21st September 2023 Minutes

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

PRESENT – Councillors E May (Chair), A Picton, I Chadwick, G Deas, D Cross, E Williams, R Lloyd, S Craddock and M Engel.
IN ATTENDANCE – Mr T Griffiths (Lengthsman) and Mrs L Cowles (Clerk).

  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of interest or written requests for dispensation.
  3. CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLOR TO REPRESENT ST MARGARETS – Mr J Kernahan had expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council. It was agreed to co-opt Mr Kernahan for the Parish Councillor vacancy to represent St Margarets. As Mr Kernahan was not present at the meeting it was agreed that the Chair would take his acceptance of office form to be signed as soon as possible to enable him to take part in Parish Council discussions.
  4. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – 20th July 2023 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  5. OPEN DISCUSSION – No members of the public attended the meeting therefore no specific points were raised.
    6.1 Local Police – The local police were unable to attend the meeting.
    6.2 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman reported that there had been no issues on the routine maintenance days and all crisis areas had been visited. Two visits per month will begin in October which should hopefully be the 1st and 4th week of the month. The ongoing issue with a hole in the road near Michaelchurch Escley school will hopefully be made safe as the Locality Steward has agreed for the sandbags team to visit. The Clerk advised that the contract had been signed by the Chair and Clerk for the grant fundings work, as soon as this has been returned by Herefordshire Council works can begin.
  7. CLERKS UPDATE – Following the sad death of Toby Murcott the Ward Councillor election will now take place on Thursday 26th October, nomination papers need to be handed into Herefordshire Council by Friday 29th September at 4pm.
    Planning permission has been granted at Old House, Newton St Margarets, application no. 184483.
    Have chased for an update on the roads at The Fold.
    The traffic survey company are waiting for approval of funding from Herefordshire Council regarding the traffic survey on B4348 and C1206.
    The CRT had agreed with a site visit. Councillor Lloyd confirmed they had met along with Councillors May and Deas. The meeting was slightly positive, they do appear to want better communication with the community. They will look into who owns the land where the ditch is causing a problem by the C1206.
    A letter has been received from a local resident with concerns regarding works at Piccadilly Farm, Vowchurch. It was agreed that Councillor Deas would visit the site.
    There is some confusion regarding Councillors Registrable Interests being displayed on the Parish Council website as opposed to a link to the Herefordshire Council website. As Herefordshire Council has no record of any Councillors forms, they will need to be completed again. The Clerk requested a copy of all completed forms.
    Site: Land at Orchard View, Michealchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0JW
    Description: Proposed erection of a bungalow to replace the existing fire damaged bungalow and associated works.
    Application No: 231846 Grid Ref: 331691:233594
    Councillor M Engel joined the meeting
    Site: The Old House, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RB
    Description: Proposed new gazebo in the garden.
    Application No: 232350 Grid Ref: 336211:236405
    The Parish Council has no objections to this application in principle and are pleased to note that no external lighting has been included in this application as per policy 10 of the adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan and only natural materials will be used to protect the local environment as per policy 1 on the adopted Neighbourhood Development Plan. Since it is for daytime use only then no internal lighting should be needed either.
    This will ensure that the structure has less impact on the local environment as it sits within the curtilage of a listed building.
    Site: Old Weavers, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QF
    Description: Proposed conversion of existing garage to provide annex accommodation to the house and artist’s studio, with raising of roof to accommodate first floor level.
    Application No: 230628 Grid Ref: 333325:234925
    I. The Hideaways, Pontypinna – Letter received from agent advising that planting should take place in October/November this year depending on ground conditions. This should complete all final landscaping works as agreed as part of the planning approval.
    II. Graig Farm – No response received from Mark Tansley, having been chased by the Clerk. It was agreed that the Clerk will chase again for a response
    III. Land South of U74207 Cwarelau Road – The Enforcement Officer has advised the two shipping containers currently used for the purposes of agriculture are not considered development and are therefore not a breach of planning control. The two caravans are currently considered an unauthorised material change of use of the land until such time that they are refurbished and then actually used by agricultural workers. The landowner has advised that they will be available for use in April next year therefore the Enforcement Officer sees no harm whilst they aren’t occupied, they will then be considered for the purposes of agriculture. The gateway also does not require permission as it opens onto an unclassified road.
    IV. HGVs at Green Farm – The Enforcement Officer has advised that the operator’s licence doesn’t restrict the size/weight of vehicle, only the number of movements per week which they are in at present. If it’s for the purposes of agriculture then it’s not development and therefore not a planning breach. It was agreed that the Parish Council has no evidence that it was not being used for agricultural purposes.
    Councillor M Engel left the meeting
    9.1 Updated bank balance – £9,642.50 Statement Sheet No. 187 issued 17th September 2023.
    Receipts – None
    To include £10.00 bank charges 17th June 2023 to 16th August 2023.

9.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for September 2023 Clerk’s hours, £3.10 card and postage and £46.97 plus VAT for Ink Cartridge – Payment agreed.
9.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths invoice no. TGC2304 roads account June 2023 (1) of £440.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC 2346 roads account July 2023 (1) of £440.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC2361 roads account August (1) of £450.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
9.4 Payment to HMRC of £106.91 For PAYE July 2023 – September 2023 – Payment agreed.
9.5 Payment to WyeHost invoice no. 35497 for UK domain name renewal of £9.99 plus VAT – Payment agreed.

  1. LENGTHSMAN SCHEME 2023/24 – Herefordshire Council have agreed the Lengthsman funding for 2023/24 of £7490 in relation to public realm maintenance and £6425 for nominated task which must be match funded by the Parish Council. The Lengthsman has prioritised works on C1206, Turnastone Village. U74403 at junction with U74205, Newton. U74205 from C1209 to U74401, Newton and C1209 from C1206 to U74209 in Newton and St Margarets. The Chair and Clerk have signed the contract with Herefordshire Council as agreed at the July meeting.
    I. Clerks delegated powers – It was agreed to adopt the Scheme of Delegation and to update the Finance Regulations accordingly.
    II. Press and Media Policy – It was agreed to adopt the Press and Media Policy.
    III. Bank account – The Clerk advised that the HSBC does not currently offer a service of dual authorisation via on-line banking which is not ‘best practice’ for Parish Councils. It was agreed that the Clerk would look at alternatives, primarily Unity Trust Bank who do offer that facility for Parish Councils.
    IV. Email address – As ‘best practice’ Parish Councils should use an email address either .org.uk or .gov.uk. It was agreed that the Clerk would investigate costs of changing the email address.
  3. VOWCHURCH BRIDGE – Concerns have been raised regarding recent works at Vowchurch Bridge. Rocks have been randomly placed on either side of the bridge to break up the water flow. These rocks are out of keeping with the area although it was noted that local stone would be sandstone and completely unsuitable. It was agreed to keep the works on the bridge under review.
  4. TRAFFIC DENSITY THROUGH VOWCHURCH & TURNASTONE – Concerns have been raised by residents regarding the effects of an increase in traffic load and speed through Vowchurch & Turnastone. Vehicles are larger and operate at varying times of day and night. It was hoped that the planned speed survey results would highlight these concerns but it was agreed that Councillors would bare this in mind when discussing any new planning applications. It was agreed that the Clerk would ask when the bridge at Vowchurch was last surveyed and was there a report.
  5. EV CHARGE POINT LOCATIONS – It was agreed that EV charging points were not yet appropriate for this area.
  6. OCTOBER MEETING – It was agreed to change the meeting date to 12th October due to Clerks annual leave.
  7. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
  8. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – Thursday 12th October 2023 at 7.30pm at Newton Church Room – Meeting dates and venues for 2024.

The Chair declared the meeting closed at 8.50pm.


Skip to content