PC Minutes 13 November 2023

Denstone Village

Minutes of Denstone Parish Council Meeting 13th November 2023

  1. Jess Turner (Chair), Cllr B Wright, Cllr M Shermer, Cllr E Edmonds, Cllr J Mountney Cllr Stratton, Cllr Ratcliffe, Cllr M Flower, Borough Cllr Steve Sankey and Julie Sadler (Clerk)

Apologies: None – There were 11 Members of the village at the meeting.

  • The Minutes of the Meeting held 9th October 2023 – The minutes were approved by Cllr Mountney seconded by Cllr Wright and agreed by all as a true record of the meeting and were signed and dated by Cllr Turner (Chair). 
  • To receive declarations of interest – None
  • Adjournment for public participation
    • Road Signs – it was raised by a member of the public that when the road was closed on Alton Road all vehicles were being diverted down Narrow Lane even large vehicles. It was pointed out that there is no signage stating, “not suitable for large vehicles”. It was agreed that the clerk would contact highways and ask them to look at the signage in that area. Action Clerk
    • Drains – it was raised that all the drains were blocked down College Road from Narrow Lane into the village. Clerk to report to SCC. Action Clerk
    • Speeding on B5031 – Borough Cllr Sankey informed the meeting that he had received complaints from members of the village regarding speeding traffic on the B5031. It was agreed that this would be put on the agenda for next month. In the meantime, Cllr Sankey would talk to Cllr Atkins and update the clerk. Community Speed Watch would spend some time on Main Road to gather some information. Russ Whitehurst also raised the speeding on Alton Road. Action Cllr Sankey
  • Matters Arising/Clerk’s Report
    • Correspondence Received
      • Previous planning application 00484 – Cllr Turner informed the meeting that she had received an email regarding a previous planning application which had been refused by the ESBC. This had been sent to all councillors prior to the meeting. Cllr Turner made it clear that no further application had been submitted the occupants of the property were just asking the parish council if the application was resubmitted would the Parish Council object. It was agreed that the Parish Council would not object as they didn’t object to the previous application. Unless of course there were some further changes. Cllr Turner agreed to send a reply to the email informing the occupant of this. Action Cllr Turner
      • Croxden Parish Council Letter – it was unanimously agreed by the Parish Council that they would support Croxden Parish Council with their speeding issue. Clerk to reply to the Clerk at Croxden. Action Clerk
      • Hedge on the Main Road– theclerk informed the meeting that the hedge had now been cut.
      • SIDs – Cllr Flower sent out some data prior to the meeting that had been downloaded from the SIDs at Stubwood. This was discussed by the councillors, and it was agreed that the clerk would contact John Kavanagh at JCB to arrange a meeting with Cllrs Turner, Flower, Ratcliffe and the clerk to discuss this data. All councillors to send available dates to the clerk. Action Clerk, Cllrs, Flower, Turner and Ratcliffe.
    • Hedge and Parking on Oak Road – It was agreed that the letter drafted by Cllr Wright would be sent to the occupants regarding the hedge and parking on Oak Road. Action Clerk
    • Annual Hosting cost SCC – Silver Package – it was unanimously agreed that this would be paid by the Parish Council.
    • Leak on Railway line – the clerk informed the meeting that she had heard back from the new ranger who had confirmed that there was no leak. However, Cllr Mountney confirmed that the problem is still there. It was agreed that the clerk would go back to the ranger. Action Clerk
  • Planning (Permitted & Refused are decisions by ESBC) – Cllr Turner
    • P/2023/01057 – Reserved matters application to P/2022/00260 for the erection of a detached dwelling including details of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale – Summerfield Cottage, Stubwood Lane, Denstone, Staffordshire,ST14 5HU – It was agreed that the application was a well-designed and thought out application and the following statement would be sent to ESBC on behalf of the Parish Council giving their support. Action Clerk
      • The application supports the criteria outlined in Policy H1of the 2017 Denstone Neighbourhood Plan relating to Infill Sites.
      • The site-specific design responds positively to the surroundings in terms of scale, design and massing.  The proposed materials are reflective of the local vernacular.
      • The use of solar tiles is strongly supported and also the applicant’s integration of micro generation within the scheme.
      • The site also retains hedgerows and the use of timber post and rail boundary treatments, these are reflective of the rural character in Stubwood.
    • Bank House Farm appeal – the clerk informed the meeting that she had been informed by the planning inspectorate that the appeal is currently awaiting the allocation of an inspector and then a site visit will be made. It was agreed that the clerk would continue to chase this issue. Action Clerk
    • NP review update – Cllr Turner informed the meeting that the review had now entered into Reg 16 of the process for the ESBC to consult. A letter was issued to some members of the village from the ESBC that could easily have been misconstrued. The ESBC were asked by the Parish Council to recommunicate this letter stating clearly that there is no amendment to the settlement boundary and there will not be any opportunity to change the settlement boundary. A further communication was sent and due to this reg 16 had to be extended.

It was also stated that there had not been any planning application received from Vinewood Farm.

  • Insurance Renewal for the Meadow – The clerk informed the meeting that the insurance had now been renewed. (information only)
  •  Highways – Cllr Shermer
    • Feasibility Study – Cllr Shermer informed the meeting that as yet there was no update on this. However, a traffic count had been done in the village in October and this showed that the number of vehicles going to the college had reduced from the same time last year. All the information gathered over the last 3 years will be helpful when we sit down with the engineer.
  • Liaison – Cllr Stratton
  • Village Hall – Cllr Stratton gave a brief update; the village hall official opening had gone really well. The next major event was the switching of the Christmas lights. Cllr Turner agreed to send the clerk a poster to distribute around neighbouring villages. Cllr Stratton reminded all to bring cash to the event.
  • Play Area
    • New Signs – Cllr Flower agreed that after the meeting he would like to discuss the signs in more detail. He would then order them. Action Cllr Flower
  • Miscellaneous
    • DE-Fib at North end of the Village – It was agreed that the clerk would print the poster off asking if anyone in the North end of the village would be happy to have a defibrillator either on their house or garage. Clerk to print 150 posters and pass them to Cllr Turner. Action Clerk
    • Bus Shelter – Cllr Edmonds informed the meeting that the head of Denstone College had agreed that she would ask one of the maintenance workers to look at the Bus Shelter and get back to him. Cllr Edmonds to chase if not heard anything in the next couple of weeks.
    • War Memorial – The councillors agreed to spend up to £100 on installing some tanalised timber around the garden area of the war memorial for the time being whilst a search for the required stone was made. Hopefully this will keep the soil off the memorial.

Sincere thanks were given to the lengthsman for all the work done clearing up the war memorial after the flooding. Also, the British Legion have now installed a new flag. Thank you.

  • Website Review – It was agreed that a website review would be carried out by Cllr Flower and Cllr Mountney to see if the website is fit for purpose and suggest a way forward. Action Cllr Flower and Cllr Mountney.
  • Finance
    • Precept 2024/25 – Cllr Turner informed the meeting that the councillors would take the first look at setting the precept for 2024/25. However, moving forward it was evident that future budgets would need to include spending for professional fees as the Parish Council are constantly needing to seek advice from professional bodies to deal with planning applications, FOI’s and legal issues.

The Cllrs briefly went through the lines of the precept and several new lines were added; however, it was clearly stipulated that this was only the first draft and would be trimmed down. Clerk to send the first draft to all councillors after the meeting. Action Clerk

  • Approved Spends – Cllr Turner informed the meeting that the agreed spends in last months closed meeting of £2100.00 had not needed to be spent.
  • Payments – To approve the following payments:

Proposed by Cllr Ratcliffe and seconded by Cllr Stratton. All payments would be processed online by Cllr Shermer and Cllr Flower. All invoices would be signed and would be returned to the clerk once actioned.

  1. Lascombe Consulting – Website – pay for October 2023 = £25.00 [LGA 1972 s142 & 144]
    1.  Clerk’s pay for October 2023 (Made by Standing Order) = £453.37 [LGA 1972 s112]
    1. Clerks’ expenses October – £5.40
    1. J Sadler – Replacement Padlock for Railway line – £11.99
    1. J Etherington – Cleaning Village Hall toilets October 2023 = £50.00
    1. N Power – Electricity – October 2023 £47.42
    1. Stuart Smith Lengthsman – October 2023 £316.25 + expenses £53.70= £369.95
    1. Annual Cost Hosting Fee Silver Package – SCC – £131.95
    1.  Urban Vision – Planning Consultant – £120 + VAT = £144.00

 items for Future Agenda

  • SIDs
  • Carved Tree
  • Village Volunteers
  • Speeding on B5031

Date of next meeting:  Monday 11 December 2023 at 7.00 pm in the Village Hall Denstone.

Closed Meeting

  1. Administration Costs

        It was unanimously agreed a total of £750 could be spent on legal costs if required.

  • Salaries
  • Clerks Salary increase – it was unanimously agreed that the clerk would move to level 18 on the LC2 scale. This agreed increase would include a back pay of £327.64 for the period of April – November 2023 inclusive. The monthly salary would increase to £494.32 from December. Both of these transactions would be done online. Action Cllr Shermer and Cllr Flower.
  • Lengthsman – It was agreed that Cllr Wright would talk to the lengthsman.

As there was no further business the meeting closed at 9.15pm

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