Minutes of the Parish Meeting
held on Thursday 18th June 2020
in The New Bridge Community Centre Car Park, Bridge Sollars
PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Cllr S Hubbard; Cllr Lesley Handscomb; Cllr L Goldwater; Cllr S Keefe; Cllr R Morgan: Cllr M Holmes.
PRESENT: 2 members of the public
PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk)
The Chairman welcomed those present to the June meeting.
The Chairman explained that this meeting was being held in the Community Centre Car Park – with social distracting observed and all Councillors and members of the public wearing face masks. This was in line with the present guidelines set out by the Government due to the present Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Apologies for absence – Ward Cllr D Hitchiner; Cllr. S. Crump; Cllr Sharon Knights; Cllr N Newton; Cllr. C Draper;
2. To receive declarations of interest or written requests for dispensations – Cllr L Goldwater – Item 6.1 Planning 201365
3. The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12th March 2020 were unanimously agreed to be a true record. These were duly adopted and signed by the Chairman.
4. Highways and Environmental Matters:
4.1 Update on lengthsman Funding Grant – The Clerk confirmed that following a site visit by D C Gardening – she had submitted an application for additional funding towards rectifying drainage problems throughout the five parishes.
Accounts sheet/schedule of payment sheet had been circulated. It was unanimously agreed that all invoices should be paid and the clerk raised the cheques.
5.1 All correspondence associated with the 2019 -2020 end of year accounts had been previously circulated.
5.2 The Annual Governance Statement 2019/2020 was approved and signed by the Chairman and Clerk.
5.3 The Annual Accounts for 2019/2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman and Clerk.
5.4 Chairman signed Certificate of Exemption which will now be submitted to the External Auditor.
All documents will now be displayed on the website.
The Notice of Public Rights will be displayed from the 1st September – slight delay due to the Clerk moving house but will available from the 1st September if any members of the public wish to view the accounts.
5.5 It was unanimously agreed to appoint Mr Robert Taplin as Internal Auditor for financial year ending 31st March 2021
6. Planning matters:
6.1 Planning Consultation: 201365 – Pear Bough Barn,
This application was discussed and it was unanimously agreed to support this application. Clerk to register this decision with Planning Dept.
6.2 Planning Consultation: 201512 – Land at White Roses
Two members of the public were in attendance and both were invited to give a brief presentation based on their objection to this planning application in its present form.
The two members of the public then left the meeting.
The planning application was discussed at length and it was agreed that Cllr Hubbard would draft a response on behalf of the Parish Council. This response would be circulated and once all Councillors had given their approval – the Clerk would be asked to submit to the Planning Department.
A copy of the agreed response is attached to the end of these minutes for reference.
7. Brief update on ‘Making space for Nature in our parish’
The Making Space for Nature project was launched in June and work is progressing in two areas:
1. Crossroads at Bridge Sollars.
A survey of the flora lead by Lewis Goldwater identified a number of species including Common Spotted Orchid indicating poor soil ideal for wild flowers. It’s clear we need to engage with Balfour Beatty to discuss how this area should be managed to ensure certain areas of the wide verge on the southern side are cut for road safety while other parts are left uncut for wild flowers to flourish. Lewis is engaging with Verging on Wild to understand how best to approach this. Paul Norris at BBLP is very busy at the moment but we will need to discuss and agree management plan with him.
2. Kenchester Green Triangle
Rosemary Morgan and Sarah Keefe met with the local residents, and discussed plans for a wild flower area. Removed cut grass and plan to sow various wild flower seeds over the summer, mainly under the trees and near to mown grass between the two benches.
It’s clear we need to get County Council buy-in on verge management e.g. between Kenchester and Old Rectory. We request not all of the wider verges are cut back, only what is required for safety and clear visibility of the road ahead. Need to engage with David Hitchiner and discuss.
Over the next few months, we encourage everyone to talk to neighbours and friends in the parish to see if they are interested in Make Space for Nature. We will create a map showing these places in our parish.
8. To confirm Website suitability after Sept.
Regarding “Website suitability after September”, Cllr Keefe report that she had spoken with Mark Millimore and the Parish Council website is all set – the Accessibility menu is on the website so people can ask for the web page to be “read” to them, navigate via the keyboard rather than using the mouse and make text bigger etc and there is an Accessibility Statement here – http://bishopstonegrouppc-herefordshire.co.uk/accessibility-statement/
Cllr Keefe reported that she needs to ensure photos have alt tags which are descriptions of what the photo is and for all documents created as PDFs from the source e.g. word rather than scanned in. The latter is not always possible e.g. the accounts so this exception is covered in the Accessibility Statement.
9. Date of next meeting provisionally agreed as Thursday 10th September 2020.
However, confirmation of this date will depend on guidelines from the Government with regard to the Coronavirus restrictions in place at that time.
There is the option of calling a Zoom/visual meeting should anything urgent arise in the meantime.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.20p.m.
Planning application 201512 – Land at White Roses Bishopstone
In spite of some initial concern about the size of the proposed building for the site Bishopstone Group Parish Council support this application.
Bishopstone needs new homes and the provision of a three-bedroom bungalow will help to meet the growth target set for the parish.
The design appears to be of good quality, attention has been paid to the Bishopstone Group Neighbourhood Development Plan Policies H1.5 and G1 and the proposed building does not appear to be out of keeping with the existing street scene.
In the light of the concerns expressed by the owner of the property immediately to the east, councillors feel that it would be appropriate to set conditions to safeguard the residential amenity of neighbouring properties.