Minutes of an Ordinary Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/143 held remotely on
Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 19.00 hrs.
Councillors David Morgan, Brendan Treanor, Anna Coda, John Burgess, Richard Gaze, Johnny Scrimgeour, Maria Duggan and Robert Metcalfe
In attendance…. Ward Councillor Jennie Hewitt and Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk)
1. Apologies for absence – None.
2. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests. None
3. Minutes of previous meeting held on 19th May 2020. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record. The minutes will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
4. Open session
4.1 To receive a report from West Mercia Police – no representative from West Mercia was able to join the meeting.
4.2 To receive a report from the Ward Councillor – During her report Ward Councillor Hewitt covered the following issues:
4.2.1 Talk Community have issued a questionnaire to Parish Councils and added that Covid 19 has caused significant financial challenges for Herefordshire Council, but the situation was more acute in other principal authorities.
4.2.2 The Maylord Orchard purchase will allow Herefordshire Council to exercise some influence over this part of Hereford. It is proposed to organise a public consultation over it’s future use.
4.2.3 Planning Consultation 201036 (Salt Box Farm) – Contact from the planning officer suggests that the LPA are minded to reject the application but no reasoning for that position was offered.
4.2.4 Councillor Coda asked if Herefordshire Council had any plans should large numbers of people be evicted from private/social rented accommodation when the furlough scheme ends. Ward Councillor Hewitt agreed to refer this issue to Herefordshire Council and will report back.
4.3 To receive views from local residents on parish matters – no residents were present, but Councillor Metcalfe commented that the drain situated at Hinton House, originally reported on the 21st February 2020, still hasn’t been repaired. It was RESOLVED that this be brought to the attention of the Locality Steward.
5. Covid 19 Response in Peterchurch – Councillor Treanor reported that the number of calls to the helpline has reduced significantly during the last week but considered that, given the expected challenges that will arise as residents emerge from lockdown, it remained important for the helpline to remain in place. Pupils at Fairfield School had been invited to complete a questionnaire which prompted 40 responses mostly from those aged 14 and below of which 47% were “happy” and 57% were “bored”. The Hub co-ordinator is due to visit Fairfield Scholl shortly to discuss the issues raised in the questionnaire. Plans for launching “Peterchurch Unlocked” remains in place but this is dependent upon the reopening of the Hub and village hall. Councillors Morgan, Treanor and Duggan participated in a post Covid 19 review meeting recently and concluded that more partner agencies needed to be involved to support the transition from lockdown. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Duggan would circulate the notes of the meeting to all Councillors. Ward Councillor Hewitt raised the issue of a virtual Golden Valley North meeting at the end of June 2020 to discuss post Covid 19 issues and agreed to extend an invitation to Parish Councillors.
Planning – To comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council. Planning Consultation – 201036 – Salt Box Farm, Wellbrook Barn Farm, Peterchurch, Herefordshire. Westfields House, Peterchurch, Hereford. Variation of a condition 2 application 184204/FH) extension to barn and replacement of existing sunroom) amendment to plans. It was noted that the LPA are minded to oppose the application and following discussion it was decided to defer a decision to Herefordshire Council and it was RESOLVED that the clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
6.1 The bank balances as at 31st May 2020
6.1.1 Business Bank Instant account … £28,629.44
6.1.2 Treasurers Account … £17, 534.55
6.2 It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
6.2.1 Countrywide Maintenance- £223.99
6.2.2 Website Upgrade – £50.00
Herefordshire Council Election Fee – £93.07 – Councillor Treanor asked for further information on this invoice and it was RESOLVED that the clerk would provide this information post meeting
6.3 There was a general discussion on the state of the finances, and it was noted that there are sufficient monies available to fund future projects/initiatives such as Covid 19 response and the extension of the car park. It was RESOLVED that the clerk produce a forward projection of future costs during 2020/21 to allow a broad understanding of the financial headroom that may be available to the Parish Council.
7.1 Prompted by a question from Councillor Gaze the Chairman confirmed that he had discussed the deep ditch at Stockley Hill with the Locality Steward. Councillor Scrimgeour added that he has been in contact with the landowner who has agreed to undertake the work to correct the problem. There was also discussion on liability should someone be injured before the ditch is filled in and it was RESOLVED that Ward Councillor Hewitt would raise the Parish Council’s concerns with the Locality Steward.
7.2 Ward Councillor Hewitt reported that Herefordshire Council had decided against bidding for money to resurface the B4348 from monies that may be available at the end of the financial year.
7.3 Councillor Burgess raised the issue of vegetation alongside the kerbs in the village which may be a task for the lengthsman noting that he is not permitted to work on B roads. Ward Councillor suggested that a volunteer group might be a resource that could be used to undertake this type of work noting that insurance issues will need to considered Councillor Scrimgeour suggested that a list of activities should be compiled from which it should be possible to identify tasks suitable for volunteers and those which will need to be funded from the Parish Council budget. It was RESOLVED that a list of activities be compiled that would inform a discussion on Parish Council priorities at a subsequent meeting.
8. Traffic Related Issues in the Village – No further issues were raised.
9. Footpaths – The Chairman commented that complaints have been received about the state of the hedgerows in Puddings Lane and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the landowners. Councillor Metcalfe raised a problem with a footpath adjacent to the station which needs some attention. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Metcalfe will work with the lengthsman to undertake the necessary remedial work on this footpath.
10. Playing Field – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that he surveyed the car park along with Councillors Metcalfe and Gaze to assess where soil generated from the work to extend the car park could be deposited. The survey had also revealed that parts of the playing field was overgrown with brambles which needs to be cut back and suggested an action list could be produced to capture all necessary work. It was agreed that work is required to identify the owners of the boundary hedge around the playing field.
11. Bus Services Serving Peterchurch – It was noted that Stagecoach have re-introduced a bus service but social distancing rules means there is a significant reduction in the capacity for passengers; this may have implications for people wishing to catch a bus from Peterchurch. Councillor Treanor commented that Peterchurch should form part of the Hereford Council Transport plan and this will be pursued by the Ward Councillor. There was brief discussion on the exchange of correspondence with Yeomans and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the company explaining that the Parish Council had, in writing, acted on the basis of incorrect information.
12. Extension to the Car Park – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that he, together with Councillors Gaze and Metcalfe, had met the local manager of Komplan who advised that the play equipment could be relocated at minimal cost and will now produce a detailed plan for doing so. The extraction and distribution of the topsoil as part of the extension of the car park may require the closure of the playground for the duration of that work. Councillor Scrimgeour explained that the design will allow the users of the car park to be segregated from children accessing the playground. The current estimated cost of the extension is circa £16k but this may increase as it is proposed to include a range of “optional extras” in the tender document. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Scrimgeour should proceed on this basis. Councillor Scrimgeour mentioned that the Parish Council had previously decided to explore the possibility of acquiring grant monies to support any enhancements to the play equipment. It was, therefore, RESOLVED that the Clerk investigate possible sources of grant funding. It was also considered that it might be appropriate to seek financial support for the car park for local groups who currently use this facility. Councillor Scrimgeour highlighted the poor state of the footpaths map which needs replacing. There was also discussion on the Parish Council noticeboard. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk arrange for the lengthsman to remove the noticeboard and place it temporarily in storage until it can be relocated to the extended car park. Councillors acknowledged Councillors Scrimgeour’s hard work in producing a detailed and informative design which has helped the decision-making process.
13. Proposed Removal of Filing Cabinets to the Storage Containers – Councillor Treanor suggested that the filing cabinets be moved into the storage cabinet to make more space available in the village hall. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would review the papers in the filing cabinets to determine which could be relocated elsewhere or discarded as appropriate.
14. Clerk Correspondence – No correspondence has been received.
15. To Note Information Items – None
16. Matters raised for the next meeting on the 21st July 2020
16.1 Action Planning List
16.2 Annual Governance Statement/Internal Audit Report
16.3 Lengthsman Working Group
16.4 Permissive Footpath adjacent to the Old Police Station
The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.00 hrs