Draft Minutes of the most recent meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on Tuesday
17th September 2019 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm.
Present – Cllrs. J. Jones (in the Chair) D. Williams (DW), R. Kitto (RK) and M Beaumont (MB).
Apologies – An apology for inability to attend had been received and was approved from M. Low.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 30th July 2019 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – None received.
Open Session – Neither the County Councillor Liz Harvey or any members of the public were in attendance.
Update Reports on matters raised at last meeting –
- Old School House – DW advised this property had now been registered with Herefordshire Historic Record Base. With regard to Squatters Cottage he could see no reason why this should not be registered under the same Record Base and would enquire of Richard Hurley whether he had any comments which could be submitted regarding this property. He advised that there was no local listing run by Herefordshire Council and that private residences or land cannot be registered and are excluded as an Asset of Community Value.
- and (c) Ledbury Town Council Parish Poll on proposed development under the viaduct – There was a recorded turnout of over a 1000 people taking part in the Poll. The Parish Council had submitted another comment on the development and Frank Rozelaar had submitted another excellent objection. Following the distribution to local residents by the Parish Council seeking support of their comments on the proposed development, it appeared several residents had taken the time to comment on the proposal. The final vote is likely to be in or around October 2019 and to date, the Parish Council have not been advised on the cost of the proposed transport consultation but it was noted that Herefordshire Environmental had submitted an objection about the higher pollution levels in the area.
- Finger Posts – work in progress to replace the one in Jacks Lane and position one at Ochre Hill.
- Improved Reception in the area – Prior to the meeting MB had distributed a report on his investigations into the problem and the matter was discussed at length. It was stated that Suppliers might not be too interested in erecting another mast for a Parish of our size and although Operators now have the right to erect mast anywhere either on private of Parish Council land, but it was agreed there might be a potential risk if we start making too many enquiries. However, it was agreed that MB should continue to make further discreet investigations into the problem and any possibilities which might be available to the Parish Council to overcome the problem.
Items for consideration –
- Financial Regulations – a new set of Regulations had been received from HALC and Councillors were unanimous that these should be adopted as drawn without the need to personalise them as it was always possible for the Parish Council to reference these in any matter which might arise concerning Parish Council finances.
- New Code of Conduct – HALC had advised that they were still waiting for the LGA to produce a new Code of Conduct for Councillors but as this was not likely to be available before the end of the year it was suggested by HALC that until we can access the new Code that all PC’s sign up to the current Herefordshire Council Code and it was unanimously agreed to do that.
- Smart Water products – MB had been supplied with details of this product which can be purchased privately. However, if the Parish Council were to consider the purchase, to achieve a reduction in the cost, a target of 80% take up in the Parish would have to be achieved. Based on about 220 homes in the Parish, a target of approximately 176 homes would result in a reduced cost of £8.90 per item, totalling approximately £1,566. Match funding would result in an overall cost of approximately £1,175. and it was agreed to advertise this project in the Newsletter adding that the Parish Council were prepared to subsidize the purchase for Parishioners wishing to take up the offer of this added security for their possessions. In the first instance, we were to contact the Police Representative dealing with the Smartwater Project and invite her to attend to discuss the matter with one or two Councillors and answer any queries which Councillors might have, particularly about the longevity of the scheme.
Financial Matters – To approve payment of the following accounts.
Clerk’s salary of £287. paid in August when there was no meeting (approved).
Accounts presented for payment at meeting –
- HMRC – PAYE for August £38.00.
- Clerk, salary for September £287.00.
- HMRC – PAYE for September £38.00.
- AONB – donation as agreed £100.00.
- Cllr Beaumont, repayment on purchases £43.40.
- Truprint Litho – printing Newsletter £255.00.
- “Currys” Epson XP 455 printer £41.69 + £8.30 vat.
- Ledbury Fencing, lengthsman duties £112.50.
- Viking Direct – ink jets £51.17 + £10.57 vat.
- HALC – Clerk election training £30.00.+ £6.00 vat.
On a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by DW and carried, these Accounts were approved for payment and cheques signed.
Memorial Hall – in the absence of M Low, on advice received from him MB reported that Mike Bain was staying on for another year as Chairman but with a reduced role, Alison Skinner is in charge of future events at the Hall and Peter Cowley will be taking over the 200 Club in March 2020. A new floor has been laid in the kitchen.
Footpaths – MB advised in the absence of the Footpaths Officer that Neil James was to be asked to inspect the steps at Ochre Hill in an attempt to come up with a solution to stabilise the area as the existing steps were once again being washed away. Access to The Pleck was to be improved with new steps and whilst a lockable gate was suggested, the Chairman was not in favour of locking parishioners out of land which is classed as open space. The Parish Council are custodians of The Pleck, not the owners. Cost of new steps and a gate was estimated to be at a cost of around £150. Work was in progress at Jacks Lane.
Planning – DW advised there are six outstanding planning issues as follows
- Pegs Farm not yet determined but problems remain with foul sewage crossing Hollow Lane.
- Woodmill Cottage going to Planning Committee re proposed change of use.
- Land adjacent to The Croft – current plans have been rejected.
- Priors Court – Parish Council raised no objections.
- Becks Orchard (Sumner land) waiting for this to be agreed.
- Rose Cottage – re application for garage – Council’s response to be agreed.
Information – receipt of the following was reported to Councillors –
- Clerks & Councils Direct September magazine.
- The Wharfinger magazine.
- Literature and stickers from “Able Community Care” to be distributed in the Parish.
- E-mail Paul Esrich, AONB with thanks for Council’s promise of annual donation of £100.
- HALC Information Corner.
- Herefordshire Children & Young Peoples Partnership.
- Press release and sample “Herefordshire Flag” for comment.
- Playground inspection reminder from Wicksteed – Clerk to arrange.
- Code of Conduct – see above.
- Herefordshire Council’s decision to pause and review major transport infrastructure projects including Hereford bypass.
- NALC – Guide to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for Parish and town Councils – copy handed to all Councillors.
- Current Bank balances.
Councillors Reports – Cllr Williams advised the defibrillator had been re-registered with new national initiative base called “The Circuit”. He will be monitoring the change through the new system in order to conform registration with West Midlands Service.
Dates for next meetings agreed as follows –
- Finance meeting to be held on 12th November 2019 to agree Budget/Precept for 2020/21. Parish Council’s proposals will be published on notice boards open to public for consultation, prior to –
- Parish Council meeting to be held on 26th November 2019 in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.40pm.