Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held on Thursday 11th January 2018
in The New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars
PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Cllr S Hubbard; Cllr Sharon Knights; Cllr. Neil Newton; Cllr Rosemary Morgan; Cllr S Keefe; Cllr Lesley Handscomb. Cllr C Draper; Cllr Muriel Holmes.
PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk) 1 member of the public.
1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr S Crump
2. To receive declarations of interest or written requests for dispensations – none received.
3. To receive a report from the local Police Officer/Newsletter – no representative present or recent newsletter.
4. Ward Councillor Steve Williams report
Ward Cllr Williams reported that the proposal documents with regard to the Fire and Police services merger were now with the Secretary of State for a discussion and final decision.
Ward Cllr Williams said he would have no objection if the Ward Boundary was changed in conjunction with the Community Governance review. (see details below).
5. Chairman’s report:
The Chairman reported that, since the last meeting, he had walked all the roads with the lengthsman. They had logged jobs that need to be undertaken within this financial year and it was agreed that this work would probably
necessitate the hire of a mini digger. The Clerk explained that some lengthsman funding was still available for use during the 4th quarter and it was agreed that the Chairman should go ahead and discuss these outstanding issues with the lengthsman and agree a start date.
In the meantime, it was agreed that work was necessary on the Wye Valley Walk – part of the local footpath/bridleway network – and again the Clerk explained there is funding available within the P3 scheme that needed to be used before the end of the financial year in March. It was agreed that the Chairman will again discuss this with the lengthsman and it maybe that the mini digger can be utilised on both jobs. Clerk to liaise with Lengthsman and Chairman.
The Chairman was asked to liaise with the Locality Steward with regard to the pot holes by Byford House and also the warning sign at Garnons needs to be replaced. With regard to the litter picking day – see minuted below – the Chairman to liaise with the Locality Steward with regard to obtaining some official litter bags and to discuss how these are disposed of once full. Clerk to forward Jane Denny’s contact details who also maybe of assistance with litter picking information.
The Chairman will also discuss with Locality Steward the possibility of obtaining some additional signage on the B4023 and maybe getting a ‘concealed entrance’ sign erected on the approaches to the entrance to the barns. Also, they will discuss the parking of the cars along this stretch of road which is inferring with visibility.
(5.1) Open Session for local residents present at meeting and for matters raised between meetings.
(5.2) Community Governance Review – John Coleman
The Chairman welcomed Mr John Coleman to explained in more detail the proposed Community Governance review. Mr John Coleman on behalf of the Community Governance Review explained that following the recent correspondence confirming the terms of reference relating to the Community Governance Review (CGR) for Bishopstone Group Parish Council – he confirmed that the terms of reference are now available on Herefordshire
Council’s web-site, thus formally triggering the review, along with a proposed timeline for completing the review.
As part of any CGR the local authority conducting the review needs to provide reasonable periods for consultation with local electors and other stakeholders, for the consideration of evidence presented to them in representations, as well as for decision-making. In making any recommendations, the review should consider expressions of local opinion made by local people and other interested persons, and also use its own knowledge of the local area.
This first phase of consultation aims to gather initial opinion/evidence on the proposals for the CGR which in the case of Bishopstone is to examine the case for moving a boundary on the north side of the A438 at Sugwas Pool,
Swainshill, and Sugwas parish. The consultation will be made available on line via the council’s web-site along with some additional background information on CGRs and Bishopstone and District group parish council.
To that end, there are a list of proposed questions around which the aim is to consult local electors and stakeholders on for Bishopstone’s CGR. It was agreed that Mr Coleman would provide a covering letter and a short list of questions and a personal copy would be delivered to the 12 properties affected by the change in boundaries from Bishopstone into Stretton Sugwas. Copies of the questionnaire would be displayed on the Notice Boards; on the parish website and there will be advertising in The Hereford Times.
As this proposed change would affect the Ward Boundary – Ward Cllr Williams expressed his support of these suggested changes and would have no objection to a Ward Boundary change.
The Parish Council It was unanimously agreed to support the proposed changes and Mr Coleman reported that he will be attending Stretton Sugwas Parish Council meeting next week and will be discussing these proposals with them and will report back to the clerk their feelings and thoughts. Item to be on the next agenda but, in the meantime, leaflets etc will be forwarded for distribution.
(5.3) A Bishopstone Tree Warden
The Chairman welcomed Mr Lewis Goldwater Mr Goldwater explained that for some time, he had been involved in the Herefordshire Tree Warden Network, which at one time was overseen by HCC but is now an entirely volunteer-led initiative. Its aims are to promote the Tree Warden scheme in the county so that every parish or parish group might take on a Tree Warden. The tree warden network is supported nationally by the Tree Council.
The role of a tree warden is to be active in promoting wider awareness of trees, organising planting initiatives, local tree surveys and education events in their local parish now, liaising with the parish council and even landowners. This is becoming more prevalent with issues around tree diseases such as Ash dieback and Oak decline which will have significant impacts on our road-side hedgerows, woods and the wider landscape. Mr Goldwater explained that the annum subscription to be a member of the Tree Warden initiative is £25 and it was unanimously agreed that Bishopstone Group Parish Council would become a member. Mr Goldwater will liaise with the Clerk with
regard to paying the subscription.
Mr Goldwater also, as a separate issue, raised the ongoing litter problems that were being experienced throughout parishes He explained that since moving to Mansell Gamage from Kington he has experienced litter clearly being thrown out from passing car windows along the minor Broad through Mansell Gamage. Mr Goldwater expressed his belief that the simplest way people can improve the environment of their local neighbourhood is by organising and joining local litter picking groups/days. This initiative is also supported by Balfour Beatty with their “Stop the Drop” campaign, providing bags, litter pickers, gloves, road signage and and hi-viz PPE for participants.
Lengthy discussion followed and it was agreed to organise local parish litter picking days – it was agreed that Bishopstone would be on the 27 th January 2018 starting at 10.30a.m. meeting by the telephone kiosk and Byford would be on the 3 rd February again at 10.30a.m. meeting at the Church. The Chairman and the Vice Chairman will arrange leaflets and display notice on the board etc and would oversee the volunteers. It is hoped that Mr Goldwater might be able to attend one of these sessions as it would be an asset to have him recognised as the local organiser.
The chairman thanked Mr Goldwater on behalf of those present for a very informative presentation and looked forward to welcoming him to future meetings.
(5.4) As there were no further issues raised – the Chairman closed the open session.
6. The minutes of the meeting held on 9th November 2017 were agreed as a true record and it was unanimously agreed they be adopted and signed by the Chairman.
7. Highways report and Environmental Matters/Lengthsman
Mansell Gamage – ADL Ref: 3409/17 January 2018
Councillors discussed the above report at length – and agreed the report was fair; the figures were accurate and probably correct and the points made with regard to recommendations and justification for no change were valid and fair. However, they had a couple of observations with regard to the “pinch point” referred to on Page 3 and the Clerk was asked to bring these to the attention of the ADL representative.
With regard to the B4230, could there be more signage – particularly warning drivers of the concealed entrance.
Could there be clearer signage on the road indicating the 30mph restrictions as the drivers do seem to be passing this entrance at speed – maybe not realising the entrance is there and now there is the additional problem of cars parking on the part-foot way/part-carriageway which are restricting the effective carriageway width at this location and visibility.
Recently there has been media coverage with regard to parking on footpaths etc and although we are not sure if this only applies to urban areas – surely if it these cars are causing a restriction in visibility there must be some room for law enforcement to get these vehicles moved and maybe double yellow lines – not a wonderful feature in a rural location but if it prevents just one accident – it has to be considered worth it.
Resolved : Chairman to discuss this with the locality Steward and bring back to the next Parish Council Meeting in March.
ADL Bridge Sollars – Briefing Note: C1098 (x2) weight and speed restriction reviews
These two briefings were discussed as one item – and while the Councillors were disappointed they accepted the report and comments made as justified. During discussion Cllr Neil Newton made the comment that he understood the recommendation because the alternative route would have HGV travelling over Bredwardine Bridge. Ward Cllr Steve Williams explained that he had failed to get Jessie Norman’s backing because the Bridge is in North Herefordshire constituency.
Other points were discussed and a plan of action with regard to these was deferred until the next Parish Council Meeting in March. Amongst the points discussed and one which is highlighted within the review, is the need for more signage. There are no signs to warn motorists of the presence of horses on the road in the vicinity of the
bridleway in Bridge Sollars from the C1098 – and it is acknowledged that horses and riders use this route on a daily basis. There are also two signs on the Madley end warning the road is ‘Unsuitable for HGVs’ – but is no sign on the North end in Bridge Sollars.
Resolved: It was agreed the Chairman would discuss these points with the Locality Steward during the next walk about and report back to the next meeting in March.
(7.1) Discussion re lengthsman and P3 worksheet for January/February –
Chairman to liaise with lengthsman and Locality Steward as minuted above.
8. Finance: Up-to- date accounts sheet/schedule of payment sheet had been circulated.
(8.1) It was unanimously agreed payment of outstanding invoices and cheques were raised and signed.
(8.2) The Clerk reported that she had attended the 1 st session of HALC Data Protection training and explained that this training will be on going until the new Data protection regulations are brought in on the 25th May 2018. In the
meantime, a local Data Protection Officer is to be appointed and the parishes will be asked to contribute to the salary/expenses. As it was Precept/Budget setting time – HALC were asked for a guideline on how much this maybe – however, they were unable to provide this information.
(8.3) The Clerk confirmed the new bank signatories were now in place.
9. Further to discussion on the Safeguarding of Children and Adults for Parish Councils – Cllr Handscomb presented a Bishopstone Group Parish Council Safeguarding Statement and after some discussion it was unanimously agreed to adopt this document. Please see copy attached to these minutes for reference. This document will be reviewed annually in May. The document will be made available on the parish website and Appendix 2 with emergency telephone number will be displayed on Notice Boards throughout the parishes.
The Chairman thanked Cllr Handscomb for all her hard work in preparing this document and highlighting the importance of making Councillors/Parishioners aware of their responsibilities with regard to safeguarding.
10. Planning matters
(10.1) Neighbourhood Development Plan update
Cllr Hubbard reports that the work has been completed on the text of Bishopstone Group NDP and all the supporting documents which we have to provide. We received the SEA and HRA assessments from Karla in December; some corrections are needed, such as consistency in our proper title, and these have been notified to Karla. We are waiting for Herefordshire Council to supply the maps we need in their approved format and once we have those Sarah will be able to start work on the design of the NDP and Consultation Statement to include maps and photographs, and we will need to think about the timescale and format for the Regulation 16 consultation in order to ensure full participation by our residents.
(10.2) 174480 – Greylands, Swainshill, Hereford, Herefordshire – no objection
11. Correspondence – The Clerk reported The Pensions Regulator had now informed her that the Staging Date is 1 st January 2018. The Clerk will fill in the necessary forms to comply with the workplace pension law.
12. Provisional date of next meeting – Thursday 8th March 2018
The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.30p.m.