ECCLESHALL PARISH COUNCIL Meeting – September 18th, 2019.

A meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on September 18th, 2019 at Eccleshall Community Centre, at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 9.20pm.

134/19). Present were:-

Councillor P. Jones (Chairman);  Councillor R. Langford
Councillor R. Taylor;  Councillor E. Amos
Councillor B. Delanchy;  Councillor S. Mifflin
Councillor J. Jones;  Councillor L. Dale
Councillor J. Leather

Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
5 members of the public

Apologies were received and accepted from Councillors Watson, Marshall and Stenning and County Cllr. Pert. Cllr. Edwards was absent.

135/19). 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.

136/19). Public Participation:-

There were five members of the public present. A resident spoke in support of the ongoing need for a subsidised bus fare to support young people using the 8am bus to get to school and college. He provided feedback from Sir Graham Balfour that the current cost for their students is too high, and it was noted that it is expected their students would use the bus with the subsided fares in place.

137/19). To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meetings held on July 17th and July 24th, 2019:-

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

138/19). Co-option of Councillors to Horsley Ward.

There were two vacancies to be filled for Horsley Ward. Three candidates gave a short presentation to the meeting, answering questions from existing Councillors.

Following the two sets of votes for each individual post, Mr. Paul Mullee of Johnson Home Farm, Eccleshall, and Mr. Stuart Perren of Conifers, Cross Butts, Eccleshall, were duly co-opted to represent the Horsley Ward.

139/19). Reports from Borough and County Councillors:-

Borough Councillor P. Jones attended a Battle of Britain service on the 16th Sept at St. Mary’s Church, Stafford.

140/19). Committee Reports:-

Traffic Management Committee:-
Cllr. Dale provided the following update:-
• Speed Indication Devices: Two quotes have been received for the installation and rotation of the speed devices around the 8 posts located within the Parish.
o Quote 1 was an installation cost of £465 and a monthly rotation cost of £180.
o Quote 2 was an installation cost of £140 and a monthly rotation cost of £40, which is to be reviewed after a 3 month trial period, to ensure it accurately reflects the work required to move the devices.
The Council considered both quotes and resolved to approve quotation 2, provided by Mr. A.G. Jones. Mr. Jones has advised he has the relevant equipment in order to safely install and move the devices, and the Council will ensure risk assessments of each area will be completed.

Enhancements Committee:-
Cllr. Dale provided the following update:-
• Elford Pool
o Keyzors are due to start work on the first stage of tree works on the 30th September, which is anticipated to take around 2.5 days to complete with one team.
o Quotes for pool clearance works are still being received ahead of consideration at the next committee meeting. The Clerk will also obtain quotes for the Newt survey work that has to be conducted between March and June.

Policy and Resources Committee:-
Cllr. P. Jones provided the following update:-
• The Council resolved to approve the recommendation of the committee to accept the new Investment Policy and Contact Privacy Notice.
• A public meeting will be held on the 6th November for local organisations to discuss commemorative activities in the sad event of a death of a monarch. The Clerk will circulate the invitation by email. It was noted that it would be worth including the County Council in any plans that may involve traffic management.
• The Council resolved to approve the committee recommendation that requires the Clerk to attend key external meetings along with Councillors. This is mainly with regards to important business meetings as opposed to liaison groups, and notes of proposals can be taken for circulation to all members. This will provide an impartial account of meetings and ensure Councillors are not put in a position where it is assumed they are speaking on behalf of the Council.
• The Council resolved to approve payment of 35 additional hours of work by the Clerk, accrued due to the extra workload over the last 6 months. The Council also resolved to approve for the Clerk to claim up to ten additional hours on her monthly payroll if needed to manage current workload. The chair would be advised of the hours prior to payroll processing. The P&R committee will review this arrangement at the next meeting in December.
• To approve recommendation to sponsor of a Community Defibrillator at a cost of £50 a year. The Council wished to know more information about the programme and resolved to defer the item until October, to ask Cllr. Watson to provide an overview of how successful it has been and what units are available for sponsoring.
• The Council resolved to approve the release of £400, funded by a County Council grant, specifically earmarked for the Community Library CiC.

Footpaths Committee:-
Cllr. P. Jones provided the following update:-
• The Council resolved to approve the recommendation to print 400 of the revised Walk No. 11 leaflets at a cost of £63.
• Cutting back of vegetation on footpath 17 by landowner – it was noted that since the footpaths meeting the vegetation at the edge of the field has been cut down to ground level, although it was noted that there are still a number of brambles underfoot that are a trip hazard.
• To request cutting back of hedges by residents adjacent to footpath from the Crescent to Gaol Butts. The Council resolved to approve the recommendation to write to residents requesting the cutting back of their respective hedges and trees.

It was noted that there are some properties along Shaws Lane have hedges that overhang the pavement, causing pedestrians to walk on the road to avoid them. The Council resolved to report the issue to the County Council for it to request cutting back of the vegetation. The clerk will be advised of the relevant house numbers.

Mr. Ed. Ranson requested co-option onto the Footpaths committee. He is a member of a local walking group and as such has good working knowledge of the footpaths in the area. The Council resolved to approve this course of action.

141/19). Liaison Representatives:-

Reports were accepted by the Council, as circulated in the Clerk’s Report prior to the meeting. A further report was provided on the Community Centre as follows:

• After the summer recess bookings are very buoyant with many interesting events taking place.
• They have commissioned a stainless-steel flu for the chimney and are awaiting manufacture. Hopefully this will alleviate the damp patch in Green Room. There will be some decorating taking place.
• They are still looking for a treasurer. If Councillors can think of anyone who is interested, please ask them to contact Gordon Dale for further information. The Council agreed to publicise the vacancy in order to promote the opportunity.

It was noted that all liaison representatives should contact the Clerk in advance of the circulation of the Clerks Report, either to provide a report or to confirm that there are no updates available. The report is currently showing a lack of response from representatives.

142/19). To note the date of an extra Parish Council meeting on 25th Sept to discuss proposals for involvement in the sale of the Police Station Property and to request submission of any proposals for circulation.

The date of the meeting was noted, and the Clerk has received documentation to support the agenda items.

143/19). To provide an update and to consider the final subsidy proposal from D&G buses:-

a separate paper was circulated to members ahead of the meeting. The proposal for consideration is that the Parish Council will subsidise the weekly ticket price of £13 to the value of £4 per ticket. This is available for young people (16-19) in possession of a student card to prove eligibility. This will bring the cost down to £9 a week. The ticket can only be purchased on the 8am service of the No. 14 bus. D&G have not offered a cap to the subsidy, so the Parish Council will be liable for all subsidised costs regardless of passenger numbers. Based on current numbers, this is estimated at £56/month, which includes a potential increase in numbers from Sir Graham Balfour students. It was resolved to approve this course of action and for the Clerk to arrange a revised contract to be signed by the Chair and for the subsidy to be available at the earliest opportunity. Once in place, residents will need to be made aware of the reduced fare.

144/19). To consider paperless ways of working as a Parish Council:-

The Council agreed to defer this item until October, when the councillor proposing the item will be able to present their ideas.

145/19). To approve volunteer proposal for litter picking and footpath tidying on Sept 22nd:-

Mr. Ant Reid has provisionally arranged for a geocaching group to undertake voluntary work in Eccleshall on Sunday 22nd September, to conduct litter picking and also to clear vegetation along footpath 149. The litter collected will be stored at the Little George overnight and collected by Streetscene on Monday 23rd Sept. Streetscene has also agreed to collect the vegetation removed from footpath 149. The Clerk has put in place comprehensive risk assessments for each activity, and each participant will be required to sign in so that attendance is recorded for insurance purposes. The Council resolved to approve for the volunteer work to be undertaken as a Parish Council activity, and thanked Mr. Reid for all his hard work in arranging this event.

146/19). To consider any New Development updates:-

Taylor Wimpey site:- current issues with Taylor Wimpey will be discussed in the planning meeting to follow.
Bovis:- There were no issues discussed
Roundabout Feature:- the Clerk is still awaiting a revised plan to show the new location for the Eagle. Concerns were raised about further delays and the Council resolved for the Clerk to obtain a quote for the plans from another architect. The location plan is also outstanding, and the Clerk has asked County Cllr. Pert if he can help to supply an updated location outline plan.

147/19). To receive the Clerk’s report and correspondence:-

The Council resolved to accept the Clerk’s report.

• Request from resident to send letter to local residents of Elford to deter fly tipping and littering. A resident has advised the Clerk that neighbours have been using the heath as a tipping point for excess garden waste and requested that the Council issue a letter to deter this activity. It was noted that residents near to Elford heath will need to be informed of upcoming works to the trees and pool, and this would be an opportunity to include both items in the same letter. The Council resolved for the Clerk to issue a letter to residents in the area detailing upcoming works and asking for their support in improving the area by not using it as a tipping ground.

148/19). Chairman’s Report:-

The Chair will be attending the Newport Civic Service on the 29th September, Stone Trafalgar Dinner on the 18th October and the AGM of Stafford and Rural Homes on the 19th September.

149/19). Accounts:-

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

Vaughtons, replacement green ribbon for Chain of office – Chairs allowance,
LGA 1972 ss. 15 (5) 41.06
Elan City Ltd, 2 Solar Speed indication devices and accessories – Localism Act 2011 ss. 1-8 (GPC) 4814.63
Rialtas Business Solutions Ltd – Supply, install, training and yr. 1 licence – LGA 1972 s.111 886.92
Trent Grounds Maintenance – completion of siding out works from Cross Butts to Wootton (£996) plus grass cutting for July – Open Space Act 1906 s.10 1365.30
Parton Agri-Plant Ltd – hedge cutting at Croxton/Elford – Open Space Act 1906 s.10 294.00
Mrs S. Worden – Eagle Street Art Application (SBC cheque voided to allow online payment) – Localism Act 2011 ss. 1-8 (GPC) 142.00

Community First Trading – Eccleshall Community Centre insurance – LGA 1972 s.145 1516.32
Society of Local Council Clerks – CertHE course deposit – LGA 1972 s.111 294.00
Mazars – Audit Fee – Accounts and Audit Regs. 2015 360.00
D&G Bus – Provision of No.14 morning service – GPC, Localism Act 2011 ss1-8 230.00
S. Worden – Salary – LGA 1972 s. 112 1177.53
Expenses – Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act 1963 93.32
PAYE – LGA (Financial Provisions) 1963 54.00
NHI – LGA (Financial Provisions )1963 173.96
Pension – LG Pensions Scheme Regs. 1995 423.55
G.C.S. Ltd – Installation of poles for Speed Indication devices – Localism Act 2011 ss. 1-8 (GPC) 5130.66

SLCC Cheshire, conference attendance – LGA 1972 s.111 30.00
Ingestre Woodworks, oak bench for Croxton – Open Space Act 1906 s.10 420.00
Mr. D. Wright – refurbishment of Parish Milestones – Localism Act 2011 ss. 1-8 (GPC) 1050.00
Mr R. Sheard – refurbishments and bench installation – Parish Council Act 1957 s.2* 150.00
D&G Bus – Provision of No.14 morning service – GPC, Localism Act 2011 ss1-8 210.00

Accounts for payment September 2019:-

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 147.31
PAYE – LGA (Financial Provisions) 1963 54.00
NHI – LGA (Financial Provisions )1963 173.96
Pension LG Pensions Scheme Regs. 1995 423.55
Eccleshall Mercia Community Library CiC – GPC, Localism Act 2011 ss1-8 400.00
TGM Grass and hedge cutting – Open Space Act 1906 s10 498.90
Creative Colour n Copy – Freedom of Parish Certs – Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 33.00
Chairman’s Allowance 2019/20 – LGA 1972 ss. 15 (5) 70.00

All were in favour and the cheques were signed.

The Council noted completion and accepted the external audit annual return for 2018/19 with no qualification, and all members had been circulated a copy of the completed audit documentation.

The Council resolved to approve a cost of £145 for a full-page entry in the 2020 Eccleshall Guide.

The Council reviewed the benefits of membership of Support Staffordshire, which included support with funding bids, and resolved to approve associate membership of Support Staffordshire at an annual cost of £25.

150/19). Items / Date and Venue for next meeting:-

The next full meeting of the Parish Council will be held on October 16th, 2019, Offley Hay Village Hall, 7.30pm. Items for addition were requested to be sent to the Clerk. There is also an additional meeting of the Council to be held on September 25th, 2019, at Eccleshall Parish Council, 7.30pm

There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.20pm.