Minutes 23 February (extraordinary)

MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL EXTRAORDINARY MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2017

PRESENT Mr S Broom (Chairman); Mr R Alden; Mr P Owen (Vice Chairman); and Mr S Greetham.

IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. One member of the public was present.

16/119 Apologies – Mr A Davies.

16/120 Declarations of Members Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

16/121 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – A member of the public expressed concern at the condition of roads, specifically near the entrance to Castle Road.

Ward Cllr. Bowen said the result of a legal claim with a former highways contractor is likely to result in a windfall of £8-12 million depending on legal fees and the appeals process. The additional funding, which Ward Cllr. Bowen is pressing to be used for the road network, may help to improve roads in Richards Castle.

16/122 Balfour Beatty letter re: complaint at condition of the roads – The meeting expressed disappointment at the response from Balfour Beatty which states that there are no plans to resurface Castle Road and Orchard Rise in 2017-18. It was agreed to publish an extract of the Balfour Beatty letter in Castle News, to encourage local people to report defects as highlighted in the letter, and to begin a petition calling for the roads to be brought up to an acceptable standard.

16/123 Planning
170062 Upper House, Castle Road, Richards Castle – Conversion of a redundant agricultural building to form a dwelling. The parish council supported the proposed plans, and commented that the conversion of good quality stone buildings to dwellings is welcome.

16/124 Review draft drawings for village gate – The meeting noted the search carried out by Balfour Beatty has revealed utilities running along both sides of the B4361 at the entrance to Richards Castle from the direction of Orleton. Together with the narrow verge, this means the village gates are unlikely to achieve the impact required to change driver behaviour, as it is only possible to place posts near to utilities and not a village gate. It was agreed not to progress the village gates initiative further for the time being, and Cllr. Greetham was thanked for his work on the project.

The parish council agreed to request Balfour Beatty provide a quotation for new village signs, to include the wording “Please Drive Carefully”, and to request ideas for alternative ways to encourage drivers to keep to the speed limit.

Ward Cllr. Bowen kindly agreed to invite the Police and Crime Commissioner’s ‘Area Ambassador’ to the next meeting of the parish council on 6 April 2017.

16/125 Review lengthsman and P3 footpaths expenditure 2016-17 – A written report from Cllr. Alden was reviewed. Cllr. Alden was thanked for his work, which is being acknowledged by local landowners.

Cllr. Greetham said the lengthsman has done a good job of cleaning the kerb edgings in the village, and the telephone kiosk.

An updated summary of expenditure to include additional lengthsman expenditure of £309.00, and the cost of the six stiles purchased for footpaths was noted. The Clerk reported that Balfour Beatty has been requested to pay £751.81 to support lengthsman and footpaths activities to December 2016.

16/126 Great British Spring Clean, March 2017 – The meeting noted the WI is holding a litter pick on 8 March 2017, and agreed to organise a litter pick in autumn 2017.

The meeting closed at 8.21 pm.