A Meeting of Dorstone Parish Council was held in the OLD SCHOOL Hall Dorstone on Wednesday 21st February 2024 at 7-30pm

Present; Councillor A Phillips, Chairman, Councillor D Edmiston, Councillor S Goodwin, Councillor B James, Councillor D Lonsdale, Councillor J Morgan, Councillor D Phillips & Mr C Hendy Clerk.

Also present; Ward Councillor P Price

Apologies; Golden Valley Police

No declaration of Interest.

The minutes of January 10th 2024, which had been circulated, were agreed

a) Ward Councillor, P Price, February report circulated. He reported Herefordshire Council had accrued overspend of £13.5 million in 2023/2024, there will be a challenge in setting balanced budget for 2024/2025, additional money for lengthsmen scheme. Extra £445,000 for road drainage & £250,000 to re-open PROWS. Herefordshire budget is just over £210million, council tax receipts contribute £135m, £142 million devoted to Adult and Wellbeing and Children & Young people

b) Golden Valley Police, January newsletter circulated
c) (OPCC) Office Police & Crime Commissioner:
The OPCC secured the support of the Police and Crime Panel for the latest investments he wants to make in West Mercia Police, allowing him to build on the work he has already done to build a Safer West Mercia.
4.91% increase in the council tax element for policing. This equates to approximately £277.50 for an average Band D property (25p per week).

d) Chief constable; Kyle Gordon confirmed as next Chief Constable for West Mercia Police


a) P 233076/FH, Cella Pegler Orchard Dorstone Hereford Herefordshire HR3 6AW, Application for variation of condition 2 of planning permission 221904(Proposed two storey extension with link and alterations to existing dwelling.). To incorporate design changes including landscape design and balcony area.,
Approved with conditions
b) P232390/L & P232389/FH, School House Dorstone Hereford Herefordshire HR3 6AN. Proposed single storey ground floor extension to rear of property. Raising of roof above garage to form new gable and increase existing floor area of bedroom. Proposed balcony and external stairs.,
Approved with conditions
c) P202918/F, Farmstead south east of Bage Court Dorstone Hereford Herefordshire HR3 5SU, Proposed installation of 2 No. agricultural feed bins,
Approved with conditions
d) P233431/K 14 Dore View Dorstone Hereford Herefordshire HR3 6AJ, Fell Callery Pear tree. The tree has become diseased and the canopy is growing over into neighbours garden
Work can proceed

Officers delegated report on all decisions circulated to councillors
a) Pay Clerks salary January 2024 £141.28
b) Reissue cheque 000912 £282.56
c) HALC account £537.91

Payments authorised

d) Lengthsmen account received, clarification to be sought on rate charged & incorrect year date noted. Councillor A Phillips
Councillors considered moving some money from current account to savings account, Clerk had sought information from NatWest. Councillor Londsdale indicated this may be possible automatically. Clerk to check.

Update bringing Full Fibre to Peterchurch exchange
Awaiting information from Open Reach, clerk understands permission sought for new poles for fibre cable in Peterchurch, workmen in area cleaning pipework for cables.

Highway Issues
a) Update on autumn drain cleaning, Councillor A Phillips reported, Autumn drain clearance started November 1st area not completed, Winter drain clearance not started. Lengthsmen had difficulty with his van, Autumn work should be completed in March. It was important that work could be completed/invoice paid before end of March. With emphasis on lengthsmen work by Herefordshire Council Councillor A Phillips would meet & discuss his availability next financial year, Councillor Goodwin offered to attend the meeting
b) BBLP Annual Plan Delivery Session, slides/map circulated
c) Flooding Bridge Cottage/River Dore bridge.
Reported to Herefordshire Council, reply;” The nature of the river channel here is curious in that upstream of the bridge the river channel is narrow, only the width of one of the bridge spans. The channel then widens at the bridge to the two spans of the bridge and then again downstream of the bridge the channel narrows down to the width of only one of the spans with steep banks either side.
The narrow width of the downstream river channel is likely to be the most significant issue that may hinder the flow of water in the river. We note that water was observed spilling backwards along the drainage ditch (located inside the fence line). It would appear that the bridge deck is higher than the adjacent land, hence the lowest part of the road is on the Dorstone side of the bridge. This would explain why water flows backwards along the ditch. The flood map suggests that the field upstream of the bridge may become flooded when the river breaks its banks, we consider that it is likely that water also spills across the field and exacerbates the reported flooding on the driveway of Bridge Cottage
We note that there was some vegetation visible downstream of the bridge, however during flood conditions the moving water would have risen over this vegetation. We respect that residents may be of the opinion that silt below the bridge is restricting the capacity of the river. However, our own assessment suggests that the bridge is not the cause of the restriction to flow.
We will continue to monitor the site during future episodes of heavy rainfall
Clerk replied outlining history/previous cleaning & requested site meeting, reply
“Our senior drainage engineer has advised: Herefordshire Highways inspect this bridge once a year. There have been regular inspections, including 19 Jan 2023, 30 Aug 2023 and Oct 2022. The inspections include a review of the level of silt below the bridge. Herefordshire Highways do not have a duty to remove silt alongside the bridge. Occasionally silt removal works are implemented below highway bridges, but only after any residual silt located downstream of the bridge has been removed. The recent site inspections have identified that the bed downstream of the right arch (when looking downstream) is slightly higher than the bed below the bridge itself.
As there have already been two inspections this year we do not propose a site meeting.”

Councillors discussed the report, clarification was requested on Herefordshire Highways, copies of previous inspections/by whom, who the senior drainage engineer is and if, he has visited the bridge?
While the inspections review the silt below the bridge, what about the silt in the arches? Does the stream have a concrete base under the arches?
Council would like a site meeting to receive guidance on "the residual silt below the bridge needs removing" to allow the silt in the arches to be removed

d) Road/closure/flooding C1207 by Gattimer Lane
C1207 has been intermittently closed by Gattimer Lane, (Gas Pipeline) this year due to flooding, car/occupants had to be rescued by fire service, Locality Steward had sought information on ownership of field that highway drain discharges into, possibility blockage in pipe in field. Clerk had provided information. Councillor D Phillips had been approached by Mr K Goodwin to attend meeting with the locality steward as he has knowledge of the problems. Details given.

e) Pot Holes/Footpath signs, pot holes reported opposite Oaklands Place & Crossway Corner, inspected, Crossway Corner repaired. Footpath Signs D02 & D05 broken, reported.
Reported that the brush/undergrowth in Spoon Lane had been cut.
Gill Burd indicated defibrillator/paperwork passed to Allan Fraser-Rush, he is unable to attend meeting & provided information on weekly maintenance.
The defibrillator is also registered on The Circuit - the national defibrillator network, which sends check requests from time to time to validate that the machine is in good working order, which just needs to be validated through the link provided in the email .
The defibrillator is connected to the mains power which he can continue to provide while he holds the lease of the shop.
The pads will need to be changed next year, but are currently in good working order and there is one spare set in the box.
There should be an updated list of who in the village is trained to use the defib and who should be contacted locally if someone needs access.
A training session would need to be held to train and retrain individuals, St Johns offers a free on-line course which is quite good.”

From Village Hall
“We have asked the Parish Council to take the responsibility of maintaining and supporting the defibrillator as in our view it is more of a Parish wide asset than something the Village Hall should be managing and funding. We have however covered the cost of purchasing and fitting a new battery, at the Village Halls cost, to make sure that it is still in a usable state, should it be needed. The Village Hall did receive money from the DFR when it closed down, however it was agreed that this money should be used for the support of community events held in the village hall.
We would hope that the Parish Council would willingly take responsibility financially and the support and maintenance of the defibrillator in Dorstone, as do many other parish councils. Naturally we would make the village hall available for any training events that need to be held to support the defibrillator being in the village, and provide any other support we can as the need arises”
Councillors agreed that enquiries should be made on insurance cover and what was covered.
Councillors discussed appointing councillors to be responsible for defibrillator maintenance. Councillor D Londsdale, Councillor J Morgan volunteered
c) Information on offers on new defibrillator, with the recommendation defibrillators should be within 3 minutes and suggestion last meeting a defibrillator should be considered for The Bage it was agreed Councillor James & Councillor Goodwin should make enquiries for a site in The Bage.


a) Councillors had considered changing the hosting & domain change, hosting from Golden Valley Web Design, (GVWD) who were closing their business, to Wyehost, new fee would be £75+VAT. This had been done by GVWD for 2023-2024
More costing & information was required to change to.Gov.UK, agreed to continue with current domain name.

b) Request received if the Playing Field website/facebook can be linked from Dorstone.org.
Councillors agreed to information be displayed

Kings Portrait
Consider request if the parish council are applying for a King’s portrait, if so, where would it be displayed?
Clerk reported the Parish Council have received no information, checked website, press release 13th February 2024 indicates Parish Councils can apply for one portrait by March 24th, cost to Government £8million, display in public buildings. Councillors considered the request, to clarify if the church or village hall meet the criteria of a public building, if they do to write to the church and/or village hall enquiring if they would like a copy for display.

Herefordshire & Worcester Fire Service review consultation, there is no proposal to close any of the Services 25 fire stations or reduce the crewing or emergency cover of the first fire engine, at any of the 25 locations. closing date 4th March.

Herefordshire Council; Information
a) Partnership Information bulletin
b) Talk Community
c) Register of Interest
d) Herefordshire Council has previously had a charter setting out the relationship between the county council and town and parishes this is now out of date. A new Town and Parish Council Charter is being drafted, 8 representatives in total are sought to include councillors and Clerks.

Nominations by 23rd February

e) Public Spaces Protection Order This is to renewed 24th March 2024,

Information circulated, agreed no changes to the order affecting Dorstone.

f) Tree Planting grants, information circulated, also sent to Playing Field committee & tree wardens

g) Natural flood Management Project, Councillor D Phillips unable to attend, information from meeting circulated

Date of next meeting; Scheduled March 13th 2024, this will depend on progress made by lengthsmen as all invoices need signing off by end March.

Chairman thanked those who had attended & closed the meeting at 09-20pm

Signed ………………………… Councillor A Phillips

March 27th 2024