Minutes 8th September 2016

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 8th September 2016 in The New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars

PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Councillor Sue Hubbard (Vice-chairman) Councillor Penny Redshaw, Councillor Rosemary Morgan, Councillor Sharon Knights, Councillor Muriel Holmes, Councillor Cathie Draper.

PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Acting Clerk) Two members of the public

The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting.

1. Apologies for absence: Councillor Neil Newton

2. Declarations of interest or requests for dispensations: none received

3. The minutes of the meetings held on Thursday 14th July 2016 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true record

4. Open Session –

(4.1) Ward Councillor’s Report – Steve Williams was not present at the meeting.

(4.2) Chairman Report: The External Audit papers have been received from Grant Thornton. There were a few items which need to be re-stated in the 2017/18 accounts. The Notice of Conclusion of Audit will be completed and will be emailed to be displayed on the relative Notice Boards.

Resolved: Clerk to prepare Notice of Conclusion of Audit and email.

Highways Issues: At the last meeting, Ward Councillor Williams had offered to liaise with the Locality Steward regarding the problems with verge cutting in Bishon Lane – further to complaints received from residents that Bishon Lane is overgrown as the verges have not been cut back. This causes a traffic hazard as the lane is very narrow. In the absence of Ward Councillor Williams the Parish Council discussed the issues and agreed that if Herefordshire Council were not planning to cut these verges – the Clerk would get a quote from D C Gardening.
Again, unfortunately, there was no up to date information regarding the broken grid covering a drain at the bottom of the lane. Steve Williams had again offered to raise this with the Locality Steward to get the work carried out by Herefordshire Council.
Resolved: Clerk to contact Ward Councillor Williams and obtain up to date information on these two issues. Clerk to contact D C Gardening if no action planned by Herefordshire Council.

Wye Valley Walk between Kenchester and Stretton Sugwas – KT9 –The Chairman reported that a galvanised gate on the junction with the C1099 has gone missing presumably stolen – fortunately there were no livestock in the field. There is also fly tipping in the area.

Resolved: Clerk to arrange for a new gate to be ordered via Locality Steward. Clerk to report stolen gate to the CPSO for inclusion in their Police Newsletter. Clerk to report fly tipping on appropriate Herefordshire Council website.

(4.3) Footpath Officer reported – all fine. The appropriate arrows had been put up.

Due to the boggy condition of the footpath across the Marsh it may become no longer viable. It was agreed that the footpath officer would further inspect and report back to the next meeting.

BS2 Lengthsman to be asked to strim through under P3 scheme and request repair of broken stile.

BN3. Clerk to obtain quote from D C Gardening re Dog Fouling sign and erection at start of the footpath. A second sign for the other end to be considered based on the quote.

It was noted that on the BS2 footpath there is an invasion of Himalayan Balsam which is a highly invasive annual weed. Clerk to ask Locality Steward if this can be sprayed with weed killer by Herefordshire Council – if not to liaise with D C Gardening for quote.

(4.4) No items were raised by the residents present.
Open Session was closed.

5. Planning

(5.1) Planning application 162220 The Steppes, Bishopstone: Remove non-compliant metal oil tank (2,500 ltr.) located on the north elevation and site new tank of reduced capacity (1225 ltr.) in vicinity of rear of demolished shed – after discussion – councillors raised no objection.

5.2 Planning application 161416 Witchwater Cottage Bridge: Amendment to application – Heritage Impact Statement now received. Lengthy and detailed discussion followed with a slide presentation. It was finally agreed that Cllr S Hubbard would again respond to this planning application – outlining the concerns of the Parish Council and their strong reservations regarding this planning application. Cllr Hubbard would also refer to the Parish Council’s previous letter of objection which still stands in its entirety.

6. Finance:

D C Gardening Lengthsman £108.00

PiP Printing Newsletter £133.74

The New Bridge Community Centre Hire of the Centre for PC Meeting £14.00

All payments and receipts were approved by councillors

7. Neighbourhood Development Plan update: Councillor Hubbard reported that the
Draft Plan is now ready to enter a period of formal consultation with local residents, statutory bodies and stakeholders which will run for a period of 6 weeks from the end of September. The exact dates will be advertised in The Hereford Times; on the parish website and on the local parish notice boards.

An open evening is planned at the New Bridge Community Centre on Thursday 20th October from 7.30 – 9.30p.m when councillors will be available to discuss the Draft Plan, answer questions and receive comments.

Copies of the Plan and supporting documents will available in the Community Centre. Councillors also agreed that a copy of the Draft Plan and a Comments Form should be delivered to each household in the five parishes to ensure the fullest possible consultation throughout the scattered community.

Cllr. Hubbard had obtained several quotes for printing and after some discussion it was proposed by the Chairman to accept the PiP Printing quote of £442 for 250 copies. This was unanimously agreed and Cllr Hubbard will now liaise with the printers.

It was agreed to use the same distribution mechanism as for the Newsletter.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Hubbard for all her continued efforts with the Neighbourhood Plan.

8. Sand bags – Balfour Beattie have agreed to provide outers of 150 empty sandbags to
Parish Councils – the Council are asked to provide sand purchased from their budget from local Building Merchants. It was agreed to order 150 sand bags to be delivered to Chairman’s house for further distribution.

Resolved: Clerk to fill in appropriate forms and return to Balfour Beattie

9. Residents’ complaints re noise at Oakchurch polytunnels in Bishopstone. It was acknowledged that this problem had now ceased as the polytunnels have now been dismantled. However, the crop is still intact so this would imply that the tunnels will be erected again next spring. The complaint was of general noise in and around the tunnels and the very early start of workers especially those using chain saws etc.

Resolved: Clerk to write a letter to Mr J Price of Oakchurch Farm bringing to his attention the complaints and concerns of local residents.

10. Preliminary discussion re Precept and Budget for 2017/18 – it was agreed that the Clerk would prepare a forecast in readiness for the next meeting in November.

Resolved: Clerk to prepare preliminary Budget/Precept details/forecast.

11. Clerk’s post vacancy – The Chairman reported that Mrs Lesley Hay had been invited to an informal interview with himself and Vice Chairman earlier in the month. On receipt of acceptable references, Mrs Hay was invited to attend this evening’s meeting and to be introduced to the Councillors present.

Mrs Hay gave a brief resume of her experience – and then left the room whilst the Councillors had a private discussion. Mrs Hay was invited back into the room and offered the post as Parish Clerk to Bishopstone and Group Parish Councils. Mrs Hay accepted the offer and Contract of Employment was signed by the Chairman and Mrs Hay.

It was agreed that Mrs Hay’s period of employment would commence from the beginning of September due to insurance and PAYE requirements.

12. Items for the next agenda – Apologies from Cllr S Knights. Parking on Church Lane in Byford

13. Date of next meeting: Thursday 17th November 2016