Minutes – 17th May 2022

Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/167 held in the village hall on

Tuesday 17th May 2022 at 19.10 hrs.

 

Present

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

 

In attendance…. Greg Warwick (Footpaths Officer), Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk), PC Jeff Rouse, PCSO Pete Knight and eight residents

 

  1. Apologies for absence – Councillors Brendan Treanor and Anna Coda.

 

  1. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None

 

  1. Election of Chairman – Councillor David Morgan was proposed by Councillor Robert Metcalfe and seconded by Councillor Samantha Metcalfe. No other nominations were forthcoming, so Councillor Morgan was unanimously re-appointed Chairman and duly signed the acceptance of office form.

 

  1. Election of Vice Chairman – Councillor Scrimgeour was proposed by Councillor Samantha Metcalfe and seconded by Councillor Thacker-Vuts. No other nominations were forthcoming, so Councillor Scrimgeour was unanimously appointed Vice Chairman

 

  1. Minutes of the previous meetings held on 19th April 2022. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these were signed by the Chairman.

 

  1. To Review Resolutions reached at the meeting of the 19th April 2022 – The Clerk provided a brief update on the resolutions from the previous meeting. It was agreed that further work is required to combat the problem of dog excrement in the parish. Consequently, it was RESOLVED that the Clerk raises the issue with the Civil Enforcement Team and other measures such as appropriate signage will be investigated.

 

  1. Open session
    • West Mercia Police – The representatives from West Mercia Police raised the following issues:
      • The level of crime remains low, but members of the public are encouraged to continue to report any suspicious behaviour.
      • An incident in which a window was smashed in Closure Place on the 6th April 2022.
      • Persons unknown damaged a gate leading to a barn between Peterchurch and Dorstone sometime during the weekend of 6/7 April 2022.
      • A tarmac gang operating in Michaelchurch had undertaken some unauthorised work and presented a property owner with a bill for £7k. The cheque was subsequently cancelled.
      • Encouraged members of the public to sign up to the Neighbourhood Matters scheme which provides alerts to crime related information in the local area.
      • Councillor Thacker-Vuts raised the issue of offensive graffiti in Closure Place, but the police were powerless to act without the necessary evidence.

 

  • To receive a report from the Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Hewitt was not present at the meeting but had submitted a brief written update to the Clerk which covered the following issues:
    • Brokered a discussion between John Harrington and Councillor Thacker-Vuts on road safety issues.
    • Continues to exert pressure on Herefordshire Council colleagues to share the current plans for the primary school.
    • The traffic lights adjacent to Goose’s Foot in Kingstone is a result of road subsidence caused by badger tunnelling.

 

  • To receive views from local residents on parish matters. A resident questioned whether the list of tasks to be funded by the drainage grant from Herefordshire Council will be achieved. A further resident expressed concern over the increasing amount of dog excrement in the parish particularly at Stockley Hill. It was noted that dog poo bags can be deposited in standard waste bins provided it does not exceed 60% of the overall content.

 

  1. Footpaths – There was nothing to add to the reports circulated by the Footpaths Officer in advance of the meeting.

 

  1. PlanningTo comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council. No planning applications have been received for consideration.

 

  1. Finance
    • The current bank balances are:
      • Business Bank Instant account … £66,147.32
      • Treasurers Account … £9,042.15
    • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
      • Clerk’s salary (April 2022) in accordance with his employment contract.
      • Clerk’s Travel Costs – £5.40
      • Postage – £8.16
      • Zoom Subscription – £35.97[1]
      • Stationery – £13.94
      • PAYE (April 2022) – £167.60
      • Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (May 22) – £241.90
      • Village Hall Hire – £20.00
    • Reserves Policy 2022/23 – Councillors were content with the proposed allocation of reserves, and it was subsequently RESOLVED to adopt the Reserves Policy for 2022/23.
    • Financial Monitoring 2020/21 – The Clerk referenced his update offered at the Annual Parish Meeting and Councillors were content with the current state of the Parish Council’s finances.
    • Renewal of Insurance – Councillors approved the renewal of insurance cover with Zurich Insurance at a cost of £476.22.
    • Financial Support to the Platinum Jubilee – Councillor Samantha Metcalfe reported that she will be able to provide an update following the next meeting which is due to take place on the 18th May 2022 but confirmed that the disabled toilets have been booked. The proceeds from the planned duck race which will take place on Saturday 4th June 2022 will be used to fund a bench or benches in the parish.

 

  1. Future Parish Council Objectives – Discussion focused on the four workstreams but Councillor Thacker- Vuts commented that it is important to continue to consider wellbeing issues even though it is no longer a workstream in its own right following the resignation of John Burgess.
    • Traffic
      • Councillor Thacker-Vuts commented that this workstream covers both pedestrian and road safety and went on to report that Peterchurch is one of four villages that will receive funding through the Village Safety scheme with further details expected to emerge in due course. It should be noted that funding from other sources will be necessary. Councillor Thacker-Vuts added that building relationships with key stakeholders in Herefordshire Council is key and recently had a useful conversation with John Harrington and, through that discussion, contact with Bruce Evans (Safety Officer at Herefordshire Council) has been established. It has been further agreed that Mr Evans will visit the village and will meet with Parish Councillors as soon as it can be arranged. Councillor Thacker-Vuts also acknowledged the important contribution made by Ward Councillor Hewitt in helping progress this issue.
      • Councillor Thacker-Vuts referred to the recent invitation from Balfour Beatty to submit bids against a £50k grant (Village Safety Initiative) for minor road safety improvements adding that, during her discussions with John Harrington, the scheme is flawed as it was originally intended to involve the Locality Steward and not Parish Councils. Councillor Thacker-Vuts recommended that the Parish Council submits a proposal such as village gates to the Locality Steward as there is no risk it will be compromised by further work in the future. It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council agrees a proposal as part of the Village Safety Initiative at the next meeting. It was further RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts Mr Ray Wallace (Highways) for initial advice on the suitability of the preferred location for the village gates.

 

  • Drainage
    • Councillor Scrimgeour reported that the Parish Council has been offered £4339 as a drainage grant from Herefordshire Council against a bid which had included significant works at Stockley Hill and Cheshire Turn[2] which will now not be feasible. Most of the work will be undertaken by the Lengthsman sub-contracting tasks to other contractors where necessary. It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council match funds the money available from the drainage grant which will cover the remaining five works which formed the bid to Balfour Beatty.
    • The Clerk reported that he is awaiting financial information from the Lengthsman before the proposed contract can be signed.
  • Facilities
    • Councillor Samantha Metcalfe highlighted the three options for gym equipment to be installed in the playing field and following discussion it was RESOLVED to proceed with Option 2. Councillor Scrimgeour agreed to seek current prices for the equipment included in this option and will forward the quote to the Clerk to confirm the order. Councillor Scrimgeour sought confirmation that the Parish Council will fund the installation of the equipment should there not be any remaining grant money available after the procurement of the kit.
    • Councillor Samantha Metcalfe reported that she has acquired a quote for remedial work on the trees in the playing field. Two further quotes will be sought but it was noted that if there is any sign of disease the four Ash trees may need to be removed.
    • As discussed earlier in the meeting, it is proposed to procure a bench[s] from the proceeds of the forthcoming duck race. It was noted that the Locality Steward will need to be consulted when the location for the bench has been agreed. It was RESOLVED that a decision on the proposed bench[s] will be reached at the next meeting when it is known how much money was raised from the duck race. There was also brief discussion on the benefits of installing a bus shelter at Crossways especially if it provided real time electronic information to passengers. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk approaches Kentchurch Parish Council for background information.
    • Councillor Samantha Metcalfe highlighted problems in using the noticeboard at the Nags Head and suggested it should be replaced when sufficient funds become available. It was also noted that the new noticeboard at Crossways has been scratched.
    • Councillor Robert Metcalfe reported that the Speed Indicator Device has stopped working which may be the result of failed batteries and further investigations will be undertaken.
  • Environment – Councillor Watkins’ report covered the following issues:
    • Confirmed the location at the fire station for the planting of trees which is planned for November 2022.
    • Working with Ward Councillor Hewitt to make sure that Peterchurch is included in plans for subsidised transport.
    • Plans for “friendly” benches at suitable sites in the parish adding that it is understood that a member of the public is interested in donating a bench.
    • Seeking data from the Citizens Science group on the level of water pollution in Peterchurch which will, once received, enable the Parish Council to consider whether any practical action can be taken.
    • Considering the feasibility of community composting and the possible need for a larger glass receptacle in the parish.
    • Consider the possibility of sign posting at St Peter’s Well.
    • Further discussions with the owners of the “old” garage to establish their plans for the site.
    • It was noted that Countrywide have not cut the grass at Hinton during recent visits to the village. Also, Councillor Robert Metcalfe added that they do not cut the grass on the playing field to the boundary edge. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk brings both issues to the attention of Countrywide.

Councillor Thacker-Vuts suggested that when the various workstreams submit proposals to the Parish Council they should have the support of each member of the group.

 

  1. Clerk Correspondence
    • The Environment Agency have approached the Parish Council concerning the installation of a small metal kiosk at the playing field. Following discussion, it was RESOLVED that Councillors Scrimgeour and Samantha Metcalfe would make themselves available for a meeting to better understand what the Environment Agency have in mind.
    • Concerns over the increasing occasions where Stagecoach buses fail to arrive at the designated time which is significantly inconveniencing people in the parish who rely on the bus service. It was RESOLVED that the recent correspondence on this issue should be forwarded to Ward Councillor Hewitt, so she is made aware of the problem.

 

  1. Matter for the Next Meeting
    • Utilising IT facilities in the village hall.

 

The Chairman closed the meeting at 20.45

[1] Represents a shared cost with three other Parish Councils

[2] It was suggested that Balfour Beatty have undertaken remedial work at this location.

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