02 November 2021 – Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2021 | 0


Cllr D Bentley (Vice Chairman), Cllr S Tudor, Cllr E Adams-Elsmore, Cllr C Hurst, Cllr D Borasinski, Cllr G Jones, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr J Dando, Cllr A Hemming, Cllr V O’Dunne

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

7:15-7:30 Public Open Forum

One member of the public was in attendance to raise the issue of the destruction of the trees and mature hedgerows at the Wedgwood Memorial College site. The Council confirmed they are in communication with the site’s PR Company who have given reassurances that the TPO’s will be protected during site clearance works. However, it was noted that the number of trees with TPO’s outside the arboretum are limited and as such there will be a lot of destruction to follow.

125       Apologies Cllr Fisher sent his apologies, it was resolved to accept these.

126       Declarations of Interest – Cllrs Dando and Bentley declared an interest in item 118 Lakewood Drive.

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

128       Minutes of the Parish Council 5 October 2021 – It was resolved to make an amendment to the wording on a comment made regarding Planning Application 21/33687/FUL. The Clerk to make the changes and publish accordingly.

129       Matters arising from the meeting of 5 October 2021 and not otherwise on the agenda

95         Parish Council Strategy – Cllr Hemming recommended the strategy be deferred due to the impending release of the new census data early next year, the data we are currently working on is 10 years old. It was resolved to delay work on the Strategy Document until then.

           115       Jubilee Beacon – Cllr Jones will be in a position to update the Parish Council following a meeting on 11 November 2021.

118       Lakewood Drive update – Cllr Dando gave an update on the meeting which took place on 6 October at Wedgwood Cricket Club which was attended by representatives of the County Council, Fiskars, the Parish Council and members of the public. The aim of the meeting was to ascertain who is responsible for the repairs on Lakewood Drive and to formulate an action plan. Cllr Bentley gave an overview of the work he had undertaken over several years. The housing stock on Barlaston Park was transferred to Stone Rural District Council, however Lakewood Drive was not included. Cllr Bentley is scheduled to visit Staffordshire Records Office to view the associated documents for the site. The representative from Fiskars agreed to revisit their records to see if there had been an error in transferring ownership of the land. The County Council were going to look at their liability, if Stone Rural District Council did adopt the land from Wedgwood then they would be responsible. Moving forward there is going to be a task to finish group to be held on a monthly basis to try to resolve the situation. The next meeting to be held on 10 November at Wedgwood Cricket Club. To repair the part of Lakewood Drive which is used by Barlaston Park Residents would cost in the region of £12,780 + VAT.

132       ‘Welcome Back Fund’ distribution update – The Clerk received a response detailing the distribution of the funds which were to be dispersed between Stafford, Stone and Eccleshall to fulfil existing projects. Cllr Jones advised there were a number of funds available from the Borough Council and that the Parish Council should apply.  He will keep the Parish Council updated of the funds available. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda. 

134       Financial Regulations update – The Clerk distributed revised copies detailing the inclusion of schedule 4.6 ‘In the case of employing legal services to mitigate an immediate risk to council services, the clerk in conjunction of the Chairman of the Council may authorise revenue expenditure on behalf of the council as is necessary, whether or not there is any budgetary provision for the expenditure, subject to a limit of £3000.  The Clerk shall report such action to the Parish Council as soon as practicable thereafter.’ It was resolved to accept these changes and adopt the new policy document.

130       Committee updates:

  • Environmental Committee – It was resolved to hold a zoom meeting on 11 November 2021.
  • Entertainment Committee (Platinum Jubilee Event) discussion update – It was suggested the main event takes place between 12 noon to 4pm whereby a road closure would be required to ensure the safety of the attendees. No parking would be required as the invitation is open to local residents. The Clerk to contact the Upper House and Seabridge’s Farm to ensure they were aware of the closure to minimise impact on their businesses. A budget will be required to cover the associated costs. Details to be submitted to the Finance Committee to be scheduled in December for consideration.

131       Update on planning application 21/33687/FUL described as proposed housing development between Brookhouse Drive and Old Road – The Clerk and Cllr Fisher attended a planning overview hosted by CPRE which highlighted the volume of housing which had taken place or scheduled to take place in Stafford Borough. The full details were added to the documentation for consideration on the planning application portal (extract as follows):

  • The first 10 years of the Borough’s Local Plan (2011 to 2021) the Borough reported in ‘Land for New Homes – the Housing Monitor 2021’ that 6,196 new homes were completed; an average of 620 new homes per year which is 120 dwellings per annum (20% over target). This leaves a remaining balance to be built (2021-2031) of 3,804. Using the Borough’s March 2021 figures there were 5,672 commitments with planning permission and 2,224 allocations which await planning permission; a total of 7,896 for the remainder of the plan period to 2031. This gives a total of 14,092 (already 14% above the plan’s allocations and more than twice the number required to meet the plan’s requirements for the next 10 years).
  • With the amount of ‘windfall’ housing development having taken place, which has not been counted within the planned figures and the fact that the Borough have far exceeded their house building allocation there is no requirement to build on Green Belt in Barlaston and further strengthens your argument to refuse this application.

The planning application is still to be decided by the Local Planning Authority.

132       Highways update:

  • Speed Watch – the current figures were distributed which highlights some shocking details. The group have continued to run 2 Speed watch sessions per week despite the changeable weather conditions! They are also benefiting from the 2 additional recruits from the Wedgwood estate which helps with the rota management. Examples/volumes of excessive speeding are thankfully still lower than pre-lockdown but with 10-15 vehicles generally recorded per hour on average, their continued efforts are worthwhile.
  • Walking Bus Scheme – Cllr Adams-Elsmore advised no one turned up to the initial scheduled meeting which was disappointing, however since then 8-9 people have volunteered to participate. There are 4 buddies available which advise parents they cannot park adjacent to the school.
  • Milk Barn parking issues – no new issues have been highlighted.
  • 20’s Plenty for Staffordshire – A request has been received for Barlaston to support the ‘20’s Plenty’ Campaign in Staffordshire, the Parish Council resolved to back this project.
  • Lane along Longton Road – The Clerk had a meeting with residents regarding the track along Longton Road where parents can access the School. A request has been submitted to Cllr Parry for a yellow hatched area by the gate to ensure emergency vehicles can access the school should the need arise. Instances have occurred where this has been blocked by hirers of the cottage and parents accessing the lane. This is being looked into.  Improved signage has also been requested.  Residents are going to monitor the ‘walking bus scheme to see if there is an improvement’. It was noted gardens had been damaged by what appears to be poison, this has been since the School put out the notice that the residents are hostile to parents using the lane.

133       To note financial matters:

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

            (b) Payment schedule report October 2021 – it was resolved to accept these.

A payment request to renew the domain has been received, costs as follows: £15 for 1 year, £25 for 2 years or £59 for 5 years. The Parish Council resolved to accept the 5-year term.

Expenditure NET VAT Cheque
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
Mainwaring Roberts – Replace Cheque 002759 1459.00 0.00 BACS
K St Leger, Salary & Expenses 944.92 0.00 002773
Staffordshire County Pension Fund 310.76 0.00 002774
SLCC Clerk’s Manual 47.50 0.00 002775
Buxus Green Grounds Maintenance 995.83 0.00 002776
Cheshire SLCC Conference Inv SLCC/21/37 30.00 0.00 002777
Expenditure NET VAT Cheque
Concurrent & CGI 35,001.00 0.00 BACS

134       Twinning with Fiskars, Finland – Cllr Hemming advised Fiskars were interested in the concept of Barlaston Parish twinning with the town of Fiskars, he would look into the outline agreement to see what this would entail.

135       Cycle Safety Training provision for children in the village – It was noted training is undertaken in schools and not something the Parish Council could undertake. However, if pupils in the village were not being offered this training, the Parish Council could raise awareness of how their school could participate with the scheme.

136       Ground works on Barlaston Park / Meaford Road

  • Treat / remove weeds in the curb lines and paths in Barlaston Park £275 per occasion (recommend twice per annum) – next payment would be in financial year 2021/22
  • Lawn Edging on Barlaston Park – £1800 – it will take a month to complete works
  • Edging on Meaford Road – £950
  • Moss clearance on the MUGA

4 hours cutting back the flower beds @ £100 – works complete

It was resolved to accept these charges.

137       Emergency information on the gates at the Downs – Information is missing from the gates via the path leading from the Downs car park.  The Clerk to liaise with the National Trust.

138       Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) annual subscription @ £36 – the Parish Council resolved to accept this recommendation.

139       Dog fouling campaign around Barlaston Park, Diamond Ridge and Silver Ridge – Street Scene are happy to undertake a campaign in these areas, however they need to understand the number of incidents and the frequency without which they cannot start the project.  Residents would need to participate and provide the information.

140       Scout grant funding update – The Scouts have now installed the heaters purchased with the grant from the Parish Council. They will enjoy much warmer winter meetings. When they are in a position to do so, they will invite some members of the Council to attend a social event.

141       Allotment contract    The current contract is now out of date.  SCC have increased the annual payments from £1040 to £1200.  This is in line with previous increases.

With regards to the legal fees, to draw up the contract is £750 + VAT, something the allotment group have not paid for previously. The Parish Council resolved to accept these costs.

142       Feedback from the monthly Coffee Morning – Nothing to report.

143       Risk Assessment update and determine actions

  • MUGA – Although safe, the structure needs painting. Clerk to look at obtaining quotations.
  • 2 dead trees Meaford Road – Works still outstanding
  • Tree survey – still awaited
  • Hedge overhanging Station Road – the contractors have cut this back.
  • Farm waste on roads – Mud on the road information has been added to the website. The Clerk can make copies available upon request.
  • Brookhouse Drive, water is running off the field. Clerk to check if gully pots require clearing.

144       Grant application(s)

  • British Legion Poppy Appeal, it was resolved to award £350.
  • Church grass cutting for 2021 – It is noted a grant request was awarded in April 2021, which covered 2020. The Church have now submitted a further application to cover 2021 being £1346.40, it was resolved to accept this request.

145       Planning issues

  • Planning Application Ref 21/34747/FUL at Barlaston Hall, Queen Mary’s Drive described as Construction of a domestic stable block. It was resolved to approve this application.
  • Wedgwood Memorial College, no formal planning application has been received. Concerns have been raised regarding the removal of TPO trees.
  • Consultation Battery Storage Facility Planning Application – Land on Meaford Road, Barlaston, Stoke on Trent, ST15 8UX. The Clerk to forward the details. It is noted no formal planning application has been received to date.

146       Items for inclusion in next month’s agenda

  • GP update – breach of confidentiality notice confirming no information can be circulated to the public.
  • Grant application – Douglas Macmillan @ £500 for new Children’s Hospice
  • Offer of Free Trees from Woodland Creation – minimum 150 trees which can be spread across the parish. This offer can be split between parishes. Ideal time to look for areas within the village to plant, as long as you can access the trees by a public footpath it meets the criteria.
  • Appointment of Chairman of the Sole Trustee.
  • Rural School Transport scheme – only two authorities in the UK have failed to support the school transport vacant seat scheme, one being SCC.
  • Arrangements for a Finance Meeting and a HR Meeting in December.

147       Dates for Parish Council and Planning Meetings – It was resolved to retain the first Tuesday of every month.

148       Date of next meeting Parish Council Meeting – 7 December 2021