Minutes of Walford Parish Council Meeting 9 January 2019

Held at Walford Village Hall

Wednesday 9 January 2019 at 7.30pm   


Councillors: Michael Agyeman, Murray Alston, Dave Berry, Karen Chinn, Simeon Cole, Heather Evans, Neil Parfitt and Guy Smith

In attendance: Richard Abolins (Clerk), 8 members of the public.

In the absence of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Councillor Chinn was proposed, seconded and unanimously elected as Chairman of the meeting.

  1. Apologies for absence were received from Frank Myers (business), Eric Drummond (business), Nesta Hirst (illness), Sophie Hurley (family) and Angus McIntosh (business) 
  1. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation – None 
  1. Adoption of Minutes of previous meeting

It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2018 as a true and accurate record. They were signed by the Chairman of the meeting.

  1. Public Session
    • Representations from the public

In relation to item 12 on the agenda, a resident quoted the Financial Regulations in respect of the disposal of assets. He was assured that all proper procedures would be followed and that the matter would be discussed more fully later in the meeting.

A resident asked what the infrastructure costs referred to in item 8.1 were. These were all the costs incurred in the installation of an electrical supply to the site.

    • Report from the Community Support Co-ordinator

The Scheme has delivered over 80 volunteer hours to service users since the November Parish Council meeting, covering a variety of transport for appointments, social events, visits and shopping trips.

There was a visit to Tintern Abbey at the end of November in conjunction with the Ross Action Bus. Lower Wythall was the venue for our regular Christmas Soirée, very kindly hosted by volunteers, Guy and Sheila Pulfer. It was a lovely festive social evening and an opportunity for donations to be received from local businesses and some of our service users. There was a tasty Christmas Lunch at the Weston Cross, which marked the end of our What’s on Walford programme of events for 2018.

Service users continue to attend lunches at Walford Primary School every half term, and as a result of that collaboration, there was a competition for the children to design a poster for the Scheme. Karen Chinn, Sophie Hurley and Sarah Hayes talked to the children in Assembly, outlined what the Scheme does, sent leaflets home with the children and asked them to talk to parents and grandchildren about it, as a form of publicity. Two winners were chosen, one from the infants and one from the juniors, and presented with their prizes in Assembly before Christmas. The posters will be used to relaunch the Scheme in the Gazette and in and around the Parish and Ross, in the coming week.

Work is currently taking place on a new programme of WoW events for the coming year, with an afternoon of board games planned for this month and a quiz night for next month. Everyone was encouraged to put a team together for the quiz night and make it a proper community evening. Wednesday the 6th February at the Mill Race is the proposed date and flyers will be posted around the villages with further details.

Pledges of funding have been received from Herefordshire Community Foundation and Bulmer again for next financial year. The financial forecast shows we are currently operating at approximately 25% under budget.

    • Police Representative – there was no report. The Clerk will endeavour to make contact before the next meeting
    • Report from the Ward Councillor – the Ward Councillor sent his apologies and there was nothing to report.
    • Localities Steward – the Clerk will arrange a meeting with the Localities Steward to provide a fuller report at the next Council meeting. 
  1. Planning
    • There were no objections to application 184229 – Chadwyns Farm in itself, but there were serious concerns about the potential temporary closure of the public bridleway WA91. The Clerk was asked to send these comments to Planning Services.
    • Neighbourhood Planning

Councillor Alston reported that the Group had not met for some time. He felt that Will Warburg was likely to step down as Chair and that the Group needed reconstituting. Although it was suggested that this could wait until the May elections, the general feeling was that the project had fallen well behind schedule and there was a sense of urgency in picking it up again. There was some discussion about whether it should be a Working Group or Committee. It was agreed to consider the options and decide at the next meeting. 

  1. Finance
    • There was little to report except to note that there had been no donations to supported schemes in the year. Everyone was encouraged to make this opportunity known to the parish.
    • The bank reconciliations were checked and signed by Councillor Parfitt
    • The Financial Report for December was noted.
    • The draft budget would be finalised at the next meeting.
    • The Clerk confirmed that following the control procedure, a credit note would be issued by Terry Griffiths Contracts and the balance to be paid was £1,056. Subject to this amendment, all the payments were approved.
    • The standing order payments were ratified. 
  1. Highways / Rights of Way
    • Lengthsman – there was a full programme of work up until the year end and the cost would be up to but within budget

Rights of Way – there was some signage being prepared but there was nothing to report

    • There were no works orders to approve.
    • The pro forma of the Lengthsman’s contract is being obtained and will be made ready for the tendering process.
    • Following some discussion, the general feeling was that the Speed Indicator Device as advertised was not necessarily suitable and potentially expensive. It was agreed, however, that alternative anti-speeding measures should be considered. Councillor Smith will investigate and report back at the next meeting.
  1. Parish Projects
    • Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch – the recovery of costs from Herefordshire Council is actively underway. 
  1. Review of website and IT

Although generally approved, it was agreed that there needs to be some fine-tuning to the new website. Feedback from Councillors and members of the public should be directed to the Clerk.

The Clerk is undergoing training next week for maintenance of the website. He will pass on this knowledge to the IT working group, so that the Council is not dependent upon one person.

  1. Village sewerage facilities

The Clerk wrote to Welsh Water, whole-heartedly supporting the initiative to install mains sewerage. They acknowledged this support and will keep the Council informed of future progress.

  1. Emergency Services Tower

The Council felt there was little it could do except support the resident in trying to obtain better communications, but we should contact the Tower operator to ascertain whether it’s use could be expanded to the benefit of residents.

  1. Land at the Dam

It was proposed, seconded and agreed that there was little benefit in selling this land and that this matter should now be ended.

  1. Herefordshire Community Champion Awards – the scheme was noted 
  1. Items for next meeting agenda
    • Neighbourhood Development Plan
    • To receive draft budget for 2019/20
    • To consider anti-speeding measures
  1. The date of the next meeting – The next meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 13 February 2019 at Walford Church – St Michael and All Angels 

The meeting closed at 8.36pm