Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting
held on Thursday 11th May 2017
in The New Bridge Community Centre, Bridge Sollars
PRESENT: Councillor John Macklin (Chairman), Councillor Sue Hubbard (Vice-chairman) Councillor Penny Redshaw; Councillor Neil Newton; Cllr. Serena Crump: Cllr Rosemary Morgan; Cllr. Muriel Holmes; Cllr C Draper; and Cllr S Keefe.
PRESENT: Mrs Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk) Ward Cllr Steve Williams.
One member of the public
Chairman welcomed those present to this the Annual Parish Council Meeting
1. Cllr. John Macklin was unanimously re-elected as Chairman and he signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Chairman form.
2. Cllr Sue Hubbard was unanimously re-elected as Vice Chairman.
3. Apologies for Absence: Cllr. Sharon Knights;
4. All councillors confirmed there were no changes to their Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensation during the past year.
5. Elect other Officers:
5.1 Consider co-option of new Bishopstone Parish Councillor
The Chairman explained that as Bishopstone still had vacancies to be filled since the General Election in 2015 – the Parish Council were in a position to co-opt a new Parish Councillor. The Chairman was delighted to introduce Lesley Handscomb who had shown interest in becoming a Parish Councillor.
Mrs Handscomb gave a short presentation and then left the room whilst the Councillors considered her application.. After a show of hand Mrs Handscomb was unanimously elected and was invited back into the room. Mrs Handscomb accepted the invitation to become a Councillor representing Bishopstone and, having signed the appropriate documentation, joined the table as full voting Councillor.
5.2 The Clerk, Lesley Hay, was confirmed as Responsible Finance Officer
5.3 Footpath Officers – these are all councillors according to the village they represent.
5.4 Planning Officers – these are all councillors according to the village they represent. It was agreed that Councillor visiting proposed site should check that the yellow notice had been displayed and visit close neighbours to make sure they were aware of the proposed application, discuss and record any objections.
6. To Receive Reports:
6.1 Policing Matters – Local Police Officer/Community Support Officer –there was no police representation. However, discussion had already taken placed with Dan Guerche – Guest Speaker at the Annual Parish Meeting – about the lack of police attendance at the meetings and the recent lack of any SNT Newsletter.
6.2 Balfour Beatty – Locality Steward – no representation.
7. Open Session – No matters were raised for discussed in the Open Session.
7.1 Chairman closed open session
8. The Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 9th March 2017 were unanimously agreed as being a true record and these were adopted and signed by the Chairman.
Matters arising – Website – Cllr Sarah Keefe explained that the website was now up and running. It was linked into the Planning Department so all planning applications now came directly on to the site. There is a What’s On page as well as the Parish Council pages.
Councillors present agreed to having their names; addresses and email address available on the website.
The website address will now be available on all correspondence i.e. Notice of Meetings; agendas; minutes etc. and eventually there would be a facility available where residents could sign up and they would automatically be emailed information being displayed on the site.
Cllr Keefe explained that she would be attending website training on 26th June – and, for the time being, was happy to manage the website with the Clerk and/or other Councillors sending information directly to her. It was agreed that access to the website would be restricted to Cllr Keefe to enable her to monitor the content for uploading.
The Chairman thanked Cllr Keefe on behalf of those present for her hard work in getting this new site up and running. The Chairman again acknowledged, with grateful thanks, Cllr Redshaw’s commitment to the previous website
9. Finance Matters:
9.1 End of year Bank Balances had been circulated but paper copies were made
available at the meeting. The current accounts sheets had also been circulated and paper copies were available.
9.2 The Annual Governance Statement for 2016/2017 read out by the Chairman was agreed and accepted by Council. The External Audit Form was duly signed by the Chairman and the Clerk as Responsible Finance Officer.
9.3 The Annual Accounts for 2016/2017 had been audited and these were agreed and accepted by Council. The External Audit form was completed and signed by the Chairman and Clerk as Responsible Financial Officer.
9.4 It was unanimously agreed to appoint Robert Taplin as Internal Auditor
9.5 To Consider and Approve payment of outstanding invoices
9.5.1 Schedule of Payments had been circulated: Additional payments were made to the Community Hall and for expenses occurred with fitting the defibrillator – both amounting to £10.69
9.5.2 Payments made since last meeting – £500 for website (reimbursed by HALC)
9.5.3 The Clerk confirmed payments received into the account since last meeting – VAT reimbursement; lengthsman reimbursement; half yearly Precept payment; P3 reimbursement.
9.5.4 It was unanimously agreed to accept the new insurance proposal from Zurich Municipal at a cost of of £167.44 for 2017/2018. Clerk to raise cheque.
9.5.5 It was unanimously agreed to make a donation of £25.00 as a gift for the Internal Auditor – Clerk to purchase a voucher and card of thanks.
10. To Consider adopting the Standing Orders; Financial Regulations; Financial Risk Assessment; Code of Conduct
The existing Standing Orders /Financial Regulations/Financial Risk Assessment/Code of Conduct were reviewed and accepted for the coming year. All signed and dated by the Chairman and Clerk. All Councillors present agreed to abide by the Code of Conduct.
11. Planning updates since last meeting:
11.1 Report given by Cllr S Hubbard – May 2017
Since the last meeting, Herefordshire Council have changed their views about the relevant virtues of the Bishon Orchard and Pleck sites and are looking more favourably at Bishon Orchard. Stephen Price’s agent has prepared an outline management plan and a copy of this has been forwarded to the council. We have not yet received any comments from HC about the most recent version of our Plan but Karla hopes to be able to respond before the end of May. Depending on her comments I may be able to start preparing our Plan to go to Regulation 16 Consultation.
I attended a training session about Regulation 16 last Friday which was quite informative. Speakers stressed the importance of clear wording as the Plan will be used to judge planning applications in the future. The Plan also has to include a basic Conditions Statement which shows how its policies contribute to sustainable development and conform to the HC Core Strategy, National Planning Policies and EU Legislation.
11.2 Update on Witchwater Cottage – application approved with conditions.
11.3 Update on Old Rectory, Byford – there were concerns expressed about safety issues with regard to this additional access but it was accepted that the Highways Dept. would take all options into consideration before making their final decision.
11.4 The Old-School House Byford – planning approved.
11.5 Studio Garage – The Hop Kiln – planning approved.
12. Lengthsman June and July 2017 – work already in progress.
12.1 The Chairman and Clerk signed the lengthsman Contract 2017-2018
13. Items for the Next Agenda ([no discussion): Future of Lease Community Centre
14. To Confirm the Date of the Next Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 20th July 2017