Minutes 15th May 2017


15th May 2017, Eardisley Village Hall

Present: A Watkins (Chair). C Davies, P Eggerton, J Forrest, K Goodman, A Layton, T Morgan, A Preece, L Price, S Prosser, S Whittall

In Attendance: Clerk to the Parish Council – A Morgan
14 members of the public

1. Apologies were accepted from Cllr Skelton, Paul Whittall & Julian Wyatt. Not in Attendance: T Raymond and R Taylor.

2. One Declaration of Interest was received from Andrew Layton, who signed and updated the Register of Interests accordingly, in respect of Item 13 on the agenda.

3. Written Dispensation had been granted to Andrew Layton to enable him to remain in the room and contribute as appropriate to discussion relating to a confidential item of correspondence on the agenda.

4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th April 2017 were Approved and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

5. Public Participation Period: matters discussed were as follows:

 Attention was drawn to increased police presence on the A438 in respect of speed monitoring.
 In relation to the unofficial speed camera signs that had appeared in Winforton recently, it was pointed out these are illegal and it is an offence to ‘deface’ road signs; Balfour Beatty was, therefore, in the process of removing them.
 Congratulations were received on the outcome of the Old Sawmills planning application, which was rejected after the Chairman attended the HCC Planning Committee meeting and stated EGPC’s case. The decision was reported in the Hereford Times as a success for EGPC & neighbourhood planning and there is now a precedent set for any similar attempts to disregard the NDP.
 The importance of engaging skilled/willing residents to join working groups as volunteers was highlighted, together with the need to communicate the status of items included in the Neighbourhood Plan to all parish residents.
 The need to establish an electronic communications network for Eardisley, along the lines already existing for Whitney & Winforton.
 Winforton footpath changes to be discussed under Highways, below.

6. Highways Working Group Report:

1) The contract with BBLP to produce technical drawings for double white lines in Winforton had stalled due to the responsible member of staff leaving the company. It was agreed the Clerk should follow up with BBLP, but it was believed no appointment had yet been made.

2) Yvonne King laid out the historical background and evidence in support of HCC proposals to amend existing footpaths in Winforton and to reinstate a restricted byway, which was the original designation of the route. 100 Winforton residents had previously signed a petition in favour of the proposal, which was now back on the table and representations are due with HCC by 2nd June 2017. The Chairman opened the discussion to the public and the proposal was discussed in detail, with speakers for and against. Whilst issues of cost and concerns about inappropriate usage were raised, it was agreed these matters should be set aside for now and it was RESOLVED EGPC would support the proposal, in principle; the Clerk to respond accordingly.

3) The Clerk was asked to find out the policy on road sweeping after Eardisley residents living close to the road had reported a nuisance to their homes, cars & gardens from a build-up of roadside dust.

4) Following up on Whitney footpath issues raised at the village’s annual Parish Meeting, Terry Morgan reported blocked pathways were now clear, new signs and a finger post put up and faulty stiles repaired.

7. Environment Working Group Report:

1) Dog fouling at the Courtlands: Stonewater had inspected on site & given instructions to their grass cutting contractors; neither had witnessed a problem. EGPC purchased 2 signs for Winforton previously, but only one was used due to lack of demand; the second was re-allocated to Whitney. If there was now a need for increased signage, residents should make a request. Bins were not seen as the solution as emptying them tends to be an issue.

2) The topic of flood warnings needs to be followed up by the group and discussed again.

8. Planning Working Group Report:

1) Refusal of the Old Sawmills Application (152261). The group now needs to look at next steps & possible options for EGPC to engage with the developer & establish what might be feasible/ desirable as a way forward.

2) Bower Brook Farm (171555) – proposal to upgrade existing electrical supply – no objections.

3) Whitney Toll Bridge (171355) – clarification of change of use & extension to create a Cafe, Visitor Centre & disabled WC facilities; includes demolition of surrounding sheds, amenity building & other non-listed structures, plus addition of an extra section of balcony – no objections raised.

9. Finance & Compliance Working Group Report:

1) the Chairman has spoken with the Highways group, who need to liaise with Lengthsman/P3 on the annual plan of works as a priority.

2) Insurance: the clerk is seeking clarification on the renewal coverage.

3) The assets register needs to be updated to include SID’s, Village Gates & Defibrillator units. It was proposed and AGREED to remove an old filing cabinet and to purchase archive boxes instead.

4) It was proposed and AGREED the Clerk should subscribe to the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), costing £72.00 in the first year for basic membership. This gives access to a 24/7 Help Line and other on-line resources.

10. IT Status Update: The Clerk gave a preview of the new EGPC web site. Set-up is ongoing with the web site developer. Subject to training and testing, it is hoped the web site will be live by the end of June 2017 and further developed over the coming year.

11. Defibrillators: Installation of units in Eardisley and Winforton needs to be co-ordinated & arranged as soon as possible; Phil Eggerton agreed to follow this up. Training dates confirmed on 23rd and 25th May in Whitney and Eardisley. Training has been publicised via noticeboards, parish magazine and email (Winforton & Whitney only). Flyers were being delivered to all Whitney homes.

12. Finance: Bank balances were given as follows:

Main Account                       £ 13,202.01
No. 2 Account                        £ 2,978.55
Business Saver Account       £ 3,776.24

Since the last meeting, the Clerk has paid (<£100.00):

Payee                                    Description Amount                                                 (£)
Whitney Village Hall         Hall Hire                                                                    *15.00
HALC                                   Audit Answers Training (Chairman & Clerk)       72.00

It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                   Description Amount                                                  (£)
AON Insurance                 EGPC Policy Renewal                                             **335.86
SLCC (A Morgan)             SLCC Annual Membership                                          72.00
A Morgan                           Office & Clerk Expenses                                                54.52
A Morgan                           IT Reimbursement                                                 ***532.99

* This amount is correctly shown as £15.00 (a correction from £17.00 stated on the agenda for this meeting in error).
** Agreed in principle, subject to follow up by Clerk with AON.
*** To be paid from No. 2 Account. Majority is covered by the Transparency Fund grant; additional items as per the IT proposal, approved February 2017. The Clerk will document in detail to provide an audit trail. This amount includes VAT, which will be reclaimed in due course.

13. Correspondence: 1) The Clerk received acknowledgement from HMRC of the re-submitted VAT126 claim. HMRC advised they sent EGPC’s case to their compliance office which will result in a further processing delay. 2) The Chairman advised the second item of correspondence related to a complaint. Councillors to receive an update in camera as the matter was of a sensitive nature. The public meeting was, therefore, closed after a reminder about agenda items for the next meeting.

14. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

 EGPC Annual Return

All other items to be sent to the Clerk by Friday, 9th June, please.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: Monday, 19th June 2017, 7:30pm, Winforton Community Hall