May 15th, 2019

The annual meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on May 15th, 2019 at Eccleshall Community Centre, at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 9.30pm.

  61/19).       Present were:-    

Councillor P. Jones (Chairman) Councillor G. Garner
Councillor R. Langford Councillor P. Edwards
Councillor J. Leather Councillor C. Marshall
Councillor L. Dale Councillor B. Delanchy
Councillor P. Stenning Councillor M. Watson
Councillor R. Taylor Councillor E. Amos
Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
Borough and County Councillor Pert.
2 members of the public

The meeting opened with prayers

 62/19).     To elect a Chairman and sign the declaration of office.

                 Outgoing Chairman Graham Garner took the Chair for the election of the Chairman.

There was one candidate for the Office of Chairman. Councillor P. Jones was elected as Chairman for the ensuing year.

                 Cllr. P. Jones duly signed the declaration of office form.

 63/19).     Apologies were received and accepted from Councillors J. Jones.

 64/19).     To elect a Vice-Chairman and sign the declaration of office.

                 There was one candidate for the Office of Vice-Chairman. Councillor L. Dale was elected as Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year

Cllr. Dale duly signed the declaration of office form.

 65/19).     To consider Councillor requests for dispensation and accept Declarations of interest relating to items on the agenda. There were no requests to receive, and no declarations of interest were made.

 66/19).     To confirm the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on April 17th, 2019:- The minutes, which had been previously circulated were agreed and signed.

 67/19).     Co-option of Councillors for vacancies in Horsley and Croxton Wards. No applications   have been received for the vacancies, so the Council resolved to defer the co-option until the next meeting in June.

 68/19).     To appoint Committees and Liaison Representatives:-

It was noted that the Chair of the Council was a member of all Council Committees.

  Planning Committee                   All Councillors

 Traffic Management Committee Councillors P. Jones, Amos, Langford, Leather, Dale and Stenning.

 Enhancement Committee           Councillors P. Jones, Amos, Langford, Marshall, Edwards, Dale, Stenning and Taylor  together   with co-opted member – Mr G. Dale.

 Policy and Resources                 Councillors P. Jones, Amos, Marshall, J. Jones, Dale and Edwards.

 Footpaths Committee                 Councillors P. Jones, Leather, Marshall and Taylor, together with co-opted members – Mr N. Davenport and Mr D. Smith.

 Staffing Committee                     Councillors P. Jones, Dale and Delanchy

 Croxton Playing Fields               Croxton Councillors

 Allotments                                  Councillor Marshall (Cllr. Edwards in the absence of Cllr. Marshall).

 Eccleshall Community Centre    Councillors Amos and Dale

 Parish Councils Assoc.              Clerk

Parish Forum                             Clerk

Police Liaison Officer                 Clerk

Eccleshall First Responders       Councillor Watson

Offley Hay Village Hall               Councillor J. Jones

Press Officer                              Councillor P. Jones

Tourism Bureau                          Councillor J. Jones

Ecclian Society                           Councillor Dale

Internal Auditor                          Councillor Marshall

Slindon residents                       Councillor Leather

Children & Young Peoples  Champion      Councillor Marshall

Croxton News                             Councillor Langford

Newsletter Editorial Team          Councillors P. Jones, Langford and Taylor.


  69/19).    To consider the Council’s Deeds and Insurances:- The Council resolved to defer this item to the Policy and Resources committee on the 5th June, to allow for full consideration.

  70/19).    To confirm eligibility and consider a resolution to adopt the General Power of Competence:- The Clerk outlined the key points of the legislation, key points of which were also provided in the Clerks report circulated with the agenda. The power is defined in the Localism Act 2011 ss 1-8.

                 It was noted that the General Power of Competence does not supersede any other legislation that prohibits the Council to act.

The Council resolved that it is eligible to adopt the General Power of Competence by confirming it meets the following criteria as cited in The Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012:

  • A qualified clerk who has obtained the CiLCA qualification
  • The number of elected members (not co-opted) equal to or greater than two thirds of the total number of council members. The Council has 12 members out of 15 elected.

Having determined to have met the qualifying criteria, the Council resolved to adopt the General Power of Competence. It was noted that even if the number of elected Councillors dropped below 10, the power will be retained until the Annual meeting after the next Parish election, where it could be re-adopted if the Council meet the criteria on that date.

  71/19).    Public Participation:- There were two members of the public present, who did not wish to speak.

  72/19).     Reports from Borough and County Councillors:-

                 Cllr. J. Pert provided a report on the following:

  • Pert expressed his thanks at being returned as a Borough Councillor in the recent elections along with Cllr. P. Jones and planned to redouble his efforts to support residents and the Ward.
  • He noted involvement in a recent Parish Council site visit with the County Council, to establish the best locations for traffic speed signs. 8 locations were identified at the meeting.
  • The eagle street art has a new location agreed for the verge near to the island by the Bovis development. Bovis are happy with the proposed location subject to a resident consultation. A new planning application will be required. The County Council has committed to fund any additional Road Safety audits.
  • A request has been submitted to unblock the drains on Green Lane prior to the upcoming surface dressing works.
  • Pert is currently representing residents with concerns about access to and from the Burgage due to the new development. The installed pavement is not of a sufficient width to provide the required visibility splay. A meeting has been held with the Chief Executive of the Borough Council and a meeting with Highways is planned to raise the concerns and discuss solutions.

Cllr. P. Jones expressed his thanks at being returned as a Borough Councillor following the elections.

  73/19).    Committee Reports:-

                 Traffic Management Committee:-

No meeting has been held since the last Parish meeting.


Enhancements Committee:-

                 A meeting of the Enhancements committee was held on the 1st May. The Clerk provided the following update:-

  • Croxton Play area – an alternative quotation was provided by Wicksteed for complete resurfacing of the wet pour surface, with the edges to run underneath the grass, reducing the need for annual repairs due to shrinkage. However, at a cost of £5,802.50, this was considered too expensive at this time and the original repairs to infill the wetpour will continue. Research into alternative surfaces is ongoing and grasscrete was noted as an option to consider. The play equipment requires cleaning, but the last clean was around £500, therefore the Clerk was asked to research alternative companies. The Clerk advised that she has approached 3 companies offering pressure washing, and DPWS has quoted  £170 for pressure washing of the area and will be available to complete the work on the 20th No other companies responded. The Council resolved to accept this quotation and proceed with the work.
  • Elford Pool – some revisions to the originally submitted plan were discussed, with a view to avoiding draining the pool unless necessary. The initial steps are:
  1. Clearance of ditches/brook that runs to Atkins land.
  2. Removal of brushwood to the west of the common, to allow access to the pool. There would also be further arboricultural work needed to provide access to the pool. Quotes will include the option of chipping and spreading of vegetation, as opposed to a bonfire.
  3. Removal of the reed mace.

Following these steps removal of detritus from the pool bed is needed to improve water levels. Further arboricultural work will also need to be completed.  Cllr. Marshall is progressing a breakdown of costs from Richard Plant, and the Clerk will obtain a quotation from Rob Keyzor for the tree works. It was suggested that the Council also approaches Amey for support as part of its Community Days initiative, as they will have the required specialist equipment for the work proposed. The Council resolved for the Clerk to approach Amey and apply for support with clearing the ditches, brushwood and reed mace.

Policy and Resources Committee:-

No meeting has been held since the last Parish meeting.

Footpaths Committee:-

A meeting of the Footpaths committee was held on the 1st May. Approval had been given for the updated Walk leaflet no. 10, and the Council resolved to approve printing costs of £63 for 400 leaflets. Walks 8 and 12 are the only routes pending review.

A fingerpost has been removed from the walkway between Hartlands Road and Badgers Croft. The previous location of the post was now surrounded by tarmac. The Council resolved to write to the owner of the fence located near the entrance to ask permission to site a way marker disc. Cllr. Taylor will advise the address of the owner of the fence.

  74/19).    Liaison Representatives:- Reports were accepted by the Council, as circulated in the Clerk’s Report prior to the meeting.

  75/19).     To consider any New Development updates:-

Taylor Wimpey site:-. A resident has raised concerns regarding a gap running between properties on Trinity Road and the new development. Concerns included maintenance responsibilities and opportunity for access by burglars. Taylor Wimpey advise that a decision was made on site to bring the fence line in a little due to the diagonal bracing of the existing fence and retained trees and planting. The land between is still the responsibility of the respective householders on the new development and they have been made aware. Taylor Wimpey believe that as the gap has been kept to an absolute minimum that it does not provide access for people to traverse.

It was also noted work has commenced on the play area.

Bovis:- The bollards to prevent through traffic from Badgers Croft to Sancerre Grange are not yet in place. The Clerk will chase with the contact at Chasetown Civil to progress.

Cross Butts:– Remedial roadworks have not yet been completed on the Crescent, which are required as a result of damage caused by excessive water runoff from the building site. The Clerk will chase highways for an update.

Wrekin Housing:- The Clerk and Cllr. P. Jones met with a Borough Council Enforcement Officer on site at the Burgage on Monday 13th May to discuss resident concerns about the use of resident parking spaces, blocking access to properties, and location of the site office outside of the development boundary. The enforcement officer has since responded to advise that Wrekin are willing to work with the Borough Council to ensure that they try and find a way to work around any issues that arise. They were not aware of any issues and have advised that the office portacabin will be moved on site within the next month.

76/19).   Update on Eagle Sculpture relocation:- The Planning Committee has approved the alternative location of the Eagle on the verge at the entrance to the Bovis site, on the side nearest to the bus shelter. The proposed location will be in front of a garage and effectively in a blind spot for adjacent residents, so they are not overlooking the sculpture. A new planning application will be submitted once Bovis has advised completion of its resident consultation and receipt of any required Road Safety Audits.

77/19).    To consider and appoint the internal auditor for the period April 1st 2019-31st March 2020:-

The Council resolved to write to Mrs. Chris Heelis ask her to continue the role of  internal auditor for the upcoming year. The Council were very happy with Mrs. Heelis’s work for the last year.

78/19).    To note and express thanks for the service of outgoing councillors:-

The Chair noted that some experienced and long serving Councillors had retired this year and considered how their contribution could be recognised. The Council is empowered to grant ‘Freedom of the Parish’ to individuals who are recognised to have made a significant contribution to the Parish. Presentations could be made at the Civic Service in October. The Council resolved to discuss the proposal at the Policy and Resources committee meeting in June.

   79/19).    To receive the Clerk’s report and correspondence:-

The Council resolved to accept the Clerk’s report.

80/19).   Summer Newsletter:- The Clerk asked councillors to submit any items of interest for inclusion in the upcoming newsletter, which is expected to be published towards the end of June/early July. New councillors have been requested to submit a few introductory words for inclusion. Planned works on Elford Pool will be included and councillors suggested it would be an opportunity to further promote the 8am bus service and advise the opening of the new play areas.

81/19).   To consider and approve additional gully cleaning locations:-

A report was circulated prior to the meeting detailing gullies that are known to overflow, which would benefit from additional emptying. The Clerk has worked with highways to identify which of those gullies are not regularly emptied or have not been emptied this year. This has resulted in a greatly reduced list of approximately 8 areas.  In order to maximise the additional cleansing works to be paid for by the Parish Council and Cllr. Pert, more areas need to be included. Councillors were requested to advise the Clerk of other areas of concern.

2 gullies in Slindon were noted for additional consideration, as were gullies at the bottom of Badgers Croft and by Sacred Heart on the Stone Road.

   82/19).    Chairman’s Report:-

The Chair welcomed new councillors.

  83/19).    Accounts:-

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

Stafford Borough – Civic Amenity visits – concurrent allowance 804.00
Eccleshall in Bloom Baskets x 4 – Concurrent Allowance 120.00
Subscription Local Council Review (NALC) – LGA 1972 s.111 17.00


Authorisation was sought for payment of the following accounts:-

S. Worden – Salary – LGA 1972  s. 112 1177.53
Expenses – Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act 1963 128.78
PAYE – LGA (Financial Provisions) 1963 54.00
NHI – LGA (Financial Provisions )1963 173.96
Pension LG Pensions Scheme Regs. 1995 423.55
TGM Grass and hedge cutting – Open Space Act 1906 s10 463.20
D&G Bus – Provision of No.14 morning service – LGA 1972 s.137 210.00


All were in favour and the cheques were signed.

The Clerk was requested to obtain passenger usage for the No. 14 8am service over each month.

To sign the completed bank mandate form. The completed document to remove former Cllrs. Garner and Baskerville was approved and duly signed by two current signatories.

84/19).   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 the meeting held on April 23rd with local representatives concerning potential future opportunities for the Police Station. This was discussed, and there were no new resolutions to approve.

85/19).    To note the date of the Annual Public Parish Meeting:- Members were advised all had been invited to attend the public meeting to be held on the 22nd May at the Community Centre, starting at 7.30pm.

  86/19).    Items / Date and Venue for next meeting:- The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on June 19th, 2019, Offley Hay Village Hall, 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 9.30pm.