Minutes 26th January 2017

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council Thursday 26th January 2017 at 7.00pm in Hope under Dinmore Village Hall

Chairman welcomed those present.

Parish Councillors: Cllr Leslie Legge (Chairman) Cllr. N Ramsay; Cllr. K Clarkson; Cllr J. Stone; Cllr J Pritchard; Cllr P. Stephens and Cllr A. Morgan (Vice Chairman).

Also in attendance: Ward Cllr Pauline Crockett Parish Clerk: Mrs L Hay

Members of the public: four


1. Apologies for absence were received from PCSO Annette

2. Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensations were made regarding the
Village Hall – received from Cllr Stone; Cllr Clarkson and Cllr Ramsay. A Disclosable Pecuniary Interest was declared by Cllr K Clarkson re the Neighbourhood Development Plan. A DPI was received from Cllr J Stone regarding the Pre-Planning Applications; Cllr L Legge and Cllr J Pritchard declared a DPI in the co-option of the new Parish Councillor.

3. Co-option of new Parish Councillor – item postponed until end of meeting

4. Report from local Police Officer – apologies received from PCSO Annette

5. Open Time – Chairman invited Ward Councillor Crockett to open the session with
an explanation regarding the Planning Classes associated with these pre-planning change of use applications. Ward Cllr Crockett explained that Planning Officer Andrew Prior was at present off sick and she had been unable to speak with him on this matter. However, it is hoped that he will return to work very soon – if not, his work load will be re-allocated and she would then have an opportunity to follow up this query.

The Chairman explained that, as in all planning applications, representatives from the Parish Council had done a site visit and Ward Cllr Crockett confirmed that she would be doing a site visit next week.

The Chairman explained that a ‘round robin’ letter had been signed by some residents and sent into the Planning Department objecting to the change of use but he felt he should bring the Parish Council’s attention the various discrepancies in the letter. These were discussed.

It was acknowledged that an increase in traffic was inevitable should these change of use applications be granted. It was also acknowledged that the Transportation Department is one of the Consultees and that their report will have a major impact when considering these pre-planning change of use applications.

After lengthy discussion, it was proposed and unanimously agreed that at this stage the Parish Council would not respond to the pre-application for change of use at Upper Buskwood Farm.

As there were no further questions – the Chairman closed open time.

6. Report from Ward Councillor Pauline Crockett

1. Herefordshire Council is delighted to have been awarded £285,500 from the Department of Health to help residents with learning disabilities live more independently across the county.

The funding, which is part of the Department of Health’s housing and technology capital fund, aims to encourage the expansion of suitable housing for people with learning disabilities and will enable the council to provide assistive technology such as automated doors, video door entry and personal lifeline systems.

2. Working jointly with its nine housing partners, Herefordshire Council is supporting a proposal to develop a new approach to how the county’s lettings system for social and affordable housing will operate.

The new approach will aim to give greater choice and more direct access for customers to homes managed by housing providers, whilst being more responsive and appropriate for the modern world, such as being mobile friendly, as well as making the operation of the lettings process more affordable for housing providers.

There will be an eight week consultation period from January 2017 and all residents of Herefordshire are encouraged to have their say.

3. Herefordshire Council and Hereford Football Club have negotiated an extended lease term which will assure Hereford FC’s tenancy for a minimum of 10 years from the commencement date.

The club’s stadium and surrounding area continue to improve following the opening of the new shopping development and the construction of the new City Link Road. There is also an opportunity for the redevelopment of the Blackfriars Terrace end, as part of the proposed ‘Urban Village’ project.

4. The 2017/18 provisional local government finance settlement for Herefordshire was announced by central government this week.

As a result of announcements made in the 2016 Autumn Statement, Herefordshire will receive £0.9m to support the delivery of adult social care. The council’s New Home Bonus will reduce by £1.1m to fund this. Central government has also sanctioned a rise in council tax precepts to a total of 6% over the next three years to fund adult social care across the country, details of which will be confirmed locally in March 2017.

5. More locally, issues that I have been involved with recently are :-

• Applications for Upper Buskwood Farm (Prior notifications), awaiting clarity from Planning Officer dealing with cases, prior to completion
• Application for Site adjacent to Cherrybrook Close, awaiting traffic data collation prior to further review
• TRO for B4361 AT MARLBROOK AND WHARTON – APPRAISAL OF THE EXISTING 50 MPH SPEED LIMIT – data collection and review recommends no further action to be taken
• Communication with Stonewater Housing regarding the maintenance and responsibility with the watercourse at Cherrybrook

As always, if anyone has any issues that they would like me to raise or investigate, please do not hesitate to contact me.

7. Planning Applications –
7.1 There is no further update on the forthcoming Planning Application
Land between Caravan Park and Cherry Brook.
7.2 Report from Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group –

Cllr Neil Ramsay reported that he and David Nicholson (Planning Consultant) recently met Linda Wilcox (HALC) and Sam Banks from Herefordshire Council to discuss the withdrawal and resubmission of our NDP in relation to the Tavern Meadow site.

Both Sam and Linda supported our plan to resubmit a revised NDP with a newly drafted HUD7 as discussed.

Initial thoughts were for a 6 week consultation which would simply require the new draft of HUD7 and an explanatory note (not the full NDP) and that it would be distributed only to the core village as well as noticeboard/website. However, Linda felt that we should carry out the distribution as per the original NDP which means the whole parish, including Newton Lane. She was confident that funding for this and some of the other costs would be available as grants from ‘Awards for All’. She also suggested that part of this consultation period could be organised around the Annual Parish Meeting to encourage local input.

Lynda also reiterated the requirement to ensure all these items are discussed and minuted at the PC meetings.

Neil confirmed he will be investigating the grants position over the next few weeks. David will produce the new HUD7 using the information given to him from the questionnaire and other feedback.

The Steering Group are due to meet again next week.

8. Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 24th November 2016 were approved as a true
record and it was proposed that they be adopted and were signed by the chairman

8.1 A resume of the meeting with Ian Connolly – Traffic Management Advisor – West Mercia Police – is attached to these minutes
8.2 It was agreed to postpone a visit from Dan Guerche – Police Commissioner’s Ambassador for the foreseeable future.

9. Discuss and update on:
9.1 Cherry Brook – Stonewater had cleared their part of the brook base but it was agreed that any further work up stream should be postponed. Cllr Ramsay will check valves when next passing.
The hedge opposite Cherrybrook and Tavern Meadow along the village road has come up for sale by auction. No other details available at this time.

9.2 No News from Newton reported.

10. Finance Matters:
10.1 Payments made since last meeting – none
10.2 Outstanding Invoices – schedule of payments had been circulated and it was proposed and agreed that outstanding invoices should paid. Cheques were signed.
10.3 Information Corner – circulated – there will be no precept capping 2017-2018
10.4. The Clerk confirmed the ½ yearly audit had been completed
10.5 The Clerk requested that the Lloyds Bus Bank Instant Account be closed – it had not been used for over 18 months. This was agreed and a letter signed by the signatories will be taken to the bank.
10.6 It was agreed that the Clerk could attend the Audit Answers training on the 21st March at the HALC Offices – cost £30 but will be divided between each Parish Council
11. To Receive Reports:
11.1 Village Hall Committee – Councillor J Stone reported that the bank account remains stable but appreciated that it is important to try and get more groups etc to use the village hall. There was discussion on how to achieve this – and it was suggested that perhaps having a ‘pub night’ once a week with perhaps a skittle or darts team might encourage the locals to use the facilities more.
It was felt there is such a lack of community spirit in the village as a whole with no support for the Plant Sale and dwindling support for the Harvest Supper.

11.2 Village Footpaths – Footpaths Officer Cllr Adele Morgan reported that the footpaths are in good order for the time of the year.

(11.2a) A recent email received with regard to an incident with an aggressive dog on the Codling Hall footpath was read out. The Chairman explained that he had visited the dog owner and discussed the incident. It was acknowledged that it is difficult as the footpath goes right through the house yard – however, it was agreed to monitor and if there were any further complaints PCSO Annette had agreed to make an unofficial call.

11.3 Queenswood – Cllr Adele Morgan – minutes of the last meeting had been circulated. It was acknowledged that there seems to be some disparity amongst the Management Committee and there are reports of several proposed redundancies.
The next meeting is 27th February 2017 – Adele will attend. Ward Cllr Crockett will send her apologies.

12. Highway Matters:
12.1 Update re: Balfour Beatty – Locality Steward had no issues to report.
12.2 Lengthsman work schedule for Feb/March.
After some discussion, it was agreed that the lengthsman be approached and asked about filling the sandbags. Clerk will liaise with Cllr Stone and the lengthsman.

12.3 Cllr Pritchard will arrange for the collection and storage of the four Kissing gates which at present are still at Brownsland Farm.

12.4 The suggested purchase of three additional litter bins was discussed – one to be placed along the A49 between the garage and bus shelter; one over the road in the layby and one at the entrance to Cherrybrook.

It was agreed Clerk to liaise with lengthsman re costings and the Chairman would liaise with Queenswood Management as there are several unused litter bins onsite up at Queenswood.

Item to be discussed again at next meeting.

Postponed item:
3. The Chairman explained that with the very sad loss of Cllr R Beddoes last year –
a vacancy on the Parish Council had been created.

The Chairman explained that as he and Cllr Pritchard had both Declared a Personal Interest (DPI) in this item – he would stand down as Chairman and both Cllr Legge and Cllr Pritchard left the room. Cllr Adele Morgan was voted as stand in Chairman to oversee the co-option process in the absence of the Chairman.

(3.1) A notice regarding the vacancy had been displayed and as there had been no request for an election – the Parish Council were in a position to co-opt a new Parish Councillor. There were two applicants – both of which gave a short presentation. After a paper vote, Mrs Nicky Giles was invited to fill the vacant position of Parish Councillor. Mrs Giles accepted and, having signed the appropriate documentation, was invited to attend the next meeting as a full voting Councillor. The Chairman thanked the remaining applicant.

The Chairman and Cllr Pritchard returned to the room and Cllr Legge resumed his role as Chairman.

The Council discussed the general ruling associated with Councillors’ non-attendance at meetings.

The legal ruling as outlined in Arnold-Baker on Local Council Administration and confirmed by HALC ‘If a councillor fails throughout six consecutive months to attend any meetings of the council he or she ceases automatically to be a member of the council unless either he or she has a statutory excuse i.e. military service or absence is approved by the Council’. (re: Arnold-Baker on Local Council Administration 7:12)

Further to this discussion the Clerk was asked clarify the situation with HALC and, when required, to write to any non-attending councillors outlining the Council’s concerns with regard to non-attendance and the possible legal implications.

Cllr Pritchard proposed that the Parish Council send a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Wendy Beddoes in recognition of Robert’s input to the Parish Council over many years. This was unanimously agreed and the Clerk will organise. It was also suggested that plaque be placed on one of the kissing gates in memory of Robert – this again was unanimously agreed and the clerk to liaise with Mrs Beddoes with regard to her thoughts on this suggestion.

13. Items for the Next Agenda (no discussion) – none put forward.

14. Date of the Next Parish Council Meeting – Thursday 23rd March 2017

Chairman closed the meeting at 8.30p.m.

Please find a short resume of the meeting held on the 13th December 2016 at 10.00a.m. in The Queenswood Café with Ian Connolly who is Traffic Management Advisor – West Mercia Police

PRESENT: Cllr. Les Legge (Chairman) Cllr. John Stone Cllr. K Clarkeson; Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk)

APOLOGIES: Ward Councillor Pauline Crockett; Cllr. Adele Morgan

There was a general discussion on the various ongoing issues of concern i.e.

The recent tragic fatal accident; possible changes of use associated with Upper Buskwood farm which could significantly increase the traffic flow; the possibility of future planning applications behind Tavern Meadow; the pre application planning on the piece of land between the Caravan Park and Cherry Brook which is at present being monitored re traffic usage data; the numerous near misses which go unreported; collisions with walls by the sharp bend; and the general speed of vehicles travelling through the village.

It was acknowledged that it was not always the white van delivery men who were responsible for the speeding but that residents were also guilty of exceeding the speed limits of 30 mph.

The main ideas that came from our discussions were –

An occasional police drive through the village which might make people take more notice of the speed limits.

Look at ways of highlighting the sharp bend on the corner near John Stone’s and the narrow lanes – which are further restricted by the number of parked cars.

It was not felt that the Village Gateway Scheme would probably not be beneficial to Hope under Dinmore.
Follow up from Ian Connolly reads:

I am arranging for a meeting with the locality steward from Balfour Beatty to discuss our signing/lining options for the sharp bend in the road near to the railway bridge. I’ve not got a date confirmed yet, but will let you know the outcome of our discussions

I also spoke to staff from Highways England and Keir about the A49 between the Marlbrook Island and the A417 junction. There are no injury collisions on the section between the junction and the island, but there are couple near to the A417 junction. There are no immediate plans to carry out any changes at this junction, but over the course of the next financial year, the entire length of the A49 will be reviewed in relation to injury collisions. It may well be that this junction is investigated for small cost improvements, but no firm commitment was made.

I meet every quarter with HE & Keir so I will keep this as a “standing item” on the agenda and keep you updated if anything progresses.