Minutes January 2022

Withington Group Parish Council
Meeting Held on Thursday 20th January 2022
At 7.30pm in Withington Village Hall


Present: In the Chair: Kevin Hewison (KH), Jonathan Beech (JB), Howard Mansell (HM); Ingrid Heatly (IH); Bob Rudd (BR); Judith Howe (JH),) Barclay Rogers (BR), John Bennett (JB), Sue Rudd (SR);

Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk), Paul Andrews (Ward Cllr); 3 members of public including prospective cllr,
Paul Hudd.

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.
One attendee is from a neighbouring Parish Council who is interested in the electric car item at 17.

1. To accept Apologies for absence – Julie Williams (JW), Tom Nellist (TN), Alison Bainbridge (AB); Bob Wood (BW), Anna Green (AG); Simon Dent (SD).

2. To receive Declaration of Interests.
BR in one of the planning applications, 214496, New House Farm, he will leave the meeting for this item.

3. Acceptance of minutes of the:- PC meeting (Nov 2021) and extra ordinary meeting (Dec 2021)

PC meeting (Nov 2021)

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

Extra ordinary meeting (Dec 2021)

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

4. Action Points from previous meetings.
From previous meetings completed or on agenda apart from clerks appraisal and salary. On this matter the PC are still awaiting NALCs decision on the incremental rise in clerks salary, so this item is again deferred until we have this information.
The war memorial was also down to be discussed following the November meeting, but the damage done by a driver has been repaired and we can remove it from the agenda.

5. Open discussion/public forum
5.1 Report from Ward Councillor – Cllr Paul Andrews updated the meeting on :
The solar farm development, he has been told that we will be allowed an extension for comments on this matter. A public meeting will be arranged later in this agenda and he will aim to be there.
Ref costings for the roads working group – he has asked BB to supply actual figures for the various traffic calming ideas as requested by the Chair.
He confirmed that ramp access for the school can not come out of S106 monies.
Cllr Dent has sent through some work in Preston Wynne for drainage – PA informed the meeting that there would be access to a drainage grant to do this kind of work.
Ref Veldo Lane planning application: the officer involved has noted that this has been back and forward a number of times. Lighting has been restricted, the height has been set as lower than the old hall. Suggested restrictions might include rainwater harvesting, restrictions on additional expansion, solar panels and ground source heat pumps. Timings for work on site would be 7am to 6pm and 8am to 1pm on a Saturday. The officer has asked PA if he can undertake this work through delegated powers. He is minded to allow this as long as these conditions are in place (this is for application 212357), he was asked by cllrs that he did push for this to go to planning committee – to which he agreed. Concerns were raised about the primary school children walking down Vine tree to school, so PA will ask that large deliveries should not be made between 7am and 9am nor between 3pm and 4pm.
PA was asked for an update on Duke St steps – which is later in the agenda.

5.2 Local police – no one was able to attend but PA had met with them last week.

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

6. Planning –
6.1 Applications: To consider comments on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council as listed below or on the Herefordshire Council Planning website prior to the meeting:-

214331- Field West of Oldhall House Veldo Lane: Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval 182818. (Site for the erection of two cottages with garaging. Construction of new vehicular access and associated works).
A comment had been circulated for cllrs to see prior to the meeting – it was resolved to send it as it is: proposed JH Seconded IH

214496 – Land at New House Farm, Preston Wynne. Removal of conditions 3,4,5,6,7 from application 183077
BR had a non pecuniary interest so he did not comment during this application.
A cllr felt that the restrictions were there for a purpose and suggested that they should remain in place. It takes car parking from the site, removes the cycle storage etc. It was proposed that the conditions should remain: Proposed: SR seconded: JH All were in favour or the conditions being retained, apart from one cllr who abstained.

213634 – Land adjacent to Whitestone Business Park: Planning reconsultation : Proposed development of 36 dwellings with associated works and infrastructure.
A comment had again been circulated for Cllrs to consider. JH had some additional comments to add to the circulated proposal, it was agreed to submit an amalgamated comment. On cllr mentioned that it would also put more pressure on the public open spaces over the road from them.
S106: ask for it to be put towards road crossing, public open spaces, traffic calming.
All were in favour.

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

6.2 Planning decisions made: None.

6.3 Herefordshire Local Plan : A suggested response had been circulated prior to the meeting. All were in agreement with the clerk submitting the comments as seen.
Action: Clerk to recirculate the blank form for others to consider filling in themselves as individuals, not as councillors.

7. TEKSS Solar farm grant letter to the parish: Discussion on the 3 letters that had been circulated to those on their data base. TEKSS wont be having a public event (due to Covid) but asked for all comments to be sent directly to them.
It was suggested that the PC should have a public open event with a large scale map for people to look at and voice their opinions. Westhide Church was a suggested venue for villagers to come and see exactly what is being planned. Clerk to find out what possibilities we might have for an evening event at the village hall. PA will get the comments date extended until after the public meeting and the Parish Council’s meeting where this application will be discussed.
Clerk to write to TEKSS to talk about their grant: it was felt that the following points needed to be raised: Area for applicants should not be the Hagley ward, but the wgpc area with particular emphasis on Westhide, why are the grants only for 10 years not the 30 yr term of the life of the farm, it was suggested that there need an odd number on the panel, perhaps 3 cllrs, ward cllr and a resident?
Action: Clerk to write a draft letter to be circulated to Chair and Vice prior to sending.
Clerk to find available date for an extraordinary PC meeting to discuss this and any other planning applications.

8. Financial:
a. Balances
Public Sector Deposit Fund (31.12.21) £ 14,103.37
Lloyds Parish Acct (05.01.22) £ 11,253.15
Lloyds Withington Field Acct (31.12.21) £ 4,811.52 £30,186.04
Chair has verified balances against statements.

b. Cheques to be paid
Parish Acct:-
Clerks Salary £ 673.20
Clerks Expenses £ 44.11 £ 717.31
Information Comissioners Office £ 40.00
Pip Printing (map for open day) £ 31.92
£ 789.23

Withington Field Acct:-
T Griffiths inv 1747 £ 48.00
T Griffiths inv 1746 £ 120.00
£ 168.00

Total cheques: £ 957.23

Approval sought for payment upon receipt of invoice:
Wicksteed playground inspection @ £103.20

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: Final decision on precept to be made.
Following a discussion, it was proposed to raise the precept to £32,000 an increase of 4%
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. Proposed KH all in favour.

Action : clerk to submit the precept request form.

9. Delegated Powers to the clerk:
At the meeting in December, where the PC could not make any decisions as they were on zoom, the clerk could submit planning comments on the PC’s behalf under existing ‘delegated powers’. These were put in place over 10 years ago, so for clarification, it was suggested that the PC discuss them again and then resolve if you want to grant them to again. They are specifically:-
• To delegate powers to the Clerk to spend with in budget as appropriate.
• To delegate powers to the Clerk to comment on planning applications as and when necessary, on the PC’s behalf.
With these powers in place the usual ‘business’ of the PC can carry on even if they don’t have a physical meeting.

Proposed: KH Seconded. HM All were in favour.

10. Withington Fields –
The ‘Pick up sticks’ is still out of action due to problems with Wicksteed finding replacement parts. They were due last week and are now expected to be here tomorrow to get this fixed.
We had a playground inspection last week and there were two minor points that should be being resolved when the Pick up Sticks is repaired, but we have a bigger concern to watch. The upright on the Maypole was identified as being very worn. The clerk has asked Timberplay to come out an assess it so that we have their input as to when we ought to consider replacing this element. Timberplay have been asked to estimate the cost of this work.
Broken light in the gazebo.
Action: Clerk to make sure that the remedial work is completed and to feed back on the findings from Timberplay.

11. Working parties:

– A4103/A465: KH fed back from the open day – public comments were fully in support of the proposed traffic calming ideas. We are still awaiting real costs for the various items. Clerk will try to set up a zoom meeting with BB, PA the Chair etc to get this sorted out.

Action: by the clerk.

12. Lengthsman Scheme – identification of jobs for the lengthsman.
The steps at Duke St: a map of the intended work was given to the land owner…..etc
Preston Wynne: from the November minutes: 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. Clerk to ask the lengthsman to contact BR to get a quote for doing the work so that we can apply for the drainage grant when it is available.
Dangerous bridge on C1130, Lock Road. PA has a meeting with the Council’s team to look at the bridge. He is comfortable that this is now in hand.


13. Foot paths officers reports
PW: there is broken bridle path sign at
WH: all clear.
W’ton: There are still outstanding issues with Nunnington and the Dents gate.
Wood chip through the copse: clerk to get quotes for completing the link between the two paths.

14. Tree Warden report – Ingrid Heatly the Tree Warden,
She will have 200 trees to plant in spring and hoped to have support from the other cllrs from the end of Feb to the end of March to put them in.

15. Feedback on traffic calming consultation event. Including any progress with access to the school. KH the chair suggested that a small working group might do better to look at this: JB was asked if he would be involved, IH and HM will be the working group. Clerk to recirculate the comments on the open event.

16. Feedback on any training or meetings attended: Cllrs to have an individual e mail address, not a general family one.

17. Electric car charge point on the village hall. HM had done some excellent research on this. He had prepared some notes on this item which are attached at the end of these minutes.
There is a possibility of funding, HM completed the form as the grant was about to close – we were not successful at this time, but he has now got some good information on government grants to apply for going forward.
HM was thanked for his work in submitting the grant application.

18. CCTV in the village hall:
KH explained that he and Cllr Wood had now had 3 quotes for fitting this. Their preferred company is Sentinal. There was a general agreement that a locked cabinet in the Hewison Lounge would be the master board for the cameras. Sentinal would have cameras that cover the entrance to the copse and the playing field – and would come with the signs that we would need to put up to tell people that we have cameras.
Having been through the quote process, both BW and KH are keen to endorse getting cameras on the hall.
The cost will be £2,500 with £100 annual charge for maintenance. The suggestion was to purchase the cameras out of the PC’s general reserves.
Proposed: KH Seconded: HM All were in favour.
Action : KH will try and get a policy document from Sentinal.

19. Co-option of new Preston Wynne Councillor
A prospective candidate, Paul Hudd, had let it be known that he was interested in being co-opted onto the WGPC. He had sent a paragraph about himself to the clerk, which has been circulated.
Mr Hudd and the councillors were given the opportunity to ask any questions and then it was proposed to co-opt him onto the council.

Proposed: SR Seconded: JB

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

20. Items for Facebook Site and / or social media for WGPC AG is the link person for Social media.
Cameras on the village hall, Pick up sticks will be open again, Solar farm planning application is now on the Planning Website.

21. Receive items for the next agenda (no discussion) Electrical charging point; Queens Jubilee (send out the link to all cllrs)

22. Agreed time and date of next meeting: 24th March 2022 starting at 7.30pm

The meeting closed at 9.20pm

Signed: _________________________ Date: _________________

Dates for 2022 meetings:

24th March 7.30 pm start
Annual Meeting 19th May 7.00 pm start
14th July 7.30 pm start
22nd September 7.30 pm start
17th November 7.30 pm start

Notes from HW for item 10:-

Electric Car Charging Unit
1. Spoke with BP Pulse and SwarCo. Both have charging units in Hereford.
2. Costs were roughly around £3000 for a dual 22Kw charging unit. However, installation would cost between £5-10,000 depending on location to an existing 3 phase supply. There is also a maintenance contract and an admin fee to cover all the transactions. The charger could produce some revenue, but this would naturally depend on the amount of usage. Incidentally, a 50Kw unit is over £20,000
3. I found out that was a possibility of part funding from Herefordshire Council Climate & Nature Grant Scheme. The deadline for the application was December 15th.
4. Applied for £8,150.00
5. Then found out that the application should have been made from the Village Hall themselves. Possibility of reapplying on next round if they have one! Need to prove ongoing benefits etc.
Work for somebody!
6. Our application was turned down. Grants were more geared to cycling and paths to encourage less use of vehicles!
7. The Government has a scheme called On-street residential charge point scheme. In this there is up to £6500 towards the cost but it could be more as this depends on many different factors. The grant is however capped at 75% of cost.

Additional points: You have to demonstrate that there is a need for a charge point i.e., a lack of off-street parking, or by having requests for a charge point from nearby residents.
Parking time of 4 hours. Possibly not enough local amenities in Withington apart from Hall activities and sports to warrant required charging time.