Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held on Thursday 8th March 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 S Crump.
PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk)
1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Muriel Holmes.
2. To receive declarations of interest or written requests for dispensations – Cllr John Macklin signed on behalf of item 6.3 NBCC lease
3. To consider co-option of Parish Councillor for Mansell Gamage
The Chairman explained that as there was a vacancy in Mansell Gamage Parish for a Parish Councillor – the Parish Council were in a position to co-opt. At the last meeting. Mr Lewis Goldwater had given a brief presentation with regard to himself and the Herefordshire Tree Warden Scheme and had been voted as Bishopstone’s representative within that scheme.
The Chairman explained that Mr Goldwater has since shown interest in becoming a Parish Councillor.
The Chairman asked those present if anyone else wished to make comment – as no one came forward – it was proposed, seconded and unanimously agreed to co-opt Lewis Goldwater to the Parish Council. Mr Goldwater accepted the invitation to become a Councillor representing Bishopstone Group Parish Council and, having signed the appropriate documentation, joined the table as full voting Councillor.
4. No representative from the Police was present at the meeting but the most recent Newsletter had previously been circulated together with information of changes within the PCSO representation.
5. Ward Councillor Steve Williams report
(5.1) Ward Cllr Williams reported that the proposal documents with regard to the Fire and Police services merger were still with the Secretary of State for a discussion and final decision.
6. The Chairman reported:
The Chairman had met with the Locality Steward on two occasions 22nd January and 31st January. During these visits – pot holes at Byford had been listed to be repaired and a new warning sign at crossroads has been repaired.
They walked B4023 and noted the erection of private concealed entrance signs. At the time. it was noted that the 30mph sign was obstructed due to overgrown vegetation – this has now been cleared by the lengthsman. It was also noted that two cars are now regularly being parked on the roadway which is causing some interference with the traffic flow. A new slow sign could be put on the road surface but this would be at the Parish Council’s expense.
The Locality Steward and the Chairman discussed the possibility of a bridleway/horse sign for Bridge Sollars and ‘Unsuitable for HGVs’ sign – both are now on the list to be discussed at a future Balfour Beatty meeting.
During this visit the traffic calming measures on A438 past Lord Nelson Antique Centre were also discussed and the Chairman explained the Locality Steward had suggested various options with regard to repairs/replacements to the present dysfunctional sign but costs would have to be met by the Parish Council.
Ward Cllr Williams offered to take the matter to Ray Wallace – Senior Engineer (Network Regulation) | Balfour Beatty | Services | Living Places in the hope of getting some ideas of safety measures that could be put in place plus costings. Item to be deferred until next meeting.
(6.1) Bishopstone/Byford/Mansell Gamage all had very successful litter picking days.
(6.2) The confusion with regard to the official Parish Council title has eventually been sorted and it has now been confirmed as Bishopstone Group Parish Council.
(6.3) NBCC lease – The Chairman explained that there is ongoing discussion between the Bridge Sollars PCC and the NBCC during which various options/suggestions were put forward but, as yet, there is no agreement about whether they wish to continue using the Church as a Community Centre. Another meeting is planned but one suggestion is that an open meeting is arranged inviting the public to come and give their opinion/support.
Item to remain ongoing.
(6.4) Safeguarding –it was agreed that a heading should be added to the Statement which is now to be displayed on the Notice Boards
(6.5) Minutes for meetings 2012 – there was discussion with regard to the necessity for these to be available on line in accordance with the NHD plan requirements. The Chairman expressed concern as most of the pages show the word ‘Draft’ but ways to remove this were discussed. Other Councillors offered help to upload these documents – Chairman to liaise.
(6.6) Open Session for local residents present at meeting and for matters raised between meetings. No items raised.
Chairman closed Open session.
7. The minutes of the meeting held on 11th January 2018 – the clerk explained that there had been one small amendment – the word ‘agreed’ had been changed to read ‘understood’ – item 7.
With this noted – it was agreed the minutes were a true record and it was unanimously agreed they be adopted and signed by the chairman.
(7.1) Update Data Protection / Officer – the Clerk explained that HALC had sent out an Information Corner with a 63-page attachment (circulated) – New Data Protection Laws – A GDPR Toolkit of local council – February 2018.
HALC suggested that a GCPR working group be set up to consider NALC’s GDPR toolkit and to report back to the next meeting of the Parish Council. However, as there is no meeting in April – it was agreed that the Clerk would, in the first instance, attend the Herefordshire Council Training on 18th March 2018. Following this, if necessary, a working group would be formed to prepare policy templates compliant with the Data Protection requirements ready for adoption and display on parish website.
It was also discussed and agreed that the Clerk apply to become a member of SLCC – Society of Local Council Clerks – this would enable her to have access to their Data Protection toolkit/ideas etc. The subscription is £148 plus £12.00 joining fee – it was suggested that this sum be divided between the Clerk’s four Parish Councils and a cheque was raised for £40.00 as Bishopstone’s contribution.
This item remains on going and the Clerk will continue to liaise with Councillors.
(7.2) Update Community Governance Review – John Coleman had confirmed that all households had now received a letter explaining the issue; a news release was on the website and had been published in the Hereford Times. Item to remain on the agenda for the next meeting.
8. Highways report and Environmental Matters
(8.1) Lengthsman and P3 worksheet for March – repairs to sign by school, Byford Common. Chairman will speak to Locality Steward with regard to a blocked drain.
The Clerk confirmed that D C Gardening has sent in a copy of his Contractor’s Insurance policy for 2018/19 which will be filed in the lengthsman file.
(8.2) Footpaths update – a letter received (and paper copies were made available) with regard to application for definitive map modification order – Addition of a footpath in the Parishes of Bishopstone and Mansell Lacy – Bishop Lane. This application was made in 2002. Lengthy discussion took place – and it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council should continue to support this application – and it was agreed that the Chairman would respond to Mike Walker – Balfour Beatty – on behalf of the Parish Council.
(8.3) Tree Warden, Lewis Goldwater, gave a quick update on Ash dieback and explained the significant impact this has on our road-side hedgerows, woods and the wider landscape. Cllr Goldwater explained the signs to look out for in diseased trees and the necessity to report anything suspicious as he was particularly anxious about the health and safety issues associated with the dead branches etc falling on road; walkers etc.
Terms of Reference and Guidelines for Tree Wardens in Herefordshire – had been made available to Councillors.
9. Finance: Up-to-date accounts sheet/schedule of payment sheet had been circulated.
(9.1) It was unanimously agreed to pay the outstanding invoices; cheques were raised and signed which included the additional cheque for £40 towards the SCLL subscription as previously discussed and agreed.
Further to the minutes March 2017 – item 7.2 – The Clerk’s salary would rise by one increment to Grade 23. It was also proposed and unanimously agreed that as from April 2018 the Clerk would receive an annual increment of one spinal column point until the top Grade of 27 was reached.
Further to this 2017 minute – it was unanimously agreed that the Clerk’s salary would increase to Grade 24 as from the 1st April 2018. The Clerk explained that there had been no indication, as yet, of any ‘cost of living’ increase for 2018 -19 – any information with regard to this usually comes via HALC.
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.
The Clerk Informed Councillors that The Pensions Regulation requirements had all been met and the declaration of compliance submitted and acknowledged.
10. Planning matters
(10.1) Neighbourhood Development Plan is being finalised and is almost ready to be submitted for Regulation 16 consultation.
(10.2) Planning Consultation 180553 – Glamping site at Garnons Hill – this was discussed and it was agreed the Clerk would record on the Herefordshire Planning website that the Parish Council support this application bearing in mind it is in line with the Neighbourhood Development Plan which is about to be submitted for Regulation 16 consultation.
11. Correspondence had been circulated with regard to Celebrate the Commonwealth with Big Lunches and Fly a Flag.
12. Date of next meeting – Thursday 10th May 2018 – 7.00 pm start due to two meetings – Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Parish Council meeting.
The Chairman reminded Councillors that there is usually a speaker at the Annual Parish Meeting – Clerk to liaise.
Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50 p.m.