Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting held remotely on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 at 19.00 hrs.
Councillors Present … Ben Thomas (Chairman), Jane Rigler, Barry Shaw, and Peter Garratt. Also, in attendance were Ward Councillor Fagan, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk), Mick Murphy (Footpaths Officer) and four residents.
1. Apologies for absence – Councillors Margaret Serle and Ian Garlick.
2. Declarations of interest & written dispensation requests – None.
3. Minutes of the previous meeting – 20th May 2020.
With an amendment confirming the presence of seven residents it was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record of meeting held and will be signed by the Chairman in due course.
4. Public Forum –
4.1 A verbal report from the Ward Councillor included the following issues:
• The Covid 19 outbreak on Green’s Farm is under control.
• Parking charges in Hereford will be re-introduced from the 24th July 2020.
• Herefordshire Council are looking to identify Covid 19 secure sites.
• The purchase of the Maylord site was an opportunity Herefordshire Council could not afford to miss.
• Herefordshire Council will support the visitor economy.
• Covid 19 has major implications for Herefordshire Councils budget for 2021/22.
• The moratorium on development due to the pollution in the River Wye has caused significant problems for developers.
4.2 – Views of residents on parish matters included:
4.2.1 – There was a general discussion on the supplementary planning documents being prepared by Herefordshire Council and Ward Councillor Fagan agreed to investigate which planning documents are in the pipeline.
4.2.2 – Councillor Shaw reported that a shepherds hut has appeared at Sunset Cottage without the necessary planning permission. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the property owner asking if the requisite planning permission has been granted.
4.2.3 – Councillor Shaw also mentioned that a new access to a field on Lyston Lane had appeared but as this is in the Llanwarne parish Ward Councillor Fagan agreed to raise it with that Parish Council.
4.2.4 – In response to a question from the Footpaths Officer the Ward Councillor did not consider there was any planned relaxation in what is considered an acceptable level of phosphates in the SACs.
5. NDP – Councillor Garratt reported that the Housing Delivery Report has been received from the Planning Consultant in which he recommended 3 alternative approaches to satisfy the housing quota for Orcop. The Steering Group will need to digest the content of the report and are due to come together in September 2020 to discuss the proposals prior to meeting the Planning Consultant later in the same month.
6. Hydrogeology and Sewerage Study – Councillor Garratt referred to his report circulated in advance of the meeting and explained that, in his view, there are two reasons why drainage and sanitation in Orcop Hill is of importance to the whole parish. Firstly, if development in Orcop Hill does not take place it will apply more pressure on other parts of the parish and, secondly, the importance of protecting the River Wye from pollution. For these reasons Councillor Garratt suggested that the Parish Council should seriously consider a hydrogeology and drainage study. Following a discussion on some of the technical aspects of the proposed study and whether it is necessary Councillors concluded that this issue needs to be given the consideration it deserves and the subject of a separate face to face meeting. Councillor Shaw added that given the likely cost of the study (£10k) it may be prudent to seek the views of residents perhaps through the NDP process.
7. Planning – No applications have been received from Herefordshire Council. Councillor Shaw commented that the increase in the capacity of Burhope Farm Caravan Park from 12 to 40 caravans is now progressing which will lead to increase in traffic in the village. Councillor Shaw also reported that the Parish Council can expect to receive details from the LPA of a proposed extension to a shed on a small holding belonging to the owner of Butts bungalow. The Clerk also confirmed that the owners of the two holiday lets discussed at the previous meeting have agreed to seek retrospective planning permission and the Parish Council will have the opportunity of considering both applications in due course.
8.1 – The bank balance at 30 June 2020 was £30,722.65
8.2- The following payments were approved
8.2.1 – Clerk’s salary in accordance with his employment contract (June & July2020)
8.2.2 – PAYE (June 2020) – £90.80
8.2.3 – PAYE (July 2020) – £90.80
8.2.4 – Postage – £7.80
8.2.5 – DJN Planning (NDP) – £3136.20
8.2.6 – Lengthsman – £288.00
8.2.7 – HALC (Internal Audit) – £240.00
8.2.8 – Election Fee (Herefordshire Council) – £1047.69
8.2.9 – Village Hall Hire – £290.00
8.2.10 – Autela Payroll – £67.44
8.3 – Internal Audit Report (2019/20) – Councillors noted the content and recommendations set out in the Internal Audit Report.
8.4 – End of Year Accounts 2019/20 – Following a brief overview Councillors RESOLVED to approve the end of year accounts.
8.5 – Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 – Section 1 – Councillors noted and approved Section 1 of the Annual Governance Statement 2019/20.
8.6 – Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 – Section 2 – Councillors noted and approved Section 2 of the Annual Governance Statement 2019/20.
8.7 – Certificate of Exemption 2019/20 – Councillors noted and approved the Certificate of Exemption 2019/20.
8.8 – Financial Monitoring 2020/21 – The Clerk provided an overview on the current financial position which showed there is sufficient headroom to accommodate work on restoring the war memorial and a drainage study should they be approved by the Parish Council.
9. Lengthsman – Councillor Shaw reported that the lengthsman has undertaken some routine maintenance to improve visibility but work on the ditch adjacent to Ivy Cottage remains outstanding plus road signs need cleaning. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact the lengthsman to remind him that these tasks are outstanding.
10. Copywell – Councillor Shaw mentioned that the Clerk has written to Stuart Brown asking him to consider building control for the new treatment plant, but no response has been received. Despite contact with Environmental Agency and Environmental Health (Herefordshire Council) there seemed little urgency in progressing the installation of the treatment plant. Ward Councillor Fagan reported that she has sent an email to the Environmental Agency (Dougal Ziegler) asking for an update.
11. Footpaths – The Footpaths Officer reported that he has re-started surveying footpaths. OC5 has been opened as it was previously blocked due to vegetation and a broken stile has been repaired. Also, a broken stile at OC4a has been repaired. The Footpaths Officer reported that a landowner has rewilded a field adjacent to Old Hall Wood. Work is planned to open the footpath between Stradway Farm and Quarry Farm which will require the repair of a stile. Ward Councillor Fagan thanked the Parish Council for their work in maintaining the footpath network.
12. Highway Issues – It was noted that several repairs have been undertaken recently in the parish.
13. The War Memorial – Councillor Garrett provided an update on the current situation on the war memorial. Despite several unsuccessful attempts to engage with Mareva it must be assumed that they are not interested in restoring the war memorial. It was therefore RESOLVED that the Parish Council contract Elliott Ryder who have already quoted and provided a specification for the work at a cost of £3600. Councillors noted that there are only a limited number of possible qualified contractors to choose from and would be liable for costs in the region of £400 for the specification. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contact Elliot Ryder to commission the work to restore the war memorial. The Chairman thanked Councillor Garratt for his work on this issue.
14. Clerk Correspondence – No correspondence has been received.
15. Date of the next meeting and matters for discussion – No issues were raised. The next meeting will take place on the 23rd September 2020.
The meeting closed at 20:35 hrs