Draft Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held remotely on Wednesday 19th May 2021.


Councillors Present … Ben Thomas (Chairman), Jane Rigler, Ian Garlick, Peter Garratt and Margaret Serle. Also in attendance were Ward Councillor Toni Fagan, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk), Mick Murphy (Footpaths Officer) and six residents.


  1. Election of Chairman – Councillor Thomas was proposed by Councillor Garratt and seconded by Councillor Rigler and was duly re-elected as Chairman.


  1. Election of Vice Chairman – Councillor Rigler was proposed by Councillor Thomas and seconded by Councillor Serle and was duly re-elected as Vice Chairman.


  1. Apologies for absence – Councillor Barry Shaw.


  1. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None.


  1. Minutes of the previous meeting – 17th March 2021. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record of the meeting, and these will be signed by the Chairman in due course.


  1. Public Forum
    • The Ward Councillor covered the following issues in her report.
      • Confirmed the appointment of the new CEO (Paul Walker) at Herefordshire Council.
      • Referred to the recent safeguarding issue involving the Children’s Services at Herefordshire Council which had been the subject of scathing criticism in the High Court. An Improvement Notice has been served on the Children’s Services with the appointment of an interim Director and Improvement Board.
      • There are 14 recorded cases of the Indian variant in Herefordshire.
      • Phosphate in the local rivers remains a serious problem and an initiative involving CPRE, Environment Agency, Cardiff University and the Wye/Usk Foundation is looking for volunteers to do testing/sampling of phosphates to establish the source of the problem.
      • Due to meet David Gossett next week so will happily accept any planning issue which Councillors may wish to raise.
    • Views of residents on parish matters – No issues were raised.
  2. NDP – Councillor Serle reported that the Steering Group raised several queries on the draft NDP which were discussed with the Planning Consultant during a remote meeting held on the 26th April 2021. It was agreed to include a separate section on waste/surface water. Following this meeting the Planning Consultant is now drafting the second iteration of the NDP and once the Steering Group has signed off on the plan the next stage will involve a formal presentation to the local community in the parish hall. It is proposed to publicise this event with a leaflet drop.
  3. Planning – Comments on Planning Applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council.
    • Planning Consultation – 210810 – Brooklands Farm, Orcop, Hereford. Proposed covered silage pit. Councillors were generally supportive of the proposals set out in the planning application but would like an assurance that the Environment Agency is satisfied with the output from the infiltration testing and drainage strategy which they have requested. Councillors also wanted an assurance that this application, if granted, would not lead to increased traffic on the village roads. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk register these points in the response to the LPA.
    • Planning Consultation – 211049 – Site adjacent to Homelands, Orcop. Proposed new dwelling. Councillors strongly opposed this planning application on the grounds that a four-bedroom dwelling was not in keeping with the adjacent properties and would dominate the local landscape. Councillors suggested that there is no requirement for a dwelling of this size in this part of the parish and it was noted that there is opposition to the proposals from residents. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the LPA accordingly.
    • Planning Consultation – 210815 – Land at Sunset Cottage, Tomlins Field Road, Orcop. Change of use of land for the siting of a single mobile unit (shepherds hut) for use as a 2-person holiday let/home office- (retrospective). Following discussion, Councillors were supportive of the proposals in the planning application, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the PA accordingly.
    • Planning Consultation 211139 – Handley Gate Cottage, Garway Hill, Hereford. Two storey rear extension, timber cladding to existing rendered elevations. Following discussion, Councillors were supportive of the proposals in the planning application, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk notifies the PA accordingly.
    • Councillor Serle asked for an update on the retrospective planning application for the holiday let at The Dugout. The Clerk advised that the applicant has recently advised that the issue is currently with his architect and a planning application will be submitted shortly.
  4. Finance
    • The current bank balance is £25,187.95.
    • The following payments were approved:
      • Clerk’s salary (April 2021 & May 2021) in accordance with his employment contract
      • PAYE (April 2021 & May 2021)
      • Zoom Subscription – £28.77 (shared cost with four other Parish Councils)
      • Stationery – £14.94
      • Postage – £7.92
      • DJN Panning Limited (NDP) – £1,050.00
      • DC Gardening Services – £132.00
      • Autela Payroll Services – £73.92
    • It was RESOLVED to renew the insurance at a cost of £460.67.
    • Internal Audit Report (2019/20) – Councillors noted the content and recommendations set out in the Internal Audit Report.
    • Certificate of Exemption 2019/20 – Councillors noted and approved the Certificate of Exemption 2020/21.
    • Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 – Section 1 – Councillors noted and approved Section 1 of the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21.
    • Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 – Section 2 – Councillors noted and approved Section 2 of the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21.


  1. Lengthsman – It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the Lengthsman seeking clarification of the timing of his next visit and request that verge cutting is included in his schedule. In terms of the draft Lengthsman contract it was RESOLVED that Councillors offer any thoughts to the Clerk by no later than 26th May 2021 after which the draft will be submitted to the Lengthsman.


  1. Copywell – There was a suggestion that a drainage company (Williams Water) had recently undertaken some survey work at the site, but no other information is available.


  1. Footpaths – The Footpaths Officer reported that he had met the Locality Steward on the 6th May 2021 and discussed OC18 which had been subject to severe erosion. Balfour Beatty have determined that the footpath is repairable, and the issue has been referred to the maintenance team. OC10 was also discussed with the Locality Steward who was unable to provide an update even though the footpath has been closed for 18 months. The Footpaths Officer will undertake a spot survey of OC10 to assess the situation. More generally, the Footpath Officer will resume surveys shortly beginning with the 13 circular walks in the parish.


  1. Highway Issues – It was reported that there are drainage issues at Sandbow between the Meadows and Newcastle Farm. It was RESOLVED to bring this to the attention of the Lengthsman.


  1. War Memorial – The Clerk reported that the contractor is due to begin work shortly but has asked if water could be provided from the Parish Hall and whether there was anywhere suitable to store his trailer overnight. Councillor Garlick offered to assist with both requests, and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk advises the contractor accordingly.


  1. Clerk Correspondence – No correspondence was received.


  1. Matters for discussion at the next meeting – The NDP with specific reference to cess pits.


  1. Date of the next meeting– The next meeting will take place on the 21st July 2021.







The meeting closed at 20.00hrs