Minutes Annual Parish Meeting 2020

Online Annual Parish Meeting held at 7:30PM on Wednesday 20th May 2020 via ‘Zoom’


Present: Clive Brazier (Parish Council Chairman), David Hunter-Miller (Parish Clerk), Nigel Shaw (Ward Councillor), Cathy Fuller (Chair Bringsty Common Manorial Court), seven members of the public

1. Introduction and welcome
Clive Brazier opened the meeting and welcomed residents.

2. Apologies
Lindsey Vernalls had sent apologies.

3. To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Friday 3rd May 2019
It was resolved to approve the minutes and these would be duly signed by the Chair.

4. Matters arising from those minutes (if any)
There were no matters arising.

5. To receive a report from the Ward Councillor
Nigel Shaw provided a report on the activities of Herefordshire Council. A detailed monthly report is made available at every Parish Council meeting.

6. To receive a report from Bromyard Downs Common Association
The BDCA had not met since February due to the Coronavirus lockdown and consequently no report was available.

7. To receive a report from Bringsty Common Manorial Court
The priorities of Bringsty Common Manorial Court (BCMC) have been revised since August 2019 in light of withdrawal of Natural England funding and the Covid-19 outbreak.

Expenditure priorities for the forthcoming year will be the cutting of rides firebreaks and grassland areas. Removal of cuttings from grassland areas will no longer occur due to limited funds. Cutting of the football pitch will occur every other month. BCMC is very grateful for the contribution from the parish council towards the latter.

A conservation group for the common has been established to provide advice to the BCMC and organise conservation activities with a focus upon increasing bio-diversity and carbon reduction along with more general priorities for the common of developing the community, health and safety, heritage, mental and physical well-being and funding. (See list of draft priorities attached). Piloting of the planting of wildflowers is underway. Information on pondlife and protection of toads has been updated. A moss walk has occurred and Butterfly Conservation are planning a visit the near future.

To promote staying at home, protecting NHS and saving lives carparks were closed during the first phase of the Covid-19 lockdown. Residents were supported by the creation of a community hub helping with shopping and medicines. Existing communications and support of the quarterly publication of “The Commoner” and noticeboards were enhanced by the creation of the a Bringsty Common Facebook site, email and telephone contacts.

Subject to Covid-19 regulations, future BCMC meetings will be held at Whitbourne Village Hall at 7.30pm on:

• 8th September
• 10th October – AGM speaker and refreshments.
• 11th November

Cathy Fuller
Chair of BCMC

8. To receive a report from the Footpaths Officer
No report was available.

9. To receive a report from the Police
No report was available. It was hoped that a Police Officer would be able to attend a future Parish Council meeting.

10. To receive the Annual Report of the Parish Council by the Chairman
I never imagined, when I was voted in as chair in May 2019, that my annual report would be via a virtual meeting, with the entire country under varying degrees of stay at home lockdown. So I can safely say it has been a year unlike any other.

Having said that, we have continued in our role as a parish council providing debate and decisions on matters where we can have an opinion, and also where we can have influence. It is something of a frustration to me to understand how limited our remit is, when on many occasions I would have liked to intervene meaningfully only to find that such an intervention is outwith our authority.

But we have championed causes, lent our support, and made decisions where we can. Most importantly, we have reached a milestone on the important matter of a NDP and my thanks go to those parishioners who have debated long and hard under the guidance of our professional mentor, to produce the draft plan. It is a valuable and worthy document on which to build.

More parochial but no less important in the scheme of things, and certainly more visible to our parishioners, we have replaced the notice board at Linton and seen the rise and fall of bus shelters. The rise when we are able to install the one kindly acquired from Whitbourne, and the fall when the weather finally demolished the one at the Old Hospital only for a replacement to be provided in the near future.

My thanks go to our ward Councillor Nigel who has provided much wise counsel on matters we could influence and those we couldn’t and he has taken our issues up both locally and countywide to help us.

Thanks also to all other Counsellors for their attendance, support and contributions to our meetings. This year we have been pleased to welcome Lindsey Vernalls who has already shown herself to be a valuable addition to the debate. It still leaves us with vacancies and I hope in this next year we shall be able to recruit some additional councillors to make our numbers up.

Finally I must say a big thank you to our Clerk David who has worked tirelessly and efficiently to keep us accurate, maintain our finances, and made the life of me as chairman so much easier.

Clive Brazier
Chairman, Brockhampton Group Parish Council

11. To receive a report on the Parish Council’s finances
The Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council’s 2019/20 accounts and audit paperwork would be published online shortly. A summary of the figures is as follows:

Opening balance 01/04/19: £13,207.72
Receipts for period 01/04/19 to 31/03/20: £8,659.15
Payments for period 01/04/19 to 31/03/20: £14,633.01
VAT recoverable 01/04/19 to 31/03/20: £251.11
Closing balance 31/03/20: £7,233.86

It was noted that the budget overspend was due to the Neighbourhood Development Plan and that a successful grant application had already been made by the Clerk to cover these costs, plus any remaining expenditure for 2020/21.

12. To invite the public to raise any matters of interest
There were no matters to report.

The meeting closed at 7:44PM.