Chairman’s Report November 2018

Parish Council Summit
I attended an event at the Shire Hall which was essentially Herefordshire Council meeting Parish Councils. I was able to put a question to the leader of Herefordshire Council to ask about the ending of the grants for the lengthsman and footpaths scheme – I don’t know why I bothered because the answer was invariably that it is very unfortunate, but they have had to meet massive cost savings etc. There was also a presentation from the clerk to Weobley PC (who is also clerk to Leominster Town Council), in which he said he thought the cuts to the above were very short-sighted.

Finance Working Group
Following on from above, the finance working group have met, and we will be looking at the figures they come up with at the next meeting to agree the precept for next year. We will be able to increase the precept a certain amount anyway without individual demands increasing due to the approximately 60 extra houses we now have, so hopefully we can maintain the same levels of service!

War Memorial
There have been several comments about the War Memorial at Canon Pyon looking shabby. I want to stress that the Parish Council remains committed to the upkeep of the memorial and listens to any comments made very carefully.
At the last meeting it was agreed that our lengthsman will receive a larger budget for this years’ annul major tidy prior to Remembrance Day, and we will make sure to maintain regular inspections.

The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday the 6th of November at Canon Pyon Parish Hall, and the agenda will be available on our website from the 2nd of November.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report October 2018

Proposal to re-locate Ledgemoor telephone kiosk
Our telephone kiosk in Ledgemoor is looking a bit worse for wear after the initial excitement a few years ago when it was bought by the Parish Council off BT for £1. The fact is, it is rather stranded out past the link – it was originally put in this location to serve both the Ledgemoor and Weobley Marsh communities.

An initial check of the hand-over document from BT when it was acquired by the Parish Council did not seem to preclude the possibility of moving it, although the ground where the kiosk originally stood would remain in the ownership of BT. The physical impediment would be the presence of underground services at any proposed new location, and whether the supply to the box itself is still live even though the box is no longer connected – this is what is being looked at before our next meeting.

The possible new locations would be adjacent to or opposite the post box, and in front of the Club Room – it could for instance be an additional notice-board and/or a library. It would also be more accessible for future maintenance.

So watch this space, because if we consider this to be a feasible proposition in practical and financial terms we will put this out to the community for your thoughts.

Next year elections
Next year on 2 May 2019 there will be elections for Canon Pyon and King’s Pyon Parish Councils, which together form Pyons Group Parish Council. There are four Kings Pyon Parish councillors and eight Canon Pyon Parish councillors, and all the offices will be up for election. Pyons Group Parish Council has a proud record of having enough candidates to hold an election, which is not the case for most parishes in the county.

So, if you want to get things done in your local community, are worried about how cutbacks might affect your local services or would like to take a more active role within your community, then please think about making a difference and becoming a parish councillor. If you are interested and have the time to attend about 10 parish council meetings per year, which generally are held in the evening, then why not stand for election.

To find out more about the role please contact one of the existing councillors – contact details can be found on, or contact the Clerk on 07963 845358 or email Early next year you’ll need to contact Electoral Services to get a nomination pack (01432 260107).

The next meeting will be at Westhope Church at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 2nd October. The agenda will be up on our website a few days before –

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report August 2018

Hopefully, all of you will have received a parish newsletter in July. If you haven’t then please look on or contact your local parish councillor. Any feedback or comments you have on the newsletter will be gratefully received. Please let us know if there anything you’d like to read more about, or that we may have missed.

Public Open Space Design: The Parish Council agreed the design of the Public Open Space adjacent to the Playing Fields at the July meeting. The design is available to download from All the planting and preparation required will be undertaken by the developers who will also maintain the area for 12 months before it is adopted formally by the parish council on behalf of the community.

Planning: There were four planning applications considered at the last meeting, two of which were in Ledgemoor. Comments have been submitted to the planning authority, Herefordshire Council, which will make the decision on whether to grant planning permission.

Traffic Regulation Order, Bush Bank: The proposed introduction of a new 30 mph speed limit at Bush Bank from the Bush Inn along the Kings Pyon road will be reviewed by the locality steward at a meeting with our Ward Councillor Mark Cooper. You can see a plan of the proposal on the website.

The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 4 September at the Ledgemoor Club Room. All members of the public are welcome, and there is an opportunity during the meeting to raise local matters and concerns you may have.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report July 2018

Public Open Space
Having now had sight of the tree report, the Parish Council decided at the last meeting to take the recommendation of removing six trees deemed to be of poor condition, but to keep the large pear tree which is sited near the main road and adjacent to the playing fields.

The general feeling was that we did not want as many trees planted as suggested on the initial plan (as published in the Pyonear), and have asked for six new trees in total to be planted, four of which will be on the side near the road.

The Developers have agreed to pay for this work.

The Public Open Space, as mentioned in my last two reports, is an area between the new housing development and Canon Pyon Playing Fields which the Parish Council will be adopting.

Pyons Group Facebook page
I set up this page when we launched the first version of the ‘pyonsgroup’ website. Not an awful lot has happened on it, although it has 81 ‘followers’. It has been decided, especially now with the new rules on data, that this is not something the Parish Council should be involved with directly.

So as a first step we would like to ask if any member of the community would like to take this page on. If you are interested, please contact the clerk.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd July at Canon Pyon Parish Hall at 7.30 p.m.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report June 2018

Quite astonishingly the Annual Meeting in May marked the end of my three years as chairman, and Geoffrey’s as vice-chairman. By convention there is usually a new chairman and vice chairman every three years, however we were both quite happy to continue for a further year in our present positions which will take us to the end of the four-year term of the present council which ends in May 2019.

In one year from now there will be new elections for both the parish and Herefordshire councils, and the opportunity for anyone interested in joining the Parish Council to put their names forward.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
At the time of writing it looks almost certain that the government will pass an Act exempting Parish Councils from the requirement to appoint a Data Protection Officer; this was always going to be an unnecessary burden for parish councils so it is good to see that government has listened to the National Association of Local Councils on this.
In terms of the practical implications for us of the new regulations, please look at the new GDPR page at where our detailed policies and notices can be viewed.

Public Open Space Design
The Parish Council decided at the last meeting to postpone submitting comments on the design of the Public Open Space adjacent to the Playing Fields pending a tree report from the developers. The main decisions to be made will be which existing trees we would like retained, and the variety, location and number of saplings to be planted.

The next meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5 June at the Ledgemoor Club Room.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report May 2018

An extraordinary meeting was held at Ledgemoor Club Room on 17th April to consider a Pre-application Consultation on a proposed development in Ledgemoor of three detached houses adjacent to Arrow Cottage. Further to this meeting we expect the developers to submit a full planning application.
At the previous meeting an application was considered for a detached three bedroom house further up this road adjacent to Victoria Cottage (which has yet to be determined by Herefordshire Council). Luckily for lorry drivers with no easy turning space this is not a very busy stretch of road!

Public Open Space
The latest plans for the Public Open Space were also considered. The location of this area is adjacent to the new housing development in Canon Pyon, and borders the Playing Fields. The present understanding is that the Group Parish Council will be handed over ownership of the land upon completion, along with a lump sum from the developers which should cover the first 15 years of upkeep.

We very much hope this area will be an asset to the community for walking, meeting, or perhaps even holding small events.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report, March 2018

Chairman’s Report

Litter Pick
Meet at Canon Pyon Parish Hall Car Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday 24th March. All equipment is provided. Pyons W.I. has kindly agreed to make hot drinks, soup and bread for everyone after the litter pick at the Parish Hall. I hope you can join us.

Dog Fouling
The group parish council would like to remind dog owners to pick up after their pets. Please note the following from Herefordshire Council’s website ( “Dog poo is a health hazard, all dog owners have a legal duty to clean up after their dog. Failure to do so could result in a Dog Control Order with an £80 fixed penalty notice, or a maximum fine of £1000”.
There is an online form to report “dog poo” on Hereford Council’s website.

174768 Land adjacent to Brick House, Bush Bank. Application for removal of condition 1, following grant of planning application. The application is for permanent permission to site poly-tunnels after the end of a 5-year period of temporary permission.

The group parish council decided not to object, and asked the planning authority, Herefordshire Council, to include a condition to maintain the same ‘footprint’ that is used presently for polytunnels. In other words, there should not be any future expansion of the area used for polytunnels.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report, February 2018

Chairman’s Report

At our last meeting, Pyons Group Parish Council decided to support Anthony Drew’s proposal to display his chaffer on Westhope Hill, just outside his property at Backwoods.

Before reader’s imagination strays too far, I should explain that a ‘chaffer’ is a machine which was widely used on farms and small-holdings for chopping and mashing up hay and root crops for use as animal feed. The machine was manufactured by Henry Bamford, who produced many other types of farming machinery over a 100-year period from 1871-1971, and were based in Uttoxeter.

There isn’t a record of any other complete, working example on show, based on current knowledge. It has also an unusual ornamental finish (possibly from use as a show model) and shows little sign of use, with no wear or damage.
The proposal is that a small shed be built to display the machine under the Permitted Development Rights of Local Authorities, which would be adjacent to the footpath passing Anthony’s house. Once built, the Group Parish Council will insure the chaffer and shed under the council’s policy.

All costs arising from building and displaying the chaffer will be borne by Anthony, and we would like to thank him in his generosity and his gift to the community.

The photo is of an identical model on display at the Bamford Museum.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 6 at 7.30 p.m.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s Report, January 2018

Chairman’s Report

Planning: An extraordinary meeting was held on 29th November to look at a couple of planning applications at King’s Pyon (173832 Dower Cottage and 174001 Land East of the road from Kings Pyon Forge). The group parish council decided to support each of the planning proposals. The applications will be decided by the planning authority, Herefordshire Council, and can be viewed on the planning section of

Change of speed restriction: Upon turning down the road towards King’s Pyon at The Bush Inn, there is an immediate end to the 40mph restriction. A request was received for a 30mph zone along this first stretch where new houses are being built.

It was agreed to ask Herefordshire Council to implement a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for a 30mph speed limit on this section of road, and to request support for this from the Ward Councillor. Herefordshire Council ranks TROs each year and implements those that have the highest priority based on their assessment criteria. Unfortunately, it can take several years for a request to be implemented.

Our next meeting shall be on Tuesday 2nd January at the Parish Hall at 7.30pm.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all from Pyons Group Parish Council a happy and prosperous 2018.

Harry Ray, Chairman,
Pyons Group Parish Council.

Chairman’s report for June 2017

Pyons Group Neighbourhood Plan

Neighbourhood Plan Information Event 2 May

“What is the plan for King’s Pyon?” – one particular question that stood out to me from this evening, and possibly summing up an often-held confusion as to what the Plan is there to do. It has never been the case that the Plan looks to the minutiae of what should be built and where, but simply sets out a blue-print of how we would like to see the parishes develop until 2031, and most of the details are on Canon Pyon, this being the major village.

It is worth remembering that the original public consultation on the Plan was in 2015, and is written to best encapsulate the ideas and thoughts of the parishioners themselves, alongside the minimum requirements of the Core Strategy. There was general agreement then that the outlying villages of Ledgemoor, King’s Pyon, Bush Bank and Westhope, not being of the size and having the facilities of Canon Pyon, were not going to have any specific plans as such, as future developments would more than likely be ‘windfall’, ie. Individual plots here and there and no major developments.

Compared to other Plans, ours has tended to favour policies that allow for greater flexibility in future decisions on individual projects, which we hope will give us room for greater input going forward.