Minutes 29th September 2015

Minutes of a meeting of Wellington Heath Parish Council held on Tuesday 29th September 2015 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm

Present – Cllrs. J. Jones (in the Chair – JJ) F. Rozelaar (FR) and D. Williams (DW).
Also attending the meeting were County Councillor Liz Harvey and the Clerk.

Minutes – The Minutes of the meeting held on 21st July 2015 were taken as read, confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

Declarations of Interest in items on the Agenda – none received.

County Councillor Report – The Clerk had prior to the meeting circulated the written report from Cllr Harvey – (attached to Minutes). In addition Cllr Harvey advised the County Council were considering holding a “County Governance Review” which would need to be completed within twelve month from commencement date to involve a review of Parish Councils across the County and whether individual councils would consider joining with adjoining Parish Councils or prefer to retain their independence. Further details to follow. She also advised there was no scope to change anything in the Core Strategy indicating that the development at the viaduct in Ledbury would be accessed off the Bromyard Road, although this could be challenged when the planning application comes in.

Budget considerations continue which may affect the Lengthsman Scheme but although no date has been given for this, it may mean that the Council would have to match fund the resources from the County resulting in an impact on the Parish Council Budget/Precept. As yet it is not known whether the P3 Scheme would also be affected. In addition they were looking to reduce or cut the subsidy to rural bus services, increase car parking charges in Ledbury and she advised that the proposed caravans at Burtons Lane decision is being challenged by local residents.

Update Reports –

(a) Telephone Kiosk – held in abeyance for the time being.
(b) Road outside Swallow Farm – nothing further to report for the time being.
(c) Audit – The Clerk advised the external audit had been completed with no queries raised.
(d) NDP – The Clerk advised a grant had been received from Groundwork UK for £5,758.

Items for consideration –

(i) Little Pleck – ash trees in hedge causing some of the wall to adjoining property to deteriorate. Estimate being obtained to fell them.
(ii) Pool Pierce Stream – complaints received regarding smell, the situation of the sewers was discussed and it was agreed to monitor the situation for the time being.
(iii) Grant to Herefordshire CAB & Herefordshire Age UK – It was generally agreed that should any surplus funds exist in the Parish Council resources, these should be used in the Parish for the benefit of Parishioners.
(iv) Finance meeting to discuss Budget/Precept agreed for 5th November 2015 at 7.30pm at Woodlands, Church Road.
(v) Transparency Code – JJ & DW had attended training by HALC who had advised that the present arrangement for the website was unsatisfactory and that the PC should have their own independent website. The Clerk had also attended a separate training session where it was advised that the Council should purchase their own computer and printer for which a Grant was available. The Code and offer was discussed at some length and it was unanimously agreed that the Council take up the offers available and the application form for the computer, printer and website package was completed by the Chairman.

Finance – The Clerk advised the following accounts had been received for payment –

  • Inland Revenue, PAYE £120.00.
  • Lengthsman – July, August & September £255.00.
  • Truprint, Newslettrer £250.00.
  • Truprint, NDP £132.00.
  • HALC, Clerk training re transparency £15.00.
  • Wicksteed, ROSPA inspection @ Pool Piece £54.00.

On a proposal by DW seconded by FR and carried, these Accounts were approved for payment. Please note that in future, to give an accurate indication of expense, amounts owing will be shown exclusive of VAT as the Council are able to reclaim the value added tax charged.

Reports –

Memorial Hall – Quotation being obtained to have the floor re-sealed as it is showing many marks and scratches. Successful draw had raised over £1,300 and a Halloween Party and welcome party were planned.

Lengthsman – Credit balance from 2014/15 still in hand. Only two gates fitted. The Chairman will enquire about the fixing of the remaining gates which are understood to be in store at Ledbury Fencing. Clerk urged Councillors to spend the money before the funds for 2015/16 could be applied for and it was agreed to look urgently at some repair work at Ochre Hill and other suitable options. Clerk to request replacement of grit bin by oak tree on Church Lane which was removed following an accident and to advise Balfour Beatty that the police had been involved should a query arise regarding replacement. In the meantime, it was agreed to ask Ledbury Fencing to lay a base for the bin.
NDP – One grant received which should be spent by January 2016. Further funds applied for under Awards for All, and FR advised that the AONB had offered a donation of £2,000. Carly Tinkler preparing her Landscape Assessment and letter of authorisation had been sent to her.

Questionnaire to be compiled by Data Orchards and DW agreed to enquire of Karla Johnson at Herefordshire Council if an alternative quotation was required for this work. It was also suggested to have the NDP proposals on show at the Welcome Party in November to let Parishioners know what is going on. FR also given permission to consult Parish Council Solicitors to enquire whether there were any restrictive covenants on the land called The Pleck.

Cluster Group – FR advised the latest meeting postponed. No further information available for presentation at this meeting.

Planning – FR advised house adjacent to Farmers Arms had been approved. No further updates available but Clerk to enquire why the P/Council comments concerning house adjacent to Farmers Arms had not been displayed on the website.

Correspondence – Letters from both Age UK and the CAB seeking donations in support of their work. Letter from Wendy Hill enquiring about another Heartstart session in the Memorial Hall but it was agreed to perhaps hold these on an annual basis. Also received was the Clerks & Councils Direct Magazine.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 10.10pm.

Next meeting to be held on Tuesday, 17th November 2015, Agenda items to include general updates plus the continuing vacancies on the Parish Council.