Minutes – 23rd January 2018

Minutes of the Pencombe Group Parish Council meeting held on 23rd January 2018 at Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall, commencing at 7.30pm.

01/18 To receive and consider apologies for absence:

a. There were no apologies received.

b. Those present were:
• Councillor Tony Brazier [TB] (Chairman) {7/8}
• Councillor Tony French [TF] (Vice-Chairman) {8/8}
• Councillor Chris Hayes [CH] {7/8}
• Councillor Phil Hope [PH] {6/8}
• Councillor John Barrett [JB] {6/8}
• Councillor Bruce Baker [BB] • Karen Hodges [KH] (Parish Clerk)
• Colin Hadley (Member of the public)

02/18 To receive Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation:

a. There were none received.

03/18 Open session:

03.1/18 To receive a verbal update from the Ward Councillor:

a. BB provided an update on the current issue in the media regarding an ex member of the special-forces who requires a permanent home in Hereford. It was noted that Herefordshire Council have taken the necessary steps to provide suitable housing and that the media frenzy created has been done without the background information being taken into account.

b. Herefordshire Council’s budget will be ratified on 26 January 2018. It was noted that there will be issues in 2019 due to funding need to be sourced from business rates generated across the County, rather than from other sources. Herefordshire is sparsely populated so this will cause a deficit which needs to be taken into account.

c. The waste incinerator at Hartlebury is continuing to perform well, already producing enough energy to power the city of Hereford.

d. The disposal of farms by Hereford Council is now complete.

e. The City Link Road has now opened. It was noted that this will allow land in the Edgar Street Grid area of Hereford to be further developed as an ‘urban village’.

f. Hereford Council will next week consider proposals to commence the next stage of public consultation on the Hereford Bypass to inform the future decision on the preferred route.

g. Hereford Council have won the case against Amey following their highways maintenance contract and dispute over changing work rates. Amey have been told to repay £9.5m .

03.2/18 To receive queries or concerns by local residents on parish matters:

a. A concern was raised about the hedge on the C1114 alongside New House Farm, as it is becoming overgrown and is causing damage to vehicles. It was noted that the cutting season is still open so it was agreed that a letter should be written to the owner asking if he is able to get it cut.
ACTION: KH to write a letter.

04/18 To adopt the minutes of the previous meeting – 28th November 2017:

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

05/18 To receive matters arising not on the agenda (for report only):

a. There were none received.

06/18 To receive an update on the action points of the previous meeting:

a. Re: 117.2/17a River Lodon footpath bridge – To carry forward. KH has contacted Herefordshire Council to enquire about who to deal with and is awaiting a response.

b. Re: 120/17b C1117 & A465 junction – Complete. A letter has been received from Balfour Beatty confirming that the accident data does not indicate an issue with the junction and that no further action will be taken.

c. Re: 120/17d Parking on common ground regulations – To carry forward. KH has contacted the new Locality Steward about the concerns and is awaiting a response.

d. Re: 120/17e Dog fouling – Complete. CH provided some laminated signs and the locations for these were agreed. TB will liaise with Jon Eastham to get some suitable stands for the signs and poo bags and will find out where the previous supply of poo bags was purchased from.

e. Re: 120/17f Cemetery fence – To carry forward. TB and PH are still to make the repairs.

f. Re: 120/17i High visibility waistcoats – To carry forward. KH is still to order the waistcoats for the Footpath Officers. It was noted however that no Footpath Officers have been elected so this must be done before the waistcoats can be distributed.

g. Re: 120/17k Cemetery reserved plots – To carry forward. KH is still to contact those who have reserved plots to finalise the paperwork and payments.

h. Re: 120/17l Lengthsman ivy removal, hedge trimming and gully clearing – Complete. The actions have been completed.

i. Re: 120/17n Bank mandate change request form – Complete. HSBC have confirmed that the mandate has been changed.

j. Re: 120/17o Precept request – Complete. KH submitted the request prior to the deadline.

k. Re: 122/17a Grass cutting tender – Complete. KH checked the 2017-18 tender with Rowena Hatfield and she had no recollection of it being for a period of two years.

l. Re: 122/17b Grass cutting tender advert – Complete. KH submitted the advert for the grass cutting tender and this was published in the Hereford Times on 18/01/2018.

m. Re: 123/17a Declarations of interest form – To carry forward. KH will continue to collect the forms from Councillors to submit to the Monitoring Officer.

n. Re: 125/17b Cemetery documentation – To carry forward. KH is still to complete the outstanding documentation.

o. Re: 125/17c: Cemetery fee overcharge – Complete. KH has contacted the family and confirmed the details for refunding the charge.

p. Re: 126/17a: Community housing – To carry forward. A date is still to be agreed with Paul Sutton for a meeting. Potential dates were agreed for a separate housing discussion and KH will liaise with Paul to find the most suitable. KH will confirm once agreed.

07/18 Finance:

07.1/18 HSBC bank balances & spend against budget:

a. Community a/c (as at 18/01/2018) = £2061.55

b. Business Money Manager a/c (as at 18/01/2018) = £15082.29

c. KH presented the actual spend against budget to date. There are no additional concerns further to what has previously been discussed.

07.2/18 To note income received/due:

a. No income has been received.

07.3/18 To consider payments due:

a. K R Hodges (Newsquest Midlands South) = £80.16 for the grass cutting tender advertisement. Hereford Times would only accept a debit card payment so KH paid this from her personal account.

b. D W Townsend & Son = £100.00 for the repayment of overcharged cemetery fees.

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

d. (Re: 121.3/17b) It was noted that K R Hodges has not yet been paid any salary as access to the PAYE online system is still outstanding. KH has been liaising with HMRC and this should be resolved shortly.

08/18 To consider the grass cutting tender documentation:

a. The previously circulated draft tender document and form were discussed and amendments made. It was agreed that anyone submitting an interest in the tender will be sent the documentation for completion prior to the next meeting.

09/18 To consider action taken during recent bad weather and future planning:

a. TB summarised the action taken during the recent bad weather in relation to salting roads and clearing fallen trees.

b. It was noted that the salt reserves previously held have been used and that TB and KH have been liaising with Balfour Beatty to try and get these replaced. The reserves had been supplied by Amey. Balfour Beatty advise that they are not aware of any such provision.

c. KH has written a letter to Balfour Beatty expressing the concerns of the lack of salt provision and the level of workmanship regarding the local snow contractor. A response is outstanding.

d. BB noted that there is a Scrutiny Committee meeting taking place on 29/01/2018 with Herefordshire Council/Balfour Beatty to consider the bad weather response and he will take our concerns forward at that meeting.

BB left the meeting at this point.

10/18 To consider the Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall correspondence:

a. The previously circulated letter from Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall Committee of Management expressing concerns regarding their purpose and responsibilities was discussed.

b. The following was agreed:

i. The Parish Council acts as the Holding or Custodian Trustee of the registered charity ‘Pencombe and Little Cowarne Parish Hall’ and owns the hall building, together with the lease for the land or the freehold title on which the hall stands.
ii. The Pencombe and Little Cowarne Parish Hall Committee of Management acts as the Charity or Managing Trustee and manages the charity on a day to day basis to ensure it is fit for purpose for both the Parish Council and the residents of the civil parish.
iii. The Committee of Management is expected to have funds available to cover the general day to day running and insurance costs of the parish hall.
iv. Payment for any maintenance needed for the hall to meet health and safety requirements remains the responsibility of the Parish Council.
v. Non-essential costs for the improvement of the parish hall will be the responsibility of the Committee of Management primarily through community grants and fundraising. The Parish Council should remain involved, particularly where costs incur VAT which may be recoverable.
vi. Requests to raise funds via the precept will be fully considered by the Parish Council. For future years planned discussions will take place between the Parish Council and the Committee of Management to ensure that any potential hall costs can be included as part of the Parish Council’s budget setting process.

c. RESOLVED & ACTION: KH to write a letter of response to the Committee of Management setting out the above to provide clarity on responsibilities.

11/18 To consider the new Data Protection Act and EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force on 25 May 2018:

a. The EU GDPR will be coming into force on 25 May 2018 and will have a direct effect on Council business. KH is attending a training session being run by Herefordshire Council on 23/03/2018 to ascertain the changes required so they can be implemented prior to the enforcement date.

12/18 Planning applications/decisions:

12.1/18 To comment on planning applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:

a. P174672/L; Mr Owen Thomas; R D Chesters Ltd, Hennerwood, Pencombe; Proposed removal of cement render, repair to oak framing and installation of lime rendered insulated panels to original walls and internal alterations; consultation end date 01/02/2018; target determination date 07/02/2018.

b. P173369/F; Mr Graham Thomas; Land at Sparrington Farm, Pencombe; Proposed erection of a farm worker’s dwelling; consultation end date 11/10/2017 (comments now closed); target determination date 01/11/2017.

c. RESOLVED: There were no comments to be made on the applications.

12.2/18 To note planning permissions by Herefordshire Council:

a. Approved with conditions (13/12/2017) P173745/F; Mr Richard Gaunt; Meadowbank, Pencombe; Proposed garage.

b. Approved with conditions (08/12/2017) P173942/FH; Mr & Mrs Paul & Michelle Standell; The Old Rectory, Pencombe; Proposed loft conversion and internal/external alterations.

12.3/18 To note planning refusals by Herefordshire Council:

a. There were no planning refusals issued.

13/18 Lengthsman scheme:

13.1/18 To consider expression of interest for 2018/19:

a. From 1 April 2018 grant funding for the Lengthsman Scheme will no longer be available. Parishes who wish to continue employing a Lengthsman must still apply for the scheme however for a contract to be raised giving permission to work on the highway (C and U roads). An annual maintenance plan also needs to be supplied in the application.

b. RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that a Lengthsman should remain employed to ensure that they can work on the highway if required. KH to submit the expression of interest by 28 February.

13.2/18 To consider work to be undertaken:

a. There is some gully clearing required at Sidnall Farm and Marsh Court.
ACTION: TB to discuss with the Lengthsman.

13.3/18 To consider payment of invoices:

a. M A Walsh & Sons = £336.00 for clearing tree debris from Pencombe church and the Causeway following snow damage and for spreading salt grit during the bad weather.

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

c. It was noted that Herefordshire Council require all expenditure for the current scheme to be submitted by 28 February.

ACTION: KH to submit this.

14/18 To review the January 2018 Information Sheet:

a. There was nothing to highlight.

15/18 Matters raised for discussion at the next meeting:

a. Fixed asset maintenance.

b. Agricultural machinery traffic through villages during peak seasons.

16/18 Date of next meeting:

a. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 27th February 2018 at 7.30pm.

Being no further business the meeting was closed at 9.35pm.