Minutes 9th November 2017

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
held on Thursday 9th November 2017
in The New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars

PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Cllr. Neil Newton; Cllr Rosemary Morgan; Cllr S Keefe; Cllr Lesley Handscomb. Cllr C Draper; Cllr Muriel Holmes.

PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk) 2 members of the public.

1.  To receive apologies for absence – Cllr S. Hubbard; Cllr Sharon Knights; Cllr Serena Crump; PCSO Nuttall.

2.  A declaration of interest was declared by Cllr. Macklin – item 5.1 Newbridge Community Centre.

3.  PCSO Nuttall sent apologies. November Newsletter had been circulated.

4.  Ward Councillor Steve Williams report

Ward Cllr reported he had been contacted with regard to the proposed planning for poultry units at the Flag Station – it was noted that this was in a neighbouring Parish.

Ward Cllr Williams reported that he is trying to arrange a meeting with Jesse Norman MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport) and Cllr. Barry Durkin (Cabinet Member for Transport & Roads) with regard to the A438 and he hoped that a representative from Bishopstone would be able to attend.  Cllr Macklin said he would attend.  Ward Cllr Williams will inform once date and time have been agreed.

Ward Cllr Williams reported that the Fire Prevention Service are promoting a new initiative – Test It Tuesday – to encourage folk to test their smoke alarms on every Tuesday.

(4.1) It was confirmed that The Police Commissioner has sent in a request to Government for a Fire and Police Services merger.  Awaiting outcome but objections have been raised from both authorities.

On a personal note, the Ward Cllr reported that following his initiative, a plaque was to be erected at Rotherwas in memory of the Canary Girls who had worked there during the war.  He also reported that he had been on recent trip to Downing Street accompanied by four of the original Canary Girls (now in their 90s).  They all enjoyed a wonderful day having tea and cake with the PM Teresa May.

5.  Chairman’s report:

(5.1) Newbridge Community Centre – next meeting is planned for Friday 10th November when the future of the Centre will be discussed.  It is possible that consideration will be given to a leaflet/flyer drop around the 5 parishes inviting parishioners to an Open Meeting.   This may encourage more people to become involved and so support the Centre whose future will be under threat in two years time.

(5.2) The vacancy for a new councillor is now open for co-option.

(5.3) Further to a recent meeting with Ian Connolly; Traffic Management Advisor; Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police – Safer Roads Team – a summary of his findings copied below:

 Mansell Gamage – Village “Gateway” Initiative. There is limited if any opportunity for any physical measures at the southern edge of the village due to the narrow verges. One option is to have a “30” roundel painted on the road to coincide with the 30mph gateway signs.

To the north of the village there is space to look to put something in on the verge to the off side as you approach the village. The nearside signs are not visible on the approach due to the bend in the road, so while it may be possible to make a small change to the 30mph gateway sign, such as incorporating the village name sign & “Please Drive Carefully” I doubt this would have a significant effect on driver behaviour as they would only see this sign after having seen the off side one.

Credenhilll Turn – There is a triangular junction warning sign in the verge advising of the turning which I suspect is quite hard to see in the summer months when foliage is more abundant. I would suggest the PC approach Balfour Beatty and see if they would be prepared to add a yellow back to this sign to make it more visible. It may also be possible to have “Slow” legend painted on the road to accompany this sign, again to make the hazard warning a bit more obvious.  – to liaise with Paul Norris – Locality Steward.

Kentchester turn onto A438. Visibility is limited by the hedge to the right as you turn out onto the A438. The hedge is quite wide and has grown beyond the boundary fence. I will approach Balfour Beatty and ask them to cut this back to try and give slightly increased visibility of oncoming vehicles.

Traffic Speeds on A438 – I will ask for data to be taken on the A438 near to the Bridge Sollars Garage. My suspicion is that it will come back below the enforcement threshold for a national speed limit road, but until we have the data we cannot say for definite.

The Parish Council are aware that Balfour Beatty have employed the consultancy firm ADL to carry out the following:  Mansell Gamage – Areawide Weight Limit Restriction Review and from Bridge Sollars to Madley a Speed and Weight Limit restriction review.

There is evidence that these reviews are in progress with cameras monitoring traffic.

The Parish Council will now wait for their reports plus a follow up report from Ian Connolly.   To be discussed at the next meeting in January.

The Chairman reported a blocked drain at Mansell Gamage which he had personally cleared. It was also reported that recently a hedge had been cut back in the parish of Mansell Gamage on a road from Bishopstone to Mansel Lacy, near Shetton leaving hedge trimmings along the road which will eventually block the same drain. Cllr Macklin will liaise with lengthsman with regard to getting these drains cleared on the monthly rota.

Cllr Macklin will liaise with lengthsman with regard to getting these drains cleared on the monthly rota.

The Chairman reported that during the recent road closures – he had managed to liaise with Yeomans and get the local bus diverted up to Orchard Close – this co-operation has been much appreciated.

The National Trust hedge at the Kenchester turn on the A438 is in need of cutting back and the railings are in need of repair – Chairman will liaise with Locality Steward.

The road by Byford House is becoming very uneven and the verge is getting cut up due to motorist trying to avoid the many pot holes.  Chairman will liaise with Locality Steward.

(5.4) Open Session for local residents present at meeting and for matters raised between meetings.

A resident raised the ongoing problem with litter in and around Mansell Gamage village and offered to organise a group of volunteers to work together to help alleviate the problem.  The Chairman confirmed there was some litter picking equipment available.  It was agreed to add this item to the agenda for the next meeting.

(5.5) The Chairman closed the Open session

6. The minutes of the meeting held on 14th September 2017 were accepted as a true record and it was unanimously agreed that they be adopted and signed by the Chairman.

7.  Highways report and Environmental Matters/Lengthsman

(7.1) Lengthsman worksheet for November/December – Chairman will meet with the lengthsman to discuss the various issues already raised within these minutes.

(7.2) ADL consultancy on behalf of Balfour Beatty – speed and weight restriction review – as discussed.  To await report.

(7.3) Fly tipping questionnaire was completed and the Clerk will forward.

8.  Finance: Up-to-date accounts sheet/schedule of payment sheet circulated.

(8.1) It was unanimously agreed to pay the outstanding invoices as per the Schedule of Payments sheet – already circulated.

(8.2) Precept/Budget setting for 2018/19 – a draft forecast sheet was circulated.  After some discussion, it was unanimously agreed by a show of hands to increase the Precept from £7000 to £7,700 – an increase of 10%.  This increase can be attributed to the discontinuation of the lengthsman founding from Balfour Beatty.

(8.3) Data Protection Officer – the Clerk hopes, by the next meeting, to have an update on this appointment plus any consequences this may have on the Parish Council.

(8.4) Bank signatories – it was agreed that Cllr Rosemary Morgan would become an additional signatory.  Forms were provided.

(8.5) It was confirmed that the ICO payment is due 23rd December 2017.

9.  Cllr Handscombe gave a short presentation on ‘The Safeguarding of Children and Adults for Parish Councils’. Although not entirely clear, the Parish Council have a statutory duty with regard to Safeguarding and Cllr Handscombe very kindly agreed to make further enquiries and will bring a Safeguarding Statement together with appropriate posters/notices to the next meeting.

10.  Planning matters

(10.1) Cllr Hubbard was not present at the meeting but sent the following report :

Bishopstone Group Parish Council – Neighbourhood Planning Report 9th November 2017

We are now in the Regulation 15 stage of the Neighbourhood Plan process. We have sent the revised Plan, Consultation Statement and Basic Conditions Statement to Karla (our Herefordshire Council support officer) for comment. She has returned the Plan with a few minor changes which we are following up and we are waiting to see whether we will be asked to change anything on the other two documents. The next stages are

  • Neighbourhood Planning Team provide policy area maps in their specified format from maps supplied by us
  • Karla writes Habitat Regulations Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment based around our policies and sends them to us for checking
  • We put together our finished version of the Neighbourhood Development Plan including photographs and maps
  • We submit all the documents to Herefordshire Council to begin Regulation 16 Consultation.

The two maps relating to the Neighbourhood Plan were circulated and it was unanimously agreed by a show of hands that we present these two maps to the Neighbourhood Planning Team in order that they may provide policy area maps in the specified format.

11.  Correspondence

 (11.1) Community Governance Review – it was agreed that the Clerk would confirm with the Community Governance Review team that the Parish Council wished to go ahead with the proposed change in boundary on the north side of the A438 at Sugwas Pool, Swainshill and Sugwas Parish

12.  Provisional date of next meeting – Thursday 11th January 2018

Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10p.m.

Signed:                                                                         Date: