2 June 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 I Macmillan, Cllr E Philpott 

In attendance: Mrs K St Leger (Clerk) 

7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum. One member of the public was in attendance, they did not wish to make representation. 

Cllr Jones noted he was given a beech tree in commemoration of the Queen’s Jubilee, Cllr Hurst agreed to plant this on the Village Green.

14        Apologies – No apologies were received.

15        Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.

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

17        Minutes of the full Council Meeting of 5 May 2020 – were accepted as a true record.

18        Matters arising from the meeting of 5 May 2020 and not otherwise on the agenda

            4          Co-option of Barlaston East Ward Councillor – deferred

            6          Financial Committee recommendations:

6(a)      SCC grass cutting – The contribution from Staffordshire County Council towards the grass cutting has remained at £3129.60.  The budget has been amended accordingly.

6(c)      Village Hall Clock – Item transferred to the Sole Trustee Meeting.

Replacement of Village Hall Garages – Item transferred to the Sole Trustee Meting.

2 Speed Indicator Devices – the purchase order has been submitted; the order will take between 3 to 6 weeks to arrive. Mr Norman is working with volunteers to schedule the battery replacements once these devices are installed.

6(d)     Lengthsman grass cutting quotation. Following a post on local social media and subsequent email from Perennial Landscapes giving positive feedback, it was determined the termination of the existing contract could not be implemented. It was noted Cllr Hurst still has to follow the contractors around to ensure they cut all the areas specified within the contract, the last cut they missed off the area below the Church and areas along Longton Road.

It was resolved to review and seek formal tenders for the grass cutting contract for 2021/22

The Lengthsman submitted a quotation for removing waste at the top of the green, removing fallen branches on the car park, cutting grass on Longton Road and removal of Ivy from the sign @ £140.  It was resolved to accept this quotation.

It was noted the Lengthsman has a degree in horticulture which will benefit the designated wildlife areas around the village. Clerk to seek formal quotations.

Cllrs Hall and Fisher joined the meeting.

            7          Covid-19 update – Rather than a Heron, a Covid-19 publication was produced in conjunction with Cllr Jones, a representative from the Community Group and the Vicar.  Feedback received has been positive.  The Parish Council wished to recognise Cllr O’Dunne for her editorial input and the speed for which she turned this around.  They would also like to thank the volunteers for undertaking the delivery.

It has been noted the amount of litter reported around the Borough has increased significantly, along with anti-social behaviour, speeding and people not recognising social distancing, which is difficult to deal with.

Large groups are gathering around the pool at Wedgwood. The Clerk has provided the details of the PCSO to Fiskars.

However, it was also noted the village green was used by families over the weekend having picnics on the green whilst observing social distancing, which was nice to see.

10        RoSPA works on Wild Play Area – Martin Evans has increased the gaps between fence boards on the lookout platform to above 25mm, and rounded edges and smoothed obviously rough surfaces. This remains closed due to Covid-19.  We are also still awaiting the signage required.

12        Heron / Covid-19 publication – It was resolved to accept the cost of printing @ £290

19        Blue bag issues – there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the blue bag.  Cllr Jones is scheduled to have a meeting with the Borough Cabinet Office to address these concerns.  The weight is an issue when full, it was noted the Borough will issue a second bag if requested. It was noted we cannot raise expectations that things will change due to financial pressures.

20        Licence for access to the Green – the Clerk distributed a draft copy of a gate licence; this is to replace the old Wayleave agreement.  It was resolved to set the annual figure to £25 with the option of increasing this in line with inflation. Clerk to issue to the relevant households.

21        Street Scene bin emptying costs – due to the increased calls from residents in Barlaston, Street Scene have been attending Barlaston every 3 to 4 days to empty the bins.  To cover the additional costs, Stafford Borough Council have asked for an increase in the quarterly charge from £292.50 to £320.  It was resolved to accept this increase.

It was noted the bins at Wedgwood Pool was overflowing, the Clerk has been in liaison with Fiskers and their grounds maintenance team will be attending on a regular basis to empty these.

22        Neighbourhood Watch scheme – It was resolved for the Clerk to liaise with Staffordshire Police with regards to setting up a scheme in the village.  It was noted there are two schemes currently registered, with other schemes having lapsed. A coordinated approach would be beneficial.

Residents can register to receive Smart Alerts from Staffordshire Police at www.staffordshiresmartalert.co.uk.

23        Microlights over Barlaston – it is believed the two machines which are causing issues by circling the village are taking off from behind the old Meaford Power Station.  Cllr Jones will investigate the site.  To report the devices to the CAA, identification marks are required, which is proving problematic.

24        Speed Watch update – The report received from Mr David Norman was distributed to the Parish Council.  A vehicle was reported doing 91 MPH leaving the village, fortunately this was during the early hours of the morning, however speeds of 81 and 87 MPH have been recording during the early evening.  Mr Norman is persevering with the Police who have acknowledged the issues. As soon as there is an update, this will be fed back to the Parish Council.

Complaints were also received with regards to 2 motorbikes causing a nuisance, these were reported to the Police and a Section 59 notice is due to be served, this will result in the bikes being confiscated if further issues are reported.

On a Sunday there are issues with bikes speeding on St Mary’s Drive, doing 60 MPH before they reach the 30 MPH sign.

Mr Norman advised the Police are currently undertaking Operation Lightning, the first week will see people being warned, the second week will see fines being issued. This encompasses speeding, drug and drink driving.  The Community Speed Watch Coordinator has asked for Police presence in Barlaston during this exercise, however it is not clear whether they have been seen in Barlaston.

Mr Norman advised he would provide the information to enable the PC to engineer a solution on Meaford Road in conjunction with Highways as this is not the role of the Speed Watch team.  The PC resolved to undertake the negotiations.

The Parish Council thanked Mr Norman for his updates and continued involvement in this project.

25        To note financial matters:

(a) Reconciliation report – Bank statements were issued however the reconciliation reports are not available. We are awaiting a date from the external auditor to sign off the 2019/2020 accounts, until this is done the finance system cannot be updated.   The Clerk has forwarded all the information required for the Mazaar audit to take place; a physical audit is still required.  In the current environment this is proving difficult.

            (b) Payments report May 2020 – it was resolved to accept these.

  NET VAT Cheque
As Time Goes By – Village Hall Clock tower including vented sides and automated clock 1735.00 347.00 PayPal
Zoom monthly subscription 11.99 2.40 PayPal
White Rose Buildings Ltd – Remove / replace Garages (Deposit) 1680.00 336.00 002606
ElanCity – 2 No. SID Devices Inv SO-UK01155 3499.84 699.97 002607
SLCC Annual Subscription 161.00 0.00 002608
K St Leger Salary & Expenses 897.27 0.00 002609
Mainwaring Roberts – Replacement Cheque for 002596 166.00 0.00 002610
Buxus Green – Replacement Cheque for 002598 777.40 0.00 002611
Buxus Green – Lengthsman Works 740.60 0.00 002612
Staffordshire County Council – Pension Contributions 302.41 0.00 002613
Barlaston Strollers – Grant for Walking for Health 100.00 0.00 002614
Stone Ramblers – Grant for tooling 200.00 0.00 002615

26        Risk Assessment Actions – the new bank account is still required, due to Covid-19 this is proving difficult as banks are not accepting new business. Clerk to monitor.

27        Planning Committee Recommendations

Planning application 20/32170/FUL at Meadow Croft, Meadow Drive, Blurton described as Retention of detached double garage.  The Parish Council objected to this application based on an inappropriate building in the green belt.  

Planning application 20/32316/HOU at The Hill, Station Road, Barlaston described as proposed detached extension to form garages and a domestic workspace as replacement for existing garage. There were no objections to this planning application.

28        Date of next meeting

            7 July 2020