A Remote Meeting of Dorstone Parish Council was held on Wednesday November 11th 2020
Present: Councillor T Usher, Chairman, Councillor M Hession, Councillor T Arnott, Councillor B James, Councillor A Phillips, Councillor D Phillips, & Mr C Hendy Parish Council Clerk. 
 
Also present; Ward Councillor J Hewitt, two parishioners
 
Due to the Covid 19 crisis the Parish Council were meeting remotely. The displayed agenda indicated the link to the meeting.
 
No declaration of Interest from members on any item to be discussed made. 
 
No representation from the Public
 
The minutes of the meeting, October 10th 2020, having been circulated was approved.
 
Farmstead, South East of Bage Court, Dorstone. 
Mr Morgan had observed the planning application discussed at the last meeting, subsequently he contacted the clerk with an invitation for the parish council to visit the site, he indicated he had nothing to hide . The invitation was circulated to councillors.
Dorstone Parish Council policy was not to visit the site where planning applications had been received & were to be discussed. Advice had been sought from Herefordshire Association Local Councils; their advice was the Parish Council could visit the site. Councillors noted no decision had been made by Herefordshire Council, thanked Mr Morgan for his generous offer, and recognised his spirit of openness; in line with the council practice consider it not appropriate to accept his offer at the present time.
 
Reports;
Ward Councillor; November report circulated, she updated councillors on discussions by the scrutiny committee 9th November on the Herefordshire Transport Strategy Review.
 
Police/Fire, November report circulated
 
 Finance
      a) Clerks salary October £125
      b) Lengthsmen account £335
 
Both payments authorised.
 
      c) Budget for 2021-2022 , Expenditure £2842, Controllable costs £1415, Capital reserve £2753, ( includes £1100 spent on election) Total £5457, £1500 budgeted for lengthsmen, no stream cleaning and most of the cost of drain cleaning 2020-2021 will be met by grant. Total £6957.
Currently a healthy budget, with the aim of the precept to cover the council costs.
A meeting of Chairman, Vice-Chairman Councillor D Phillips & Clerk to recommend a draft budget not yet been held, agreed to defer a decision on the precept to the next meeting.
Local Electricity Bill; Following co-ordinated support and local lobbying a high number of Members of Parliament had been in the Commons chamber at extremely short notice to debate the bill. Councils & parishioners were encouraged to canvass the local Member of Parliament to support the bill.
Licensing Policy 2020-2025, whilst a request had been made for a summary of changes, this had not been received. Councillors agreed to make no observations
 
Public Toilets in the village Visitors to the area had written on how impressed they were with the cleanliness and adequacy of loo roll etc in the public toilets, they would be very happy to provide a small contribution towards the facilities. It was so great to have facilities when so many areas have so little. The clerk had forwarded the note to the Village Hall secretary. 
 
Neighbourhood Plan for Clifford, Information had been circulated on the plan, Councillors agreed they had no comments to make
 
Neighbourhood plan meeting, attended by Councillor Usher, Councillor Hession, had difficulty connecting to the meeting,  Councillor Aubrey-Cosslett, Councillor D Phillips.
Dorstone plan policies to be checked to ascertain if there are any that are materially out of date or no longer lawful.
Parish Council can then review the Plan in council to ascertain if policies need to be updated or new policies to be added. 
If the Plan is to be updated amending the wording of existing policies may not require a referendum, adding new policies, amending the settlement boundary or adopt a site allocation policy would require a referendum. 
Significant changes we need will to do on a cost/benefit analysis.
If only minor changes are required then moving forward now would be recommended, however for significant changes wait until the Core Strategy review is completed and the new Planning White paper becomes law.
Need to gauge whether there is a will both within the parish and the council to justify the considerable effort need to make significant changes to the existing plan. 
The adoption of a settlement boundary separates village communities from the rules governing development in open country. Herefordshire Council has determined that only the village of Dorstone qualifies for a settlement boundary. All development outside this being governed by the stricter open country rules but does count towards the housing requirement total. 
Housing Requirement Shortfall: Query raised why the Bage Court’s 8-property development does not appear to be included in the March 2020 figures. If they are included the shortfall of properties drops from the current Nine to just One. If this is the case the need for a site allocation policy evaporates, restoring almost full weight to our existing Plan without need for any significant change. 
Q Barn developments are not covered by Dorstone Plan Policies as they are considered ‘permitted development.’ Parish Council are permitted to make comments but cannot cite NDP policies as justification, this includes design features in H2 of the plan policy, they do count towards the housing requirement. Councillors were thanked for their attendance & report.
 
Broadband improvement grant
Information received from the broadband team, at Herefordshire Council of a grant scheme to help communities improve their broadband.  They had identified a sparsely populated in a cluster largely to the north and west of Dorstone but south of the Clifford area of approx. 135 properties.
The clerk had forwarded the information to Clifford Bredwardine & Cusop clerks 
Councillors agreed to publish the information in DFR newsletter & on Facebook, also to drop an information leaflet at the properties affected in the parish
 
Road improvement on the B4348. Resurfacing work has been carried out from the accident site, on the Vowchurch border, through to the bottom of the Batcho, Stoney Street turn. Currently resurfacing is being carried out at The Bage. On completion of the work agreed a letter should be sent to Herefordshire Council/Balfour Beatty, whilst there was an unsuccessful challenge funding bid from the government Herefordshire Council had allocated money for the resurfacing work and roadside drainage repairs to sections of the B4348. Dorstone Parish Council is very grateful for the improvements, which will not only help benefit the communities but also visitors to the area. Particular thanks for the support given by the Locality Steward for his help with the improvements and also the work he does within the parish of Dorstone on the roads & footpaths.
 
Information from Herefordshire Council circulated;
Visitor/tourist recovery fund for Herefordshire
Covid 19 Weekly Bulletins, due to the high numbers of cases in the Golden Valley discussed if information could be shared with the community via social media. Ward Councillor volunteered to ask Herefordshire Council.
Neighbourhood Planning newsletter
Free School Meals
Training for potential interpreters
 
Agreed date of next meeting December 9th 2020