Minutes – 22 February 2022


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

IN ATTENDANCE: Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. Two (2) members of the public were present.

21/128 Apologies – Ms L Munn.

21/129 Co-opt to vacancy on the parish council – Deferred.

21/130 Declarations of Members Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

21/131 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2022 were agreed to be a true record.

21/132 Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward
Ward Cllr. Bowen reported on feedback from members of the public on the village gates. The police have been requested to undertake speeding enforcement. Herefordshire Council have set the precept for 2022-23, which will increase by 3 percent with 1 percent of the increase ring fenced for social services. The emergency services are to start using mini-fire tenders. A proposal for 2,500 new council houses is to be considered. Events to mark the Platinum Jubilee are encouraged. Ward Cllr. Bowen has asked the county council to improve provision in the budget for roads.

21/133 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish
Cllr. A Hall, a member of Richards Castle Shropshire Parish Council, asked the meeting to consider supporting the planting of seven trees in Shropshire as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, and suggested the two parish councils should work together to support events to mark the Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.

21/134 The Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen
The parish council resolved to support the planting of seven trees in Shropshire provided a suitable location can be found and is available, and for the two parish councils to work together to support the volunteers that are planning events for the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

21/135 Planning
214676 Bury Cottage, Richards Castle, SY8 4EL – Proposed single storey rear extension, two storey front extension, replacement garage, windows, and new hardwood porch. The parish council resolved to highlight possible privacy/ overlooking concerns due to the proximity of neighbouring properties and request that this is given appropriate consideration and weight by the planning authority.

21/136 Financial Items
a) The following payments were agreed: DC Gardening Services, lengthsman (£336.00); Castle Digging Solutions, P3 footpath maintenance (£234.08); Richards Castle PC (Shrop), share of new battery for defibrillator (£150.00); HALC, affiliation and subscription 2022-23 (£381.41) and Clerk, wages January-March 2022.

b) Invitation to apply for a drainage grant from Herefordshire Council: The parish council agreed to apply for a drainage grant for works as set out in the quotation provided by the lengthsman and in consultation with the lengthsman coordinator, Cllr. Enzer.

21/137 Herefordshire Local Plan 2021-2041 Strategic Spatial Options consultation
The consultation was noted, and members asked to consider responding on an individual basis.

21/138 Community commissioning request to improve road markings and signs on the B4361 through the village and proposal to communicate with businesses to request that their vehicles observe speed limits when driving through the village
Balfour Beatty has committed to collect speed data on the B4361 through the village as a one off. It is not something they undertake generally for parish councils. A response to the request to reconsider the decision not to support the removal of road markings under community commissioning is expected shortly. The Clerk was asked to contact companies whose vehicles are believed to be driving at excessive speed through the village to request that the speed limit is observed.

21/139 Lengthsman and P3 footpath schemes in 2022-23, and consider proposal to invite tenders for provision of lengthsman services
The parish council agreed to participate in the lengthsman and P3 footpath schemes in 2022-23 and asked the Clerk to submit an expression of interest and annual maintenance plan in consultation with the lengthsman and P3 footpath coordinators and in line with the 2022-23 budget. It was agreed not to proceed with a lengthsman tender.

21/140 Footpaths
The Chairman reported on footpaths. There is some work in progress but overall, the outstanding maintenance has now been completed.

21/141 Lengthsman/ highways
Cllr. Enzer, lengthsman coordinator, reported on work by the lengthsman at Rock crossroads to keep water off the road and in the ditches.

A defect on the pavement by Springfield has been reported to the highway authority. Balfour Beatty has requested confirmation of dates for verge cutting and will be informed that the parish council would like one cut in late July.

21/142 Clerk’s Report
A new battery has been purchased for the defibrillator at the village hall and delivered to the volunteer responsible for the device. There is an online Talk Parish event for parish councils on 22 March 2022. Balfour Beatty have shared their annual plan for programmed work in the parish.

21/143 Herefordshire Parish Council Survey on sports facilities strategies
The survey was delegated to the Clerk to complete on behalf of the parish council.

21/144 Revised Code of Conduct and arrangements
The invitation from Herefordshire Council to comment on the revised model code was noted.

21/145 Revised schedule of meetings 2022-23
The revised schedule of meetings was agreed.

21/146 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – None.

21/147 Date of next meeting – The next meeting will be on Tuesday 12 April February 2022 in the Jubilee Room of the village hall.

The meeting closed at 9.00 pm.