Minutes 17 November 2021

Meeting of Brockhampton Group Parish Council at 7:30PM on Wednesday 17th November 2021 at Whitbourne Village Hall, WR6 5RR

Minutes 11/2021

Present: Clive Brazier (Chair), Marianne Boddington, David Boddington, Pete Stoddart, Helen Allan, Karen Rock
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Nigel Shaw (Ward Councillor), Police representatives, two members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
All members were in attendance.

2. Declarations of interest
Nil declared.

3. Dispensations
Nil received.

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

4.1. Police
A presentation and ‘Question and Answer’ session on the Smart Water initiative was received.

The initiative was designed to reduce instances of acquisitive crime via use of ‘Smartwater’ kits. Statistics showed that burglaries dropped by 23% in Smart Water protected areas.

The kits include stickers for use on windows and doors to act as a deterrent to potential thieves. The initiative offers a 25% discount on all kits purchased and free road signage when 70% of the kits have been registered. Kits cost £8.90 + VAT each (regular price £25.00) and it would cost approximately £1700.00 to meet the qualifying threshold for the group parish.

The method of distribution of the kits would be at the discretion of the Parish Council.

4.2. Ward Councillor
Nigel Shaw provided an update as follows:

Works to realign, drain and mark the road surface by “Willowbrook” on the B4203 by Bromyard Downs where a fatal accident occurred earlier in the year were completed in the first week of November. In addition drainage works to the Linley Green Road, closing it from “Falling Waters” to the Old Post Office are scheduled for 10th to 14th January.
I was called out to attend an incident of “Holly Rustling” by a concerned resident earlier this week. I contacted the NT and two rangers and I attended the incident, which, it transpired, had the tenant’s permission. Both the tenant, NT(as landowner) and I agreed it had been a useful exercise in the run up to Tenbury auctions (23rd and 30th of November).

Elsewhere in the Ward:
I reported blocked gullies and scrapes to land drains between Moor Farm and the Wheatsheaf on the A44, which have subsequently been cleared. Please encourage the use of the App. to report any blocked gullies.

The Crumplebury application P210640 was refused by the Planning Committee, P194408 still awaits an Appeal decision from the Inspector and P210527/U (CLEUD)Certificate of Lawfulness still undecided by Herefordshire Planning. I understand that plans for the Hope Pole have been submitted P213846. The Planning Inspector has ruled on P191409, 15 Linton Lane and refused permission for the two additional dwellings in the garden, but allowed the planned modification to the main dwelling.

The Bromyard Centre (Halo) and library. Reopening scheduled 19th November. The Mayor and I are meeting with Scott Ralph, the CEO at the end of November to discuss the opportunity to expand community uses of the Bromyard Centre once it is reopened

The work to realign the end of Rowberry Street by the zebra crossing by the Post Office has been scheduled to take place beginning in January. Road closures and night working is currently being planned to expedite the improvement. Works to improve the Upper Sapey (High Cross) crossroads have taken place. Simon Hobbs, Herefordshire Councils road safety engineer visited Broad Street a fortnight ago to discuss with myself and Cllr. Clark the option of placing tubs on the roadway opposite Sewology so as to discourage parking at that pinch point which leads to buses overrunning the pavement outside that retailer. Simon has agreed the proposals and will issue a guidance plan for the tub location. The scheme is seen as a trial which may lead to a more permanent installation if successful. I have also been away for two weeks during the last month, but zoomed in to a meeting of the Children and Young people’s scrutiny meeting from St Lucia where a statement (suggesting questions) was read on my behalf, and I was able to participate in the discussion on the re-contracting of specific Children’s services in Bromyard currently delivered by the Hope centre.

4.3. Bromyard Downs Common Association
An update was received as follows:

The last two months have seen the BDCA conduct its Annual General Meeting whilst the volunteers continue with their planned conservation activities which follows their detailed sub-plan which is in accordance with and aligned with the BDCA Management Plan and the Stewardship scheme.

The volunteers, under Graham Barker and Andrew (mac) MacLean, have conducted work across the whole area of the Downs clearing the many tracks using their chainsaws, brush cutters and hand tools. They have also cleared significant brush piles and have also started to remove felled wood from the Downs. This is in response to the theft of a significant amount of felled wood from the area near to Orchid Ponds.

They have continued to meet three times per month with their planned activities being flexible and able to react to the numbers present and the weather. The Annual General Meeting was held in the Falcon Hotel on 22 September with the present committee re-elected. Two vacancies remain on the Committee. The meeting commenced with a guest address by Mary Walker of the local Bee keeping society on “the lives of our native bees and their habitat “which was well received by all present.

The Chair then provided an update on the last eighteen months thanking the volunteers who have provided 15,000 hours of work towards the management of the Downs. Looking to the future the Chair stated that he has secured a trial period to use GPS tracking collars to allow sheep to graze on the Downs within a virtual mapped area. This means there will be no actual fences needed to retain the sheep grazing on the Downs.

In response to questions from the public, the Chair stated that in the matter of Scattering of ashes on the Downs that permission should be sought from Herefordshire Council and the Environment Agency. He then acknowledged that there were a couple of comments noted of the Bromyard Info website about the felling of trees in Hill Field Coppice directed against the BDCA. He stated that it should be noted that the Coppice is the property of the National Trust who have been maintaining the woodland and felling diseased trees. and is nothing to do with Bromyard Downs.

The Dave Cave memorial bench from the House of wood should be ready soon, but will be going to be towards the longer 5-month end of the lead time.

The BDCA website is acknowledged to be out of date and Pete Stoddart has been approached and has agreed to review it and update the site with relevant information.

4.4. Bringsty Common Manorial Court
An update was received as follows:

The AGM of the Bringsty Common Manorial Court (by Zoom) was on Saturday 23rd October and a committee of commoners and residents was elected. Discussions centred on the cutting of fire breaks and the funding of the same. Their first committee meeting was on Wednesday 10th November where Catherine Fuller was again elected as Chair. Matters discussed included a new website, a social occasion, perhaps to mark the Platinum Jubilee, and funding provision from Herefordshire Council.

4.5. Hereford Green Network
The following update was received:
• In January 2022, the Herefordshire Citizens’ Climate Assembly will meet to discuss how Herefordshire should meet the challenges of climate change.
• From the 4th September 2021, all bus travel within Herefordshire is free at weekends.

4.6. 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 15th September 2021
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 four vacancies on the Parish Council and two enquiries to fill the vacancies had been received; co-option would be added to the next agenda accordingly.

6.2. Memorial to former Councillor and Chairman Dave Cave
It was noted that the memorial bench had been ordered and should be installed soon.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Herefordshire Wildlife Trust: Wilder Herefordshire initiative.
The above initiative was noted.

7.2. Herefordshire Council: Local Plan update and pre-consultation engagement.
The above consultation was noted.

7.3. Herefordshire Council: Details of proposed accident remedial scheme at B4203 near Willowbrook, Bromyard Downs.
The above scheme was noted.

8. Planning

8.1. P213825/F: Lower Brockhampton House, Bringsty, Worcester, Herefordshire, WR6 5UH. Construction of new granular all ability path to extend existing network.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.

8.2. P214031/FH: 2 Parkhead Cottages, Norton, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4PF. Proposed two-storey extension.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no objections or concerns.

8.3. Neighbourhood Development Plan: To receive an update.
DJN Planning (the Parish Council’s NDP consultant) had provided an update. Regrettably progress on the NDP development was still paused due to Herefordshire Council’s restrictions on development due to high levels of phosphate in the River Lugg.

9. Parish matters for discussion/decision

9.1. SmartWater: To consider the purchase of Smart Water kits for parishioners.
It was resolved to approve an application to the Police under their Smart Water scheme. To achieve the required scheme coverage (80% of the parish) 318 kits would be required at a cost to the Parish Council of £1,695.45.

9.2. Carriageway maintenance: To consider issues with the road surface condition of the Downs Road.
Disappointment was expressed at the extent of resurfacing work undertaken on the Downs Road; it was understood that this had been due to budgetary pressures on Herefordshire Council.

9.3. Cats-eye replacement: To consider issues with missing cats-eyes on the B4203.
It was reported that it had been Herefordshire Council policy for a number of years that cats-eyes were not maintained or replaced.

9.4. Bus shelters: To consider purchasing identification plaques for the two parish council owned bus shelters.
It was resolved to approve costs up to £30.00 for two signs to identify ownership of the two Parish Council bus shelters.

10. Finance

10.1. Budget and Precept
It was resolved to approve the 2022/23 budget and to request a precept of £10,500.00.

10.2. Bank mandate
The bank mandate paperwork to add David Boddington as a signatory was duly signed.

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

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

10.5. Invoices

10.5.1. David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £346.54
10.5.2. HMRC (PAYE): £80.60
10.5.3. Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £131.26
It was resolved to settle the above invoices and cheques were duly signed.

10.6. Direct Debits

10.6.1. 24/09/21 – Information Commissioner (registration): £35.00
The above direct debit payment, made between scheduled meetings, was noted.

10.7. Clerk’s Delegation

10.7.1. 20/10/21 – David Hunter-Miller (salary and expenses): £351.69
10.7.2. 20/10/21 – HMRC (PAYE): £80.60
10.7.3. 20/10/21 – Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund: £131.26
The above payments, made between scheduled meetings, were noted.

11. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• Co-option
• Light pollution issues
• Smart Water (update)

12. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled meeting is at 7:30PM on Wednesday 19th January 2022. It was resolved to book Bromyard and Winslow Town Council Offices for future meetings.

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

13. Clerk’s contract
It was resolved to approve an increase in the Clerk’s working from home allowance from £10.00 to £13.00 per month with immediate effect.

The meeting closed at 9:19PM.