MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 1 DECEMBER 2016
PRESENT Mr S Broom (Chairman); Mr A Davies; Mr P Owen; and Mr R Alden.
IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; Mr R Bayliss (footpaths contractor), and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There were no members of the public present.
16/80 Apologies for absence – Mr S Greetham. The Chairman asked the meeting to note Mr T Evans’ resignation.
16/81 Co-opt new member – Mr Roland Alden of The Hollies, Richards Castle was co-opted to the parish council. Mr. Alden signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and joined the meeting.
16/82 Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation – The Chairman declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in planning application 163593 Cider Mill. Cllrs. A Davies and P Owen declared a non pecuniary interest in planning application 163593 Cider Mill.
16/83 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record.
16/84 Report from Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said Herefordshire Council is considering membership of the West Midlands Combined Authority, most likely as a non constituent member which costs £35,000. A task and finish group is looking at the membership options.
Sixty percent of the council’s budget is allocated to adult and children’s social care. It is important to make sure key services continue. An additional £900,000 will be spent on pothole repairs. Herefordshire Council has been awarded £9.5 million following a legal dispute with the former highways contractor. The ruling may be appealed.
The Hartlebury facility will be coming on line early in 2017, and will remove the need to use landfill. As well as recycling it has been designed to generate 20MW of electricity, and local heat is available for the nearby industrial estate. It cost around £40 million, and is a joint venture with Worcestershire.
By 2020 there is likely to be little or no financial support from government, and councils will be expected to rely on business rates. Because smaller businesses are not eligible to pay business rates, there needs to be some form of equalisation with councils where large businesses are more concentrated.
The development plan for the county offers some good design ideas and should do more to support tourism. The A49 requires upgrading. The railway needs to work better; it has long sections which are single track which can cause delays. Herefordshire Council is reviewing its constitution.
16/85 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no members of the public present.
163593 Cider Mill, Castle Road, Richards Castle, SY8 4EW – Removal of existing lean-to porch to be replaced by an enclosed oak and glass porch. It was agreed to comment that: Declarations of personal non-pecuniary interests meant the parish council was not quorate to agree a comment. The remaining member did support the planning application for listed building consent.
163372 and 163373 Old Church Cottage, Castle Road, Richards Castle, SY8 4ET – Proposed demolition of garage, erection of detached single storey structure containing bedroom with en suite and erection of single storey entrance porch. The parish council agreed to support the planning application.
163375 25 Orchard Rise, Richards Castle, SY8 4EZ – Proposed first floor extension. The parish council agreed to support the planning application.
Update on planning decisions by Herefordshire Council – There were no planning decisions to report.
16/87 Financial Items
a) The following payments were agreed: Clerk, refund re: PAYE for period to 5 October 2016 (£80.80); Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council, refund (£1,132.64); Boy Thorne Garden Services, churchyard maintenance (£137.00); HMRC, PAYE for the period to 5 January 2017 (£80.80); the Clerk, wages October-December 2016 (£323.36); and R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance (£309.47).
b) Request to support Jubilee Room project – It was agreed to donate £350.00 towards the cost of the acoustics project.
c) Lengthsman and P3 footpaths – The meeting agreed the Expression of Interest form for submission to Balfour Beatty.
e) Review accounts and consider the proposed precept for 2017-18 – The parish council agreed the 2017-18 budget and set the precept for 2017-18 at £5,100.00. The increase in the precept will pay for mandatory parish contributions of £580.50, which are required from 2017-18 in order to participate in the lengthsman and P3 footpaths schemes.
16/88 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Appoint representative to the Parochial Church Council (PCC). It was agreed to leave this position vacant until new councillors have joined the parish council.
b) Neighbourhood Plan: Cllr. Owen said the Regulation 16 consultation on the neighbourhood plan is underway. The distribution of a postcard to local properties was noted. The Clerk said the consultation has been publicised locally, including on the neighbourhood plan website, on the parish noticeboard and in Castle News.
c) Footpaths: Cllr. Roly kindly agreed to be the footpaths representative. A number of projects were highlighted with the footpaths contractor, including several stiles which may need to be replaced. The Clerk will arrange for Cllr. Roly to have a footpaths briefing from the locality steward.
d) Lengthsman: The meeting agreed to ask Cllr. Greetham to be the lengthsman representative, given the close link with highways.
e) Highways: There was no report.
f) Village hall: There was no report.
16/89 WWI Beacons of Light on 11 November 2018 – The parish council agreed to participate in the WWI Beacons of Light event.
16/90 Speed Indicator Devices – The parish council agreed to hire a single speed indicator device (SID) over two months, utilising the two sockets in the village, at a cost of £300.00 (+VAT). Each period of hire will be prior to 1 April 2017, if possible.
16/91 Review location of sign and/ or mirror at Post Office Lane – The parish council noted an email from Balfour Beatty stating that traffic mirrors require “the express permission of the Department for Transport… and that requires site investigation application information. Permission is very rarely given and is reserved for the very poorest of busy junctions with a significant collision history and generally only on a temporary basis and until such time as improvements are made.”
The meeting agreed to purchase three new cast aluminium road name signs for the village, including posts and fixtures, at a cost of £1,095.00 for Castle Road, Post Office Lane and Orchard Rise.
16/92 Consultation on initial proposals for new parliamentary boundaries – Noted.
16/93 BT consultation on proposed closure of telephone kiosks in Herefordshire – Noted.
16/94 Consultation on Herefordshire Council’s Local Flood Risk Strategy – Noted.
16/95 Dates for next parish council meetings – It was agreed to meet on Thursday 26 January and Thursday 6 April 2017.
16/96 Clerk’s Report – Work to reduce the crown of the oak tree on the Green will be carried out in the next couple of weeks. The cost of the work will be £50.00 less as the branches will be disposed of locally. The brash will be cleared away. A meeting has been arranged with Balfour Beatty for 8 December 2016 to review the location of a village gate at the entrance to Richards Castle on the B4361. The notice of casual vacancy following the resignation of Mr Hall has been posted on the noticeboard. Cllr. Greetham has submitted an article to Castle News which aims to help prioritise the resurfacing of Castle Road and Orchard Rise by Balfour Beatty. The automatic enrolment declaration has been made to the Pensions Regulator.
16/97 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – Support for 490 bus service in 2017-18.
16/98 The next meeting will be on Thursday, 26 January 2017. The meeting closed at 8.36 pm.