A meeting of the Enhancement and Preservation Committee of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on Wednesday December 4th at Eccleshall Community Centre, Shaws Lane, Eccleshall, at 7pm, preceding an extra meeting of the Parish Council.

1). Present were:- Councillor L. Dale (Chair); Councillor E. Amos; Councillor P. Jones; Councillor R. Langford;
Councillor G. Dale; Councillor P. Stenning;
Councillor R. Taylor

Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
Cllr. C. Wilkins; Cllrs. S. Mifflin (observers)

Apologies:- Cllr. Mullee.

2). Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday October 2nd, 2019:- The minutes, which had previously been noted by the Council were agreed and signed.

3). Matters Arising not covered on the agenda:- There were no matters arising.

4). Updates on Risk assessments and asset surveys for 2019:-

• Re-allocation of assets. Due to councillor resignations, a number of assets were re-allocated to other Councillors for inspection. The Clerk will update the asset survey document to reflect this and recirculate to all for completion.

5). Croxton Playing Fields:-
• Review of annual inspection report by Wicksteed. The committee were satisfied with the outcome of the report, which showed a low risk in all areas, with the exception of growth of mushrooms on the grassed area. The Clerk advised that the removal of the fungus had taken place soon after the report had been received, so there were no outstanding issues.
• To consider the recommendations of the initial tree report. Cllrs. Langford and Mifflin had prepared a report on the trees at Croxton. The area to the front of the site has very closely planted trees, and it was noted that a woodland management plan needs to be put in place to potentially thin out trees in order to promote the overall heath and growth of the wood. Cllrs. L. Dale, Mifflin, Langford and the Clerk were meeting on site with Rob Keyzor (Tree Surgeons) and Trent Grounds Maintenance to obtain professional advice on what needs to be done.

6). Update on works at Elford Pool:-
The initial tree works and silt removal of the pool is now completed. It was noted that due to the wet weather during the pool works, the grassed area of the heath is a lot muddier and churned up than anticipated, and there is flooding down by the dew pond. It was queried whether walkers should be allowed on the heath due to the excess mud and water, but it was noted that it would be hard to prevent access. Cllr .L. Dale and the Clerk will be on site with Mr. Keyzor tomorrow morning to discuss any additional tree works required and will assess the condition of the site and put up warning signage if required.

Due to the extent of work completed on the pool, it was suggested that the Newt survey originally planned for Mar-June 2020 be deferred until the following year, to give the pool chance to settle and to give a more accurate assessment of the species that are inhabiting the area. The committee resolved to recommend this course of action.

7). Update on repairs to the Pillar Clock:- Cumbria Clock Company has advised that due to volume of work scheduled, they will not be able to start the investigation work until early January.

8). Update on works to install new seating at Copmere:- The benches have been delivered to Copmere and Mr. Sheard will install them as soon as possible, as he has been delayed due to the recent heavy rains.

9). Update on refurbishing the BT phone boxes at Fair Oak and Croxton:- The Clerk has contacted a local contractor to see if they are able to help with the work to fix the door, and will also contact a company suggested by the supplier of the spares for the BT boxes, to see if they can help.

10). Bishops Court – wire fencing repairs and discussion of any enhancements. The Clerk has asked Mr. Sheard to quote for repairing the wire fencing. He has advised that a new fence post will be needed, and he has spoken to the adjacent property owner who is happy for the fence to be repaired. A quote will be provided for consideration at the Council meeting in January. At present, the committee resolved to recommend that no further enhancements to the area be considered as it has many benefits as an open space.

11). Addressing the issue of Climate change – initial discussions:– The committee resolved to recommend the formation of a working party to formulate a report on how the Council can make changes and positively support the issue of Climate Change. Cllrs. Stenning, L. Dale, Langford and Taylor volunteered to join the working party.

12). Beech Road Play area:- The Clerk has written to Mr. Tim Clegg, Chief Executive of Stafford Borough Council to express an interest in Beech Road and to explore the possibility of taking over the play area and improving the facilities. He has forwarded the correspondence to the Development Team and a response is awaited.

13). Correspondence:-
• Resident question regarding the reseeding of the verge on the Newcastle Road between town and the bus shelter. The Clerk will report this to highways and request the verge to be reinstated to a grassed area.
14). Items for next meeting:-

The committee can forward any items for consideration to the Clerk.

15). Date of next meeting:- February 5th, 2020, Eccleshall Community Centre after the Planning Committee meeting.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 7.30pm.