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Defibrillator Awareness

We are holding an informal session led by Tom Dudzeic on Friday 23rd September in the Hall for all residents to find out more about the CAPD. It will begin at 10.30 (coffee from 10.15) in the meeting room and should last about an hour to an hour and a half.

Time to get walking again!

At this time of year we start to think about the mud drying up and getting out to walk in the beautiful English Countryside again, but where to find new and interesting walks?

Walking in Herefordshire has hundreds of walks to download and print, free, it also has books of walks, details of all the walking groups in the county and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group all the information is there in one place.

John Harris (the custodian of the website) said ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Herefordshire (part of the Walking in England website) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.

With walks from half a mile to twelve miles plus long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.

So home or away, check out the websites and get walking!

John Harris
www.walkinginengland.co.uk
john@walkinginengland.co.uk


Whitchurch Memorial Hall

The Hall is home to an Art class, Yoga, Short Mat Bowls, Fitsteps, Table tennis, Puppy training. All are welcome. For dates and times please check the Memorial Hall website www.whitchurch-ganarew-hall.co.uk

Many people are not aware that the Hall has an upstairs Snooker Room with a very recently refurbished table. The room can be hired by individuals wanting an occasional or regular chance to play. There are two main Snooker groups which meet on Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons. Please direct enquiries to Judith Gill (07768 096438) in the first instance.
To book the Hall contact June Ruck (01600 890784)

The Hall is a registered charity.


Whitchurch Clock Tower

A statement from Whitchurch and Ganarew Group Parish Council

February 2019

The parish council has become aware that some residents believe that the Whitchurch Clock Tower is owned by the parish council and as such it is their responsibility to maintain and manage this listed building.

The parish council would like to make it clear that they do not own, and never have had ownership of the clock tower, and therefore (confirmed after taking legal advice) have no responsibility for its maintenance, insurance, repairs or any other associated liabilities.

It is not registered with the Land Registry and extensive research by the parish council in the County Records Office have proved fruitless. We have demonstrated that ownership/trusteeship of the building is not available through the normal legal administration.

Should anyone reading this have any evidence to demonstrate the current ownership of the clock tower we would be delighted to hear from you.

The parish council over the past years have paid for the clock's annual service and any repairs that are required, and for the electricity supply and will continue to do so until proper ownership is established.

Following legal advice, the parish council will be writing to Herefordshire Council. As the clock tower is a Grade II listed building, they have a responsibility for its upkeep.

This statement will be updated as more information becomes available.

Policy Towards Churchyard Maintenance Financial Assistance

Background

Over the past years there has been regular debate as to whether a Town or Parish Council can under its powers of the Local Government Acts contribute towards the maintenance of its Church of England graveyards

In 2019 NALC (National Association of Local Councils) issued an advice note that in their opinion the free resource section of the LGA 1972 (Section 137) could not be used towards this use. Their reason for this is that section 8 of the LGA 1894 prohibits expenditure by local Councils on property relating to the affairs of church.

The present situation and alternative legal advice

This view expressed by NALC is not supported by Central Government as they say that section 137 of the LGA 1972 is not overridden by the 1894 Act and the fact that Councils have for many years contributed towards the cost of churchyard maintenance without any apparent challenge or questions by the appointed external auditors to these Councils. Central Government stand that this legislation is valid and further new legislation is not necessary.

Further independent legal advice on this matter is given by Paul Clayden, consultant and author of many reference books relating to law and procedures for Town and Parish Councils. It is his opinion that section 137 of the LGA 1972 gives a very wide power to spend money on matters of general benefit to the inhabitants and it would be strange if that power did not extend to benefiting a church / churchyard maintenance of local importance. He further supports the view that this has not been challenged by the appointed external auditors.

Paul Clayden also gives the view that a Council can contribute to the cost of churchyard maintenance under section 214(6) of the LGA 1972. This provision overrides the provision of section 8 of the LGA 1894. Furthermore it should be considered that if the Parish church be closed then the Parish Council will be required to take over the maintenance of the churchyard LGA 1972 section 215 (2).

The opinion of Whitchurch and Ganarew Group Parish Council

The appointed Finance working group support the opinions of Central Government and that of the independent legal advisor Paul Clayden. They propose to Council members a resolution that the support towards the churchyard maintenance of St Dubricius and St Swithins continues as a budget and payment item in the accounts. Should Central Government issue further advice / guidance on the matter then this would be considered by the Finance working group and resolution by the Council.



Symonds Yat and the River Wye. The Birthplace of Tourism

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