Parish Council Minutes
Draft minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 2nd February 2021 at 7.00pm
Present: Councillors: Keith Cornwall (Chairman), Brian Spencer (Acting RFO), Paul Newman, Mike Robins, Cllr Alison Feist (Temporary Clerk), Chloe Rusby, Barry Durkin, Footpath Officer, Andy Parr
In attendance: 21 members of the public.
1. Apologies: Hazel & Stephen Strange
2. Declaration of interests: – Cllr Paul Newman stated he is married to Claire Austin, Volunteer who manages the Website, Website is on agenda tonight. Cllr Spencer and Cllr Feist agreed to step out of the meeting regarding new clerk position.
- Adoption of Minutes of previous meetings:
Minutes from meeting 5th January 2020 – Cllr Spencer asked for two amendments. 10.2 planning Application needs to add that the application was approved by PC, secondly Acting Clerk did mention she had contacted BB about collecting litter picking equipment.
- Public participation:
- Ward Councillor Barry Durkin presented report, which had already been distributed to Parish Councillor. In the view of the extensive content, a copy will be posted on the website. Anyone wanting a copy emailing to them, please contact the clerk.
- No comments made by anyone from the public.
5. Traffic Calming – Since the agenda had been produced, a virtual meeting had been arranged for Wednesday 3rd February 2021 and an update will be provided at the March meeting.
6. Balfour Beatty – BB did attend an onsite meeting in the Parish which resulted in 37 jobs being recorded and we believe there are a significant number more to address. Included in the report; Tan House was stated that a drainage officer would visit to assess the issues and to see what solution could be found. In view of the number of reports, this will be posted on the website and a copy is available from email@example.com. There was concern about the number of jobs listed on the B roads which should have not been left so long without listing. Cllr Brian Spencer and Mike Robins had prepared a document on Riparian rights, which had been distributed to the Councillors for comments . It was resolved to send a copy to HC via Barry Durkin in an attempt to open a dialogue as our views clearly conflict with Balfour Beatty. Powell Croft sewage unit, there is still communication regarding the issues and a report will be drafted summarising the concerns of the PC.
Connexus – Pomona Grove: Connexus has agreed to visit the site, with a view to erecting a fence around the sewage unit.
7. Grit Bins – Following BB report, Acting Clerk Alison Feist, edited the map of all salt bins listed on the HC asset register sent by BB. This included creating a photographic record and a register of every bin. This original map was created following a BB audit of the bins in summer 2019. The PC has 54 listed bins, 20 were missing and 19 were unusable/ damaged or no lids. Copy of report is available from the firstname.lastname@example.org and will be posted on the website. It was resolved that it should be sent to BB for action.
8. Entrance at Hill Top – since the agenda had been issued, Scott Low, Enforcement Officer at HC had closed the case as there is no current planning application in place. However, he stated he was awaiting response from the Highway Dept. of HC.
9. Land at Upton Crews – HMRC – Since the agenda had been issued, HMRC now require a further £30 from PC and require a written valuation of the value of the land. The PC they should continue with this application. The Clerk had been reassured by HRMC that there are no other payments due. Fee for £30 will have to be added to payments for March 2021 for approval.
- P204354/F Heatherfield House – The PC had no objections; however, they wish the following comments to be made. The Planning Application states no hedge rows would be removed; however, these have already been removed without an ecology report and therefore loss of wildlife could have already been occurred. It was suggested that the new boundary should be made of hedging to replace the one already removed.
- P203011/F – PC had no objections along as this was private use only.
- P204482/FH – The PC had no issues with this application.
- No further updates from other applications.
Pomona Grove Lights – Ward Councillor, Barry Durkin had written to Connexus/HC regarding the lights at Pomona Grove and still awaiting a response.
On a general point, there was concern that there were an increasing number of retrospective planning applications being received that could encourage people to undertake work and apply for planning permission afterwards.
11. Website – Clerk Alison Feist reported since the last meeting the assistance approved was no longer available due to a Director promotion. However, another Council recommended Helen Geach who could help and was highly recommended. Claire Austin and Clerk were working with Helen to complete an audit and ensure the website is compliant. Clerk asked for approval for a quote up to £100 to be approved for work needed. PC approved no issues. It was also agreed to look at changing Web hosting from UK2. Cllr Spencer asked whether we need to submit documents in a different format, Claire Austin said she was looking into it and would come back.
12. Financial Report
- Monthly financial report – no issues
- Monthly bank reconciliation – no issues
- PC would discuss how to spend the money saves within the Parish at next meeting, Cllr Spencer suggested that we could use on extra work for Lengthsman.
- Review draft Budget – Councillors were asked to make any suggestions at the next meeting in March, where approval is required. Cllr Newman asked for £200 pa to be added for website support.
- Auditor for 2020/21 accounts – PC agreed to appoint the auditor from last year. Clerk would make contact.
- Payments were authorised, Lengthsman £656, Website work costs up to £100, Laptop update up to £50, £250 for sand bin, locks and sand and bags.
- Clerk expenses – none this month.
- NDP – No update, Consultant, David Nicholson is preparing his report and Clerk will chase the position regarding the Ecology Report.
- Emergency Plan – Massive thanks to Mark Rusby and the working committee for the Emergency Plan. Documents have been distributed to the Councillors. The PC voted to continue with the Plan and we now ask the Parish residents for Co-ordinators in each part of the Parish which can work together for the next stages.
15. Standing Orders –
- Amendment to standing orders regarding recording meeting. The PC resolved to accept new paragraph and Standing Orders to be re-issued.
- Policy to be written for claiming Chairman expenses- postponed to March Meeting.
16. Lengthsman Tender –
- Tender document had not arrived from HALC – so postponed until March meeting
- BB Lengthsman Scheme – The PC agreed that the BB documents would not be signed this year, on the grounds that we should not sign a document if PC are not going to get any benefit from it.
17. Footpath Update – Andy Parr reported some issues on UB12 and UB22 but these are being dealt with,
18. New Clerk – Cllr Spencer and Clerk Alison Feist and the public left the meeting at this stage. PC agreed that we need to start the process as Cllr Alison Feist had now undertaken this role for 8 months unpaid. Chairman Keith Cornwall will contact Lynda Wilcox at HALC to start the process.
Next Meeting Tuesday 2nd March 2021 7.00pm. Anyone wishing to join the virtual meeting, please send email to email@example.com for joining instructions.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15 pm.
SIGNED DATE _______
Tuesday 5th January 2021 at 7.00pm
AMENDMENTS AS STATED 2ND FEBRUARY 2021 MEETING SEE **
Present: Councillors: Keith Cornwall (Chairman), Brian Spencer (Acting RFO), Paul Newman, Mike Robins, Cllr Alison Feist (Temporary Clerk), Hazel Strange, Stephen Strange and Chloe Rusby, Barry Durkin
In attendance: 15 members of the public.
1. Apologies: Footpath Officer, Andy Parr.
2. We welcomed Barry Durkin back after his illness
3. Declaration of interests: – Cllr Paul Newman declared later in meeting that he personally knew Tessa McLean in respect of Planning application P203781/F. Point 10.4 on the agenda, Chairman Keith Cornwall is to be excluded from the discussion.
- Adoption of Minutes of previous meetings:
Minutes from meeting 1st December 2020 – no amendments
- Public participation:
- Ward Councillor Barry Durkin presented report, which had already been distributed to Parish Councillor. It was recommended that it should be posted on the UB website for Parishioners to read. Anyone wanting a copy emailing to them, please contact the clerk.
- Ward Cllr Barry Durkin was aware of the issues of flooding and lack of assistance from HC for sandbags, he has requested that the Clerk prepares a full report of the all the issues for him to take back to Herefordshire Council, which was agreed.
- There was a huge thanks to Chairman, Keith Cornwall for his efforts in Parish before Christmas with flooding problems at Phocle Green and Tan House and the need for sandbags at Upton Crews. A big thanks again to the continued support from Chicory Crops to the Parish, for their provision of the only sandbags available to us. Clerk Alison Feist had already written to Chief Executive and Balfour Beatty regarding the issues of flooding, sandbags and overflowing sewerage down the B4224 and was awaiting responses.
- Resident, Pete Fanshawe reported he had written to HC regarding the deterioration of the verges in the Parish. We thanked Peter for reporting comments into HC, we need the support from the Parishioners that they care and want HC to address the issues.
- Tony Chudziak attended to discuss his comments made over the last six months in communication to the Clerk. This Parish has included Phocle Green in the traffic calming which is totally separate to the Fownhope group. There seems to be a difference of opinion of the concerns in Phocle Green and Cllr Paul Newman was asked to obtain views from the residents and report back to Clerk before the next meeting before discussions start with HC.
- Resident, Mike Tyers, raised the extensive flooding at Tan House properties, the landowner had completed work in the autumn to relief the possible flooding, Mike keeps the drain clear and ditches, however the culvert is not big enough under the road to connect to the stream behind the house. PC were aware of the issues from Chairman Keith Cornwall’s assistance before Christmas and Clerk Alison Feist had visited the site. A detailed list has been prepared for discussion when we get a visit from BB/HC.
- Resident, Brian Dowick raised the flooding that occurred at Phocle Green before Christmas and the fact that HC have recently stated under the new access for Garden Cottage that the likelihood of flooding is slim and comments for the planning application had not closed. Clerk Alison Feist stated in view of the extent of the flooding from the pictures, she had already submitted the evidence to planning for consideration.
- Dog fouling notices had been supplied to Footpath officer, Andy Parr and notices had been posted. PC ask residents to please respect the Parish and take their dog mess home.
** Acting Clerk had stated she had contacted BB for litter picking equipment packs and awaiting a response. **
6. Traffic Calming – PC are still chasing for a meeting with BB/HC and was advised that Ward Councillor Barry Durkin had to be present. However, as Barry has returned to work this will now be pushed for the meeting to be arranged at the earliest opportunity. PC had experienced huge issue in BB not responding to emails and they are not available to contact via phone during lockdown working from home. B4224 Strategy Group Meeting Minutes are now available on the website and Cllr Spencer would welcome any comments for the next meeting as the group objectives are not necessarily aligned with the needs of Upton Bishop.
7. Update of Drainage Grant – After continual chasing in 2020 and the recent flooding in the Parish, a report was sent to Paul Hunter, BB and Chief Executive, Alistair Neill, and Ward Councillor Barry Durkin on the 2nd of January and we are awaiting a response to an onsite meeting.
8. Land at Upton Crews – HMRC – Highway research was requested from last meeting; Clerk reported it has been received and sent to HMRC to complete the ownership of the land at Upton Crews. Awaiting further communication.
- Entrance at Hill Top – Clerk Alison Feist reported no communication since Locality Steward had taken pictures, they had been chased again.
- P204214/F (note the incorrect number was on the agenda)– Meadow Bank Stables – There was a unanimous rejection of this planning application for numerous reasons, full details will be documented in response to HC planning. In summary, there still are several inconsistencies in this, the fifth application we have considered between Probyn’s Pitch and Hilltop, in a short space of time, which have all been withdrawn without decision being reached by HC. Whilst horses can be grazed on RA3 land without change of permission, it was not felt that changing use to a commercial operation was allowable. There are concerns that the access lane is not wide enough. The access, gate and hedge line have been modified prior to the PA being submitted. There seems to have been no allowance made for access and facilities for disabled people even though these are key to this proposal. The touring caravan, which was advised to be moved, has been moved to an adjacent field at Hilltop and may still need planning permission to be retained. Work was completed prior to this PA, even though the issues had been reported to the enforcement officer when the work was started The Councillors are concerned at the increasing number of applications where retrospective planning is being sought. The original issue was that a static caravan was sited without planning permission in June 2020 and is still there awaiting resolution.
- P203781/F – Phocle Cottage – proposing moving of field gate. Applicant, Tessa McLean attended the meeting to answer any questions and concerns. The applicant confirmed that no ecology report had been requested as a hedge row was being removed for the new entrance and would expect comment that there should be new hedging planted to replace the old gate entrance. **The application was approved by the PC. **
- No further updates from other applications, other than the Heatherfield application has been amended from residential to holiday accommodation
- Pomona Grove Lights – The Clerk had continued to ask for the brightness of the lights to be reviewed and highlight that the Core Strategy Plan was in place and referred to when planning permission was approved for Pomona Grove. The Clerk is still trying to get a satisfactory resolution.
- Financial Report 30th December 2020 – approved no issues. Cllr Hazel Strange agreed to sign off the documents.
- Bank reconciliation for 30th December 2020 – approved
- How to spend surplus money, in view of the length of this meeting, decided to postpone until February 2021 meeting
- Chairman expenses – was agreed by majority after discussion, that the Chairman should receive some payment for his expenses for work that he completes within the village It was suggested that the Chairman would provide a petrol receipt and mileage form once every three months. Cllr Paul Newman suggested an expenses policy should be written and will be addressed over the next couple of months for future PC approval.
- Lengthsman increase – approved by PC
- Payments approved
- Autela £38.26
- UK2 £8.40
- Lengthsman backpay £16.00
- NDP – No update, Consultant, David Nicolls is preparing his report.
- Emergency Plan – in view of issues highlighted over Christmas it was agreed that the Parish needs to create their own emergency plan as there is a lack of assistance from HC. Massive thanks to the Councillors that offered to work on this plan and comes back with ideas for February Meeting, Cllr Hazel and Stephen Strange, Mike Robins and Chloe and Mark Rusby (some may not have heard their offer at the end of the meeting). Cllr Spencer agreed to ask whether the Millennium Hall car park could be used to site a sand bin with sandbags.
- Salt Bins – Clerk, Alison Feist reported after no success getting replacement bins last year, she has reported two urgent bin replacements and a new bin to be sited on the HC site, will provide update.
- Next Meeting Tuesday 2nd February 2021 7.00pm. Anyone wishing to join the virtual meeting, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for joining instructions.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.40 pm.