MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 11 October 2012 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman), A Armstrong,
A Tingey, Mrs S Forest, Mrs V Turner
In attendance: Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 4 members of the public.
Apologies: Cllr P Whitehouse, Cllr C Morris, District Councillor Mrs S. Arnold.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 August 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 – It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Mr Herring to clarify the current position with the proposed Community Speedwatch.
Footpaths – the Clerk had spoken to the local walking group who had confirmed that they do report problems with footpaths and associated gates and stiles to the County Council. The Clerk had made them aware of possible funding opportunities through the Community Paths Initiative. It was agreed that the Clerk would draft a notice for the Parish Council Noticeboard asking that anyone wishing to report footpath issues contact either him or the Chairman with details. A note would also be prepared for the Mease Valley News and for the website. It was agreed that a renewal of the village footpaths leaflet could be considered as part of the new Village Plan. In the meantime it was agreed that the Clerk would work with Cllr Forest to consider possible contact for a new leaflet and obtain a map of the known footpaths in the area.
The Chair circulated a meeting from Mr Tiso thanking the Council for honouring him at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
A letter from the Audit Commission approving the Parish Council’s accounts for the previous year was read out. It was noted that further correspondence had subsequently been received advising that the Audit Commission had transferred their external audit function to Grant Thornton. Some concern was expressed at the possible cost of this and the Clerk agreed to make enquiries.
A letter had been received from Lichfield District Council in response to the Parish Council’s letter expressing concern about the removal of the hedgerows at Fish Pits Farm. The letter advised that the District Council had no powers to prevent this, but were working to protect and presereve the environment in a number of ways and had been involved in this particular issue in an advisory capacity.
Councillors expressed their thanks to Cllr Armstrong for organizing the Diamond Jubilee event. Cllr Armstrong in turn thanked everyone for their help. It was noted that the event had been considered a success by all and had been very enjoyable. The possibility of holding a regular annual event was mooted and it was agreed to mark this for further discussion.
The report of the consultant on the Prowind application had been sent to the District Council and – along with other concerns – appeared to have stopped the application progressing any further. Clifton Campville PC had advised that the cost of the consultant was £2,748 and so far £2,000 had been raised through the public fundraising campaign. They were optimistic that the full cost could be met through funds raised locally. The Clerk agreed to speak to Edingale Parish Council to determine if they were able to make a contribution to the cost. Cllr Forest circulated an article from the Tamworth Herald highlighting yet more concerns about windturbines. It was noted that Prowind’s Environmental Impact Assessment might now be out of date.
No applications had been submitted (or approved) so there was no planning business to discuss.
The Chair expressed his frustration over the lack of progress. The Parish Council felt unable to proceed without a specification from the County Council outlining the work required, yet the County appeared unable to supply one. The initial understanding had been that the Parish Council would be paid the costs of the job plus a £4,500 management fee. The Clerk to contact Cllr Ellis and seek clarification.
A consultation document from the District Council on the Enforcement Priorities for the Local Plan was discussed. After due consideration the following priorities were identified:
- Preserving the Greenbelt
- Gypsies and travellers
- Boundary changes
Cllr Turner agreed to feed these back to the District Council.
Further work was required on the new local plan and the Council hoped to get full engagement from village residents. It was agreed to work up a draft and then hold a public meeting early in the new year.
It was agreed that the Clerk would circulate copies of the last plan (from 2008) to assist in this process.
The Clerk had circulated a draft suggested budget for 2013-14. It was agreed to delay a decision on this because a number of councillors were absent and because it was felt that more financial information was required. The Clerk had also contacted Lichfield District Council who had confirmed that Parish Council budget submissions were not likely to be required before February and that the documentation was unlikely to be circulated before December. There was some discussion of the suggested budget circulated by the Clerk. A number of issues were raised which the Clerk agreed to look into:
- The church clock and whether an annual check was still required;
- VAT and whether any refunds had been claimed;
- Playground Maintenance monies and where these were accumulating.
The Clerk agreed to provide end of year figures for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 years and circulate a revised proposal in advance of the next meeting. Cllr Tingey offered to assist in this and it was agreed that the Clerk would liaise with him.
It was noted that no invoices had been received from the new grass-cutting contractor.
It was agreed to reimburse Cllr Turner for the cost of the CPALC membership. This contained useful information on various matters relating to parish councils including finance.
District Council Matters
Nothing to report.
Any Other Business
Playground – the District Council had inspected the Playground and condemned two rides as unsafe. The Chair and Cllr Whitehouse had subsequently visited and taken these out of action. The future development of the playground hinged largely on the Section 106 funding which – at this time – was unclear. It was agreed that a notice be prepared for the play area and that the clerk discuss this with Cllr Whitehouse.
Date of the next meeting
29 November 2012 at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall.
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