Minutes of a Parish Council Meeting held in Llangarron Village Hall on
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Present: Councillors: Sylvia Matthews, Nigel Moore, Simon Wainewright, Barbara Fisher, Neil Wheeler, Wendy Price, John Norman, and John Joseph.
Ward Councillor Swinglehurst, Mark Hearne (Parish Clerk) and five members of the public were also present.
- To receive apologies for absence – Councillors Paul Bailey, Nick Saunders and Paul Lodge.
- To receive declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation – None
- To consider the minutes of the meeting held on the 26th October 2021 – It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes as a true record, and these were signed by the Chairman.
- Open Session
- To receive views from residents on parish matters. No matters were raised.
4.2 Ward Councillor report – Ward Councillor Swinglehurst reported on the following issues:
4.2.1 It has been announced that Gigaclear will no longer continue the rollout of faster broadband to the south of the county. Herefordshire Council are proposing an interim arrangement through which the south of the county will be subsumed within the ambit of Project Gigabit but before this can be implemented it will need to decouple the affected areas from the Gigaclear contract. Further details will be published by Herefordshire Council in due course. It was RESOLVED to include a link to the relevant information on the Parish Council website. Councillor Norman mentioned that an IT expert lives in the parish and it was suggested that he advertises his services locally. The Parish Council also agreed to forward its concerns to Herefordshire Council.
- NDP – The Chairman reported that the Examiner has approved the draft NDP for the referendum subject to a series of recommendations which have been incorporated into the document. These changes include the deletion of some policies which are already covered in Herefordshire Council documentation. The next and final stage will be the referendum which will be a simple Yes or No vote. Prior to the referendum, the Parish Council will issue a leaflet to every household in the parish outlining the arrangements for the referendum. The Parish Council unanimously supported the progression of the NDP to a referendum in the new year.
- Footpaths – Councillor Price was congratulated on successfully acquiring £5k grant monies following an application to the Herefordshire Council’s “Get Active – Green Spaces” scheme. The grant monies will be used to:
- Procure interpretative boards for installation in two locations in the parish. It is also intended to publish and distribute booklets advertising the footpath network to all households in the parish.
- Improve the access to footpaths for people with mobility issues.
- Improve the condition of the footpaths more generally to ensure they are accessible throughout the year. This will involve working with the lengthsman, landowners and Balfour Beatty. This approach may lead to changes to the schedule for the footpath contractor.
Issues will continue to be reported direct to Herefordshire Council/Balfour Beatty and a meeting with the Locality Steward has been arranged for the 25th November 2021. There are reports that Herefordshire Council are working towards bringing responsibility for PROWs back “in house” and this will be discussed at a meeting on the 8th December 2021. The Chairman added that where it is proposed to replace stiles it is preferable to prioritise those in the worst condition. Councillor Norman mentioned that some dog owners with overweight animals are unable to access the footpaths. It was agreed that dog friendly stiles would be procured where possible. Councillor Fisher confirmed that a new process for reporting and monitoring work on the footpaths has been agreed with the Footpath Contractor.
7. Lengthsman – Councillor Norman reported that the Lengthsman completed routine maintenance in October 2021 at a cost of £392 (ex VAT) for which Councillors approved payment. Councillor Norman also confirmed that, compared to previous years, the parish is best prepared for the winter months.
- Highways – In a statement provided in advance of the meeting Councillor Lodge reported that he is due to conduct a parish tour with the Locality Steward later in the week and will report any issues of note. A site visit with Balfour Beatty took place on the 19th November 2021 to discuss the proposed 20 mph speed limit in Llangrove. Councillors Fisher, Lodge and Price were present at the meeting. Balfour Beatty are supportive of the proposed speed limit and expects it to be in place next summer provided there are no objections from the public or police which seems extremely unlikely. The Chairman added that she had a further amicable conversation about parking issues with the head teacher at the Llangrove Academy.
- Clerk Correspondence – Councillors discussed the following correspondence:
9.1 – A note from Team Wilder explaining the aims and aspirations of the scheme. Councillor Moore commented that he would arrange the ACEG to liaise with Team Wilder.
9.2 – The Chairman of Llangrove Village Hall raised concerns that the bin at the village hall was being used as a receptacle for dog waste and asked if a dog poo bin could be installed in the village. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk investigates the range and signage available which will be used to encourage dog owners to take responsibility for their animal’s waste. The issue of emptying dog waste bins was acknowledged as a problem as there is no HCC emptying scheme for rural areas therefore installation of such bins would create a problem. The solution is for dog owners to take waste home.
9.3 – A resident raised concerns over rumours that a footpath at Tredunnock Farm had been discussed previously by the Parish Council. Parish Councillors have no record or recollection of having discussed this footpath in the past and it was RESOLVED that the Clerk writes to the correspondent to reassure him on this point.
9.4 – A resident has written expressing serious concern that recent groundworks in the field adjacent to the corner of the track between Llangrove Road and Little Trereece will exacerbate the already high risk of flooding. Councillors acknowledged that there have been severe flooding events in this location in the past and added that as this track is categorised as a highway the issue is a matter for the Highways Department in concert with the Environment Agency who are aware of the matter. Councillor Price added that she was aware that the landowner had taken instruction from the Locality Steward before any works were started. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk contacts the Locality Steward to establish the full facts of the issue.
- Planning – There were no planning consultations submitted for consideration.
- The current bank balance is £35,695.18
- To approve the following payments:
- Clerk’s salary in accordance with employment contract (November 2021).
- PAYE – November 2021 – £166.40
- Clerk’s Contractual Expenses – £100.00
- Clerk’s travel expenses – £32.40
- Lengthsman (TGC1698) – £392.00 (ex VAT)
- ICO Fee – £40.00
- Financial Monitoring – The clerk referred to the spreadsheet circulated in advance of the meeting commenting that based on the latest financial information the level of reserves at year end will be circa £10k although this may increase due to the expected slippage in the TRO for Llangrove.
- Village Sign – Following discussion, Councillors approved the procurement of a new village sign for Llangrove at a cost of £156.08 (ex VAT).
- To receive an update from the Garron and Gamber Group. Councillor Moore reported that no further meetings of the group have taken place, but it remains the intention to undertake a full survey of the Garron and Gamber. It is understood that the WyeUsk Foundation are interested in discussing a catchment project, but no details are currently available.
- To receive an update from the Archenfield Community Environment Group (ACEG). Councillor Moore reported that the ACEG group meet fortnightly and have published their first newsletter with the second due next week. As reported at the last meeting the ACEG is planning to hold a hard launch of the Great Collaboration/Hereford Green Network in March 2022. It was originally planned to hold the event at the Llangrove Academy but thst is no longer possible, and the village hall is now the most likely venue. Councillor Moore urged his fellow Councillors to join the Great Collaboration. There was a brief discussion on verge cutting and it was suggested that the Parish Council returns to two cuts during the growing season with the Chairman adding that the timing of this work needs to be carefully considered. Councillor Moore agreed to investigate further and report back.
- Herefordshire Council Local Plan Update – The Chairman explained that Herefordshire Council have invited Parish Councils to complete a survey to help inform the review of the Local Plan. The Chairman offered her thoughts on some issues which might feature in the response to Herefordshire Council as summarised below:
- `The consistent application of the policies rather than the policies themselves.
- A stronger emphasis on environmental issues given that both Herefordshire Council and the Parish Council have declared a climate emergency.
- Any revaluation of housing numbers should take cognisance of the fact that the Parish Council has achieved 65% above its housing target whereas other Parish Councils have fallen short. Similarly, Herefordshire Council has achieved a 6.9-year housing supply which is considerably more than the 5-year housing supply required nationally.
The Chairman asked Councillors to submit their input to the survey to the Clerk before the 17th January 2022 deadline.
- Financial Regulations, Standing Orders & Risk Management Plan – Councillors approved the aforementioned documents for the following 12 months.
- To note the date of the next Parish Council Meeting as Tuesday 25th January 2022.