Held at Bishopswood Village Hall
Wednesday 4 September 2019 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Monica van Lienden (Chair), Ian Matthews (Vice-Chair), Joanne Akers, Karen Chinn, Simeon Cole, Ruth Dolman, Eric Drummond, Heather Evans, Richard Jackson, Elizabeth Jordan, Sian Newbert and Bob Puzey
In attendance: Richard Abolins (Parish Clerk), Yolande Watson (Ward Councillor) and 10 members of the public.
1. Apologies: – Councillors Guy Smith
2. Declaration of interests: – Cllr Jackson and Newbert declared an interest in item 7.1 as neighbours. Cllr Puzey declared an interest in item 14 as a neighbour.
3. Adoption of Minutes of previous meeting:
It was resolved to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 14 August 2019 as a true and accurate record. They were signed by the Chair.
It was moved and resolved to change the order of proceedings so that item 14.2 was dealt with before item 14.1
4. Walford Community Support Scheme:
4.1 In the absence of the scheme co-ordinator, Cllr Chinn presented the report (attached).
5. Public participation session:
5.1 The Ward Councillor presented her report (attached). Following up on questions, it was clear that in future there would be greater enforcement over the unauthorised removal of trees and hedgerows. This would be taken up by the Environmental working group.
5.2 A member of the public informed the meeting that a trustee of Walford Village Hall, Cyril Powell, had died suddenly.
6. Policies and procedures:
6.1 It was resolved to change the frequency of Council meetings to monthly. It was further resolved that meetings would be held on the third Wednesday of each. The Clerk will amend the standing orders and present them to the next meeting for approval.
6.2 It was resolved that the Chair should act as media spokesperson if necessary. It was further resolved that in her absence, the Clerk will act as her deputy.
6.2.1 It was proposed to change the responsibility for Health and Safety in the Generic Risk Assessment to the Council. It was proposed to change the title of the Volunteer lone working policy to the WCSS lone working policy. Subject to these amendments, it was resolved to approve the policies and procedures for Data retention and records management, Complaints, Generic risk assessment, Volunteer GDPR disclaimer, Safeguarding, Lone working and Use of private cars.
In the Training and Development policy, it was proposed to add “Publicly funded training must be approved by the Council to ensure its relevance, content and appropriateness”. Subject to this amendment, it was resolved to approve the policy.
7. Planning applications:
Cllrs Jackson and Newbert left the room
7.1 192723, Land at the Leys, Bishopswood, erection of one dwelling and detached garage and construction of associated works.
The Council wanted the height of the new buildings to be no more than the existing garage. It also wanted proper environmental and ecological surveys undertaken. Other than these requirements, there were no other objections.
Cllrs Jackson and Newbert re-joined the meeting
7.2 192800, 6 Coughton Place, Coughton, proposed 3 bed dwelling with parking
There was concern about the retention of the adjoining hedgerows, but there were no other objections.
8.1 Cllr Chinn reported that in their meeting the Finance Committee had resolved to change its meeting frequency to whatever the Council decided.
They were investigating deposit accounts with a greater rate of interest than currently being earned on deposits.
Work had begun on a risk register using a template from HALC. Cllr Chinn asked for working groups to feed their individual risk items to the Clerk for incorporation into the full document.
Approval had been given for expenditure on website training.
Budget information for the year 2020/21 should be given to the RFO as soon as possible, so that he can begin drafting the budget for the November meeting.
9.1 Cllr Akers reported that at the last meeting, the Personnel Committee had primarily dealt with the policies and procedures which had been brought to this meeting.
Having obtained an increase in the training budget, further HALC training for councillors had taken place on 22 August.
No date had been set for the next meeting; this would be set when required.
10. Community engagement:
10.1 Cllr Puzey presented his report (attached). Unfortunately, consideration of the terms of reference had been omitted for the agenda and will be presented at the next meeting.
10.1.1 In considering the strategy document, a few amendments were suggested; page 2 -correct website, page 9- remove reference to gypsies, page 10 – section 3.8 needs to include cost consideration and on page 11, page 14 – to include an estimate of expenditure. Subject to these amendments, it was resolved to approve the document. Cllr Puzey will update the document.
11.1 In the absence of Cllr Smith, Cllr Newbert presented the report (attached)
11.1.1 It was resolved to approve the terms of reference for the Safety Working Group.
11.1.2 Riversea Holdings had agreed to look into the costs of new signage at the canoe launch and consider whether to bear the cost or share it. It was resolved to authorise the working group to find costs for new signage at the canoe launch.
The following items were not proposed by the Safety Working Group.
11.1.3 Before the Bank Holiday, a portaloo had been installed at the canoe launch site on the grounds of health and safety. The Clerk had exercised his emergency powers following a discussion between Councillors at the HALC training session. It had come to Councillors notice that in the absence of toilet facilities at the site, members of the public were relieving themselves in the undergrowth. In the long term, provision of toilet facilities needed to be discussed and resolved in full Council, but the current situation could open the Council to charges of failure of its duty of care. It was resolved to continue with this hire until the end of September, but to relocate it to a more appropriate position. Cllr Cole will attend to this.
11.1.4 The Chair will co-ordinate with the Ward Councillor to obtain more information relating to the Bishopswood Village Hall toilets and will report back to the Council.
12.1.1 Cllr Newbert present the report (attached) and the Clerk agreed to find any documents relating to land owned by the Council.
12.1.2 It was resolved to approve the terms of reference for the Environmental Working Group.
13. Neighbourhood Development Plan:
13.1 Andrew De La Haye presented the report on progress (attached). To avoid confusion, it was agreed that the agenda items 13.1.1 to 13.1.10 would be taken in the order referred to in the progress report.
13.1.2 It was resolved to appoint Chris Barron to the steering group.
13.1.6 It was resolved to approve the National and Local Planning Hierarchy.
13.1.9 The project planning documents were noted.
13.1.4 It was resolved to approve the document “Purpose, aims and objectives”
13.1.1 It was resolved to reconstitute the Neighbourhood Planning Committee as the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group
13.1.3 It was proposed that it was not necessary for the Clerk to attend Steering Group meetings. Subject to this, it was resolved to approve the terms of reference for the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group.
13.1.5 It was resolved to approve the Service Level Agreement with Herefordshire Council and the Chair signed it.
13.1.10 It was resolved to delegate authority to the Steering Group to appoint a consultant.
13.1.8 It was resolved to delegate authority to the Steering Group to apply for grant funding.
13.1.7 It was resolved to approve the use of a separate NDP website for the duration of the project.
14. Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch:
14.2 Cllr Matthews presented a report from the working group (attached) and asked for the recommendations within it to be considered.
It was resolved that the working group prepares a report to show the financial benefits of the site to the parish and a business plan prepared for a period of the next three years.
It was recommended that professional advice is taken to define the nature of the contract with Riversea Holdings and to define the meaning of the contract in respect of who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. The Council did not accept this recommendation.
It was recommended that WPC confirm 25% of receipts are held in reserve for maintenance works that WPC is liable for. It was pointed out that the Reserves Policy already covers this eventuality.
In the interests of the taxpayers of the parish, it was recommended that the insurance certificate and summary of cover is published on the PC website.
It is recommended that a structural and general inspection survey is conducted on the site, and that RHL/WPC prepare risk register for the site. This will be a passed to the Finance Committee who will incorporate it into the full risk register.
14.1 Cllr Cole explained that the working group had been established to manage the transfer of the site from Herefordshire Council and to install a management partner to manage the site. Particularly following the establishment of the Safety and Environmental working groups, it only left maintenance to be dealt with. Rather than have a working group, it would be more effective to have a maintenance co-ordinator who would liaise with the Council, the working groups and Riversea Holdings to ensure the site was well maintained.
With the agreement that an Environment co-ordinator would be appointed to liaise with the maintenance co-ordinator, it was resolved to terminate the Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch Working Group.
It was resolved to appoint Cllr Cole as the Maintenance Co-ordinator.
The time being 21.35, the Chair adjourned the meeting. It will re-convene on Thursday 12 September 2019 at 7.30pm in Bishopswood Village Hall.
SIGNED M van Lienden DATE 16 October 2019