17th June 2021 minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch.
Minutes of the Vowchurch & District Group Parish Council meeting held on
Thursday 17th June 2021 at 7.30pm
in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall.

PRESENT – Councillors P Mason (Chair), E May, I Chadwick, E Williams and R Lloyd.
IN ATTENDANCE – PCSO Fiona Witcher, Ward Councillor Peter Jinman and Mrs L Cowles (Clerk)

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors A Picton, J Kernahan, T Williams and M Engel.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of Interest and or written requests for dispensation.
  3. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING ON THE PARISH COUNCIL – 20th May 2021 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  4. OPEN DISCUSSION – No members of the public attended the meeting and therefore no specific points were raised.
    5.1 Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Jinman’s report included: –
    Broadband – There continues to be some communication with Gigaclear with a hope of arranging a meeting in the near future. There are some government grant initiatives available although there are concerns that the area would not be eligible because of the on-going improvements by Gigaclear. All information continues to be forwarded to Councillor Kernahan and Toby Murcott.
    Green Farm – There has been no reply or response regarding the HGV Licence at Green Farm. All local objections were sent to the Commissioner. As the local highways and planning departments have no objections, Herefordshire Council will not object to the application.
    Leaders Letter has been forwarded to Parish Councillors.
    Planning – The Planning Department continues to be very busy and applications are taking longer to process. Councillor Liz Harvey has taken over responsibility of the planning department and a review is currently on-going.
    Child Services – There has been a change in Cabinet responsibility for Child Services. Problems have been caused by long term issues which are being investigated.
    5.2 Local Police – PCSO Witcher had nothing specific to report as the area has been very quiet. She confirmed that she was retiring at the end on the month and there should be a replacement starting at the beginning of next year. The Parish Council thanked PCSO Witcher for all her work over the years.
    5.3 Lengthsman – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. His monthly report had been forwarded to Councillors prior to the meeting.
  6. CLERKS UPDATE – The Clerk advised that Councillor Harry Franklin has resigned. The Parish Council thanked him for his services, it was agreed to purchase a thank you card.
    The latest correspondence from the Inspectorate regarding the VO53/VO57 footpath diversion has been forwarded to Parish Councillors. The Inspectorate is due to visit W/C 5th July 2021. No members of the Parish Council or members of the public will be able to speak to him.
    Parish Councillors were reminded of the Parish Council summit on 23rd June and the BBLP Parish Services update on 29th June.
    The C1206 from C1205 to Shawls Farm, Michaelchurch Escley will be closed on 12th July for one day from 0930 – 1530. The C1206 from B4348, Vowchurch to The Slough will be closed from 26th July for 2 days from 0930 – 1530.
    Karen Stanton will be the Talk Community representative to cover this area.
    The PCC Town & Parish Council Police Survey is available to complete.
    Parish Councillors confirmed they are happy to continue receiving the majority of correspondence via email.
    Site: Wells Green, Upper Maescoed, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QG
    Description: Proposed agricultural barn for housing small farm machinery and hay storage.
    Application No: 212010 Grid Ref: 332949:234918
    Site: Wells Green, Upper Maescoed, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QG
    Description: Proposed single storey extension
    Application No: 211552 Grid Ref: 332910:234878
    COMMENT – Whilst the Parish Council do not object in principle to this application, they have some reservations regarding the design and materials used. Policy 5 of the Neighbourhood Development Plan states that ‘Housing proposals will be permitted for buildings which reflect the existing, particularly historic, local building styles in the use of materials such as stone, slate, wood and brick’. This ensures that any new development is designed to complement the character of the existing settlements and wider environment.
    Site: Barn (known as The Cottage), old Kate’s Farm, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire, HR2 0PU.
    Description: Variation of a condition 2 ref-183961/F (Proposed conversion of barn (known as The Cottage)
    To form residential accommodation) vary the materials on the East Elevation.
    Application No: 211726/211732 Grid Ref: 329096:237325
    Site: Marises Barn, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QG
    Description: Proposed detached double garage with workshop
    Application No: 210779 Grid Ref: 333135:234770
    Site: Green Farm, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QJ
    Description: Application for prior notification for hay and machinery storage building.
    Application No. 211604 Grid Ref. 333139:233895
    8.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £12,764.71 Statement Sheet No. 157 issued 17th May 2021.
    Receipts – £6785.08 1st Precept payment, £450.00 drainage grant payment and £3129.28 VAT claim.
    8.2 payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for May 2021 Clerk’s hours, £21.48 plus VAT Ink Cartridge and £18.12 Stamps – Payment agreed.
    8.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths invoice no. TGC1523, Roads Account June 2021 (1) of £392.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    8.4 Payment to Microshade Business Consultants Ltd, invoice no. 14675 of £99.00 plus VAT for internal audit – Payment agreed.
    8.5 INTERNET BANKING – The Internet Banking application was approved and signed by two signatories as per the current bank mandate.
    8.6 INTERNAL AUDITORS REPORT – The Internal Auditors report was received and recommendations noted.
    8.7 Consider and approve Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 – The annual governance statement was approved and signed by the Chair and Clerk.
    8.8 Consider and approve Accounting Statement 2020/21 – The accounting statement was certified by the RFO prior to being approved and signed by the Chair.
  9. BROADBAND – Received in Ward Councillor Jinman’s report.
  10. RESILIENCE PLAN – Councillor Chadwick updated Councillors on the draft Resilience Plan which included a local risk assessment, local skills and resources assessment, key locations for use as places of refuge and/or safety, defibrillator locations, location of potentially vulnerable residents and useful contacts. It was agreed that there are concerns regarding data protection and what role the Parish Council or Parish Clerk could play in an emergency. It was felt that many local residents would be happy to help in an emergency but would be unwilling to put their names on an official resilience plan due to Health and Safety regulations. The emergency services had previously advised that they would potentially just need contact details of local key holders for village halls etc. It was agreed to review and draft a basic plan with a list of local hall/church key holders. Councillor Chadwick would also contact Karen Stanton at Talk Community for some advice.
  11. HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SCRUTINY REVIEW – The highways maintenance scrutiny review was noted.
  12. THE QUEEN’S GREEN CANOPY ‘PLANT A TREE FOR JUBILEE’ – Whilst it was agreed this initiative was a good idea there are no Parish Council owned areas which are accessible to the public and any application by community groups is unlikely to be successful unless there is genuine public access. It was therefore agreed to advertise in the local magazine for members of the public to apply directly.
  13. ROADS SIGNS – No costs received from Balfour Beatty. Defer to July meeting.
  14. LOCAL POLICING COMMUNITY CHARTER – It was agreed to response to PC Jeff Rouse that the Parish Councils main concerns are speeding and the size of vehicles passing through the parish.
  15. PARISH COUNCILLOR VACANCY – As Harry Franklin has resigned there will now be two Parish Councillor vacancies to represent Michaelchurch Escley although it was noted that the recent vacancy will need to be advertised as per electoral regulations. Two applicants have shown an interest in joining the Parish Council, which Councillors were happy to co-opt. It was agreed to firstly co-opt Mr David Cross as his application had been received earlier and to include the co-option of Ms Gabrielle Franklin at the earliest possible meeting after the second vacancy has been advertised.
  16. JULY NEWSLETTER – Plant a tree for Jubilee.
  17. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
  18. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – Thursday 15th July 2021 at 7.30pm at Vowchurch & Turnastone memorial Hall – Resilience Plan update and road sign costs.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.25pm.


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