Minutes of an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 29th November at 7.00 pm in Cradley Village Hall
Cradley Councillors: Bruce Herriot (Chairman), Simon Davies, Alan Eldridge, Wynne Harries. Appointed Herefordshire Ward Councillors: Tony Johnson, Jonathan Lester, Alan Seldon, Nigel Shaw. In attendance:
Clerk cover for meeting … Lynda Wilcox (HALC).
Ward Councillor … Eleanor Chowns
Approximately 60 members of the public.
1. Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman
1.1On a proposal by Wynne Harries, seconded by Simon Davies it was unanimously RESOLVED to elect Bruce Herriot as Chairman.
1.2On a proposal by Bruce Herriot, seconded by Simon Davies, it was unanimously RESOLVED to elect Wynne Harries as Vice Chairman.
2. Resignation of councillors
2.1It was noted that the following councillors had resigned: Fred Beard, Ann Carver, Geoffrey Fielding, Tanya Lloyd Jones, Anne Scarsbrook, Derek Scully and Geoff Thomas.
2.2The Chairman commented that Fred Beard had served on Cradley Parish Council for 53 years and he had thanked him personally for his commendable years of service to the local community.
3. Procedure for non-quorate parish council:
3.1The chairman welcomed the following four Ward Councillors appointed by Herefordshire Council to join the four remaining councillors of Cradley Parish Council so as to enable the legal quorum of five councillors to be met and parish council meetings to be held:
3.1.1 Tony Johnson, Jonathan Lester, Nigel Shaw and Alan Seldon.
All four councillors had completed their declarations of acceptance of office prior to the meeting commencing.
3.2It was noted that the eleven parish councillor vacancies (excluding the appointed Ward
Councillors) would be publicised on 4th December. Nominations would need to be received by Herefordshire Council’s Elections Office by 4pm on 12th December. If a contested election was necessary i.e. if more than eleven persons were nominated, a formal election process would be held on Thursday 11th January 2018.
4. Apologies for absence … There were none.
5. Declarations of interest & written requests for dispensation.
5.1Simon Davies declared a DPI (Disclosable Pecuniary Interest) in planning item 8.1 … Land off Pixiefields … and signed the book accordingly.
6. Minutes of previous meeting held on 10th October
It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the above meeting as a true record and they were signed by the Chairman.
7. Open Session:
7.1New Ward Councillor … Eleanor Chowns, was welcomed by the Chairman and congratulated on her election success during the previous week. Councillor Chowns had already attended a meeting of Audit and Governance that day and would be attending future meetings of the parish council to report on Herefordshire Council matters, as well as taking matters up with Herefordshire Council on behalf of the parish council. She looked forward to meeting residents at the Christmas Fair on Saturday.
7.2Local residents’ views on parish matters … the Chairman requested views on planning applications during the open session:
7.2.1 Pixiefields application: Concern was expressed about access arrangements.
7.2.2 Land at the Clovers application: Request that the parish council objects to the application as the need for the site had not been established and it was not appropriate in open countryside within the AONB.
7.2.3 An ex councillor queried the process for recruiting a new clerk.
7.2.4 A query was raised about who from the parish council would work with the Lengthsman in future, as well as the cost of the Lengthsman for 2018/19.
7.2.5 A further ex councillor expressed the hope that recent community and parish council divisions could be healed and that the new parish council would work towards unity within the parish.
7.2.6 It was suggested that the previous lack of civility and hostility within and to the parish council should cease and councillors be supported to undertake their role effectively.
7.2.7 The four appointed Ward Councillors were welcomed and thanked for their assistance to the parish council and the remaining parish councillors were thanked for their hard work and it was hoped that they could provide a brighter future for the parish.
The following comments were made on applications to be determined by Herefordshire Council:
Simon Davies left the meeting in accordance with his declaration of interest in 5.1 above.
8.1 Application P174057/O … Land off Pixiefields, Cradley. Proposed residential development.
PC Comment … It was RESOLVED not to object to residential development on the site but the parish council does not believe that the site can sustain 60 dwellings and would like to explore all other access points via a meeting of stakeholders. Furthermore, it is recommended that Herefordshire Council look extremely closely at the attenuation pond system to ensure that it is fit for purpose, given the history of surface water flooding in this area.
Simon Davies returned to the meeting
8.2 Application P173814/F … Land at The Clovers, Hereford Road, Storridge. Proposed change of use of land to a 1 pitch Traveller site comprising 1 no. mobile home, 1 no. touring caravan, 1 no. dayroom and associated work.
PC Comment … It was RESOLVED to object to the application because:
8.2.1 It contravenes Policy 5 in the Cradley NDP because it does not enhance the quality of the landscape or biodiversity within an AONB. There is no landscape assessment.
It contravenes Policy 9 in the Cradley NDP on design aspects because appropriate account has not been taken of the setting (view of and from Grade II Listed Buildings) and close proximity to several public footpaths (one of which goes through the site itself), including The Worcestershire Way. Any street lighting whatsoever should be discouraged in this setting as in CNDP Policy 9.
8.2.2 There is no transportation assessment … there is concern about access on to the main road and indeed onto the very narrow lane behind. The applicant states that daily access is currently taking place but tyre tracks would suggest otherwise. The hedge at the access point is not in the ownership of applicant and is likely to cause visibility problems in the near future.
8.2.3 There is no information on foul water drainage, and this field is known to be wet in winter months.
8.2.4 The parish council questions whether specific criteria in relation to a traveller site have been met.
8.3 Application 174277 … Old Vinesend Farm, Vinesend Lane, Cradley. Variation of condition 2 of planning permission 132971/FH.
PC Comment … RESOLVED: It was RESOLVED to support the application.
8.4 Application 174278 … Old Vinesend Farm, Vinesend Lane, Cradley. Variation of condition 2 of planning permission 133008/L.
PC Comment … It was RESOLVED to support the application.
8.5 Application P174290/K … Mistletoe Cottage, Cradley. Fell Ash tree (T4) due to basal rot and decay and replace with standard Ash.
PC Comment … It was RESOLVED to support the application but with a suggestion that advice should be sought from an Arboriculturist on the advisability of planting an Ash tree (due to disease implications).
9. New website
Following discussion it was RESOLVED to have a .GOV.UK domain name for the new website being set up by Eyelid Productions. Nigel Shaw abstained from voting.
10. Standing Orders
It was RESOLVED to consider the adoption of reviewed Standing Orders once the new clerk was in place.
11.1 Following due consideration, it was RESOLVED to appoint the following councillors as bank signatories and re-issue the returned cheques as soon as possible:
11.1.1 Simon Davies.
11.1.2 Alan Eldridge.
11.1.3 Wynne Harries.
11.1.4 Bruce Herriot.
11.2It was RESOLVED to consider the adoption of the reviewed Financial Regulations once the new clerk was in place.
11.3It was RESOLVED that the following councillors form a Finance Working Group to draft the 2018/19 budget for the January meeting and consider risks to the council:
11.3.1 Simon Davies
11.3.2 Alan Eldridge
11.3.3 Bruce Herriot.
11.4 It was RESOLVED to pay the following invoices once the new bank mandate had been finalised:
11.4.1 Zurich Annual Insurance premium … £453.24.
11.4.2 Lengthsman payments for October… £85.50 and £399.
11.4.3 Materials from Speedy Asset Services … £80 + £16 VAT.
11.4.4 Angel Software … Projector Screen £116.66 + £23.33 VAT.
11.4.5 HALC: a) Meeting Cover £164.85+VAT. b) Book on Council Law £39.99.
12. Lengthsman Scheme:
12.1.1 Update … The meeting received an update and RESOLVED that future work to be undertaken by the Lengthsman would be identified by the parish council at a meeting or notified to the Clerk between meetings (devolved power was given given to the Clerk to enable authorisation between meetings). Furthermore, that all works requests to the Lengthsman would be in writing from the Clerk.
The following works were agreed for action:
a) Clearing overgrown path between St Katherine’s and the Surgery area.
b) Strimming of both playing fields.
c) Drain at Kings Bridge.
12.1.2 Grant overpayment … Herefordshire Council had pointed out that there had been an over claim of £1,094.85p due to no mandatory contribution being deducted from the claims submitted in relation to the 2017/18 contract. It was RESOLVED that as there was sufficient unclaimed grant monies in the P3 allocation, the above-mentioned over claim amount would be moved from the 2017/18 P3 allocation to the Lengthsman allocation. Herefordshire Council was supportive of this action.
13. Communication in the absence of a clerk:
Communication issues in the period between clerks was discussed in detail and it was
13.1Newsletter … Wynne Harries would produce a summary of the meeting for the local newsletter, including:
13.1.1 Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman plus new appointed Ward Councillors.
13.1.2 Congratulations to new Ward Councillor … Eleanor Chowns.
13.1.3 Planning applications … Pixiefields and Land at Clovers.
13.1.4 Lengthsman activities.
13.2.1 Once the new website was up and running, all current parish council information would be moved across and the new clerk would be responsible for ensuring it was kept up-to-date.
13.2.2 Mr Nason would be thanked for managing the website on behalf of the parish council over a number of years.
13.3 Facebook … Would be held in abeyance until the new clerk was in place.
14. Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)
14.1Members considered the notes from the meeting held on 14th November and endorsed the attendance of NDP members at an event for parish councils with ‘made’ NDPs, organised by Herefordshire Council
15. Matters raised for next agenda:
15.1Appointment of new clerk.
15.2Precept for 2018/19.
15.4Church clock … re-gilding of face.
A resolution was passed to exclude the public due for the following confidential employment matter.
16. Employment Matters …
16.1It was RESOLVED to follow legal advice and take appropriate action on items 16.2 and
16.3 below, which included an Internal Audit of Accounts by a qualified accountant: 16.2 Financial matters relating to outgoing clerk.
16.3Matters relating to council property e.g. computer.
16.4New clerk … It was RESOLVED that HALC would arrange interviews in the near future for the following Interview Panel:
16.4.1 Bruce Heriott.
16.4.2 One of the four Ward Councillors.
17. Date of next meeting
It was RESOLVED that the next meeting would be held on Tuesday 9th January at 7.00 pm.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15 pm.