MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 28 JULY 2016
PRESENT Mr P Owen; Mr S Greetham; and Mr W Hall.
IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk.
The parish council agreed that Cllr. P Owen will chair the meeting.
16/47 Apologies for absence – Cllrs. S Broom (Chairman); R Thomas (Vice Chairman); T Evans; and Mr A Davies.
16/48 Declarations of Interest and requests for Dispensation – None.
16/49 Minutes of the previous meetings – The minutes of the meetings held on 24 May, 29 June and 20 July 2016 were approved and signed as a correct record.
16/50 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no members of the public present.
16/51 Financial items
a) The following payments were agreed: R Thomas, flowers for planters and biscuits at litter pick (£35.22).
b) A £500.00 threshold was set for emergency expenditure by the Clerk between meetings. If any such expenditure is made, the Clerk will provide a full report at the next available parish council meeting.
16/52 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Church/ Village Hall: There was no report.
b) Footpaths: Cllr. Hall reported that the briefing with Balfour Beatty’s locality steward had to be postponed and will be rescheduled.
c) Lengthsman: It was noted that the lengthsman and P3 footpaths grant will no longer be available from Herefordshire Council by 2019-20. The schemes will continue, but will need to be funded completely from parish council funds. The Clerk will ask the lengthsman to spray weeds on the pavement and gutters at Castle Road, Orchard Rise and Springfields (when the weather permits). A notice will be placed in Castle News to let people know that there is no local stock of sandbags maintained by the parish council, and that lightweight alternatives are available commercially. From 2016 Balfour Beatty will make the bags available to parish councils but not the sand.
d) Highways: Cllr. Greetham has approached Balfour Beatty’s locality steward to arrange a meeting. Ward Cllr. Bowen kindly offered to help facilitate the meeting and will ask Balfour Beatty to clear gullies in the parish. Balfour Beatty is hosting a Traffic Regulation Order workshop on 4 August 2016.
e) Neighbourhood Plan: The Clerk said there is a meeting of the steering group on 10 August 2016, which will review the representations made under the Regulation 14 public consultation, including proposed amendments to the draft neighbourhood plan. It was agreed to hold a joint parish council meeting with Orleton Parish Council on 1 September 2016 to review the representations schedule, list of alterations and proposed changes to the neighbourhood development plan.
16/53 Clerk’s Report – Damaged road sign and worn road markings at crossroads of Castle Road and Woodhouse Lane have been reported to Balfour Beatty. The staging date for automatic enrolment was 1 July 2016, which requires a declaration of compliance by 1 December 2016.
16/54 Planning – Herefordshire Council has granted planning permission re: 161852 Bank Cottage. Prior Approval has been refused by Herefordshire Council for 161743 Barn at Brightall Coppice.
16/55 Quotation for signs – The parish council agreed the quotation for one sign to place at Post Office Lane (£265.00) and one sign with posts to place at Castle Road (£338.75). The Post Office Lane sign will be reviewed by local residents before the order is made.
16/56 Children Crossing sign at the Bury – The meeting agreed to support Ward Cllr. Bowen’s request to Balfour Beatty to place a ‘Children Crossing’ sign on the B4361/2 near the Bury following a recent shunting of the school bus.
16/57 Travellers Sites Development Plan consultation – The consultation was noted. Ward Cllr. Bowen said Herefordshire Council is looking for an appropriate new transit site near Leominster and Ross on Wye.
16/58 Model standing orders – The parish council agreed unanimously and without amendment to adopt the proposed standing orders.
16/59 Report from the Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said that by 2020 Herefordshire Council will receive virtually no financial support from government. The expectation is that the council will be able to fund itself via business rates, but some form of equalisation is needed given the uneven spread of large businesses across England. Herefordshire Council has been recognised for the efficiency of its pothole repairs, however there is more that could be done. Ward Cllr. Bowen said he has urged the council to use reserves or borrow funds to make the roads better, as was done two years ago. There are now two hotboxes making road repairs.
Herefordshire Council will be looking after a number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, which will be funded by the government. Most of these children will be based in Hereford and Leominster. The scrutiny committee is going to be looking at the proposed Economic Master Plan for Herefordshire. Parish councils are encouraged to propose ideas to regenerate and grow the local economy. Communications is under review, including rebranding of the logo, and making the website easier to use. It is accepted that around 11 percent of the population want to access council services directly via telephone and face-to-face and provision will be made to enable this to continue.
16/60 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – There were no matters raised.
16/61 The next meeting will be on Thursday, 29 September 2016. A joint meeting with Orleton Parish Council will be held on Thursday 1 September 2016.
The meeting closed at 8.57 pm.