Minutes of the meeting Tuesday 6th June 2017 at 7.30pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.
Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Harold Holder, Cllr David Niblett, County Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E. Lewis.
1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received from Michael Denny, Barbara Nurse, Jane Bayliss and Tony Paterson.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: No declarations were made.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: A planning application in Orleton has just been refused on the basis of not being included in the NDP, which demonstrates that NDPs are holding weight once they have passed regulation 16. A new plant in Hartlebury is now operational which is turning landfill waste into power. The plant is jointly operated with Worcester county council and Parish Councillors can visit. Allowances for the leader of the council and cabinet members have been increased whilst those for ordinary members have decreased.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: The PC is currently without an assigned PCSO.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: There were no parishioners present aside from the footpaths officer. It was agreed to discuss item 9.6 at this stage of the meeting.
4. Minutes of extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on 23rd May 2017. The Clerk asked that it be recorded that Harold Holder had not been at the meeting due to having not received the email confirmation of the meeting nor the papers posted to him, due to insufficient postage being paid. The minutes of the meeting were agreed and signed as a true record. It was agreed that in future, minutes of normal meetings would come to the next ordinary meeting for approval (rather than the next meeting where this is an extraordinary meeting).
5. Annual Accounts – 2016/17
5.1 Annual Governance Statement. This statement was considered and agreed. The Chair and Clerk signed the statement.
5.2 Annual Accounting Statements. The clerk introduced the statements and the headline figures from the annual accounts. The statement was considered and agreed, and then signed accordingly. The internal audit has been carried out by Emma Greenald.
6.1 Financial statement to date. The financial statement was agreed. The current account shows a balance of £21,828.53 and the Business Reserve has a balance of £15,029.58.
6.2 Cheques. Cheques were agreed and signed as follows Emma Greenald (Audit) £60, Yarpole Village Hall (2016/17) £192.50, Yarpole Village Hall (2017/18 fees) £28.00, Clerk May wages £218.18, Clerk stationery, wages and office expenses £108.29. It was noted that the Clerks expenses cheque included the £50 annual home office allowance, which covers Feb 2017 – Feb 2018.
6.3 Formation of Finance Working Group. The Clerk introduced the idea of a finance working group which would meet informally to go through the accounts and bring proposals to the Parish Council for approval. As a working group, there would be no requirement to meet in public or formally record any minutes. The group would meet 2-3 times per year or as required. The formation of the group was agreed, with membership to include the Chair and Vice-Chair together with any Parish Councillors who wished to attend.
7.1 171514 Bank Cottage, Croft Lane – demolition of barn and construction of extension. The Parish Council agreed that they were happy to support this application.
7.2 171745 Land at Yarpole Proposed dwelling and garage: The proposal is for a seventh dwelling on the Price site for 6 dwellings to which the Parish Council has already recorded its objections. (Application 161522). The refusal of planning permission for that application has been overturned on appeal, notwithstanding which the Parish Council agreed that their objections to this additional proposal remain substantively as previously detailed in comments to application 161522. The site is not included in the Neighbourhood Development Plan and is outside the proposed settlement boundary, this will add 4 cars (in addition to those from the planned 6 dwellings) to an already dangerous road access over a currently very narrow bridge, the site is on agricultural land and therefore not consistent with RA3 of the Core Strategy, the plans include building across an established and well used footpath which is unacceptable.
8 Information, Consultation & Response:
8.1 Lucton school – information and B4362 issues: A letter had been received from the Operations Manager of Lucton School concerning their wish to install some new signs on the B4362 near the equestrian centre (at the school’s expense) and to get the speed limit near the school reduced. The Parish Council were happy to agree to the installation of the road signs and have already requested that the speed limit be reduced. The speed limit reduction is being progressed at county level. The letter indicates that the school will raise with children and parents, road safety on the lane to Stocking Farm, and it was noted that this is still an issue in the area.
8.2 Herefordshire Council Public Spaces Protection Order Consultation: Dog Control: The Parish Council noted the consultation. It was also noted that the issue of dogs running loose and fouling the area was still an issue in Lucton, and councillors are in contact with the relevant office at Herefordshire Council to try and resolve.
9.1 Neighbourhood Development Plan: The decision letter on whether Herefordshire Council is approving the plan to go forward to independent examination is still being awaited.
9.2 Lengthsman Scheme and contract: The Parish Council agreed the contract with Hitrees. It was agreed to ask the lengthsman to clean the Lucton village sign (Action DG).
9.3 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The oil tanker in Lucton has still not been dealt with and it was agreed that Councillor Russell would contact the Herefordshire Council enforcement officer, Debbie Crowley, to chase this. (Action DR)
9.4 Parish Hall: The Hall annual income has seen an increase of 4.9%, but a small deficit is still being run. The hall committee will be looking for grants to support the hall, particularly as the boiler needs replacing. Projector use when hiring the hall will now incur a nominal fee.
9.5 Appointment of Tree Warden: Ian Ramsay has volunteered to act as the Parish Tree Warden, and the Parish Council were happy to agree his appointment.
9.6 Footpath Report: Peter Greer, the Parish footpath officer, gave the council an update on his work. There are over 40 footpaths in the parish, which Peter does his best to walk and strim. 2017/18 will be the first year the Parish will have to pay for footpath furniture, this having previously been provided without charge by BBLP. This means that a large amount of the £2275 included in the PROW budget within the contract with Herefordshire Council will be spent on stiles and gates. Steve Woodfield is the main contactor working on the footpaths, and it costs £300 for installation of a gate and £250 for stile. The question was asked as to why gates are now preferred over stiles, and it was noted that these allow much better access to the footpaths for anyone with mobility issues. Peter liaises regularly with the Croft Castle Estate, where lots of work is being undertaken on the roads and paths. The Parish Council noted their thanks to Peter for all his work, which is undertaken on a voluntary basis. The footpaths continue to be a real asset to the parish.
9.7 Parish Council website: Following receipt of the transparency grant, the Clerk is working with Mark Millimore who is constructing the new Parish Council website. As part of the fee, Mark will train 3 people on working with the website and it was agreed that the Clerk, Diane Russell and Linda Grant would undertake this training. It was confirmed that the Clerk will be responsible for general work on the website, including keeping it updated.
10. Items for next agenda: No items were raised.
11. Date of Next meetings:
Tuesday 4th July 2017, 7.30pm
Tuesday 5th September 2017, 7.30pm