Minutes 20th January 2020


20th January 2020, Eardisley Village Hall

Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), Phil Bayliss, Chris England, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Geoff Greenhill, Yvonne King, Andrew Layton, 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: 7

1. Apologies were accepted from Nancy James, Lewis Price and Tony Raymond.

2. No Declarations of Interest or requests for Dispensation were received for this meeting.

3. Open Discussion:

3.1. Ward Councillor Address: Graham Jones reported Herefordshire Council budget will be discussed at its next full meeting on 14th February. Ongoing issues with local impact are phosphate levels in the River Lugg and onwards to the Wye and housing numbers not being met across the county. The bypass decision is now subject to a further review at a cost of £450,000 with the results expected to be published in July 2020. At the next meeting Graham should be able to update the PC on council recycling processes. Issues of time taken by BBLP to undertake minor repairs, as well as quality of tarmac laying were raised.

3.2. Public Participation Period:

  • A progress report was presented by Lou Mason on the Eardisley Neighbourhood Friends group that is now up & running in the central Eardisley area. The group is made up of a volunteer network that aims to combat loneliness and provide support to those in need of practical assistance, e.g. shopping, posting letters, etc. For the future, the Group is looking to hold social events and set up links with other support agencies, e.g. GP’s.

4. The Minutes of the meeting held on 18th November 2019 were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

5. The Finance & Compliance Working Group (FCWG) reported since the introduction of on-line banking on 1st November, out of 12 payments, only one cheque was written – with the other 11 transactions being made electronically. This represents greater efficiency and small savings on postage and stationery costs: The transfer of payroll to Autela Payroll Services went smoothly and December payroll was processed by them. A Risk Assessment will be carried out by the FCWG to include payroll outsourcing and will be an agenda item at the February PC meeting. Members of the group attended HALC training on Community Asset Transfer (CAT). The group will look at possible implications for EGPC, together with the Planning Group, and report back at a future PC meeting.

5.1. Bank Reconciliation & Budget Overview Reports Q3 2019/20: The Clerk presented these reports, which go towards the end of year accounting return; the figures were previously scrutinised by the FCWG; expenditure up to Q3 was reviewed against the 2019/20 budget. The reports were ACCEPTED in line with expectations. The Chairman will sign off and both reports will be made publicly available on the EGPC web site.

5.2. Meetings Schedule 2020-21: The Clerk advised this was confirmed, together with venues for the financial year ahead. A paper copy was distributed to councillors present and the programme is also accessible via the web site.

5.3. Councillor Training Proposal: As a follow-up to the group training session delivered by HALC after the May elections, it was proposed and AGREED a similar session should be arranged with HALC before the end of the financial year, if feasible. The next session will focus on the key area of Planning. The Clerk will liaise with HALC and advise options; the cost of £175.00 plus mileage and VAT was APPROVED.

6. The Planning Working Group (PWG) reported it had gone quiet in respect of planning applications, following the 8 responses made between November and the end of December. It was believed the Glebe Cottage, Whitney on Wye application, which was re-submitted, will be deferred until after the February Planning Committee meeting. It appeared a long-standing application for a grain store in Bakers’ Lane Winforton would go ahead following a change in regulations for such structures and comment was made that the PC was not consulted on this matter or directly notified of the outcome. Councillors were informed more work was required on minor changes to the NDP before the Planning Department would consider the housing policies to be sufficiently updated. EGPC will be represented at an upcoming session organised by the council to look in more detail at NDP reviews. Meanwhile, HALC is collecting examples from parish councils to show how planning decisions are overriding NDP policies. The Clerk will provide evidence from several recent EG examples. It is HALC’s aim to escalate the issue locally and it is thought NALC will also raise the problem at national level.

6.1. As usual, a round-up of all recent 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) reported statistics from the last SID data and confirmed the grant from the Police & Crime Commissioner for purchase of two replacement SIDs was due to be made imminently. The Clerk was liaising with the PCC’s office to raise the necessary paperwork. As soon as the funds were received, an order will be placed. Several Works Orders for the Lengthsman and Footpaths Contractor were approved by the Group and these were ratified by the PC. Other topics included: meeting with Kington Police and speed enforcement in Whitney, traffic calming and road safety in Eardisley; Winforton TRO, Redgates/Winforton restricted byway parking issues at the Tram Inn and potholes and blocked culverts at Whitney. To read the report in full, a page has been added under Highways on the EGPC web site: HWG Reports: https://eardisleygrouppc.org/highways-working-group-reports/

7.1. TRO Requirement – parking outside shop, Eardisley: this TRO, for 2 short term parking bays outside the shop, was due to expire recently. Following communication with HC, it was agreed to keep the TRO live to give the PC an opportunity to review whether it should be pursued. The matter will be discussed at the next HWG meeting.

7.2. Blocked Ditches behind Eardisley Church: BBLP responded they are not responsible for this as this section of road is not adopted. The HWG will discuss the implications of this, together with possible options, at their next meeting.

7.3. DMMO Status (EE49): Due to statutory reasons, this is going through an extended consultation process after an objection was received. The matter is now in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate and a decision is anticipated within 6 months.

7.4. Adoption Status of Roads at The Courtlands: As advised previously, the white lining indicating the Give Way requirement between the private road and the adopted road junction with the Courtlands has been completed. However, BBLP advised there is insufficient room going back from the white lines (onto the private road) to execute a give-way triangle on the road surface, since the road outside No’s 11 and 12 was never adopted. HC has asked if the PC wishes to lodge a request for this section of road to be adopted as it would seem to correct an anomaly. It was RESOLVED the PC should make this request. It was further stated, an unauthorised sign has been attached to the official Courtlands road sign; if it was still in place during the drive round, this would be brought to BBLP’s attention.

7.5. Next Parish Drive Round: Locality Steward, Lara Edwards, has offered dates at the end of February for the next drive round. Focus will be on Whitney/Winforton/Willersley but is likely to encompass issues elsewhere as well. It was AGREED the Clerk should establish availability of the Lengthsman and councillors will make themselves available accordingly.

7.6. Issues in Canon Ford Avenue: Issues were reported with an accumulation of rubbish and brambles overhanging the pavement to the rear of properties in this road. It was AGREED the issue would be investigated during the next drive round and options considered by the HWG as appropriate.

7.7. SID Disposal Options: It was proposed and RESOLVED to suspend use of the current SIDs after one developed a connectivity fault and the battery charger has also become unusable. Disposal of the existing units and peripherals will be undertaken by HWG members with access to compliant recycling and waste disposal facilities. It was noted the PC asset register will need to be updated.

8. Flooding: Councillor Layton tried unsuccessfully to contact Herefordshire Council for an update following the November meeting concerning flooding and installation of a warning system in Letton. It was noted that significant remedial works to alleviate flooding had taken place on the unclassified road to Kinnersley from Letton. This topic will be revisited at a future meeting when further information becomes available.

9. Finances: As at 10.01.2020, bank account balances were as follows:

Main Account                             £8,354.06
No. 2 Account                            £8,641.76
Business Saver Account           £3,792.00

9.1. The following items (<£100 delegation, dispensation on green bags or approved previously) paid by the Clerk since the last meeting were ratified:

Payee                                  Description                                      Gross Amount (£)   VAT (£)
Autela Payroll Services      Outsourced Payroll                                   15.70                      2.62
Go Home Direct                 Donation Whitney VH                             551.98                    92.00
Whitney VH                         Hall Hire                                                      42.00                      0.00
MCG Davies                        Footpath Works                                         75.00                      0.00
WD Layton & Sons             Millennium Green Trust Donation    1,113.12                 185.52


9.2. It was resolved to pay the following:

Payee                                  Description                                      Gross Amount (£)   VAT (£)
A Morgan Clerk                   Expenses (Nov/Dec 2019)                       40.58                     1.63

10. Correspondence: The following items were noted:

10.1. Allied Westminster – notification of a competition for village halls to win £1,000.00.
10.2. West Mercia PCC – re SIDs (see section 7 above).
10.3. HC – re NDP review sessions (see section 6 above).
10.4. HC/BBLP – Verge Cutting initiative – to be circulated.
10.5. HC – Flooding Support – to be circulated

11. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion.

Please send Agenda items for the next meeting to the Clerk by Friday, 7th February, thank you.

NEXT MEETING: Monday 17th February 2020 – Whitney on Wye Village Hall, 7:30pm