Clerks Report – Parish Council Meeting 23rd SEPTEMBER 2020, 7.30pm via Zoom.

Supplementary documents circulated to support the agenda:

  • Co-option application information

Committee Updates (to note):

Footpaths:

  • Cllr. Taylor has provided a separate report.

Enhancements:

  • No report

Traffic Management:

  • Meeting minutes have been circulated separately.

Policy and Resources:

  • No report

Borough Councillor Update:-

  • No report

Liaison Reports:

Community Centre:-

No report

Offley Hay Village Hall

No meetings have been held.

Visit Stafford:

No report.

Slindon News:

  • Although St Chad’s Church had not officially re-opened Bishop Michael Lichfield came to Slindon on Friday 28th August while walking through the Diocese on his Pilgrimage to visit all the St Chad’s churches. He held a special short service with limited numbers due to social distancing with a total of 21 (including his walking group of 6) It was the first time the Church had been used since mid March so everyone was pleased to be able to attend.
  • The seat/bench in the Churchyard (believed to belong to the EPC) was used by some of his walkers as they had arrived early
  • The official first service after Covid will have been held on Sunday 20th September again with limited numbers with booking being necessary by ringing the church warden
  • The next service (after the EPC meeting) will be on Sunday 18th October, again by booking.
  • Speed signs working well with green sign showing the speed up to 40mph and red for over 40 mph but anything over 30mph has the message “Slow Down”. (This will be checked by the Clerk when downloading the next set of data)

Croxton:

  1. Opening of Broughton Parish Room for meetings/ events: – the Parish Room has put in place all measures regarding Covid-19 (as stated by ACRE Update 5.1 / VH Network meeting), and the Committee met on 7.9.20 and agreed these measures were satisfactory. Two groups have requested that they start their classes in the BPR and will be following the government guidelines. With these assurances, it was agreed that the Pilates class and a reduced Community Choir and band start operating this week. The BPR Committee will continue to review and allow operation of these with updated Covid-19 guidelines.
  2. Good news: pot holes and debris on Croxton Lane created by recent storms were reported and have been acted-on within a week by SCC Highways and SBC Streetscene.
  3. The grass in front of Boughey’s well Croxton has been cut and this ‘focal’ area of Croxton restored to looking neat and tidy once more. The vegetation overgrowing onto the path alongside the Croxton Play Area has been trimmed-back and made it safer for residents to walk to Croxton Stores by the busy B5026. Thanks have been received from residents.
  4. The child’s swing seat in the Play Area was reported damaged. The rubber seal around the metal work had split with the underlying metal work corroded. It was decided that the swing seat needed to be removed so no child using it could cut themselves on it. Ken Langford took the seat down. The Clerk will determine the cost of replacement and will report to EPC.
  5. The old phone box is deteriorating further and is being misused. A decision needs to be made on its future / repairs.

Community Transport:

No report

Allotments:

No report.

Ecclian Society:-

A Zoom Committee meeting was held on August 11th. Discussion covered the following subjects:

  • The successful, if limited, street planting has met with general approval in this difficult year.
  • The Eccleshall Calendar for 2021 is being worked on by Philippa Smart.
  • Phil Baskerville is continuing to organise the Christmas trees and we have purchased new battery powered lights for the smaller trees.
  • Gordon Dale will be liaising with the Parish Council regarding the provision of the Christmas trees.
  • We are planning to circulate an Autumn newsletter to all Eccleshall households, which will contain details of the Ecclian Society AGM in November.
  • There was a discussion about weeds around the Town centre and a socially distanced working party was subsequently organised on Sunday, September 6th

Children/Young People

No report.

First Responders:

No report.

Other Updates:

D&G buses are not able to reinstate the 8am bus at present. The Council has been advised:

‘At present we don’t have the resource to restart the 8am journey as we have got more buses than usual allocated to carrying schoolchildren.

If I can work out a way to fit it in I’ll try and do it but at present it’s looking unlikely while social distancing remains in place.’

Information to support agenda items:

  1. The Allotments Association has sent the following request:

‘We have been in touch with Severn Trent Water about the poor supply of water to the taps around our site.

They have performed a pressure test and found it sufficient, the average pressure to the site being 6 bars. I have since spoken to them and been advised to contact the local council, as the landlord.  They suggest that a bigger supply pipe or a pump might improve matters.  The pressure is reduced to a dribble as each tap around the site is turned on.  After three or four there’s no pressure whatsoever.

We would be grateful if you could investigate for us.’

There is no contractual obligation with regards to the specification of the water supply, only that the PC has agreed to provide it, but the association would pay the rates.

  1. The coating on the framework of the toddler swing seat has cracked and is a health and safety hazard. The swing has been removed and the clerk is obtaining quotes for consideration.
  2.   Litter picking update:
  • Taylor has provided a separate report.
  1. Information received by SBC regarding the Community Awards:

We are excited to announce the launch of the fourth year of the Community Awards.

Do you know someone who gives up their own time to help others or who  has set up a local  lunch club or foodbank? Are you involved with projects that promote a healthier lifestyle, like  setting up a walking club or cook and learn project? Is there a business or group which contributes to a healthier environment through litter picking, recycling projects, keeping your community clean and tidy or has taken action to conserve wildlife? Are you involved in a project that has helped support people through Covid-19?

If you have a relevant project we would love you to apply for the new SBC Community Awards 2020.

You can either apply for yourself or nominate someone you know that fits the description.

Awards are open to individuals, community groups, schools, voluntary sector organisations, community interest companies and public or private organisations working hard to contribute to the wellbeing of their community.

Due to the restrictions around Covid-19 the ceremony will be virtual this year and more details will follow.

More details and the application form can be found here: www.staffordbc.gov.uk/communityawards

All application forms need to be sent to communityawards@staffordbc.gov.uk  – The closing date is 23 October 2020.

  1. To discuss the current methods of electronic communication with the council and councillors and whether they are fit for purpose:

There are various methods of email communication in use by councillors and concerns about the use of the official parish council email addresses and their reliability. Members have also asked about the use of Councillor Facebook pages.

  1. To provide an update on the Parish Council website and conformance to new accessibility regulations:

Local Authority websites are required to conform to new legal requirements regarding their accessibility to users who may not access the information using standard methods of navigation. For example, not using a mouse to navigate the site, and using third party software such as screen readers to access the information. The regulations come into force on the 23rd September. The Clerk has updated all PDF’s and archived documents that were issued since 23rd September 2018, as per the guidance. There have been significant delays on updating the design of the site due to circumstances beyond the control of the web designer. However, he is working on an accessibility statement (supported by the Clerk), which is the main requirement for the deadline date. This details what is accessible, what isn’t, and how we are working to fix this as well as alternative method of obtaining information. The web designer is looking to source a new template for the website which will greatly improve its accessibility.

Correspondence, further information:

  • Sale of Eccleshall Police Post – the Parish Council has been advised that an offer has been accepted on the Police Post, so it has been sold, subject to contract.
  • A resident has complained regarding antisocial behaviour exhibited by young people riding scooters on the pavement, causing an obstruction and responding rudely when asked to move to allow them past. The PCSO is aware.
  • A resident is pursuing an action with Royal Mail to reinstate the broken post box at Copmere, by the Star Inn. At present this is just for information, although if there is no resolution, the PC may be asked to see what it can do.

Correspondence circulated, to note:

  1. SPCA Weekly Bulletins
  2. NALC coronavirus updates
  3. Visit Stafford Updates

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