Minutes Annual Parish meetings and PC meeting May 2022

Minutes of
Thursday 19th May 2022 7.00pm start

Councillors present; Kevin Hewison, Jonathan Beech, Bob Rudd, John Bennetts, Ingrid Heatly, Howard Mansell

Meeting opened: 7.00pm

1. Apologies for Absence: Alison Bainbridge, Bob Wood, Tom Nellist, Barclay Rogers.
2. Minutes of previous Annual Meeting held Approved in July 2021
in May 2021

3. Any other business None

Meeting Closed at 7.02pm

Thursday 19th May 2022 7.05pm start

Councillors present: Judith Howe
The Meeting was not quorate, so to be held in Westhide at a later date.


Thursday 19th May 2022 7.10pm start

Councillors present; Simon Dent (from 7.10am), Sue Rudd, Paul Hudd.
1. Apologies for Absence: None

2. Minutes of previous Annual Meeting held Approved in July 2021
In May 2021

3. Any other business
Flooding issues that are being discussed later in the agenda.

Signed Chairman:                         Dated:

Withington Group Parish Council
Annual Meeting Held on Thursday 19th May 2022

Present: Kevin Hewison (KH), Jonathan Beech (JB), Ingrid Heatley (IH), Howard Mansell (HM), John Bennetts(JBe), Bob Rudd (BR), Simon Dent (SD), Sue Rudd (SR), Paul Hudd (PH), Judith Howe (JH),
Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk) Cllr Paul Andrews – Ward Councillor.
The Meeting opened at 7.30pm

1. Election of officers (Chairman, Vice Chairman)

Chairman: Kevin Hewison Proposed: JH
Seconded: SR all in favour
Carried unanimously

Vicechair: Judith Howe. Proposed: KH
Seconded: SR
Carried Unanimously
Action: relevant papers to be signed.

2. Chairman’s Annual Report

Chairman’s Annual Report 2021 – 22
Copy at end of these minutes. Accepted by all cllrs.

3. Appointment of members to working groups etc

– Representative on Village Hall committee: Bob Wood has become a member of the VHC as a resident, meaning that there is a vacant position for another cllr to step up to the post – no one volunteered at this juncture. It was resolved that BW and KH will remain as Councillor links to this committee. All in favour.
– Finance working group: It was resolved that this group would meet at least twice a year, once before the precept setting meeting and once before the audit meeting. It was resolved that the cheque signatories would form this committee, so this is KH and BW nominated from Withington with Judith Howe and Anna Green from Westhide. This was agreed by all cllrs present.
– Withington Field: It was resolved for the Clerk to continue in this role, agreed unanimously. One further cllr was sought to be on this working group along with KH, volunteer still needed.
– Changing rooms and car park at the Village Hall – KH to report on any matters here.
– A4103: It was resolved that KH, BW and JW would remain on this working group.
– school access and village speed control: It was resolved that JBe, IH and HM with PA in occasional attendance.
– CCTV – HM volunteered, all supported him in this role.

4. Review of Footpath Officer, Internal Auditor, tree warden etc
Footpath officers:-
Julie will continue to cover Westhide

Bob Rudd will represent for Preston Wynne.

John Bennetts will cover Withington.

Internal Auditor: It was proposed by KH to continue to use GVA, seconded by JH all were in favour.

Tree Warden: Ingrid Heatley to continue in this role. Also it was resolved that the tree surgeon should be engaged to come and check the coppice twice a year. All cllrs were in agreement for this to continue.

5. Review of insurance policies

Renewal was in January. It was resolved to remain with Zurich insurance.

6. Review of subscriptions

Hereford and Gloucester Canal: £25 per annum.
HALC: Fees are set by HALC.
Tree Warden: £25 per annum. Waived for the last year.

Agreed to all Proposed: KH Seconded; JH

7. To remind Councillors to update their Notice of Registrable Interests if there had been any changes over the last year.

8. Remind Councillors that they have all signed up to the Code of Conduct.

Ordinary Parish Council business

9. to commence with a period of up to 10 minutes for any members of the public who wish to raise any issues with the Parish Council for no more than 3 minutes per person: No members of the public were present.   None present.

10. Apologies for absence:- Alison Bainbridge, Tom Nellist, Barclay Rogers, Bob Wood, Julie Williams, Anna Green,

11. To receive Declaration of Interests. None.

12. Reports from:-
12.1 Report from Ward Councillor PA told the meeting that there were a number of planning applications that will be decided upon in the coming weeks.
He also reminded the meeting of ‘operation snap’, so that any one can report nuisance motorists. Potholes / tired white lines can reported by the Herefordshire Council app or website, which pin points the exact location.
Action: clerk to send the link to the app

12.2 Report from local police– sent by e mail SD reported a ‘hawker’ in Preston Wynne yesterday, he was told to pass the information on to ‘neighbourhood matters’.

12.3 Report from Balfour Beatty
Come out weekly and cllrs can comment on them.

13. Acceptance of minutes of the PC 17.03.22
The minutes were agreed to be an accurate representation of the meeting.

Proposed: KH Seconded: SR

14. Action points from previous meetings – path through the Coppice – the idea was put forward that if the tree surgeon came and needed to Chip waste, this could be put down instead. Cllrs liked this idea, and with no quotes forthcoming for a more permanent path to be put in place, this will be the route taken in the coming months..
Duke St – clek has approached the locality steward, who will engage the enforcement team to have words with the land owner to allow the lengthsman to access the land to sort out the drainage that leads to the overflow of water onto Duke St and in Westhide, need grips and gullies clearing before the winter. CCTV Policy.

15. Withington Fields
Consideration of the letter sent by our insurance loss adjuster in regards to Bramble Cottage. The WGPC resolved that they were supportive of the home owners contractors having access to the Withington Field to under take the work that they had outlined in an attempt to reduce the impact of flooding on Bramble Cottage.
Proposer: SR Seconded: JH all were in favour.
Action ; clerk to contact the loss adjuster to let him know the PC supported this way forward.

16. Working Parties:-
i. A4103: Council responded to the questions on this road, but they have not come back with any prices for the A465. KH is still awaiting costs from BB for each individual post and roundel so that it can be multiplied up for both of the roads. PA suggested that Herefordshire Council themselves were approached in case they are now sitting on this information.
Action: clerk to look up who to contact at Herefordshire Council – is in locality stewards report.

ii. Changing rooms and car park at Village Hall: S106 monies were given for the car park and village hall. WGPC have been asked if we want the residual monies to carry out the work on the changing rooms. Football club are not keen to have changing rooms at this time. JBe suggested asking if we could move the money across to the school ramp.
Action: clerk to approach Ruth Jackson to ask if this might be considered.

iii. school access and traffic calming through Withington Village JBe had prepared a paper on ideas for traffic calming in the village of Withington following on from the open event last November. Pulling out some key points from this paper JBe told the meeting:- Additional pavements were a popular request with controlling speeding being the third most popular.
Quick wins were: getting the current signs reported – clerk to check with BB that these have been picked up.
JBe has 4 bigger items which included: reducing speed limits throughout the village, putting in a footpath from Southbank development up the hill.
PA suggested inviting Simon Hobbs to attend a meeting in the village to discuss these ideas as well as the school crossing point. KH asked if he was coming to the village then could the works needed on the A465 and A4103.
Longer term plans.
Improved access between the village and Radway.
Improved walkability between Withington and Westhide.
JBe asked for the PCs permission to continue doing this work – all cllrs were in agreement for him and the working group to go ahead.

17. Lengthsman and P3 scheme – jobs needed around the parishes: Grips and gullies in Westhide,
Fixing the maypole.
Drainage grant has been allocated at £4,339 for each parish that asked for it. PA is asking John Harrington to pay us back for the drainage work we did there two years ago – £3,000, with this and the current drainage grant, the PC would then have the funds to get the drainage work done in Preston Wynne.
Proposed: SD seconded: JH all were in favour.
Action : clerk to task the lengthsman to do this work.

18. Footpaths officer report
Withington: JBe: Nunnington Court has an anomaly where a footpath stops at a farm boundary, not linking up with any other path, meaning that there is no way out with this particular right of way. The land owner will not let people go through his farm yard. The WGPC are trying to work with him to connect these footpaths with the Bromyard Road so that the tracks are useful. JBe has been liaising with local walkers to let them know that this problem really is at the point of being resolved.
Withington Court: replacing a stile with a kissing gate. JBe has struggled with contacting the land owner, but we have the stile and are ready to get it in place.
Path through the coppice: he has been approached to make the path through the coppice to become a public right of way.
He wanted to draw up some circular walks from the village and get them up on the village boards. All Cllrs were fully supportive of this idea.

Westhide; no issues with the footpaths.
Preston Wynne: No issues reported.

19. Tree warden update – the tree planting – a lot of the bamboo poles have disappeared. IH has replaced many of them, and we will see if this second batch lasts any longer.

20. Feedback on training or meetings attended: None attended.

21. Matters Financial.
a. Balances as at 30.04.22:
Parish Account: £34,195.28;
Withington Field Acct: £3,424.47;
CCLA: £14,115.63; Total in all accounts: £51,735.38
b. Payments to be agreed including :
Parish acct:

Cleks Salary for April: 578.23
May; 578.03
Clerks expenses 32.56 Total: £1,188.82
HMRC PAYE April 144.40
May 144.60 Total: £ 289.00
Sentinel Security Systems £3,019.80
Golden Valley Accountants Internal audit £ 210.00

Total Parish Acct Payments: £4,707.62
Internal transfers:
From Parish Acct to WF (vat return) £779.50
Precept payment from Parish Acct £5,000 Total: £5,779.50
Depreciation payment to savings acct £1,937
Outstanding repayment to WF acct £1,063

Withington Field Acct:
Litter Picking; £80
Countrywide (April ) £180;
Terry Griffiths H&S checks Feb 1: £48;
Terry Griffiths H&S checks Feb 2: £120;
Terry Griffiths Fields acct March 1: £48;
Terry Griffiths Covid spraying March 2; £120; Total: £336:

Agreed by all

c. Receipts: First payment of the Precept: £16,000

d. Requests for financial aid: None.

e. Approval of Annual Governance Statement
The Annual Governance Statement was approved by all Cllrs present.

f. Approval of annual Accounts Statement
The Annual Accounting statement was approved by all Cllrs present.

22. Planning application to be considered including those below and any additional ones showing on the HC Planning portal prior to this meeting:

220759/220760–The Meadows, Preston Wynne: Internal & external alterations and Listed building consent.
The local councillors had no objection to this application.

221317 – Stone House Farm, Lock Lane: Improvements to existing field access & construction of farm track
Parish Council supports this application for the improvement of agricultural vehicle movements, they asked that it be made a condition that it can only be used by agricultural vehicles.

Proposed JBe Seconded: JH all were in favour.

Decisions made:

214637 – Vine Tree’s recent application was turned down.

23. Receive items for the next agenda (no discussion) As found in these minutes.

The meeting closed at 8.35pm

Signed: _________________________ Date: _________________

Dates for future meetings:

21st  July 7.30 pm start
16th September 7.30 pm start
18th November 7.30 pm start

Annual Report of the Chair of WGPC 2021/22
Once again, we have had an interesting year, new challenges and events as well as coming out of lockdowns. At all our meetings we have had to consider social distancing, using face masks, ventilation etc. Most councillors have been able to attend meetings and we must thank them for ensuring that we have always been quorate and therefore able to deal with Parish Business.
Perhaps the main focus of the Council has been dealing with the application for a solar farm in Westhide. Much work was done by the Westhide Councillors with their neighbours and others who have shown an interest either in favour or not. A public meting was held in January which was well attending including a representative from TEKSS, the firm dealing with the application. We have made our comments to Herefordshire Council but so far no decision has been made.
Planning always causes concern to residents and in particular new houses on Veldo Lane and also adjoining Vine Tree Close. The latter application was also on the agenda of the open Meeting. As I write this the Council have just REFUSED planning for the Vine Tree Close application.
Traffic calming, school access and speeding on the A4103, A465 & and in the village have also been important this year. A consultation day was held at the village Hall in November 2021 to discuss WGPC suggestions and to seek the views of the local residents. The comments and feedback have enabled us to move forward on these projects to meet the needs of those living in our villages.
Following our desire to improve the war memorial, the stones and flags have been removed and replaced by turf. Most of the work was done by adjoining residents and the turf donated by Easy Lawn. It is maintained by the neighbours. Thanks to all involved.
We have been well served by our Ward Councillor, Paul Andrews, who has attended most of our meetings, Consultation event, and equally important represented the views of WGPC and our residents. Thank you.
There were concerns expressed at several meetings about anti-social behaviour around the Village Hall, car park and Withington Fields. WGPC took specialist advice, obtained quotes and with the support of the Village Hall Management Committee paid for CCTV to be installed around the hall. The system has been installed and is now up and running.
We are most fortunate that our clerk, Sophie Glover, is still working as our clerk. She has had to reduce her workload by withdrawing as clerk from some other Parish Councils but has retained her position with WGPC. We are very grateful for the excellent job that she does for us, as well as being our ‘lead’ for Withington Fields, its safety and maintenance being so important. So, a big thank you to Sophie.

Kevin Hewison
Chair WGPC
May 2022