis (stationery/filing cabinets) £134.90 and Clerk Wages £218.18.
6. Planning (Cllr Holder left the room for this item.)
6.1 170671 The Stockings, Lucton replacement dwelling & conversion of agricultural building: The Parish Council agreed they had no objection to this application.
7. Information, Consultation & Response:
7.1 490 Bus Route: Paul Beeden from the 490 bus support group was present and a letter from him, and report on the bus service, had been circulated with the agenda. The Parish Council has provided financial support for the route and it was agreed that they were happy to write to the County Councillor Rone, the Portfolio holder for Highways, to support the case for retention of the route. The Clerk will draft an appropriate letter from the Council. (Action Clerk)
7.2 Phone Box Closures: Herefordshire Council have confirmed that they objected to the closure of the 3 phone kiosks in the Parish, so these services will be retained. The phone box in Luston village is currently out of service, and the Clerk will investigate the issue to ensure service is resumed. (Action Clerk)
7.3 Code of conduct consultation: The new code of conduct was noted. It was suggested that some exemplars of types of interest to declare might be usefully included, and Councillor Bowen will feed this back. (Action Councillor Bowen)
8.1 Neighbourhood Development Plan: The NDP and supporting documents have all been received by Herefordshire Council and the regulation 16 consultation should commence any day.
8.2 Lengthsman Scheme and contact on council: The contract for the coming financial year with Herefordshire Council for the lengthsman and P3 will be issued any day. It was confirmed that Cllr Grant will act as the Lengthsman point of contact on the Parish Council. The Yarpole entrance sign at the Bircher end needs replacing and the Clerk will contact the BBLP locality steward about this. (Action Clerk)
8.3 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The resurfacing of the road in Bircher was welcomed.
8.4 Parish Hall: Jane Praill has replaced Irene Black as the new Treasurer. A T-loop for hearing aids has been installed in the hall. Herefordshire Council has confirmed that the Village Hall is a charity so will not have to pay council tax. The Flicks in the Sticks on the 22nd April will be Sully.
8.5 Transparency Grant: The Clerk completed the Transparency grant with help from HALC; the funds will cover the set-up of a Parish Council website, purchase of a Parish Council lap top and hours to allow the Clerk to work on populating the website with council documentation. The funds should be released in the next few weeks.
The Parish Council voted to exclude the public from item 9.
9. Format & Date of Parish Annual Meeting: It was confirmed that the Parish Annual meeting and the Parish Council annual meeting would be held on the 2nd May. Cllr Paterson informed the Council that due to plans to relocate he would not be putting himself forward for the position of Chair at the meeting. The Council agreed that they wished to purchase a gift for Jo King in recognition of all her work for the Council. The Clerk will contact her husband to ask for ideas for this, and will also check the position on funding the gift. (Action Clerk)
10. Items for the next agenda: No items were raised.
11. Date of Next meetings:
Tuesday 2nd May – 7pm (Annual Parish Council Meeting and Parish Annual Meeting )
Tuesday 6th June – 7.30pm Parish Council Meeting
Tuesday 4th July – 7.30pm Parish Council Meeting