Minutes – 15th December 2020

Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/150 held remotely on

Tuesday 15th December 2020 at 19.00 hrs.



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


In attendance….   Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and 6 residents


  1. Apologies for absence – None.


  1. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None


  1. Minutes of previous meetings held on 17th November 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 17th November 2020. It was noted that a couple of actions required the attention of Ward Councillor Hewitt and as she was not present at the meeting these issues will included on the agenda for the meeting in January 2021. Councillor Thacker-Vuts reported that good progress has been achieved in identifying residents interested in joining the Communication workshop but thought it prudent to defer the first meeting until after the Christmas break. When asked about the noticeboard which is currently in storage Councillor Metcalfe explained that it had been intended to relocate it to the entrance of the playing field but added that it is in need of repair as does the noticeboard at Crossways. Both noticeboards will be checked to determine whether replacement or repair is the preferred option.


  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 was not present at the meeting.
    • To receive views from local residents on parish matters – The following issues were raised:
      • – A resident reported that she has written to Herefordshire Council concerning the dilapidated and dangerous condition of the “old garage” and provided photographic evidence. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk also contacts Herefordshire Council to confirm Parish Council support for the initiative to make good or demolish the remaining structure.
      • A resident commented on the excellent work on clearing the path from Hinton Farm to the Church but unfortunately that work had revealed previously obscured structural problems which will require tarmacking. It was also noted that the ditch running alongside the footpath needs clearing out and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact the landowner asking that this work is undertaken.
      • A resident asked if the Parish Council’s response to Planning Consultation 204078 could include a request that the hedgerow could be retained.


  1. Covid 19 Response in Peterchurch – Councillor Duggan reported that the Covid 19 helpline will continue to operate over the Christmas period should any resident require assistance.


  1. PlanningTo comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council.
    • Planning Consultation – 204078 – Land to the south of Closure Place, Peterchurch, Herefordshire. Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval 172543 (erection of 10 dwelling houses with all matters except access reserved for future consideration. In discussion Councillors raised a number of issues including concerns over a potential risk of flooding and the preference to retain the tree currently in situ. Councillors also discussed the proposed re-routing of PROW 18 and 18a and agreed that they have no objections to the current proposals. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the developer accordingly. Councillors also agreed that the hedge should be retained but properly laid. There was brief discussion on where responsibility for its future maintenance would fall.
    • Planning Consultation – 203899 – Land at Horsepool Crossing Cottage, Peterchurch, Herefordshire, HR2 0SG. Erection of a replacement dwelling and associated works. Following discussion Councillors expressed no objections to the proposed dwelling and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notify the LPA accordingly.


  1. Finance
    • The current bank balances are:
      • Business Bank Instant account … £39,463.63
      • Treasurers Account … £12,658.71
    • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
      • Clerk’s salary (November 2020) in accordance with his employment contract.
      • PAYE (November 2020) – £119.80
      • Countrywide Maintenance- £223.99
      • Postage – £7.80
      • PKF Littlejohn – £240.00
      • Dore Community Transport – £200.00
      • RG & RB Williams – £360.00
      • Lengthsman – £602.00


  1. Highways
    • Proposed pavement survey by Balfour Beatty – Councillors referred to the recent correspondence from the Locality Steward and expressed frustration that the request for a survey was not being taken seriously. Councillor Thacker-Vuts agreed to take up Balfour Beatty’s offer of accompanying their Asset team when they conduct a survey of the village pavements. Councillor Scrimgeour suggested that Balfour Beatty are asked for the criteria against which the condition of pavements is assessed which, in turn, will allow the Parish Council to undertake their own assessment. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact Balfour Beatty for this information. Councillor Thacker- Vuts agreed to produce a portfolio of photographs of pavements which can be used as evidence in future discussion with Balfour Beatty and Councillor Duggan added this should also include pavements outside the village.
    • Maintenance of planters in the village. Councillor Coda reported that she is aware of two residents who are prepared to assume the responsibility for the planters in the village an offer which was gratefully accepted by Councillors. Councillor Scrimgeour added that provision has been made in the budget for material that will help maintain moisture in the planters.



  1. Action Planning Working Group


  • Lengthsman Activities – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that the Lengthsman has done a good job in clearing vegetation from kerbs in Crossways, Closure Place and Welbrookside. Work is also ongoing to clear drains in the village. Councillor Coda highlighted the poor condition of Upper Crossways and it was RESOLVED that this is reported to the Locality Steward. Other areas of the village where kerbs need attention should be forwarded to the Clerk who will instruct the Lengthsman as appropriate.


  1. Traffic Related Issues in the Village
    • Community Speed Watch (CSW) – The Chairman referred to the recent response from the CSW team and suggested West Mercia police should enforce the speed limit on the B4348.
    • Traffic calming measures – There was discussion on the broader issue of traffic calming measures and the options that may be available to the Parish Council to combat the problem of speeding traffic through the village. Councillor Duggan suggested that, given the complexity of the issue, there would be merit in using some of the reserves to commission a feasibility study to explore all practicable options for reducing speed in the village. It was RESOLVED that in the first instance  the Clerk contacts the Highway Department to Herefordshire Council. It was further RESOLVED to retain this issue as a standing item on the agenda.


  1. Footpaths – Councillor Metcalfe asked if any remedial work has been undertaken on a broken stile on Wells lane. The Clerk confirmed that the issue has been reported to Herefordshire Council and it was RESOLVED that the Locality Steward is contacted in the new year for a progress report.


  1. Playing Field – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that Councillors Coda and Metcalfe had joined him at the playing field to look at the equipment in light of the recent ROSPA inspection and produced a report which identified several areas which need attention. It was RESOLVED that work should proceed in addressing the first eight issues listed in the report. Councillors Thacker-Vuts and Coda also asked if future consideration could be given to installing new equipment for children in those age groups which are not currently well catered for. It was RESOLVED to include this issue as an agenda item for the next meeting.


  1. NDP – Councillor Treanor provided feedback from his recent meeting with the NDP team at Herefordshire Council. Herefordshire Council had outlined the options available to the Parish Council which range from “do nothing” to a full review of the NDP. Councillor Treanor suggested that given the importance of the NDP a working group is established to consider how to proceed. Councillor Duggan suggested that given changes since publication of the NDP a full review would be appropriate and should be linked to work on a community engagement strategy. It was RESOLVED to establish a working group to consider the options for progressing work on the NDP as an integral part of the proposed communication engagement working group. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk updates Herefordshire Council on how the Parish Council is intending to progress work on the NDP.


  1. Peterchurch Sports Fund – Councillor Treanor reported that information is still awaited from the bank and it could be a further 3 months before it is made available.


  1. Parish Council Vacancy – The Clerk reported that two additional applications have been received but he also intends to check with the unsuccessful candidate from the previous selection process if they remain interested in joining the Parish Council. It was suggested that the Parish Council holds an extraordinary meeting before the next scheduled Parish Council meeting to meet each of the candidates.


  1. PROW PR18 and PR18A Pre-order consultation – This issue was discussed when Councillors considered Planning Application 204078 at paragraph 7.1 above.


  1. Footpaths Officer Vacancy – The Chairman reported that an expression of interest has been received to become the Footpaths Officer and it was RESOLVED to interview all prospective candidates at the same extraordinary meeting which will be arranged for the selection of a new Parish Councillor.


  1. Parish Council Objectives 2021/22 – It was agreed that this subject could be deferred until the next meeting.


  1. Community Engagement Framework – It was RESOLVED to adopt the Communication Engagement Framework.


  1. Budget Consultation 2021/22 – Councillors Morgan, Duggan and Burgess who attended a budget consultation session organised by Herefordshire Council considered that this was far from a satisfactory process but acknowledged that this a new concept which may improve with experience.


It was RESOLVED to suspend Standing Orders and grant an additional 30 minutes to conclude business.



  1. Clerk’s Correspondence – No correspondence has been received.


  1. The Provision of Additional Car Parking in the Village – Discussion focused on the independent valuation undertaken by Richard Williams (Chartered Surveyors) and whilst the majority of Councillors supported the purchase of the land Councillor Burgess suggested the funds could be better spent elsewhere. Councillors Duggan and Thacker-Vuts, whilst supportive of the purchase, commented that it should not be at the expense of traffic calming measures discussed earlier in the meeting. Councillors also recognised the importance of obtaining clarification on the restrictions placed on the future of the car park by the current owners and it was agreed that this would form part of the negotiations. In conclusion, Councillors agreed to offer £10k for the land at former railway line and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the current owner accordingly.


  1. Matters raised for the next meeting on the 19th January 2021


The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.30 hrs

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