01 September 2020 Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2020 | 0


Cllr G Jones
Cllr P Fisher
Cllr I Moran
Cllr S Tudor
Cllr C Hurst
Cllr D Bentley
Cllr V O’Dunne
Cllr S Hall
Cllr E Philpott 

In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)
County Councillor I Parry

Members of the public


7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum                   

Mr Russell submitted a flooding report for consideration to the Council. This raised various issues with regards to blocked gulley’s, poor maintenance of drainage ditches by landowners, root filled culverts and farm vehicles covering the road in sludge / cuttings. Cllr Parry recognised the worry flash flooding was causing the residents. A recommendation was for the Parish Council to write to landowners pointing out their responsibilities, he would furnish the PC with the relevant legislation for inclusion in the letters.

Cllr Parry noted he had a budget available for assisting the Parish Council with installing Vehicle Activated Speed equipment as speeding was an issue.  The PC advised Cllr Parry that the Village had 3 fixed speed indicator devices already in situ and an active Speed Watch Group.  However, they receive little support from Highways or the Police which needs to be addressed.

Cllr Parry recommended a group be formed to meet on a regular basis to discuss highways / drainage and County related issues. It was important Mr Norman was included.  The Clerk to make the necessary arrangements.

The PC thanked Mr Russell and Cllr Parry for their input.

56        Apologies No apologies were received

57        Declarations of Interest Cllr Moran declared an interest on item 69

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

59        Council Meeting minutes of 7 July 2020 It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

60        Matters arising from the meeting of 7 July and not otherwise on the agenda. It was noted that the Parish Council did not have the opportunity to thank Cllr Ian Macmillan for his contribution during his tenure and wished to formally recognise his input as he made a significant contribution to the Parish.  He was a valued member and the Parish Council wished him well for the future.

61        Council Meeting minutes of 4 August 2020. It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

62        Matters arising from the meeting of 4 August and not otherwise on the agenda

 117      Crossing Patrol update – To commence the trial of the Crossing Patrol at the bottom of Broughton Crescent, Staffordshire County Council (SCC) needed assurances from the School that the parents currently using the Village Hall car park would relocate to St John’s, a minimum of 15 pupils will need to use the crossing to make the project viable. The School were going to undertake a survey. Despite chasing for clarification, no response has been received.

Based on data gathered from the speed indicator device on Station Road, there were concerns the location for the Crossing Patrol would be too dangerous.  SCC noted the details and would take this into account in their risk assessment should the trial receive approval.

The issue of flooding on the corner of Broughton Crescent and Station Road was also raised, SCC agreed to request Highways to clear the gulley.

We have not currently met the criteria SCC are looking for despite assurances received from the School.  The trial was due to start on the 3rd September – cost pro rata between £4 – £4.5k if the project is adopted.

Works are due to take place in the car park at the Village Hall including asbestos removal, as there is a health risk the car park will be closed to parents for the next few weeks. A note was sent to the School to enable them to inform parents.

 4          Vacancies for Barlaston East and Barlaston West Wards – We have been operating with one Councillor short for some time and now have another vacancy and need to take steps to fill these.

Clerk to set up a meeting with Cllr Jones and Cllr Fisher with the applicant for the Barlaston East vacancy.

With regards to the Barlaston West vacancy, an advert has been posted. If we have not received a formal notice for an election, we will be able to co-opt a Councillor after 17 September.

 6(c)      SID Device update – We are now in receipt of the 2 SID’s which have been installed.  Mr David Norman has made arrangements for these devices to be maintained by volunteers. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

7  Recognition of community contribution during Covid-19 lockdown – It was resolved the Mayor would unveil a plaque dedicating the clock tower and present the Wedgwood Bowl to the Community.  Cllr Jones to supply dates of availability. Clerk to supply Cllrs with suggested wording.

10        Wild Play Area Update – Awaiting signage which should be installed imminently. RoSPA due to do a final check any time which will enable the area to be opened.  As a wild play area, we will put notices up to say the area will not be cleaned.  As we had addressed all the other risks, it would be a way forward.  It was resolved to open the area.

20        Licence for access to the Green – The Invoices were issued, following which complaints were received from two residents.  One resident was not happy that the letter referred to an unauthorised gate and pointed out this was a replacement. The other resident advised they had never paid a licence for their wicket gate, it was noted the previous resident had paid for a 20-year term at 5p per annum, however this ceased in 2003, they are now liable.

22        Neighbourhood Watch schemes (deferred)

35/36    Village Drainage Strategy Group

A discussion took place with regards to the possibility of paying for a village wide drain survey, the details could be presented to County.  This idea was rejected as it was only the responsibility of the Parish to point out problems. It was noted there was little funding at County to address these issues.

Cllr Moran advised neighbours paid for an inspection of the culvert running behind Meadow Road and confirmed 50% of which is full of roots, these details had already been presented to County. The ownership of the gulley is unclear.

Cllr Hurst had surveyed the green, the cost of improving the drainage by the wicket gate was £450, it was resolved to approve this expenditure.

37        Safety issues on Longton Road – This item to be added to the Highways Initiative with Cllr Ian Parry.

39        Bridge 102 / 104 update

    • Images of the damaged foot bridge have been sent to their engineer, we are awaiting a response.
    • The heritage officer has advised it is acceptable to put a short fence at the bottom of the ramp, just awaiting confirmation from Sky that this will not affect cables.
    • Images sent with regards to works requested around Bridge 102
    • Signage has been installed with regards to cyclists at bottom of bridge 104.

40        Use of the green update –Signage is awaited clarifying the position of the Parish Council i.e., no organised sports to be undertaken on the green.

42        Wild planting scheme and associated costings including s115e Licence requirements

Local Councils are planting Wildflowers as part of the campaign to restore the Countryside and address climate change.  The recommendation from the Lengthsman for wildflower planting is as follows:

Meadow car entrance under pear trees all the way down 3 meters wide 150m2

Green near memorial 60m2

Green car par side between pier house sign and bench 120m2

sign and Around signs Longton Rd and Hartwell Lane120m2

Main green 6 meter by 30 from bench around to the first tree on Hartwell Lane one 200m2

Between trees outside Paul fishers drive 50m2

Meaford road both sides of the bench 10×6 x 2 120m2

Other bench 30 meters only

Top of the green in wild corner 150m2

SCC confirm we will need a Licence under section 96 of the Highways Act 1980, they believe that the legal department would be able to do this under one agreement with a one-off fee levied of £109.

Total cost of project £3,609

It was resolved to accept this recommendation.  Works to commence in September.  Cllrs requested plans showing the areas are submitted.

63        Memorial bench for Mr Stan Phillips – Due to the popularity of Stan and his contribution to the village, the Parish Council resolved to approve the recommendation for a bench to be situated at the bottom of the slope on Silver Ridge to compliment the bench that is already there.  Legally the Parish Council cannot contribute to an individual, therefore funding is to be via public contribution.

In the future we will look at a generic memorial bench whereby residents could apply to attach a plaque.

64        Former Wedgwood Memorial College – The Parish Council declared an interest in this asset. It was noted the Borough Council had had not formally adopted the Lichfield Design & Development Plan, there was no rationale why this had not gone to Cabinet for ratification. It is referenced in the Barlaston Neighbourhood Plan and the Parish Council wished this project to commence as per the plan. Cllr Jones agreed to arrange a meeting with John Holmes and report back his findings.

65        Speed Watch update – The Clerk submitted the latest report.

66        To note financial matters:

            (a) Bank reconciliation – It was resolved to accept the reports

(b) Schedule of payments report July / August 2020 were approved.  Trenton submitted their invoice for roofing works on the Village Hall at c.£15k. As the works were not as extensive as anticipated, the invoice was queries and a revised one issued at c. £10k. This raised queries about issuing future works to Trenton.

The balance of the invoice for the noticeboard has been paid, we are awaiting delivery which is anticipated in the next few weeks. Clerk to provide an update.

(c) Green Book pay award – It was noted NALC / SLCC have approved the increase of 2.75% backdated to April.

  NET VAT Cheque
Barlaston Walking for Health grant / Replacement cheque 002614 100.00   002631
Perennial Landscapes Inv 3036 Grass Cutting 570.00 114.00 002632
T F Smith Inv 1101 Connect electrics for Clock Tower 160.00   002633
J Poultney Replenish planter Cocknage Inv 141 20.00   002634
Barlaston Cricket Club Grant (PPE) 400.00   002635
Barlaston Community Responders Grant (Assist with Vehicle ins/MOT) 1000.00   002636
Topliss Assoc Inv 1,146 Internal Audit Parish Council 171.00 34.20 002637
K St Leger Salary / Expenses (July) 965.16   002638
Staffs Pension (j 302.41   002639
SPCA Clerk Training Inv 20/204 50.00   002640
I Johnston, inv 1452 fit clock tower Village Hall Roof / inc materials 420.00   002641
Topliss Associates Inv 1,151 Village Hall Audit 145.50 29.10 002642
Trenton Construction Inv 6805 Village Hall Works 8912.00 1782.40 002643
White Rose Inv 1093 Balance of payment for replacement garages 5320,00 1064.00 002644
K St Leger Salary / Expenses (August)     002645
Staffs Pension (August)     002646
History & Hobbies Ltd Inv 0009 Village Green Signs (wild play) 106.00 21.20 PAYPAL
Printerland Inv SOA1961329 Toner Cartridges 228.02 45.60 PAYPAL

67        Councillor Training  

Co-opted Councillors will be signed up for the Councillor Fundamental Course once appointed.

68        Risk Assessment Actions

It was noted the branches of the trees on Station Road were low, Clerk to obtain quotes for trimming.

69        Grant application(s)

Stone Lions Club (prostate cancer), it was resolved to grant £300.00

Voluntary Transport Scheme, it was resolved to grant £100.00

70        Planning Committee Recommendations – There were no planning applications.  Cllr Tudor asked if there was any news with regards to the Inglewood Investment field at the back of Nursery Gardens as rumours were circulating that a planning application was imminent.  Cllr Jones advised no information had been submitted.

71        Date of next meeting – 6 October 2020