Minutes 11th February 2020

Minutes of a meeting held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11th February 2020 at Bishops Frome Village Centre

Present: Cllr Nash (Chair), Cllr Partridge, Cllr J Pudge, Cllr M Pudge, Cllr W Pudge, Cllr Parker, Cllr (Ms) Sincock and Cllr Morel.
Mr Brooman, the Council’s Treasurer was also present.

2020/16 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Cllr Hydes

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.

2020/17 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).

2020/18 Public Participation
There were 2 members of the public present.
The first member of the public provided an update on the development of Bishops Frome Community Garden. The garden has been opened up now following the tidying of overgrown areas. Hedging has been purchased which will be planted shortly. There have not been so many volunteers during the winter but the garden will be promoted with a leaflet drop in the spring. Cllr Parker agreed to take a look at the large trees and recommend any action required.
The second member of the public presented an estimate for providing the materials required to prepare the area of the Community Field at Fromes Hill ready for the turning circle. This includes providing fencing, excavation and groundwork and drainage. Cllrs agreed to consider the estimate later in the meeting under finance.

Ward Cllr Chowns joined the meeting. She was due to attend another Parish Council Meeting so agenda item 2020/21 was moved up the agenda.

1 member of the public left the meeting.

2020/21 Ward Councillor Report
Ward Cllr Chowns expressed her pleasure at returning to her hands on Ward Cllr work and attending Parish Council meetings after spending much time away as an MEP. She reported that she had spent time reporting potholes in the Cradley area. Cllrs advised her on potholes in need of attention in Bishops Frome Parish and surrounding area, one in particular which was damaging car tyres.
Ward Cllr Chowns left the meeting.

2020/19 Finance
19.1 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 £27508.87.
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.
The Treasurer asked permission to pay the outstanding invoices as follows:
19.2 Sez Electrics – Repair/Replace faulty lights at Sports Pavilion – £105.00
19.3 Community Garden – hedge plants/bulbs/building materials – £312.45
Councillors agreed that they should both be paid.
19.4 Assertion 5
19.5 Assertion 6
The Treasurer explained the measures in place to ensure that Assertions 5 & 6 were met. In relation to Assertion 5, he explained that the bank balance is checked at each meeting by an independent councillor who is a non-cheque signatory and the Parish Council sets budgets for future expenditure. In relation to Assertion 6, the Parish Council has appointed an Internal Auditor.
19.6 Consider estimate for Fromes Hill Field works. A copy of the estimate produced earlier was passed to each councillor for consideration. The estimate totals £7643.52 plus VAT. In view of the amount, Cllrs agreed that 2 further estimates/quotes should be sort.

2020/20 Planning
There was one new planning application
2020/20.1 P200138/L Rhea House, Bishops Frome WR6 5BQ
Proposed replacement fireplaces and hearths in the living room and dining room.
This is an application for internal works on a listed building and councillors decided that they were not qualified to comment on this application.
A second planning application had been received since the agenda had been produced.
P/200206/F 20 Knights Court, Bishops Frome, WR6 5BZ
Proposed off road parking via access by a dropped kerb.
There have been several applications for dropped kerbs in this area and after discussion, councillors were in favour of supporting the application. Cllr (Ms) Sincock agreed to visit the site and speak to neighbours. If there were no objections the application would be supported. If there were objections, an extension to the deadline would be requested and the application will be brought back to the next meeting for further discussion.

2020/21 Ward Councillor Report – see above

2020/22 Fromes Hill Report
22.1 Update on Fromes Hill Field – Cllr Partridge reported that he and the Chairman of the Fromes Hill Field Committee had visited our solicitors and following discussions it was agreed that there was no satisfactory way forward at this time. The sensible thing to do was to instruct the solicitors to close their file and leave things as they are until the overage covenant expires in 2029. This was therefore the action taken.
Also see above 2020/18 and 2020/19.6 above.
Cllr (Ms) Sincock, the Footpaths Officer, asked for the stiles to be checked for safety when fencing started.
The lease on the field expired on 31st October 2019. As bales were still on the field on the date of the last meeting, 14th January 2020, the Clerk had been asked to write to Miss Morgan requesting the bales be removed within 14 days or else they would be removed by the Parish Council. A letter had therefore been sent on Friday 24th January 2020 giving 14 days to remove them and as the bales had still not been removed by Monday 10th February 2020, they had been removed by the Parish Council.

2020/23 Bishops Frome Report
23.1 Update on Village Centre request to transfer to CIO – Bishops Frome Village Centre Committee had requested a follow up meeting to take place after their next meeting which is on 5th March 2020. The Clerk was asked to arrange a meeting between Parish Council representatives and Bishops Frome Village Centre Committee representatives on a date to be agreed.
23.2 Charge Point at Village Centre – Cllr Morel and Cllr W Pudge reported on their meeting with Chargemaster to discuss the possibility of two car charging points for electric vehicles being installed outside Bishops Frome Village Centre. Although a written quote was still outstanding, a verbal costing had been provided. There was a lengthy discussion regarding benefits, installation costings, postioning of charge points and running costs. In summary from the information received there was going to be a shortfall in the running costs due to rates paid for the electricity. It was therefore decided to shelve this idea for the time being.
23.3 Play Area Inspection – weekly checklist. The Clerk confirmed that she had provided Cllr M Pudge’s email address to Play Safety so that they could contact him to confirm a date for an accompanied Play Area inspection. She advised that she had checked with Play Safety about the cost for a Tailored Weekly Checklist which is £30.00 plus VAT and that is in addition to the £42.00 plus VAT for the accompanied visit. Cllrs agreed that it was a good idea to have a tailored weekly checklist and asked the Clerk to contact Play Safety to request a list with the accompanied inspection.
Cllr Parker and Cllr Partridge agreed to complete a check of the trees in the field around the Play Area during March.

2020/24 Smartwater Scheme
The Clerk confirmed that we are able to apply for the Smartwater scheme now and defer rollout until May/June. Cllrs were happy with this timescale and asked her to send off the application. Cllr Nash, Cllr Morel and Cllr (Ms) Sincock agreed to be the named volunteers.

2020/25 Sports Committee Report
Cllr Parker reported that a meeting of the Sports Committee had taken place on Monday 3rd February. Unfortunately there was no representation from Bromyard Football Club. A number of incidents were discussed and the Clerk had written to Bromyard Football Club explaining a number of issues outstanding. A follow up meeting has been arranged for Monday 2nd March when it is hoped that representatives of Bromyard FC will be in attendance.
It was reported that someone had driven a vehicle through the fence between the carpark and the field. An emergency repair had been authorised to get the fence repaired. The cost is expected to be around £100.00.
In view of the recent incidents, there was a discussion around the possibility of installing security lights or a security camera on the pavilion but it was decided to wait to see if there were any further instances before going to additional expense.
Cllr Parker had agreed to check the trees around the sports field for safety.
Cllr J Pudge advised that he had recently met with one of the trustees and the secretary of the Eveson Trust who had confirmed that they would be happy to renew the lease on the Sports Field for use by the community when the existing lease expires.

2020/26 Speed Watch Scheme
There had been no further progress on this matter and it was agreed to defer until the spring.

2020/27 Footpaths Officer Report
Cllr (Ms) Sincock reported that she had been unable to contact the landowner regarding unblocking the footpath at Halmonds Frome, despite several attempts. Cllrs agreed that she should now refer the matter to Balfour Beatty to take action.

2020/28 Clerk/RFO Vacancy
Cllr J Pudge and the Clerk had met to draft an advertisement for the vacancy which will be a joint Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer role. The position will be advertised on the noticeboards, in the Frome Valley News and on the Council website. A job description had also been drawn up based on the NALC specimen job description for clerks. There was a discussion about the number of hours involved but 5 hours were agreed as a start. The Clerk was also asked to have the advertisement placed on the HALC website.

2020/29 Great British Spring Clean 20/03/2020 – 13/04/2020
The Clerk advised that this years Keep Britain Tidy Campaign is running from 20th March 2020 to 13th April 2020 and asked if councillors wanted to join in. No councillors were interested.

2020/30 To note the information sheet and date of next meeting
The Clerk drew attention to the items on the information sheet and advised the next meeting date is Tuesday 10th March.

There being no other business, the meeting concluded at 21.30.

Bank Recon 31st January 2020