MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 29 November 2012 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman), A Armstrong,
A Tingey, Mrs S Forest, Mrs V Turner, P Whitehouse, C Morris
In attendance: District Councillor Mrs S Arnold, Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 4 members of the public.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 11 October were approved. It was proposed that they be signed by Cllr Tingey, seconded by Cllr Armstrong.
Declarations of Interest
There were none
Parking and Speeding – There was no further progress to report on this matter. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Mr Herring to clarify the position with the proposed Community Speedwatch.
Footpaths – the Clerk had received a detailed report from Mrs J Smith about issues with the local footpaths. This was in response to a notice on the noticeboard and a note in Mease Valley News requesting information.The details had been passed to the relevant department at Staffs County Council for them to action. It was agreed that the Clerk would make enquiries about setting up a subscription to the Public Sector Mapping Agreement to access information on footpaths in the area.
The Clerk had received an online copy of Rural Affairs Bulletin which it was agreed he would circulate to councillors. This included information on sources of funding that may be of interest to the Council particularly with the current discussions about the Playground. Councillor Turner pointed out that Staffordshire Playing Fields Association (of which the Parish Council is a member) holds information on funding sources for playing fields and play areas.
Councillor Arnold informed the meeting that a District Council decision on the Prowind application was likely in January. At this stage it was unknown what the officer recommendation would be. It was unclear whether the public appeal had raised sufficient money to pay the full cost of the consultant; at the time of the last meeting it was believed that around £2,200 had been raised. The total amount required was £2,700. If there was a shortfall then Harlaston would be liable for 5/17ths of this. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Nigel Tongue to clarify the financial position.
No applications had been submitted (or approved) so there was no planning business to discuss.
The Chair and the Clerk had tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of the County Council’s specification for the work required on the bridge. After some discussion it was decided to proceed to seek quotes from local builders and trades people and then submit these to the County Council for approval. It was agreed that the Parish Council would only proceed to commission work on the basis that there would be no ongoing liability for the Council. Councillor Whitehouse agreed to seek quotes for the work from local builders.
It was agreed to hold a meeting in mid-January chaired by Councillor Turner and then establish a working party which would include members of the public. This meeting would take place on 17 January and would be attended by Cllrs Turner, Timmis, Tingey and Forest. It was hoped to hold a general village meeting in February to obtain maximum input from the local community. The Council appreciated that was a degree of urgency over this and was keen to commence the necessary work. Cllr Arnold agreed to obtain copies of plans from other Parish Councils to help inform the process. These would be sent to Cllr Turner.
The Clerk had circulated a draft suggested budget for 2013-14, along with end of year comparison figures for the years since 2010-11. The Clerk recommended a Precept of £6000 for 2013-14.
There was some discussion and the following was agreed:
· The Clerk to seek quotes for the reletting of the grass cutting contract and to chase up the invoices for the work done in the latter part of the cutting season this year;
· That the Parish Council would continue to pay the cost of maintaining the Church clock, albeit on a biennial basis. It was made clear that the Parish Council would pay the cost of maintenance and not of replacement. This was proposed by Cllr Whitehouse, seconded by Cllr Tingey and carried.
· That the Parish Council cease to make an annual donation to St Giles Hospice. Though it acknowledged the vital work done by the hospice, the Council felt that this was an inappropriate use of the Council’s budget. This was proposed by Cllr Turner, seconded by Cllr Morris and carried; Cllr Whitehouse was not in favour of this and asked that his objection to the proposal be minuted.
· That the Clerks recommended precept of £6,000 be accepted subject to the Clerk ratifying this using the prescribed formula through the CPALC database. This was proposed by Cllr Tingey, seconded by Cllr Whitehouse and carried.
· That - with effect from 2013 – the Parish Council would meet six times a year and that the Clerk’s salary would be amended to 3 hours per week to reflect this.
· That a bank reconciliation would be circulated at all future meetings;
· That the Clerk would liaise with Michael Grove from Harlaston Parochial Church Council over payments to the Church for energy costs.
The Clerk reported that a VAT claim would shortly be submitted for just under £110 and that – from now on – these would be submitted more frequently. The Clerk would present a breakdown of his hours worked and expenses to each meeting.
Cllr Arnold reported that the S106 funding for the playground would total £30,000. However, this would only be payable from the date of occupation of the first dwelling on the Rowes development and this could be some years off. Due to the urgent need to refurbish and re-equip the playground it was agreed to seek external funding. Cllr Arnold would work with Cllr Armstrong
on this and the Clerk would contact SPFA to identify suitable funding sources.
District Council Matters
Cllr Arnold reminded the PC of the Icebusters initiative. She also reported on further developments at the chicken farm which were due to be considered by the District Council on 7 January. She agreed to copy the relevant e-mails to the PC. There was also a possible issue with increased HGV use of Scotland Lane and Haselour Lane. It was agreed to monitor this very carefully.
Any Other Business
There was none.
Date of the next meeting
24 January 2013 at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.
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