Minutes – 23 September 2021


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

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

21/57 Apologies – Ms L Allwright.

21/58 Co-opt to vacancy on the parish council – Deferred.

21/59 Declarations of Members Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

21/60 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2021 were agreed to be a true record.

21/61 Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward
Ward Cllr. Bowen reported on children’s services which now has a new senior management team. At a recent meeting, Bill Wiggin MP said that the variety of targeted grants received by the county council is equivalent to the reduction in funding from central government. Ward Cllr. Bowen said a recommendation has been made to borrow £30 million for work on the highways and lanes in the county. The county council has reserves of £69 million. Shire Hall and the Town Hall need extensive repairs which are likely to be expensive. A new JCB patcher has only just been purchased.

21/62 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish
There were no matters raised.

21/63 Planning
211632 Field to north of Westbrook House, Richards Castle – Application for Technical Details Consent for proposed variation of condition 2 of planning permission 202751 to allow changes to plots 7, 8 and 9 for a double garage attached to the associated dwelling with a home office space in the garage roof space and a sun room added to the rear and minor changes to other plots. The parish council considered amended and additional documents and agreed to follow up on the request made for “an independent design review… to assess and improve the design of the residential development (NPPF, para. 62)”.

212945 19 Orchard Rise, Richards Castle, SY8 4EZ – Construction of concrete base and fire break, removal of hedgerow, installation of an oil tank and fencing to screen the oil tank and fire wall (part retrospective). The planning application was supported subject to planting/ appropriate screening given the prominent roadside location in a residential area. The planting/ screening should be in keeping with neighbouring properties on Orchard Rise.

21/64 Financial Items
a) Receipts: Herefordshire Council, precept 2021-22 (part II) – £4,500.00
b) The following payments were ratified: DC Gardening Services, lengthsman (£420.00); B Thorne, long grass maintenance (£210.00); Clerk, anti virus subscription (£85.03); Clerk, purchase of large poppies (£60.00); Clerk, wages July 2021.
c) The following payments were agreed: DC Gardening Services, lengthsman (£36.00); Castle Digging Solutions, footpath maintenance £40.00); Herefordshire Council, kissing gate (£422.51); Clerk, wages August and September 2021; and HMRC, PAYE for period to 5 October 2021 (£245.80). A direct debit taken by the ICO for the annual data registration fee (£35.00) was noted.

21/65 Speeding on B4361 through Village
The parish council will contact the Police and Crime Commissioner to request help and support to address speeding on the B4361 through the village, including enforcement. The highway authority will be asked to provide empirical data by providing accurate measurements of current speeds.

21/66 Highway improvements on B4361
The Chairman reported on a meeting held in the summer with a senior highway authority engineer who made several suggestions for engineering options to address the speed of traffic on the B4361 through the village. The parish council agreed to make a community commissioning request for the removal of lines in the middle of the road, addition of solid white lines to each side and new larger beige roundels in the centre of the carriageway.

21/67 Retrofit of SIDs
The Clerk reported that engineering calculations from the manufacturer have been reviewed by the highway authority and socket manufacturer, and that deployments can proceed subject to using new posts with 5mm thick walls. A quotation will be obtained for the new posts, in preparation for deployment of the solar powered SIDs.

21/68 Footpaths
The Chairman reported on footpaths. It was agreed to sell the parish council strimmer and attachments to the new contractor for £80.00. The new contractor has re-positioned the Post Office Lane road name sign to be in line with the new fence installed by the adjacent landowner.

21/69 Lengthsman/ highways
The Vice Chairman kindly offered to contact the landowner by Rock crossroads to enquire after the planned metal grating, and to discuss a new concrete channel with the locality steward. The single cut of verges in 2021 was reviewed, and it was agreed to request a single cut by the highway authority in 2022, to take place in July/ August. The Clerk reported that the lengthsman has commissioned the spraying of weeds in the village by an approved contractor.

Cllr. Enzer kindly offered to integrate information in the new highway authority leaflets on riparian owner and ditch drainage responsibilities into the article on roadside and hedge management agreed by the parish council in June 2021 (21/50). The amended article will be reviewed at the next meeting.
21/70 Remembrance Sunday 2021
The large poppies purchased to commemorate Remembrance Sunday will be put up by the Chairman and Cllr. Enzer working together as a team and using hi-vis jackets. Consideration will be given to purchasing a Tommy at the next meeting.

21/71 Member request for a six month leave of absence
A six month leave of absence was given to Cllr. L Allwright, effective immediately.

21/72 Schedule of meetings, 2021-22
The schedule of meetings was agreed. The parish council will meet on the second Tuesday of each month excepting August and December. Due to the pantomime, the February 2022 meeting will be held in an adjacent parish, probably Orleton.

21/73 HALC training schedule
The training schedule was noted.

21/74 Community communications
It was agreed to consider setting up a community directory to share relevant information provided to the parish council by Talk Community, Safer Neighbourhood Team, Herefordshire Council, and other organisations.

21/75 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – None.

21/76 Date of next meeting – The next meeting will be on Tuesday 12 October 2021 in the Jubilee Room of the village hall.

The meeting closed at 9.30 pm.