Draft Minutes

Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/152 held remotely on

Tuesday 19th January 2021 at 19.00 hrs.



Councillors David Morgan, Brendan Treanor, Anna Coda, John Burgess, Johnny Scrimgeour, Robert Metcalfe, Emma Thacker-Vuts and Samantha Metcalfe.


In attendance….   Ward Councillor Jennie Hewitt, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and 13 residents


  1. To confirm the co-option of a new Parish Councillor onto the Parish Council – It was RESOLVED to co-opt Samantha Metcalfe to the Parish Council. The Chairman announced the recent resignation of Maria Duggan which will trigger an advertisement of the resulting vacancy which may, in turn, lead to another opportunity to co-opt a new Councillor. The Chairman also took the opportunity of acknowledging Maria’s contribution during her tenure on the Parish Council.


  1. Apologies for absence – None.


  1. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None


  1. Minutes of previous meetings held on 15th December 2020. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these will be signed by the Chairman in due course.


  1. To Review Resolutions reached at the meeting of the 15th December 2020. It was noted that most actions listed will discussed as part of the formal agenda.


  1. Open session
    • To receive a report from West Mercia Police – no representative from West Mercia was able to join the meeting.
    • To receive a report from the Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Hewitt reported on the following issues:
      • There is a £11.2m shortfall in Herefordshire Council’s budget for 2021/22 which will have an impact on the services that will be delivered next year.
      • The Highways department have launched a new scheme the details of which are included in the Ward Councillor’s report.
      • Herefordshire Council’s Village Safety Initiative Scheme focuses on issues such as speeding traffic, lack of footpaths and aims to actively engage with the local community in developing a long-term plan. Councillor Burgess drew attention to the possibility of drawing on monies available through the Safer Roads fund.
      • A request for a survey of pavements in the parish has been forwarded to the Balfour Beatty Asset team who will contact Councillor Thacker-Vuts when a date for the survey has been finalised.
      • Communication has been forwarded to Herefordshire Council officials asking for feedback on the feasibility of urgent action to install a pedestrian crossing outside the primary school.


  • To receive views from local residents on parish matters – The following issues were raised:
    • Opposition to any proposal for purchasing the “old station” carpark for several reasons including the presence of Great Crested Newts on the site.
    • The launch of a new Community Facebook page which will include tighter governance arrangements to prevent abusive comments from being published.
    • Proposed “plantastic” Peterchurch initiative which will enhance the village. It was confirmed that funding may become available for community gardening in the parish. It is also hoped to organise gardening and cooking workshops.
    • Sought an update on the continuing drainage issues at a property at New Haven.
    • An update on the old petrol station which has not been deemed unsafe following a survey by Herefordshire Council. The owner of the property will be contacted to review the condition and safety of the gas bottles stored on site. The owner will also be asked to remove the remainder of the roof.
    • Continuing concerns over speeding traffic through the village was raised with a proposal for a 20 mph speed limit in the village. It was also suggested that the Speed Indicator Devices (SID) be adjusted to warn motorists when travelling at 30/31 mph rather than 35 mph. Councillor Robert Metcalfe explained that battery life would be compromised if the SID was set at 30 mph. It was proposed to collect “near miss” evidence to support the introduction of traffic calming measures. It was also mentioned that the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office may be a source of funds for traffic calming measures and should be approached with all supporting information. Similarly, an approach should be made to the Road Safety division at Herefordshire Council.
    • The narrowness of the road at the Boughton Arms and parking outside the village shop also creates safety issues.



  1. Covid 19 Response in Peterchurch – Councillor Treanor reported that a number of issues were discussed at the most recent meeting including the newly established Community Facebook page. Calls to the helpline have not increased during the latest lockdown. The Village Hall Committee have offered the use of the village hall as a vaccination centre.


  1. PlanningTo comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council.
    • Planning Consultation – 204302 – Salt Box Farm, Wellbrook Barn Farm, Peterchurch, Hereford, HR2 0ST. Proposed 4 bay garage. Following discussion, Councillors were broadly content with the proposals but agreed that support should be conditional on the previous plans for a workshop not proceeding.



  1. Finance
    • The current bank balances are:
      • Business Bank Instant account … £39,463.95
      • Treasurers Account … £12,076.92
    • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
      • Clerk’s salary (December 2020) in accordance with his employment contract.
      • PAYE (December 2020) – £119.80
      • Countrywide Maintenance- £223.99
      • Postage – £7.92
      • R Metcalfe – Agricultural Repairs – £240.00
      • Lengthsman – £338.00


  1. Highways
    • Councillor Samantha Metcalfe reported issues revolving around a grass verge at Crossways which needs some maintenance and will forward photographs to the Clerk.
    • Councillor Thacker- Vuts visually presented the outputs from a recent survey of the pavements in the village which she had undertaken with Councillor Samantha Metcalfe. A number of pavements were identified that need to be cleared by the lengthsman and the details will be forwarded to the Clerk. Councillor Thacker- Vuts drew attention to part of the village where no pavements exist or are poorly maintained and carries obvious safety risks for pedestrians. Work on the pavements may also offer an opportunity to introduce a traffic calming measures especially in the centre of the village. Councillor Treanor agreed to provide Councillor Thacker-Vuts with a copy of a previous Parish Plan which had included similar proposals and may have some utility in taking forward this initiative. It was also proposed to reinforce the conclusions from the survey by including case studies from residents who have experienced difficulties due to the condition or absence of pavements in the village.


  1. Action Planning Working Group


  • Lengthsman Activities – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that thanks to the Lengthsman and Councillor Robert Metcalfe a number of actions have been completed but added that some thought should be given to the process for capturing future issues. Councillor Thacker-Vuts added that she has identified some work for the Lengthsman and will provide the details to the Clerk.


  1. Traffic Related Issues in the Village – Further to the discussion on traffic issues (including pavements) it was RESOLVED that a working group, consisting of Parish Councillors, should be established to consider how best to address the obvious concern over speeding traffic in the village. Councillors Burgess, Coda, Thacker-Vuts and Samantha Metcalfe volunteered to form the working group which will submit recommendations to the Parish Council. Councillor Thacker-Vuts agreed to co-ordinate the first meeting but with support from the other members. Councillor Burgess raised the issue of village gates and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the Highway Department at Herefordshire Council to establish the criteria and process for their installation.


  1. Footpaths – The Clerk reported that he has written to both candidates who had been invited to share the role of Footpaths Officer. One candidate has accepted the offer and a response is awaited from the second candidate.


  1. Playing Field – It was agreed to defer discussion on this topic until the February meeting.


  1. Parish Council Objectives 2021/22 – Councillor Thacker-Vuts highlighted the importance of publishing clear goals and priorities for 2021/22 and suggested this should be the focus of the Parish Council in conjunction with the community.


  1. The Provision of Additional Car Parking in the Village – The Clerk confirmed that the owner had rejected the Parish Council’s offer for the old station car park and had subsequently withdrawn the land from sale. In light of this latest development it was agreed that the Parish Council revisits some of the work originally planned for the current car park and it was RESOLVED to include this issue on the agenda for the next meeting.


  1. Communication Workshop – Councillor Thacker-Vuts reported that no progress has been achieved in establishing the workshop due to the current lockdown.


  1. Pedestrian Crossing – There was nothing further to add to the discussion which took place earlier in the meeting.


  1. NDP – Councillor Treanor highlighted the importance of undertaking a review of the NDP given its significance in terms of planning applications determined by Herefordshire Council. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk invites a representative from the NDP team at Herefordshire Council to the next Parish Council meeting to brief Councillors on the options available for reviewing the NDP.


  1. Peterchurch Sports Fund – Councillor Treanor reported that some progress has been achieved since the last meeting but further discussion with the bank will be required.


  1. Parish Council Newsletter – The Clerk reported that the newsletter will be amended to reflect the appointment of Councillor Samantha Metcalfe and the resignation of Maria Duggan plus the recent development regarding the car park. It is also hoped that the appointment of the two Footpaths Officers will also be included. Councillor Robert Metcalfe also suggested that an item reminding residents that the dog waste bins are for dog walkers only might also be included. Councillor Scrimgeour added that a resident has agreed to help distribute the newsletter.



  1. Community Facebook Page – Whilst there was recognition that the Community Facebook page is a useful source of information it has been marred with the posting of unsubstantiated and sometimes abusive messaging relating to the Parish Council. It is hoped that the newly created Facebook page with tighter administrative controls will prevent similar posts from appearing in the future. Councillors expressed appreciation for the work of members of the community in creating the new Facebook page.



  1. Clerk’s Correspondence – All correspondence received had been discussed earlier in the meeting apart from a letter received from Stagecoach advising that that work on bus stops are an issue for Herefordshire Council. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to Herefordshire Council accordingly.



  1. Matters raised for the next meeting on the 16th February 2021
    • Noticeboard at Crossways.
    • Drainage issues at Hinton and Cheshires Turn.
    • Recycling and Communal Composting


The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.05 hrs