15th July 2019, Eardisley Village Hall

Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), Phil Bayliss, Chris England, Nancy James, Geoff Greenhill, Yvonne King, 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: 6

1. Apologies were accepted from James Forrest, Ken Goodman and Andrew Layton

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 had attended his first HC meeting since the elections. Among items discussed, HC is re-considering implementing CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy), which could lead to important funding coming into parish councils with NDP’s. However, a decision is yet to be made and implementation may take at least until 2021 if approved. Infrastructure works on the southern link road have started, but the western bypass decision is being reviewed. Graham met with Lara Edwards (BBLP Locality Steward) about the A4111 re-surfacing; Lara confirmed a new bid will need to be included for 2020-21. Other topics included: Poor signage for recent road works on the Leominster Road, rationale for Herefordshire’s euro election count being on the following Sunday, increase in work coming onto PC from HC; question of why Challenge Fund works are scheduled overnight in some cases but during the day on the A438.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Items included:

  • A petition was presented by Winforton residents in favour of new priority signage where the private road comes onto the public highway by the Courtlands (item 8.2 refers).
  • Susan Warne questioned when the new finger post for Nicholas Common and the kissing gate on WW1 (replacing 2 stiles) would be installed (item 8.3 refers); Susan also reported brambles near Winforton Wood and by the Poppins; dog fouling in Baker’s Lane and SIDs not working consistently (item 8.4 refers). Issues raised concerning EE6 were thought to have been resolved by the Eardisley Footpaths Officer in liaison with the landowner.
  • Speeding issues in Winforton were raised again; the Highways Group is awaiting execution of the imminent TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) and will then move to consider next steps.

4. The Minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2019 were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

5. Finance & Compliance matters: The Chairman reported a successful training session for all councillors took place on 24th June. delivered by Lynda Wilcox, CEO Herefordshire Association for Local Councils. This proved very useful and EGPC hopes to run more sessions as needed. The Clerk will circulate the latest HALC training bulletin; councillor training requests should be made to the Clerk and all will be considered.

5.1. The Finance & Compliance Working Group (FCWG) reviewed the budget for 2019-20, specifically to consider funding levels for Lengthsman and Footpaths Maintenance (formerly P3). It was RESOLVED the Lengthsman spending budget should remain as per the previous year; similarly as EGPC has purchased a stock of PROW furniture, previous year EGPC spend was considered sufficient to meet the cost of works in the current year since planned work will mainly focus on installation. A copy of the most recent budget overview will be published on the Accounts & Finance page of the EGPC web site very shortly.

5.2. Bank Reconciliation Q1/2019 Overview: The Clerk has drafted reconciliation figures but was unable to finalise them due to outstanding discussion on 5.1 above and non-arrival of the July bank statement. The finalised reconciliation will therefore be presented at the next meeting. There was some discussion on Green Bags and the ethics of EGPC facilitating this scheme as the rubbish is sent to landfill rather than being composted/recycled. It was AGREED (a) the way the scheme operates and is accounted should be fully documented and balanced at the year end and (b) the Environment Group should further consider the issues raised in relation to the scheme and any alternative options.

5.3. Risk Assessment: The newly formatted, draft Risk Assessment (July 2019) was circulated to councillors for consideration prior to the meeting. It includes new items in anticipation of changes to banking arrangements before the end of this year. It was AGREED to adopt the draft assessment, subject to clarification on IT back-up arrangements.

5.4. Banking Arrangement Changes: Two former councillors were confirmed to have been removed as authorised signatories for the EGPC accounts and a change mandate to add two new nominated signatories is in process. The Clerk has received equipment from Barclays to set up on-line banking. It was RESOLVED this should be tested by the Clerk, together with authorised signatories, and a draft policy written for consideration at the next meeting.

5.5. VAT Claim 2018-19: The Clerk has drafted this claim, which will be checked and submitted to HMRC shortly. The amount claimed is estimated to be in the region of £720.00.

6. Planning matters:

6.1. The following planning applications were considered:

6.1.1. P191291/F – Glebe Cottage, Whitney on Wye HR3 6EG: House extension, plus residential annexe. Concerns were raised about the size and location of the proposed annexe, parking issues and flood risk. Previous planning permission required the property to have off-road parking for 2 vehicles, which is no longer an option and would be exacerbated by another dwelling. In addition, several NDP Housing policies are inconsistent with the proposals. It was, therefore, RESOLVED the PC should object to this application. In addition, the Clerk should contact Planning Enforcement regarding changes to the earlier permission.

6.1.2. P192154/L – Bridge House, Eardisley HR3 6NH: Proposed repairs to flood damaged ceiling on a listed property. No issue was put forward in relation to the proposed works. It was therefore, RESOLVED the PC should support this application.

6.1.3. P192040/L – The Granary, Winforton Court, Winforton HR3 6EA: Proposed reinstatement of arrow slit window on this listed property. The PC concluded reinstatement of the window would improve the aesthetics of the building. It was therefore, RESOLVED the PC should support this application.

6.2. The Clerk will respond 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/

7. Community matters:

7.1. Peacock Nuisance (Eardisley): The Clerk reported Peacock Rescue UK would be prepared to re-home the birds. However, they would preferably rely on local people to capture and secure the birds to ensure they were in one place for collection. The matter was further debated by councillors as it appears local opinion is divided about whether the birds should be removed. It was concluded this was not a decision EGPC could make and the matter should be referred back to residents to take up with the Police/Herefordshire Council.

7.2. Defibrillator Location & Signage: Following on from the purchase of defibrillator signs recently, it was felt the sign in Winforton was not sufficiently visible from the road. It was, therefore, AGREED options for installing a finger-post type sign should be explored by the Highways Working Group (HWG). In Eardisley, the sign has not yet been erected and a proposal was made for it to go up on the wall near the Noticeboard on the outside of the Village Hall. This would need to be pursued with the Village Hall Committee.

7.3. Noticeboard Replacement Options: Due to time pressures, the Clerk has not moved forward with this item. It was, therefore, AGREED the Community Working Group should look at options and come back to the PC with recommendations. The Clerk will pass on the research she has done.

8. Highways matters: the working group recently met with the recently appointed Footpaths Contractor, Mark Davies.

8.1. Winforton TRO: The decision has been taken to extend the 30mph restriction to the village gates at the western end of the village, as expected. At the eastern end, the option supported by EGPC to also extend the 30mph limit to the gate was overruled and the original proposal by HC/BBLP to extend the 40mph restriction was upheld. Nevertheless, funding remains in place for signage and road markings to be improved.

8.2. Courtlands Priority Right of Way: Feedback from the Community Commissioning Assessment was chased up, but there has been a delay on the HC/BBLP side; a response is promised soon. The residents’ petition presented to EGPC will be held on file by the Clerk pending any next steps.

8.3. Works Orders (Footpaths & Lengthsman): the HWG recommended approval of WO83 to install an additional finger post on Nicholas Common – APPROVED; WO84 to install a large kissing gate to replace two stiles on WW1 – subject to discussion with landowners about fencing, this was APPROVED as a job for October/November. A new WO should be raised to repair the 3rd stile on EE43, which needs a new cross step – APPROVED. The Lengthsman has been invited to accompany councillors on the next Parish Drive Round (29th July).

8.4. Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs): Since the last meeting, Phil Bayliss has taken on the role of moving the SIDs between villages on a rota; Steve Morgan will be responsible for changing and charging the batteries, as well as downloading data. Glynn Bailey will continue to analyse, collate and circulate the data. The HWG will continue to look at other traffic calming measures and types of SID. It was proposed to purchase two replacement batteries as the others are now quite old. This expenditure was APPROVED (subject to a total ceiling of £150.00); Steve Whittall to action.

8.5. A4111 Road Surface Issue: Further to the Ward Councillor’s update above, BBLP confirmed the section of road through Eardisley – from the point resurfaced previously, out past the gates at the northern end of the village – was not included in the programme of works for 20198-20. A new bid will need to be submitted for next year. It was RESOLVED more pressure should be exerted, with Graham’s assistance, on HC/BBLP for this work to be prioritised.

8.6. Silent Soldier Silhouettes & Poppy Wreaths: As agreed at the last meeting, both the PC-owned silhouettes and the village-owned one in Whitney are now in local storage until the run-up to Remembrance weekend 2019. Glynn undertook to remove the poppy wreaths from the village gates in Winforton as they have suffered the effects of weather and traffic.

9. Neighbourhood Planning Review Nancy James took the meeting through the following points:

9.1. Where is the NDP now? Although remains in place until 2031, it is important to periodically review the NDP. Against a background of national government wanting to build more houses, the housing policies from the NDP are now deemed to be ‘out of date’ in terms of numbers. The main reason for this is that HC has not met its 5-year housing target and is therefore having to review its own core strategy. Until this review is complete (est. late 2020/early 2021), the PC is likely to face pressure to increase the number of houses being built in the parish group. Nevertheless, the Planning Working Group will continue to assess planning applications based on the NDP policies and will encourage individual residents to submit their own comments if they have concerns.

9.2. Working Groups – new topics? It is important to incorporate sustainability and to promote local jobs and the economy as part of the working groups’ remit ; in addition, more focus is needed on traffic calming, community buildings and the environment to deliver the policies contained in our NDP. It was recommended and AGREED to allow new councillors who have just joined working groups, plus re-elected councillors who have changed groups, to settle in. The situation should be reviewed again early in 2020.

10. Finances: The July bank statement had not yet been received. Balances for June were shown as these were not available at the last meeting.

Main Account:                                      £9,171.96
No. 2 Account:                                      £7,834.99
Business Saver Account:                   £3,788.22

Since the last meeting, the Clerk paid (<£100.00 & dispensation on green bags):

Payee                                                Description                        Gross Amount (£)       VAT (£)

Herefordshire Council                      Green Bags                                     390.00                      0.00
Eardisley VH                                       Hall Hire (May)                                 38.00                       0.00

It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                                Description                        Gross Amount (£)       VAT (£)

Eardisley VH                                      Hall Hire (June)                                    19.00                  0.00
HMRC (Q1/2019)                              PAYE                                                    269.61                  0.00
A Morgan                                          Clerk Expenses (June 2019)               41.44                   1.63

11. Correspondence: The following items were noted:

11.1. An invitation was received from Kington Town Council to an event on 29th July from 7:00-9:00pm to discuss an initiative leading to a zero carbon Herefordshire. The invitation has been forwarded to all; please advise the Clerk if you would like to attend.

11.2. Challenge Fund Resurfacing Programme: BBLP wrote to advise the proposed schedule of works due to take place in the last two weeks of August 2019. This was discussed in the open session above.

12. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

12.1. Parking by the Tram Inn
12.2. HGV Speeding & Air Pollution (Eardisley)

13. Employment Matters: The public meeting was closed and a resolution passed to discuss a proposal to pay the Clerk additional hours for extra time worked in May and June 2019. A total of 10 hours per month (20 hours) was AUTHORISED.

Please send Agenda items to the Clerk by Friday, 6th September, thank you.

Monday 16th September, Winforton Community Hall, 7:30pm