Minutes 14th September 2020

Online meeting of Holmer and Shelwick Parish Council at 7:00PM on Monday 14th September 2020 via ‘Zoom’


Present: Marc Mohan (Chair), David Cooper, Andy Coultas, Gitta Ferguson
In attendance: David Hunter-Miller (Clerk), Mark Millmore (Ward Councillor), 3 members of the public

1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were noted from Neil Flanagan.

2. Declarations of Interest
Andy Coultas declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in item 9.5. (P192785 appeal).

3. Dispensations
Nil received.

4. Open Session
The meeting was adjourned for the open session.

4.1. Ward Councillor
Mark Millmore provided the following report:

COVID-19 Lab-confirmed cases
In the week to 5th September, the only areas of Herefordshire with more than two lab-confirmed cases were:
• Hereford North East (4 cases)
• Bromyard & Bishop’s Frome (3 cases)

During the Rook Row farm outbreak, Herefordshire’s cases per 100,000 jumped from slightly above the median for all English councils to almost equal the national figure for England as a whole

Since the beginning of August, Herefordshire’s cumulative number per 100,000 has increased less quickly than both the median for all councils and the overall national figure. It is currently 488 per 100,000, compared to 545 for England overall.

Furlongs Road Adoption
I know that the roads will not be adopted until Crest has brought them to up to the required standard. Communicating with Crest is often slow and I assume COVID 19 has also delayed progress. However, after making enquiries I have been told the officer will be walking the roads in the next few weeks with Crest to assess the roads.

Traffic Lights at Green Wilding Road
I have had a considerable a struggle to get Crest’s agreement to apply yellow lines near the traffic lights at Green Wilding Road. But the good news is that all the legal and paper work has now been completed and the work will be done in the near future.

Roman Road – Resurfacing Works
Since becoming Ward Councillor, I have campaigned for the Roman Road to be resurfaced because of the unsafe condition in places. I would like to thank those responsible for completing the work before this winter sets in and apologize for any inconvenience caused to residents while the work was being carried out.

P202315/O Walney Lane – This application has returned as an Outline this time and there are still some Landscape concerns affecting the Lugg Medow and there is considerable local interest with many objections from residents. Because of this I’ve submitted a conditional referral to committee. This means that if the officer is so minded to approve the application it will automatically go to committee.
DCC050495/F Wyoming Shelwick – I’ve informed the officer – objections to this application
P202047/RM Bramble Field Barn Munstone – I’ve informed the officer – so long as the Parish council’s conditions are met – objections to this application.

Fly Tipping
There has been Fly Tipping Collections on Green Wilding Road, Munstone Lane and Old School Lane

My observations as Ward Councillor
I feel the council has thrown away a lot of money that would have benefited our county.

The southern link road would have brought 27 million pounds of government funding – this investment has now gone. 3.8 million of that money has been spent and now has to be repaid. The consequences of losing an essential infrastructure project that would have improved our economy will harm Hereford’s future.

There are serious doubts over whether we will get a bypass. Approximately 180 million pounds of government investment for the road and the city centre’s active travel measures together with all the other benefits to our economy may be lost.

The delay to this project could mean the money from Midlands Connect HIF housing fund and the department of transport could go to benefit some other worthy city.

This county needs to encourage inward investment to create high paid jobs for young people. But young people are leaving the county because there is no future for them here. Instead, we have an ageing population that is becoming an increasing burden on services and as Herefordshire’s economy shrinks over the next 10 years you have to ask where the money is going to come from to maintain standards.
Unless we get the bypass the great opportunity that lay before Herefordshire at the last election will evaporate.

Recently the council decided to borrow 4 million pounds to repair flood damage roads rather than take this money set aside in the contingency fund, which was designed for this purpose. The cost to the taxpayer over the next 40 years will be 7 million pounds. I did not support this decision and voted against it.
The council purchased Maylord Shopping Centre for approximately 4 million pounds with no coherent business plan and then, like a plot from the theatre of the absurd, released a video appeal on YouTube asking the public for ideas of what to do with it. To me, this suggested a lack of leadership vision.

The council appears to be unable to focus on what matters most and it is demoralizing to be led by a group that has misunderstood today’s realities and are unable to address the needs of Herefordshire’s future. I cannot see how Hereford can progress into the 21st century and bring prosperity to the people if this highly politicized group cannot move past a dream of vigorous people riding bikes and travelling on electric buses yet is unable to come to grips with the highly polluting HGV Lorries that pass through the centre of our city every day. Whilst I believe there are positive benefits to having a cycle lane infrastructure and electric buses, these are not a practical solution to Herefordshire’s transport problems. I cannot imagine a 75-year-old lady doing her shopping at Sainsbury’s on a bike or struggling with five bags of groceries on an electric bus

The Planning Committee
While I respect the views and concerns of individual members, I believe that planning decisions should be policy lead and based on material considerations. Judgments made on subjective grounds and applications which are later won on appeal leave the council liable for costs which ultimately come out of the taxpayer’s pocket. Each application should be carefully examined with the guidance of officers and judged on its own merits.

4.2. Footpath Officer
It was noted that the latest Footpath Officer’s report was available on the Parish Council’s website.

HO-8 had been walked and work had been undertaken to keep the path clear. Disappointment and frustration were expressed at the amount of dog fouling along this path.

A large amount of garden waste had been dumped along the path and it was resolved to send a letter to adjacent residents to highlight the issue.

4.3. Public participation
A member of the public expressed concern regarding dog fouling along footpath HO-8.

A representative of Holmer Park Spa was in attendance and provided an update on measures taken in response to traffic concerns on Cleeve Orchard (item 6.5).

A member of the public queried when the Parish Council’s pond on Coldwell’s Road would receive further maintenance; it was confirmed that this would be undertaken nearer winter for ecological reasons.

The meeting resumed following the open session.

5. To consider and adopt the minutes from the Parish Council meeting on Monday 10th August 2020
It was resolved to adopt the minutes as a true record and these were duly signed by the Chair.

6. Progress reports

6.1. Councillor vacancies
It was noted that there were currently two vacancies on the Parish Council and applications from parishioners were welcomed.

6.2. S106 traffic calming scheme
No update had been supplied by Herefordshire Council.

6.3. Flooding issues, Shelwick
Balfour Beatty have agreed to write to the landowner to clear out the ditch but it was understood that the landowner had disputed responsibility. It was resolved that the Parish Council would not attempt to intervene as this might confuse the situation.

Balfour Beatty also agreed to inspect the area with the drainage team to review a possible blockage or partial collapse of some of the drainage infrastructure in the area. It was noted that some of the manholes/gullies had already been attended to.

A number of residents had funded the installation of a private drain at this location.

6.4. Bund / floor levels, Holmer West
No update had been supplied by Herefordshire Council.

6.5. Cleeve Orchard traffic concerns
In response to a petition regarding traffic concerns Holmer Park Spa had offered a number of proactive measures to tackle the issues. All club members, suppliers and guests would be contacted to remind them to be respectful to residents in Cleeve Orchard. Observations of their car park would be carried out to identify if there is a particular problem/time. Investigation would be undertaken to assess the possibility of introducing traffic calming measures/signage in their car park to further encourage considerate driving through Cleeve Orchard.

In addition to this, Herefordshire Council had agreed to review the site to see if any traffic calming measures could be applied to Cleeve Orchard using any S106 funding that was remaining for the area.

6.6. Littering and dog fouling
A number of littering and dog fouling issues had remained unresolved:
• Crest Nicholson had removed a number of bins from The Furlongs; as there were not enough bins to start with this has only exacerbated the littering and dog fouling issues experienced in the vicinity. Herefordshire Council had been contacted for a response on a number of occasions but no update had been given.
• The bins that do remain on The Furlongs are not emptied frequently enough and regularly overflow.
• The Parish Council have offered to purchase additional bins for a number of locations but Herefordshire Council have not allowed this.

Mark Millmore agreed to pick up these issues and to try and get a response from Herefordshire Council.

The Parish Council had ordered a number of hard-hitting ‘no littering’ signs and these would be put up at strategic locations shortly.

7. Correspondence

7.1. Herefordshire Council: Request for information sharing in support of the Herefordshire Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).
It was resolved to send a response to Herefordshire Council that would highlight a number of issues as follows.

At the start of our NDP preparation process is was confirmed by Hereford Strategic planning department that the housing targets set for development in our parish had been met and substantially surpassed.
On this basis the settlement boundaries for the parish were established around the current built form including approved planning applications at the time of the plan being made in January 2020.

The Parish Council did attend and contribute to the Hereford Area Plan (HAP) Strategic Housing and Employment site options study published by Herefordshire Council in August 2018. There were several site options considered within the parish which are detailed in the site options study for North East and North West Hereford.

Two sites were considered with potential for up to 525 homes although substantial improvements to infrastructure would need to be made before this could come to fruition. The remaining sites were dismissed in the current plan until the final phase of the new road corridor was decided. Although the Hereford bypass is currently on hold it would be prudent to maintain these green corridors so as not to restrict the options on a new road for the city in the future.

7.2. Resident: Concerns regarding decreased Councillor attendance at meetings.
It was noted that it had been difficult to achieve a quorum for some items at recent meetings as a number of councillors had not successfully made the transition to online meetings. Holmer Park Spa kindly offered to make available WiFi and laptop facilities to those councillors who were having difficulty attending.

7.3. NALC: Consultation on changes to the current planning system.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no comments.

7.4. NALC: Planning for the future consultation.
It was resolved to contact HALC for their view on how they feel this will affect Neighbourhood Development Plans.

It was noted that the consultation deadline for this was the 29th October 2020. Accordingly, it was resolved to arrange a short working group meeting, immediately prior to the next Parish Council meeting, to allow detailed consideration of this consultation.

7.5. NALC: Transparency and competition consultation – a call for evidence on data on land control.
It was resolved to defer discussion on this until the next meeting.

7.6. Herefordshire Council: Car parking charges consultation.
It was resolved that the Parish Council had no comments.

7.7. Herefordshire Council: To note creation of Tree Preservation Order NO.630 (Little Haven, Munstone).
The above Tree Preservation Order was noted.

8. Parish matters for discussion/decision

8.1. Accessibility Regulations: To note amendment of the Parish Council’s online accessibility statement with respect to PDF documents.
Scanned PDF documents are required as part of the audit process, but they do not comply with the Accessibility Regulations 2018. As such the Parish Council’s Accessibility Statement has been updated to confirm that such documents can be provided in an alternative format on request.

8.2. Smart Water: To consider the distribution of Smart Water kits to parishioners.
It was resolved to ask the Police for advice on how to distribute kits safely during the Covid pandemic.

8.3. Defibrillators: To consider available grant funding and to consider the purchase of a defibrillator(s).
It was resolved to defer discussion on this until a future meeting.

8.4. Supporting local businesses: To consider how to support local businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.
It was resolved to allow contributions and updates from local businesses on the Parish Council’s website. It was resolved to write to local businesses to ask for contributions.

9. Planning

9.1. NDP: To consider reviewing and updating the HSNDP.
It was resolved that there would be no benefit in updating the Holmer and Shelwick NDP at this stage, as it would require the Regulation 16 stage consultation and examination to be reconducted.

9.2. P202851/J: Leisure Centre, Holmer Park, Holmer, Hereford, Herefordshire HR1 1LL. T1/T2/T3/T4 – Sycamore. Re-pollard as regrowth failing and breaking off into garden No. 35 Cleeve Orchard.
It was resolved that the Parish Council were in support of the proposals.

9.3. P202429/O: Land to the north of the Roman Road and west of the A49, Holmer West, Hereford. Application for variation of condition 5 and removal of condition 9 (re: Highways improvement works) of planning permission 150478/O (Proposed erection of up to 460 dwellings including affordable housing, public open space, a Park & Ride facility, with associated landscaping access, drainage and other associated works). Variation is to increase number of occupied dwellings prior to opening of internal route connecting A49 and A4103 from 200 to 400 dwellings.
It was resolved that the Parish Council were in support of the proposals, but control measures should be implemented to ensure that the road was not used as a rat run.

9.4. P201445 (re-consultation): Land to the north of the Roman Road and west of the A49, Holmer West, Hereford. Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval. (150478) Site for 77 dwellings.
It was resolved that the Parish Council continue to object to the proposals. In addition to previous comments the Parish Council would add the following.

The Parish Council note the developer’s ‘Response to Consultees’ dated 10/08/20 and take issue with a number of their statements. The developer cites that the car parking arrangements follow the same approach as Phases 1 and 2; the Parish Council assert that this is irrelevant as the HSNDP had not been adopted at that time. Now that the HSNDP has been adopted the policies contained within it should be fully adhered to, including parking provision which should conform to policy HS4b (the proposals currently fall 69 car parking spaces short).

The Parish Council take issue with the statement that the parking arrangements are working satisfactorily elsewhere on the development and therefore the level of parking provision is appropriate. The earlier phases of this development are only partially occupied and so any issues with parking will not yet be evident. The Parish Council can cite a number of established developments in the area where the lack of parking provision continues to cause major issues, with obstructed footways/visibility splays and other such highway safety concerns.

Every effort should be made to ensure that the quality of life of future residents is properly prioritised above solely commercial considerations.

9.5. P192785 (appeal): Land at Bull Orchard, Shelwick, Hereford. Proposed Outline application for a residential development of 4 properties with all matters reserved.
Andy Coultas left the meeting for the duration of discussions on this item.

It was resolved that the Parish Council’s original objection would be maintained.

10. Burial Ground

10.1. To receive an update
It was noted that no burials had taken place since the last meeting.

10.2. Memorial Safety: To consider the results of the burial ground inspection undertaken 28/08/20.
A survey of the burial ground had been undertaken in accordance with the Parish Council’s Memorial Safety Policy.
In summary there were 17 headstones with potential issues. Some were so loose or unstable that they were laid flat, rather than have them fall over and become damaged (or injure someone). Some headstones will require repair but did not constitute an immediate hazard. Some will need monitoring at future inspections to ensure that their stability does not deteriorate further.
It was resolved to contact the relevant grave owners, where possible, so that they can arrange for the memorials to be made safe. Quotes would also be sought to ascertain the potential cost of the work.

11. Finance

11.1. External Audit
It was noted that the External Audit had concluded and the auditor’s comments are as follows:
In our opinion the information in Sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR is in accordance with Proper Practices and no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.

11.2. Budget expenditure
It was resolved to approve the budget expenditure.

11.3. Bank reconciliation
It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

11.4. Schedule of payments
It was resolved to approve the schedule of payments and cheques were duly signed.

11.5. Bank mandate
It was noted that the paperwork had not yet been signed by councillors but this would be completed before the next meeting.

12. Councillors’ reports and items for the next agenda
It was reported that some residents at Meadow Park were dumping grass cuttings and other garden arisings into adjacent fields and there was concern that this could give the horses colic. It was resolved to write to residents to highlight the issue.

Obstructive footway parking at Meadow Park was still causing issues; photographs would be forwarded to the Police for attention.

It was resolved to add the following items to the next agenda:
• S106 traffic calming scheme (update)
• Flooding issues, Shelwick (update)
• Bund / floor levels, Holmer West (update)
• Littering and dog fouling issues (update)
• Burial ground memorial safety (update)
• Smart Water kit distribution
• Planning for the future consultation
• Topography / levels on planning applications
• HALC planning training (online)

13. Date of the next meeting
The next scheduled Parish Council meeting is at 7:00PM Monday 12th October.

A resolution was passed to exclude members of the public due to the confidential nature of the following items.

14. Clerk’s overtime: To consider and approve overtime for work at Holmer Burial Ground.
It was resolved to approve 5 hours overtime for the Clerk for work undertaken at the burial ground.

15. Clerk’s contract: To consider and approve the NJC National Salary Award 2020-21.
It was resolved to approve the 2020/21 salary award (2.75% increase), backdated to 1st April 2020.

The meeting closed at 9:12PM.

Payments for authorisation
Payee Details Net VAT Total
David Hunter-Miller Salary and expenses 822.27 0.00 822.27
HM Revenue & Customs PAYE 40.26 0.00 40.26
Worcestershire County Council Pension Fund Local Government Pension Scheme 255.62 0.00 255.62
HALC Website hosting and domain name 70.00 14.00 84.00
HALC Website storage 60.00 12.00 72.00
Mark Breedon Burial Ground maintenance 720.00 0.00 720.00
Total 1968.15 26.00 1994.15
To note Direct Debit payments made between meetings
Payee Details Net VAT Total
Welsh Water – 08/07/20 Burial ground water supply 15.72 0.00 15.72
Total 15.72 0.00 15.72


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