Minutes March 2021

Withington Group Parish Council
Meeting Held on Thursday 18th March 2021 on Zoom

Present: In the Chair: Ralph Barber (RB), Alison Bainbridge (AB), Martin Kirk (MK), Kevin Hewison (KH), Bob Wood (BW), Jonathan Beech (JB), Keith Merrick (KM); Ginette Chadd (GC); Judith Howe (JH), Julie Williams (JW) from 7.42pm, Ed Simcock (ES) (coming in and out of the meeting as lambing allowed), Simon Dent (SD),

Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk), Paul Andrews (Ward Cllr); 2 members of public,

The Meeting opened at 7.30pm
There will be 10 minutes allowed from 7.30pm for members of the public to raise any issues that they would like the Parish Council to consider.
No comments made.

1. To accept Apologies for absence – John Baker (JB); Barclay Rogers (BR), Tom Nellist (TN),
Ingrid Heatly (tree warden);
Absent with out apologies: Sue Rudd (SR);

2. To receive Declaration of Interests.
None received

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

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

Extraordinary meeting in February 2021:

Proposed: BW 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 apart from Footpaths at Nunnington Farm. MK has been chasing the footpaths officer from Balfour Beatty Rob Hemblade, who informed the PC that the land owner has been consulted and has been asked to think of a way to connect the paths to the official route.
Flooding: update from the Ward Councillor to follow.

4. Items raised between meetings: Message from the Chair; RB informed the meeting that he was resigning from the Chair with effect from Monday 22nd March. He thanked the Cllrs for their support whilst he had been in the role, but due to pressures of time, he felt that he needed to let something go from his responsibilities.

5. Planning including

210302 – Cherry Tree House – There were no objections from councillors.
WGPC supports the application P JH Seconded: BW This was approved by majority of 9:1 abstaining.

Action: clerk to submit the comment.

Feed back from  HC Planning Committee on :-
Duke St: This was passed at the appeal this week.
Land North of Southbank appeal:
GC: the inspector did a site visit today and was on site for a couple of hours. She gave a comprehensive report on the visit as she had seen it. She ended her report expressing her disappointment that very few councillors had submitted a second comment, and there were no further comments from the residents of Southbank. RB congratulated the Herefordshire planning officer on her excellent grasp of the figures when she was challenged. The decision will not be given a date until after the end of the month.
MK emphasised that dozens of people from Southbank had objected the first time, if they had nothing new to add why would you write again?

6. Open discussion/public forum including comments from the public and
6.1 Report from Ward Councillor – Cllr Paul Andrews.
-On the Southbank appeal, he thanked Cllr Chadd for her excellent representation for the locals feelings. He also explained how successful our NDP was in helping to show planning applications like this that there were steps in place to restrict planning happening any where developers like.
– Flooding: he has been in contact with Joel Hockenhul about flooding at St Peters Field, although no decisions have been made as yet. It has been suggested that a filter system will be put on the pipes to stop spoil being dragged into them and blocking them up. BB will check the culvert and clean it out if necessary. It was suggested that David Wilson homes had filled in a culvert that on the original plans were listed as vital for moving the water away from the development.
– Radway Road 7.5 Ton limit: PA has asked that in conjunction with Lumber Lane one way order, it will be linked to that TRO to put in ‘unsuitable for HGV’s’ sign at either end of the lane.
– Preston Wynne flood payment: we have submitted the invoice as requested, PA has forwarded this to the council, but
Action: clerk will send the invoice straight to Cllr John Harrington

PA was asked for a report on the Duke St Field access approval. The planning committee had decided yesterday to approve this application, and he was sorry that this decision had been reached. The vote on the day went 11:2 in favour. PA told the meeting that the PC could write in to complain about the process.
Action: clerk and Chair to look at how to go about this process.

PA confirmed that the Core Strategy was currently under review, it comes to be reviewed every 5 years.

6.2 Local police – no report submitted.

6.3 Balfour Beatty – Come out weekly and cllrs can comment on them. Verge cutting: BB asked if there were any verges that we only wanted cutting once a year. Westhide want their verges only cutting once, Lock Lane to Westhide at the Canal only to be cut once. Withington and Preston Wynne want 2 cuts.
Action: JH will submit this request.

7. Withington Fields – The Chair outlined the position where we are with the owner of Bramble Cottage, who has now involved his solicitor. We have prepared a response and have asked SR to look through this for us from a legal perspective.
Action: Clerk: to send copy of both our letter and Mr D’s solicitors letter to MK.

8. Working parties:-
– War Memorial; JB has met with a fundraising manager locally who is hoping to assist him to raise some funds towards the renovation work.

– NDP: We have received varying advice as to what to do with this. It seems now that we should wait before updating our NDP until the new Core Strategy for Herefordshire is released – possibly towards the end of the year. Suggestions were made that we need to look at the 80 houses and completed houses so that the date on the plan – this would then be a ‘minor’ review and would give us another 2 years until we need to revisit the whole thing. JH was happy to remain on this working group along with KH, JB and KM.
With the NDP a facebook page was created (although with very few hits) which he asked to pass on to some one else – it was suggested instead that this could be amalgamate with the Withington Folk page. It was resolved that in fact this original site should be closed down.

– Changing rooms and car park at the village hall: KH told the meeting that the CEMP had been completed and that S106 monies had been authorised to be released to pay for it. This will leave £39,000 in the S106 pot for this work. He is meeting with GM Joyce next week to finalise the cost to this work.
A member of the public asked why there had been none of the S106 monies to fence off the dangerous areas at the site where they had done the building at the St Peters building site. Fencing off the water course etc.

– A4103: KH had submitted a report from this meeting group. It had taken 4 months to receive speed data from HC that he had requested last year! There is a meeting on 8th April with Inspector Ian Conolly to look at this stretch of road. The group have looked at getting a SID approximately where the chip shop sign is on the A4103 Ian Conolly will give further information on this.
JW and BW had been on a speed awareness course which they both found very interesting, learning much about the installation of SIDs etc.

– Vine Tree: One quote has been received from Martin Meredith, we are still awaiting a further quote from the lengthsman for the same job. AB has been out to see the current path through the ‘eco zone’ which is nearly finished. There was a possibility of using some of the earth from the car park job to help to build the ‘bridge’ from the eco zone.
KH: explained that the road surface at Vine Tree Close was disgraceful, it was felt that this should be relaid entirely.
Action: clerk to ask enforcement to see if all had been delivered as per the planning application.

9. Lengthsman Scheme – identification of jobs for the lengthsman.
Preston Wynne drainage: it is felt that this is underway but not completed.
The chair asked if every one was happy to continue to use the current lengthsman? Every one was happy with the suggestion to sign him up for another three years. This was resolved with 10:1 voting in favour.
Job for the lengthsman: drainage ditch to be cleared out in Westhide.
Action: JH to tell the clerk where this is. Drain at the steps at Duke St. to be reinstated.

10. Foot paths officers reports
PW: all clear.
WH: all clear, in addition, as sufficient evidence proves the previous existence of the 2 Bridleways and a Byway in Westhide, Herefordshire Council will now make a Modification Order to include these on the Definitive Map.

W’ton: as previously discussed.

11. Tree Warden report – Ingrid Heatly had submitted a brief report. There are still some trees for Parishes, but we need space for 50 of them!

12. Feedback on training or information events attended:
The chair reminded Councillors of the Parish Council summit which is on 30th March. JH has said that she will attend, there is one further space available.
BW had found the course that he went on very informative, but he found that HALC had promised follow up packs and these have still not arrived a month later.

13. Matters Financial.

a. Balances
Public Sector Deposit Fund (31.01.21)     £ 11,551.84
Lloyds Parish Acct (05.03.21)                    £ 10,824.06
Lloyds Withington Field Acct (01.03.21) £ 2,265.14             £23,641.04
b. Cheques to be paid
Parish Acct:-
Clerks Salary                              £ 538.56
Clerks Expenses                        £ 56.89 £ 595.45
HALC training (J Howe, J Williams
and B Wood)                              £ 144.00
Cotswald Transport Planning £ 325.00
Total Cheques from Parish Acct                                        £2,239.45

Withington Field Acct:-
Shelly O’Sullivan                           £ 80.00
T Griffiths inv 1397 H&S check £ 150.00
T Griffiths inv 1398 H&S checks £ 120.00 £ 270.00
Hereford Council Bins                 £ 163.67
Total Cheques from WF acct                                               £ 433.67

Total cheques: £2673.12

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:
The following grant applications had been submitted this month. Papers had been circulated prior to the meeting and the chair went straight to a vote as follows:-
Preston Wynne Church: contribution to keep the paths and community space welcoming and accessible – £280 Passed 6:4 in favour with one abstaining.

St Peters Church, Withington: Contribution to maintaining the public footpath that crosses the church @ 50% of the costs – £660 ; Passed: 7:4 in favour with one abstaining.

It was resolved by the majority of councillors to make all of the grant payments above.
15. Receive items for the next agenda (no discussion) This could be held at the village hall starting at 7pm depending on the outcome of an ongoing court case determine if PC might continue to have authorisation to meet via zoom. (Clerk added: this court case was lost and it was ruled that all future Parish Council meetings have to be face to face with public access).

In the round up at the end of the meeting, many thanks were passed to the Chair for his leadership over the last year and sadness expressed at his resignation.

16. Agreed time and date of next meeting: The Annual Parish meetings and the PC meeting on 20th May 2021 starting at 7pm.

The meeting closed at 9.28pm

Signed: _________________________ Date: _________________

Dates for 2021 meetings:

Annual Meeting 20th May 7pm start
15th July 7.30pm start
16th Sept 7.30 pm start
18th Nov 7.30 pm start