20th May 2019, Eardisley Village Hall

Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Yvonne King, Andrew Layton, Terry Morgan, Sue Prosser, Paul Whittall and Steven Whittall

In Attendance: Clerk to the Parish Council, Alison Morgan

Members of the Public: 9

1. Apologies were accepted from Ward Councillor Graham Jones and Lewis Price.

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 attended the Eardisley Parish and EGPC Annual Meeting to introduce himself. He was unable to attend this meeting but hopes to be at the next one.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Items discussed included:

  • Wild peacock nuisance (Eardisley): The Chairman agreed to open the meeting at Agenda item 8.1 to permit further discussion.

4. Co-option: Four applicants had completed application and eligibility declaration forms, in respect of the six vacant seats in Eardisley parish. The candidates each introduced themselves and said a few words about what they hoped to bring to the role of councillor. The Chairman closed the meeting to the public for councillors to discuss the nominations privately, before re-admitting the public. A vote was held in respect of each person as follows:

4.1. Nancy James: Nancy’s co-option was proposed (Yvonne King) and seconded (Sue Prosser) before being APPROVED by a vote.

4.2. Geoff Greenhill: Geoff’s co-option was proposed (Andrew Layton), seconded (Paul Whittall) and APPROVED, as above.

4.3. Clint Welson: Clint’s co-option was proposed (Steve Whittall), seconded (Terry Morgan) and APPROVED, as above.

4.4. Phil Bayliss: Phil’s co-option was proposed (Steve Whittall), seconded (Ken Goodman) and APPROVED, as above.

4.5. The above newly co-opted councillors were welcomed on to the Parish Council and duly completed and signed Declaration of Acceptance of Office forms, witnessed by the Clerk. Register of Interests forms will be completed and returned to the Monitoring Officer within the 28-day statutory deadline.

4.6. The Clerk advised there was further interest and she will check whether it is possible to make more co-option appointments at the June meeting.

5. The Minutes of the meeting held on 15th April 2019 were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

6. Finance & Compliance matters:

6.1. Consideration of Working Group membership was rolled forward from the Annual Meeting to allow co-option appointments to be considered. The following changes were proposed and AGREED. A full breakdown of revised Working Group membership will be posted on the web site. The Clerk will post an appeal for more resident members via the village email distributions.

6.1.1. Finance & Compliance: Geoff Greenhill joined.
6.1.2. Planning: Steve Whittall and Nancy James joined as councillor members.
6.1.3. Highways: Phil Bayliss joined (councillor); Steve Morgan joined (resident).
6.1.4. Environment/Communities: It was proposed and AGREED structure of these groups would be reviewed by the Finance & Compliance WG for consideration at the June meeting.

6.2. Consideration of the following roles was rolled forward from the Annual Meeting:

6.2.1. Footpaths Officer (Winforton): councillors proposed Ken Goodman should take over in this role from Susan Warne; this was APPROVED by a majority vote.
6.2.2. Eardisley Village Hall Representative: Geoff Greenhill was appointed.
6.2.3. Millennium Green Representative: Geoff Greenhill was appointed.

6.3. Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) 2018/19: The Clerk reported the return has been drafted and the portfolio of documentation prepared and delivered to the internal auditor at HALC. There is an estimated two-week turn around time, so the auditor’s report should be available prior to the PC’s June meeting. The AGAR submission will need to be presented at the June meeting in order to meet external auditor deadlines.

6.3.1. Further to discussion at the last PC meeting, HALC confirmed the cost of the internal audit has increased slightly to £200.00, plus VAT. This was noted for transparency as the spend was previously authorised.

6.4. Cheque Signatories: Following the 2nd May elections, it was necessary to appoint two new signatories to provide EGPC with the level of coverage it requires, i.e. a total of four. Nominations were requested from councillors who are existing Barclays Bank clients as this accelerates security checks and approval of the change request. It was RESOLVED Nancy James and Steven Whittall should be the new signatories. The Clerk will contact Barclays to initiate the change.

6.5. Lengthsman/P3 2019-2020: The Chairman proposed moving this item to the end of the meeting for councillors to discuss in camera since the tenders contained commercially sensitive information. This was AGREED.

7. Planning matters [incorrectly numbered 6 – 6.2 in the associated Agenda; other subsequent items are also incremented by 1 in these Minutes due to a typing error in the agenda.]

7.1. Meeting Request with Herefordshire Planning: It is hoped the meeting with the Planning Manager for North Herefordshire and a colleague from the Neighbourhood Planning team will take place prior to the June PC meeting. The aim is to discuss the recent Courtlands Planning Inspectorate decision and its possible impact on future applications.

7.2. The following planning applications were considered:

7.2.1. P191190/F – Land adjoining the Field House, Almeley Road, Eardisley: Proposed residential development for 5 houses. This appeared to be re-submission of a previous application P174030/F previously submitted and refused by Herefordshire Council due to it being contrary to housing policies in the Neighbourhood Plan. It was, therefore, RESOLVED the PC should lodge an objection to this application.
7.2.2. P191202/F – Land to the rear of Wardour House, Church Lane, Whitney on Wye HR3 6EH: Erection of a residential dwelling, including a packaged treatment plant & associated works. The PC acknowledged measures taken since the original application (P150098) to make the aesthetics of the proposed building more in keeping with the surrounding area. Nevertheless, the site is outside the settlement frontage specified in the Neighbourhood Plan. It was, therefore, RESOLVED the PC should lodge an objection to this application.
7.2.3. P191491/AM – Non-Material Amendment (Whitney Toll Bridge). The Clerk drew attention to this application which was not notified to the PC and relates to re-siting of the ablutions block on an approved application. It was AGREED the Clerk should contact the Planning Officer to find out why the PC was not notified; there was no objection in principle to the proposal.

7.3. A round-up of all planning activity can be found on the EGPC web site and on the HC Planning Portal (direct link from EGPC web site): https://eardisleygrouppc.org/planning-applications/

8. Community matters:

8.1. Peacock Nuisance (Eardisley): The Chairman opened the meeting to enable resident Bill Rowlatt to address councillors. For some time, wild peacocks in Eardisley have been causing a nuisance to motorists and local gardeners. In addition, the peacocks roam close to the school and children’s play areas posing a health risk through their droppings. Recently there have been several incidents with peacocks being injured/killed by motorists and causing traffic congestion, as well as upset to drivers and bystanders. Numbers in the peacock population are rising due to uncontrolled breeding.
There is not thought to be any issue of ownership as the peacock group is ‘free range’. The Chairman returned the meeting to closed session and councillors debated the problem. There was no disagreement that this poses a local nuisance. The Chairman requested councillors to consider options and the Clerk undertook to contact rescue agencies (RSPB & RSPCA) to seek advice. It was thought ideally the birds should be relocated to a more suitable habitat.

8.2. Community Support Scheme (Eardisley): Further to the Annual Meeting, councillors were reminded a meeting is taking place at 7:30pm on Tuesday, 4th June in Eardisley Village Hall. The aim is to explore ideas for tackling isolation in the community. Anyone interested in this initiative is welcome to attend and it is hoped this will include parish councillors.

9. Highways matters:

9.1. Priority R.O.W for Motorists (the Courtlands): The Assessment Application form was submitted to BBLP and feedback is awaited. A copy can be found on the EGPC web site under Highways (Correspondence).

9.2. Winforton TRO Status Update: The decision has been further delayed due to the European elections. It is hoped to be received in time for EGPC’s June meeting.

9.3. EE12 Footpath Closure Concerns: The Clerk received confirmation from BBLP that the closure notice is temporary for both bridges that have been closed for safety reasons. BBLP will undertake repair works, estimated within the next 6 months. No exact date for the works is yet available as this will be prioritised considering other requirements county wide.

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

Main Account:                                              £9,726.53
No. 2 Account:                                              £7,834.99
Business Saver Account:                           £3,786.33

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

Payee                                       Description                             Gross Amount (£)               VAT (£)
Eyelid Productions                   Annual web site support             100.00                                   0.00

Since the last meeting, the Clerk paid the following item as per the Minutes of 15.04.2019:

Payee                                       Description                             Gross Amount (£)               VAT (£)
Eardisley Tennis Club              Donation                                        250.00                                   0.00

It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Payee                                       Description                             Gross Amount (£)               VAT (£)

Whitney VH                             Hall Hire (Feb/Apr 2019)                   42.00                                  0.00

A Morgan                                 Office & Clerk Expenses                    16.59                                1.33

11. Correspondence: The following items were noted:

11.1. Briefing letter and notes from PCC on ‘We Don’t Buy Crime’ initiative. Community Working Group to review this when membership is confirmed.

12. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:

12.1. Noticeboards update
12.2. Great Oak, Woodseaves: Ownership/Signage/Insurance (Environment Group needs to investigate this issue when membership is confirmed)
12.3. Village Gateway maintenance
12.4. Tram Inn parking issue
12.5. SID’s

13. The public meeting was closed and item 6.5 to consider the Lengthsman/P3 (Footpaths) services for 2019/20 was debated by councillors. Two tenders were submitted for Lengthsman works and three for Footpaths Maintenance. After comparing the tenders and discussing options, it was AGREED to offer contracts for 12 months as follows:

13.1. Richard Mills – to be retained as Lengthsman contractor.
13.2. Mark Davies – to be appointed as Parish Footpaths Maintenance contractor.

The Clerk will follow up with all contractors accordingly.

Please send Agenda items to the Clerk by Monday, 3rd June, thank you.


NEXT MEETING: Monday 10th June, Winforton Community Hall, 7:30pm