Sept Minutes 2020

Withington Group Parish Council

Meeting Held on Thursday 17th September 2020 on Zoom


Present: In the Chair: Ralph Barber (RB), Alison Bainbridge (AB), Martin Kirk (MK), Kevin Hewison (KH), Bob Wood (BW), Jonathan Beech (JBe), John Baker (JB); Keith Merrick (KM), Judith Howe (JH), Ginnette Chadd (GC); Sue Rudd (SR); Simon Dent (SD), Barclay Rogers (BR);

Also: Sophie Glover (Clerk), Paul Andrews (Ward Cllr); 2 members of public, Robert Donaldson; Ingrid Heatley; Estelle Stock to 8pm

The Meeting opened at 7.30pm

  1. To accept Apologies for absence

Tom Nellist (TN), Julie Williams (JW),

Absent with out apology: Ed Simcock (ES),

  1. To receive Declaration of Interests.

None received

  1. Presentation of Smart Water initiative: CPO Estelle Stock

Estelle introduced herself and the Smart Water initiative. It is West Mercia police response to the increase in rural crime.  Having it in your parish is a real deterrent to criminals coming into your area.  They want an 80% commitment in each area i.e. 80% of residents need to sign up for the scheme.  Kits cost £8.95 through this initiative instead of the usual £25, the PCC will also have a further 25% off so the Parish Council pay in effect £6.58 (+VAT) per kit.

Questions from the floor JBe; is it recommended by home insurers? Yes some insurance companies do take this into consideration, it is an area that they are developing at the moment.

Estelle will send the Clerk more information and the application form following this meeting.


4i   Acceptance of minutes of the:- PC meeting (July 2020)

Proposed:   BW                   Seconded:  KH  All were in favour

They were duly accepted as a true record of the meetings.


Ii.   Action Points

Road surface on Veldo Lane – it had been resolved to get Lengthsman to go and have a look which did happen in September. He will pump out the drains to try and help clear the surface water.

Tree surgeon for the copse – delayed until September due to bat nesting.   Discuss later, under tree warden

S106 monies – under Ward Cllr

Road safety inc A4103, discuss under Ward Cllr

Path from new Vine Tree to the Coppice: clerk to look if this was included in the original planning application.


  1. Planning


202506 – Townsend Farm, Westhide – replacement outbuilding

JH went to talk to the neighbours of this property, who had no objection to the application. The PC supports the application.


202685 – Withington Smith Memorial Hall, Coppice Close, Withington. As it is our (WGPC) application, no response required.


Action: Clerk to submit comments


  1. Open discussion/public forum including comments from the public

Mr Donaldson talked about the flooding off the farm field, crossing the playing field then, he explained, it comes into his garden.  The chair asked about the visit from the enforcement officer, David Wilkinson, the Clerk had met with him at the field and he had expressed his opinion that the condition of the ditch was not causing flooding to the two properties backing onto the field.  He felt that they were positioned at the lowest point on the field and with the exceptional weather of last winter, the volume of water generated naturally gravitated towards these properties.  He was going to recommend closing the case from their side. BR suggested that we contact the farmer and ask them to work the field the other direction, which may well help to move the water to run off in other areas spreading the runoff.

Action: BR to talk to the land owner, clerk to forward the relevant details.

MK to look further at the drainage ditch to decide on the way forward.

Clerk to get dog walking area cut.


6.1   Report from Ward Councillor

– Traffic issue Duke St: S106 monies has now been put on the back burner due to a review. This has been completed and next week we should see the s106 schemes start up again.

–     Slow signs on the road to be asked for from BB outside the school.

  • The S106 officer Yvonne Coleman is currently very busy, but she is still working on the S106 projects.
  • The Hay Meadow: the officer did a site visit, and the planning committee was due to do a site visit on the 29th with a planning meeting on the 30th but Covid rules may stop this. He will let the PC know when this is confirmed.
  • On Sona House – Discussion about first application, but he is having a conversation with Kevin Bishop tomorrow.
  • Fish and chip shop signage – has gone to appeal, no date given as yet.
  • Signs; BW talked about Vine Tree Close and lost drivers who are looking for the new estate. Vine Tree Gardens – which has now been renamed as Vine Tree Close. KH suggested that the developer should put a sign at the bottom of Bobs drive.

Clerk to approach Bell Homes (cc Paul Andrew to the e mail) to a) to ask them to address the poor road surfaces on Vine Tree  b) to look at the provision of extra signs as above.

  • Preston Wynne flood payment – he has brought this to Bruce Evans (HC Highways) he will chase this again.
  • Accident on A4103; Following an e mail from a parishioner about the 2 accidents that have ended up with cars in their barn. He has passed this onto highways and they along with the local police team will look into this further.  He asked for Cllr suggestions to actions, KH has lived in the same area for 32 years, and over that time there have been perhaps 5 accidents there in this time. He feels that the problem is the traffic that is coming into Hereford that causes the problem, they are too often travelling too fast. He suggested that a SID system might work here.  AB suggested a sign that tells drivers to ‘slow down’ and lights up if you are speeding.  BW; what are the chance of getting a speed camera on this road? PA not great from the police’s side.

Action: PA will talk with highways about getting a speed camera, as well as approaching Balfour Beatty on the subjects above.


6.2   Local police – Nothing received.


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


6.4  20 mph speed limit along Duke St and in Preston Wynne and two ‘slow’ sign request as above to be repainted on the road before the school steps on Duke St.


  1. Withington Fields.

Fencing on the field – we have been looking at getting 3 contractors to quote, but after a number of wasted calls, it was proposed to go with the Lengthsman to just get the job done.  KH; proposed  BW; seconded.


  1. Changing rooms and car park at the village hall.

KH told the meeting that the planning application was now in the public domain.

The football club have still to start with their fundraising attempts.

Ref the car park; KH had been out for quotations in 2017 he is trying to find a further 2 quotations for doing the work in the car park.


  1. Lengthsman Scheme – identification of jobs for the lengthsman.

Nothing further put forward.


  1. Foot paths officers reports

PW: no report sent

WH: No report sent.

W’ton: Nothing to report at this time.

Maps for each parish to go onto their notice boards. When BB have sent the new maps through clerk will forward to the FO’s.

Footpath from the Copse to Vine Tree, clerk to keep chasing, if this path was on the original plans.


  1. Tree warden report – Ingrid Healey was proposed as the new Tree warden, all were in favour.

The chair proposed that we subscribe the Tree warden network. Proposed by KH: seconded GC.

Clerk to link with the tree surgeon who is going to work on the coppice and link him with Ingrid.  IH also said that Cathy Gumbleton (our old tree warden) was happy to be her deputy.

IH was looking at individuals doing tree planting in National Tree Week – she has approached Radway Bridge nursery for trees at cost prices.


  1. Feedback on training or meetings attended

The chair told the meeting about HALC training, PC Summit: JH, KH attended with RB. JH found it interesting, but not terribly enlightening. GC has already signed up for 2 of the training days.


  1. Consultation documents: the chair asked if cllrs wanted to feed back individually or as a group. It was resolved to do so as a group.

Planning White Paper; Working group will be: KM; KH: MK:  any one else interested t ocontact the clerk or RB.  Clerk to check the date that this needs to be submitted.

HC Parking Charges; closing date passed.

Police Survey;  JH;SD;    put together comments and RB compiled them and asked for agreement to submit.


The chair told the meeting that we were about to go over 2 hours and he asked the cllrs permission to continue – all agreed.


  1. NDP: When to look at updating/reviewing the document; The Chair felt that Herefordshire are very progressive and helpful compared to others. Withington currently are 53 dwellings over target. But Hereford are 500 in the negative.  Herefordshire have still to draw up their new Core Strategy, and this might have different numbers in it, so we have to keep our eye on it, and this item should stay on the agenda.

JH suggested that we might benefit from a call for sites so that a small site could be identified and then review the PAN which would give the NDP validity after the two year period – she did how ever feel that Withington had seen enough development. Others were not keen in Withington especially.  JBe reminded the meeting that the pumping station was a new approved planning site that is not in the existing NDP.

Action: RB to look at the NDP to see if the Water works site was included and if not we can update the existing plan.


  1. Drainage grant Clerk to look into whether or not this grant was still available.


  1. To note contents of the information sheet, and take any comments from that. The clerk had been contacted by the external auditors and had needed to make a couple of amendments to the WGPC submissions:- In Section 1, item 8 was filled in incorrectly, this was amended to ‘yes’; More detail was needed in the Explanation of Variances sheet; to amend box 9 in the accounting statement for last year to show the 10% depreciation in our assets. The clerk and Chair both to sign off on these ‘restatements’ then to publish new forms on our website.

Action: Clerk and Chair to sign forms and post them onto the website.

 17. Matters Financial.


17.1  Balances

Public Sector Deposit Fund (30.08.20)              £ 11,547.07

Lloyds Parish Acct (31.07.20)                                £ 21,787.35

Lloyds Withington Field Acct (29.06.20)              £   6,119.08               £39,453.50


17.2  Cheques to be paid

Parish Acct:-

Clerks Salary                                                £  1,283.70

Clerks Expenses                                          £      43.19                       £1,326.89

Countrywide inv Church grass July         £      66.00

Countrywide inv graves grass Aug (1)     £      66.00

Countrywide inv Church grass Aug (2)    £      91.20

Countrywide inv graves grass Aug (3)     £      91.20                        £314.40

Eyelid productions website support         £    100.00

Bespoke Visual solutions                        £     120.00

HALC Website hosting                             £     96.00



Withington Field Acct:-

Shelly O’Sullivan                                      £     80.00

Countrywide July inv  x2                          £   156.00

Countrywide Aug x 2                             £    156.00                                £312.00

T Griffiths  wf repairs to equipt              £    732.00

T Griffiths wf anti covid spraying           £      30.00

T Griffiths H&S checks                            £      36.00

T Griffiths  anti covid spraying x4          £    120.00                               £918.00

Herefordshire Council Bins                    £     155.87                              £1,465.87


Total cheques:       £3,910.16


It was moved that all cheques should be paid.   Proposed: KH    Seconded: JBe


17.3  Receipts:                   Interest from savings acct £1.60


17.4  Application for Financial Aid, Preston Wynne Church yard

KH suggested that this was good value and proposed to pay them, seconded BW.

Action: Clerk to add this to the cheques to be signed


  1. Receive items for next agenda


PC went into session and the clerk and members of Public left the meeting


  1. Agreement for clerks annual salary increase as suggested by NALC and listed in the HALC papers; also discussion on clerks annual salary SCP incremental increase. Both to be back dated to April 2020


It was resolved to award the clerk the NALC recommendation for the salary increase, and also to award her one SCP increase. Both to be back dated to April 2020.


The councillors thank the clerk for all her hard work in support of the Parish council.



The meeting closed at 9.50pm



Signed: _________________________                         Date: _________________



Dates for 2020/21 meetings:


  19th November 7.30 pm start
2021 21st January 7.30 pm start
  18th March 7.30 pm start