May Minutes

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF HARLASTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE HALL ON WEDNESDAY 25 May 2017 AT 7.25pm

Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman), P Timmis, T Armstrong, S Forest,

Louise Joyce, A Riches                                 

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

Apologies:               Cllr A Tingey  

Declaration of Interest  None

Election of Chairman

It was proposed by Cllr Forest, seconded by Cllr Armstrong and agreed that Cllr Whitehouse be elected as chair. No other nominations were received and Cllr Whitehouse accepted.

Election of Vice Chairman

Cllr Joyce was proposed as Vice Chairman by Cllr Riches and seconded by Cllr Armstrong. This was agreed by those present.   

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 19 May 2016 were agreed and approved. This was proposed by Cllr Forest and seconded by Cllr Timmis.


The Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2016 had been certified by the External Auditor. The Clerk outlined the position with the accounts to 31st March 2017 which the Internal Auditor was currently working on with the Clerk. The meeting considered the Annual Governance Statement required for the external audit. It was proposed that the Chairman be authorized to sign this by Cllr Timmis, seconded by Cllr Riches and duly carried.

Any Other Business  There was none.

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Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman), P Timmis

S Forest, A Riches                         

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

Apologies:               Cllr A Tingey, Cllr L Joyce

The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming those present.

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 19 May 2016 were agreed and approved. This was proposed by Cllr Timmis and seconded by Cllr Forest.  

Chairman’s Report

Cllr Whitehouse presented his report. Key points were:

·         The purchase and installation of the new village signs;

·         The adoption of the telephone kiosk;

·         The Best Kept Village competition;

·         The village clean up;

·         The installation of a community defibrillator in the village,

Cllr Whitehouse went on to thank all councillors for their work throughout the year, with particular thanks to Cllr Joyce for her work on the phone box and the defibrillator. Michael Grove was thanked for his support and work on the website. Councillors thanked Cllr Whitehouse for serving as chair for another year. 

Matters arising from the report

There were none.  

Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2015

The Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2016 had been certified by the External Auditor with no concerns being raised.  

Any other parish matters

Cllr Riches asked if the Parish Council would agree to a classic car show being hosted on the village green during the weekend of 17-18 June to coincide with the Open Gardens. This was proposed by Cllr Forest, seconded by Cllr Timmis and duly carried.

The meeting finished at 7.25 pm.





Present:                   Cllrs P Whitehouse (Chairman),

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



In attendance:        Mr I Van Arkadie (Clerk), 1 member 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 30 March 2017 were approved. This was proposed by Councillor Riches and seconded by Councillor Armstrong.  

Public Open Forum  No matters were raised at this time.

Matters Arising and Correspondence

The Clerk had been in contact with Cllr Tingey. Cllr Tingey had expressed a willingness to continue in his role as a councillor, but stated that he worked on Thursday evenings and would be willing to stand aside in order to make way for others who might be interested. The Clerk reported that the District Council had advised that Harlaston could have a maximum of seven councillors.  The Chair reported that two people had expressed interest in becoming councillors. It was therefore agreed to invite Mr Mark Houston to the next meeting while initiating the formal process for selecting a new councillor by advertising on the noticeboard. The chair would write to Mr Tingey thanking him for his contribution over a period of many years.  The Clerk had been contacted by Staffordshire Parish Councils Association. They had advised that the names of parish councillors should be published on the village website. It was agreed to publish names and the clerk would ask Michael Grove to action this.

Natural England had contacted the Clerk in the wake of their consultation on the River Mease seeking more information. It was agreed that Councillor Joyce would include details of this, along with details of a new meeting that was organized in Netherseal to discuss the river, in the next newsletter.

The Neighbourhood Highways Team were due to visit shortly. It was agreed to ask them to clear gullies, repaint the white post near to the substation by Peggs Lane and to dismantle the old bus shelter at Winterdyne as this was no longer on the bus route.


The Clerk  reported that the Current Account balance stood at £21, 747.23

This includes an increased precept of £8,863.00. The precept was increased by £2,863.00 to secure additional funding for the playground improvements. The balance included a total figure of £5,131.90 which should be earmarked for playground expenditure. The total balance was compared with April 2016 (£19,395.84) and April 2015 (£17,466.16), so the council was in a fairly stable financial position. It was noted that the account included Village Green Account monies totaling £4,890.30.

The Clerk reported that  the council’s insurance was due for renewal. The existing insurers, Zurich, had quoted £528.22 plus £36 to insure the new signs. After some discussion it was agreed to accept this. This was proposed by Councillor Timmis and seconded by Councillor Joyce. Councillor Joyce agreed to ask Wall Parish Council how they dealt with their adoption of the phone box in regard to insurance.

There was some discussion regarding the Clerk’s salary and expenses. It was agreed to increase the hourly rate to £11.05. The Clerk was encouraged to claim for expenses and any additional hours worked on submission of a time sheet. It was agreed to pay 15 hours additional time for the work associated with preparing for the internal and external audit. This was proposed by Councillor Timmis, seconded by Councillor Riches and duly carried.

The following cheques were approved for payment:

Clerk’s Wages for May: £131.60

Clerk’s Addition Hours:£165.70

Insurance: £564.22

This was proposed by Councillor Armstrong and seconded by Councillor Joyce.

The Clerk circulated a bank mandate form to enable councillors to sign cheques. The clerk would ask the bank if a debit or purchase card could be issued for the current account.

The Clerk circulated and explained the Accounting Statements for 2016/17. These were discussed and accepted as accurate by the meeting. It proposed by Cllr Forest that the Chairman be authorized to sign. This was seconded by Cllr Joyce and carried.


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 mooted to ask the builders on the Fish Pits development to undertake some work on the village hall car park as and when planning permission was granted. It was suggested that a quid pro quo would be to allow them to park their vehicles on the car park while work was ongoing. All felt this was a good idea, but was actually a matter for the village hall committee to pursue.

Councillor Armstrong asked if the community speed watch idea could be revived as he was very concerned at speeding through the village. All agreed this was good idea and the clerk would contact Clifton Campville Parish Council to discuss the loan of the equipment. It was agreed to convene a meeting to plan the future of the playground and seek input from villagers.

Open Forum

Michael Grove would advise Councillor Joyce of the details of the River Mease meeting in Netherseal. It was understood this was to be in July.

Date of Next Meeting     28 September 2017 at 7.30 pm.