Minutes of the Parish Council meeting, 6.4.17, Bosbury Parish Hall, 7.30pm
Councillors Sven Bosley (Chairman), Joe Hayes, Rachel Lovering, Julie E Baker, Patrick Whitehead, Liz Cooke, Mark Andrews, Gian Carlo Paganuzzi, Tim Newsholme, Charlie Ferrier, Julia Boyle, Matt Hosking
In attendance : Leanne Rex – Parish Clerk
1.0 To Accept Apologies for Absence and Note the Reason
John Joyce Townsend (health)
James Boyce (Footpath officer) prior engagement
2.0 To Record any Declarations of Interest and Requests for Dispensations
3.0 To approve the Minutes of the Previous Parish Council Meeting
2.3.17 minutes agreed to be accurate; approved and signed by the chair.
4.0 To Receive Brief Report from Ward Councillor Tony Johnson
Hereford University bid for Govt funding of £15m believed to be successful. Additional funding may be needed for revenue rather than capital expenses.
Additional finances becoming available from Amey following the legal claim and small holding sales. As much as possible will go toward repairing the 2000 miles of Herefordshire roads.
5.0 Beanfield Planning Appeal Update (160450 Land to the east of Brook Lane, Bosbury)
PW updated the meeting re the Appeal Hearing held in Hereford Town Hall on the 14.2.17 with a site visit later the same day. The Appeal was conducted by the Planning Inspector Mr Jameson Bridgewater. The Appeal has been allowed and upheld with outline planning permission granted for up to 21 houses with 8 being affordable. The planning application was in outline and all matters were reserved except for access which will be as per the application plan. The Appeal decision document has been circulated to all councillors.
The Appeal decision has to some extent not taken account of some significant factors in the village including the original Parish Plan, and gave scant regard to the current Neighbourhood Plan which both PW and MH felt the Appeal Inspector had not given the correct weighting to in making his decision.
6.0 Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)
In it’s final stage, the NDP has failed examination as it promotes less houses than the core strategy.
MH stated that the NDP had been prepared over 3 years with Hfds council who had confirmed in writing that the recommendations were acceptable. The independent examiner took significant issue with the NDP approach and stated at paragraph 72 of his own examination report that.. – “a NDP cannot promote less development than the core strategy”. However, there are approved and adopted NDPs in Hfds which do this.
The NDP also only covers a subset of the parish (ie it does not include Coddington) and therefore only covers a subset of the houses – which may be less than the core strategy.
HC have advised they have no re-course to question the examiner’s report and cannot liaise with the examiner. HC advised that the NDP was withdrawn and re done from the start.
PW advised that when the NDP process had started, the terminology had been about “settlements” and then it changed with no explanation to “Parish”. This has affected the number of houses recommended in the core strategy.
MH confirmed that in the Beanfield planning appeal, the Inspector dismissed the emerging NDP and gave it little weight. This is not in line with national guidelines and is troubling because even if the NDP was re-done it could still be dismissed by another examiner. From Reg 14 onwards (i.e. after village circulation), when the NDP is passed to the authorities, it should start to have weight – and although the Bosbury NDP was at Reg 16, the planning inspector dismissed it in the planning appeal.
If changes are made to the NDP, it has to go through the full consultation again which is pointless as there is no clear answer to the less houses question. MH stated that Samantha Banks at HC had said it was a “bit of a test case”.
Incidentally, the Buchanan Trust are planning 25-30 houses, which in addition to the Beanfield site, would meet the core strategy number of 46 houses.
MH felt the situation was disgraceful and that HC needed to clearly confirm they had told the Parish Council that the NDP could recommend fewer houses (as per other NDPs in Hfds).
MH was not personally prepared to devote the time to re do the NDP when there is no guarantee it would be successful.
Cllr Johnson stated that other PCs who have recommended fewer houses had conducted landscape character assessments. Cllr Johnson stated that Samantha Banks had said “that the number of houses may be less than the core strategy provided the NDP is accompanied by robust evidence”. He stated Samantha Banks had advised the PC to do a landscape character assessment but it was not done because there was no funding.
MH quoted emails from 16.5.16 from the HC strategy team where they say the evidence is fine.
Cllr Johnson said that comment was only made because the Parish Council had said they would not, or could not, undertake a landscape assessment.
MH stated that these comments were starting to look like a fabrication. PW stated it looked like a cover up.
MH quoted an email from 19.4.16 from MH to Strategy Team asking for advice about evidence and for opinions.
MH stated that really the issue of evidence was a side show and the issue was very simply that the Inspector and HC cannot both be correct.
PW confirmed that HC had been asked to put publishing the examiner’s report on hold to give time to contact the examiner, but this was declined as the report had to be published in a timeframe.
Cllr Johnson stated he wanted to find out if the Inspector could be challenged. He stated that the Inspectors comments are clearly wrong because other NDPs in Hfds prove that – or at best the Inspectors comments are incomplete.
Cllr Johnson committed to robustly questioning the strategy team and would try to organize a meeting with MH and PW.
PW stated that the meeting needed to be able to make a decision.
The options that had been forthcoming from HC were to issue a decision to stop the NDP or support the PC to withdraw and start again
J Boyle asked if the Inspector’s word is law? SB replied there was no option within the regulations to question the examiners report.
Cllr Johnson concluded by stating that either the examiner had made a mistake or B&C PC have been mislead. If clear answers were not forthcoming he would take the issue up with the Chief Executive on the PCs behalf.
SB concluded the discussion by thanking Cllr Johnson for his time
7.0 Public Participation Session for Local Residents to Raise Matters Relevant to the Parish Council
7.1 A resident was disappointed about the public turnout to meetings, and thanked PW and MH for their efforts.
7.2 What is the value of an adopted NDP? Even in parishes which have them there are planning applications which are not in line with the NDP.
8.0 Correspondence / Discussion / Governance
8.1 Auditor Required
MH may have a suggestion. MH
8.2 Annual Parish Meeting 4.5.17 preparation
Clerk to ask Buchanan Trust (Andrew Bower), Parish Hall developments (Nat Hall), Bosbury Church developments (Nat Hall) to provide an update at the Annual Parish Meeting either in person or a written update. Clerk
Chair to ask new WPC the same. SB
8.3 Annual Parish Council Meeting 25.5.17 preparation
The meeting agreed to follow a similar agenda to last year.
9.1 Safer Roads Partnership
Enforcement officers were in Bosbury on 30.3.17 and 31.3.17. The Clerk has requested results. The Letter submitted from the PC asking for enforcement has been acknowledged and will be reviewed at Operations meeting on 27.4.17
9.2 Concern re speeding at Stanley Hill
Response received from Cllr Rone stating that in the absence of strong evidence re crashes it was unlikely a Traffic Regulation Order would get police support. The Clerk had written to the resident who raised the convern requesting crash history if there was any available.
9.3 Additional SID base
£425 for a new SID base from Hfds council.
Balfour Beatty had confirmed a reputable 3rd party contractor can re-locate the base. Clerk to confirm to Balfour Beatty that the PC will buying a suitable base and installing the new base using a reputable contractor to the agreed plan. JJT to supply plan. Clerk
JH to purchase SID base for £200 exc VAT maximum. Proposed SB/seconded JB, all in favour JH
9.4 PROW signage and waymarkers
Clerk has ordered 250 straight arrows, 50 right and 50 left in a robust material which should not fade.
Re claim from y/e ‘ 16 lengthsman grant. Clerk
9.5 To review the Highways/Footpaths log
Reviewed in detail
9.6 To discuss new highways/footpath issues
JH awaiting hedge cutter attachment for the multi tool and will then hand over to footpath officer.
9.6.1 Ask Ed Seabright to empty the bin by the burial ground and put a new black bag in when he cuts the grass. Clerk
9.6.2 Contact Nicky Seabright re whether it would be possible to put the excess soil against the wall to make it easy for the lengthsman to collect with a grabber. Clerk
10.1 To Agree Finance Report and Bank Balances
The meeting agreed the above.
10.2 To Agree Payments of outstanding accounts as per finance report
The following were all agreed:
697 Clerk Salary £890.20 698 Shelley Signs £786.00
699 Ledbury Garden Machinery £675.60 700 Coddington Churchyard maintenance £325
701 Parish Council Expenses £87.30 702 Seabright Solutions £125
10.3 Financial Management – maximising interest/income
The Clerk will research the guidelines for investing PC funds when they are received (e.g. the precept) to earn some interest / maximise return until the funds are released for usage. Clerk
11.0 Training / Meetings
11.1 Peter Young submitted an update from his attendance at the War Memorial workshop run by Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement on 21.3.17 . Peter has offered to survey the Bosbury memorials. Clerk to ask if he would kindly do the Coddington ones in the Church as well. J Boyle offered to facilitate. Clerk
11.2 PW updated the meeting regarding the Hereford Area Plan and Transport Package Consultation event. Cllr Philip Price presented the plans for the Hereford bypass scheduled to be ready in 2025. The event is open to the public from 7.4.17 to 22.5.17. PW urged Councillors to view the planned map.
11.3 Buchanan Trust Public Meeting to update local people on the work of the trustees at their Bosbury Estate, Thursday 27.4.17, 6.30-8.30pm at Bosbury village hall.
12 To Note & Review the Information & Outstanding Actions Sheet
Date Min Action Status Comments
6.10.16 6.1 PW Ongoing When Forge Bank fencing is complete ask Seabrights to strim twice pa.
6.10.16 7.6 JH Ongoing Quote to repair existing gates at new burial ground using existing black metal furniture.
6.10.16 7.6 JH Close Use compost boxes in the new burial ground. The meeting agreed to close this action due to expense and being more economical for the lengthsman to periodically clear.
1.12.16 7.8.5 LC Ongoing Speak to homeowner re hedge obscuring school sign.
2.2.17 8.2 JJT/Clerk Ongoing Take advice re any further speeding deterrents
2.3.17 7.2 Clerk Hold Add Catley phonebox to insurance once adopted. Hold, await notification from BT
Find out if it is cheaper to add the phone box to the policy at the start of the year?
2.3.17 15.2 Clerk Ongoing Clarify process for proxy vote
Advice from HALC: There is no process for a proxy vote on parish councils.
2.3.17 15.3 Clerk Ongoing Clarify process for leaving the room when an interest is declared.
Advice from HALC: A councillor must leave the room when discussion is on an item where they have declared a pecuniary interest.
2.3.17 15.4 Clerk Ongoing Clarify if a Cllr can contribute to a discussion when an interest has been declared.
Advice from HALC: A councillor cannot contribute to discussion if a pecuniary interest has been declared. They could submit comments and helpful information in writing prior.
2.3.17 15.5 SB Ongoing Assess the role of the staffing committee
The meeting closed at 21.32
Signed……………………………………… Dated …………………………………