21st March 2024 Minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch.
Minutes of the Vowchurch & District Group Parish Council meeting held on
Thursday 21st March 2024 at 7.30pm in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall

PRESENT – Councillors E May (Chair), G Deas, A Picton, S Craddock and J Kernahan.
IN ATTENDANCE – Ward Councillor M Engel, Mrs L Cowles (Clerk) and 2 members of the public.

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillors E Williams, I Chadwick, R Lloyd. Mr T Griffiths (Lengthsman) and the police.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of interests or requests for dispensation.
  3. CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLORS TO REPRESENT ST MARGARETS AND MICHAELCHURCH ESCLEY – Mrs Anna Mason was in attendance and prior to the meeting had expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council. It was agreed to co-opt Mrs Mason for the Councillor vacancy to represent Michaelchurch Escley. Mrs Mason signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and was welcomed to the meeting. The other member of the public present had shown an interest in the St Margarets vacancy and had come along to see how the Parish Council work.
  4. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – 15th February 2024 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  5. OPEN DISCUSSION – Members of the public present had no specific points to raise.
    6.1 Ward Councillor – Councillor Engels report included: –
    Enhanced Lengthsman budget for 2024/25.
    His concerns regarding the planning approval for a Lidl store to replace The Three Counties Hotel in Hereford.
    Recent news regarding the new bypass and Southern link road plan.
    Brief update from the recent Police Commissioners visit arranged by Abbeydore & Bacton Parish Council.
    6.2 Local Police – The local police were unable to attend the meeting but reported via the Clerk that there had been no crime in the parish since the last meeting. Please be aware that there had been the theft of a mini digger, quad bike and trailer at a farm in a neighbouring parish. The quad and trailer have been recovered but not the mini digger. Councillor May also reported that men with dogs have been spotted in the area. If you notice anything suspicious, please note details of cars etc and report via calling 101.
    6.3 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. His latest reports had been distributed to Councillors prior to the meeting via email.
  7. CLERKS UPDATE – A response has been received from Mark Tansley the Development Manager from Herefordshire Council clarifying the planning decision at Marlborough Grange. It was agreed that the Parish Council were not happy with his response and would like to invite him to a Parish Council meeting to discuss why he feels the Parish Council concerns will not be taken any further. There are several consultation events taking place for Herefordshire Councils regulation 18 consultation, the nearest is in Ewyas Harold on 10th April. Lengthsman funding has been increased for 2024/25 to £120 per km with an opportunity to apply for additional drainage funding and PROW. Expressions of Interest must be sent by end of April. The Clerk will be on annual leave from 1st April and will be out of the office until Tuesday 9th April.
    Site: Building at Lunnon Farm, Vowchurch Common Road, Vowchurch, Herefordshire
    Description: Prior approval for change of use of agricultural building to one larger dwelling house (Class C3), and for building operations reasonably necessary for conversion.
    Application No: 240138 Grid Ref: 337489: 237287
    Additional comment – Following on from the Parish Councils previous statement and objection to planning consultation 240138 at Lunnon Farm, Vowchurch, the Parish Council would like to add that the previous owner of Lunnon Farm has confirmed that the building was used for non-agricultural purposes between 2009 and 2022, and no commercial agricultural activities were undertaken during that time. The applicants statement stating that the site was in use solely for agricultural purposes on 20th March 2013 are therefore untrue.
    Site: Rose Cottage, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RA
    Description: Proposed external boiler
    Application No: 233432 Grid Ref: 335779:236436
    Site: Glendore, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RA
    Description: Proposed refurbishment and single storey extension of Glendore, including change of use of former shop floor space, repair of existing outbuilding, erection of detached garage and formation of access with related change of use of land to form part of the residential unit and associated drainage works.
    Application No: 233107/233108 Grid Ref: 335743:236392
    9.1 Updated confirmation of bank balance – £9116.07 to include £3920.89 VAT refund and £1320 Lengthsman funding.
    9.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for March 2024 Clerk’s hours – Payment agreed.
    9.3 Payment to HMRC of £153.20 for PAYE January – March 2024 – Payment agreed.
    9.4 Payment to Mr T Griffiths invoice no. TGC2586 roads account February 2024 (1) of £440.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC2588 roads account February 2024 (2) of £440.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC2608 roads account February (3) grant funding work of £2000 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    9.5 Payment to WyeHost Ltd invoice no. 36153 upgrade to secure standard web hosting of £5.00 plus VAT and invoice no. 36184 update council email address in website contact form of £25.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
    9.6 Payment to Information Commissioner’s Office of £40.00 for data protection renewal fee – Payment agreed.
  10. LENGTHSMAN CONTRACT 2024/25 – It was agreed to offer the Lengthsman contract to Terry Griffiths for 2024/25. It was noted that no other parties had expressed an interest in the contract and was agreed that the Parish Council would start to advertise in January 2025 for the 2025/26 contract.
  11. VERGE CUTTING 2024 – No official notification has been received from Herefordshire Council as yet. As in previous years the Parish Council should be able to consider which roads only need one cut as by default the verges are usually cut twice. As there had been concerns raised by members of the public last year it was agreed to encourage residents to take responsibility for the piece of verge they would like to protect. The Clerk would enquire with Verging on Wild if ‘Do not Cut’ signs were available and ask Herefordshire Council if they had considered cutting later in the season rather than early May and mid-October. The Clerk will also arrange for larger maps to be available at the Annual Parish meeting to help identify which roads only required the one cut. It was agreed to discuss again at the April meeting.
  12. ANNUAL PARISH MEETING – 25th April 2024 – The Clerk would purchase tea and coffee etc. Councillor May agreed to organise wine and glass hire. Set up at Escleyside Hall from 6.30pm.
  13. APRIL NEWSLETTER – Annual Parish Meeting, new Councillor for Michaelchurch Escley, verges.
  14. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
  15. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – Thursday 18th April 2024 at 7.30pm in Newton Church Room – Verges, website and Facebook, Planning Officer visit and update of planting at PontyPinna.

The Chair declared the meeting closed at 8.30pm


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