Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, The Shire Hall, St Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX

Contact: Matthew Evans, Democratic Services 

No. Item




The Chairman opened the meeting and proposed a reordering of the items on the agenda for the meeting, to consider the climate emergency motion following the council tax setting report. The two further motions would then be debated and determined. Council agreed the reordering of the agenda.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors DW Greenow, J Hardwick, DG Harlow, EL Holton, SM Michael, AR Round and LC Tawn.



To receive declarations of interest in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members in respect of items on the agenda.



The monitoring officer confirmed that those members liable to pay council tax did not have a disclosable pecuniary interest.


There were no declarations of interest.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To approve and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 February 2019.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 15 February be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



To receive the Chairman and Chief Executive’s announcements.


Council noted the Chairman’s announcements as printed in the agenda papers.


A petition concerning the climate emergency was handed to Councillor Price.


The Chairman outlined the following during his announcements:


·         Thanks were offered to the M.E.P Anthea McIntyre for the showcasing of Herefordshire at the European Parliament. Hereford College of Art was also commended for its involvement in providing the exhibition in Brussels;

·         The unveiling of the memorial to the munitions workers at the Hereford Archives and Records Centre (HARC) on the afternoon of 8 March;

·         The civic service on care and caring takes place on 17 March in the Cathedral; and

·         A letter from the SAS which offered the Chairman to include the blazing sword emblem of the regiment on his chain of office.




To receive questions from members of the public.

Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 4 March.

Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting. Please submit questions to


Additional documents:


A copy of the public questions and written answers, together with supplementary questions asked at the meeting and their answers, is attached to the Minutes at Appendix 1.



To receive any written questions from members of the Council.

Deadline for receipt of questions is 5:00pm on Monday 4 March.

Accepted questions will be published as a supplement prior to the meeting. Please submit questions to


Additional documents:


A copy of the Member questions and written answers, together with supplementary questions asked at the meeting and their answers, is attached to the Minutes at Appendix 2.



To approve the council tax amounts for each category of dwelling in Herefordshire, including precepts from West Mercia Police, Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority and Herefordshire parish councils for the financial year 2019/20.


Additional documents:


The report was introduced by the deputy leader who moved the recommendations contained in the supplement. The meeting was referred to the supplement which contained the precept agreed by Hereford City Council. All precepting authorities had indicated their precepts which formed part of the council tax setting decision for the Council.


The Leader seconded the recommendations and explained that a comprehensive debate at the previous meeting of Council had set the budget.


The points below were raised in the debate which followed:


·         The police and crime commissioner’s precept had been scrutinised by a working group of the police and crime panel. A member explained that the precept increase of 9.94% had been set to recruit additional police officers and a commitment had been made by the commissioner to limit the precept increase for the following year to 3%;

·         A member felt that the proposed police officer recruitment would not compensate for the reduction in the number of officers since the introduction of police and crime commissioners and that the precept of the commissioner was evidence of ineffective scrutiny;

·         There was concern that precept increases were above the rate of inflation and this was attributable to significant cuts in central government funding for Herefordshire Council since 2010. The deputy leader explained that precept increases over the last 10 years fell between the RPI and CPI indictors of inflation. It was acknowledged that the increase in the precept was greater than desired but it was not out of step with increases in other areas;

·         There was concern about the variation in the level of precepts agreed by parish councils in the county. It was considered whether large increases could be attributed to the delegation of responsibilities from the council. It was felt that an analysis of the variation and those reasons for it should be undertaken to determine if there were strategies parish councils could employ, such as sharing services, which could help in the delivery of local services.

·         It was noted that the council tax setting report was a technical exercise which the Council was required to undertake annually.


The recommendations in the supplement were put to the record vote and carried by 42 votes in favour and 1 against.


For (42): SP Anderson, PA Andrews, BA Baker, JM Bartlett,  WLS Bowen, TL Bowes, H Bramer, CR Butler, ACR Chappell, EE Chowns, MJK Cooper, PE Crockett, P Cutter, BA Durkin, PJ Edwards, CA Gandy, KS Guthrie, EPJ Harvey, TM James, PC Jinman, AW Johnson, JF Johnson, JLV Kenyon, JG Lester, MD Lloyd-Hayes, PP Marsh, RI Matthews, MT McEvilly, PD Newman, FM Norman, CA North, RJ Phillips, AJW Powers, PD Price, P Rone, A Seldon, NE Shaw, J Stone, EJ Swinglehurst, A Warmington, DB Wilcox, SD Williams.


Against (1) D Summers.

Abstentions (0)







To consider notices of motion.

Additional documents:


The Chairman outlined a correction to the title of Councillor AJW Power’s motion. The motion should have been titled ‘climate emergency’ in the report.


Motion 1 – Climate Emergency


Councillor AJW Powers outlined an alteration to the motion to replace the words ‘its own’ with ‘this council’s’ in recommendation a).     . 


The seconder and Council agreed to the alteration and to debate the altered motion.


In moving the motion Councillor AJW Powers made the following points:


·         Councillors often look at the local picture without considering the bigger picture. The perception that nothing could be done was lazy.

·         The motion called on Herefordshire Council to take the lead with partners to make a change; to set targets and allocate resources to address the climate emergency;

·         30 other areas and cities had passed motions to declare a climate emergency and commit to take actions in response to the climate emergency;

·         The large turnout at the meeting and the involvement of students and young people in the extinction rebellion was inspiring. The motion focused on the future of all young people and it was important that the younger generation showed the council what it must do to respond to the climate emergency.


The following principal points were raised by members in the debate:


·         The installation of LED streetlights in Herefordshire was raised and the saving of a significant level of carbon over 10 years. The council would publish a list of those measures it had undertaken and proposals for the future.

·         It was important that cross-party work was undertaken on actions and that the public was involved. It was acknowledged that some of the actions would result in unpopular decisions which would have to be understood in the context of responding to the climate emergency.

·         It was important that all members of the community and young people were involved in determining future actions of the council. 

·         The motion contained details of what would be done going forward but the council had established plans over the previous 12 years. Meetings of local bodies regularly discussed sustainability and had items on agendas at meetings.

·         Through planning policies the council needed to ensure that construction in the county meets the highest standard, including the installation of insulation.

·         It was commented that prior to 2011 the relevant committee at the council received regular reports on progress with carbon reduction actions being taken.

·         Work needed to be undertaken on collecting rainfall and electricity generation and such notions needed to be proposed to house builders.

·         The rubbish evident in hedgerows in Herefordshire was raised.

·         The motion was a signal of intent which would ensure that the council considered the climate emergency in all work that it undertook and decisions it made.

·         The Wye Valley AONB regularly considered environmental issues including Ash die back which was caused by climate change.

·         The motion would provide an overarching commitment to carbon reduction. All actions of the council should be informed by a priority to reduce carbon emissions.

·         The need to work in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.



To receive a report from the leader on the activities of the executive (cabinet) since the meeting of Council on 12 October 2018.


Additional documents:


The Leader introduced his report and received the following question:


·         The prospect of the inclusion of a raised crossing on the Belmont side of Haywood Lane in the South Wye Transport Package (SWTP) was proposed which would avoid the need to close the lane during works at a later date. The Leader confirmed that a written response would be provided.


The Leader announced that the Council had completed the purchase of the Royal National College for the Blind in College Road, Hereford. The campus would continue to be used as a centre of excellence and offered flexible space. The purchase represented the acquisition of a strategic asset in line with the corporate objectives of the Council. It supported further and higher education in Herefordshire.

The Leader continued to receive questions below:


·         An update on the work of the executive to implement sustainable principles into the development partnership was requested. The Leader confirmed that an update would be provided in the list of projects and initiatives undertaken by the Council to respond to environmental issues.

·         The review of car parking concessions was welcome in principle to investigate cheaper parking at times of the day to improve footfall but there had been questionable consultation and decision-making and no obvious means of measuring its success. Assurance was sought that there would be a proper level of planning, consultation and measures for success in future. The Leader did not accept the premise that there had been problems with the decision taken. The review had sought to find best policies for the council and consultations were often criticised. The review had been a positive move and the criticism was difficult to understand.

·         Assurance was sought that the minerals and waste plan consultation would take account of the climate emergency and consider anaerobic digestion and crops for biomass. The Leader confirmed that any review undertaken would take account of the policies and priorities of the Council.

·         A member felt that the decision, SWTP - southern link road was cover for the allocation of £1million to the SWTP at the end of the financial year without proper decision-making and against the constitution. Assurance was sought that the decision would be properly dealt with through the constitution and with a proper cabinet member key decision. The Leader explained that written clarification on the matter would be provided.

·         The rebuilding of Peterchurch School was raised and the requirement for similar improvements at Kingsland School. The Leader explained that as the cabinet member for children and young people he launched the capital investment strategy which was working to improve educational facilities in Herefordshire.




The next meeting of Council will be the annual meeting of Council and will be held at 10.30 a.m. on Friday 24 May 2019.


The dates below are proposed for meetings of the Council during 2019/20:


12 July 2019

11 October 2019

14 February 2020

6 March 2020

22 May 2020



In announcing that the next meeting of Council would take place on 24 May 2019 following the elections, the Chairman thanked all the retiring councillors for the work they had done for the County during their time as councillors.


Council agreed meeting dates for the forthcoming municipal year as below:


12 July 2019

11 October 2019

14 February 2020

6 March 2020

22 May 2020