Minutes of a Zoom virtual meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council
held on 28th January 2021.
In attendance – Cllrs. D. Williams (Chairman) H.Tierney (HT), R. Barnes (RB), J. Tearle (JT), and K. Shaw (KS).
Also in attendance was Peter Constantine “Community correspondent” and the Clerk.
Apologies had been received from Cllr. J. Jones and County Cllr. Liz Harvey.
Minutes – The Minutes of the Council meeting held on 15th December 2020 were taken as read, confirmed and would be signed by the Chairman.
Declaration of Interests – Cllr. HT declared an interest in the NDP on the Agenda as Site 19A South for development was part of the adopted plan and was situate immediately opposite Twinkelow Cottage.
Co-option – The Chairman welcomed Kiel Shaw onto the Parish Council. The Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed in the presence of those in attendance and Cllr Shaw (KS) agreed to send this to the Clerk together with Register of Interests form.
Open Session –
County Cllr Liz Harvey had apologised that she was unable to attend the meeting. P. Constantine confirmed he had no questions to raise.
Update Reports –
Notice Board representative – Cllr HT had kindly offered to take over this role. She confirmed she had looked at the boards and cleaned them. She had spoken to Jeremy Newby about the board at the Memorial Hall and he had agreed to take it down, wait for it to dry out and then refurbish it at a cost of approx. £100. She had looked at the cost of replacement for the boards in Horse Road junction and the Old School House, approximate cost to replace similar to the ones we have would be about £740. including delivery. Discussion took place and it was agreed to replace one board at a time to see whether they were what the PC required and she and KS would decide whether new posts were required which would be at an extra cost, although some were thought to be concrete based. The Jubilee Board at the top of the common was in reasonable repair although the pin boards had hardened.
Trees at The Pleck and Little Pleck – Work to the trees had been carried out to avoid any damage to adjoining properties and prohibiting the use of the road. Account received for payment for £1,000. Considerable amount of debris left on site but Dave Cooke (Wayside) had agreed to pay £100. for the wood. The boundary of Little Pleck is visible from the road and will need restoring.
On a proposal by KS seconded by RB and carried it was agreed to ask Adrian Hope to do a report on the remaining trees on both sites at a cost of £150. with a possible on site meeting for Councillors to discuss the future maintenance of both sites and how the PC would like to see the sites maintained and used.
Viaduct Site – Ledbury Town Council (LTC) had received the response from the Planning Inspectorate on 16th December (copied in to us) but it merely stated that the Inspector’s report had been sent to the Secretary of State . His decision will be issued on or before 15th March 2021. No decision was made regarding the value of the contribution the Parish Council would make to LTC’s costs for resisting the proposed access for this development. Meanwhile, we await confirmation of the final adjudication by the Secretary of State.
Items for consideration –
Appoint PC Representative on the Memorial Hall Committee – KS kindly agreed to take this role on and said he would discuss what is involved with the Chairman in due course. It was confirmed that RS had taken on the role as Lengthsman Administrator.
Broadband speed – Chairman commented coverage in Parish is mixed and that he had spoken to the advice centre at Gigaclear who advised programme was ongoing but admitted there are black spots including Ochre Hill, Floyds Lane, Loxter and Hollow Lane. Gigaclear do not have option to access at the moment due to following difficulties –
- Way leave permission – obstruction by third party landowners preventing them installing their cables, and
- Section 58 permit whereby they can dig up parts of the road but awaiting permission from Hereford Council for this to take place.
Floyds Lane would be dealt with under Section 58 and Cardiff Cottage has had the work done this week. Gigaclear hope to role out fibre access throughout W/Heath by the end of March and advised that if way leave permission cannot be negotiated, they might be able to share BT Open Reach Infastructure.
Pub Lane – The Chairman had circulated the Report received from Liz Harvey who advised Neil James had taken the matter up with the developers working on the site adjacent to pub lane. The developers have requested a quote from independent drainage contractors for the repair work necessary to the collapsed storm drains. Neil James’ report had also been sent to Pub Lane residents for their information.
Responsibility for storm water, drainage, and surface water in the Village was a long standing problem and was queried whether the Parish Council can get this improved. Costs would be huge but an attempt could be made to persuade Hereford Council to support it financially as beyond PC means, but agreed the matter does need investigation. A query from Hereford Council had this week been received regarding flooding in the area and it was suggested that perhaps something could be entered onto H/Council website indicating where the problems are in the Parish.
Jobs raised by Footpath Officer – including some style repairs. Clerk advised she had queried replacement under Lengthsman Contract with B/Beatty and had advised the Footpath Officer to contact Neil James to inspect and agree what was required, and where. Once this has taken place, Clerk will report back.
Pool Piece funding – The Chairman had discussed with Dave Darwood whether the responsibility for hedge cutting could be undertaken under the PC hedge cutting scheme, thus avoiding the need for skips on a yearly basis. An estimate for £720 had been received for tarmacking the path at Pool Piece from the gate up to the swings.
DW agreed to talk with Dave Darwood and attempt to reach a settlement whereby the Parish Council give the go ahead for hedge cutting and the tarmacking work on the understanding that the PC will not be charged for a skip each year. Whilst the Parish Council do have some reserves, it was suggested that perhaps ways of raising additional funds could be investigated.
Approval of revised NDP and modification document prior to submission to Hereford Council –
DW had forwarded the documents to everyone together with a Modification Statement on the rationale of why it was done and then details of the exact way it was done and the modification statement document states why this was a worthwhile effort. If agreed we can then formally submit this to Hereford Council who will read the document and approve what we can do as a non-material change to our ND . They will then incorporate it into their site and show the revision and include the modification document alongside it. He advised that this does not change the Plan of 2018 and the status of the plan is that we have not made any material changes However, it was considered to be a very important and useful refreshment of the Plan.
On a proposal by KS it was suggested that we send it to Hereford Council in its amended state. JT seconded this action with everyone in agreement. DW agreed to let the Clerk have a letter submitting the revision to Hereford Council.
DW expressed sincere thanks to the Working Group and in particular to Frank Rozelaar who has done the work to refashion the plan and also to everyone who has contributed to the editing of the revision.
Discussion on procedures for Agendas and Minutes – Following the request, the Clerk had sought confirmation that the way this was currently done did comply with regulation orders. However, she agreed to e-mail all Councillors a copy of the draft Minutes before entering of them on the website and also to send all Councillors an e-mail reminder for any Agenda items two weeks before future meetings.
Discussion on Village assets and liabilities – JT queried what the Parish Council’s liabilities were for maintenance of their assets which included both The Plecks, the Memorial Hall, and the Oak tree as he felt that this this type of expense should be budgeted for every year. He stated he would be willing to get involved and prepare a management plan for this including The Plecks (once Adrian Hope’s report was available), the oak tree and to consider making both The Plecks into conservations areas which would then be managed by the PC and he was authorised to go ahead with some management plan for discussion at the next meeting. In the meantime, the Clerk was to ask the Contractor who had done the work on the oak tree if he would return with the remaining top soil which was at the time surplus to requirements. DW agreed to let John Tearle have a map showing footpaths in the Parish.
Pool Piece – It was further discussed regarding the request for funding to tarmac some paths in Pool Piece and on a proposal by DW seconded by KS and carried, it was agreed the PC would meet the cost of this work out of Council reserves and it was hoped agreement could be reached regarding no further expense to the PC for skips on the site.
Newsletter distribution during Covid – it was unanimously agreed to continue with the hard copy and volunteers are happy to do this with KS kindly offering to help with distribution. It was agreed to ask the distributors to be mindful of the Covid restrictions during delivery of the Newsletter.
Financial – to approve payment of the following accounts
- Clerk – salary for January 2021 £302.20.
- HMRC – PAYE £48.80
- Matt Fogarty – computer re virus £35.00.
- Ross Tree Services at The Pleck £1,000.
- Viking – computer cartridges £46.36 + £9.27 vat.
On a proposal by HT seconded by DW and carried these Accounts were approved for payment. Clerk to obtain signature of cheques. Following a query by KS, he was advised that the PC had considered online banking but had for the time being agreed to continue as at present.
Reports from Committee representatives for –
- Memorial Hall – no report available. Clerk to advise that KS was the new Parish Council Representative on the Memorial Hall Committee.
- NDP – It had been agreed that the revised Modification Statement document be submitted to Herefordshire Council.
- Planning applications – DW reported on retrospective planning application for change of use at Uplands Farm, Burtons Lane and no objections were raised to this application.
Correspondence information – Bank Account name changed to “Wellington Heath Parish Council”, Cllr Tierney added as additional signatory for cheques, precept for £10,000 had been requested and paperwork for renewal of Lengthsman Scheme for 2021/22 had been received for completion.
Councillor Reports – No complaints received about light at Swallow Farm in the past. It was agreed there might be some confusion about which outside light had been referred to. RB agreed to talk with Darren about it and the situation will be monitored. As regards the oak tree, RB had met with Neil James regarding our wish to erect an ornamental type chain around the oak tree area but had been advised that this was not possible at this time due to a complaint which had been lodged with the Ombudsman about B/Beatty.
JT was to be advised of new residents to enable the Smartwater Project to continue.
Dates for future meetings were advised with the next meeting scheduled to take place on 30th March 2021 – venue and time to be advised dependent upon the availability of the Memorial Hall during the Covid restrictions which are in place at the time according to Government guidelines.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.36pm.