Present:

Cllr G Jones (Chairman)
Cllr P Fisher
Cllr I Moran
Cllr S Tudor
Cllr C Hurst
Cllr S Hall
Cllr D Norman
Cllr E Philpott
Cllr D Westwood
Cllr I Macmillan
Cllr V O’Dunne

In attendance: Mrs K St Leger (Clerk)

388 Apologies – no apologies were received.

389 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest

390 Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011

There were no applications for dispensation

391 Minutes of full Council meeting of 2 October 2018

It was resolved to accept these as a true record.

392 Matters arising from the meeting of 2 October 2018 and not otherwise on the agenda

Key themes 2018

574 Draft Neighbourhood Plan update
Stafford Borough Council (SBC) appointed an independent examiner without the approval of the Parish Council. We have now agreed an external examiner and the process can now proceed.

Campaigns 2018

9 Speed Watch campaign update

2 sessions per week were being maintained. The recent end of daylight-saving time till next March means we have had to review session timings – away from busier peak periods – and weather will have an impact too. However, everyone is keen to maintain a presence of some sort throughout the winter.
From 04/05 to 18/10 we’ve now recorded 700 of 10000 passing vehicles. (7%) Almost 200 were at 40+ mph – recently including 1 @ 60+ and 1 @ 70+. The latter 2 have received home visits from the Police – as have the 7 individuals who have been recorded 3 times.
In the last month we’ve recorded 127 from 2102 (6%).

Grant Application due to be reviewed in next 2 weeks so we should, hopefully, have decision within a month.

Following the request to cost for a third ground screw, the original single site installation quote was £1500, rising to £1700 for a second installation, this rises to £2006 for a third installation

The temporary speed sign at the entrance to Tittensor Road appears to serve no purpose as speeding is not an issue there. Staffordshire County Council (SCC) were approached to see if they would update the PC when the sign was being installed, however due to the complex admin process this was not feasible.

485 Dog Foul Campaign update

SBC are still monitoring the village, however due to the high demand for surveys to be undertaken in other areas, they are reluctant to carry out further works in Barlaston.

Following the recent Joint Playing Field Committee meeting, it was suggested installing a dog bag dispenser along with a poster campaign. They were reluctant to restrict dogs from the grounds.
It was resolved to purchase 3 dispensers with 13 boxes of biodegradable bags which should last 12 months, one to be installed at the entrance to the Cricket Club, one adjacent to the canal by the Plume of Feathers and one on Barlaston Park, location to be determined. Volunteers will be required to put a limited number of bags in the dispensers each day. Purchase cost £670 excluding installation.

182 MUGA repair update

No update received.

193 Joint Playing Field Committee meeting update

The PC discussed the history of the lease renewal and the requirement for an independent solicitor to act on behalf of the PC. The Cricket Club finance committee have met and advised the figure available would be £250. The Clerk has submitted this figure to Dicksons Solicitors and are awaiting their feedback.
They requested a tree surgeon assess the Oak tree at the bottom of the playing field, this was undertaken and deemed to be in good order. To supply a tree report would cost £80. Feedback has been given to the Cricket Club.

195 To receive update on WWI Commemorations including:

a. Village Hall afternoon tea progress

The current number of people attending is 129, we are still awaiting the numbers from the care home.
Rather than the provision of food, Tesco have now offered a gift card for £30 which will mean the food / refreshments will need to be purchased separately.

Volunteers will dress the hall / provide the entertainment and serve refreshments. Live music and poetry will be encompassed in the itinerary.

b. Memorial Bench

This has been delivered, installation scheduled Wednesday 7th PM / Thursday 8th AM.

c. Poppy hero stickers

Details have been provided to the printer, we are still awaiting a delivery date.

256 Grounds maintenance issues

a. Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Environmental Committee

The TOR were discussed and rejected. It was resolved an Environmental Sub Committee will be formed with project recommendations taken back to the Parish Council to include approximate costs and prioritisation to be included in the financial plan for 2019/2020. It was noted some projects will be required for completion in 2018/19 while funding is available. Members of the committee will consist of Cllrs Hurst (Chair), Fisher, Hall, Tudor, Moran, Philpott with the option to co-opt members with specialisms.
Clerk to forward committee meeting dates to all Cllrs for information.

b. Tree on Village Green

Following an inspection, it was noted the branch hanging over the road had split from the main trunk and was at risk of breaking off. A decision was made to remove the branch immediately. Works are now complete. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

c. Grass cutting at Barlaston Park / MUGA

The greens behind Portland Place and Jasper close were identified by SRH as their responsibility. They will arrange to have them cut.

As the Borough Council cut the grass around the play area off Flaxman Close, the Clerk has asked if they could incorporate the cutting of the grass around the MUGA and what the costs would be. Reply awaited.

d. Cost breakdown for environmental works

(a) Staffordshire Wildlife Trust – consultant fees and assistance to complete the works on Fri 9 November @ £250 – this covers all equipment / insurance / risk assessment and advice. It was resolved to accept this figure.

(b) Hedge Cut with tractor attachment – station road A quotation of £80 was received, it was resolved to accept this figure.

Further quotations including the resurfacing of the car park, gutter clearance and investigative works on the village green, the flowers/trees for the wildlife area to be submitted from the Environmental Sub Committee.

c. Stone Rotary Club Crocus project These have been donated to promote Polio awareness, and will be planted throughout the village. The PC would like to thank the Rotary Club

f. Staffordshire County Council

A letter received from SCC highlighting the shortfall of £35M (issued via email). It means the money issued to PC’s to maintain their verges will be limited. They will not specify what the short fall will be but looking at other ways of managing their areas via means of pump priming (supply possible grant funding for equipment and asking the PC’s to do the work – this could be in conjunction with other PC’s or possibly employing someone to undertake grounds maintenance works). This is up for negotiation.

270 Rights of way / footpath adoptions

It was noted from SCC that money to undertake any repairs was no longer going to be available.
287 County Council member update for the area

1. (Item 243) Flooding at Brookhouse Drive – Works have been undertaken

2. Update on Stafford & Rural Homes Planning Application Barlaston Park It was noted the PC had requested SRH to encompass the chevron parking element of the works within the main tender. The PC had discussed funding part of the works. The Highways Initiative fund is used for large projects and if the project proceeds, this would be a good use of the funding.

Following the publication of the Heron, it was noted Cllr Jones had advised he was a Director of Stafford & Rural Homes and a declaration of interest had not been recorded. Cllr Jones advised this was a recent appointment.

6. (Item 216) To receive Library update

Cllr Moran advised there must be 3 parts of the setting up a library in addition to the location.

Part 1 – Staffs Library Services involvement
Part 2 – Volunteers which all have to be screened with DBS and interviewed
Part 3 – A group such as a Church or Community Group which must go through a procurement process to be part of a community library.

We currently still have a bus service however no schedule has been submitted yet.

It was noted if we meet the above criteria and a cost benefit analysis was approved, Cllr Parry would support our application.

It was resolved Cllr Moran will undertake some investigative work on this item.

300 Update on the Heron

The copies were distributed by Cllrs, a copy has been posted on the website. Cllr Parry has asked if his details could be included in the next copy. Spare copies will be left at shops in the Village. Cllr O’Dunne was thanked for her hard work. The next Heron would be around May 2019 to encompass the referendum.

309 Cllr Parry’s Highway Initiative Fund – See above.

It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

327 Canal works update

First date for voluntary works to commence is 1 December, this will encompass the re-siting of the canal stone and hedge/tree works. They will bring the equipment but volunteers will be required from the village.

349 Notice board Cocknage

The sign comes out of production on 5 November, delivery is expected w/c 11 November.

350 High View Planning Application

No update received

351 Wayleave Agreement Upper House

An invoice has been issued, the Clerk is awaiting bank statement to see if this has been paid. A formal agreement will be required in the future.

357 Car park Orchard Place Update

SRH have agreed to supply a sign limiting parking to 2 hours. There was confusion over whether SRH had offered the PC the car park free of charge or whether this needed to be purchased. Cllr Jones to liaise with SRH.

371 Hedge works on Station Road Update

Approval was granted to cut the hedge, see 256(d)

372 Installation of field shelter behind Diamond Ridge

Cllrs Jones & Hurst visited the site. It was noted there was no breach of planning, the resident who reported the issue was pleased the PC visited the area. It was noted a large bank of soil was accumulating in the area, Cllr Jones agreed to investigate.

373 Drainage issues on Old Road

Works have been undertaken however this has not resolved the issue. Clerk has reported the issue to Cllr Parry to see if he can address the issue.

374 Memorial plaque for Mr Peter Proctor update

Clerk has allocated a stone and the plaque has been flattened. Awaiting delivery to put into planting area.

379 Update on Community Connector

Clerk has liaised with the Health Centre, they are open to working with SBC regarding the possibility of locating a volunteer in their building.

387 Christmas Lighting requirements

Cllr Jones will approach the home owner to see if the lights on the village green tree could be lit.

393 Planting of a tree as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy

It was resolved to plant the tree on the Village Green in line with the recommendations from Staffordshire Wildlife, however it was noted the size / health of the tree was questionable.

394 Lighting issue on Canal Side

Works have now been undertaken on the pole to clear the ivy which obscures the light. It was resolved to remove this item from the agenda.

395 Stone Lions Prostate Screening Event Update

390 men were tested (a big jump from 274 last year); 17 were classified as Red, 11 as Amber and the remaining 362 were Green.

The previous men who received a Red notification has expressed their appreciation for providing the service. Stone Lions Club wished to convey their thanks to the PC in supporting the event.

396 WW1 booklet printing

The Church are printing the programme for the Memorial Event, it was resolved to pay 50% of the costs which will be around £115.

397 To note report from Barlaston Park already covered

398 To note report from Wedgwood

399 To note items raised from the Public Forum

400 Borough Council member for the area report.

The presentation of the Diamond Jubilee and commendation went well. It was really important to support this event.
401 County Council member for the area

The government have indicated they would be issuing Councils with additional funding for highways works, however they do not know what this will be. Fortunately the number of pothole repairs reported have gone down which has enabled the Council to start catching up with the demand.

402 Planning Committee Recommendations

• Planning Application Ref 18/29364/REM at Land Adjacent 104 Longton Road, Barlaston
There were no objections in principal however issues were raised with regards to the balcony, the building line and access onto the highway.

• Planning Application Ref 18/29325/HOU at Pippin Hill 17 Rock House Drive, Barlaston
There was no objection to this application

403 To note financial matters:
Report from Auditor / recommendations – Details sent via email.

1. Earmarking funding before end 2018/19 fiscal year for:
• Elections
• Village Hall Maintenance/Restoration
• Potential Claim HMRC (if unused PC can reallocate to general funds)

2. Display 5-year AGAR’s (or old equivalent) to be posted on the website – this may prove problematic.

3. Current cover (free funds at year end) is high and warned against carrying increasingly higher figures this fiscal year end. Earmarking funds would reduce this figure.

A date for the finance meeting was set at 26 November 2018 at 7pm. It was resolved to invite Cllr Norman onto the Committee.

Bank reconciliation details Clerk issued the report, the PC resolved to accept these.

Review Cash flow and budget comparison report was issued.
Schedule of payments – November 2018
NET VAT Cheque
N&J Tree Services Ltd – Removal of tree branch £288 £57.60 002424
SLCC Regional Training Seminar – Worcester £75.00 £15.00 002425
The Print Shop – Printing of Heron / Certificate £235.00 £0.00 002426
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal £250.00 £0.00 002427
K St Leger – Salary & Expenses £1,343.86 £0.00 002428
Perennial Landscapes Ltd – Grounds Maintenance 285.00 57.00 002429

404 Weekly play equipment report

The MUGA is looking very tired and is not used. Possible works required to bring it up to standard are resurfacing / painting and addressing the finger trap issue by means of applying Perspex to the perimeter, this could prove costly. Before any decisions are taken Barlaston Park will need to be consulted. This is an issue for 2019/2020.

405 Risk Assessment Actions

An annual risk assessment is required for trees on the Village Green, the MUGA requires the annual ROSPA inspection. Clerk to investigate.

406 Correspondence and circulars Issued upon receipt

407 Questions from Councillors for inclusion on next month’s agenda

  • Complaints received regarding the cemetery maintenance, photos issued and grounds maintenance company have been instructed to address the issue.
    • A request has been received to hold a wedding service (if legislation allows) or a blessing on the Village Green in June 2019. It will be a small intimate party (no marquee). Part of the request would be for two horses to be on site.
    Date of Next Meetings – 4 December 2018 Barlaston Methodist Church, Park Drive, Barlaston