ENHANCEMENT AND PRESERVATION COMMITTEE MINUTES – Wednesday October 2nd, 2019

A meeting of the Enhancement and Preservation Committee of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on Wednesday October 2nd at Eccleshall Community Centre, Shaws Lane, Eccleshall, at 8.50pm, following a meeting of the Planning Committee.

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

Mr G. Dale
Mrs S. Worden (Clerk)

Apologies:- Cllrs. Stenning and Taylor.

2). Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday July 3rd, 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:-
It was noted that there were a number of areas that needed re-allocating from councillors who had left. It was resolved to defer the re-allocation of assets to the next meeting, by which time there should be new committee members who can support the inspections.

5). Croxton Playing Fields:- Cllr. Langford noted that there are a number of branches overhanging the play area, and it was resolved for the Clerk to ask TGM to perform extra cutting back of the encroaching branches when they complete the annual tidy of the area.
The trees in the main Millennium Wood area are also encroaching on each other and there were concerns that the close planting may result in stunted growth and unhealthy trees. It was noted that a number of the trees were planted as memorial trees. Cllrs Langford, Mifflin and Mr. G. Dale agreed to meet and perform a survey of the trees, with a view to propose thinning out some of the trees to ensure the remaining trees are healthy and have space to grow.
The annual play area inspection has been scheduled for the 10th October.

6). Update on plans for remedial work and a management plan for Elford Pool:-
Keyzors originally advised the first stage of tree works would commence on the 30th September but they did not arrive as planned. The Clerk is liaising with them to obtain a new date at the earliest opportunity, ahead of the next stage of pool works. It was noted that the recent rainfall has had no impact on increasing the water levels of the pool, and if the water inlet to the pool cannot be found and cleared, the silt removal will not have any benefit. Mr. G. Dale is contacting other residents with knowledge of the inlet pipe to try and locate it. Once found, the pool contractor may be able to help to clear the pipe.
The committee considered the two quotes received for removal of silt and reed mace from the pool. In line with financial regulations, the Clerk had tried to obtain 3 quotes, but this was not possible in this instance. The committee resolved to recommend acceptance of the quote by Mr. William Arblaster. The price was competitive and Mr. Arblaster has considerable prior experience in completing similar works.

7). Update on works to install new seating at Copmere:- Mr. Sheard is waiting for delivery of the benches and will refurb the one bench and install both benches once received.

8). Update on refurbishing the BT phone boxes at Fair Oak and Croxton:- There has been no success in finding a contractor to progress the repairs due to the specialist nature of the work required to the door of the Croxton box. Cllr. P. Jones agreed to try to locate a blacksmith to see if they are interested in performing the door repairs, which need to be completed before further works can be attempted.

9). Bishops Court – wire fencing repairs and clarification of boundary ownership:- The Clerk has not yet clarified the boundary ownership of the area. Concerns have been raised about a large ash tree which is located on the pavement adjacent Bishops Court and, due to its size, is now causing an obstruction for larger buggies using the footpath. It was queried whether the footpath could be extended around the other side of the tree. Cllr. L. Dale and Mr. G. Dale agreed to look at the tree and take further photographs. The idea would be brought to the Highways meeting on the 15th October for their input. There is also a large Holly Tree that residents have enquired whether cutting back is required, as the branches are near the ground and encouraging children to climb it. At present, the committee feel there is no action to be taken with this tree.

10). To discuss any involvement with regards to VE day 75th Anniversary celebrations on 8-10 May 2020:- The committee resolved to suggest the formation of a working party to progress a plan for celebratory activities, and it could also be raised at the commemorative events meeting with local groups on November 6th.

11). To receive committee feedback regarding the idea of wildflower planting on verges:- There has been recent news articles where certain District/County Councils in the UK have promoted the idea of wildflower planting on highways verges. There are also local examples of wildflower planting on roundabouts such as in Stone. It was noted that they can be effective and very eyecatching but planting on verges would firstly require the County Council to dig over the area, remove weeds and use a specialist seed blend that would result in good coverage. Once the flowers are over, the verges would be bare earth and look unsightly. The Committee felt there would be more merit in looking at discrete beds of flowers in suitable areas.

12). To approve the quotation for Christmas Trees:- The quotation for the Christmas trees has been received from Woods Trees. The total cost for 68 small trees, a 20ft and a 25 ft tree is £1831 plus VAT, which includes delivery and installation. The Ecclian Society has confirmed it will continue to pay for costs of the tree on the Stone Road which means that they will pay for the 20ft tree at a cost of £240. The contribution will also include the costs to hire an additional cherry picker for the Stone Road tree, which has been quoted at £240 plus VAT. The use of the cherry picker for the tree at the church remains free of charge. The committee resolved to recommend suspension of standing orders and to accept the quote for the trees and the cherry picker. The Clerk is awaiting the quotation for the installation and removal of the lights on both large trees.

13). Correspondence:-
• The Clerk has been advised that the pillar clock face that faces in the direction of the Stone Road is not keeping the correct time. The Clerk has contacted Hawkins Clocks to request an inspection/repair quote and is awaiting a response.

14). Items for next meeting:-

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

15). Date of next meeting:- December 4th, 2019, Eccleshall Community Centre at 7pm

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.45pm.