Minutes of a scheduled meeting of the Parish Council on

Monday 13th July 2020 at 19.00 hrs.

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

Present

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

In attendance

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

  1. Apologies for absence – Councillor Richard Lloyd
  • Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation … Councillor Blackmore declared an interest against 6.9.
  • Open Session
    • West Mercia Police were unable to join the meeting.
    • Ward Councillor David Hitchiner – Ward Councillor Hitchiner reported on the following key issues.
      • The cost of purchasing Maylord is expected to be repaid within 4/5 years. Herefordshire Council will now consider a range of options on the future use of the 4 acres of land in the centre of Hereford.
      • The outbreak of Covid 19 at a farm in Herefordshire where 73 staff were tested positive for the virus and 200 workers are currently in isolation on the site. Three of the workers of which one has the virus have left the site but local GPs have not recorded a spike in cases.
      • There has been a substantial cost to Herefordshire Council as a result of the Covid 19 crisis and despite support from Central Government there will be a shortfall in the budget in both this year and 2020/21 which will require savings to be identified.
      • Herefordshire Council is looking to build more housing especially as borrowing costs are very low at the moment.
      • Recent floods caused £12m worth of damage of which £3m will be provided by Central Government. A further request will be made to Central Government for additional money.
  • Lengthsman’s Report – The lengthsman was not present at the meeting and no report was submitted.
  • Issues Raised by Local Residents –
    • A resident mentioned that heavy military vehicles were accessing the Brightwells causing increased noise.
  • Minutes of previous meeting … 8th June 2020. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the above meeting and they will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
  • Clerk Correspondence  – A resident had written raising concerns about the impact of the proposed variation set out in Planning Application 202061. Councillors agreed to reflect on these points when they consider the application.
  • Finance … The bank balance at 30th June 2020 in the Treasurers Account was noted as £27,112.96. As at 30th June 2020 there was £179.17 in the Business Bank Instant Account.
  • It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
    • Clerk’s salary in accordance with the employment contract.
    • PAYE – £129.60
    • Lengthsman – £370.00
    • Countrywide Maintenance – £70.39
    • Eyelid Productions (website Upgrade) – £50.00
    • HALC (Internal Audit) – £240.00
    • 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 have no particular issues with an expected level of reserves of circa £32k.
    • End of Year Accounts 2019/20 – Councillors RESOLVED to approve the end of year accounts 2019/20 as presented by the Clerk.
    • Internal Audit Report 2019/20 – Councillors noted the Internal Audit Report 2019/20 and it was RESOLVED to arrange a meeting of the Finance Working Group to consider the recommendations in the report and to review the current financial position.
    • Annual Governance Statements Section 1 (2019/20) – Councillors approved the statement and it was RESOLVED that the Chairman sign off accordingly.
    • Annual Governance Statements Section 2 (2019/20) – Councillors approved the statement and it was RESOLVED that the Chairman sign off accordingly.
    •  Section 106 monies – The Clerk reported that Brightwells have still not yet reimbursed the Parish Council for the cost of the design work for traffic calming on Stoney Street. Balfour Beatty have now produced the design for the work at a cost of £11,213.12 (ex VAT). This design and quotation have been passed to Brightwells who questioned the high cost. The Chairman had written to Brightwells explaining that the design makes provision for signage at seven locations (three pedestrian & four road narrowing signs).
    • Request for a donation towards the cost of annual maintenance of the church clock – The Clerk advised that it was contrary to existing legislation for Parish Councils to provide financial support for the maintenance of land and/or building belonging to the Church. Councillors noted this ruling but expressed interest in supporting the Church by welcoming a grant application provided that any monies sought were to be used for the benefit of the community. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the Treasurer of the Madley Parochial Church Council accordingly.
    • A request for a £500 donation towards the cost of flower beds to be positioned adjacent to Madley shop and takeaway. Councillors were briefed on the proposal and the work required to improve the appearance of the flower beds. The Clerk explained that monies could be granted under Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 provided they benefit the residents of the parish. After discussion, it was agreed that the proposal will enhance the aesthetics of the village so bringing benefit to the wider community. It was therefore RESOLVED to invite the sponsors to submit an application for grant monies for this purpose.
  • Neighbourhood Development Plan – The Chairman reported that there had been no further updates and was still awaiting a response from the examiner.
  • Planning – Comments on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:
    • Planning Consultation – 201689 – The Garden House, Madley, Herefordshire, HR2 9NN – Proposed timber pre-fabricated single story granny annexe for ancillary use to the main dwelling. Following discussion, Councillors decided to support the proposals set out in the planning application and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk inform the LPA accordingly.
    • Planning Consultation – 202061 – Swinmore Farm, Madley, Herefordshire, HR2 9JD – Proposed variation of consultation 9 of planning permission 174650 (Proposed erection of additional poultry building and associated feed bins, hardstanding and access) to amend the routing agreement to provide for access in and out for vehicle from the south. After taking into account the impact on safety and increased noise to residents neighbouring the site Councillors decided that they could not support the proposed variation. It was therefore RESOLVED that the Clerk inform the LPA accordingly. Ward Councillor Hitchiner added that Parish Councillors could submit their own individual responses to the planning application which would add weight to the submission from the Parish Council.
  • Lengthsman Working Group – Councillor Margaret Harkin presented the Lengthsman Action log and discussion focused on the track leading off Rosemary Lane. The Chairman reported that, with the lengthsman, he had visited the site on the 4th July 2020 and it was clear that the cost of the remedial work would be prohibitive and could not be justified as it would only benefit a few residents who use the track as a vehicular access to their properties. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the residents concerned explaining the Parish Council position but point out that the disposal of garden waste in the adjacent ditches has contributed to the drainage problems. Councillor Harkin mentioned that vegetation around the kerbs is an issue especially at the end of the Bridge Sollers road and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk bring this to the attention of the lengthsman. Councillor Harkin also mentioned overgrown verges in the village and it was noted that the Parish Council had signed up, in September 2019, to a Balfour Beatty initiative to delay the first cut until August/September 2020 to protect biodiversity. It remains an option to revoke the Parish Council’s participation in the scheme if it is minded to do so in the future. It was RESOLVED that, as part of preparation for the winter months, the Clerk ask the lengthsman to check the status of the grips in the village.
  1. Recreation Ground – Councillor Cranham raised two possibilities for improving the facilities in the recreation ground. Firstly, a recycling bin at a cost of circa £500 was discussed but questions were asked about the arrangements for collecting the waste and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk asks the lengthsman if he is aware of any arrangements that the Parish Council could  adopt. Secondly, an outdoor gym was also discussed which, based on an initial quote from Wicksteed, would cost circa £9k. The Clerk confirmed that £2945 remains from the donations/grants available for the recreation ground.  Councillor Cranham agreed to establish whether other funding streams might be available for this purpose.
  1. Footpaths Officer Report – The Footpaths Officer was absent from the meeting and no report was available.
  1. Traffic & road issues – There was discussion on the drainage issue on Brampton Road adjacent to Gitnal Farm. The Chairman suggested that there are several issues which have combined to cause flooding at this part of Brampton Road one of which was a partially blocked pipe. To date it has not been possible to establish the owner of the track which runs perpendicular from Brampton Road but it was considered that it should be a Balfour Beatty responsibility to clear the blocked pipe. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk brings this to the attention of Ward Councillor Hitchiner to see if any pressure could be brought to bear on Balfour Beatty.
  1. Matters raised for next scheduled meeting on Monday 14 September 2020 – Madley Parish Council Facebook page.

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The meeting closed at 20.30

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