26 March 2018

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 26 March 2018 AT 7.30pm

 

Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman),

T Armstrong, S Forest, C Foster, L Joyce, P Timmis

 

 

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

                         

Apologies:               Cllr A Riches

 

Declarations of Interest

There were none

 

Public Open Forum

A member of the public noted that a felled tree had been left in the ditch near to the electricity substation. This followed arboreal work undertaken contractors working for the electricity board. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the board and ask that the tree be removed.

 

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January were approved. This was proposed by Councillor Armstrong and seconded by Councillor Riches.     

 

Matters Arising and Correspondence

The Clerk reported that his enquiries had revealed that milestones in the county were now the responsibility of the Milestones Society, a charitable trust. Their local representative had advised that the milestone located on the Haunton Road was an historic monument. This meant that it relocating it would be complicated and also meant that maintaining it required the use of specialist paint. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Milestones Society again to determine whether they had an ongoing maintenance programme and also clarify whether it being outside the village boundary was an issue.

Action: Clerk to contact Milestone Society

 

Village Action Plan

Councillor Joyce led a discussion of the village action plan. She asked whether the Parish Council held title deeds for the playground and the village green. Councillors Whitehouse and Timmis thought these would be with Moran and Co in Tamworth. Councillor Joyce updated the meeting on the ongoing work around governance matters, the Register of Members’ Interests, and the work to secure digital copies of key Parish Council documents including the Asset Inventory. Councillor Joyce had made some enquiries about the implications of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). This had confirmed that it was acceptable for the clerk to act as Data Protection Officer for the council. It was agreed that the Clerk would consider the implications of this and a decision would be made at the May meeting. It was noted that the Parish Council neither held or processed significant amounts of sensitive data. It was agreed that the Clerk would circulate the Staffordshire Parish Councils Association (SPCA) Bulletin to all councillors for information. The Transparency Code had clear implications for the council and whilst the existing website was felt to be compliant, there was work to be done in improving the appearance and interactivity of the site. It was agreed to action this in 2019. The Clerk was asked to contact Edingale Swifts Football Club regarding litter on the football field, though it was established that the area was excluded from the Best Kept Village judging. The distribution of the latest newsletter was agreed and it was further agreed that Cllr Foster would assume responsibility for producing the summer newsletter.

Actions: Councillor Foster to produce the summer newsletter; Clerk to circulate SPCA Bulletins; Clerk to contact Edingale Swifts.

 

Bus Update

The Clerk updated the meeting on a meeting he had attended with Cllr Riches in Clifton Campville. This had been called to discuss developments whereby the County Council had indicated they would be seeking tenders to operate a bus service in the Mease Valley albeit on a reduced basis. This would require a contribution from each of the parish councils. There was little progress to report because of the delays in the county’s tender exercise as a result of changes in the procurement regulations. This meant that when the existing bus service ended on 31 March, there would be no buses serving the Mease Valley. Edingale Parish Council were looking to set up a shared taxi service and had asked that Harlaston consider this and making a financial contribution towards it. After some discussion, Cllr Timmis posed the question: did the Parish Council wish to subsidise the bus route and support a shared taxi service at this time? No one was in favour of this for the following reasons: it was unclear how a shared taxi service would operate and it was also suggested that this was something that could perhaps operate with no parish council intervention anyway (i.e. those wishing to travel to Tamworth could make their own arrangements to share a taxi); it was unclear how many people in the village used the bus and therefore how many would use such a service. The Parish Council would discuss the matter again when the position with the county’s procurement exercise was clearer.

Action: No support to be offered for the shared taxi service; further discussion to be had when more information was available.

 

Finance

The Clerk reported that the Current Account balance stood at £15,285.81 compared with £13,364.50 for the same period last year. After some discussion it was agreed that the Clerk would work with Cllr Timmis to present the financial balance slightly differently at future meetings. This was to ensure that the sinking fund established for the playground was clearly identifiable.

The following cheques were approved for payment:

Smiths of Derby for work on the church clock - £261.00

Playground Inspection Company - £75.00

SPCA Subscription - £

Mick Brown for work done with the digger - £250.00

Clerk’s Salary and expenses for March - £115.05 and £21.00

Pat Whitehouse – for the purchase of litter pickers, trees and bulbs - £91.19

The finance report and cheques was proposed for approval by Cllr Foster, seconded by Cllr Armstrong and duly carried.

Action: Clerk to present the accounts differently at future meetings.

 

Planning

The Clerk had received an update from the planning authority to the effect that more consultation was to be undertaken on the Dunnimere Farm application. There was also an update regarding Fish Pits Far indicating that a decision was to be made about the Section 106 monies later this week. The Clerk had emailed the officer concerned and outlined the Parish Council’s plans requesting an immediate update.

Councillor Joyce circulated a list of all recent planning applications in the Harlaston area. Concern was expressed that some of these had not been notified to the Parish Council. It was agreed that no objection would be made to the Thistley Barn application. It was further agreed that the Parish Council would always comment on planning applications even if that was only to confirm that there was no objection.

Action: Clerk to chase information on S106; Clerk to ensure that the council always comments on planning applications.

 

Village Plan

After some discussion it was agreed that a public meeting would be useful to start the process of preparing a village plan. Councillor Timmis agreed to lead on this, but suggested that a working group of parish councillors and other interested parties might prove necessary. All agreed to consider what should be included.

Action: Councillor Timmis to prepare the plan.

 

Playground Update

Councillor Riches had prepared an update on the funding situation for the playground. It was noted that the £1000 secured from the County Council would now not be paid until next year, though it had apparently been ring-fenced to Harlaston. A number of applications were still under consideration, but some had proved unsuccessful.  It was agreed to contact those companies specializing who were known to also provide advice on funding.

Action: Councillor Riches and Councillor Whitehouse to contact the relevant companies.

 

Aims and Objectives

Councillor Joyce circulated a list of draft aims and objectives. It was agreed that all would consider these with a view to their adoption at the May meeting.

Action: All to consider at the May meeting.

 

District and County Council Matters

There were none.

 

Best Kept Village

The arrangements for the village tidy up day were finalized. It was agreed to use the Next Door app to help publicise the event. Councillor Whitehouse explained how wild flower seeds had been obtained from a scheme run by the Royal Horticultural Society. Councillor Forest agreed to produce a poster.

Action: Councillor Forest to produce poster.

 

Any Other Business

Councillor Armstrong reported that the grant for the community speed watch equipment had been approved. A training session with the Police would be arranged for a Saturday morning. Councillor Armstrong reported that there were six volunteers so far. All congratulated Councillor Armstrong on securing the funding.  

 

Open Forum

No issues were raised.

 

Date of Next Meeting(s)

 

Monday 21 May 2018

 

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

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