Film nights this autumn, starting October 5th

Our Film nights this autumn feature the following:

Saturday 5th October showing “Green Book” rated 12

Saturday 2nd November showing “Can you ever forgive me?” rated 15

Saturday 7th December showing “Fisherman’s Friend” rated 12

Kicking off the film season, “Green Book” is a the crowd-pleasing comedy-drama where an interracial friendship is born while navigating the deep south at a time of racial division, highlighting discrimination that still exists in much of the US

Film Night takes place at the New Bridge Community Centre in St Andrew’s church at 7.15pm (doors open at 7), admission £5 to include coffee and biscuits. Visitors welcome.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Wet wipes block Bishopstone sewage system

People in Bishopstone are being urged not to flush wet wipes down the toilets as they are causing problems with the sewage system. There have been a number of incidences in recent years, the most recent being May this year, when the sewer between the village and the pumping station at the bottom of Bishon Lane has become blocked.

According to Welsh Water, the blockages are caused by wet wipes and although often sold as “flushable” are responsible for 93 per cent of blockages in UK sewers.

Lab testing of wipes made by three of the UK’s biggest wet wipe producers – Kimberly Clark, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Johnson & Johnson – showed they contained at least 30% plastics.  As we become more aware of the damage to the environment caused by plastic, let’s try to reduce our use of single-use plastic such as wet wipes  And if we have to use them, put them in the bin and not down the loo.

Community Hub – come and find out more on Wed 10th July

We are looking to set up of a community hub at the New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars, aimed at helping people to stay independent, happy and healthy for longer.

These involve monthly drop in sessions where a Community Broker (employed by Herefordshire Council) would be available to talk to people about services, groups and activities in the local community.

Ewan Archibald and Lisa Bedford, from Herefordshire Council, will attend a meeting at the New Bridge Community Centre on Wednesday 10th July at 12.00 – 15.00 to explain the initiative in more detail.  Do come along and find out more.

 

Parishioners say Yes to Neighbourhood Development Plan at referendum

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.

30th May – Time to vote on the Neighbourhood Development Plan

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.

If you have any questions about the Neighbourhood Development Plan or the referendum please contact John Macklin tel 01981 590620, email john102@btinternet.com or Sue Hubbard tel 01981 590319 email hubbard7jz@btinternet.com

Why we need a lengthsman and what valuable work he does?

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.

Woodstock kissing gate on the junction of KT4 on the Kenchester/ Bishopstone boundary