01 March 2022 – Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

posted in: Minutes 2022 | 0


Cllr P Fisher (Chair), Cllr D Bentley (Vice Chairman), Cllr S Tudor, Cllr C Hurst, Cllr D Borasinski, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr A Hemming, Cllr G Jones

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

7:15-7:30 Public Open Forum

Two members of the Public were in attendance raising issues with regards to the potholes on Lakewood Drive. The Council resolved to discuss item 118 within the open forum whereby Cllr Bentley declared an interest.

It was noted the start of Bell Lane commenced where the houses were located, which would mean Lakewood Drive should start where the first house is, as such the stretch of Lakewood Drive where the potholes are located should form part of the public highway and be maintained accordingly. This is only one of two entrances to the Park and is crucial this is repaired. It was noted Highways had previously tarmacked and marked the road indicating it was previously adopted and maintained. This needs to be formally clarified.

Water running off the green was filling the potholes which is causing a further hazard; a child recently came off their bike after hitting one of the holes.

Cllr Bentley confirmed the microfiche record referring to Lakewood Drive had now been retrieved by the County Council, however before this information is released it will need to go through their Legal department for verification.  A meeting of the residents is scheduled to take place on 23 March 2022 at 6:30pm at the Wedgwood Cricket Club, all being well the information should be available by then.

Cllr Fisher thanked Cllr’s Bentley and Dando for the work they had done on raising the issue with the County Council.

187       Apologies – Cllr’s Adams-Elsmore, O’Dunne and Dando sent their apologies; it was resolved to accept these.

188       Declarations of Interest – Cllr Bentley declared an interest in item 118 as a resident of Lakewood Drive; Cllr Tudor declared an interest in item 199 as a member of the WI; Cllr Hemming declared an interest in item 134 as an employee of Fiskars.

189       Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011 – There were no written applications for dispensation

190       Minutes of the Parish Council 1 February 2022 – It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

191       Matters arising from the meeting of 1 February 2022 and not otherwise on the agenda

95        Parish Council Strategy update (deferred – subject to release of the latest census data)

115. Lighting of a beacon to commemorate the Jubilee

The next meeting of Stone Rural Parish Council is scheduled for 10 March 2022, Cllr’s Fisher and Borasinski volunteered to participate in the Beacon sub-committee.  The Clerk to inform Stone Rural Parish Council.  It was noted the location for the beacon may be changed for ease of access.

118       Lakewood Drive update – discussed in the Open Forum

131       Planning application 21/33687/FUL described as proposed housing development between Brookhouse Drive and Old Road

Cllr Jones advised a decision has not yet been made; site excavations for Saxon remains have continued. The planning application does not take into account the 13 bungalows already approved at Barlaston Park.

The Clerk noted the ‘affordable’ housing allocation for Barlaston had been encompassed in the Neighbourhood Plan within the Wedgwood Memorial site and as such there should be no rationale to build on this site.

Cllr Fisher advised an Architect who submitted a recent planning application in Stafford Borough had it refused on drainage grounds; the Local Planning Authority would not let them use a soakaway to address surface water issues. Builders must cater for the 100-year storm eventuality. The River Authority are now taking a hard stance on builders utilising their water courses to address this; Severn Trent have also advised they do not want surface water going into their systems.

134       Twinning with Fiskars, Finland

Cllr Hemming submitted an initial draft document on how we can proceed. It was suggested including Waterford at this stage was not recommended.

Cllr Fisher submitted a number of suggestions on the benefits of twinning with Fiskars, Finland.

Concerns were raised as to whether Barlaston held enough attractions for Fiskars.  There was also an issue of what this would cost vs the benefits to the community.

It was suggested the school could be involved in an exchange of cultural ideas.

Before we start the process, we need to establish rules of engagement and determine what outcomes we would like to see.

To gauge public opinion, it was resolved for the Parish Council in conjunction with Fiskars to engage with the Public at the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee event on 4 June.

137       Emergency gate access on the Downs – The Clerk is in liaison with the Clerk from Stone Rural to see if she can assist.

 160       Free Trees from Woodland Creation – The areas available to plant trees are limited.  Cllr Hemming would approach Fiskars to see if they could accommodate trees on their site.

It was noted the Canal & River Trust are planting trees within their hedgerows, this has yet to be undertaken in Barlaston; the Clerk has been liaising with the Volunteer representative to ensure Barlaston is included.

161       Wedgwood Memorial College Arboretum update

An email has been received from Pilgrim Communications, the representatives of the owners of the site:

“I can confirm that my landowner client is making very good progress on the proposed development. My client is seeking to partner with a well-respected development company which can demonstrate a strong track record of delivering high quality, sympathetically designed housing schemes.

The site has been successfully marketed and there has been good interest from a number of potential development partners. My client will make a decision on their preferred partners shortly.

It is our intention to engage with the parish council and the community ahead of submitting a planning application to Stafford Borough Council within the next few months.

Thank you for your continued interest. We will be in contact again shortly.”

The Clerk will distribute the information on social media.

163       Rural School Transport Scheme – No update has been received

180       Community led shop on Barlaston Park (deferred – subject to commencement of planning application 18/18215/FUL)

192       Committee updates:

  • Environmental Committee –
    • Grass cutting in the village is scheduled to commence on 1 April 2022
    • 4 oak trees have been procured to replace fallen / felled trees in the village. It was resolved to plant one at Orchard Place, two on Meaford Road and to determine a location at Barlaston Park.  Where the land is owned by Staffordshire County Council, the Clerk has been in contact with Cllr Ian Parry to ensure we do not incur a ‘licence to plant’.
      • Removal of the brash by Orchard Place
        • Buxus Green visited the site, to bundle the brash and transport to the Wild Green in readiness for installation of a wild hedge; make good the trunk from the fallen tree; transport soil from Meadow Road to back fill the holes, make good the ground and plant an Oak Tree would take 2 days and cost £400 plus £40 to remove and dispose of the debris which can’t be utilised. It was resolved to accept this quotation. The Clerk to contact Cllr Ian Parry to see if they would contribute to the costs as this tree comes under their jurisdiction no update has been received.
        • The Clerk also raised concerns with Cllr Parry regarding their trees and whether they had a scheduled tree survey planned to ensure the trees do not pose a risk. No response has been received to date.

 Update on items from Feb Meeting:

    • The Clerk looked at the latest environmental grants available from Veolia, funds are only available from between £10,000 and £75,000 and over £75,000. There are no smaller grants available at this time.
    • Works highlighted as part of the recent tree survey have now been completed by N & J Tree Services Ltd.
    • Further flooding has been encountered on the village green by the War Memorial – it is noted the gulley pot needs to be flushed out again. Following recent works, farm waste has again blocked the gulley. This is always going to be problematic as there are three pipes entering the gulley pot and only one exiting, this gets silted up very quickly. Unfortunately, we cannot divert the water into the surface water drain as this is illegal. The only solution is to keep flushing it out. Cllr Hurst and Mr Chris Roberts will monitor the situation.
  • Entertainment Committee – Platinum Jubilee Event
    • The Clerk issued the latest itinerary and costing schedule.
    • Cllr Tudor has approached the Plume of Feathers to see if Mr Neil Morrissey could open the event.
    • A bouncy castle supplier had been found, the Committee were asked to look at a smaller structure for the young children and a larger structure for the older children. It is hoped that these would be sponsored by local businesses. They would supply their own generator.
    • A face painter has been appointed at £180.
    • A request for volunteers would be advertised for the Friday to set up the tables and chairs in the marquee.
    • The Clerk suggested a mobile fish and chip van could attend the event in the evening, it was resolved to accept this recommendation.
    • Cllr Tudor asked for A frames, Cllr Jones had a number of these available in his garage from the Village Show Committee.
    • The Clerk advised she had submitted a road closure grant request to the Borough Council; businesses up to the level crossing on Station Road would still be accessible; properties/businesses up to the Village Hall on Longton Road would be accessible and Hartwell Lane up to Blurton Road would be accessible. This would ensure the village green was restricted to pedestrians between the hours of 12:00 noon and 16:00 hrs. To ensure villagers would not be inconvenienced, a local minibus was available to undertake a ‘round robin’ to and from the village hall.  Concerns were raised about a wedding scheduled at the Upper House, the Clerk would approach them to see how we could minimise disruption.
  • Finance Committee

The Clerk issued the proposed budget for 2022/2023.  It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

  • HR Committee (deferred)

193       Highways Issues update:

  • Speed Watch – The Clerk submitted the latest statistics provided by Mr Norman. ‘The incorporated Notes should be self-explanatory and again highlight the excessive speed around the village, especially on Meaford Road at 90 mph in both directions in a 30 mph Zone!
  • Following our recent email correspondence with Ben Adams we are now hopeful that it won’t be too long before we see him and Helen Fisher roadside with us, as promised, to see our issues first-hand.’
  • We have seen an increase in the number of visits by the Speed Van around the village. We are looking to liaise further with Mr Adams (Police & Crime Commissioner); Cllr Ian Parry and Helen Fisher so they can see first hand what the issues in Barlaston are.
  • The Clerk has again asked Cllr Parry what is happening with the flashing warning sign for the Crossing Patrol Officer, he has escalated this to the relevant team.
  • 20’s Plenty for Staffordshire – Cllr Bentley attended a virtual meeting and reported his findings. A traffic regulation order would be required for the Parish to undertake this and is best to do any application as a whole community, this would cost around £4-5k. The application has to be made into the London Gazette which would take around 5 months from the submission of the application and an additional 3 months for public consultation/survey information. Concerns were raised that motorists already ignore the 30mph speed limit imposed in the village and can’t see how this would prove effective.

194       To note financial matters:

            (a) Bank reconciliation reports – it was resolved to accept these

            (b) Schedule of payments report February 2022 – it was resolved to accept these

Expenditure NET VAT Cheque
Boultons O/N 011611/0 – 4 Oak Tree Saplings 516.08 103.22 BACS
Hosting Systems – Voice over IP 10.00 2.00 DD
Zoom Video Conferencing – 11.99 2.40 DD
BT – Broadband 26.66 5.33 DD
K St Leger, Salary & Expenses 1029.47 0.00 BACS
SLC Inv BK204612-1 – Virtual Conference 75.00 15.00 002797
Viking Inv 8285706 – 5 boxes A4 paper 74.43 14.89 002798
CanPrint Inv 31510 – Wedgwood Memorial Printing 65.00 13.00 002799
Staffordshire County Pension Fund 351.29 0.00 002800
Buxus Green – Grounds Maintenance Inv 202202 995.83 0.00 002801
Canprint – Inv 31800 – printing of certificates 30.00 6.00 002802


195       Land at Meadow Road – The Parish Council are still interested in obtaining the land at the back of Meadow Road for a play area.  The Borough were initially going to ‘gift’ the land to the Parish however this was put on hold due to Covid-19.  The Parish Council asked Cllr Jones to liaise with the Borough to see if this item could be raised at Cabinet for a decision.

196       Signage on the Downs Bank – replacement signage is required to replace damaged signs. The Clerk to action.

197       Littering on the Downs Car Park by workmen – It was noted the littering was not taking place on the Downs Car Park but on Old Road. The workmen responsible have now concluded the road works.

198       Risk Assessment update

  • Tree survey – works now complete
  • Pavement on the green adjacent to the War Memorial – Quotations have been requested. The Clerk has also been in touch with Virgin to see if they would undertake the works, if this is not feasible she has warned them the liability is theirs if there is an disruption to services due to us undertaking the repairs. They have asked for a little more time to investigate.
  • Post at Orchard Place not removed as part of repairs – Clerk has been in touch with S&RH to escalate issues
  • Rialtas Cloud – To enable working from home / work without any loss of data (finance data would be backed up). Awaiting costings.

199       Grant application update(s)

  • Douglas MacMillan issued a thank you letter to the Parish Council
  • The Guides request £250 towards equipment for international service project to Kenya. It was resolved to accept this grant request.
  • Barlaston WI request £150 towards funding ingredients for the Jubilee celebrations. It was resolved to accept this grant request.
  • Barlaston Herons request £150 towards funding ingredients for the Jubilee celebrations. It was resolved to accept this grant request.

200       Planning issue(s)

To Clerk requested an amendment be made to Standing Orders as follows:

‘where a planning application is received outside the timeframe for representation at the scheduled planning meeting and conforms to NPPF guidelines and follows the Neighbourhood Planning protocols, the Proper Officer shall be nominated by the Council to make representation to the Local Planning Authority on its behalf;’

It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

201       Items for inclusion in next month’s agenda

  • Stone Lions Club – requested funds to support their PSA Blood Testing evening 26 April 2022 (Stone House Hotel, Stafford Road, Stone)
  • Wedgwood bowls for previous recipients of the Bowl
  • Broken Bench at bus shelter Station Road – Possibly needs replacing
  • Position of vacancy on School of Governors
  • To determine date for annual parish meeting

202       Date of next meeting Parish Council Meeting – 5 April 2022