ORCOP PARISH COUNCIL Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held remotely on Wednesday 20th May 2020 at 19.00 hrs.
Councillors Present … Ben Thomas (Chairman), Jane Rigler, Ian Garlick, Barry Shaw, and Margaret Serle. Also, in attendance was Ward Councillor Fagan and Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk)
1. Apologies for absence – None.
2. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None.
3. Election of Chairman – Councillor Ben Thomas was nominated by Councillor Garlick and seconded by Councillor Rigler and was duly elected.
4. Election of Vice Chairman – Councillor Jane Rigler was nominated by Councillor Thomas and seconded by Councillor Garlick and was duly elected.
5. Minutes of the previous meeting – 18th March 2020.
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record of meeting held and will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
6. Public Forum –
6.1 A verbal report from the Ward Councillor – Much of Herefordshire Council’s focus remains on Covid 19 especially as it seems the county has yet to reach the peak of the infection and the public are encouraged to stay at home. Communities across Herefordshire are working well together with the OWLS being an excellent example and thanked Councillor Rigler for her work in this area. Care homes continue to be of concern but testing regimes are being rolled out. The economic fallout from Covid 19 will be very significant and will be a huge challenge for Herefordshire Council. In response to a question from a resident Ward Councillor Fagan confirmed that work on the review of the Core Strategy continues and added that the Planning Committee is holding Zoom meetings which are accessible on YouTube.
6.2 – Views of residents on parish matters included:
6.2.1 – A resident reported the re-appearance of Japanese knotweed in the village which should be reported to the Locality Steward.
7. NDP – Councillor Margaret Serle provided an update on the latest situation regarding the NDP. The Steering Group held a ‘Zoom’ meeting on 23rd April 2020 with our NDP Planning Consultant David Nicholson to discuss his analysis of the Questionnaire responses. His report plus the comments received from households can be viewed on the Orcop Parish website. The next stage to be worked on by the Consultant is Housing Delivery but his recommendations cannot be completed and discussed with the Steering Group until he is able to view the sites on the ground after easing of the Covid restrictions. A public presentation will be arranged, but possibly not until late summer/autumn. Councillor Shaw added that he has been in discussion with Sam Banks (Herefordshire Council) with the agreement of the Steering Group about the fact the locations which emerged from the “call for sites” exercise are dispersed which provides a challenge in meeting the housing target in the settlements of Orcop Hill and Orcop. Sam Banks has agreed to meet remotely with the Steering Group and David Nicholson to discuss the situation and the possibility of reducing the allocation of houses or removing Orcop Hill from the Core Strategy.
8. Hydrogeology and Sewerage Study – It was agreed to defer discussion on this subject until Councillor Garratt was available although Councillor Shaw thought that it might something to raise with Herefordshire Council to gauge their views on the benefits of such a survey.
9. Planning – No applications have been received from Herefordshire Council. Councillor Shaw raised the issue of the mobile home at Green Lane Cottage for which no planning had been sought. The Chairman suggested that the Parish Council should correspond with the property owners raising the issue of planning permission and it was RESOLVED that the clerk would write accordingly. It was further RESOLVED that the clerk would write similarly to the owner of the “Roundhouse”. Councillor Serle made the point that, at the previous Parish Council, the Clerk had been instructed, as confirmed in the minutes, to write to the LPA concerning the mobile home.
10.1 – The bank balance as the end of financial year 2019/20 was £24,779.54 with balance at 30th April 2020 being £28,425.75 which includes the first tranche of the precept for 2020/21.
11. Lengthsman – Councillor Shaw reported that the lengthsman has recently cleared the road junctions to improve visibility but does not clear the road signs, so it was RESOLVED that the clerk ask the lengthsman to undertake this work.
12. Copywell – It was RESOLVED that the clerk contact Dougal Ziegler at the Environment Department to urge him to expedite work on replacing the plant at Wilkes Row. Councillor Shaw added that the pump at the treatment plant has failed.
13. Footpaths – The Footpaths Officer reported that due to the lockdown there has been no work on the footpaths. He has, however, given the contractor two job sheets but is reluctant to ask him to undertake any work for the moment and will review the situation in the next couple of weeks.
14. Highway Issues – There was a brief discussion on the situation regarding verges but it is unclear where it is appropriate to cut them at this time of the year.
14.1 – Orcop Hill – Green Lane Motorcycle Use – This had been covered previously and no further discussion was considered necessary.
15. The War Memorial – Given the absence of Councillor Garrett there were no further updates, but it was noted that he was intending to contact Elliot Ryder as Mareva were no longer interested in restoring the war memorial.
16. Clerk Correspondence – No correspondence has been received.
17. Date of the next meeting and matters for discussion – The following issues will be included on the agenda for the meeting arranged for the 22 July 2020.
• Hydrogeology and Sewerage Study
• War Memorial
The meeting closed at 20:05 hrs