A meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on February 19th, 2020 at Eccleshall Community Centre at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 8.35pm.

21/20). Present were:-

Councillor P. Jones (Chairman) Councillor L. Dale
Councillor R. Taylor Councillor R. Langford
Councillor B. Delanchy Councillor P. Mullee
Councillor J. Jones Councillor S. Mifflin
Councillor E. Amos Councillor J. Leather
Councillor S. Perren Councillor C. Wilkins
Councillor G. Dale

Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
1 member of the public

Apologies were received from Councillors Watson and Stenning, and Borough & County Cllr. Pert.

22/20). To consider Declarations of Interest and Councillor requests for dispensation relating to items on the agenda.

Cllr. Mifflin advised an interest in item 33/20 and will not vote or participate in the discussion.

23/20). Public Participation:-

There was 1 member of the public present. The resident had the following comments:
• The Kings Arms has won a Heart of Staffordshire CAMRA award for Pub of the Season, Winter 2019.
• The resident noted the recent issues with Creswell Parish Council and wished to encourage improvements in communication between local residents and the Parish Council.
• A recent discussion on Facebook has highlighted issues with dog fouling in the area. Although bins are well distributed, dog bags can only be obtained free of charge from the library. Some communities have recycled plastic bottles into dog bag dispensers in order to encourage their use. It was suggested that these dispensers could be made and sited around popular walking routes of Eccleshall, and local youth groups may be interested in being involved.

24/20). To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meetings held on January 22nd, 2020:-

The minutes, which had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed.

25/20). Reports from Borough and County Councillors:-

There were no reports.

26/20). Committee Reports:-
Traffic Management Committee:-

Cllr. L. Dale provided the following update:-
• Members noted the minutes of the meeting with Highways on the 28th January, which had been circulated prior to the meeting. Following discussion with Highways officers regarding the request to improve the lighting at the pelican crossing and consider lit poles, it was resolved for the Council to petition Helen Fisher at the County Council to request consideration of the proposal.
• The two additional speed devices have been delivered and arrangements will be made for set up and installation over the coming week.
• It was noted that chicane fencing has been installed at the top of Chad’s Road to ensure people exit the footpath on the road safely.

Enhancements Committee:-

Minutes of the meeting held on February 5th were circulated to all members prior to the meeting.
Cllr. L. Dale provided the following update:-
• It was resolved that Cllr. G. Dale liaise with the geocaching group regarding the volunteer work to be undertaken on Copmere picnic site, to ensure the work is completed under the remit of the Parish Council.
• Costs were considered for the installation of a new picnic bench on the picnic area, in both wood and recycled materials. After consideration of the quotes provided, it was resolved to purchase a 6ft dark brown recycled picnic bench at a cost of £480 plus delivery.
• The Committee recommended replacing the Cherry Tree on the Stone Road that had been knocked over in the recent accident. The replacement 7ft tree would cost £100. Costs to install the tree are pending, so the whole cost will be brought to the Council for consideration when available.
• The pillar clock face that was recently repaired has stopped working. The Clerk will contact the clock repair company to request a review of the repair.
• VE Day planning is going well. The Ecclian Society have agreed to put the flags up earlier this year, in time for the celebrations. Councillors were asked to support the activities and if they have any raffle prizes to donate, please can they could be brought to the next meeting.

Policy and Resources Committee:-

The next meeting will be held on the 4th March.

Footpaths Committee:-

The next meeting will be held on the 1st April.

27/20). Liaison Representatives:-

Reports were accepted by the Council, as circulated in the Clerk’s Report prior to the meeting.

28/20). To consider any New Development updates:-

Castle Street:- As noted previously, no date has yet been set for the Borough Council planning committee meeting. The next possible meeting date is the 11th March.
Eagle Sculpture update:- the landscaping designs have been passed to Bovis for approval, prior to submission to the Borough Council. The clerk is awaiting a response.

29/20). To approve Volunteer work on Footpath 26:-

It was resolved to approve the volunteer work of the geocaching group, who as before will be kindly undertaking volunteer works to clear footpaths and litter pick in the Parish on behalf of the Parish Council. The activities will be subject to risk assessments to ensure work is undertaken safely. The work is provisionally scheduled for March 29th.

30/20). To receive any updates regarding proposal for Police Station property:

There has been no information from the vendor to advise whether the bid has been successful. The Parish Council has received approval to borrow the funds needed.

31/20). To consider the consultation on Public Open Space Protection Orders issued by Stafford Borough Council:-

There was no feedback to submit, apart from members wished to clarify that mobility scooters would not be excluded from the town centre.

32/20). To discuss the continuation of the D&G bus subsidy for the 8am bus service from Eccleshall to Stafford for 2020/21:-

It was resolved to continue with the subsidised bus service and the discounted weekly pass for the next financial year.

33/20). Consideration of request from the Allotments Association to repair or provide funds to repair the road within the site:-

The condition of the lower part of the road within the site has deteriorated and repairs are required to the road to make it safe. 2 quotations were submitted for the repairs, it was not possible to obtain a third. It was resolved to support the Allotments by arranging the road repairs and paying the costs. The quotation of £1050 was accepted.

34/20). Structure of Annual Meeting – 29th April 2020:-

Attendance in previous years has been quite low, and mainly consists of local community groups who are in receipt of Parish grant and are invited to provide an update on their activities over the previous year. Councillors are keen to explore ways in which greater attendance can be encouraged. In order to shorten the reporting, it was suggested that the Chairs report and committee reports can be printed and handed out to attendees, rather than having to listen to them all being read out. Publicity materials can be reviewed. It was suggested that a library representative be invited to attend, to give a talk on the new community library. Any further suggestions for consideration to be forwarded to the Clerk.

35/20). Street cleaning in Eccleshall:-

Concerns were raised regarding the reliance on 1 or 2 volunteers who kindly help with sweeping pavements and tidying up parts of the town. At present we have a handyman who support the Council with fence repairs, painting benches and other miscellaneous repairs. Other Councils expand on this idea with a ‘lengthsman/town handyman’ scheme which can cover any other works the Councils see fit, such as cleaning and straightening of signs, sweeping, litter picking, and footpaths tidying. It was resolved for the Clerk to draft a proposal for a lengthsmen scheme for consideration by the Council.

36/20). To receive the Clerk’s report and correspondence:-

The Council resolved to accept the Clerk’s report. No correspondence had been received.

37/20). Chairman’s Report:-

There were no updates to report.

38/20). Accounts:-

It was resolved to accept the financial summary and bank reconciliation up to 30th January 2020.

Retrospective approval was granted for payment of the following accounts:-

The Cumbria Clock Company – Pillar Clock repairs 198.00
NALC – spring conference 268.97

Accounts for payment February 2020:-

Authorisation was sought for payment of the following accounts:-

Japhlin – Computer maintenance (monthly direct debit) 46.14
Staffing Costs 2044.67
Holy Trinity – Churchyard maintenance 195.00
Holy Trinity – Floodlighting Contribution 150.00
Broughton C of E – Churchyard maintenance 135.00
Croxton C of E – Churchyard maintenance 135.00
Croxton Methodist – Churchyard maintenance 85.00
Slindon PCC – Churchyard maintenance 135.00
Eccleshall Methodist – Churchyard maintenance 85.00
Broughton Parish Rooms – Grounds maintenance 55.00
Eccleshall Community Centre – Hall Hire 750.00
Offley Hay Village Hall – Hall Hire 125.00
Broughton Parish Rooms – Hire 125.00
D. Jacques – storage of footpath materials 5.00
D&G Bus – No. 14 service provision for December 220.00
Barlaston Parish Council – NP training 75.00
SPCA – Councillor training course 20.00
Mr. A.G. Jones – Movement of Speed indication devices 60.00
Elan City – 2 x speed indication devices 3,589.10

39/20). Items / Date and Venue for next meeting:-

The next full meeting of the Parish Council will be held on March 18th, 2020, Eccleshall Community Centre, 7.30pm. Items for addition were requested to be sent to the Clerk.

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.40pm.