Minutes of Walford Parish Council Meeting 21 November 2018

Held at Bishopswood Village Hall

Wednesday 21 November 2018 at 7.30pm  


Councillors: Frank Myers (Chairman), Michael Agyeman, Murray Alston, Dave Berry, Karen Chinn, Heather Evans, Sophie Hurley, Angus McIntosh and Neil Parfitt

In attendance: Richard Abolins (Clerk), Ward Councillor Paul Newman, approx. 10 members of the public.

  1. Apologies for absence were received from Eric Drummond, Simeon Cole, Nesta Hirst and Guy Smith 
  1. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation – Councillor Myers declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8.2 as non-executive director of Riversea Holdings. 
  1. Adoption of Minutes of previous meeting

It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2018 as a true and accurate record. They were signed by the Chairman.

  1. Public Session
    • Representations from the public

A resident an update on the state of the gravel and electric and water cables at the Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch. The Chairman that the situation was being monitored and being actively discussed with the authorities. No changes were to be made until any decision were taken.

    • Report from the Community Support Co-ordinator

Since the last meeting, 59 hours’ worth of assistance to members of our Parish has been provided–including social outings to Weston Cider and Tintern, with assistance from Ross Action Bus.

The poster competition at Walford Primary School proved to be a great success with a very high standard. Posters were being made from the two winning entries.

Social events were continuing with the annual Christmas fundraiser/social taking place on 5 December.

    • Police Representative – there was no report.
    • Report from the Ward Councillor

Herefordshire Council are working hard on the budget for next year within the constraints they are under. Jo and her team at the Inn on the Wye are to be thanked for coming up with a seniors’ menu with a special price.

    • Localities Steward – there was no report. 
  1. Planning
    • There were no objections to application 183525 – The Kernal, Kerne Bridge
    • The planning Update report was noted.
    • Neighbourhood Planning

Will Warburg, Chair of the Neighbourhood Planning Working Group was not present to report. A resident with experience in neighbourhood planning expressed his willingness to assist the Group. Councillor Alston will put him in touch with the Group Chairman and try to arrange further meetings of the group. 

  1. Finance
    • The bank reconciliations had been approved by the Finance Committee.
    • The Financial Report for October was noted.
    • The Finance Chair reminded the Council that earlier in the year she had been appointed as temporary Responsible Finance Officer until a new Parish Clerk was appointed. The Finance Committee recommended that the Parish Clerk be formally appointed as Responsible Financial Officer and it was RESOLVED to accept this recommendation.
    • The recently adopted electronic payment policy was being put into effect with the current round of payments. 
  1. Highways / Rights of Way
    • Lengthsman – with the Co-ordinator absent while gritting, there was nothing to report

Rights of Way – the closure of WA50 expired in 2015, so the Lengthsman was asked to review its condition, with care because of the potential landslip. He reported that the area was stabilised with fresh vegetation. The path had been cleared.

    • There were no works orders to approve.
    • The review of the Lengthsman’s contract is ongoing
    • Dealt with above.
  1. Parish Projects
    • The banner at Kerne Bridge advertising the WCSS had been cut down. Councillor Chinn and Councillor Hurley will check with the owner of the fence if they are happy for the banner to be attached to it and will consider other locations in the vicinity for a suitable site.
    • Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch – the recovery of costs from Herefordshire Council is underway.
  1. Bishopswood Village Hall toilets

Following a meeting between Councillors Myers, Drummond and Alston and 2 representatives of the village hall, it appears that BVH interpret the contract between them and Herefordshire Council as allowing access to the toilets but not keeping them maintained and unlocked. It is not within the remit of the Parish Council to intervene and operate the toilets.

The Chairman will seek advice from Herefordshire Council. 

  1. GDPR

Councillor Parfitt had produced a portfolio of documents which he had developed in line with other parish councils. These documents need to be published on the website and consent forms for data sent to anyone whose data is being held by the Parish Council. Any subject access requests must be dealt with within the prescribed time period and any such requests received by councillors must be passed immediately to the Data Controller who is the Parish Clerk. 

  1. Review of website and IT

The IT working group met on 14 November and focussed initially on the website. The group recommended that we ask Eyelid Productions to upgrade the website. This company has dealt with approximately 50 parish councils in Herefordshire so are very aware of parish requirements. The cost is £500 for the conversion of the existing website which includes training. Ongoing support is charged at £100 per year. It was RESOLVED to accept this recommendation.

Other IT issues such as Facebook will be considered in future meetings of the working group.

  1. Village sewerage facilities

A resident has been in contact with Welsh Water with a view to installing mains sewerage between the Mill Race and Walford Village Hall. The process appears to be moving along, but the resident is asking for the support of the Council should it be required.

The Council RESOLVED that although it was not the Council’s responsibility to deal with this matter, it was RESOLVED to write to Welsh Water, whole-heartedly supporting this initiative and asking for more information on the process.

  1. Emergency Services Tower

The Council felt there was little it could do except support the resident, but it will be considered further at the next meeting.

  1. Items for next meeting agenda
    • To receive draft budget for 2019/20
    • To consider potential new projects beneficial to the parish.
    • To consider the Lengthsman Contract
    • To receive an update and consider actions regarding the land at The Dam
    • To consider what the Council needs from the Localities Steward
  2. The date of the next meeting – The next meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 January 2019 at Walford Village Hall 

The meeting closed at 8.35pm