040619 Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

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Cllr G Jones (Chair), Cllr P Fisher (Vice Chairman), Cllr I Moran, Cllr C Hurst, Cllr I Macmillan, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr V O’Dunne, Cllr D Bentley, Cllr D Norman, Cllr S Tudor 

In attendance: Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)


7:15 – 7:30       Public Open Forum

29        Apologies Cllr Hall sent his apologies, it was resolved to accept these.

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

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

32         Council Meeting of 14 May 2019 – It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

33         Matters arising from the meeting of 14 May 2019 and not otherwise on the agenda

Key themes 2018

574       Neighbourhood Plan update

Urban Vision are undertaking a training course on Monday 10 June 2019 to address how we can apply the Neighbourhood Plan to planning application decisions. Other Parish Councils and SPCA have been invited.

256       Environmental Strategy update Phase II  

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 £200.00
Lighting of Car Park £1500.00 £1500.00
Environmental Project Phase II
Play equipment £4000.00 £4000.00
Rights of Way/Footpath adoptions – Upper House gate to be addressed by SCC


The drainage on the upper village green was put on hold until the electricity works are completed. It is envisaged works will be completed by the end of the week.

Grounds works will be undertaken at the wildlife area to flatten out the ruts, wild seed will be purchased, and some planting undertaken. Plants have also been installed by the railway crossing. Costs will be taken from the Planting budget already approved.

CCTV update on the car park – Following posts on the Womblers site, it is clear the amount of debris and unsavoury behaviour has not been addressed following the installation of the CCTV signage. SBC are now going to commence with the installation of the camera. We also discussed the issue with the PCSO who will also carry out random monitoring when in the area.

Footpath works – A number of footpaths need to be cleared of moss and weeds, overgrown hedge works will also need to be undertaken, taking into account nesting birds. All the paths requiring works need to be identified. The chemicals used need to be environmentally friendly. Monies from within the Environment budget to be used.

Following the Annual Parish Meeting, Perennial Landscapes attended site to undertake a free cut on Sunday 2 June 2019 to address the complaints received.

Campaigns 2018

9  Speed Watch campaign update – The Speed Watch Team appreciated the thank you from the Parish Council.

Statistics up to 22nd May; 28 sessions undertaken with 440 vehicles recorded at 35mph or more; that’s 5% of the total and included 101 who were doing 40 mph and above (23%)

That compares to 2018 figures as follows: 897 – 6% – 251 – 28%, so the position is improving. Three sessions were scheduled for this week and are hoping for police presence.

Contractors who were installing the speed signs cannot proceed until the formal notice is received from Staffordshire County Council with regards to a licence to dig. Clerk to progress.

Following the previous meeting there was a suggestion for additional speed gates to be installed in different locations around the village; it was noted Cllr Norman would not support this initiative.

182   MUGA – Cllr Bentley had an initial conversation with Mr Dodd at the Annual Parish Meeting. A formal meeting will be required to enable Mr Dodd to go through the process of the weekly checks

Following the ROSPA risk assessment it was noted Companies who visited the site did not feel the job was big enough to quote for, the removal of moss and the sanding/painting of the frame could be undertaken as a community project. We are still awaiting a quotation for the welding works. The H&S signs will be delivered on Friday ready for installation.

The usage of the MUGA was still in question, the questionnaire developed for Barlaston Park will have a section included to ascertain whether it was still required and if so, what changes are required to make it fit for purpose moving forwards.

193  Joint Playing Field Committee meeting – The proposed date for the Cricket Club is the 15 June. It was resolved to accept this date. Cllr M Dodson to be invited.

287       County Council member for the area

2. Stafford & Rural Homes Planning Application Barlaston Park update

Concerns were raised by residents that the delay in the shop being available is causing personal difficulties, especially as there is no bus service.

As part of our requirement we asked for SRH to build the shop first; the previous tenant has the first option; if they do not want it, it will be advertised to third parties.

To ensure we obtain a tenant the Clerk has requested the process of advertising for a tenant commences as soon as possible, their response is as follows:

“SRH are reluctant to begin discussions with the previous tenant yet as the development start date is at least 6 months away. SARH still need to agree the section 106 agreement, secure funding, procure a contractor and discharge the pre- start conditions. They don’t believe the shop will be ready for occupation until summer 2020 at the earliest. Once they start on site, they believe it will take 9 months to complete the shop and the overall development will take 15 months to complete.

They plan to engage with the previous tenant once they have a start on site date, this will allow them at least 6 months to consider their position.

A dialogue with the Bus Company to see if a bus can be diverted from Blurton onto Barlaston Park to continue, however there are no subsidies available to make this cost effective; Staffordshire County Council have also withdrawn funding. A shuttle bus is cost prohibitive, however there is a possibility of the Voluntary Transport Scheme to run a service for a couple of hours one morning a week, Cllr Moran to investigate. There may be an option for the Parish Council to fund this. The transport will run between shops in the village. Fully costed model to be brought to the next meeting.

351       Wayleave Agreement Upper House – No meeting date has been set.

357. Car park Orchard Place / promotion of Station Car Park – A draft leaflet proposal was submitted. Clerk to arrange printing of a short run to ascertain if this is a workable solution. It was resolved to accept the cost of £30 for printing.

436       HS2’s consultation update – A letter noting ‘the end of the House of Commons Select Committee process, they propose to provide our nominated library (Stone) with a copy of the High Speed Rail Bill as amended in Select Committee, together with copies of the Parliamentary Plans and Sections and Book of Reference incorporating amendments which have been made. This will be updated during June.

455       Canal bridges 99, 100 and 101 reported issues – The Canal & River Trust have been chased; a response is still awaited.

456. Brinsley Avenue Practice Patient Group – We are awaiting confirmation that the extended hours can be put on the website and included in the gazette, this has been delayed due to Practice Manager being on leave.

473       Questionnaire for Barlaston Park – The Clerk will issue the draft questionnaire to Cllrs for approval prior to distribution.

486       Ruth Dickson meeting room Cabinet – it was resolved to remove this item from the agenda until a formal request was received.

507       Vehicle pollution initiative by Station Road crossing – The artwork has been issued to the printers and awaiting collection. Planting will be included within the hedge to absorb pollution. It was recommended we inform Wedgwood of the initiative.13(a)     To review Internal Audit Letter actions – A revised letter has been received. A meeting of the finance committee is required.

8          Borough Council Planning Committee representative – Cllr Jones has recommended Stafford Borough Councillor Mike Dodson represent Barlaston on the Planning Committee. This will be at no cost. It was resolved contact details will be forwarded to Cllr Fisher.

13 (a) To review Internal Audit Letter actions – A revised letter has been received. A meeting of the finance committee is required.


18  Update on Office Accommodation – The letter confirming the Parish Council were interested in taking up the accommodation at the Methodist Church has been issued, we are awaiting their reply. The room could be used for smaller meetings.

19    Fiskars update on the Village Green Contribution – It was noted that the Chelsea garden is due to be delivered back to Barlaston this week. The Chatsworth garden is currently on show. This will be delivered to Barlaston week commencing 10th. It is unclear what is going to be used at Wedgwood and what (if anything) will be surplus. They will liaise with the garden designers and update us accordingly.

34        Annual Parish Meeting – Feedback

The meeting was well received, and people stayed behind to liaise with Cllrs. The flyers went out late and were enclosed within the Village Show programme which meant some people missed them. This will need to be addressed for next year and is a lesson learnt.

It was noted the attendees were not a true representation of the demographic of the village, we need to work on attracting younger people to attend meetings so we can address their concerns.

A request was received for a Cllr to be available on a rotation basis at the monthly coffee morning, it was resolved to accept this recommendation. It is the first Friday of the month and would welcome Cllrs to be in attendance.

  • Grounds maintenance, Perennial Landscapes came in on Sunday 2 June to undertake a full cut around the village. They wish to retain the contract and will work hard to meet our standards. There was still an issue with the quality of cut between the top and bottom of the village
  • Memorial College buildings – there are rumours this is being opened for education purposes, however as far as the Council are aware, this is still on the market.
  • Best Kept Village – it was noted a resident was working on a 3-year plan with Open Gardens and the formation of a gardening club, at which point there will be enough support within the village to enter the competition. There was no recognition of the hard work residents put in when they entered last time which was very disappointing. The Parish Council do not need to take a lead on this, we are working on specific environmental projects at the moment, however we are happy to work with him.
  • Village Green Forum – ad hoc works on the village and people undertaking works without any coordination. It was noted the Parish Council own the green and the Environmental Committee is planning the works. Letter on the notice board this is what is happening on the green and why it is happening, so the people who read the board are aware of the works. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.
  • Parking Issues leading up to the triangle by Longton Road / Station Road. Highways have noted issues with regards to this and were going to limit the signage. Clerk to liaise with Highways to see if the road can be marked to restrict parking.
  • The Clerk distributed the surplus food from the event to the Salvation Army Hostel, Vale Street, Stoke which was gratefully received.
  • A grant application has been received from the Guides for £750 which will be added to the next agenda, and another for £200 for the Rainbows.
  • Cllr Ian Parry was reminded he needs to liaise directly with regards to the Petition signed by the residents opposite the Plume. There was a suggestion white posts could be temporarily added to the green with no parking signs.

35        Grant application for the Voluntary Transport Scheme – It was resolved to approve the grant for £100 to cover the Public Liability Insurance

36        Village Green signage – It was resolved to approve the Village Show Committee to post signs on the green. It was noted signage was not to be near the triangular piece of grass.

37        Nursery Gardens update – It was noted there was no movement on this issue, the item to be carried forward.

38        Plume of Feathers annual party update – The Clerk has liaised with the PCSO who is willing to work with us on the project. No update has been received from the Plume, several attempts have been made to coordinate the event with them without success.

39         To note financial matters:

Cllr Norman gave a financial update to summarise where we are, there was a need to understand how the money is apportioned against the budget cost centres. The recommendation submitted was for project proposal ideas and costs to be presented to the Finance Committee who in turn would present these to the Parish Council meeting if approved. This would stop projects being approved in isolation without knowing the associated risks.

The proposal is for the Chairman of the Finance Committee to meet with the Clerk to realign the budget. Propose the chair of finance meet with the Clerk and align – reaffirm projects come to the finance committee. It there is a project item, a meeting will need to take place of the Finance Committee before the Parish Council meeting. The Council need to decide what is determined to be a project.

Projects from the residents to be presented by the Cllr and presented to the Finance Committee.

A new grant application form was recommended, it was resolved to accept this. Clerk to put this on the website.

It was noted £15,000 was already set aside for works on the Village Hall, with an additional £10,000 in earmarked reserves.

Schedule of paymentsMay 2019

  NET VAT Cheque
K St Leger Salary & Expenses 1,148.58 0.00 002485
Leaflets Ltd – Printing/distribution leaflets – Inv 5337 182.00 0.00 002486
The Tasty Pantry – Annual Parish Council Meeting catering 280.00 0.00 002487
Barlaston Village Hall – Wayleave Agreement 85.00 0.00 002488

40        Borough Council member for the area update – The new Council is settling down. Nothing to report.

41        County Council member for the area – The Cllr was not in attendance.

42        Planning Committee Recommendations

Planning Application 19/30555/HOU at The Spinney 29 Longton Road Barlaston, the Parish Council had no issue with this application.

43         To receive weekly play equipment report – Nothing to report

44        To note Risk Assessment actions – Nothing to report

45        To note correspondence and circulars – Nothing to report

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

A request was received for an ice cream van to be situated on the Village Green during Open Gardens, there was no objection to this application.

47        To note date of Next Meeting:

  • Parish Council Meeting 2 July 2019