Minutes 15th February 2017

Craswall, Llanveynoe, Longtown and Walterstone

Minutes of the Longtown Group Parish Council meeting held on
Wednesday 15th February 2017 at 7.30pm in Longtown Village Hall.

PRESENT – Mr N Cowles (Chairman), Mr J Turner, Mrs G Watkins, Mr N Powell, Mr P Hope, Mrs J Cecil, Ms D Palmer, Mr J Hardy and Mrs L Watkins.
IN ATTENDANCE – Mrs L Cowles (Clerk), Ward Councillor Graham Powell, PSCO Fiona Witcher and PC Roger Bradley.
2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST & CONSIDER ANY WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATION – There were no declarations of interest or written applications for dispensation.
3. ADOPT MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 18th January 2017 – The minutes were signed as a true and accurate record.
4. OPEN DISCUSSION – No members of the public attended the meeting and therefore no specific points were raised.
5.1 Ward Councillor Graham Powell – Councillor Powell’s report had been distributed to Councillors via email before the meeting and included: –
2017/18 Budget Update
Hereford Car Park Tariffs
Hereford Library
Social and affordable housing consultation – Councillor Powell encouraged Parish Councillors to complete these.
Community Champions Awards
Environment Agency Plans
Waste Services Charges Consultation
Councillor Powell included a detailed savings plan by directorate which were also commented on. The Business Rate changes were also discussed.
A full report is available via the Longtown Parish Council website, or on request, from the Clerk.
5.2 Local Police – PCSO Witcher introduced PC Bradley to Parish Councillors who had not previously met him. The area has been quiet although an operation to apprehend off road motorbikes had taken place the previous weekend in conjunction with Powys Police and the Brecon Beacons National Park Wardens. Because of the snowy weather only three had been spotted and one biker stopped, they are either given a warning or their motorbikes are seized. The culprits are becoming ever more deceitful and pushing the boundaries. The Parish Council agreed this was a worthwhile exercise and would like these operations to continue. If members of the public see off road bikers, please report them by calling 101. They can ride on Bridleways and it was suggested that a way to stop them would be to have a facility where they could ride their motorbikes legally.
5.3 Lengthsman report and any new road defects – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting, Mr Cowles signed off the January and February (1) worksheets. It was noted that companies had been using larger delivery lorries lately which were causing problems on the roads. Problems reported at Bevans Lane, ditch on C1203 near Cwm View along with potholes on C1203. It was noted that the large pothole had been filled in the centre of Longtown.
6. CLERKS UPDATE – Letters of thanks have been received from Longtown Community Library for the donation and from Mr Eric Guest thanking the Parish Council for their support with the recent footpath dispute near his home.
The Clerk advised Councillors that the audit fee had increased last year because the Parish Council turnover was higher than in previous years.
The landowner at Llandraw Farm in Craswall has agreed to have the stile installed and requested whether the Parish Council would cover the post. The Lengthsman would charge approximately £125 to install which the Council agreed to pay.
The Clerk confirmed that Balfour Beatty would not pay for new salt bins, it was agreed that the Clerk would enquire about costs for the Parish Council to purchase.
A letter has been received regarding problems with the junction near Bryn View in Longtown and concerns over lorries turning in and out when visiting Cayo Farm. The Parish Council agreed that this was a neighbourly dispute and requested the Clerk respond suggesting they contact the business owner directly.
The Clerk advised Councillors that she had now also taken on the role as Clerk to Vowchurch Group Parish Council
Site: The Top, lower Mascoed, Herefordshire. HR2 0HP
Description: Change of use of the barn to visitors’ accommodation (Retrospective)
Application No: 170060 Grid Ref: 334173:230493
Site: Offas Dyke Retreat, Longtown, Herefordshire.
Description: Change of use of land from agricultural to glamping site comprising of four
converted railway carriages, two log pods, two bell tents and associated
facilities buildings, parking, landscaping and package treatment plant
(part retrospective)
Application No: 164010 Grid Ref: 332830:228764
NO OBJECTIONS although the Parish Council would like to see conditions put on the use of lighting and no structures to be erected other than those on the planning application.
Site: Llandraw Farm, Craswall, Herefordshire. HR2 0PW
Description: Conversion of a disused former agricultural building to an annex forming
ancillary, supplementary accommodation to the house.
Application No: 163848 Grid Ref: 330072:234214
8.1 Updated confirmation of bank balance – £4841.56 Statement Sheet No. 210 issued 10th February 2017.
8.2 Receipts – £1000.00 transferred from Business Premium account.
8.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths, invoice no. TGC1948 – Roads Account January 2017 (1) of £382.00 plus VAT, Roads Account January 2017 (2) of £382.00 plus VAT and Roads Account February 2017 (1) of £382.00 plus VAT – Payment Agreed.
8.4 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for January 2017 Clerk’s hours and £4.99 stationery – Payment Agreed.
9. BMLUP – Mr Neville Powell gave Councillors an update on the work of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership. This is a unique partnership in Wales of 130 Graziers and Landowners, Brecon Beacons National Park, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England and Dwr Cymru to help protect and enhance the Black Mountains across Breconshire, Monmouthshire and Herefordshire.
Phil Stocker from the National Sheep Association has been appointed as Chairman and the group hope to be the driving force behind the restoration and sustainable management of the area which includes bracken control, improvement of peat habitats, visitors’ management, education, training to encourage more responsible tourism, local engagement and business development. Bids are ongoing for funding and many community councils have already been very supportive. The programme of works will be on going.
10. LENGTHSMAN 2017/18 – As funding has been reduced for 2017/18 it was agreed that the Lengthsman would cover one maintenance day per month in April, May, June, July, August and September and increase to two days per month from October onwards leaving a sum for emergency or one-off jobs.
11. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – Ms D Palmer advised that the Parish meetings are going ahead at the end February/beginning March when Parishioners would have the opportunity to agree or disagree with the Survey Results and Draft Vision & Objectives. This would then enable a draft plan to be produced when Parishioners could comment again on its contents before this was sent to Herefordshire Council for approval and then a referendum held.
Concerns were raised by some Councillors as the Survey Results and Draft Vision & Objectives had only been emailed to Parish Councillors the afternoon of the meeting and there had not been time to have a thorough look through.
One of Mrs G Watkins concerns was the inclusion under ‘Proposed Objectives for Roads and Transport’ that an objective ‘Reduce the speed limit to 30mph throughout the parishes to make roads safer for active travel, with a reduction to 20mph outside Longtown School’ had been included even though the survey results had indicated that 60% of people did not want speed restrictions, whilst 84% wanted passing places and 76% commented on cutting verges and neither of these have been included. There was also a concern that ‘Farming’ had not been included in the list for encouraging the following types of businesses in the ‘Proposed Objectives for the Economy’. Mrs Watkins commented that the results look like a draft of the actual Neighbourhood Plan and that the document is misleading. This information will only be made available to members of the public who attend the public meetings.
Mr N Powell was also worried that some of the photographs in the document were not taken in the local area, there were no pictures of pastures, livestock or farming.
Ms Palmer stated that people are free to disagree with any of the objectives, nothing has been decided, if Parishioners feel that issues have been left out, they can be included. All comments will be taken into account, there will be display boards with vision statements to enable people to agree or disagree with them. Mr J Turner suggested that Mrs Watkins joined the Steering Group to allay and concerns in the future. Mrs Watkins along with Mr Powell had attended a Steering Group meeting when it was made clear to them that they were attending as observers and not as Steering Group members and Mrs Watkins felt that the process had gone too far for her to become a member now. It was stated that the Steering Group is open to anybody who would like to join and who would like to contribute to developing the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Chairman stated that this document was intended to spark debate, Data Orchard had analysed the data from the questionnaires and will do so again after this next round of public meetings. After the draft Neighbourhood Plan is completed, Parishioners will have a chance to comment again. The Neighbourhood Plan will only be adopted if there is a majority vote in the referendum. As the meetings are scheduled in the next two weeks it was agreed by a majority vote to remove the speed limit comments and include farming in the business list.
12. STANDING ORDERS – Defer to March meeting.
13. FINANCE COMMITTEE – It was agreed that the Clerk would look at the Financial Regulations ready for adoption and Mrs G Watkins, Mrs J Cecil and Mr N Cowles would become members of a Finance Committee, chaired by Mr Cowles, to look at setting future budgets and monitoring Parish Council finances.
14. MARCH NEWSLETTER – Neighbourhood Plan public meetings, verge cutting schedules, call for sites for development, Cigaclear broadband.
15. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.
16. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT SCHEDULED ORDINARY MEETING – 15th March 2017 at 7.30pm in Craswall Village Hall – Standing Orders, Parish Council website.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 2145