Minutes 2nd December 2015

Minutes of Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council Meeting Held at the Village Hall at 7.30 Pm on Monday 2 December 2015

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

IN ATTENDANCE  Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk.  4 members of the public were present.

15/54 Apologies for absence – Mr K Butcher and Mr W Hall.

15/55 Declarations of Interest and requests for Dispensation – None.

15/56 Minutes of the last meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2015, and extraordinary meeting held on 5 November 2015 were approved and signed as a correct record.

15/57 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – Members of the public raised concerns about surface water run-off and drainage; and thanked councillors who visited Brook Corner, and suggested ideas to help keep the ditches clear and flowing.  Ward Cllr. Bowen said the locality steward has been asked to clean out ditches and culverts in the village, and he will request some road sweeping as well.  Advice from Balfour Beatty re: responsibility of landowners for hedges and ditches was noted.  Individual members of the parish council, on a personal, voluntary basis, said they will help to clear the ditch on the other side of the hedge at Brook Corner.

15/58 Planning – There were no updates on planning decisions by Herefordshire Council.

15/59 Financial items

  1. a) The following payments were agreed: Richards Castle Village Hall, meetings (£24.00); Clerk, new pair of defibrillator pads (£38.88); Clerk, wages, September-November 2015 (£268.91); and HMRC, PAYE for period to 5 January 2016 (£67.00).

In addition, the parish council agreed to make available £75.00 in the 2016-17 precept to support an event at Richards Castle to mark the Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.  Payment will be made following a formal request from the organiser(s).

  1. b) The meeting agreed to set the 2016-17 precept at £4,650. Expenditure in 2016-17 includes up to £1,000 which has been made available to contribute to local services. The Clerks salary will be set at SCP21 for 2016-17 on the basis of an average three hours per week.
  2. c) Transparency code funding: this will be considered again at the next meeting, which will review the specification and cost of the design of a new website.

15/60 Reports from parish councillor representatives

  1. a) Church/ Village Hall: The Vice Chairman highlighted the dates of the Carol Services. The Village Hall is developing a new website.
  2. b) Footpaths: Cllr. Evans said he plans to meet with the locality steward. Ward Cllr. Bowen kindly offered to facilitate the meeting.
  3. c) Lengthsman: There was no report.
  4. d) Highways/ Neighbourhood Plan: Cllr. Owen said there was a neighbourhood plan ‘walk around’ in the village recently; and the steering group is meeting shortly to discuss the outline of the neighbourhood plan.

15/61 Clerk’s Report – Meeting held with previous Clerk on 22 September 2015 to learn about Shrop.Net and posting of parish council information on the website.  Litter pick equipment booked with Balfour Beatty for the litter pick later this month – the meeting agreed to postpone the litter pick to 10am, 27 January 2016.  The Safer Roads Partnership is considering the request for enforcement on the B4361 through the village.  Sandbags are no longer able to be stored at the village hall, which means there is no local store at present.  Attended meeting with Highways England facilitated by Brimfield and Little Hereford Parish Council on 24 November 2015.  The meeting was held to ask Highways England about plans to improve road safety on the A49 at Wooferton and their perspective on the recent planning permission granted by Shropshire Council for a new access road to the A49 at Wyson.

15/62 Site meeting to review report of flooding – This matter was covered under 15/57.

15/63 Traffic Regulation Order, B4361 – The meeting noted a traffic regulation order (TRO) will be required in order for Balfour Beatty to install white gates at the Orleton end of the village.  Ward Cllr. Bowen said a TRO for this purpose would have his full support.  The Clerk will follow up the request for white gates made to Balfour Beatty earlier in 2015.

15/64 Crossroads, Woodhouse Lane/ Castle Road – To request Balfour Beatty repaints the white lines on the junction and removes excess gravel.

15/65 Meetings – The parish council will meet on 10 February and 13 April 2016.

15/66 Christmas Card project – Data Protection legislation means the parish council is unable to provide the names and details of local residents that were requested for this purpose.

15/67 Report from the Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said the scrutiny committee has recommended the majority of county smallholdings are retained.  Cabinet will take the final decision on this matter.  The new Balfour Beatty locality steward has made a good start.  A review of Balfour Beatty has found their performance to be better than the service provided by their predecessor.  Three new gritters are in place for the winter.  The precept for 2016-17 is likely to rise by 1.9 percent; and an additional 2 percent increase, which would be earmarked for social care, is under consideration.  Libraries will be supported.  Hereford library is closed until the asbestos that was found is removed at an estimated cost of £1 million.

15/68 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – Sandbags.

15/69 The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 10 February 2016.  The meeting closed at 9.33pm.