Minutes 14th March 2017

Minutes of the Monkland & Stretford Parish Council held on Tuesday 14th March 2017 in Monkland Village Hall, Monkland.

Chairman welcomed those present.

PRESENT: Cllr J Barnes (Chairman) Cllr M. Weatherhead; Cllr A Turner; Cllr K Hindle; Cllr R Allen.

Present: Parish Clerk: Mrs Lesley Hay; James Howell – Locality Steward; five nominated Candidates for the Leominster South Ward; Two PCSO Police Officers; nine members of the public.

1. Acceptance of apologies for absence – Footpaths Officer Chris Blaydon

2. Declarations of interest – Disclosable Pecuniary, Non-Disclosable Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary interests. No declarations were made.

3. Police report: PCSO Alford gave a short report stating that Monkland had recently been subject to one crime – the theft off a winch from a Land Rover. There was discussion on possible police input into helping reduce the speed limit on the A44 and PCSO Alford promised to make enquiries about arranging for the speed gun to come into the area on an ad hoc basis. PCSO explained that there were regular surgeries in nearby villages where residents were invited to attend and discus local and/or personal concerns,

4. Ward Councillor’s report – none available

5. Open session – Matters raised by local residents.

Five prospective Ward Councillors for Leominster South Ward were welcomed by the Chairman and invited to give a short presentation followed by a Q & A session. Although various topics were discussed, all candidates were in agreement that changes with regard to the speed limit on the A44 were long overdue. All candidates unanimously agreed that the speed limit should be reduced to 40mph. All candidates supported the proposed changes in signage when approaching the bridge and associated bends.

(5.1) Further to the last meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Ambassador – the Parish Council are now waiting for an estimate from Balfour Beatty with regard to the costs for the additional signage – these costs are to be covered by a grant of £4000 from the Police and Crime Commission and £1000 from the Parish Council.

Resolved: Clerk to emailed Balfour Beatty requesting an update.

The Chairman on closing the open session expressed thanks to Wendy Jancey and Sylvia Weatherhead for their help with serving refreshments.

6. The minutes of the meeting held on 10th January 2017 were approved as a true record and it unanimously agreed that they be adopted and signed by the Chairman.

Parish Clerk’s Update
6.1 The Clerk confirmed that the defibrillator had been delivered but there was a wait for the cabinet. Once this had arrived, training would be organised. The Clerk explained that she had now deposited the remaining defibrillator funds into the Parish Council Account. It was agreed that there would be a separate column on the accounts sheet and as and when monies were spent on the defibrillator/training the amount would be seen to be deducted from this total.

It was acknowledged that the outstanding Youth Club and Millennium monies were also deposited within the account and it was unanimously agreed that these funds would be shown as £470.00 on the accounts sheet and again if monies were spent against these funds it would be deducted from the total.

Resolved: Clerk to amended the accounts sheet accordingly.

6.2 The Clerk confirmed that the printing costs for the Newsletter had been halved to 45p per copy.

7. Finance.

7.1 Up to date accounts sheet had been circulated.

7.2 A Schedule of Payments had been circulated and it was unanimously agreed to pay the outstanding invoices.

7.3 It was agreed to remain banking with NatWest even though the local Leominster branch is due to close later this year. Two new signatories have been agreed and the appropriate forms signed

7.4 The Parish Clerk explained that the Clerks’ annual salary/hour review takes affect from 1st April.

The Clerk produced a paper copy of the Spinal Column Point showing the 1% increase proposed by NALC. The Parish Clerk left the room. After discussion, the Clerk was invited back into the room – the Councillors had unanimously agreed that the Clerk should receive the 1% plus an increment to Grade 23. It was also proposed and unanimously agreed that as from April 2018 the Clerk would receive an annual increment of one spinal column point until the top Grade of 27 was reached.

The Clerk thanked the Councillors for their continued support.

8. Monkland Common issues:

a. An update on the Registration of Monkland Common. – item deferred until next meeting

9. Highways and Environmental Matters.

a. The issue of residents parking on Herefordshire Council land obstructing a public footpath/right of way was discussed. After discussion, it was unanimously agreed that this could no longer be a Parish Council issue. The Locality Steward will now visit the site and take any appropriate action he thinks appropriate.

The Locality Steward will arrange for the road sweeper to come into the village. The Locality Steward confirmed that the jetting of the drains outside the Cheese Shop was an on-going problem and he hoped to have some information about future jetting/maintenance by the end of the week.

Resolved: Clerk to send email request.

There was discussion on the possibility of becoming part of the village gateway scheme. It was acknowledged that this had been discussed with Ian Connolly; Balfour Beatty and the Police and Crime Commissioner. However, it was agreed that the item could be revisited but should be deferred until the next meeting.

Unfortunately, tractors have recently been driving across the common and not staying on the designated route – however, once the situation was explained to the driver he used the appropriate route.

b. Lengthsman Scheme – the request for litter picking along the main A44 does not seemed to have been done to date –

Clerk to inform lengthsman about the broken footpath post on the A44 opposite Wilcroft. If post is broken and needs replacing – there is a spare post available.

Resolved: Clerk to follow this item up with the lengthsman.

10. Planning issues –

(10.1) It was agreed that the Old Road new entrance is unsightly – however it was agreed to deferred this until the next meeting to see if the land owner has any plans to re seed the banks and replace the flowers that have been destroyed during the work.

(10.2) Letter re planning applications and discharge of conditions – an explanatory email
has been received and forwarded to all councillors.

11. Update on Footpaths – the footpaths in general are in good order for the time of the year. However, a resident has made an observation that the coppice where last year’s pheasants had ben reared was a mess and littered with rubbish etc. While the Parish Council accepted that there is little they can do about this as it is privately owned land, they will ask the Footpaths Officer to inspect to make sure the footpath is not obstructed and that there are no health and safety issues.

It had also been brought to the Parish Council’s attention that the tiles on the old building next to Mil House were in a very dangerous state. After some discussion, it was agreed that Cllr Turner would erect temporary notices warning walkers of the danger and advising them to use the five-barred gate as an alternative route. In the meantime, a letter should be sent to the landowner making him aware of the dangers and asking him to make urgent repairs to the roof in the interests of health and safety.

Resolved: Clerk to liaise with Footpaths Officer. Clerk to write to landowner.

12. Date of next full council meeting – Wednesday 10th May 2017 – starting at 7.00p.m. as this meeting will be the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Parish Council Meeting combined with the usual bi-monthly meeting.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.45p.m.