26 January 2017

HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman of the Parish Council:

Cllr P Whitehouse

Old School House

Main Road

Harlaston

Tamworth B79 9JS

Tel: 01827 383590

Clerk to the Parish Council:

Mr I Van Arkadie

17 Rowley Close

Tamworth B79 9LN

Tel: 077199 265760

e-mail: ianvanarkadie@yahoo.co.uk

DRAFT MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 26 January 2017 AT 7.00pm

 

Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman),

T Armstrong, S Forest, L Joyce,

 

 

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

                         

Apologies:               Cllr P Timmis, Cllr A Riches, Cllr A Tingey

 

Open Forum

Two members of the public were present at the outset of the meeting. They asked to see a copy of the minutes of the November meeting and then expressed a wish to simply observe the meeting. They were given a copy of the minutes and invited to participate in the meeting at the end when the Open Forum was again in process.

 

Declarations of Interest

There were none

 

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2016 were approved. This was proposed by Councillor Joyce and seconded by Councillor Forrest.   

 

Matters Arising and Correspondence

Playground – The Playground Inspection Company had completed an inspection of the playground. This was now with the Chairman and would be circulated to councillors.

Section 106 – There was nothing further to report. It was noted that the Fish Pits Farm development was due to be discussed later on the agenda under planning and that no 106 monies would be generated until work had actually started on the development.

Defibrilator – an application for funding had been submitted but no reply had been received. A response had been received from St Matthews Church Parochial Church Council who had expressed a willingness to consider fixing the defibrillator on the churchyard wall, but also raised concerns that this might not prove practical. It was agreed in the meeting that the phone box would be a more satisfactory location anyway.

Bromford Living – no further updates had been received from Bromford.

Phone Box – while a consultation had been undertaken by the District Council regarding a change of use, final planning permission still needed to be given. Work was ongoing  

 

Correspondence

The Clerk updated the meeting on the latest bulletin from Staffordshire Parish Councils Association which he would circulate. Items included a drive to recruit more magistrates across the county, a workshop on sharing services with Staffs County Council and a report on the “State of Rural Services” prepared by Rural England.

It was agreed that the Chair would contact Cllr Tingey to confirm if we wished to continue as a councillor. This followed a suggestion that he might not do in an email to the Clerk.

The Chair had received an invitation to the annual dinner hosted by the Chair of Lichfield District Council. The cost of this was £35 per head. The Chair said he was unlikely to attend.

 

Finance

The following payments were agreed:

£96.00 for the Clerk’s salary for January plus £16.80 expenses

£18.40 to the Community Council of Staffordshire to pay for the entry to the Best Kept Village competition.

£100.00 to Harlaston Village Hall for the hire of the hall for use during meetings over the past six months.

It was further agreed that Councillor Joyce would purchase two planters for use on the verges to improve the appearance of the village in the lead up to the annual BKV.

This was proposed by Councilor Joyce, seconded by Councillor Forrest and duly carried.

The Clerk reminded the Council that a grant of £390.00 had been received from the Transparency Fund for the purchase of a computer for the Council. He suggested that he identified a suitable computer and that a cheque was made payable to him for that amount. He would then go and buy the recommended computer. This was necessary because very few stores now accepted cheques. All agreed that this was a good idea.

Following the discussion at the last meeting the Clerk reported that he had submitted a precept request that included an additional £3000 for the cost of play equipment.

The Clerk reported that the current account balance at the end of December had stood at £13,552. This was a healthy position and comparable to previous years.

 

Planning

The revised planning application for Fish Pits Farm was discussed. It was agreed that the Clerk would submit the following comments to the Planning Department at Lichfield District Council:

·         Concerns had been expressed over the capacity of the existing drainage and sewerage infrastructure and whether it would cope with so many additional dwellings.

·         The number of parking spaces was insufficient, particularly with regard to visitor parking. It was suggested that 12 (instead of 5) visitor spaces would be more appropriate.

·         The houses built should have no permitted development rights (i.e. not allowed to extend or radically change).

·         There should be a rigorous maintenance programme required for the attenuation basin (effectively a pond) and appropriate safeguarding and safety features should be incorporated to minimize the potential risks of a body of water of this sort. These would normally include railings, a lockable gate, lights etc.

·         Clarification was needed over refuse collection and where the bins were to be collected from.

·         There was a general feeling that the changes from the original plans now meant that the  proposal was for too many houses.

 

District Council Matters

There was no report in the absence of the District and County Councillors.

 

Any Other Business

It was agreed that the Clerk would investigate who to contact about rubbish on the football pitch.

A quote had been received from Mick Brown to cut the grass at a cost of £180.00. In previous years he had always quoted much lower than anyone else and this latest quote represented no increase in price from last year. It was agreed to award the business to Mr Brown and ask if he would do it for two years. This was proposed by Councillor Forest, seconded by Councillor Joyce and duly carried.

It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Bromford to thank them for the works they had undertaken on the footpath near the Post Office to address the issues discussed at the September meeting.

The “Village Tidy” to prepare for the Best Kept Village would be on Sunday 23 April starting at 10.oo am. Councillor Forrest agreed to publicise this.

It was agreed to pay LDC to remove the old tractor tyre on Main Road. This was proposed by Councillor Forest, seconded by Councillor Joyce and duly carried.

The Clerk would write to the Electricity Board about trees encroaching on overhead electricity cables in the area.  

Councillor Joyce had circulated a draft Village Newsletter which was positively received. It was agreed to circulate this.

 

Open Forum

The Open Forum was reconvened to allow the two members of the public – who introduced themselves as Mr Watkins from Manor Lane and his friend Mr Clark - to speak. They expressed concerns about matters raised in the Open Forum at the November meeting about issues in Manor Lane. They stated they were unhappy that the Parish Council had not approached them to discuss the concerns that some Manor Lane residents had raised. The disputed that there had been loud music or anti-social behavior; they disputed that the vehicles had been parked in considerately or that anyone was living in any of the vehicles. They pointed out that Mr Watkins had compromised mobility; that the vehicles were owned by his friends who came to visit and to help care for him. They made it known that Mr Watkins had signed an Acceptable Behaviour Contract with Bromford and Staffordshire Police some eighteen months ago and that the dogs had always been under control since that time. They expressed anger that the first they knew of any problems was when Staffordshire County Council had applied for an eviction order against the vehicles. They said they felt intimidated and victimized (though, when asked, said that there had been no physical intimidation and no one had actually approached them). They reported that the case was due to be heard again at Nuneaton on 3rd February.

The Clerk explained that the meeting in November was a public meeting and the minutes had been published on the noticeboard. The Parish Council’s role had been to listen to the concerns of local residents and advise and “signpost” them to other agencies who might be able to help. The Parish Council did n0t have an investigatory remit and any investigations leading up to the application for an eviction order would have been undertaken by the County Council, as the authority responsible for the highway where the vehicles were parked. During the course of the discussion, the Parish Council had informed Bromford that there were records of previous complaints about anti-social behavior and parking in Manor Lane going back approximately 15 years and on several occasions since that time (this was a matter of public record and was recorded in Parish Council minutes). The Parish Council had no further role in this matter at the present time.  

 

Date of Next Meeting

 

30 March 2017 at 7.30 pm.  

 

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