17th November 2022 minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch.
Minutes of Vowchurch & District Group Parish Council meeting held on
Thursday 17th November 2022 at 7.30pm in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall.

PRESENT – Councillors E May (Chair), T Williams, D Cross, A Picton, G Deas, R Lloyd and M Engel.
IN ATTENDANCE – Ward councillor Peter Jinman, Mrs L Cowles (Clerk) and one member of the public.

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors E Williams, I Chadwick and local police.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – Councillor G Deas declared a non-disclosable interest in agenda item 12; the declarations book was signed accordingly. There were no written requests for dispensation.
  3. CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLOR TO REPRESENT VOWCHURCH – Ms Suzanne Craddock-Bennett was in attendance and expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council. It was agreed to co-opt Ms Craddock-Bennett for the Parish Councillor vacancy to represent Vowchurch. Ms Craddock-Bennett signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and was welcomed to the meeting.
  4. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – 20th October 2022 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  5. OPEN DISCUSSION – No other members of the public attended the meeting and therefore no specific points were raised.
    6.1 Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Peter Jinman’s report included:-
    Councillor Jinman confirmed he continues to chase information regarding the TRO on B4348 and C1206 along with updates on the refuse/re-cycling collections at Vowchurch Common.
    Leaders Newsletter – Following on from the recently published Leaders newsletter, the annual budget continues to be a problem and savings need to be made, it will be tough for the next couple of years; every department has been told to make cuts.
    Lengthsman – Councillor John Harrington has confirmed the general lengthsman grant will be available to Parish Councils. The grant will be £250k per year for 5 years. The criteria which Balfour Beatty use to validate parish lengthsman has also be revised to enable Parish Councils to tailor their own needs.
    With 2000 miles of road, 2000 miles of footpaths and approximately 700 bridges the highways network is now approximately £315 million in deficit if we wanted to return it to a simply good condition.
    Fastershire grants – Please let Peter know if you have any trouble with the grants.
    There has been an application for a mobile phone mast at the top end of Craswall towards Hay on Wye.
    6.2 Local Police – The local police were unable to attend the meeting.
    6.3 Lengthsman report and any new road defects – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. His monthly reports had been forwarded to Councillors prior to the meeting.
    Planning permission has been granted for a new sunroom at Little Edwards Barn, Newton St Margarets.
    Tony Usher is closing down Golden Valley Web Design at the end of the year. Wyenet will continue to host the website and bill the Parish Council directly.
    Herefordshire Council are keen to hear about any traveller sites that could help meet the need of the Local Plan 2021 – 2041.
    Site: Sefton, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RL
    Description: Application for removal of condition 5 of planning permission 143820/FH (Proposed subservient single storey self-contained annexe, ancillary to existing dwelling house). To allow permitted development rights.
    Application No: 223211 Grid Ref: 336547:236858
    COMMENT – The Parish Council is aware the house needs modernising and would approve of such activity. Could the planning department explain if any of these works could be completed without the need to remove permitted development rights.
    Site: Spring Wood, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QN.
    Description: Proposed field enclosure access track, and woodsman’s shed as part of a rural enterprise and woodland regeneration and management scheme.
    COMMENT – Whilst the Parish Council support an access track and management scheme, they would like a condition to be included that the woodman’s shed could not be turned into a residential dwelling in the future and any re-planting will be native to the local area.
    Application No: 223344 Grid Ref: 334004:233325
    Site: The Old House, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0JW
    Description: Installation of 15 ground mounted solar panels in adjacent field for the provision of electricity to domestic property.
    Application No: 223091 Grid Ref: 331562:233779
    Site: Turnastone Court Farm Education Centre and Lodge, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RA
    Description: Retrospective application for variations from the approved plans on applications P160151/F and P160152/F and for an air source heat pump.
    Application No: 221769 Grid Ref: 335866:236425
    Site: Fair Oak, Bacton, Herefordshire. HR2 0AT
    Description: Repair storm damage to gable and wall of 17th century listed barn, including partially rebuilding damaged stone wall and repairing roof timbers and corrugated iron roof. Also repair damage done to roof of adjoining 20th century lean-to shed by falling stone.
    Application No: 222094 Grid Ref: 335468:232105
    9.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £14,194.48 Statement Sheet No. 175/6 issued 17th October 2022.
    Receipts – None
    To include £5.00 bank charges 17th September 2022 – 16th October 2022.
    9.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for November and December Clerk’s hours – Payment agreed.
    9.3 Payment to Terry Griffiths Contracts, invoice no. TGC2059 roads account October 2022 (1) of £400.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC2062 roads account October 2022 (2) of £400.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    9.4 DONATIONS – It was agreed to donate £200.00 to Dore Community Transport. It was also agreed that the Parish Council would look favourably on any requests for donations toward the King’s Coronation celebrations locally.

9.5 2023/24 PRECEPT – Consider and approve 2023/24 Precept – It was agreed the Clerk would contact Electoral Services for confirmation of election costs in 2023 and defer the Precept setting until the January meeting after a response.

  1. B4348 SPEED REVIEW – The Interim Service Director for Transport and Highways has advised they will be i). undertaking a speed review to determine what current speeds are. ii). Reviewing known collision history to see where the junction sits in terms of priorities from a road safety perspective. iii). Visiting site to see if what is visible on Streetview is representative of the current situation. It was agreed that Councillors would like to be present when the Engineering Manager visits the site.
  2. CRT AT TURNASTONE COURT – The Parish Council continue to be concerned by the activities at the Countryside Regeneration Trust in Turnastone. It was agreed that Councillor Graeme Deas would, in the first instance draft a letter expressing those concerns to be approved by Councillors prior to the Clerk sending to the Trustees.
  3. VOWCHURCH WASTE/RECYCLING COLLECTIONS – The Clerk has spoken to the Waste & Recycling Officer to confirm that the Parish Council would not be funding a new turning head at Vowchurch Common and asking to look at alternatives. Herefordshire Council has advised that the lane by Blackberry Cottage is not registered to anyone but where there is no registered owner, private roads are assumed to have riparian ownership. They cannot adopt if the riparian owner of the land to be adopted objects. Currently the alternatives are to see if the new owners at Lunnon Farm would re-instate the previous arrangement allowing the collection vehicle to turn in their drive or continue with the existing arrangements at Piccadilly Farm.
  4. 2023 MEETING DATES – The meeting dates and venues for 2023 were agreed. Meetings would return to Newton Church room from the Spring with no meetings in August and December.
  5. DECEMBER /JANUARY NEWSLETTER – Welcome new Councillor to represent Vowchurch, Fastershire Grant, Keep Herefordshire Warm and report defects via Herefordshire Council website.
  6. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
  7. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – Thursday 19th January 2023 at 7.30pm at Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall – Precept and CRT update.


  1. PARISH CLERKS ANNUAL PERFORMANCE AND SALARY REVIEW – It was agreed to increase the Clerk’s salary by £1.00 per hour as per the agreed NALC 2022-23 national salary award, backdated to April 2022.

The Chair declared the meeting closed at 9.40pm.


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