09 January 2024 – Minutes Barlaston Parish Council

posted in: Minutes 2024 | 0


Cllr P Fisher (Chairman), Cllr C Hurst, Cllr S Tudor, Cllr J Dando, Cllr A Hemming, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr D Borasinski

Also In attendance:

Parish Clerk: Ms Vivien O’Dunne

3 members of the public were also in attendance.

7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum

 2 members of the public expressed an interest in the Barlaston Ward vacancies, the third member of the public discussed a requirement for a potential grant application.

    1. Barlaston Ward Vacancy -Mr John Mirceta formally applied for one of the vacant positions of Parish Councillor representing Barlaston West Ward, it was resolved to accept his application. Mr Mircita signed the declaration of acceptance of office and was invited to join the meeting. The Clerk to inform the Elections Office.
    2. Apologies – Cllr Jones sent his apologies; it was resolved to accept these. Cllr Bentley was not in attendance and no apologies were received.
    3. Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.
    4. Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011 – There were no written applications for dispensation.
    5. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting 12 December 2023 – These were approved and duly signed by the Chairman.
    6. Matters arising from the meeting of 12 December 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda – There were no matters arising.
    7. Clerk’s Report – See Appendix A
    8. Strategy Committee Updates:
    • Environmental / Community (Cllr Hurst / Cllr Borasinski) – Cllrs Hust and Borasinski had submitted a written report prior to the meeting (Appendix B). It was resolved to replace Cllr Borasinski with Cllr Mirceta on the Environmental/Community committee.
    •  Children & Families (Cllr Dando / Cllr Tudor) – Cllrs Dando and Tudor gave a verbal report of their discussion prior to the meeting.
    •  Aesthetics (Cllr Hemming / Cllr Borasinski) – Cllrs Hemming and Borasinski circulated an aesthetic approach to the Cllrs at the meeting.
    •  Sympathetic Development (Cllr Fisher / Cllr Philpott) – It was suggested that public open forum be arranged whereby all four strategy groups could engage with residents, Cllr Hemming will lead on this.
    1. Financial matters:

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

(b)   December 2023 schedule of payments – it was resolved to accept the figures.

(c)   Amendment to the November Figures 2023 – it was resolved to accept the amendment.

(d)   Precept figures for 2024/25 – The Clerk circulated the predicted year end financials along with a proposed budget for 2024/2025 based upon audit stipulation that the Council should retain a reserve of one third of its annual expenditure. The Councillors considered ways to reduce the impact of the increase in reserves by making changes to some budget allocations whilst continuing to build reserves for current and future village projects. It was resolved the amount to be charged to tax payers is £108,923.08 to meet audit requirements.


Expenditure – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
K St Leger – Salary / Expenses December 2023 501.92 0 501.92 BACS
V O’Dunne – Expenses – Mileage / Stationary December 2023 8.77 0 8.77 BACS
Buxus Green –    202311 November Grass Cutting No 202311 1050.00 0 1050.00 BACS
Chris Roberts – Hedge Works Upper House 1200.00 0 1200.00 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Bin Emptying Oct – Dec 23 Inv 7070293779 434.28 72.38 361.90 BACS
Tesco Mobile – Refund Inv 134191380642 -12.00 DD
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv 36.43 6.07 30.36 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv -288.67 -13.75 -274.92 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 107.48 5.12 102.36 DD
Income – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
The Upper House – Grant towards hedge works 500.00 0 500.00 BACS
Barlaston Allotment Assoc – Inv 635 300.00 0 300.00 BACS
Groundworks Neighbourhood Grant 10,000.00 0 10,000.00 BACS
    1. Village Hall Porch tender methodology – The Clerk is awaiting a call from David Byatt to discuss a way forward. It is recommended to keep the funds (and any additional funds associated with this i.e., project management fees / Rubix / asbestos removal etc.) in earmarked reserves if not spent by the end of March 2024. It was also resolved that Cllr Borasinski would submit a formal pre-tender estimate of costs of the project to enable quotations to be obtained.
    2. Maintenance works for the Speed Gates on Meaford Road – Paul Goodall the Lengthsman has quoted £245 to sand and paint the gates, it was resolved to accept this recommendation.
    3. Public Participation Policy for Parish Council Meetings – A number of concerns were raised including aligning the details with Standing Orders. Item to be brought back to the next meeting.
    4. Co-option of Councillor vacancies update – A member of the public attended the meeting and expressed an interest in this vacancy, she was requested to submit a CV to the Clerk and the item to be brought back to the next meeting. There were concerns she may not qualify due to where she lives and period of working in Barlaston. It was resolved that the Clerk would check the eligibility of the applicant with the Borough’s election office.
    5. Noticeboard for Barlaston Park update – This has still not been installed.
    6. Civic Amenity Visit update for 2024 – The dates have been confirmed as follows:

20 January / 27 April / 27 July and 26 October.

    1. Risk Assessment updates and determine actions:
    2. Bi-annual tree survey January 2024 – N&J have been instructed to undertake the tree survey @ £384. A copy of a letter from a resident adjacent to the green was distributed, along with the response from the Clerk. It was noted there is no inherent ‘right to light’ with regards to the trees on the green, however branches overhanging a property can be cut back, it was recommended a competent tree surgeon undertakes such works to ensure no damage to the trees occurs. A formal response with regards to the trees on the green will be submitted to the resident following the results of the tree survey.
    3. Asbestos removal at the Village Hall – approval was granted to remove the asbestos @ £149, however we have not received a completion notice to date.
    4. Hedge adjacent to Plume of Feather’s bridge – The Canal & River Trust confirmed the hedge was not their jurisdiction. It was resolved to approach Buxus Green for a quotation.
    5. Sewage concerns on the Village Green – A resident adjacent to the green has reported sewage issues on the green. Cllr Hurst will investigate this and report back.
    6. De-fib replacement battery charges @ £205 for 5 locations, total £1,025. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.
    7. Tree concerns corner of Meaford Road / Station Road – Following the Neighbourhood Consultation in December, a resident reported large branches falling off the tree, this has been reported to the County Council accordingly.
    8. Grant application(s)

Douglas MacMillan Hospice requested £718.40 towards the costs of procuring mattresses. It was resolved to give a grant of £200.

    1. Thank you letter to Mr Shane Brunt for his work on Speed Watch – this has been issued.
    2. Thank you letter to the Scouts for their work on flood water clearance on Station Road this has been issued.
    3. Planning decisions – No planning applications were submitted
    4. Meeting dates for 2024/25 – It was resolved that meetings of the Parish Council will remain as the second Tuesday of each month.
    5. To receive items for inclusion in next agenda
    • Thank you letter to Village Stores regarding the provision of lighting for Christmas
    • Thank you letter to Terry Smith for works undertaken with the lighting at Orchard Place
    • Cooperative regarding Orchard Place shop keepers
    • Planning application validation guidance – Stafford Borough Council
    • Sign off Annual Village Hall Accounts 2022/23

215. Date of next meeting(s) – 13 February 2024


Appendix A

92        Highway updates

Cllr Parry acknowledged the issues on Station Road, we are awaiting an update.  We are also awaiting an update on Lakewood Drive.

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

195      Land at Meadow Road lease – The Heads of Terms are being worked on and are with the Borough’s legal department. The Clerk has chased for an update.

214      Cricket Club Lease – Wooliscroft’s Solicitors are now making arrangements to finalise the lease, the Client pack was issued to Cllr Fisher which has now been signed and returned.

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

A budget of £300 has already been approved plus the cost of materials for Chris Roberts to undertake the works.  These have been further delayed due to the flooding issues.

221      Neighbourhood Plan review –

The consultation at the December coffee morning went well with a number of the public stopping to raise issues.  As a result, Urban Vision have designated the wild play area as an example of biodiversity net gain with CPRE.

It is also noted the Parish Council have been successful in obtaining a second grant to enable a housing needs assessment to be undertaken.

Further consultation dates are required, these will be held in conjunction with the coffee mornings and additional dates to be determined at the Duke of York.

7          Banking Arrangements – these still need to be addressed.

21        Crossing Patrol Officer – an update is awaited with regarding the outstanding vacancy.

126      Footpath clearance adjacent to the Plume of Feathers – Buxus Green is submitting a monthly report detailing works undertaken.

127      Noticeboard at the Downs Car Park in conjunction with the Upper House – We are awaiting a progress report from The Upper House

164      Footpath No. 3 – Following the Installation of wire fence / posts at the Upper House, the Clerk has approached the Public Rights of Way team at the County Council to request aggregate is installed along the length of the path. We are awaiting a reply.