080119 Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

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Cllr G Jones (Chairman)
Cllr P Fisher
Cllr I Moran
Cllr S Tudor
Cllr C Hurst
Cllr D Norman
Cllr V O’Dunne 

In attendance: Mrs K St Leger (Clerk) 

7:15 – 7:30       Public Open Forum

Notes 8 January 2019  

7:15 – 7:30       Public Open Forum

426       Apologies were submitted from Cllr’s McMillan, Hall and Philpott. It was noted Cllr Dean Westwood had submitted his resignation, it was resolved to accept these.

427       Declarations of Interest There were no declarations of interest.

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

429       Council meeting of 4 December 2018 It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

430       Matters arising from the meeting of 4 December 2018 and not otherwise on the agenda

Key themes 2018

574       Draft Neighbourhood Plan update – The draft plan had been submitted to the Independent Examiner, he raised a number of clarification points which we have addressed. Stafford Borough Council have also issued their response. We are now awaiting his report.

Campaigns 2018

9           Speed Watch campaign update

Very little to report since last meeting due to Xmas/New Year break & limited number of sessions. We are back out this week. Clerk is liaising with Highways so that we can get the 3 SID/Ground screws ordered & installed. CSW Area signs to be put up by Amey – hopefully this month but definitely by end March. The signs is battery powered and rechargeable. A visit to Seighford is being arranged to see their signs in operation. The signs will be visible to oncoming traffic but will record data both sides. The parameters will be set once we are in receipt.

The quotation for the signs for the back of the speed gates on Meaford Road are approximately £25 each. Wording to be on the lines of ‘Thank you for driving through our village Carefully’. It was this resolved to accept these costs.

485       Dog Foul Campaign update

Six posters are to be installed at Barlaston Park. A laminator and plastic pockets were purchased to enable posters to be distributed around the village at £17,98, it was resolved to accept these costs.

Grounds maintenance contractor has been provided with the posts and dog bag dispensers, these should be installed imminently:

(a) The Cricket club dispenser, this will be installed just inside the gate, next to the bin. The Cricket Club will fill the bin on a regular basis.

(b) The dispenser by the Plume of Feathers, it was noted at the last meeting that this was not to be installed on the private patch of land by Canal Side, following discussions with the Canal & River Trust, it will be situated on the tow path side of this land to ensure the underground cables running under the tow path are not damaged. A survey will be required. Mr Moorewood has kindly volunteered to fill these.

(c) The dispenser on Barlaston Park will be located on the corner of Bell Lane and Wedgwood Lane, it cannot be located on the Green as this is owned by Wedgwood – Mr Dodd has kindly agreed to fill these.

Signs will be attached to the dispensers once installed.

182       MUGA update – No update has been received. Mr Dodd has been approached to see if he will undertake the weekly monitoring duties while we are awaiting the appointment of a new Cllr.

193       Joint Playing Field Committee meeting update

A new solicitor from Myers has been appointed to review the lease arrangements. The Clerk has contacted Dicksons Solicitors for an update on the fees, a response is awaited.

195       WWI Commemorative poppy stickers Clerk to establish what happened to the balance of the poppy stickers.

256       Progress report on agreed projects and process for future works

Works are scheduled for Tuesday 15 January to remove the rowan trees and self-seeded ash tree on the wildlife area car park in line with the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust recommendations. Ivy obscuring the light pole to be removed.

The Upper House are happy for a light to be installed on their lamppost rather than paying for a wayleave agreement for their advertising sign. This will point into the car park. A price for the light, meter and armoured cable works to be obtained. Clerk to look at formal document.

When the date for the car park works has been agreed, closure signs to be posted at the car park and on social media.

Another working party is scheduled on 22 February for the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. As part of the works he will cut down the grass at the top of the green so exploratory works can be undertaken regarding the wet patch which is increasing and causing concern. Suds have been seen on the surface water which is indicating it is possibly a soakaway problem coming from the cottage behind the hedge. Once exploratory works have been undertaken, further costs may be incurred.

A further date for the Canal & River Trust is to be confirmed. It was noted a sign will be left for volunteers indicating the direction of works is being undertaken.

There is no movement on the Rights of Way

287       To receive update on meeting with the County Council member for the area

  • Stafford & Rural Homes Planning Application Barlaston Park. Cllr Jones declared an interest.


SRH have been formally asked to complete the housing needs assessment consultation which they hope to complete by the end of the month. They will then submit an updated statement to SBC to allow them to reconsider the Ivyhouse Road Planning Application. They have not asked for any involvement from the Parish Council. It was noted we need approve the sign off regarding this document.

SBC’s objection to the development is that it is technically a development in the green belt, which can only be undertaken for social housing, SRH have made application for this and what SBC are asking them to do is prove the demand for this type of housing. SBC undertook a survey indicating 30 people expressed an interest, SRH have identified a group of people who would like to downsize to the park, both surveys are old and need to be brought up to date. The money is only available until end of March which urgently needs to be allocated.

6. (Item 216) Library update

Talks have been undertaken with the Library Service and are looking at running a home readers service from Stone, having spoken to them about Barlaston they would like to extend the service to cover us as of 1st February, details will be published in the Parish News, volunteers who are interested should contact 0300 111 8000 ask for Stone Library to register their interest. It is envisaged books will be delivered to the mobile library bus where a volunteer will collect these and deliver to the recipient. Volunteers will need to DBS checked, mileage expenses will be paid if a visit to Stone is required. Visits will be arranged to Werrington and Rising Brook Libraries to see how their community voluntary library structure is implemented

349       Cocknage sign update – this has been delivered to the grounds maintenance contractor and should be installed imminently.

351       Wayleave Agreement Upper House – This is still outstanding.

357       Orchard Place Car Park update – We are still awaiting confirmation of the date the SRH Asset Manager will install the new sign. Clerk to monitor.

The hedge requires cutting back, Clerk to request works be undertaken by SRH.

Observation – 12+ spaces are available by level crossing, whether we could actively pursue this. It was noted we could direct cars there but cannot put signs up showing overflow car park at the Station. Walking groups decamp at Orchard Place and walk the downs. We could aim it at walkers – showing a long stay. Leaflet for putting on cars and allocate these. It will not deter people who drop off and pick up from Orchard Place. Carried forward for discussion at the next meeting.

371       Hedge works on Station Road – Need a date for works so a skip can be arranged. SCC to replace damaged grit bin (call logged reference 4145197)

373       Drainage issues on Old Road update – addressed in 413 below

387       Christmas Lighting Charges – It was resolved to issue a payment for £25 for the lighting of the Christmas tree, Cllr Jones will write a card and include a cheque.

No lights were purchased for the soldier sculpture as solar lights did not give off enough light. It was resolved to remove the soldier and store it away for future use.

War memorial – it was noted the wreathes were causing damage and need to be removed by end January. The crosses can be left.   It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

413       Sunken grid adjacent to Country Cabin – Call ref 4138927 – both item 373 and 413 were forwarded to County Cllr Parry for comment. No response received to date.

Concerns were raised with the categorisation of the sunken grid being deemed low risk, six accidents have happened in 6 weeks (on average one car per week). Claims are being submitted to the County Council’s loss adjusters. If this is not resolved there is a risk of a serious accident occurring.

414       Clerk’s appraisal – The PC expressed their appreciation of the works undertaken, it was resolved to recognise the performance increasing payment from SCP 23 to SPC 25 on the new scale from 1 April. The PC will continue to support training which will benefit the Clerk and the PC.

It was noted the Village Hall role needs to be time limited and for them to find a replacement voluntary Secretary, training will be offered to the new role mentored by the Clerk.

414       Reopening of Barlaston Railway Station – It was noted there was no progress on this item. It was resolved to remove this from the agenda.

431       Financial matters:

Clerk issued a pack containing the bank reconciliation statements and reports covering cashflow and budget comparisons. It was resolved the Finance Committee will look at the information in depth and report back with recommendations to the February PC meeting.

We have not traditionally had regular Finance Committee meetings as there was little opportunity in the past of undertake works. Now we are in a better financial position, we need to ensure funds are spent well and where appropriate move into a project management discipline for larger projects. We need to formulate ideas, where specialised projects will be scoped, resourced and incorporated into the budget spend for 2019/2020. Minor projects will be approved and not be blocked by bureaucratic process.

It was proposed Cllr Norman is appointed as Chairman of the Finance Committee, this will be added to the next agenda.

The Finance Committee consists of Cllrs Norman, Hall, Macmillan, O’Dunne, Jones, Fisher, Philpot and Tudor. Committee Members need to have attended the Finance training event. A date for the next Finance Committee to be scheduled before the February Parish Council takes place.

Schedule of paymentsJanuary 2019

  NET VAT Cheque
Urban Vision – Neighbourhood Plan Consultation 250.00 50.00 002439
HMRC NI/PAYE 483.09 0.00 002440
K St Leger Salary & Expenses 1266.55 0.00 002441
Expenses Cllr C Hurst 72.80 9.90 002442
E G Dyke & Son – tree removal works 250.00 50.00 002443
N & J Tree Services Ltd – tree works Village Hall 288.00 57.60 002444
Barlaston Methodist Church – Room Hire 30.00 0.00 002445
Ven-A-S Contractors – Hedge works Station Rd 80.00 16.00 002446


432       Dates / location and format for Parish Council Meetings 2019 – The Clerk submitted a proposed list of dates, it was resolved to accept these. Dates to be published on the PC website.

It was resolved to move the meetings to the Methodist Church @ £30 per meeting. This would support local business and enable the Village Hall to use the Ruth Dickson room.

433       Staffordshire County Council’s voluntary gritting arrangements – A request was received to undertake the supply and filling of grit bins. It was resolved to decline this request and remove the item from the agenda.

434       Staffordshire County Council’s grass cutting arrangements – Formal confirmation has been received that they will not be reducing grass cutting fees for 2019/20. This would be reviewed again for 2020/2021. It was resolved to remove the item from the agenda.

435       Marquee for the Village Show 20 July 2019 – The Parish Council resolved to pay for the Marquee @ £1500 plus VAT. Cllr Jones and O’Dunne declared interest and did not take part in the resolution of this item. It was noted we can approve expenditure under the Local Government Act 1972, s.145 without the requirement for a grant application to be submitted.

The Church will use the marquee for Songs of Praise on Sunday, it was suggested an additional night it could be used for a dance to maximise its usage. The suggestion was to be fed through to the Village Show Committee.

436       HS2’s consultation update – a full copy of the consultation documentation will be held at Stone Library and details posted on the Parish Council website.

437       SRH Wellbeing & Social Connector Schemes – There is a home isolation service for residents who live in SRH accommodation, they can arrange visits and activities and where required they can collect the resident from home. Details are available on their website, however not everyone has access to a PC. There is a leaflet available which can be posted to publicise this service.

It was noted Richard Upton was due to leave SBC at the end of January 2019, his role will be filled. Although the Health Centre are positive about hosting a Community Connector, there is little uptake from volunteers, mainly due to having to be DBS checked.

438       Support Staffordshire Initiative – Set up to support non-profit making organisations, offering free training and can assist in obtaining grants. The Community Group and Barlaston Volunteers Scheme are already members and need to ensure the Village Hall also joins so they can benefit.

Their next meeting is scheduled for 24 January at Stowe by Chartley which is aimed at Village Hall initiatives and will be attended by the Clerk and Sandie Buxton from the Village Hall Committee.

Various training courses are available, Cllr Moran has approached them to see if a course on Age Awareness could be hosted in Barlaston as the number of interested attendees is large.

To show how Community Networks work together, Cllr Jones will ask if the Cabinet Lead from SBC would attend the next PC meeting to give an overview.

439       Barlaston Park Report – No update provided.

440       Wedgwood update – Wedgwood have confirmed they will set a date for a meeting. Items for the agenda:

  • Receipt of the Wedgwood Bowl
  • Lighting complaints regarding Queen Mary’s Drive

441       Public Forum – no issues raised.

442       Borough Council member for the area – Covered in the minutes.

443       County Council member for the area – did not attend.

444       Planning Committee Recommendations

  • Planning Application Ref: 18/29814/FUL at Parkfield Cottage, 23 Tittensor Road (variation of condition 2 on 18/28308/FUL). Concerns were raised the works being undertaken are in the green belt, these were raised with Stafford Borough Council who classified the site as agricultural. The site was to be used for personal use only and not a commercial enterprise. It was resolved to accept the application however the site will be monitored.
  • Planning Application Ref: 18/29748/HOU at The Dairy, Barlaston Road, Cocknage. It was resolved to accept this application

445       Weekly play equipment report – No report has been received. This will need addressing on a permanent basis, in the interim Tony Dodd would undertake this for us. Only received verbal confirmation Rospa Playsafe will be undertaking the annual inspection imminently @ £232 plus VAT, thereafter £68.50 plus VAT.

446       Risk Assessment Actions – There are no actions highlighted.Questions were raised regarding the gates on Meaford Road and whether these are effective. Feedback following speed watch monitoring was 50/50, some for and some negative / neutral. However the physiology behind the gates was to highlight the change in environment. Before we roll further gates out, these need monitoring.

447       Asset List Repairs / Replacement – New assets have been added to the asset register. It was noted some items require repairing / maintaining, quotations are required.

448       Correspondence and circulars

  • SBC – Civic Amenity Visits for 2019/20 – prices and duration details were submitted. It was resolved to approve 4 dates / 2 hour duration at Ivyhouse Drive @ £536.00

449       Items to be included in next month’s agenda

Problems recorded at bridges 99, 100 and 101. Clerk to raise with the Canal & River Trust.

Date of Next Meetings – 5 February 2019, Barlaston Methodist Church, Park Drive, Barlaston.