Thank you to everyone in the parish who supported our Neighbourhood Development Plan with 84.1% approval at the Referendum held on Thursday 30th May.
As more than half of those voting have voted that they want Herefordshire Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Bishopstone Group to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area, this will now come into force.
The referendum on our Neighbourhood Development Plan will take place on Thursday 30th May. This is the culmination of a process that began five years ago with a questionnaire which was answered by a magnificent 85% of households in our five parishes. That information was used to draft the NDP and many of you also took part in the various consultations that followed as it was altered and refined in response to your comments. This is your chance to vote on the final version.
The question on the voting paper will be “Do you want Herefordshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Bishopstone Group to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?” – and if more than 50% of those who vote say yes the NDP will be “made” and its policies will become part of Herefordshire Council’s planning policy.
The Neighbourhood Development Plan is available here for you to read or download, and paper copies of the Plan have been placed the churches in the group and in the New Bridge Community Centre at Bridge Sollars church. Ideally we would like you to read the whole Plan but if you are short of time there is a page index at the beginning that will tell you where to find the section relating to your own parish.
What is a Lenghtsman? He is a qualified person the Parish Council employs to maintain local roads and footpaths, they are not allowed to work on main roads ie A438.
Because of lack of funding, Balfour Beatty, Herefordshire Council’s main contractor, has failed to carry out highway and footpath maintenance for many years. The responsibility has now fallen onto the Parishes, although if a major defect is reported it comes down to the responsibility of Balfour Beatty.
Money to pay for employing a lenghtsman is totally funded from the Parishes precept – last year we allocated £1,655 from the precept to cover the lenghtsman costs, previously the parish paid 67%, Balfour Beatty 33%.
Here is a quick look at how the parish has spent this money in the last financial year April 2018 to March 2019:
In the spring and summer months cutting back visibility spays, clearing drains and cleaning signs, etc. April, May, July and August invoices totalled £520.00
In October a blocked cross ditch on Bishon Lane, after years of neglect was causing flooding, the lengthsman hired a small digger to clean this out and other ditches in the area
In January a blocked ditch on Ferry Lane Byford again, after years of neglect was cleaned by the lengthsman along with ditches on Byford Common.
Several potholes in Byford were also filled by the lengthsman, Balfour Beatty had failed to fill these reported potholes due to budget restrictions.
This extra work along with monthly maintenance cost the Parish Council £1,110.00. This total of £1,630.00 for the year kept the Parish council just inside their budget.
2018-19 was the last year Herefordshire Council would fund the P3 footpath maintenance scheme where the Parish Council paid 23% of the cost and Balfour Beatty 77%. The scheme works out a figure of £1060.00 for our parishes, this related to the total distance of footpaths we maintain.
After the usual maintenance of cutting footpaths in Bishopstone, Bridge Sollars and Byford we spent only £210.00 of the fund. To use the rest of the allocated money the Parish Council installed a Woodstock kissing gate (see below) on the junction of KT4 on the Kenchester/ Bishopstone boundary and also purchased a spare kissing gate for stock to use up the rest of the quota at a net cost of £905.00.
Our speaker for the next Local History Evening on Thursday April 25th is David Whitehead who will give an illustrated talk about Humphry Repton in Herefordshire. This is particularly relevant to us as we have local examples of Repton’s work at Garnons and The Weir at Kenchester. As usual the talk takes place at the New Bridge Community Centre at Bridge Sollars at 7.30pm, admission £3 to include coffee and biscuits.
The list of our future meetings is as follows:
May 23rd The History of Lady Hawkins School, Kington by Allan Lloyd
September 26th Strange and Wonderful Herefordshire Churches by Penny Platts
October 31st Lost Country Houses of Herefordshire (part 2) by John Macklin
November 28th to be arranged
That’s the plan but it’s likely that the May talk will have to be cancelled if the community centre is being used for EU elections – Electoral Services have booked it so presumably they are expecting the election to happen. In that case I will try to book Allan for the November slot.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Bishopstone Litter Picking on Saturday 6th April. There was noticeably less rubbish collected this year, only six bags which is encouraging, thank you to those who are picking up rubbish through the year.
Next week it’s the turn of Mansell Gamage, Saturday 14th April 2019 at 10.00am. Meet by the Notice Board.