ECCLESHALL PARISH COUNCIL

March 20th, 2019

A meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on March 20th, 2019 at Eccleshall Community Centre, at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 9.00pm.

33/19). 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
Mrs S.J. Worden (Clerk)
Borough and County Councillor Pert.
One member of the public

Apologies were received and accepted from Councillor Amos and Edwards. Cllr. Jacques was absent.

The meeting opened with prayers

34/19). 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.

35/19). Public Participation:- There were no members of the public who wished to speak.

36/19). To confirm the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on February 20th, 2019:- The minutes, which had been previously circulated were agreed and signed.

37/19). Reports from Borough and County Councillors:-
Cllr. J. Pert provided a report on the following:
• A meeting to discuss the Eagle structure has been arranged for the 5th April. Attendees include Richard Rayson, County Cllr. Pert, Parish Cllr. Delanchy and Amey representatives. The Clerk and the chair have also been invited.
• The road from Great Bridgeford to Worston has now re-opened following bridge repairs. Network rail will complete further work over the weekend to complete final repairs.
• A meeting was held on the 19th March to discuss the future of the Police Station site. A project group was formed to address the next level of detail in order to carry forward any proposals. Information will be shared when it is available.
• The leaflet packs to promote the 08:00 D&G bus service have been compiled for distribution and a large number have already been delivered. Cllr. Pert noted that the project had been a good example of collaborative working and made the front page of the Newsletter and page 5 of the Express and Star. Radio Stoke also played a soundbite from Cllr. Garner promoting the service. The chairman raised the concerns of two councillors not wishing to deliver the leaflet packs over issues that the inclusion of the County Councillor newsletter may be seen as political bias. It was noted that due to the need to compile the packs as quickly as possible, the opportunity to review and comment on the packs was not possible. The viewpoint of the Cllrs was noted and understood. County Cllr. Pert and Cllr. Marshall volunteered to deliver the outstanding packs.
Cllr. P. Jones noted he had spoken to the Borough Council planners regarding the application for outline planning permission at land of Castle Street. The planners had indicated that it would not be approved if the plan extends beyond the settlement boundary.

38/19). Committee Reports:-
Traffic Management Committee:-
A meeting of the committee was held 6th March, and minutes of the meeting circulated to all.
Cllr. Leather provided the following update:
• Final locations for the traffic signage ground screws was being progressed.
• Traffic calming gateways for Slindon were due to be delivered last week. The Clerk confirmed they had now been delivered and assembly by volunteers is planned for this weekend. The installation date is to be confirmed.
• Results from the Nitrogen Oxide sensor placed in the centre of Eccleshall throughout 2018 indicated that levels were within acceptable limits.
• The request from Offley Hay Village Hall for additional signage was under investigation.
• In response to a recommendation from Mr. Rayson, the committee has compiled a list of required works in Eccleshall Parish for submission to County Cllr. Pert, to enquire if any financial support is available. The list consists of:
o Resurfacing of the Newport Road footpath
o The extension of the 30mph speed restriction at Loggerheads to incorporate cottages within the Eccleshall Parish, or the implementation of a 40mph buffer zone
o Re-painting of the zebra crossing on Stafford Street and white lines on the Stone Road
o Painting of the white lines at Slindon
The council resolved to endorse the recommendation to write to Cllr. Pert.
Cllr. Pert noted that to cost of changing the speed limit to 30mph at Loggerheads would come at a cost of approximately £4,000, and funds were not available to do this. It had not previously been identified as a priority.
With regards to submission of the s.50 application for the ground screw locations, it was advised to provide evidence that Mr. Rayson had agreed to waive the fees, as the application fee is usually per location, which would prove costly.

Enhancements Committee:-
The next meeting of the Enhancements committee will be held on the 1st May.
Cllr. P. Baskerville advised that he has been in discussion with contractors regarding removal of the reed mace from Elford Pool. He is arranging for a contractor to visit and assess the work who may have machinery able to reach across the pond to remove all the reed mace without entering the pool. It was noted that although water levels are increasing, they are still well below expected levels. An update will be provided at the next Parish meeting in April.

Policy and Resources Committee:-
A meeting of the committee was held on the 6th March, and the minutes circulated to all members.
Cllr. Garner provided the following update:
• Budget update 2018/19. The Clerk provided a summary of the revised budget, which was updated to reflect recent resolutions to contribute to gully emptying, the bus service, and to move the expected expenditure for the Traffic signage into 2019/20. The update was accepted by the Council.
• Earmarked Reserves and Vires 2019/20. The Council resolved to approve the following:
 £423.78 from Clerks Salary will be vired to cover the shortfall in budget for Computer due to extra costs for supply of new printer and upgrade to Office 365 package.
 It was noted that no virement was required to cover any shortfall to watering/xmas trees as this had been funded by grants, detailed separately.

The transfer of the following funds to earmarked reserves:-
 £500 – to Clock Maintenance (from unspent budget)
 £1,000 – to Community Centre (from unspent budget)
 £1,000 – to Traffic Calming from unspent monies in Clerk’s Salary
 £2,260 – to Highways maintenance work from unspent budget (to cover future works and outstanding verge clearance work by TGM)
 £1,485 – to Training (unspent budget, to accumulate for CertHE)
 £422.04 – to Allotments from rents
 £660.00 – Elections (accumulated reserves)
 £10,000 – to Eagle (unspent budget)
 £500 – to IT reserves from Clerk’s Salary
 £405.00 – to Flood Works (unspent grant)
 Elford Heath Management – £10,000 (from general reserves)
 Copmere Picnic site – £1,500 (from general reserves).

• Adoption of the revised Publication Scheme and Risk Assessment documents. The Council resolved to approve the recommendation to adopt the revised policies.
• Adoption of the new Equality and Diversity and Grant Awarding Policy. The Council resolved to approve the recommendation to adopt the new policies.
• Acceptance of the Pensions contribution rate for 2019/20. The contribution rate of 24.6% was noted.
• To accept the recommendation for a grant application from Broughton WI. The grant is for £100 to contribute towards the materials required for the well dressing preparations and outreach work with Eccleshall Guides. The Council resolved to approve the grant as recommended by the committee.
• Protocols regarding the death of a monarch/senior royal family member. The committee noted that although principal responsibilities lay with the Borough Council, Parishes may make their own arrangements to mark the occasion such as laying of floral tributes, bellringing, and special services. It was noted that whilst the church is likely to be the hub for any activities, local organisations may wish to meet and plan for their own activities. The council resolved that an informal working party be created in conjunction with local organisations to discuss what they may like to do, so that plans are in place for such an eventuality. Cllr. Dale volunteered to lead the project, and any councillors who wished to help were encouraged to contact Cllr. Dale.

Footpaths Committee:-
The next meeting of the committee will be held on the 1st May. There have been a number of issues raised regarding the blocking of footpaths by electric fencing, and investigations are ongoing.

39/19). Liaison Representatives:- Reports were accepted by the Council, as circulated in the Clerk’s Report prior to the meeting.

40/19). Annual review of Financial Regulations, Code of Conduct and Complaints Procedure, and to note the recent review of Risk Assessments and Standing Orders. The Council noted that the Risk Assessments and Standing Orders were recently updated and required no updating.
The Council considered the Code of Conduct and resolved no amendments were required.
The Clerk advised the Complaints procedure needs updating to reflect the updated Data Protection Act 2018. The Council resolved to accept the complaints procedure with the proposed amendment.
The Clerk advised minor amendments were advisable to bring the Financial Regulations up to date, and a draft proposal had been prepared. The Council resolved to defer the review and approval of the Regulations until the April Council meeting to allow members time to review the amended document, which will be circulated by the Clerk prior to the meeting.

41/19). To receive feedback from the meeting on 19th March to discuss proposals for the use of the Police Station property. A summary of the meeting had been provided earlier by Cllr. Pert. The chair expressed his thanks to those members who attended to represent the Parish Council. It was noted that in terms of use by the community there may not be the need for more social space as this may compete with other existing venues. The chair confirmed this was not an option being considered as similar concerns were raised in the meeting.
It was noted that the Co-op were introducing number plate recognition to enforce car parking restrictions. However, they are still prepared to continue to offer trader parking. The council resolved to write to the Co-op manager, Mr. John James, to express its thanks for the continuing support with the trader parking scheme.

42/19). To consider any New Development updates:-
Taylor Wimpey site:-.A query was raised about a local rumour that stepped (chicane) traffic calming measures were planned for along Cross Butts. The Council resolved to contact Cllr. Pert to ascertain if there were any plans in place for traffic calming measures.
• Resident concerns regarding fencing along footpath 13. It had been noted that Taylor Wimpey had erected a length of high timber fencing inside the old chain link fence that borders footpath 13 behind the backs of properties. The section of fencing is just to the south of St. Chad’s Road. This has resulted in a strip of land that is inaccessible from either side and cannot be maintained. The council resolved to contact Mr. Ian Laing the site manager to clarify the ownership of the land and what can be done to rectify the situation.
Bovis:- Correspondence had been received from a resident to advise of antisocial behaviour issues at a particular property on the Bovis estate. Issues include late night noise, verbal abuse of neighbours and threatening phone calls. The Council resolved that the Clerk should obtain further information regarding the property in question and to write to Stafford and Rural Homes with its concerns. Cllr. J. Jones will also raise the issue when she next meets with SARH.
It was noted that the planning application to amend the design of the front plot of the development, resulting in 10 additional properties, will be discussed at the Borough Council planning meeting on the 10th April.
Roundabout Feature:- A meeting has been arranged with County Council representatives on April 5th to discuss the proposal. County Councillor Pert and Cllr. Delanchy will be attending.

43/19). To receive the Clerk’s report and correspondence:-
The Council resolved to accept the Clerk’s report.
The Clerk advised that Cllr. Price had contacted the Chair and Clerk to tender her resignation as a Parish Councillor. The Council resolved to write to Mrs. Price to thank her for all her time and efforts during her service as a councillor. It was noted that she had supported the Council by delivering a large number of bus timetable leaflet packs to support the Council even after she had stood down.

Correspondence for discussion:
• Concerns regarding the increase in dog fouling within the Parish. Residents have written to express concerns about the increase in dog fouling in Eccleshall. Specific reference was made to the footpath area by St. Chad’s Road. Residents have contacted the dog fouling team at the Borough Council who have agreed to increase patrols and to provide additional signage. The Council resolved to contact the Borough Council team to express its concerns, in order to follow up on the resident requests and to request additional support. An article will also be written in the Parish Newsletter.
• Resident concerns about parking on the pavement along Highfields, Croxton. The vehicles are noted to be obstructing pedestrians and traffic is having to cross onto the other side of the road to avoid them. The council noted the concerns of the resident and advised that if the parking is obstructive to pedestrians then it can be reported to the police.

44/19). Chairman’s Report:-
The Chair attended the following:
• A meeting to discuss potential uses for the old Police Station on the 19th March.

45/19). Accounts:-

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

SLCC Membership – LGA 1972 s.143* 48.58

 

Authorisation was requested for payment of the following:-

S. Worden – Salary – LGA 1972  s. 112 1117.60
Expenses – Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act 1963 82.36
PAYE – LGA (Financial Provisions) 1963 51.00
NHI – LGA (Financial Provisions )1963 159.23
Pension LG Pensions Scheme Regs. 1995 385.20
Chairman’s Allowance 2018/19 – LGA 1972 ss. 15 (5) 31.00
Glasdon UK Ltd – Slindon Gateways – Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 s.72 7436.79
TGM Grass and hedge cutting (one off works)- Open Space Act 1906 s10 1326.00
Chairman’s Allowance 2018/19 – LGA 1972 ss. 15 (5) 70.00
Broughton WI Well Dressing Fund – Grant – LGA1972 s.137 100.00

 

All were in favour and the cheques were signed. As the grant was approved for the well dressing/Broughton WI earlier in the meeting, approval was also given for raising of this cheque.

• To note the increase in National Minimum /Living Wage from 1/4/2019. The hourly increase from £7.83 to £8.83 was noted and would be applied to future payments made to the Handyman.
• To approve amended councillor names for addition as authorised signatories. The Council resolved to approve Cllrs. Dale and Delanchy as the additional councillors to add, in lieu of Cllrs. Mullee and Price.
• Purchase of additional SPCA Good Councillor Guides. The council resolved to approve the purchase of 10 additional guides, at a cost of £3.75 each plus postage.
• To approve the revised pay scales and annual increment for the Clerk as recommended by NALC. The Clerk is currently on pay point SCP23 of the current pay spine. From the 1st April, NALC has introduced a new pay spine, which incorporates the annual cost of living increment. The new pay spine equivalent for the Clerk from the 1st April will be SCP14. The council resolved to approve the adoption of the new pay spine and increment for the Clerk. From 1st May 2019, the application of the annual pay increment as detailed in the Clerks contract will place the Clerk on SCP 15. The Council resolved to approve this increment.

46/19). Items / Date and Venue for next meeting:- The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on April 17th, 2019, Broughton Parish Rooms, 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 8.50pm.