Minutes of a meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on Tuesday 30th November 2021 in the Memorial Hall.
Present – Cllrs. J. Jones (in the Chair) D. Williams, H. Tierney and R. Barnes.
Prior to the meeting commencing it had been questioned by the Councillors who had already arrived as to whether the meeting should go ahead due to the fact that only the smaller room was available, but if it did, then they had requested that everyone including all Councillors and the Clerk should be wearing masks during the meeting in accordance with Government regulations and that social distancing would be possible. As the main hall was already occupied and due to the restricted space available in the Committee Room and also the new Government regulations regarding the new virus coming into force that morning, it was felt necessary to restrict the number of people attending and therefore members of the public would not be able to attend. Prior to the meeting commencing the members of the public who were in the hallway were therefore politely asked not to attend on health and safety grounds and were advised that we would discuss any items they particularly wished us to raise.
Apologies for inability to attend the meeting had been received from Cllr. J. Tearle and County Councillor Liz Harvey.
Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 28th September 2021 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman subject to amendment of a couple of typing errors.
Resignation – It was with regret that the resignation of Kiel Shaw was accepted. The Clerk to proceed with notifying the Elections Office at Herefordshire Council and displaying the vacancy notices.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – none received/declared.
Open Session –
- Liz Harvey had apologised for inability to attend the meeting due to ill health.
- Prior to leaving Peter Constantine had enquired about the verge cutting which had been reduced down to one cut during the year. It appeared neither Floyds Lane or The Common had been cut and the Clerk was to enquire whether only certain class of roads were cut and whether there were any proposals for the cut to be completed for this year. It has been agreed that the Parish Council will revert back to the twice yearly cut during 2022.
Update Reports –
- Notice Boards – Cllr Tierney advised the board at the junction of Horse Road has been taken down for renovation by Jeremy Newby and it was noted that the ply board for this has been donated to the Council. The new board for erection outside Old School House will be checked to see if existing weather proofing is adequate prior to it being erected in due course.
- Drainage Problems – Cllr. David Williams proposed a vote of thanks to both Peter Constantine and Norman Brown for their detailed regarding the history of ownership of the
- Farmers Arms car park, the route of the public right of way (PROW) through the car park and the lack of any title of ownership of pub lane.
Norman Brown had listed a number of possible options for improving the perennial and worsening surface water drainage problems on Pub lane. It was noted that the developer responsible for building two new homes with access onto Pub Lane had at some time offered to resurface the lane with tarmac. This offer had been accepted by some residents and rejected by others and was no longer planned. The status of Pub Lane as thoroughfare was discussed. Cllrs believed that it was essentially a footpath. The term “driftway
has been used but this appears to refer only to its ancient use as a route for driving (or drifting) cattle and other livestock. In view of its status as a PROW, further enquiry will be made via Balfour Beatty in an attempt to answer the question as to who has principal responsibility to investigate and maintain drainage pipes and grids on Pub Lane as well as those feeding into Pub Lane. Cllr Tierney will lead this.
As yet no reply has been received to the letter highlighting concerns regarding surface water drainage sent to Herefordshire Council and Bill Wiggin MP.
The clerk has already chased up a response.
- Viaduct Site – There was nothing further to report on this development – no plans received to date.
- Oak Tree – Quotations received for the various options which were available regarding the oak tree. The Chairman is part of the Group looking into the future of the tree and she and David Darwood have looked at the work available for sculpting the tree. The tree would have to be reduced in height and the question of fund raising had been considered .
Following considerable discussion, it was agreed that the working group are given permission to go forward and present their preferred findings to the Parish Council to enable public consultation to take place and seek the views of the parishioners.
In the meantime, the Parish Council agreed to pay for any work which is deemed immediately necessary to make the tree safe and would contribute a certain amount for the proposed design work. Action – Chairman & group.
- Pool Piece – an accompanied inspection is booked for 9th December 2021 when David Darwood will attend on behalf of the Parish Council. Action – David Darwood.
- Lengthsman – There had been no response to advertisements for a Lengthsman. The Chairman advised that local resident Dave Cooke was prepared to be appointed as the Parish Lengthsman following his semi-retirement from his business and Cllr. Barnes agreed to make contact with him in the New Year.
The village signs have been taken down and were considered to be beyond repair. A new design was discussed and agreed at a cost of about £200. plus an amount for work already done by Jeremy Newby for taking the signs down. Cllr Barnes was unanimously given the go ahead to proceed with the replacement signs. Action R. Barnes.
- Grit Bins – Councillors agreed to carry out a survey of the grit bins in the Village and produce a comprehensive list of the condition of the bins, those which need replacing and/or repair. Once the list to hand, this would be forwarded to Hereford Council/Balfour Beatty but it was noted that the bins have already been filled up with salt for the winter months, including those which were falling apart. Action – all Councillors/Clerk
- Memorial Hall representative – Following the resignation of Kiel Shaw from the Parish Council Cllr Barnes kindly offered to represent the Parish Council on the Memorial Hall Committee until the Councillor vacancy had been filled.
Items for consideration –
- Update of web site – Following a recommendation from HALC, the Parish Council agreed to update the website to an official Uk. website at a cost of £150. to be set up by Mark Millmore (in close collaboration with HALC).
- Defibrillator – Cllr Williams advised the unit was still in good working order under guardianship of both himself and Simon Williamson. However, the paint work was rapidly deteriorating and it was agreed that repainting work would take place in the Spring 2022.
- Queen’s Jubilee – No official proposals had been received for this event, but the Chairman of the Memorial Hall advised in his report that the Memorial Hall Committee proposed to discuss ideas at their next meeting to be held on Monday 10th January 2022 at 7.30pm.
Financial matters –
- Budget for 2022/23 – Following a meeting of the Finance Group the Budget had been agreed and on a proposal by HT seconded by RB and carried the Budget was adopted for the following year. No comments had been received whilst this was on display on the notice board.
- Precept – Following a meeting of the Finance Group the Precept had been agreed and on a proposal by HT seconded by DW and carried, this was set at £10,500 representing a £500 increase over last year’s Precept.
Accounts paid in October 2021 when no Council meeting took place –
Clerk’s salary £298.60.
HMRC – PAYE £51.40.
On a proposal by the Chairman seconded by Cllr Williams and carried these accounts were approved as correctly paid for October 2021.
Accounts presented for payment at the meeting –
Truprint, Newsletter printing £255.00.
Clerk – salary for November £298.60.
HMRC – PAYE to 5/12.21 £51.40.
Clerk’s allowances & expenses (3 months) £129.24.
On a proposal by Cllr Barnes seconded by the Chairman and carried, these accounts were approved for payment and cheques signed.
Reports from Council representatives –
Memorial Hall – Chairman of the Group advised in writing that the Committee were looking at new outside shelter, the Monkey Island craft fair had made over £1,000, they continue to follow Government advice on Coronavirus notices etc. new representative appointed for the Bridge Club, looking at a Cloud storage system for their files, Health & Safety check carried out within next two weeks prior to renewal of hall insurance, Treasurers Report indicates bank balance remains healthy at around £50,000, bookings contract will be renewed in January 2022, Newcomer’s welcome event produced a good turn out, and discussion on Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at next meeting which will take place on Monday 10th January at 7.30pm.
NDP – Cllr Williams advised there were no changes to the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Planning – Cllr Williams advised there had been no objections to a planning application for a holiday let at Uplands.
He also advised the planning application for five dwellings at Becks Orchard was to hand – discussion and response to be agreed.
The Plecks – Cllr. Tearle not in attendance so no report available.
Information – brief update –
Bank balances remain good at £11,780 for year ending 31st March 2021 and the second instalment of the precept for the current year had been received.
Cllr Williams advised he would be resigning from the Council after the Annual Parish Meeting of the Parish Council normally held in April every year. Date to be fixed for April 2022.
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.40pm.
Jennifer Jones 24th January 2022.