Minutes of an Ordinary Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/163 held in the village hall on
Tuesday 18th January 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…. Ward Councillor Jennie Hewitt, Allan Gibbs and Greg Warwick (Footpath Officers), PCSO Pete Knight, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and one resident.
- Apologies for absence – None.
- Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None
- Minutes of the previous meeting held on 16th November 2021- 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 16th November 2021 – The Clerk provided a brief update on the resolutions from the previous meeting confirming that all actions have been completed.
- Open session –
- To receive a report from West Mercia Police –.
- Reports of a theft of oil in Long Lane between Christmas and New Year. Any resident with information concerning this incident should contact the local police.
- Following a drink/drugs campaign in December 2021 244 drivers are facing prosecution.
- Highlighted concerns over a woman from Hereford who has been missing since the 10th December 2021.
- In response to a request from Councillor Thacker-Vuts it was agreed that PCSO Knight would brief the Parish Council on the dangers of “county lines” at the next meeting.
- To receive views from local residents on parish matters – No issues were raised.
- Footpaths – The report produced by both Footpaths Officers had already been circulated to Councillors and no other substantive issues were raised. Allan Gibbs expressed frustration over the lack of response from the Locality Steward to reported issues and there is a disappointing lack of transparency once a problem is reported.
- To receive a report from the Ward Councillor
- Confirmed that Ceri Morgan is content to attend a future meeting to brief the Parish Council on the plans for re-building Peterchurch Primary School.
- No further news to report on the proposed 89 houses at Hawthorn Rise.
- Referred to proposals for Herefordshire Council to offer grants for lengthsman activities next year.
- Confirmed plans for Herefordshire Council to assume responsibility for PROWs from Balfour Beatty and this is likely to take effect from 1 April 2022.
- Work is ongoing to improve the process for disseminating Section 106 monies from Herefordshire Council.
- Councillor Thacker-Vuts reported concerns over the lack of response from the Locality Steward to issues raised by the Footpath Officers adding that communication remains poor. Ward Councillor Hewitt agreed to liaise with the Footpath Officers to better understand their concerns. There was a brief discussion on the changing priorities of Balfour Beatty from drainage to highways issues and Councillor Scrimgeour added that he is in possession of the classification process used by Balfour Beatty for drainage work
- Planning – To comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council
- Planning Consultation 214245 – Saltbox Cottage, Wellbrook Barn Farm, Peterchurch. Erection of a two- storey side extension. During a brief discussion Councillors registered no objections to the proposals set out in the planning application. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
- Planning Consultation 214524 – Erection of new two-storey teaching block comprising 6 classrooms with associated toilet facilities and construction of an all-weather sports pitch. Councillors raised concerns that the erection of new buildings may generate additional traffic in the village but acknowledged that there are no plans to increase the maximum number of permitted pupils (600). There was general recognition that there is a clear need for an upgrade to the existing facilities and Councillors were supportive of the proposals. In responding to the application, however, Councillors advocated that support is contingent that there will be no increase in pupil numbers, but should such an expansion be sought in the future it will need to be accompanied by an increase in car parking capacity at the school.
- The current bank balances are:
- Business Bank Instant account … £55,315.46
- Treasurers Account … £17,767.46
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary (July, November & December 2021) in accordance with his employment contract.
- PAYE (July, November & October 2021) – £416.74.
- Postage -£7.92
- Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (Dec 21) – £223.99
- Village Hall Hire – £30.00
- Village Hall Hire (Public Consultation) – £240.00
- Eyelid Productions – £100.00
- BT Payphones – £720.00
- DM Payroll Services – £60.00
- Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (Jan 22) – £223.99
- Newsletter Postage – £297.00
- Newsletter Printing – £215.92
- Newsletter Envelopes – £20.00
- Stationery – £11.99
- 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).
- Donation to Dore Community Transport – It was RESOLVED that a donation of £250.00 be granted to Dore Community Transport.
- The current bank balances are:
- Future Parish Council Objectives – The resignation of John Burgess from the Parish Council means there is no “Champion” for the Wellbeing workstream. It was RESOLVED therefore to absorb this work across the other workstreams especially Facilities and Environment where there is some overlap. Councillor Thacker-Vuts summarised her findings following a detailed analysis of the comments submitted during the recent public consultation. Clear priorities have emerged for each of the workstreams, and full details will be forwarded to the Champions via the Clerk. Councillor Thacker-Vuts suggested that there would be value in aligning the agenda with the priorities which have emerged from the public consultation and will discuss this in more detail with the Clerk.
- Highways – No substantive issues were raised although Councillor Metcalfe reported that the drain at New Haven was still blocked despite being reported to Balfour Beatty on several occasions since May 2021.
- Playing Field – Against the background of the funding now available for adult gym equipment Councillor Thacker-Vuts mentioned that Peterchurch Primary School and Fairfield School are working collaboratively to deliver sports facilities which, if installed, may be available for use by the local community. In view of this development Councillor Thacker-Vuts suggested that, if a request for financial support is made to the Parish Council, there could be a compelling argument for making available the monies originally earmarked for a sports field which, in turn, could allow a strategic and holistic approach to delivering sports facilities for the community. Councillor Coda recommended that, as there may be difficulties in the community using facilities situated on school grounds, that work progresses in procuring and installing the gym equipment. There was discussion on the optimal location for the gym equipment on the playing field and it was RESOLVED that the Facilities workstream further consider this issue at their forthcoming meeting. In discussion, it was noted that the grant monies must be spent by the 30th June 2022 but it was RESOLVED that the Clerk establishes whether this means that the equipment must be purchased and installed by that date. In parallel, it was RESOLVED that the possible suppliers of the gym equipment are asked about lead times for providing the kit. Councillor Robert Metcalfe commented that the amount of litter on the playing field has reached unacceptable levels.
- Outdoor Adult Gym Equipment – This was discussed in the previous agenda item and no further comments were made.
- Herefordshire Local Plan – pre-consultation engagement – A draft response prepared by Councillor Watkins was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. Councillors were fully content with the draft response but commented that, without expertise in planning matters, it was a challenging exercise, and it was RESOLVED that Councillor Watkins makes this point in an introductory paragraph.
- Financial Regulations and Standing Orders – Councillors approved the adoption of both the Financial Regulations and Standing Orders.
- Code of Conduct – Councillors approved the adoption of the updated Code of Conduct as recommended by HALC.
- Defibrillator – Councillors agreed that the defibrillator situated at the doctor’s surgery should be registered on the “The Circuit” as recommended by the British Heart Foundation. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk actions this accordingly.
- Platinum Jubilee – There was general agreement that the Parish Council should mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and it was RESOLVED to make monies available to the local community and invite bids for financial support which will be considered at the March meeting of the Parish Council.
- Parish Councillor Vacancy – The Clerk advised that there has been one expression of interest in joining the Parish Council. It was RESOLVED to wait until the end of January 2022 to see if any other names come forward and, at that point, arrange an extraordinary meeting. It was also RESOLVED to use this meeting to have a preliminary discussion on the proposed 89 house development and it was further RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the LPA for sight of the latest information underpinning the proposed development.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.09hrs
 Due to an oversight salary and PAYE payments for July 2021 were not paid at that time