Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/149 held remotely on
Tuesday 17th November 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…. Ward Councillor Jennie Hewitt, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and 6 residents
- Apologies for absence – None.
- Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None
- Minutes of previous meetings held on 14th October 2020, 20th October 2020 and the 26th October 2020. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record and these will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
- 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 – During her report Ward Councillor Hewitt covered the following issues:
- Reported that a major review of road schemes has been completed and a series of recommendations have been submitted to Cabinet.
- Outlined the timeline for the rebuild of Peterchurch Primary School but, in the interim, will continue to exert pressure on Herefordshire Council for a pedestrian crossing outside the school.
- To receive views from local residents on parish matters – The following issues were raised:
- Concern over noise emanating from an anaerobic digester to Penllan Farm. (Post meeting – the Clerk advised the resident the noise nuisance is a matter for Herefordshire Council and if it is considered a breach of a previous planning approval has occurred this should be referred to the LPA.
- A resident commented positively on the speed in which the potholes in Closure Place were repaired but asked if the footpath from Hinton Farm to the Church could be scraped off. It was RESOLVED to include this on the Lengthsman’s schedule.
- An explanation was sought regarding why a decision was taken to exclude members of the public from discussion on an alternative source of car parking in the village. The Chairman explained that the Parish Council has been given the opportunity to purchase land which could be used as a car park. By putting this information in the public domain this could lead to third party interest and possibly deny the Parish Council the opportunity of purchasing the land.
- The Parish Council to continue to pursue the drainage issue adjacent to a property in New Haven raised at the previous meeting.
- The Chairman advised that Councillor Metcalfe routinely inspects the playground area and reports any issues of concern.
- Concerns over the condition and safety of the “old garage” were raised and residents suggested that a survey of the building should be undertaken as soon as possible. Ward Councillor Hewitt agreed to press for a full assessment of the site but would also investigate with Herefordshire Council the possibility of a compulsory purchase. A resident suggested that the site of the “old garage” could be used as a car park.
- A resident supported the introduction of a Community Speed Watch scheme in the village adding that there is considerable support in the initiative within the local community.
- Covid 19 Response in Peterchurch – Councillor Burgess reported that a meeting of the Covid Response team had taken place earlier in the day attended by a representative from the Talk Community. Despite an outbreak of cases of Covid 19 in the local area including the village shop there has not been any noticeable increase in the demand for support, but Councillor Duggan added the network of volunteers remain in place. Councillor Duggan also invited members of the public for thoughts on introducing ground rules for the Community Facebook page to ensure it does not become divisive and remains a resource for sharing key information. Councillor Thacker-Vuts suggested that the Parish Council looks forward to considering wellbeing issues arising from Covid 19.
- Planning – To comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council. No planning applications have been received.
- The current bank balances are:
- Business Bank Instant account … £39,463.29
- Treasurers Account … £13,723.26
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary (October 2020) in accordance with his employment contract.
- PAYE (October 2020) – £139.20
- Countrywide Maintenance- £223.99
- Postage – £7.80
- Microsoft 365 Personal – £59.99
- Clerk Contractual Expenses – £100.00
- DM Payroll Services – £60.00
- Playground Inspection Report – £58.60
- Annual Website Report – £100.00
- Consider a donation to Dore Community Transport – It was RESOLVED to donate £200 to Dore Community Transport.
- The current bank balances are:
- Highways – No substantive issues were raised.
- Action Planning Working Group
- Lengthsman Activities – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that the Lengthsman is intending to clear detritus from the kerbs in the near future. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact the Lengthsman to arrange for all the drains to be inspected and cleared where necessary before the onset of winter.
- Communication with Residents – There was general discussion on the need for an effective mechanism for capturing the views of local residents. Councillor Scrimgeour commented that consideration of the various options had been raised previously adding that a “one size fits all” approach would not work in a parish as diverse as Peterchurch. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk circulates an overarching paper which will inform future discussions on this subject. Following a suggestion from Councillor Duggan it was further RESOLVED that, given the scope of this issue, it would be appropriate to establish a working group (including member of the public) which Councillor Thacker-Vuts agreed to chair.
- Traffic Related Issues in the Village
- Pedestrian Crossing – Following discussion it was RESOLVED to take up Ward Councillor Hewitt’s suggestion to write to Ceri Morgan, Gemma Davies and Felicity Norman at Herefordshire Council expressing concern over the safety of children when arriving and leaving the primary school.
- 20 mph speed limit – In discussion, concern was expressed over the speed of some vehicles travelling through the village even though the 30-mph speed limit is now enforceable. It was agreed that data derived from a proposed Community Speed Watch scheme and/or a download from the Speed Indicator Devices may provide the evidence necessary to support a campaign for a 20- mph speed limit. It was also agreed that there would be merit in a holistic approach to traffic calming measures which could also include improvements to pavements in the village. Councillor Burgess suggested that given the breadth of the issues being considered it would be an ideal topic for consideration by a working group which Councillor Duggan suggested should meet informally and presents proposals to the Parish Council. It was agreed that the proposed working group considering community engagement would establish first principles which will guide and inform all subsequent working groups.
- Community Speed Watch (CSW) – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the CSW team to arrange for the capture of data to assess whether there is justification for introducing the scheme. If approved, the next stage will involve training of a minimum of 6 volunteers after which they will be qualified to participate in the scheme.
- Feedback on discussions with Fairfield School – The Chairman reported that the head teacher had been concerned with road closures but wanted to brief the Parish Council on her plans to purchase a piece of land for use as a playing field. The head teacher also asked for Parish Council support for her bid for funding which would, if successful, be used to build a new sports hall which would be made available for community use. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes a letter of support for Fairfield School.
- Footpaths – There was discussion on the relatively poor condition of pavements in the village which focussed on the need to undertake a survey as a matter of some urgency. More specifically Councillor Thacker spoke about the particularly unacceptable condition of the pavement outside the ‘old garage’ which had been assessed by the Locality Steward. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk asks the Locality Steward to undertake a survey of the pavements in the village and suggests a Councillor[s] accompanies him. Councillor Metcalfe reported fly tipping on Church Road and the Hinton footpath (HR2 0RT).
It was RESOLVED to suspend Standing Orders and grant an additional hour to conclude business.
- Playing Field – The Chairman commented that the annual inspection of the play equipment had identified a raft of remedial actions. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Scrimgeour would organise a meeting to discuss the actions necessary to make good the deficiencies identified in the inspection report.
- NDP – It was RESOLVED to defer discussion on the NDP until the next meeting.
- Peterchurch Sports Fund – Councillor Treanor proposed to defer any further update until he has acquired all the relevant information from the bank.
- Parish Council Vacancy – It was RESOLVED to continue to advertise the current Parish Council vacancy until the 1 December 2020 after which an extraordinary meeting will be organised to consider all interested candidates.
- PROW PR18 and PR18A Pre-order consultation – Following discussions Councillors expressed concern over the proposed routing of the PROW. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes back advising that the Parish Council would prefer the PROW to be positioned inside the hedge which runs alongside the road.
- Clerk’s Correspondence – The Clerk provided details of the correspondence received:
- A resident has written expressing concerns over an “abandoned” car which is proving to be an obstacle to people living in Hinton. It was RESOLVED to bring this to the attention of the local police.
- A resident has written highlighting a safety issue for residents alighting from the bus at Crossways and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the bus company accordingly.
- Matters raised for the next meeting on the 15th December 2020
- Maintenance of the planters in the village.
A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public from the following confidential item
- The Provision of Additional Car Parking in the Village – The Chairman reported that no progress has been made in contacting the DVS for a valuation of the land but Councillors agreed that an independent valuation would be necessary as part of the due diligence process. It was therefore RESOLVED that the Chairman contacts a land agent based in Ross-on-Wye. It was further RESOLVED that once a valuation is available an extraordinary meeting is arranged to agree a potential offer. Approval was given to allow Councillor Scrimgeour to purchase maps necessary to progress this issue at a cost of £32.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.35 hrs