Minutes of an Ordinary Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/164 held in the village hall on
Tuesday 15th February 2022 at 19.00 hrs.
Councillors David Morgan, Brendan Treanor, Anna Coda, Robert Metcalfe, Johnny Scrimgeour, Emma Thacker-Vuts, Samantha Metcalfe and Isabelle Watkins.
In attendance…. PC Jeff Rouse, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and four residents
- Apologies for absence – None.
- Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None
- Minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th January 2022 – It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these were signed by the Chairman.
- To Review Resolutions reached at the meeting of the 18th January 2022 – The Clerk provided a brief update on the resolutions from the previous meeting confirming that, with the exception of the Parish Council response to Herefordshire Council on the Local Plan, all actions have been completed.
- Open session –
- To receive a report from West Mercia Police –.
- Little reported crime since the last meeting.
- Graffiti is repeatedly being applied to a garage in Closure Place and the Police would welcome any information on the culprit.
- Speed enforcement continues with recent activity at Hawthorn Rise and outside the police station.
- Highlighted continuing concerns over a woman from Hereford who has been missing since the 10th December 2021.
- As requested at the last meeting PC Rouse provided a brief overview of the dangers posed by “county lines” which is used by urban based drug dealers to distribute drugs within rural towns.
- 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 –
- A resident raised the issue of the cost of distributing the recent newsletter. The Chairman explained that this will be discussed under clerk correspondence.
- A resident asked if there is any planned road resurfacing work on Upper Crossways. Councillors commented that this has been previously raised with the Locality Steward on numerous occasions, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk seeks a further update.
- To receive a report from West Mercia Police –.
- Footpaths – Although neither Footpath Officer was in attendance Councillors discussed the reports circulated in advance of the meeting. In discussion the following issues were raised:
- It was noted that Mr Warwick has removed fallen trees on PR47 but Councillors considered that this should be the responsibility of the landowner.
- Noting that the Parish Council had previously agreed to cover footpath expenses under general maintenance it was RESOLVED that the Clerk consults both Footpath Officers to better understand their requirements in this regard.
- Mr Gibbs has referenced problems experienced with the Locality Steward/Balfour Beatty in making progress to making good the stile on PR6. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk circulates copies of recent email correspondence between Mr Gibbs and the Locality Steward.
- Planning – To comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council
- Planning Consultation 220162 – Barley Knapp Farm, Long Lane, Peterchurch, HR2 0TE- Prior approval is required for a proposed change of use of agricultural buildings to two dwellinghouses. In discussion, Councillors were broadly content with the proposals set out in the planning application.
- Planning Consultation 220307 – Dorefield House, Crossways, Peterchurch. Variation of condition 2 following the grant of planning permission 193966/F (Proposed erection of dwelling and garage. Construction of associated works. Amendment to plans). In discussion some concern was expressed that the change in style would not be in keeping with neighbouring properties, but the majority of Councillors were content with this aspect of the application. Councillors were also supportive of the plans to reduce the roof line of the property but opposed the proposals for a substantially increased garage. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk offers these comments to the LPA.
- The current bank balances are:
- Business Bank Instant account … £55,315.95
- Treasurers Account … £14,345.77
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary (January 2022) in accordance with his employment contract.
- PAYE (January 2022) – £137.20
- Postage -£7.92
- Stationery – £3.99
- Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (Dec 21) – £223.99
- Village Hall Hire – £20.00
- HALC Affiliation Fee – £801.84
- Financial Monitoring 2020/21 – The Clerk reported that, based on the current and predicted spend, it is anticipated that the reserves at year end will be in the region of £44k net of the ring-fenced Peterchurch Sports Fund (£10.5k) and the grant for adult gym equipment (£10k).
- Internal Audit – It was RESOLVED to invite HALC to undertake the internal audit for 2020/21.
- The current bank balances are:
- Future Parish Council Objectives – Discussion focused on the four workstreams:
- Traffic – Councillor Thacker-Vuts reported that the Ward Councillor is fully committed to help achieve the aims of the traffic workstream. It is planned to hold a Microsoft Teams meeting with Simon Hobbs who has replaced Clive Hall to bring him up to speed with the work of the PRSAG. Arrangements are in train to hold a PRSAG meeting within the next 2 weeks.
- Drainage – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that it is planned to survey the parish to identify and record drainage hotspots which will inform a report which categorises the issues as either short or long term. Other issues mentioned included the ditches at Stockley and Cheshire Turn both of which need clearing. Councillor Watkins mentioned that a drain close to a bus stop at Crossways needs clearing. The forthcoming road closure between the Nags Head and Hinton was discussed and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk checks the details and advises Councillors accordingly. Councillors also agreed that there may be benefit in formalising the work of the Lengthsman by letting a contract and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk circulates an example used by other Parish Councils.
- Facilities – Councillor Samantha Metcalfe reported that the work of the facilities workstream had been impacted by the discussions revolving around the planned development of 89 houses at Hawthorn Rise. Arrangements have been made to meet with the suppliers of gym equipment on the 6th March 2022.
- Environment – Councillor Watkins reported that despite no meetings having taken place the spreadsheet is being populated. Specific mention was made of the Citizens Assembly.
- Proposed Development of 89 Houses – Councillor Scrimgeour led the discussion by referencing his paper which was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting and the recent discussion with Heather Carlisle (LPA). Councillors indicated a clear preference to opt for the land being made available by the developer rather than the alternative financial contribution circa £49k. It was further agreed that the offer of 1.2ha was insufficient to accommodate a football pitch plus ancillary requirements such as changing rooms etc so the Parish Council should, therefore, seek 2ha plus access to the hard standing adjacent to the substation. Councillors considered it important that no conditions are attached to the future use of the land and the Parish Council have the freedom to utilise for other possible recreational purposes. Councillors had considered whether the inadequacy of the 1.2ha piece of land might be best highlighted by overlaying the site plan with a football pitch but decided against this approach as it might be used by the LPA to steer the Parish Council in a specific direction and limit its freedom to use the land for other recreational purposes. In conclusion, it was RESOLVED that Councillor Scrimgeour annotates the indicative site plan showing the boundary of the 2ha piece of land which will then be forwarded to the LPA by the Clerk as part of the agreed Parish Council response. Post meeting note – it has been decided to arrange an extraordinary meeting to review the proposed response to the LPA and this meeting will take place on the 3rd March 2022.
- Highways –Highway issues were covered earlier in the meeting and no further substantive matters were raised.
- Playing Field – No substantive issues were raised.
- Outdoor Adult Gym Equipment – This was discussed earlier in the meeting and no further comments were made.
- Platinum Jubilee – Councillor Samantha Metcalfe provided an overview of the range of activities being planned for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations which include a street party and traditional games. Councillors were receptive to the idea of providing financial support to the Platinum Jubilee and this will be discussed further at the next meeting. In discussion, there was reference to the Queen’s Canopy and Councillor Watkins suggested that some thought should be given to suitable locations for and the timing of planting trees if this initiative is to be pursued. Councillors also agreed to support the proposed “spring clean” of the village in April and it was RESOLVED that the Parish Council would cover the cost of two rolls of green waste bags. As part of the “spring clean” it was further RESOLVED that the Lengthsman is asked to clean kerbs in the village.
- Parish Councillor Vacancy – The Clerk reported that the resident who had previously expressed interest in the vacancy had not, despite prompting, provided any background information to support his application.
- Revised Code of Conduct and Arrangements – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would scrutinize the revised Code of Conduct and submit a response on behalf of the Parish Council
- Clerk Correspondence – Two residents had written concerning the decision to use the Royal Mail to deliver the latest edition of the Parish Council newsletter. The Chairman explained that, as this newsletter included the results of the public consultation held in November 2021 it was vital that households receive this key information at the same time. The Chairman added that with the help of volunteers it is proposed to revert to the hand delivery of the next edition of the newsletter.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 20.47 hrs