ECCLESHALL PARISH COUNCIL – DRAFT minutes of the Council meeting held July 15th, 2020 (to be approved at the next meeting)

A meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held online via Zoom videoconferencing on July 15th, 2020, at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 8.35pm.

 74/20).     Present were:-   

Councillor P. Jones (Chairman)             Councillor L. Dale
Councillor R. Taylor                              Councillor R. Langford
Councillor B. Delanchy                         Councillor M. Watson
Councillor J. Jones                              Councillor P. Stenning
Councillor E. Amos                              Councillor J. Leather
Councillor S. Perren                             Councillor C. Wilkins
Councillor G. Dale
Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
4 members of the public

Apologies were received from Cllr. Mifflin and Borough and County Councillor Pert.

The Clerk noted that Cllr.P. Mullee had submitted his resignation, resulting in a vacancy for Horsley Ward.

75/20).    To consider Declarations of Interest and Councillor requests for dispensation relating to items on the agenda.

There were no requests to receive, and no declarations of interest were made.

76/20).    Public Participation:-

There were 4 members of the public present, who did not speak.

77/20).    To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on June 17th, 2020:-

The minutes, which had been previously circulated were agreed, and will be signed at the earliest opportunity.

78/20).    To receive any reports from Borough and County Councillors:-

Borough Cllr. P. Jones advised he attended a recent Borough planning meeting to speak on the objections of the Parish Council regarding application 20/31862/OUT at Raleigh Hall, but the application was approved by the committee.

79/20).   To review and re-adopt the following policies, ensuring they are fit for purpose:-
  • Publication Scheme
  • Policies in relation to Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation
  • Financial Risk Assessment
  • Code of Conduct and Complaints Procedure

Councillors resolved to approve the re-adoption of the policies, as no changes were required at this time.

It was noted that the outcome of the LGA consultation on the Code of Conduct may result in revision of the current policy.

  80/20).   To discuss the results of the Parish Survey and to request members to consider new projects for discussion in September.

As noted in the Clerks Report, Cllr. L. Dale requested councillors to submit suggestions for new parish projects. Since the survey was conducted there may have been changes in priorities and community need as a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic. This is an opportunity for the council to change and think differently. Ideas will be discussed in September and potential projects agreed for further progression.

With regards to the survey, it was agreed that no further analysis would be undertaken. The survey contains conflicting viewpoints regarding progression versus a desire for nothing to change. It is also noted that this was only a small representative sample. It was suggested that it would be worth referring back to the Neighbourhood Plan aspirations detailed within to see if any align with feedback.
81/20).     To note receipt of and to request individual councillor responses to the Local Government Association Code of Conduct Consultation 2020. (submission deadline 17th August).

Councillors were asked to submit their individual responses, via the web link included in the Clerks report.

82/20).  To consider the postponed VE Day activities and any potential plans to reschedule:-

It is expected there will be no opportunity to deliver the activities this year, but it is hoped to reschedule the event for May/June 2021.

83/20).    To consider a grant request from Eccleshall Community Amateur Dramatics.

After consideration, it was resolved to award a grant of £500 to the group.

84//20).  To consider the request for release of further grant funding for Eccleshall Cares:-

Councillors discussed the request and accounts provided and noted that there is still a very healthy bank balance. It was resolved that there was no need to release further funds at this time as there was no immediate requirement due to the healthy reserves and the historical pattern of expenditure.

The Parish Council re-iterated its continued support of Eccleshall Care and the valuable work it continues to do. It was understood that expenditure may increase due to the impact of unemployment and confirmed that the funds being held will be reserved for use when needed and can be released quickly to support the groups activities to avoid any gap in provision.

The Clerk will ask if Eccleshall Cares would be interested in Cllr. L. Dale joining its committee.

85/20). To consider Enhancements – additional works for consideration and approval:
  • Clearing of verge overgrowth on the pavement from opposite Kerry Lane to the footpath access on the Chester Road.
  • Clearing of verge overgrowth by the hedge at Croxton Play area
  • To purchase 2 picnic benches for Elford Heath.
  • Removal of tree branch at Copmere picnic area and tidy up trunk.
  • Clearing of verge overgrowth on Stafford Rd from Bovis to cut through lane
  • Clearing of verge overgrowth on Stone Rd – Fletchers to cut through lane
  • Clearing of verge overgrowth from Badgers Croft to Fletchers.

 It was resolved to approve all the above listed verge overgrowth works, at a total cost of £2875. It was noted that the works are no longer undertaken by the County Council and the Parish Council has to pick this up to ensure the pavements do not become too narrow. It is ongoing work as opposed to a one off piece of work. At present a number of these pavements are too narrow for wheelchairs.

It was resolved to approve the purchase of two large recycled picnic benches for Elford Heath at a cost of £920. The Clerk will obtain a quotation for the installation of the benches in Postcrete.

It was resolved to approve the removal of the tree branch at Copmere and tidy up of trunk at a cost of £120.

86/20). To add monthly mowing of the verge by Croxton well to the existing grounds maintenance  schedule and to consider the initial quotation for strimming and cutting back prior to regular mowing: 

 It was resolved to approve the initial works for strimming and cutting back at a cost of £127.50 and to add the mowing of the verge to the monthly maintenance schedule.

 

87/20).  To consider the report regarding subscription to the Parish Online Mapping system:

 Members discussed the report and potential uses and benefits of the mapping system. It was resolved to approve an initial 12 month subscription to the database, to be reviewed before further renewal. There is a 20% discount available and the Clerk will enquire to ensure this is applied.

88/20). To discuss the request for support regarding additional cleaning of the public toilets in Eccleshall.

It was noted that the toilets were a Borough Council owned and maintained facility, and that in line with other public toilets in the Borough, it was not unreasonable for SBC to continue to look after them and provide the additional cleaning required. It was resolved to advise that the Parish Council do not wish to be involved in supporting the cleaning of the toilets at this time.

89/20). To note the action taken to re-open Croxton play area on Saturday 4th July, in accordance with the results of a comprehensive risk assessment and provision of appropriate guidance signage.  

The Clerk advised that all necessary steps had been taken to assess Croxton Play area prior to re-opening and that the equipment has been inspected and signage put in place prior to opening.

90/20). To request items for the next Parish Newsletter:-

 Members were asked to submit any items to the Clerk for inclusion in the Parish Council newsletter, which is usually published in November. Items noted in the meeting include a feature to show where funds have been spent, such as verge expenditure, and also information on planning material considerations to be used when responding to planning applications.

91/20). To note and to write to congratulate James Du Pavey for being awarded the accolade of best Estate Agent in the Country.

It was resolved to proceed with this course of action.

92/20).  To receive the Clerk’s report, including committee updates and liaison reports:-

The Clerk reviewed the contents of the report, and committee updates were noted.

It was noted that Cllr. Taylor is looking to undertake litter picking work with footpath marshalls volunteers. The Council has an appropriate risk assessment in place and volunteers will operate under the Parish Council remit. Streetscene will be contacted to request loan of the litter pickers and bags, and to collect the full bags. A suitable collection point will need to be arranged.

The Clerk is also progressing a tree report from Rob Keyzor, following recent works at Bishops Court.

 Correspondence:-

No correspondence had been received.

93/20).   Chairman’s Report:-

There were no items to report.

 94/20).   Accounts:-

To accept the Financial report to end June 2020: It was resolved to accept the financial summary, which includes the bank reconciliation up to the 30th June 2020.

To approve accounts for payment July 2020:-

Authorisation was sought for payment of the following accounts:-

Japhlin – Computer maintenance (monthly direct debit) 46.14
Staffing Costs 1880.63
Office expenses 225.03
Cumbria Clock Company – repairs 348.00
Community First – Community Centre insurance premium 1556.82
Rob Keyzor – Bishops Court tree works 600.00
Rialtas – Financial software licence and support renewal 148.80
Society of Local Council Clerks – training 1412.00
Trent Grounds Maintenance – grass and verge works 465.90
Mr. G. Cole – Footpaths Maintenance 128.00
Mr. R. Sheard – maintenance tasks at Copmere 240.00

 

All were in favour and the cheques will be signed accordingly.

To authorise SPCA training expenditure for Councillors. (4 courses, cost £200).

It was resolved to approve the expenditure.

To approve Web Accessible Documents training course for Clerk @ £50.

It was resolved to approve the expenditure.

 95/20).   To approve delegation to the Clerk for dealing with items of emergency and payment of  accounts until the next Parish Council meeting, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice Chairman.

It was resolved to approve this course of action, to cover the summer meeting break.

96/20). Items / Date and Venue for next meeting:- T

he next full meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for September 23rd, via Zoom, commencing at 7.30pm.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.35pm.