Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Thursday, 3rd November 2016
at Bosbury Village Hall at 7.30pm
Councillors Sven Bosley (Chairman), Joe Hayes, Matt Hosking, Rachel Lovering, Julie Baker, John Joyce-Townsend, Patrick Whitehead, Liz Cooke, Mark Andrews, Julia Boyle, Charlie Ferrier, Gian Carlo Paganuzzi, Tim Newsholme
Leanne Rex – Parish Clerk
1.0 To Accept Apologies for Absence and Note the Reason
None – all present.
2.0 To Record any Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations
Noted in the interest log.
3.0 To approve the Minutes of the Previous Parish Council Meeting
Minutes from 6.10.16 meeting were agreed to be true and accurate and were approved and signed by the chair.
4.0 To Receive Brief Report from Ward Councillor Tony Johnson
Cllr Johnson updated the meeting as follows:
- Budgets : Forthcoming budget needs HC to save £7M over and above previous year savings; signed 4 year deal with govt which means funding info is more certain, and alongside, HC have made a successful application to be part of West Mids combined authority from Spring ‘17 as a non-constituent member (limited voting and liability). Observors until Spring ‘17. These regions will be the main channel for govt funding and being a member should help to secure funding. HC grants last year were £20M but they are all one offs and no guarantee they will come next year. The essence of the 4 year deal is to try and secure funding with certainty.
- HC gets income from council tax, business rates, chargeable services and govt. The money from the govt is termed the Residual Grant (RSG) and was circa £40M in ‘13/14; £17M ‘16/17; by 2020 will be zero. Instead of the RSG, councils are being offered retention of business rates. HC currently retain 50% (other 50% to treasury) but will retain 100% instead of the RSG as a gradual transition.
- NHS England divides the country up into blocks for administrative purposes and Hfd and Worcs are in the same block. There are 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) in Worcs and 1 in Hfd based upon populations. Govt would like CCGs to merge and it is likely the CCG would move to Worcs with the concern that it becomes Worcester centric. Hfd CCG spends circa £45m on care in the community and HC propose they could get better value for money, and serve the community better, by saving money and introducing efficiencies if HC managed that spend. This is also in light of the NHS funding problems, for example, Wye Valley Trust £34M deficit now, versus NHS target of £13M deficit. Will inevitably be pressure for bed closures, GP service cuts, etc.
- News from Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today that govt are reducing funding, will start to look at re-organising in order to still be able to get some funding from LEP.
- The budget this year will be the normal 1.9% that HC would levy, plus Govt has said can levy an additional 2% if ring fenced for provision of care. Budget next year, working assumption is council tax will go up by 3.9%
Questions for Councillor Johnson
- JJT: Is it likely that more responsibility will be devolved to Parish Councils as precepts aren’t capped?
This is a distinct possibility. Retention of business rates will compensate for some of the RSG lost. However, in Herefordshire 80% of business are less than 100K and farms who don’t pay rates, so there will be a shortfall in funding. Services will be very difficult. There will need to be detailed discussions with Town and Parish Councils looking at the services that HC has a statutory responsibility for and to look for efficiencies and savings within that. However, cant keep cutting but need to grow the economy instead.
- PW: Which other counties are in the combined authority? Birmingham, Warwicks, Staffs and poss Beds, if it goes ahead and becomes reality.
- SB: There is concern over BT not delivering Fastershire in the rural areas. Deal was signed to achieve 90-95% which sounds good but whole swathes of rural areas can be left if BT concentrate on the population densities. Have been difficult discussions with BT that they have to deliver to the rural areas for economic purposes.
JH: Could we have contact details for raising Fastershire concerns? DavidHarlow@herefordshire.gov.uk
- SB: Could the phosphate levels in the River Wye be high enough to preclude an expansion of Hereford
Powys, who occupy the other bank, don’t have such restrictions and we are in constant discussion with Powys re chemicals being pumped into the river. Unlikey to affect the housing plan – target of 16,500 houses by 2030 – 7k in the city and opening new land by the bypass and the remainder in market towns and smaller communities. Very unlikely these plans will be affected by phosphates in the river.
5.0 Open Forum for Local Residents to Raise Matters Relevant to the Parish Council
5.1 Chevron posts and black and white marker posts at Cottons Corner are damaged.
5.2 Surface drains are full and grips non existent between Temple Court and Cottons Corner.
5.3 Black and white marker post needed somewhere past Cottons Corner where the verge is 6” wide and
there is a risk of coming off the road
5.4 Sandbags behind the monument are looking messy. SB advised new sandbags had arrived 10 days ago.
5.5 BT Payphones consultation
BT are consulting to close 132 phone boxes inc the box at Catley. Anthony Bush at HC is asking for a response from the PC by Nov 28th (BTs deadline is Dec 28th). PW has inspected the phone box, it is in a poor state. PW offered to research amongst some residents whether they wanted to keep or lose the box and to find out whether they would be willing to contribute to the upkeep and what the costs would be. Report back at December meeting. PW
The meeting thought that the Catley box was not listed so might not be restrictive on paint colour but it would need to be added to the PC insurance through Came and Co. Clerk to get quote. Clerk
6.0 Correspondence / Discussion / Governance
6.1 Update re Forge Bank Amenity area
Land Registry process is ongoing to register the land in the name of the Parish Council.
A response was received from the Church Commissioners following the PC’s enquiries about future uses for the land and whether the covenant could be changed or lifted from it being purely a “play area”. The Church Commissions responded that they would be happy to take the land back. No further communication made.
MH commented that in real terms the PC paid a lot of money for the land. PW commented that the land is a critical gateway to the desirable development land behind and any changes should be carefully considered.
Clerk stated that she now had the contact details for the Church Commissioners, and the land agents and lawyers and would update the file for future reference, whilst awaiting finalisation with the land registry.
Agreement made at last meeting was re-stated – the land will be re-fenced/tidied, then the lengthsman would be asked to strim twice a year. No play equipment as HC council have said the land is not suitable for a play area.
LC raised there are more children in the village and it would be good to find an area for children to play in the village.
Forge Bank Fencing
JH withdrew from the meeting.
2 quotes received for stock fencing from JH Landscapes and George Merrick. George Merrick £812 inc VAT; JH Landscapes £2247.42 inc VAT. Meeting agreed for SB to instruct George Merrick. SB
JH re-joined the meeting.
6.2 Neighbourhood Development Plan
MH was given a signed copy of the 6.10.16 minutes to use as PC approval to submit the NDP. MH to finalise the Basic Conditions Statement and Consultation Statement and submit. Meeting granted approval to withdraw the 2014 NDP and submit the October 2016 NDP. This will go through Reg 16 and 17 and the 18 in 2017. MH
7.1 Sign for Brook Lane
Clerk to order sign only from Morelock £26.92. JBo offered ABE to collect. no charge. Thanks to JBo. Clerk
The SIDs have been installed on the original bases and are recording speeds. JJT advised a base is needed at the end of the Ledbury end landscaped section to alert vehicles to slow down earlier. Clerk to send letter to Robin Quant requesting 3rd base, copy to Neil James, Cllr Rone and JJT. Clerk
7.3 Hedges by Cradley end Traffic Calming
MA kindly agreed to thin his hedge by the Cradley traffic calming to give the appearance of a more garden hedge. SB suggested Feb and Sept cuts so that it starts to look more manicured. Height to remain unchanged to minimise crop spraying drift. Once MA has thinned the hedge, Ed Seabright to be asked to maintain twice a year (add to his work schedule). MA/LWP
7.4 Overhanging trees opposite Woodmans
Knight Frank advised the work had been re-scheduled for 26.10.16 after it was not done on the original 13.9.16 date. JH advised not done. Clerk to query. Clerk
7.5 New Burial Ground
Meeting agreed to instruct Ed Seabright to cut and clear the hedge £120; and G Day to clear away surplus soil and grass trimmings inc mini digger and dumper work for £516. JH requested G Day finish the area with an amenity grass seed raked in (not agric mix) to be inc in the price. Request to both lengthsman to be aware and respectful whilst doing the work in the burial ground. PW prop/MH sec/All in favour. Clerk
Compost boxes – hold for now.
Gate Repair – JH getting prices for “repairing” the existing gates using existing black furniture. JH
7.6 Clearing River Leadon
Response has been received from the Environment Agency re whether they had any further plans to clear the River Leadon. No further plans but they noted that tree cuttings were being disposed of in the river and this should be discouraged.
In an attempt to avoid future flooding, JJT requested that G Day be asked to clear the river downstream of the bridge. PW advised that when you walk the river there are 2 areas that build up / block. Meeting agreed to release the £2400 inc vat that had been previously agreed (and then put on hold awaiting EA response) for G Day to undertake clearance works. LWP to instruct G Day. LWP
JH to liaise with the landowners (Hawkins and Blandford) to agree access. JH
7.7 Lengthsman Expression of Interest Form
The form to request lengthsman and P3 funding for 2017/18 has to be returned to HC by 31.12.16. Clerk to complete and circulate and agree at December meeting. Clerk
7.8 To discuss any new highway or footpath issues
Footbridge at Catley Court, Swinmore Common and overhanging trees all raised and latest status can be seen on the Highways Log.
Any rotten finger posts to be reported to J Boyce for repair.
The grip at The Salt Box, Catley on the C1152 needs clearing as water is coming onto the road. Clerk
The culvert is blocked under the road by Coddington Court / Mayfields Drive on the C1175. Clerk
There are blocked gulleys along the length of Paddles Lane, C1174 Clerk
8.1 To Agree Finance Report and Bank Balances
The meeting agreed the above.
8.2 To Agree Payments of outstanding accounts as per finance report
The following were all agreed:
679 Parish council stationery and expenses £229.74; 680 Leanne Rex £536.43; 681 Old Boys School Hire £5.00; PWLB load £440.80
9.0 Training / Meetings
9.1 To note dates and decide attendees for meetings
9.2 To Receive Reports from any meetings attended
PW attended the Balfour Beatty annual review. About 100 in attendance. Alistair MacDonald, Div Mgr for BB presented the budgets available to BB:- 16/17 £6.4M; 17/18 £5.8M; 18/19 5.6M; 19/20 £5.5M
Locality stewards were viewed positively; BB planned to recruit more; P3 / Lengthsman scheme was presented. Funding will be tight but BB will try to response. A good meeting.
10.0 To Note & Review the Information & Outstanding Actions Sheet
10.1 From 6.10.16 item 10 – Proposed Bus Cuts
JJT has drafted a letter re proposed bus cuts for sending to Cllr Rone and copy to Cllr Johnson and JJT. Clerk to send via hard copy and email. Clerk
The Green Leaf document can be published. JJT get copy; Clerk to put in the Church Magazine. Clerk/JJT
10.2 From 8.9.16 item 8.4: Estimate annual charge for Ed Seabright
Go ahead and complete this LWP
11.0 To note Date and Time of next scheduled meeting
1st December 2016 , 7.30pm at Coddington Church
12.0 To raise items for the next scheduled Parish Council meeting (no discussion)
Phone box consultation, NDP submission, Lengthsman expression of interest form
The meeting closed at 21.42