Minutes – 23 August 2012

Orcop Parish Council



PRESENT: Cllrs D Sayce, Chairman, K Jones and B Davies

ALSO PRESENT: Ward Councillor Russell Hamilton, Representative from Camera, Mr Mark Hansel and Substitute Clerk to take notes of the meetings proceedings, Miss Francesca Morriss.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC PRESENT WERE AS FOLLOWS: Mr and Mrs Lee, owners of the Fountain Inn, P K Kingston, J Garlick, P Hull, F P Sharpe, J Brown, P Brown, M Dunne, W Dunne, T Powell, J Heathfield, S Probert, J Preece, L Digwood, M Digwood, G Price, J Farr, M Fletcher, V Kindell, G Saunders, J Morris, H Evans, D Downs, M Ginson, P Brown, M Ormerod, S Davies, G Davies, P Garratt, I Peill, C Peill, E Goodard, M Bowen, D Shaw, B Shaw, D Anderson, D Donaldson, S Macdonald, B Cheshire, D Cheshire, B Hurrell, B Underwood, M Thomas, G Man, L Deantte, S Thomas, A Thomas, W Thomas, P Steel, D Murphy, J Steel, M Murphy, P Patterden, R, Patterden, P Winstance, P Morgin, A Baldry, A Lovett, C Manning, M Ward, S Manns, P Marsden, P Jakeman, C Watkins, R Urbanski, L Wilkinson, D Wilkinson, A Robinson, J Smith, W Braid, R Pritchard, R Dicker, F Morgan and M Morgan.

1. APOLOGIES were received from Cllrs B Thomas, R Watkins and I Garlick




Application for change of use to a private dwelling.

Mr and Mrs Lee explained their situation to those present at the meeting and why they had decided to apply for change of use. Mr Lee covered some of the running costs endured such as electricity etc.

Some members of the public aired their views as to why the Fountain Inn had failed under the present ownership. The issue was also raised that their previous failure in being successful in selling the pub was due to marketing the pub for well over its current price valuation.

Mr and Mrs Lee left the meeting.

The above application was discussed and the following points covered:

  • Provision of disabled facilities.
  • Successes of other rural pubs within the area.
  • Villages in other locations getting together to make their local village pub a success.
  • The Fountain Inn needing a business plan to make it a success.
  • Issues the local residents had experienced which had resulted in them not using the pub as they used to.
  • Imperative for residents within the parish to log their comments on the Herefordshire Council website under the planning application or in writing to the assigned Planning Officer.
  • Whilst the Fountain is still a licenced property it cannot be used as a private dwelling.
  • The Kilpeck Inn.
  • The need to spend money on the Fountain Inn under whichever guise it enfolds.
  • The Fountain Inn being one of the few assets the village has.

Mr Mark Hansel representative from Camera spoke to those present at the meeting.

Further items discussed were as follows:

· Does the Village want a pub?

· The pub has to be used and not just wanted.

· What does the community want from the pub?

· Take saving the pub to the next step.

· Do the community want to wait for another operator to get it right?

· Do all the community want to help out to make the pub a success?

· Production of a survey to go out to all the residents of the parish asking what everyone wants/expects from the pub.

· Can the community raise the funds to purchase the pub?

· Could the pub be bought collectively on behalf of the community?

· What else could the pub provide to the community? i.e. a shop, a library etc.

· Radio 4 programme – What’s the point of pubs? Rural community situations.

· Questionnaire about Community ownership and what ideas people have that would make it profitable?

· The community registering ‘Community Right to Save’ with Herefordshire Council giving the community the chance to purchase the pub should it come up for sale.

· Pub values are falling which could mean the pub would be more affordable to the community.

· Could the Parish Council get a mortgage from the Government to buy the pub? The Beacham Arms in Dimmock was bought by the Parish Council with a loan from the Government at 3.7%. The community then decided on the type of publicans best to run the pub with a business providing things the community wanted. They enhanced the pub, installed disabled access, a games room and provided a nice garden.

· The community asked if Orcop Parish Council would be able to undertake a mortgage to purchase the pub should it come up for sale? The Parish Council took out a loan to provide the community hall so it is possible.

Those present were asked to vote. Is the view of the community to keep the Pub? The vote was unanimous.

Further comments were noted following the vote:

· A petition being signed against the pub being changed to a private house.

· The community expressing clear views as to why the pub is important to the community and why they should keep it.

· What does the community want from the pub?

· What did the community enjoy about the pub before?

· What can the pub provide that the community does not already have?

· The community all need to get involved and do something not just say we will.

· The pub being the community hub and keeping the community together.

· Viable options for buying or retaining the pub.

· The need for the pub, should it be put on the market, being sold at a realistic price.

· A questionnaire to go out to the community.

· The need for the community to put in effort themselves to make the pub a success.

· The community are all in favour of keeping the pub and will do their upper most to support it and fundraise to build funds to buy the pub as a community asset should it come on the market.

· The community wish to be given 1st chance to purchase the pub should it come on the market.

· If everyone here tonight submit their objections it will have a strong impact on the decision made on the application.

RESOLVED: The Parish Council are to submit the following comments:

Orcop Parish Council called an extra routine meeting to discuss the change of use of the Fountain Inn to a private dwelling. The meeting was attended by over 80 parishioners who spoke in favour of keeping the Fountain Inn open. None objected. Therefore the Parish Council must strongly object to this proposed change of use of the Fountain Inn.



There being no further business the Chairman called the meeting to a close at 9pm