5 January 2021 – Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

posted in: Minutes 2021 | 0


Cllr G Jones
Cllr P Fisher
Cllr C Hurst
Cllr D Bentley
Cllr V O’Dunne
Cllr E Philpott
Cllr I Moran
Cllr A Hemming
Cllr S Tudor 

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)
Two members of the public

7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum

  1. Covid-19 – The Community Group are waiting to see what is happening with the latest Covid-19 situation. The car scheme was suspended due to the latest legislation. Kitsons have arranged deliveries on Wednesdays and Fridays. It is anticipated the community neighbourhood groups previously established will step up. The Parish Council can be contacted as the first port of call in an emergency, who in turn can liaise with the Community Group if required.
  1. Stan’s bench – the preferred option from the resident who instigated the collection is the butterfly and been bench produced by David Ogilvie.
  1. IT Training – The County Council are hosting a virtual IT Training Course; they will cover any technical level from beginners to advanced. The course is free but the uptake to date has been poor. They are prepared to call people to discuss technical issues.
  1. Website issues – It was noted the Parish Council website was down.
  1. Wedgwood Memorial Site – The former leader of Staffordshire County Council (SCC) attended the CPRE AGM before Xmas. It was noted he is interested in planning issues. The Wedgwood Memorial Site was discussed, he advised although SCC had a 49% interest in the site, it is totally down to Stoke on Trent City Council how the sale is managed. Cllr Fisher advised the site was sold with a number of covenants which Stoke City have been trying to resolve over a 6-year period, they turned this over to Grindeys Solicitors to resolve. The Parish Council are trying to progress this site.

132      Apologies –.no apologies were received.

133      Appointment to Barlaston West Position – Clerk has sent a number of emails to the prospective candidate and a subsequent letter, but to date had no response.  As this was the most populous area in the village, it was resolved to re-advertise the position to see if a candidate from the area can be sought.

134      Declarations of Interest – There were no declarations of interest.

135      Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011 – There were no written applications for dispensation.

136      Minutes of the Council Meeting of 1 December 2020 – It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

137       Matters arising from the meeting of 1 December 2020 and not otherwise on the agenda

117      Swing gate installation Barlaston Village Hall – These will be installed end January / early February. It was noted Babbacombe had not paid for their Wayleave last year, it was resolved for the Clerk to send them a letter advising a gate would be installed and access to the car park could be restricted.

Vacancy for Barlaston Park – Posters have been installed in the box on the Park, but to date no enquiries have been received. It was resolved to readvertise the position.

7          Covid-19 preparations / Leaflet update – The leaflet is still in draft, there is an opportunity to change the information, the Community Group have asked for the information to be timely. Cllr Jones will update the data.

22        Neighbourhood Watch schemes (deferred)

35/36   Village Drainage Strategy Group update – The Clerk has asked for a meeting date with the County Council, still awaiting confirmation.

63        Memorial Bench for Mr Stan Phillips update – The current total raised by the Community for the bench is £1011.45.  The clerk will issue Cllrs with costed options for a recycled bench which is in keeping with the benches in the area, along with floral / butterfly designs suggested by the resident who coordinated the collection. The final option(s) to be put to the family.

64        Former Wedgwood Memorial College update – The Clerk spoke to Urban Vision with regards to the playing fields, she noted Stoke City Council and Newcastle Borough Council were working on their joint Local Plan and are short of green space.  She recommended we contact Stoke City to see if they would release the fields for use as part of their plan.

In the meantime, we received a response from a local landowner who would be prepared to donate an area to help to fund the provision of a football pitch, in return they would request an area of land to be taken off green belt and added to the development plan.  They would be happy to work with the project team if this is not considered a conflict of interest.

95        Climate Change Action update – Cllr Hurst has provided a price list for the provision of bare root trees.  With the appropriate protection, these work out at around £5.00 each for between 90-120cm with the protective tubes etc.  Alternatively, there is an option to put a maze in on the wild play area, this would have a larger impact on addressing climate change.  There would be an initial cost and annual maintenance, part of which will be offset by the loss of grass cutting requirement. Designs could be costed.  The Lengthsman recommended a single species to be planted to ensure growth is equal.  If we run one length along the entrance to deter cars from parking along the road to the Upper House. Clerk to submit a costed proposal.

97        Fly tipping issues around Barlaston & Cocknage – Street Scene are happy to provide the posters with Eyes on, which appears to have a positive impact on fly tipping. They have asked for the locations impacted, and they will install – Cllrs recommend: Ladies Mile, Back Lane (Back Lane) – Meaford Road, by the gates / Stone Rural side.

98        Play area design update – The Clerk has been liaising with Stafford Borough with regards to the lease of the land at the back of Meadow Road, she has also asked if this could be gifted to the Parish as a designated green space.  The Borough are investigating and will come back to us, this is on the understanding the Parish Council would be happy with this. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

Visits to reference sites are still on hold due to Covid-19, however we could start the consultation process.  It is envisaged the play area be split into three phases; it was resolved to leave this for inclusion in the finance element.

99        Dog Bag theft update – The situation has improved, and bags are being left behind.

121      Public Right of Way issues on Footpath No. 9 update – We received a request to reduce the stile which has recently been installed.  The County Council visited site yesterday and have reported the stile has been vandalised and is now unsafe.  As there is a kissing gate at either end of this route, it does not make sense to have a stile in the centre. The County are looking to see what action if any they will take. It is the landowner’s responsibility to maintain this.

138       Highways meeting update

  • Excessing Speeding on Meaford Road – it was resolved for Cllr Parry to work with Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership using the data provided by Mr David Norman to have higher visibility in the area via means of a speed van. The option of engineered solution to be looked at (possibly a chicane).  Highways Engineering to assess this.

David has noted a speed van has been spotted at the bottom of Station Road and not Meaford Road, which is frustrating.

  • Lakewood Drive – Cllr Parry will look at the road between Lakewood Drive and Wedgwood Lane to see if they could adopt this element as it is used as a main gateway onto Barlaston Park.
  • Longton Road – Cllr Parry will arrange for a feasibility study to be undertaken and identify options for resolving the speeding. There is a possibility a chicane with a priority route would be paid for via his funds.  Once a solution has been identified, the options to be put to the residents of this area only as they are the ones impacted on a daily basis.
  • Station Road – Cllr Parry will look at the option of installing flashing warning poles to protect the Crossing Patrol Officer. If funding is unavailable, this may be something the Parish Council could look to fund. It was resolved for the Clerk to investigate the cost of 2 solar warning signs, once the figures are received, these to be forwarded to Cllrs for funding approval.
  • Hartwell Lane jurisdiction – flooding issue (left hand sight right up to roundabout) on right hand side it finishes by farm for sale on the right). The Clerk to address the flooding issue with Highways as a matter of urgency.
  • The Clerk asked if Cllr Parry could provide boundary maps indicating the landowner boundaries to enable us to contact them regarding riparian rights.

139      BT / SKY box located outside Orchard Place – The Clerk has not been able to determine who the box belongs to, or whether it is still grey. Cllr Bentley confirmed Sky boxes are Grey / BT ones are green, Openreach mapping should determine who owns the box.

140      Poor condition of the towpath and trip hazard with regards to the mooring rings.

The Clerk has liaised with the Canal & River Trust, they have already removed a number of mooring rings, and are happy to paint the rings white, they will however need the exact location of the rings in question.

With regards to the repair works, our volunteer coordinator is looking for an update, the last she heard was they planning to repair / replace the towpath as part of a larger scheme, as they have in parts of Trentham and Meaford. She will update us when she has the relevant information.

141      Provision of a hosted phone system – The cost of VOIP is around £9 per month for the first 12 months, then £14 per month thereafter. Setup fee £10.  The Parish Council number published will become cloud based. For continuity It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

142      Parish Council address change – The Methodist Church are happy for the Parish Council to use their address; we can also install a wall plaque giving the Parish Council details on the wall if required.  They are happy for the PC to continue with the lease of the room, which is assisting them financially.

143      Freedom of Information request – The Parish Council received an FOI request in relation to the Bungalow on Old Road. The Clerk has collated the data and is in the process of despatching this.

144      Planning Training course date(s) – Dates available at the moment as follows. The Clerk to forward the dates to Cllrs to determine a date:

January 2021: Tues 26th / Wed 27th / Thurs 28th

February 2021: Wed 3rd / Thurs 4th

145       Lengthsman’s schedule of works and determine new works:

The following footpath signs have been knocked over and need reinstating:

  • Barlaston Cricket Club by Bedcroft
  • Longton Road to Bedcroft
  • Top of Wedgwood Drive
  • Top of the Green

Cost to be confirmed.

146      Speed Watch update – The latest statistics were forwarded by Mr Norman.

It was noted the batteries on all 3 devices have been changed this week, they are kindly being managed by Shane Brunt, Andrew Maddams and Charles Aked on behalf of the Speed Watch Group.  Their roadside activities have been suspended since the introduction of the tier restrictions. The Parish Council were appreciative of their assistance.

147       To note financial matters:

            (a) It was resolved to accept the financial report and to retain the Precept as per 2020/2021. Clerk to inform the Borough Council. The remainder of the budget to be determined.

            (b) Bank reconciliation reports – Deferred

(c) Schedule of payments report December 2020 was accepted.

  NET VAT Cheque
Urban Vision Inv UVE772-20 – Training / Consultancy 675.00 135.00 002687
Stafford Borough Council Inv 7070280717 bin emptying 320.00 64.00 002688
K St Leger Salary & Expenses 983.75 0.00 002689
Kings Wood Tree Care Inv 1449 – Tree works / installation of lights 550.00 110.00 002690
Mazar Inv 1789025 – External Audit 300.00 60.00 002691
HMRC NI/PAYE 252.64 0.00 002692
Stafford Pension Fund 310.00 0.00 002693


148      To receive Risk Assessment update and determine actions:

  • The Lengthsman undertook emergency works on the corner of Meaford Road / Tittensor Road.

149      To determine grant application(s)

No new grant applications were received.

We have received a thank you notice from Douglas Macmillan

150      Planning Committee Recommendations

It was determined to reject the Planning Application: 20/33508/FUL at plot to rear 75 Longton Road, Barlaston

151      Items for inclusion in next month’s agenda

Mr Dan Cooke, Census Engagement Manager for Staffordshire Office for National Statistics has requested a slot.  Wants a slot to go through the process and how we can assist.

152      To note date of next meeting – 2 February 2021