MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 31 May 2012 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman), P Whitehouse, A Armstrong,
Mrs V Turner, C Morris
In attendance: Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 6 Members of the public,
Police Constable Richard Allsop.
Apologies: Cllr A Tingey, District Councillor Sue Arnold, Police Inspector Jared White
Minutes of the Meeting held on 26 April 2012, previously circulated, were approved. It was proposed that they be signed by Cllr Tuner and seconded by Cllr Armstrong.
Declarations of Interest
There were none
Football Pitch – it was reported that the Clerk had contacted the Trustee of the Edingale Swifts football pitch to express concern about litter on the verges between the pitch and the road. No reply had been received, but – in the wake of Cllr Tingey and Cllr Armstrong’s village tidy - there appeared to be some improvement.
Finance – It was noted that bank statements were still not being received and that this would continue to be the case until all councillors requiring authorization under the bank mandate had visited Natwest in Tamworth with the appropriate documentation. Cllr Turner reported that she had obtained the paperwork required to update the details on the Coventry Building Society account. Doing this would probably require a visit to the building society. It was agreed that Cllrs Timmis, Turner and Tingey would be the signatories on this account.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Cllr Armstrong reported that plans for the Jubilee celebration event over the August Bank Holiday were proceeding well. Activities would include a tombola and duck races. The Clerk reported that the Jubilee medals had now been received and these were passed to Cllr Armstrong for distribution to the village children at the event in August. It was agreed to ask Mr Tiso to present these, as purchasing them had been his suggestion. It was noted that the purchase of the medals had been funded by County Councillor Matthew Ellis through a grant from the Local Communities Fund.
Prowind – the Chair reported that Prowind had now formally submitted their application. Clifton Parish Council would be organizing a joint meeting to discuss how to respond to this. In the meantime the Chair would be issuing a letter to all villagers requesting donations to help fund a consultant to oppose the application.
Parking and Road Safety – the issue of obstructive parking in the village had been resolved following intervention by the Police. PC Allsop reported that he had attended earlier in the day and that he was hopeful that a solution had now been found. To clarify, PC Allsop advised the meeting that parking on a footpath was not in itself an offence, though obstructing a footpath was. He expressed serious concern at the high speeds at which cars were driven through the village as he had witnessed this during the course of his visit. He planned to take action to address this and attend with a laser speed trap in the near future.
Localism meeting – the Chair reported on the meeting held at Lichfield District Council which he had attended along with Cllr Turner. The meeting had been slightly disappointing as everything depended on LDC producing their Core Strategy which had yet to happen. There was money available to assist in the production of a local plan, but this was time limited. It was agreed to wait and see what LDC produced. This would inform the work of the PC’s Neighbourhood Plan Group led by Councillor Turner.
Playground – Cllr Whitehouse reported that work was still proceeding. One interesting idea to have come forward for consideration was to install outdoor exercise equipment. Another suggestion included skateboard ramps. This prompted some discussion during the meeting and was generally regarded as impractical and potentially controversial. It was agreed to use the newsletter to publicise the work on the Playground and help stimulate further interest.
Best Kept Village – the judges had now visited and the results were awaited. The council expressed its gratitude to Cllr Tingey for all his efforts.
Community Speedwatch – Tony Herring (who was present at the meeting) had indicated that he was willing to participate in a Community Speedwatch. There was some discussion about this and the possibility of Harlaston sharing the necessary equipment with Clifton was mooted. It was agreed that Mr Herring would liaise with PC Allsop as to how to proceed.
Neighbourhood Highways Team – the team had contacted the Clerk to advise of the jobs they planned to go on their next visit. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact them to determine if they could clearn undergrowth from drains on Churchside and also clear the drains by the Holloway. The Clerk would also clarify if they cut the verges and – if not – who did and when.
Street lighting – there was some discussion of a consultation document from the County Council. This raised the possibility of streetlighting being switched off for a number of hours each night to reduce costs. The Parish Council was against this due to concerns over possible implications for security, crime and road safety. The Clerk will write to Staffordshire to confirm their view.
Footpaths – a new scheme to develop footpaths had been launched. Agreed that the Clerk would investigate and report back.
Agreed that the Clerk would seek further information from B&N Garden Maintenance on their latest invoice. Other cheques were required for the Clerk’s Salary and Expenses. These were proposed and seconded by Cllrs Turner and Whitehouse.
It was noted that a retrospective application had been made for the chicken coops (Ref: 12/000432/FUL). No comments were made about this application in the meeting.
The Clerk summarized the quotations received for the renewal of the council’s insurance. Three companies had been approached: Came and Company, AON and Zurich. Zurich had declined to quote and had advised that they were unable to match the council’s existing cover. Following a brief discussion it was agreed to renew with Came and Co for a period of three years as this represented the most competitive deal. Proposed by Cllr Morris and seconded by Cllr Turner.
Any Other Business
It was noted that Mr Tiso had resigned as a Parish Councillor after many years in the role. Agreed that the Chair would write to thank him for all his input. The Chair and the Clerk would clarify the process for electing new councilors for the next meeting. Agreed that the Clerk would write to Mick Brown and to Cora and Roy Cotton to thank them for cutting the grass verge on the road through the village.
Date of the Next Meeting
Thursday 28 June 2012 at 7.30 pm.
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