Minutes 16 March 2022

Meeting of Brockhampton Group Parish Council at 7:30PM on Wednesday 16th March 2022 at Bromyard & Winslow Town Council Offices, HR7 4DU

Minutes 03/2022

Present: Clive Brazier (Chair), Marianne Boddington, David Boddington, Helen Allan, Viv Burdon
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Nigel Shaw (Ward Councillor)

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from Pete Stoddart and Karen Rock.

2. Declarations of interest
Nil declared.

3. Dispensations
Nil received.

4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.

4.1. Ward Councillor
Nigel Shaw provided a report as follows:

I write this report with a heavy heart knowing that events in Ukraine put into perspective the hopes and plans for our town and county that we discuss and sometimes even argue about. Having visited Ukraine, and my wife until the invasion still working to train the Ukrainian probation service (remotely), we both feel for the pain and anguish that many are now suffering. My wife remains in daily contact with some of her Ukrainian colleagues.

Brockhampton Group Specific
No items to report

Elsewhere in the Ward
New signage at the Upper Sapey (High Cross) crossroads are in place. A facility for a vehicle activated sign has been created and this should be installed in the next financial year.

Following confirmation from HC that there is no 30mph limit in Upper Sapey village, the parish council has put forward the request for one which I was pleased to support. A reservoir upstream of Upper Sapey has been the focus of attention by the environment agency who have used high capacity pumps to reduce the water level. Letters were delivered to 30 households by ea officials and the police to advise them of the risk, which I am now advised has been mitigated.

At a full council meeting (the budget meeting) on 11th February I tabled several amendments on behalf of the conservative group which would have seen council tax frozen for this year, or contained to the 1% social care precept. All were defeated. The coalition voting as a group against the proposal and also getting support from 3 of the liberal group.

At full council on 4th March I tabled an Urgent Motion asking the executive to mobilise the council to support Ukrainian refugees that would be arriving in the county. The Motion was carried unanimously. The Council is actively supporting the Ukrainian support effort and I visited the Ukrainian Womens Support depot yesterday on Three Elm estate in Hereford to meet with organisers and Herefordshire Council staff that are now involved full time in supporting the provision of aid being sent to the war zone. The building being utilised is a Council owned facility. Further work is under way whilst we learn of what government support can be utilised.

The recent storms saw significant numbers of felled trees and branches, BBLP attending several incidents in the ward.

I am currently working on a Task and Finish Group looking at the health impacts of intensive poultry farming and will also present a report at full Council this Friday on changes to the Council’s governance structure.

Bringsty Common (see below) are planning a beacon for the Queens Jubilee- this will be in the Linton Parish part of the common, on the hill. Prior to the lighting of the beacon at 9:45pm , there will be festivities held in the afternoon, on the football pitch, with games and stalls; tug of war , 3 legged race , etc.

Welcome resurfacing of Tedney road, planned 16/3 – 22/3. A 7-day closure promises some reasonable scope for the works, but I have not seen any details.

The Live license appeal hearing scheduled for 10th May in Hereford.

Bromyard specific
The work to realign the end of Rowberry Street by the zebra crossing by the Post Office has raised many questions amongst residents.

BBLP have provided the following which may answer some of the queries: “There has been various inquiries from members of the public regarding the ongoing construction works in Bromyard. The priority objective of the scheme has been to improve the safety at the pedestrian crossing directly outside of the post office. There have been multiple serious incidents over the last few years at this crossing and the works are expected to reduce this. It is important to note that, of the 5 personal injury collisions that occurred at the crossing during the last 5 years, all have involved vehicles turning right out of Rowberry Street colliding with pedestrians negotiating the crossing.

As with any works within a historic market town environment, the scope to physically construct an improvement is particularly challenging due to restricted space and close proximity of existing infrastructure/buildings. Ultimately, during the investigation of options it became clear that the ability to re-position and re-engineer the existing crossing into a position that meets current design standards and existing pedestrian “desire line” needs between the Market Square car park and the Post Office was not possible without extensive changes to the existing infrastructure which were unlikely to be feasible, popular with the community, or affordable within current budgetary constraints.

In light of these issues, it was proposed to increase the segregation between the junction exit from Rowberry Street and the existing crossing location as much as is physically possible. This should remove a potential “in vehicle” blind spot issue with pedestrians using the crossing, and create a slower more acute right turn for vehicles. The alignment change has also presented the opportunity to marginally bring forward the Rowberry Street give-way line which further improves visibility to the right onto Sherford Street, making vehicle exit safer.

During its development, the proposed scheme has been discussed at length with both the Ward Councillor, representatives from the Town Council and Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport, all of whom indicated their support for the proposal.

As mentioned, the kerb and pedestrian area on Rowberry Street is to be extended into the carriageway to narrow the lane and force drivers turning right onto Church Street to take a wider berth giving a more direct line of sight of the pedestrian crossing. The outmost portion of the 20mm low kerb extended into Church Street is to allow large vehicles to mount the overrun area and utilize a wider turning radius. This section will be filled with red imprint surface raise overall driver awareness.

Two traffic islands (20mm high, 610mm wide, and 2000mm long) with red imprint surface are to be installed on either side of the pedestrian crossing in the centre of the carriageway. These islands are designed to be low enough to allow large vehicles to pass over them where required while raising general driver awareness of the upcoming crossing and enhance the restricted feeling of the street. Unfortunately, one of the newly installed kerb pieces on the southern island has broken off when trafficked after being completed. The broken pieces have been removed and temporarily covered with tarmac to make the carriageway safe for operation. Remediation works on the island began on Wednesday 9th March whilst Church Street was closed during the day for surfacing works.

To further utilize the carriageway closures set up for the priority works, the opportunity has been taken to complete resurfacing on Church Street from the Station Road bridge to the High Street junction. This work will include planing the existing surface, placing new tarmac, and then relining the traffic markings on the street. New anti-skid will be applied to the carriageway surface on the approaches to the pedestrian crossing which will also be refreshed with new paint.

Overall, it is intended that the above works will improve the safety of the pedestrian crossing and the quality of the carriageway through the town.”
The Hop Pole planning application has not yet been considered by the planning officer.

I attended the Hope centre for lunch with other pensioners and also attended a similar lunch at the Falcon Mews.

I met with planning officers and the cabinet member to discuss the pedestrian access improvements that had been planned for the Porthouse Rise development. This meeting followed my question at full council. Officers admit that because the plans included 3rd party land they are not enforceable. I have asked officers to engage with the landowner in question, and also to bring forward proposals to enhance the highways footpath to the best extent possible, in case opportunities for the combined cycle/pedestrian route continue to be thwarted. Officers commented that such pavement improvements might be augmented by an extension of the 30mph limit, which would be in line with residents, town council and my wishes.

Councillors will note with interest the provision of a 20mph zone through Pembridge (on the A44) which is being trialled with the intention of creating more such zones in built up areas in the county.

I attended the BWTC Traffic Management committee meeting and spoke to answer questions.

4.2. Bromyard Downs Common Association
A report was received as follows:

The BDCA have continued their activities during the winter months.

They have conducted their bi-monthly meeting and the volunteers have continued their excellent work in maintaining the Downs. They follow a detailed plan of conservation activities, which is in accordance with and aligned with the BDCA Management Plan and the Stewardship Scheme.

During February the Volunteers under Paul Symons and Mark De La Torre began installing a number of Birdboxes that the BDCA had commissioned Hereford College to construct. They have been placed all across the Downs and a number of larger bird and owl boxes were installed in the last week.

The work of the volunteers, under Graham Barker and Andrew (Mac) McLean, continues with three sessions per month. January and February has seen them focus on the area around the Royal Oak and lower race course. Sadly, one session had to be cancelled due to sodden conditions.

Following a decision at the last BDCA meeting, an All Terrain vehicle (ATV) has been purchased. The ATV has been in use for the last month and is used in lieu of the tractor for general transportation, leading to less wear and tear to the tractor and causing less damage to the Downs when transporting equipment. The Committee are currently assessing the purchase of an ATV trailer.

The Volunteers have also spread chippings at the Downs road / upper racecourse junction to improve conditions underfoot for walkers.

The quarterly BDCA Newsletters have been delivered to all residents by volunteers. The Newsletter included a request for residents to let the Chair know if they wished to ban local hunts riding across the Downs by 1st March. This will be discussed at the next meeting.

The next BDCA Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 30th March, 7:30pm, at the Falcon Hotel.

4.3. Bringsty Common Manorial Court
An update on the plans for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations was received and noted with interest.

4.4. Hereford Green Network
There were no matters to report.

4.5. Public participation
No questions were received.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on the 2nd February 2022
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

6.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there were three vacancies on the Parish Council and enquiries from parishioners were welcomed.

6.2. Light pollution issues
No update was available.

7. Correspondence

7.1. DEFRA: Government response to the Landscapes Review consultation.
The above consultation was noted.

7.2. Herefordshire Council: Invite to future ‘Talk Parish’ events 2022 (previously called Parish Council Summits).
The above invite was noted.

7.3. Herefordshire Council: Talk Parish Survey.
The above survey was noted.

7.4. Herefordshire Council: Consultation on new model code of conduct and arrangements for dealing with code of conduct complaints against councillors.
The above consultation was noted.

7.5. Herefordshire Council: Consultation on draft Environmental Building Standards Supplementary Planning Document.
It was resolved to contact the Parish Council’s NDP consultant to see if there were any areas of overlap with the BGPC NDP that could be addressed in this consultation and to respond accordingly.

7.6. Herefordshire Council: Survey on outdoor/indoor sports facilities.
It was resolved to respond to the survey, noting the football pitch and rifle range.

7.7. Balfour Beatty: Hereford Rural Finalised Draft Annual Plan.
The above plan was noted.

7.8. Balfour Beatty: Verge cutting programme.
The above programme was noted.

7.9. Balfour Beatty: Survey on Hereford Rural Locality Steward engagement.
The above survey was noted.

7.10. Bringsty Common Manorial Court: Request to consider a donation of £200.00 towards football pitch maintenance.
It was resolved to approve a donation of £200.00 to the Bringsty Common Manorial Court towards football pitch maintenance. Donation requests received in future years would be considered on an individual basis.

8. Planning

8.1. Neighbourhood Development Plan
It was noted that Herefordshire Council’s Local Plan was under review and this may impact the identified settlements for the group parish (currently Brockhampton and Linton). Such changes could potentially reduce the lifespan of the Parish Council’s NDP (if adopted). It was noted that if Brockhampton and Linton were no longer identified in the Core Strategy for growth then a criteria based NDP would still be an option.

It was resolved to defer progression of the Brockhampton Group NDP until such time as the Herefordshire Council Local Plan had been reviewed. If the revised Local Plan did not include any identified settlements within the Group Parish, then the Parish Council would review the possibility of progressing a criteria based NDP.

8.2. PR00493: Bromyard Folk Festival. Notification of application for a variation of premises licence.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.

8.3. P220182/F: Slipstone, Bringsty, Herefordshire, WR6 5TE. Conversion of redundant barn to 2no. units of holiday accommodation.
It was resolved that the Parish Council would comment on the proposals.

The Parish Council have concerns regarding the adequacy of the sewerage and foul water provision for this site. A full drainage survey should be undertaken to assess the viability of the proposed drainage arrangements.

8.4. P211395/F and P211396/L (amended): Land at The Farm & Oast Barn, The Farm, Whitbourne Farm, Whitbourne, Herefordshire, WR6 5TB. Proposed conversion and repairs of 2 no. farm buildings to provide 4 no. holiday lets.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

9.1. Smart Water
It was resolved to approve a draft letter for distribution to parishioners alongside pre-registered Smart Water kits. It was noted that the Police had offered to assist with the distribution of the kits and pre-registering. It was resolved to add an update on the Parish Council’s website to keep residents informed.

Currently provision had only been made to allow 80% coverage and the purchase of additional kits to allow 100% coverage would be considered at a future meeting.

9.2. Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Council Meeting
It was resolved to hold the Annual Parish Meeting at 7:15PM on Wednesday 18th May 2022 followed by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at 7:30PM.

10. Finance

10.1. Bank mandate
It was noted that the bank mandate paperwork had been processed and David Boddington was now a signatory on the Parish Council’s bank account.

10.2. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.

10.3. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

10.4. Invoices

10.4.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £351.51
10.4.2. HMRC (PAYE): £80.40
10.4.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £131.26
10.4.4. Bringsty Common Manorial Court (Jubilee celebrations donation): £250.00
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

10.5. Clerk’s Delegation

10.5.1. 16/02/22 – David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £353.75
10.5.2. 16/02/22 – HMRC (PAYE): £80.60
10.5.3. 16/02/22 – Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £131.26
The above delegated payments were noted.

11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Annual Parish Meeting and Annual Council Meeting
• Linton bus stop seat maintenance
• Smart Water update
• Planning projector

12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is the Annual Parish Meeting at 7:15PM on Wednesday 18th May 2022 followed by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at 7:30PM.

A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following item.

13. Clerk’s contract: To note and approve the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) National Salary Award 2021-22.
It was resolved to approve the 2021/22 salary award (1.75% increase), backdated to 1st April 2021.

The meeting closed at 8:39PM.