Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting PPC/MH/155 held remotely on
Thursday 22nd April 2021 at 19.00 hrs.
Councillors David Morgan, Brendan Treanor, Anna Coda, Johnny Scrimgeour, Robert Metcalfe, Emma Thacker-Vuts and Samantha Metcalfe.
In attendance…. Ward Councillor Jennie Hewitt, Greg Warwick (Footpath Officer), Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and ten residents
- Apologies for absence – Councillor John Burgess.
- Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None
- Minutes of previous meetings held on 16th March 2021. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
- To Review Resolutions reached at the meeting of the 16th March 2021. All actions arising from the meeting held on the 16th March 2021 have been discharged.
- 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 –Ward Councillor Hewitt focused on two main issues:
- Briefly highlighted a serious children’s safeguarding issue within the Children’s Directorate at Herefordshire Council which the judge described as an egregious failure.
- Reported that the Environment Agency has no particular issues with the position of the reduced buffer zone adjacent to the proposed development at Closure Place.
- To receive views from local residents on parish matters – The following issues were raised:
- Graffiti is a problem at the playing field and asked if more litter bins could be deployed.
- Asked if the Parish Council would fund an all-weather pitch which will provide a source of activity for younger people in the parish.
- Raised an issue around the flood zone at the new development at Closure Place.
- A resident has planted trees on land which seems to belong to Herefordshire Council. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk brings this to the attention of Herefordshire Council; Councillor Samantha Metcalfe to provide the background details. During a subsequent discussion it was confirmed that the planters positioned near the doctor’s surgery are on private land and the necessary public liability insurance is in place.
- Presentation by Mr Paddy Cramsie on his plans for Horsepool Meadow – Mr Cramsie explained that it is his intention to make the area known as Horsepool Meadow a resource for the parish and protect it from any future development. The area will be used to promote biodiversity and it may have ancillary uses by providing a possible access to Fairfield School. A grant from Plantlife is being used for the restoration work.
- Covid 19 Response in Peterchurch – Councillor Treanor reported that due to a prior engagement he had not attended the latest meeting and was, therefore, unable to provide an update.
- Mr Greg Warwick reported that the footpath from Prospect to Old Lodge was closed due to a defective bridge. There is a defective stile on the footpath at PR30. Mr Warwick advised that he was currently using tools on loan from Natural England and has no need for financial support from the Parish Council at this time.
- Diversion of Public Footpath affecting PR5. Councillors considered that the proposed diversion represented a significant re-routing of the PROW and for this reason was unable to approve the request. It was noted Mr Allan Gibbs (Footpath Officer) had also raised objection to the proposed diversion. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk communicates the Parish Council’s decision accordingly.
- Planning – To comment on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council. Planning Consultation 203997 – Land at Urishay Castle, Urishay, Peterchurch, Herefordshire. Widening of existing gateway (retrospective). Councillors had no difficulty with the widening of the gateway but supported the recommendation for the installation of a pedestrian gate at this site. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk informs the LPA accordingly.
- The current bank balances are:
- Business Bank Instant account … £39,464.92
- Treasurers Account … £5,519.48
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary (March 2021) in accordance with his employment contract.
- PAYE (March 2021) – £120.00
- Countrywide Maintenance- £223.99
- Postage – £7.92
- Robert Metcalfe (Road Maintenance – £72.00
- Zurich Insurance (£473.13) (see para 10. 4 below)
- The Chairman provided feedback on the recent Finance Working Group meeting by commenting that the Parish Council has a healthy level of reserves which is partly explained by the inability to complete any substantial project work during 2020/21. Councillor Scrimgeour added that it is expected that the reserves will be used to fund some major project work during 2021/22 and advised that work has been set in train to earmark reserves to specific activities.
- Renewal of Insurance – It was RESOLVED to renew the Parish Council insurance with Zurich Municipal at a cost of £473.13.
- Noticeboards – Councillor Scrimgeour provided some costed proposals for replacing the noticeboard at Crossways and approval was granted to allow the purchase to proceed at an estimated £1500 plus installations costs. Councillor Scrimgeour also recommended that some thought be given to the location and utility of additional noticeboards and suggested they could possibly be used to accommodate items such as a map of the village.
- The current bank balances are:
- Mr Bernard Eacock was invited to deliver a presentation outlining an innovative and holistic approach to traffic calming measures which avoided the need for physical obstacles such as speed bumps etc or any actual road narrowing be introduced. Mr Eacock explained that this new approach has been introduced in other parts of the country and had proved effective in significantly reducing the speed of passing vehicles and also facilitated a more pleasant environment for pedestrians. Mr Eacock also suggested that a key objective is to focus on the main areas where speeding traffic is a particular problem. Consultation with the public is key with the aim of incorporating the proposals in the NDP noting that progress will be incremental. Discussion turned to the requirement for a speed survey which is important for informing any future work on traffic calming and whilst Councillor Robert Metcalfe suggested that a survey available from the West Mercia Police Road Safety Officer would be sufficient the view of the other Councillors proposed a professional survey as this would be invaluable especially as the Parish Council will own the data. With the exception of Councillor Robert Metcalfe all other Councillors agreed to proceed with an invitation to Tracsis, as the preferred contractor, to undertake this work over a period of a month at a cost of £3432 (including VAT). Mr Eacock commented that he would expect Balfour Beatty to accept the data from speed survey conducted by Tracsis. The Parish Council thanked Mr Eacock for an illuminating and informative presentation.
- With the focus being on developing proposals for a range of traffic calming measures it was agreed to defer any work on pursuing a TRO for a 20-mph speed limit for the moment.
- Councillors discussed and decided that the only street lighting that should be erected as part of planned new housing adjacent to Closure Place should be confined to the entrance of the development.
It was RESOLVED to suspend Standing Orders to allow the completion of business.
- Recycling and Communal Composting – Councillor Samantha Metcalfe advised that she needs to collect further information on this subject, and it was agreed to defer the discussion until a subsequent meeting.
- Parish Council Objectives – Councillor Scrimgeour drew attention to the proposals circulated in advance of the meeting and further work on developing the objectives will take place in readiness for the Parish Council meeting in May 2021.
- Action Planning Working Group – Councillor Scrimgeour advised that the work identified by this group will be swept up as part of the proposed Parish Council objectives.
- Playing Field – Councillor Scrimgeour confirmed that it is proposed to hold some events in the village during the weekend of the 17/18th July 2021 and confirmed that the Clerk has sought advice on the insurance implications of using the recreation ground for this purpose. Councillor Scrimgeour added that it would be preferable to await warmer weather before the hut and benches at the playing field are repainted but with the aim of completing this work before the event in July 2021. It was RESOLVED that Councillor Scrimgeour acquires some prices for this work. Councillor Thacker-Vuts suggested that involving teenagers in the repainting work may pay dividends.
- Peterchurch Sports Fund – Councillor Treanor reported that he has made good progress in tracking down “missing” funds which total £10,538.57. It was RESOLVED that monies (£9,186.59) from the dormant Lloyds Bank account should be transferred to the Parish Council with the express purpose of using the funds exclusively for a new playing field in accordance with the original intention of the committee set up to administer these funds. It was RESOLVED that the clerk provides the sort code and account number of the Parish Council bank account. Councillor Treanor added that he will continue to press Lloyds Bank to find a further bank account. Councillor Treanor also alluded to a recent petition that suggested that £13,961 had been credited to the Sports Fund and asked if anyone has information which helps locate this additional money they should come forward. Councillor Treanor was thanked for his tireless work in locating the “missing” funds.
- Recruitment of a new Parish Councillor – The Clerk reported that no member of the public has stepped forward to join the Parish Council.
- Clerk Correspondence – The only piece of clerk correspondence received this month had been discussed earlier in the meeting.
- Matters raised for the next meeting on the 18th May 2021
- Dog bin signs
- Drugs – shipping container.
A resolution was moved to exclude the public from the following confidential item
- Employment Issues – Following a recent appraisal facilitated by Lynda Wilcox (HALC) it was RESOLVED to increase the Clerk’s salary from spine point 25 to spine point 26 and increase his contracted hours to 10 per week. Both increases to be effective from the 1st April 2021
The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.22 hrs