Annual Parish Meeting Held on Thursday 19th May 2016 at 7.00 PM Hope Under Dinmore Village Hall
Parish Councillors: Cllr. N Ramsay (Chair); Cllr. R. Beddoes; Cllr. Mrs K Clarkson; Cllr John Stone; Cllr J Pritchard; Cllr Leslie Legge; Cllr A Morgan Cllr Paul Stephens; Cllr K Rocke.
Also in attendance: Ward Cllr Pauline Crockett Parish Clerk: Mrs L Hay
Members of the public – one PCSO S. Annette
1. The Chairman welcomed all those present.
2. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE were received from – Phil Pankhurst (Locality Steward) Tim Kaye (Queenswood Site Manager)
3. TO APPROVE MINUTES OF MEETING held on 21st May 2015
The minutes had been circulated – these were unanimously accepted and adopted as a true record of the meeting.
4. Chairman’s Annual Report May 2016
The year has been an eventful one, with a number of significant issues arising within the two parishes. This has made it a busy year both for the Parish Clerk and many individual councillors.
The main concerns have related to important changes in relation to Queenswood Country Park and potential planning and development demands.
Our local councillor, Pauline Crockett, has been a regular attendee at our meetings and has advised us on local issues. We thank her for her invaluable support.
Stephanie Annette, our brilliant PCSO, has kept us up to date on criminal activity in the county and remains a hugely positive influence in the village.
A number of residents have expressed concern about traffic speeds through the village. The Parish Council has investigated the use of ‘SIDS’ (speed indication devices), but this project has been delayed due to staffing problems in Herefordshire Council. Hopefully, this will be soon be resolved.
Fortunately, there have been no flooding incidents this year – although it did get close on occasion! The long awaited final report from the Environment Agency has still not been received. It is possible that improvements in drain clearance and maintenance carried out by our lengthsman may have eased the situation.
The lengthsman project has proved invaluable, justifying the additional funding required from the precept. The village is certainly looking smarter.
The Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group has been busy during the year. The Draft Plan has gone out for consultation and is now ready for final submission to Herefordshire Council and the independent examiner. The next stage will be a parish-wide referendum which will be organised (and paid for) by Herefordshire Council.
Robert Beddoes, our footpaths officer, has continued to keep an eye on public rights of way in the parish. If you have any issues with footpaths please let him know.
The transfer of Queenswood and Bodenham Lakes from Herefordshire Council to a group formed from Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf, a local environmental charity has finally happened. It is still too early to assess the impact of this change. Car parking charges have been implemented as a means of providing revenue. A member of the Parish Council will join the management committee.
There have been a number of planning issues during the year which have generated interest in the community. Two potential large scale developments in the village remain at a pre-planning enquiry stage, so our input has been limited.
The Parish Council obtained a significant percentage increase in the annual precept for the forthcoming year. The reasons were outlined in a letter to all residents at the end of 2015. This additional funding will allow us to meet the ongoing budgetary requirements, as well as enable improvements to be made in the village.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our councillors for their support and hard work throughout the year. In addition, the members of the village hall management team, NDP steering group and the many others who have volunteered their time and effort on behalf of the village.
Finally, my thanks to Lesley, our Parish Clerk who has had an exceptionally busy year. She has managed somehow to juggle the ever increasing, and sometimes onerous, demands of the job, whilst still remaining positive and a pleasure to work with.
5. TO RECEIVE ANNUAL REPORTS FOR 2015/16
5.1 Herefordshire Council – Ward Cllr Crockett’s Report
Ward Councillor Crockett reported that she personally had had a very busy year which included commitments to Health and Social Care; planning applications and appeals. Ward Cllr Crockett informed those present that one of the ongoing issues is that the ombudsman has been asked to look at “the process” that was followed, that resulted in the decision to sell the identified small holdings.
No local matters to report.
5.2 Policing Matters – Local Police Officer Stephanie Annette reported a theft of play equipment from the Queenswood Park. There had also been various issues within Cherrybrook but these were being sorted.
Overall all the parish crimes reported over the previous 12 months showed a level which was far below the local average.
5.3 Cherry Brook – Vicky Layton Morris – did not attend the meeting but sent emailed report :
In relation to the issues raised I can confirm that the brook was baited throughout February and March. Residents are not reporting issues surrounding rats at the present time. I will try to get further feedback on this from residents before the meeting.
As far the new Grounds Maintenance Contract goes we are having a few teething problems. Both sides of the brook are supposed to be being cut and we are aware that only one side is. My Manager is dealing with this issue and met with the Contractor again last week. This will be resolved by the end of the month.
5.4 Village Hall Committee – Councillor J Stone
Cllr Stone reported a slight fall in income due to a regular session being cancelled.
The committee are still in the process of getting quotes for disabled toilets.
No plant sale this year
Bank balance stands at £2205 but the insurance is due – estimate about £800
Cllr Stone asked about the annual grant of £600 from the Parish Council- but after discussion it was thought that the £1200 paid in advance included the £600 grant for this financial year. Resolved : Clerk to check
Next date: Harvest Supper on 1st October 2016 everyone welcome.
5.5 Village Footpaths – Councillor R Beddoes
Cllr Beddoes reported that there had been one or two problems over the last year. All had been sorted by the landowners. Cllr Beddoes extended thanks to the landowners for their co-operation thrughout the year. There is a bridleway finger post on order but otherwise footpaths and bridleways are in a reasonable state.
5.6 Balfour Beatty – Locality Steward – report emailed:
I can report that in the last working year 26 separate defects have been raised by inspectors within Hope Parish and all but 1 are completed as of today. The one remaining defect is not shown below but involves the removal of tree debris between Cherry brook close and the village hall. This may well have been cleared by 19th May, 2106.
Over the coming financial year we are facing increasing financial constraints and two areas which are particularly affected are Public rights of way and lengthsman scheme funding (this info should have been cascaded out to parishes previously). Balfour Beatty and Stewards will continue to help wherever possible and where necessary we will empower Parishes hopefully to maintain The high standard of service delivery previously offered. Undoubtedly moving forward we will all need to work closer together to deliver objectives of the Parish. These requests will either be funded by BB or by Parishes directly.
5.7 Queenswood & Bodenham Lake Advisory Panel – no meetings attended
during the year so no report.
5.8 Queenswood & Bodenham – Emailed report from Tim Kaye – Manager
As you are aware, Queenswood Country Park and Bodenham Lake nature reserve were recently handed over to a partnership between Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf, via a community asset transfer from Herefordshire Council.
At the present time members of HWT and New Leaf staff are busily taking over the operational aspects of the site. Staff are based in the upper floor of the Tannery building and comprise a Site Manager, Visitor Experience Officer, Engagement Officer and two Countryside Rangers.
Developments are underway to renovate the downstairs area so it provides visitors with a welcoming area comprising site information and a shop. The car park charges that have been recently installed are working well and all revenues are fed back into developing both the sites. Integral to sustaining the sites is the valuable time that is contributed by volunteers.
The partnership is currently working hard to find additional funding so that the experience for the people of Herefordshire is the best it can be.
On May 21st it will be the 80th anniversary of the handing over of the site by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to the people of Herefordshire, at which time it was designated as “an open space for the enjoyment of the public for all time”. Further events are planned later in the year including a Bioblitz on the 8th and 9th July. More information can be found on the website: http://www.queenswoodandbodenhamlake.org
For any further information please contact Tim Kaye, Site Manager on 01568 797792 or 07341 736190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
5.9 Update Flooding Study – Joel Hockenhull – a report has been received and
circulated by email – a paper copy is available. After a short discussion, it was apparent that there were issues within the report that would need a more in depth discussion so it was decided to defer further discussion and invite Mr. Hockenhall to the next Parish Council meeting.
6.0 Open discussion – there were no items for discussion – Chairman closed the Open Session.
The Chairman closed the meeting closed at 7.35p.m.