Minutes 8th October 2018

Minutes of a scheduled meeting of the Parish Council meeting on Monday 8th October at 7.00 pm in the Parish Hall


Councillors: Chris Williams (Chairman), Sheila Cook, Corinne Cranham, Margaret Harkin, Jane Hirst, Richard Lloyd, David Williamson.

In attendance

Lynda Wilcox (HALC Clerk Cover), Ward Councillor Steve Williams, nine local residents.

  1. Apologies for absence were received from Martin James.
  1. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation … There were none.
  1. Open Session
    • A brief verbal report from Ward Councillor Steve Williams included:
      • The ETL application was not able to go ahead on highways grounds. The PC originally objected to the application.  ETL were undertaking a survey to gather data for the planning officer.  They were suggesting that there is no highway problem.
      • The Ward Councillor had walked around the parish with the Balfour Beatty Locality Steward.
      • A meeting of Madley Charities had been held a week last Friday and everything was going well.
    • No views on parish matters were raised by local residents present.
  1. Minutes of previous meeting … 10th September 2018
    • It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the above meeting and they were signed by the Chairman.
  1. Finance … The bank balance at 2.10.18 was noted as £46,343.89.
    • Annual Governance & Accountability Return 2017/18:
      • The meeting consider the internal audit report prepared by HALC and RESOLVED to follow the recommendations contained therein.
      • The meeting considered the governance statements and ticked boxes where appropriate, bearing in mind the comments in the internal audit report.
      • The meeting considered and adopted the annual accounts for 2017/18.
      • The meeting considered but were not able to complete an exemption certificate because the income/expenditure for the year exceeded £25k.
    • The meeting considered a request to fund the re-surfacing of the parish hall rear car park for the sum of £5,796.00. It was RESOLVED that a priority for the parish council was to encourage and fund car parking for the school on the recreation field rather than at the Hall.  A donation towards the cost of refurbishing the parish hall car park was possible subject to further information from the parish hall but the parish council would not be funding the entire project.
    • It was RESOLVED to make payments listed on the schedule for October.
  1. Recreation Ground … Martin James was not present to give a report on inspections.
    • The meeting discussed the proposed path connecting the car park with the gate into Pennyplock and it was RESOLVED that a 1.5m width path of natural stone was the best course although the minimum requirement was 1.2m. Suitable drainage to prevent puddling and icy patches in the winter was also discussed.  It was noted that the car park would be closed on 27th and 28th October whilst the work on the path was taking place.
    • The meeting confirmed its previously agreed intention to write two cheques for the PTA … one for a £5k grant from parish council funds and the second to pass over the £10k Lottery grant currently held in the parish council’s funds for progressing the above path.
    • Corinne gave a report on possible grants for the new car park. It was agreed that three quotes would be sought and addressed to the new clerk for VAT reclamation purposes.
  1. Lengthsman
    • The Lengthsman confirmed that he had been undertaking work around the village and would be having a site meeting with the Balfour Beatty Locality Steward and parish councillors Richard Lloyd and Margaret Harkin to identify all areas in need of attention. The Ward Councillor also offered to attend the forthcoming meeting.
      • It was noted that additional funding had been put in the Lengthsman budget to enable the Lengthsman to attend to the grips. It was suggested that some grips might need to be concreted next year.
      • The Chairman would seek authorisation from Balfour Beatty for Richard Lloyd to use the parish equipment for flailing.
      • The Ward Councillor commented that the grit bins in Madley were being looked at by Herefordshire Council. It was thought that one free delivery of grit would be supplied by Herefordshire Council but further supplies would need to be funded by the parish council.

Stickers on the grit bins might be necessary to dissuade local residents from taking the grit (which was specifically for road use) and spreading it on their private drives.

  1. Planning … Comments on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:
    • Application P182050/F … Brightwells Auction Site, Stoney Street Industrial Estate. Proposed change of use of land for storage of plant, machinery, equipment & commercial vehicles & for creation of vehicle parking area.
      • The Chairman permitted local residents to express their concerns at the increase in traffic and noise from heavy goods vehicles.
      • The Chairman had visited Brightwells and suggested that improved communication with the parish council and local residents would be helpful. He had been informed that the application was to improve the parking situation and storage facilities for dispatch services.
      • Brightwells had offered the parish council and interested local residents a site visit on the afternoon of 22nd October at 4.30 pm. Herefordshire Council’s planning officer had agreed to extend the date for comments from the parish council to 14th
      • It was RESOLVED that comments on the application would be made at the November meeting of the parish council.
      • Section 106 monies were discussed and it was noted that although £30k had been set aside for improvements to the Bridge Sollars road, a further £7.5k was available for improvements within the village. Brightwells had requested some feedback as to where this funding should be spent.

The Chairman would contact the Section 106 officer at Herefordshire Council for further information.

  • Application P183004/F … Land to the west of Upper House, Stone Lane. Change of use of land to site a mobile/static home for a period of 3 years (retrospective):
    • It was RESOLVED that David Williamson would submit comments on behalf of the parish council, to include reference to the fact that it was a retrospective application.
  • Application 183083 … Magnolia Farm, Canon Bridge. Change of use of agricultural buildings & land to residential development:
    • It was felt that the application would smarten the area up but also increase traffic on a narrow road.
    • It was noted that Herefordshire Council owned the other side of the farm, on which the development of five or six houses had already been agreed, which would further increase the volume of traffic on the road.
    • It was RESOLVED that the proposed dwellings should be appropriate for the needs of the local community and be affordable to purchase by local residents with the criteria based on local rather than national income criteria. David Williamson was asked to send comments back to Herefordshire Council.
  1. Neighbourhood Plan (NDP)
    • Members received a report on the meeting held on 25th September, including:
      • Options for sites which would be publicised at a drop in day on Saturday 20th October between 11.00 and 14.00 at the Parish Hall, when the parish council’s planning consultant would be present.


  • A query from a local resident suggesting a hidden agenda for the NDP had received a response that all steering group and parish council meetings were held in public so as to avoid any such issues.
  1. Traffic & road issues
    • It appeared that some tractors were speeding through the village and their drivers were talking on mobile phones. The Ward Councillor commented that this was a county-wide problem which was being discussed by Herefordshire Council.
    • It was mentioned that some tubular bales of hay were sometimes not secured.
  1. Footpaths … No report was available from the Footpaths Officer.
  1. Policies
    • It was RESOLVED that current policies would be identified for revision by the new clerk.
  1. Matters raised for next scheduled meeting on Monday 12th November:
    • To comment on Brightwells planning application P182050/F.
    • Section 106 monies … to identify areas of benefit.
    • Footpaths report.
    • Lengthsman … feedback on parish walkabout with Balfour Beatty Localities Steward.
    • Policies in need of updating.

A resolution was passed to exclude the public from the following confidential item

  1. Employment
    • The Chairman reported on the recommendation of the interview panel concerning the appointment of a new Clerk/RFO.
    • It was unanimously RESOLVED to appoint local resident Mark Hearne as Clerk/RFO from 9th October 2018 for 7 hours per week on SCP 23 within the LCI pay scale recommended by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC). The appointment would be subject to references and a three month probationary period interview at the conclusion of the January 2019 meeting of the parish council.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 21.31