Minutes – 23 January 2020


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

IN ATTENDANCE Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. One member of the public was present.

19/79 Apologies – The resignation of Mr S Greetham from the parish council was noted, and Mr Greetham was thanked for his service to the community.

19/80 Co-opt a new member to the parish council – Mr P Enzer was co-opted to the parish council. Mr Enzer signed the declaration of acceptance of office and joined the meeting.

19/81 Declarations of Members Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

19/82 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 5 December 2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

19/83 Election of Vice Chairman – Deferred.

19/84 Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward
Ward Cllr. Bowen reported on the closure of the road between Kingsland and Yarpole which has since re-opened. A permanent repair is expected to be completed in April 2020. A new roundabout is to be built at the Lawton Cross junction of the A4110. There has been no action from Highways England on the roundabout requested for the Salwey Arms junction of the A49. Ward Cllr. Bowen said he has proposed that the county council borrow funds to help improve the roads. The 2020-21 budget has been proposed including an increase in Council Tax of 3.9 percent with 2 percent earmarked for social care. A decision on the Hereford bypass is likely to be made in July 2020. The NMITE University will welcome the first 50 students later this year. Herefordshire Council has restored an historic vintage steamroller.

19/85 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish
There were no matters raised.

19/86 Planning
194423 Tan Cottage, Richards Castle, SY8 4EL – Permission to add a 2 storey extension. The parish council agreed to support the planning application.

19/87 Financial Items
i) It was agreed to support the installation of broadband/ wifi at the village hall with a donation of £132.42. Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council will be asked to share the cost.
ii) The following payment was agreed: Richards Castle Village Hall, installation of wifi services (£132.42).

19/88 Clerk’s Report
The notice of casual vacancy provided by electoral services has been publicised in the parish. The SIDs were deployed on 10 January and will be taken down week beginning 3 February 2020. New batteries have been purchased so there is now a full reserve. The yellow transfer is to be applied at the end of March/ early April 2020 [a sample of the yellow transfer was noted]. Due to the narrow verge and blind summit, deploying and removing the reserve batteries will require the assistance of the SID lengthsman. The Chairman is to attend a climate change workshop at Leominster in February 2020. Herefordshire Council is to review the transport strategy for Hereford.

19/89 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said a new gate is due to be put in next week. Poor weather has hampered other planned maintenance. A rotten stile was reported and will be checked.
b) Lengthsman: Cllr. Enzer kindly offered to be the lengthsman coordinator.
c) Highways: Cllr. Enzer kindly offered to be the highways representative on the parish council. Ward Cllr. Bowen reported that Orchard Rise and Castle Road may be included in Balfour Beatty’s programme for 2020-21.
d) Good neighbour scheme: Cllr. Allwright thanked Cllr. Munn for her support in setting up the scheme, which is due to start being able to help local people in early April 2020.
e) Village hall/ communications: Cllr. Munn said there is a Mortimer Society event at Moor Park School, and plots are available via the Allotment Association.

19/90 Road safety initiatives for B4361
A report on the meeting held with West Mercia Police’s traffic management advisor was noted. An assessment of the problem and options to address speeding on the B4361will be requested from Balfour Beatty via Community Commissioning. It was agreed to request a site meeting with Balfour Beatty and the West Mercia Police traffic management advisor to discuss the options that might be available.

19/91 SID socket by county boundary
It was decided to take no action on the proposal to move the SID socket by the county boundary. Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council will be approached to discuss a proposed request to Shropshire Council for a traffic regulation order to reduce the speed limit from 30 to 40mph. This would remove the need to consider relocating the SID socket.

19/92 Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)
It was agreed to undertake a review of the NDP with Orleton Parish Council. The Chairman and Cllr. Munn kindly agreed to attend a joint briefing with Orleton PC at Herefordshire Council in March 2020 to discuss questions about the review.

19/93 Provision of sandbags
The meeting decided not to purchase any sandbags for the time being as it is understood that there have been no problems during the recent wet autumn weather.

[9. 37pm: The parish council agreed to suspend standing orders in order to continue the meeting beyond two hours.]

19/94 75th Anniversary of VE Day, 8-10 May 2020
The parish council agreed to support an event to commemorate the VE Day anniversary, if possible, together with Richards Castle (Shropshire) Parish Council.

19/95 HALC training schedule
Cllr. Enzer will attend the Leading Lights course on 11 March 2020.

19/96 Postponement of first verge cut to improve biodiversity
The parish council agreed to support the proposal from Balfour Beatty to leave verges on C and U roads within the parish uncut until August/September 2020, subject to ensuring that junctions are still cut in line with the usual schedule to keep visibility.

19/97 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – No matters raised.

19/98 The next scheduled meeting will be on 26 March 2020. The meeting closed at 9.54 pm.