07 March 2023 – Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2023 | 0


Cllr P Fisher (Chairman), Cllr C Hurst, Cllr V O’Dunne, Cllr S Tudor, Cllr D Borasinski, Cllr J Dando, Cllr E Philpott 

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

Two members of the Public was in attendance.

The PCSO and a Police Officer were also in attendance. 

7:15 – 7:30       Public Open Forum: Clarity was sought with regards to: –

  • The operation of the CCTV camera at the Downs Car Park. The Clerk advised the camera is recording 24/7 and panning the whole car park. Requests to access the data would be retrospective and where required, the images would be forwarded to the Police with regards to criminal matters and the Borough with regards to fly tipping. Some tweaking of the camera to obtain the best imagery is still required and is a work in progress.  It was recommended residents should still log calls with Police with regards to noise / nuisance issues.
  • The Wedgwood Memorial College site. The proposed plans for the College site detailing how the layout of this fits in with the Neighbourhood Plan / Lichfield Design Plan were clarified.  The Clerk issued an email to the owners / builders detailing the requirements from the Parish Council perspective, which would be published with the minutes.  It was noted the likelihood of The Limes and Estoril properties being demolished was high due to their deterioration.
  1. Apologies – Cllrs Hemming and Jones sent their apologies, 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 February 2023 – These were accepted as a true and accurate record and duly signed by the Chairman.
  5. Matters arising from the meeting of 7 February 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda

Updates covered in the Clerk’s Report (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 power at Orchard Place

101       Installation of the CCTV camera at the Downs Car Park

119       Replacement noticeboard on Barlaston Park

134       Bus stop shelter outside Orchard Place

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

136       Purchase of Tommy Figures / Poppies for next year’s Remembrance Service

150       Lampposts Old Road

151       Request for 101 bus to continue to Meaford Road

Reports from Councillors:

95        Parish Strategy including Finance alignment. Cllr Hemming issued his apologies, item deferred.

133       Implementation of electric charge points in the village. It was resolved for the Clerk to arrange a meeting with RAW, the car charger Company who installed devices at Meir. 

  • Committee updates and actions:
  • Environmental Committee

a. Willow structure (deferred)

b. Signage for the Wild Green following installation of new items (deferred)

c. Play items for the Village Green – It is envisaged the outstanding items will be installed by end March 2023.

  • Finance Committee

Budget for 2023/24 – It was resolved to defer the budget meeting until first week in April to enable financial year 2022/23 to be concluded prior to setting the budget. 

  • HR Committee – Deferred 
  • Entertainment Committee

Donation from the Village Show Committee.  Cllr Jones sent his apologies and requested the item be deferred.  The recommendation from the Parish Council would be for any outstanding monies to be split between St John’s Church and the Community Group which would be used for community events.

The Meeting was suspended due to the arrival of the PCSO and PC. 

Issues regarding the Downs Car Park / CCTV were discussed along with traffic issues. They would visit the car park prior to leaving the Village. 

Due to residents finding it difficult logging issues in real time using the 101 service, they suggested they use the ‘live chat’ service available on their website which was connected direct to the control centre. The Clerk agreed to add the details to the Parish Council Facebook page.  

The more times residents log calls, the more likely the Police are to increase patrols in the area.  With regards to Highway issues, they are working closely with the Speed Watch group; the number of visits by Specials will increase along with the speed camera van. 

The Chairman thanked them for their attendance.

  1. Financial matters:

            (a) Bank reconciliation reportsit was resolved to accept the figures.

            (b) Schedule of payments report February 2023 – it was resolved to accept the report.

            (c) To note s137 expenditure limit has been increased from £8.82 to £9.93 per elector.

Expenditure – Standard NET VAT Payment
K St Leger – Salary / Expenses 1169.55 0.00 BACS
Staffordshire County Pension 412.42 0.00 BACS
Buxus Green – Inv 202315 – February Grass Cutting / Planting works 1000.00 0.00 BACS
Zoom– Video Conferencing Inv INV190485543 11.99 2.40 DD
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv M041 NM41 NM 28.98 5.79 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 26182023836869 507.96 101.59 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620232842242 180.42 9.02 DD
Douglas Macmillan Grant 500.00 0.00 BACS
Barlaston Guide Group Grant 765.00 0.00 BACS
Wedgwood Cricket Club Grant 200.00 0.00 BACS
Canprint – 4 A0 Drawings Inv 33067 72.00 14.40 BACS
Canprint – 2 CCTV A5 boards – Inv 22047 35.00 7.00 BACS
New Hall Property Ltd – TA Signature Floors – inv SI-2503 – Village Hall Floor 942.50 188.50 BACS
BT – Inv Broadband M042 RE – Drop on to new contract -0.79 -0.13 DD
Stafford Borough Council – Civic Amenity Visits 2023 – Inv 7070291893 637.50 127.50 BACS
Staffordshire County Council – Quarterly Allotment Inv Mar-Jun 23 100100942 300.00 0.00 BACS
Barlaston Methodist Church – Room Hire 750.00 0.00 002854
Income – Standard NET VAT Payment
Donation re install of the CCTV camera 397.45 0.00 BACS
Barlaston Village Hall – Payment of Printing 105.00 0.00 BACS


Exclusion of the Public & Press to resolve the exclusion of the public and press, under powers granted by the Local Government (Public Bodies Admission to Meetings) Act, section 1(2), owing due to the confidential nature of the business be discussed.

  1. Grounds Maintenance / Lengthsman contract award – The Clerk and Cllrs O’Dunne and Fisher opened the tender documents in line with Financial Regulations and reviewed the figures and supporting information. Figures were as follows:
    • Tender 1 @ £12,600 per annum
    • Tender 2 @ £23,120 per annum
    • Tender 3 @ £13,970 per annum

Based on the supporting information, price and references it was resolved to award the tender on this occasion to Buxus Green (Tender option 1).

  1. Electoral Commission Boundary Change update – The Clerk attended a meeting with the Electoral Commission, it was noted that the review was only taking place in Staffordshire; Stoke on Trent Unitary Authority are not part of the review. The exercise is purely to apportion the number of residents in an area to a County Councillor. There are opportunities for residents and Councillors to give their views which can have an influence over the decisions being made.  The Clerk has posted a link to the review on social media.
  2. Transport provision for the Monthly Coffee Mornings – The cost per month to run the community bus is £153.00, given the number of people utilising the service, it was felt that it was not cost effective. It was resolved for the Clerk to liaise with the Community Car Scheme to undertake the service as it was felt transport to address social isolation was important.
  3. Procurement of a tree at Orchard Place – Cllr Philpot identified a site for the tree, she will come back to the Parish Council with a recommendation on the type of tree preferred by the April meeting.
  4. Risk Assessment updates and actions:
  • Pavement repairs on the green adjacent to the War Memorial – Three Companies have visited site and quoted as follows:
    • Quotation 1. Driveway Services – William Hall @ £2,000 – Repair damage only.
    • Quotation 2. Jeremy Handley Construction @ £4,500 – Repair damage, take back to the grass and undertake works to the entrance to the path.
    • Quotation 3. Local Drives & Landscapes @ £4,900 – Repair damage, take back to the grass undertake works to the entrance to the path.

Given the supporting information / references / qualifications, it was resolved to appoint Jeremy Handley Construction to undertake the works, however rather than a patch repair, it was resolved for the Clerk to request a quote for a full path resurface, part of the works would be to install Manchester Bollards prior to the King’s Coronation.

  • Rialtas Cloud – Training date to be agreed
  • MUGA improvements – still no update
  • Tree stump on Park Drive – trip hazard – deferred by Highways
  1. Grant application updates:

Thank you notifications have been received from:

  • Dougie MacMillan
  • Barlaston Guides
  • Wedgwood Cricket Club Juniors

Barlaston Methodist Church have asked if the Parish Council will support them in hosting a Coronation Event.  If funding was available from the Village Show Committee to support the event, the Parish Council would not be required to grant funding.  However, if this funding is not forthcoming, it was resolved to grant the Methodist Church £500 towards the Coronation event.

It was noted the following grant applications missed the agenda deadline date and would be added to April’s agenda:

  • Grant request received from Barlaston Bowls & Tennis Club for £1000 towards fencing / wall retaining works (total cost £1650). 
  • Grant request received from the Scouts towards the cost of 4 No. Zettle card payment devices to help with fund raising @ £149 each.
  1. Planning issue(s) and outcomes:
  • Planning Application Ref 23/37075/HOU at 32 Meaford Road Barlaston described as single storey extension to rear with part garage conversion and internal / external alterations. There were no objections to this planning application.
  • Planning Application Ref 22/36931/HOU at Crossways 32 Old Road Barlaston described as proposed extension over existing garage to form bedroom with en-suite. There were no objections to this planning application.
  • Planning Application Ref 23/37033/HOU at 23 Diamond Ridge Barlaston described as removal of existing enclosed porch and construction of new front extension. Replacement of existing flat roof to garage with double pitched roof, including solar panels, raising of existing flat roof to rear single storey outrigger, including new rooflight. There were no objections to this planning application.
  • Planning Application update Ref 22/36682/FUL – proposed alterations and refurbishment to the existing entrance lobby 1 Village Hall, Barlaston. The application has been approved.
  1. Items for inclusion in next agenda
    • Grant application for the Bowling & Tennis Club @ £1000
    • Grant application for the Scouts
    • Feedback from the Clerk re election meeting at the Borough.
    • Tree survey training.
    • Coronation mugs for the school children
  2. Date of next meeting 4 April 2023


 Appendix A – Clerk’s Report March 2023


92        Highway updates

The Clerk has chased the County Council with regards to the safety measures for Broughton Crescent, no reply has been received to date.

There has been no movement with regards to the signage at the entrance to Longton Road.

We await Mr Ben Adams update report to Cllr Parry.

It was noted a barrier has been installed at the entrance to Lakewood Drive, the County Council have been informed.

Reports have been received that HGV’s are using Tittensor Road, there are weight restriction signs from the entrance at the A34, but none from the Crossroads in Barlaston. A request has been submitted to get a sign installed.

Mr Norman has updated the Parish Council as following:

  • Ellastone Parish Council have successfully installed 4 SID devices and are grateful for the advice Mr Norman and the Speed Watch team gave them with regards to operational procedures, this has fast tracked them through the process.
  • Mr Norman and Mr Brunt joined the Specials for a couple of hours on Saturday 25 February, initially on Meaford Road and then on Station Road. Several vehicles were subsequently pulled over at both locations for some serious conversations / vehicle checks and at least one received a ticket. An arrest was made on Station Road when a speeding van was stopped, and the driver was arrested for a drugs offence. The Specials are keen to try and revisit monthly. PCSO Sarah Fordham joined two Speed Watch sessions and looking to attend the session on 7 March.
  • Although Mr Norman is no longer undertaking monthly download reports from the 3 speed indicator devices, he has reported tangible progress at last with Staffordshire Police:
    • In 2023 the PCSO has committed to join the Speed Watch sessions whenever possible. PCSO Fordham joined two sessions in February and is scheduled to attend again on 7 March. Both her and her colleague also joined the Community Group session in the village hall last month.
    • There is also a commitment for further Police camera van activity, these have been seen on Meaford Road again this week.
    • The Speed Watch volunteers are also maintaining 2 x 1-hour sessions per week.
  • Collectively, this should be great news for local safety across the village.

120       Damaged caused by fallen tree by the Downs Car Park. Repair works are required prior to the replacement wild pair is planted. We are still working with the resident to resolve the matter.

150       Lampposts Old Road – As previously advised, the Borough Council have no record of lighting in the area.  Staffordshire County Council have issued a map of where lampposts are situated along Old Road and have asked the Parish Council to identify which ones are missing. This needs to be scheduled.

160       Barlaston tree initiative – The Clerk applied for a Tree Council Grant, although the date for submission was still open and we met the criteria, they confirmed they were no longer taking applications. However they have subsequently read our application and advise this meets their criteria, they will be considering a response in the next few days.

In the meantime further grants are being sought in case this one is unsuccessful, one being through The Funding Team under their Improve biodiversity & green spaces criteria.

A meeting is yet to take place with the Deputy Head of the School, the Clerk and Cllr Hurst will visit to discuss tree / hedge / canal initiatives where the children can get involved on 8 March 2023.

Boultons have confirmed that there is now limited stock of native hedging plants, which may cause us an issue. The recommendation would be to defer the project until November to coincide with the next planting season.  We can however install the fence. The Upper House have offered a £300 contribution towards the fence however they require a gate installing to access their land. The children can be involved in mapping out the path etc., ready for planting.

There is a risk that the £2000 budget allocated may not be funded by grant.

161       Wedgwood Memorial College – The Parish Council responded to the pre-planning application (Appendix B).  They have acknowledged our response and will take the issues into consideration.

An FOI request was submitted to Staffordshire County Council to clarify prior to the sale of the estate to private enterprise, the total financial cost of security provision paid for by Staffordshire County Council during the period of joint ownership and whether Stoke on Trent City Council contributed to the costs.

Their response is as follows:

Stoke City Council were responsible for management of the site under the joint ownership arrangements, with the costs shared equally between the organisations.

The County Council only has cost records dating back to 2017/18 these are shown below.

Wedgwood Memorial College – Security Costs
Year SCC Cost Proportion only
2017/2018 12,494.94
2018/2019 16,020.00
2019/2020 1,559.70
2020/2021 7,713.81
2021/2022 5,526.63

195       Land at Meadow Road lease – a request was submitted to Stafford Borough Council. They have advised the cost of advertising the lease is £500 which is a statutory element of the tender. They note monies cannot come from s.106 monies and are struggling to allocate funds. They have asked if the Parish can pay for this which will speed up the process.

214       Cricket Club Lease – Although the draft document has been submitted to Dicksons Solicitors, no response has been received. They have been contacted again to see if this is something they wish to take on, if not, an alternative Solicitor will be required.

Complaints have been received with regards to (a) loud music coming from the site. Stafford Borough have confirmed the licence granted in 2017 covers the opening hours 11:00 – 01:00 with a performance of live music until 00:00 and recorded music until 01:00, this can be indoors and outdoors.  There is the option for residents to raise a formal complaint. (b) The amount of dog waste left on the field, there is the option to restrict dog walkers to the footpath by means of a fence. Item to be added to the Playing Fields Agenda.

221       Neighbourhood Plan review – Grant application to be submitted before end March for admin assistance.

80        Installation of power at Orchard Place – The brick-built cabinet is proving problematic due to the requirement for a 4” concrete roof.  The recommendation is to produce a C4 metal cabinet. The cost to procure the cabinet is £1407.80 using the recommended supplier from National Power which ensures it meets the relevant standards. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

101       CCTV camera update at the Downs Car Park.  The camera is now fully up and working. Residents were under the impression that the camera would be monitored 24/7 by a third-party Company, however the Clerk advised the information gleaned from the camera would be retrospective and forwarded to the Police or Borough where required and residents should still call the Police if instances are occurring in real time. The residents need to understand that the Parish Council do not have the powers to prosecute.

119       Replacement noticeboard on Barlaston Park – we are awaiting delivery. There has been no update from Fiskars with regards to Planning Permission.

133       Implementation of electric charge points in the village – The Upper House have two units installed which they purchased. Their electrician/builder installed them which was the cheapest option as they maintain control. There is no metering system, they charge a flat rate for their overnight guests.  At 7.4 kw it is only good for overnight charges, not what they call a rapid charger which can be 70kw+. The supply locally has to be taken into consideration. i.e., the works down the Meaford road is to take a new supply to the motorway services and is costing £2M.  They do not make any money on the chargers, it’s a service to encourage overnight stays. They are happy for chargers to be installed on the car park as there is no direct competition.

The devices they have installed are Rolec BasicCharge Smart EV Charging Pedestal – 2x up to 7.4kw Type 2 Sockets – Black – ROLEC0221B

It was noted adjacent to MacDonalds at Meir Park there are charger devices provided by RAW. They are willing to undertake a site visit to discuss our requirements. The Clerk will make the necessary arrangements.

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.

With regards to a bus shelter at Barlaston Park, the Clerk has asked Cllr Hemming if this would be feasible, again Planning Permission will be required.

135       Drainage issues on the green (below the war memorial) – The manhole has been emptied and rodded to a length of 30m, the water is running freely, as agreed Chris Roberts will undertake a monthly check to monitor. The grounds will be levelled out in March and re-seeded.

136       Purchase of Tommy Figures / Poppies for next year’s Remembrance Service – The two figures have been received.

151       Request for 101 bus to continue to Meaford Road – The response from First Bus is as follows:

‘We always welcome suggestions from our customers and we are open to ideas on how we can continue to improve our services. I have passed on your comments to the team for consideration and we will look at what we can do to improve and go towards future implementations of this.

I want to thank you for taking the time to send in your suggestion as customer feedback is very important to us.  Please note that, where suggestions are agreed upon and taken on board, we would not provide a timeframe to our customers as such changes take place as part of our internal processes and would be subject to modification until the point of application.

We will now look at this internally and any changes we make will be reflected on the buses’

173       Health & Safety Issues – Homes Plus have been contacted to address the broken bollards at Orchard Place and the request for additional lighting adjacent to the chemist. A response is awaited.

Appendix B – Parish Council Response to the Pre-Planning Application – Wedgwood Memorial College 

Firstly the Parish Council would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit a response pre-planning and for the efforts made to align the design to the Lichfield Development & Design Plan.  The Parish Council would be open to further discussions pre-planning if you feel this would prove beneficial to yourselves and speed up the planning process.

Our comments are as follows:

Barlaston Neighbourhood Plan – Policy H1 – Design Plan

  1. Loss of Estoril & The Limes

The proposal indicates the loss of both Estoril and The Limes, we anticipate the planning submission would be supported by a viability assessment statement which demonstrates the rationale for the loss of these substantial properties.

It should be noted that there are strong feelings within the community to support the retention of these buildings and if this is possible the Parish Council would support this initiative.

  1. The Limes Site Access

With reference to the Lichfield Development & Design Plan, it is noted that there is now only a single point of access from the site onto Station Road, this amendment would need to be supported by a transport assessment to make clear that there is no severe impact on highways safety in terms of access and impact on the wider network.

  1. Estoril Site

There is a large area outlined in red in the centre of the site where Esperanto is located. We would require appropriate landscaping to the boundary to ensure there is a buffer.

With regards to boundary treatments, how do you propose to face the road in the development?  It is noted the tree canopy is not a sufficient screening to obscure the buildings.

Houses along Station Road are forward facing, it is noted two buildings have gable ends facing the road. To match the street scene we would recommend these be rotated to fit in with the existing buildings.

  1. Affordable Homes

We recognise you are making deliverability of affordable homes; you have clubbed these all together. We would welcome these to be sympathetically distributed across the site.

Can you clarify where the amenity spaces for the apartments are sited?

  1. Topography

As we have no levels shown on the indicative plan, can you highlight the impact the topography has on the design features?

Showing sections as part of the planning submission would help us to understand the topography of the site.

  1. Barlaston Neighbourhood Plan – Policy H2 – Housing Type

Please submit evidence on the local housing need for affordable homes.  It is believed Stafford Borough Council have met their current requirement for affordable homes, and as such if we do not require this housing type, we would welcome an amended plan to show more suitable properties.

  1. Barlaston Neighbourhood Plan – Policy D1 – Design of New Development

Item 1 – We cannot comment with regards to the response with regards to the existing build form in terms of enclosure and definition of streets and spaces, including degree of setback as the details are yet to be submitted.  It is noted there are a row of cottages along Longton Road and would welcome the design of the ‘affordable’ houses to reflect the level of character recognised at this location in Barlaston.

Item 5 – We are encouraged that you have responded in principle to the Lichfield Design Plan.

Item 7 – We cannot see where the recommendation for convenient, well-screened storage space for bins, recycling and bicycles, can you clarify?

Item 8 – High quality boundary treatments are a requirement of the Lichfield Design Plan.

It is noted there are a row of cottages along Longton Road, and would welcome the design of the ‘affordable’ houses to reflect the level of character recognised at this location in Barlaston.

As part of the drainage strategy, we would recommend permeable surfaces be applied throughout the scheme.  A sustainable urban drainage system will mitigate the surface water impact, the area suffers from surface water drainage issues, any additional pressures will prove problematic.

  1. Lichfield Design Plan – 4.2 Type of Development
  2. 4.2.1. The Lichfield Design Plan makes it clear that there is a requirement for open space and play equipment to be provided.  We understand that this may not be viable to maintain a playing field within the site.  We would welcome the development of a play area at a designated area off Meadow Road ST12 9EJ (this can be accessed between house numbers 4 and 6 Meadow Road).  The Parish Council have been working on quotations for this site (see attached).  A contribution towards the development of this site would prove beneficial to the residents of Barlaston.  See Neighbourhood Plan Policy CFA1: Community Facilities and Assets.
  3. Neighbourhood Plan – Policy BE1

A requirement of the Neighbourhood Plan is for new residential and commercial developments to incorporate open access ducting to enable the provision of fibre optic broadband technology.

  1. Neighbourhood Plan – Policy LNE1: Natural Environment

In any landscape plan prepared as part of your submission we would welcome examples of how you would provide your minimum 10% biodiversity net gain.

We welcome the retention of the existing landscape features including the Arboretum.