Minutes – 24th October 2017

Minutes of the Pencombe Group Parish Council meeting held on 24th October 2017 at Pencombe & Little Cowarne Parish Hall, commencing at 7.30pm.

95/17 To receive and consider apologies for absence:

a. Apologies were received from:
• Councillor Anthony Legge [AL]

b. Those present were:
• Councillor Tony Brazier [TB] (Chairman)
• Councillor Tony French [TF] (Vice-Chairman)
• Councillor Chris Hayes [CH] • Councillor Phil Hope [PH] • Councillor John Barrett [JB] • Councillor Bruce Baker [BB] • Karen Hodges [KH] (Parish Clerk)
• Colin Hadley [CH] (Member of the public)
• Pete James [PJ] (Member of the public)
• Jem Phelan-Thomson [JPT] (Member of the public)
• Mo Willcocks [MW] (Parish Hall Committee Member)
• Sue Clark [SC] (Parish Hall Committee Member)
• Carol Jinks [CJ] (Member of the public)
• Tina Wood [TW] (Housing Development Office, Herefordshire Council}

96/17 To receive Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation:

a. There were none received.

97/17 Open session:

97.1/17 To receive a presentation from Tina Wood, Housing Development Officer at Herefordshire Council on community housing:

a. TW provided an overview of the current situation with providing community housing in areas such as Pencombe. It was noted that TW had been involved with the previous housing needs analysis, completed in 2013, so is aware of the parish needs.
b. There is currently a fund of £500,000 available for community housing, which needs to be allocated within this financial year. TW explained the different funding options available and suggested ways in which it could be spent.
c. There are three key factors to consider when accessing the funding:
1. What land is available for housing in the parish?
2. What is the need for housing in the parish?
3. What management level does the Parish Council want?
d. ACTION: It was agreed that TW would contact Marches Community Land Trust to arrange for them to come and speak to the Parish Council further about community housing.

TW left the meeting at this point.

97.2/17 To receive a verbal update from the Ward Councillor:

a. Herefordshire Council and Balfour Beatty Living Places were successful in securing £5m from the The Department for Transport Challenge Fund for resurfacing work. This is continuing well and is due for completion in mid-November.
c. BB confirmed that a new Locality Steward for the area has been recruited and is currently receiving training.
d. More pay and display parking has been introduced in Hereford city.
e. There has been a recent visit from the Duchess of Gloucester to meet the Foster care team. There are currently 300 children being fostered in Herefordshire, with the Council being considered as ‘corporate parents’.
f. Herefordshire Council has been working with other counties to consider flooding issues, particularly in relation to housing growth.
g. The South Wye Transport package will start in under a year. Compulsory purchases of affected properties are still being finalised and have taken longer than anticipated.
h. The Business Park at Rotherwas is continuing to expand.
i. The issue with County Councils being funded by business rates only in 2018/19 was highlighted. Due to the sparse density of business across the county there will be a significant shortfall in Herefordshire Council’s budget. The impact of this is yet to be determined.

97.3/17 To receive queries or concerns by local residents on parish matters:

a. KH raised an issue highlighted by a parish member in relation to the C1117 where it meets the A465 in Stoke Lacy, following a recent motor incident involving three vehicles. Currently the speed limit is 40mph at the junction and there is an over-taking lane, which needs to be used to turn into the C1117 when travelling from Bromyard to Hereford. The overtaking lane encourages motorists to speed and often motorists do not realise that there may be slow/stationary vehicles waiting to turn causing a need to brake suddenly. Speeding vehicles travelling from Hereford to Bromyard also cause a danger to vehicles turning into the C1117, particularly if they have to wait for vehicles travelling towards the junction on the C1117. The suggestion is to change the 40mph speed limit to 30mph and block the overtaking lane, just leaving a specific area for turning vehicles to wait. It was agreed that whilst this issue is not in the parish it does affect a number of residents who use the road and that the suggestion should be supported. It was also agreed that speed enforcement action should be encouraged.
ACTION: KH to email the Stoke Lacy Parish Clerk, Ward Councillor and Bromyard Police to highlight the issue and propose the suggested resolution and encourage speed enforcement action.

BB left the meeting at this point.

98/17 To adopt the minutes of the previous meeting – 26th September 2017:

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

99/17 To receive an update on the action points of the previous meeting:

a. Re: 74.1/17h Report C1117 pot holes to Jonathan Lester – Complete. KH has emailed to highlight the state of the C1117 in Stoke Lacy near to the junction with the A465.
b. Re: 74.2/17a Oak and yew tree in the square – Complete. TB has spoken with Jackie Howe to confirm that work can be undertaken on the oak tree. TB will continue to monitor the yew tree and will advise of action when required.
c. Re: 74.2/17b Cotswold House hedge – Complete. KH has spoken to the Locality Steward about the hedge at Cotswold House and he confirmed that he would write a letter to the residents asking for it to be cut.
d. Re: 74.2/17c Parking on common ground regulations – To carry forward. KH has spoken to the Locality Steward about parking on common grounds causing a hazard to other road users and what action could be taken. The Locality Steward is keen to see photographic evidence before advising.
ACTION: KH to continue to liaise further with the Locality Steward.
e. Re: 76/17a Dog fouling – To carry forward. KH is still waiting for Trading Standards to make contact to advise on the new legislation.
f. Re: 76/17d VAT reclaim – To carry forward.
g. Re: 76/17g Cemetery fence – To carry forward. TB will carry out the repair to the fence once the cows currently in the field have been removed.
h. Re: 77.1/17c Transfer of funds – Complete. KH has moved £12,000 from the Community account into the Business Money Manager account.
i. Re: 77.1/17d Mandate change request – Incomplete. KH has been advised that HSBC has cancelled the change request as they were not able to get hold of AL to confirm his identity.
j. Re: 78/17b NDP steering group invite – Complete. KH has created a new page on the website specifically for the NDP and has put a request for volunteers for the steering group on the homepage. Thanks were given to CJ for providing the text.
k. Re: 79/17a Bus stop maintenance – Complete. KH confirmed that the bus stop has been creosoted.
l. Re: 80/17b Legal documentation review – Complete. See 103/17.
m. Re: 80/17c Code of conduct – Complete. KH shared the current and revised code of conduct with the Parish Councillors.
n. Re: 82/17a Parish Hall booking form – Complete. KH has completed the form until end of 2018 and passed to MW.
o. Re: 85/17a Flags – Complete. KH has ordered two St George’s flags and passed them onto Mark Perkins.
p. Re: 86/17a Neighbourhood Watch interventions – To carry forward. KH is still to contact the Bromyard Police team to consider interventions.
q. Re: 87/17a 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.
r. Re: 89.1/17a&b Cemetery documentation – To carry forward. KH is still to finalise the current fees and draft a regulations document.
s. Re: 89.2/17a Reserved plots – To carry forward. KH is still to contact those who have reserved plots to finalise the paperwork and payments.
t. Re: 91.1/17a Lengthsman ivy removal, hedge trimming and gully clearing – To carry forward. TB is still to discuss this.

100/17 Finance:
100.1/17 HSBC bank balances & spend against budget:

a. Community a/c (as at 19/10/2017) = £2908.72
b. Business Money Manager a/c (as at 19/10/2017) = £15081.42
c. KH presented the actual spend against budget to date. KH confirmed that the overspend on maintenance works and grass cutting is being covered by the reserves, and the overspend on sundry expenses is due to the launch of the website, which a grant was received for in the previous financial year.

100.2/17 To note income received/due:

a. There was no income received.

100.3/17 To consider payments due:

a. KH (Zephyr Flags) = £88.74 for the cost of two St George’s flags.
b. Parallel Lines = £338.00 for the October groundwork’s.
c. Steve Allard & Son = £714.00 to rub down and re-cut inscription on war memorial.
d. Jon Eastham Antique Furniture Repairs & Restoration = £70.00 for bus stop maintenance.
e. RESOLVED: It was agreed for all payments to be made.

100.4/17 To note the external auditors conclusion of audit:

a. The certified Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2017 has been received from the external auditor, Grant Thornton. It was noted that there is a recommendation regarding the internal auditor’s objective of petty cash, as a petty cash system is not operated. This will be taken into consideration in 2018/19.
b. A copy of the Notice of Conclusion of Audit needs to be completed and published on the website and notice board.

100.5/17 To sign the mandate change request form:
a. Further to 99/17i KH confirmed that a new mandate change request form needed to be completed. It was agreed that AL would not be included as a signatory. The form was completed by the remaining Parish Councillors and KH will send to HSBC for action.

100.6/17 To consider the budget precept report 2018/19:

a. KH presented the proposed budget for 2018/19 to enable the precept requirement to be determined. The precept request needs to be submitted to Herefordshire Council by 31st December 2017.
b. RESOLVED: A precept of £12,000 was recommended by the RFO. This was proposed by JB and seconded by PH.
c. ACTION: KH to submit the precept request to Herefordshire Council.

101/17 To consider the proposal for Parish Hall improvements:

a. MW presented the parish hall improvements proposal for the kitchen and boundary railing fences and a discussion followed.
b. Key points raised were:
1. The existing kitchen equipment does not meet current safety standards.
2. Whilst it is stated that there are numerous collisions in the existing kitchen there are none recorded in the accident book.
3. The cleaning equipment legally has to be stored in the kitchen.
4. It is estimated that there are approximately six requests for use which do not materialise each year due to the state of the kitchen.
5. Whilst costs have been requested for equipment there is a cost attached to gaining a full design of between £750 and £1,500. These costs would be recovered for the chosen design but limits the number of quotes which could practically be sought.
6. The Parish Hall Management Committee is actively seeking lottery funding and exploring funding options via Herefordshire Council.
7. The state of the existing boundary railing fence means this is a higher priority than the kitchen renovations.
c. RESOLVED: It was agreed that without approved quotes it was difficult to establish how much funding could be sought via other means, e.g. lottery funding, and how much would be required from the Parish Council. Although there is a cost involved in getting a formal quote it was recommended that this would be required for progression. MW and SC will take this back to the Parish Hall Management Committee for consideration.
d. RESOLVED: JB proposed that the budget amount for parish hall improvements for 2018/19 (£2,500) be used for the boundary railing fence improvements and that the kitchen renovations be put on hold until further costs are known. A vote was taken: 4 in favour, 1 against – AGREED.
e. REJECTED: AF proposed that the precept for 2018/19 be increased to include spend for the kitchen renovations. A vote was taken: 1 in favour, 4 against – REJECTED.
f. TB made a further suggestion that an extension be put at the back of the hall to create more space for the kitchen area and hall areas. It was agreed to pursue the current proposals before exploring this any further.

102/17 To receive an update on the website progress:

a. KH has added an events calendar, parish map and parish information but there is still further work to be done.
b. There are currently 12 subscribers.

103/17 To receive an update on the Parish Councillors Seminar on 28th September:

a. It was noted that this was an interesting evening, particularly regarding the revised Herefordshire Council Code of Conduct.

104/17 To consider the amendments to the Council’s legal documentation:

a. KH has previously distributed updated legal documentation as follows:
1. Code of Conduct
2. Complaints Procedure
3. Standards of Conduct
4. Financial Regulations
b. It was noted that the Herefordshire Association of Local Councils [HALC] has not recommended revising the Code of Conduct in line with Herefordshire Councils amendments. KH advised that as Herefordshire Council is the parent organisation and any complaints regarding conduct would be handled by their Monitoring Officer it would be more practical to be using the same code.
c. RESOLVED & ACTION: It was agreed that all the documents be amended as documented and adopted. KH to update the documentation and update the website.

CH left the meeting at this point.

105/17 To consider the Parish Clerk salary review:

a. KH presented the Parish Clerk salary review proposal. It was noted that the review was based on the requirement of a Parish Clerk, rather than a personal review of salary so it was agreed that KH should not leave the room during discussions.
b. RESOLVED: KH presented the rationale for agreeing the scale and spinal column points and it was agreed that the following was agreed:
1. Scale = LC1
2. Spinal column point = 23
3. Single salary point with an annual review
4. Working time = 7 hours per week
5. Workplace pension = No requirement for this as the salary does not meet the criteria
6. Annual allowance = £100 per annum payable at the end of the financial year

106/17 To review the updated cemetery fees:

a. This item was carried forward to the next meeting.

107/17 To agree arrangements for the provision of a poppy wreath for the Pencombe Remembrance Service on Friday 10th November and to receive an update on the renewal of the war memorial:

a. The improvements to the war memorial have been completed.
b. KH has ordered a poppy wreath through the Bromyard British Legion. The cost is £17 but a donation of £25 will be made.

108/17 To consider the request for a reader at the Pencombe Carol Service on Sunday 17th December 2017:

a. KH volunteered to do a reading at the service.

109/17 Planning applications/decisions:
109.1/17 To comment on planning applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:

a. There were no planning applications.

109.2/17 To note planning permissions by Herefordshire Council:

a. Prior Approval Not Required (12/10/2017) P173721/PA7; Mr Paul Thomas; Hennerwood, Pencombe; Application for prior notification of two proposed tracks

109.3/17 To note planning refusals by Herefordshire Council:

a. Refused (11/10/2017) P173633/U; Mr Neal Thorpe; Hundred Bank, Little Cowarne; Proposed Certificate of Lawfulness for an extension to the existing kitchen to the South of the property, facing the garden

110/17 Neighbourhood Development plan & Affordable Housing:
110.1/17 To consider actions following 97.1/17:

a. There were no further actions required.

111/17 Lengthsman scheme:
111.1/17 To consider work to be undertaken:

a. See 99/17t.

111.2/17 To consider payment of invoices:

a. There were no invoices to be paid.

112/17 To review the October 2017 Information Sheet:

a. There were no items raised for discussion.

113/17 Matters raised for discussion at the next meeting:

a. Request for an additional Parish Councillor to stand as a Pencombe School Governor.

114/17 Date of next meeting:

a. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 28th November 2017 at 7.30pm.

Being no further business the meeting was closed at 10.35pm.