Minutes 19th March 2018

19th March 2018, Whitney on Wye Village Hall

Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), Chris Davies, Phil Eggerton, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Andrew Layton, Terry Morgan, Andrew Preece, Lewis Price, Sue Prosser, Rob Taylor, Paul Whittall, Steven Whittall
In Attendance: Ward Cllr Roger Phillips; Clerk to the Parish Council Alison Morgan
Members of the Public: 12

1. Apologies were accepted from Tony Raymond, Ward Councillor Clive Skelton and Julian Wyatt

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 Report: Cllr Phillips gave an update on a range of topics. He confirmed council tax has now been set after a delay; Roger has spoken with the head of Balfour Beatty (BBLP) about defects and issues; Jonathan Lester is the new head of Herefordshire Council; bypass consultation ends on 20th March. Roger also responded to many questions from residents and councillors. As usual, a full copy of Roger’s latest report was circulated to councillors and village email distribution lists and will be posted on the web site shortly.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Topics and comments made included:

  • Neighbouring Welsh roads appeared better maintained than those in Herefordshire/England; Roger explained the Barnett Formula, used to allocate funding, means relatively more money is available across the border.
  • The lack of affordable housing, housing for key workers and reduced opportunities for Section 106 funding in rural areas, due to the smaller numbers of houses being built in villages the size of those in the Eardisley parish group, is detrimental to the wider economy & social needs in Herefordshire.
  • Hereford Bypass proposals and consultation – closing date for public comment 20.03.2018; Roger urged those present to ensure their views were made.
  • Damage to the Winforton village gate – 3rd occasion in a matter of months. See Agenda point 8.6.
  • Speed restriction/TRO status in Winforton – to be discussed at Agenda point 8.5.1.
  • Eardisley Industrial Estate: Noise issue (hours of working, including Sundays), fire risk from tyres against perimeter close to houses and questions about type of business being conducted. It was advised noise should be reported to Herefordshire Council Environment Officer; fire risk to the fire station initially; the Environment Agency should be able to advise on type of business use and legality, etc.
  • Trees at Sawmills site had been cut down contrary to Neighbourhood Plan (NDP) policy. This should be looked into by the Environment Working Group.

4. Minutes of the meeting held on 29th January 2018 were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

5. The Finance & Compliance Working Group reported:

5.1. Data Protection Changes: The Clerk had completed on-line training and is due to attend a further session run by Herefordshire Council. Some questions impacting parish councils are still open and will affect operational decisions. A further update will be made once clarification has been received.

5.2. Annual Return 2018-19: New format forms from PFK Littlejohn were expected by the end of March; required actions will be reviewed on receipt.

5.3. Budget H2/2017-18: The Clerk is working towards completing the bank reconciliation for the financial year and will table the end of year budget for review at the April 2018 meeting.

5.4. Precept 2018-19: Herefordshire Council confirmed EGPC precept will remain at £10,000.00, as proposed. As usual, this will be payable to EGPC in two instalments in April and September 2018.

6. Report from the Planning Working Group (PWG): The Chairman opened the meeting to enable Nancy James to provide an update:

6.1. The Glebe Site, Eardisley: Contact was made by a consultant, Philip Staddon, representing the land owners, Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance (HDBF). An initial meeting will take place on the site on 26th March 2018 with the Chairman and members of the PWG. The purpose of the meeting is information gathering vis-à-vis feasibility of future development of the site, with reference to the criteria set out in the EGPC NDP.

6.2. Vodafone Mast, Eardisley: The Chairman kept the meeting open to permit Eardisley residents to voice their concerns. The Chairman went on to explain the application was considered by the full Parish Council; the Clerk had checked with Herefordshire Council who advised the application was posted on the main road outside the site for 21 days and no objections were received during the consultation period. EGPC supported the application on the basis improved mobile communications were highlighted by residents as a priority local issue in the NDP. This was documented in the minutes of June 2017 and a representation submitted to Herefordshire Planning accordingly.

6.3. The meeting was closed to consider current Planning applications of which there was one active:

6.3.1. P180454/F Orchard House, Winforton: Proposed change of use of land from agricultural to residential. The application was considered and APPROVED, based on the stated aim of an extension to the existing residential garden for the use of children’s play equipment. The Clerk to respond accordingly to HC Planning.

6.4. A round-up of all planning activity since the last meeting can be found in Planning Minutes March on the EGPC web site and/or you can review full details of each application via the HC Planning Portal (direct link from EGPC web site): https://eardisleygrouppc.org/planning-applications/

7. Environment Working Group: Mr Layton advised clearance works to the ditches on the Glebe land and in two fields beyond to alleviate flood risk were completed, as agreed at the last meeting. It was pointed out access to the area is difficult and must be retained for clearance of rubbish/vegetation in the event of any future development on the site (item 6.1 above refers).

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

8.1. Parish Drive Round (Eardisley): Lara Edwards (BBLP), 2 Eardisley Councillors, the Clerk and a representative of the Lengthsman had undertaken the walk and drive-round on 27.02.2018. It took in issues with overgrown vegetation around the Glebe Brook, HGV turning issues by the church, defects in the main road on the resurfaced area, issues on the Woodseaves Road (blocked ditches and bridge damage) and various problems between Woodseaves Road and Lower Welson. Feedback from BBLP and the Lengthsman is awaited on issue resolution and pricing for Lengthsman works. The Clerk will arrange dates for future drive rounds (Whitney/Winforton) with BBLP.

8.2. Parking, Church Road (Eardisley): Mr Eggerton is liaising with the landowner who has most issues from drivers parking close to the corner in Church Lane. BBLP is looking into cost for an additional bell bollard. The Lengthsman will provide indicative pricing on installation.

8.3. ‘No SatNav’ Signs: The Clerk showed photographs of examples and reported Lyonshall PC recently erected one for around £60.00. It was AGREED the HWG should investigate further; it was estimated 4 signs would be needed for the loop from Woodseaves Road, around Lower Welson and out to the Kington Road. Permission/advice would also need to be sought from BBLP on siting the signs.

8.4. Speed Camera Options: Having investigated the cost of a fixed camera for issuing penalties and the complexity of installation, etc., these were considered prohibitive for the PC to fund (circa. £40k). However, some initial information on alternative speed indicator devices had been obtained. The Chairman opened the meeting to enable resident Yvonne King to contribute supplementary information on this topic, the Safer Roads Partnership and other types of traffic calming measures. The Clerk advised a formal request was submitted on behalf of EGPC for the parish to be added to the SRP prioritisation list; response awaited. It was RESOLVED the HWG should investigate the available options further and report back to the next meeting.

8.5. Traffic Regulation Orders: The Chairman opened the meeting to permit HWG resident member Glynn Bailey to provide a status update on this topic.

8.5.1. Winforton: Graham Hornsby at BBLP advised BBLP submitted a report with recommendations to Herefordshire Council on 23.01.2018. Balfour Beatty believes the optimal arrangement is to move the 30mph slightly east and extend the 40mph limit out to the gateway, whereas EGPC wishes the 30mph to be extended fully to the eastern gateway. EGPC’s views were included in the report, together with a local petition signed by over 50 residents. A decision is awaited and there will be further opportunity for EGPC/residents to express their views later in the process. BBLP’s understanding is that the cost of this TRO & associated signage changes will be met by HC/BBLP.

8.5.2. Eardisley: The TRO to extend the speed restriction to the gates at both ends of the village had passed all major hurdles. Two final stages, known as the Notice of Making remain before the TRO should be finalised. BBLP estimate works should be completed within 6-8 weeks.

8.6. Village Gates: Damage, Maintenance & Spares: It was agreed a process is required going forward, especially given recent incidents in Winforton. It was AGREED the HWG needed to review options and report back to the full meeting.

8.7. Lengthsman & P3 Scheme 2017-18 and 2018-19 Update: The Clerk will provide exact figures for the next budget update, but the Lengthsman has been advised of the remaining balance for 2017-18 and asked to provide a list of what can be done this year. The P3 budget has mostly been spent and a stock of PROW items has been ordered; delivery is awaited. Most of the installation is likely to be done in 2018-19, due to budget constraints, but this is part of a rolling plan. The Clerk will liaise with the P3 Contractor regarding outstanding Works Orders.

9. Community Services: the following items were reported:

9.1. Winforton Defibrillator: It was anticipated this will be installed by 21.03.2018; Mr Goodman to keep the Clerk informed.

9.2. Defibrillator Signage: The Clerk showed examples of common signage, there are many options with varying prices. It was AGREED the Community Services Working Group (CSWG) should investigate further, e.g. type of signage, location, etc.

9.3. Kington Health Commission Review: The next meeting is due to take place in April.

9.4. ‘No Dog Fouling’ signs (Eardisley, near the Pump House): costs/options to be reviewed by CSWG.

10. Finance: Bank balances as at 9th March were confirmed as follows:

Main Account                         £9,103.91
No. 2 Account                         £7,353.90
Business Saver Account      £3,778.78

Since the last meeting, the Clerk paid (<£100.00, dispensation on green bags and as agreed in January, Agenda items 10 and 5.3):

Payee                                       Description                                       Gross Amount (£)      VAT (£)
Herefordshire Council          Green Bags (Eardisley Post Office)         222.00                         0.00
Royal British Legion              Silent Soldiers Initiative                            300.00                         0.00
SLCC                                        Data Protection Training (Clerk)                36.00                         6.00

It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                       Description                                       Gross Amount (£)     VAT (£)
Eyelid Prod. Ltd                   Annual Support EGPC Web Site              100.00                           0.00
McAfee                                  Anti-Virus Protection (2-year sub.)         119.99                         20.00
HALC                                     Annual Subscription 2018-19                   691.24                      115.21
Eardisley V. Hall                  Hall Fees (January Meeting)                         18.00                          0.00
A Morgan                              Office & Clerk Expenses (Jan/Feb)             54.08                           2.66
V8 Media Ltd                        Monthly Web Site Hosting Fee                   19.39                          3.23
HMRC                                    PAYE (Q4, 2017-18)                                     253.20                          0.00

11. Correspondence: 1) Andy Cameron: Advising weak mobile signal in the parish impacts feasibility of installing Smart Meters; energy companies are lobbying BT for better signal and advise it would be helpful for anyone thinking of having a Smart Meter to contact their supplier as the higher the demand, the more likely it is signal will be improved. 2) Herefordshire Council is highlighting the possible availability of grant funding from the Calor Rural Community Grant Fund. This has been circulated to village halls in case of interest.

12. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

Please send Agenda items to the Clerk by Friday, 13th April, thank you.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, 23rd April 2018, 7:30pm, Eardisley Village Hall