30 March 2017

Minutes of Meetings.

 

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 30 March 2017 AT 7.00pm

 

Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman),

T Armstrong, S Forest, L Joyce, A Riches 

In attendance:        Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), Ms V. Monteith (Bromford Living) 3 members of the public (in total)                      

Apologies:               Cllr A Tingey 

Declarations of Interest

There were none

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2017 were approved. This was proposed by Councillor Armstrong and seconded by Councillor Joyce.  

Public Open Forum

The Chairman adjourned the meeting and invited those present to raise issues as part of the public open forum. Ms Monteith introduced herself and explained her role at Bromford Living and the fact that she is regularly in the area. There was a discussion about the situation in Manor Lane and previous complaints made against the resident of No 27. Members of the public present at the meeting participated in this discussion and used it as an opportunity to express their concerns about noise, dogs being out of control, vans obstructing the road and rowdy behaviour. It was noted that the situation appeared to have improved since the last meeting. Ms Monteith reported that she had visited the property in question and had a constructive and amiable meeting with the tenant.  She stressed that Bromford takes complaints against its tenants very seriously; she reiterated the need for information to be passed to her and for the diaries to be completed.

Matters Arising and Correspondence

The Clerk reported the subscription renewal requests had been received from the Community Council of Staffordshire and Staffordshire Parish Councils Association (£138.00). After some discussion it was agreed that both of use were useful organization and that membership benefited the Parish Council. It was agreed to renew both subscriptions. This was proposed by Councillor Riches and seconded by Councillor Forest.

The Chair read out a letter from Mrs Spalding, a Harlaston resident. Mrs Spalding commended the council for some of the initiatives recently undertaken in the village, but expressed concerns over smoke from bonfires in the area. It was noted that this was a district council matter and that councillors were aware that some of those lighting fires had secured the appropriate permits from the  district council.  

 Finance

The Clerk  reported that the Current Account balance stood at £13,364.50. This compares with £13,817.34 for the same period last year. The difference could be explained through the purchase of the village signs in 2016, which had represented significant outlay.

The Clerk advised that he secured a VAT rebate of £460.40 from HMRC. This covered a period of approximately two years.

No word had been received from Lichfield District Council on the precept, but it seemed likely that the application for a 50% increase on the previous amount had been accepted,

The Clerk alerted the meeting to the new workplace pension regulations which did apply to parish councils where they employed staff. It was important to ensure that any required paperwork was completed for the Department of Work and Pensions, despite there being no need to make pension arrangements for the Clerk. The Clerk would investigate this and report back to the next meeting.

The following cheques were approved for payment:

Clerk’s Wages for March: £125.40

Clerk’s Expenses: £11.30

Cllr Louise Joyce: £154.92 for flower pot tubs

Mrs Anne Whitehouse: £16.00 for flowers for the village planters.

This was proposed by Councillor Forrest seconded by Councillor Armstrong and duly carried.

The Clerk briefed the meeting on the new audit guidelines received from Grant Thornton. It was agreed to asked Keith Johnson to act as internal auditor once again. The Clerk said he would endeavor to have the required paperwork ready for approval at the next meeting at the end of May, though the actual submission date was not until July.

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 had yet to identify a suitable computer, but would inform the council when he did so that a cheque could be made payable to him for the required amount. He would then go and buy the recommended computer.

The Clerk informed the meeting that it had proved necessary to pay £110.00 to Lichfield District Council for costs associated with the elections. It had further proved necessary to the Playground Inspection Company for the annual playground inspection. The Chair had approved these.

Planning

The revised planning application for Fish Pits Farm was still awaiting a decision according to the Lichfield District Council Planning Portal.

District Council Matters

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

Any Other Business

It was agreed that Councillors Forest, Armstrong, Joyce and Riches would become signatories to the Current Account. The Clerk would action this with NatWest.  

The Chair reported an incident in the village involving dog fouling. It was agreed that the Clerk would ask LDC for an appropriate notice to erect on the green on Churchside.

Michael Grove advised the meeting that the trees encroaching on the powerlines on Main Road were to be cut back within the next few weeks.

Councillor Joyce had been in touch with South Staffs Water regarding a link on Manor Lane.

Councillor Joyce reported that British Telecom had approved the council’s adoption of the phone box. It was noted that the phone would need to be added to the council’s insurance policy which the Clerk would action.

Councillor Joyce reported that the newsletter was due to go out imminently.

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 that the Clerk would contact Mr Bird regarding trees overhanging the playground and ask that they be cut back.

All councillors agreed to help identify possible sources of funding for the playground. The Clerk was asked to contact Staffordshire Highways regarding the mud on the road on Scotland Lane. A number of residents had expressed concern about this.

Councillor Riches mentioned that he was organizing a charity cricket match at Elford cricket ground.

Open Forum

Michael Grove advised that Tarmac have money to fund local community projects and that the contact there for this was a Mr Nick Atkins.

Date of Next Meeting

25 May 2017 at 7.30 pm.  This would be the annual meeting.

 

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