Minutes 16th March 2016

Craswall, Llanveynoe, Longtown and Walterstone

Minutes of the Longtown Group Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 7.30pm in Craswall Village Hall.

PRESENT- Mr N Cowles (Chairman), Mrs J Cecil, Mr D Freeman, Mrs P Tribe, Mrs G Watkins, Mrs L Watkins, Ms D Palmer, Mr J Hardy, Mr N Powell and Ms J Jones.

IN ATTENDANCE – Mr M Heeley (Balfour Beatty), Mr P Jinman (Ewyas Harold Parish Council) and Mrs L Cowles (Clerk).

1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Mr P Hope, Ward Councillor Graham Powell, Mr T Griffiths (Lengthsman) and Ms L Outtrim (Balfour Beatty).

2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Mrs J Cecil declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item 8.1; the declarations book was signed accordingly.

3. ADOPT MINUTES OF PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 17th February 2016 – spelling amendments on page 619. – The minutes were then signed as a true and accurate record.

4. OPEN DISCUSSION – No members of the public attended the meeting therefore no specific points were raised.


5.1 Ward Councillor Graham Powell – Councillor Powell’s report had been distributed to Councillors by email before the meeting, which included: –
Council Tax
Balfour Beatty Service Depots
Litter -A465
Syrian Refugees and Asylum Seekers
A full report is available, on request, from the Clerk or via the Longtown Parish Council website.
5.2 Local Police – The Police were unable to attend the meeting.
5.3 Lengthsman report – The Lengthsman was unable to attend the meeting but has reported through the Clerk that the budget is on target for this year with one maintenance day left along with the ditching work and splay clearance in Craswall. The Chairman has signed off recent worksheets.
Ms J Jones joined the meeting
5.4 Locality Steward, Linzy Outtrim and any new road defects – Linzy was unable to attend the meeting due to ill health. Matthew Heeley from Balfour Beatty attended in her place. There were several questions for Matthew.

Q. When reporting problems on the Herefordshire Council website is it possible to upload a photograph?
A. Yes, there is that facility.
Q. What is the procedure for road inspections?
A. All roads have a routine inspection. C roads are inspected on a monthly basis; some U roads are only inspected once a year which is why Balfour Beatty rely on the local community reporting any issues. Potholes are marked with either yellow or white paint. White is to be actioned within 28 days, yellow is dangerous and should be actioned within 24 hours.

Q. A gang was recently in the area filling a pothole but left another very close by stating that it was not on their report. Why can they not be filled at the same time?
A. If the potholes are within 2 sq. metres of each other they should be filled but otherwise it would slow down the process of filling the potholes which are on the report.
Q. Could Balfour Beatty take in to account the distance of our parish from Hereford and consider why potholes cannot be filled together?
A. It was agreed that this did appear to waste time and it was an issue that was being looked at. Budget is an issue and lack of staff which also has the potential for getting worse.
Q. Litter is a problem on A465 from Pontrilas to Hereford and doesn’t look good on the County.
A. There has recently been a litter pick on the A465. The budget only allows this to be done twice a year. Yes, there is an issue with rubbish and Balfour Beatty are currently working on a scheme where rubbish bins are removed to encourage people to take their rubbish with them (there is some evidence that this has worked in other areas).
It was agreed that the rubbish currently looked worse as the hedge along the A465 has recently been cut. People should be encouraged to take their litter home, would signage help?
Q. Why do two vehicles come out with 6 men when one vehicle with 2 men could do the same job?
A. One vehicle carries the hard core and the second vehicle carries the tarmac. Both are needed.
Riparian Ownership
Matthew reiterated that farmers and landowners must take on their responsibility as the Riparian Owner although Councillors commented that this was a very grey area.
Snow Clearance
There is an on-going issue with snow clearance in the parish. Farmers are no longer allowed to clear roads in the area without an official contract and safety training from Balfour Beatty. After bad weather the Council must be contacted to allow for clearance to take place, this normally involves somebody from the Council coming out to inspect the roads. Councillors raised concerns that it was very difficult for Balfour Beatty to appreciate weather conditions in Craswall and Llanveynoe when they are vastly different in Hereford or even Vowchurch. There is also great concern for animal welfare when farmers are unable to reach their livestock.
It was suggested that the Parish Council could have a contract with the local contractor not Balfour Beatty. It was agreed that this should be considered and would need to be organised locally.
It was agreed to write to Balfour Beatty to raise the parish councils concerns.
Overall Matthew was confident that the situation would get better although there was a lot of work to done with less staff.
Locality Steward Parish walks
Matthew offered to visit the area and organise parish walks to highlight issues. Mrs Watkins & Mr Powell offered to cover Craswall, whilst Ms Jones and Mr Freeman would cover Llanveynoe.

6. KEMBLE CENTRE, EWYAS HAROLD – The Chairman welcomed Peter Jinman from the EHGPC Kemble Centre working party to the meeting. He gave a brief presentation on the purchase of the Roman Catholic church in Ewyas Harold and the plans to develop a Health and Wellbeing Centre. His questions to the Parish Council were: –

i. What are your views on the proposed initiative?
The Parish Council welcomed the idea and thought it was a positive move. Would it include a Bereavement service? If so it was suggested they contact St Michaels Hospice.
ii. Would you like to be involved in developing this project with us? If so how?
If the group could update the parish council on each stage they would comment appropriately. The Parish Council are currently working on the Neighbourhood Plan which means time is quite restricted.
iii. Would you be willing to contribute financially to the Centre?
Are the group looking for direct funding or help with obtaining funding? The Parish Council would look at supporting the plan if they could.
iv. What further information do you require, at this stage and ongoing?
Monthly update or when further information is available.
v. What is the best method of communication from this point on?
Through the Clerk.
vi. What questions and comments do you have for us?
Why did the group feel it was useful to buy the building? Because it was there.
Would you keep the building? It was agreed that it was not the most attractive building but it was purchased for site value and because of the proximity to the existing doctors’ surgery. It is hoped that the doctors’ surgery can be extended as it is currently too small to accommodate all their needs. It is believed it was of an interest to buy for the community.
Is there something similar happening anywhere else? Not that they know of at the moment.
It would be nice to see it used for initiatives to stop people going to the doctors in the first place i.e. diet and exercise.

Dates for the diary: –
Crime prevention forum, Peterchurch, 22nd March
Mobile Police Station in Longtown, 24th March 2pm – 4pm
Herefordshire Council public consultation on the revised Statement of Community Involvement ends on 23rd March.
Herefordshire Local access forum, unrecorded ways project, 18th April
Good Grief, the Loneliness of Bereavement National Conference, 7th May
WW1 Centenary Plans for 2017 information event, 7th May
The Locality Steward has confirmed that stiles can be ordered through Balfour Beatty. It was agreed to request one stile and a self-closing gate

Mrs Judy Cecil left the room

Site: Brass Knoll Farm, Brass Knoll Road, Longtown, Herefordshire. HR2 0NE
Description: Proposed removal of lean-to and construction of new single storey extension.
Application No: 160451/160466 Grid Ref: 330438:230589
Mrs Judy Cecil rejoined the meeting
Site: Pontynys Cottage, Longtown, Herefordshire. HR2 0NA
Description: Proposed open porch to rear and single storey sun-room at front.
Application No: 160418 Grid Ref: 332917:228852
Site: Grove Cottage, Walterstone, Herefordshire. HR2 0DT
Description: Proposed conservatory to side elevation.
Application No: 160213 Grid Ref: 335032:225082

Site: Llandraw Barn, Craswall, Herefordshire. HR2 0PW
Description: Propose to increase in size existing upper windows to south west gable
to form apex window.
Application No: 160023 Grid Ref: 330056:234227
Site: Charity Farm, Llanveynoe, Herefordshire. HR2 0NF
Description: Proposed new road.
Application No: 160447 Grid Ref: 328930:231103


9.1 Updated confirmation of bank balance – £6569.19 Statement Sheet No. 199 issued 10th March 2016.
9.2 Receipts – Lengthsman 4th quarter claims of £2925.00 (up to February invoices)
9.3 Payment to Mr T Griffiths, invoice no. TGC1506– February (1) of £325.00 plus VAT, TGC1523– February (2) of £750.00 plus VAT, TGC1524 – February (3) of £375.00 plus VAT – Payment Agreed.
9.4 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for February 2016 Clerk’s hours plus £20.05 ink cartridge and £7.56 stamps – Payment Agreed.
9.5 Payment to Herefordshire Council for Uncontested Election fees of £135.20 – Payment Agreed.
9.6 Payment to Groundwork UK for unused Neighbourhood Planning Grant of £1551.27 – Payment Agreed.

10. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – Mr D Freeman, Mr C Gooding and the Clerk had held a finance meeting on 1st March. £2856.73 has been spent from the initial £4408 funding claim and £358.54 from the Front Runner fund. The second grant application will be requested for commencement of spending in June. The grant funding from Groundworks UK has now been increased to a total funding of £9000. The Front Runner funding remains at £2500.

11. FUEL POVERTY – Mrs Cecil has recently attended a Fuel poverty event and reported that the Golden Valley has the highest percentage of fuel poverty in Herefordshire. Would the Parish Council be interested in running an awareness campaign and invite a representative to a meeting to give a talk? There is a Fantastic Homes Trailer available for use along with promotional material to raise awareness within the Parish. It was agreed that Judy would invite Oliver Rothwell to the June Parish Council meeting with the idea of running a campaign in September.

12. JUBILEE PLAQUE – Mrs Tribe asked whether the Parish Council would be prepared to purchase a plaque for the tree planted in 2012 at Longtown village hall to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Concerns were raised on extra funding being spent. It was agreed that Mrs Tribe would obtain a price for the plaque and the Clerk would check if the agreed budget had already been spent.

13. QUEENS 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS – The Clerk has been advised that the Cornewall Arms will be holding a fund raising event on 11th June and requested that the Parish Council did not organise another event for that date. The Parish Council would be welcome to contribute something to mark the occasion at that event. Mrs Tribe advised that the school would be celebrating on Friday 10th June and it is possible that the local churches would be organising something over that weekend. It was therefore agreed that the Parish Council would not organise a special event to mark the occasion.

14. WILDLIFE AND COUTRYSIDE ACT 1981 SECTION 53 – Addition of Restricted Byway LQ85 Longtown and Llanveynoe. This restriction has been bought to the parish council’s notice previously on several occasions. It was agreed that Mr Freeman would make a visit to the area.

15. ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE LISTING, BULLS HEAD, CRASWALL- It was agreed that the area designated from the Land Registry would apply to the restriction.

16. RECEIVE PETERCHURCH PARISH COUNCIL LETTER REGARDING HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL – The letter from Peterchurch Parish Council was acknowledged, it was agreed to make no comments.

17. APRIL NEWSLETTER ARTICLE – Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire delivery dates, Sheep worrying, keeping dogs on leads, closing gates.

18. NOTE THE CORRESPONDENCE SHEET – The correspondence sheet was noted.

19. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING – 20th April 2016 at 8.00pm in Walterstone Village Hall. Walterstone Parish meeting followed by Parish Council meeting – LQ85 Byway, Neighbourhood Plan update and Snow Plough.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 2115.