Minutes of the Annual Parish Council held on
Monday 17th May 2021.
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.
Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) plus eight residents.
- Election of Chairman – Councillor Chris Williams was re-elected Chairman after being proposed by Councillor Sullivan and seconded by Councillor Harkin.
- Election of Vice Chairman – Councillor Simon Blackmore was re-elected Vice Chairman after being proposed by Councillor Sullivan and seconded by Councillor Williams.
- Apologies for absence – Councillor Richard Lloyd.
- Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation – None.
- Open Session
- West Mercia Police were unable to join the meeting.
- Ward Councillor David Hitchiner – Ward Councillor Hitchiner was not present at the meeting.
- Lengthsman’s Report – The Lengthsman was not present at the meeting
- Issues Raised by Local Residents – No issues were raised.
- Minutes of previous meeting … 12th April 2021. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the 12th April 2021 as a true record and they will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
- Clerk Correspondence
- A resident has written raising concerns over traffic congestion at the car boot sale which is held on Stoney Street. The Chairman commented that this issue has been raised in the past which has prompted a conversation with the organisers. The local police have also attended on at least two occasions and the correspondent has also referred the issue to them. It was agreed that there is there is no action that the Parish Council can realistically take to alleviate the situation but should the problems persist a further conversation with the organisers may be appropriate.
- A resident has raised concerns about the problem in traversing a PROW in Shenmore because the landowner has planted potatoes on raised ridges alongside the footpath which makes walking particularly hazardous. It was RESOLVED that the issue is referred to the Footpath Officer for his attention.
- A resident living in Oak Close has highlighted continuing problems of accumulated water at the crossroad junction. The Chairman commented that the Locality Steward has forwarded the issue to the drainage team but it is seen as a low priority. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk reminds the Ward Councillor that it remains an aspiration for the Parish Council to have greater transparency when issues have been reported to the drainage team.
- Finance … The current bank balance in the Treasurers Account and the Business Bank Instant Account is £35,819.66 and £179.19 respectively.
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary (April 2021) in accordance with the employment contract.
- Zoom Subscription – £28.77
- Stationery – £4.48
- Signs for Recreation Ground – £65.65
- Dog Bag Dispensers – £135.54
- Picnic Tables – £264.00
- Lengthsman – £455.65
- Lengthsman (Brampton Road) – £1,490.00
- Countrywide Maintenance – £70.39
- PAYE (April 2021) – £133.20
- Insurance – £532.00
- Section 106 monies –No further updates were reported.
- Report from the Finance Working Group (FWG) – Councillor Sullivan reported that the FWG met on the 5th May 2021 to review the end of year (20/21) position on the Parish Council finances and to look forward to FY 21/22. It was noted by the FWG that the level of reserves has increased significantly over the last 12 months from £19.5k at 31 March 2020 to £32.6k a year later. This is partly explained by the outstanding invoices for fencing and gym equipment at the recreation ground which will reduce the reserves by circa £8.5k. In terms of next year, the FWG questioned whether £525 would be sufficient to cover all training needs but, if necessary, monies could be made available from the general reserve.
- Renewal of Insurance – It was RESOLVED to renew the insurance at a cost of £532.
- It was RESOLVED to make the following payments:
- Planning – Comments on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council.
- Planning Consultation 211238 – Land adjacent B4352, Madley, Herefordshire. Variation of condition 2 of planning permission 192672 (Proposed residential development of 10 dwellings) – to allow Plots 1& 2 realigned to reflect the land boundary claimed by the highways authority reflected in their published mapping. Following discussion, Councillors were supportive of the proposed changes and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
- Planning Consultation 210942 – 1 Boyce Cottages, Shenmore, Madley, Hereford. Retrospective application for shed to be moved to new location. Following discussion, Councillors were supportive of the proposed changes and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
- Planning Consultation 210074 – Land west of The Yard, Brampton Road, Madley. Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval 193995 (Proposed development of three dwellings with garages). Following discussion, Councillors were supportive of the proposed changes and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
- Lengthsman Working Group – Councillor Harkin guided the meeting through the action log and highlighted the recent work undertaken by the Lengthsman on Brampton Road. Councillor Harkin agreed to provide an update on drainage issues under Highways.
- Recreation Ground – Councillor Cranham reported that the installation of the gym equipment will be completed on the 18th May 2021. The new signs and dog poo dispensers have arrived and will be fitted by the Lengthsman in due course.
- Footpaths Officer Report –In the absence of the Footpaths Officer (Councillor Lloyd) the Chairman commented that Balfour Beatty have no record of the defective bridge on MY3A and it was RESOLVED that this will be re-reported to Balfour Beatty. The Clerk confirmed that he was unaware of any recent developments regarding the proposal for a dedicated Locality Steward for footpaths across the county but would seek an update from Balfour Beatty. The Chairman encouraged Councillors to report any footpath issues they come across to Councillor Lloyd. The Chairman agreed to circulate a copy of the PROW map to all Councillors.
- Highways – Councillor Harkin reported that the Lengthsman has undertaken work on the ditch at Parkway Farm and has installed a pipe alongside the track adjacent to Gitnel Farm. Councillor Harkin has reminded the Locality Steward that work on jetting the road drains outside Gitnel Farmhouse & Hanger One remains outstanding. Councillor Harkin mentioned that the Locality Steward is appreciative of the work of the Parish Council for instructing the Lengthsman to clear ditches and grips etc. The Chairman asked that the Locality Steward is reminded that work is still needed on the ditch at Hanger One plus Lower Shenmore close to Bower Farm. The news was less promising with the required resurfacing of the C1196 which the Locality Steward has advised was unlikely in the foreseeable future given constraints on the Balfour Beatty budget.
- Planned Community Events – Councillor Hiscutt-Blackmore reported that positive feedback has been received from the various community groups to the planned summer picnic. On reflection, it has been recommended that there is no requirement for additional toilets to be provided with those available in the Tennis Club thought to be sufficient. Suitable insurance cover is in place but a risk assessment will be required. It was also proposed to publicise the picnic and fireworks in the summer edition of the newsletter which will be presented to the Parish Council at the June 2021 meeting. Councillor Hiscutt-Blackmore suggested that name badges for Councillors attending the picnic might be worth considering at a cost of £6-£8 each. It was RESOLVED to make available a maximum of £250 to cover the cost of the summer picnic to include the hire of a bouncy castle. Councillor Hiscutt-Blackmore suggested that the cost of holding a firework display would be in the order of £1500-£2000 but it was agreed that it would be inappropriate for attendees to be asked for a donation as they have already contributed through the precept. Councillor Cranham explained that a maximum of £1500 would cover the cost of a local company setting up the display plus the training of three volunteers. It was RESOLVED that a maximum of £2000 is allocated to cover the cost of a firework display on the 5th November 2021 beginning at 19.00hrs. There was a brief discussion on a possible event to mark Halloween but it was agreed that it would be preferable to restrict the number of events to four per annum and to focus on the two agreed activities for the moment.
- Parish Councillor Vacancy – The Clerk reported that four individuals have expressed interest in joining the Parish Council and will circulate the personal information provided by each of the candidates. The Clerk also agreed to draft some possible questions. It was RESOLVED to hold an extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council to interview the four candidates on Monday 7th June 2021.
- Feedback on Parish Council Summit – Councillor Hiscutt-Blackmore provided feedback on the recent Parish Council Summit which focused on community related issues which included interesting presentations from West Mercia Police and Public Health.
- Neighbourhood Development Plan – The Chairman reported that the vast majority (89%) who voted in the recent referendum supported the adoption of the NDP. The Chairman added that the adoption of the NDP will have implications when considering future planning applications and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk draft a short position paper for circulation prior to the next Parish Council meeting.
- Matters raised for next scheduled meeting
- AGAR Accounting Statements 2020/21.
- Community Speed Watch
The meeting closed at 20.28hrs
 This represents a fifth of the overall cost as the subscription is shared with four other Parish Councils.