My first few weeks have been taken up the with the Councillors induction and training program.
There has been a bewildering volume of information to assimilate such as how to use the council systems, information security, governance, Data Protection Roles and responsibilities, planning, regulations, Corporate parenting, children’s and Adult’s safeguarding we were also hand two volumes of light read with the page turning title ‘Hereford Local Plan Core Strategy 2011- 2031’.
I immediately turned to page 61 – about the Holmer West Urban Expansion which includes the line:-
‘Improvements in the capacity of the public foul drainage network in the locality will be required to serve the new development’
This has been one of the Parish Council’s concerns over the past few years.
It is my intention to fully engage with the residents of the Holmer Ward and I’ve put in place a number methods of communication – I will have an official council telephone number on the 22nd May. The quickest way to get in touch is through my Ward Councillor website – just type ‘holmer millmore’ into Google. There is also a What’s app group you can join.
My Ward Council reports will available on this website.
Councillor’s Report for the Holmer Ward May 2019 Items to report
I will be meeting with the planning officers tomorrow at Plough Lane to touch base and get know them. It is import that I form a working relationship and understand the procedures as quickly as a can.
P191313/O Land at Lyde Cross Tree Farm.
I’ve spoken to Alastair Wager concerning this planning application and because of the public interest I would like to consult with the parish council and then refer it to the Planning Committee.
Roman Road Resurfacing
I’ve been informed by our Senior Locality Steward that the section of carriageway near Green Wilding Road is currently planned for resurfacing by the developer in July.
I did ask for more extensive repairs to the road but was told that there are currently no plans for any other resurfacing along Roman Road in the current financial year.
Roman Road is inspected monthly for safety defects in accordance with the Highways Maintenance Plan and has been referred to the Balfour Beatty Asset Management Team for consideration in the future resurfacing programmes.
The Link Road between the A49 and A4103 at the Ongoing Bloor Homes Development
There will be a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on the as yet unnamed link road between the A49 and A4103. The parish council raised this concern in 2016 and the restriction was agreed as part of the planning process for the following reasons:
1. Preserve amenity of area through which the road runs
2. Keep all HGV traffic to the more suitable A roads
3. Avoid HGV rat running/sat nav issues
Ben Stone from Gigaclear asked me to find out the schedule of when roads are likely to be adopted on the Furlongs
He explained that one of the issues they sometimes face is obtaining necessary wayleaves to build on private land – they always favour building on the public highway but there are times when this isn’t possible. One of the wayleaves they are hoping to progress is the Crest Nicholson development where a lot of the highway is currently unadopted. Specifically roads like: Tanners Red Walk, Red Norman Rise, Eggleton Lane, Green Wilding Road, Old Bromley Lane, Dymock Red Walk.
Andy Bying at Highways & Transport, replied that the Crest development still has some minor works to finish off and doesn’t anticipate these roads becoming public for at least 6 months and potentially another 12+ months. He also added ‘We wouldn’t refuse to adopt, but we would hold the developer liable for any defective works. We’d also insist on full width reinstatements in footways’
Andy Bying will communicate directly with Ben Stone in future and I’ve asked him to keep me in the loop.
Aylestone Park Association
Kevan Gilbert the Secretary of the Aylestone Park Association contacted me – he said during the last five years the Councillor representing the ward ignored all requests for help from APA and hoped that I would be interested in this popular and well used facility.
He said that the Council pay Balfour Beatty Living to have the pathways cut six times a year – normally from April to September. Last year the subcontractor CountryWide, by their own admission, had neither the manpower nor the equipment to complete the Council contracts and Aylestone Park was virtually ignored. This year CountryWide have visited the Park twice and managed to cut only one third.
I will arrange a meetings with Kevan and Balfour Beatty in the near future.
Bloor land sell off to Fortis
Kristen Lockyer, a resident of The Crescent, contacted me to raise a concern about the selloff of land marked for a care home for £1. She spoke to Kelly Gibbons who told her there is NO planning application from Fortis as yet.
The reason for the peppercorn selloff was that Bloor was obligated to provide social housing within their scheme and selling off for a minimal consideration meant that Fortis wouldn’t have purchase costs and be able make their development affordable housing.
Kelly Gibbons also said the building due to go behind houses at The Crescent is actually going to be an ‘extra care scheme’ with the occupants buying their own leasehold apartments, with communal lounge, most likely age restricted so residents would have to be over 60.
The council anticipates an application within next few months at which point notices will go up and residents notified. The council are going to encourage Fortis Living to have a consultation with the residents so as to try and allay any fears.
Finally I’m one of many new Ward councillors; we’re all still finding our feet and learning on the job at the moment.
I’ll work hard to benefit the Holmer Ward and I ask the residents and the Parish Council to aid me where they can. I can’t promise to do the impossible but I’ll give it a go.