YARPOLE GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on 6th November at 7.45pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.
Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Andrew Daniels, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Ian Salmon, Cllr Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E Lewis.
1. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Harold Holder and PCSO Steph Annette.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: The Clerk made a declaration of pecuniary interest in respect of item 12 and signed the book accordingly. It was agreed she would leave the room for the discussion.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: The budget for 2019/20 is being discussed with £5.5 million coming from central government towards road repairs. The Police and Crime Commissioner has decided to end the partnership with Warwickshire, although the rationale for this is not clear. A query was raised about how the planned road closure on the B4362/1 will affect the bus route; Councillor Bowen has asked the Balfour Beatty co-ordinator for this information.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: PCSO Annette had emailed a brief report. There has been an increase in shed/garage and outbuilding thefts across the Leominster area, and the police are advising residents to be extra vigilant for any suspicious people or vehicles and call 101 to report anything suspicious. The police are also reminding householders to set timer switches on lamps/lights if they know they are going to be away from their property in the hours of darkness.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: No residents were present.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 2nd October 2018: The minutes were agreed and signed as a correct record.
5.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £32,498.89 and the Business reserve has a balance of £15,037.23
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows – Footpath officer (for maps) £46.00, Village Hall £14.00, Clerk wages £437.61, Hi Trees (lengthsman) £168.00 and Hi Trees (footpath work) £1,194.00.
5.3 Bank reconciliation: The bank reconciliation was noted and signed.
5.4 Date for finance working party: It was agreed the Clerk would circulate potential dates for the working party to look at the first draft of the budget for 2019/20.
6.1 183892 – Land at the Low Turn, Maunds House, Yarpole: It was agreed the Parish Council wished to strenuously object to the application for which it can see no compelling reason. It was noted that the application indicates that the hedgerow to be removed is 200 metres long, yet the map included shows a hedgerow of 287 metres long to be removed- this inclusion of erroneous information in a formal application is not helpful and should be corrected. The hedgerow is over 30 years old and therefore worthy of protection under the 1997 Hedgerow Regulation Act – the application does not indicate whether the hedgerow contains protected species, endangered species or woody species and associated species which would afford additional protection – and the removal of another hedgerow in Yarpole is bound to have a detrimental impact on local wildlife. The adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan makes clear that “hedgerows that support the historic pattern of the particular village setting and development shall not be removed” (7.8) – this hedgerow is visible from the road/footpaths (as stated in the application) and as such is clearly part of the village setting and as such is protected by the NDP. Policy YG13h of the NDP states that any development proposals should “retain natural habitats and features…such as hedgerows” – this proposal contravenes the stated policies of the NDP and should be refused.
6.2 183762 –Oldfield House and Oldfield House, Yarpole proposed tree works: The Parish tree warden had visited the site and had no problems with the proposed works. It was agreed that the Parish Council had no objections to the application.
6.3 Update on current planning applications/matters: The Clerk had made contact with Welsh Water, who had confirmed that there is sufficient capacity for the houses on the Price planning application (182880/XA2) to connect to the public sewer.
7. General Power of Competence: A paper on the General Power of Competence had been circulated prior to the meeting. After a short discussion, it was agreed that from 6th November 2018, until the next relevant Annual Meeting of the Council, that having met the conditions of eligibility as defined in the Localism Act 2011 and SI 965 The Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012, Yarpole Group Parish Council adopt the General Power of Competence. The resolution was proposed by Cllr Middleton and seconded by Cllr Nurse, and agreed unanimously.
8. Information, Consultation and Response
8.1 Travellers Sites Development Plan Additional Sites consultation: It was agreed that the Parish Council had no comment to make on the consultation.
8.2 Proposed Lucton Speed Limit Reduction on U92404: The Parish Council has received notice from Herefordshire Council that they intend to change the speed limit on the U92404 Stocking Lane in Lucton to 30mph. The Parish Council agreed they wholeheartedly supported the order, but feel aggrieved that Herefordshire Council have not taken notice of the community’s desire for a reduction in the speed limit on the B4362 by Lucton School and the turning into Lucton village. A 50mph speed limit next to the school (which operates on both sides of the road) and by the turning into Lucton, is unsafe and inappropriate, and the Parish council reiterates that it has included money in the reserves plan to support traffic calming measures in Lucton, which the Herefordshire Council traffic reports suggest would be required in order to support any reduction in the speed limit on the B4362.
9. Updates and action
9.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: There is a tree that needs attention in Lucton and Cllr Trotter will contact the locality steward about this. The planning department at Herefordshire Council have been asked for an update on Knoll Cottage and this will be circulated once received. Cllr Bowen has raised the issue of the deteriorating kerbs in Bircher and will follow this up.
9.2 Parish Hall: The new noticeboard has been ordered and will be arriving soon.
9.3 PROW and Lengthsman: It was agreed that the lengthsman will be asked to clear the footpath by the pub. It was noted that the fence by the brook in Yarpole needs repair, as well as the brook needing clearing. Cllr Bowen will take this up with Herefordshire Council. The footpath officer has now received offers of help with footpath work from 2 different people, which means the group can work as a team across the parish footpaths.
9.4 Traffic Calming: The Speed Indicator Device (SID) surveys are being done in the week of 12th November. Balfour Beatty will then analyse the data from these to determine if SIDs would be appropriate in the locations, hopefully by the end of November. Once this work has been completed, the Parish Council can then complete the paperwork to order and pay for the SID bases to be installed. The traffic calming scheme for Bircher is still being worked on.
9.5 Parking at Church: Parking is still an issue, with concerns that an accident is likely in the area. As an interim measure, it was agreed to ask the locality steward for the lines at the junction to be repainted, as these have faded significantly.
10. Items for next agenda: The brook in Yarpole, and progress with work on this, will be added to the agenda for the next meeting.
11. Date of Next meetings: Tuesday 11th December 2018, 7.45pm
A resolution was passed to exclude the public from the following item. The Clerk also left the room.
12. Clerks Contract: The Clerk has passed the Certificate in Local Council Administration and is eligible for a pay scale increase. Advice from Herefordshire Association of Local Councils suggests that a qualified Clerk should be on pay scale 26 or 27, and it was agreed to put the Clerk’s salary to scale point 27 (£6664.05 p/a for 10 hours per week) effective from the start of November. It was also agreed that this will be reviewed annually in November.