Minutes – 15 December 2020


PRESENT Mr R Alden (Chairman); Ms L Munn; Mr M Ayres; Mr P Enzer; and Ward Cllr. Bowen (Vice Chairman).

IN ATTENDANCE Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. No members of the public were present.

20/101 Apologies – Ms L Allwright.

20/102 Declarations of Members Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

20/103 Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward
Ward Cllr. Bowen highlighted reports in the media on the River Lugg at Kingsland. A scheduled meeting of the council has been cancelled at the last minute for procedural reasons. Covid 19 infections are down in the county. New roundabout at Lawton Cross is now open. Highways England have been asked to address safety concerns raised by recent crashes on the A49 at Woofferton.

20/104 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish
There were no matters raised.

20/105 Budget and precept 2021-22
The budget for 2021-22 was agreed and the precept set at £9,000.00.

20/106 Smartwater
The Clerk reported West Mercia Police will require names and addresses of households if they are to post Smartwater kits to households in the parish. This is because they want to register the Smartwater kit to a named individual before sending it out. Electoral Services and HALC have both advised that this is not an appropriate use of the electoral roll. The police may obtain their own copy of the electoral roll, however the Smartwater contact at the police has said this is not an option organisationally. The grant provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner needs to be implemented by 31 March 2020, before the scheduled Police and Crime Commissioner elections in spring 2021. It was resolved that the option to ask the police to post the Smartwater kits to households was not proceedable.

The parish council agreed to plan for a ‘Covid safe’ drop in event in early 2021 to provide Smartwater kits to households in the village. The drop in event will be subject to an appropriate Covid 19 risk assessment and Covid 19 regulations in place at the time. The Clerk advised that the drop in event will need to be attended by West Mercia Police who will register the kits to the householders and can provide training on the registration process for volunteers in the likely event that less than 70 percent of residents will visit the drop in event.

The Clerk recommended that Smartwater publicity is undertaken once the date for the drop in event has been confirmed and agreed with the police and village hall. A budget is likely to be required to purchase PPE and possibly perspex screens as well to be ‘Covid safe’. The parish council resolved to submit an article to Castle News to raise awareness of the Smartwater initiative without the date of the event, and accepted Cllr. Enzer’s offer to draft the article and a letter for distribution to residents.

20/107 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – Smartwater.

20/108 Date of next meeting – The next meeting will be on Thursday 14 January 2021.

The meeting closed at 8.29pm.