20th February 2020 Minutes

VOWCHURCH GROUP PARISH COUNCIL Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch
Minutes of the Vowchurch Group Parish Council meeting held on Thursday 20th February 2020 at 7.30pm in Newton Church Room
PRESENT – Councillors E Williams, H Franklin, E May, A Picton, R Lloyd and J Kernahan.
IN ATTENDANCE – PCSO Fiona Witcher, Mrs L Cowles (Clerk) and one member of the public.
In the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair it was unanimously agreed that Councillor R Lloyd would chair the meeting.

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors P Mason and T Williams. Ward Councillor Peter Jinman.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of interest or written requests for dispensation.
  3. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 16th January 2020 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  4. OPEN DISCUSSION – No specific points were raised.
    5.1 Local Police – PCSO Witcher advised that a quad bike had been stolen from Chanstone Farm,
    Vowchurch late on Sunday night, 16th February. Councillor Lloyd believed that one had also been stolen from Dolward Farm, Turnastone over the same weekend although PCSO Witcher was unaware. There have been a number of sheep stolen in Bredwardine and Bromyard with currently no leads to the offenders.
    5.2 Ward Councillor – Ward Councillor Peter Jinman was unable to attend the meeting. His report had been forwarded to Councillors, via email, prior to the meeting.
    5.3 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. Pothole reported on U75402 near Lunnon Farm and a fallen tree blocking footpath VO62.
    5.4 Footpath Officer – Councillor May reported that she has walked some of the footpaths in Michaelchurch Escley. The route of footpath SM22 and SM22A in St Margarets is unclear but she will approach the landowner again for clarity and will pass onto the Locality Steward if she has little success. A letter from the Accessibility Working Group has been received regarding improving Herefordshire’s PROW network to enable access for all and enquiring whether there are any routes within the parish that would be suitable for access to all. It was agreed that the PROW’s within the parish are not primarily circular walks and there are no suitable routes for improvement at present. Councillor May enquired whether the Parish Council should be doing more to identify lost footpaths within the parish before the 2026 deadline. The Clerk advised that the Ramblers Association have embarked on a national campaign to recover these lost ways before the deadline when no further modifications to the definitive map using documentary evidence can be considered. If interested it would be advisable to contact them direct as it is quite a lengthy process.
  6. CLERKS UPDATE – Herefordshire Council are currently reviewing the Hereford transport strategy; you can complete a questionnaire online before 31st March 2020. The review is expected to be completed by 31st July 2020.
    Rob Hemblade, the Public Rights of Way Officer confirmed he has started working on the claims for 2 modification orders on Vowchurch Common and his draft report would be completed within the next 2/3 months after which he will send a copy to the Parish Council, Ward Councillor and effected landowners for their views.

Planning Application 194348 at The Old School, Vowchurch has been granted.
There is a flooding support grant available of £500 for eligible households and £2500 for small/medium size businesses effected by the recent floods along with council tax and business rate relief. More information is available on the Herefordshire Council website.
The B4348 from Poston Mill to Stone Street, Vowchurch and B4347 from B4348 to Morehampton Park Farm, Vowchurch (junction) will be closed on Monday23rd March and Tuesday 24th March.
Mr Neil Lewis the Footpath Officer has made the Clerk aware that there has been a further complaint made directly to the police regarding dogs at Stockley Hill Farm.

    Site: Description:
    Turnastone Court, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RA
    Variation of condition 2 ref 102245/F (Conversion of traditional farm buildings to
    educational facilities with retail space & administrative office, short-term letting accommodation, replacement farm-dwelling, part change of use to B1, farm storage & new access drive.) – internal amendments.
    192262 Grid Ref: 335846:236462
    Application No:
    Site: Description:
    Application No:
    8.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths, invoice no. TGC0979 for roads account December 2019 (1) of £364.00 plus
    VAT and invoice no. TGC0982 for roads account December 2019 (2) of £364.00 plus VAT – Payment
    8.4 Payment to Herefordshire Association of Local Councils for 2020 – 2021 affiliation and subscription fees
    of £479.01 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    8.5 Payment to Information Commissioner’s Office for Data Protection 2020/21 of £40.00 – Payment
  2. CODE OF CONDUCT – Councillor Kernahan advised that he has had a Code of Conduct complaint made
    against him but at this time could not comment any further until the appeal period had ended.
    Therefore, he requested that this item be included again on the March agenda.
  3. ROADS – As requested by the Parish Council the Clerk had contacted Ward Councillor Peter Jinman
    regarding additional funding for drainage works. He has confirmed in his monthly report that additional funds relating to drainage will be available and can be applied for in early March. The Clerk has also contacted the Locality Steward regarding certification to allow landowners to clear ditches whilst on the road. He has confirmed that to ditch properly landowners or their contractors should have a Street Works Qualification which comes with an identity card. They should also apply for a permit/licence obtained from the NRSWA TEAM or BBLP. He confirmed that ditches which are owned by the landowner should be kept clear by them. Councillors queried whether Riperian Ownership is legally correct and how far would Balfour Beatty go to enforce this? It was noted that it has been really wet since September when many leaves etc have fallen into ditches which is causing problems along with
    Turnastone Court, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RA
    Proposed application to vary the internal layout, change the fenestration on the North elevation and to erect a new attached lean-to extension for a plant room and equipment store.
    194285 Grid Ref: 335846:236463
    The correspondence from a local resident regarding this application was noted and the Parish Council agreed they have no additional comments to the response sent via email on 10th February 2020.
    8.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £13,189.77 Statement Sheet No. 141 issued 17th January 2020. Receipts – None
    8.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for January 2020 Clerk’s hours and £17.35 plus VAT for paper – Payment

the sheer volume of water. The Parish Council requested that the Clerk report the ditching defects to
Balfour Beatty to enable them to clear the works.

  1. CORE STRATEGY SETTLEMENT HIERARCHY REVIEW 2020 – It was agreed that Councillor Picton would
    complete the review relevant to Vowchurch, Councillor E Williams for Michaelchurch, Councillor Lloyd for Turnastone and Councillor May for Newton and St Margarets to enable them to be collated into one response at the March meeting.
  2. BROKEN BENCH AT VOWCHURCH – Councillor Lloyd believed the bench had been placed by the river sometime ago in memory of a local parishioner from funds donated by the family. The Parish Council agreed that several people do make use of the bench but it does not belong to the Parish Council. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the local church to see if they have any record of the donation or if there is any family who would like to make a new donation to replace it.
  3. PARISH COUNCILLOR VACANCIES – Mr Matthew Engel has applied for the Parish Councillor vacancy to represent St Margarets. It was unanimously agreed to co-opt him onto the Parish Council.
  4. FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER – Flooding support grants.
  5. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
    7.30pm in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall – Code of Conduct, Roads and Core Strategy settlement hierarchy review.
    Councillor Lloyd declared the meeting closed at 8.20pm
    Signed…………………………………………………….. Dated………………………………………………………
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