011019 Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

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Cllr. G. Jones
Cllr. P. Fisher
Cllr. C. Hurst
Cllr. I. Macmillan
Cllr. S. Hall

Cllr. E. Philpott
Cllr. D. Bentley
Cllr. D. Norman
Cllr. S. Tudor

In attendance. Mrs. K. St. Leger (Clerk)

7.15 – 7.30 Public Open Forum

84        Apologies Cllr’s Moran and O’Dunne sent their apologies, it was resolved to accept these. Cllr Fisher gave a formal apology to Cllr Norman for comments made at the September meeting, Cllr Norman accepted the apology.

85        Declarations of Interest Cllrs Hurst and Tudor declared interest in item 70 on the agenda. There was no pecuniary interest.

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

70         Village green usage. Open Gardens and B Wilshaw presented their submissions. Members of the public were asked to leave the room to enable the PC to determine the decision. It was resolved that Open Gardens would have exclusive usage of the Village Green.

287       Stafford & Rural Homes Planning & Maintenance Issues (73; 357)

  • SRH received planning permission in the summer to build the bungalows on Barlaston Park, subject to the S106 agreement with Stafford Borough Council, this is still in negotiation. They believe this will be concluded by the end of the year. £12000 earmarked for an open space contribution, this will go into a central pot at SBC. It has to be spent within 10 years otherwise this will be taken back by the original organisation.

Once the s106 has been concluded, SRH will look for a contractor and source funding. Due to    Brexit, a soft market testing exercise has been undertaken, this has increased costs by 10% – 12%.

If everything goes to plan, they will look to take the garages down by early spring / early summer. It is hoped the site will be built by 2021.

  • Initial plans were to build the shop in phase one and the rest of the development as phase two. However due to H&S / traffic management issues, the site will be developed as a single phase. Concerns were raised it was a long lead time for the reopening of the shop, SRH will look for a new tenant for a 6-year term. There is an option to convert this into another bungalow, this route will not be undertaken unless the shop is vacant for a 12-month period.
  • Residents who store vehicles in garages will be allocated another garage. Garages used for storage will be issued a 30-day notice to remove goods. use garages will be relocated to another garage on site.
  • SRH have no objections to residents turning the piece of land off Meadow Road into a car park; planning permission would be required, and all costs borne by the residents. A peppercorn rent may be applied.
  • SRH only have responsibility for half a footpath which is weeded (adjacent to the Plume of Feathers), everything else is owned and maintained by SCC. SRH will forward a copy of the plans to the Clerk for clarification. The current standard of maintenance by SRH is poor, it was noted a new contractor is being employed and improvements should be made.
  • Vehicles on Orchard Place; where vehicles have been parked for longer than 7-14 days, they could service notice however SRH have no enforcement powers. An option is to transfer ownership to the residents as part of their lease; however, this brings its own issues, alternatively transfer to SCC ownership.
  • Flooding around 11a Meadow Road; SRH will issue a plan to the Clerk for distribution, it was noted the land does not belong to SRH and is therefore not something they could deal with.
  • Orchard Place – Blocked drains / bollards etc. SRH will issue an update report to the Clerk.

87        Minutes of the full Council Meeting of 3 September 2019 It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

88         Matters arising from the meeting of 3 September 2019 and not otherwise on the agenda

Key themes 2018

256       Environmental Committee Update

It was agreed that projects of this scale should be submitted to the finance committee for consideration, their recommendation would then be submitted to the full Parish Council. In this instance the project was conceptual and agreed without full costings, drawings or health and safety considerations. Standing orders were suspended and £4k costings approved.

Following initial works being undertaken, the base of the identified play area was found to be unsuitable and required remedial works. Rather than suspend the build due to time constraints, it was resolved to increase the budget to £6k to cover the additional costs. Future projects would need to be submitted to the finance committee so they can be fully costed and evaluated prior to being approved by the Parish Council.

It was noted projects need to be undertaken by contractors and not volunteers due to time management constraints.

Project Title                                                   Approved Budget Net         Balance
Environmental Project Phase I                                                                                 

Re-planting of species                                                      £750.00              £580.00

Replace 2 damaged panels                                              £47.00                £47.00

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust – Wildlife Planting                  £200.00                £0.00

Lighting of Car Park                                                        £1500.00             £1500.00

Environmental Project Phase II                                    £6000.00                         

  • 20 Stepping logs @ £30 – total £600 (complete)
  • 2 Balance Beams @ 150 – total £300 (complete)
  • Play Fort @ £2150
  • *Sleepers – £260
    **Pour crumb safety Matting – £2485
    Stabilise Brickwork @ £40.00

3 x Planters                                                                     £200.00               £100.00

Rights of Way / Footpath adoptions – Upper house gate to be addressed by SCC.

*Three quotations were received for the provision of sleepers; it was resolved to accept the cost from Gardiners.

**Based on 50mm 40m2 wet pour crumb matting, two quotations were received; (a) PlaySmart UK @ £2485 and DCM Surfaces @ £2520, a third quotation was awaited. As the figures were similar, it was resolved to suspend standing orders and accept the quotation from PlaySmart.

Brickwork, it was originally envisaged a volunteer would repair the brickwork, however this was not feasible. Costs to repair the wall @ £40. It was resolved to accept this cost. If we look to cement and drill the sleepers into the wall, this will incur additional costs.

Footpath works update – Colwich charge £31.50 per hour (2 men) for their Lengthsman to undertake works. Pictures of the footpath which needs clearing adjacent to Nursery Gardens have been issued. A date for works to commence is awaited.

Campaigns 2018

9           Speed Watch campaign update

Statistics have now been received up to end of August. During our 52 sessions this year we’ve monitored more than16000 vehicles – that’s an average of 300 per hour!

771 were recorded at 35mph or more (that’s less than 5%). 87 were Out of Staffs Area.

90% of the “net” figure recorded were 1st Offenders. 24% of the 771 were recorded at 40mph+ compared to last year’s 28%. So, those 2 elements would suggest the message is getting through. – and our efforts are definitely worthwhile.

Whilst the Speed Device has been safely received from France, the approved contractors, JPCS, are, frustratingly, unable to provide any sort of installation date for the required Ground-Screws. I’m chasing weekly.

Cllr Bentley is undergoing his Training on 5th October and will then join our team of volunteers – which will be very useful with another volunteer, Cllr Macmillan will suspend his attendance for the winter.

Cllr Bentley and Norman met onsite on 26th September at Wedgwood Drive/Barlaston Park with the Police Community Engagement Co-Ordinator, and her new assistant. We’ve reiterated our original concerns from earlier this year and brought her up to date with yet more recent local challenges relating to speeding/accidents. She has committed to revisiting with her Police colleagues and Highways to see if some form of formal monitoring can be undertaken ahead of a potential reduction of the National Speed Limit on the upper part of Wedgwood Drive – and the addition of repeater 30mph signs in the area generally. A drive round Flaxman Close & Ivyhouse Drive also highlighted the dangers of current speeding on the estate and Michelle is to bring that to the attention of the local Policing team for their consideration.

193       Cricket Club lease update – formal notification was given to Dicksons on 29 July 2019, Clerk to chase for an update. The Cricket Club are aware of status.

351       Wayleave Agreement Upper House A Wayleave has been produced; this needs to be signed by the Upper House. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

456       Brinsley Avenue Practice Patient Group / Chemist

Following complaints from residents regarding the service provided by the Chemist, the Clerk has been in touch with NHS England – Midlands who are responsible for commissioning community pharmaceutical services. A meeting was requested however in the first instance they have requested a written summary of the complaints and concerns that the PC have received so that they are able to address internally and if necessary, with the pharmacy directly. Clerk to respond with details.

473       Barlaston Park questionnaire update – the questionnaire has been distributed to residents. It was noted the questionnaire should have been returned to Cllrs beforehand to ensure wording was accurate. The closing date for the return of the questionnaire is end October, ready for the PC meeting in November.

507       Vehicle pollution initiative by Station Road crossing – Turn your engine and lights off signs will be installed on the fence following permission from the nursing home. An article could be included in the Parish Magazine.

18         Office Accommodation equipment

Three quotations were provided for a LaserJet multifunction device. It was resolved to approve expenditure for a Xerox WorkCentre 3335DNI @ £142.50 plus VAT.

Built in shelving could be provided at material cost only of £22 + VAT, it was resolved to accept this cost.

The Clerk has provided 6 chairs however a small meeting table is required. It was resolved the Clerk could source a second-hand table and office chair.

38         Plume of Feathers annual party update – item to be carried forward

53        Village Hall building works update

Tender documents have been issued to preferred suppliers. Requests have already been received for visits.

The asbestos report has been received however there were a number of areas inaccessible and may need to be reassessed. The two garages have been identified as having asbestos, one has debris behind it which needs removing.

From a monitoring perspective we need to ascertain if works can be undertaken by 31 March. Funding needs to be spent before the end of the financial year.

Cllr Fisher was assigned as project manager; however, he has little time to undertake the role. The PC need to work on the basis that we need to pay for a Company to project manage the works. This will be looked at following the tender submissions.

It was noted the Clerk has resigned as Village Hall Secretary; a replacement is required. Volunteers are being sought to undertake more voluntary roles.

71         Staffordshire Prepared updates – Cllr Bentley has been added to the PC Facebook Page to facilitate uploads direct to site. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

74         NALC new financial regulations – This is to be submitted to the Finance Committee to make the relevant recommendations prior to submission at the next PC meeting. It was resolved to accept this proposal.

89         Parish Council policy documents

An aide memoire was submitted to Cllrs detailing the code of conduct to be followed during meetings.

Policies which apply to the Clerk do not need uploading on the website. Policies for members of the public and volunteers need to be added including formal complaint processes and how long it will take to respond to a complaint. Clerk to action.

From a disclosure perspective it was resolved if a complaint was received against a Cllr then all Cllrs will receive the details of the complaint.

90        Coffee morning attendance – Cllrs Bentley, Tudor and Moran will be in attendance at the next event.

91         Library update – No update was received.

92        Stone Ramblers Footpaths group – A request for clearance works on footpaths involving network rail was made. Clerk to action the request.

93         Grant application(s) – no grant applications have been received.

94        Wedgwood Arboretum and Statues – Cllr Jones has written to Cabinet member for an update, he has acknowledged receipt of the enquiry and advised he will investigate and respond.

95        Village Show committee – The item was deferred.

96        Financial Plan Meeting – Cllr Norman will distribute dates following the meeting

97         Financial matters:

The Clerk confirmed receipt of the balance of the precept @ £35001.00

(a) Bank reconciliation report was accepted

(b) Schedule of payments report was accepted

  NET VAT Cheque
Barlaston Cricket Club – Fireworks Grant £550.00   002517
Urban Vision – Neighbourhood Plan Training & Expenses £853.50 £157.10 002518
Churnet Woodland Crafts £900.00   002519
Jonathan Cornes Associates Ltd – Tender Documentation £500.00 £100.00 002521
Perennial Landscapes – Grounds Maintenance INV 2094 £570.00 £114.00 002522
G Jones – Chairman’s Allowance £250.00   002523
K St Leger – Salary & Expenses £1162.66   002524
Daniel Ward 3 x Planters @ £200 – 50% deposit £100.00   002525
Esperanto – Office Desk / Drawers – Esperanto inv W853 £50.00 £10.00 002526
HMRC £263.69   002527
Perennial Landscapes – Grounds Maintenance INV 2196 £855.00 £171.00 002520

98        Ground maintenance issues – No issues noted

99        Borough Council member report – No items to report

100       County Council member for the area update

Cllr Parry requested details of drainage issues around the village. The areas noted were:

  • The gully outside Kitson’s chemist
  • The area at the lowest point of Old Road on the right-hand bend Old Road and Brook House Drive
  • The drains around Queen Mary’s drive
  • The drains on Lakewood Drive (between Wedgwood Drive and Wedgwood Lane
  • Drains at the top of the village along Hartwell Land

Cllr Parry has narrowed the projects down to six where additional work is necessary to prevent flooding. These have been prioritised as 5 gullies in Hartwell Lane where the lids are jammed and need attention.

101       Planning Committee Recommendations – no applications were received. It was noted that a meeting would have been useful to discuss how we formally respond to planning applications and reply with a comprehensive response.

102       Weekly play equipment update – no issues were noted.

103.      Risk Assessment actions

The Clerk distributed the Use of Personal email address and devices report. It is understood that the amount of correspondence sent direct to Cllrs is limited. The setting up of separate emails was discussed previously but noted these would still be on the Cllr’s personal device. The Clerk asked Cllrs to review the document to note the risks.

104.   Correspondence and circulars The Clerk distributed these upon receipt

105       Questions from Councillors for inclusion on next month’s agenda

  • Neighbourhood Plans – 2020 review – The Borough Council as the LPA are set to review the Local Plan in early 2020. This means the Neighbourhood Plan will no longer be the primary document and will need to be reviewed. The Clerk noted that if minor tweaks are required to the NP there is a methodology to fast track the NP through the process. It was noted we will need to reserve some funds in the NP fund for 2020/2021
  • Wicket Gates – It was noted the Vicarage have installed a gate onto the Village Green. The Clerk has investigated the files and noted the PC used to claim a Wayleave fee of £10 for the following properties on the green however funds have not been collected for some time:
    • Greenways, Vicarage Lane
    • Downlands, The Green
    • Fairview, The Green
    • Babbacombe Cottage, The Green
    • Spokane House, Vicarage Lane

Cllr Jones will investigate.

  • Lakewood Drive – unadopted road. A request has been made to see if the PC could investigate who to contact with regards to the road being adopted.
  • Entrance made to field on Old Road by converted stables – No planning application has been received. Clerk has forwarded the information on to the Borough Council and Highways to highlight the issue.

106       To note date of Next Meeting:

  • It was resolved to change the Parish Council Meeting to 12 November 2019 due to Fire Works Night. Cllr Macmillan sent his apologies.