031219 Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

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Cllr P Fisher, Cllr C Hurst, Cllr S Hall, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr D Bentley, Cllr D Norman, Cllr S Tudor, Cllr I Moran 

In attendance: Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

7:15 – 7:30       Public Open Forum

Chris Roberts was in attendance as an observer. The Parish Council wished to thank Chris for all the works he has undertaken around the village in a voluntary capacity during the last 12 months.

130       Apologies – Apologies were received from Cllrs Jones, Macmillan and O’Dunne, it was resolved to accept these.

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

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

133       Council Meeting of 12 November 2019 – Minutes were accepted as a true record.

134       Matters arising from the meeting of 12 November 2019 and not otherwise on the agenda

It was noted the grant payment to the Royal British Legion of £250 needed adding to the financial breakdown.

Key themes 2018

256       Environmental Committee update

Pour crumb matting is now installed. We are awaiting a date for the installation of the play fort; this will be undertaken before Xmas with the rope bridge being undertaken in January. Concerns were raised with regards to stepping logs being wet and posing a slip hazard, it was resolved to look at adding an anti-slip coating. In the long term a path will be formed with shale to address the wet areas.

The 3 planters have been delivered.

The Christmas tree for Village Hall will be chosen this week, it was noted the lights purchased last year have yet to be located. A quotation for the lighting on the village green has been received @ £435 for a 50m string, these are more expensive than standard lights as the bulbs are renewable, we have not had a quote for the cherry picker to install the lighting, this is a requirement to conform to H&S requirements. It was resolved to approve a budget of £800 to complete the works. If this quotation is higher, due to time constraints, the details to be forwarded to Cllrs for approval.

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                £58.00

20 Stepping logs @ £30 – total £600 (complete)

2 Balance Beams @ 150 – total £300 (complete)

Sleepers @ £297 (complete)

Pour crumb safety Matting @ £2233.00 (complete)

Play Fort @ £2150

Fix sleepers / infill holes with concrete @ £362 (complete)

3 x Planters (completed)                                                      £200.00                  £0.00

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


Campaigns 2018

9           Speed Watch campaign update

At long last we finally have the Grant-funded Illuminated Speed Device as organised via our local Speed Watch Team. Only positive comments have been received to date. Initially, it has been located in Meaford Road, but it is intended that it will be rotated around other sites in Old Road and Station Road. From its installation on 28 November till 3 December it has recorded 3,500 vehicles coming into the village and 7000 vehicles going out! The maximum speed recorded was a vehicle leaving the village doing 78 mph at 17:43 hrs, another vehicle was doing 70 mph also going out of the village at 06:15 hrs.

Hopefully, when you are driving you will see more of the Smiley Face than the Sad Face!

As well as being very visual, the Sign also captures vehicle volume/speed/time data for traffic in both directions. This will be very useful to assist with planning the Speed Watch sessions but can also be shared with the Police to help with their own planning in terms of Mobile Units.

If anyone wants any further information about the Device or is interested in joining the Speed Watch Team please contact Cllr David Norman.

The data provided is a powerful argument which can be presented to the Police. If we can prove the benefits it may be feasible to apply for another 3 posts and possibly another SID device for installation in additional locations around the village.

193       Joint Playing Fields Committee meeting update – Minutes are to be produced. Their solicitors have reviewed the draft lease from Dicksons and have raised several issues which need to be addressed.

It was also noted the fireworks event went well, they wished to charge for the event next year which was supported by the Parish Council.

287       Stafford & Rural Homes Planning & Maintenance Issues update

The planning application went to Planning Committee on Wed 27 November, Cllr Mike Dodson represented the Parish Council raising concerns with regards to increase in traffic. The design for Chevron parking produced by SARH was going to be presented with the recommendation this formed part of the project under s106 agreement.

456       Brinsley Avenue Practice Patient Group / Chemist update – There were no items to discuss.

473       MUGA update – Following the questionnaire analysis, further work is required to identify what will replace the MUGA. In the meantime, the structure needs work to make it safe. Clerk to obtain a revised quotation.

Scrubbing of soft crumb matting – Cllr Bentley will arrange a spring clean be undertaken by the community.

507       Vehicle pollution initiative by Station Road crossing – Further copies of the signs are on order. It was noted cars are adhering to the notice and turning their engines off.

18         Office Accommodation equipment update – Item deferred till 2020

38         Plume of Feathers annual party – Item deferred till 2020

53        Village Hall building works – Copies of the tenders have been forwarded to Cllrs. It was resolved for Cllr Fisher to go through the figures and bring the information back to the Finance Committee for a recommendation. Urgent works would be prioritised.

To address immediate concerns, Cllrs Fisher and Hurst will attend the site and clear out the guttering. It was also resolved to purchase a dehumidifier to address the condensation in the ladies toilet, in the meantime a unit will be hired and installed with immediate effect. An electrician will look at the one on site to see if they can get this working.

89         Parish Council Complaints policy – Cllr Norman agreed to review the policy and bring a revised version for consideration to the next PC meeting. Elements in the draft policy refer to a HR sub-committee, it was proposed the Council form a HR sub-committee, this was approved in principal. Cllr Norman will submit a draft proposal for a HR sub-committee structure which will be included in the January agenda.

90         Cllr attendance at the monthly coffee morning – It was noted some Cllrs found the date difficult to attend due to prior commitments, it was resolved Cllr Bentley would be in attendance, if other Cllrs were available, they would also attend. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

91         Library update – It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

92         Stone Ramblers Footpaths request – Network Rail have requested further information on the exact location of works, Clerk has issued coordinates and is awaiting updates.

94         Wedgwood College Arboretum and Statues update – Information provided is limited, however we have been advised the procurement process is continuing. It was resolved the Clerk would approach Stoke City Council with an FOI request to ascertain what is happening with the arboretum and statues.

95         Village Show funds update – Mrs Coates is liaising with the bank for the mandate requirements to change the account details.

112       NALC Financial Regulations – It was resolved to approve the new regulations. Clerk to publish to details on the website.

113       Neighbourhood Plan actions – Following discussions with Urban Vision, it was agreed to undertake the course Jan/Feb 2020 to coincide with the consultation works for the new Local Plan. Clerk to liaise with Urban Vision and will submit proposed dates.

114       Wayleave agreements for wicket gates onto the green – item deferred

115       Entrance to Old Road by converted to stables – No response has been received by SBC with regards to the entrance which has been made. Clerk chasing for update. It was noted the site is not in Barlaston but sits on the boundary.

116       Adoption of Lakewood Drive – The Drive would need to be brought up to SCC Highway standards before they would consider adoption. To meet this criteria the carriageway will need a new surface course, new kerbs throughout, new gullies, vehicle access areas applied for those that haven’t got them and use the footway as access, utilities would all have to be fully compliant, trees inspected and reports done, footways repaired, grass verges need cutting, and the list goes on. They anticipate works would cost in the region of a quarter of a million pounds that would need to be funded by residents.

Their recommendation would be for residents to collectively fund the maintenance themselves.

Highways are not looking and are not willing to increase their assets by taking on an unadopted private road due to increased budget constraints.

As part of the road is used as access to Barlaston Park and has no house frontages, the Clerk has asked for this element of the road to be looked at separately. SCC have requested the plans and any documentation in relation to the private road conditions. They will update us when they are in receipt.

117       Barlaston CE (VC) School drop off/pick up update – A request was made for the School to responded with an update from Stafford Borough Planning, this is still outstanding.

We are still awaiting figures from SCC with regards to the funding of a lollypop person.

120       Grant application update:

  • Barlaston & Tittensor Scout Group @ £2,000, this was approved by the Finance Committee
  • Barlaston Proscenium Players @ £1,033.79. It was resolved the Parish Council will purchase the required electrical items for the Village Hall. The items could be used by the Village Hall and we could reclaim the VAT.

125       Barlaston Park facilities update – It was resolved to defer the item until January.

135       Wedgwood Bowls request update – Clerk has emailed Fiskars asking if two further bowls could be produced and any associated costs involved. We are awaiting a response. 

136      Barlaston to Longton bus proposal – Cllr Moran provided a data analysis sheet for consideration following a meeting with Community Link Stafford. Private busses are available during the day, in-between school runs. Users would need to pay an annual subscription of £7 to use the service, it was also noted users could not use a bus pass as this is private transport. Other transport services have been investigated but this is the cheapest option and offers a guaranteed schedule. Although a contract would be required, this could be terminated at any time. The initial proposal was for 6 months.

The recommendation was to run a weekly service to Longton, with three collection points around Barlaston. The busses can accommodate 16 people at a time. The cost of the bus would be £30 per hour, with a 4-hour round trip being £120. Following the questionnaire response from Barlaston Park it was anticipated 14 people would use the service. If a rate of £3 return was charged, this would be off-set against the hire cost, reducing the weekly cost by £42, the net cost being £78. There is an increased financial risk to the PC if the number of users failed to materialise.

Using the Voluntary Car Scheme for these journeys has been suggested but due to a number of factors, this is not feasible.

A number of concerns were raised: (a) The PC had resolved to look at addressing the shopping requirements for residents on Barlaston Park while the shop is closed, residents would be brought into the village to use local facilities retaining the money within the village; (b) the bus scheme would cost a lot of money to benefit a small number of people; (c) shop keepers in the village are expressing concerns they will lose business as a result of the scheme.

It was noted residents wanted the option of leaving Barlaston to undertake a larger shop, this service was to address the removal of the Longton Bus. Local shops only offer a limited range of products.

There is a provisional meeting scheduled for 13 January 2020. It was proposed this meeting is used to discuss the provision of a shuttle bus service from Barlaston Park to the Plume of Feathers between the hours of 10:30 to 12:30 on a Wednesday. Details to be brought to the February meeting. We need to test the appetite for people on Barlaston Park for this service.

137       To note financial matters:

(a) No bank statements were available, the reconciliation report was accepted.

(b) Schedule of payments report – November 2019. These were accepted.

  NET VAT Cheque
Royal British Legion Grant Donation £250.00 0.00 002541
K St Leger Salary & Expenses 1056.02 0.00 002542
G Burdett – Installation of sleepers and ground works, play area 362.00 0.00 002543
Picklockery Locksmith – Replacement cheque (002537) 125.00 0.00 002544
Environmental Essentials – Asbestos Report BVH, Inv 79153 300.00 60.00 002545
Barlaston & Tittensor Scout Group – Grant application 2000.00 0.00 002546
Rejuvo – Install 3 SID posts Inv SIN013831 3,195.52 0.00 002547
A Pointon – Catering for Wedgwood Bowl Presentation 325.00 0.00 002548
J Poultney – refreshing and replanting planters 160.00 0.00 002549


138       Play Equipment requirements for back of Meadow Road

(a) A meeting was held with a play equipment company; they will look at drawing up some plans for our perusal. They advise there is a grant opportunity available but the deadline for submission is the 19th December 2019.

(b) The Clerk has registered an interest with SBC for the open space as the land belongs to them. This is currently being maintained as an amenity open space. In principle the Borough Council would not be against the provision of additional play facilities if there is an established need within the area. There would need to be some further investigations as to whether this piece of land is the most suitable to be developed. It is their current preference for Parish Council’s to take on the lease and the ongoing liability for new sites and if this is something that we would be interested in considering then they will investigate this further.

Unfortunately, there is no S106 or CIL funding available to assist with the funding of the play facility. If we would like to progress this and consider other funding opportunities, then they would be happy to meet and advise further.

139       Grant application(s)

  • Tim Cochin, Wassail request for £50 to cover insurance for the event. It was resolved to accept this request.
  • St John’s Church – £125 towards the production of the nativity on the green. It was resolved to accept this request.
  • Barlaston Christmas Magazine – The PC usually contribute to an annual Church magazine, unfortunately this year’s edition has already been produced.

140       Ground maintenance issues update

  • Lengthsman works – Old Road – Still outstanding, need to look for an alternative
  • Flooding in Meadow Road, Brookhouse Drive, Old Road – Following the production of a map provided by SBC showing SARH as the landowner, SARH visited site to discuss the issues. They are going to review the deeds to the houses purchased from them to determine responsibility for the gullies.

141       Borough Council member for the area – None report submitted

142       County Council member for the area – Cllr did not attend the meeting

143       Planning Committee Recommendations

(a) Application 19/31167/HOU at Ash Grove Barlaston, described as side extension incorporating garage conversion, it was resolved to approve this application.

(b) Planning Application 19/30437/FUL for an agricultural dwelling was withdrawn on 30 Sept 2019

144       Weekly play equipment report – no issues were raised.

145       Risk Assessment action(s) – We are still awaiting tree survey to be undertaken.

146       Asset Management works – Works are required for the notice board by Orchard Place, annual inspection of other assets is required, Clerk to arrange. The Parish Council purchased lights on Station Road near the level crossing; Station Road opposite Rockhouse Drive; Station Road; Station Road Coton Rise; Station Road Opposite WMC (cost £1200 per light)

147       Correspondence and circulars

SBC Precept – to be determined at the next Financial Meeting

Grant Application for the Coffee Morning at the Methodist Church – Arrived too late for the meeting. Total required £385 (11 months x £35). To be added to the agenda in January.

A thank you received from Royal British Legion with regards to the grant donation.

Email from Highways with regards to a New Consultation – The West and Shires Permit Scheme (WaSP) – consultation ends 14 Feb 2020

Email request to support the Local Electricity Bill – The Bill, if made law, would empower local communities to sell locally generated clean energy directly to local customers by establishing a statutory Right to Local Supply. This is currently impossible because of the huge setup and running costs involved in doing so.

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

Meeting with Support Staffordshire, our governance document for the Village Hall is not up to date and needs amending. Clerk to work with Support Staffordshire to address. Any change made needs approval from the Charity Commission. To Join Support Staffordshire there is an annual cost of £25.

Expenses following SID installation @ £24.98 paid to Cllr Norman

149       To note date of Next Meeting:

  • 7 January 2020