VOWCHURCH GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch
Minutes of the Vowchurch Group Parish Council meeting held on
Thursday 19th November 2020 via Zoom
Please note that the meeting is being recorded
PRESENT – Councillors P Mason (Chair), E May, I Chadwick, T Williams, A Picton, E Williams, M Engel, R Lloyd and S Cole.
IN ATTENDANCE – Ward councillor P Jinman and Mrs L Cowles (Clerk).
- ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillor H Franklin.
- RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – Councillor T Williams declared a non-disclosable interest in agenda item 8.5 when additional donations were discussed; due to Covid-19 restrictions the declarations book was unavailable to sign. There were no written applications for dispensation.
- ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 15th October 2020 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
- OPEN DISCUSSION – For residents to raise local matters – No members of the public attended the meeting; therefore, no specific points were raised.
5.1 Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Jinman reported that the development of Peterchurch Primary school continues to advance.
Covid-19 cases have risen recently in the South Wye area and the shop in Peterchurch has temporarily closed because of a positive case. It is still very important to follow the guidelines and protect the community. If you are aware of rule breakers report to the police or environmental health.
Be aware when setting the 2021/22 precept, government funding given to the local council will not be enough. Parish Councils may need to take on extra costs, although any increase in the precept may not be welcomed by some members of the community.
5.2 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.
- CLERKS UPDATE – As requested, the clerk contacted Balfour Beatty regarding the improved maintenance trial for footpaths. It includes some extra responsibilities including strimming and minor repair. Two parishes will initially take part in the trial, if it proves successful this will be rolled out to other interested parishes. After discussion with Councillor May, the clerk registered an interest for any future roll outs.
Correspondence has been received again from a local resident regarding water running down the C1206 through Vowchurch from the fields on the B4348. The Clerk has reported this to the Environment Agency as advised by the Locality Steward. Correspondence has also been received regarding a tree preservation order on a walnut and pear tree in Vowchurch, the contents were noted.
- CONSIDER PLANNING
7.1 PLANNING CONSULTATION
Site: Cae Garw, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0qs
Description: Proposed detached garage and store.
Application No: 203572 Grid Ref: 333846:232064
NO OBJECTION – The Parish Council would like it noted that the applicant has stated that the proposal cannot be seen from a public road, public footpath, bridleway or public land when in fact it is visible from a public road.
8.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £14,053.93 Statement Sheet No. 150 issued 17th October 2020.
Receipts – £6168.25, 2nd precept payment
8.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for October and November 2020 Clerk’s hours, £11.99 plus VAT for Zoom subscription and £22.32 plus VAT for Ink cartridge – Payment agreed.
8.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths, invoice no. TGC1244 for October 2020 (1) roads account of £373.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1253 for October 2020 (2) roads account of £373.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1278 for drainage grant works November 2020 (1) of £600.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1282 for drainage grant works November 2020 (2) of £500.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1283 for drainage grant works November 2020 (3) of £500.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1284 for drainage grant works November 2020 (4) of £300.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1285 for drainage grant works November 2020 (5) of £600.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC1286 for November 2020 (6) roads account of £373.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
8.4 Precept 2021/22 – It was agreed to increase the precept by 10% to £13,570.15.
8.5 Donations for 2020/21 – It was agreed to donate £100.00 to Dore Community Transport. Annual donations to the parish churches were discussed. Ward Councillor Jinman advised that since January 2018 the National Association of Local Councils have advised not to donate to local churches. The Clerk was unaware of this and it was agreed to obtain further information to be discussed at the January 2021 meeting.
8.6 Website update – The Clerk reported that due to the limit of weekly hours worked she is finding it difficult to upload all of the word documents onto the website as per the new accessibility regulations. It was agreed to pay GV Webdesign £125.00 to upload the majority of documents.
- SPEED REVIEW B4348 AND C1206 – The clerk has spoken to Ray Wallace, the Senior Engineer at Balfour Beatty. Mr Wallace explained that the original request was for a much smaller area, the B4348 through ‘the dip’ at Vowchurch with the junction of the C1206 and then on towards Poston Mill. He advised that when this is reviewed again in January 2021, they will include the wider area, including further along the B4348 and through the villages of Vowchurch and Turnastone. The request won’t necessarily go further down the list just because the area has changed, in fact, it may actually mean it carries more points and moves further up the list. Once the scheme reaches number twelve or above on the list, it will not go any lower. One of the major factors is collision history, fortunately there have not been any injury collisions for some time, but this does not help the cause when it comes to the review. With regard to costs, they are bench mark figures, there are no particular figures for each scheme as these can obviously change. Moving forward, village gates on the side of the road would not be approved, signs are a possibility. Costs would be the responsibility of the parish council and again these would need to be approved by Balfour Beatty. Signs can be purchased via the internet for approximately £100 plus vat. All the correspondence sent to Mr Wallace by local residents will be kept on file. Councillors agreed to wait for the January 2021 review and push for better signage if no other action is taken.
- FOOTPATHS VO53 AND VO57 (Part) VOWCHURCH PUBLIC PATH DIVERSION ORDER – It was agreed that Councillor Picton would complete the 2nd online survey and observe any virtual event on behalf of the parish council.
- NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN – It was agreed that the parish council would not review the Neighbourhood Development Plan at this time.
- RESILIENCE PLAN – It was agreed, in principle to explore the possibility of a Resilience Plan. Councillors questioned how to prepare for the unknown, there may be flooding in Vowchurch, snow or drought in other areas of the community. Whilst a plan may be helpful for some areas in Herefordshire, communities in this area are quite unique, they help each other and there are no clear or present dangers. One major factor would be lack of broadband coverage, every aspect of community resilience is affected by this. The ability to contact people would be essential. It was agreed to contact Toby Murcott for the latest position in accessing faster broadband in this area. There would need to be a consultation with people locally about what they would like included in the plan. It was agreed to discuss again at the January meeting along with an update on broadband.
Councillor Engel made Councillors aware that the Covid-19 help network in Newton has not been active due to lack of demand. The lockdown has not been so severe and people have been more organised, he is unaware of anybody being missed out.
- TREE SAPLINGS – The offer of free oak saplings had originally come via HALC and the Wildlife Trust. These are now being funded locally by David Gillam. Councillor Picton was aware of some interest but are there others locally who may be interested in receiving some. Orders need to be in by 11th December for delivery in January. It was agreed to support this initiative in principal although at such short notice it seems too late to order this year. It was agreed to advertise in the newsletter for deliveries next year and include on the January agenda for any response.
- DECEMBER NEWSLETTER – Covid-19, precept 2021/22 and offer of tree saplings.
- RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 21st January 2021 at 7.30pm at Vowchurch & Turnastone memorial Hall, subject to Covid-19 restrictions – Resilience plan, broadband, church donations.
The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.54pm.