Minutes – 21st June 2022

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/168 held in the village hall on

Tuesday 21st June 2022 at 19.00 hrs.



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


In attendance…. Allan Gibbs, Greg Warwick (Footpath Officers), Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk), PC Jeff Rouse, PCSO Pete Knight, Matthew Priestman and two residents


  1. Apologies for absence – Councillor Emma Thacker-Vuts.


  1. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – The Chairman declared a DPI interest in agenda item 12 (clerk correspondence) and Councillor Treanor declared a non-DPI in agenda item 11 (John Smith’s Charity).


  1. Minutes of the previous meetings held on 17th May 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 17th May 2022 – The Clerk provided a brief update on the resolutions from the previous meeting. Councillor Scrimgeour reported that he and Councillor Samantha Metcalfe had met the representative from the Environment Agency to discuss the proposed kiosk in the playing field. It was agreed that no action will be taken for at least 6-9 months. Councillor Coda asked if a site has been identified for a bus shelter and it was noted that locations will be limited to those with sufficient space.


  1. Presentation on Barley Knapp – Mr Matthew Priestman presented his future plans for developing Barley Knapp in advance of a formal planning application to Herefordshire Council.


  1. Open session
    • West Mercia Police – The representatives from West Mercia Police raised the following issues:
      • Highlighted the Neighbourhood Matters scheme and encouraged residents to sign up. The Chairman commented that the volume of information from the scheme could act as a deterrent to recipients reading the material.
      • Reported a burglary in the local area on the 16th June 2022.
      • Residents are encouraged to close their gates as this acts as a deterrent to burglars.


  • 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. Mr Gibbs reported that the Peterchurch Water Supply Company is struggling to recruit new volunteers which is hindering the planned modernisation programme which is overdue. Councillors agreed to request for volunteers in the next edition of the Parish Council newsletter and will publish adverts on the website and noticeboard.


  1. Footpaths – There was nothing to add to the reports circulated by the Footpaths Officer in advance of the meeting. Councillor Samantha Metcalfe raised the problem of hogweed, and it was suggested that this should be reported to Balfour Beatty. It was reported that Herefordshire Council have yet to make an appointment to oversee PROW issues following the transfer from Balfour Beatty.


  1. PlanningTo comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council
    • No planning applications have been received for consideration.
    • Section 106 monies (89 house development) – The Chairman explained that the Parish Council have been asked to comment on the proposed allocation issued by Herefordshire Council. Councillors agreed that the monies should be targeted on services which benefit the residents of Peterchurch. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to Herefordshire Council requesting that the Section 106 monies assigned to education should be provided only to Peterchurch Primary School and Fairfield School. It was further RESOLVED that the response to Herefordshire Council requests that the monies allocated for Hereford Hospital are reallocated to Peterchurch (Golden Valley) surgery. It was also RESOLVED that the Clerk seeks confirmation that monies will be provided in lieu of the open space which had originally been offered by the developer. The Chairman commented that there is a clear focus on the transport addendum in the recent correspondence from Herefordshire Council which sets out a range of measures, but Councillors questioned whether they are all achievable. In conclusion, Councillors support the proposals in the traffic addendum, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk makes this point in the response to Herefordshire Council.



  1. Finance
    • The current bank balances are:
      • Business Bank Instant account … £66,147.81
      • Treasurers Account … £6,977.61
    • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
      • Clerk’s salary (May 2022) in accordance with his employment contract.
      • Clerk’s Travel Costs – £10.80
      • Cllr Scrimgeour (Stationery) – £13.80
      • PAYE (May 2022) – £154.40
      • Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (June 22) – £241.90
      • Village Hall Hire – £20.00
      • Greenapple (Portable Toilets) – £252.00
      • Lengthsman – £320.00
    • Internal Audit Report 2021-22 – The Clerk summarised the Internal Audit report which was positive, but the auditors commented that the play equipment is not covered by the insurance policy which was a decision taken by the Parish Council in previous years. Councillor Scrimgeour raised the issue of electronic banking, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk investigates this further.
    • Councillors approved Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2021/22 and the form was duly signed by the Chairman.
    • Councillors approved Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2021/22 and the form was duly signed by the Chairman.
    • Financial Monitoring 2022/23 – The Clerk reported that based on the spend to date plus the predicted income and expenditure to year end it is expected that the final reserves will be in the region of £60k.
    • Bank Mandate. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk generates a bank mandate form for signature at the next meeting which will remove the signatures of former Councillors.
    • Income accrued during Platinum Jubilee and the possible procurement of a bench. Councillor Samantha Metcalfe reported that £740 was raised at the Jubilee and the money was handed to the Clerk for banking. The Chairman expressed his thanks to Councillor Metcalfe for the work in support of the Jubilee and the money raised. There was a discussion on a proposed location for a bench and Crossways emerged as the preferred site. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk informs the Locality Steward of the Parish Councils plans vis a vis the bench and if no objection is received the work will proceed.


  1. Future Parish Council Objectives
    • Traffic – It was suggested that if the Parish Council proceeds with the installation of village gates there would be benefit in relocating the planters. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk arranges for Mr Ray Wallace (Highways) to meet with Councillor Scrimgeour at the proposed sites for the village gates to check that those locations meet the criteria in terms of distance from the carriageway. It was also noted that the Speed Indicator Device at the Nags Head has ceased working and Councillors attributed the fault to an overgrown tree in an adjacent property. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Robert Metcalfe asks the property owner if she will trim the tree and it was further RESOLVED that the Parish Council offers to fund the work.
    • Drainage – Councillor Scrimgeour reported that the drainage grant will be used to fund five projects and it is expected that all works will be completed by September 2022 subject to the contractor and plant machinery being available
    • Facilities
      • The Chairman commented that as the Parish Council were now utilising the IT facilities in the village hall there is nothing further to discuss although it was suggested that a longer HTML cable and electronic pointer would be beneficial
      • Councillor Scrimgeour reported that the gym equipment is expected to be delivered on the 7th July 2022 at which point the Clerk will need to adjust the insurance policy.
      • There was discussion on the requirement to procure dog signs for deployment in areas where dog excrement is a particular problem. Councillor Robert Metcalfe agreed to provide details of local companies who manufacture signs, and it was further RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the companies to gauge what might be available.
      • Councillors discussed the recent performance of Countrywide which was considered to be extremely poor and unacceptable. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk brokers a meeting between Councillor Robert Metcalfe and Countrywide to raise the Parish Council criticisms of the contractor’s performance.
      • Councillor Samantha Metcalfe reported that she has acquired quotes for work which includes the removal of six Ash trees situated on the recreation ground. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Metcalfe forwards the quotes to the Clerk for formal consideration at the July meeting of the Parish Council. Councillor Robert Metcalfe mentioned two diseased Ash trees on the footpath (PR13) from Hinton Court to the church and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk reports the issue to Balfour Beatty.
    • Environment – Councillor Watkin reported that she has some oak saplings which will be planted in the autumn.


  1. John Smith’s Charity – Councillor Treanor explained that John Smith’s Charity had submitted two proposals for consideration by the Parish Council. The charity owns land close to the recreation ground and were interested in establishing access from the B4348 and to achieve this the trustees were interested to know if the Parish Council would be prepared to gift or sell the adjacent land. It was subsequently established that there is a deed of covenant on the recreation ground which precludes this option from further consideration. In the subsequent discussion Councillors confirmed that they were opposed to lifting the covenant on the recreation ground. As an alternative, the trustees want to explore if the Parish Council would allow occasional access for a tractor and trailer over the recreation ground to facilitate the removal of detritus from the almshouses when needed. Following discussion, it was agreed that consideration would be given to a formal request (including a plan showing the position of a gate) from John Smith’s Charity seeking access as described previously.


  1. Clerk Correspondence


  • A member of the public had expressed concern over the condition of the playground. Councillors acknowledged the issues raised but commented that actions already in train will address some of the concerns raised.
  • A resident reported that the grassy area at Hinton has not been cut in recent months, but this was discussed earlier in the meeting.
  • Councillor Scrimgeour assumed the role of Chairman for the issue raised by a resident on the decision of the LPA to approve with conditions Planning Application 221650 (Prior notification of agricultural or forestry development – new agricultural manure store building). It was noted that the Parish Council were not a consultee on this application. In discussion, it was explained this was a Section 28 application which was designed to cover an existing muck store and will reduce the volume of foul water run-off and will not lead to an increase in the number of tractors accessing the site. The correspondent also raised a broader issue concerning notification of all planning applications which relates to Peterchurch, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk makes sure an alert from Herefordshire Council is received when local consultations are issued.


  1. Summer Newsletter – It was RESOLVED that the summer newsletter includes an update on the work of the four workstreams and a commentary should be provided to the Clerk by 5th July 2022.


  1. Effective Parish Council Meetings – Councillor Scrimgeour referenced his paper circulated prior to the meeting which set out proposals for expediting the decision-making process and this would involve the dissemination of standardised briefing papers before future meetings which would offer a line to take or recommendations to a proposal issued on the agenda. It was RESOLVED to adopt this process for future meetings.


  1. Matters for the Next Meeting.
    • The provision of a skip in the village for general waste.
    • A damaged post in the grassy area at Hinton.


The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.25

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