Severn Trent holds information evening at village hall on 18 January 2018

Severn Trent is to start installing new water pipes at Richards Castle Shropshire from 12 February 2018.  Work will start near Overton Farm.  For more information please download – Severn Trent Water – Richards Castle Project.

A public drop in session is being held at Richards Castle Village Hall on Thursday 18 January, between 4pm and 7pm, where members of Severn Trent’s team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about this work.

Draft minutes of meeting held 23 November 2017

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

PRESENT Mr P Owen (Chairman); Ms L Munn; Mr A Davies; Mr S Greetham (Vice Chairman); and Mr R Alden.

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

17/87 Apologies for absence – None.

17/88 Co-opt two new members – Postponed to the next meeting.

17/89 Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation – Cllr. A Davies declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in planning application 174040 March Hare Cottage.

17/90 Election of Vice Chairman – Cllr. S Greetham was unanimously elected Vice Chairman.

17/91 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

17/92 Planning
[Cllr. A Davies left the meeting.]

174040 March Hare Cottage, Richards Castle, SY8 4EL. Application to vary condition 2 and remove condition 3 of planning permission P142746/F. Several members of the public present spoke against the planning application.

The parish council resolved to oppose the planning application on grounds of traffic, impact on neighbouring properties, and concern that the built form is contrary to planning permission granted under 142746, and comment that:

Because the property that the annexe is to have been ancillary to under 142746 has since been sold (High Bank Cottage), access to the annexe/ holiday cottage is now around two sides of a neighbouring private property. The parish council considers this access will cause undue traffic generation, noise, disturbance and loss of privacy to High Bank Cottage. In addition, access to the B4361 is very dangerous at this point, and the parish council believes strongly that no additional traffic should be encouraged though planning.

The parish council understands that the topography of the land on which the annexe is currently being built has been altered due to the construction of a neighbouring property on the same plot by the vendors. Excess soil from the foundations of the new property is believed to have been placed on the site where the annexe is now being built, with the result that it is significantly higher, and more imposing, than would have been the case. Also, the built form of the annexe now includes a mezzanine floor, which has raised the height of the walls and roof line, which means it is no longer the single storey building that received planning permission under 142746. Taken together, the increased height of the annexe is unacceptably imposing given the already challenging topography of the site.

Given these concerns, Richards Castle Parish Council opposes the planning application and urges that the planning authority reviews how the private sale of High Bank Cottage has altered the impact of the annexe on neighbouring properties, and how this has been exacerbated by the increased height of the built form of the annexe for the reasons set out above.

It is more than a regularisation of the original permission, and for that reason Condition 2 in planning permission 142746 should stand, and “The development carried out strictly in accordance with the plans…”. Proper weight should be given to the fact that boundary changes made since planning permission mean that the access will now significantly disturb the neighbours.

[Cllr. A Davies rejoined the meeting.]

17/93 Views and discussion from members of the parish – A member of the public was concerned at the speed of traffic on the B4361 through the village. The Chairman said the parish council is looking at further options to address speeding with the traffic advisor for West Mercia Police. Ward Cllr. Bowen said he will request a report from Herefordshire Council/ Balfour Beatty on the matter.

17/94 Report from Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said the ambulance service is rated top in the country. There is a paramedic on every ambulance, the target call out time is 7 minutes, and 4×4 emergency vehicles are available to the service. Prevention is becoming more important. There is to be more home based care to help people stay in their own homes. In February 2018, 22 beds will be closed at Hillside in Hereford, which will help to deliver the home based care.

A recent Balfour Beatty briefing at their Kingsland depot was positive given the financial constraints. Up to date methods are being used, potholes remain a problem. There have been 4-5 gritting runs so far this winter. General Scrutiny will be looking at the maintenance of the roads by Balfour Beatty in January 2018.

Ward Cllr. Bowen has asked for an overview of traffic movements in north west Herefordshire in order to devise better and safer routes, particularly for heavy goods vehicles. A mini roundabout has been proposed for the Lawton Cross junction, though since new signs were put in, there have been no reported accidents.

Herefordshire Council has been asked to be the ‘accountable body’ for the new university. A fee would be received for this. Scrutiny will be examining what this means and making a recommendation on the proposal shortly. It will be important to use the funds raised from the sale of the county smallholdings to invest in a new income generating asset such as student accommodation for the university by the new link road.

There will be no basic grant funding by government by 2020. Business rates are likely to be increasingly important. There is a proposal to pool business rates for Telford & Wrekin, Shropshire, and Herefordshire.

17/95 Financial Items
a) The following payments were agreed: Boy Thorne Garden Services, churchyard maintenance (£144.50); Defib Pad (Safelincs), defibrillator battery (£241.79); HMRC, PAYE for period to 5 January 2017 (£81.60); Clerk, expenses April-November 2017 (£165.82); Clerk, wages, Q3, 2017-18 (£326.61); and HALC, in-house training, 19 Sept. 2017 (£204.30). Richards Castle (Shropshire) will be approached to request that the cost of the defibrillator battery is split equally between the parishes.
b) Planter to mark entrance to the village – The meeting considered a proposal from Cllr. Greetham to locate one new planter to the south of the village on the B4362. It will be located 50 centimetres from the edge of the road. A budget up to £100.00 was agreed. Cllr. Greetham kindly offered to source the planter. It was noted that Balfour Beatty has yet to respond to the request for a cultivation licence.
c) Rock crossroads signpost and new village signs – A budget of £244.00 was agreed for the repair and cleaning of the Rock crossroads signpost by the enhanced lengthsman. It was agreed to add two signs for ‘Woodhouse Lane’ in order to help direct local deliveries – the new signs will be similar in design and colour to the existing signs and the lettering placed over two lines. The cost of the new Woodhouse Lane signs will be agreed at the next meeting.

It was agreed to purchase two new village signs at a cost of £68.08 which will be installed on the existing 30 mph posts to the south of the village on the B4361. The wording will be: ‘Richard’s Castle Please drive carefully’, and the signs put up by the enhanced lengthsman.
d) Authorisation of payments to the footpaths contractor between parish council meetings – The Clerk was delegated to make payments to the footpaths contractor provided the total cost is no more than £300.00. All payments authorised in this way will be reported to the parish council at the next meeting following the payment.
e) To consider advice from HALC re: transparency code grant application – The advice to maintain separate computers for each Richards Castle parish council was noted. Currently, the parishes share a single laptop purchased by Shropshire with a transparency code grant. The parish council felt it was not necessary to have an additional laptop as each computer would require maintaining, and if one was purchased to hold in reserve it would quickly become obsolete given the dynamics of the computer industry. The Clerk was asked to obtain a cost for Microsoft Office and complete a Transparency Code grant application for the next meeting.
f) Review accounts and consider the 2018-19 precept – The current financial year 2017-18 was reviewed. The precept for 2018-19 was set at £6,850.00, up from £5,100.00. The increase will pay for the lengthsman (£1,500.00), and help prepare for new data protection regulations which come into force in May 2018 (£500.00).

17/96 Cabinet member response to the highways petition – A letter responding to the roads petition from the cabinet member for roads and transport was reviewed. It was agreed to publish the letter on the website and to take up the offer to “meet to provide any further explanation that may be required and to set out how the Community Commissioning Model might be utilised by the Parish to invest in the condition of these roads that are clearly a matter of local concern”. The cabinet member will be invited to the next meeting of the parish council, and also to review the roads at an appropriate site meeting in daylight.

17/97 Seasonal event to mark planting of the new tree at Orchard Rise – The work is scheduled for the week beginning 4 December 2017. An event to mark the new tree will be considered in 2018.

17/98 Options to address speeding through the village – West Mercia’s traffic management advisor has offered to meet in the village to review the options to address speeding. Cllrs. Munn, Greetham and Alden agreed to meet during daylight hours. Suggestions and recommendations from the site meeting will be brought to the next parish council meeting.

17/99 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council (PCC): Cllr. Munn said there is a new vicar, and contact is expected to be made soon.
b) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said reported that all footpaths and bridleways have now been walked, inspected and many remedial repairs and way marking undertaken. There is still ongoing maintenance, and a few posts with markers will be replaced this winter. A summer Parish Walk is planned in conjunction with the 2018 Herefordshire Walking Festival. A brief summary paper on the recently issued Herefordshire County Council ‘Rights of Way Improvement Plan 2017-2027 has been prepared. The key message is to keep open and well maintained the PROW network for all to enjoy.
c) Highways: Cllr. Greetham raised a concern at a recent pothole repair carried out near Kington, and it was agreed to make a formal complaint to Balfour Beatty. A meeting will be requested by Ward Cllr. Bowen.

d) Lengthsman: There was no report.
e) Village hall: There was no report.

17/100 Parish council communications – Cllr. Alden kindly offered to draft the next Parish Council article for publication in Castle News.

17/101 Boundary Commission consultation on revised proposals for West Midland Constituency boundaries – The matter was not considered.

17/102 Herefordshire Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan – Cllr. Alden provided a summary in the footpaths report under 17/99.

17/103 Herefordshire Local Plan, Travellers Sites Development Plan Document Pre- Submission Consultation – The matter was not considered.

17/104 Neighbourhood Planning event for Parishes with an adopted NDP – The matter was not considered.

17/105 Dates for next parish council meetings in February and April 2018 – The following meeting dates were agreed: 25 January, 22 March and 24 May 2018 (Annual Meeting). The Annual Parish Meeting will be held jointly with Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council on 22 May 2018.

17/106 Clerk’s Report – Postponed to next meeting.

17/107 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – Annual Parish Meeting on 22 May 2018.

17/108 The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 25 January 2018.

The meeting closed at 10.05 pm.

Cabinet member responds to roads petition

CONDITION OF ROADS IN RICHARDS CASTLE

The Necessary Resources

Funding for the maintenance of the highway asset comes in two forms revenue and capital. The council’s medium term financial strategy assumes that the revenue support grant received from central government will disappear and in terms of its revenue budgets, the council will have to depend on its own revenue income, such as council tax and business rates.

In regard to road maintenance our revenue budgets are only utilised to deliver reactive/make safe repairs, emergency maintenance functions and forms of maintenance that do not enhance the value of life of the highway asset (examples of revenue funded maintenance include grass cutting, street cleaning and drainage clearance). All works that are intended to enhance the value or life of the highway asset (such as programmed pothole repairs, road surface treatments and resurfacing, bridge strengthening and the installation of new drainage systems) are funded from capital budgets.

Capital funds are provided to the council through central government grants for roads or via council borrowing. In terms of local government accounting requirements the council is free to invest its revenue funding in any form of works on or to the highway asset. However, there are two criteria that have to be met for highways expenditure to be met from capital budgets (capitalised). Those criteria are:

1. It is probable that the future economic benefits or service potential associated with the item will flow to the authority; and

2. The cost of the item can be measured reliably.

In order to capitalise any works to the highway asset the council must evidence that those works provide enhancement in a way that it is probable that future economic benefits or service potential associated with the expenditure will flow to the council. As such expenditure that extends the useful life or increases the level of performance of an asset (or increases the fair value of the asset in some other way) would be capital.

For expenditure to be classed as capital the council must demonstrate that any intervention is part of a system of work that will either:

• Increase the useful life of the asset;
• Increase the value of the asset; or
• Both of the above.

The council must ensure through its asset management regimes that the comparisons between asset life as a result of its systems of work and the asset live that was anticipated, and recorded in the accounts for depreciation purposes, is a realistic one.

Whilst it is commonly understood that ‘wholesale’ replacement of the highway and/or parts of the underlying layers of the carriageway (say) do result in the rejuvenation of the asset, and as a consequence such works can be capitalised, codes of practice are not prescriptive as to the scale of activity that can be counted as capital expenditure. What is important is that capital works are part of a whole system that extends the life or value of the asset.

Works that simply maintain asset value and/or life are typically initiated as a reaction to a failure that results in a significant loss of functionality or has rendered that component of the asset (locally) unsafe. Where the council is driven to simply correct the failure on safety grounds its intervention cannot be funded from capital as, by definition, the assets value or life has simply been restored to its rightful place on its deterioration curve.

In the absence of a need to react to an emerging defect on safety grounds, we have the opportunity to deliver designed solutions that not only makes any defect safe but also prevents early or acute deterioration. Such responses can (at least in part) be funded from our capital budgets, but by virtue of being a designed solution may take longer to deliver.

Having longer to respond to a level of defectiveness in the asset, on the grounds that it does not currently present a significant hazard to users is not in itself legitimise the use of capital funding for its treatment. It is important that the solution specified does, as part of a whole system, enhance asset value and life to a place that is ‘above’ the expected deterioration curve.

Understand the split between capital and revenue works is important as it is the council’s revenue budgets that will be under increasing pressure as the demand all council services funded from the council’s revenue budgets increases and the available revenue budget declines.

Through the use of sound asset management practices will constrain the demand for responsive activities (that can only be funded by our revenue budgets) to a level that the residents of Herefordshire can afford. Through this approach we will constrain and potentially reduce the demand for reactive maintenance activity. Through the proper application of asset management will avoid an (potentially forced) escalation in our revenue budgets through the demand for responsive activities.

Going forward the capital maintenance grants from central government are composed of three components, they are:

• The Formula Grant Allocation;
• The Incentive Fund;
• The Challenge Fund.

The formula grant allocation is largely dependent on the extent of the asset. This element was increased in 2014, but we will see it decline over time.

The shortfall in the decline in the formula allocation will (largely) be taken up by the Incentive Fund. This element will be awarded on the basis of each highway authority’s proven ability as an efficient and effective asset manager.

There are 3 bands of performance, band 1 will only receive 90% of its allocation under this fund in 2016/17 and see this diminish to 0% by 2020/21, band 2 will receive 100% of its allocation under this fund in 2016/17 and see this diminish to 30% by 2020/21; and band 3 will receive 100% funding throughout.

As a result of Herefordshire’s exemplary approach to the development and deployment of asset management we have attained and are sustaining band 3 status. So we are receiving all of our incentive fund allocation from Government.

The final element is the challenge fund, this is a bid process that was first run in December 2014, and the second tranche will be held earlier this year. The council’s bid to the first tranche did not succeed, but our bid to the second tranche did, which our success having been announced on 1 August 2017. It is this money (£5 Million, the maximum that could be awarded through this tranche) that, together with £3 Million from our own capital programme, that is enabling our current extensive works to the A4103, A438 (west of Hereford) and the A465 (South West of Hereford).

Further, the council has already made a major investment in the highway asset (an additional £20 Million for carriageways in 2014/15 and 2015/16) and in street lighting and after having developed its business cases for each, proving that they provide value for money and their successful delivery will meet the council’s objectives through our asset management strategy. In taking forward our asset management strategy, we will realise the return on these considerable investments and use the experience of these investments to verify and secure the return on all future investment of funds in the asset. Asset management provides the council with the tools to continue to be able to do this well.

We are currently considering further investment in roads and bridges through our own capital programme and we will continue to bid for government funds at all opportunities.

Whilst we are doing all we can to maintain all funding for the County’s roads and ‘bring all available resources to bear’ and use systems of works that will curtail, so far as is able, the demand for expensive reactive work, given the fact that our highways are an aged asset, it will take a substantial and sustained investment in roads to return the entire network into the condition that many would like to see it. As such we will continue to have to prioritise our works towards those activities that will achieve the best results for Herefordshire over the whole life of the asset. By taking a preventative approach, wherever we can, we will get a better return on our investment. This as a timely treatment with a lower cost solution will extend the life of a road, and it’s far better that we do that for a good number of roads, than invest in the expensive repair of a few roads that have ‘fallen apart’ only to see the good number fall apart for want of that timely preventative treatment. Prevention will be better than cure.

What does this mean for Richard’s Castle?

Castle Road, Woodhouse Lane and Orchard Rise have all been assessed as part of our regular road condition surveys and are all routinely inspected for safety defects in accordance with our highway maintenance plan. Based on their current condition, these particular roads are prioritised for preventative maintenance as follows:

·         Woodhouse Lane: has a low priority score of 0.2
·         Orchard Rise: has a priority score of 1
·         Castle Road: has a priority score of 25

Putting this in context, and considering the county as a whole, currently our highest priority schemes are scoring 67 at present and we are hoping to tackle those schemes that score over 50 in the coming year’s annual plan. The works to resurface Castle Road, Woodhouse Lane and Orchard Rise is estimated at c£195,000.

Both the Head of Highways and Community Services and I will welcome a meeting with the petitioners to provide any further explanation that may be required and to set out how the Community Commissioning Model might be utilised by the Parish to invest in the condition of these roads that are clearly a matter of local concern.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Barry Durkin
Cabinet Member – Transport & Roads

Agenda – Richards Castle (Hereford) PC – Thursday 23 November 2017

Notice is hereby given that the next Meeting of Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 23 November 2017 at the Village Hall

1. Apologies for absence

2. Co-opt two new members to the parish council

3. Declarations of Interest and Written Requests for Dispensation
[Declaration of any disclosable pecuniary interest in a matter to be discussed at the meeting whether or not it is included in the register of interests. Members are reminded that they are required to leave the room during discussing and voting on matters in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest whether or not the interest is entered into the register of members’ interests maintained by the Monitoring Officer.]

4. Election of Vice Chairman

5. Minutes of the previous meeting – 12 October 2017

6. Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward

7. To invite views and discussion from members of the parish

8. Planning
174040 March Hare Cottage, Richards Castle, SY8 4EL. Application to vary condition 2 and remove condition 3 of planning permission P142746/F.
Update on planning decisions/ enforcement by Herefordshire Council.

9. Financial Items
a) Payments to approve:
Boy Thorne Garden Services, churchyard maintenance – £144.50
Defib Pad (Safelincs), defibrillator battery – £241.79
HMRC, PAYE for period to 5 January 2017 – £81.60
The Clerk, expenses (April-November 2017) – £ tbc
The Clerk, wages, Q3, 2017-18 – £326.61
HALC, in-house training, 19 Sept. 2017 – £204.30
R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance – £ tbc
R Mills, enhanced lengthsman (potholes) – £ tbc
Hitrees, lengthsman – £ tbc
b) To consider new quotation for two planters to locate at the entrance to the village.
c) To consider quotations for Rock crossroads signpost and new village signs.
d) To consider proposal to delegate the Clerk to authorise payments to the footpaths contractor between parish council meetings
e) To consider advice from HALC re: transparency code grant application
f) Review accounts and consider the 2018-19 precept

10. Review Cabinet member response to the highways petition

11. Proposed seasonal event to mark planting of the new tree at Orchard Rise

12. Schedule meeting with Traffic Management Adviser, West Mercia Police to look at options to address speeding through the village

13. Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council
b) Footpaths
c) Lengthsman
d) Highways
e) Village Hall

14. Parish council communications

15. Boundary Commission consultation on revised proposals for West Midland Constituency boundaries

16. Consider summary of Herefordshire Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan

17. Herefordshire Local Plan – Travellers Sites Development Plan Document Pre- Submission Consultation

18. Participation in Neighbourhood Planning event for Parishes with an adopted NDP

19. Agree dates for next parish council meetings in February and April 2018

20. Clerk’s Report

21. Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion)

22. Close meeting and date of next meeting

Clerk to the Parish Council
Tel: 07963 845358
Email: clerk.richardscastle.hfd.pc@gmail.com
19 November 2017

Draft minutes of meeting held 12 October 2017

MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 12 OCTOBER 2017

PRESENT Mr P Owen (Chairman); Ms L Munn; Mr A Davies; Mr S Greetham; and Mr R Alden.

IN ATTENDANCE Mr D Guerche, Area Ambassador for the Police and Crime Commissioner; Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There were no members of the public present.

17/68 Election of Chairman – Cllr. P Owen was elected, and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman.

17/69 Apologies for absence – None.

17/70 Co-opt two new members – Postponed to the next meeting.

17/71 Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

17/72 Minutes of the previous meetings – The minutes of the meetings held on 27 July and 19 September 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

17/73 Local policing – Mr D Guerche, Area Ambassador for the Police and Crime Commissioner provided an overview of activities and initiatives.

[Cllr. Greetham joined the meeting.]

Members of the parish council highlighted vehicles speeding through the village and rural crime and asked how these issues can be best addressed in the future. Mr Guerche said he would put the parish council in contact with two officers in West Mercia Police who could advise on these matters.

The Chairman thanked Mr Guerche for his time and interesting discussion, and Mr Guerche left the meeting.

17/74 Report from Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said the increased cost of renovating Blueschool House, Hereford will be the subject of an audit and peer review. The ‘Better Care’ target has been attained which safeguards health funding. The potential £10 million awarded from the previous highways contractor, is expected to be available early in 2018, and should be allocated to fixing ‘C’ and ‘U’ roads.

17/75 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no matters raised.

17/76 Planning
73539 and 173538 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 porch. It was agreed to support the proposed plans, and comment that removal of the present garage, and replacement with the proposed single storey structure, will improve the setting and aesthetics of the listed cottage and nearby church.

Update on planning decisions by Herefordshire Council – There were no decisions reported.

17/77 Financial Items
a) The following payments were agreed: R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance (£154.00); and Hitrees, lengthsman (£345.60).
b) To consider new quotation for two planters to locate at the entrance to the village. The requirement for a cultivation licence was noted, as well as the recommendation to use plastic planters. Cllr. Greetham kindly offered to locate a suitable plastic planter. A request for a cultivation licence has been made to Balfour Beatty.
c) To consider quotation for village signs. Quotations have been requested from Balfour Beatty and an independent company.
d) To review the cost of purchasing a gavel for parish council meetings. It was decided that a gavel is not required.

17/78 HALC training schedule – It was agreed that the Clerk should attend ‘Dancing with data’ on Tuesday, 28 November 2017. The briefing covers the new data protection legislation which will be in force from May 2018.

17/79 New signpost/ fingerposts at Rock crossroads – Following a discussion with the locality steward, a quotation has been requested from the enhanced lengthsman.

17/80 Highways petition and media planning – The number of signatures was counted, and confirmed as 199. Cllrs. Munn and Greetham kindly agreed to present the highways petition to the Chairman of Herefordshire Council the following morning. A media statement was agreed.

17/81 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council (PCC): Cllr. Munn said there are no updates to report.
b) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said the focus has been on keeping the busiest footpaths clear of growth. Several posts on the Mortimer Trail will be replaced. Three stiles have been repaired and new waymarkers will be put up. A rail across a bridge has been replaced. The footpath through Hanway Common will shortly be more clearly marked. Cllr. Alden proposed that the footpaths contractor is paid between meetings, and it was agreed to consider this at the next meeting.
c) Highways: Cllr. Greetham said Woodhouse Lane is a lot better as Balfour Beatty has repaired a good number of potholes. Hopefully, the highways petition will see more done to improve the roads in the parish.
d) Lengthsman: Cllr. Greetham said a tour of the parish with the locality steward and enhanced lengthsman identified 32 minor potholes for repair. The cold fill tarmac has been ordered so that the potholes can be repaired. Pothole repairs will be paid for from the £1,000 budget allocated by the parish council earlier in the year.
e) Village hall: There was no report.

17/82 Parish council communications, including ‘Parish Council News’ articles – The first parish council news article by Cllr. Munn was reported to have been well received based on anecdotal feedback. However, because the article was published in the October edition of Castle News alongside the draft minutes there was also some overlap.

It was decided that the minutes should no longer be published in Castle News, as they are available in full on the website in line with the transparency code. The idea behind the article is to have a more informal, accessible overview of the highlights of each meeting. The Chairman kindly agreed to write the next parish council news article, and will publicise the parish council website address. The agreed process for submission of parish council news articles is to pass the draft article to the Clerk who will submit it to Castle News on behalf of the parish council.

A number of the updates and information provided to the parish council by Herefordshire Council and other public bodies will be published on the news section of the parish council website. Selection of the information to publish on the website will be made by the Clerk and Chairman. Information on how to contact the parish council published in Castle News will be reviewed. Members expressed a preference to be contacted by telephone on local matters rather than email.

17/83 Herefordshire Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan – Cllr. Alden kindly agreed to review the Rights of Way Improvement Plan in his capacity as footpaths officer, and if necessary comment on the plan.

17/84 Clerk’s Report – Postponed to next meeting.

17/85 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – None.

17/86 The next meeting will be on Thursday 23 November 2017. The meeting closed at 10.25 pm.

 

RICHARDS CASTLE WANTS ACTION FROM HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL TO BRING THE ROADS UP TO SCRATCH

Eighty percent of people living in the parish of Richards Castle (based on a population of 250 highlighted in the 2011 census) have signed a petition to demand respectfully that Herefordshire Council brings the roads in the parish up to an acceptable standard.

The petition was presented to the Chairman of Herefordshire Council, Mr Brian Wilcox, on the steps of the Shirehall on Friday 13 October 2017 by a delegation of Richards Castle parish councillors supported by Ward Councillor Sebastian Bowen (Bircher).

Hereford Times was also in attendance and an article and accompanying pictures appeared on their website that day (and can still be viewed by clicking here).

The full statement issued by the parish council on the petition is available to download – Statement on Highways Petition.

***

For information, contact:
The Clerk, Richards Castle Parish Council

Agenda – Richards Castle (Hereford) PC – Thursday 12 October 2017

Notice is hereby given that the next Meeting of Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council will be at 7.30 pm on Thursday 12 October 2017 at the Village Hall

1. Election of Chairman

2. Apologies for absence

3. Co-opt two new members to the parish council

4. Declarations of Interest and Written Requests for Dispensation
[Declaration of any disclosable pecuniary interest in a matter to be discussed at the meeting whether or not it is included in the register of interests. Members are reminded that they are required to leave the room during discussing and voting on matters in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest whether or not the interest is entered into the register of members’ interests maintained by the Monitoring Officer.]

5. Minutes of the previous meetings – 27 July and 19 September 2017

6. Local policing – Area Ambassador for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

7. Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward

8. To invite views and discussion from members of the parish

9. Planning
173539 and 173538 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 porch.

Update on planning decisions/ enforcement by Herefordshire Council.

10. Financial Items
a) Payments to approve:
R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance – £ tbc
Hitrees, lengthsman – £ tbc
b) To consider new quotation for two planters to locate at the entrance to the village.
c) To consider quotation for village signs.
d) To review the cost of purchasing a gavel for parish council meetings.

11. Review HALC training schedule

12. New signpost/ fingerposts at Rock crossroads

13. Presentation of Balfour Beatty petition and media planning

14. Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council
b) Footpaths
c) Lengthsman
d) Highways
e) Village Hall

15. Parish council communications, including ‘Parish Council News’ articles

16. Consider Herefordshire Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan

17. Clerk’s Report

18. Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion)

19. Close meeting and date of next meeting

Clerk to the Parish Council
Tel: 07963 845358
Email: clerk.richardscastle.hfd.pc@gmail.com
8 October 2017

Agenda – Richards Castle (Hereford) PC – Tuesday 19 September

Notice is hereby given that Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council will hold an Extraordinary Meeting at 6.30pm on Tuesday 19 September 2017 in the Jubilee Room at the Village Hall.

1. Apologies for absence

2. Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation
[Declaration of any disclosable pecuniary interest in a matter to be discussed at the meeting whether or not it is included in the register of interests. Members are reminded that they are required to leave the room during discussing and voting on matters in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest whether or not the interest is entered into the register of members’ interests maintained by the Monitoring Officer.]

3. To invite views and discussion from members of the parish

4. Planning
172770 Barns at Court House Farm, Castle Road, Richards Castle, SY8 4EW – Demolition of existing portal steel framed buildings and conversion of two existing historic Dutch barns to form three number holiday letting accommodation and dwelling units to enable farm diversification and meet local-need.

172996 The Forge Richards Castle Ludlow Herefordshire SY8 4EL – Removal of condition 1 of NW/2003/1223/F to enable The Forge and the adjacent Philscott to be sold separately.

5. Financial Items:
a) Payments for approval:
Boy Thorne Garden Services, churchyard maintenance – £287.00
The Clerk, wages July-September 2017 – £326.61
HMRC, PAYE Q2, 2017-18 – £81.60
b) Data protection registration with the ICO

6. Close meeting

Peter Owen, Vice Chairman
14 September 2017

Draft Minutes of meeting held 27 July 2017

MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 27 JULY 2017

PRESENT Mr P Owen (Vice Chairman); Ms L Munn; Mr A Davies; Mr S Greetham; and Mr R Alden.

IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There were one member of the public present.

17/40 Apologies for absence – The resignation of Mr S Broom was noted. It was agreed to thank Mr Broom for his exemplary commitment and long service as a councillor.

17/41 Co-opt one new member – Postponed to the next meeting.

17/42 Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation – Cllr. Alden declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in planning applications 171880 Land at Spout House Field.

17/43 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the annual meeting held on 25 May 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

17/44 Report from Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said Shropshire Housing and Herefordshire Housing are to merge: The new organisation will be called ConnectUs.

Potholes have been marked up by the locality steward for repair. The £8 million award from the legal case is being held in an escrow account. A further £8 million may be provided by government for the county’s highways. The roads minister, is being lobbied to allocate more funding from vehicle taxes.

There are changes to the cabinet, and there will be two by-elections for ward councillors in the county. The new link road from Aylestone Hill to Edgar Street is likely to be completed by the end of the year. The road will open new land for development, including the canal, which could be redeveloped and form the centre of a new tourist attraction.

A number of tenants have raised some issues with regard to the sale of the county smallholdings. However, there is very little information forthcoming. The county smallholdings are expected to raise £30-50 million, and Ward Cllr. Bowen said this should be used to build an asset for future revenues., for example student accommodation which provides a regular income.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has proposed adding the fire service to his responsibilities. This is the subject of a spotlight review by the general scrutiny committee. Ultimately, a decision on the proposal may need to be made by the minister.

17/45 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no matters raised.

17/46 Planning
[Cllr. Alden left the meeting.]

171880 Land at Spout House Field, Richards Castle, SY8 4EW. Variation of condition 2 ref 170647/F Erection of 4 dwellings – amended plans. There was no objection to the proposed variation of condition.
[Cllr. Alden rejoined the meeting.]

Update on planning decisions by Herefordshire Council – There were no decisions to report.

17/47 Financial Items
a) The following payments were agreed: Eyelid Productions, website training (£60.00); the Clerk, wages April-June 2017 (£326.61); HMRC, PAYE Quarter 1, 2017-18 – £81.60; HALC, website hosting (£24.00); and R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance (£174.74).
b) To appoint enhanced lengthsman contractor for the repair of minor potholes – The meeting agreed to appoint R Mills, and a contract was signed by the vice chairman on behalf of the parish council.
c) To consider quotation for two new planters to locate at the entrance to the village – The meeting agreed to purchase two planters at a cost of £20.50 each, subject to confirmation of the regulations regarding the siting of planters at the side of the highway from Balfour Beatty. Once the necessary permissions are in place, a note will be placed in Castle News.
d) Agree date and cost of HALC training session – The agreed date for the training was 19 September 2017, and the cost will be £150.00 +VAT (mileage will be charged in addition).

17/48 Broadband at Richards Castle – There was a report on the Fastershire broadband briefing held on 19 June 2017. Herefordshire Council have signed a new agreement with a company called Gigaclear, to provide fast broadband to 6,500 properties that missed out on the first roll-out by BT. The website www.fastershire.com has information on which properties are included in the Gigaclear contract.

17/49 New code of conduct – The parish council agreed to adopt the new code of conduct proposed by Herefordshire Council.

17/50 Quotation for village sign and signpost/ fingerposts at Rock crossroads – The Clerk reported that a quotation for the village signs will be undertaken by a senior engineer at Balfour Beatty, and the Rock crossroads signpost will be looked at by the locality steward.

17/51 Joint Annual Parish Meeting, May 2018 – The meeting agreed to set the date for the next joint annual parish meeting, which will be held on 22 May 2018.

17/52 Neighbourhood Development Plan – The referendum on 13 July 2017 supported the proposed adoption of the neighbourhood development plan by Herefordshire Council. The neighbourhood development plan will now be adopted formally, which means it will inform planning decisions made by Herefordshire Council.

The Steering Group was thanked for the time and work that was required to realise the plan. It was agreed to write to the steering group members to thank them personally. As the steering group has achieved its objective, the parish council agreed that it should be dissolved with immediate effect.

17/53 Highways Petition – Councillors reported obtaining about 200 signatures in support of the petition. It was agreed to present the petition at the next full meeting of Herefordshire Council on 13 October 2017, and to invite members of the public to join the presentation via Castle News.

17/54 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council (PCC): Cllr. Munn reported that the PCC did not think there was a parish council representative to the PCC, and did not see the need for such a role. In light of this, it was agreed that the role is to be the point of contact for the PCC to engage with the parish council.
b) Neighbourhood Plan: The report was provided under 17/52 above. It was agreed that a neighbourhood plan representative was no longer required as the steering group has been disbanded.
c) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said the bridleway has been opened. The gate was provided to the landowner by Balfour Beatty. Landowners are being asked to contribute towards the cost of installing stiles on their land.
d) Lengthsman: Cllr. Greetham said the lengthsman is doing some general maintenance, including spraying of weeds. A note will be placed in Castle News to make people aware of the plans to replace the tree on the green at the top of Orchard Rise with a more vigorous specimen.
e) Highways: The report was provided under 17/53 above. Cllr. Greetham said he has been in contact with the locality steward regarding defects on the local roads.
f) Village hall: There was no report.

17/55 Representative roles and website updates – Cllr. Owen kindly agreed to be the village hall representative following the resignation of Mr Broom. Following training at Eyelid Productions, new postings to the parish council website will be sent to every subscriber.

17/56 Parish council communications – It was agreed to publish a short overview in Castle News after each full parish council meeting. Each overview will be drafted by an individual councillor, and the article will be fact checked by the Clerk before it is submitted to Castle News.

17/57 Herefordshire Council’s Budget Priorities consultation – Noted.

17/58 Rural Areas Site Allocations Development Plan Document – Issues and Options Consultation – Noted.

17/59 Clerk’s Report – The poorly positioned SID deployed in July2017 will not be charged to the parish council as the deployment was not requested. The Herefordshire area ambassador for the Police and Crime Commissioner has agreed to attend the next meeting on 12 October 2017. Electoral Services has been informed of the co-option of L Munn to the parish council.

17/60 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – None.

17/61 The next meeting will be on Thursday 12 October 2017. The meeting closed at 9.45pm.

Agenda – 27 July 2017 – Richards Castle (Hereford) PC

Notice is hereby given that the next Meeting of Richards Castle (Herefordshire) Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 27 July 2017 at the Village Hall

1. Apologies for absence

2. Co-opt one new member to the parish council

3. Declarations of Interest and Written Requests for Dispensation
[Declaration of any disclosable pecuniary interest in a matter to be discussed at the meeting whether or not it is included in the register of interests. Members are reminded that they are required to leave the room during discussing and voting on matters in which they have a disclosable pecuniary interest whether or not the interest is entered into the register of members’ interests maintained by the Monitoring Officer.]

4. Minutes of the previous meeting – 25 May 2017

5. Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward

6. To invite views and discussion from members of the parish

7. Planning
171880 Land at Spout House Field, Richards Castle, SY8 4EW.  Variation of condition 2 ref 170647/F Erection of 4 dwellings – amended plans.
Update on planning decisions/ enforcement by Herefordshire Council

8. Financial Items
a) Payments to approve:
Eyelid Productions, website training – £60.00
The Clerk, wages April-June 2017 – £326.61
Clerk – HMRC, PAYE Q1, 2017-18 – £81.60
HALC, website hosting – £24.00
R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance – £ tbc
Hitrees, lengthsman – £ tbc
b) To appoint enhanced lengthsman contractor for the repair of minor potholes
c) To consider quotation for two new planters to locate at the entrance to the village
d) Agree date and cost of HALC training session

9. Broadband at Richards Castle

10. Consider adoption of new code of conduct

11. Update on request for quotation from Balfour Beatty for village sign and signpost/ fingerposts at Rock crossroads

12. Consider request to agree date for the joint Annual Parish Meeting in May 2018

13. Neighbourhood Development Plan – review referendum and consider future role for steering group

14. Review Balfour Beatty petition and agree next steps

15. Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council
b) Neighbourhood Development Plan
c) Footpaths
d) Lengthsman
e) Highways
f) Village Hall

16. Review parish council representative roles and website updates

17. Parish council communications

18. Consider Herefordshire Council’s Budget Priorities consultation

19. Rural Areas Site Allocations Development Plan Document – Issues and Options Consultation

20. Clerk’s Report

21. Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion)

22. Close meeting and date of next meeting

Clerk to the Parish Council
Tel: 07963 845358
Email: clerk.richardscastle.hfd.pc@gmail.com
23 July 2017