22nd March 2021, On-line via Zoom

Participants were reminded the meeting would be recorded and the recording retained by the Clerk until Minutes of the meeting are approved.*

Present: Alan Watkins, Phil Bayliss, Chris England, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Geoff Greenhill, Nancy James, Yvonne King, Terry Morgan, Sue Prosser, Paul Whittall and Steven Whittall

In Attendance: Clerk to the Parish Council, Alison Morgan

Members of the Public: 13

1. Apologies were received from Ward Cllr Graham Jones, Cllrs Andrew Layton, 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: In his absence, the Clerk advised Graham had no updates on Ramblers Way outline planning application or the traffic lights at Whitney toll bridge at this time.

3.2. Public Participation Period: Topics discussed included:

    • Representations were made in respect of two planning applications at Bower Brook Farm; points raised would be taken into consideration (agenda items 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 refer).
    • Representations were made regarding the planning application for Goosepool Cottage and information now published on Herefordshire Council’s Planning Portal. Agenda item 6.1.3 below refers.
    • An update on signage for the new developments to the rear of the Courtlands was requested; this is included in the Highways Working Group report (agenda item 7).

4. The Minutes of the last meeting held on 15th February 2021 were APPROVED as a true record, subject to a revision of wording regarding agenda item 5.2.1 (Millennium Green Trust donation); Cllr Greenhill to send suggested replacement text to the Clerk for amendment as appropriate. The Chairman will liaise with the Clerk to sign the amended version prior to the next meeting.

5. Finance & Compliance matters:

5.1. Councillor Co-option: The closing date for applications has passed with one candidate for consideration. It was, therefore, RESOLVED to proceed with the co-option nomination immediately. Following a representation from the candidate, Ian Bowman, the nomination to co-opt Mr Bowman as councillor for Eardisley was proposed, seconded and unanimously APPROVED. The Clerk will liaise with Mr Bowman and the Electoral Services Office to complete formalities.

5.2. Q3 2020/21 Financial Reports: Cllrs Greenhilll and Goodman had completed their scrutiny of detailed Q3 financial reports for internal audit purposes. Councillors voted to APPROVE the associated Payments & Receipts Summary Report and Q3 Budget Tracker.

5.3. HALC Membership Renewal: The Finance & Compliance Working Group (FCWG) proposed HALC membership should be renewed for 2021/22 and this was AGREED. See also agenda item 9.2.1 below.

5.4. HALC Internal Audit Service: the FCWG recommended the PC should engage the HALC service for the 2020/21 end of year internal audit as this worked well for the PC recent audits. The price remains unchanged, i.e., £200.00 + VAT. This proposal was APPROVED; the Clerk will liaise with HALC to confirm arrangements.

*Due to a Wi-Fi outage shortly after the start of the meeting, recording was cancelled.

5.5. Cabinet Minister Invite: the proposal to invite Herefordshire Councillor John Harrington, who has responsibility for Infrastructure and Transport, to a future PC meeting was fully supported. It was RESOLVED to invite Cllr Harrington to attend either the June or July meeting, by which time it was hoped physical PC meetings will have resumed since a high level of public interest is anticipated. An agenda will be specifically put together to make the most of this event.

5.6. Date of Next Meeting: It was AGREED to set the date for the next meeting as Monday, 26th April 2021, to enable preparation of the year end accounts. This will take place either via Zoom or as a physical meeting if restrictions have been sufficiently eased.

6. Planning matters: Cllr James reported no update on Ramblers Way, although it was hoped some news would emerge this week. Concerns regarding a start-up wood-cutting business have been referred to the Planning Enforcement team at Herefordshire Council. A Zoom meeting with HC NDP team to clarify points on possible NDP revision is scheduled for 30th March and will be attended by Nancy and Ian. The focus group looking at the Community Asset Transfer initiative has held initial discussions and updates on both matters should be available for the next PC meeting.

6.1. Planning Applications:

6.1.1. P204387/F – Bower Brook Farm, Eardisley HR3 6LP: – Proposed erection of a new agricultural building. Following public representations and discussion, it was RESOLVED to submit Comments to support the development in principle but seek mitigation of the impact on nearby dwellings and businesses.

6.1.2. P204406/F – Bower Brook Farm, Eardisley HR3 6LP: Proposed erection of a new agricultural building and the creation of a small area of concreting to create an additional area of yard outside the agricultural buildings. It was RESOLVED to respond as per 6.1.1. above.

6.1.3. P210362/FH: Goosepool Cottage, Winforton HR3 6EB: Removal of existing rear extension. Proposed single and two storey rear extension. Following public representation and discussion regarding reported legal issues, it was RESOLVED the PC should submit a Comment that it cannot make an informed representation without further clarification. This would be requested from the Council and a suggestion made to extend consultation deadlines in the interim.

The Clerk will submit responses on behalf of the Parish Council as indicated above.

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 Matters: The Highways Working Group (HWG) report can be found in full on the Highways page of the EGPC web site: https://eardisleygrouppc.org/highways-working-group-reports/ Bullet points included:

SIDs – location, possibility of more, latest data collected; Winforton Restricted Byway WW14; Purchase of PROW furniture; Progress of A438 TRO; Road condition issues (Eardisley) and signage at the Courtlands.

7.1. Verge Cutting 2021-22: The HWG recommendation for universal, twice yearly cuts to continue in Eardisley Group Parish was UPHELD. The Clerk will respond to HC/BBLP accordingly.

7.2. Hobby Lyons Bridge Repairs: These had overrun and were a source of much local frustration and confusion due to the stop-start nature of works and diversions and associated signage. No status updates were provided during the works. It was, therefore, recommended and AGREED the Clerk should raise a complaint with HC/BBLP.

8. Noticeboards: Cllr England provided an update on the proposal to replace the 3 parish noticeboards. More research had been undertaken and high-level quotes obtained for more economical options that would still enable the PC to become compliant and meet the joint needs of the PC and village communities. Examples were shown and it was RESOLVED more exact requirements and quotes would be obtained for consideration at the April meeting. It was also noted the Whitney noticeboard should be removed from the PC’s asset register as this is village hall owned property.

9. Payments:

9.1 The following payments made under delegated powers or prior approval in Minutes since the meeting on 15th February (see payments schedule below) were ratified:

Ref. Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
9.1.1 Hfd Council Green Bags (2 boxes) 400.00 0.00
9.1.2 Eardisley VH Hall Hire 57.00 0.00
9.1.3 Eyelid Prod. Ltd Web Site Support (Annual) 100.00 0.00
9.1.4 MCG Davies PROW WO LM05 160.00 0.00
9.1.5 Hirst Signs Ltd Defibrillator Signage 106.80 17.80
9.1.6 J Willett Winforton Byway Donation 190.00 0.00

9.2 it was resolved to pay the following:

Ref. Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
9.2.1 HALC Annual Subscription 825.02 137.50
9.2.2 A Morgan Office Expenses (Feb) 11.74 1.36
9.2.3 A Morgan Defibrillator Sign Fixings 31.30 5.22

10. Correspondence: The following item was noted:

10.1. Member of the public regarding Dark Skies; to be passed on to the Environment Working Group

11. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion.

11.1. Flooding (Woodseaves)

A RESOLUTION was passed to close the public meeting to discuss the final agenda points due to their confidential nature; the Clerk also left the meeting during the discussion.

12. Employment Matters:

12.1. Clerk’s Appraisal: The Chairman updated councillors on the Clerk’s recent appraisal, conducted together with HALC CEO Lynda Wilcox. Councillors were informed the Clerk had been successful in obtaining the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) qualification.

12.2. Spinal Column Point Uplift: as previously agreed in November 2019 and in accordance with the Clerk’s contract of employment, the Clerk’s spinal column point would be uplifted on successful completion of CiLCA. This intention was re-confirmed and an uplift from SCP 17 to SCP 26, currently £15.83 per hour, was APPROVED. This decision will be confirmed in writing to the Clerk and will be effective from 1st April 2021. The payroll provider will be informed and the budget for 2021-22 adjusted to reflect this change.

Please send Agenda items for the next meeting to the Clerk by Friday, 16th April 2021, thank you.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, 26th April 2021, 7:30pm, venue or on-line to be confirmed, dependent on Covid-19 restrictions and Government guidance.