15th February 2021, On-line via Zoom

Participants were reminded the meeting would be recorded and the recording retained by the Clerk until Minutes of the meeting are approved.

Present: Alan Watkins, Phil Bayliss, Chris England, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Geoff Greenhill, Nancy James, Andrew Layton, Terry Morgan, Sue Prosser, Tony Raymond, Paul Whittall and Steven Whittall

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

Members of the Public: 5

1. Apologies were accepted from Yvonne King and Lewis Price.

2. Cllr Layton declared an interest in Agenda item 5.2.1 and the register was updated accordingly. No grants of Dispensation were received for this meeting.

3. Open Discussion:

3.1. Ward Councillor Address: As usual, a range of topics were covered in Graham’s report, including appointment of Paul Walker as the new CEO of Herefordshire Council; cabinet decisions to cancel both the western bypass and the southern link road; approval of the council’s budget for 2021-22 and the improved performance of HC in achieving its target for housing supply. Unfortunately, tenders were still out in respect of the barrier repairs on the A438 at Whitney Toll Bridge so no date for the works to take place is available. The state of fallen bollards and litter build-up between the lights was mentioned and Graham undertook to follow this up with BBLP.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Topics discussed included:

    • Concerns regarding the impact on nearby residents of a proposed glamping business in fields adjacent to housing at the rear of Courtlands Farm. A formal application is still to be submitted.

4. The Minutes of the last meeting held on 7th December 2020 were APPROVED as a true record [A typo on the payments schedule was corrected]. The Chairman will liaise with the Clerk to sign the amended version prior to the next meeting.

5. Finance & Compliance matters: The Clerk confirmed the debit card application form had been completed and returned to the bank for processing; the precept form had been returned to HC and the co-option advertisement placed with a closing date of 19.03.2021. The Chairman attended what is to become a quarterly ‘Chair’s Chat’ session organised by HALC. Q3 payment & receipts registers, plus the bank reconciliations will be scrutinised by two councillors prior to the next meeting. Following intervention by Cllr Greenhill, a PAYE refund of £1,258.52 was received from HMRC.

5.1. Virtual Meetings Policy: Councillors RESOLVED to adopt this policy without change. The Clerk will therefore publish it on the PC web site as soon as possible.

5.2. Donation Requests: Completed application forms were considered as follows:

5.2.1. Millennium Green Trust: Cllr Layton was placed in the Waiting Room while the request for a donation of £1,100 was considered. Following debate during which the significant impact of Covid-19 on the Trust’s usual fund-raising activities as well as the very poor state of its car park, a donation of £1,200 was APPROVED for this year. The monies will contribute to miscellaneous essential running costs as well as the car park refurbishment project. Cllr Layton subsequently re-joined the meeting.

5.2.2. Winforton Byway Community Project: The PC APPROVED a request to contribute to this project as part of the upgrade to the restricted byway by meeting to the cost of flailing part of the surface on the Winforton end of the path, which has been cleared by volunteers. Estimated cost £264.00, including VAT.

5.3. Risk Assessment: Councillors reviewed the following documents:

5.3.1. Risk Assessment Policy: After consideration, it was AGREED no changes were required at this time.

5.3.2. Risk Assessment (February 2021): the assessment was updated to take account of the impact of Covid-19, procedural changes and purchase/deployment of new SID’s during the year. It was AGREED the updated risk assessment was a fair reflection of changes and should therefore be adopted.

5.4. Monthly Bank Reconciliation Reports: December and January reconciliations were completed and councillors reviewed the latest reports in detail. The reconciliations were APPROVED and will be signed by the Chairman and published on the PC web site shortly.

6. Planning matters: Cllr James reported a focus group (Nancy, Ian Bowman, Steve Whittall & Yvonne King) has been set up to review possible NDP revisions to bring its housing policies back up to date; the group will also respond to an HC Core Strategy Settlement Hierarchy Review Questionnaire and report back to the next meeting. Similarly, a group (James Forrest, Geoff Greenhill and Chris England) will take initial steps looking into the Community Asset Transfer initiative and report to the next meeting.

6.1. Planning Applications:

6.1.1. P210131/O – Land at Ramblers Way, Winforton: – Proposed residential development of seven dwellings. This is the third time this application has been submitted and it was RESOLVED strong objections should once again be put forward.

6.1.2. P210107/FH – Little Bollingham Cottage, Spond, Kington HR5 3LE: it was RESOLVED that despite the scale of the extension vis-à-vis the original footprint of the property, the application should be supported as there were no other noted grounds for concern.

6.1.3. P210434: Castle House, Eardisley HR3 6NT: Works to trees in a conservation area. Request to fell diseased trees. The proposed remedial works were considered necessary and the proposal to support this application was therefore APPROVED.

As usual, 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/

7. The Highways Working Group (HWG) report can be found in full on the Highways page of the EGPC web site: https://eardisleygrouppc.org/highways-working-group-reports/ Bullet points included: Courtlands road signage – to be discussed further at the next meeting; a fallen tree issue at the Redgates end of the Winforton restricted byway was resolved by the landowners at no cost to the PC; latest SID’s data from Whitney was presented and can be seen on the relevant page of the web site. An inspection was due to be made by HC/BBLP of drainage issues at Hobby Lyons bridge and the central bridge in Eardisley; if possible, a councillor (Steve Whittall) will be present. Pictures of recent PROW improvements (before & after) were shown for information.

7.1. Additional PROW Furniture: the proposal was put forward and APPROVED to purchase 6 more kissing gates from Balfour Beatty for installation in the upcoming financial year. The Clerk will take this forward with BBLP.

7.2. Road Condition, North Eardisley: a status update on this issue was provided. Graham advised it had been agreed HC/BBLP engineers had agreed to make another inspection to look more closely at the road condition/noise issues. The recommendation to take a firmer stance with HC/BBLP was also AGREED. The Ward Councillor and Clerk will take this forward on behalf of the PC.

7.3. Drop Kerb Flooding Issue, Eardisley: as per item 7.2 above; this is not a new issue and it was AGREED pressure should be applied for action to be taken.

8. Nomination of Non-Councillor: Environment Working Group: Cllr Layton nominated Rob Bryan as a member. This proposal was upheld and the nomination was therefore APPROVED.

9. Payments:

9.1. The following payments made under delegated powers or prior approval in Minutes since the meeting on 7th December (see payments schedule below) were ratified:

Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
MCG Davies PROW WO’s 104/105 90.00 0.00
A Morgan Clerk Expenses (Dec-Jan) 32.33 4.14
A Morgan Zoom Annual Subscription 129.49 21.58
MCG Davies PROW WO 106 150.00 0.00
MCG Davies PROW WO91 150.00 0.00

10. Correspondence: The following items were noted:

10.1. Eardisley Village Hall and HALC annual subscription renewal invoices were received after the agenda was issued, so will be submitted at the next meeting.

10.2. HALC has advised the internal audit service will be provided in 2021 at the same cost as last year, i.e., £200.00 (+ VAT); the Clerk will send a placeholder and add to next month’s agenda.

10.3. An email was received from Don Killick, Chairman of Eardisley Village Hall regarding the process of lease renewal. Under the planned transfer to a becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), the parish council becomes a ‘nominating body’ and can nominate a trustee to sit on the board. This matter will be added to a future agenda for consideration.

11. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion.

11.1. Q3 Financial Reports and Budget Tracker

11.2. NDP revisions update

11.3. Community Asset Transfer update

Please send Agenda items for the next meeting to the Clerk by Friday, 12th March 2021, thank you.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, 22nd March 2021, 7:30pm, on-line via Zoom

Connection details will be issued shortly beforehand