Harlaston Parish Council

Parish Councillors

Chairman Cllr P. Whitehouse
The Old School
Main Road
B79 9HT
Councillor Cllr Sue Forest
Osborne House
Main Road
Councillor Cllr Peter Timmis
Manor Farm
Main Road
B79 9
Email: Petertimmis40@hotmail.com
Councillor Cllr Louise Joyce
The Greenyard
Main Road
B79 9JX
Councillor Cllr Alistair Riches
The Forge
Main Road
B79 9JU
Councillor Cllr Tony Armstrong
Mease House
76 Main Road
B79 9HT
Councillor Cllr Craig Morris
The Old Rectory
B79 9HE
Clerk to the Parish Council Ian Van Arkadi
17 Rowley Close
B79 9LN
Tel: 01827 383140
Email: ianvanarkadie@yahoo.co.uk

Parish Council Meetings

The next meeting is scheduled for 7.30 pm on Monday 29th January 2018

Public participation takes place during open forum.  This occurs before every parish council meeting.  It gives residents of the parish the opportunity to put their views forward to the parish council or ask questions about parish council business. 



Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman),

T Armstrong, S Forest, L Joyce, P Timmis, A Riches



In attendance:        Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 1 member of the public


Apologies:               There were none.


Declarations of Interest

There were none


Election of New Councillor

Three expressions of interest had been received, though one had later been withdrawn. The two people still interested were Ms Emma Hollis (who was unable to attend) and Mr Chris Foster who was present. Mr Foster was invited to tell the council something about himself and his reasons for putting himself forward. A vote was then taken by secret ballot. Mr Foster was duly elected as the new parish councillor.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 September 2017 were approved. This was proposed by Councillor Forest and seconded by Councillor Armstrong. It was noted that one minor amendment was required which the Clerk agreed to make.     


Public Open Forum

No issues were raised.


Matters Arising and Correspondence

The latest situation with the bus subsidy review was that the report had been called in by Staffordshire county councillors. It was likely this would delay its implementation, but how long for was unclear. It was known that County Councillor White had held a number of meetings with parish councillors from around the Mease Valley, largely at the instigation of Clifton Campville Parish Council. The Clerk understood that – at the suggestion of one of the Edingale councillors – Councillor White had written to Midland Classic, the bus company providing local services in South Derbyshire, to inquire if they would consider offering a service and what their terms were likely to be. The Clerk would check for updates and report back.

The Clerk had ascertained that – under current County Council policy – Harlaston would not be provided a grit bin. He agreed to make inquiries to ensure that gritting would still take place.

Councillor Armstrong reported that the speed camera van had recently been in Harlaston, but that no excessive speed had been recorded. The meeting expressed surprise at this. Councillor Armstrong reported that the grant for the purchase of community speedwatch equipment had been approved for March 2018 but that more volunteers were needed. It was agreed to put out a request for these in the village newsletter.


Parish Council Action Plan

Councillor Joyce had provided an action plan which was checked line by line. All agreed it was a useful tool.

Playground – Councillor Riches reported that considerable progress had been made in seeking funding with applications made to the Staffordshire Community Development Fund (£1,000), Veola (£1,000) and the Big Lottery Fund (£10,000). Applications were being prepared for Biffa and Tesco. If all of these were successful then the total secured would be in the region of £31,000. It was confirmed that the Playground was owned by the Parish Council as this detail was required by some potential funders. The Clerk agreed to supply details of the local funding contact for Tarmac to Councillor Riches. It was agreed that a village consultation was still needed but that it would be best to undertake this once some draft plans had been prepared. It was also noted that the situation with the CIL/Section 106 was key to this and the Clerk agreed to contact Lichfield District Council to check if there was any progress.

Village Plans – Councillor Timmis outlined the reasons why a plan could be useful: to help influence future development decisions and to help secure external funding. It was agreed to re-circulate links to other plans to help inform future discussions. The Clerk would action this.

Defibrilator – Councillor Riches agreed to check the condition of this on a monthly basis.

Dog Fouling – Councillor Joyce had obtained leaflets to deliver. The Clerk would chase LDC about funding for a notice on the green at Churchside.

It was agreed to leave developing the website for the time being as – though it would benefit from some development -  it was currently satisfactory.

Best Kept Village – the village tidy day was agreed for 29 April 2018.

Grass Cutting – it was agreed to pay Cliff Brown an additional £10 per month for diesel. This was proposed by Councillor Riches and seconded by Councillor Forest.

The condition of the layby opposite Osbourne House was raised. The Clerk agreed to make enquiries to confirm the ownership of the area.

It was agreed that Councillor Whitehouse would purchase new planters to use with the new road signs. This was proposed by Councillor Joyce and seconded by Councillor Forest.



A letter had been received from Christopher Pincher MP concerning a campaign to create a memorial to local people killed in post-1945 conflicts. It was not known if any Mease Valley persons had died in these conflicts and it was agreed that the Chairman would contact Mr Tiso to see if he knew of any. Councillor Riches agreed to act as the Parish Council’s representative on any future work on this.



The Clerk reported that the Current Account balance stood at £17,562.99 and that this included monies transferred in from the Business Reserve Account (12/6/13) £77.31; from the Village Green Account (12/6/13) £4,890.30; from the Coventry Building Society Account - Playground Account (3/3/14) £2,367.90. Money spent in these areas since these amounts were transferred were Playground  (Spikes) £99.00 and the Village Green (John Mason) £340.00 giving a revised total of         £6896.51. It was also the case that the Current Account had incurred expenditure on the playground totaling £1,429.20 in 2012-13; this expenditure should have been coded to the Coventry account. The playground monies transferred from the Coventry account were therefore actually £938.70. Compared with previous years, the Current Account balance was November 2016: £14,292.96 and November 2015: £14,844.43.

The following cheques were approved for payment:

Clerk’s Salary: £106.00.

Clerk’s Expenses £42.00

Purchase of laptop computer and associated software: £389.95. It was noted that this was to be the property of the Parish Council and would be paid using the Transparency Fund monies.

Harlaston Village Hall: £90.00

St Matthew’s PCC: £70.00.

These were proposed by Councillor Forest, seconded by Councillor Riches and duly carried.

The Clerk reported that the precept for 2017-18 was £8,863 an increase of £2, 863 on previous years. The increase had been sought in order to help fund the works on the playground. The Clerk suggested that the same amount be sought for 2018-19. He circulated a breakdown of the council’s expenditure and this was discussed. The Parish Council supported the Clerk’s suggestion. This was proposed by Councillor Timmis, seconded by Councillor Forest and duly carried.



Application number 17/01557/FUL by Mr and Mrs Lee at Portway Farm was discussed. Councillors expressed some concern that there should be no intention to apply for planning permission on the twelve acres surrounding the property and that there should be no change of status in the designation of what is currently agricultural land.  The Clerk would communicate this to the Planning Authority.


District and County Council Matters

There was none.


Any Other Business

It was agreed to replace the flag in the churchyard. This was proposed by Councillor Forest and seconded by Councillor Riches.

It was agreed to proceed with the annual playground inspection as proposed by Councillor Riches and seconded by Councillor Forest. The Clerk would talk to the council’s insurers to clarify the position with regard to the council’s liabilities in this area.


Open Forum

No issues were raised.


Date of Next Meeting(s)


Monday 29 January 2018;

Monday 26 March 2018

Monday 21 May 2018

Monday 16 July 2018

Monday 24 September 2018

Monday 26 November 2018

 All beginning at 7.30 pm.  


The Clerk would ensure that this was publicized in the parish magazine.

                                     Minutes of Parish Council Meetings



Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman),

T Armstrong, S Forest, L Joyce, P Timmis



In attendance:        Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), County Councillor Alan White, 3 members of the public (in total)  


Apologies:               Cllr A Riches


Declarations of Interest

There were none


Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2017 were approved. This was proposed by Councillor Armstrong and seconded by Councillor Timmis.    


Public Open Forum

Thanks were expressed to Councillor Whitehouse for his hard work in the village on the phonebox and the defibrillator. Thanks were also expressed to Councillor Joyce for her work on the phone box.

A village resident gave an update on the situation in Manor Lane with the issues of antisocial behavior raised at previous meetings. She informed the meeting that there were still issues with large vehicles being parked in the Lane, dogs being shut in the property and howling, and some instances of drunkenness. She confirmed that she was still in contact with Bromford and reports were being made to the Ms V Monteith who was very helpful. Councillor White stressed the need for evidence to be provided as this would be invaluable should any kind of enforcement action prove necessary.

A lengthy discussion of the ongoing review of bus subsidies by the County Council ensued. Members of the PC expressed serious concerns about the proposed changes and stressed that none of the proposed options were acceptable to Harlaston, or indeed to any of the villages in the Mease Valley. Councillor White assured the meeting that he was fully aware of the concerns and had raised the issue of the Mease Valley route (Route 82) with the appropriate cabinet member on a number of occasions. He pointed out that the County Council had to secure savings of around £300,000 on bus subsidies in the next year and this meant that the existing level of subsidy (which was as high as £10.00 per passenger per journey in areas such as the Mease Valley) was simply no longer sustainable. He pointed out that the review was potentially affecting routes all over the county and the Lichfield area had in no way been singled out. He outlined the various ways in which the outcome of the review could be challenged: through judicial review, through being “called in” within the council, or through a public petition. He stressed that any decision to discontinue bus transport in the area would ultimately be made by the bus operators and not by the council. Councillor Timmis commented that the withdrawal of the subsidy would effectively mean the end of the service. Councillor White suggested that local communities could approach the bus operators and enter into discussions with them regardless of the outcome of the review. Councillor White assured the meeting that he would continue to make representations about this within the County Council.




Matters Arising and Correspondence

The Chair reported that Mr Mark Houston had decided not to proceed with his application to become a parish councillor. The vacancy would continue to be advertised on the noticeboard.

Councillor Timmis queried why the bus shelter at Winterdyne had not been removed. The Clerk had asked the Neighbourhood Highways Team to action this in the summer and it was unclear if they had actually visited the area. In view of the dilapidated condition of the shelter and the potential hazard it posed, Councillor Whitehouse offered to dismantle it. Councillor Timmis agreed to assist with this.

The Chair had been contacted by the Village Hall Committee who asked the Parish Council to meet on Monday evenings instead of Thursdays. The Parish Council agreed to do this and it was proposed by Councillor Timmis and seconded by Councillor Forest.

The Chair had received a letter from a local resident regarding icy roads and pavements and asking if the grit bin previously located at the junction of Main Road and Manor Lane could be resinstated. Councillor White agreed to make enquiries at the county council.

The Clerk had received a letter from the Royal British Legion explaining that there was a new Poppy Appeal co-ordinator in the area.

The village yoga group had asked the Parish Council for a grant of £50.00 to assist them with financial difficulties. It was agreed to contact the group and suggest that they rather asked the village hall for a discount as the Council were concerned at the precedent that making such a grant could set.



The Clerk  reported that the Current Account balance stood at £18, 534.34 compared with £17,186.84 for the same period last year. Councillor Timmis reminded the meeting that the precept had been increased by around £3,000 this year so the balance was indicative of a high level of expenditure linked to the investment in the phone box and other developments. The Clerk said that he would prepare a detailed financial report for the November meeting to assist in calculating the new precept and include an analysis of expenditure to date.

The following cheques were approved:

Clerk’s Salary for September: £106.00; Clerk’s expenses: £38.00

Councillor Whitehouse for materials associated with the phone box: £114.58

Councillor Joyce also for the phone box: £26.94

HMRC for PAYE: £86.20.

Poppy Appeal: £25.00.



Details had been circulated of application no: 17/01144/FUL for an extension on a house in Churchside. Councillors had no comments. It was agreed that councillors should always respond to the Clerk when planning applications were circulated, whether they wished to comment or not.


Playground Update

Councillor Riches had drafted a letter to use to seek external funding for the playground which all were happy with. Councillor White advised the meeting of two funding streams he was aware of which could possibly be used for this purpose, the Staffs Local Community Fund and Envirogrant. He agreed to send details to the Clerk immediately.

The situation with the CIL was still unclear and the Clerk would work with the District Councillor, Ashley Yeates, and the Chair and Vice-Chair to seek clarification on this.




District and County Council Matters

The County Council matters had been covered by Councillor White and the Chair thanked him for his time and his input.  


Any Other Business

Councillor Joyce agreed to produce the next newsletter which would include the councillor vacancy, dog fouling, the playground and the community speedwatch plus anything else felt to be of interest.

Councillor Armstrong asked if the council wanted to procced with a community speed watch scheme. All agreed that this was a good idea. Councillor Armstrong agreed to apply for a grant to purchase the equipment. He reported that the electronic signs that advised motorists of their speed also recorded speed data and suggested that the village should approach Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership to have one of these installed. He said that recruiting operators to work the camera and associated equipment was necessary and it was agreed to advertise this in the next newsletter. Councillor Forest noted that the speed camera van had been in the village on at least two occasions and it was agreed that the Clerk should enquire to see how many offences had been recorded.

The chair reported that dog fouling was again a problem on the green in Churchside. It was agreed to obtain prices for a sign and mention the need for dog owners to clean up after their dogs in the newsletter. It was also agreed that the Clerk would speak to Environmental Health at Lichfield District Council to find out what enforcement action they could take.  

The Clerk raised concerns about the parish council pages on the village website which badly needed reorganizing. Michael Grove was thanked for his work in posting information on the site. It was agreed to approach local people known to have expertise in this area to ascertain the likely cost and workload involved and see if they could assist. If needbe an advert could then placed in the Mease Valley magazine.

Councillor Joyce agreed to produce a spreadsheet recording current projects and which councillors were leading on these. This would then be circulated to members.


Open Forum

No issues were raised.


Date of Next Meeting(s)


Monday 27 November 2017;

Monday 29 January 2018

Monday 26 March 2018 all beginning  at 7.30 pm


The Role of Parish Councils

As a tier of local government, parish and town councils are elected bodies with limited discretionary powers and rights, laid down by Parliament, to represent their communities and to provide services to them.

Parish councils, as the tier of government that is closest to local communities, have a central role to play in improving local quality of life.  

The Government expects principal local authorities and parish and town councils to work together to provide an effective local government for local people.

is representative of, and actively engages, all parts of its community, providing vision, identity and a sense of belonging;
is effectively and properly managed;
articulates the needs and wishes of its community;
upholds high standards of conduct;
is committed to work in partnership with principal local authorities and other public service agencies;
in proportion to its size and skills, delivers local services on behalf of principal local authorities when this represents the best deal for the local community;
works closely with voluntary groups in its community;
provides leadership to the community through its work on parish plans; and
working with its partners, acts as an information point for local services.

Parish councils are responsible for local services such as village halls, bus stops and other local facilities.   

Money for the parish council comes largely from a small percentage of the council tax electors pay.  This is called the precept.  The council has to produce accurate financial records. 

List of Parish Council Powers (this is not an exhaustive list)


Powers & Duties 

Statutory Provisions 

 Allotments Duty to provide allotments
Power to improve and adapt land for allotments, and to let grazing rights 
Small Holding & Allotments Act 1908, ss. 23, 26, and 42.
 Baths and washhouses Power to provide public baths and washhouses  Public Health Act 1936, ss. 221, 222, 223 and 227. 
 Burial grounds, cemeteries and crematoria Power to acquire and maintain
Power to provide 
Power to agree to maintain monuments and memorials
Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries
Open Spaces Act 1906, Ss 9 and 10;
Local Government Act 1972, s.214;
Parish Councils and Burial Authorities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970, s.1
Local Government Act 1972, s 214(6)
 Bus shelters Power to provide and maintain shelters  Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1953, s.4 
 Bye-laws Power to make bye-laws in regard to pleasure grounds
Cycle parks
Baths and washhouses
Open spaces and burial grounds
Mortuaries and post mortem rooms
Public Health Act 1875 s. 164 

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s. 57(7)
Public Health Act 1936, s.223
Open Spaces Act 1906, s.15
Public Health Act 1936, s. 198
 Clocks Power to provide public clocks  Parish Councils Act 1957, s.2 
 Closed churchyards Powers as to maintenance  Local Government Act 1972, s.215 
 Common pastures Powers in relation to providing common pasture  Smallholdings and Allotments Act 1908, s.34 
 Conference facilities Power to provide and encourage the use of facilities  Local Government Act 1972, s.144 
 Community centres  Power to provide and equip buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or recreational objectives Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s.19 
 Crime prevention  Powers to install and maintain equipment and establish and maintain a scheme for detection or prevention of crime  Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.31 
 Drainage Power to deal with ponds and ditches   Public Health Act 1936, s.260 
 Entertainment and the arts Provision of entertainment and support of the arts  Local Government Act 1972, s.145 
 Gifts Power to accept  Local Government Act 1972, s.139
 Highways Power to maintain paths and bridle-ways 
Power to light roads and public places
Provision of litter bins
Powers to provide parking places for bicycles and motor-cycles, and other vehicles
Power to enter into agreement as to dedication and widening
Power to provide roadside seats and shelters
Consent of parish council required for ending maintenance of highway at public expense, or for stopping up or diversion of highway 
Power to complain to highway authority as to unlawful stopping up or obstruction of highway or unlawful encroachment on roadside wastes
Power to provide traffic signs and other objects or devices warning of danger
Power to plant trees and lay out grass verges etc. and to maintain them
Highways Act 1980, ss.43, 50
Parish Councils Act 1957, s.3
Highways Act 1980, s.301
Litter Act 1983, ss.5,6
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, ss.57, 63
Highways Act 1980, ss. 30, 72
Parish Councils Act 1957, s.1
Highways Act 1980, ss.47, 116
Highways Act 1980, s.130
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.72
Highways Act 1980, s.96

 Investments  Power to participate in schemes of collective investments Trustee Investments Act 1961, s.11 
 Land Power to acquire by agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of
Power to accept gifts of land 
Local Government Act 1972, ss.124, 126, 127
Local Government Act 1972, s139
 Litter Provision of receptacles  Litter Act 1983, ss.5, 6 
 Lotteries Power to Promote   Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, s.7 
 Mortuaries and post mortem rooms Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms  Public Health Act 1936, s.198 
 Open spaces Power to acquire land and maintain  Public Health Act 1875, s.164 Open Spaces Act 1906, ss.9 and 10 
 Parish documents Powers to direct as to their custody  Local Government Act 1972, s.226 
 Telecommunications facilities Power to pay public telecommunications operators any loss sustained providing telecommunication facilities  Telecommunications Act 1984, s.97 
 Public buildings and village hall Power to provide buildings for public meetings and assemblies  Local Government Act 1972, s.133 
 Public conveniences Power to provide  Public Health Act 1936, s.87 
 Town and country planning  Right to be notified of planning applications  Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Sched. 1, para. 8 
 Tourism Power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities   Local Government Act 1972, s.144 
 Traffic calming Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming measures   Highways Act 1980, s.274A 
 Transport Powers in relation to car-sharing schemes, taxi fare concessions and information about transport 
Powers to make grants for bus services
Local Government and Rating Act 1997, s.26, 28 and 29 
Transport Act 1985, s.106A
 War memorials Power to maintain, repair, protect and alter war memorials  War Memorials (Local Authorities' Powers) Act 1923, s.1; as extended by Local Government Act 1948, s.133 
 Water supply Power to utilise well, spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water from them   Public Health Act 1936, s.125

(reference: Department for Communities and Local Government (2002) The Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme - The Quality Scheme Explained

Notes on Harlaston  Parish Council Meetings

Public participation takes place during open forum.  This occurs for up to 15 minutes, at the beginning and at the end of the General meeting.  It gives residents of the parish the opportunity to put their views forward to the parish council or ask questions about parish council business. 

Some items raised at open forum might be discussed at the council meeting immediately following the forum.  However, in some instances they may be discussed at the next meeting. 

Parish councils must be notified of all planning applications.  The council can make comments, observations and recommendations. The final decision on approval or otherwise, however, rests with Lichfield District Council.

Suggestion box:

There is a new suggestion box next to the village notice board. If anyone in the village has any suggestions, please leave a comment in the box and the Parish Council will discuss it at the next Parish Council meeting.


Parish Council meeting dates:

The Parish Council will be meeting at the Village Hall on the last Thursday of each alternate month. The dates are as follows:

- 24 November 2016

- 26 January 2017

- 30 March 2017

- 25 May 2017

- 28 September 2017

- 27 November 2017


All villagers are welcome to attend.






Financial Information   

                                         Harlaston Parish Council Audits 

The latest audit report can be viewed here: