MINUTES – 14th September 2020

Minutes of a scheduled meeting of the Parish Council on

Monday 14th September 2020 at 19.00 hrs.

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




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


In attendance

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


  1. Apologies for absence – Councillor Richard Lloyd


  1. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation … Councillor Blackmore declared an interest against agenda item 7.6 (Donation to MoJo&Co).


  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.
      • Covid19 – During the last seven days there has been increase in the number of cases in the county with Malvern being a particular hotspot. Herefordshire Council has sought the support of Jesse Norman MP to try to increase the number of trains.
      • Robert Jenrick visited Hereford recently as part of the “Stronger Town” fund initiative where £25m has been made available and spending priorities will be determined by local people.
      • A report following a recent review of the BBLP contract will be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting. The report will be published on the Herefordshire Council website on the 17th September 2020
    • Lengthsman’s Report – The lengthsman commented that landowners are beginning to trim hedges after which action will be taken to clear the grips.


  • Issues Raised by Local Residents –
    • A resident raised two issues:
      • The proposed traffic calming on Stoney Street which has been welcomed but expressed concerns over the poor state of the road.
      • Proposed the erection of a fence around the playground. It was RESOLVED thar Councillor Cranham would provide some costings for consideration by the Parish Council. The issue of dog fouling both in the recreation ground and more widely in the village. The lengthsman agreed to install sone dog fouling signs at the entrance points to the recreation ground.


  1. Minutes of previous meeting … 13th June 2020. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the above meeting and they will be signed by the Chairman in due course.


  1. Clerk Correspondence – A resident had written raising concerns about drainage issues at Lower Shenmore and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk brings this to the attention of the Locality Steward. Residents living on Stoney Street raised concerns about the poor state of the road but the Chairman doubted if any resurfacing work was scheduled in the foreseeable future and asked the Ward Councillor to check whether such work has been included on Balfour Beatty’s commitments. In parallel, it was RESOLVED that the Clerk would raise a similar query with the Locality Steward. The Clerk reported that the proposed traffic calming work on Stoney Street had been positively received by those residents who had provided feedback and Balfour Beatty have agreed to forward an invoice to Brightwells which, once settled, will enable the work to proceed.


  1. Finance … The bank balance at 31st August 2020 in the Treasurers Account was noted as £29,433.50. As at 31st August 2020 there was £179.19 in the Business Bank Instant Account.


  • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
    • Clerk’s salary (July & August 2020) in accordance with the employment contract.
    • PAYE (July & Aug 2020)- £259.40
    • Postage – £15.60
    • Playground Inspection – £58.60
    • Countrywide Maintenance – £140.78
    • Lengthsman – £532.50
    • Website Hosting – £66.00
    • Donation to Parish Hall – £500.00
    • Grant to MoJo & Co – £500.00
    • DJN Planning (NDP) – £300.00
  • Financial Monitoring 2020/21 – The Clerk reported that based on the spend to date plus an extrapolation of costs to the end of the financial year the Parish Council can expect to have reserves of circa £27k.
  • Precept & Budget for 2021/22 – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk would arrange a meeting of the Finance Working Group to prepare a draft precept and budget for 2021/22 in time for the Parish Council meeting in October 2020.
  • Section 106 monies –There was nothing further to add to the information already conveyed at paragraph 5 above.
  • It was RESOLVED to approve the adoption of the National Joint Council for Local Government Service pay scale effective from 1 April 2020 which represents a 2.75% increase in the Clerk’s salary


  1. Neighbourhood Development Plan – The Chairman reported that there had been no modifications to the NDP following the recent examination. The remaining stage of the process is the referendum which, due to Covid 19, will not take place until May 2021.


  1. Planning – No applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council have been received.


  1. Parish Council Objectives 2021/22 – The Clerk briefly described the proposed objectives received to date. Prompted by a query from Councillor Sullivan regarding Smartwater kits it was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the local policing team to ascertain if such kits could be made available free of charge. There was a brief discussion on the proposed adoption of the ditch opposite Rose Cottage for maintenance purposes where some Councillors considered this would create an unhealthy precedent but, as an initial step, Ward Councillor Hitchiner agreed to check the Herefordshire Council asset register to establish if the verge belongs to them. In discussion, it was noted that arrangements for litter picking were already in place. In conclusion, the Chairman stated that ownership of the agreed objectives will be finalised at the next meeting.


  1. Madley Parish Council Facebook Page – It was RESOLVED that Councillor Blackmore may proceed and launch a dedicated Facebook page for the Parish Council. It was noted that Councillors Blackmore and Cranham have agreed to act as the administrators.


  1. Lengthsman Working Group – The lengthsman referred to the faults he had identified during his recent inspection of the play equipment which chimed closely with the observations included in the annual inspection. It was RESOLVED that the lengthsman should proceed with the necessary repairs at a cost of £380.75. The lengthsman also agreed to offer proposals for making good the damage to the surface matting which occurs when mowing takes place. Other issues raised included the need for maintaining the grass around the Cross and the opposite pavement and to keep the kerbs and lay-bys clean particularly those adjacent to the shop, church wall and the entrance to Rosemary Lane. It was also RESOLVED that the lengthsman empties the bins in the Recreation Ground as an interim measure. In response to a request from Councillor Blackmore the lengthsman agreed to remove a metal pole currently situated at a set of the white gates.


  1. Recreation Ground – There was nothing further to add to the previous discussion on the recreation ground.


  1. Footpaths Officer Report – The Footpaths Officer was absent from the meeting and no report was available. Councillor Cranham raised a concern at MY41 where users of the footpath are exposed to dangerous holes. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the landowner asking that the holes are filled in.


  1. Traffic & road issues – Councillor Harkin raised concern that the gullies on Brampton Road remained blocked and it was suggested that she highlight the problem via the Herefordshire Council website. There was discussion on the drainage issue on Brampton Road adjacent to Gitnal Farm and Ward Councillor Hitchiner agreed to check the Herefordshire Council asset register to see if the owner could be identified. Also, it was RESOLVED that the Clerk make enquiries with Herefordshire Council to ascertain when the next village sweep will take place.



  1. Matters raised for next scheduled meeting on Monday 12th October 2020 – None.



The meeting closed at 20.10


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