MINUTES – 8th MARCH 2021

Minutes of a scheduled meeting of the Parish Council on

Monday 8th March 2021 at 19.00 hrs.

Due to the Covid 19 crisis the meeting was held remotely.




Councillors:  Chris Williams (Chairman), Simon Blackmore, Patrick Sullivan, Corrine Cranham, Margaret Harkin and Nick Hiscutt-Blackmore.


In attendance

Ward Councillor David Hitchiner, Paul Wright (Lengthsman)and Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) plus two residents.


  1. The Co-option of a new Parish Councillor. Councillors unanimously voted in support of the co-option of Mr Nick Hiscutt-Blackmore onto the Parish Council.


  1. Apologies for absence – Councillor Richard Lloyd


  1. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation –


  1. Open Session
    • West Mercia Police were unable to join the meeting.
    • Ward Councillor David Hitchiner – Ward Councillor Hitchiner reported on the following key issues.
      • Confirmed the proposed transfer of the Town Hall to a third sector community organisation. This decision was considered necessary due to the unaffordable cost of maintaining the building which is estimated to be £2m.
      • The Shire Hall presents similar challenges and will cost more than the required maintenance costs for the Town Hall. Currently the building is unusable.
      • The condition of roads across Herefordshire was discussed at a recent meeting of the Council. Herefordshire Council has monies available to fund the repairs of C & U roads including the proposed work on Stoney Street.
      • Herefordshire Council has borrowed £4m to fund the repairs to Fownhope Road and surplus money will be used to fund other projects including Bridge Sollers but Ward Councillor Hitchiner added that it is important to resolve the problem with the drain before any road repairs are undertaken.


  • Lengthsman’s Report – The Lengthsman reported that a significant amount of private drainage work has been undertaken in the Swinmore Farm area. Work has been completed on grips and gulleys and the hole in the playground has been repaired. Similarly, the loose goal posts in the recreation ground have been fixed back into place. Two sets of the village gates have been washed. It is planned that the next job will involve clearing the kerbs around the village. The Lengthsman explained that the benefit of concreting grips is that it makes subsequent maintenance much easier.


  • Issues Raised by Local Residents – No issues were raised.


  1. Minutes of previous meeting … 8th February 2021 and 22 February 2021. The Chairman proposed an amendment to the minutes of the 8th February 2021 (para 6.2) by replacing the reference to “Bridge Sollers road” to “from the Cross to Canon Bridge”. With this amendment it was RESOLVED to adopt both sets of minutes and they will be signed by the Chairman in due course.


  1. Clerk Correspondence
    • The resident who sustained a serious injury on the track from Castle Farm to Shenmore asking if the hole could be repaired to prevent similar injury occurring to other people/animals. The Clerk added that a copy of the resident’s emails has been forwarded to the Locality Steward who, despite visiting the track, was unable to locate the hole. The Locality Steward had previously advised that there is evidence of subsidence on the track probably caused by badger setts which complicates the issue as no work can take place within 30 metres of the sett without the approval of the Ecology Officer. The Clerk has been subsequently advised that the hole has been filled in with rubble which offers a temporary and immediate solution to the problem. It was agreed to await the findings of the Ecology Officer before any further action is taken.
    • A resident raised concern over speeding traffic on Stoney Street and requested that a 30-mph speed limit be introduced. The Chairman added that during discussion with the Senior Highways Engineer (Balfour Beatty) about traffic calming measures on Stoney Street the issue of a 30-mph speed limit had been raised but the advice received suggested that the required Traffic Regulation Order could take something in the order of 10 years to achieve even if it met the necessary criteria which Balfour Beatty doubted would be the case.
    • A resident had written suggesting greater success in resolving highway issues would be achieved by directing enquires to Herefordshire Council. The same resident also suggested that to appreciate the poor condition of Brampton Road, it is necessary to walk or cycle the route. The Chairman agreed that residents should be encouraged to report highway defects to Herefordshire Council and this might expedite the repairs. The Chairman added that he regularly walks along Brampton Road and is aware of the condition of the road.
    • A resident has written asking that the Parish Council oppose the introduction of street lighting on the estate road supporting the proposed development North of Faraday House. This issue is the subject of a separate agenda item and will be discussed later in the meeting.
    • A resident has written thanking the Parish Council for their help in arranging the forthcoming resurfacing of Stoney Street.


  1. Finance … The current bank balance in the Treasurers Account and the Business Bank Instant Account is £34,470.73 and £179.19 respectively.
    • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
      • Clerk’s salary (February 2021) in accordance with the employment contract.
      • PAYE (February 2021)- £133.20
      • Postage -£7.92
      • Stationery – £3.99
      • Countrywide Maintenance – £70.39
      • Lengthsman – £379.20
      • HALC – £791.08
    • Section 106 monies –No further updates were reported.


  1. Planning – Comments on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council.


  • Planning Consultation 210193 – Snowdrop Cottage, Stone Street, Madley, Hereford. Proposed extension and conversion of an existing carport into self-catering holiday accommodation. Following discussion, Councillors raised no objections to the proposals set out in this planning application and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
  • Planning Consultation 210051 – Swinmore Cottage Farm, Canon Bridge, Madley, Hereford. Proposed outdoor riding arena, timber post and rail fencing, sand and fibre riding surface for horses stabled at Swinmore Cottage Farm. Following discussion, Councillors raised no objections to the proposals set out in this planning application and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
  • Planning Consultation 210151 – BT Madley Communications Centre, Stone Street, Hereford. Proposed erection of up to six satellite antennas each measuring a maximum of four metres high, with associated pedestals and platforms. Following discussion, Councillors raised no objections to the proposals set out in this planning application and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
  • Planning Consultation 210152 – New House Cottage, Madley, Hereford. Proposed construction of ancillary granny annexe to existing house. Following discussion, Councillors raised no objections to the proposals set out in this planning application and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.


  1. Development of Land North of Faraday House, Madley –Councillors were unanimous in their support of “dark skies” and consequently opposed the proposal to install streetlights on the estate road supporting this development. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies Herefordshire Council accordingly.


  1. Lengthsman Working Group – Councillor Harkin guided the meeting through the action log adding that the numerous litter pick bags have been removed from the recreation ground by the Lengthsman. During discussion it was RESOLVED that, subject to a satisfactory quote, the Lengthsman arranges Wye Valley to sweep the kerbs in the village. To help inform the quotation it was further RESOLVED that Councillor Harkin highlights those parts of the village which need cleaning and forward that information to the Lengthsman via the Clerk with the aim of allowing the work to be undertaken in the Easter holiday. The Lengthsman also agreed to clear the parking bay outside the school.


  1. Recreation Ground – Councillor Cranham reported that, subject to the availability of materials, it is anticipated that work to erect fencing around the play equipment will be completed by the end of March 2021. This will be followed by the installation of the outdoor gym equipment which will begin on the 19th April 2021. The contractor installing the gym equipment will be allowed access to the Tennis Club which reduced the cost by £250. Councillor Cranham reported that the bid for a grant from the Hereford Community Funding had been unsuccessful as they were not considering funding for outdoor equipment at the present time but added that the cost of the project is already fully funded.


  1. Footpaths Officer Report – The Footpaths Officer was not present and no report was provided. There was a brief discussion on the practicalities of the Parish Council arranging and funding their own repairs to footpath posts and it was RESOLVED to include this on the agenda for the next meeting.


  1. Traffic & road issues


  • The Chairman reported that he recently had a conversation with the Locality Steward about the situation on Brampton Road and, as a result, the problem of the blocked drain adjacent to the abandoned nursery will be referred to the Balfour Beatty drainage team for remedial action. The Locality Steward was unable to offer any timetable for completing this work. No action will now be taken by the Lengthsman in advance of the planned work by Balfour Beatty. The Chairman expressed frustration that once work has been referred to the Asset teams in Balfour Beatty it is impossible to acquire status reports or a start date for any agreed work. Ward Councillor Hitchiner agreed to contact Mr Paul Hunter (Stakeholder Manager) at Balfour Beatty to see if it is possible to elicit information on issues which have been reported to the Asset team with reference to a drainage issue at Lower Shenmore which has been in the system much longer.
  • The Chairman confirmed that he had discussed his concerns over the condition of Brampton Road when he spoke to the Locality Steward who advised that a request for resurfacing work will be submitted to Balfour Beatty. The surfacing work would join up the resurfacing work already undertaken on Brampton Road up to the junction at Brampton Farm.
  • Councillor Harkin reported further instances of HGVs travelling up Brampton Road and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk brings this to the attention of Allensmore Nurseries.
  • Given the multitude of drainage issues on Brampton Road it was RESOLVED that a maximum of £3k of additional funding is allocated to the Lengthsman to include the replacement of the existing 4” pipe with a 12” pipe on the track adjacent to Gitnal Farm. The funding will also be used on grip maintenance and work to locate a pipe at Duncan’s Farm.


  1. Parish Councillor Responsibilities – The Chairman explained that, following a conversation with the Clerk, it was suggested that specific responsibilities should be allocated to individual Councillors who would be required to brief the Parish Council on issues of note. It was proposed that the allocation of responsibilities would be as follows:
  • Planning – Councillor Simon Blackmore.
  • Recreation Ground – Councillor Corinne Cranham.
  • Finance – Councillor Patrick Sullivan.
  • Highways/Lengthsman – Councillor Margaret Harkin.
  • Footpaths – Councillor Richard Lloyd.
  • Community Engagement – Councillor Nick Hiscutt-Blackmore.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk scopes the responsibility of each portfolio for consideration at the next Parish Council meeting.


  1. Matters raised for next scheduled meeting on Monday 12th April 2021.
    • Grass Cutting in the village.
    • Regular input to Tracking the News.
    • Parish picnic (Summer 2021.



The meeting closed at 20.13hrs




SIGNED ………………………………………….     DATE ……………………………



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