YARPOLE GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at the parish hall
Present: Cllr Audrey Bott, Cllr Linda Middleton, Cllr Ian Salmon, Cllr Barbara Nurse, Cllr Andrew Daniels, Cllr Michael Denny, Cllr Sebastian Bowen, Parish Clerk Ms Emma Lewis .
4 members of the public were present.
1. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Holder, Cllr Trotter, Cllr Russell and Cllr Grant
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation: Cllrs Nurse and Daniels made a declaration of interest in item 5.4, and it was agreed that they could stay in the room but would take no part in the discussion.
3. Public Participation
3.1 Report from Ward Councillor: Cllr Bowen has asked that the visibility markers at Bircher be mended and that the white lining at the Bircher turn be renewed. Repairs at the Shire hall are ongoing.
3.2 Report from West Mercia Police: No report had been received.
3.3 Views of local residents on Parish matters: One of the parishioners present introduced the application for funds from the parish hall. The substantive discussion is recorded under item 5.4.
4. Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 6th October 2020: The minutes were agreed and signed.
5.1 Financial statement to date: The financial statement was agreed. The current account has a balance of £33,189.49 and the Business Reserve has a balance of £15,087.81.
5.2 Cheques: Cheques were signed as follows – Footpath officer (petrol) £9.60, Kevin Davies (footpath work) £120.00, Clerk wages £579.98, HMRC £5.40, Wigmore School £30.00, Clerk (mileage and zoom) £31.49, PFK Littlejohn auditors £240.00.
5.3 Date for finance working group: The Clerk will liaise with councillors via email to confirm a date for the meeting to look at the draft budget and precept for 2021/22.
5.4 Request for funds from parish hall for replacement windows: The village hall request for funding towards replacement double glazing had been circulated prior to the meeting. The village hall committee had decided to replace the windows as the current windows are not made with safety glass. The total cost, including VAT, of the work will be £11,646, of which £9,000 has been secured in grant funding. The Parish Council agreed to provide £2,646 in funding, of which £1,000 will be from grant funding and £1,646 from the Community project element of reserves funding.
5.5 External auditor report for 19-20 audit: The external auditors report on the 19/20 accounts, which raised no issues for consideration, was noted.
6.1 203507 – Brookhouse Farm, Brook Lane: It was agreed that the Parish Council had no objections to the plans.
6.2 Planning Update: It was noted that building work on the new dwellings has commenced on the land off Croft Crescent. Cllr Bowen will check whether the planning permission for 7 dwellings at the land on Yarpole Lane by the Pumping Station (application 161522 and 171745) has expired.
7. Welsh Water: The Clerk has received a response from Steve Wilson (Managing Director for Waste Water Services at Welsh Water) to the Parish Council letter about the ongoing problem with the Yarpole sewerage system. The Parish Council agreed that they felt the letter did not address the questions raised about what action Welsh Water are taking to address the problem of flooding, given they are taking money from residents to deal with surface water discharge. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the Consumer Council for Water to raise the issue. It was noted that Julian Stokes has written an article in the Parishioner asking residents to write to Steve Wilson to press for action to address the problem. It was also agreed that Cllr Daniels would phone Gareth Morris at Welsh Water to see if he could offer any assistance in getting a resolution to the problem.
8. Traffic Calming in Yarpole: Letters had been received from parishioners, one relating to introducing a 20 mph speed limit in Yarpole and one detailing concerns about traffic and tractors in Yarpole and suggesting a number of traffic calming measures, including speed bumps and width restrictions. It was noted that, contrary to the suggestion in one of the letters received, there are productive arable fields in Yarpole which do necessitate the presence of tractors in the village. It was also noted that speed bumps would prove problematic for emergency vehicle access and cause a noise nuisance to residents living by them. The Parish Council looked into getting a Speed Indicator device (SID) in Yarpole in 2018, as part of which speed surveys were commissioned in the village to see whether speeding was enough of an issue to warrant a SID; the results of the survey showed that the average speed of vehicles over a 7 day period was around 25mph and consequently the Parish Council was not allowed to proceed with any SIDs in the village. However, it was agreed that the Parish Council would request that Herefordshire Council look into a reduction in the speed limit in the village to 20mph. It was noted that any requests for such a change are put on a list by Herefordshire Council and prioritised according to the need for safety improvements in the area and each year the council will then action the top items on the list according to the budget available, so it would likely be some years before this request would be actioned.
9. Tree Preservation Order: A letter had been sent to the Parish Council asking that a tree preservation order be sought for the tall trees on the land between Eastholme and the Yarpole Pumping station on Yarpole lane. These trees are on land which has planning permission for 7 new dwellings and there is concern that once building work starts these trees will be felled. The grounds on which tree preservation orders are assessed were noted and it was agreed that the Parish Council would apply to Herefordshire Council for a tree preservation order.
10. Updates and action
10.1 Lucton & Bircher Matters: The legal process to ensure necessary repair are made to Knoll Cottage is ongoing.
10.2 Parish Hall: There were no issues report further to the grant application for replacement windows.
10.3 Footpaths and Lengthsman: The unadopted path that runs from the Church to Church Farm is in need of maintenance, as it has become very slippery. Ownership of the path is not clear, and it was reiterated that legally it is the owners of the land who have responsibility to maintain the path. It was suggested that the PCC should apply for ownership of it, and the Parish Council or shop could then provide a grant to support maintenance of the path. The Clerk had contacted the Mortimer Community Benefit Society about the possibility of one of the Bell Inn sheds being used for storage of footpath equipment and had received a response that they would be unable to support this. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact both the PCC and the Parish Hall to ask whether they would be willing to have a shed on their land to store footpath equipment.
10.4 Talk Community: Cllr Nurse provided an update on work by the Good Neighbour scheme to become a Talk Community Hub (Talk community being an initiative being run by Herefordshire Council). As a first step in the process, the Good Neighbour scheme are undertaking a questionnaire survey of residents to look at identifying needs in the village.
10.5 Yarpole Public Payphone: A faulty light in the Yarpole phone box had been reported to the Clerk, who has been in contact with BT to try and get this fixed.
11. Items for next agenda: No items were raised.
12. Date of Next meeting: Tuesday 1st December