A meeting of the Enhancement and Preservation Committee of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on Wednesday February 6th at Eccleshall Community Centre, Shaws Lane, Eccleshall, at 8.30pm, following a meeting of the Planning Committee

1). Present were:- Councillor P. Baskerville;  Councillor L. Dale
Councillor P. Mullee;  Councillor R. Langford
Councillor E. Amos
Mr G. Dale
Mrs S. Worden (Clerk)

Apologies:- Cllrs. Marshall, Garner, Alcock and Price.

2). Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday December 5th, 2018:- The Minutes, which had been noted by the Council, were signed by the Chairman.

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

4). Risk assessments and asset surveys:-
The Clerk circulated the asset survey report for 2018-19. 13 benches were highlighted as due for rub down and re-treating. The committee resolved to recommend that all were put forward for approval by the Council for refurbishment in 2019.
The committee requested that the Clerk ask for the rectification of the repair of the bus shelter roof by Green Lane to be prioritised.

5). Croxton Playing Fields – Consideration of alternative surfaces:-
Following approval for the repairs to the wet pour surface for 2019, the Council requested the enhancements committee to consider alternative surfaces for the future, that would result in lower maintenance costs. The Clerk had received some initial feedback from other Council Clerks but there had been no definitive recommendations for a suitable alternative. Other surfaces appeared to have their own advantages and disadvantages and ongoing maintenance costs.
The Clerk will circulate the feedback received to the committee for review and discussion at the next meeting. Cllr. Langford will look into the use of mulch for the play area at Dorothy Clive Gardens.

6). To consider the Grass Cutting Tenders for 2019/20 & 2020/21:- The tenders had been opened by Councillor Baskerville and the Clerk and spreadsheets were circulated showing the quotations received. The committee resolved to recommend allocation of works as follows, to include the proposed additional maintenance works :-
Jacksons of Eccleshall:
• Elford Heath, Triangle, Kerry Lane – x 10
• Offley Hay Village Hall – x 8
• Rose Bay Willow Herb (cutting back) – x 3
Trent Grounds Maintenance:
• Washpits, Eyeswells footpath mowing, Croxton Play area, Bishops Court – fortnightly
• Picnic Site, Pump Site, Eyeswells strimming/hedge, verge opposite Croxton play area – monthly
• Eyeswells and Bishops Court Hedge – annual cuts
• Footpath 13, Hartlands Rd alley – x 3
• Church St and Castle St. Verges – x 4

It was noted that the Clerk needs to request the Croxton maintenance ties in with the well dressing on the 6th July 2019.

7). Planning for remedial work and a management plan for Elford Pool:- A comprehensive report had been completed by Rob Keyzor and copies circulated to all members. Due to the volume of work required it was suggested that work could be divided into chunks and quotes requested for each set of work. Keyzors have agreed to quote for the work highlighted in the report and are aware the Council will need to request quotations from other businesses.
Cllr. Baskerville is awaiting the conclusions of Mr. John Greene after a site visit, regarding complete removal of the reed mace. It was noted there are several ways to remove the growth, including hand cutting under water, mechanical removal or chemical treatment. It was noted that water flow into the pool is minimal and the water level remains very low.
Initial suggestions are to implement a rolling programme of maintenance works, including:
• Cutting back woody vegetation and crack willows behind the railings at the top of Kerry Lane to improve visibility (part of this will be addressed by the maintenance contract with Jacksons of Eccleshall
• Significant reduction of the large crack willows at the west end of the pond
• pollarding of the trees at the front and side of the pool. Willows and Hazels could be pollarded on a 5 year rotational basis
• Trees to be cut back where stems are touching the pool and space maintained
• Annual audit of the area

Cllr. Baskerville will finalise and present an overview of the work to be considered to the Parish Council, in order to progress some initial works. Priority issues include the pollarding of the invasive trees and removal of the reed mace. Funds would need to be allocated and earmarked for the programme, but there are funds available in this year’s budget to cover the initial improvements. Options for grants will be researched by Cllr. Baskerville and the Clerk. Possible options include National Lottery grants and a Biffa Landfill grants programmes. It was noted that there may be local volunteers interested in helping to improve the area. The Council would need to ensure adequate insurance provision was in place.

7). Consideration of works to improve the picnic area at Copmere:- Following Council approval, Cllr. Mullee will make arrangements to collect the two benches from the Borough Council. Mr. Sheard has quoted £195 for removal of old seats, refurbishment of the older bench and installing both in postcrete. If slabs in front of the benches are required, the cost will increase to £320. The committee resolved to recommend acceptance of the quote of £195, without slabs.

8). Discuss the potential costs for refurbishing the BT phone boxes at Fair Oak and Croxton:- Following inspection of the phone box at Croxton, Colwich Parish Council advised they would not be able to quote for the work. The committee discussed alternative contractors to approach who could manage the replacement of the hinges requiring removal of the door. Suggestions included contractors with a fabrication background. Cllr. Baskerville will approach Andy Stewart or Richard Clemson to see if either would be able to provide a quotation.
Maintenance of BT box at Washpits:- In response to a councillor request, the Clerk has contacted BT to report the unsatisfactory condition of the kiosk by the Washpits as it needs cleaning and re-painting. BT has advised the kiosk will be placed on the cleaning schedule but photos were required to determine whether the paintwork had deteriorated sufficiently to consider re-painting. Relevant photos have been supplied and an outcome is pending.

9). Bishops Court Signage:- Cllr. Price provided an update via the Clerk. The residents are still happy for the sign to be located on the side of their property and Mr. N. Price will arrange to fix this when the weather improves.

10). Correspondence:- Resident correspondence was noted regarding the potential supply of free trees by Octopus electricity company. There were no areas identified in need of trees at this point in time.

12). Items for next meeting:-

BT phone boxes and Elford would be added to the next agenda. The committee were asked to forward any further items for consideration to the Clerk.

13). Date of next meeting:- May 1st, 2019, Eccleshall Community Centre, after the Planning Committee meeting.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.15pm.