10 October 2023 -Minutes of Barlaston Parish Council

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Minutes of the Barlaston Parish Council Meeting

Held on Tuesday 10 October 2023


Cllr P Fisher (Chairman) Cllr G Jones
Cllr S Tudor Cllr E Philpott
Cllr C Hurst
Cllr J Dando
Cllr D Borasinski


Also In attendance:

Mrs Claire Wright (Clerk)

One member of the public was in attendance.

7:15 – 7:30     Public Open Forum

  1. Apologies

Cllr A Hemming

Cllr V O’Dunne

Cllr D Bentley was not in attendance and no apologies received.

  1. Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest
  2. Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011 – The were no written applications for dispensation
  3. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting 12th September 2023 – These were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman
  4. Matters arising from the meeting of 12th September 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda – None
  5. Clerk’s Report – See Appendix A

Reports from Councillors:

  1. Committee updates:
  • Environmental Committee

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

Update on installation of posts / wire fencing at the Upper House.  The cost of a company to erect the fence to be sought to expedite this item.

  • Parish Council Strategy – deferred to next meeting.
  1. To note financial matters:

            (a) Bank reconciliation reports were accepted

(b) Schedule of payments report September 2023 was accepted           

Expenditure – Standard GROSS NET VAT Payment
C Wright – Salary / Expenses 965.46 942.60 0 BACS
Buxus Green – Inv202309– September Grass Cutting 1050 1050 0 BACS
CanPrint 6 x A1 plans for Village Hall committee INV33737 43.20 36.00 7.20 BACS
Barlaston Methodist Church Inv 154 Coffee Morning Room Hire 80 80 0 CHQ
Barlaston Methodist Church Inv 153 Office Room Hire 750 750 0 CHQ
SCC Rent for Allotment 300 300 0 BACS
ROSPA Playsafety Inspection Inv 74589 180 150 30 BACS
Stafford Borough Council Litterbin emptying Inv 7070293234 434.28 361.90 72.38 BACS
HMRC Tax and NI 641.64 641.64 0 BACS
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv MO47 AZ 36.43 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 26181820234023823 220.44 209.94 10.50 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620234024142 102.31 97.44 4.87 DD
Income – Standard GROSS NET VAT Payment
Pozitive Energy Gas Inv2618120233947129 192.61 183.44 9.17 DD Refd
  1. Village Hall Porch tender update – Clerk has started the application process
  2. Co-option of Councillor vacancy – There has been no interest shown in the vacancy. The advert is to be reposted and councillors to actively encourage village residents to apply.  New closing date will be 14th November 2023
  3. Applying The Highways Act 1980 legislation

Where hedges / trees overhand public footpaths, a recommendation is to issue the relevant landowner a notice of intent to have works undertaken if they are not done so by the landowner,  – it was decided that Chair and Clerk will draft a letter to send to Village residents who may be contravening this Act.  It was proposed by Cllr Fisher and seconded by Cllr Hurst, votes against by Cllr Tudor.  Wedgwood to be approached to ascertain their policy for properties on St Marys Drive.

  1. Memorial bench policy – It was decided to make a few changes and to be signed off at next meeting.
  2. Noticeboard at the Downs Car Park in conjunction with the Upper House – The Upper House have confirmed they will pay for the noticeboard, one side to be used by the Parish, the other by the Upper House. Location to be agreed with the Parish Council. The Upper House will come back to the Parish with a suggested design.
  3. Financial Regulations –New policy agreed adopted and signed.
  4. Wedgwood Marina update – Cllr Hemming to advise at next meeting.
  5. Noticeboard for Barlaston Park – Ground Maintenance team from Fiskars are making arrangements to get the board installed. This is still awaiting completion..
  6. Risk Assessment updates:
  • Weekly play area inspections
  • Formalisation of the weekly play inspections process for the MUGA and Wild Play Area – Clerk to investigate a form which would be suitable. Also confirm who will be undertaking the checks. Cllr Hurst confirmed he undertakes the check for the Wild Play Area. Cllr Bentley is the nominated councillor for the MUGA – no report received recently.
  1. Grant application update(s)
    • Two grant applications have been received from Barlaston Community Group – it was decided to award a grant of £250 to each application.
    • Poppy Appeal – It was decided to make a grant donation of £500
  2. To consider Memorial Rock and Plant are for John Russell –Cllr E Phillpott reported back that the family would like an oak tree planting with a few plants around the base and a plaque, preferably down the bottom end of the village. Cllr Hurst to get prices for an oak tree.
  3. Installation of the Tommy figures for Remembrance Sunday on 12 November 2023 – A working party of Cllr Philpott, Tudor and Hurst will erect the figures.
  4. To discuss Xmas tree on Green – Cllr Philpott to meet supplier to discuss. Cllr Tudor to request if its possible to have the Xmas lights outside the shop attached to the Premier shop.
  5. To receive items for inclusion in next agenda
    • None received
  6. Date of next meeting – 14 November 2023


Appendix A

Clerk’s Report

92        Highway updates

There has been an update from Cllr Parry but confirmation of this information is still to be delivered..

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.

214       Cricket Club Lease – The Cricket Club have agreed to the draft lease and a meeting at Wooliscroft’s Solicitors needs to be set up for signing..

221       Neighbourhood Plan review – The previous Clerk is in the process of contacting Urban Vision to commence the process of obtaining the grant.

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 is now in progress.  To ensure there are no issues, the previous Clerk’s account will remain open until the process of adding Cllr Fisher and the new Clerk to the account. She has however handed over her bank card.

21        Crossing Patrol Officer – Email sent to County but no update has been received to date.

53        Co-option of Councillor – A new advert has been posted in the boxes.  It was noted two Cllrs had prospective candidates; no details have been received to date.

55        Wedgwood Bowl – The bowl from Fiskars is ready and the date has been set as 15th October 2023 at 10.30am at St Johns Church with a buffet lunch being served afterwards.

59        Use of Personal Emails – The Clerk has forwarded the details to each councillor and advised them on how to access the emails.  The website has been updated.  These emails will be used by the Clerk after the meeting of 10th October.

78        Stafford Borough Councils Public Protection Review – The clerk has asked if Downs Car Park and the MUGA on Flaxman Close could be included within their scope to restrict the use of alcohol / drugs in these areas. A reply is awaited.

79        Severn Trent Strongford Works:

  • It is noted that for large value grant applications (over £10,000) are held quarterly. The project must start within 3 months of the grant offer date and be completed within 12 or 24 months dependant upon grant size. To date we have not received the Heads of Terms from the Borough Council with regards to the lease of Meadow Road.  It is recommended the grant fund application be looked at once the Parish are in receipt.


105      Financial Regulations – Cllr O’Dunne and the Clerk met and decided the wording in the Financial Policy would be changed wherever it referred to Cheque payment it would now say BACS payments as most payments are now made by BACS.

126       Update on footpath clearance adjacent to Plume of Feathers- Cllr Hurst advised the weeds have been treated. Clerk spoken to Buxus Green who are clearing this week.