MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 8 August 2012 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman), A Armstrong,
P Whitehouse, A Tingey, Mrs S Forest (co-opted during meeting)
In attendance: Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), District Councillor Mrs S Arnold, 5 members of the public.
Apologies: Cllr Mrs V Turner, Cllr C Morris
Minutes of the Meeting held on 28 June 2012, previously circulated, were approved. It was proposed that they be signed by Cllr Tingey, seconded by Cllr Whitehouse.
Declarations of Interest
There were none
Parking and Speeding – The Chair reported that he had spoken to Mr Herring who had confirmed he was keen to operate a Community Speedwatch in Harlaston, using equipment borrowed from Clifton. It was hoped that this would commence within the next few weeks, though it was noted that the person who was due to accompany Mr Herring was currently unwell.
NHT – issues were still unresolved. The Clerk to liaise with County Councillor Ellis.
Co-opting a Councillor
Mrs Susan Forest had expressed interest in becoming a Parish Councillor and had formally approached the Clerk in response to the advertisement placed on the village noticeboard. It was noted that the District Council Elections Unit had been involved and that due process had been followed. No other applications had been received. It was proposed by Cllr Armstong that Mrs Forest be co-opted as a Parish Councillor. This was seconded by Cllr Whitehouse and duly approved. The Chair welcomed Mrs Forest to the Council.
The Chair updated the meeting on the situation with grass cutting and explained that B&N would no longer be performing this role. This was because it had proved impractical to resolve the issue over the frequency of the cuts to the playing field. A local firm had now been engaged who had matched the original price quoted by B&N.
A letter had been received from Mr Turrell concerning the willow tree in the Moat, which required maintenance work (though this was not urgent). It was unclear whether the Parish Council was responsible for the upkeep of the Moat. The Clerk would investigate and report back.
A letter had been received from Mr Render expressing concerns about the Diamond Jubilee event. The Clerk had replied on behalf of the Chair and responded to these concerns. Following some discussion it was agreed to apply for a Temporary Event Notice for the Diamond Jubilee from Lichfield District Council. The Clerk would follow this up as a matter of urgency.
The Clerk had contacted Staffordshire County Council regarding issues with stiles on local footpaths. As the County Council required details of the exact locations it was asked that anyone who had identified problems with stiles (or more generally with footpaths) contact the Clerk with this information. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Mr Parry to discuss this and other issues (such as the Community Paths Initiative) that may be of interest to the local walking club.
Despite some progress being made it had proved impossible to obtain information from the bank. It was agreed that this was a significant concern and needed to be addressed urgently. Parish Councillors who had not yet visited the bank with ID information were urged to do so as soon as possible.
A further concern was over money due to HMRC for PAYE payments. The Clerk agreed to locate the PAYE paying in book and pass it to Councillor Tingey as a matter of urgency so this could be actioned.
The following payments were discussed and approved: £100 to Mr Brown for the purchase of the trimmer (proposed by Cllr Whitehouse and seconded by Cllr Tingey); £170 to B&N for the July cut (proposed by Cllr Whitehouse and seconded by Cllr Tingey). It was agreed that the Clerk would attend a training session on Parish Council finance offered by the Staffordshire Parish Councils Association in October at a cost of £20 (proposed by Cllr Whitehouse and seconded by Cllr Tingey).
No new applications had been submitted.
The Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council had written to Lichfield District Council to register its objections to the plans. Further more detailed objections were to be submitted to LDC in a joint statement on behalf of Harlaston and Clifton Campville based on the work undertaken by the planning consultant engaged for this purpose. It was reported that of the money required to pay the cost of the consultant, £1400 had currently been raised. The Chair would ask Clifton what proportion of this had come from Harlaston residents. Cllr Arnold reported that no date had yet been set for the Planning Committee meeting at which the Prowind proposal would be considered. She went on to explain that – despite indications to the contrary – comments could be made to the District Council up until to 48 hours before the meeting. It was very important that as many people as possible contacted the District Council to express their views. The Chair thanked Cllr Arnold for her assistance in this and for the work done by Mr John Arnold in producing the posters. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Mr Arnold to thank him for this.
The possibility of the Parish Council commissioning and managing the work on the bridge had been previously discussed. No progress had been made because of unresolved issues over long-term liabilities and also a lack of clarity over the position of Edingale Parish Council on the matter (it was noted that the bridge was actually within the Edingale Parish boundary). Cllr Arnold agreed to approach Edingale to seek clarification.
District Council Matters
The Local Strategic Plan was discussed and attention drawn to the section on wind energy. Cllr Arnold also referred to serious concerns that had been raised by local residents over the destruction of hedgerows by a local landowner. Whilst this work was in accord with the relevant regulations it did seem to run counter to the spirit of the Local Strategic Plan, notably NR4 which focused on the preservation of the local environment and its heritage. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the Countryside Officer at the District Council to raise this. In the meantime, Cllr Arnold had entered into an informal arrangement whereby the District Council would notify the Parish Council of any planning applications that involved the destruction of hedgerows.
It was noted that work needed to continue on the Parish Plan and that this should dovetail with the District Plan. The Chair would discuss this with Cllr Turner.
Cllr Armstrong reported that work was proceeding on the Diamond Jubilee event planned for the August Bank Holiday weekend. Plans were in place to provide bins and to complete the necessary risk assessment. Banners would be displayed and activities would include a duck race and face painting. So far 50 positive replies had been received from villagers indicating probable attendance and it was felt that this was a good indication at this stage. It was agreed to maximize press coverage for publicity purposes.
Cllr Whitehouse reported on discussions to date. There was now a clear idea of what was required and the funding required (£27,000). Cllr Arnold reported that the Section 106 agreement had not been signed as yet. She would keep Cllr Whitehouse informed.
Any Other Business
Cllrs Tingey and Armstrong had attended the Best Kept Village meeting, with Cllr Forest also in attendance, where it had been announced that Upper Longdon had won, with Elford and Edingale being commended. The meeting thanked Cllr Tingey for his work.
Date of the next meeting
11 October 2012 at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.
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