Minutes – 28 March 2019


PRESENT: Mr P Owen (Chairman); Ms L Allwright; Mr S Greetham (Vice Chairman); Ms L Munn; and Mr R Alden.

IN ATTENDANCE: Ward Cllr. S Bowen; and Mr R Hewitt, Clerk. There were two members of the public present.

18/96 Apologies for absence – None.

18/97 Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensation – None.

18/98 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 24 January 2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

18/99 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish – There were no matters raised.

18/100 Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward
Ward Cllr. Bowen said the council is currently in the ‘purdah’ period in the run up to the election on 2 May 2019. There is a ‘call-in’ for the scrutiny committee to review delegated decisions in respect of the Hereford bypass.

Council Tax has increased by 4.9 percent in 2019-20 with 2 percent of this increase ring-fenced for social services. Government has provided an additional £5.1 million for the county’s roads. About £20 million has been allocated for roads in 2019-20. The scrutiny committee’s report on potholes and maintenance will be considered by the new cabinet after the election. It is available to view on Herefordshire Council’s website.

18/100 Planning
190324 Church House, Richards Castle, SY8 4ET – Retrospective application for new studwork partitions to facilitate 2 no. new en-suite bathrooms. The parish council had no objection to the application for retrospective listed building consent.

18/101 Financial Items
The following payments were agreed: HALC, affiliation/ subscription 2019-20 (£338.36); Clerk, wages January-March 2019 (£444.15); HMRC, PAYE Q4, 2018-19 (£111.00); R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance (£229.65).

18/102 Clerk’s Report
An election briefing for Clerks on 6 March 2019 was informative. Richards Castle Shropshire have paid their share of the HALC hosting fee (£42.50) for the parish websites. An expression of interest in lengthsman and footpaths work in 2019-20 has been submitted to Balfour Beatty. The agreed response to the Wigmore Neighbourhood Development Plan consultation (Reg 16) has been submitted.

The parish council accounts for 2018-19 will be prepared and submitted for internal audit following the year end on 31 March 2019. The landowner has been made aware of the concerns raised about the over friendly goats at the Castle Historic England site. The Clerk was asked to contact the landowner again in writing about the matter. A member of the public reported damage caused by a lorry to the grass verge at Rock crossroads. The condition of the verge at the crossroads will be checked by the lengthsman coordinator.

18/103 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said the two metal kissing gates ordered from Balfour Beatty have been installed with the kind permission of the landowners. New waymarker discs are helping to mark out the footpaths for walkers.

Three dog fouling notices from Herefordshire Council have been placed, which leaves a further three which can be used where there is a problem with dog mess. A notice to ask dog owners to pick up after their pets will be submitted to Castle News shortly. The next parish walk is on 13 April 2019, and a guidebook on local walks is planned.

The footpaths grant for 2018-19 will be claimed shortly. The claim will include the footpath contractor’s invoice agreed earlier in the meeting.
b) Lengthsman: Cllr. Greetham said the lengthsman is maintaining the pavements and will be asked to keep the drainage grips clear as well.
c) Highways: The locality steward is seeking to patch parts of Castle Road. The markings on Rock crossroads need to be reinstated. Ward Cllr. Bowen said he will ask Balfour Beatty to do this.

Cllr. Munn proposed that thanks are given to the WI for their recent litter pick, which collected a lot of rubbish. This was warmly endorsed by the parish council.

Cllr. Greetham said the notice to request potholes are reported will be published regularly in Castle News. Reporting the defects can help prioritise planned repairs.
d) Good neighbour scheme: Cllr. Allwright said the trustees are nearly all in place, and there are plenty of volunteers. The next stage will be to set up the organisation.

18/104 ‘Welcome to Herefordshire’ sign on B4361
The meeting agreed to request a quotation from Balfour Beatty for the replacement of the sign under Community Commissioning.

18/105 Poll cards for parish council election
It was decided not to pay for a parish council election poll card.

18/106 Schedule of meetings, May 2019-March 2020
The schedule of meetings was agreed.

18/107 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – Goats at the castle, poo bags and dog bin(s), wheelie bin stickers and speed indicator displays.

18/108 The next scheduled meeting will be the annual meeting in May 2019. The annual parish meeting is on 28 May 2019. The schedule of meetings is available to view on the parish council website.

The meeting closed at 8.58pm.