Minutes – 5 December 2019


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

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

19/62 Apologies – Mr S Greetham.

19/63 Co-opt a new member to the parish council – Deferred.

19/64 Declarations of Members Interest and Requests for Dispensation – Cllr. R Alden (Chairman) declared a non-pecuniary interest in 19/69 request from village hall for donation to support wifi installation. A written request for dispensation for councillors who are also members of the good neighbour scheme was considered and agreed for the term of the current parish council on the grounds of benefit to the community.

19/65 Minutes of the previous meeting – The minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

19/66 Report from the Herefordshire Councillor for Bircher Ward
Ward Cllr. Bowen reported on roads, the impact of recent heavy rainfall in the county, and gave an overview of civic duties fulfilled in role of Chairman of Herefordshire Council.

19/67 To invite views and discussion from members of the parish
There were no matters raised.

19/68 Planning
There were no planning applications considered. Herefordshire Council has granted planning permission for 193085 and 193086 Church House

19/69 Financial Items
i) The following payments were agreed: Boy Thorne Garden Services, short and long grass maintenance (£237.00); D C Gardening Services, SID socket maintenance/ SID deployment (£108.00); HALC, domain name and website hosting (£102.00); Richards Castle Good Neighbour Scheme, donation (£250.00); R Bayliss, footpaths maintenance (£110.60); The Clerk, wages October-December 2019 (£547.00); and HMRC, PAYE Q3, 2019-20 (£136.80).
ii) A request from the village hall committee for £200.00 to install Wi-Fi, including an extender for the Jubilee Room, was considered. A decision was postponed in order to confirm the exact cost of wifi installation at the village hall.
iii) Parish council accounts 2019-20 to date, and budget/ precept for 2020-21: The finances of the parish council for 2019-20 to date were reviewed. The budget for 2020-21 was agreed and the precept set at £8,500.00. The budget includes funding for a review of the neighbourhood development plan, support for bus services to Ludlow, the lengthsman scheme, footpath maintenance, and the maintenance and deployment of the speed indicator displays (SIDs).
c) Internal financial controls: Systems of internal control were reviewed, and it was agreed they are effective in safeguarding public money and resources.

19/70 Clerk’s Report
New mandate has been processed by the bank. Two places were booked on HALC’s Leading Lights course in October 2019. The SIDs purchased by the parish council were deployed for the first time in October 2019. A VAT claim for £525.34 has been submitted to HMRC. The re-declaration of compliance in respect of auto-enrolment required by The Pensions Regulator has been completed.

19/71 Reports from parish councillor representatives
a) Footpaths: Cllr. Alden said a survey by Balfour Beatty has been completed. Poor weather has made it difficult to do much on the paths. New waymarkers will help guide walkers across fields. A landowner has installed a new gate to improve access. Footpaths will be checked against the definitive map.
b) Lengthsman: There was no report.
c) Highways: Correspondence with the Herefordshire Council cabinet member for highways was noted, particularly “It would seem the stretch of road between the pub and Orchard Rise is being included in the scheduled works of the B4361 (subject to budgets and a clearer understanding early next year) for 2021”. There will be an official assessment of Orchard Rise carried out by Balfour Beatty. Shropshire Highways has done some work to repair potholes between the edge of the village hall car park and the B4361. Cllr. Bowen said there are six litter pick kits available at short notice to support community picks.
d) Good neighbour scheme: Councillor Allwright advised that the Good Neighbour Scheme should be up and running in March 2020.
e) Village hall/ communications: There was no report.
f) Planning: See 19/68.

(9. 30pm: The parish council agreed to suspend standing orders in order to continue the meeting beyond two hours.)

19/72 Speed Indicator Displays (SIDs)
Data from the October 2019 deployment of the SIDs recorded an average speed 39.7mph for 85 percent of vehicles driving through Richards Castle in the direction of Ludlow, highlighting a need for enforcement action. It was agreed to provide this data to West Mercia Police/ Safer Roads Partnership, and request enforcement action. The summary data will be placed on the parish council website. It was noted that the SID located on the county boundary is measuring speed of traffic in a 40mph zone.

The parish council agreed to the proposal to purchase new SID batteries (x4) and ‘convert’ the casing of each SID to be bright yellow. The cost will be shared equally with Orleton and Luston Group Parish Councils.

19/73 Neighbourhood Development Plan
The Chairman and Cllr. Munn reported on a workshop briefing held by Herefordshire Council in November 2019. It was agreed to defer a decision on when to begin a review of the neighbourhood development plan until the next meeting.

19/74 Provision of sandbags
It was agreed to monitor the requirement for sandbags.

19/75 75th Anniversary of VE Day, 8-10 May 2020
Deferred to next meeting.

19/76 HALC training schedule
Deferred to next meeting.

19/77 Matters raised for next meeting (no discussion) – No matters raised.

19/78 The next scheduled meeting will be on 23 January 2020. The meeting closed at 9.46pm.