Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held on Thursday 13th September 2018
in The New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars
PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Cllr S Hubbard (Vice Chairman); Cll. Neil Newton; Cllr Lesley Handscomb; Cllr Lewis Goldwater; Cllr C Draper;
PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk) 2 members of the public
The Chairman welcomed those present to the July meeting.
1. Apologies for absence – Cllr S Crump. Cllr Sharon Knights; Cllr Rosemary Morgan; Cllr S Keefe; Cllr M. Holmes.
2. To receive declarations of interest or written requests for dispensations – Cllr J Macklin declared an interest in item (5.1) Update in NBCC and signed the book.
3. To receive a report from the local Police Officer/Newsletter circulated – no representative present.
4. Ward Councillor Steve Williams report:
Ward Cllr Williams reported a quiet August. Ward Cllr Williams reported that he had attended a ‘walk about’ with the Chairman and the Locality Steward during which various issues were highlighted which will be discussed during the Chairman’s report.
The Hereford Area Plan consultation has been launched, this ‘have your say’ consultation, will be looking at site options for housing and employment opportunities. You can access this plan via the Herefordshire Council web site or by visiting the Hereford Library where an exhibition will run until 5th October.
The Cabinet approved recommended ‘Red route’ for the Hereford bypass continues to move forward. Technical surveys and design work are in progress. Consultation 3 is expected in early 2019.
Ward Cllr reminded those present that he, together with five other Ward Councillors, had been elected by Herefordshire Council to form a ‘task and finish’ group – this group will monitor and report on the delivery by Balfour Beatty with regard to pothole repairs and in addition the refilling/maintenance of grit bins This new initiative is to try and improve the standard of workmanship and efficiency in dealing with these issues. This initiative was due to start in September – unfortunately, the first meeting has now been delayed until 17th October 2018.
Update on the proposed Fire and Police Services merger. Ward Cllr Williams referred to the recent media statement – copy of which had been circulated – in which Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority has elected to support Shropshire and Wrekin Fire Authority in a judicial review challenge to the former Home Secretary’s decision to change the governance of the Service. Still no further update available.
5. Chairman’s report:
(5.1) Update on NBCC – Cll Hubbard reported that there had been no PCC meeting since the meeting held on the 30th May 2018 when many ideas had been discussed with regard to the future of the New Bridge Community Centre. Please see copy attached to the Parish Council Minutes of 12th July 2018 meeting.
After some discussion it was suggested and unanimously agreed that the Parish Council should formally approach the PCC with an invitation to start initial talks to discuss the future lease of the Community Centre. These talks to include the possibility of the Parish Council taking on a short term 12-month lease, with a 6-month release clause, from May 2020 with a view to it becoming a rolling lease.
Cllr Hubbard will email Revd Rana Davie-James – copying into the email Mrs Nancy Malins and Mrs Claire Hancock (Church Wardens) with an invitation to meet with the Parish Council and to arrange a convenient date and time for these talks to commence.
(5.2) An update on the ‘walk about’ with Ward Cllr Williams and Locality
Steward Paul Norris on the 23rd July 2018.
The overgrown verge on Bishon Lane has now been cut and the Locality
Steward has requested that this be included in future maintenance programmes.
The Signage and positioning on Bishon Lane has been agreed. However, despite two requests to Balfour Beatty – the Parish Council are still waiting for a decision on the design of the ‘No Through Road’ sign – Clerk to follow up.
During their inspection, the Chairman reported that they visited The Boat where they did not find excess mud on the road at that time – however, it was acknowledged that this was probably due to the very dry weather. It is the legal responsibility of the operators to remove excess mud from the road – if this is not done and the conditions are deemed a risk to other road users, Balfour Beatty will arrange to clear the road and the operators will be invoiced for the costs involved. It was agreed to monitor the situation as the weather changes and if there is further cause for concern to contact Locality Steward direct.
With regard to the reported excess water running down the road by the church –a visit to the owner confirmed that Welsh Water were dealing with it – and again, it was acknowledged that the flow of water had lessened.
Various pot holes were measured and these have been put in the system for repair.
The reported fly tipping by the new gate Kenchester KT9 has now been removed.
The Chairman reported that they had walked the entire length of the Bridge Sollars footpath BS2 which was within the parish. The second gate was not locked and fit for use; a finger post was needed at the end but that this is in Madley Parish as our Parish boundary finishes at the footbridge.
Further to an additional meeting with the Locality Steward on the 15th August to look at the ditches on Bishon Lane – it was agreed to ask D C Gardening to get these cleared – this will necessitate the hire of a small digger at an overall cost of £400. It was agreed to go ahead with this work.
(5.5) Open Session for local residents present at meeting and for matters raised between meetings.
Bishon Lane – The Chairman confirmed that when Mike Walker had attended the Extra Ordinary Meeting – he had confirmed he would be recommending a 4m wide right of way.
No other items were raised.
Chairman closed the open session
6. The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12th July 2018 were unanimously agreed to be a true record. These were duly adopted and signed by the Chairman.
(6.1) Update Community Governance Review – the clerk read out a recent email received from John Coleman reads as follows:
The only slight concern is that the houses implicated in the move from the Bishopstone group into Stretton Sugwas Parish didn’t respond to either of the consultations that we ran, this despite being written to directly on both occasions. I am not too worried about this as it is very likely that most of the houses in question probably considered that they were already residents of the Stretton Sugwas Parish so possibly didn’t feel a need to respond.
The next steps are that I will be taking a report to Audit and Governance on 19 September. This meeting will confirm, hopefully, that the CGR changes can be recommended to full Council. The next full Council meeting will take place on 12 October. Once the recommendations from each of the CGRs is agreed, we will produce Parish Orders to facilitate the legal process to allow changes to take place.
(6.2) HALC – Information Corner circulated.
(6.3) The Clerk reminded Councillors that the Precept/Budget for 2019/2020 would need to be discussed and set at the next Parish Council meeting.
(6.4) The Clerk explained that the invoice for Eyelid Productions covered the costs associated with maintaining/backing up the website; help and assistance during the coming 12 months. It was agreed to accept this cover.
7. Highways report and Environmental Matters
(7.1) Discuss lengthsman and P3 worksheet for September/October– Bishon Lane ditches as previously discussed and agreed.
Byford footpath BY29 – to clear the very overgrown path and hedges.
(7.2) Footpaths update –the various issues had been discussed which the with the Locality Steward and problems were being addressed.
(7.3) Update by Tree Warden – re: planning application 180553 -Glamping site on Land at Garmons Hill, Mansell Gamage. Cllr Goldwater reported that during preparation of a concrete/stone access track the contractors had damaged the roots of an ancient oak tree (this tree being one of the oldest in the Parish). Cllr Goldwater – in his capacity as Tree Warden – considered that the damage caused to the root plates of this tree – photographs were made available – would definitely contribute to shortening the life of the tree. It was agreed that an email should be sent to the Planning Officer pointing out this damage despite reassurances in an email dated 5th April from James Bisset – quote – that the recorded (Ancient Tree Inventory) tree is not within proposed development boundary and will not be impacted any more than it is by adjacent track and public bridleway usage. Clerk to send email
It was agreed that a letter should be sent to Contractors – Cllr Goldwater will liaise with the Clerk.
(7.4) Cllr Goldwater report that there is a tree down on the Mansell Gamage bridleway MG3 – it was agreed to ask the Locality Steward to inspect – as it maybe too large for D C Gardening.
Cllr Goldwater explained that as part of Herefordshire Tree week there is to be a Tree Identification Course run at the Community Centre on the 1st December 2018 – it will be an all-day course with a class room session followed by an outdoor session.
Cllr Goldwater also explained that, on conjunction with the Pembridge Tree Warden, there is to be a project to replant the black poplar tree.
Cllr Goldwater explained about an up and coming Wildlife Trust project associated with kettlehole ponds. It was acknowledged that Kenchester could feature in this project as it is well known that there are kettlehole ponds in the area.
This project is ongoing – more information at the next meeting.
Cllr Goldwater will send details of these projects to Cllr Keefe to be placed on the website.
8. Finance: Up-to-date accounts sheet/schedule of payments sheet had been circulated.
(8.1) It was unanimously agreed to pay all outstanding invoices and cheques were raised and signed.
(8.2) The Clerk reported that the audit papers had been completed and sent to the External Auditor – but no response from them had been received to date.
The midyear internal audit will be due at the end of September – the Clerk will arrange for this to be carried out.
The Clerk will prepare up to date and forecast figures for the Precept/Budget meeting due to be held in November – these will be circulated in advance of the meeting.
9. Planning matters:
(9.1) To receive Neighbourhood Development Plan update – no further update available at this time.
(9.2) Planning application 182658 Court Farm Kenchester (retrospective) – no objections were raised.
10. Correspondence: No items to be discussed.
11. Discuss date of next meeting – Thursday 8th November 2018 at 7.30pm
Meeting closed at 8.45 p.m.