Minutes 5 January 2016

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HATFIELD AND DISTRICT GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING OF HATFIELD AND DISTRICT GROUP PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 5 JANUARY 2016 IN PUDLESTON VILLAGE HALL AT 7PM.
In Attendance
Councillor R Hanson – Vice chair
Councillor C Price Councillor A Lewis
Councillor M Thomas A Billinge – Clerk
Ward Councillor B Baker 3 Members of the Public
1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Chairman T Brooke [abroad] 2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS by Parish Councillors. None.
3 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING, were approved and signed.
4 OPEN SESSION Questions were asked regarding the Neighbourhood Plan. Concerns were raised regarding settlement boundaries as some residents were very worried as they had heard that there could be compulsory purchase of land for development. The residents wanted to know what progress had been made, and Councillor Michael Thomas, chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group explained the progress to date. He explained to need for 27 houses across the three parishes over 18 years. Docklow and Hatfield’s settlement boundaries seemed to be straightforward, but not Pudleston. Residents would be kept informed. A planning for real evening, and a drop in session for residents had been well attended. There would be an open meeting for residents and eventually a referendum, plenty of time for feedback. Councillor Hanson told the meeting he thought that residents should be asked first not when it was all drawn up, and a discussion followed. Councillor Thomas explained that everyone on the electoral role would receive a letter in due course. The steering group did not want to spoil the integrity of the villages, nor effect house prices. Ward Councillor Bruce Baker added that the Neighbourhood Plan was always on the Agenda at Parish Council meetings, and that residents had no need to worry. If residents did not want to build it would not happen. Planning procedures would still continue to happen, a developer could turn up at any time, and landowners can say yes or no. Other comments were that there should be an area agreed by all, and that planning was an absolute fiasco. A long and heated discussion followed.
The clerk reported that there was at present no money in the Neighbourhood Plan cost centre, and until a new grant was applied for, there was no funding for the scheme. The grants have to be paid back by the end of the financial year ie 31 March, or after six months which ever comes first.
4.1 Councillor Baker reported the following: The council tax redemption scheme had been approved. He explained that Herefordshire had an increasing very elderly population. Revenue from business rates would replace government grants, which was not enough to run Herefordshire. He explained the new proposed road schemes in Hereford with the western by pass, the traffic from Wales would go straight
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to Rotherwas. In north Herefordshire it was estimated that 780 people were taken out of council tax. Unemployment figures were only 400 people out of work and 690 new apprentices, which was good news for the county. 110 people had used the help to buy scheme in North Herefordshire. For new pensioners, the state pension was rising from April. Hightown in Hereford was to be improved again, to encourage more people and business.
5 FINANCE
5.1 Invoices and payments, a cheque was signed for the village hall rental of £86.40. Parish Council expenses of £40.12 were signed and agreed, together with £94.80 for HMRC, and clerk’s travel expenses of £17.10. Cheques were signed for the clerks wages, and internal audit fees all pre-agreed and previously minuted expenditure. It was also agreed that the Parish Council fund the next meeting of the steering committee, as the Neighbourhood plan had run out of funds.
6 PLANNING
6.1 APPLICATIONS – RECEIVED – 153482 – C1060, Proposed passing places and road widening. The Parish Council had NO OBJECTIONS.
6.2 APPROVED – None
IT WAS RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK RETURN A COMMENT OF NO OBJECTIONS – PLANNING APPLICATION 153482.
7 HIGHWAYS
The clerk reported she had sent a reminder to the contractor who damaged the ditches in Pudleston, and written to several landowners enclosing the leaflet from Belfour beatty regarding ditches and drainage. A supply of leaflets regarding the responsibility of landowners were made available at the meeting. It was agreed to write again to landowners, stating that if ditches were not urgently cleared out, this would be passed to Belfour Beatty, who had the authority to cleanse and restore the profile of these ditches as appropriate and charge the landowner where necessary.
It was reported that the damaged ditches had been satisfactorily repaired by the contractor and the clerk was asked to email and thank them.
It was reported that the sandbags had arrived.
Potholes and road defects, the following were reported, series of potholes by Pudleston Church U94205, a series of potholes Docklow on C1059, and these continued all the way along the road. Deep potholes on the C1060 by Bilfield Farm. A sinking bridge at the bottom of batches, Brockmanton, on the U94211.
IT WAS RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK REPORT ALL THE ROAD DEFECTS TO BELFOUR BEATTY
IT WAS RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK WRITE AGAIN TO LANDOWNERS REGARDING DITCHES
IT WAS RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK WRITE THANKING THE CONTRACTOR FOR DITCH REPAIRS.
8 CLERK’S REPORT AND UPDATE – Neighbourhood Plan update, was given during the Open Session.
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The following items of interest had been circulated: Details of defibrillator scheme, and banning of Chinese lanterns.
Two training places had been booked for 30 January 2016, and the course was all day from 9am until 3pm, and covered Roles and Responsibilities. It was agreed that Councillor Thomas and the clerk attended, and a place be offered to the chair, Councillor Brooke.
Despite being promised in November, the grant for the website had still not arrived, and the clerk explained that she was spending at least half an hour of voluntary time a week trying to keep the website up to date, and having to use her own laptop. It was agreed that the clerk chase up the grant funding.
IT WAS RESOLVED THAT THE CLERK CHASE THE WEBSITE GRANT
9 AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING – Ditches and drainage.
10 The date of the next meeting was 1 March 2016, subject to hall bookings, etc.