12 December 2023 – Draft Minutes of Barlaston Parish Council Meeting

posted in: Minutes 2023 | 0


Cllr P Fisher (Chairman), Cllr C Hurst, Cllr S Tudor, Cllr J Dando, Cllr A Hemming

Also In attendance:

Parish Clerk: Ms Vivien O’Dunne

1 member of the public was also in attendance.

7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum 

A member of the public attended the Open Forum to express an interest in the Parish Council vacancy. 

  1. Apologies – Apologies were received from Cllrs Borasinski, Philpott and Jones; it was resolved to accept these. Cllr Bentley was not in attendance and no apologies were received.
  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 of dispensation.
  4. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting 14 November 2023 – were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.
  5. Matters arising from the meeting of 14 November 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda

It was noted that the Code of Conduct was omitted from this agenda. Item to be added to the next agenda for review.

  1. Minutes of the Emergency Parish Council Meeting 21 November 2023 – these were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman. It was noted that Cllr Jones was in attendance at this meeting.
  2. Minutes of the Emergency Finance Meeting 29 November 2023 – these were accepted as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.
  3. Clerk’s Report see appendix A
  4. To receive updates and determine actions regarding the following Committees:
  • Environmental Committee

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

  • Parish Council Strategy – It was resolved that the lead from each of the four groups will report back to the January meeting.
  1. To note financial matters:

            (a) The bank reconciliation was approved.

            (b) The schedule of payments for November 2023 was approved.


Expenditure – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
K St Leger – Salary / Expenses November 2023 1060.30 0 1060.30 BACS
V O’Dunne – Expenses – Mileage / Stationary November 2023 18.55 0 18.55 BACS
Buxus Green –    202311 November Grass Cutting No 202311 1050.00 0 1050.00 BACS
St John’s Church Grant for contribution to grass cutting 1189.00 0 1189.00 BACS
J Poultney – Updating planters Inv  155 220.00 0 220.00 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Election Barlaston East Inv 7070293435 100.99 0 100.99 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Election Barlaston Park Inv 7070293436 86.91 0 86.91 BACS
Stafford Borough Council – Election Barlaston West Inv 7070293437 122.44 0 122.44 BACS
Tesco Mobile – Refund Inv 134191380642 -12.00     DD
Staffordshire County Council (Inv 1000116588) Allotments Quarterly Rent 300.00 0 300.00 BACS
Ven-A-S Contractors – cutting hedge on Station Road – Inv 3107 156.00 26.00 130.00 BACS
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv MO51 SY 36.43 6.07 30.36 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 26181820234495951 -288.67 -13.75 -274.92 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620234455157 107.48 5.12 102.36 DD
Income – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
Lloyds Business Account Interest 95.94 0 95.94 BACS
Groundworks Neighbourhood Plan Grant 10,000 0 10,000 BACS
  1. Budget meeting 29 November 2023 – The Clerk issued the revised budget figures. It was resolved to hold a finance meeting in January to finalise the figures.
  2. GDPR clarification regarding the Clerk – Please ensure all correspondence to the Clerk is issued to the barlastonparishclerk@gmail.com address, the personal email account is not monitored.
  3. Civic amenity visits for 2024 – The dates for two-hour visits requested are as follows:
    • Early January 2024
    • April 2024
    • July 2024
    • October 2024

Dates to be confirmed by the Borough Council. These will be published upon receipt.

  1. CCTV for the Village Hall – It was resolved under Financial Regulations section 4.1 approval to grant the expenditure of the capital asset being £199 for a security camera. The village hall committee to pay ongoing maintenance and monitoring costs.
  2. Village Hall Porch tender

The Clerk has requested a readiness to proceed to tender notice following a recommendation from Cllr Borasinski.  Until we are in receipt we cannot go to tender or obtain grants.

It is noted that we do not have sufficient funds under s.137 to fund the works. The Parish Council will therefore need to undertake a full Government tender process.  The Parish Council will then look for sufficient grants to cover the works.

If a grant cannot be obtained it was previously resolved that we would use the £36k earmarked reserves (possible HMRC fine) and £10k Village Hall.

  1. Co-option of Councillor vacancies – It was resolved to invite Mr Mirceta to the January meeting whereby he will be co-opted to represent the West Ward.
  2. Noticeboard for Barlaston Park – It was noted that the board hasn’t been installed.
  3. Risk Assessment updates and determine actions:
    • Bi-annual tree survey January 2024, a quotation has been requested from NJC.
    • Asbestos removal at the Village Hall – We have sanctioned works under emergency powers. Cost £149 plus VAT. It is cheaper to do this ourselves than request contractor to do it.
    • Hedge adjacent to Plume of Feather’s bridge – It is noted Beth from the Canal and River Trust is going to take a look.
  4. To receive updates on and determine grant application(s) There were no grant applications.
  5. Commemorating the passing of Mr John Russell – The Clerk noted that there are no powers to purchase for an individual. The recommendation is for funding to come out of the Chairman’s Allowance. It was resolved that the Chair would purchase a memorial plaque from his allowance in the next financial year to be sited next to the oak tree on the green adjacent to Orchard Place.
  6. Procurement and installation of Countryside Code Signage along the canal / Plume of Feathers – Cost of 10 No. boards is £50 plus VAT. It was resolved to accept this cost. Volunteers are required to install these.
  7. Thank you letter to Mr Shane Brunt for his work on SpeedWatch – It was resolved for the Clerk to issue the letter.
  8. Thank you letter to the Scouts for their work on flood water clearance on Station Road – It was resolved for the Clerk to issue the letter.
  9. Installation and removal of Tommy figures on the green – It was resolved to install the figures one month before Remembrance Day and to remove one month after.
  10. To determine meeting dates for 2024/25 – it was resolved to defer this item to the next agenda.
  11. To receive items for inclusion in next agenda
  12. Date of next meeting(s) – 9th January 2024



Appendix A

Clerk’s Report

92        Highway updates

The Clerk has emailed Cllr Parry for an update on Lakewood Drive, a reply is still awaited. The Clerk has also approached Cllr Parry with regards to the water on Station Road adjacent to Broughton Crescent.

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 have issued a Client pack.  It is noted the Cricket Club have requested a meeting to discuss the contents prior to the lease being concluded.

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

221      Neighbourhood Plan review – It is noted that we are in receipt of £10,000 grant to cover the consultancy fees. The first consultation date with the public coincides with the coffee morning on Wednesday 13 December.

 We have also requested a housing needs assessment from Localities. If successful they will approach the Borough Council for the proposed figures for Barlaston.

7          Banking Arrangements – Due to the change in Clerk, the relevant documentation has to be readdressed.  This is in hand.

21        Crossing Patrol Officer – The Crossing Patrol Officer has now left.  There has been an agreement with the School that following the Christmas break they will put the reduce speeding figures on Station Road. The Church have agreed to keep the figures when not in use.

 125      Highways Act 1980 Legislation  – Cllr Fisher has produced a draft letter for issue when the needs arise.

126      Footpath clearance adjacent to the Plume of Feathers – It is noted Buxus Green cleared the footpath earlier this year (this is following the final leaf fall).  He has undertaken further clearance works free, however it is noted that further leaves have fallen.  He also cannot undertake works on land belonging to the Plume of Feathers of Homes Plus.

The Clerk will liaise with Buxus Green to coordinate his schedule for the benefit of the village. If further clearance works are required, we will need to fund these.

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

  • Installation of the Tommy figures for Remembrance Sunday – The figures were installed prior to the Remembrance Sunday service. These will be removed imminently.

139      Appointment of Clerk & Admin Assistant – A meeting was held with the Auditor to clarify the position of the Clerk.  They have confirmed that a 9 month voluntary period is sufficient as 3 months voluntary works have already been undertaken.

164      Installation of wire fence / posts at the Upper House.  It is noted works are now complete.  The issue of mud on the path has been raised, however the responsibility for the provision of aggregate comes under Highways.  The Clerk has contacted the PROW team to request these works are undertaken.