14 November 2023 -Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2023 | 0

Minutes of the Barlaston Parish Council Meeting

Held on Tuesday 14 November 2023


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

Also In attendance:

Ms Vivien O’Dunne (Clerk)

2 members of the public were in attendance.


7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum 

  • A request for an update on the Village Strategy was requested. Cllr Hemming addressed the question, see item 146 on the agenda.
  • An update on the Village Hall works with regards to funding was made. Cllr Fisher addressed the question see item 149 on the agenda.
  1. Appointment of the Clerk and administrative assistance

The Chairman issued a report with the following recommendations:

  • To appoint Ms Vivien O’Dunne as Clerk with effect from 1 November 2023
  • Ms O’Dunne will be awarded a Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Mrs St Leger to be employed on a zero hour contract to support Ms O’Dunne until such time as is deemed necessary.
  • The Parish Council would like to thank Mrs Claire Wright for her term in office.
  1. Apologies – Cllr D Bentley was not in attendance and no apologies 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 for dispensations.
  4. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting 10th October 2023 – these were accepted as a true and accurate record and duly signed by the Chairman.
  5. Matters arising from the meeting of 10th October 2023 and not otherwise on the agenda – no items were noted.
  6. Clerk’s Report – Appendix A
  7. To receive updates and determine actions regarding the following Committees:
  • Environmental Committee

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

Christmas tree on the green – Chris Hurst reported that the supplier will not be replacing the tree. It was resolved that the Clerk is to write to the supplier to express our dissatisfaction.

  • Installation of the wire fencing and posts at the Upper House. Mr Chris Roberts and Paul Goodall have surveyed the job and have submitted a quotation for 3 days x £200 per day (this is worst case scenario). Total cost £1,200. This includes:

i. Use of plant (digger / tractor)

ii. Manual labour

iii. Chris Hurst’s labour to be provided free.

iv. Planting of remaining whips

Item to be added to next agenda to determine course of action.


  • Parish Council Strategy – Cllr Hemming had circulated a summary of the proposed village strategy prior to the meeting. Councillors expressed their views and it was agreed to adopt this new way of working. Members of the community will be invited to be part of the working groups and the strategy will be launched in February 2024 with the following Cllrs heading up the four pillars:

Community: Cllrs Hurst and Borasinski

Children and Families: Cllrs Dando and Tudor

Aesthetics: Cllrs Hemming and Borasinski

Sympathetic Development: Cllrs Fisher and Philpott

Cllr Hemming to take the lead. It was resolved to add the Village Strategy to the agenda of the next meeting for further discussion.

  1. To note financial matters:

            (a) Bank reconciliation reports were accepted

            (b) Schedule of payments report October 2023 was accepted


Expenditure – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
C Wright – Salary / Expenses October 2023 746.30     BACS
Buxus Green – Inv202310– October Grass Cutting 1050.00     BACS
British Royal Legion Donation Poppy Appeal Inv 87 500.00     CHQ
Barlaston Community Group Grant Donation 500.00     BACS
St Johns Church Presentation Lunch 330.00     BACS
HMRC Tax and NI 207.46     BACS
Tesco Mobile 14.00 2.33 11.67 DD
BT – Inv– Broadband Inv MO50 OB 36.43 6.07 30.36 DD
Pozitive Energy Gas inv 26181820234230631 213.39 10.16 203.23 DD
Pozitive Energy Electricity Inv 26181620234230850 112.35 5.35 107.00 DD
Income – Standard GROSS VAT NET Payment
Stafford Borough Council Precept 37,234.50     DD
Lloyds Business Account Interest 52.93     DD
Barlaston Village Hall Fuel Payment 954.44     BACS
Barlaston Allotment Rent 300.00     BACS
  1. Date for the budget setting meeting / appointment of Chair

Cllr Fisher was appointed Chair of the Finance Committee

The budget setting meeting will take place on the 29th November at 7pm at the Methodist Church

  1. Village Hall Porch tender update
    • Due to the constraints of tender process regarding the Parish Council undertaking the procurement process, it was resolved that the Village Hall Committee would apply for a £20k grant.
    • The Parish Council will supplement the balance required (including VAT) subject to meeting s137 criteria. This would ensure the procurement process would be simplified and would be quicker.
    • Cllr Fisher will approach a local builder for a guide on the cost of works.
  2. Councillor co-option vacancy update – It was noted that there was an additional vacancy due to Cllr O’Dunne handing in her notice.
  3. Memorial bench policy – The revised bench policy was adopted
  4. Wedgwood Marina update – Cllr Hemming had no further update
  5. Installation of the Noticeboard for Barlaston Park – Cllr Hemming reported that this was now in hand.
  6. Risk Assessment updates and actions:
  • Cllr Fisher will undertake the weekly play area inspection of the MUGA and Cllr Hurst will inspect the Wild Play Area
  • Checklist forms designed for the weekly play inspections at the MUGA and the Wild Play Area were given to Cllrs Hurst and Fisher
  • Broken bench on the green – Cllr Hurst has removed the broken slats. Chris Roberts will remove the concrete ends.
  1. Grant application(s)
    • St John’s Church 50% grass cutting / hedge trimming @ £1,189.00, financial information clarifying this position has been received. It was resolved to accept this application.
  2. Mr John Russell Commemoration – Having checked legal guidance, the Parish Council are not permitted to spend money on an individual. The Cllrs suggested a plaque to be erected in the main room of the Village Hall. The Clerk to look into ways this can be achieved.
  3. Presentation of Wedgwood Bowl in 2024 – It was resolved to select a suitable venue for the presentation of the bowl based upon the recipient and their personal involvement in community affairs.
  4. Track off Longton Road – The Parish Council has no jurisdiction over the land off Longton Road. This is a matter between Staffordshire County Council and Highways.
  5. Items for inclusion in next agenda
    • Countryside Code signage required at the entrance to the canal from the Plume of Feathers
    • Installation of wire fence / posts at the Upper House
    • Issue a letter to Mr Shane Brunt for his work on Speedwatch
    • Issue a letter to the Scouts for road clearance during flooding
    • To determine issuing Highways Act 1980 Legislation letters and clarifying the position of the trees on the green
    • To determine dates for the installation of the Tommy figures on the green
    • To determine meeting dates for 2024/25
  6. Date of next meeting(s) – 12th December 2023