MINUTES OF A MEETING OF LEOMINSTER TOWN COUNCIL
HELD ON 17 JANUARY 2011 AT THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS, LEOMINSTER.
PRESENT – Chairman: The Mayor, Councillor R C Hunt.
Councillor J R Atkinson Councillor P Jones
Councillor E H Clark Councillor P J McCaull
Councillor M E Cooke Councillor C Pritchard
Councillor P H Davies Councillor P E Simpson
Councillor Fothergill Councillor J P Thomas
Councillor P J Goody
11.01.127 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllr A P Begg, Cllr P N Reed and Cllr R J Westwood.
11.01.128 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Thomas declared a personal interest in agenda item 11.01.143 due to his involvement with
another organisation which had been targeted by the subject of this agenda item.
11.01.129 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Mr Peter McKay addressed Council with regard to the parking bays in Vicarage Street.
Mr McKay drew Members‟ attention to traders parking their vehicles in Vicarage Street rather
than using the parking bays in Broad Street and in other parts of the town. He indicated that
traders were reluctant to use bays marked with double yellow lines. He said that, although the
town had been re-designed since the introduction of parking restriction orders in 1977, the orders
had not been changed. He also referred to inconsistency in the line markings on parking bays,
with some having double yellow lines and others with single lines. This added to the confusion
about the use of the parking bays. Mr McKay suggested a review of parking restrictions in the
town with a view to relaxing them and also making people aware of how parking/loading bays
were to be used.
11.01.130 PARKING BAYS IN VICARAGE STREET
Referring to the lack of disabled parking spaces in the town, Cllr Atkinson reported that she had
recently parked her car in West Street and had been approached by a parking enforcement
officer who was asking people parking their cars in the loading bays if they knew what vehicles
could be parked there. Cllr Davies referred to parked vehicles in Vicarage Street creating access
problems for emergency vehicles. The Mayor stressed the need for consistency in road
markings and clear signage. Cllr Goody indicated that he would bring the issues raised by Mr
McKay to the attention of the Senior Traffic Engineer at a meeting later that week.
01.131 PROPOSED FORMATION OF A LEOMINSTER TOWN BAND – Update from
British Legion representatives.
Due to the absence of British Legion representatives, the Mayor and Cllr Davies provided an
update. He reported that a small committee had been formed and that the band currently
consisted of an experienced bandleader and 14 musicians. Some funding had been secured and
other sources would be sought. It was planned to set up a website. Cllr Davies said that it was
hoped that more people would join the band to bring the membership up to 20. Cllr McCaull
pointed out that the band was fortunate to have an enthusiastic and well qualified conductor with
34 years‟ experience. There was general agreement that the band would be an asset to the
town. The Mayor thanked Cllrs Davies and McCaull for taking an interest in the new Leominster
11.01.132 PLANNING ENFORCEMENT – Presentation by Mark Tansley, Planning
Enforcement Manager, Herefordshire Council.
Mr Tansley indicated his intention to give a brief overview of the planning enforcement system in
Herefordshire, including the work of the planning enforcement team and recent organisational
changes. He then described what was involved in taking action, which included the serving of
breach of condition notices for failing to comply with planning conditions, enforcement notices to
cover breaches of planning control other than non-compliance with planning conditions, stop
notices, and, when necessary, the taking out of injunctions. Mr Tansley then spoke about the
outcomes of action taken. These included no breach of planning control; exempt activities by
dint of time; technically a breach of planning control but such a minor issue that it was not
expedient to take action; investigate whether planning permission was required Mr Tansley
pointed out that there was a right of appeal for an enforcement notice, also that it could be
amended, eg given extra time.
Mr Tansley then referred to the planning enforcement team re-organisation which had taken
place in June/July last year. He said that the Planning Enforcement Team was now a dedicated
team reporting to Mr Tansley, which it was hoped would achieve a better sense of continuity
throughout the County and bring some consistency to the process. He reported that since June
2010 over 600 planning applications had been monitored and 600 premises checked to test that
conditions had been complied with.
In the discussion that followed, the Mayor said that it was reassuring to know that the Planning
Enforcement Team was monitoring and checking compliance with planning conditions. There
was some discussion on the Government‟s Localism Bill with regard to planning enforcement.
The Mayor thanked Mr Tansley for his informative presentation which had been most useful.
Mr Tansley then left the meeting.
11.01.133 MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON 4 JANUARY 2011
Cllr Jones proposed adoption of the minutes of the meeting of Town Council held on 4
January 2011. This was seconded by Cllr Davies and carried.
11.01.134 TO FINALISE THE BUDGET AND PRECEPT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2011/12
Cllr Thomas enquired about the possibility of any carry forwards. The Town Clerk said that it
was not possible to say at this stage.
Cllr Atkinson proposed that Council finalises the budget and precept for the financial year
2011-12. This was seconded by Cllr Thomas and carried.
11.01.135 MINUTES OF PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 4 JANUARY 2011
Cllr Simpson proposed adoption of the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held
on 4 January 2011. This was seconded by Cllr Davies and carried.
11.01.136 REPORTS FROM COUNCIL’S WORKING GROUPS AND REPRESENTATIVES
ON OUTSIDE BODIES
Cllr Clark presented his report on a Shopmobility Management Committee meeting held on 24
November 2010. Continued discussions were taking place with Martin‟s Newsagents and Post
Office management regarding access matters. Shopmobility was still awaiting a response from
Herefordshire Council regarding the Council making a contribution towards the parking machine
electricity bill. Cllr Clark had offered to amend Shopmobility‟s Equal Opportunities Policy and
would be bringing suggestions to the next meeting. Cllr Clark‟s presentation also included the
Leominster Shopmobility Co-ordinator‟s report. In the discussion that followed, Cllr Thomas
enquired about the current situation regarding electricity charges for the parking machine. The
Mayor explained that this particular parking machine was connected to Shopmobility‟s electricity
supply and that for several years Shopmobility had been given a parking concession to offset an
electricity charge. Cllr Clark pointed out that the Equal Opportunities Policy was being updated to
comply with employment and other civil laws and that it would be put before the Management
Committee for adoption on 16 February. The Mayor expressed his appreciation to Cllr Clark for
offering to update the Equal Opportunities Policy.
Market Towns Forum
Cllr Goody presented his report on the Forum meeting held on 5 January 2011. Alan Ronald,
Herefordshire Council‟s Senior Economic Development Manager had attended the meeting to
give a presentation on Broadband in Herefordshire. This included details of the National
Superfast Rural Broadband Pilot Project, it having been announced in October that Herefordshire
would be included as one of 4 rural pilot areas for fast broadband. The broadband pilot would
include areas along the south west and southern borders of Herefordshire, parts of the Forest of
Dean and Wales. Cllr Goody provided Members with a copy of a handout giving information on
the pilot project together with details of providers of broadband services in the County. It was
noted that the emphasis of the pilot was to bring a fast broadband infrastructure as far as
possible into rural areas and allow local community projects and local businesses to become
involved in delivering the fast service to homes and businesses. It was also noted that
Herefordshire Council saw the pilot scheme as a starting point that it could build on to provide a
fast broadband service to the whole of the County. Cllr Goody then referred to other items
discussed at the meeting. Forum members had considered questions and discussion items in
preparation for the meeting with the two Herefordshire MPs scheduled for Friday 28 January.
Anthony Bush, Parish Liaison and Rural Services Officer, and Lynda Wilcox, HALC Chief
Executive, presented a draft model protocol for the working partnership between Councils in
Herefordshire. This was considered by the Forum members and suggestions for amendments
were given. Other items discussed at the meeting included Parish Precepts, Closed
Churchyards, and Planning matters. Arrangements had been made for a HALC training course
on Freedom of Information and Data Protection.
Leominster in Bloom
Cllr Davies reported on a recent meeting of LiB and a meeting of the Community Orchards sub-
group. The theme for this year‟s shop window competition would be „Year of the Orchard‟. Arriva
Trains had agreed to sponsor more planting but did not want further planting on the station
platform. This year‟s planting colours would be red, white and blue in recognition of the Royal
wedding. Cllr Davies reported that there was already much interest in the „Year of the Orchard‟
project. She then provided Members with an update on the project. She said that 20 trees had
been purchased recently, possible planting areas identified and 4 sponsors found. Morrisons had
agreed the planting of 50 trees at the wildlife area alongside the petrol station. The Earl
Mortimer College was also keen to get involved and to provide a planting area. Other
organisations, businesses and individuals had also expressed interest in becoming involved in
the project. The theme for this year‟s shop window competition would be „Year of the Orchard‟.
Leominster Town Band
Cllr McCaull reported that he had recently attended a band rehearsal and had been very
impressed. He asked if Council would wish him to provide regular updates at the monthly
meetings of Full Council. This offer was welcomed by Members.
11.01.137 ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT
Cllr Atkinson proposed that Council approve the accounts for payment. This was
seconded by Cllr Jones and carried.
11.01.137a.1 Wendy Coombey, LARC – informing Town Council that LARC shortly would be
appointing a manager to start organising matters for Grange Court to open in September 2011.
Ms Coombey enquired whether Council could offer temporary office space for the manager,
when appointed. It was agreed to refer discussion to Confidential Session on the grounds that
exempt information was likely to be disclosed.
Following confidential discussion, Council delegated the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Town Clerk
to negotiate with LARC regarding the use of Town Council office space on a temporary basis.
11.01.137a.2 Herefordshire Council – street naming of development off Westfield Walk. Council
was informed that Herefordshire Council had decided to go ahead and use the name Quarry
Bank Mews for this development, as the Geotechnical study undertaken for the site contained
evidence that there was quarrying activity in the vicinity of the development at around the turn of
the 20th Century. Noted.
11.01.137a.3 Herefordshire Council, Electoral Services Manager (Deputy Returning Officer) –
giving details of the election process and timetable. It was noted that this would be available in
the Town Council office. Noted.
11.01.137a.4 D Millar, Chairman, Leominster Festival – thanking Town Council for its award of a
grant and for Council‟s continuing support. It was noted that Council would be contributing to “An
Audience with Dan Cruickshank” to be staged at the Earl Mortimer College on Saturday, 11 June
2011, at 7.30 pm. Members were pleased to note that slightly more diverse musical events
would be included which should hopefully attract a wider range of audience, also that the Festival
Committee had been actively looking for suitable “fringe” events.
11.01.137a.5 Adrian Long, Principal, Earl Mortimer College – inviting Council to visit the Earl
Mortimer College and Sixth Form Centre on Thursday, 3 February 2011, at 5.30 pm. Council
agreed to accept the invitation.
11.01.138 MEMBERS’ QUESTIONS UNDER STANDING ORDERS 24-27
No questions had been received.
TIC Working Group – Thursday, 13 January 2011, at 6.00 pm.
Grounds and Amenities Committee – Thursday, 20 January 2011, at 2.00 pm in the Council
Chamber followed by site visits.
General Purposes Committee – Tuesday, 1 February 2011, at 7.00 pm.
Planning Committee Meeting – Monday, 7 February 2011, at 7.00 pm.
Full Council Meeting – Monday, 21 February 2011, at 7.00 pm.
11.01.140 RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE PUBLIC AND PRESS FROM THE MEETING
Cllr Clark proposed that, under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the
public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds
that exempt information was likely to be disclosed. This was seconded by Cllr Hunt and
11.01.141 LEOMINSTER TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE PROJECT – Update from the
Mayor and TIC Working Group.
Following confidential discussion, Council supported the action being taken by the TIC Working
Group and authorised the taking out of insurance cover for the volunteers.
11.01.142 THE LEOMINSTER CIVIC AWARD – To consider the recommendations of the
Civic Award Working Group.
Following confidential discussion, Council accepted the recommendation of the Working Group
regarding this year‟s Leominster Civic Award and agreed that the Award should be presented at
the Council meeting on 21 February 2011.
11.01.143 TO CONSIDER MATTERS RELATING TO THE COUNCIL’S POLICY FOR
DEALING WITH UNREASONABLE COMPLAINANT BEHAVIOUR – Town Clerk
Following confidential discussion, Council resolved to reimpose for a further period of six months
the action taken against a named vexatious complainant, under the terms of Town Council‟s
Policy for Dealing with Unreasonable Complainant Behaviour.