Minutes – 15th March 2022

Minutes of an Ordinary Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/165 held in the village hall on

Tuesday 15th March 2022 at 19.00 hrs.

 

 

Present

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

 

In attendance….  Greg Warwick (Footpaths Officer), Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and three residents

 

  1. Apologies for absence – None.

 

  1. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None

 

  1. Minutes of the previous meetings held on 15th February 2022 and 3rd March 2022 – It was RESOLVED to adopt both sets of minutes as a true record, and these were signed by the Chairman.

 

  1. To Review Resolutions reached at the meeting of the 15th February 2022 – The Clerk provided a brief update on the resolutions from the previous meeting. It was noted that the Locality Steward had not responded to an email from the Clerk concerning the resurfacing of Upper Crossways. Councillor Coda mentioned that there are clear signs of deterioration on the road surface at Closure Place and on the B4348 close to the Fire Station.

 

  1. Open session
    • West Mercia Police – No one from West Mercia Police was available to attend the meeting. Councillor Samantha Metcalfe raised the issue of Community Speed Watch, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk seeks further information. Councillor Thacker-Vuts suggested that the local police offer a simple report on speeding issues in the parish, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk takes this forward.
    • 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.
      • Sought confirmation that the planned works between Hinton and the Nags Head actually took place. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts Balfour Beatty for an update.
      • An overflowing drain close to Bufton’s Garage. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk asks the Lengthsman to undertake remedial action.
      • Sought an explanation why the proposed land swap proposal as discussed by the Parish Council on the 3rd March 2022 had been deemed a confidential item. The Chairman explained that the landowner who had proposed the land swap had requested confidentiality and added that the Parish Council had decided against the proposal.
      • Objected to the request for financial assistance from the Hub suggesting that there would be more deserving causes for a donation citing support to the people of Ukraine as an example.
      • Asked that the agenda is always published on the website. The Clerk to action accordingly.
      • The owner of the Old Station Yard reported that the site is inundated with dog faeces and has, in response, decided to erect a fence around what is private property.

 

  1. Footpaths
    • Footpath Officers Report – There was nothing to add to the reports circulated by both Footpaths Officers in advance of the meeting. Councillor Robert Metcalfe confirmed that the landowner at St Peter’s Well on PR6 has now taken delivery of a stile which will be installed within the next four weeks.
    • Public Path Diversions on PR18(part) and PR18A(part) – Councillors had no objection to the proposed diversions, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk responds accordingly to Balfour Beatty.

 

  1. PlanningTo comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council. No planning applications have been received for consideration. Councillor Robert Metcalfe reported that there is a static caravan in the field behind New House Bungalow. Councillors could not recall an application for planning permission for a static caravan at this location. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk reports the issue to the Enforcement Officer at the Local Planning Authority.

 

  1. Finance
    • The current bank balances are:
      • Business Bank Instant account … £55,316.405
      • Treasurers Account … £12,484.86
    • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
      • Clerk’s salary (February 2022) in accordance with his employment contract.
      • PAYE (February 2022) – £137.20
      • Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (Mar 22) – £223.99
      • Village Hall Hire – £20.00
      • Lengthsman (Mark Price) – £176.00
    • 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).
    • Annual Donation to the Hub –. Councillor Scrimgeour commented that a donation from the Parish Council would be used to bridge a gap in the Hub’s finances until further lottery funding hopefully becomes available. Councillor Thacker-Vuts added that the recent public consultation demonstrated that support for the Hub was a key priority for many residents. Other Councillors suggested that approving a donation to the Hub would create a precedent and requests from similar organisations in the parish such as the village hall would also need to receive a positive response. In conclusion whilst some Councillors spoke in support of a financial donation to the Hub the majority voted to oppose any financial assistance. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the Hub to convey the decision of the Parish Council. It was also RESOLVED that the Clerk drafts a Grant Policy for consideration at the next meeting.
    • Financial Support to the Platinum Jubilee – Councillor Samantha Metcalfe highlighted some of the proposed events to mark the Platinum Jubilee which include the delivery of a packet of seeds to every household in the parish and asked if the Parish Council would offer some financial support. Councillors considered that they needed to consider the request in more detail, and it was RESOLVED that Councillor Metcalfe forwards the details to the Clerk to forward onto the other Councillors; a decision will be taken at the next meeting. Councillor Metcalfe also confirmed the plans to hold a duck race during the Jubilee weekend and it was RESOLVED that the Parish Council will cover the cost of the licence which will not exceed £40. It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk applies to Herefordshire Council accordingly.
    • Increase in NALC pay scales – Councillors noted that the NALC pay scales have been uplifted by 1.75% with effect from 1 April 2021.
    • Financial Donation in support of Ukraine – Councillor Watkins briefed the meeting on the work organised by Fairfield School in support of the people of Ukraine during the current crisis. The school has already funded the cost of a minibus delivering items of need to Ukrainians fleeing from the war in their country. Once the minibus has been emptied of items it is used to transport refugees to a safe haven. The cost of each journey (fuel and the ferry) is £1500. Councillor Watkins added that it is the intention of Fairfield School to donate any surplus money to UNICEF. Councillors acknowledged that this is a worthwhile cause and agreed to donate £1500 to cover the cost of a subsequent journey to Eastern Europe on condition that it is used solely for this purpose and no surplus monies are donated to UNICEF. Given the situation in Ukraine is fast moving it is possible that no further journeys are practicable and should this be the case Fairfield School will be asked to return the donation. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the Head Teacher at Fairfield School accordingly

 

  1. Future Parish Council Objectives – Discussion focused on the four workstreams:
    • Traffic – Councillor Thacker-Vuts offered a suggested response to the invitation from Herefordshire Council to offer thoughts on the Section 106 monies for transport. Councillor Coda recommended that the list should be prioritised with pavements having the highest priority and mentioned a new pedestrian crossing and a bus shelter at Crossways. Councillor Thacker-Vuts agreed to modify the list to highlight those facilities which are geographically closest to the proposed development.

 

 

  • Drainage
    • Councillor Scrimgeour confirmed that work is in hand to finalise a list of nine prospective sites which will form the bid for funding against the drainage grant (2022/23). The lengthsman and/or a third-party contractor will be asked to cost the identified work, and this must be completed to meet the 1 April 2022 deadline. Given the limited time left to complete the work and seek the necessary approval it was RESOLVED that bid could be signed off by the Chairman in conjunction with the Drainage Working Group.
    • It was also RESOLVED that a draft lengthsman contract would be considered at the next meeting.
  • Facilities
    • Councillor Metcalfe reported the need for a tree survey in the playing field and agreed to seek three quotes for consideration at the next meeting.
    • A meeting with Kompan to discuss the proposed gym equipment has taken place. Councillor Scrimgeour agreed to draft an interim report for Herefordshire Council to confirm all grant monies will be spent by the 30th June 2022.
    • Councillor Metcalfe also reported a collapsed wall on the boundary between the Alm Houses and the playing field. The details were passed to Councillor Treanor. It was agreed to authorise the annual inspection of the play equipment and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk makes the necessary arrangements.
  • Environment
    • Councillor Watkins referred to the discussion about the proposal to distribute seeds to all households in the parish noting the cost of £531 and Councillors agreed that this should be funded from the monies set aside for environment work. It was RESOLVED that action is taken to purchase and distribute the seeds as soon as practicable. The packet of seeds should be labelled “sponsored by Peterchurch Parish Council in support of the Queen’s Jubilee”
    • Councillor Watkins briefed the meeting on her work in identifying verges suitable for a single cut during the growing season. It was RESOLVED that a plan showing the nominated verges will be circulated by Councillor Watkins.

 

A RESOLUTION WAS PASSED TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDERS

 

  • Councillor Robert Metcalfe reported that a grey camper van which parks regularly in the Parish Council car park has routinely discharged contaminated wastewater onto the ground near the entrance to the playing field. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk reports the issue to Environmental Health at Herefordshire Council.

 

  1. Proposed Development of 89 Houses – There was nothing further to add to the discussion which took place earlier in the meeting.

 

  1. Golden Valley Stewardship Engagement – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk responds to the invitation for comments reflecting the views presented by Councillors Coda and Thacker-Vuts.

 

  1. Proposed Revisions to the Agenda – Councillor Thacker-Vuts guided Councillors through her proposed changes to the agenda which are designed to better utilise the limited time available at Parish Council meetings. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk confirms that the proposed changes are consistent with Standing Orders. It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk checks with HALC to establish if Parish Council have full discretion to change agendas as they see fit subject to any stipulations in Standing Orders.

 

  1. Clerk Correspondence – A resident has claimed that there is a footpath running west of “Highway” across the Dore Bridge then along the south bank of the river continuing across the land currently fenced off to the bridge beside the church. Both Footpath Officers have considered the claim submitted by the resident concerned but neither could discern a footpath in this part of the parish. Councillors agreed that no further action is necessary.

 

The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.20

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