Minutes 11th October 2017

Minutes for the meeting of the Parish Council held at Walford Village Hall on Wednesday 11th October at 7.30pm

  1. To accept apologies and note reasons for absence: Eric Drummond will be late (family commitment), Luke Freeman (work commitment). Cllr Drummond did not make it to the meeting.
  1. Parish Council Vacancy: Was declared, due to the absence of Councillor Martyn Jenkins for more than 6 months. The Clerk will advise the Electoral Services Office and send a copy of the notice to Cllr Carlson for display on his local notice board and on Facebook. <<Action Clerk>>
  1. Declarations: Cllr Carlson item 9.1.2. Cllr Drummond item 10.2
  1. Minutes: It was unanimously RESOLVED to accept minutes of the previous meeting held on 30/08/17.
  2. Community Support Scheme: In the absence of Sarah Hayes, Cllr Hurley gave an update:  Since the last meeting there have been 54 volunteer hours put in and Ward Cllr Newman has been using his networking skills with Walford ‘Old Boys Group’, an outing is planned in the near future.  Banners will be going up to publicise the scheme and a leaflet drop is taking place.  Sarah Hayes is setting up a dementia action group.
  1. Verbal Reports / Questions:

Ward Councillor:  Paul Newman said how pleased he was to continue to engage with the Community Support Scheme and is accompanying two clients to a sheltered housing scheme.  He has recently completed an online questionnaire on fracking, so the issues he has raised will be addressed.  There has been an overspend of £1 million on the Blueschool House project and an audit report has been carried out as a result; it has been acknowledged that there were breaches of procedure and Cllr Newman’s’ Audit & Governance Committee will make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

  1. Public Participation Session:

Mr Jackson:  Queried the accuracy of the previous meeting minutes, which the Chairman said were an accurate record and had been adopted unanimously by Cllrs who had been present at the meeting in question.

Mr Kinder: Raised concern about the conflict of interest in the PC commenting on application No: 172772, due to its relationship with Riversea Holdings Ltd.  The clerk explained that advice had been taken from 3 different sources, including the Monitoring Officer at Herefordshire Council, and it had been confirmed that there was no issue with the PC making comments as a body, having declared that the PC owns the site – for  reasons of transparency – as no individual Councillor stood to benefit financially from the arrangement.

Mr Jackson: Expressed an opinion that the access to the canoe launch site from the B4234 had been changed and wanted to know if Herefordshire Council Highways had been consulted.  The Chairman disagreed that there is a new access to the B4234, although the vehicular access ‘within the curtilage’ of the site has been altered to improve safety at the site.  Cllr Chinn asked Mr Jackson to send any evidence he has to the Clerk, so that it can be considered.

  1. Finance:
    • It was unanimously RESOLVED to approve and sign the Finance Statement – Appendix A and bank statements for August & September.
    • The successful completion of External Audit was noted, with no issues raised by the Auditors.
    • I&E finance spreadsheets had been circulated and were noted and the Finance Chair gave an update: The budget for 2018-19 is being drawn up for presentation at the meeting on 22nd November; the Autumn Newsletter will contain an article relating to the budget.
  • Payments: It was unanimously RESOLVED to approve the following: (Noting that there was no invoice from the Lengthsman; this will be submitted for the November meeting.)
    • Grant Thornton – External Auditors. £240.00
    • Lengthsman – Terry Griffiths: Amount (No invoice received)
    • Autela Group Ltd – Staff Payroll. £40.80
    • Clerk expenses for August & September. £66.73
    • Community Support Co-ordinator expenses for August & September. £45.90
  1. Planning: Applicants and the public were invited to comment before applications were considered.
    • Applications: Planning Appendix B was noted and comments put forward on:
      • Site: Kerne Bridge Picnic Site, South of Bishopswood.  Application No:  172722

Members of the public made their concerns known to the Council:

Mr Kinder asked for any relevant information relating to discussions about the site to be made available to him.  The Chairman explained that the PC has progressed on the basis of the original business plan proposed and stated that this will be published on the website along with the agreement between the PC and Herefordshire Council (After commercially sensitive information has been removed).  Mr Kinder also requested that any notes that exist from working group meetings be made available; it was agreed that where such notes exist, they will be.  There will also be an extensive article in the Autumn Newsletter to inform parish residents.  Mr Kinder acknowledged this.

Mr Jackson asked whether the PC were the PC aware of their statutory duties as the owners of land subject environmental protection and the Chairman responded yes.

He also asked whether the PC had made an application to Natural England for the works at the site, part of which is a SSSI.  The Chairman explained that an application had not been made to Natural England although during the process the PC had consulted as widely as possible to avoid any problems and had received no expressions of concern from The Environment Agency or from Herefordshire Highways department.

Mrs Newbert asked who makes the decisions and what is the plan going forward?  The Chairman explained the Development Partner process and the situation relating to the field shelter, in that Riversea Holdings were advised that a temporary field shelter did not require planning consent; he explained that the process is being followed correctly, as Herefordshire Council planning department is now considering a retrospective application for the field shelter, a process which involves all relevant bodies, including Natural England.

It had already been explained that the Parish Council owns the site and that following advice taken from the authorities there were no issues relating to the code of conduct.  However, having taken advice from the planning officer, it was acknowledged that further information has been requested by the planning office in order to make a determination and that it is likely that a re-consultation will take place on the application and therefore it was unanimously RESOLVED that the Parish Council will wait until this information has been received and the re-consultation documents submitted by Herefordshire Council, before making their comments.

  • Site: Yew Tree House, Walford, HR9 5RF.  Application No: 172901

Cllr Carlson left the room during discussions.

Comments:  The Parish Council supported the application, there were no objections.

  • Site: 2 Priory Lea, Coughton, HR9 5RT.  Application No: 173561

Comments:  The Parish Council supported the application, there were no objections.

  • Site: Plum Tree Cottage, Walford, HR9 5RF.  Application No: 173582

Comments:  The Parish Council supported the application, there were no objections.

  • Application responded to under Delegated Powers:

Site:  Newall Cottage, Walford, HR9 5QS.  Application No: 172866

The Parish Council supported the application, there were no objections.

  • Neighbourhood Planning: Will Warburg gave a report:  There has been a good response to the call for sites, resulting in 16 responses.  The details of these have gone to our independent consultant and we are awaiting a response from him, but there is no detail of timings yet.  Cllr Berry asked if a budget will be forthcoming and Will Warburg said that it will be. Cllr Carlson explained that there are grants to be applied for and emphasised that the assessment will be entirely independent, working to externally set criteria.  The Chairman asked whether the consultant could be asked to come and speak to the council about his findings.  Cllr Chinn asked whether the response to the call for sites was about average.  Will Warburg replied that he didn’t know, but that there is a good selection of sites to be considered.
  1. Highways / Rights of Way / AONB  –  (Appendix D contains Councillors Highways & RsOW reports)
  • Lengthsman Co-ordinator and Rights of Way reports: Work is going according to plan. No work orders above that included in the annual plan.
  • Application for Definitive Map Modification Order: (Addition of a BOAT in Walford and Goodrich):

The Parish Council did not have any further evidence for or against the BOAT.

  1. Parish Projects – To receive updates and consider further action
  • Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch Site: The working group has met and considered the draft agreement on the advice of the solicitor; this will form the basis of the final agreement.
  1. Information and correspondence:  Note Appendix C, Appendix D and HALC Information corner were noted.
  • Consultation: Revised proposals for new constituency boundaries. (Deadline 11/12/17): Information will be available from 17th November online.  Those present were asked to respond as individuals
  • Councillors reports on local matters: Cllr Carlson explained that the Not suitable for HGV signs on Howle Hill will be installed by Friday and thanked Howle Hill Nursery for doing the work. [Post meeting note…they are now fully installed]
  • To consider any other responses required to correspondence received since the last meeting:
    • Mike Dinnik – Enquiry about purchasing a small parcel of PC land: The Clerk will respond to Mr Dinnik – that the matter will be included on the next agenda, with any sensitive information being discussed in private session.  <<Action Clerk>>
    • Mr Day – Canoe Launch Site parking fees / concessions: The clerk will respond explaining that there will be concessions.
  • Next Parish Newsletter: Will be published as planned, end of October / beginning of November. Please send copy to the clerk as soon as possible.
  1. Brief public response session:

Mr Jackson asked if there was a document relating to the land owned by the PC at the Dam.  The clerk responded that there will be in the archives.

Mr Long asked whether the PC should talk to HALC about disposal of a public asset such as land at the Dam.

A representative from Bishopswood Village Hall asked whether the PC would assure them that access to BVH car park is not restricted.  The Chairman explained that the PC will do everything it can to prevent this from happening and asked BVH to let us know if there are any problems.  The Chairman also suggested that the situation could be improved by BVH offering car park overflow at peak times.

Bob Puzey thanked the council for committing to publishing the business case for the canoe launch, and asked for a detailed plan of the proposed development and the impact on the site.  The Chairman said that this will be covered by the business plan.

  1. Items for next meeting agenda: Land at the Dam.
  2. Next meeting: 22nd November 6.30pm Finance Committee; 7.30pm Full Council at Walford Village Hall
  3. Confidential Session: The public were asked to leave the room.

Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch Management Agreement:

Management Agreement

Overage Clause

Finances