MINUTES OF MEETING

16th September 2019, Winforton Community Hall

Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), Phil Bayliss, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Geoff Greenhill, Nancy James, Yvonne King, Andrew Layton Terry Morgan, Lewis Price, Sue Prosser, Tony Raymond, Clint Welson, Paul Whittall and Steven Whittall

In Attendance: Ward Councillor Graham Jones; Clerk to the Parish Council, Alison Morgan

Members of the Public: 7

1. Apologies were accepted from Chris England.

2. Declarations of Interest were made by Tony Raymond (item 7.1.2) and Andrew Layton (item 5.4). The register was updated accordingly.

2.1. No requests for Dispensation were received for this meeting.

3. Open Discussion:

3.1. Ward Councillor Address: Graham’s report was short since HC is still in the process of re-organising following the May elections. The next full meeting is on 11th October and it is hoped decisions, e.g. on the bypass situation, will be made at that meeting.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Items included:

  • The Chairman resolved to re-open the meeting at Item 6 (Highways) for the public to contribute to discussion on relevant agenda points. It was also agreed to present the Highways Working Group update one point at a time to allow public input, debate and resolution of next steps due to the number of items to be reported.
  • Carbon Footprint meeting in Kington was attended by two councillors. Topics included air travel statistics (81% leisure), methane from livestock and tax on non-electric cars.
  • Concerns were raised about the pending decisions on Herefordshire bypass and link roads and the knock-on to new housing numbers if alternative routes are to be implemented.

4. The Minutes of the meeting held on 15th July 2019 were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

5. Finance & Compliance: The Clerk reported new bank signatories were now set up (Nancy James & Steve Whittall), bringing the total back to four. The VAT refund claim of £806.77 was approved and paid. The second instalment of the precept for 2019-20 is due to be paid on 20th September.

5.1. Bank Reconciliation & Budget Tracker Q1/2019-20: The Clerk presented the finalised figures, delayed from the last meeting due to the bank statement not being received in time. Both were previously scrutinised by the Finance & Compliance Working Group (FCWG); no further queries were raised and the documents will be published on the EGPC web site shortly.

5.2. EGPC Precept Level 2020-21: Based on the above figures, it was clear a further review of precept levels is required. It was proposed and AGREED the FCWG would bring recommendations to the next PC meeting in October.

5.3. On-Line Banking & Update to Financial Regulations: The Clerk advised she now has access to on-line bank statements and has raised a trial payment request for authorisation by designated councillors. The Clerk will produce a draft procedure once the test is complete. It is also necessary to update the adopted Financial Regulations following recent changes. The Clerk will endeavour to produce both for review at the next PC meeting.

5.4. Donation Request – Millennium Green Trust: A request for £1,000.00 was received. It was RESOLVED the FCWG would consider the possibility of gifting materials and/or equipment as an alternative to making a monetary donation and present a recommendation to the next PC meeting.

6. Highways matters: The Chairman opened the meeting to enable the Highways Working Group (HWG) report to be presented by resident member Steve Morgan on an item by item basis and for residents to participate if they so wished.

6.1. Winforton TRO & Next Steps: The legal order has been published and the schedule of works drawn up, including signage and white lining at no cost to EGPC. Councillors were asked for a decision on deploying yellow-backed speed signs at each end of the village, as proposed by BBLP (Graham Hornsby). The proposal was APPROVED and the Clerk will advise BBLP.

6.2. Courtlands Priority Right of Way: Winforton residents were thanked for organising a petition. However, the HWG suggested additional consultation was required to confirm the basis for a parish council response. This could be done by a survey or holding a public meeting. However, the HWG emphasised that ultimately Herefordshire Council decide on matters pertaining to highways legality and safety, which could override residents’ wishes. Meanwhile, HC has undertaken to absorb the cost of Courtlands white lining when implementing the TRO; BBLP will also try to source a second-hand “Give Way” sign. To align with TRO works and benefit from the cost saving, BBLP needed a swift response from EGPC. After due consideration and in recognition of HC jurisdiction, it was RESOLVED EGPC should accept HC/BBLP’s offer and for the works to proceed, as directed by the responsible agency. The Clerk will respond accordingly.

6.3. Works Orders: Footpaths WO’s 83 and 85 have been sent to Mark Davies; WO 84 was due to be undertaken by Phil Eggerton. Mark has been asked to quote for clearance of the Restricted Byway (Winforton to Redgates) and the Clerk will contact HC to ascertain whether they will still take on some of the work. The Winforton Footpaths Officer should also approach the landowner(s) to request they carry out some clearance of hedging, overhanging branches, etc.

6.3.1. WO82 (WY7) – assignment of a kissing gate was previously approved. However, due to its location and current ownership, it was AGREED the Clerk should contact HC re the possibility of transferring the footpath to Clifford parish as a first step.

6.3.2. Lengthsman: Subsequent to the Parish Drive Round, it was proposed a WO be raised for general strimming, clearance and cleaning around non-A road junctions and road signs to give drivers better visibility as the days shorten. This was APPROVED.

6.4. Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs): The HWG reported the new volunteer system for SID management was now underway and updated to ensure compliance with regulations. Julian Wyatt was thanked for his time and efforts over many years. It was noted both SIDs are now old, unreliable and use very outdated technology. The HWG therefore recommended the PC consider replacing them with newer models as research indicates they make a positive impact on traffic calming. Initial research suggests costs are between £2-4,000.00 per unit, dependent on specification. A funding contribution may be available from the Police & Crime Commissioner/s office (PCC). Councillors voted approval for further research by the HWG and it was RESOLVED the HWG should make a comparison of features vis-a-vis costs and report to the next meeting. The HWG should also contact the PCC to establish the urgency of submitting a grant application; if necessary, the Chairman agreed to call an extraordinary meeting.

6.5. Parking by the Tram Inn: Feedback was received from Graham Hornsby (BBLP), which now needs to be analysed by the HWG and would be considered in time for the next PC meeting.

6.6. HGV Speeding & Air Pollution (Eardisley): This was amended to ‘general speeding’, rather than HGV specifically. During the day, speeding is often impossible through Eardisley due to congestion; however late evening and early hours of the morning, this is an issue. School children were said to be at risk during collection and drop-off by the school bus to Lady Hawkins School. The HWG will consider these issues further at its next meeting.

7. Planning matters: The Planning Working Group (PWG) reported that due to HC planning deadlines, responses were submitted on the following planning applications since the last meeting:

7.1. The following planning applications were reviewed:

7.1.1. P192705/A – Whitney Stores, Whitney on Wye HR3 6EH: Advertising consent for two internally illuminated Spar fascia signs (retrospective) was supported, with a request that local residents were considered and the signs illuminated only during opening hours.

7.1.2. P192794/F – Bower Brook Farm, Eardisley HR3 6LP: Proposed erection of agricultural buildings on existing farmyard to cover an existing silage pit and for general agricultural purposes – supported.

7.2. New resident PWG member, Ian Bowman, was welcomed and his nomination APPROVED.

7.3. The Clerk has responded to Herefordshire Planning on behalf of EGPC as indicated above. A round-up of all planning activity can be found on the HC Planning Portal (direct link from EGPC web site): https://eardisleygrouppc.org/planning-applications/

8. Community matters: The Working Group informed the PC about the Eardisley Village Hall lease, which will come to an end in 2022. The PC hall representatives will keep EGPC up to date with developments.

8.1. Telephone Kiosk Consultation: BT has proposed removing kiosks from Mill Stream Gardens, Eardisley and the Courtlands, Winforton. The proposal was circulated on the village email networks; limited responses were received with an equal number of approval and objections. Some consideration was given to moving the defibrillator into the kiosk in Winforton, but since the kiosk is in a poor state of repair and not a traditional red box, this was disregarded. Based on lack of use in the past 12 months, it was RESOLVED EGPC should agree to removal and the Clerk should inform HC accordingly as they are collating the county response to BT.

8.2. Defibrillators:

8.2.1. Replacement Batteries and Pads: since the last meeting in July, it was necessary for the Clerk to order replacements to keep the defibrillators in all 3 villages compliant and functioning correctly. The Clerk advised the registration system is now centralised on a network called ‘The Circuit’. Volunteers will be invited to register to enable them to update their checks directly onto the system, if they wish. Reminders will be sent out to the Clerk by the system when items are next due for renewal (two years).

8.2.2. Refresher Training: A request was received for additional defibrillator training and the Clerk advised this was available, free of charge, via Community Responders who work as volunteers with West Midlands Ambulance Service. It was proposed and AGREED a central training session should be offered in Eardisley and that EGPC would pay for the hall hire. The Clerk to organise in the coming months.

8.3. EGPC Support for Green Bags Scheme (Eardisley): It was confirmed garden rubbish collected using the green bags and put out for collection with Black Bins (general rubbish) is taken to landfill. Enquiries with the Post Office revealed, as expected, the green bag service is used mostly by the elderly. Subject to further debate and recommendations from the Environment or Community Groups that would be considered by the PC, the service will continue to be facilitated without change for now.

9. Finances: The Clerk can now access the figures online; as at 16.09.2019, balances were as follows:

Main Account                                 £6,404.65
No. 2 Account                                 £8,641.76
Business Saver Account              £3,790.11

Since the last meeting, the Clerk has paid (<£100 & dispensation on green bags):

Payee                                    Description         Gross Amount (£)      VAT (£)

Eardisley VH                         Hall Hire (July)                19.00                          0.00

S Whittall                               2 x SID Batteries         105.60                        17.60

Clerks & Councils Direct    Annual Magazine Sub   12.00                          0.00

The Defib Pad                      Batteries & Pads (x 3)   279.00                      46.50

Items paid since the last meeting (Minutes 15.04.2019, item 5.2.i and 10.06.2019, item 6.3) refer:

Payee                                    Description         Gross Amount (£)      VAT (£)

HALC                                       Councillor Training           188.05                37.61
HALC                                       Internal Audit (2018-19)   200.00               40.00

It was further RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                    Description         Gross Amount (£)      VAT (£)

R Mills                                     Lengthsman Services          54.00                 9.00
A Morgan                               Clerk Expenses (Jul 2019)   28.58                  1.63
A Morgan                               Clerk Expenses (Aug 2019)   8.14                  1.63

10. Correspondence: The following items were noted:

10.1. Donation Request from Lady Hawkins School towards war memorial.
10.2. Donation Request re Hay Swimming Pool.
10.3. Invitation to Herefordshire Children & Young People’s Partnership event on 7th October.
10.4. Invitation to HALC Area Meeting on 25th September.
10.5. Invitation to parish council summit at HC on 20th September.
10.6. Email from PCC re organising a community event – local policing and crime

11. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

11.1. Parking by the Tram Inn
11.2. Speeding & Air Pollution
11.3. Defibrillator Signage (Winforton)

Please send Agenda items to the Clerk by Wednesday, 9th October, thank you.

NEXT MEETING:

Monday 21st October, Whitney on Wye Village Hall, 7:30pm