MINUTES OF MEETING
29th January 2018, Eardisley Village Hall
Present: Alan Watkins (Chair), Chris Davies, Phil Eggerton, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Andrew Layton, Terry Morgan, Lewis Price, Sue Prosser, Tony Raymond, Rob Taylor, Paul Whittall, Steven Whittall
In Attendance: Cllr Philip Price, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure; Clerk to the Parish Council Alison Morgan
Members of the Public: 12
1. Apologies were accepted from Andrew Preece, Ward Councillor Clive Skelton, Julian Wyatt and Deputising Ward Councillor Roger Phillips.
2. Declarations of Interest were received from Phil Eggerton for Agenda Item 8.1 (P3 Budget) and Steve Whittall & Andrew Layton for Item 7 (Glebe ditch clearance); the Register was duly updated, and Councillors consented to leave the room at the relevant times.
2.1. No requests for Dispensation were received for this meeting.
3. Open Discussion:
3.1. Ward Councillor Report: Cllr Philip Price provided an update on his cabinet portfolio, plus topics ranging from Council Tax, latest proposals for the Hereford Bypass and implications of the county’s ageing population. He also fielded many & varied questions from residents & 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:
> The Royal British Legion (RBL) has launched the Silent Soldier campaign. The Chairman agreed to open the meeting at Item 10 to permit further discussion on this topic.
> Baker’s Lane, Winforton, sustained renewed surface damage from flooding recently. It was AGREED James Forrest would speak to landowners as this was usually remedied via self-help.
> Developers were leaving spoil and waste materials causing an obstruction on the PROW near the Poppins. James Forrest RESOLVED to speak with the developer.
> Winforton Footpaths Officer reported a possible issue with EE6 Winforton-Eardisley path not being marked. This would be monitored in case of problems once crops begin to grow in spring.
> Concerns about plans for a camping/caravan site in the field across from the toll bridge at Whitney. The Chairman explained Clifford PC would be the main consultee for a planning application, but it was likely EGPC would be consulted as the area is on its boundary. To date, nothing received. A resident referred to a letter from the Camping & Caravan Club, EGPC has not been copied in.
> More pooling water reported on the new A438 road surface, making it unpleasant for motorcyclists and with the potential to cause other issues in wet weather conditions.
> Speeding & overtaking issues in Winforton were flagged again; together with the need for Safer Roads Partnership prioritisation. It was also questioned whether HC/BBLP would still fund the TRO for Winforton’s speed restriction extension, as this was now separate from the Eardisley TRO. The Clerk to check the status with BBLP and add to the March agenda.
> Strong concerns have been raised by some Eardisley residents about the Vodaphone Mast due to be erected and the process for communicating the proposal. The Chairman responded that so far as EGPC was aware, public notices were posted by HC, as per their standard process. The application was debated last year & EGPC’s response was on HC’s Planning web site.
4. Minutes of the meeting held on 20th November 2017 were APPROVED, with a minor adjustment due to HMRC rounding on PAYE and were signed by the Chairman as a true record.
5. The Finance & Compliance Group reported:
5.1. Banking Arrangements: Two additional cheque signatories are now in place to reduce risk and provide EGPC with more flexibility, in respect of absences, etc. Dealings with the bank highlighted the need for the Clerk to obtain personal ID verification for the accounts and it was AGREED this should be done in parallel with exploring options for on-line banking. It was also recommended and APPROVED that a Direct Debit should be set up for the Clerk’s salary to simplify administration. Any changes to the salary remain subject to proposal and approval by a full PC meeting.
5.2. Annual Return 2018-19: The Clerk participated in a webinar with new external auditors, PKF Littlejohn. The forms will all be on-line and are due to be published in March. As a smaller authority with gross income/ expenditure <£25,000, EGPC should be eligible for self-certification, which should save the external auditor fees, unless exceptional circumstances (such as non-compliance) apply. It was recommended and RESOLVED that EGPC will engage a HALC internal auditor again this year.
5.3. Data Protection Changes: The Clerk explained in May 2018, the current Data Protection Act will be replaced by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new legislation will apply regardless of Brexit and will have greater scope and harsher penalties for non-compliance. The Clerk recommended she should attend an SLCC on-line training session for greater understanding at a cost of £30.00 + VAT; this was APPROVED. The Clerk to report back to the next PC meeting.
Other matters from the Finance & Compliance Working Group report:
5.4. VAT: The Clerk reported HMRC had approved in full EGPC’s claim covering the period May 2015 to end March 2017, inclusive. The sum of £4,861.79 was credited to the No. 2 Projects Bank Account. It was agreed to hold the money in this account (rather than transferring to Savings) for now.
5.5. Precept 2018-19: As noted by Cllr Philip Price, there is currently a delay in gaining final approval for HC’s budget and this has had a knock-on effect on approval of EGPC precept for next year, which is still pending.
6. There were no new, open planning applications to be discussed at this meeting.
6.1. A round-up of all planning activity since the last meeting can be found in Planning Minutes January 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/
6.2. CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy): Ward Cllr Roger Phillips pursued this question with Planning Officers at a Clerk’s meeting in early January. They responded (and further clarification can be found on the HC web site) “Given that the future of CIL in its current format is uncertain, Herefordshire Council have taken the decision to pause progressing the adoption of CIL locally …”, pending further government clarification.
7. Environment Working Group: Mr Layton was asked to give a brief overview of his findings, following an inspection of the blocked ditches along EE12 which pose a flood risk. It was agreed that work should be done before the end of March when crops would start to cause issues. Mr Layton & Mr S Whittall then left the room while the 3 contractor quotations obtained were reviewed. As all 3 quotes were very similar in nature, it was RESOLVED to proceed with the cheapest at £900.00 (+ VAT) for the work to be done as part of the Lengthsman scheme by W. D. Layton & Sons. The Clerk will investigate if there are likely to be any concerns from the Environment Agency regarding these works.
8. The Highways Working Group (HWG) update covered the following:
8.1. Lengthsman/P3 Budget 2018-19: Although Lengthsman grant funding is ending, it was agreed EGPC would remain with a Lengthsman-type of programme for next year. It was recommended & AGREED the Clerk would advise HC/BBLP accordingly and that the budget overall should remain approximately at the same level on Lengthsman & P3, at least for 2018-19.
8.1.1. Lengthsman Spending Recommendations: In addition to item 7 above, it was RESOLVED remaining budget should be prioritised based on HWG recommendations, i.e. Whitney on Wye (Whitney Court, Kiln Wood road back down to Woods Eaves road), Mill Half to Stowe Farm; Eardisley (area around Woods Eaves Farm). Other areas of concern, such as Lower Welson/The Dairy/Bower Lane would be looked at together with BBLP. It was AGREED the Clerk will contact the Lengthsman to check availability & pricing with a view to raising works orders.
8.1.2. P3 Spending Recommendations: Following discussion, it was AGREED remaining budget should be allocated primarily to purchase of PROW furniture prior to the end of March, together with already identified smaller works. This will enable more extensive upgrade projects to be executed in 2018-19, subject to approval of P3 grant funding by Herefordshire Council. Actions AGREED: Footpaths Officers for each village to agree requirements with Clerk & Clerk to raise works orders/place materials orders as appropriate.
8.2. Blocked Ditches/Drainage Issue: A resident reported an issue at the Hurstway on Woodseaves road. There was not a significant amount of residue water visible when Councillors inspected, so it was AGREED to keep the situation under review and for the resident to advise if the situation worsened.
8.3. Woods Eaves Remedial Works: It was noted overall HC/BBLP were considered to have done a good job on the stretch of road from Eardisley through to Mill Half in Whitney. The Clerk would follow up with the Locality Steward about the additional works order covering Mill Half to the A438 junction.
8.4. SID Analysis & Speed Cameras: The SID analysis showed ongoing issues with speed through all villages. It was suggested & AGREED this data should be circulated via the electronic village newsletters and be added to the EGPC web site when time permits. Roger Phillips continues to push this issue in his dealings with HC and Ministers (as per his report). The HWG needs to investigate camera options and costs as part of its ongoing work.
8.5. Parking Issue, Eardisley Church: Locality Steward to find out cost of bell bollards; these would need to be purchased/installed by EGPC; HWG should also consider other options to alleviate the issue.
8.6. Parish Drive Round: Initial date cancelled due to sickness; now rearranged for February (Eardisley).
8.7. TRO Eardisley: proposals for extension of 30mph speed restriction in Eardisley to the village gates were APPROVED. Clerk to send response to BBLP.
8.8. Challenge Fund 2: This phase will not have such a big impact on EGPC; therefore, it was RESOLVED to support the quickest option for roll-out.
9. Community Services: the following items were reported:
9.1. Winforton Defibrillator: It was anticipated this will be installed in the next week.
9.2. Kington Health Commission Review: The Logan Jack Unit has been temporarily re-opened with 10 beds and surgery reception staff reduced to 1 per shift to utilise staff more efficiently. Roger & Paul will continue to update on this topic.
10. Silent Soldier Initiative: The Secretary of the Royal British Legion gave details of an RBL initiative to mark the centenary of WW1. It was suggested EGPC may like to purchase one or more silhouette soldier(s). After discussion, it was AGREED to purchase one for each parish village initially at a cost of £100.00 each. The initiative will also be advertised to local residents and businesses and forms part of a national campaign.
11. Finance: Bank balances as at 9th January were confirmed as follows:
Main Account £10,369.51
No. 2 Account £7,353.90
Business Saver Account £3,776.90
Since the last meeting, the Clerk paid (<£100.00, dispensation on green bags and as agreed in November, Agenda item 8.4):
Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
Whitney Village Hall Oct/Nov Meetings 30.00 0.00
G Higgs Removal of Damaged Bough (P3) 160.00 0.00
P Eggerton Removal of Fallen Tree (P3) 192.00 0.00
It was RESOLVED to pay the following:
Payee Description Gross Amount (£) VAT (£)
A Morgan Office & Clerk Expenses (Nov/Dec) 36.90 2.66
12. Correspondence: 1) Hay, Brecon & Talgarth City of Sanctuary Group, requesting the possibility of Whitney on Wye hosting a respite day for refugees in March. The letter was passed to Whitney Village Hall for their committee to determine feasibility. 2) Herefordshire Council advised their ‘Great British Spring Clean’ initiative would be running from 2-4th March 2018. The Clerk will circulate details via the village electronic newsletters.
13. Matters for the Next Agenda – no discussion:
13.1. Speed Camera Options
13.2. Defibrillator Signage
13.3. Winforton TRO Status & Funding
Please send Agenda items to the Clerk by Friday, 9th March, thank you.
NEXT MEETING: Monday, 19th March 2018, 7:30pm, Whitney on Wye Village Hall