Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting held on
Thursday 30th September 2021 at 19.30hrs
Present … Councillors: Chris Strange, Rose Sparey, Phil Tucker and Cara Campbell.
Also, present were Ward Councillor Fagan, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and four residents.
- Apologies for Absence – Councillor Tony Phillips
- Declarations of Interest & Requests for Dispensation – None
- Minutes of the previous meeting on 29th July 2021 – It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these were signed by the Chairman.
- Open Session
4.1 Ward Councillor Toni Fagan reported on the following issues:
4.1.1 – A climate change grant (£15k) is available from Herefordshire Council with the closing date for applications being December 2021.
4.1.2 – Discussions with the accident investigator have taken place following the incident where a motorcyclist came off his bike at the Broad Oak corner. The accident investigator has ruled out the installation of crash barriers at this location, but Balfour Beatty have agreed to consider whether the accumulation of gravel on this stretch of road poses a hazard.
4.1.3 – The LPA are experiencing significant staff shortages which is delaying the determination of planning applications. It is hoped that, with some additional planning agents, the backlog can be reduced. Residents are encouraged to make use of the alert system offered by Herefordshire Council which notifies parishioners when a local planning application is published.
4.1.4 – Ward Councillor Fagan agreed to consult with Balfour Beatty to establish the timing of the second cut of local verges.
4.1.5 – A meeting will take place on the 7th October 2021 to discuss the application to make the old primary school a community asset. To date, the landowner has not responded to the application. Councillor Tucker added that a bat roost is present in the building.
4.1.6 – Ward Councillor is happy to receive calls from residents who wish to raise issues or concerns.
4.2 Local Residents– The following issues were raised:
4.2.1 – A blocked bridge at Trewaddoc was raised and it was RESOLVED to refer the issue to the Locality Steward but also ask the Lengthsman for a quote for the required remedial work.
4.2.2 – A resident asked about the ownership of a piece of common land adjacent to the catholic church in Broad Oak. The resident is concerned that a ditch which flows across this common land will impact on his adjoining land. Ward Councillor Fagan added that, as part of the land is unregistered, the construction of a ditch will be at the developer’s risk. It was suggested that arrangements are made to facilitate discussion between the resident and the Chairman of the Lower Common Association.
- Sale of the old village hall – It was noted that the contracts have been exchanged and all terms are in accordance with the Charity Commission and the public vote. The delay in exchanging contracts was due to the buyer purchasing a plot at the rear of the site under a separate negotiation which is progressing satisfactorily. It is planned to pay mortgage costs and reimburse trustees where practicable and then close the old charity. The financial position is sound with no debt and a healthy level of funding in the account. It is now intended to hold the AGM for the Community Centre CIO and will seek new trustees.
- The current bank balance is £39,822.51
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary in accordance with his employment contract (August & September 2021)
- PAYE (August & September 2021) – £372.20
- Postage – £7.92
- Clerk’s travel expenses – £17.10
- Site Plan (Old Garway School) – £10.80
- Lengthsman (THC1579, TGC1588, TGC1603 & TGC1604) – £4055.29
- Financial Monitoring – The Clerk reported that the Parish Council finances are sound with an expected level of reserves in the order of £21k at year end.
- Budget & Precept 2022/23 – Following discussion it was RESOLVED to leave the precept unchanged at £17,160 for 2022/23 and this should be communicated to Herefordshire Council. Councillors also RESOLVED to approve the budget for 2022/2 after agreeing to increase the allocation for grants/donations to £800.00. The budget is detailed at Annex A.
- Planning – To consider planning applications received from Herefordshire Council.
7.1 – Blenheim Cottage, Garway, Hereford. Proposed first floor extension and alterations. Councillors objected to the proposals set out in the application for the following reasons:
- The proposals incorporate a ridge line significantly higher than adjoining properties.
- Would have a deleterious impact on an adjoining Grade 2 listed building.
- In terms of design the extended building would be out of keeping with surrounding buildings
- The property would overlook neighbouring properties.
- The extended building will be overbearing and have a negative impact generally
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk communicates the Parish Council’s objection to the LPA.
- Clerk Correspondence – A resident has written asking for Parish Council approval to spread a quantity of fine sand on the croquet court in the Autumn. Councillors were content to accede to the request and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk advises the correspondent accordingly.
- Commons – Councillor Phil Tucker reported that he is hopeful of arranging a meeting with the Commoner’s Association later in October 2021 adding that a governance document produced by the GHCA will be helpful in this regard. The GHCA AGM is due to take place on the 16th October 2021 and Councillor Tucker is due to represent the Parish Council. Councillor Tucker advised that due to ill health his continued participation in this work is not assured and, for this reason, Councillor Campbell agreed to shadow him. Mrs Lesley Whistance added that the GHCA are preparing an application for grant funding from DEFRA and Councillors offered their full support. Councillor Rose Sparey suggested lighting a beacon on Garway Hill to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year. There was also discussion on naming the recreation ground a “village green” and this will be discussed at the next meeting. In the meantime, it was RESOLVED that the Clerk investigates the process required to make this change. Councillor Tucker commented that Caroline Hanks is reluctant to survey the Upper Common but the implications of this will be considered in conjunction with the GHCA. In terms of the Lower Common it has been suggested by Caroline Hanks that her recommendations/conclusions from the 2011 survey are still valid.
- Lengthsman – The Clerk advised that despite placing an advert in the Parish magazine no-one has come forward to empty the dog poo bins.
- Footpaths – Councillor Tucker reported that the Locality Steward has supplied new way markers for GW11 (leading to KZ10). A rotten stile close to Burnt House Wood has been reported to the Locality Steward. Footpaths close to the church could benefit from some strimming and it was agreed that Councillor Strange will speak to the Lengthsman. Another issue raised concerned “hidden” footpath signs close to White Rocks which are obscured from view of tractor drivers. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the Ramblers Association asking if the signs could either be relocated or removed.
- Children’s Playground – The Clerk reported that there is now a total of £13,300 available for the new playground equipment noting thar of this £3,700 was collected during the recent Fun Day which was acknowledged as a tremendous achievement. A further two grant applications will be submitted in the next few days. It was RESOLVED to defer discussion on a donation from the Parish Council until the next meeting.
- Safeguarding Policy – Following discussion it was RESOLVED to adopt the Safeguarding Policy.
- Demolition of Old Garway Primary School – There was nothing further to add following discussion earlier in the meeting.
- Myrtle House – Councillors noted that the issue raised in connection with a vehicular access is a matter for the two landowners concerned and not something of interest to the Parish Council.
- Matters for the next scheduled meeting on Thursday 25th November 2021.
Meeting closed at 21.10 hrs.