10th June 2019, Winforton Community Hall

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

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

Members of the Public: 13

1. Apologies were accepted from Ken Goodman and Sue Prosser.

2. No Declarations of Interest were made.

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

3. Open Discussion:

3.1. Ward Councillor Address: Graham introduced himself to those he did not meet at the Annual Meeting and advised his contact details are now on the Herefordshire Council web site and he welcomes people to contact him directly with questions, issues, etc. Graham is still going through the Ward Councillor induction process and in parallel Herefordshire Council is re-organising following the May elections, so it will take some time for everyone to get back to ‘business as usual’ for updates, etc.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Items discussed included:

  • The Chairman apologised to the outgoing Winforton Footpaths Officer, Susan Warne, for not having thanked her at the May meeting for her many years of service in this role and took this opportunity to do so.
  • The Chairman also welcomed the four newly co-opted councillors to the team.
  • Steve Morgan added his thanks to Susan for everything she has done as Footpaths Officer and stressed the importance of volunteers throughout the parish.
  • Steve requested that councillors should give clearer indications when voting so members of the public are able to see and understand the outcome of resolutions, actions and decisions.
  • Councillors were requested to assist the Clerk in putting out tables and chairs before meetings.
  • It was requested members of Working Groups should provide updates at PC meetings (rather than the Chairman or Clerk).

4. Co-option: Four applicants had completed application & eligibility declaration forms for the two remaining vacant seats in Eardisley. The candidates introduced themselves in alphabetical order and said a few words about what they hoped to bring to the role of councillor. The Chairman closed the meeting and existing Councillors withdrew to a separate room to consider the applications. Councillors returned to the main meeting room and a paper ballot was conducted with two votes per councillor. The Chairman and Clerk withdrew to count the votes, witnessed by the Vice-Chairman; the two candidates with most votes were: Chris England and Tony Raymond.

4.1. Chris England: Chris’s co-option was proposed (Yvonne King) and seconded (James Forrest) before being APPROVED by a unanimous vote.

4.2. Tony Raymond: Tony’s co-option was proposed (Terry Morgan), seconded (Paul Whittall) and unanimously APPROVED, as above.

4.3. The newly co-opted councillors were welcomed on to the Parish Council and duly completed and signed Declaration of Acceptance of Office forms, witnessed by the Clerk. Register of Interests forms will be completed and returned to the Monitoring Officer within the 28-day statutory deadline. The Chairman re-opened the meeting to proceed with the agenda.

5. The Minutes of the meeting held on 20th May 2019, together with those from the Annual Meeting on 13th May were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

6. Finance & Compliance matters:

6.1. Working Group membership was reviewed again to take the recent co-option appointments into account. The following changes were proposed and AGREED. A full breakdown of revised Working Group membership will be posted on the web site. The Clerk will post an appeal for more resident members via the village email distributions.

6.1.1. Finance & Compliance: No further changes.
6.1.2. Planning: Tony Raymond joined as an additional councillor representative.
6.1.3. Highways: Ken Goodman’s membership was confirmed; Yvonne King also joined.
6.1.4. Environment: Andrew Layton, Paul Whittall, Lewis Price were confirmed, Chris England and Clint Welson joined as councillor members.
6.1.5. Community Services: Lewis Price was confirmed; Chris England and Nancy James joined.

6.2. Additional Councillor Roles:

6.2.1. Geoff Greenhill was confirmed as Millennium Green representative.
6.2.2. Chris England was appointed Eardisley Village Hall (Geoff Greenhill stepped aside).

6.3. Councillor Training: It was proposed to run a group training session for all councillors, delivered by Lynda Wilcox (HALC) on the evening of Monday, 24th June in Eardisley Village Hall at a cost of £175.00, plus VAT and mileage. The proposal was unanimously APPROVED. The Clerk will confirm arrangements as soon as possible.

6.4. 2019-2020 Budget Update: The Clerk presented an overview of the updated budget. More revision will be required, e.g., following input from the Highways Group on planned Lengthsman & Footpaths works. Once changes are in place, these will be presented at a future PC meeting. Meanwhile, the existing budget will be published on the EGPC web site.

6.5. Risk Assessment: The internal auditor made a recommendation that affects the format of the risk assessment. Therefore, the F&C Working Group will take this into account before bringing the item back to full parish council.

7. Annual Governance & Accountability Return 2018/19:

7.1. The Clerk presented an overview of the final report received from the internal auditor. Overall, the report was a Pass in all sections, which was an excellent result. The findings and recommendations made were ACCEPTED by the Parish Council and will be worked on during the current financial year to ensure improvements are achieved by the time of the next audit. A copy of the internal audit will be published on the web site, along with other financial year end documentation, as required by the Transparency Code.

7.2. The Annual Governance Statement (Section 1) was considered by Councillors and it was RESOLVED based on the internal audit to enter ‘Yes’ responses to all relevant statements. The form was duly signed by the Chairman and Clerk.

7.3. The Annual Governance Statement (Section 2) was considered by Councillors and the figures presented were APPROVED. The Statement was duly signed by the Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) and Chairman.

7.4. Commencement of Exercise of Public Rights: The Clerk/RFO advised that as all elements of the annual return were now in place, the window during which members of the public can inspect the accounts would be set as follows: Monday, 17th June to Friday, 26th July inclusive. Notices will be placed on the web site and noticeboards accordingly.

7.5. Certificate of Exemption: The criteria were explained to councillors who AGREED the RFO and Chairman should sign the certificate for return to the external auditors ahead of the 1st July 2019 deadline.

8. Planning matters : The Chairman, Nancy James and the Clerk had met with Andrew Banks (Planning Manager North Herefordshire) and Karla Johnson (HC NDP team). The meeting was helpful, but it is clear much importance rests on HC achieving its 5-year housing target. In the meantime, the PC should consider other factors as well as settlement boundaries when reviewing applications received.

8.1. The following planning applications were considered:

8.1.1. P191375/L – The Threshing Barn, Winforton Courtyard, Winforton HR3 6EA: Replacement of damaged roof light windows. Windows replaced at the same elevation within two separate bedrooms; one within a double-height master bedroom and one in an attic bedroom. Windows and damaged slates removed and replaced. After consideration, no issues were raised. It was, therefore, RESOLVED the PC should support this application.

8.1.2. P191584/K – 3 Lady Gardens, Eardisley HR3 6NQ: Proposed works to Tree Reference: OAM5 (Tag) 2791 5.2m Crown Lift. The proposal appears to be reasonable. It was therefore, RESOLVED the PC should support this application.

8.1.3. P191784/F – Eardisley COE School, Eardisley HR3 6NS: Proposed track around perimeter of existing school playing field. It was AGREED this was an excellent idea and should be supported by the Parish Council.

8.2. Winforton Cross: Following on from the Winforton & Willersley Parish Meeting in May, a request was made again by residents that the cross should be raised to reduce the risk of vehicular damage. Cllr Goodman is believed to hold relevant details; the Chairman RESOLVED the Highways Working Group should review the information and report back to the July PC meeting.

8.3. The Clerk will respond as per item 8.1 to Herefordshire Planning on behalf of EGPC. 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/

9. Community & Environment matters:

9.1. Peacock Nuisance (Eardisley): The Clerk has chased HC and been in touch with the RSPCA, who referred her to the Peacock Rescue UK Facebook Group. It is possible the latter may be able to relocate the birds. The Clerk will continue to liaise with them.

9.2. Great Oak Parking Issues & Public Liability Risk: The Clerk had checked the insurance and some cover is included for PC-owned trees. Research indicates unless a Parish Council has planted the trees or they are on PC-owned property, there is no liability. Cllr James has spoken with residents living immediately adjacent to the Great Oak and they report in the past, Herefordshire Council has undertaken or arranged maintenance as necessary. It is therefore assumed no Parish Council liability exists, but if the Environment Group can establish ownership, this would be helpful.

10. Highways matters:

10.1. Winforton TRO: Bruce Evans, HC Engineering Manager, is due to provide an update to Cllr King; there is a further legal step that will take a few weeks, but it is hopeful a decision on the TRO will be available by the July PC meeting.

10.2. Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs): This matter needs to be further considered by the Highways Group, including responsibility for moving, maintaining and charging the devices as well as data collection. It was assumed Glynn Bailey would kindly continue to do the data analysis.

10.3. Village Gateway Maintenance, Cleaning and Grass Cutting: It was AGREED each village should take responsibility for these tasks; the only issue was in Winforton. The meeting was opened to allow Harry Crump to speak and he kindly volunteered to keep the area by each gate tidy. This offer was accepted and the meeting reverted to closed session.

10.4. Parking Issue by the Tram Inn: There is a pinch point on the corner caused by resident and customer parking on both sides of the road. This has led to frayed tempers and arguments and made it difficult if not impossible for emergency services to pass. It was RESOLVED to seek advice from the Locality Steward from BBLP and an inspection could be included in the next parish drive round.

11. Finances: The June bank statement had not yet been received. Balances would be similar to those reported in May as the cheque books have been with the internal auditor.

Since the last meeting, the Clerk paid (<£100.00 & dispensation on green bags): Not Applicable.

It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                                Description                        Gross Amount (£)       VAT (£)

A Morgan                                          Microsoft Office Renewal                59.99                     10.00
A Morgan                                          HC (Green Bags)                              390.00                      0.00
A Morgan                                          Clerk Expenses (May 2019)             54.33                       1.33

12. Correspondence: The following items were noted:

12.1. An email was received from Planning Officer, Amber Morris, to advise that in the case of Non-Material Amendments only the Ward Councillor is notified. However, in the case of the Whitney Toll Bridge application, the change was adjudged to be a material amendment and it would, therefore, be necessary for the applicant to submit a further application if they wish to proceed with the proposed variation.

12.2. Eardisley Community Group: The Clerk attended the inaugural public meeting and confirmed it was decided to go ahead with a pilot scheme covering Eardisley in the first instance. It was hoped the initiative would be launched by November 2019. The PC may be asked for support from the group further down the line.

13. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

13.1. Noticeboards

13.2. More Working Groups?

13.3. The Courtlands priority right of way

13.4. Eardisley GPC Silent Soldier relocation; Winforton wreaths removal from village gates

Please send Agenda items to the Clerk by Friday, 5th July, thank you

NEXT MEETING – Monday 15th July, Eardisley Village Hall, 7:30pm