Clerks Report – Parish Council Meeting 21st October 2020, 7.30pm via Zoom.

Supplementary documents circulated to support the agenda:

  • Report on Covid-19 community support (item 8)
  • Grounds maintenance tender spec (item 11)
  • Map of proposed Stone Road traffic calming measures (item 13)
  • Report on Business Planning (item 14)
  • Gigabit scheme details (item 16)
  • NALC pay review confirmation (item 18)

Committee Updates (to note):

Footpaths:

  • No report

Enhancements:

Croxton Play area report:

  • The new / replacement swing seat has been installed – but unfortunately, the annual Wicksteed inspection has identified wood rot in the overhead swing beam, so both swings have now been removed pending quotations for a replacement frame. Thanks to Ken Langford for removing the swings to ensure they cannot be used in the interim.
  • The balance beam and wood surfaces are covered in slimy algae which is very slippy. A quote for cleaning will be obtained from TGM.
  • The wooden leg on the picnic table has rotted through and a quote for replacement picnic bench and installation has been obtained.
  • The matting around the swing is fine… the infill done last year seems to have worked. There is however some lifting in other areas.
  • The wood looks great (where the trees were thinned out) and the grass cut really well ( and around the well too) – TGM have done a good job.
  • The 2 picnic benches at Elford Heath have been installed, and this area is developing very nicely as planned.

Traffic Management:

  • No report

Policy and Resources:

  • No report

Borough Councillor Update:-

  • No report

Liaison Reports:

Community Centre:-

The Community Centre opened its doors at the beginning of September with all the new Covid 19 regulations in place.

We have been pleasantly surprised that Groups are starting to come back. There are 2 Yoga sessions, 2 Pilates classes, 3 Dance Classes, and over 60 Dance Class, Line Dancing starts on October 14, an Ornithology Class, and the Cricket Club are looking to book it for under 10 training sessions.

There are hand sanitisers as you enter the Community Centre, in the kitchen and outside the toilets.

Two out of the three toilets in the Ladies and the Mens are taped off, so they cannot be used.  This reduces the cleaning. All clients are responsible for having their own sanitisers and for cleaning the Hall before and after use. Clients must email the Booking Secretary after every session, confirming that they have abided by all these conditions.

Offley Hay Village Hall

No meetings have been held.

Visit Stafford:

No report.

Slindon News:

The speed device is now working correctly (note – the unit has been swapped, the original unit would not reload the speed parameters for Slindon, so will be checked separately).

Croxton:

Broughton Parish Room is now being used for two activities… Community Choir and Pilates and both are adhering to Covid -19 Guidelines.

St Paul’s Church is holding a Harvest event this weekend.

Community Transport:

Only one scheme is currently operating in Staffordshire, the Barlaston scheme which has undergone a risk assessment. A limited number of their drivers have agreed to trial the scheme.

In view of the ever changing restrictions the Eccleshall Car Scheme is not operating.

Allotments:

Cllr. Perren met with the Allotments Chair on site to look at the water pressure issue. As a result, Severn Trent were asked to revisit the site to undertake more checks and clarify the potential issues and solutions. Update is as follows:

ST carried out a pressure check at the first tap in the system and it was 4.09 bar, which is good. There is a stopcock on this particular standpipe, which appears not fully open, but seized. It is possible that if replaced, it would improve the pressure at this tap only. This would be the Allotment Association’s responsibility. ST also carried out a check at the meter for leaks, and this was negative.

According to the engineer, the allotments are not ‘the end of the line’ on the main as  first indicated but  continues along Shaws Lane and beyond.

Ron Milne has found out that the water system is a plastic tubing system, installed c1975 by the Council. It is possible after this length of time, that this is blocked, and/or damaged. Cllr. Perren suggested Ron contacts a plumber/builder and consider digging an exploratory hole to ascertain the depth and visual condition of the pipe adjacent to the first tap.

A fuller report by Cllr. Perren has been circulated.

Ecclian Society:-

A Zoom Committee Meeting took place on Tuesday October 13th. The main items on the agenda are the Christmas Trees logistics (and any other Christmas activities), the Autumn Newsletter and the AGM, which is planned for November 17th.

The 2021 Eccleshall Calendar has gone to print.

The Street planting will be taken down on Sunday, November 1st.

Christmas Trees:

  • Delivery of the trees is hoped for Tuesday, 24th November. The trimming, dressing and erection of the smaller trees will have to be over a longer time frame, expected over Wednesday 25th, Thursday 26th, Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th.
  • Twelfth night is Wednesday, January 6th so the small trees are likely to come down over the first weekend in January.
  • New lighting sets have been purchased and 450 D batteries need to be purchased to permit replacement halfway through the season.

Santa’s sleigh.

Confirmation is awaited, but it seems unlikely that Rotary will be operating the sleigh this Christmas.

Licence to erect seasonal decorations.

  • The Clerk has received an application form from County Highways to apply for a licence for permission to erect the trees over the Highway (Clerks Note – this has now been submitted).
  • A list of bracket locations was provided and these were transferred onto a map as part of the application.
  • On October 21st twenty brackets will be safety checked as part of the regular ongoing checks.

Children/Young People

No report.

First Responders:

No report.

Flood Action Group:

Peter Rolfe will be taking over from Chris Archer as the chair of the group, and a handover will take place soon. Chris is staying on with the group in an advisory capacity. Cllr. Pert has been invited to meet with them.

Other Updates:

Information to support agenda items:

  1. A separate report has been produced by Cllr. Wilkins
  2. Consultation regarding Stone Road traffic calming measures:

D4272L/R01/03 General Arrangement Consultation for details of the scheme.of the proposed measures has been circulated separately.

Further Information:

Speed Limit Reduction and Priority Buildouts

As part of its ongoing review of safety of the highway network, Staffordshire County Council are proposing to provide road safety improvements along Stone Road, Eccleshall.

The proposal is to create a 40 mph buffer zone on the approach to the village and to construction two traffic islands to create a priority traffic control system to vehicle speeds.

Consultation Deadline =  Friday, 30 October 2020.

Response Slip

Traffic Regulation Order Statutory Consultation District Council and Parish Council

Stone Road, Eccleshall Speed Limit Reduction and Priority Build-outs

Period for response ends 30/10/2020 (Further requests or reminders will not be sent)

Please note local County Council Members are consulted separately

Do you support the scheme?

YES:   NO:

Do you support the speed limit reduction?

YES:   NO:

Do you support the priority build outs?

YES:   NO:

Please provide your views regarding the above proposals:

(If none, please enter none below)

  1. Cllr. Stenning is proposing the following motion:

That the Chairman of the Council, working with the chairs of all the Council committees, the Clerk of the Council, and anyone else whom they recommend, and building on Councillor L. Dale’s “Blue Sky Thinking” initiative, prepare a draft formal EPC Business Plan for the remainder of this Council’s term (i.e. from mid-2021 until the next Parish Council election), and that such a draft be presented to the Council in time for its consideration for adoption at its May 2021 meeting.

Please see the explanatory background document that has been circulated with the meeting papers for further information.

Correspondence information:
  • Concerns have been raised by a member of the public about antisocial behaviour of young people near to the Co-op and bikes being ridden dangerously in the middle of the road. The PCSO has been made aware.
  • A resident has asked if the Parish Council is aware of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and would be interested in co-ordinating a project to take advantage of this.
Scheme information:

County Council Broadband Voucher Scheme for Rural Businesses

Gigabit-capable broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the Government is committed to a vision of a digitally connected Britain. Homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband when part of a group scheme.

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers worth £1,500 per home and up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME) to support the cost of installing new fast and reliable connections.

Staffordshire County Council is pleased to announce it is adding funding to top up the funding available from the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which grants an extra £2,000 per premises with broadband speeds of less than 30mbps, taking the maximum support to £3,500 per resident and £5,500 per business.

If you require any further information please contact the Superfast Staffordshire team or visit www.gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/Staffordshire. Further details can be found on the attached ‘flyer’.

  • A member of the Public has contacted the council to share some historical information regarding the crash of a Wellington bomber in Eccleshall in 1945. He has been granted permission by Holy Trinity to lay a wreath at the memorial in memory of the crew, with their names on it. The relevant extracts of the email are replicated below for your information:

‘After many hours of searching, I eventually found the details of the crew members that crashed on 8th January 1945…’

‘…not many know about the crash as it is 75 years ago and not many of the original town folk will or can remember the incident. The aircraft, A Wellington Bomber X LN 166 took off from Hixon on a Practice bombing run over Bogot’s Park, near to Wolseley Bridge but caught fire and blew up over the then auction ground and Burgess’s yard coming down just off Blurtons Lane M/R 127/843285 in Mr Tom Hollinshead’s field. I was in the garden with mother as the bomber came over, not quite overhead but near enough to hear and see the screaming craft in its last few seconds of flight which has stayed with me all my life. Our cottage was at the junction of the Green Lane/Stafford Road. The crash happened around 12noon.’

  • Litter recycling response from SBC:

‘We have trialled on street recycling bins in the past and unfortunately they have not been very successful as they become easily contaminated with general waste as some residents do not make the distinction between the litter and the recycling sections.  It is not possible for the contents of the bins to be manually sorted and recycling removed and in many cases the recycling has also been contaminated with dog poo bags etc. It has been nationally recognised that ‘recycling on the go’ is a section in society that needs to be addressed and it does form part of the National Recycling and Waste Strategy which is currently in consultation stages.  To address the issue of contamination, a National Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is being considered whereby residents are able to ‘post’ their plastic bottles, glass and cans into special street bins and receive a small reimbursement (today’s version of the pop bottle scheme!).  If introduced, it is hoped that this will be widely available to all residents and will encourage them to think before they bin recyclable products. With this in mind, I don’t think the introduction of split bins in Eccleshall would necessarily be the answer.  A more effective scheme may be more of a local communications campaign – litter bins, bus stops, local shops etc – to encourage people to take their recycling home and make use of the blue bins and blue bags for paper and cardboard.  This way we can ensure that the recycling is captured, processed correctly and will have evidence of where it has been sent to for recycling.’

Correspondence circulated:
  1. SPCA Weekly Bulletins
  2. Visit Stafford Updates
  3. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Fire and Safety Plan 2020-2024
General Council Updates:
  • ***Any items for inclusion on a meeting agenda must be received by the Clerk 10 clear days ahead of the meeting date.***

Abbreviations:

SCC- Staffordshire County Council                                 SARH – Stafford and Rural Homes

SBC- Stafford Borough Council                                      SPCA – Staffordshire Parish Councils Assc.

EPC – Eccleshall Parish Council