MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE
VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 11 April 2013 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman), A Armstrong, C Morris,
A Tingey, Mrs S Forest, Mrs V Turner, P Whitehouse
In attendance: Mrs M Jones (Acting Clerk), Mr I Turner (Staffordshire County Council), Police Constable R Allsopp , 5 members of the public
Apologies None received
Declarations of Interest None received
Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 January were approved. It was proposed that they be signed by Cllr Morris seconded by Cllr Tingey.
Parking and Speeding – PC Allsopp confirmed during the Open Forum that he had spoken to the resident and that the contractors would soon have finished the work and the vans would no longer be parked there. However this may have the effect of increasing traffic speeds. He intended to use the speed gun in the village, particularly during busy times such as the early morning.
Map – This would be put on the notice board in due course.
St Giles – This had been commented on by a member of public during Open Forum, during which the Chairman had confirmed that the decision had been for financial reasons and may be reconsidered in the future, but no Councillor had any further comment.
Footpaths – The County Ranger had inspected these and found no issues to deal with, although a stile step had been replaced.
This included information from the Community Council on recycling textiles and a policy statement from Staffordshire County Council on HS2.
Mr Ian Turner from Staffordshire County Council explained the background to this and apologised that the footbridge had been closed rather than patched up. Objections from the community had led to Matthew Ellis’ involvement and he had suggested that the Parish Council could organise the work using local contractors, as it would be quicker, cheaper and put the money back into the local community. The County Council did not intend to give a specification but were happy for the Parish Council to get 3 quotes and agree the scope of work with the chosen contractor who would mark up the sections requiring renovation or replacement. An inspector from County would then confirm agreement and the work could proceed. The aim was to simplify the process and it was noted that the County Council may use this way of working as a model in future if this was successful. It was further noted that the County would be able to authorise advancing monies for the costs of materials.
It was proposed by Cllr Morris and seconded by Cllr Tingey and resolved to proceed as suggested. Mr Turner would send an agreement to the Clerk so that the Parish Council could begin organising the work. Mr Turner was thanked for his assistance and for his time for attending the meeting.
Cllr Mrs Turner had looked into this but felt that the size of the community meant that not enough people would be involved to proceed with a Neighbourhood Plan, and it would also be costly, with the need for professional consultants. Cllr Timmis asked what the parish would lose by not having this, and Cllr Turner said that District Councillor Arnold had said that they would not have a say in the development of the neighbourhood. It was suggested that a leaflet be produced asking residents if they were willing to be involved in a Neighbourhood Plan and Cllr Turner agreed to do this.
Grass cutting - Cllr Timmis confirmed that various quotes had been received and that the cheapest locally had been chosen. This was Mick Brown who had done a first cut and tidy up for £125 with £72.50 thereafter fortnightly. He was covered under the insurance but a risk assessment would need to be done; Cllr Turner agreed to prepare this.
Church Clock – Smiths of Derby had done the work since 1947, they had quoted £183 +VAT and recommended this be done annually. A previous employee of theirs at English Clockmakers of Ashbourne had quoted £125 plus VAT and may do this every two year. The church would be consulted to see if they agreed to a change of firm.
Car mileage – This was set at 45p a mile. Cllr Turner raised some queries about the home worker status of the Clerk regarding expenses and suggested that he raise this with HMRC. The Chairman asked that it be minuted that this would be discussed at the next meeting.
Bank accounts – The Chair had been investigating the accounts to clarify which was the Village Green account and was it correct as there had been poor record keeping of historic transfers. He suggested consolidating all the accounts. It was proposed by Cllr Turner and seconded by Cllr Armstrong that forms be obtained to close the business reserve accounts and the sums be transferred into the current account. It was proposed by Cllr Armstrong and seconded by Cllr Forest that new signatories be added to the Coventry Building Society account. These account changes would be made by the next meeting.
Budget for 2013-14 – this had been produced by the Clerk and the estimated forecast of expenditure showed that the precept would be sufficient. On 5th April there was £1833.76 in the current account.
It was further agreed to pay £125 for the grass cutting to Mr Brown, and £143.53 as a contribution previously agreed to Clifton Campville Parish Council for the planning case against the wind turbines, for which Cllr Timmis thanked everyone involved. This was proposed by Cllr Morris, seconded by Cllr Whitehouse and resolved.
Cheques were signed to Mr Van Arkadie, SPCA, Community Council, Staffordshire Playing Fields Association and Beacon Street Garage. Proposed by Cllr Morris, seconded by Cllr Whitehouse and resolved.
Thanks were given to Cllrs Tingey and Whitehouse for their work on the playground. Repairs had now been effected with minor finishing to the uprights and matting. A formal note of thanks was proposed by Cllr Armstrong and seconded by Cllr Whitehouse. The playground was now usable and would pass any future safety inspection. In the long term changes were needed, but this would be done when possible in the future.
Best Kept Village
Cllr Forest confirmed that the entry had been sent, including a new map, a copy of which would be put in the notice board. Judging would be in May and June and the marks would be aggregated to go forward to the next round. A litter pick would take place from 10.30 at the White Lion car park on 21st April. Some notices had been put up and children had been asked in the village magazine to design posters, some of which were already displayed in the Post Office window.
No applications for consideration
The cheque for this had been agreed as £143.53 as 5/17th of the cost less donations which the Chairman felt was fair. The application had been refused unanimously under officer recommendation at the planning committee and the strength of the argument meant it was unlikely to be appealed against, although this remained to be seen.
Registers of Member’s Interests
It had been a concern that these would be made public but advice had been taken and it was agreed that these should be sent to the District Council for publication as soon as possible.
District Council matters
Cllr Arnold had not attended.
Manor Lane Footpath
Following correspondence between Cllr Arnold and the housing association a site visit had been carried out which revealed that a previous tenant had moved the boundary and put hard standing down, possibly for a shed. The association queried the benefit of removing it but would meet a representative of the Council if required to discuss the effect on the footpath. It was agreed that everyone would visit the site before the next meeting and discuss it then. It was also agreed to write asking a resident to remove the hedge clippings left on the right of way and Cllr Whitehouse offered to do this.
Any Other Business
The Neighbourhood Highways team would visit in June and Cllr Timmis requested everyone to suggest at least one task from the list to the Clerk in the next 7 days.
Manhole covers needed attention. Letters should be written by the Clerk to Severn Trent and Highways complaining that water was constantly running down the roads in various parts of the village including near Cllr Forest and Cllr Timmis properties. Nothing had been done about this problem for about a year.
A bin had been installed in the layby near Cllr Forest. It was untidy when delivered but she had now painted it and it was already being used.
A query was passed to the Parish Council regarding articulated HGVs passing through the village along Scotland Lane. If registration numbers and company names were taken and passed to PC Allsopp this could be dealt with.
Date of next meeting
Thursday May 23rd at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.
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