Minutes November 2021

Withington Group Parish Council
Meeting Held on Thursday 18th November 2021
At 7.30pm in Withington Village Hall

Present: In the Chair: Kevin Hewison (KH), Bob Wood (BW), Jonathan Beech (JB), Howard Mansell (HM); Ingrid Heatly (IH); Judith Howe (JH),) Barclay Rogers (BR), Sue Rudd (SR); Simon Dent (SD), Alison Bainbridge (AB), Tom Nellist (TN), Anna Smith (AS)

Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk), Paul Andrews (Ward Cllr); 13 members of public, Dr John Bennett (prospective Councillor)

The Meeting opened at 7.30pm
10 minutes was allowed from 7.30pm for members of the public to raise any issues that they would like the Parish Council to consider.
A parishioner outlined the concerns that existed reference the work done to the grounds at Vine Tree Gardens development. The Chair explained that this was not a Parish Council issue, it is down to the residents committee. He advised that the residents needed to keep pushing Bell Homes and the Enforcement Team from Hereford Council to get the work done that they feel is necessary. The Ward Councillor had done quite a lot of intervention work with residents and the Council on this item – see his report under item 4 below.
There was a further question as to how the shop in Withington Village was progressing. The resident was told that the shop has been bought by a new proprietor and we have a planning application for licencing to consider today.
A resident voiced concerns about youths creating a public nuisance outside the village hall and on the recreation ground. She had been threatened on a number of occasions and often foul language was used towards her and her family. She was advised to report any times that this happened to the police, this would assist them in knowing when to send out officers to have a presence in the area. By not reporting incidents, the police were unaware of when these offences occurred.

1. To accept Apologies for absence – Julie Williams (JW)
Absent without apologies: Ed Simcock (ES)

2. To receive Declaration of Interests.
None received

3. Acceptance of minutes of the:– PC meetings (Sept 2021)

Proposed: KH Seconded: JH All were in favour.
They were duly accepted as a true record of the meetings.

Ii. Action Points
From previous meetings completed or on agenda .

4. Items raised between meetings: Maintenance work at Vine Tree Gardens. Paul Andrews directed the complainants to talk with the enforcement team at Herefordshire Council, they will take up further talks with Bell Homes. There were specific items that the residents understood were in the original agreement, like bat boxes that have not been put up, PA was asked if he or the PC would push to get these put in place? The Chair said that any final disagreements were going to be down to the enforcement team. PA has been out to the site, he got the enforcement team to go out and see the ‘issues’ that the residents had raised. It is now in the hands of enforcement who have told PA that they are happy with the work that has been done there, he as a Ward Cllr can do no more.

5. Open discussion/public forum
5.1 Report from Ward Councillor – Cllr Paul Andrews updated the meeting on the Whitestone development letter which was circulated this week.
C1130 work has been extended again as there has been a lot of drainage work done.
Regarding the one way system at Bartestree and Lugwardine between the A4103 and A465 ( Lumbar Lane)– the highway safety officer is undertaking a review to ensure that we are not pushing the problem to another area of the parishes.
He also informed the meeting of his campaign to get a roundabout put on the junction of the Bromyard Rd, the PC has supported this but he was asking for parishioners to be behind him as well.
He asked all present to attend the consultation on the 27th November to ensure that everyone who wants to does have a voice in trying to calm down the traffic locally.

5.2 Local police – no one was able to attend but PA had met with them last week. They asked for more information – if there are problems happening in the area, it needs to be reported to them. PA told the meeting about ‘operation snap’, he asked for people to take photos where they can (safely) you can then send your photo to the police for them to take action. All were reminded that they could sign up for police updates.

5.3 Balfour Beatty – Come out weekly and cllrs can comment on them.

6. Planning including
210820- Townsend Farmhouse – proposed variation of condition 2 of PP 202505
This is in Westhide, it is completed.

212357- Field West of Oldhall House, Veldo Lane: Reserved matters on the site for the erection of 2
A comment had been suggested and circulated to all cllrs, the chair proposed that these comments should be submitted as Parish Council comments. In addition ‘in support of Duke St residents the PC are concerned that these new large properties will lead to more run off….’ Was proposed by AB to be added and this was seconded by : BW all were in favour.

213475- Four Oaks, Preston Wynne: Proposed erection of timber stables, to include hay shed, stable & storage.
PC had no comment so to support and ‘no comment’

213404- The Cottage, Crews Pitch, Yarkhill: Proposed extension to provide essential living accommodation.
No Comment.

213663- Red Gables , Preston Wynne: Single storey extension to the rear to include new kitchen, utility and WC. Also the addition of windows to the 2nd floor loft area.
PC had no comment so to support and ‘no comment’

213634- land adjacent to Whitestone Business Park, Whitestone: Proposed development of 36 dwellings with associated works and infrastructures.

A letter from the planners had been circulated suggesting that this development was completely against the Neighbourhood Plan, they recommended that the applicant withdrew their application.

A full comment had been circulated for cllrs to consider, and it was proposed to accept this comment, seconded by BW and all were in favour.

Lighting at the Mintons was discussed, but it was found from enforcement that there was nothing further that could be done.

Licencing application for the village shop: No objections.

Action: clerk to submit all of the above the comments.

6.2 Planning decisions made: None.

6.3 Herefordshire Local Plan : This was put to the PC and it was suggested to publicise this at the open day on 27th November.

7. Financial:
a. Balances
Public Sector Deposit Fund (31.09.21) £ 14,102.61
Lloyds Parish Acct (31.09.21) £ 56,545.95
Lloyds Withington Field Acct (31.09.21) £ 6,443.20 £77,091.76

b. Cheques to be paid
Parish Acct:-
Clerks Salary £1,211.76
Clerks Expenses £ 187.98 £1,399.74
PKF accountants – external audit £ 240.00
Withington Village Hall rental £ 10.50
T Griffiths PROW inv 1658 £ 384.00
T Griffiths Drainage at PW Inv 1661 £2,640.00
T Griffiths Roads Inv 1662 £ 470.00
T Griffiths Roads inv 1703 £ 732.00
T Griffiths roads maintenance inv 1711 £ 440.00
Flagpole express – servicing and new flags £ 606.36
£ 6,923.40

Withington Field Acct:-
Shelly O’Sullivan £ 40.00
Country wide Sept £ 156.00
Country wide Oct £ 156.00 £ 312.00
T Griffiths inv 1656 £ 48.00
T Griffiths inv 1243 £ 120.00
T Griffiths inv 1627 £ 150.00
T Griffiths inv 1657 £ 183.00
T Griffiths inv 1667 £ 120.00
T Griffiths inv 1696 £ 150.00
T Griffiths inv 1697 £ 48.00
T Griffiths inv 1708 £ 48.00
T Griffiths inv 1709 £ 30.00
T Griffiths inv 1710 £ 26.40 £ 923.40
Withington Village hall MUGA electricity £ 70.68
Timber Play – parts for the Maypole £ 285.60
Approval sought for:
Wicksteed playground inspection @ £103.20

Cheques paid between meetings:- None
Total cheques: £8,658.28

It was moved that all cheques should be paid.

Proposed:KH     Seconded: JH       All cllrs were in favour of making the payments.

c. Receipts: None

d. Application for Financial Aid: None

e. Precept setting discussion:

There was a finance committee meeting last week and they had been through the budget and the working document had been circulated to all cllrs.
The proposal was to increase the precept by 4% to £32,000 put by the chair, seconded: JH    All were in favour.
It was added that there were now more houses paying into our precept, so the average price per household should be the same as last year.

8. Withington Fields –
The ongoing discussion with the owner of Bramble Cottage is now being looked after by the PCs insurance team. All communication is now through their loss adjusters.
The ‘Pick up sticks’ is still out of action due to problems with Wicksteed finding replacement parts.
Action: Clerk to keep pushing Wicksteed to get this sorted out.

9. Working parties:-

– A4103/A465: KH had circulated a plan of traffic calming ideas for these roads. He has asked BB to let the PC have prices for each of the items, this is still in progress, some of their locations are inaccurate, he has made the corrections and we await further news. The plan includes white gates, roundels and a SID.

Action: clerk to recirculate this plan to all cllrs.

10. Discussion on putting in an electric car charge point at the village hall.
There are grants out there to imput these. There was a suggestion that we could invite companies to come and look at hall to see if this might be some thing that was worth the PC considering.
Action: HM to make the first approach to see if there are companies who might be willing to come and talk to the PC or VHC.

11. CCTV on the village hall – raised on face book
Parishoners told the meeting about the appalling anti social behaviour that they see regularly around the village hall. They felt that CCTV will be a real deterrent to them. AG explained that she was related to the parishioner who was voicing their concerns. The parishioner said that they had to get evidence before the police would be involved.
KH explained that we need 3 quotes before we can make a final decision on whether or not the WGPC votes to go with putting CCTV up.
KH told the meeting that the CCTV data would be kept in the Village Hall.
Bob Wood had been asked to look further into CCTV for the Village Hall, he went through a Home Office document about the legal points to be considered before the PC made a decision. He summised that installing CCTV might seem to be the answer to all of the problems identified in Withington, but they can only record issues that happen in sight of the camera.
He then discussed the problems of Data Protection, it is illegal to take pictures of other peoples properties. The PC have got a local business to come out and look at the Hall to recommend what the PC should do. We were recommended that we could put a camera at each corner of the Village Hall, we would gather the information and when we need to access the video footage, a Parish Councillor would need to be nominated to over see the handling of the data that we collect.
BW acknowledged the concerns voiced and tried to reassure the parishioner that we had heard what they said, the PC will aim to move this forward.
PA said that the police have a website www.neighbourhoodmatters.com which keep you updated as to what is going on in your area.
AG explained that having school aged children she had peers who had voiced concerns along the same lines.
This will be on our agenda in January.
Action: Clerk to add to January agenda.

12. Lengthsman Scheme – identification of jobs for the lengthsman.
The steps at Duke St: the lengthsman has today submitted a plan of the work to be done to channel the water through a pipe and not down the steps to a drain. He has been asked to cost this work and the plan has been submitted to the landowner for her approval.
Preston Wynne: there is an ongoing issue here that needs to be addressed – the local councillors said that the lengthsman did an excellent job clearing out the grips and gullies, but there is a bigger issue at the site with the road in danger of collapsing.
Action: BR to send clerk /PA further information.

13. Foot paths officers reports
PW: No reports made.
WH: all clear.
W’ton: No current footpath officer.

14. Tree Warden report – Ingrid Heatly the Tree Warden, had asked the prospective solar project what planting they were intending to do in regard to planting – they did not have any information at that time as they are using a landscape gardener to do this.
She will have 200 trees to plant in spring and hoped to have support from the other cllrs.

15. Feedback on training or information events attended:
Consultation event on 27th November 10.30 to 12.30 at the village hall – an opportunity for the public to give feedback on the Traffic Calming ideas first raised in 2017 and on the ‘Local Plan’ from Herefordshire Council.
Action: Ward Cllr / clerk to tell the police that we are having this event.

16. Co-option of new Councillor
Two prospective candidates had let it be known that they were interested in being co-opted onto the WGPC. Both had sent a paragraph about themselves to the clerk. Due to covid in the family one was unable to attend, but The Chair gave the other the opportunity to ask any questions that he might have and then he offered cllrs the chance to put questions to him.

Both personal statements had been circulated, so both candidates were put forward for consideration and the results of the vote were:

Unanimously, Dr John Bennetts was voted to be Co-opted onto the Parish Council.

Action: Clerk to do the paper work with him and submit it to the elections office.

17. Discussion on Facebook Site and social media presence of the WGPC AG is the link person for Social media. She will look at creating the PC’s own facebook page, where we can submit information from the PC, rather than as a ‘conversation’ sight. Points to put on: Consultation event: CCTV.

18. Receive items for the next agenda (no discussion)
Notice board and shop; clerks appraisal; war memorial:

19. Agreed time and date of next meeting: 16th December 2021 starting at 7.30pm if there are planning applications for discussion, otherwise the next meeting will be in January.

The chair thanked BW for his hard work on the CCTV item and AB for her work on the planning application comments.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm

Signed: _________________________ Date: _________________

Dates for 2022 meetings: Covid willing.

2022 meetings 20th January 7.30 pm start
10th March 7.30 pm start
14th May 7.30 pm start