Present – Cllrs. J. Jones (in the Chair) M. Low, D. Packman, R.Kitto and D. Williams.
Also in attendance were ten members of the public, the Clerk, Linzy Outtrim and Neil James both from Balfour Beatty.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 22nd May 2018 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Guest Speaker – Attending the meeting were Linzy Outrim, Stakeholder manager from Balfour Beatty and Neil James who were in attendance at the request of the Parish Council to give some guidance over the policy for repairs to road surfaces and potholes in the Parish.
- She advised that they were on a ten year contract, plus one additional year, which is based on performances and that category A roads are inspected monthly to comply with legal requirements, but inspections can also be carried out on an “ad hoc” basis. If the inspection is not carried out, then they would be liable for a claim with specific risk assessments on Cat A roads for damage to life & limb within twenty four hours. She advised their funding for this year was £6.7m so far with an overall total for the year of £9m. in agreement with Hereford Council.
They hoped to raise a further £1.25m this year to go towards resurfacing work.
- A list of questions had been submitted in advance of the meeting and in a question and answer session she replied to queries regarding the minimum width of a road particularly in rural areas, the mechanism for monitoring potholes, unhappiness over the plan for the road adjacent to Swallow Farm, and whether they feel they are failing to keep up with the demand for road repairs. She also replied to a query about how County resources are provided given that Herefordshire is far more rural than Worcestershire/Shropshire so it was not possible to compare the Parishes like for like and explained that Council Tax monies goes into a central pot for division.
- With regard to the Lengthsman service, she advised that the Parish Council are now entirely responsible for the funding of the Lengthsman who is only responsible for lower class roads, with Balfour Beatty responsible for Class A & B roads in the Parish, and that they are responsible for damage to and the cleaning of highway signs.
The Chairman expressed thanks to them for attending and Linzy Outrim and Neil James left the meeting at 8.20pm.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – none received.
Open Session –
The County Councillor was not in attendance and all members of the public had left the meeting following the session with Balfour Beatty.
Update Reports –
- Defibrillator – DW advised the defibrillator had been delivered to his property and that work was in hand in cleaning up and painting the old telephone kiosk at Pool Piece in readiness for the installation.
The sum of £1,122 cash was handed to the Clerk for banking representing the funds raised by The Farmers Arms public house.
The question of a second defibrillator elsewhere in the Parish was agreed to be considered once the current project had been finalised. Clerk to write to the Farmers Arms Landlords expressing sincere thanks for their contribution to the project.
- Staplow Traffic – The Clerk reported on a reply received from Inspr. James Ashton who advised that he was not aware of broader concerns at that location but that he would refer the matter to the Traffic Management Advisor, Mr. Ian Connolly for his review.
- Lengthsman – The Clerk reported on a reply from Withers Farm that they do take the matter of litter being dropped by their workers extremely sincerely and “we continue to do litter pick-ups ourselves of the surrounding lanes and will ensure this is kept a regular occurrence”.
Items for consideration –
- Strimming in the Parish – it was agreed that regular strimming around roads signs and the Best Kept Village Sign for example was important to maintain the tidy appearance of the Parish and assist in visibility for traffic and any help by members of the public is greatly appreciated.
- Signature of letter to Bank cancelling Clerk’s salary and PAYE payments was agreed on the instructions from Marion Griffiths, the Parish Council Payroll Officer, as there was a considerable overpayment of PAYE for the Clerk. A paying in book had been requested for future payments once the overpayment had been cleared in November 2018.
Financial – The Clerk advised the following Accounts were due and presented for payment
- Lengthsman for May £39.00.
- Lengthsman for June £98.00.
- Bradfords (building materials) £7.20 inc vat
- Clerk, salary increase and expenses to 31/7/2018 £222.71.
On a proposal by RK seconded by DP and carried these accounts were approved for payment and cheques signed. As regards additional cheque signatory, the Clerk advised on problems with Lloyds Bank who had now agreed to put a Mandate in the post. It was also noted the overpayment of PAYE for the Clerk as advised by Marion Griffiths and the above payment brought matters totally up to date including postages and sundry materials and also included a small amount outstanding for the year 2017/18 as set out in the Auditors accounts.
- Memorial Hall – ML reported on AGM meeting when Mike Bain had been re-elected as Chairman and Tony Cook Vice Chairman. Investigations were in hand for additional insurance cover for public trustees, accounts for the year showed a healthy surplus compared to the deficit last year. New gardener had been appointed and the Committee were looking into raising funds for the hall.
- Lengthsman – The Clerk advised the Contract for the Lengthsman & P3 schemes had been received, although no funding for the Lengthsman was available for this year, and a reduced sum had been offered for the Footpaths Scheme. ML reported he had attended a meeting for Footpaths Officers recently and advised on the issues raised.
Planning – The Planning Committee Chairman advised that there were five planning applications yet to be determined in the Parish as follows –
- Swallow Farm – comments discussed and agreed.
- Fir Tree Cottage, Floyds Lane – no issues raised by the Parish Council.
- Longworth – the Parish Council have made their comments.
- Downton, The Common – we have made our comments but yet to be determined by Hereford Council.
- Myrtle Cottage – the Parish Council have made their comments but it remains to be determined by Hereford Council.
- Viaduct Site – It was agreed to repeat the previous comments as written by Frank Rozelaar. However, following a query whether the Parish Council would support a traffic survey to be carried out by John Stock from Colwall, the Chairman recommended the Council should consider supporting this and the Planning Committee Chairman agreed to meet with Cllr Liz Harvey to ascertain what this was likely to be involved, the overall cost and to whom this would be payable.
- Neighbourhood Development Plan – the Working Group had considered various suggestions put forward to them by the Examiner and we await a decision document from Hereford Council regarding the next step forward being a Referendum in the Parish to final adoption of the Plan.
- Website – The Clerk advised the changes of Councillors on the Council had been incorporated onto the front page of the Website and hoped to arrange for some detailed training before proceeding.
Information Sheet had been circulated to all Councillors prior to the meeting, most of which is included in the above Minutes, but it was decided not to proceed with Herefordshire Council’s recommended “dog fouling signs” as they were felt too obtrusive and ML agreed to look into production of some smaller signs to be placed where dog fouling appeared to be a recurring problem.
Items for future Agendas to include updates as necessary on outstanding issues and any further items which occur.
Dates for the next two meetings were agreed as 18th September 2018 and 27th November 2018 with a Finance/Budget meeting fixed for 13th November.
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 10.10pm.
Chairman.[Provisionally agreed by Jennifer Jones]