11 July 2017

TUESDAY 11 JULY 2017 AT 7.30 PM

Councillors: Cllrs Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); G Davies (Vice Chair); R Williams; P Wargent; M Wilson; Mrs L Hoppé; N Shore; D Forrest; Mrs F Matthews and Mrs J Karayannis

In Attendance:
Mrs E Wilson (Parish Clerk/RFO);

Members of the public: 11

1. To Accept Apologies for Absence: Cllrs S Garner and D Greenow (Ward Councillor)

2. To Adopt the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 9 May 2017 and the Extraordinary Meeting on 31 May 2017
The Clerk confirmed that the Minutes had previously been circulated to Council Members
Resolved: The Minutes were adopted and signed by the Chair

3. To Receive Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensation
Item 15 & 16 Cllr M Wilson Secretary of PCC
Item 6 Cllr R Williams Member of PFA and Cricket Club
Item 6 Cllr N Shore Secretary of Playing Fields Association

4. Planning
4.1 To Consider new proposals from Mike Jelf of Bell Homes relating to
Land at Quarry Field, Lugwardine
Comments: The Parish Council are minded that this is not a formal application but the following are thoughts on the matter. Cllr Soilleux gave an outline of the current position and invited the public to comment. The general feeling of the public was that the existing outline permission for 30 dwellings was unwanted. Therefore a further 14 dwellings is strongly opposed.
Residents near to the development requested that the developers ensure that there is no possibility of access being available from the existing development site to the piece of land subject to this debate at a future date.
Resolved: Both the Parish Council and the public are strongly opposed to any additional development on the above site.
4.2 To Receive a verbal Report from the Planning Committee
Comments: The Chairman reported on the Planning meetings held since the last scheduled Meeting and remarked on the various applications and decisions relating to planning matters, details of which are contained in the Minutes of the Planning Meetings.
Resolved: Noted
4.3 To Note the Minutes of the Planning Committee dated 22 May 2017 and 20 June 2017
Resolved: The Minutes had previously been circulated to all Councillors. It was agreed that the following amendments should be made:-
Minutes 16 May 2017 – Item 5 – 171468 Newcourt Farm under “Resolved” Application refused be amended to “Application not supported …”
Minutes 23 May 2017 – Item 5 – 171508 Land at Fernleigh under “Resolved” Application approved be amended to “Application recommended for approval”
Item 5 – 171572 Land adjacent to Newcourt Farm under “Resolved” Refused be amended to “Recommended for refusal”

5. To Receive Brief Verbal Reports from:
5.1 District Councillor
Resolved: In the absence of Cllr Greenow no Report was given
5.2 Local Police Officer
In the absence of an Officer no Report was given

6. To Consider future use of proposed gifted land
Comments: Cllr Soilleux advised that there was a good turn out at the Public Consultation on the 9 July 2017. She was not able to give a comprehensive report, as she had not had time to properly analyse the data received. Some of the suggestions and issues raised involved dogs; another football and/or cricket pitch; multi-use games area; the existing play area and car parking. Queries were also raised regarding funding of the various ideas.
Cllr Shore proposed that a working group is set up with some representatives of the Parish Council, the Playing Fields Association and the general public. The group should be actively interested in putting forward ideas and suggestions to the Parish Council, who will make the final decision regarding use of the gifted land.
Resolved: The working group will be called Gifted Field Community Task Force. Cllrs Fiona Matthews; Geoff Davies; Lin Hoppé and Wendy Soilleux will represent the Parish Council. Malcolm Harris; Jonathan Jackson and Nigel Shore will represent the Playing Fields Association and Cllr Daniel Forrest will have a foot in both camps. Members of the public who attended the Consultation will be contacted and invited to join the group. This will ensure that there is a balanced mix of representatives to discuss the possible options arising.
Matter deferred to a future Meeting once the working group has anything to report.

7. Open Time – To Note Matters Raised by Local Residents Relevant to the Parish
Resolved: No matters arising

8. Financial Matters
8.1 To Receive a Report and Financial Statement from the RFO
The RFO advised that following the Internal Auditor’s Report action has been taken to address the points raised. All papers have been submitted and posted.
The Bi-Monthly Finance Notes format has been changed to make them easier to understand. The Finance Operating Statement has been replaced by a Spend against Budget note, which again is much easier to understand. The Finance Notes have been circulated and are posted on the website. The Spend against Budget will also be circulated with this Report and included as Appendix 1 to these Minutes.
As at 29 June 2017 the Community Account Balance was £23,998.99 and the Business Premium Account was £23,941.50. There are unpresented cheques of £1,072.18.
The balance of both Accounts, taking the above into consideration is £46,868.31 as per the Bank Reconciliation, a copy of which has been circulated to all Councillors.
Cllr Wilson wished it to be recorded that he does not believe that the Spend against Budget complies with Standing Orders, Finance Regulations and Practitioners Guide. The RFO did not agree and explained that this had been prepared following advice from HALC.
Resolved: The Financial Report was noted and accepted by the Council
8.2 To address comments contained in Internal Auditor’s Report
8.2.1 To hold more regular Meetings
Resolved: Meetings will continue bi-monthly
8.2.2 To disband the Finance Working Group
Comments: It was pointed out that the Finance Working Group was primarily set up to consider the Budget.
Resolved: The current FWG will be disbanded and a new group set up once a year to consider and recommend the Budget to full Council
8.2.3 To agree half yearly formal internal audits
Resolved: Deferred to next Meeting
8.2.4 To consider adopting an Equality Policy
Resolved: Deferred to next Meeting

8.3 To note bi-monthly audit check by Cllr J Karayiannis
Resolved: The check had been carried out and nothing arises.
8.4 To ratify payments made by Clerk under delegated powers [See Finance Notes] Resolved: The following payments were ratified:
Bartestree Village Hall – Room Hire (139) £32.50; Eve Wilson – May Salary & R/A (140) £**.**; Zurich – PC Insurance (141) £509.62; St Michael’s Hospice – Donation (142) £200.00; Longworth Chapel – Donation (143) £50.00; Eve Wilson – June Salary & R/A (144) £**.**; Autela Payroll Services (145) £38.40; M Dyer – P3 Scheme (146) £170.00; Daniel Squire – Ground Maint (147) £240.00; Impact Print – Flyers re gifted land (148) £50.00
8.5 To agree transfer of £10,000.00 (ten thousand pounds) from the Community Account to the Business Account
Comments: The RFO explained that Barclay’s Bank has a policy that if there is no activity on an account during a period of 12 months then the account is frozen and no Statements issued. This created a delay for the annual audit and the Parish Council are advised by the Bank to transfer money in or out of the Business Premium Account say every 6-9 months to ensure that the Account is not frozen in future
Resolved: Noted. It was agreed that £5,000.00 (five thousand pounds) be transferred from Community Account to the Business Account
8.6 To approve invoices for payment [see Finance Notes] Resolved: The following invoices were approved:
Daniel Squire – Ground Maint (149) £240.00; Mr R Francis – Play Area check (150) £45.00; Mr M Dyer – P3 Scheme (151) £235.00; Mr M Dyer – Lengthsman Scheme (151) £253.00
Resolved: Approved
8.7 To consider spend against budget
Resolved: Noted

9. To consider incorporating future maintenance of the top of the hedge and along the Parish Council boundary that adjoins land belonging to The Cedars, Bartestree into the annual hedge-cutting contract
Comments: Maintenance of the top and Village Hall side of the hedge is already included in the hedge-cutting contract. The following restoration work has been recommended:
• Clear approx. 5m of hedge in the middle of the eastern side
• Clear approx. 10m of hedge in the middle of the southern side
• Clear approx. 5m of hedge at the western end of the southern side
• Trim two of the larger trees on the corner to allow them to grow out and form specimen trees. This will provide additional screening for The Cedars and limit footballs going into their garden (this is the most vulnerable area to footballs)
• Top all the remaining hedge on both sides to about 9ft to allow the hedge to thicken and grow to about 11-12ft (exact height to be confirmed as to the best height to be topped at)
• Clear out bulk of briars in rest of hedge on southern side
• Clear out the elder at the western end of the southern side
• Clear out the 4/5 dead elms
• Plant up with hornbeam in all cleared areas and under-plant existing elm where appropriate, with rabbit guards
Daniel Squire has quoted £550.00 plus VAT to carry out the above work.
Resolved: The Parish Council agreed to pay £275.00 plus VAT

10. Footpaths/Trees
10.1 To Receive a Report from the Footpaths and Tree Officer
Comments: Cllr Hoppé advised that there was one kissing gate still to be installed at Stalls Farm. The Enforcement Officer is on ‘standby’ regarding the trees in the traditional orchard. Otherwise nothing further to report.
Resolved: Report noted and Cllr Hoppé thanked
10.2 To consider the response from Balfour Beatty regarding the request for the installation of a barrier or similar on PROW LU5 to prevent schoolchildren running from the public footpath across the highway
Comments: Cllr Soilleux had made further enquiries regarding installation of barriers on PROWs. Existing procedure is that barriers can only be installed for livestock. Given the reason arising for the request for a barrier is for safety of schoolchildren, Cllr Soilleux will make further enquiries. The Headmistress of the School is also keen for some kind of safety measure to be installed.
Resolved: Further enquiries on-going and the outcome will be reported at the next Meeting.

11. To Receive any updates from the Village Hall Representatives
Resolved: The recent beer festival was a great success and any income over expenditure has been split between the following: Village Hall, HOPE, Football Club and the Cricket Club

12. To Receive any updates from the Playing Fields Association Representatives
Resolved: New covers have been obtained for the cricket nets. The nets and covers belong to the Cricket Club and are kept locked. However, if any non-members wish to use them they should contact Cllr Nigel Shore.

13. Lengthsman Scheme
13.1 To Consider work done/required under the Lengthsman Scheme
Comments: Details of work done was circulated prior to the Meeting
Resolved: Noted

14. Transport Working Group
14.1 To Receive a Report from the Transport Working Group
Resolved: The Chair advised that he had not had time to prepare a written report. However details of problems with pavements within the Parish have been circulated. The Clerk has notified Balfour Beatty of the problems arising and requested the appropriate action.
14.2 To Report on a survey undertaken by the TWG of pavements in the whole group parish and make recommendations on what action may be taken to improve them
Comments: Cllr Soilleux wished to add further items to those referred to above, which will be included in a request under S106 monies. Those items are:

Proposed Additions to Improve the Network of Parish Footways
(1) New footway to the south of the A438 from the entrance to St. Mary’s School in a Westerly direction to Lugwardine Court Orchard.
Points for Consideration:
This would make it safer for pupils from St. Mary’s to walk to the bus stop without crossing the A438 twice and similarly for residents from Lugwardine Court Orchard, bungalows for the over 55s, to walk or use a mobility scooter to get to St. Peter’s Church.
The ground level to the South is higher than that of the highway and is held in place by an old stone retaining wall inside a hedgerow.
There is the question of ownership of the land, which could be either Herefordshire Highways or the Archdiocese of Cardiff.

(2) There is no footway at all for a length of 50 metres on the Lugwardine Bridge where the A438 crosses the River Lugg.
Points for Consideration:
This is a very dangerous situation for pedestrians, school children and adults with pushchairs in particular, of whom there are quite a number and would be more if it were not quite so dangerous.
A new road bridge with a footway or at least a new foot and cycle bridge across the River Lugg to the North of the existing bridge would solve this problem. We think that this would be possible without encroaching on nearby land designated as a SSSI.

(3) The existing footway to the North of the A438 adjacent to Penkelly, HR1 4BY is only 78cm wide in one place.
Points for Consideration:
In order to make it wider a small section of the boundary garden wall of Penkelly would have to be knocked down and rebuilt further back from the road.

(4) New footway to the South of the A438 from the entrance to the two new houses (Cedars) near to the Village Hall to the entrance to the White House, HR1 4BY (also a bus stop).
Points for Consideration:
It is a short distance and the land would appear to be available.

(5) New footway to the South of the A438 from the Eastern end of the new INCA 2 Development in an Easterly direction to the Village Shop.
Points for Consideration:
Most of the land is available except for a short section owned by the owner of the shop.

(6) Widening the entrance to Bartestree Village Hall to allow two vehicles to pass one another and provide improved access to the hall, sporting facilities and children’s play area.
Points for Consideration:
Funding to improve the group parish’s play areas has already been promised as part of the conditions of Planning Application 140757 at Lower Bartestree.
Resolved: The Clerk will send the details of pavement defects and the proposals to improve the network of parish footways to Herefordshire Council to be included in the S106 wish list.

14.3 To Report on a study undertaken by the TWG on options that could improve safety at Bartestree Crossroads and to make recommendations on whether the Parish Council should ask Balfour Beatty to widen its feasibility study at a cost of £1,062.56 plus VAT as quoted by them
Comments: Cllr Wilson advised that investigations by way of a feasibility study could prove very expensive with a negative outcome. The TWG could not think of a solution.
The matter was discussed in great detail by Councillors who felt that it would not be appropriate to abandon this issue, particularly given the fact that a large number of residents have raised concerns regarding safety for adults and children.
Resolved: It was agreed that the Parish Council should proceed with the feasibility study.
14.4 To consider the provision of a footway from the bus shelter at Lugwardine Court Orchard to St Mary’s School
Resolved: Dealt with at 14.2 above

15. To consider whether or not the gates in the safety barrier between St Peter’s Chuch and the A438 should be kept locked for the safety of pedestrians
Resolved: Following detailed discussion the Parish Council agreed that The Clerk should confirm with the Locality Steward that there is no objection to the Parish Council locking the gate permanently at the Council’s expense.

16. To consider the position regarding the St Peter’s Church closed burial ground and possible expenses arising
Resolved: The Clerk to write to Herefordshire Council regarding responsibility for payment of the Reports and any work arising out of those Reports. To be discussed further at the next Meeting

17. To consider repair of the bus shelter at Frome Park
Resolved: Deferred to next Meeting

18. Speed Indicator Devices
18.1 To Consider whether to operate SID for the month of August or November 2017
Resolved: November

19. To Consider draft Public Spaces Protection Order supplied by Herefordshire Council and any comments to be submitted on behalf of the Parish Council
Resolved: The Clerk will advise Herefordshire Council that the Parish Council wishes to adopt the new Orders

20. To note the Information Sheet
Resolved: Noted

21. Clerk – To accept Clerk’s resignation and discuss arrangements for a replacement (Private Session)
Resolved: The Clerk agreed to re-consider and advise Cllr Soilleux. Cllr Soilleux was authorised to instruct HALC to seek replacement staff as appropriate at a cost of £200.00 plus VAT

22. To Receive Questions from Councillors (tabled 7 days prior to Meeting)
Resolved: No questions raised

23. To Raise Items for the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting [no discussion] Resolved: None raised

24. To Note the Date and Time of the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting
Tuesday 12 September 2017 at 7.30pm

Meeting concluded at 10.30 pm

Signature of Chair                                          Date: 12 September 2017