MINUTES OF RICHARDS CASTLE (HEREFORDSHIRE) PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 PM ON THURSDAY 22 MARCH 2018
PRESENT Mr P Owen (Chairman); Ms L Munn; Mr A Davies; and Mr R Alden.
IN ATTENDANCE Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There was one member of the public present.
17/129 Apologies for absence – Mr S Greetham (Vice Chairman).
17/130 Co-opt two new members – Postponed to the next meeting.
17/131 Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.
17/132 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 25 January 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.
17/133 Views and discussion from members of the parish – A member of the public was concerned at proposed plans to place 68 holiday chalets in Mortimer Forest on Forestry Commission land.
17/134 Report from Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward – Ward Cllr. Bowen said Balfour Beatty will be asked to take urgent action to improve Castle Road. There is a new leader of Herefordshire Council, Jonathan Lester, and a new cabinet member for children’s services. The recent snow caused the cancellation of a planned civic event at Hereford Cathedral. Council tax in 2018-19 will increase by 4.9 percent. Seventy-six percent of expenditure is allocated to provision of adult and children’s social care services. The relief road in Hereford is open and in use. The impact on traffic movements in the city will be known in the coming months.
Update on planning decisions/ enforcement by Herefordshire Council: 172770 Barns at Court House Farm (planning permission); and 174428 Bank Cottage (planning permission).
17/136 Financial Items
a) The following payments were agreed: Village Hall, meetings (£78.00); Hitrees, lengthsman (£115.20); HALC, affiliation and subscription (£322.98); Orleton Parish Council, share of neighbourhood plan expenses (£310.08); The Clerk, wages January-March 2018 (£326.61); HMRC, PAYE Q4, 2017-18 (£81.60); and the Clerk, expenses, December 2017-March 2018 (£90.02).
b) Annual Maintenance Plan 2018-19 for lengthsman and P3 footpaths schemes – The level of service for footway work in the village was amended to specify Springfield, and also to keep the gully opposite Springfield clear. With these amendments the annual maintenance plan was agreed.
c) ‘Woodhouse Lane’ signs (x2) for Rock crossroads signpost – The meeting noted the signpost has been renovated and was put back in place by the lengthsman earlier in the day. Options for the additional Woodhouse Lane fingerposts requested will be reviewed at the next meeting.
17/137 Event to mark planting of tree at Orchard Rise – No action required. Will review as required.
17/138 Annual Parish Meeting, 22 May 2018 – The speakers from West Mercia Police and Yarpole Good Neighbour scheme have both accepted the invitation. The notice/ flier was agreed, and the Clerk will obtain copies for members to distribute. The Chairman kindly agreed to ask the WI for help with the catering. A planning meeting was scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 15 May 2018.
17/139 Community Commissioning project(s) – Postponed to the next meeting.
17/140 New village signs on B4361 – Following a vote (3 for and one against), it was agreed to order village name signs with an apostrophe (Richard’s Castle). The signs will be fitted to existing posts at the entrance to the village.
17/141 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – The Chairman kindly agreed to review the GDPR toolkit with the Clerk. A report will be made at the next meeting.
17/142 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Parochial Church Council: Cllr. Munn said there is no update.
b) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said bad weather has limited the work that can be done. A work plan will be put in place for the remainder of 2017-18. New fingerposts (x6) and stiles will need to be ordered. The Clerk was authorised to purchase the required supplies, and also to raise a cheque to pay the footpaths contractor before the next meeting. A long and short walk will be proposed to participate in the Herefordshire Walking Festival (16-24 June 2018). The Chairman kindly agreed to help plan the routes for the walks. It was agreed to increase the footpath contractor’s hourly rate by £2.00.
c) Lengthsman: There was no report.
d) Highways: There was no report. The damaged grit box opposite the Castle Inn will be reported to Balfour Beatty. The note from Ward Cllr. Johnson on the relative condition of roads in Herefordshire was considered, and it was agreed to take no action on the matter.
e) Village Hall: The Chairman reported that the village hall has a new treasurer.
17/143 Meetings 2018-19 – The schedule of meetings for the year was agreed, and will be posted on the council website and noticeboard.
17/144 Clerk’s Report – The 2018-19 precept (£6,850) has been confirmed by Herefordshire Council, and will be equivalent to £55.38 for a band D property. The transparency grant application was made to HALC following the last meeting, and a decision is expected shortly. A £578.08 VAT reclaim has been made for 2016-17. A claim of £318.38 has been made against the P3 footpaths grant for work to date. Due to monies owing to Balfour Beatty for the cost of cold fill tarmac for potholes, the net claim is £133.38. The Shropshire parish council has contributed £112.24 to the cost of the new battery and pads for the defibrillator at the village hall. Aymestrey parish is consulting on their neighbourhood development plan (Regulation 14) which can be viewed online. HALC has advised that donations for the upkeep of churchyards should be considered carefully in light of the recent NALC advisory. The date of Balfour Beatty’s parish briefing at the Kingsland depot is now on 10 April 2018.
17/145 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – No matters raised.
17/146 The annual parish meeting will be at 7.00pm on Tuesday 22 May 2018. The annual meeting will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 24 May 2018. The meeting closed at 9.36pm.