Minutes of a meeting held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10th October 2017 at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Present: Cllr Partridge, Cllr Guise, Cllr Pudge and Cllr Mrs Roberts
Mr Brooman, the Council’s Treasurer was also present.
There were two members of the public present.
In the absence of Cllr Nash (Chair), the meeting was chaired by Cllr Partridge (Vice Chairman).
2017/121 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Cllr Ms Sincock, Cllr Nash, and Cllr Marshall.
Cllr Parker and Cllr Hydes were not present.
2017/122 To receive declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation
There were no declarations of interest.
2017/123 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 Partridge (Vice Chairman).
2017/124 Public Participation
There were two members of the public present.
One member of the public wanted to discuss the poor management of the current roadworks closing the A4103 in both directions. The Clerk advised that this matter had been brought up at the last Parish Council meeting and she had sent an email to Mr Ball of Transport and Highways at Herefordshire Council on the recommendation of Ward Councillor Mrs Morgan, expressing our concerns at the lack of communication surrounding the works with particular reference to local businesses. No reply had been received but the signage has improved a little, showing businesses open as usual and no through road, but giving distance to closure. Notices of closure are now also being published in local papers.
Councillor Pudge explained what action he had taken as a local business owner affected by the works. He has had meetings with representatives from Hereford Council. He has been told that the road has to be closed fully because the way they are laying the tarmac means they can cover more road for less money than if they keep one lane open. The funds received from the government for the road works are ring fenced and cannot be used for compensation but Herefordshire Council have put money up which could possibly be used for compensation due to loss of business. Councillor Pudge is looking in to the matter of claiming compensation for the group of businesses at the Hop Pocket and has stated any other businesses willing to join forces will be welcomed, although he could not say how successful they might be.
The second member of the public wished to speak about flooding, particularly water running off the Evesbatch road. The Clerk and Cathy Berkeley from Balfour Beatty had walked the route taken by the water and established where they thought the water was coming from. Cllr Partridge thought he knew who owned the land in question and agreed to contact him and request that he dig out the ditch. Once the ditches are cleared Balfour Beatty are happy to jet the drains.
2017/125 Neighbourhood Plan
The Neighbourhood Plan is still with the examiner, so nothing further to report at this time.
126.1 Audit Conclusion – The Treasurer had received the audit conclusion from Grant Thornton and the only thing they highlighted was that he had signed the return a day later than the Clerk and Chairman. Councillors thanked the Treasurer for his hard work in preparing for the audit.
126.2 Assertion 5 and Assertion 7
Assertion 5 – The Treasurer led a discussion considering the financial and other risks that the Parish Council could face. There were no forthcoming risks at the time. An example of internal control practiced by the Parish Council is that a non signatory councillor reconciles the monthly bank statement with the financial report at each meeting of the Parish Council.
Assertion 7 – No matters were brought to the attention of the council by the Internal Auditor. The only matter raised by the External Auditor was that the date of the Treasurers signature on the Annual Return, was a day later than that of the Clerk and Chairman.
126.3 Precept 2018/2019- The Treasurer presented to councillors a summary of expenditure of the last 3 years with an expected expenditure to the year end. By studying these figures and taking into account known future events councillors worked down the list and calculated expected expenditure for each area for the coming year. A precept of £25000.00 was agreed for 2018/2019.
126.4 Grant Thornton – Audit fee -£275.00 – The Treasurer asked the council for permission to pay this outstanding invoice and all councillors agreed it should be paid.
112.3 P173038/FH and 112.4 P173039/L The Homestead, Fromes Hill, HR8 1HR
Cllr Nash had looked at these applications. He had left a report to say that this site was not overlooked by any neighbours and comments by locals on the council website all support the application. Councillors therefore supported the application.
127.1 P172989/L Frome Manor, Bishops Frome WR6 5BB
Cllr Partridge had looked at this application. A previous application had been agreed and this was effectively an amendment putting in place recommendations made at the original application. Councillors agreed to support this application.
59.1 P171270/F Caravan known as Lady Lute, Fromes Hill
The Clerk confirmed that she had written to the planning department regarding the land referred to in this application as requested, but had not yet received a reply.
2017/128 Fromes Hill Report
128.1 Fromes Hill Field – Councillor Pudge has received the report from the surveyor which confirmed that the turning circle did not increase the value of the land and therefore no uplift is due to the previous owners.
128.2 Traffic Calming on Fromes Hill – The Clerk confirmed that Councillor Nash had met with Ian Connolly of West Mercia Police and would provide feedback at the next meeting.
2017/129 Bishops Frome Report
129.1 Outreach Post Office – Cllr Guise reported that he had established that the franchise, run by Nigel, had four machines, two of which were always out of service. He had been in contact with the providers and been told that all mobile services are being upgraded and has been promised that Nigel will be the first to benefit from the new equipment.
129.2 Village Gateway – Councillor Partridge and the Clerk advised councillors that they had met with Cathy Berkeley to discuss the positioning of a village gateway at the entrances to the village on the B4214. At the Ledbury side, the verge is very narrow and the possible solution would be to put the gates next to or attached to the 30mph speed limit signs. This would still mean that the signs would straddle the ditches. Also in the guidelines for a village gateway it suggests that the white lines in the middle of the road be removed and replaced with solid white lines at the road edge. If we have to meet this criteria it will cost a lot more than our £2000.00. A discussion was held about alternative traffic calming measures we could consider. The idea councillors wished to explore further would be to have an addition to the village signs saying ‘please drive carefully’ or words to that affect. The Clerk agreed to explore this idea and see if it would be classed as a traffic calming measure. It was also noted that the Bishops Frome sign on the Ledbury side was missing.
129.3 Flooding/Sandbags – The issue of flooding was discussed under public participation. Councillor Pudge confirmed that he still had a few sandbags left from last year but could do with getting another 60. The Clerk agreed to contact Balfour Beatty to request some.
2017/130 Sports Committee Report
Councillor Partridge reported that some of the slabs around the sports pavilion were broken and could do with being replaced. It was agreed that a meeting of the sports committee should be called to discuss the matter.
2017/131 HALC Training Courses
The Clerk highlighted some HALC courses coming up which councillors may be interested in and asked them to let her know if there were any they wished to attend. Councillors nominated the Clerk to attend the Data Protection course on 28th November.
2017/132 Parliament Week
The Committee of Bishops Frome Village Centre are taking part in Parliament Week and have asked if any Parish Councillors could support the event on 15th and 16th of November. Councillor Pudge agreed to attend and the Clerk said she would try to attend one day also.
2017/133 Footpaths Officer Report
Nothing to report.
2017/134 To note the information sheet and date of next meeting
The Clerk drew attention to the items on the information sheet and the date of the next meeting was agreed as Tuesday 14th November.
There being no other business, the meeting concluded at 20.50.