20th May 2021 minutes

Michaelchurch Escley, Newton, St Margarets, Turnastone, Vowchurch

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Vowchurch Group Parish Council held on
Thursday 20th May 2021 in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall

PRESENT – Councillors P Mason, I Chadwick, E May, E Williams, T Williams, A Picton, M Engel, J Kernahan and R Lloyd.
IN ATTENDANCE – Ward Councillor Peter Jinman, PCSO Peter Knight and Mrs L Cowles (Clerk)

  1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN – Mr P Mason was proposed by Councillor May and seconded by Councillor E Williams. There were no other nominations and the proposal was carried. Councillor Mason explained that he was happy to continue in the role for the coming months but due to ill health maybe unable to continue for the whole year. The Parish Council will need to develop and set out it’s thoughts and ideas on how it wants to help the community in the coming year. Councillor Mason signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
  3. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of interest or written requests for dispensation.
  4. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN – Mr T Williams was proposed by Councillor E Williams and seconded by Councillor Picton. There were no other nominations and the proposal was carried. Councillor Williams explained that whilst he was happy to take on the role, due to work commitments cannot always be committed to reading every document and would not be able to take on the role of Chair at any time in the future.
  5. NOTICE OF REGISTRABLE INTERESTES – Councillors were reminded to update their Notice of Registrable Interests when necessary.
  6. CODE OF CONDUCT – It was agreed to adopt the Local Government Association 2020 Code of Conduct.
    7.1 Ward Councillor Peter Jinman – Ward Councillor Peter Jinman’s report included: –
    Covid -19 – There has been an outbreak in Herefordshire of the Indian variant, all cases at the moment have been traced and contained. Keep vigilant and get vaccinated when offered. The rate of vaccination in Herefordshire is lower than some neighbouring counties with the Golden Valley lower than other areas within Herefordshire. If you haven’t heard about your 2nd vaccination within the 12-week period, chase it up, some have been missed.
    Herefordshire Council Child Services failings – A judge has highly criticised Child Services in a case that goes back to 2012. The relevant Officer is no longer in place and the Council will be visited by various Government bodies to ensure this doesn’t happen again. The Council has promised swift and decisive action.
    Paul Walker the new CEO is in place and will hopefully be taking things forward.
    Pontrilas Station – The re-opening has support from the local MP and Herefordshire Council. It is looking positive this may go through for re-opening.
    Broadband – Discussions are on-going with Gigaclear with a view to looking at alternative technology to work alongside the fibre service. It is hoped that they will visit the parishes in June or July to discuss what they plan to do, although their latest response implied that some of the ideas are not part of their contract with Herefordshire Council. The contract is to offer fibre to the box, not necessarily fibre to the premises but there are alternative options that people/parishes can do.

7.2 Local Police – PCSO Peter Knight reported that it has been a quiet period with no real relevant crime to report. A Darlington based company have been offering tarmacing services in the Longtown area, Trading Standards are aware of this company, please report if they have contacted you. Please also continue to report any suspicious vehicles, it is very helpful. PCSO Fiona Witcher will be retiring at the end of June and there will be a replacement at some point. The station has now received an electric bike with funding from the Crime Commissioner. Councillor E Williams was concerned about recent sheep worrying in the St Margaret’s area. The Police do have some warning signs for dog walkers, Councillor May requested a supply to install on posts and gates etc.
7.3 Lengthsman report and any new road defects – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting. His monthly reports had been forwarded to Councillors prior to the meeting.

  1. PARISH COUNCIL INSURANCE – As the Parish Council policy is currently under of a long-term agreement it was agreed to accept the renewal quote of £338.40 for insurance from 1st June 2021.
  2. ANNUAL REVIEW OF BANK MANDATE, CONSIDER REGISTERING FOR INTERNET BANKING AND NOMINATE PRIMARY USER – It was agreed to keep the cheque signatories as Councillor P Mason, Councillor T Williams and Councillor R Lloyd but to remove Councillor H Franklin and add Councillor I Chadwick. Two signatories are required per cheque. It was also agreed to apply for an internet banking facility with the Clerk, Mrs L Cowles as the Primary User and include all cheque signatories as Additional Users enabling them to access the bank account online.
  3. FINANCIAL WORKING GROUP – Finance working group members for 2021-22 will also remain the same. Councillor P Mason, Councillor T Williams and Councillor E Williams.
    11.1 Standing orders – No amendments.
    11.2 Financial regulations – Review to include Internet Banking.
    11.3 Complaint’s procedure – No amendments.
    11.4 Risk assessment – It was agreed that back-ups were on a memory stick at Clerk’s home rather than a backup disc. The additional Covid 19 Risk Assessment was adopted with removal of the requirement to clean the hall.
    11.5 Data protection – No amendments.
    11.6 Model Publication Scheme – No amendments.
    11.7 Planning applications between meetings – No amendments.
    11.8 Website Accessibility Statement – No amendments
  5. ASSETS REGISTER – The assets register was noted with the addition of the bench seat. Total assets £1009.
  6. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 15TH April 2021 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
  7. CLERKS UPDATE – Herefordshire Council has launched a consultation on the Local Housing Strategy which runs until 11th June.
    Official launch of The Queen’s Green Canopy: ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’, it was agreed to include this on the June agenda to discuss.
    It was agreed to continue to hold Parish Council meeting in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall for the rest of the year as Newton Church Room was too small to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.
    Site: St Mary’s Church, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0RA
    Description: Proposed erection of timber clad storage structure and connection of services.
    Application No: 210886 Grid Ref: 335758:236471
    COMMENT – Whilst the Parish Council do not object in principle to the application, they would like the building to be positioned on the north side of the church.

Site: Rose Cottage, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0JW
Description: Proposed refurbishment of existing dwelling including conversion of existing garage/store. Replacement oak-framed enclosed porch.
Application No: 211125 Grid Ref: 331974:233569
Site: Stall House Farm, Vowchurch, Herefordshire. HR2 0QD
Description: Proposal to erect a building for the use of housing and handling livestock.
Application No: 211073 Grid Ref: 336843:236295
Site: Wernagavenny, Michaelchurch Escley, Herefordshire. HR2 0PU
Description: Proposed agricultural manure store.
Application No: 211372 Grid Ref: 328068:239777
Site: Green Farm, Newton St Margarets, Herefordshire. HR2 0QJ
Description: Application for prior notification for hay and machinery storage building.
Application No: 211604 Grid Ref: 333139:233895

    16.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £11,572.62 Statement Sheet No. 156 issued 17th April 2021.
    Receipts – None
    16.2 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles April 2021 Clerk’s hours and £8.37 plus VAT for stationery – Payment agreed.
    16.3 Payment to Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall of £30.00 for hall hire 2020 – Payment agreed.
    16.4 Payment to Mr T Griffiths, invoice no. TGC1483 for March 2021 (12) drainage works of £450.00 plus VAT, invoice no. TGC1484 for March 2021 (13) drainage works of £200.00 plus VAT and invoice no. TGC1485 for April 2021 (1) roads account of £392.00 plus VAT – Payment agreed.
  2. PLANNING INSPECTORATE ROW/3241619: Footpaths VO53 and VO57 (part) – The statements of case from the Planning Inspectorate were noted. It was agreed not to make any further comment at present.
  3. PROPOSED PUBLIC PATH DIVERSION ORDER, PR5, VO69A, PR5A, VO34, VO69, VO67 AND VO38 (PART) – The response circulated to Councillors and sent to the applicant was noted.
  4. BRIDLEWAY ME3 (MICHAELCHURCH ESCLEY) – The Public Path Diversion Order was noted with no further comments.
  5. HGV LICENCE AT GREEN FARM, NEWTON ST MARGARETS – Ward Councillor Jinman indicated that the decision regarding this application is likely to be made today and is thought will be approved. The applicant has spoken to Ward Councillor Jinman and has stated they have no intention of setting up a HGV depot, this will be used for agricultural purposes only. Councillor Engel was still concerned that it appears land has been sold purely for this purpose and how does this not constitute a change of use. Ward Councillor Jinman reiterated that the Planning Department had been to view the area and it does not require planning permission. It is a farmer using the land for recognised farming activity even if they do not live locally. Councillor Engel stated that there was a lot of discontent in the area with major concerns about the road network.
  6. ROAD SIGN COSTS – Balfour Beatty have advised that due to the age and condition of the posts, the posts holding the signs would also be required to be replaced with one sign including the village name and ‘please drive carefully’. Whilst they would be happy for the Parish to instruct a competent individual to install signs at 2 out of the 3 locations, the sign entering Vowchurch from Hereford would need to be installed by their contractors. Any individual appointed by the Parish will be required to be competent to work on the network, book the road space with the Street Works Department, implement traffic management for the duration of the works, and refer to stat plans ensuring that there will be no disruption to underground utilities. It was therefore agreed to request a quotation from Balfour Beatty to supply and install all 3 signs.
  7. JUNE NEWSLETTER – Parish Councillor vacancy and Covid-19 vaccination reminder.
  8. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
  9. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT ORDINARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 17th June 2021 at 7.30pm in Vowchurch & Turnastone Memorial Hall – Resilience Plan, Highway maintenance scrutiny review, Jubilee Trees and Broadband.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.40pm


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