Parish Council Minutes (19 November 2009)

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2009 AT 7.30pm

Present:       Cllrs P Timmis (Vice-Chairman)  A Herring  P Whitehouse  
R Powell  J Lamb  Mrs V Turner  

In attendance: Ms C A Gilbert (Clerk)  County Cllr M Ellis    Six residents
 
Apologies: Cllr V E Tiso   District Cllr R P Bennion  

Cllr Timmis took the Chair in the absence of Cllr Tiso, who was unwell.  Agreed that a ‘Get Well Soon’ note to be sent to Cllr Tiso from the Parish Council.

Open Forum
Wind Farm – Cllr Timmis advised that this matter would be discussed under ‘Urgent Business at the Chairman’s Discretion’ and, at that point, the meeting would be opened for public discussion.  
No other matters were raised.

Declarations of Interest  None.

Minutes of Meeting held on 24th September 2009, previously circulated, were approved.  It was proposed by Cllr Whitehouse, seconded by Cllr Mrs Turner and agreed that they be signed.

Matters Arising
Grass cutting – clarify in tender Parish Council’s requirements.
Railway fencing – only one part of fencing repaired and other side still to be done.  Clerk to contact.

Play Area – Inspection Report
This annual safety report, dated 11th September 2009, has only just been received.  Compliance work deemed necessary in the report has already been done by the Parish Council.
Clerk to contact Lichfield District Council and request that, in future, the report is forwarded as soon after inspection as possible to ensure Parish Council is aware of any problems.

Best Kept Village Competition 
Judges’ comments received and posted in Parish newsletter and on web-site.

Correspondence
Annual Reports 2008/09:  Community Council of Staffordshire / South Staffordshire NHS
St Giles’ Hospice newsletter

Finance
Balance at Bank £6,513.86 (Coventry BS £2,325.76)
The following payments were approved and it was proposed, seconded and agreed that they be paid: LDC re play area inspection £50.60; Clerk’s salary and administration expenses £659.57

Precept for 2010/11:  Budget proposals for 2010/11 were discussed.  
It was agreed that the donation to St Giles’ Hospice, £300 set aside in the current year, would be forwarded for the purpose of providing items of furnishings for the new facility at the Hospice and that £300 would be set aside in next year’s budget for a similar purpose.  
It was agreed that the sum of £500 be included in this budget, and in future budgets, specifically to be set aside for the ongoing maintenance of the play area.  This sum to be credited to the play area account.  
It was proposed by Cllr Herring, seconded by Cllr Whitehouse and agreed that the Precept for 2010/11 be set at £5,200.


Urgent Business at the Chairman’s Discretion
Wind Farm:  
The Chairman opened the meeting to enable public participation in the discussions regarding the wind farm proposal south of Haunton.  The following points were raised:
Cllr Herring reported that he had attended the recent meeting at Clifton Campville which had been attended by over 100 people from various areas in the region, including seven/eight from Harlaston, and tt was not apparent that anyone at the meeting was in favour of the wind farm proposal.  Clifton Campville agreed to object to the wind farm proposal on the grounds:
1. No consultation
2. Area of outstanding natural beauty
3. Health and safety, including air traffic, and environmental issues, including the effect on wildlife
An exhibition by ProWind to introduce the proposed Wind Energy Project south of Haunton
is to take place from 2.00-7.30pm on Thursday 3rd December 2009 at Haunton Parish Hall.
Similar applications have been made in other areas – outcome unknown.
Noise unpleasant – this may not be a problem as no homes nearby – more of a visual and environmental issue.
Protest movement being organised in Clifton Campville but C Cllr Ellis warned against raising objections too early as this would dissipate message - action taken during the eight week period from 1st February 2010 would be more relevant when the press would also be involved.  
Need to avoid the risk of going against renewable energy and concentrate on visual impact.
Discussions would need to take place with Highways department regarding transporting parts of structure to area – may require road/infrastructure works to enable the turbines to be built.
Viability questioned with regard to amount of power produced from wind turbines and the unbalanced effect considering the carbon footprint in the construction.
Visually, each turbine would be double the height of St Matthew’s Church tower.
Some disinterest / lack of awareness in Harlaston is apparent and this could be addressed by encouraging people to attend the forthcoming exhibition.
The Chairman called for an informal vote in favour of objecting to the proposals:
Parish Councillors – 3 for : 2 against *see addendum          Public – 5 for : 1 against  
C Cllr Ellis advised that people should attend the exhibition on 3rd December 2009 and that wind farm updates would be posted on his website.

The Chairman closed the open meeting.

Councillors agreed that a letter would be sent out by hand to residents to encourage them to visit the ProWind exhibition in order to gain a clear understanding of the proposals.

Flag:  Flagpole being organised.

Next Meeting to be held in Harlaston Village Hall on Thursday 14th January 2010, following Open Forum at 7.30pm.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.55pm.


* addendum:
Cllr Lamb abstained.