Minutes – 11th May 2020

Minutes of a scheduled meeting of the Annual Parish Council on

Monday 11th May 2020 at 19.00 hrs.

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



Councillors: Chris Williams (Chairman), Simon Blackmore, Patrick Sullivan, Margaret Harkin and Richard Lloyd.


In attendance

Ward Councillor David Hitchiner, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk),  Lengthsman Paul Wright and 1 resident.



  1. Apologies for absence – Councillor Corinne Cranham


  1. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation …


  1. Election of Chairman – Councillor Chris Williams was unanimously re-elected as Chairman.


  1. Election of Vice Chairman – Councillor Simon Blackmore was unanimously re-elected as Vice Chairman.


  1. Open Session
    • West Mercia Police were unable to join the meeting.
    • Ward Councillor David Hitchiner – Ward Councillor Hitchiner’s report covered the following issues:
      • The waste/recycling plants in Hereford and Leominster have re-opened. The timing of the opening of the other plants is dependent on staff availability.
      • Herefordshire Council have taken over Three Counties Hotel which is being used as a “half-way” house for people convalescing from Covid 19.
      • The Hillside care home has been refurbished and is under the control of Herefordshire Council.
      • In response to a question from Councillor Blackmore about the timescale for processing applications for grants from small businesses Ward Councillor Hitchiner agreed to acquire some further information on this issue.
    • Issues Raised by Local Residents – A resident raised real concerns about the impact on their property when heavy traffic travels over road defects on the B4348 adjacent to their home. An engineer from Balfour Beatty visited the scene of the defect at the previous weekend and advised that he would refer the matter to the drainage team but suggested that no action is likely in the near future. The resident expressed concern that without urgent action that serious structural damage to the property would be the result. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact the Locality Steward responsible for this stretch of road for the name of the engineer to ascertain the results of the survey and what remedial action is being proposed.
    • Lengthsman Report – The Lengthsman reported that he was continuing to work during the Covid 19 crisis and is aiming to strim around visibility signs etc and intends to mow the area around the cross.


  1. Minutes of previous meeting … 9th March 2020
    • It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the above meeting and they were signed by the Chairman.


  1. Clerk Correspondence
    • A resident had written raising three issues:
      • That the Parish Footpaths Officer hadn’t been seen for a while adding that the access to MY 38 is very overgrown and the wooden sign is hardly visible. The resident commented that another footpath access in Lower Shenmore, by Hewitts Timber, is also very overgrown. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk respond by advising that the activities of the Footpaths Officer had been curtailed because of Covid 19.
      • The grit box close to Bower View bungalow is badly damaged. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact the Locality Steward to establish ownership of the grit bin to determine where the responsibility lies for arranging for a replacement.
      • Concerns over the process for repairing potholes where it is only those that have been reported that are dealt with. Due to the huge backlog of potholes from the recent storms plus a limited budget only those which have been reported are repaired.
      • It was RESOLVED that the Clerk write back to the resident concerned to answer each of the queries raised.

7.2         A resident had written raising concerns over the poor state of repair of roads in the village. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the resident concerned advising him that Balfour Beatty are planning to undertake resurfacing work on the B4352 and a stretch of Brampton Road during 2020/21.


  1. Finance … The bank balance at 30th April 2020 in the Treasurers Account was noted as £33,337.20. As at 30th April 2020 there was £179.15 in the Business Bank Instant Account.


  • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
    • Clerk’s salary in accordance with the employment contract.
    • Stationery (Covid 19) – £65.85
    • Postage (Covid 19) – £591.50
    • Zoom Subscription – £28.72
    • PAYE – £129.60
    • Lengthsman – £253.75
    • Countrywide Maintenance – £70.39
    • DM Payroll Services – £84.00
    • Came & Company (Insurance) – £407.43
    • Herefordshire Council – £89.57


  • End of Year Accounts (2019/20) – The Clerk briefly outlined the final budgetary position for 2019/20 which show the reserves to be £19,867.08 which is a reduction of £5,537 from the funds available on the 1st April 2019. This is explained in the main by the capital investment in village gates and the resurfacing of the recreation car-park.
  • Section 106 monies – The Clerk reported that reimbursement from Brightwells of the design costs (£2923) for work on Stoney Street was still outstanding. An invoice had been presented to Brightwells in March 2020 and the latest correspondence from them suggests that payment will be made as soon as possible. The Chairman reported that no activity has been evident since Herefordshire Council received payment. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk advise Ward Councillor Hitchiner the date that payment was made to Herefordshire Council.


  1. Neighbourhood Development Plan – The Clerk reported that there had been no further progress since advising Herefordshire Council of the Parish Council’s preferred examiner.


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


10.1 –Planning Re-consultation – 193632 – Madley Caravan Site, Stoney

Street Industrial Estate, Madley, Hereford. Change of use and associated operational development concerning the removal and clearance of the existing site, and the construction of a small unit industrial estate comprising eight units with four building types ranging from 934sqft (84m2) to 3734sqft (336m2) GEA to allow for flexible occupation for B1, B2 or B8 uses. Following discussion, it was decided to offer no objections to the proposals set out in the Planning Re-Consultation 193632 and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk inform the LPA accordingly.


  1. Lengthsman Working Group – Councillor Margaret Harkin outlined the extant issues on the Lengthsman Action Log. The following issues were raised:
    • 1 Parkway Cottages – The Locality Steward has advised that the Balfour Beatty drainage team has been asked to jet the pipe that runs under the curtilage of the property but should this be necessary it will for be the landowners to make the arrangements and cover the cost and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the landowner accordingly. In the same letter the Clerk will enclose guidance published by Balfour Beatty outlining landowners’ responsibilities regarding ditch maintenance.
    • Councillor Lloyd reported a problem of surface water in Tinglebrook the likely cause being a culvert in Rosemary Lane. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk bring this to the attention of the Locality Steward.
    • It was RESOLVED that work on cutting the hedge on the footpath between Rosemary Lane and the recreation ground could proceed if the Lengthsman confirms there are no birds nest present.
    • Councillor Harkin highlighted the need for the grassy area at the junction between Bridge Sollers Road and the B4352 to be included in Herefordshire Council’s grass cutting schedule. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk follow this up with Herefordshire Council.


  1. Recreation Ground – The Clerk reported a piece of play equipment had been damaged around the time the grass was last cut by Countrywide Grounds Maintenance. It was RESOLVED that, should Countrywide deny responsibility for the damage, the Clerk should submit a claim against the insurance.


  1. Footpaths Officer Report – Due to Covid 19 the Footpaths Officer had not been able to survey any footpaths and consequently no report was available. It was RESOLVED to defer any action until there is a relaxation in the Covid 19 restrictions.


  1. Traffic & road issues – Councillor Harkin provided feedback on her recent discussions with the Locality Steward on work scheduled for Brampton Road. The flooding adjacent to the entrance to Gitnal House was also discussed and the Clerk reported that a meeting had been arranged with the landowner for the 4th April 2020 but due to Covid 19 it had to be cancelled.


  1. Covid 19 – The Clerk explained that every household had received a leaflet about Covid 19. As a result, approximately 50 volunteers had come forward with a small number of residents asking for support. Councillor Blackmore suggested that a Madley Parish Council Facebook account would be an effective means of communicating with local residents. It was reported that Councillor Cranham had agreed to be one of the administrators.


  1. Matters raised for next scheduled meeting on Monday 8 June 2020 – None



The meeting closed at 20.15

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