Minutes – 26th September 2017

Minutes of the Pencombe Group Parish Council meeting held on 26th September 2017 at Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall, commencing at 8.00pm.

72/17 To receive and consider apologies for absence:

a. There were no apologies received.
b. Those present were:

  • Councillor Tony Brazier [TB] (Chairman)
  • Councillor Tony French [TF] (Vice-Chairman)
  • Councillor Chris Hayes [CH]
  • Councillor Anthony Legge [AL]
  • Councillor Phil Hope [PH]
  • Councillor John Barrett [JB]
  • Councillor Bruce Baker [BB]
  • Karen Hodges [KH] (Parish Clerk)
  • Ian Pardoe [IP] (Member of the public)
  • Colin Hadley [CH] (Member of the public)

73/17 To receive Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation:

a. There were none received.

74/17 Open session:
74.1/17 To receive a verbal update from the Ward Councillor:

a. BB provided an update on the Blueschool House audit which was undertaken by Herefordshire Council in response to the project management and overspend. The findings of the audit were considered by the council’s audit and governance committee and a review of its internal procedures has now begun. A series of recommendations has been approved to prevent this from happening again and these will be reported on in January 2018 to assure that the changes have been made. Herefordshire Council has apologised unreservedly.
b. Herefordshire Council and Balfour Beatty Living Places were successful in securing £5m from the Department for Transport Challenge Fund for resurfacing work on three main arterial routes into Hereford, starting 18th September onwards. Letters will be sent to all residents/businesses that will be immediately affected by the works. Large variable message signage will be displayed at the start and finish of routes together with other highway signage where the works are taking place.
c. Phase 2 of the Fastershire Project, delivered by Gigaclear, is due to reach Pencombe on 20th November 2017.
d. BB provided an update on the consultation to change governance arrangements for local fire services led by John Campion, Crime & Policy Commissioner. It was noted that Hereford and Worcester authorities are against the plan as it currently stands.
e. The disposal of farms by Hereford Council is now complete. It was noted that a number of tenants have been successful in purchasing their properties.
f. The waste incinerator at Hartlebury is continuing to perform well, already producing enough energy to power the city of Hereford.
g. BB noted that the pot holes have been repaired on the C1114, although there is still a patch which needs resurfacing.
h. A discussion was held regarding the state of the C1117 near to ‘Field House’ and BB agreed to report this. The section of C1117 near to the A465 junction in Stoke Lacy was also discussed, but this is not in BB’s area.
ACTION: KH to contact Jonathan Lester to advise of the state of the road.

74.2/17 To receive queries or concerns by local residents on parish matters:

a. There was a discussion regarding the state of the yew tree in Pencombe village square, following a discussion between TB and a resident of White House Cottage, Jackie Howe. There is an oak tree which has been fouling the telephone wires and although BT has cut it back it was agreed that further remedial work is required. Jackie has asked if she can get someone to look at the oak tree, but the yew tree which runs alongside it will also need some work.
ACTION: It was agreed that TB will ask the Lengthsman to look at the yew tree and will speak to Jackie Howe to advise she can proceed with the oak tree works.
b. It was noted that there was an issue with the overgrown hedge along the roadside at Cotswold Cottage being hazardous for large road users. TB has attempted to approach the resident to raise this but has not had success.
ACTION: KH to speak to the Locality Steward to find out what action can be taken.
c. There was a discussion around parking on communal areas near to the Swedish Houses and that this could be hazardous for other road users.
ACTION: KH to investigate the regulations around parking on communal areas to consider necessary action.

75/17 To adopt the minutes of the previous meeting – 22nd August 2017:

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

76/17 To receive an update on the action points of the previous meeting:

a. 59.2/17a: Dog fouling – To carry forward. KH has made contact with Herefordshire Council who advised that enforcement could happen but they would need to witness the fouling taking place. It was agreed that this would be a last resort and it would be better to try a communications route first to promote what dog owner responsibilities are. It was noted that the ‘Public Spaces Protection Order: Dog Control’ regulations, which are due to change in October would impact on the communications. KH is waiting for Trading Standards to make contact to advise on the new legislation.
ACTION: KH.
b. 59.2/17b: Letter of thanks to Lewis Civil Engineering – Complete. KH contacted the Welsh Water Regional Communications Manager who provided details for Lewis Civil Engineering Ltd but offered to get the letter to the correct team. This was emailed to them on 25/09/2017 and thanks were received from Welsh Water.
c. 61/17a: Parallel Lines feedback – Complete. KH emailed Parallel Lines on 22/09/2017 to provide the feedback on the mowing of the churchyards. Parallel Lines have confirmed receipt and are going to inspect the site before responding.
d. 61/17b: VAT reclaim – To carry forward.
ACTION: KH.
e. 61/17c: Public Spaces Protection Order: Dog Control – See 76/17a.
f. 65.1/17a: Cemetery document review – See 85.1/17.
g. 65.2/17a: Cemetery fence quotes – Complete. Following discussions it was agreed that the cost of this work will be less than £500. TB has agreed to carry out the work to repair the fence.
ACTION: TB.
h. 66.2/17a: Affordable housing presentation – Complete. KH has contacted Tina Wood to confirm arrangements for the presentation at the October meeting.
i. 68.2/17a: Cemetery hedge – Complete. KH has contacted the Lengthsman but no response has been received. It was noted that Steve Townsend has agreed to complete the work voluntarily.

77/17 Finance:
77.1/17 HSBC bank balances & spend against budget:

a. Community a/c (as at 22/09/2017) = £15340.19
b. Business Money Manager a/c (as at 22/09/2017) = £3081.42
c. KH confirmed that the internet banking is now set up and it was agreed that funds would be moved from the Community account into the Business Money Manager account to increase the interest being received, as this could now be easily done. It was agreed to operate with a balance of approximately £2000 in the Community account.
ACTION: KH to transfer funds.
d. It was noted that the mandate change request was still being progressed with identification being required from AL. KH has forwarded instructions for completing this and AL will action accordingly.
ACTION: AL.
e. KH presented the actual spend against budget to date. It was noted we are already overspent and that a more robust budget process needs to take place for 2018/19.

77.2/17 To note income received/due:

a. (Business Money Manager a/c) Interest = £0.31.
b. (Community a/c) Herefordshire Council = £5500.00. This is the balancing payment for the 2017/18 precept.

77.3/17 To consider payments due:

a. Public Works Loan Board = £1311.01 for the loan repayment. It was noted that there is only one outstanding payment for this loan, which will be due in March 2018.
b. Society for Local Council Clerks [SLCC] = £43.00 for annual membership of SLCC.
c. KH = £30.60 for mileage expenses – 48 miles to a Code of Conduct workshop in Ross on Wye and 20 miles to the website training in Hereford.
d. Kaspersky Internet Security = £15.75 for security renewal for one device for one year.
e. Parallel Lines = £338.00 for the September groundwork’s.
c. RESOLVED: It was agreed for all payments to be made expect the internet security. It was noted that this was provided via a promotion when the laptop was purchased and that Windows 10 provides adequate security cover, without the need for additional protection and cost.

78/17 Website:

a. KH has received the training and is now able to update the website as required. Posters advertising the website have been put up on the noticeboards. Those present were encouraged to subscribe.
b. A discussion was held regarding future content and it was agreed that publicising the start of the Neighbourhood Development Plan work would be a priority.
ACTION: KH to liaise with Rowena Hatfield and Carol Jinks to agree wording to invite involvement in the NDP steering group.

79/17 To consider Pencombe bus stop maintenance:

a. KH has spoken with Jon Eastham who advised that he would be happy to creosote the bus stop at a cost of approximately £65 (£25 costs + labour).
RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed the bus stop should be painted and KH will inform Jon Eastham.
80/17 To receive an update on the Parish Clerks Code of Conduct workshop and consider attendance at the Parish Councillors Seminar
a. KH attended a Code of Conduct workshop for Parish Clerks on 7the September. She advised that the event was very useful, particularly providing the opportunity to network with other clerks.
b. Herefordshire Council have recently adopted a revised Code of Conduct and KH advised that it should also be adopted by the Parish Council, to remain in line with the parent organisation. KH is in the process of reviewing all the legal documentation and will include the revised code as part of this.
ACTION: KH.
c. It was noted that there is a Parish Councillors workshop, which will include a session on the Code of Conduct, taking place on 28th September at Shire Hall, Hereford. It was agreed that TB, TF, PH & AL would attend. KH will send out the current and revised codes prior to this for information.
ACTION: KH.

81/17 To consider invitation to a Conservative Councillors coffee morning:

a. A letter has been received inviting Parish Councillors to a coffee morning for networking and to meet with Hereford Council Cabinet Members. The date has not been set but it is expected to take place at the end of October or beginning of November. The event is free although a donation of £5 has been suggested to cover costs. It was confirmed that the first speaker would be Councillor Durkin, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads.
b. The Parish Councillors were not responsive to attending this event.

82/17 To consider dates of future meetings to complete Parish Hall booking form:

a. KH has received a booking form from the Parish Hall committee to confirm future meetings. Meeting dates were agreed until the end of 2018 and KH will complete and return the form.
ACTION: KH.

83/17 To review update regarding change of Insurance provider:

a. A letter has been received from Aon, the Parish Council insurance provider, advising that they will no longer be offering this type of insurance cover. This will not affect the current policy but they will not renew it.
b. BHIB Insurance Brokers, who are the preferred partner of Aviva, will handle all insurance renewals and this has been endorsed by the National Association of Local Councils [NALC].

84/17 To consider request for support from Age UK:

a. A letter has been received from Age UK asking for donations to help support older people within the community.
RESOLVED: Whilst the beneficial work of the organisation was noted it was agreed that this could not be supported at this time.

85/17 To consider request for more St George’s flags for the Parish Hall:

a. A request has been received for two more St George’s flags. It was noted that the last flag, purchased in August 2014 for £88.62, had recently become tangled around the pole and was damaged beyond repair.
RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed to purchase the flags and for KH to liaise with the contact to agree dimensions etc.

86/17 To consider proposal to schedule a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ meeting with the local Community Support Officer:

a. It was noted that since Eric Alderton stood down as a Parish Councillor there was no-one acting in the role of Neighbourhood Watch lead. A discussion was held regarding what interventions could be introduced to overcome this.
ACTION: KH to contact the Community Support Officers to consider options.

87/17 To consider request for Footpath Officer high visibility waistcoats:

a. TB advised that Rowena Hatfield and Sally Davis are willing to act as the Footpath Officers providing they have high visibility waistcoats. KH had investigated and these could be provided for a cost of approximately £5 each.
RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that the waistcoats should be provided and for KH to progress this.

88/17 To consider invitation to Tackling Loneliness event:

a. One Parish Councillor and the Parish Clerk have been invited to a Tackling Loneliness event, hosted by the High Sheriff of Herefordshire, Reverend Lady Lisvane, Bishop of Hereford and the Right Reverend Richard Frith in the Great Hall of the Bishop’s Palace on 14th October.
b. TB and KH are both unable to attend this event due to other commitments.

89/17 Pencombe Cemetery:
89.1 To review cemetery fees and documentation:

a. KH provided information on fees charged by Bromyard Town Council and Hereford Council (as attached).
RESOLVED & ACTION: Revised fees were agreed and KH will update the documentation.
b. KH provided an example of the Cemetery & Cremation Regulations document used by Hereford Council and suggested that a similar document be created to ensure all legal requirements were understood and met.
RESOLVED & ACTION: KH to create a draft document for review.

89.2/17 To agree necessary actions:

a. It was noted that there were three reserved plots that had not yet paid the relevant fees. It was agreed that the current fees should be used.
ACTION: KH to liaise with those individuals who have reserved plots and sort out the paperwork and fees.

90/17 Planning applications/decisions:
90.1/17 To comment on planning applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:

a. P172749/XA2; Mr & Mrs Paul & Michelle Strandell; The Old Rectory, Pencombe; Approval of details reserved by condition; target determination date 28/09/2017; N.B Comments not accepted.
b. P173322/PA7; Mr Paul Thomas; Hennerwood, Pencombe; Application for prior notification of two proposed tracks; target determination date 01/10/2017; N.B Comments not accepted.
c. P173369/F; Mr Graham Thomas; Land at Sparrington Farm, Pencombe; Proposed erection of a farm worker’s dwelling; consultation end date 11/10/2017; target determination date 01/11/2017
d. RESOLVED: There were no comments to be made on the applications.

90.2/17 To note planning permissions by Herefordshire Council:

a. Approved (24/08/2017) – P172842/AM; Mr & Mrs William Cave_Browne-Cave; Hollybush Cottage, Pencombe; Non-material amendment to permission 162976 – amendment to glazing/oak framing arrangement to gable end extension.
b. Approved (12/09/2017) – P171311/FH; Mr Owen Thomas; Hennerwood, Pencombe; Proposed single storey rear extension and internal alterations; full householder.
c. Approved with conditions (12/09/2017) – P171312/L; Mr Owen Thomas; Hennerwood, Pencombe; Proposed single storey rear extension and internal alterations; listed building consent.

90.3/17 To note planning refusals by Herefordshire Council:

a. There were no planning refusals issued.

91/17 Lengthsman scheme:
91.1/17 To consider work to be undertaken:

a. There is some ivy on two trees within the cemetery which needs removing, as well as some hedge trimming and gully clearing to complete. TB to review and discuss with the Lengthsman.
ACTION: TB

91.2/17 To consider payment of invoices:

a. There were no invoices to be paid.

92/17 To review the September 2017 Information Sheet:

a. KH highlighted the Hereford Association of Local Councils [HALC] Information Corner which highlighted the forthcoming reform of data protection legislation, expected May 2018. It is anticipated that this will increase workloads and costs so the Parish Council will need to consider this when agreeing the budget.

93/17 Matters raised for discussion at the next meeting:

a. Legal documentation review.
b. Parish clerk salary review.
c. Request for reader at Pencombe Carol Service – 17th December.
d. Provision of wreath for Remembrance Service and update on renewal of war memorial.

94/17 Date of next meeting:

a. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 24th October 2017 at 7.30pm, in the large meeting room.

Being no further business the meeting was closed at 10.25pm.