Minutes of meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council
held on Monday 24th January 2022 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm
Present – Cllrs J. Jones (in the Chair) D. Williams, H. Tierney and R. Barnes.
Also in attendance were Peter Constantine (Village correspondent) County Councillor Liz Harvey, three members of the public and the Clerk.
Apologies – An apology for inability to attend the meeting had been received from Cllr. J. Tearle.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 30th November 2021 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – None received or declared.
Open Session –
County Councillor Liz Harvey advised as follows –
- A six-week consultation on the update of the Core Strategy for development after 2041 is taking place and she urged the Parish Council to have their say. Items include development Spatial strategy for the period 2021-2041 asking where development should take place, for example in the city, market towns or villages or even consideration at looking at a new town situated either urban or rural. She advised all libraries in the County are receiving documentation and consultation will last until the end of February 2022.
- Council budget under consideration which include endeavours to minimise cuts to services and to change the way services are delivered. A large amount of finance has been taken out of the Council budget and consideration is being given about how to deliver the services differently. Councillor Harvey urged the Parish Council to comment if they see an inequality of service. An increase was being proposed in the basic Council tax and also an increase of 1% to be ring-fenced for Adult Social Care plus a possible increase of 2% for inflation for certain services. She advised some services are being brought “in house” which include management of footpaths and traffic management to be taken off Balfour Beatty. The Lengthsman scheme expected to be reinstated on a match funding basis as before and also a drainage scheme expected to be for organised volunteer groups but Cllr Harvey would let the Clerk know about this in due course.
- The Chairman brought forward the item on Drainage Problems to enable public participation and queries to be raised with the County Councillor. Following a report by Cllr. Tierney regarding a meeting on site with Cllrs Tierney, Barnes and Tearle and Neil James the Locality Steward for Balfour Beatty during which items discussed were water seepage into Mike Bain’s garden at the top of The Common, water flowing down the Common from Raycombe Lane, Pub Lane, Ochre Hill and rubble left on the road following flooding by Pool Piece. Cllr Harvey had forwarded a report giving the response she had received to the queries she made of BBLP in reply to the concerns raised at the above site meeting which had taken place on 20th January 2022.
- As regards the water running into Mike Bain’s garden, the reply stated “that the highway authority is not responsible for run-off water once it leaves the highway. Under common law, landowners have a duty to accept run off from higher ground, including the highway, and then control the flow of water within their property”. Mike Bain queried this advising that there were no gully or drainage systems in place on this stretch of road and Cllr. Harvey agreed to query why kerbing should be at property owner’s expense rather than H/Council.
Pub Lane – It is agreed that this is not an adopted road; there is no title to Pub Lane and Hereford Council only has responsibility to maintain it as a public right of way, ie a footpath. Cllr Harvey was of the opinion that the recent building of new houses off Pub Lane had exacerbated the problem. It was suggested we write to Hereford Council about the current development noting it is nearing completion and requesting a copy of the Building Regulations report. It was mentioned that perhaps the residents in Pub Lane could form a group with a similar solution to the residents of Ochre Hill. Once a Lengthsman has been appointed by the Parish Council this would however help to improve the Lane by clearing gully and ditches and keeping grids clear of leaves. Action – Clerk.
Rubble left on road by Pool Piece – Neil James had agreed to arrange for a road sweeper to clear this. Although roads were not normally swept in the village, we could raise an incident to request this service if there is a problem
- Steps at Ochre Hill – the surface was passable with care so H/Council would not take any action. If the Parish Council wanted to tarmac the steps replacing lose stones, they would need to get clearance from H/Council which Neil James would facilitate. It was suggested we ask for action on Ochre Hill ideally with a pipe at the top of the hill connecting to a drainage to take the water away but recommended that this be delayed until March ’22.
Update Reports on items on the Agenda –
- Notice Boards – Cllr. Tierney advised the new board at School House had been installed. The board on Horse Road is still under renovation. Action – HT.
- Oak tree – The Chairman advised the group had met last week. David Darwood applying for different Grants and once an offer has been obtained, the Group will come up with different schemes within the price range of the Grant. It had been agreed at the last meeting that the Parish Council would pay for any further work required to make the tree safe.
Action – Chairman
- Lengthsman – Cllr Barnes advised he had contacted Dave Cook who has agreed to take over the role as the Lengthsman for the Parish Council. He has the appropriate level of insurance cover and Cllr Barnes will hope to go through the paperwork with him during the next week with a possible start date before the next Parish Council meeting in March. Action – RB
- Parish Signs – Cllr Barnes advised these are with Denise Wright, the agreed sign is separated into three sections representing items in the Parish. The Council had agreed to pay part of the cost to enable the new design as it was necessary for this to be burnt into the wood.
Action – RB.
- Grit bins – It has been agreed to discuss with Balfour Beatty about the cost of replacing grit bins where necessary later in the year. All bins are full at the present time. It was suggested that two additional bins are required in Burtons Lane and the Chairman agreed to prepare a summary of what she has found which can be forwarded to Balfour Beatty later in the year.
Action – Chairman.
- Pool Piece – An accompanied inspection has taken place by Wicksteed and their report circulated to all Councillors. Nothing of any serious nature was found or reported following the inspection.
Items for consideration –
- Nature Recovery Plan for Malvern Hills AONB – Paul Esrich had sought advice whether the Parish Council wished to make any recommendations for improvement of the AONB but Cllrs did not consider any comment was required.
- Queen’s Jubilee – The Memorial Hall Chairman advised that a tea party was proposed on 2nd June 2022 and it was agreed to wait and see if the M/Hall Committee come up with any further suggestions which the Parish Council might be able to facilitate and join in with them.
- Parking on Ledbury Road – Concerns had been raised over the number of vehicles parked on the road during development of the site. Cllr Williams advised the Developer was aware of the problem and had indicated that once the entrance road was established he would be able to move some of the vehicles on site. Cllr Williams had reported it to the Police and asked for advice on the legality of the parking but to date no reply had been received from them. Cllr Harvey advised there should be a traffic management plan for the site and she kindly agreed to look into the matter.
- The “3 Shires Rally” – advice received that the rally will take place again in September 2022 using the same route as last year.
- Individual Councillor Roles – Agreed to defer this until the March 2022 meeting and Cllrs asked to come up with their thoughts and suggestions.
- Councillor Vacancy – Herefordshire Council has advised the Clerk that there had been no call for an Election following the resignation of Kiel Shaw thus enabling the Council to co-opt a new Councillor.
Financial matters – To approve payment of the following Invoice for December 2021 when no Parish Council meeting had taken place.
- Clerk Salary – December 2021 £298.60.
The following Accounts are also presented for payment at this meeting –
- Clerk – Salary January 2022 £298.60.
- Wicksteed – inspection P/Piece £86.00. + £17.20.
- HMRC – PAYE to 05/01/22 £51.40.
- Kevin Read – grass cutting P/Piece £277.50.
- Tierney – materials @notice board on Horse Road £56.72.
On a proposal by Cllr Williams seconded by Cllr Barnes the above payments were authorised and approved for payment.
Reports from Council Representatives –
- Memorial Hall – Cllr Barnes advised the Committee were keen to proceed with the construction of a new outside shelter, the annual health & safety inspection had been carried out in November, a tea party on Thursday 2nd June was planned for the Queen’s Jubilee and the Committee enquired if the Parish Council had any proposals, the idea of HEPA air filters was shelved due to cost, ongoing action to establish more coherent file storage and bank and bookings were down due to Covid but the bank balance remained healthy. Next meeting to take place on Monday 7th March at 7.30pm.
- The Pleck – No report available due to the absence of Cllr. Tearle for personal reasons.
- Planning – Cllr Williams advised no applications had been received since last meeting in November 2021. Application submitted by Pegs Farm for change of design has been withdrawn and he advised there was no further information on the viaduct site but Cllr. Harvey agreed to chase the matter up.
- The Clerk advised she had signed the Hire Agreement for the Memorial Hall meetings on the authorisation of the Chairman.
- A letter was read out from BBLP assuring the Parish Council that all areas in the Parish had received a verge cut during this current financial year and it was confirmed that the Parish Council plan to revert to the verges being cut twice yearly in the year 2022/23.
The Annual Parish Meeting would take place on 25th April and Councillors were asked to consider whether a Speaker might be approached for the meeting.
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.35pm.
D. Williams 28th March 2022.