MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 12 December 2013 AT 7.30pm
Present: Cllrs P Timmis (Chairman),
S Forest, C Morris, A Armstrong.
In attendance: Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 4 member of the public
Apologies: Cllr Tingey, Cllr Whitehouse, Cllr Turner, District Councillor Sue Arnold
Declarations of Interest
There were none
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 September were approved as a true and accurate record. This was proposed by Councillor Armstrong, seconded by Councillor Forest and duly carried.
The Chairman advised that these were all itemized on the agenda and would therefore be dealt with throughout the course of the meeting.
Recording of council meetings – most parish councils in Staffordshire had received an enquiry regarding their stance on the recording and filming of council meetings. The Staffordshire Parish Councils Association (SPCA) had advised that there was no legal obligation on parish councils to accede to this, but that it may be desirable in the interest of openness and transparency. The Clerk advised that Edingale and Croxall Parish Council had discussed the matter and resolved that – while that they were not against it in principle - anyone wishing to record or film a meeting should have to ask the council’s permission first. Cllr Armstrong proposed that this be adopted in Harlaston. This was seconded by Cllr Morris and duly carried.
Bromford Living had responded to the Clerk’s letter concerning the motor-homes parked on Manor Way. It stated that these had now been removed. Those present at the meeting confirmed that this was the case. The Clerk observed that – while checking through the minutes of previous meetings – he had noted references to the same problems with motor homes parked on Manor Way as long ago as 2002.
Details were given of correspondence received concerning the Living Well Staffordshire campaign, the Lichfield District Council electoral review (for which comments could be made online) and the War Memorials Trust.
Mrs Mary Tiso had contacted the Chairman to suggest that the contractors currently working on trees at some properties in the village be approached to quote for those trees in public areas. The chairman agreed to look into this.
The chairman reported that contact had been made on several occasions with Severn Trent Water regarding the leaking inspection cover on Main Road. Severn Trent had attended, but the problems were persisting and there were concerns about possible ice patches when the weather became colder.
Other road related issues concerned the potholes on Mill Lane and the railway bridge on Haselour Lane which was considered dangerous due to the condition of the road surface, poor visibility and excessive speed. The Clerk was asked to contact the Highways Authority about this.
Staffordshire County Council had asked the Parish Council to clarify its position on this and had expressed the view that insurance and indemnities should not be an obstacle. Edingale Parish Council had asked for an update on the situation as the County Council had approached them. It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the County stating that the Parish Council felt unable to manage the project for a number of reasons; notably the need for an indemnity, the insurance implications, the likely cost and time involved. The Clerk would also write to the Parish Council in Edingale outlining this.
In the absence of Councillor Turner discussion was deferred.
The Clerk had circulated a statement outlining the Parish Council’s financial position as of 29 November which included a forecast end of year outturn figure for 31 March 2014. The Current Account balance on 29 November stood at £8,608.90 (this figure was reduced to £3,641.29 if the monies transferred in from the Business Reserve and Village Green Accounts earlier in the year were factored in). This compared with £4,099.24 for the same period in 2012 and £2,363.43 in 2011). It was again noted that £1,429.20 had been spent on the playground that this would be reconciled when the Playground Account monies were transferred to the Current Account.
The Clerk reported that a refund of £275 had been received from HMRC. He forecast that at the end of year on 31 March the balance on the Current Account would be in the region of £2,767.
Those present confirmed they were happy with this.
The following cheques were approved:
Lichfield District Council (Playgound inspection) £60.00
Clerk’s Expenses for the period September to December: £11.02
This was proposed by Cllr Morrison, seconded by Cllr Armstrong and duly carried.
The Clerk outlined the procedure to be followed in order to close the account with the Coventry Building Society. For the new signatories – Cllrs Timmis, Tingey and Turner – to become active it was necessary to record that the former signatories (appointed in 2002) were no longer involved in the management of the account. It was therefore duly noted that two of the former signatories – Mrs C. Gilbert and Mr V.E. Tiso – were no longer connected to the Parish Council. The third signatory – Cllr Whitehouse – had confirmed that he was happy to no longer be a signatory and agreed with the proposed course of action.
The Parish Council confirmed that it was happy for this to be minuted. This was proposed by Cllr Morrison, seconded by Cllr Forest and duly carried.
The Clerk had circulated a proposed precept and budget for 2014-15. The Clerk proposed that the current precept of £6000 was sufficient and that the same amount be requested during 2014-15. The Parish Council confirmed it was satisfied with the Clerk’s proposal.
Cllr Armstrong proposed that this be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr Morrison and duly carried.
Lichfield District Council had conducted their annual playground inspection and the Clerk had previously circulated the report. This had identified a number of low to medium risks, but no high risks. At the previous meeting Cllr Whitehouse had expressed the wish to be present when the inspection took place. This had not proved possible as – unbeknownst to the Parish Council and to the Clerk - the inspection had taken place on 18 September (before the meeting on 19 September). Both the Clerk and the Chairman had discussed the report with Cllr Whitehouse. It was known that he had some important comments to make on the report’s contents and that some of the points raised by LDC had now been addressed. It was therefore agreed to defer any further discussion until Cllr Whitehouse was present.
The application at The Three Pots (Ref. No: 13/01143/FUL) on Main Road was discussed briefly. There were no comments from councillors.
The Chair reminded councillors of the need to circulate planning applications with their comments as quickly as possible in order to meet the deadlines set for the receipt of comments at Lichfield District Council.
It was unclear when the Prowind appeal was due to be heard. The Chairman agreed to contact Clifton Campville Parish Council to determine if they had any further information.
The Clerk confirmed that he had written to LDC to express the Parish Council’s opposition to the Wigginton wind turbine application.
The Clerk advised that Lichfield District Council had prepared printed copies of the maps previously circulated and that he would shortly collect these from the council offices. Cllr Morrison offered to assist with printing further copies of these if necessary and the Clerk would obtain the relevant PDF files and forward them to him.
District Council Matters
Discussion was deferred in the absence of Cllr Arnold.
Any Other Business
It was agreed that clarification was required on the process for planning appeals with the Prowind appeal pending. The Clerk agreed to look into this and circulate details.
The Parish Council expressed its thanks to Cllr Morrison for his help in printing leaflets and banners for the original Prowind campaign.
It was noted that quotes would be required for grass cutting during 2014 in the new year. Everyone agreed that Cliff Brown had done a good job over the past year.
Cllr Forest reported that the feedback for the Best Kept Village was due in February and details would be published in the parish magazine.
Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 27 February 2014 at 7.30 pm.
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