6 October 2020 Barlaston Parish Council Minutes

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Present:

Cllr G Jones
Cllr P Fisher
Cllr S Tudor
Cllr C Hurst
Cllr D Bentley
Cllr V O’Dunne
Cllr S Hall
Cllr E Philpott 

Also In attendance:

Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

A member of the public

AGENDA 

7:15 – 7:30    Public Open Forum – No comments were received from the member of the public.

72        Apologies – Cllr Moran submitted her apologies; it was resolved to accept these.

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

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

75        Council Meeting minutes of 1 September 2020 It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

76        Matters arising from the meeting of 1 September 2020 and not otherwise on the agenda.

 117      Crossing Patrol update – The Clerk issued a summary document with the correspondence from parents and a request from the School following a meeting of the Chair of Governors to re-open the gate.

It was noted that the request for a Crossing Patrol Officer came from a meeting with the School in 2019, the pre-requisite from Staffordshire County Council was to close the gate at the back of the Village Hall Car Park to ensure sufficient numbers used the crossing to ensure it was viable. The use of the car park was also deemed dangerous:

    • Children were seen running in between cars in the car park
    • People hiring the rooms were competing with parents to park, this was exacerbated with the opening of the nursery.
    • access into and out of the car park was blind
    • parents who could not access the car park parked on both sides of the village green; this narrowed the entrance to Longton Road
    • There are no pavements from the car park to ensure the safety of parents walking children to/from the car park.

The public liability of the Village Hall was also questioned as parents using the car park were not patrons of the Hall.

To address concerns of the parents who were struggling to access St John’s car park and residents who could not access their properties on Broughton Crescent, the Clerk suggested to the School that a walking bus scheme be introduced; parents could drop their children at St John’s and drive away. The Parish Council would provide the necessary PPE to the Children and Staffordshire County Council would provide the relevant training.  The School advised this was put to the parents and rejected. It was also noted they did not have the resources to manage the bus scheme.

Parents who walked their children from the Longton Road area could access the school via the lane just up from the Village Hall car park. The School were happy for parents to use this access. Concerns were however raised by the residents; however, this is not a private lane and the numbers using the lane would be minimal.

With winter approaching and to ensure the Childrens’ safety, the Parish Council resolved to purchase hi-viz bands for jackets and bags, and where required hi-viz vests for children walking to / from school.  Clerk to liaise with the School to gauge numbers / interest.

It was also noted the School bus coming from Stone may need to be moved to St John’s car park.  Clerk to liaise with the County Council.

4          Vacancies for Barlaston East and Barlaston West Wards – There was only one candidate for the Barlaston East vacancy submitted within the time frame allotted.  It was resolved to suspend Standing Orders for Cllr’s Jones and Fisher to meet him in a suitable location conforming to the Covid-19 restrictions, following which to formally invite him to attend the November meeting.

Three applicants applied for the Barlaston West vacancy, two from outside the ward, and one within the ward.  As preference was to be given to the applicant from within the ward, the Clerk to arrange a meeting with this candidate.

Cllr Hall submitted his verbal resignation due to the pending sale of his property.  The Parish Council noted he would be greatly missed, his contribution to the Planning Committee has been exemplary.  Cllr Hall was asked to submit his resignation in writing, this would be added to the next Parish Council meeting agenda.

            7          Recognition of community contribution during Covid-19 lockdown – The Clerk submitted the proposed wording for the plaque.  It was resolved to change the wording from epidemic to pandemic, the date for the presentation and final sign off regarding the wording to be deferred until a suitable date/time can be determined.  It was however agreed that the Mayor would undertake this during his tenure.

22        Neighbourhood Watch schemes – The Police have requested permission for a Community Engagement Roadshow bus to be located on Orchard Place on 26th October. The Clerk to ask permission from Stafford & Rural Homes.  If approval is granted to publicise the event on social media.

Staffordshire Police are pushing for residents to sign up to the Staffordshire Smart Alert System.  Clerk to publish details.

It was noted people had broken into the Limes at the Wedgwood Memorial College, smashing the wooden panels in the dining room.  The windows at the back of the old St John’s church had also been smashed.  Residents need to be asked to report suspicious activity. 

35/36   Village Drainage Strategy Group – The Clerk has been in liaison with Cllr Ian Parry, the proposed date of the first Strategy meeting to be on Tuesday 13 October.  Clerk to request for a Highways representative to be in attendance.

39        Bridge 102 / 104 update The Clerk has published images of the works undertaken on Bridge 102. We are still awaiting an update on the other items.  Clerk to continue to chase.

63        Memorial Bench for Mr Stan Phillips – The family asked if the bench could be located at entrance to Orchard Place from Station Road. It was resolved to accept this recommendation, the exact location to be determined prior to installation.

Legally the Parish Council could not contribute towards the cost of the bench as this would be purchased on behalf of an individual, they could however fund the s115e licence required by SCC, as the asset would come under the Parish Council once installed. It was resolved to accept this recommendation.

With regards to the design / material of the bench, prior approval would be required. It was resolved this to be of recycled material and environmentally friendly.  Clerk to investigate and submit designs for approval.

64        Wedgwood Memorial College – Concerns were raised with regards to the assurances given by Stafford Borough Council that the Lichfield Plan would be utilised when the planning application was submitted for the Wedgwood Memorial Site.  Although this is referenced in the Neighbourhood Plan, it was not included as a supplementary document.  Cllr Jones has had an initial meeting with Mr John Holmes and Mr Tim Clegg but was not happy with their verbal assurances. It was felt a further meeting was required and their position documented. Cllr Fisher asked to join the meeting as Chair of Planning, Cllr Jones would make the necessary arrangements.

68        Update on tree works Station Road – The Clerk noted following a further visit to Station Road, that the trees causing concern were from resident properties on Station Road. The trees on the Village Green needed light trimming over the pavement and would not require a tree surgeon. Clerk to investigate.

69        Stone Lions Club donation update – The Lions Club thanked the Parish Council for the grant, without this support they would not be able to offer their annual prostate screening programme.

77        Chairman’s Blog update – It was noted 1500 had seen the post on social media with 490 engagements & 4 shares. Residents thanked the Chairman as it was informative and kept people involved in activities. The Speed Watch group also wished to thank the Chairman for the acknowledgement in his blog.

78        Speed Watch update – The Clerk submitted the latest statistical report from the Radar Device.  The Speed Watch group have been “in action” for 2 years and the recent provision of Stats from the central CSW team provided an opportunity to consider progress which is really positive.

This year they recorded 3.6% of total vehicle volume i.e. those doing 35 mph or more. Last year that figure was 4.4% and in 2018 it was 6%. So, in mathematical terms a 40% improvement. In actual terms, they are now averaging approximately 10 vehicle recordings per hour across all sites compared to 15 in 2018 (and initial peaks of 30-40!).

The other evidence of driver education is the fact that in 2020 only 3.5% have received more than one letter from the Police – which is half the figure for last year, i.e. a 50% improvement.

The Radar Device Summary will be updated monthly. The Devices are set to only record vehicles travelling at 28 mph or more (for battery-saving purposes) but, of those, on average, the comparative “35 mph or more” figure was 9% in Old Road, 12% in Station Road and a whopping 38% in Meaford Road.

This highlights the impact of their physical presence, but also the need for further external support on improving the position on Meaford Road in particular. The PCSO’s are now offering tangible support for the volunteer sessions. It is hoped the Strategic Highways Group supported by Cllr Ian Parry will elicit engagement from the Council and Police.

79        Kissing Gate update – More gates have been installed and are awaiting the bill from Highways for the 4 gates the Parish Council agreed to sponsor.

A request has been received to provide posters for the gates advising dog walkers to keep their dogs on the lead and pick up after them, it was resolved to approve this request.

It was also noted farmers need to keep mud off the road; we are awaiting the legal terms from Cllr Ian Parry.

80        Remembrance Sunday risk assessment – The Vicar is looking to go ahead with the remembrance service and has asked for assistance from the Parish Council with regards to a Covid-19 risk assessment and support on the day.  Mrs Becky Wilshaw has offered to assist with the risk assessment.  Concerns were raised as the service was usually well attended by residents, and how could social distancing be achieved? It was suggested the service could be held on the main green, which is larger, however if the weather is bad, the ground could be saturated.  Stopping residents talking to each other would also prove difficult.

Some Parishes are staggering the times people attend to put their wreathes on the cenotaph. A small service being scheduled for later in the day. Other Parishes have cancelled. It was noted the Borough Council are restricting the number attending the main cenotaph to 6 and have produced a risk assessment for Parishes.

It was resolved for the Clerk to liaise with the Vicar to express the Parish Council’s concerns.

81        Staffordshire Fire & Rescue safety plan consultation 2020-2024 – It was noted the Clerk was in receipt, however no input required from the Parish Council.

82        Planning White Paper consultation plan – It was resolved for the Clerk to arrange a meeting of Parish Councillors to facilitate a formal response.

83        To note financial matters:

          (a) Bank reconciliation reports were issued, it was noted there was an unreconciled figure of £127.20 due to an invoice not detailing their VAT information, this has since been resolved.

(b) Payments report September 2020, it was resolved to accept these. It was noted the income from SBC had been received for the balance of the precept, and the £3129.60 for SCC’s contribution towards the grass cutting.

  NET VAT Cheque
Perrenial Landscapes Inv 3149 – Grass Cutting 570.00 114.00 002647
Stone Lions Grant Application 300.00 0.00 002648
Barlaston Voluntary Transport Grant 100.00 0.00 002649
E G Dyke Inv 202010 / 202009 removal of shrubs / ground clearance works 850.00 170.00 002650
Playsafe Inv 51138 – RoSPA Inspections 137.00 27.40 002651
Buxus Green Inv Sept 01 – Sept 02 Clear Wild Play Area / 50% Seed costs 2250.00 0.00 002652
T F Smith Inv 1107 – Repair Air Conditioning Unit 120.00 0.00 002653
AEDdonate Inv 1454 – update defibs 261.00 0.00 002654
CANPrint Inv 3264 – Dog Posters 60.00 12.00 002655
D&N Drainage Inv 2656 – Village Drainage Works 3510.00 702.00 002656
EFC Fencing – Inv  17977 Posts for Village Green Signage Wild Play 29.70 5.94 002657
K St Leger Salary / Expenses     002658
Stafford Pension Fund     002659
Barlaston Methodist Church, 6 months rent 1 Mar to 31 Aug 2020 Inv 142 650.00 0.00 002660
Perennial Landscapes Inv 3234 – Grass Cutting 570.00 114.00 002661

 

84        Risk Assessment Actions following RoSPA reports – It was noted vandalism had occurred to the new wild play area, the Clerk’s husband had repaired this.

The barriers on the MUGA needed fixing, the Clerk had a third-party company in attendance next week, she will arrange for him to visit site.

Following legal advise it was noted a sign saying COVID-19 would be sufficient to warn parents of the risks.

Cllrs advised reference sights of Brighton and Buckingham Palace for wooden play structures which may prove useful for future projects. Clerk to investigate. Cllr Jones advised Stafford park will re-open end of month following refurbishment works.

Janet Taylor will donate all her children’s equipment to the play area, the Parish Council thanked her for the donation.

85        Grant application(s) – the Parish Council received a donation request from the Royal British Legion, it was noted difficulties would be encountered with collecting this year, the Parish Council resolved to grant £300.

86        Planning Committee Recommendations

Planning Application Ref 20/33016/HOU at the Spinney 29 Longton Road, Barlaston – There was no objection to this planning application.

Planning Application Ref 20/32843/OUT at Old Road Garage, Old Road, Barlaston – The Parish Council would submit an objection to this planning application based on the grounds that this is inappropriate development in the green belt and contravenes Barlaston’s Neighbourhood Plan (NP) under Policy H1: Site Allocation.

Land behind Brookhouse Drive. No formal planning application has been submitted yet. It was resolved Cllr Fisher would write to the landowner advising them of the existence of the NP as this site falls outside the settlement boundary.  Cllr Tudor noted pipistrel bats used this site as a flight path.

87        Items for inclusion in next month’s agenda

  • Fly tipping – Cocknage.
  • Play area designs (reference Brighton / Buckingham Palace parks)
  • Waste bags, theft – signage to be attached to boxes.
  • Works for Lengthsman – footpaths. Station Road / Meaford Road / – footpath dry cleaners pavement lifted dangerous.
  • Bollards SRH
  • Grids on Meadow Road, full of water, a pump will be required to clear these out. This will add to the cost.
  • Grass Cutting on behalf of SCC – another cut end of year, one early next year to be paid on a pro-rata basis.

88        To note date of next meeting3 November 2020