Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on Monday 25th July 2022 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm.
Present – Cllr. J. Jones (in the chair) R. Barnes, G, Kirk, J. Tearle and H. Tierney.
Also in attendance were County Cllr. Liz Harvey, Tania Maguire, Parish correspondent Peter Constantine and the Clerk.
Minutes – The Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council held on 30th May 2022 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – none received.
Open Session –
County Councillor Liz Harvey advised as follows
- She had received an e-mail from Patrick Adams concerning the fact that the bus no longer travelled down The Common and turned in the Public House carpark. The Parish Council had not been advised that this was no longer occurring but felt it might be due to the fact that it was difficult for the bus to turn around or lack of parishioners using the bus.
- Resurfacing of The Homend due to start mid-August which would be undertaken at night. Severn Trent are working on the Ledbury Road at Beggars Ash.
- No news on the Viaduct site but work on the Bromyard Road due to commence September/October time. Reserved matters have been validated with regard to the layout.
- Local Plan still open for comment until 29th July 2022 – Parish Council urged to comment.
- Approximately 50 e-mails received about threat of withdrawal of permission for the public to walk over the track at Frith Wood House to access Frith Wood as had been the case for many years. Owners moved in in March 2022 but since then more people using the pathway with dogs, cycles and following events at the Farmers Arms. Enquiries regarding this right of way are continuing but for the time being Cllr Harvey is trying to encourage the new owners to pull back from their decision to withdraw permission for the public to walk over the track, particularly over the winter months.
- Cllr Harvey clarified her statement at the Annual meeting with regard to some services being taken off Balfour Beatty and back in house. That has not happened now because of the way that the contract has been managed in the past. However, Balfour Beatty are entitled to a short extension of their time but stated she was uncertain what would happen at the end of the extension period.
- Herefordshire Council applying to Department of Levelling up to have many Parishes designated as “rural” which will mean that developments do not have to be for ten houses in number before they qualify as affordable and PC’s can apply to reduce the number of houses.
- Cllr J. Tearle has written to the Traffic Management Team regarding some traffic calming measures but has not had any reply. Cllr Harvey will take the matter up as she agrees that this is very important for the Parish before work starts on the development at the viaduct.
Cllr Roy Barnes unhappy about Balfour Beatty clearing the ditch at the top of The Common which had needed to be done again by the Lengthsman. E-mail received from Balfour Beatty that they did not know anything about flooding problems in W/Heath and the Clerk was to send Cllr Harvey the e-mails received from both B/Beatty and MP Bill Wiggin about the drainage issues to enable her to look into the matter. The requested drainage Grant had been approved for work to be carried out by our Lengthsman. Cllr Barnes also expressed concerns over the size of the proposed houses at Becks Orchard which included a snug or office which could easily become a fourth bedroom.
Local resident Tania Maguire attending to advise and discuss with Councillors her proposed “local troughs project” which she confirmed would be carried out at her own expense. Two or three local residents have expressed an interest in adopting a trough. A query was raised regarding whether these troughs can be legally placed on land outside the boundary of individual properties. The matter was discussed at some length and it was agreed to run a trial period for three troughs and in the meantime, to ascertain the legal position of placing these on highway land.
Update Reports on matters raised at last meeting –
- Notice Board on The Common adjacent to Pool Piece has been repaired, the lock on the door is now working.
- Oak Tree project has been completed – total funding raised including Grants amounting to £13,285.00. Clerk advised VAT return has been submitted, acknowledgement received, and to date no query had been raised by the VAT office regarding the claim for repayment of the VAT paid to Simon O’Rourke when carrying out the work.
- Lengthsman – work has commenced, local resident complained and asked the Lengthsman to stop cutting down vegetation. Long list of work to be done including drainage at Pub Lane, Pool Piece and The Common. Village signs completed and back in situ. Thanks expressed for the excellent job in renewing these important signs.
- Grit Bins – Request has been lodged for six grit bins to be repaired/replaced plus an additional bin in Burtons Lane which will be the responsibility of the Parish Council/Lengthsman. Request has now been forwarded to the Operations Manager at B/Beatty who is responsible for the winter maintenance in the hope that he will add our tally to an ever increasing list.
- Damaged seat – Awaiting collection for repair from the Supplier. Quote of £150 plus VAT for the repair. The gentleman who damaged the seat has agreed to pay the charge.
- Queen’s Jubilee Party – event deemed to have been a success.
- Councillor Individual Roles – now published on the village website and notice boards.
Items for consideration –
- Vacancy following resignation of David Williams – Elections Office advise no call for an election so Parish Council free to co-opt.
- Speeding restrictions – Two requests for speeding restrictions forwarded by Cllr. J. Tearle but to date no reply received. Note – Cllr. Harvey will take this matter up direct.
- Three Shires Rally – Donation for The Plecks registered and acknowledged. We will be advised in due course if we are successful this year.
Financial matters – to approve payment of the following Accounts for June 2022 when no meeting was held –
Say it with wood, at oak tree £114.00. + £22.80 vat.
Information Commissioner – Data protection £40.00.
Clerk – Salary £314.20.
HMRC – PAYE to 5th July 2022 £60.80.
The following Accounts were presented for payment at the meeting –
First Rescue & training supplies, defibrillator pads £203.00. + £40.60 vat.
Peter Brown – donation for strimmer parts for footpath use £20.00.
- Newby – fitting village sign replacements £109.00.
Clerk – Salary July £314.00.
HMRC – PAYE to 5th August 2022 £61.00.
Clerk – allowances/expenses £104.49.
Glasdon – bin liner for dog poo bin £29.48 + £5.74 vat.
On a proposal by the Chairman, seconded by R. Barnes and carried all the above Accounts were approved for payment and cheques were signed accordingly.
Reports from Council representatives –
- Memorial Hall – Cllr Barnes advised Annual General meeting had been held when Officers had been elected including a new treasurer. Door locks/key pad changed, garden to be attended to at the end of August, Covid rules dropped although hand gel still available. Consideration had been given to installing an electric charging point but due to expense this had not been proceeded with. New Parishioner event agreed to take place on 19th November 2022.
- The Plecks – Cllr Tearle advised he had placed an item in the Newsletter asking for volunteers to help remove the undergrowth and some of the smaller saplings/self-set trees. Once this has been done, it will enable consideration to be given to what is required for the future.
- Pool Piece – Cllr Tearle advised he had received e-mails about cutting of the hedges and advised that in August volunteers will be dealing with this problem. An item should be included in the Parish Council Budget every year for work at Pool Piece, including the cost of a skip.
- Planning –
- Objection raised regarding development at Becks Orchard on the size of the houses.
- Objection raised for erection of two bay oak framed car port and electric charging point at Aspen Barn, The Common as the proposal was right on the side of the highway.
- Pegs Farm – two applications received and discussed regarding change of use to form three extra separate residential dwellings for holiday accommodation plus an oak framed garage and store. Discussion and report on previous applications received for work on the site including permission for holiday accommodation which now totalled 18. Many problems experienced on the site in the past. It was unanimously agreed to object to change of use and the proposed use of a corrugated roof on one property. The Planning Committee Chairman agreed to distribute a response for consideration by all Councillors.
- Information – brief update on important items or correspondence –
(a) VAT claim submitted covering work on oak tree. To date this has only been acknowledged.
(b) New cheque signatory form sent to Bank but not yet implemented. Clerk advised she had that day called in the Bank enquiring when this would be dealt with and a new form was received for completion.
(c) Amount of funding received for oak tree project was £13,285.00.
(d)Request submitted for repairs/replacement of grit bins. An additional one for Burtons Lane had been requested, the responsibility for which would rest with the Parish Council.
- Query regarding insurance of various groups working in the Parish – it was agreed Litter Pickers are not the responsibility of the Parish Council. The Parish Council should however know who the people are on the various groups including footpaths, Pool Piece, and the Plecks as these duties would be covered under the Parish Council Insurance.
Next meeting to take place on 26th September 2022.
There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.35pm.