Minutes 16th September 2015

Craswall, Llanveynoe, Longtown and Walterstone

Minutes of the Longtown Group Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 16th September 2015 at 8.00pm in Longtown Village Hall.

PRESENT – Mr N Cowles (Chairman), Mr D Freeman, Mr J Hardy, Mr N Powell, Mr P Hope, Mrs J Probert, Mrs P Tribe and Ms D Palmer.

IN ATTENDANCE – Mrs L Cowles (Clerk), Ward Councillor Graham Powell, Mr T Griffiths (Lengthsman) and one member of the public.

1. ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – There were no apologies for absence.

2. RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Mr J Hardy declared a non-disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item7.3; the declarations book was signed accordingly.

3. ADOPT MINUTES OF PREVIOUS ORDINARY MEETING – 15th July 2015 – Mr Hardy requested amendments to items 7.2 & 7.3, the minutes were then signed as a true and accurate record.

4. OPEN DISCUSSION – The Parish Council were asked if they would consider adding development of Brownfield sites in to the Neighbourhood Plan. There are numerous historical derelict buildings within the parish which if allowed, could be developed. It was noted that a section regarding Brownfield sites was already included in the Neighbourhood Plan draft questionnaire although there is a possibility that it could be incorporated more strongly. It was agreed that the Steering Group would consider the question again and the Clerk would contact Herefordshire Council’s planning department requesting information on their Brownfield sites policy.

5.1 Ward Councillor Graham Powell – Councillor Powell’s report included:-
Council Tax Consultation 2016/17. Councillor Powell stressed that it was important for as many people as possible to complete the questionnaire before 9th October.
Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP). It was queried if 4G would be available.
Llanveynoe Planning Complaint. Mr Kevin Bishop is now handling the case as Mr Withers is currently on sick leave.
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 – Terry has received new maps which show some parish road responsibilities have changed slightly from the previous map. He will query this with Balfour Beatty.
Works on the Mountain Road have now been completed, Terry has found that some culverts were being used by various properties for their own usage and had advised owners this was not allowed. They have also been working on the C1213 from The Bryn toward Old Trout Inn. A full overhaul of the drains has been completed at the end of The Bryn, it was noted that building rubble had been found in some drains. It was agreed that minor excavation work can be completed near Upper Bryn Farm to help with a road culvert fallout pipe blockage in the verge.

6. CLERKS UPDATE – The Clerk reminded Councillors that Herefordshire Councils budget consultation ends on 9th October 2015.
Herefordshire Council are looking into the possibility of carrying out a full county Community Governance Review in 2016/17 and have requested initial thoughts or issues the parish council would like the Community Governance Review to address in relation to your own Parish Council. Mr Hardy suggested the possibility of Walterstone joining the Ewyas Harold Parish Council as the village has closer links with the church and school along with the neighbouring village of Rowlestone. A number of Parishioners also use the facilities in Ewyas Harold rather than Longtown. It was agreed that this question could be included in the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire and the Clerk would inform Herefordshire Council accordingly of these initial thoughts.
Correspondence has been received from a parishioner in Longtown concerned about speeding through the village. It was confirmed that a speeding survey had been completed in the village 4 to 5 years ago. It was thought that some 30mph speed limit signs were missing from the lower end of the village. It was agreed that the Clerk would report the missing signs and contact Balfour Beatty requesting information on a SID unit.

Site: Court Farm, Craswall Herefordshire. HR2 0PX
Description: Proposed conservation works to cart shed including natural stone tile roof.
Application No: 151639 Grid Ref: 328239:236702
Site: Land at The Ferns, Longtown. Herefordshire. HR2 0LD
Description: Proposed subdivision of existing dwelling to create two separate dwellings –
no internal or external alterations required.
Application No: 152502 Grid Ref: 332217:228998
Site: Soythills Farmland, East of Garn Farm, Walterstone, Herefordshire. HR2 0PF
Description: Proposed installation of electronic communications base station comprising
20m tower, 6 antennas, 2 DIA dishes and 6 ground based radio equipment
cabinets within fenced compound.
Application No: 152451 Grid Ref: 333933:227062

8.1 Confirmation of bank balance – £8,107.24 Statement Sheet No. 193 issued 10th August 2015.
8.2 Receipts – £4408 from Groundwork UK, Neighbourhood Planning Grant. £2400 1ST quarter Lengthsman claim.
8.3 Receive audited Annual Return for year ending 31st March 2015 – The Annual return was received with no comments from Grant Thornton.
8.4 Payment to Grant Thornton, invoice no. 8422047, 2015 Annual Return of £100.00 plus VAT – Payment Agreed.
8.5 Payment to HALC for Clerk CiLCA training courses, invoice no. 6084 of £75.00 plus VAT and invoice no.6110 of £75.00 plus VAT – Payment Agreed.
8.6 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for attending two CiLCA training courses, 12 hours in total – Payment Agreed.

8.7 Payment to Mrs Linda Cowles for July & August 2015 Clerk’s hours plus £24.05 expenses (black ink cartridge and paper) – Payment Agreed.
8.8 Payment to Mr T Griffiths, Invoice no. TGC1314, July Road Account (1) of £375.00 plus VAT. Invoice no. TGC1315, July road account (2) of £375.00 plus VAT. Invoice no. TGC1344, August road account (1) of £450.00 plus VAT. Invoice no. TGC1345, August road account (2) of £450.00 plus VAT. Invoice no. TGC1346, August road account (3) of £450.00 plus VAT. Invoice no. TGC1347, August road account (4) of £275.00 plus VAT. – Payment Agreed.
8.9 PARISH COUNCIL PRECEPT 2016/17 – Consider producing a draft precept for 2016/17; advertise to local residents ahead of setting 2016/17 precept by 31st December 2015 –Defer to October meeting.

9. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – The Steering Group has produced a draft questionnaire for the Parish Council to approve. Copies were distributed to Parish Councillors at the meeting who had not previously seen the questionnaire. Mr Powell raised concerns regarding the AONB statement at the back of the questionnaire and its accuracy. Mr Freeman advised that Chris Gooding had produced the statement and he would check the facts with him. Mr Powell was also concerned that younger members of the community had not been consulted properly. Copies of the Business and Young person’s questionnaire were unavailable. Unfortunately meetings with the young farmers and the school had not taken place due to holidays and illness. Facebook and Twitter pages have also not been updated. It was agreed that all questionnaires had to be correct before they were distributed and that delivery could not take place in October. It was proposed by Ms Palmer and seconded by Mrs Tribe that the Steering Group would arrange meetings with young farmers and the school, ask Polly Hearsey to update Facebook and Twitter and ask the Clerk to present all three questionnaires and covering letters to Parish Councillors a minimum of 5 days before a Parish Council meeting when ready for approval. As it would prove difficult to get volunteers to distribute questionnaires in the winter it was agreed to postpone until the spring.

10. PARISH COUNCILLOR VACANCIES – Applications have been received from Judy Cecil to represent Longtown and Gill Watkins to represent Craswall. Judy was proposed by David Freeman and seconded by Jenny Probert. Gill was proposed by Neil Cowles and seconded by Neville Powell. Both were then co-opted onto the Parish Council. There are still two Parish Councillor vacancies to represent Longtown.

11. NOTICE OF REGISTRABLE INTERESTS – Electoral Services have reminded Parish Councillors of their responsibility to complete and return their Notice of Registrable Interests.

12. DEFIBRILLATOR – Discuss training sessions – Defer to October meeting.

13. PARISH COUNCIL WEBSITE – The Clerk confirmed that the website had been updated to include Chairman’s Report, Ward Councillors Report and the yearly accounts. The Facebook and Twitter pages have been linked to the website and both the agendas and minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group meetings would soon be available to view.

14. PARISH COUNCIL MEETING TIMES – It was agreed that meeting dates and times will remain the same although summer meeting could begin at 7.30pm if the extra time was required.

15. FOOTPATHS – Mr Cowles had noticed that some footpaths and stiles have become overgrown, it was confirmed that these could be cut back with the authority of Parish Footpaths Officer. Damaged stiles would need reporting.

16. DITCH OWNERSHIP & MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES – The Clerk has received information from Balfour Beatty regarding ditches and drainage responsibilities stating that the majority of ditches adjacent to the highways are not the responsibility of the Local Highway Authority or in the case of the Lengthsman schemes of Parish Councils to maintain. Historically the Parish Council has maintained these Riparian Ditches as a gesture of goodwill although they are the Landowners responsibility and work has technically been done on a temporary basis. It was agreed that the Lengthsman should continue to clear these ditches at present. Leaflets on the Landowners responsibilities are available and the Lengthsman has a supply.

17. BULK RUBBISH COLLECTION – Rubbish not in black refuse sacks had not been collected in Walterstone recently. Mr Hardy had contacted Herefordshire Council who confirmed it was their policy not to collect bulky items unless they are in a black refuse sacks, alternatively collection can be arranged at a cost to members of the public.
18. DOG FOULING SIGN – The dog fouling sign at Llanwonog Lane, Longtown has been reported missing by a member of the public. The Police have been informed. It was agreed that the Lengthsman would erect another sign and concrete in the post.

19. REPORT NEW ROAD DEFECTS – Potholes on U75009 between The Goodes and Glebe Farm, C1203 near The Cart & Wheel, U75008, U74407 Penrhewy Lane, U74413 below Vineyard Farm and at the bottom of U75004. Drainage works needed at Goytre Pitch, Penrhewy Lane and Hillside, Llanveynoe.

20. OCTOBER NEWSLETTER ARTICLE – Visibility at night.

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

22. RAISE MATTERS FOR THE NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING – 21st October 2015, Precept 2016/17, Defibrillator training, Neighbourhood Plan draft questionnaire.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 1005pm.