Minutes 18th September 2017

18th September 2017, Winforton Community Hall

Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), Chris Davies, Phil Eggerton, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Andrew Layton, Terry Morgan, Andrew Preece, Sue Prosser, Tony Raymond, Rob Taylor, Paul Whittall, Steven Whittall
In Attendance: Ward Councillor Roger Phillips, Clerk to the Parish Council Alison Morgan
14 Members of the Public

1. Apologies accepted from Julian Wyatt, Ward Councillor Clive Skelton & Lewis Price

2. No Declarations of Interest were received and the Register was duly annotated.

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

3. Open Discussion:

3.1. Ward Councillor, Roger Phillips, updated the meeting on Herefordshire Council spending; the Kington Medical Commission review, which had its inaugural meeting in July. Cllr Phillips also highlighted the Challenge Fund to be used by HC/BBLP to resurface the A438 from the welsh border to Hereford & that Winforton is scheduled for works in October. Roger undertook to liaise between EGPC, HC & BBLP to explore the possibility of incorporating traffic calming initiatives for Whitney & Winforton; he also requested supporting evidence in respect of complaints about recent resurfacing in Eardisley. In particular, an imbalance was reported between time the road was closed versus amount of work done / contractor time on site, as well as flooding & water pooling issues experienced subsequently. Roger will take these issues up with HC in the first instance (as commissioner of the work).

3.2. Gareth Pugh, Secretary/Treasurer, of the A L Lewis VC Memorial Fund briefed the meeting about planned commemorations in 2018, centenary of Allan Lewis’s death. In addition to local memorial ceremonies in Whitney & Brilley, several events are planned in Hereford and it is hoped funds can be raised to erect a bronze, life-size statue in a prominent city centre location. A donation request is included as Agenda Item 9.2.

3.3. Public Participation Period:

 Possibility of the Challenge Fund meeting the cost of double white lines (Winforton) & red hatching (Whitney), continuation from above.
 Communication & quality of work issues with HC/BBLP.
 Rights of Way issues Winforton/Eardisley. Susan Warne (FO) outlined several problems relating to landowners planting crops on or failing to clear footpaths, making them virtually impassable. It was AGREED Susan’s points would be investigated by the Highways Group & Ward Councillor Phillips will raise with BBLP; the latter were contacted by Susan but with little response to date.

4. Minutes of the meeting held on 17th July 2017 were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

5. The Finance & Compliance Working Group reported a request was received from HC regarding precept for 2018-19. Deadline for response is 31.12.2017 & a decision will be made at November’s meeting, following a review of the half yearly budget, to be presented at the EGPC meeting in October.

5.1. The Clerk advised the Annual Return 2016-2017 was approved by external auditors, Grant Thornton, with no additional comments to those already made by the HALC internal audit; the latter points are being actively followed up by the Finance Group. The Conclusion of Audit Notice was placed on Noticeboards and the web site for a period of weeks & will remain accessible on the web site for future reference. No requests to physically inspect the accounts were received from members of the public during the advertised period.

5.2. A draft Grants & Donations Policy & Application Form was sent to councillors for review and has been trialled for current applications. Guidance on completing the application form will be updated slightly (following feedback from applicants). It was RESOLVED to adopt the new policy & form with immediate effect and both will be available via the web site shortly.

5.3. The Clerk had attended a session at HC on updates to the Code of Conduct for Councillors and will communicate details at the October meeting.

5.4. The Clerk is working through outstanding VAT from May 2015 to date, with the intention of making a further claim before the end of this calendar year.

6. The Planning Working Group reported there were no new planning applications within the Parish for consideration at this meeting. A statement from EGPC supporting P172577/F – proposed single storey, extension to the rear of the Fire Station, Eardisley – was sent between meetings to meet the HC Planning deadline. The response can be viewed on the web site, see 6.3 below.

6.1. Recent construction to the rear of Garden House, Church Road, Eardisley. A concern was raised with HC Planning regarding the size & nature of this structure. A Planning Enforcement Officer is assigned, but no feedback was available in time for this meeting.

6.2. Application for change of use Welshwood: The Chairman opened the meeting to enable Welshwood residents to outline details of a current application adjacent to EGPC boundaries, including several significant structures and change to routing of the Herefordshire Trail. It was AGREED although not principal consultee as this falls under Brilley PC, EGPC should respond to express concerns.

6.3. No new applications; a round-up of Planning activity between the July-September meetings will be posted, alongside the minutes, on the web site.

7. No Environment Group update available.

7.1: concern was expressed about the state of the ditch on the footpath to the Glebe, Eardisley, which has filled with a significant amount of debris & is a flood risk. It was not clear if the ditch was the responsibility of HC/BBLP; Roger Phillips will contact them to find out & enquire whether they could undertake clearance.

8. The Highways Working Group (HWG) covered the following points:

8.1. It was concluded EGPC Insurance cover should not extend to personal equipment used by volunteers as this would become overly complex to administer.

8.2. Status of Whitney traffic calming proposals (as per NDP): due to lack of communication from HC/BBLP, it proved to be too late to co-ordinate improved road markings during recent resurfacing work. Nevertheless, Roger Phillips has raised the subject of red hatching again with BBLP & this has not been ruled out as part of the Challenge Fund works; similarly, double white lines in Winforton.

8.3. Proposal to name the restricted byway (WW14) in memory of A L Lewis VC: this was put on hold pending more investigation after Gareth Pugh made the meeting aware of already existing plans to create a circular memorial walk around Whitney & Brilley, taking in key points of interest relating to Allan Lewis.

9. One grant and one donation request were submitted for consideration. Both applicants completed application forms & provided supporting documentation. After due consideration, both requests were APPROVED, as follows:

9.1. Grant: Eardisley Millennium Castle Green Trust: £1,000.00. NB: as per the Grants Policy, relevant details such as receipts detailing spending will be requested in the letter of offer to ensure compliance with grant conditions outlined in the new policy.

9.2. A L Lewis VC Memorial Fund: £600.00. This is a one-off donation towards commissioning of the statue to be located in Hereford city centre.

10. Church Barn Farm Library: Lottery Funding Status: In the absence of Lewis Price, the Clerk advised new owners of the farm shop/café were in the process of finalising lease details with Whitney Court & should be ready to re-open for business very soon. It had been agreed with the new owners the community library could continue in situ (most likely run by local volunteers). The Clerk also confirmed the Awards for All lottery grant had been signed off by the lottery fund, on receipt of the final report and account of expenditure from the Church Barn Farm shop. There was VAT to be reclaimed by EGPC, which is included in the VAT refund work currently in process.

11. Community Services:

11.1: Defibrillators: the Eardisley unit is now in situ & the Chairman will chase up the electrician about Winforton’s installation.

11.2: Eardisley Street Lighting: The Clerk reported the faulty light in Almeley Road & repairs should occur within 10 days.

11.3 Kington Health Commission Review: Paul Whittall is EGPC’s representative & attended the initial meeting; concerns extend across the whole of health care provision services, particularly lack of GP’s/reliance on locums, cessation of the drop-in clinic in November and closure of the Jack Logan care unit.

12. Finance: Bank balances as at 8th September were confirmed as follows:

Main Account                                £10,344.41
No. 2 Account                                £  2,765.04
Business Saver Account              £   3,776.24

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

Payee                                   Description                              Amount (£)
Whitney Village Hall           Hall Hire (Defib. Training)               15.00
Eardisley Village Hall          Hall Hire (July Meetings)                 18.00
Herefordshire Council       Replacement Green Bags             370.00

It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                   Description                             Amount (£)
HALC                                     CiLCA Training (Clerk)                   480.00
SLCC                                      Clerk CiLCA Registration Fee       250.00
A Morgan                              Office & Clerk Expenses                 51.55
A Morgan                              Web Site Set-up (No.2 A/c)          146.15

13. Correspondence: 1) Notification of a new Data Protection Act from May 2018; HALC to arrange an info session shortly. 2) Donation Request from Age UK: no response so far to request to complete an application form. 3) AON: advised EGPC’s insurance policy is being taken over by BHIB Ltd; no change to provision. 4) Invite to Chairman & Clerk to attend seminar on Loneliness (to be considered).

14. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

 Challenge Fund implications Winforton & Whitney
 HC Briefing/Update at Shire Hall, Hereford (Chairman)
 Code of Conduct update (Clerk)
 A L Lewis VC Memorial Walk – status update
 Half Yearly Budget Review (Clerk/Chairman)
 Ditch on footpath to Glebe in Eardisley

Please send any additional Agenda items to the Clerk by Friday, 6th October, thank you.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, 16th October 2017, 7:30pm, Whitney on Wye Village Hall