2016-09-29

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 29 September 2016 AT 7.40pm

 

Present: Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman), 

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

 

 

In attendance: Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 5 members of the public   

  

Apologies: None received 

 

Open Forum

During the open forum, concerns were raised about children playing in the area of the Post Office that served as the car park for the bed and breakfast. Children had occasionally been known to run into the road and there had been at least one instance where a driver had been forced to make an emergency stop. The children also posed a hazard to pedestrians visiting the Post Office. After some discussion it was agreed that the Clerk would raise the issue with Staffordshire Road Safety Partnership. The Clerk would also notify Bromford Living - as it was thought that they owned the pathway at the centre of the problem - to see if a barrier could be erected to impede access to the road. Michael Grove raised the possibility of the Parish Council making a £70.00 contribution to the cost of illuminating the church exterior. It was noted that this had become something of a tradition in previous years, though a vote would need to be taken to follow proper procedure. It would therefore be discussed under “Correspondence” on the agenda.  

Action: Chair, Clerk. 

 

New Councillor

Mr Alistair Riches, who was present at the meeting, had expressed interest in the vacancy for a parish councillor and had contacted both the Chair and the Clerk. The vacancy had been advertised on the noticeboard for several weeks now and no other enquiries had been received.  It was proposed that he be co-opted on to the parish council by Councillor Timmis and this was seconded by Councillor Joyce. This was unanimously agreed by all those present and the Chair welcome Mr Riches to the Parish Council. 

 

Declarations of Interest

There were none

 

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 May 2016 were approved, subject to a minor correction concerning the signage. This was proposed by Councillor Timmis and seconded by Councillor Armstrong.   

 

Matters Arising and Correspondence

The Chair reported that the dog fouling issue appeared to have improved, though there was still a problem in the churchyard. The Clerk reported that Lichfield District Council had been due to send their enforcement team to the village over the summer and he agreed to contact them for an update. It was agreed to place another reminder in the Parish News asking dog owners to act responsibly and warning of possible enforcement action if the problem continued. Councillor Armstrong had purchased the “pooh bags” and it was agreed to distribute these in the near future. 

Section 106 – Mr Alex Collins, supported by the Clerk, explained the situation regarding Section 106 monies. The situation was complicated but essentially the key points were as follows: 

• Section 106 funding had now been largely superseded by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Any 106 monies payable on the basis of the Fish Pits Farm development would be ring-fenced to primary education. 

• The original planning application for Fish Pits Farm had expired and the new one was still awaiting a decision. 

• An advantage of CIL was that it was targeted to the local community, in this case Harlaston village, whereas Section 106 was not focused in the same way. 

• There were a number of ways in which it could be calculated, but the amount paid to the Parish Council would likely be based on 15% of the payments received from the developer by the planning authority. This would probably be in the region of £18,000. 

• The payment could be spread over two years due to capping regulations, but any monies due to the Parish Council would automatically be paid in October of each year. No further action by the Parish Council was required at this time. 

The new village road signs were in position and feedback had been overwhelmingly positive. The Parish Council conveyed its thanks to the Chair for his work in this. It was felt that they were well worth the £2,631.12 paid for them. The Clerk would update the asset register and notify the council’s insurers. It was agreed to buy plant boxes to place under the signs as proposed by Councillor Timmis and seconded by Councillor Armstrong. 

The request for a £70.00 donation to pay for illuminating the exterior of St Matthew’s Church was discussed. It was proposed that the request was accepted by Councillor Riches, seconded by Councillor Timmis and duly carried. 

The Clerk read out a letter from Staffordshire Highways concerning the “Icebusters” initiative whereby local communities were supplied with grit and other materials to treat pavements and footways during the winter. Queries were raised over possible liability. It was agreed that the Clerk would investigate this and report back at a future meeting.  

The Clerk gave details of an Armistice Day event to be held on 11 November in Tamworth and asked if any councillors would like to attend.  Councillor Timmis said he would consider it. 

The Clerk agreed to circulate future issues of the Staffordshire Parish Councils Association (SPCA) bulletin.

The Clerk reported that the Parish Council had received a cheque for £390.00 from the Transparency Fund. This was a government initiative to encourage Parish Councils to make use of ICT. It would be used to purchase a laptop for the use of the Clerk. This would become the property of the Parish Council and the asset inventory would be amended to reflect this. There was no cost to the Parish Council. 

 

Telephone Box

Councillor Joyce updated the meeting on progress with the phone box. Planning consent had been obtained and work was proceeding to convert it to a book exchange. It was agreed to proceed on this basis and collect donations of books from around the village. 

 

Neighbourhood Plans

It was noted that the village did not have a current Neighbourhood Plan. These formed part of the District Council’s Strategic Plan and served to inform planning and other decisions. This meant that the monies payable under CIL were less and that producing a Plan at this stage would not affect any CIL payments received for the Fish Pits Farm development. It was nevertheless agreed to actively consider producing such a plan. Councillor Timmis agreed to circulate copies of the old Village Plan as a guide. 

 

 

 

Finance

It was noted that cheques had been paid to the Clerk for his expenses and salary totally approximately £114. It was agreed to authorize cheques to Cliff Brown for the grass cutting for £170.00 and to Councillor Armstrong for the “pooh bags” at £17.80. It had been agreed at the previous meeting to pay for the new village signs at a cost of £2,631. The Clerk indicated that he would be seeking to reclaim the VAT included in the cost of the signs, along with other smaller amounts, from HMRC. It was agreed to notify the Parish Council’s insurers (Zurich) of the purchase of the signs. 

Councillor Timmis asked if a summary of what is covered by the insurance policy could be circulated and the Clerk agreed to do this before the next meeting. 

It was noted that the bank balance stood at £17,186.84 on 1 September. Spending was down on previous years and the Clerk agreed to circulate a summary to help identify where the reductions were occurring. 

Actions: Clerk

 

Planning

Details of current applications had already been circulated for comments. It was agreed to circulate printed copies of planning applications in future which Councillor Joyce kindly agreed to provide.  

Action: Councillor Joyce

 

District Council Matters

There was no report in the absence of the District and County Councillors. The Clerk would notify the respective District and County Councillors of the dates of future meetings and see if either of them did a report on their activities for circulation.  

 

Any Other Business

Problems had again arisen in Manor Lane with anti-social behavior, possible low level drug use and a large motorhome parked on the road or sometimes on the Fish Pits Farm site. Cars had also been seen parked on the pavement in such a way as to cause an obstruction. The Clerk had contacted Bromford Living and it was hoped to meet with their representative in the near future. Councillor Timmis also suggested referring the matter to the Safer Neighbourhoods Panel which the Clerk agreed to do. 

It was agreed that meetings would now be held on the last Thursday in every alternate month.

Action: Clerk and Chair.

 

Date of Next Meeting

 

24 November 2016

Comments