Draft Minutes

Ewyas Harold Group Parish Council Annual meeting:

19.00hrs At The Pavilion.

Tuesday 10th May 2022

 

Minutes

 

Present: Councillors: Peter Jinman (in the chair), Sarah Eynon, Will Lloyd, Sally Probert, Liz Overstall, Malcolm Watkins, Stephen Clayton and Alex Culpin.

Also: Mark Hearne (Clerk), PCSO Pete Knight and a planning agent.

 

  1. To accept apologies for absence.

Councillor Conor Price

Terry Talbot – Footpaths Officer

 

  1. To receive declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation.
    • – Councillor Probert – Invoice submitted from her husband for work with the bins on behalf of the PC.
    • – Councillor Watkins – Invoice submitted by Mrs Chance for toilet cleaning.

 

  1. Election of Chairman – Councillor Jinman was proposed by Councillor Probert and seconded by Councillor Clayton. No other nominations were forthcoming, so Councillor Jinman was unanimously re-appointed Chairman and duly signed the acceptance of office form.

 

  1. Election of Vice Chairman – No nominations for Vice Chairman were presented and it was RESOLVED that no appointment should be made. It was further agreed that should the Chairman be absent at any subsequent meeting a Councillor would assume the role for that specific occasion only.

 

  1. Appointments to the following Working Groups

5.1 – Recreation Working Group – It was unanimously RESOLVED that the current membership of the group (Councillors Watkins, Lloyd & Eynon should be re-appointed.

5.2 – Finance Working Group – It was unanimously RESOLVED that the current membership of the group (Councillors Jinman, Probert and Eynon) should be re-appointed.

5.3 – Kemble Centre Working Group – It was unanimously RESOLVED that the current membership of the group (Councillors Jinman, Overstall and Culpin) should be re-appointed.

 

  1. To consider minutes of the previous meetings – 12th April 2022. Councillors agreed that the minutes were an accurate record of the meeting, and they were duly signed by the Chairman. The Clerk agreed to circulate the draft minutes within two weeks of the meeting asking for any proposed corrections to be submitted prior to the subsequent meeting. The Clerk also recommended the introduction of a resolution log which will be designed to provide an audit trail of all actions taken in Parish Council meetings and agreed to circulate an example for consideration.

 

  1. Matters arising from the minutes: No matters were raised.

 

  1. Matters arising between meetings: No matters were raised.

 

  1. Open Forum for Public Comments – The Chairman invited the planning agent to present his case in support of planning application 221273 (Land south of Trappe Cottage) which will be considered formally by Councillors later in the meeting. The Chairman commented that several Councillors had recently visited the site to acquire a clearer perspective of the proposed development. The agent went on to explain that the current proposals addresses some of the issues raised in opposition to the previous application highlighting the following key changes:
  • No development between footpaths.
  • Changes to the mix of houses.
  • The size of the larger houses will be reduced by 20%.
  • Focus on sustainability issues such as heat pumps and solar panels etc
  • Garages will now be attached to the properties.
  • The building materials will change from render to brick and timber.
  • Surface water and foul water will be managed through an attenuation basin and pumping station, respectively.
  • Changed positioning of the planned properties to safeguard the outlook from neighbouring houses.

The agent added that the current application is supported by the landscape, drainage and highways officers. The agent also commented that the planning officer insists on a development to include bungalows.

 

  1. To receive a brief report from
    • West Mercia Police – The following issues were raised:
      • Attempted vehicle theft in Elmdale during the weekend of the 11th/12th April 2022.
      • Speed enforcement has recently been undertaken on the B4347 Dark Lane junction and outside the Memorial Hall.
      • A tarmac gang operating in Michaelchurch had undertaken some unauthorised work and presented a property owner with a bill for £7k. The cheque was subsequently cancelled.
      • Any individual[s] touting for scrap metal should possess an appropriate licence from the local authority from the area in which they are operating. PCSO Knight was not aware that the scrap metal gang operating in the area was responsible for damage to a heavy metal fence in Dulas.
      • PCSO Knight suggested that the local Safer Neighbourhood Team should be contacted if anyone has concerns over a non-emergency issue.

 

 

  • Ward Councillor/Parish Council Chairman
    • Herefordshire Council’s Children’s Services will feature in a Panorama programme due to be broadcast on Monday 16th May 2022 which is expected to be critical of the Department’s performance following some high-profile legal cases. This is despite the significant improvements to Children’s Services during the last 12 months.
    • The Dulas Brook forms part of the Natural Flood Management programme and a further £1.27m has been made available from the Environment Agency for flood control measures. The Chairman added that correspondence has been received from the Environment Agency advising that work is due to be undertaken to test the utility of the river bund and the surrounding area.
    • The current funding available for road repairs will not meet the demand despite the acquisition of another JCB vehicle designed to repair potholes much more quickly than conventional methods.
    • Responsibility for PROWs and TROs have returned to Herefordshire Council and there have been some initial teething problems during the transition. All footpath issues should continue to be reported via the website.
    • A report from Audit and Governance on the link road in Hereford highlighted problems with contract management within Herefordshire Council and it is hoped this function will be more effective in the future.
    • No specific Parish Council issues to be raised but the Chairman congratulated Councillor Watkins and other team members who raised £18,500 for St Michael’s Hospice.

 

  • Footpaths Officer – Councillor Probert reported that the prospective candidate for the Footpath Officer’s role is now unlikely to confirm their interest having received the job specification. The Chairman suggested that this role could be covered by a walking group and encouraged Councillors to continue the search for a suitable person or persons.

 

  • Tree Warden – Councillor Overstall confirmed that the diseased Ash tree has been removed from the Kemble Centre using the contractor who submitted the first and lowest quote. People living in Horsecroft were delighted that the tree had been removed and some expressed a wish for some tree planting and possibly an area set aside to encourage greater biodiversity. Councillor Overstall asked if the Parish Council would be interested in liaising with the Horsecroft management company to explore the possibility of some tree planting. Councillor Overstall also reported that she has spoken to the head teacher and as a result four families have been identified who would like to participate in some tree planting in the recreation ground on Thursday 14th May 2022 but will avoid the area designated for the planned footpath. There are three trees originally earmarked for the Kemble Centre which need to be planted elsewhere.

 

  • Balfour Beatty – The Chairman mentioned that the Locality Steward does not routinely attend Parish Council meetings as they take place outside his normal hours of work. Councillors do, however, receive the Locality Steward’s weekly report.

 

  1. Action List for Councillors – Actions discussed under the various headings in these minutes

 

  1. Clerk Correspondence – The Clerk referred to correspondence from a resident who had expressed concerns over the planned development close to Trappe Cottage which will be discussed later in the meeting. Councillor Probert has advised the correspondent to arrange for his comments to be published on the LPA planning portal.

 

  1. Kemble Centre – The Chairman reported that there is nothing further to report. After discussion it was agreed that the Chairman should seek an update from the Arts Group. Councillor Overstall suggested that the situation at the Kemble Centre demonstrated the need for additional car parking capacity in the village. The Chairman added that it is important the grass cutting is undertaken on site and suggested that the tendency for a couple of cars to park on the grass should be monitored.

 

  1. Planning
    • The Chairman commented that the Parish Council has adopted a procedure whereby all planning application published on the website will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting which overcomes the problem of applications arriving after the agenda has been published and allows members of the public the opportunity to comment.
    • To consider comments on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council as listed below. Planning Consultation 221273 – Land south of Trappe Cottage, Ewyas Harold. The Chairman referred to the presentation from the agent earlier in the meeting and invited comments. Councillor Probert itemised a list of issues which were raised during a recent site visit, and these included:
  • Concerns over the road access to the site which is very tight.
  • A preference for fewer 4-bedroom dwellings.
  • Concerns over drainage with increased volumes of surface water flowing into the Dulas Brook.
  • Where responsibility will rest for maintaining the footpath, pond and wildlife area.

Councillor Overstall highlighted the plans for two bungalows which is contrary to the parish plan. Councillor Clayton added that he is not in favour of timber cladding. Councillor Watkins commented that the sewage system is currently not fit for purpose and the planned increase in dwellings in the village will further exacerbate the situation. The issue of water supply remains a concern especially as this was highlighted as part of the previous application. Councillors agreed that some greater clarity on the proposed management/maintenance of the footpath is required. The Chairman commented that the decision to narrow the road may have unexpected consequences as the extra dwellings will generate increased volumes of traffic. In conclusion, Councillors agreed to support the application but the submission to the LPS will include the issues/concerns raised during the discussion. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk responds to the LPA accordingly.

In discussion, Councillors also suggested that with higher number of dwellings (50) in the village and the consequent increase in the number of children it was RESOLVED that the Clerk seeks an assurance from Herefordshire Council that the local school will have the capacity to meet the higher demand for school places.

Councillors also asked the Clerk to contact Magdalene for an update on the anticipated completion date for the work adjacent to Trappe Cottage.

 

 

  1. Recreation ground/pavilion
    • Following discussion, it was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts Mr Steve Lloyd instructing him to undertake repairs to the bench, gutters, veranda and stile. It was further RESOLVED that Mr Lloyd is asked to submit a quotation for the installation of a stile in the fence adjacent to the zip wire.
    • The Chairman reported that, with Councillor Lloyd in attendance, he had met the benefactor on the 9th May 2022 to discuss the MUGA. The benefactor remains keen to fund the MUGA and expressed a firm preference for tennis to be the primary sport but was sanguine about the facility hosting netball and basketball. It was agreed that the facility will be tarmacked but making it suitable for use by people with disabilities adding that it should have open access but made vandal proof where practicable. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk checks with the LPA to ask if planning permission is required for the installation of the MUGA on the recreation ground. The discussion broadened to include the need for a public consultation which should be arranged as soon as a project plan (including the proposed extension to the car park and footpath) for the recreation ground are finalised..
    • With regards to the planned footpath the Chairman reported that the Football Association (FA) insist that no other structure can be within the requisite distance from the edge of the football pitch. Councillor Watkins agreed to consider if the plans for the footpath are compliant with FA rules and, if not, what changes could be made to ensure compliance. Part of this work will need to consider the needs of people with disabilities particularly those using wheelchairs and Councillor Lloyd agreed to investigate further. It was noted that the £10k grant offered by Herefordshire Community Fund may be used towards the cost of the footpath but there is money available in the Parish Council reserves to bridge any shortfall in funding. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk seeks the advice of the LPA to determine if planning permission is required.
    • Councillor Eynon asked about the frequency of the bin emptying by Herefordshire Council, and it was agreed that the Clerk should investigate and report back.

 

  1. Lengthsman
    • The Chairman confirmed that the Parish Council has been offered £4339 in response to the bid for drainage grant monies. It is proposed to earmark the grant funding for work at Rowlestone where a pipe has collapsed. The Lengthsman has been briefed on the work required and Councillors agreed that it is important to confirm that he is able to undertake the remedial action and supply a quotation and a start date. In parallel, it was RESOLVED that the clerk seeks an assurance from the Locality Steward that he is content for the work to proceed. Should the Lengthsman be unable to repair/replace the pipe the work would need to be referred to Balfour Beatty should an alternative qualified contractor not be identified.
    • Councillors discussed the requirement for a tendering exercise for two Lengthsman to cover major and minor work, respectively. It was

RESOLVED that the Clerk circulates a copy of a tender document which could be used as a prompt in documenting all required relevant tasks. Councillors expressed a clear preference for identifying a local person.

 

 

  1. Finance
    • The Chairman explained that the finance committee had recently reviewed the level of reserves and allocated monies to specific projects/activities which is necessary to satisfy the Internal Auditor.
    • Councillors noted the bank balances in the Finance Committee minutes.
    • It was RESOLVED to approve and/or note the following:
      • Payments annotated in the finance committee minutes.
      • Regular payments (as listed in the finance committee minutes)
      • Monies received: Wayleave (£38.76)
      • Grant requests for consideration: Drainage Grant
    • Councillors approved the adoption of a Reserves Policy for 2022/23.

 

  1. Community Resilience Plan – No further updates were reported.

 

  1. Roads – It was RESOLVED that a report covering road safety issues in the parish will be presented to the Parish Council at the next meeting.

 

  1. Platinum Jubilee – Councillor Probert reported that some parishioners have asked if the Parish Council is offering any support to Platinum Jubilee events taking place in the Temple Bar. The Chairman commented that any financial support to activities taking place on a commercial premises would be inappropriate. It was suggested that the Parish Council covers the cost of bunting for the village and the Chairman agreed to check how much he could make available from his charitable organisation.

 

  1. Informing parishioners of the work of the GPC including social media. It was RESOLVED that the following issues are published on social media.
  • Footpath Officer vacancy.

 

  1. To raise matters for the next agenda: As per this agenda and
    • Highways Report.

 

  1. To note the date of the next scheduled meeting: 14th June 2022 at the Pavilion.

 

Meeting closed at 21.15

 

 

Signed:_________________________________               Date: ________________

 

 

 

 

Future parish council meeting dates for 2022:

 

 

  Tuesday 14th June 7pm   The Pavilion
  Tuesday 12th July 7pm   The Pavilion
  Tuesday 9th August  (TBC) 7pm   The Pavilion
  Tuesday 13th September 7pm
  Tuesday 11th October 7pm
  Tuesday 8th November 7pm
  Tuesday 13th December 7pm