Minutes – 26th June 2018

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Pencombe Group Parish Council held on 26th June 2018 at Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall, commencing at 8.00pm.

TB opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and apologising for his behaviour during the ordinary meeting of Pencombe Group Parish Council in April.

77/18 To elect the Chairman of the Council and to receive the Declaration of Acceptance of Office:

a. TB was thanked for his services during the last twelve months. CH proposed he be re-elected and this was seconded by PH.

b. TB signed the declaration.

78/18 To elect the Vice-Chairman of the Council and to receive the Declaration of Acceptance of Office:

a. AL was proposed by TB and seconded by CH.

b. AL signed the declaration.

79/18 To receive and consider apologies for absence:

a. Apologies were received from:
• Councillor John Barrett [JB] {0/1}

b. Those present were:
• Councillor Tony Brazier [TB] (Chairman) {1/1}
• Councillor Anthony Legge [AL] (Vice-Chairman) {1/1}
• Councillor Chris Hayes [CH] {1/1}
• Councillor Phil Hope [PH] {1/1}
• Councillor Tony French [TF] {1/1}
• Councillor Bruce Baker [BB] • Karen Hodges [KH] (Parish Clerk [PC])
• Andrew Mottram [AM] (Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall Chairman)
• Members of the public:

 Ruth Crosskey
 Ken Wilcocks
 Mo Willcocks
 Lindsay Sutton
 Susan Drew
 Allan Drew
 Jackie Hope
 Alec Brazier
 Tony Davies
 Mervyn Walsh
 Margaret Simcock
 Carol Jinks
 Sue Clark
 Alison Maynard
 Rosemary Brown
 Peggy Harris
 Monica Clarke
 Lilian Alderson
 Max Foster
 Mark Foster
 Rita Williams
 Rowena Hatfield
 Michael Rushgrove
 Ian Pardoe
 Sarah Mulroy
 John Mulroy
 Stephen Edwards

80/18 To receive Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation:

a. There were none received.

81/18 Election of other officers:

81.1/18 Responsible Financial Officer (RFO):

a. The RFO position is formally held by the Parish Clerk.

81.2/18 Parish Footpath Officer (FPO):

a. Mrs Margaret Simcock was proposed by CH and seconded by TB.

81.3/18 Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall Representative:

a. CH was proposed by TB and seconded by AL.

81.4/18 Neighbourhood Development Plan Sub-Committee Representative:

a. JB was proposed by TB and seconded by CH.

81.5/18 Planning Committee:

a. Mr Stephen Edwards was proposed by TB and seconded by PH. It was noted that further guidance should be provided on this role.

81.6/18 Emergency Co-ordinator:

a. This position was not appointed. It was noted that further guidance should be provided on this role.

82/18 Open session:

82.1/18 To receive a verbal update from the Ward Councillor:

a. BB confirmed that bus route 405 was safe following some speculation.

b. Concerns raised regarding large agricultural machinery travelling to the anaerobic digester at Two Hoots Farm have been taken forward by BB but he is limited to what can be done. The digester was awarded planning based on an agricultural operation so minimal restrictions were applied. Vehicles are travelling on the public highway so the only restriction is the 30 mph speed limit. BB noted that if there are specific concerns residents should take the registration number of the vehicle and any trailers and provide to him so he can pursue.

c. BB is Vice-Chairman of the Hereford Bypass Scrutiny Committee. The next meeting will be on 27th June to review the proposed routes.

d. A number of complaints were received regarding the Herefordshire Council/Balfour Beatty’s bad weather response. BB noted that they struggled to clear the main routes so by the time the C and U roads were cleared there were a number of abandoned vehicles which impacted on clearing. BB confirmed that Herefordshire Council does have sufficient equipment to deal with bad weather.

e. Universal credit, the new payment to help with living costs for those with a low income, launches this month in Hereford.

f. Ofsted inspections are currently taking place in Herefordshire.

g. BB reminded attendees of the Herefordshire core strategy which states that 16,500 dwellings will be provided by 2031. Mr Allan Drew asked a question regarding section 106 agreements between Local Authorities and developers, where money is put back into the community when more than 10 dwellings are built. BB noted that there are some issues with agreements but these are being looked at by the planning committee. He noted the new development in Bodenham and gave praise to the developers, Bell Homes.

82.2/18 To receive queries or concerns by local residents on parish matters:

a. A query was received regarding the grass cutting, as it is felt that the village is not as tidy as it should be. The contract terms were highlighted in that there were six cuts between March and October so this equates to one cut every 5-6 weeks. This season’s weather had not helped as the earlier cuts were delayed due to the wet weather and the recent hot weather had caused significant growth.

b. RESOLVED & ACTION: Following discussion it was agreed that an additional cut could be made in addition to those left before October. TB to review and discuss with the contractor.

c. RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed to increase the number of cuts, specifically during the main growing season in May/June, in next year’s tender. The PC will include in the tender documentation and also include as part of the budget.

d. KH noted a query received via email regarding work being completed by Complete Utilities in relation to the Fastershire broadband project. It had been noted that workmen had left the part of the village near to the Swedish Houses in a terrible mess and had blocked a drain. Complete Utilities were contacted and representatives attended to improve the works and unblock the drain.

BB left the meeting at this point.

83/18 To adopt the minutes of the previous meeting – 24th April 2018:

a. RESOLVED: The minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed as being an accurate record of what took place.

84/18 To receive matters arising not on the agenda (for report only):

a. There were none received.

85/18 To receive an update on the action points of the previous meeting:

a. Re: 64/18a: Dog fouling – Complete. The Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) came into effect on 27 March 2018 for a period of three years. It requires dog owners to remove dog faeces; requires dogs to be put on leads within land that is used as a memorial, burial ground, cemetery or garden of remembrance; requires do owners to put their dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer; and excludes dogs from a dog exclusion zone. The PSPO has the force of law and those who ignore it can face a fixed penalty fine or prosecution. Trading Standards now have new signs available for display. KH has requested some and advised of the locations of the current signs.

b. Re: 64/18b: Cemetery reserved plots – To carry forward. KH is still to contact those who have reserved plots to finalise the paperwork and payments.


c. Re: 64/18d: Cemetery documentation – In progress. The majority of paperwork is now available on the parish website but further work is still required. The files have been retrieved from Hereford Archives and all past records are complete. KH will ensure all the records are put into an electronic file.

e. Re: 64/18e: Archived parish hall file – Complete. KH retrieved the parish hall file from Hereford Archives but it did not contain any documentation relevant to the current situation. The document will be returned to Hereford Archives.

f. Re: 64/18f: Parish hall working document –See 93/18.

g. Re: 64/18eh: Local bad weather contractor – In progress. KH has contacted BBLP and they have advised that under data protection law they need to get the contractors consent before providing details. This has been sought by BBLP.

h. Re: 64/18k: War memorial grant – In progress. KH has contacted Steve Allard & Son regarding the potential for getting a grant and is awaiting a response.

i. Re: 64/18m: Heartstart training – In progress. An evening date in the last week of July or first week of August has been suggested by Heartstart. KH has checked availability of the parish hall and the date will be agreed. CH confirmed that she would be willing to act as a contact with Heartstart due to the Parish Clerk vacancy.

j. Re: 66/18c: Parish Clerk recruitment – See 90/18.

k. Re: 67/18c: Road update on website – To carry forward. KH is still to add details on road defects to the parish website.

l. Re: 69/18c: Community First meeting – Complete. The meeting was held between KH, AM and Community First. See 93/18.

86/18 Finance:

86.1/18 Presentation of end of year accounts and internal auditors report for approval:

a. KH presented the end of year accounts and accounting statements for approval.

b. Variances from 2016/17 were noted as follows:
• Box 1: + £2315 due to an increase in total value of cash and short term investments on the previous year.
• Box 2: + £1000 due to an increase in the precept requested and awarded.
• Box 3: – £3699 due to a higher percentage contribution from Herefordshire Council for the Lengthsman Scheme and a VAT reclaim being made in 2016/17.
• Box 4: + £3193 due to the 2016/17 staff costs being paid in 2017/18 and an increase in hours and change of salary scale during 2017/18.
• Box 5: £0 due to loan repayments being made in both years.
• Box 6: – £3119 due to a number of additional ‘one-off’ payments being made in 2016/17, e.g. Causeway works; donation to Pencombe School; purchase of the parish map; electrical work for the defibrillator installation.

86.2/18 To approve and sign the Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR):

86.2i/18 Annual Governance Statement 2017/18

a. Section 1 of the AGAR was reviewed and signed by TB & KH.

86.2ii/18 Accounting Statements 2017/18

a. Section 2 of the AGAR was reviewed and signed by TB & KH.

b. The exercise of public rights dates were agreed as Friday 29 June – Thursday 9 August 2018.

c. ACTION: KH will display the relevant documents on the notice board and parish website and return the documentation to the external auditor.

86.3/18 To confirm re-appointment of Internal Auditor:

a. Mr Ian Pardoe was thanked for his continued services as Internal Auditor.

b. RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that £30 is gifted to Ian via the Wheelwrights Arms. KH to action.

c. RESOLVED: It was agreed that Ian be asked to serve as Internal Auditor for a further year. Ian was happy to accept.

86.4/18 HSBC bank balances & spend against budget:

a. Community a/c (as at 21/06/2018) = £7431.65.

b. Business Money Manager a/c (as at 21/06/2018) = £10836.69.

c. KH presented the actual spend against budget to date (as per attached). There are no concerns.

d. RESOLVED: It was agreed to transfer funds into the BMM a/c once all payments had been made to leave a balance of c. £2000 in the community a/c.

86.5/18 To note income received/due:

a. Herefordshire Council = £277.20 for the 33% contribution to the 2017/18 Lengthsman Scheme.

b. Bad weather response donations = £87.25 from collections in the Post Office, Wheelwrights Arms and Three Horseshoes Inn.

c. HMRC = £934.25 for the VAT reclaim from 01/09/2016 – 31/03/2018.

86.6/18 To consider payments due:

a. Herefordshire Council = £100.00 for the second and third instalment of burial ground business rates.

b. Information Commissioners Office (KR Hodges) = £40.00 for the data renewal fee.

c. BHIB Insurance Brokers = £213.01 for 2018/19 Local Councils insurance renewal.

d. AC Garden Services = £620.00 for April and May grass cutting.

e. Eyelid Productions Ltd = £100.00 for annual website support until June 2019.

f. St Michael’s Hospice, County Air Ambulance, Matthew Davies Leukaemia Fund = £29.08 each following the bad weather response donations.

g. KR Hodges = £821.82 for salary from 01/04/2018 – 30/06/2018.

h. HMRC = £204.20 for income tax from 01/04/2018 – 30/06/2018.

i. RESOLVED: It was agreed for all payments to be made.

87/18 To review and adopt the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations

a. Following a review of the current documents KH noted that there were no changes required. Mr Allan Drew queried the detail of filming meetings and press involvement (2.10 & 2.11) as he thought this was now allowed.
ACTION: PC to check model standing orders and amend if necessary.

b. RESOLVED: It was agreed that the Financial Regulations were re-adopted. The Standing Orders were re-adopted if no changes are required. If a change is required it will be scheduled for discussion at a further meeting.

88/18 To review the Council asset register

a. The previously circulated asset register was reviewed and the additional information regarding the location of benches and maintenance requirements was added.

89/18 To review the Council insurance policy

a. KH advised that the 2018/19 Local Councils insurance renewal had already been completed following email correspondence with Councillors. This was due to the May meeting being cancelled and the policy renewal date being 01/06/2018.

b. The current insurance, provided through BHIB Insurance Brokers and underwritten by Aviva, renewal fee is £213.01. KH noted that an alternative quote had been sought from Came & Company, recommended by SLCC, and was considerably more expensive at £344.74 for comparable cover.

c. KH noted that BHIB do provide a three year long term agreement which would provide a discount of 5% and guarantee renewal on the same rates as the current year.

d. RESOLVED: It was agreed that additional quotes should be sourced in April 2019 and if the current provider is still significantly cheaper for the same cover then it should be renewed with consideration being given to the long term agreement.

90/18 To consider action for Parish Clerk recruitment:

a. KH advised that whilst she had continued in post beyond her notice period she was no longer able to continue past 30/06/2018. KH had discussed this with HALC and recommended that the Council use the HALC temporary clerk cover, costing £150 per meeting, and their recruitment service, costing £200. HALC would cover all actions required for meetings and all recruitment action to ensure that a suitable parish clerk is appointed.

b. KH noted that she has been working on suitable ‘desk instructions’ to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible and all information is handed over in a suitable manner. KH will be happy to support a temporary clerk and to also assist the new permanent clerk once appointed.

c. KH noted that the cemetery paperwork still needed some attention and agreed that she would be happy to keep hold of this area and handover once it is organised.

d. RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that HALC services should be used and for KH to make the necessary arrangements. KH will continue to keep the relevant equipment and documentation until a replacement is appointed.

91/18 To consider salary review in line with NALC guidelines

a. KH noted that new pay scales for 2018/19 had been agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services, effective from 01/04/2018.

b. The current pay scale (SCP23) has increased to £21,963, which is an increase of 22p per hour. On a current basis of 7 hours per week the current salary will be £4103.08 per annum.

c. RESOLVED: It was agreed that the new salary rates be adopted effective from 01/04/2018.

92/18 To receive an update on GDPR regulations

a. The previously circulated report and draft documents were discussed.

b. RESOLVED: The previously circulated action plan was endorsed to demonstrate compliance.

c. RESOLVED: The draft policies, as detailed above, were adopted.

d. RESOLVED: It was agreed that the parish clerk be appointed as the Data Protection Compliance Officer.

93/18 To receive an update on Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall management and maintenance and agree attendance at the next Committee of Management [CoM] meeting:

a. KH & AM met with Richard Timney [RT] from Community First to seek advice on the relationship between the Parish Council and CoM which was extremely useful. Following this a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] had been drafted to clearly document the relationship. This was discussed at the CoM meeting on 20/06/2018 and some revisions had been made.
RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that KH and AM will meet further to discuss the revisions.

b. It was noted that volunteers are still being sought for the vacant CoM positions. Further work will be done to promote the positions and Councillors were asked to support this wherever possible.

c. CH will attend the next CoM meeting as the newly elected representative.

94/18 To sign the grass cutting contract for 2018

a. KH is now in receipt of the relevant insurance documents for AC Garden Services and a signed contract. TB signed this on behalf of the Council.

95/18 To consider the issues raised on PG10/PG11 from the Humber, Ford & Stoke Prior FPO

a. KH highlighted the issues raised regarding way markers and gate defects on PG10/PG11.
ACTION: It was agreed that KH will liaise with TB to identify the relevant landowners to discuss directly.

96/18 To consider proposals under the ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme for the parish telephone boxes

a. Following investigation with BT the following information had been provided:
• Sparrington (01885 400249) was adopted by The Community Heartbeat Trust in 2015. Their purpose would be to work in conjunction with the community/parish councils regarding the installation of a defibrillator. KH has contacted the Trust to seek further information.
• Little Cowarne (01885 400634) is currently with contractors for removal. An application has been logged for adoption but a signed contract and £1.00 fee would need to be returned quickly as the removal cannot be stopped until received.
• Pencombe (01885 400637) is a listed kiosk so it cannot be removed. Consent from Herefordshire Council would be needed to adopt the kiosk.

b. RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that Little Cowarne telephone box should be purchased and contract was signed by TB. This will be actioned prior to any decision being made on Pencombe telephone box.

97/18 To receive an update on community led housing

a. KH advised that Connexus have been put into contact with the land owner of where suitable land has been suggested for development to explore this further. Connexus will advise when initial discussions have been held.

98/18 Planning applications/decisions:

98.1/18 To comment on new planning applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:

a. There were no new planning applications.

98.2/18 To note planning permissions by Herefordshire Council:

a. Approved with condition – P181007/FH – Full Householder; Mr & Mrs K & A Day; 2 Swedish Houses, Pencombe; Single storey extension to front, side and rear; consultation end date 25/04/2018; target determination date 03/05/2018.

b. Approved – P181128/XA2 – PP-Approval of details reserved by condition; Mr & Mrs Larmour; Rams Corner, Little Cowarne; Application for approval of details reserved by condition 3 attached to planning permission 163407; target determination date 29/05/2018 (comments not being accepted)

c. Approved – P180218/PA4 (Part 3) Class Q – Prior Approval; Mr Brent Thomas; New House Farm, Pencombe; Proposed variation of condition 1 of planning permission 170045 to omit floor plans drawing reference 1912-4

98.3/18 To note planning refusals by Herefordshire Council:

a. There were no planning refusals issued.

99/18 Lengthsman scheme:

99.1/18 To agree the contract for 2018/19:

a. Whilst it was noted that funding was no longer available from Herefordshire Council for the Lengthsman Scheme it was evident that residents would prefer to maintain a Lengthsman to ensure that appropriate work could be completed as and when required. Thanks were given to M A Walsh & Sons for the work completed as Lengthsman and it was agreed they should remain. TB signed the contract.

99.2/18 To consider work to be undertaken:

a. There was no work to be undertaken.

99.3/18 To consider payment of invoices:

a. M A Walsh & Sons = £372.00 for salt spreading and snow clearing during February and March 2018.

b. RESOLVED: It was agreed for the payment to be made.

100/18 To review the May & June 2018 Information Sheet:

a. The information regarding the 405 bus service was noted. See 82.1/18a for further information.

b. The Herefordshire Council budget consultation event was noted. No-one was able to attend.

101/18 To agree content for Parish magazine contribution:

a. The content for the August edition should include:
• Annual meeting update
• Bad weather donations
• Parish clerk recruitment

102/18 To agree dates for ordinary meetings for the ensuing year

a. The Council usually meet on the fourth Tuesday of every month, except December.

b. KH suggested that all meetings should start at 7.30pm, rather than changing during summer months.

c. KH suggested that the annual parish meeting, which is not a parish council meeting, should be held in early April. This should be a separate meeting so that a report of the year can be provided but it can also be promoted as a more informal ‘meet your council’ event to promote the work of the parish council and to encourage residents to gain awareness and become more involved.

d. RESOLVED: The above was agreed.

103/18 Matters raised for discussion at the next meeting:

a. There were none identified.

104/18 Date of next meeting:

a. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 26th July 2018 at 7.30pm.