MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 15th December 2011 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman)
P Whitehouse A Tingey A Armstrong C Morris
In attendance: Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk) 5 members of the public (3 residents; 2 visitors)
Apologies: Parish Councillors: V E Tiso, Mrs V Turner. District Councillor Sue Arnold
Minutes of the Meeting held on 17 November 2011, previously circulated, were approved. It was proposed by Cllr Whitehouse, seconded by Cllr Armstrong and agreed that they be signed.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – the meeting considered Cllr Tiso’s suggestion to present village children with a commemorative Diamond Jubilee coin, produced by the Royal Mint. It was agreed that this was a nice idea. Cllr Whitehouse proposed that the Parish Council purchase coins for all children aged up to (and including) 16 years. This was seconded by Cllr Morris.
The Clerk updated the meeting on the Neighbourhood Highways Team’s visit. This had taken place during the first week of December and focused on drain clearing. The meeting expressed concern that the tasks they had identified had not been completed. The Clerk would contact the County Council to confirm when these tasks would be undertaken.
Smartwater – the Chair queried how many responses Neighbourhood Watch had received in the wake of the the recent leaflet distribution. Cllr Morris proposed that Harlaston apply to be formally designated as a Smartwater village. This was seconded by Cllr Armstrong. Agreed that Cllr Armstrong would supply a copy of the registration form which Cllr Morris would copy.
Grass cutting – the Clerk to obtain more quotes for grass-cutting for the coming year.
Road safety – the Clerk had contacted Staffordshire County Council about the concerns over Winter driving conditions in the village. The County Council had advised that it was highly unlikely that a grit bin would be provided. A council sponsored initiative “Ice Busters” involving nominated volunteers in spraying icy roads with a brine solution (provided by the council) was a possibility. The officers in the Highways Department had advised that issues with roads and road safety issues should be raised with the local County Councillor in the first instance.
Flags – the Clerk reported that he had contacted the flag makers in Leicestershire. The total price of the flags required was £65 to £123 depending on size and the type and quality of material used. After some discussion it was agreed that, before a final order was placed, Cllr Morris would investigate to see if he could produce some at a lower cost.
There was no correspondence to discuss.
The Clerk reported that he had contacted the bank, but that they were unable to furnish him with any information about the Council’s accounts (and would not discuss them with him) because he was not a named signatory. The Clerk was therefore unable to update the meeting with current balances for the accounts. It was agreed that every effort would be made to resolve this issue for the next meeting.
The Clerk had spoken to the previous clerk regarding the budget and would be completing the relevant paperwork for the District Council in time for the required deadline in January. up as a matter of urgency. An invoice for £55 had been received from the District Council for the Playground inspection. This was approved for payment, proposed by Cllr Tingey and seconded by Cllr Whitehouse.
The Clerk expressed concern that the role was taking up more of his time than he was currently paid. Agreed to pay for 4 hours per week with effect from December. Clerk to record time and update councillors at the monthly meetings.
A planning application – for work at Two Hoots – had been received and circulated. Councillors had no comments to make. It was agreed that – in order to accelerate the circulation process – the Clerk would in future e-mail councillors with the link to the appropriate application on the Lichfield District Council website. Councillors would then forward their comments to the Clerk online. Hardcopies would only be sent to those councillors without access to e-mail.
A vote was taken to determine whether the Parish Council still opposed the proposed wind turbine development at Haunton based on current knowledge of the project. The outcome of the vote was unanimous objection to the development. The reasons for the refusal of the previous application were circulated along with a recent national report on health and safety concerns about wind turbines. It was noted that a revised planning application was likely to be submitted in January, though the exact date was unclear. Some discussion ensued over engaging a planning consultant to assist in objecting to the application at the appropriate time with the possibility of costs being shared with Edingale and Clifton Campville Parish Councils. Agreed that the Chair would contact Edingale and Clifton to discuss this.
The Chair and other councillors complimented Cllr Morris on the recent newsletter and thanked him for his efforts. Noted that the Clerk had written to one village resident with regard to an error about the contact for village hall bookings.
Best Kept Village
The Clerk to find as much information as possible about the competition and pass this to Cllrs Tingey and Turner.
It was agreed that a consultation with young people and their families would be undertaken to determine what kind of play area was required. An appeal for assistance would be made in a future newsletter. Cllr Tiso to be asked to produce a list of village children who would be asked to participate.
Noted that speeding in the village could still be a problem. Agreed that the Clerk would contact County Cllr Ellis to find out what possible solutions might be available.
Any Other Business
Smartwater – it was agreed to use the Mease Valley Parish Magazine to promote the use of Smartwater in Harlaston.
Noted that there were concerns about parking in the vicinity of Two Hoots and Rectory Gate. The Clerk to write to PCSO Karpi on the matter.
Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 19 January 2012 at 7.30 in the Village Hall.
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