Minutes 13 April 2016

Minutes of Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council Meeting Held at the Village Hall at 7.30 Pm on Wednesday 13 April 2016

PRESENT Mr S Broom (Chairman); Mrs R Thomas (Vice Chairman); Mr A Davies; and Mr W Hall.

IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; Mr R Bayliss, footpaths contractor; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk.

16/1 Apologies for absence – Cllrs. T Evans and P Owen.

16/2 Declarations of Interest and requests for Dispensation – The Vice Chairman declared a disclosable interest in the appointment of G & OD Thomas as lengthsman contractor.  Cllr. W Hall declared a non-pecuniary interest in the appointment of G & OD Thomas as lengthsman contractor.

16/3 Minutes of the last meeting – The minutes of the meetings held on 10 and 29 February 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record.

16/4 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no members of the public present.  The footpaths contractor said he is standing by and ready to start work on maintaining the parish’s footpaths.

16/5 Planning – Herefordshire Council has granted outline approval re: planning application 152296 Land at Spout House.  Planning application 153508 Land adjacent Upper House has been refused by Herefordshire Council.

16/6 Financial items

  1. a) The following payments were agreed: HMRC, PAYE for period to 5 April 2016 (£89.40); The Clerk, expenses, May 2015-March 2016 (£75.01); and the Clerk, wages, February-March 2016 (£179.14).
  2. b) Richards Castle Parish Council website: three quotations were considered for the building and maintenance of a new website. The parish council agreed to appoint Eyelid Productions on the basis of more cost-effective hosting costs.
  3. c) P3 and lengthsman contracts: the 2016-17 P3 footpaths and lengthsman scheme contract with Balfour Beatty was agreed by the parish council, and signed by the Chairman. Hitrees and G & OD Thomas were appointed as lengthsman contractors for 2016-17, and the Chairman signed contracts with both contractors. It was noted that G & OD Thomas’ role is to help with the preparations for the Soapbox Derby, which in 2015 was done at no cost to the parish.
  4. d) Beacon at Hanway Common, 21 April 2016: The meeting noted that the parish council insurers will provide cover for the event for no additional charge. The donation of £75.00 made by the parish council to help the community mark the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen will be provided once requested by the organisers.
  5. e) Mr K L Adams was appointed as internal auditor for the parish council accounts.

16/7 Reports from parish councillor representatives

  1. a) Church/ Village Hall: The Vice Chairman said the village hall officers remain the same following the AGM. The bookings are at a healthy level with 40 or more bookings per week achieved. Village hall finances are good.   The ‘open gardens’ event on 11-12 June 2016 will be held to mark the official 90th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
  2. b) Footpaths: Cllr. Hall offered to look after footpaths in 2016-17. The parish council thanked Cllr. Hall. A footpaths officer briefing will be arranged with Balfour Beatty’s locality steward.  Hall kindly agreed to contact the footpaths contractor, Mr Bayliss, following the meeting to review outstanding work.
  1. c) Lengthsman: The meeting asked the Clerk to be the footpaths co-ordinator for G & OD Thomas in regard to the preparations for the Soapbox Derby. Hall said he will ask Hitrees to cut the pavements, green and crossroads when necessary and within the budget highlighted in the annual maintenance plan.
  2. d) Highways/ Neighbourhood Plan: There was no report.

16/8 Clerk’s Report – Balfour Beatty is developing a schedule of costs, including the design and specification of village gates.  They will not provide estimated costs, even for a site meeting, until this schedule is completed.  The completion of the schedule is expected to take several months.  A member of the public and ex-councillor has kindly agreed to provide some copies of the Millennium Map to replace those that have worn out at the Black Pool and Old Church.

16/9 Dog fouling, Castle Road – The meeting agreed to place a notice in Castle News and on the noticeboard to remind dog walkers to clear up after their pets.  The Clerk was asked to write and place the notice.  This is in response to a rise in the incidents of dog fouling, particularly on Orchard Rise and Castle Road.  The parish council agreed to purchase 500 dog bags which will be available to the public.  The place where dog bags are held for members of the public to collect will be confirmed.

16/10 Draft Neighbourhood Development Plan –  The parish council agreed to postpone this matter in order to allow members more time to consider the draft plan.  It was agreed to hold a short extraordinary meeting at 6.30pm on Monday 25 April 2016 for this purpose.

16/11 Extended 490 bus service to Ludlow – The parish council agreed to provide £1,000 to Herefordshire Council to help maintain a daytime service to Ludlow during 2016-17.  It was agreed to request that the route via the A49 and Sheet Road is maintained once Ludford Bridge re-opens, as it is believed to be increasing the number of people using the service.

16/12 Consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy – The parish council believes the rates are prohibitively expensive and will discourage development.  The instalment policy is supported.

16/13 Report from the Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said £660,000 in additional funding has been provided by government for repair of potholes.  Cllr. Bowen will meet the head of Balfour Beatty shortly and will urge that repairs are more effective and less short term.  One option suggested to Herefordshire Council is to use a proportion of reserves, or borrow more money to get the roads up to scratch.  Litter pick kits are available from Balfour Beatty.  The proposal to make all schools academies is a challenge.

Cabinet is due to appoint an agent for the sale of the county smallholdings.  Half of the smallholdings are retirement or lifetime tenancies.  The parish council asked what arrangements are in place to maintain the smallholding while it is being sold, and Cllr. Bowen said he will put this question to Herefordshire Council.

16/14 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – Enhanced lengthsman scheme, dog fouling update, signs for Post Office Lane.

16/15 The Joint Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Meeting will be on Tuesday, 24 May 2016.  Further meetings were scheduled for 28 July, 29 September and 1 December.  The meeting closed at 9.05 pm.


Minutes of Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council  Extraordinary Meeting Held at the Village Hall at 6.30 Pm on Monday 25 April 2016

PRESENT Mr S Broom (Chairman); Mrs R Thomas (Vice Chairman); Mr A Davies; Mr W Hall; and Mr P Owen.

IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk.

16/16 Apologies – Cllr. T Evans.

16/17 Declarations of Members Interest and requests for Dispensation – The Vice Chairman declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in land highlighted for development by the draft neighbourhood plan.

16/18 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no members of the public present.

[The Vice Chairman left the meeting]

16/19 Draft Neighbourhood Development Plan – The parish council reviewed the draft neighbourhood plan and agreed that it should go forward for public consultation under Regulation 14.  The public consultation will be for the period 7 May to 20 June 2016.  During this time the draft plan will be available on the neighbourhood plan website, www.richardscastle-ndp.co.uk, and copies can be borrowed from members of the steering group, or read at the village hall and Castle Inn.

The meeting closed at 7.01 pm.