Minutes June 2018


Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 5th June 2018 at 7.30pm in Yarpole Parish Hall.

Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Diane Russell, Cllr Duncan Grant, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Julian Stokes, Cllr Geoff Trotter, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Andrew Daniels, County Cllr. Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms E Lewis.

2 members of the public were present (agenda items 1 to 4 & 7.3) together with Matthew Knight the Principal Conservation Officer from Herefordshire Council

1. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllr Harold Holder and Linda Middleton.
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation. The Clerk made a disclosure of non-pecuniary interest in part of item 9.1 and signed the book accordingly. It was agreed she could stay in the room for the discussion.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: An invitation to visit the Waste to Power plant was issued to all councillors on either the 27th August or 31st September; the plant is now taking nearly all the landfill waste in the county and generates 20 megawatts of electricity for the grid, for which Herefordshire council gets paid. OFSTED will be inspecting children’s services in the next few days. Armed Forces Day is being held on the 21st June.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: The police had sent their apologies for the meeting.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: The two residents present had come to give an update on the group working to bid for the Bell Inn. A questionnaire has been issued across the parish, with over 135 responses received. 90% of respondents want to keep the pub and 80% support the community buying the pub. A steering committee has come together to formalise arrangements for a Community Benefit society; support is being received from the Plunkett Foundation, who are sending an assessor to look at the costs for repairs to the pub. The aim is to finance a bid through issuing of shares and then recruit a professional tenant to run the pub. £175,000 has been pledged in principle already. The possibility of the Parish Council applying for a public works loan to cover repairs to the building, and possibly any shortfall between share pledges and the purchase price, was raised.
4. Minutes of Annual Parish Council meeting held on 1st May 2018: The minutes were agreed and signed as a correct record.
5. Annual Accounts – 2017/18
5.1 Certificate of exemption: As the parish council income and expenditure for 2017/18 were both below £25,000, it is exempt from the external audit (or limited assurance review). The certificate confirming this was agreed and signed by the Chair and Clerk.
5.2 Annual Governance Statement: This statement was considered and agreed. The Chair and Clerk signed the statement.
5.3 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 Gillian Vaughan.
6. Finance:
6.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £29,279.81 and the Business Reserve has a balance of £15,034.11
6.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows -Footpath officer –(petrol) £6.72, Clerk – May wages £717.96, Village Hall £14, Eyelid Productions (website)£100, Gill Vaughan (internal audit) £150, GB Signs – St peters Square £108, Glasdon – grit bins £238.68.
6.3 Finance working party: It was agreed that the Clerk would liaise after the meeting to set a date for a working group meeting.
7. Planning
7.1 181423 Land at Leys Lane, Bircher – site for proposed erection of two detached dwellings: The land is included in the Neighbourhood Development plan, and the fact that the application is for outline permission only was noted. The Parish Council would welcome the opportunity to view and comment on the detailed plans for the two houses, to ensure that these comply with policy YG3 of the NDP relating to housing development in Bircher. The concerns/objections raised by Natural England and the Ecology Officer were noted and it is assumed that these will be addressed when full plans are submitted.
7.2 181484 Croft Castle – proposed works following fire risk assessment: It was agreed that the Parish Council had no objection to the plans.
(Note the following item was brought forward and discussed after item 3.3.)
7.3 Knoll Cottage, Bircher: Matthew Knight updated the meeting on progress on Knoll Cottage and Herefordshire Council’s attempts to engage with the owner of the property. An urgent works notice has been issued by Herefordshire Council which expires on the 8th June, and if the owner has not started on the required works then the Council has a contractor ready to start on the work and a charge will then be put against the property. This work is limited to essential repairs to stop further decay and will likely involve removing defective timbers and the decaying roof thatch, propping up the building and then putting a tarpaulin over the building.
7.4 Bell Inn Yarpole: It was agreed that the possibility of the council applying for a public works loan in principle will be put on the agenda of the next meeting and the Clerk will get advice on the matter, and whether this is within the powers of the Parish Council. The possibility of the Community Benefit Society applying for a grant from the Parish Council to support administration costs was raised, and the Clerk will send them the grant policy and any application can go on the agenda once received.
7.5 Update on current planning applications/matters: There has still been no decision on the planning supplication for 10 houses in Lucton and it was agreed the clerk will contact the planning department to see when this is expected.
8. Traffic & Traffic Calming
8.1 Speed Indicator Devices bases installation: A report from the BBLP Traffic Engineer has been received suggesting possible locations for speed indicator device bases in Bircher and Yarpole. The Parish Council will have to pay for speed surveys and assessments in both locations and this will cost £1155. It was noted that should the speed surveys demonstrate there is not an issue with speeding, Balfour Beatty will not allow SID bases to be installed. It was agreed to proceed with the surveys and assessments in both Bircher and Yarpole.
8.2 Lucton Speed Limit Review: The consultant’s report has been sent to Herefordshire Council, and both the clerk and Ward Councillor haven contacted the planning department to reiterate that the Parish Council has included money in the reserves plan to support traffic calming measures in Lucton, which the report suggests would be required in order to support any reduction in the speed limit on the B4362.
8.3 Parking at Church: Balfour Beatty’s traffic engineer has indicated that diagonal parking spaces on Green Lane outside the church will not be feasible; the Clerk is trying to contact him to find out whether they can suggest other possible solutions to alleviate the parking problems in the area.
9. Information, Consultation and Response
9.1 Shobdon Neighbourhood Development Plan Regulation 14 consultation: It was agreed the Parish Council had no comments to make on the plan.
9.2 Armistice Commemoration Group: The group has various plans in place to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I in November and they have already applied for a grant from the shop towards the costs of these projects. The Parish Council would be happy to receive a grant application to support the projects.

10. Updates and action
10.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: There have been issues with bin collection in Bircher, with the bin men not emptying bins that are more than 50 yards from the pavement, which causes a problem for some less physically able residents; Councillor Bowen is looking into this. The sign for St Peters Square has been ordered and it was noted this will cost £150 to install.
10.2 Parish Hall: The hall has been granted the drinks licence it applied for. The 100 club subscriptions are currently being renewed.
10.3 PROW and Lengthsman: The PROW furniture has been ordered and will be delivered to Hi Trees, who are taking on some of the work on the footpaths. It was agreed to ask the lengthsman to work on the splays at the bottom of Yarpole and to clean the pavement outside the church and remove the reversion of branches on the variegated maple on corner of Croft crescent. The visibility on the B4362, turning onto the road from Lucton, is being affected by overgrown hedges and the Clerk will contact the BBLP locality steward to ask for these to be trimmed.
10.4 Tree Warden: It was agreed that the Parish Council would pay for the tree warden to join the Herefordshire Tree Warden Network at a cost of £25 per annum. A note of thanks was recorded to the Tree Warden, Ian Ramsay, for all the work he does on behalf of the parish.
10.5 PROW application for Footpath between Church Farm and the church: The Clerk had circulated the application form and supporting documents that need to be completed to designate a public right of way. This involves a lot of work, and requires research to be undertaken and local residents to complete forms as evidence that the path has been in long term use. It was agreed to proceed with the application, when workload allows, and in the interim to ask the lengthsman to do a general clean/cut back of the path.
11. Items for next agenda: In principle discussion of public works loan application, possible grant applications from Community Benefit Society and Living History Group.
12. Date of Next meetings: Tuesday 3rd July 2018
Tuesday 4th September 2018

Cllr Stokes informed the council that he was resigning and a note of thanks was recorded for both his time on the Parish Council and all the work he undertakes in the parish on a voluntary basis.