Draft minutes

Minutes of the Parish Meeting
held on Thursday 11th March 2021
at 7.30pm

Due to present Government restrictions this meeting was held as
a ‘virtual ‘meeting held via Zoom.

PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Cllr S Hubbard (Vice Chairman); Cllr L. Handscomb; Cllr R Morgan: Cllr M Holmes; Cllr N Newton; Cllr Lewis Goldwater; Cllr C Draper; Cllr S Crump; Cllr S Keefe and Cllr S Knights.

ALSO PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk); Ward Cllr David Hitchiner. 1 member of the public.

The Chairman welcomed those present to the March Zoom meeting.

1. No apologies for absence were received.

2. To receive declarations of interest or written requests for dispensations. A declaration of interest was received from Cllr. Rosemary Morgan regarding item 10.1.

3. The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Thursday 14th January 2021. The minutes were accepted to be a true record and it was unanimously agreed they be adopted and signed by the Chairman.

4. Chairman’s report March 2021

As requested at the 14th January Parish council meeting, I spoke on the phone with the lengthsman in regard to refitting the manhole cover reported by a Shetton resident. He said he would refit the cover within the next few days.

On January 17th and again on 30th January, I emailed Paul Norris our locality Stewart with photos of two serious Fly tipping incidents on the C 1098 in Bishopstone where old building material had been tipped from a lorry blocking part of the highway. I have to report that the response was very quick and positive with Balfour Beatty removing the material within a few days.

Through the Parish Council web site, we received an email from a Bishopstone resident in regard to serious surface water situation on the C1097 in Bishopstone between the Lodge and Cambrian cottage. This stopped the installation of the fibre optic cable by Gigaclear, water was filling the trench in the road. As discovered by our Lengthsman when pressure washing the drains in this area last November, the outlets from the drains into the ditch system have long been blocked.

I totally agree with the resident’s points; I think we need a new surface water drain system for this section of the road with a new pipe installed into the road with gullies to connect up with the existing system by Cambrian cottage to carry the water on to the main ditch across Bishon Farms land.

I emailed the locality Stewart on 23rd February to ask if they could work with the contractors and install a new surface water pipe along with the fibre optic cable in one trench to save money and time. I have had no response yet.

It was agreed that the Chairman will again contact the Locality Steward and will copy Paul Hunter into the email.

Over the last month I have been liaising with Councillor Sue Hubbard over the proposed drainage system proposed by Balfour Beatty on Byford Common including a site visit plus looking at the wordage proposed for the Sign.

The flood blocking footpath BN4 at Bunshill lane has not drained despite the farmer digging out a deep ditch to the north of the road, the pipe under the road appears to be blocked. Can the Parish Council ask Balfour Beatty for advice on who is responsible for clearing pipes under the road? If this situation does not improve can the Parish council, ask for a temporary diversion around this section.

It was agreed that the Chairman would discus this with the Locality Steward when speaking about the above drainage work.

5. Ward Councillor’s report – full Leader’s Report had been circulated.

The Ward Council brought the Parish Council up to date with regard to the possibility of the Hereford Town Hall ownership being transferred to a Community Organisation. He explained that this decision has not been taken lightly but, is mainly due to the urgent repair/maintenance costs of 2 million pounds. The Shire Hall is also in need of a considerable financial investment in repair and maintenance – but the Herefordshire Council are looking into raising funds/grant from Heritage Funding in order to retain ownership.

The Ward Councillor also confirmed that he had been liaising with a resident with regard to water on the C1097 at Downshill and the necessity for a drain to go under the road, through the garden, and to join a brook. Ward Councillor has been in contact with Balfour Beatty direct and it is hoped this work can be carried out in the new financial year.

6. Finance: Account sheet/schedule of payment sheet circulated.

(6.1) It was unanimously agreed to pay of outstanding invoices.

(6.2) To agree Clerk’s annual increment. After discussion, it was agreed to increase the Clerk’s salary point from Grade 19 to Grade 20 as from the 1st April 2021. It was acknowledged that as yet a revised salary scale for 2021-2022 had not yet been received. The Clerk also explained that there had been no indication, as yet, of any ‘cost of living’ increase for 2021 -22 – any information with regard to this usually comes via SLCC.

After discussion, it was unanimously agreed between the Clerk and Councillors that her hours would remain at 5 hours per week – but that any increase would be discussed at the budget/precept setting meeting in November.

(6.3) End of year accounts. Internal and External audit.
The Clerk confirmed that there had been no correspondence as yet from the external auditor. In the meantime, the accounts will be finalised for the internal auditor – in readiness to be sent to the external auditor.

(6.4.) Pension Regulator – the clerk confirmed that she had filled in and submitted the re-declaration form as required.

(6.5) It was unanimously agreed to continue the SLCC membership and contribute towards the annual subscription.

(6.6) It was unanimously agreed not to renew the HALC membership for the 2021-22 financial year.

7. Highways and Environmental Matters:

(7.1.) Footpath Officers’ Reports – Bishopstone – the Chairman reported a large ‘pond’ has developed on the BN4 – Chairman will discuss with Locality Steward – see Chairman’s report.

(7.2) Litter Picking – after some discussion – it was agreed that the clerk would liaise with Balfour Beatty to see if purple rubbish bags are still available – and, if so, Muriel offered to collect. Clerk to also enquire what happens to the bags once filled and also if there are any warning red triangles available for use. Cllr S Keefe offered to help – Muriel to liaise.

(7.3) Cllr Hubbard reported that she had recently a very good meeting with Stuart Nowell from Balfour Beatty – he was very helpful and has produced this revised plan for the ditch work on Byford Common.

See copy of email below:
The scheme comprises an open drainage ditch approximately 200m in length to provide a positive gradient to discharge flood waters from the property “Whitehouse” to the existing drainage ditch which currently exists to the north west of Yew Tree Cottage.

The drainage ditch will be approximately 0.5m deep with graded sides to form a trapezoidal channel. Where a section of existing channel exists adjacent to Yew Tree cottage, this section will be cleaned out. All excavated material can be retained on site provided that it is graded and grass seed applied during the spring.

A short section of hedgerow adjacent to the carriageway opposite Yew Tree cottage will be cut back and small sections removed to enable the existing ditch to be cleaned out. A bird nest survey will be carried out by the Contractor and if nesting birds are discovered then this short section will need to be left until the bird nesting season is over. Removed sections of hedgerow could be replanted with native whips to the satisfaction of the Parish /Landowner but it is noted that the replanting of any hedge will hinder future maintenance of the drainage ditch – is the Parish responsible for the maintenance of the ditch once construction has been completed?

Entrance to the site will be from the east due to poor carriageway condition from the west. Currently the lane is a BOAT and is not adopted.

Contractor’s plant and equipment will comprise: Welfare unit, toilet facilities, Transport for workforce, excavator. Construction phase to commence towards the end of March and will take 1 – 2 weeks to complete.

The Byford Common signs were discussed and it was agreed to add ‘Dog Fouling’ to the signs. Cllr Hubbard with re design the sign and will forward to the Clerk in order to purchase two signs. The Lengthsman will be asked to erect. However, it was agreed these should not be erected until after the above drainage work has been carried out.

8. Garnons Estate Access Policy – a letter and a draft document outing the proposed Garnons Estate Access Policy had been circulated. It was unanimously agreed with the general policy – bearing in mind the apple orchards are a food commodity and if dogs are allowed to roam – buyers can refuse to purchase the crop.

Cllr Goldwater suggested perhaps a map would be useful showing the various boundaries. Cllr Goldwater will produce a map to accompany the policy document and will liaise with Cllr Hubbard.

9. Recent Correspondence:

(9.1) The latest news is that Local Council Elections will go ahead on the 6th May 2021.

(9.2) Due to the ongoing restrictions/guidelines – it is reported that Robert Jenick MP is planning to extend the right to convene remote meetings beyond the 7th May.

(9.3) Police – warning re disruption of visual meeting – circulated.

(9.4) Proposed revised Code of Conduct is being considered – maybe ready to adopt at the Annual Parish Council Meeting.

(9.5 Although the EU GDPR no longer applies directly to the UK due to Brexit; its requirements must still be complied with. The new regime is known as the UK GDPR and incorporates the Data Protection Act 2018 and other regulations.

8. Planning matters:

(10.1) Application No: 294493 Sollars View -proposed two storey extension (details circulated).

This application arrived after the last meeting – however, councillors corresponded by email and Cllr Hubbard drafted a response and circulated it to councillors. This response was unanimously accepted and it was submitted to the Planning Officer.

9. Brief update on ‘Making space for Nature in our Parish’

Update report given by Cllr S Keefe:

Kenchester Triangle
Area of wild flowers is roped off and signs put up, second area will be roped off shortly. Area between benches has been cut, the rest outside of the wild flower areas needs to be cut and mowings removed. Request that the Lengthsman mows/strims in April, June and Aug and we will rake and remove mowings. Needed for this year and possibly next then back to normal cutting regime.

Bridge Sollars crossroads
Request Locality Steward from BBLP visits to advice which parts of the verge can be left uncut without affecting line of sight of oncoming cars. At present, planting of wild flowers is along the hedgerow south side of the crossroads.

Muriel Holmes has identified further areas where wild flowers can be planted on the verges, suitable plants being supplied. Sue’s neighbour, Maggie, has a wild flower meadow and woodland.

9. Date of next meeting will be Thursday 13th May 2021

Annual Parish Meeting starting at 7.00p.m.

Annual Parish Council Meeting starting at 7.30p.m.

This meeting will again be via Zoom – the Clerk will send out the invitation/link nearer the time.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.30 p.m.