Minutes of a meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council
held on Monday 28th March 2022 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm.
Present – Cllrs. D. Williams DW ( in the Chair) H. Tierney (HT), R. Barnes (RB), and J. Tearle (JT).
Apologies – An apology for inability to attend had been received from Cllr. J. Jones and County Cllr. E. Harvey.
Also in attendance were five members of the public and the Parish Correspondent Peter Constantine.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 24th January 2022 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – None declared/received.
County Cllr reported via e-mail as follows –
- A consultation on the update of general planning policies is about to start.
- Progress being made on the problems experienced by Mr. Bain and officers asking for re-evaluation of problem from BBLP and acknowledge the undertaking by Amey in 2013 to fix the problem which needs to be honoured.
- She has pointed out the misalignment of the drain gratings at top end of The Common regarding the present edge of the highway and this will be looked at to see if work needed to be done to improve drainage and catch run-off.
- No date yet for start of the Bloor site access which may create diversions/rat runs through the village whilst the roundabout on the Bromyard Road is under construction. She has written to Bloor asking them for their planned start dates and to request that they are proactive in their communications with parishes, local businesses and local ward members so that contingencies can be organised.
- Ledbury NDP remains open for comment should anyone wish to comment on safe off road route to the station from W/Heath as identified in the W/H NDP.
- BBLP Plan for 2022/23 shows intention to resurface section of The Homend from Tesco store to the station.
- She continues to pursue Gordon Kirk’s challenge of the Council’s failures in the village and the more generic point to defend encroachment upon the public ownership of the highway verge. Mr. Kirk has written to the Chief Executive and Cllr Harvey has chased a response on the specific examples in W/Heath.
- She is tracking a response on Patrick Adams’ complaint regarding the failure of the bus into Ledbury to stop for him at Horse Road.
Public Question Time –
Hamish Skinner spoke on behalf of local group of residents who have taken on the general maintenance of Pool Piece, and in particular regarding David Darwood who has worked hard for many years, at no cost to the Parish Council. By nature of the situation of Pool Piece, there are or have been considerable drainage problems on the site and a new recently constructed pathway has already been subject to storm damage on two occasions. The only cost to the Parish Council for routine maintenance is to Kevin Read for grass cutting. In a further attempt to reduce flooding, a Quote has been obtained from Mr. Warner (Construction and Fencing Ltd) who explained what work was necessary.
Following a series of e-mails, David Darwood had been very upset over some of the comments made and had announced he was resigning as Co-ordinator on the Pool Piece Group which it was agreed was a very sad loss to the Parish Council. It was therefore proposed that a Parish Councillor be appointed as Co-ordinator of the Pool Piece Group as it was appreciated that the P/Piece group and the Parish Council need to work together.
An apology was offered by a Councillor if his e-mail had been the cause of this upset. This apology was accepted. Cllr Roy Barnes advised that the application for a drainage Grant under the Lengthsman scheme will also be likely to improve the Pool Piece problems and the request for the Grant had included the work suggested by M. Warner Construction.
Thanks were expressed to David Darwood for his years of work at Pool Piece which had been much appreciated and it was noted that on more than one occasion Awards and grants had been obtained for work carried out to improve the play area.
Update Reports on matters raised at last meeting –
- Notice Boards – Boards at The Common, Horse Road and outside Old School House have all been renovated during year and repositioned. A new door will be fixed to the storm damaged board by Pool Piece. Councillors agreed to remove out of date notices on the boards closest to their home.
- Oak Tree – Prior to the meeting all Councillors had received a written progress report on the proposed work to the oak tree and the application for funding. In the absence of David Darwood, Peter Constantine had agreed to update Councillors on the current position. He advised two decisions were needed to be discussed and agreed at the meeting, as follows –
- (1) agree the appointed Sculptor as Simon O’Rourke and
- (2) ask Adrian Hope to reduce the height of the tree once the Sculptor had indicated the exact height to which it should be reduced.
It was hoped work would commence towards the end of May and be in hand during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
- The National Lottery had agreed and paid the PC an award totalling £10,000.
- A second application for an award had been agreed at £1,500.
- Local donations had been offered and it was hoped the Parish Council would agree to top up some funding if this proved necessary as work progressed.
Lengthy discussion took place to enable the necessary decisions to be agreed and on a proposal by DW seconded by RB and carried it was agreed to accept the Quotation from Simon O’Rourke. Action – Clerk & Group Representative.
It was further proposed by DW seconded by RB and carried to ask Adrian Hope to reduce the height of the tree in readiness once the precise height to which it should be reduced had been indicated by the Sculptor, and finally it was further agreed on a proposal by DW seconded by RB that the Parish Council would offer a top up of funding of up to 10% of the original cost if necessary.
- Lengthsman – RB advised David Cooke had been officially appointed as the PC Lengthsman. A drainage grant had been applied for under the Lengthsman Scheme offered by Balfour Beatty/Hereford Council to cover the cost of some drainage improvements in the Parish at the top of The Common and other areas of concern which it was hoped would improve the flooding experienced locally in heavy rain. The work to Pool Piece had been included in the drainage grant application.
Lengthsman report continued – RB advised Alison Wright had completed one of the village signs and a cheque was drawn and signed for £302.05 to cover cost of materials.
Items for consideration –
- Queen’s Jubilee – The Clerk reported on some suggestions received such as street parties, bonfires, tree planting etc. The matter was discussed and agreed that the Clerk should contact the Chairman of the Memorial Hall Committee enquiring if the Parish Council could join in with their celebrations and perhaps encourage individuals to decide on their own celebrations. Cllr Tierney will write up an article for publication in the Newsletter.
Action HT and Clerk.
- Donation of strimmer and chainsaw – Following receipt of offer from Richard Hurley via the Footpath Officer of the gift of both a strimmer and chainsaw for use by residents in the Parrish, the Clerk had taken up the matter with both HALC and the Parish Council Insurance Co. who had both urged caution in taking up the offer. Cllr Barnes agreed to notify the footpath officer thanking Mr. Hurley for the kind offer but declining to take up the offer. If approached the Parish Council would consider a donation to Footpath Group for upkeep of tools.
Action – RB.
- Work at Pool Piece – see item included in Lengthsman report.
- Annual Parish Meeting – Hall booked for 25th Clerk to see if local CSO Nick Ashby could attend to give update on local crime prevention. Action – Clerk.
- Individual Roles of Councillors – Cllr Tierney had prepared a personal note of various items covered by Parish Councillors such as Chairman, Planning Committee, Memorial Hall, Finance, Notice boards, The Plecks, Neighbourhood Watch etc. and she agreed to prepare a more detailed list and possible assignment to various Councillors to be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting. Action – HT.
- Co-option of new Councillor – It was agreed to discuss this “in closed session” at the end of the Parish Council meeting.
(g) Defibrillator – DW advised that he would continue to act as Guardian of the defibrillator following his retirement from the Parish Council after the Annual Parish Meeting in April 2022.
The Clerk sought approval for payment of the undermentioned Accounts which had been paid during February 2022 when no meeting of the Parish Council had taken place –
Clerk’s salary – February £298.60.
Jeremy Newby – notice board work and materials £314.00.
The following Accounts are presented for payment at the meeting –
Hire charges for hall for 2020 & 2021 £45.40.
Clerk, salary March 2022 £298.60.
HMRC – PAYE To 5TH March 2022 £51.40.
Truprint – Newsletter £255.00.
Clerk allowances/expenses to 31/03/22. £153.48.
On a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by RB and carried all the above accounts were approved for payment and cheques signed.
Reports from Councillor Representatives –
Memorial Hall – No report available.
The Plecks – Cllr JT advised he had not heard from the Ecologist. He therefore proposed to open up the front by taking down the wire fence and cutting back the hedging thus opening up the entrances to The Plecks. He confirmed he had spoken to the Woodland Trust and they said they would get back to him. HT agreed to speak to someone about this. Action – HT
Planning – DW advised regarding Uplands Bungalow, Burtons Lane- existing single storey bungalow application lodged to make it a dormer style without any enlargement to the overall footprint. He agreed to send out the proposed planning response to all Councillors.
The Viaduct site – see report from County Councillor on Page 2022/ 05 above. Bloor hope to start work soon but no firm date yet advised.
The Common – nothing to report regarding this application.
Site opposite Twinkelow Cottage – nothing further heard about this. Outline planning expired on the 15th February 2022, developer had been warned by Planning over expiry date and advised that it could not be considered once expired – nothing further heard since that occurred.
- Letter from resident in Little Marcle unhappy about the planned Three Shires Rally taking place in Wellington Heath. Clerk had replied that the Parish Council had been consulted, and suggested that he lodge his complaint with both the Rally Organiser and Herefordshire Council.
- Letter from local resident regarding some form of speed control in the Parish and possible road narrowing signs. Clerk had advised that there was a speed control box on the main Ledbury Road, but that the actual roads in the Village were too narrow to accommodate road signage.
Dates for all future meetings are now reported on the Parish Council website, subject to change in the event of any emergency, covid restrictions etc.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the public meeting closed at 9.45pm. Next Council meeting will be the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on 30th May 2022.
The Annual Parish meeting is scheduled for 25th April 2022 in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm.
The Council went into closed session.
Jennifer Jones 30th May 2022.