21st June 2021, Eardisley Village Hall

Present: Cllrs Alan Watkins, Phil Bayliss, Ian Bowman, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Geoff Greenhill, Nancy James, Terry Morgan, Lewis Price, Sue Prosser, Tony Raymond, Paul Whittall and Steven Whittall

In Attendance: Ward Councillor Graham Jones Clerk to the Parish Council: Alison Morgan

Members of the Public: 2

1. Apologies were accepted from Cllrs Chris England, Yvonne King and Andrew Layton

2. Declarations of Interest from Cllrs Price (6.1.5-6.1.7) and Raymond (6.1.3) were accepted and the register was duly signed. No requests for Dispensation were received for this meeting.

3. Open Discussion:

3.1. Ward Councillor Address: Graham reported some change in structure after the recent AGM resulting in a new chair of Planning (Terry Jones, Lib. Dem). The next Cabinet meeting would once again discuss transport strategy. Paul Walker had taken over as Chief Executive with initial focus on children’s social care. The date for Rambler’s Way planning committee was still unconfirmed. The contract for works on A438 near Whitney Toll Bridge was still not awarded although the works package had been split into two, with Balfour Beatty undertaking the design stage. More traffic incidents had occurred at the traffic lights in recent weeks. Road closure in Eardisley is planned for 24/25 July for some re-surfacing.
Cllr Morgan requested that the litter bin issue at Whitney Layby could be taken up by Graham with the Locality Steward.

3.2. Public Participation Period:

    • Eardisley School parking problems were raised again; options continue to be explored by the Parish Council with the relevant landowner of the Old Sawmills site.

4. The Minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on 24th May were APPROVED as a true record and were duly signed by the Chairman.

5. Finance & Compliance matters: Focus since the last meeting had been on consolidating the Annual Governance 2020-21 return.

5.1. Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) 2020-21

5.1.1. Exemption Criteria: Based on the end of year accounts figures presented at the last meeting, councillors considered and APPROVED that the PC met the specified criteria for declaring itself exempt from a limited assurance review under Section 9 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015. The Certificate of Exemption was duly signed by the Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) and Chairman and will be returned by the Clerk to the external auditors before 1st July 2021.

5.1.2. Internal Audit 2020-21: The PC’s internal audit, covering control objectives A-O of AGAR, had been undertaken since the last meeting and its findings and recommendations were reviewed by councillors. It was RESOLVED findings would be adopted and implemented on advice from the Finance & Compliance Working Group. The full report will be published on the PC’s web site as soon as possible.

5.1.3. Section 1 Annual Governance Statement: based on the internal audit assessment and consideration by councillors, it was RESOLVED statements 1-8 of AGAR warranted a ‘Yes’ response, while statement 9 is not applicable. Section 1 was duly signed by the Chairman and Clerk.

5.1.4. Section 2 Accounting Statements 2020/21: Councillors reviewed draft figures for the year ending 31st March 2021, together with an explanation of variances. It was RESOLVED the statements were correct and in accordance with the PC’s end of year reconciliation adopted at the April 2021 meeting. Section 2 and variances were duly signed by the RFO and Chairman.

5.1.5. Exercise of Public Rights: In line with the status of the above-mentioned elements of the AGAR 2020-21, it was AGREED dates for the exercise of public rights should be set to commence on Monday, 28th June, ending on Friday, 6th August 2021. This would ensure compliance with the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2015, Sections 25-27 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234).

6. Planning Working Group Report: A draft submission on Rambler’s Way had been prepared and a follow-up meeting would be arranged shortly. NDP revisions and the Community Asset Transfer initiative were both being progressed and progress will be reported at future meetings. The group would also look at the PC’s Section 106 Wishlist considering recently published guidance from Herefordshire Council. An outcome regarding the Glebe land development is expected soon.

6.1. Planning Applications: the following planning applications were considered; Cllrs Price and Raymond left the room during this part of the meeting and were recalled subsequently.

6.1.1. P211863/F – Eardisley CoE Primary School: Provision of Early Years Building – It was noted this was a good design, as well as supporting sustainability of the community.

6.1.2. P211768/K Trees in a Conservation Area: Proposed works to honey locust (T1). Fell to ground level. Tree encroaching on house, neighbours garden and 2 separate power lines.

6.1.3. P204387/F Bower Brook Farm, Eardisley: Proposed erection of a new agricultural building – extension to the existing sileage pit.

6.1.4. P211340/F Willersley Court Farm: Proposed sheds (open ended) to cover cattle manure currently stored on open land.

6.1.5. P211736/F Stowe Farm, Whitney: Cover over existing stock handling and loading area.

6.1.6. P211739/F Stowe Farm, Whitney: Replacement of dilapidated barn to improve water control in accordance with advice received from the Environment Agency to reduce potential for run-off.

6.1.7. P211753/F Stowe Farm, Whitney: Proposed cover over open sileage store to improve pollution control in accordance with advice received from the Environment Agency to reduce potential for run-off.

After due consideration, councillors RESOLVED all the above applications should be supported and the Clerk will make representations on behalf of the parish council accordingly.

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

7. Highways Working Group Report: Topics included SIDs; additional Lengthsman works orders would be provided to Mark Davies (contractor). The report can be found in full on the Highways page of the EGPC web site: https://eardisleygrouppc.org/highways-working-group-reports/ Current and past SID reports are available here: https://eardisleygrouppc.org/highways/speed-indicator-devices-sids/

8. Environment Working Group Report: Andrew Layton and Graham Jones met with Bruce Evans (Engineering Manager, Herefordshire Council) to look at the riverbank erosion close to the A438 by the Boat Inn in Whitney. This will continue to be monitored and HC will notify the Environment Agency. Brook clearance in Eardisley along the Park Road is needed prior to the autumn/winter; landowners were already contacted but no remedial action has been taken by them.

9. Payments:

9.1 Bank balances as at 9th June 2021 were reviewed and noted. A summary is attached to these minutes.

9.2 The following payments made under delegated powers or prior approval in Minutes since the meeting on 26th April (see payments schedule below) were ratified:

Ref. Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
9.2.1 HM Land Registry 4 x Land Registry Maps (CAT initiative) 12.00 0.00


9.3 It was RESOLVED to pay the following:

Ref. Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
9.3.1 A Morgan Office Expenses (May) 43.94 5.53

10. Correspondence: A reminder was received from Herefordshire Council regarding the next summit meeting. Councillors were asked to let the Clerk know if they wished to participate in the Zoom meeting.

11. Matters for the Next Agenda – No discussion

Please send Agenda items for the next meeting to the Clerk by Monday, 19th July 2021, thank you.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, 26th July 2021, 7:30pm, Eardisley Village Hall