15th June 2023 Minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch.
Minutes of the Vowchurch & District Group Parish Council meeting held on
Thursday 15th June 2023 at 7.30pm in Newton Church Room.

PRESENT – Councillors E May (Chair), A Picton, R Lloyd, S Craddock, G Deas and M Engel
IN ATTENDANCE – Mrs L Cowles (Clerk), Mr E Williams, PCSO Margaret Andrzejewska and Terry Griffins (Lengthsman).
Mr E Williams was welcomed to the meeting having been co-opted to represent Michaelchurch Escley at the May meeting. A declaration of acceptance of office was duly signed and he joined the meeting.

  1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Councillor I Chadwick.
  2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declaration of interests or written requests for dispensation.
  3. CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLOR TO REPRESENT ST MARGARETS – There are currently no applicants for the Parish Councillor vacancy to represent St Margarets.
  4. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – 25TH May 2023 – The minutes were amended to read ‘a minute’s silence’ rather than ’a minute silence’ they were then 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 – PCSO Andrzejewska reported that PCSO Peter Knight had returned to the area although PC Geoff Rouse is currently covering in Ross on Wye. Crime is low in the area although there has been vehicle theft in Madley and Kingstone. Phone scams are still an issue targeting vulnerable people. Please continue to report any problems.
    6.2 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman confirmed that the 2022/23 routine maintenance schedule has been completed although a grant funding project is still to be completed at School House. They continue to work two days per month in the winter period and 1 day per month in the summer. It was agreed that he could now use route 4 to cover all the ‘at risk’ areas as requested during the summer months to alleviate any problems during the winter months. The Parish Council asked when the grit bins were strimmed as some seem to have disappeared into hedges. Terry reported that whilst these are strimmed, the areas are not being visited for 3 months on a rota basis. It was agreed that the Parish Council may need to set aside a day to strim all the grit bins prior to the next verge cutting schedule.
  7. CLERKS UPDATE – The Clerk reported that she had spoken to Balfour Beatty regarding the verge cutting. Their contractor has advised that the requested roads were omitted from the first cut, however, they have advised that they had seen several tractors on their rounds carrying out verge cutting. They are not advising that a local landowner has definitely cut these verges but it is an observation from the contractors that they have noticed whilst working around their areas. The Parish Council were sceptical that this was true and would like meetings with Balfour Beatty in future to discuss the verge cutting in more detail, residents would also be encouraged to put up signs. The Engineering Manager at Herefordshire Council has also been contacted regarding an expected date for an update on B4348/C1206 speed review and I await a response. Member of the public has contacted the Clerk regarding the parking area opposite the church in Vowchurch requesting that the area be cleared on mud which has been previously washed down the C1206. The Parish Council agreed that the Clerk could purchase a laptop case.
    Site: Blainey Farm, The Glibes, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0JZ
    Description: Proposed conversion of Grade 2 listed traditional barn to 4-bedroom residential dwelling.
    Application No: 231323/231303 Grid Ref: 329759:237352
    NO OBJECTION with comment – The Parish Council appreciate the care and thought that has gone into the design of the property, helping to save an old building and provide accommodation for a local family. Whilst the application does state that a ground source heat pump will be used there is no mention on energy efficient insulation. Policy 5 of the adopted NDP states that ‘proposals for buildings which offer a high degree of energy efficiency will be welcomed’
    9.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £13940.72 Statement Sheet No. 182 issued 17th May 2023
    Receipts – None.
    To include £5.00 bank charges 17th April 2023 – 16th May 2023.
    9.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for June 2023 Clerk’s hours, £3.75 greeting cards and £1.10 postage – Payment agreed.
    9.3 Payment to Mary Powell of £100.00 for Newton and St Margarets coronation tea – Payment agreed.
    9.4 INTERNAL AUDITORS REPORT 2022/23– The Internal Auditors report was received and comments noted. It was agreed to implement his recommendations
    9.5 CONSIDER AND APPROVE ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT 2022/23 – The Annual Governance Statement was approved and signed by the Clerk and Chair.
    9.6 CONSIDER AND APPROVE ACCOUNTING STATEMENT 2022/23 – The Accounting Statement was certified by the RFO prior to being approved and signed by the Chair.
    10 THE HIDEAWAYS @ PONTYPINNA, VOWCHURCH – The Parish Council are concerned that the landscaping and earth bund have not be completed as per the planning permission, this has raised issues regarding light pollution. It was agreed that the Clerk would draft a letter to the owners to be circulated to Councillors for approval.
    11 HGV’S AT GREEN FARM, NEWTON ST MARGARETS – There are concerns that HGV’s at Green Farm are being moved more frequently. The Office of the Traffic Commissioner have advised that there is an Intelligence Hotline or email address to report concerns regarding an operator. Although the intelligence unit can look into the concerns, GDPR imposes restrictions on information that can be made available to the public. Although there seems to be very little proof currently, it was agreed that Councillor Engel would contact local residents and report back at the July meeting.
    12 JULY NEWSLETTER – Councillor vacancy and footpaths.
    13 NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – There was no additional correspondence.
    14 RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL – Thursday 20th July 2023 at 7.30pm at Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall – HGVs at Green Farm, Hearing Loop and Social Media.

The Chair declared the meeting closed at 9.05pm.


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