28 September 2017

Minutes of Parish Council Meetings

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 28 September 2017 AT 7.30pm

 

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.

 

Finance

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.

 

Planning

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

Comments