09 April 2024 – Draft Minutes of the Parish Council

posted in: Minutes 2024 | 0


Cllr P Fisher (Chairman), Cllr C Hurst, Cllr J Mirceta, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr G Jones

Also In attendance:

Parish Clerk: Ms Vivien O’Dunne

19:15 – 19:30 Public Open Forum No members of the public were present.

269 Apologies – Apologies were received from Cllrs Dando, Borasinski and Tudor, it was resolved to accept these.

It was noted that Cllr Hemming was not present and had submitted his resignation prior to the meeting. The Clerk will inform the Monitoring Officer.

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

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

272 Parish Council Meeting 12 March 2024 – The minutes were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.

273 Matters arising from the meeting of 12 March 2024 and not otherwise on the agenda

274 Updates covered in the Clerk’s Report – See Appendix A

275 Parish Council’s Strategy Updates – No updates were received

  • Environmental / Community – Cllr Hurst / Cllr Mirceta
  • Children & Families – Cllr Dando / Cllr Tudor
  • Aesthetics – Cllr Hemming / Cllr Borasinski
  • Sympathetic Development – Cllr Fisher / Cllr Philpott

276  Financial matters:

(a) The Clerk Issued the bank reconciliation reports, these were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.

(b) The March payment schedule was duly accepted. It was noted the Clerk had drawn down the year-end figures in readiness for completion of the AGAR.  The Chairman duly signed the Annual Return ending 31 March 2024.  The VAT return was also made.

(c) The Clerk is in receipt of the AGAR (External Audit) paperwork and will now commence the completion in line with the relevant deadlines. For information a visit is scheduled by the internal auditor on 15 April 2024.

Cllr Mirceta noticed the omission from the VAT column re the CanPrint invoice; this has now been added.           

Expenditure – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
V O’Dunne – Expenses inc. postage – March 2024 8.55 0.00 8.55 BACS
K St Leger – Salary / Expenses Feb 2024 546.77 0.00 546.77 BACS
Barlaston Methodist Church – Room Rental coffee mornings 120.00 0.00 120.00 002861
Barlaston Methodist Church – Office Room Rental 1 Sept – 1 Mar 750.00 0.00 750.00 002862
Buxus Green –  202406 March Grass Cutting 1,050.00 0.00 1050.00 SO
CanPrint Inv 34288 – design for Tree posters 72.00 12.00 60.00 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Bin Emptying Jan – Mar 24 7070294279 434.28 72.38 361.90 BACS
Staffordshire County Council – Allotment Fees Inv 1000121880 300.00 0.00 300.00 BACS
Urban Vision – Neighbourhood Plan (offset by grant) inv UVE 1004-24 12,138.00 2,023.00 10,115.00 BACS
Buxus Green -Speed Gate maintenance – Inv 202404 235.00 0.00 235.00 BACS
Buxus Green – Additional grass cut (offset by County Council) 202405 600.00 0.00 600.00 BACS
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv MO54 3W 36.70 6.11 30.59 DD
Tesco Mobile – 134200301553 14/2/24 – 13/3/24 14.00 0.00 14.00 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 26181820245234252 269.52 12.83 256.69 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620245228705 116.86 5.56 111.30 DD
Income – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
Allotment Assoc. Inv 637 300.00 0.00 300.00 BACS

277 Parish Council vacancy – an advertisement has been posted accordingly.

278 Village Hall Porch tender works – Cllr Fisher and Ms St Leger had a meeting with David Byatt to discuss the schedule of works for the Village Hall. Mr Byatt agreed to undertake the Project Management at the previously £4,500 plus expenses and will undertake the completion of the tender document, issue of the tender and monitor the responses as part of the fee.  It was resolved to accept this recommendation. It is envisaged the request to tender will be issued by mid / end April 2024, with the completion date of 28 days.

279 Planning application validation guidance letter issued to Stafford Borough Council – See Clerk’s report.

280 Re-naming of Barlaston Cricket Club to The Peter Taylor Memorial Ground – It was resolved to accept this recommendation. It was also noted a plaque is to be installed in memory of Mr Fox.

281 Mud on the pavement between Lakewood Drive and the Bridge at Wedgwood Pools – The Clerk and Cllr Mirceta had both reported the issue via the County Council’s webpage and the pavement has been cleared. Cllr Mirceta reported a full gully at this site. The Clerk will report this to Highways if it is determined that the gully is a highways issue.

282 Risk Assessment updates and determine actions:

    • Biennial tree survey recommended works / costings – This is still outstanding.
    • Asbestos removal at the Village Hall – It was determined this would be undertaken prior to commencement of the building works.
    • Access to the play fort is dangerous, a hole has developed which is a trip hazard. We have submitted a request for a quotation.

283 Weekly play reports / recommendations from appointed Cllrs – Cllr Mirceta noted the fallen branches near the MUGA, works have now been completed. Children have formed a den from the branches and was left in situ to encourage wild play.

Cllr Mirceta reported that parents have mentioned the lack of access from Flaxman Close to the Muga; it was noted that the play area and land surrounding were owned by Homes Plus so creating a path falls outside the remit of the Parish Council.

It was noted that Cllr Mirceta has assumed responsibility for replenishing the dog poo bag dispenser at Barlaston Park. It was noted that dog waste had been placed inside the dispenser.

Cllrs Mirceta and Hurst reported no further issues with the MUGA/Wild Play areas respectively.

284 Proposed ‘no waiting at any time’ parking restrictions along Tittensor and Station roads – Residents had received a letter informing residents of a consultation which would address the parking problems along Tittensor Road and Station Road, unfortunately the consultation closing date had closed before the Parish Council were made aware of this issue. The Clerk had informed residents of the consultation via social media and reassured residents that this was a consultation at this stage and not a fait accompli at this stage.

285 Correspondence from residents – A number of residents have raised concerns over the rise in precept. The Clerk had replied to them individually stating the three main reasons for the rise, namely:

  • the auditor’s recommendation for a general reserve of 30% of the annual running costs of the Council
  • the approved remodelling works of the façade of the Village Hall
  • the building of reserves to provide play equipment at the Meadow Road playing field

286 Grant application(s)

Barlaston Community Group requested a contribution to support the continuing silver surfer course / computer club @ £200. It was resolved to accept this application.

287 Planning decisions – No planning was received. It was noted a retrospective application had been submitted for Middleton Stables, this comes under the jurisdiction of Stoke. No formal consultation documentation was received.

288 Meeting dates for 2024/2025

It was resolved to hold meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, with the exception of August.  The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council to take place on 14 May.

289 To receive items for inclusion in next agenda

    • Disrepair of the bus shelter on Old Road
    • Parish Council vacancy arising from the resignation of Cllr Hemming
    • The Middleton Stables development
    • Upper House Noticeboard
    • Station Road bridge footpath
    • Homes Plus issues at Barlaston Park: An update on the Barlaston Park Development, disrepair of the former shop, Dog waste bin notice and request for a new dog waste bin.
    • Gully emptying at the bottom of Queen Mary’s Drive
    • Planning Application Validation
    • WMC Arboretum

290 Date of next meeting(s) – 14 May 2024 (Annual Meeting of the Parish Council)


Appendix A

Clerk’s Report 

92        Highway updates

We are still awaiting a meeting with Cllr Parry.

161      Wedgwood Memorial College – Cllr Fisher has been liaising with the Management Company and note there is still no movement with regards to planning.

195      Land at Meadow Road lease – We were anticipating an update by March / April, if a response has not been received by end April, the Clerk will chase the Borough for an update.

214      Cricket Club Lease – A meeting with the Cricket Club is scheduled for Saturday 6 April 2024.

135      Drainage issues on the green (below the war memorial) – A date is still awaited to undertake the works.

221      Neighbourhood Plan review –

We are awaiting the final version of the Design Plan and the Housing Needs Assessment Plan.  The end of project report has been submitted for the £10,000 grant approved for consultancy works with Urban Vision. As soon as the plans have been received works will commence to complete the updated Neighbourhood Plan.

7         Banking Arrangements – We are still experiencing problems with the Bank approving Cllr Fisher.  Further work is required.

21        Crossing Patrol Officer – No applications have been received to date.

164      Footpath No. 3 – There has been no movement on this item.

125      Applying the Highways Act 1980 Legislation – The Clerk to address this issue in conjunction with item 92 when a meeting is convened.

126.     Noticeboard at the Downs Car Park in conjunction with the Upper House – There are delays in the Upper House procuring the board.

164      Wire fence / posts at the Upper House – No update has been received.

226      Maintenance of Speed gates Meaford Road – Works have been completed.

228      Drainage issues on the Village Green (below the War Memorial) – Update required. Delays have occurred due to inclement weather.

229      Footpath clearance works adjacent to Plume of Feathers – An update is required.

 256      Planning Application Validation – The Borough Council have responded to the Freedom of Information request, which advises they are complaint with legislation; Planning applications will be tested against the Neighbourhood Plan upon receipt, this is disappointing as architects submitting plans etc., will not know the restrictions / terms of the Neighbourhood Plan which could cost their clients unnecessary funding.  Urban Vision suggest we make a note of planning application decisions and request detailed responses when they advise they have reviewed the application against the policies.  If the Parish Council believe the policies have not been applied appropriately, they can challenge the Borough Council which could see them overturn a decision without this having to be escalated.  This would require the planning portal being monitored regularly and an understanding of the planning process, which is a risk.

 Urban Vision recommend the Clerk attends the next Stone Town Council meeting to ensure all Parish Councils who have a Neighbourhood Plan can work to address this issue by taking a cohesive approach.