Minutes 8th November 2016

Minutes of the Monkland & Stretford Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 8th November 2016 in Monkland Village Hall, Monkland.

Chairman welcomed those present

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

Also present were: Parish Clerk: Mrs Lesley Hay; Mr T Powell; Mrs Lynn Hanley

Members of the public: Two

1. Acceptance of apologies for absence – Chris Blaydon (Footpath Officer) PCSO D. Alford

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

3. To receive a report from the local Police Officer – please see attached to these minutes

4. Chairman introduced and welcomed Mr T. Powell who has recently taken over the tenancy of the land surrounding Monkland Common owned by Mr J Bengough. Mr Powell explained that he and his father, Mr David Powell, farmed on the Foxley Estate – that they were purely arable farmers specialising in potatoes; apples and combinable crops.

A discussion followed during which the Parish Councillors had an opportunity to express concerns about the excessive speed of tractors and accompanying vehicles along the narrow country lanes; plus, the necessity to keep to the designated track across the Common when gaining access to and from the fields.

It was reassuring to hear that Mr Powell does not employ Contractors and that their harvesting of crops is mainly between July and August when, hopefully, the ground will not be too wet and the problems of mud on the adjoining roads can be kept to a minimum.

The Chairman thanked Mr Powell and invited him back to a future meeting in 12 months’ time when the season can be discussed and appraised.

5. Parish Councillor Vacancy – The Chairman confirmed the earlier resignation of Mrs Lynn Hanley. Mrs Hanely was presented with a gift and card on behalf of the Parish Council to acknowledge all her hard work whilst on the Parish Council.

(5.1) A notice regarding the vacancy had been displayed and as there had been no request for an election – the Parish Council were in a position to co-opt a new Parish Councillor. There were two applicants – both of which gave a short presentation. After a paper vote Mr Alan Turner was invited to fill the vacant position of Parish Councillor. Mr Turner accepted and, having signed the appropriate documentation, joined the table as a full voting Councillor.

The Chairman thanked the remaining applicant and expressed her sincere wish that, should a vacancy occur in the future, they will put their name forward again.

6. Ward Councillor’s report – Unfortunately Mr McCaull was not present at the meeting.

7. Open session – Matters raised by local residents.

(7.1) Fibre optic broadband in now available in the village. Clerk to put a short piece in the Newsletter advising residents to contact their providers if they wish to take advantage of this facility.
(7.2) Proposed Boundary changes – there are plans to adjust the constituency boundaries in 2018. Clerk to put a short piece in the newsletter with the link for residents to make a comment if they so wish. The Parish Council would like to oppose these changes and the Clerk was asked to express this via the online link.
(7.3) Moles on the Common – it was acknowledged that Mr Mark Trumper has done a sterling job in catching the moles that have invaded the Common. It was proposed and agreed to send him a cheque for £50 to reimburse his petrol costs.
(7.4) Clerk to liaise with Derrick Richards with regard to mowing the banks opposite the Monk pub – hopefully before Christmas – and so allow the daffodil bulbs to flourish in the Spring. In addition, to ask if he would cut back the hedge to the right of the bus shelter as it is very overgrown.
(7.5) Close Open session

8. Approval of minutes from 6th September 2016 – these were acknowledged as a true record and unanimously adopted and signed by the Chairman.

Parish Clerk’s Update
8.1 Publication of Newsletter – this is due out at the end of the month.
The future costs of the Newsletter were discussed and it was proposed to cut the number of issues from 6 to 4 per year. This decision was based on the fact that there had been no further interest in advertising in the newsletter and the constraints of the budget for 2017-2018. This proposal was accepted.

8.2 Update on Village defibrillator – fund-raising is ongoing. It is hoped to have sufficient funds left, after the purchase and training, to maintain the defibrillator for the foreseeable future and it was suggested that these funds should be managed by the Parish Council.

8.3 Update on fallen trees/damaged weir – Moore Brook affecting Mill Race. Cllr Weatherhead explained that he had attended a site visit with the Environment Agency and they have agreed to remove the fallen tress – hopefully before Christmas. However, they confirmed that the weir is not their responsibility but that they will approach the landowner in the hope of getting him to do some urgent repair works. The Millrace remains a problem as it is very overgrown and there were concerns expressed with regard to the lack of good housekeeping – the trees being in urgent need of pollarding etc – these issues will again be raised by the Environment Agency with the landowner.

8.4 The Notice Board by the bus shelter has been repaired and is now water proof.

9. Finance.

9.1 Up to date accounts – have been circulated – schedule of payments see attached.
9.2 To consider invoice payments: Schedule of Payments had been circulated however there were a couple of additional items that necessitated payment at the meeting – these to be added to the schedule. Payment of the invoices was proposed and agreed. Cheques were issued.

9.3 The Budget for 2017-2018 was discussed at length. It was acknowledged that there was a real threat of a ‘capping’ process being introduced in the near future. In addition, the lengthsman funding has been drastically cut for the coming financial year and will disappear completely in 2018-2019. The footpath P3 funding remains intact for this coming financial year but again is about to be phased out completely over the next two years.

Lengthy discussion also took place around the possible necessity to fund some road safety signs as a result of the ongoing meetings with regard to changing the signage etc on the approach to the Arrow Bridge and the approaches to the village along the A44.

After discussion, it was proposed to increase the precept to £7000 for 2017-2018 this proposal was unanimously agreed and adopted. Clerk to submit the appropriate form before the 31st December 2016.

9.4 Update on possible precept capping – information about this had been circulated in HALC’s Information corner.

9.5 It was agreed to delay finalising the new bank signatory details – Clerk to obtain two additional forms as it was agreed that all Parish Councillors should be made signatories on the Bank Accounts.

9.6 Update on Parish laptop/Printer – the Parish laptop and printer have now been purchased from the grant obtained via HALC. In the first instance, it was agreed that Cllr Weatherhead will use this equipment and maintain up to date Parish Council records.

9.7 The Pension Regulator has now sent details with regard to offering employees the option of a pension. As the Clerk is the only employee and she has refused the offer of a pension – the clerk will now follow the procedures set out in the letter and on the website. This will remain an ongoing process as the various staging dates data is completed.

10. Monkland Common issues:

10.1 The Registration of Monkland Common remains on going with a promise that it
should be completed by the end of this month.

11. Highways and Environmental Matters.

11.1 Lengthsman Scheme –Nov/Dec worksheet – no worksheet for D C Gardening
but Derrick Richards to be contacted with regard to mowing and hedge cutting.
The reduction in lengthsman scheme funding had been explained – the 2017-2018
Expression of Interest form to be completed and submitted by the Clerk.

11.2 Update on alterations regarding the speed restrictions A44 and signage
approaching the Arrow Bridge – Cllr Weatherhead explained that he had been in
contact with the Police Commissioner’s Ambassador – and there is to be a meeting
in the near future with the Police Commissioner and various other managers from
Balfour Beatty/Herefordshire Council. Cllr Weatherhead will report back on any
progress made.

11.3 Speed Indicator Device – it was agreed that the installation cost was far
too high – it was agreed, however, to keep it as an option. In the meantime, a small amount of funding is to be set aside within the 2017-18 budget for future costs associated with road safety issues.

12. The Footpaths Officer had circulated an updated assessment of the Footpaths – see copy attached to these minutes. Footpath Officer has requested additional footpath markers – Clerk to liaise with Locality Steward.

13. Planning issues
There has been no recent information available on either Old Road Monkland or
Manor House Farm Buildings.

14. Date of Next full council meeting – Tuesday 10th January 2017

Chairman closed the meeting at 10.05p.m.

Lesley Hay Clerks salary for October £221.23   £221.23 Clerk’s salary
Clerk’s PAYE Oct PAYE Oct £55.20   £55.20 PAYE
Lesley Hay Clerks salary for Nov £221.23   £221.23 Clerk’s salary
Clerk’s PAYE Nov PAYE November £55.20   £55.20 PAYE
Expenses including

Cork for Notice Board

Oct/Nov expenses £58.79 £8.81 £67.60 Expenses
D C Gardening P3 P3 scheme / footpaths £48.00 £ 8.00 £40.00 P3 scheme
D C Gardening Lengthsman £96.00 £16.00 £80.00 Lengthsman
Grant/Donation Lyyn Hanley gift & Card £14.68   £14.68 Donation
Curry’s World Parish Laptop and Printer £397.67 £66.28 £331.39 (from grant of £416.00)


Mark Trumper Moles – Common £50.00   £50.00 Maintenance
Monkland Village Hall Hire of the Hall for PC meetings £100.00   £100.00 Hall Hire