Chairs Report 2022/23

Chair’s Report

I gave my last Chair’s report at our Annual Meeting at Michealchurch Escleyside Hall. We were pleased to attract several residents to listen to our speaker, Bill Quan, Chair of Herefordshire NFU. This year the imminent Council elections have precluded holding an annual meeting, but we would hope to return to holding such an event next year.

Having held in person meetings at Vowchurch Hall to allow for spacing following the pandemic, we have now returned to our earlier practice of alternating between Vowchurch Hall and Newton Church room.We have had a full council, for although Jim Kernahan had to resign when he left the area, we were able to co-opt Suzy Craddock to represent Vowchurch in his stead.We have benefitted from the attendance and advice of our Ward Councillor Peter Jinman,and although currently he cannot attend in person, he is still available for advice via email.

The year has brought the usual issues of planning, potholes and lengthsman duties. We were disappointed that the late release of information about the lengthsman grant gave us insufficient time to apply for this and have work completed before the close six weeks later. We have written to express our concern.In addition this year has seen some concerns relating to a charity organisatio‘s application for retrospective planning permission. Footpath and bridleways continue to be monitored across the five parishes by two appointed Public Footpath Officers. This year has seen Herefordshire County Council take back overall responsibility for this from Balfour Beatty.There have been ‘teething’ difficulties, but things are beginning to settle down.With over 2,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways and only a small team of employed officers to monitor it is unlikely to be perfect but there have been two meetings with the volunteers to give better communication.

Elections are approaching and as our Councillors have been unopposed I look forward to working together next year,and thank them for their work over this past year. However two Councillors have not stood for re-election, and I want to record my very sincere thanks to them for their long and committed service.Councillor Tim Williams, our Vice-Chair,has been an invaluable source of accountancy and financial advice, let alone local knowledge, and he will be sorely missed.Thanks too to Councillor Evan Williams for his contribution over many years – I know that his accident has kept him out of things recently, but hope in due course he may return to the fold.

My report would not be complete without publicly thanking our Parish Clerk Lin Cowles, whose skill has kept us all on track, and whose advice to me has been essential.

Skip to content