1 August 2022 – Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2023 | 0


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

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

A member of the public.

  1. Apologies – Cllrs O’Dunne, Borasinski and Bentley sent their apologies, it was resolved to accept these. County Cllr Parry also sent his apologies.
  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 4 July 2023 – These were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.
  5. Matters arising from the meeting of 4 July 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda

The Clerk issued her report, see Appendix A

Reports from Councillors:

133       Implementation of electric charge points in the village (deferred) 

  1. Committee updates:
  • Environmental Committee

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

Works on the village green have been delayed.

  • Parish Council Strategy – Cllr Hemming asked if the Strategy should be implemented this year given the limited budget availability, however it was deemed the Meadow Road Play area covered multiple areas of the strategy. It was resolved for Cllr Hemming to have a meeting with the new Clerk to go through the strategy and how this could be applied.
  1. To note financial matters:

            (a) Bank reconciliation reports were accepted

            (b) Schedule of payments report July 2023 were accepted

Expenditure – Standard NET VAT Payment
K St Leger – Salary / Expenses 1203.69 0.00 BACS
Staffordshire County Pension 404.32 0.00 BACS
C Wright – Salary / Expenses 154.74 0.00 BACS
Buxus Green – Inv202307– July Grass Cutting 1,050.00 0.00 BACS
Brindsley Avenue Coffee Morning – Grant Application 120.00 0.00 BACS
ElanCity Inv SAJ-UK/2023/01240 – Quote SO-UK03166 – 3 No. SID batteries 217.38 43.48 BACS
ElanCity Inv SAJ-UK-2023/01261 – 2 No. SID batteries (pairs required) 217.38 43.48 BACS
Mr D Norman – Expenses for the procurement of SID batteries 11.48 0.00 BACS
SPCA – New Clerk Intro Course – Inv SI-1172 40.00 8.00 BACS
J Poultney – Inv 152 – To replace cheque 002856 475.00 0.00 BACS
HMRC – To replace cheque 002857 427.78 0.00 BACS
SLCC – Membership renewal – Inv MEM244392-1 177.00 0.00 BACS
Information Commissioner’s Office – Annual Subscription 35.00 0.00 DD
Stafford Borough Council – lease of land – Inv 7070292774 10.00 0.00 BACS
Viking – Copier Paper – Inv 2682323 59.84 12.76 BACS
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv MO46 65 15.63 3.12 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 26181820233690677 203.19 10.16 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620233699918 95.91 4.80 DD
  1. Village Hall Porch tender
    • To undertake a targeted asbestos report will cost £425 from our previous supplier, plus the re-inspection survey at a further £150. The previous survey was undertaken in 2019 and not deemed suitable for the tender process due to changes in legislation etc.
    • CPR have quoted £500 to undertake the compliance with the Building Regulations 2010 and if necessary, consultation with the Fire and Rescue Service. This is a requirement.
    • David Byatt recommends we appoint Pete Brewster from Rubix Group as our H&S and Principle Designer. The Clerk has requested a cost and associated time frame for him to undertake the works. To progress this project, it was resolved to email the costings to Councillors prior to the next meeting.
    • The above costings do not include Project Management fees if these are required.
  2. Co-option of Councillor vacancy

To date we have received no applications for the vacancy. It was resolved to re-publish the advert.

Item 74. 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. Appointment of the new Clerk
    • Core Hours – Claire is looking to work Monday 9am to 1pm / Tuesday 9am – 12pm / Wednesday 9am to 1pm. 4 hours will be taken up with report writing / meetings / training etc. Claire will be working ad-hoc hours until September being paid on an hourly rate.
    • The salary, probation period and holiday entitlement were agreed and would be reflected in the contract.
    • It is recommended Claire be issued with a mobile phone, to ensure her personal mobile number is not released to the public. We can obtain a Nokia C32 with 6GB data via Tesco @ £14.00 per month. It was resolved to accept this recommendation. However, before the new Clerk makes the necessary arrangements, it was noted we may get a better deal with a local Company.  The new Clerk to investigate.
    • Training – Claire has already undertaken the basic Clerk’s course, and is scheduled to attend the Cheshire SLCC conference which covers planning etc.
    • H&S – A new chair has been ordered @ £55.89. This is to replace the failing existing chair and is deemed more suitable to address the New Clerk’s medical requirements.
  2. Parish Council meeting dates
    • Claire can work the 2nd Tuesday of each month. It was resolved to accept this recommendation from the September meeting.
  3. Lakewood Drive update – There is still no movement on this item. It was noted flooding due to surface water has been reported by residents, the Clerk advised Staffordshire County Council are responsible for ensuring gully pots are clear to prevent this happening.
  4. Civic Amenity Visits – The Borough Council are experiencing difficulties with commercial vehicles trying to use the facility to dispose of waste. They are looking to withdraw the adverts off the Borough Website. It has been suggested that residents will require proof of residency to use the service, this may prove difficult for the driver to manage this. It was resolved for the Clerk to post a warning to residents that this service may be withdrawn should the service be abused.
  5. Stafford Borough Council’s Public Protection Review – Cllr Jones has suggested we request the Downs Car Park be brought into the review with regards to alcohol / drug usage on the car park. It was resolved for the Clerk to approach the Borough to make these suggestions.
  6. Severn Trent works at Strongford commencing Sept 2023 – completion April 2024
    • Works scheduled are to create the world’s first carbon neutral waste treatment hub. Should this project prove successful, it will be rolled out nationally and internationally.
    • Possible funding opportunity – There was an opportunity to request funding for large scale projects. The Meadow Road play area would be an ideal project as it was local to the Strongford site. It was resolved to approach Severn Trent with regards to funding.
    • Traffic concerns – the works should only increase the number of lorries entering / exiting the site by 2 or 3 per day. Assurances were given that the traffic would use the existing Trentham route, however concerns were raised that contractors who don’t know the weight restrictions will use Barlaston to access the A34. It was resolved to look at installing weight restriction signage at the first entrance to Strongford on Old Road to reiterate the limits imposed.
  7. Risk Assessment updates:
  • Rialtas Cloud – The Clerk is in the process of training the new Clerk. Online training is also available. It was resolved to remove this item.
  • Resilience training to cover office duties – Cllr O’Dunne has undertaken the Clerk’s foundation course. It was resolved to remove this item.
  • Damage to the rope bridge – wild play area – This has been completed. It was resolved to remove this item.
  1. Grant application(s)
    • Barlaston Cricket Club – £1000 requested for their annual Fireworks event. It was resolve to accept this application.
  2. Planning issue(s) and outcomes
    • Call In – Planning Application Ref 23/37416/HOU at The Cottage, The Green, Barlaston – The Clerk email Mr Clegg for a response on the maladministration of the call in. To date he has not responded.
    • Battery Storage Site Meaford Road SBC 21/35342It has now been confirmed that the site is not under our jurisdiction.
    • Barlaston Golf Club Meaford Road Barlaston 23/37157/OUT – It was resolved to restrict building to the footprint of the existing building to ensure there is no ribbon development.
  3. Items for inclusion in next agenda
    • To determine how to apply the Highways Act 1980 to landowners whose hedges encroach on pavements.
  4. Date of next meeting(s) – 12 September 2023


Appendix A

Clerk’s Report

92        Highway updates

The Clerk has received no feedback from Cllr Parry with regards to the outstanding highways issues in the village despite numerous emails.

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

195       Land at Meadow Road lease – The Borough Council placed the adverts on 14 and 21 June. The deadline for any comments was 13 July.  There were no objections, the Borough Council are now writing the heads of terms. The annual lease, legal fees and terms have yet to be received.


214       Cricket Club Lease – Wooliscroft’s Solicitors have advised they now have all the information required to commence with the draft lease.  The Clerk has asked if this could be completed before end August.

221       Neighbourhood Plan review – The Neighbourhood Planning Support Programme is reopening, however there is no specific grant for a NP review. However, under the Government’s drive to release land for building it is noted that there is funding available if the review includes new areas for development. With regards to the land previously identified as the chicken farm on Barlaston Road, this is now an industrial estate and could be considered for release.  

Urban Vision have advised we would apply for funding under a new Plan and should therefore qualify for funding. They are happy to go through the process with us. 

It is noted the Clerk will need additional hours to undertake the review of the Neighbourhood Plan due to the workload envisaged. The existing Clerk agreed to undertake this role if required. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

119       Replacement noticeboard on Barlaston Park – It is disappointing that Fiskars have still not confirmed the arrangements for the installation of the noticeboard on Barlaston Park. The Clerk advised the Council’s contractor was willing to install this and had the relevant liability cover in place. Cllr Hemming would look into the delays and whether this solution could be implemented.

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

7          Banking Arrangements – The provision to add the new Clerk, remove the previous Clerk and add Cllr Fisher to the mandate will be undertaken in August.

20        Upgrade of SID devices to Solar – The Clerk has been in discussion with Mr Norman. It is noted that the cost of Amey installing the new posts (these need to be taller and stronger to accommodate the solar panels) would cost £700 each. This does not include the cost of the posts or the cost of the solar elements.  Part of the financial case for the upgrade was the cost of recharging the batteries, it is now known the cost is negligible and if required, these could be charged in the Clerk’s office. It is therefore deemed to be too expensive to move this project forwards as it is not cost effective.

We have procured 3 sets of new batteries for the current devices; these are different from the previous batteries and believed to be more efficient.

21        Flashing Speed Sign / Crossing Patrol Officer – It is disappointing that the crossing patrol vacancy has not been filled, this has been advertised through the PTA at the School and on social media.  Without this provision we cannot install a flashing speed sign.  The position would ideally suit a parent with children at the school.

Feedback from prospective candidates have advised the salary offered was deemed to be too low. This has been fed back to the County Council.

53        Co-option of Councillor – the vacancy was advertised on the boards, website and Facebook site. To date no applications have been received. The Clerk will re-advertise.

55        Wedgwood Bowl – The Clerk has submitted the request to Fiskars for the commemorative bowl to be made / inscribed.  Once in receipt a date will be arranged with the Church for the presentation.  The Wedgwood bowl base has been engraved.

56        Chairman’s Chain of Office – the Clerk has looking at the records to determine dates for engraving on the Chain. Cllr Nicholls details are already on the chain.

Dates as follows:  Cllr Philpott 2001-2011 (10 years) / Cllr Jones 2011-2021 (10 years) / Cllr Fisher 2021 – ongoing.

The Clerk is having difficulties obtaining silver bars, the ones available are silver plate. Where the previous bars have been silver plated, these are now tarnished with age. The new Clerk has agreed to approach a jeweller in Macclesfield for a quotation to have these made in silver.

58        Departure of Landlord and Landlady of the Duke of York – Cllr Fisher was having difficulties obtaining the forward address.

59        Use of Personal Emails – The new Clerk is looking into the options available.