Draft Minutes

Draft Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Pencombe Group Council held on

Tuesday 28th January 2020

Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall, 7.30pm


Councillors Present;
Cllr. T. Brazier (Chairman)
Cllr. C Hayes
Cllr. P. Hope

Cllr. D. Legge

Cllr. J. Barrett


In Attendance: Cllr. J. Harrington, Hampton Ward, Allan Drew (Parish Clerk)


Members of the Public:  Susan Drew (Treasurer, Parish Hall)


Note: The Clerk stated that he would be recording the meeting to assist with minute taking.  Recording of meetings was now legally permitted but Members and other attendees should be aware recording was taking place.


1/20            Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Cllr. Hadley


2/20            Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation
No declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation were received.


3/20            Draft minutes of the previous meeting on 26th November 2019

The Chairman signed the draft minutes as a true record of the meeting


4/20            Action Tracker.

The Clerk reported that he had changed the format of the action tracker so that the most recent actions recorded were at the top of the tracker rather than the bottom.  Also only the open actions from 2019 were now recorded on the tracker.  There are three open actions – NDP development, NDP funding and the footpath access to the Parish Hall.  The only recent development is that Council has written to the school governors on 24th January seeking a resolution to the access issue and a reply is awaited. The Clerk reported also that NDP funding was available through Locality funding and that an application should be made in April since any funding received had to be spent during the current financial year.




5/20            Open session:

5.1/20         Cllr. Harington presented his update covering the following items-

  • The Herefordshire budget for 2020/21 would be set at full Council meeting on 14th
  • Phosphates and nitrates levels in the River Lugg is ongoing with dislocation to development projects. Herefordshire has allocated funding to extract phosphates/nitrates using reed beds and at a meeting tomorrow (29th January) Council is hopeful that this plan will allow developments to be re-started.
  • Transport review has started with a firm end date of 31st July 2020. The review has three elements- check the work already carried out, check other options including new potential projects recently identified and finally how all projects measure up against undertakings on carbon reduction/carbon neutral.  Recent experience with traffic light failures in High Town showed that radical options might deliver unexpected improvements and should not be ruled out of the review process.
  • Roads maintenance. Cllr. Harrington and Jesse Norman MP had visited the Roads Minister (Baroness Vere) seeking assurances that funding promised before the election would still be available. A final decision would be made in April.
  • The issues with Balfour Beatty road maintenance were ongoing but Cllr. Harrington has insisted that BB organise a meeting with the Parish Council to ensure local knowledge and requirements are taken seriously. Also raised was the possibility that BB Locality Stewards (for Pencombe Colin Smith) should in fact be employed by Herefordshire and not BB.
  • Lengthsman funding appears to be progressing with £250k set aside last year now about to be available. Application guidance for this funding will be available in about two weeks and up to about £3k per Parish is likely. Going forward into next financial year a return to 2014 Lengthsman funding levels is proposed which will deliver another £3k per Parish.
  • Two Hoots farm issues are not making rapid progress so Cllr. Harrington has called all interested parties to a meeting to discuss the way forward. Concerns about the original transport plan submitted by Two Hoots for planning consent appeared no longer to be valid since maize transport was not included in the plan.


Cllr. Harrington left the meeting at 8.20pm


5.2/20         No local residents were present but the Clerk reported that he had been contacted by a resident concerning the difficulties for elderly people trying to access the Parish Hall.  The footpath from the church via the school yard was locked on the day of Mr Evan Thomas’s funeral even though assurances had been given that the gate would be unlocked during holidays.  The Clerk had also heard from Mr. Mottram that he had written about the footpath to the footpath officer at Herefordshire.  The Clerk reported that on the Chairman’s instruction he had written to the school governors expressing the Council’s concern about the footpath closure.  Discussion then turned to a funeral planned for the coming Friday and Cllr. Hayes kindly offered to organise opening the school gate for the funeral.

Cllr. Hayes also suggested that Bromyard & Winslow town council is informed that the road between Bromyard and Pencombe is in a poor state within their boundary.  The Clerk undertook to contact the Clerk at Bromyard and see if joint action can be arranged to improve the road particularly around the Steward’s Hyde area.                              Action: Clerk


6/20            Parish Hall update

The Parish Hall Treasurer provided an update-

  • Hall bookings have increased over the past 4 months, partly due to the improved kitchen.
  • The very successful Burns Night raised £850 for Hall funds.
  • Gigaclear have offered the Hall a free business broadband service as part of their community involvement scheme. In return Gigaclear would require the use of the Hall for community events on four half days per year.  The Hall trustees will progress the matter with Gigaclear on this basis.


7/20            Finance – to receive an update.

7.1/20         HSBC bank balances

Members were informed that the bank balances on 22/1/2020 were as follows:-

  • Community Account: £2372.74
  • Business Money Manager Account: £15,085.28


7.2/20         To note income received/due.
From the Parish Hall 24 December 2019 – loan repayment – £62.50.


7.3/20         To consider and authorise payments due and note payments made since last meeting;

Payments made since last meeting using internet banking

No. Name Amount £ Details
1 A M Drew   Clerk’s salary for December
2 A M Drew   Clerk’s salary for January
3 HMRC PAYE £225.40 3 month’s tax on Clerk’s salary
4 Autela £47.08 Payroll services
5 A C Garden    Services £310 Grass cutting services for September











8/20            Planning applications/decisions

8.1/20         Planning applications received.

Case no. 194373 received on 9th January for a 2 storey extension at 1 Swedish Houses (Mr. R Very & Ms. C Thomas).  Council discussed the application and no objections nor concerns were raised.  The Clerk was instructed to submit appropriate comments before the closing date of 29th January.  Comments were submitted on 29th January.

No other planning matters are current.


9/20            Lengthsman scheme/Grass cutting
It was now time to review the grass cutting contract with A C Garden Services and the Clerk undertook to check the contract and summarise options available for consideration at the next meeting.                                                                                                                 Action: Clerk


Council was again encouraged by Councillor Harrington’s comments supporting more local funding for our Lengthsman scheme.  Work had begun clearing ditches around Pencombe and a number of problem drains had been identified which needed attention from Balfour Beatty. Council noted that local farmers with responsibility for the ditches adjacent to their land should either pay for the cost of clearing these ditches or carry out the work themselves.


Cllr. Barrett raised the issue of the proposal to reduce the number of verge cuttings from two cuts per year to one cut.  Council’s view was unanimous that two cuts a year was required given how narrow our lanes are.  The Clerk will respond to BBLP that two cuts/year are still required.                                                                                                                             Action:Clerk





Matters raised for next meeting.

The Clerk raised a number of points for Council consideration and possible discussion at the next meeting-


Notice Board.  The current notice board is in a poor state with joints springing and water leakage from the rear panel causing the notices to degrade very quickly.  The moisture also caused condensation internally on the front window panels and meant the notices could not easily be read. The Clerk will provide a summary of options for the next meeting for Council to agree a way forward.                                                                                                  Action: Clerk


Training session with HALC.  HALC had offered three dates for the training session – 10th, 20th and 26th February.  After some discussion it was agreed the Clerk would confirm with HALC that the training session would be 10th February.                                      Action: Clerk


Allotments.  The Chairman would be happy to progress the possibility of providing village allotments by talking to Diana Mercer-Wilson who owned some suitable land.  Water would be required but there are some reasonable ways that could be provided. Action: Chairman


Memorial for the late Mr. L. L. Green.  Council agreed to a request from monumental masons N C Pegler that a suitable inscribed headstone can be erected in Pencombe cemetery at the grave of Mr. Green. The Clerk will inform N C Pegler.                       Action: Clerk



The date of next meeting is Tuesday 25th February 2020, at 7.30pm


The meeting closed at 8.50pm.


Signed…………………………………. Chairman of the Parish Council


Dated …………………………………..