April 17th, 2019

A meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on April 17th, 2019 at Broughton Parish Rooms, at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 9.15pm.

47/19). Present were:- Councillor G. Garner (Chairman);  Councillor P. Jones;  Councillor J. Jones;  Councillor P. Alcock;
Councillor B. Delanchy;  Councillor P. Mullee;  Councillor R. Langford;  Councillor L. Dale;  Councillor J. Leather;  Councillor C. Marshall;
Councillor P. Baskerville; Councillor P. Edwards; Councillor D. Jacques
Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
Borough and County Councillor Pert.

Apologies were received and accepted from Councillor Amos.

The meeting opened with prayers

48/19). 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.

49/19). Public Participation:- There were no members of the public present

50/19). To confirm the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on March 20th, 2019:- The minutes, which had been previously circulated were agreed and signed.

51/19). Reports from Borough and County Councillors:-
Cllr. J. Pert provided a report on the following:
• Cllr. Pert referred to the upcoming Parish and Borough Council elections on the 2nd May and wished to express his thanks to the Parish Council and individual councillors for their help and support in making Eccleshall the supportive community it is.
• The Bovis planning application for ten additional houses is on hold after the Borough Council requested Bovis to reconsider the submission. However, it will be resubmitted to the Borough Planning committee on the 23rd April with no amendments and it is possible it will be passed on this occasion. Parish Council concerns regarding the drainage issues were ongoing, and the flood group has also submitted objections. However, the County Council flood officer has noted his satisfaction with County Council inspection and findings.
• A meeting was held to discuss the Eagle project with key County Council officials, Cllr. Pert and Cllr. Delanchy. Safety concerns were raised regarding the proposed roundabout location and it was agreed to investigate alternative locations.
• It is hoped that the Bovis play area could be opened within 6-8 weeks.
• An update on the potential use for the police station will be discussed later in the agenda.

Cllr. P. Jones reiterated the concerns regarding the planning application by Bovis. He also noted that a defibrillator has been installed on a substation at the bottom of Wheelwright Drive.

52/19). Committee Reports:-
Traffic Management Committee:-
No meeting has been held since the last Parish meeting. It was advised that following the installation of number plate recognition technology for car park management, the Co-op has confirmed it will continue to provide 10 parking spaces for traders. Any changes to car details can be passed to the Co-Op manager who will notify the relevant authorities. Ongoing checks are in place to ensure the spaces are being used correctly.

Enhancements Committee:-
The next meeting of the Enhancements committee will be held on the 1st May. Cllr. Baskerville provided the following update:-
• Elford Pool – a management plan was circulated for consideration of preliminary works required. It was noted that of the contractors approached, 1 quotation was extremely high, and one declined to quote. Another contractor is prepared to quote for the work on a daily work rate, which is expected to be a reasonable cost. Initial works proposed include draining the pool, removing silt and reed mace and depositing it on land to the west of the pool. Some trees will need to be removed for access. The Parish Council resolved to arrange a site meeting to understand the scale of the problem. It was noted that in the short term it would look very messy and publicity will be needed to advise the public of the plans. Any pumping of water would require prior ditch management and clearance to ensure water goes where it is expected to. The Council expressed its thanks to Cllr. Baskerville for addressing such a large project.
• Watering Contract. A quotation from Stafford Borough Council was received to undertake the watering of the mangers and baskets throughout the summer at a cost of £5524.20 plus VAT. Members were unaware of anyone else who may be able/willing to undertake the work as effectively as the Borough Council. The Council resolved to suspend standing orders and to accept the quotation by the Borough Council to undertake the work.
Policy and Resources Committee:-
No meeting has been held since the last Parish meeting.

Footpaths Committee:-
No meeting has been held since the last Parish meeting.

Staffing Committee:-
The sub committee met on the 8th April to conduct the Clerk’s Appraisal. The committee was delighted with the Clerk’s work and progress over the past year and pleased with the consideration given to future progress.

53/19). Liaison Representatives:- Reports were accepted by the Council, as circulated in the Clerk’s Report prior to the meeting.
Allotments:- the committee met on 15th April.
• Finances were in good order and the water rates bill is expected to be small.
• 4 plots are vacant, and 6 people are on the waiting list.
• The association has joined the Community Foundation of Staffordshire, which allows it to apply for grants that are needed to install anti-rabbit fencing.
• The Clerk has contacted WaterPlus to arrange a site meeting to review moving and replacing the water meter and a date is pending.
• The cabin is being cleaned up and painted. Thanks were expressed to Cllr. Mullee for helping to relocate the sleepers by the path.
• No barbecue is planned for this year, but one may be arranged for 2020.

Ecclian Society:-
• Bloom basket sponsorship letters are about to be sent out.
• Drake Hall has been in contact to offer help in erecting the hanging baskets.
• The Society has agreed to continue sponsorship of the Christmas Tree at the Crossroads and installation/removal of the lights, as long as finances remain buoyant. The Parish Council expressed its appreciation.
• The annual structural survey of the oak post baskets has been arranged.
• The society made a small donation to Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre to support the rebuild work after the recent fire.
• Welcome packs have been distributed to new residents.
• Someone had attempted to remove the Ecclian seat at Elford Common. Upon inspection, both legs were rotten so the bench has been fully removed and a replacement will be provided. The Parish Council was in support of this action.

The Council noted the hard work of the Croxton litter pickers on the weekend of 6th/7th April.

54/19). To review and approve the updated Financial Regulations. The revised financial regulations were circulated to all members ahead of the meeting for consideration. The document had been updated in line with NALC recommendations. The Council resolved to adopt the revised Financial Regulations.

55/19). To consider any New Development updates:-
Taylor Wimpey site:- The Clerk is awaiting a response from Highways regarding the request to install fencing to slow pedestrians/cyclists entering St. Chads Road from the Taylor Wimpey linked footpath. The Council resolved for the Clerk to contact the site manager directly to ask for support in installing chicane fencing to improve safety .
Bovis:- there was nothing further to report.
Roundabout Feature:- The recent meeting to discuss the Eagle sculpture concluded that the County Council were not in favour of siting the structure on the roundabout. A site meeting is arranged for 24th April at 8am to explore alternative locations that will be safely away from traffic but provide good visibility. The Parish Council resolved to approve this course of action and will consider the options fed back from the meeting to decide on the preferred location.

56/19). To receive the Clerk’s report and correspondence:-
The Council resolved to accept the Clerk’s report.
• A letter was received from Eccleshall in Bloom, requesting sponsorship of the hanging baskets. The Council resolved to approve sponsoring of 4 hanging baskets, at a cost of £120.00 in total.
• The Clerk noted all re-elected and new councillors must complete a disclosable pecuniary interest form, which can be given to the Clerk at the May meeting for submission. All councillors must also complete an election expenses form, even if no money was spent. This is to be returned directly to the Borough Council.
• The Borough Council Dog Fouling team advised 2 patrols have been made in Eccleshall but no evidence has yet been found to issue fines. If further information relating to specific dates/times can be provided, this would help.

57/19). Chairman’s Report:-
The Chair attended the following:
• The funeral of former councillor John Allen
• Stafford Mayor’s Charity Lunch
The Chair will also be attending the Stone Civic Dinner on the 27th April.
He noted that this would be his last meeting as Chair of the Parish Council and it had been an honour and a privilege to serve as Chair and Councillor. Thanks were expressed to all councillors for their hard work, support and helpfulness. He wished the Council, Borough Councillors and the Clerk all the best for the future.

The Parish Council expressed its sincere thanks to the Chairman.

58/19). Accounts:-

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

1st Eccleshall Scout Group – Grant – LGA1972 s.137 £500.00
SLCC Training Seminar – LGA 1972 s.143 £24.00
Creative Copy ‘n’ Colour – A5 Election flyers – LGA 1972 s.142 £80.00
Zurich Municipal – Council Insurance – LGA 1972 s.111 60.94

Accounts:- Mrs Worden had circulated copies of the following:-
• The final accounts for 2018/19
• The year-end bank reconciliation
• The Annual Return submission
• The Report from Mrs Heelis, Internal Auditor
• Accounts for payment April 2019.

A1 – to receive the Internal Audit Report:- Copies of the report had been circulated to members in advance of the meeting. The report advised that there were no matters to be brought to the attention of the council. The Parish Council received and accepted the report.
A2 – To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1 of the Annual Return) – The Annual Governance Statement was considered by the Council and members agreed all matters had been adequately complied with. The Chairman signed the form accordingly.
A3 – To consider and approve the Accounting Statements:- (Section 2 of the Annual Return) – The statement of accounts was approved and signed by the Chairman.
A4 – Accounts for payment April 2019:-
Authorisation was sought for payment of the following accounts:-

S. Worden – Salary – LGA 1972 s. 112 1160.28
Expenses – Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act 1963 206.47
PAYE – LGA (Financial Provisions) 1963 48.80
NHI – LGA (Financial Provisions )1963 166.91
Pension LG Pensions Scheme Regs. 1995 415.24
Mrs. C. Heelis – Audit fee – Account and Audit Regs. 2015 75.00
TGM Grass and hedge cutting (one off works)- Open Space Act 1906 s10 996.00
SPCA Subscription – LGA 1972 s.111 551.00
Japhlin antivirus updates – LGA 1972 s.111 72.00

All were in favour and the cheques were signed.

A5 – To approve the purchase of memory sticks for councillor policy information. The Parish Council was in favour of the issuing of policies via USB and resolved to approve the purchase of the appropriate number of memory sticks to cover new councillors and current councillors who wished to have a USB. The Clerk advised that 10 memory sticks would be in the region of £25.
A6 – To sign the completed bank mandate form. The completed document to add Cllrs. Delanchy and Dale to the approved signatory list was approved and signed by two current signatories.
A7 – To approve booking of training courses for new Councillors. The Council resolved to approve for the Clerk to book training courses for new councillors as appropriate.

59/19). To pass a resolution in accordance with Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the public and press for discussion regarding potential opportunities presented by the police station property. This item is confidential due to commercial sensitivities. The Parish Council received an update from a recent meeting with local representatives concerning potential future opportunities for the Police Station. Potential options were discussed at length, and the Parish Council resolved in favour of continuing its involvements in discussions moving forwards.
60/19). Items / Date and Venue for next meeting:- The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on May 15th, 2019, 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 9.10pm.