Minutes of a meeting held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 9th April 2019 at Bishops Frome Village Centre
Present: Cllr Nash (Chair), Cllr Partridge, Cllr Guise, Cllr Ms Sincock, Cllr Pudge, Cllr Parker and Cllr Hydes.
Mr Brooman, the Council’s Treasurer was also present.
2019/46 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Cllr Mrs Roberts and Cllr Mrs Sevastopulo.
2019/47 To receive declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation
There were no declarations of interest.
2019/48 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).
2019/49 Public Participation
There were 2 members of the public present.
They spoke about the community garden in Bishops Frome and put forward some ideas they had for reviving the garden and making it a place to be enjoyed where people could meet and chat. There are plans for a wildlife area, fruit and vegetable patches and a children’s garden. They also spoke of the health benefits to be gained both for those working on the garden and those just enjoying the outdoors. They have 12 people interested in the project already, and will be holding a meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th April at The Chase Inn to attempt to gain further support and explore further ideas villagers may have. There are a few basics they need to get the project started and councillors suggested they draw up a list and submit it to the next Parish Council meeting and they would consider if any support could be given.
The two members of the public left the meeting.
Ward Councillor Chowns joined the meeting and her report was moved up the agenda.
2019/55 Ward Councillor Report
The Ward Councillor reported that since the last meeting she had attended 2 meetings of Hereford Council. There were several discussions regarding finance and she is keeping a close eye on the situation.
A satisfactory internal audit review was completed by the Council and it was agreed that Christopher Pinches be appointed as Internal Auditor.
The Treasurer explained that he had completed a risk register which will be reviewed twice per year. Cllrs agreed that if they became aware of any risks between times, the register would be reviewed.
The Treasurer explained how he had merged our own statement of account with the External Auditors Bank Reconciliation. The Bank Reconciliation was reviewed and signed by the Chairman and RFO to confirm the current balance held by the Parish Council is £19613.83.
Cllr Guise, 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.
50.1 Appointment of Internal Auditor – The Treasurer will send a letter of appointment to Mr Pinches.
The Treasurer asked councillors to consider payment of the following outstanding invoices:
50.2 Request from St Mary’s Church for a grant towards churchyard maintenance costs – Cllrs agreed a donation of £500.00.
50.3 Play Safety Limited – Play Area Inspection – £82.50 amended invoice. The Clerk explained that the Inspector had not contacted her to accompany him on the inspection and she had therefore requested that the invoice be amended. Hence a reduced bill was presented and Cllrs agreed that this should be paid.
50.4 HALC – Clerks Elections Training Course – £30.00 – Cllrs agreed that this invoice could also be paid.
The Treasurer produced copies of the year end accounts for councillors to take away and consider prior to the next meeting.
1 new planning application had been received today and Cllr Nash agreed to take a look and asked the Clerk to request an extension to the deadline for comments until after the next meeting.
There has been no progress regarding the location of the existing bases but a fresh attempt is due to be made. The Clerk reported that she had received a questionnaire from Balfour Beatty requesting the location of any SID bases and if we were looking to hire any SID’s this year. At the moment we are unclear of the exact location of bases and are considering purchasing our own SID’s.
She had also been contacted by the Clerk of Cradley and Storridge Parish Council who are looking in to the possibility of purchasing or renting SID’s.
Cllr Partridge had been approached by Stretton Grandison Parish Council, also considering use of SID’s.
Cllrs discussed the options and agreed the best way forward would be to purchase our own SID’s and offer them out for hire to other Parish Council’s when not in use in our own Parish.
They asked the Clerk to contact the other Parish Council’s to see if they would be interested in hiring from us.
2019/53 Fromes Hill Report
53.1 Update on Fromes Hill Field – a meeting of the Fromes Hill Field Committee took place last evening and it was agreed to put the field up for tender for mowing from 1st May to 31st October 2019. The matter of the broken stile was also discussed and a member of the committee is going to take a look and try to repair it.
53.2 Overgrown footpath alongside A4103 (path and hedge alongside)/new development – the Clerk reported that she had received a communication regarding the overgrown path towards the Wheatsheaf. The path is hidden under grass/weeds and the Parish Council has considered uncovering it. The hedge alongside also grows wide over the path. She had contacted the landowner who has now trimmed back the hedge making the pathway wider. The landowner advised that the area will be improved as part of the new housing development which it is hoped will be commenced later this year. The Parish Council therefore decided not to attempt to uncover the path now, but wait to see how things progress with the housing development.
53.3 Hedge growing over BT cables opposite café – the Clerk reported that she had also had a report about the BT cables being weighed down and entangled by the trees and hedge. She had contacted BT who have been out to cut back the hedge and free the wires.
2019/54 Bishops Frome Report
54.1 Update on Village Centre request to change status to CIO – there is no update possible as the Parish Council are still awaiting advice from HALC.
54.2 Request for concealed entrance sign – the Clerk advised that she had received a request from a Parishioner for a concealed entrance sign. She had contacted Balfour Beatty for advice and notified the Parishioner of the outcome.
54.3 Play Safety Report – the Clerk advised that she had received the Play Safety inspection report, a copy of which had been sent to Cllrs for consideration prior to the meeting. She ran through the report but everything was basically in good order and low risk.
It was noted that there was a bolt missing on the swing frame. Cllr Partridge is going to fit a new bolt. The seat on the aerial runway has dog damage. A new seat has already been purchased and Cllr Partridge will arrange for it to be fitted.
The Clerk also reported that the bins are broken, the bottoms have fallen out. Cllr Partridge agreed to take a look to see if they could be repaired. If they are not repairable, Cllrs gave permission for him to cost new bins and feed back to the next meeting.
There is still a problem with flowers form the churchyard being placed in the Play Area bins.
2019/55 Ward Councillor Report
2019/56 Sports Committee Report
The signs and posts have now all been received and arrangements are being made for them to be put up.
The carpark patching and the pathway repairs agreed in the February meeting have now been completed. Two broken lights have been repaired and an exposed socket has been blanked off. The invoices are awaited.
2019/57 Footpaths Officer Report
No outstanding issues other than the Fromes Hill stile already discussed.
2019/58 Promotion of Crime Reduction
The Clerk confirmed that she had arranged for the local Rural & Business Crime Officer to give a short presentation on crime prevention at the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday 14th May as requested.
2019/59 May Elections
The Clerk advised councillors that she had received the Statements of Persons Nominated for the Parish and Ward. There are 9 candidates for the Parish, therefore there will be no Parish election. There are 2 candidates for the Ward Councillor position and therefore this position will be contested.
The new Parish Councillors take office on Tuesday 7th May 2019.
The Clerk reminded councillors that they must complete and return their expenses forms even if they are nil returns or they could face heavy fines.
Attempts to obtain replacement keys for the Parish Council cabinets have been unsuccessful. It was therefore agreed that the Clerk could seek to purchase a new lockable cabinet.
2019/61 To note the information sheet and date of next meeting
The Clerk drew attention to the items on the information sheet and confirmed that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th May 2019. The meeting will commence at 7pm with the Annual Parish Meeting and be followed by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.45pm.