Minutes of a meeting held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10th March 2020 at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Present: Cllr Nash (Chair), Cllr Partridge, Cllr J Pudge, Cllr M Pudge, Cllr Parker and Cllr Morel.
Mr Brooman, the Council’s Treasurer was also present.
2020/31 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Cllr W Pudge, Cllr (Ms) Sincock and Cllr Hydes.
2020/32 Declarations of interest
a) To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda
b) To receive written requests for dispensations for disclosable pecuniary interests (if any)
c) To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate
There were no declarations of interest.
2020/33 To adopt the minutes of the previous meeting
A copy of the draft minutes had been circulated to all councillors prior to the meeting. They were accepted as a true record and signed by Cllr Nash (Chair).
2020/34 Public Participation
There were three members of the public present.
One member of the public spoke about the Community Garden in Bishops Frome. He thanked the Parish Council for their support so far especially financially and presented a further invoice for payment. He reported that more people had started to become involved.
There are two large trees requiring maintenance and professional advice is being sought. Cllr Pudge suggested that they look at the grants being offered by Calor Gas and he agreed to forward details for consideration.
1 member of the public left the meeting.
Ward Councillor Chowns joined the meeting and agenda item 2020/37 was moved up the agenda.
2020/37 Ward Councillor Report
Cllr Chowns spoke about Coronavirus and the recent flooding in the county. Balfour Beatty are recording damage caused by the floods in a bid to obtain additional funding for repairs.
There have been two full council meetings in recent weeks which involved setting of council tax, approving the budget and the setting of Parish Council precepts.
Cllr Chowns has taken on a new role as cabinet member for Environment, Economy and Skills.
A group of volunteers is being gathered to write a zero carbon plan for the county.
Ward Cllr Chowns left the meeting.
Two members of the public wanted to hear an update on Fromes Hill Field, therefore this item 2020/41.1 was moved up the agenda.
2020/41.1 Update on Fromes Hill Field
Adverts had been put out to request closed bids for the leasing of the Fromes Hill Field from 1st April 2020 to 28th February 2021. Prior to the Parish Council meeting, a meeting of the Fromes Hill Field Committee had taken place to open the closed bids. The highest bid was received from Mr C Pudge and it was therefore agreed that he be permitted to lease the Field.
Cllr Partridge confirmed that it had been agreed by all parties to postpone the separation of the church portion of the land due to the difficulties this had presented with the overage clause.
A request had been received enquiring about the possibility of purchasing a portion of the land but due to the situation as explained above it is not possible at the moment.
It was agreed that the next stage is to progress with the turning circle and look at what fencing is required. Cllr Partridge and Cllr Parker agreed to look at the fencing situation. A meeting of the Fromes Hill Field Committee will then be arranged and Fromes Hill Village Hall Trust will be asked to present a copy of their accounts.
1 member of the public left the meeting.
35.1 Bank Reconciliation – a copy of the bank reconciliation had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. The bank reconciliation was reviewed and signed by the Chairman and RFO to confirm the current balance held by the Parish Council is £26,877.95.
Cllr Morel, an independent councillor who is a non-cheque signatory, signed the bank statement to confirm that the balance agreed to the Council’s accounting statement.
35.2 Budget monitoring Report – a copy of the Budget Monitoring Report had been sent to councillors prior to the meeting. Year to date expenditure to 29/02/2020 was compared to the budget set for 2019/2020 and variances were discussed and explained.
The Treasurer asked for the Council’s permission to pay the four outstanding invoices:
35.3 Mrs R Brooman – Clerks Expenses – £114.80
35.4 Mr R Brooman – Treasures Expenses – £30.43
35.5 P Eaton – Litter Picking – £125.28
35.6 Eyelids Productions Ltd – Website Annual Support – £100.00
Permission was granted.
35.7 Consider quotes for Community Field works – quotes are being obtained for next month’s meeting.
35.8 Assertion 7
35.9 Assertion 8
Cllrs agreed that the Council complied with Assertions 7 & 8. The accounts are audited both internally and externally with no issues being raised and the accounts are reviewed by the council regularly, for example looking at the Budget Monitoring Report as above.
35.10 Utilities – the Treasurer advised councillors that a Smart meter has been installed at the Sports Pavilion. In future payments will be taken by direct debit. The water rates payments have also been changed to direct debit. He explained that a credit of £30.00 had been received from Npower as a goodwill gesture because the engineer was so late arriving to fit the Smart meter.
35.11 Cheque signatories – The Treasurer asked councillors if they would like to add some further signatories to the Council’s bank account. It was agreed that Cllr M Pudge and Cllr Morel become bank signatories. The forms required were handed out for completion and return to NatWest.
There was 1 new planning application – Listed building consent.
36.3 P200363/L Mill Barn, Bishops Frome, WR6 5BJ
Replacement doors and windows (part retrospective)
Cllrs did not feel a need to comment on this application.
2020/37 Ward Councillor Report – see above
2020/38 Clerk Vacancy
Cllr Nash, Chairman, explained that he had an enquiry about the position but was awaiting an application form.
2020/39 Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)
Cllr Pudge reported that he had been to a meeting to find out about reviewing our NDP. He is going to be sent the information on how to proceed with the review. At the meeting, it was suggested that a review be commenced within the next 12 months. We have to start at Reg 14 stage and Cllr Pudge suggested the review be commenced in April/May.
Our Parish is within 1 house of its 2031 target.
2020/40 Core Strategy Settlement Hierarchy Review
Herefordshire Council have sent a Core Strategy Settlement Review questionnaire for completion. Prior to the meeting, the Clerk had sent a copy of the questionnaire to all councillors for consideration. The Clerk advised that she had commenced completion of the document but would like councillors input on some of the questions. The questionnaire was discussed and completed.
2020/41 Fromes Hill Report
41.1 Update on Fromes Hill Field – see above
41.2 Moving of 40mph further to the west – Cllr Partridge and the Clerk advised councillors that they and Ward Cllr Chowns had attended a meeting with representatives of ADL Traffic & Highways Engineering regarding moving the 40mph signs at Fromes Hill further west. They passed around illustrations and explained the proposal is to move the 40mph limit down the hill below the laybys. The road would also be hatched to create a right turn lane to Bosbury. Cllrs agreed that this was a good way forward. The next stage is the Initial Consultation Process.
41.3 s.106 monies for development by Wheatsheaf Inn – The Clerk explained that she had made some preliminary enquiries into the possible uses of the s.106 funds allocated to the Parish from the Wheatsheaf Inn development. Councillors had already agreed that the funds allocated for open space should be used towards a Play Area at Fromes Hill.
There is a large sum of money available for transport. The Clerk explained that she had obtained a copy of the Community Commissioning Toolkit on Hereford Council Website which gives an idea of the costs of various projects such as zebra crossings, although she had been told it is a very rough idea as it does not include the cost of assessment and design. Cllrs agreed to look in to this further to establish the best use of the funds becoming available. The Clerk agreed to forward the link to the Community Commissioning Toolkit to all councillors.
2020/42 Bishops Frome Report
42.1 Update on Village Centre request to transfer to CIO – a meeting was due to be held last evening but it had to be cancelled, a further meeting is therefore to be scheduled.
It had been brought to the attention of the Parish Council that there was broken glass from broken beer bottles in the car park and near the Play Area. There has been a large number of beer cans and bottles in the waste bins at the Play Area recently. Cllrs discussed having a security light or camera fitted and agreed to discuss the matter with Bishops Frome Village Centre Committee.
42.2 Community Garden – see public participation above
2020/43 Sports Committee Report
A meeting of the Sports Committee took place on Monday 2nd March. There were no representatives of Bromyard FC in attendance.
2020/44 SmartWater Scheme
The Clerk confirmed that our application for the SmartWater Scheme had been accepted. A copy of the terms and conditions of the scheme had been emailed to all councillors prior to the meeting for consideration. Cllrs agreed that they wish to accept the terms and the Clerk should return the acceptance form, after clarifying that we have until 31st March 2021 to complete the rollout.
2020/45 Footpaths Officer Report
45.1 Halmonds Frome Footpath – Cllr (Ms) Sincock was not present at the meeting but had sent a message to say that she was monitoring the progress of clearance of this footpath. Cllrs agreed to check for an update at the April Meeting.
45.2 Accessibility Working Group – the Clerk briefly explained the Access for All scheme and the footpath which Cllr (Ms) Sincock felt may be suitable for adaptation. Cllrs ageed to follow up with the Footpaths Officer at the next meeting.
2020/46 Community Resilience Plan
Prior to the meeting, the Clerk had circulated a copy of details for drawing up a Community Resilience Plan received from HALC. This will involve a bit of work to produce and it was therefore agreed that a sub-committee would be set up to look at this at a future date.
2020/47 To note the information sheet and date of next meeting & plan meeting dates for the year ahead.
The Clerk drew attention to the items on the information sheet and confirmed that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th April 2020. She agreed to produce a list of meeting dates for the remainder of the year to attach to the minutes and put on the Parish Council website.
The Clerk and RFO will retire from their roles on 31st March 2020.
The Parish Councillors agreed to give Mrs Rowan Brooman, Clerk and Mr Roy Brooman, Treasurer, a gift worth £50.00 each from the Parish Council.
The Parish Councillors also decided to contribute to a gift and voucher from themselves personally.
The Chairman thanked both Rowan and Roy for the enormous amount of work they have put into their roles as Clerk and Treasurer and presented them with a gift voucher for the Hop Pocket Plant Centre from the Parish Council, and a Carriage Clock and a voucher from the Parish Councillors.
Both replied thanking the Council for their gifts and also for the support they had been given by the Councillors over the years.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 21.40.
Bishops Frome Parish Council Meetings 2020
Tuesday 14th April at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Tuesday 12th May at Bishops Frome Village Centre (to include Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Meeting of the Parish Council)
Tuesday 9th June at St Matthews Church, Fromes Hill
Tuesday 14th July at St Matthews Church, Fromes Hill
Tuesday 8th September at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Tuesday 13th October at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Tuesday 10th November at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Please NB that due to the Coronavirus outbreak, these dates may be subject to change.