04 April 2023 – Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2023 | 0


Cllr P Fisher (Chairman), Cllr C Hurst, Cllr V O’Dunne, Cllr D Bentley, Cllr S Tudor, Cllr A Hemming, Cllr J Dando 

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

No members of the public were in attendance.

    1. Apologies – Apologies were received from Cllrs Philpott, Jones and Borasinski, it was resolved to accept these.
    2. Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.
    3. Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011 – There were no written applications for dispensation.
    4. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting 7 March 2023 – These were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.
    5. Matters arising from the meeting of 7 March 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda – It was noted Cllr O’Dunne was not at the meeting, the minutes have been amended accordingly.
    6. Minutes of the Emergency Parish Council Meeting 21 March 2023 – These were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.
    7. Matters arising from the meeting of 21 March 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda – no items were raised.

Clerk’s Report covering the following (see Appendix A)

92         Highway matters

160       Planting of trees in Barlaston initiative / Installation of hedge Downs Car Park

161       Wedgwood Memorial College

195       Lease of Meadow Road land

214       Renewal of the Cricket Club Lease

221       Neighbourhood Plan review grant

80        Installation of Christmas Tree at Orchard Place

119       Replacement noticeboard on Barlaston Park

134       Bus stop shelter outside Orchard Place

135       Drainage issues on the green (below the war memorial)

150       Lampposts Old Road

180       Play equipment on the Village Green

184       Transport for Monthly Coffee Morning

185       Tree for Orchard Place

186       Replacement of footpath on the Village Green / procurement of Manchester Bollards

Reports from Councillors:

95        Parish Strategy including Finance alignment – Due to the impending elections in May, it was resolved to defer this item until the Annual Parish Council meeting on 16 May 2023 to enable the new Council to determine if a strategy should be adopted. Cllr Hemming agreed to take the lead on this.

133       Implementation of electric charge points in the village – Item deferred. 

    1. Committee updates:
  • Environmental Committee

a. willow structure (deferred)

b. Signage for the Wild Green following installation of new items. It was noted Stone Rotary are looking to grant Barlaston Parish Council £50 towards the wild green, it was resolved to accept the donation and put this towards the new signage on the green once all the items are installed.  The Parish Council would like to thank Stone Rotary for their donation.

  • Finance Committee 

Budget for 2023/24 – The Clerk issued a budget comparison data sheet detailing the ‘known’ figures and estimated figures based on previous expenditure (Appendix B).  Final decisions to be made at the Annual Parish Council meeting.  In the meantime it was resolved to:

    • Increase the Chairman’s allowance to £300, this funding is used to reward volunteers for their works and present flowers etc., which cannot be funding through Parish Council funds.
    • Consultancy costs to be increased to £3,000 plus the approx. cost of additional consultancy requirements (to be determined).
    • The Capital Projects / New Assets budget needs to be clarified, there are a lot of unknowns including:

a. The cost of the porch works for the Village Hall to be determined by tender (the project management fees need to be taken into account (approx. cost £4,500). It was noted we could use reserves to cover some of these costs, and to approach the Village Hall Committee to contribute as they currently have sufficient funds in their budget.

b. A bus shelter for Orchard Place, this is subject to approval by the County Council and the Local Planning Authority.

c. A bus shelter for Barlaston Park, subject to approval by Fiskars and the Local Planning Authority.

d. Whether a streetlight is required for Old Road, this will incur the procurement costs and annual running / maintenance costs. It was also noted this could set a precedent around the village.  The County Council and residents would need to be canvassed prior to any works being commissioned.

e. The cost of the remainder of items for the wild play area including spider / xylophone and stepping logs.

f. Manchester Bollards

g. Contingency for any unknown items.

    • The Neighbourhood Plan budget be set at £10,000, it is not known at this stage if the Government are going to fund the review of made plans, however it is imperative the Barlaston Plan is reviewed to ensure we maintain a strong position with the Local Planning Authority and prospective builders. 
  • HR Committee – Deferred 
  • Entertainment Committee

The balance from the Village Show Committee bank account is still unknown, it was also unclear as to where the funds will be transferred to now the Village Show Committee has been dissolved.  To ensure these funds are transferred to a suitable organisation with the relevant audited accounts etc., it was recommended previous committee members are invited to submit their recommendations.  In the meantime, the Parish Council granted the Community Group / The Church the sum of £500 towards the Coronation Event.

It is also noted the Clerk applied and was successful in gaining a grant of £300 from the Borough Council towards their entertainment.

    1. To note financial matters:

(a) The bank reconciliation reports were accepted as a true record.  The Chairman signed the annual year end summary.

(b) Schedule of payments report March 2023 were accepted.       

Expenditure – Standard NET VAT Payment
K St Leger – Salary / Expenses 1300.70 0.00 BACS
Staffordshire County Pension 456.16 0.00 BACS
Buxus Green – Inv 202316 – March Grass Cutting / Planting works 1000.00 0.00 BACS
Buxus Green – Inv 2023/03 – Additional Grass Cut / Maintenance works 645.00 0.00 BACS
Community Link Staffordshire – Coffee Transport Inv 7661 153.00 0.00 BACS
Community Link Staffordshire – Coffee Transport Inv 7651 153.00 0.00 BACS
Mainwaring Roberts – Ground Works on Village Green Inv 0494 150.00 0.00 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Bin Emptying Jan – Mar 23 Inv 7070292075 329.00 65.80 BACS
Elan City – Replacement SID Battery – SO-UK03166 147.92 29.58 BACS
EFC Fencing – Upper House path works – Inv 21945 331.15 66.23 BACS
Boultons – Plants for Upper House path works – Inv 008623 1254.50 250.90 BACS
E G Dyke & Son – Mulch for Hedge at Upper House 400.00 0.00 BACS
Nigel Ferguson – Web Hosting / Maintenance – Inv 0361 415.00 0.0 BACS
SPCA Subscription inc NALC – Inv SI-982 439.86 0.00 BACS
Stafford County Council – Quarterly Allotment Fee – Inv 1000100942 300.00 0.00 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Civic Amenity Visits 2023 – Inv 7070291893 637.50 127.50 BACS
Churnet Woodlands Crafts – Wicket gate / Dragonfly Sculpture 1440.00 0.00 BACS
Zoom– Video Conferencing Inv INV194970066 12.99 2.60 DD
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv M043 VP 14.16 2.83 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 261820233013373 236.47 11.82 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620233089558 103.56 5.18 DD

 212. Purchase of mugs for the Coronation – The Clerk can obtain branded mugs @ £3.95 each, they come in boxes of 36 no. There are 175 children and admin staff at the school. It was resolved to suspend financial regulations and purchase 6 boxes (216 mugs) to cover volunteers in the village at a cost of £853.20 through a local Company.

213. Agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting – 30 May 2023

It was resolved to include the annual financial figures from 2022/23 and proposed budget for 2023/24.  New assets purchased and a breakdown comparison of the precept to also be included.

Subject to approval at the Annual Parish Council meeting, Cllr Hemming to give an overview of the proposed strategy.

It was suggested that the meeting be less formal with local groups who have received grant funding from the Parish Council to be invited to hold a stall. This would hopefully encourage members of the public to attend. It is hoped Staffordshire DocBike would be available to give a talk on the benefits of the 4×4 vehicle donated by Barlaston First Responders and supported by Barlaston Parish Council.  The meeting to commence with the formal agenda items.

It was proposed a projector and screen be purchased to display images of assets / projects undertaken, this would also prove useful for determining planning applications.  The Clerk to investigate.

Food to be supplied up to the maximum budget of £300.

214. Date for the Sole Trustee AGM – It was resolved to hold this following the Annual Parish Council meeting on 16th The Clerk to inform the Village Hall Committee accordingly.

215. Risk Assessment updates and actions

  • Pavement repairs on the green adjacent to the War Memorial – Works to commence on 11 April 2023.
  • Rialtas Cloud – Deferred
  • MUGA improvements to address ROSPA requirements. Quotation submitted by Artisan Painting & Decorating, this will include welding / painting @ £2,958.00.  It was resolved to suspend Financial Regulation and accept this recommendation.  This is a Local Company and ensures funding stays within the village.
  • Tree stump on Park Drive – trip hazard – deferred by Highways. It was noted that Highways had recently resurfaced the pavement and tarmacked around the stump.

216. Grant application(s)

  • Barlaston Community Group / St John’s Church – Coronation Event – It was determined to grant £500. The Clerk to approach the Committee to suggest children are admitted free as some families in Barlaston are struggling financially and this may stop them attending.
  • Barlaston Bowls & Tennis Club @ £1000 towards fencing / retaining works. It was resolved to approve this application.
  • Scouts towards the cost of 4 No. Zettle card readers @ £149 each. It was resolved to contribute to the cost of one device @ £149.00.
  • Barlaston Brownies request for £660 towards hire costs / subscription support. It was noted the group had paid the subscriptions for its members and had left their bank account depleted.  It was resolved to grant £1,000 to ensure the group had sufficient funds for 2023/24.
  • Wedgwood Cricket Club – hosting the Patsy Jones Memorial Festival & Fun Day on 28th May 2022. It was resolved to grant the Club £300 towards the event; however, they need to acknowledge the event is being sponsored by Barlaston Parish Council.

217. Planning issue(s) and outcomes

  • Planning Application Ref: 22/36515/HOU at Keystones, 5 Broughton Crescent, Barlaston described as ‘to cover the existing two storey dwelling and newly built extension with the same product – a natural 1 colour eco-friendly cork based render with a contrasting cement-board cladding at the rear of the property. It was determined the cladding would be out of keeping with the current street scene, the recommendation was to request a suitable option be submitted for consideration.
  • Planning Application Ref: 23/37188/HOU at The Haybarn, Queen Mary’s Drive, Barlaston described as two storey extension on the rear. There was no objection to this planning application.
    • Planning Application Ref: 22/36883/HOU at Harlea 8 Silver Ridge, Barlaston described as proposed side two storey extension, alterations and demolition of the existing double garage and utility including new vehicle access from Silver Ridge. There was no objection to this planning application.

218. Items for inclusion in next agenda

    • Cllr Dando submitted her apologies for the next Parish Council Meeting
    • Cllr Tudor listed a number of items which needed to be addressed by Homes Plus at Orchard Place. The Clerk will address this directly with Homes Plus as this is not the jurisdiction of the Parish Council.
    • Cllr Hurst advised volunteers would be required to plant the hedge at the Upper House on Thursday 13 April at 10am, meeting in the Downs Car Park. Cllr O’Dunne agreed to post the details on the Save the Trees at Wedgwood Memorial Site, this will be shared by the Parish Council.
    • Grant Application for Barlaston Cricket Club – requirement for ashtrays
    • Grant Application Prostate Screening Event Funding
    • Upper House Noticeboard Downs Car Park
  1. Date of next meeting(s)
    • 16 May 2023 – Annual Parish Council Meeting
    • 16 May 2023 – Sole Trustee Annual General Meeting (following PC meeting)
    • 30 May 2023 – Annual Parish Meeting.

Appendix A

Clerk’s Report

92        Highway updates

The Clerk has again written to Cllr Ian Parry to request an update on the flashing safety signs by the junction of Broughton Crescent / Station Road; to advise if he has written to the landowners responsible for Lakewood Drive with regards to the potholes and whether he had received an update from Ben Adams, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire.  To date nothing has been received.

To mitigate the risk, the Parish Council would procure 4 No. speed buddies at a cost of £179 each for the School to put out during term time, to warn drivers of the risk to children and to encourage them to slow down.

It is noted the signs on the junction of Longton Road and Station Road have been adjusted to ensure vehicles have a clear view on oncoming traffic.

The Speed Watch team are still very active, the stats for the first 2 months of 2023 are as follows, these show an approx 50% reduction in actual and percentage total figures compared to last year which is encouraging. All roads carry a 30MPH speed restriction.

Location Sessions


Vehicle Count Above 30MPH Highest Speed


Meaford Road 5 1370 28 52
Old Road 1 348 8 38
Station Road 4 1378 17 40
Wedgwood Drive 3 551 23 48
Tittensor Road 1 129 2 36


The Parish Council would like to thank the Speed Watch team for their continued efforts in reducing speed through Barlaston.

160       Barlaston tree initiative – The Clerk applied for a grant from the Tree Council which was approved on the 18th March, however the project was to be completed and finances submitted by end March, the main criteria was to involve local school children in the planting process.  The initial figure approved was £1,790.25, however due to an increase in the cost of plants, this has increased to £1,985.65, we are yet to receive confirmation they will cover the additional funding.  The Upper House agreed to contribute £300 towards the project.  The cost of the hire of the mini digger and Chris Robert’s time will be funded from the Parish Council.

Mr John Gordon, the new Head Teacher at Barlaston First School was fully engaged with the project from the start, children worked on the project on Thursday 30th and Friday 31st March. A great time was had by all.  We would like to thank Paul Goodall, Councillor Chris Hurst and Chris Roberts for all their help with the project.

Two replacement Oak trees were supplied as part of the order which will replace dead trees.

It is also noted the pear tree has now been planted to replace the one damaged due to a tree fall on the wild green.

161       Wedgwood Memorial College – No further update has been received to date.

195       Land at Meadow Road lease – The Clerk has informed the Borough Council that the Parish Council would pay the £500 advertising fee to ensure this project can be progressed.  We are awaiting the invoice.

214       Cricket Club Lease – The Clerk finally received confirmation from Dickson’s Solicitors that they are not taking on any lease work at this current time and to seek another solicitor to undertake the works.  The Clerk has asked other Staffordshire Parish Clerk’s for their recommendations.

221       Neighbourhood Plan review – The Clerk, in conjunction with Hannah Barter completed the grant application to enable the Parish to start reviewing the Neighbourhood Plan.  We have been informed this particular grant was closed and they are awaiting confirmation from the Government about when this will start again.

80        Installation of Christmas Tree on Orchard Place – The tree is on order and will be planted when we are in receipt.

119       Replacement noticeboard on Barlaston Park – The noticeboard will be delivered imminently, however we have still not received any update from Fiskars with regards to permission.  The option is to install this and apply for retrospective permission.

133       Implementation of electric charge points in the village – A date is yet to be agreed for a visit by RAW to survey the site.

134       Bus stop shelter outside Orchard Place – It is noted planning permission will be required along with a s115e ‘licence to plant’ notice, the County Council have been approached to see if this is feasible. No feedback has been received to date.

We are also still waiting to see if Fiskars would be happy for a new shelter to be installed at Barlaston Park.

135       Drainage issues on the green (below the war memorial) – The works will be scheduled as soon as the ground is dry enough.

150      Lamppost Old Road – We still need to ascertain if a new lamppost is required, where this is to be situated and the associated costs.

180       Plan Equipment on the Village Green –  The dragonfly, oak wicket gate and spider have now been installed.  We are awaiting installation of the Xylophone and additional stepping logs.

184       Transport for the Monthly Coffee Morning – The services of the Community Link Transport have been terminated.  An agreement has been made with the Barlaston Community Transport team to undertake journeys, which will retain the funds in Barlaston.

186       Replacement of Footpath / Installation of Manchester Bollards – Works will commence on 11th April, the Clerk will write to the residents to inform them accordingly.

Barriers Direct who were going to supply the Bollards no longer have these in stock, due to high demand.  The Clerk has managed to source these from Broxam Street Furniture located in Newcastle under Lyme, however these are £180 each, a slight increase from the original order.  They have given assurances they will arrive in time to be installed with the ground works.

The existing two Manchester Bollards will require remedial works to get them up to the standard of the new Bollards.

Appendix B

Receipts 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022 2022/2023 2023/24
Income 75423 74467 74631 75224 77255
Non Parish Income 6771 0 0 0 7418 1,900
Village Hall Income 708 2236 11403 2297 9538 4,500
VAT on Receipts 1173 0 8714 3803 4018 5,569
84075 76703 94748 81324 98229
Wages & Salaries 11507 12295 10229 12354 13678 13,599
PAYE/NI 1309 1264 691 1125 1305 2,000
Pension 0 0 6342 4298 4875 5,200
Training Staff 1140 1317 704 577 80 500
Training Members 200 1812 150 125 0 1,000
Expenses / Allowances 1293 1020 51 44 254 100
Chairman’s Allowance 250 250 250 250 250 300
Consultancy 982 1114 1187 840 125 3,000
Audit 480 485 171 493 539 600
Insurance 980 1905 980 980 1036 1,200
Grounds Maintenance 5496 7247 4953 14249 15007 13,600
Repairs & Maintenance 3020 4873 791 10390 2774 26,508
Subscriptions 626 840 1271 887 1522 1,500
Other office costs 2439 4158 2941 7078 10904 3,000
Election 0 0 286 0 0 300
Capital Projects / New Assets 0 18081 14650 4791 22009 TBC
Entertainment 0 0 0 0 9821 1,000
29722 56661 45647 58482 84179
Non Parish Administration
Lengthsman 794 2373 8048 1600 1316 1,400
Repairs & Maintenance 211 6370 675 0 78 0
Grants & Donations 3052 1050 3400 7601 7131 10,000
Leases 3120 0 0 1050 2687 1,220
Civic Amenity Visits 325 447 0 0 1181 650
Neighbourhood Plan 0 0 0 0 0 10,000
Electricity 738 0 0 0 0 0
8240 10239 12123 10251 12393
Village Hall
Wages 55 362 0 0 0 0
Audit 137 142 146 149 154 160
Repairs & Maintenance 0 2299 26053 258 3680 0
Gas 695 1139 615 1067 2040 3,000
Electricity 250 883 473 785 1421 1,500
Telephone / Broadband 390 166 360 496 513 500
1527 4991 27647 2754 7808