Minutes 7th March 2017

Minutes of the Council meeting of Moreton-on-Lugg Parish Council held in Moreton-on-Lugg Village Hall on Tuesday 7th March 2017

The Chairman welcomed those present to the Parish Council meeting.

PRESENT:
Councillors: Cllr Kim Cooper (Chairman) Cllr. P. Spong (Vice-Chairman) Cllr B Jackson; Cllr S Browne; Cllr M. Hackeson-Poole; Cllr C Boden; Cllr R Styles; Cllr Val Javens.

Public attendance: 5 members of the public.

Parish Clerk: Lesley Hay. Mr Mike Kerrigan – Chairman Village Hall;
Ward Cllr K. Guthrie

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –
The Clerk explained that Cllr Debbie Ellis had resigned due to personal commitments. The Clerk has informed the Elections Officer and is now waiting for the Notices to advertise the vacancy. Once these have been displayed for 14 working days and there is no call for an election – the council will be in a position to co-opt. Hopefully this will take place at the April meeting.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS by Parish Councillors – Cllr Kim Cooper and Cllr V Javens for the Village Hall;
3. WARD COUNCILLOR’S REPORT – please see attached to these Minutes.
Ward Cllr Guthrie welcomed and introduced Councillor Tony Johnson who is the Leader of the Herefordshire Council & Cabinet Member Corporate Strategy & Finance.
Cllr Johnson gave a very informative presentation on the past; present and future state of the finances throughout Herefordshire. He talked about local issues with regard to housing; roads; sale of small holdings; care in the community; the NHS and generalised on how tax payers’ money is spent within Herefordshire.
There was a Q & A session after which the Chairman thanked Cllr Johnson for coming to Moreton and speaking to the Parish Council and residents.

(3.1) OPEN DISCUSSION – with local residents present at meeting and
matters raised between meetings.

The rough/uneven surface of the main village road was discussed and Ward Cllr Guthrie will bring this to attention of Cllr Rone when she meets him on the 22nd March to discuss the problems with the roads in and round Moreton.

There was discussion on recent works carried out on behalf of Church House Farm on the hedges between the Moat and the A49. This work has resulted in considerable vehicle damage to the grass areas which will need to be levelled and maybe reseeded before any mowing can be undertaken. Chairman to visit site with the owner to discuss the problem.

The Chairman closed open session

4. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE LOCAL POLICE OFFICER – as there was no police representation, the Chairman informed those present that there had been a recent Police Newsletter and that Moreton had not been mentioned as having any problems reported during the previous month.

5. VILLAGE HALL REPORT.

(5.1) Notice Boards have now been erected. It was proposed and unanimously agreed that the Parish Council would pay half towards the £180 invoice submitted by Ross Tree Services for the erection of the Notice Boards. The other half of the monies to be recovered against the village hall grants.

It was acknowledged that due to the height of the wall – the boards had to be mounted higher than had originally been planned and it was stressed that key holders should take great care when displaying notices etc. due to the height and uneven pavement surface.

Mr Kerrigan confirmed that the entire front wall of the Village Hall needs urgent repointing and this will be undertaken in two phases. The costs are estimated at £5,400 which includes replacement of guttering where needed.

There are still small outstanding projects to be completed i.e. the flooring; fitting of blinds etc but it is hoped all these will soon be completed and it is planned to have an Open Day/Celebration on 10th June 2017.

It was discussed and agreed that the date for the village fete would be 22nd July and the Parish Council agreed to donate £350 towards costs.

Cllr Spong asked for confirmation that the village hall will be available for setting up on the Friday afternoon 21st July 2017.

The Village Hall Treasurer provided an up to date set of accounts which show a balance of £5883.90 but explained that there are still several outstanding cheques to be cleared against this balance.

6. TO APPROVE MINUTES OF PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday 7th February 2017 – a proposed amendment re item 6.1 Village Hall – in that it was the Parish Council and not the Village Hall Committee who made the decision not to use the Conference Room until the fire escape had been fitted –- this proposed amendment was discussed; agreed and adopted and the item now reads – In the meantime, it was agreed, in view of health and safety, that the Parish Council would not to use the upstairs conference room until the fire escape had been fitted.

With this amendment in place – it was proposed, seconded and adopted that the minutes be signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising or deferred from meeting:
A letter has been sent to the owner of the Shop/Post Office outlining the various issues regarding opening hours etc. Any response to be discussed at the next meeting.

7. PARK WARDEN –
(7.1) Play Park equipment – all serviceable. Paths are all clear.

The Clerk confirmed that the remaining £1,500 from the Tesco Bags of Help is still outstanding.

Cllr Browne again warned of one or two hung-ups in the trees which hopefully will be dealt with as soon as it is dry enough for Ross Tree Services to bring equipment into the wooded area to commence the pollarding work.

Cllr Browne confirmed that he had purchased 1 tonne of soil and he and Cllr Styles will spread this where there is mole damage causing an uneven surface and on the football pitch and goal area. This will then be rolled – again weather permitting.

Cllr Styles confirmed that the rotting fence at the end of his garden is to be replaced and requested foot access to the play park to assist with this repair. It was agreed that he could have foot access in the play area as and when required.

Cllr Browne again reiterated his frustration with the ever-increasing problem of dog fouling in and round the park area. It was agreed that, although it is a finable offence, there was very little the Parish Council could do having already sent out a leaflet to every resident last year.

Cllr Browne also wished to draw to the Parish Council’s attention the number of unaccompanied children who regularly use the park. Despite notices saying children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult – parents are failing to adhere to this and there is an increasing number of unaccompanied children using the park on a regular basis. Again, it was acknowledged this is difficult to police but Cllr Browne wished his concerns to be minuted.

Cllr Browne and Cllr Styles would like to have two or three small fires in the wood – it was stressed that they would need to inform the fire brigade; police and as many local residents as possible. It would also be advisable to have a hose and water supply rigged up in case of an emergency.

8. PLANNING MATTERS –
(8.1) 23 St Andrews Close Moreton on Lugg – site visit on objection
(8.2) Amended – 164009 Moreton Business Park – no objection

9. TO RECEIVE REPORTS/UPDATES
Highways report:
(9.1) Following a site visit with the lengthsman it was agreed not to
remove the soil from the verge at Brooklands.

(9.2 The pothole defects and two blocked gullies requiring
jetting has been logged for Balfour Beatty. The potholes in
St Andrews Close will be dealt with through the enhanced
lengthsman scheme.

(9.3) Hedge at Killinchy – Chairman to visit

(9.4) Footpath Officer’s report
(a) Bridleway is, as expected for the time of the year, very muddy. New bridleway gate has been ordered and will be erected by lengthsman.

There was some discussion with regard to removing the top layer of soil between the road and the gate – but, as ownership this part of the bridleway is unclear the resident who agreed to remove the soil is to liaise directly with the landowner when known.

10. TO RECEIVE THE TREASURER’S REPORT:
(10.1) Payments since last meeting – none

(10.2) To consider payment of accounts – schedule of payments has been circulated together with the HALC invoice 2017-18. Payment of these invoices was proposed and agreed and cheques were signed.

It was proposed; discussed and agreed to reimburse a proportion of Cllr Browne’s administration expenses incurred during his negotiations with Tesco Bags for Help funding. The sum of £65 was agreed –receipts were made available.

(10.3) Confirmation that the Bank Signatories were now up to date and the Bank have confirmed changes.

(10.4) Clerk confirmed she will now register for ‘read only’ internet banking. It was agreed that a letter will be drawn up requesting a stop to the automatic balancing between the two accounts; the business account will be closed and all transitions will happen via the current account.

(10.5) Clerk’s annual increment from 1st April 2017 – deferred until next meeting.

There was discussion on the outstanding sum of £800 which was part of a £3000 donation to the Village Hall Committee some years previously. This £800 was to be used specifically for the refurbishment of the gents’ toilets. However, as this work has now been completed with monies from grant funding, it was agreed that the £800 should be repaid to the Parish Council.

The Village Hall Committee have requested that this £800 be reallocated to the Village Hall to assist with completion of the first phase of refurbishment. This request was discussed and it was unanimously agreed to donate £800 to the Village Hall.

Clerk to liaise with the Internal Auditor on the best way of showing these transactions in the accounts and will report back to the Parish Council at the next meeting.

11. LENGTHSMAN SCHEME /D C Gardening
Clerk to prepared work sheet for the already agreed work on the Pot holes –St Andrews Close.
It was agreed that the outstanding invoices for the bridleway and the potholes should be paid between meetings so that the transactions show in this year’s accounts.

However, it is understood that reimbursement from Balfour Beatty for 4th quarter will not be paid until after the end of the financial year and will show against 217-2018.

12. TO CONSIDER MATTERS RAISED BY MEMBERS FOR NEXT
AGENDA –no items were brought forward for future discussion

13. DATE of next meeting: Tuesday 4th April 2017 –Dan Guerche Police Ambassador representing John Campion – Police and Crime Commissioner has been invited to give a short presentation,

Ward Councillor’s Report

Highways Matters

Highways England – A49 Issues/Concerns

I’ve raised the issues of concern with Highways England which were brought to my attention during February’s Parish Council Meeting. In addition, I have asked for the results of the A49 Speed Survey. On 3rd March 2017 I received a response from Highways England stating that they are in the process of getting feedback on the issues from their Contractor Kier & regarding lighting at Moreton on Lugg junction & at the business park – advised that there may be a potential scheme to renew the lights, but final confirmation is awaited from Kier. Regarding litter Highways England advise that this is Herefordshire Council’s responsibility – Kier will be encouraged to continue to inform Balfour Beatty of road closures to enable them to carry out litter picks. Highways England are liaising with Herefordshire Councli Highways Officers to arrange a meeting with County Councillors (Ref: the Northern section of A49) soon.

Condition of Village Roads

Our Balfour Beatty Locality Steward carried out an inspection of the main village road and logged two pothole defects and two blocked gullys which require jetting. This road is inspected on a monthly basis and any further defects will subsequently be logged during these regular inspections.

St. Andrew’s Close – potholes

These potholes were inspected by our Locality Steward and were below intervention levels for Balfour Beatty. I spoke to Lesley Hay (Parish Clerk) who advised that these potholes could be filled in by the Lengthsman in due course and Lesley has confirmed this by email to Councillors recently.

Cedar Close – potholes – These have been logged by our Locality Steward for Balfour Beatty to attend to.

Re: Visibility Concern at top end of Moreton Road at the Junction with Canon Pyon Road

Our Locality Steward advised that he would pass this matter onto Burghill PC with a view to the Lengthsman carrying out some pruning and fence repairs. Cllr. Crockett is aware of the problem & is awaiting an update.

Drivearound Sutton Walls Ward with Cllr. Rone (Cabinet Member for Transport & Roads)

On 22nd March 2017 – I have arranged to take Cllr. Rone around the Ward area, in order to particularly show him the main problems with the roads, especially those roads that are subject to flooding for example our PRIORITY ROAD FOR ATTENTION the C1120 Moreton to Marden Road. Please let me know if there are any other roads/Highways problems that you would like me to show Cllr. Rone. I have already got a good list of the key areas & I am happy to add to this.

Herefordshire Council adopts tax precepts for 2017/18
Herefordshire Council on 3rd March 2017 adopted the total council tax precepts for all Herefordshire residents.
As the billing authority, Herefordshire Council has a statutory duty to reflect the individual precepts set by each parish council, West Mercia Police and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service in setting the overall council tax due from dwellings across the county.
The council accepted the precepts agreed by each parish council, West Mercia Police and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service; required to support the delivery of services both locally and across the county. The overall impact of these precepts resulted in an average council tax bill for a band D dwelling of £1,702.24.
This includes the council’s own tax charge of £1,376.50 which was set on 3 February; a rise of 3.9% including an adult social care levy of 2% to support the rising costs of adult social care for Herefordshire’s ageing population.
For more information “Your Council Tax Explained 2017/18 Leaflet” will be available to download from Herefordshire Council’s website in about two weeks time.

I’ve brought along some Recycling Leaflets & Stickers are available too – please help yourself.

Report by Cllr. Kema Guthrie 5th March 2017