Minutes 7th March 2017


Parish Council Meeting held at The Function Room, The Bush Inn HR4 8EH
7.00pm on Tuesday 7th March 2017

Councillors: Mrs I Stokes (Vice Chair); Mr J Gough and Mr A Last.

Also in Attendance:
M Cooper (Ward Cllr) and Mr M Hopkins (Clerk).

Members of the public: No members of the public.

1. To Accept Apologies for Absence
Cllrs: Mrs A Pendleton and Mrs S de Rohan. Late apologies: Mr R Grayburn and Mr J Mackay-Lewis.

2. To Approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 8th November 2016
Resolved: The Minutes were confirmed and signed by the Vice Chair.

3. To Receive Declarations of Interests and Applications for Dispensations
Resolved: Cllrs J Gough and I Stokes – Non disclosable interest re item 8.1 planning application 170208 (living in the near vicinity)..

4. To Receive Brief Reports from:

4.1 Herefordshire Councillor (Cllr M Cooper)

Cllr Cooper reported:
• Category 1 Road Defects – the Council no longer temporarily fix category 1 defects but now have a one visit policy to permanently fix the fault. Not only does this save money, it also avoids public frustration and confused observation. A permanent repair is scheduled within 5 working days.
LED Street lighting
• Herefordshire Council have been shortlisted for the LGC Environment Award for the work of rolling out LED street lighting across the county.
• Waste Management – The joint venture with Worcester Council, re the new waste incinerator at Hartlebury, is now up and running.
• Small Holdings Disposal – the small holdings disposal have been offered into 66 separate lots. This gives potential bidders the opportunity to bid on as little as one farm. The time table for complete disposal is still on target.
• Race Course – negotiations continue with Arena Racing (the national company that leases many of the nation’s prestigious race courses, such as Chepstow and Doncaster race courses) for new lease terms. This includes gaining an understanding from the company with regard to a sound business case to secure the future of the site. It is hoped that, subject to approval, an extended lease can be granted to safeguard racing in Hereford for the foreseeable future.
• Finance – referring to the finances of the county as a whole, it is predicted that the year will finish within budget overall.
As is now known, local authorities nationally will all lose the Revenue Support Grant by 2020. This to be replaced by 100% retention of business rates (currently 50%).
• The government still and will continue to provide grants to cover Public Health and the Better Care Fund [a fund to assist the NHS to fund local care needs] but, to meet the targets set by government, it is possible these grants will be cut also. The government will release further details later in the year.
• Given the year is likely to end with a surplus it is likely the Council will be under pressure to understand where this surplus will be spent (or not).
Those of us with rural wards will also be questioned about the £4.7m grant for rural areas. It is not generally appreciated by parishes that the money is in fact supporting rural areas simply because of the greater expense of providing services to those areas and therefore, understandably, expect to see some additional activity.
• University – a positive meeting was held, by the Leader of the Council, with the new vice chancellor of the proposed university. It appears the chosen candidate has a good track record in establishing successful universities in the United States. News, with regard to the extent of the governments financial support for the enterprise, should be made public sometime this month.
Resolved: Report noted and Cllr Cooper thanked.

4.2 Westhope Common Management Association (Cllr Mrs I Stokes)

Cllr Stokes reported on the AGM held on Wednesday 7th December. Prior to the meeting Hew Sherlock, a senior archaeologist, delivered a very interesting talk on the various sites of archaeological interest around the common.
Mrs Ivy Stokes was re-elected as the representative of this Parish Council. The chairman is to be elected at the next meeting.
Stock to be removed from the common over the winter period and the gate onto the common locked.
A second failed oak is to be replaced.
Subscriptions to remain at £10
Next scheduled meeting is on 5th April 2017.
Resolved: Report noted.

5. Open Time
No items were raised.

6. To Receive the Clerks Report, General Updates and Note the Information
All updates since the meeting on 8th November 2016 are included in the Information Sheet which had been circulated.
Resolved: Reports, Updates and Information Sheet noted. A copy of Information Sheet is attached to these minutes.

7. Financial Matters
    7.1 To Receive a Report from the RFO
Bank Balances as of 15th February 2017: Community Account: £2,172.73 (less £572 website grant = nett £1,600.73) and Business Premium Account: £980.79.
Resolved: Report noted and it was agreed to close the Business Premium Account and transfer the balance to the Community Account.

7.2  To Consider the following Payments

7.2.1 Payments Made since the last Meeting:
Resolved: No payments made.

7.2.2 Outstanding Payments: The Bush Inn (Room hire) 15.00 (517); St Michael’s Hospice (computer bag) £4.00 (518); Clerks salary (Jan/March) £130.10 (519); HMRC (PAYE Jan/March) £32.40 (520) and Clerks Expenses 2016/17 £288.13 (521).
Resolved: The above payments were agreed.

7.2.3 HALC subscription for 2017/18 is £359.47 incl £59.91 vat (522)
Resolved: The HALC renewal was agreed.

7.3 To Receive an Update on the Parish Website grant:
Grant – £1,437.00 less spend of £869.00 (excl vat) leaving a balance of £568.00. This will need to be returned if not spent.
Resolved: The update noted

8. Planning Matters
Planning Applications Received from Hereford Planning Department:
170208 – Avlon, Bush Bank HR4 8EN (Proposed single garage and carport).
Resolved: The following comments were made and submitted to the Planning Department: The Parish Council is not against the garage being built.

However it is considered that the erection of the garage should be sited so as not to adversely affect the character or appearance of the property and neighbouring properties.

Also it is considered that the garage should reflect the design, materials, character and style of the existing and neighbouring properties

Notifications Received from Hereford Planning Department
151983: Rogers Farm, Bush Bank HR4 8EP – Proposed erection of two poultry buildings, new access and conversion of building to house biomass boiler
Appeal against Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.

9. Highway Matters

9.1 To Receive any Issues for Parish Lengthsman Scheme
Lengthsman budget for 2016/17 is £1,044.00. Spent to date £242.00 (excl vat) leaving a balance £802.00
Resolved: Request for the Lengthsman to undertake drainage work at …….to the cost of £700 maximum.

9.2 To Receive any Issues for Herefordshire Highways
Resolved: No items raised.

10. To Raise Items for the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting – No Discussion
Resolved: All items referred from this meeting.

11. To Confirm the Date of the Annual Parish and Annual Parish Council Meeting
Resolved: Tuesday 9th May 2017 (date to be confirmed) at 7pm.
Venue: The Function Room, The Bush Inn HR4 8EH

Meeting concluded at 7.55pm

…………………………………….. 9th May 2017
Signature of Chair Date