Approved Minutes of S.P.C meeting – June 8th 2021

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SHENSTONE PARISH COUNCIL

Serving Little Aston, Shenstone, Stonnall, Shenstone Wood End, Lynn, Parish Council Office 25C Main Street Shenstone WS14 OLZ
Tel: 01543 481 947
e-mail: <admin@shenstone-staffs.gov.uk >
web: www.shenstone-staffs.gov.uk

APPROVED MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING TUESDAY JUNE 8th 2021 at 7.15 SHENSTONE VILLAGE HALL

20

Register of members in attendance

Cllrs David Salter, Sheila Beilby, David Thompson, John Branch, Stuart Jones, Neil Perry, Lesley Edgley, Rita Hancocks, Nicki Gobran, Kelly Harrison, Nick Smith, Gail Nicholls, Nicola Macdonald, Mick Cox & Val Neale.

County Cllr David Smith.

21

Acceptance of apologies.

District Cllr Liz Little

22

Public Participation.

Members of the public are invited to address Council for a maximum of 15 minutes.

None.

23

Declarations of interest. Members should consider whether they should partake in any discussion or vote on matters on the agenda unless they have a dispensation.

None

24

To accept and confirm minutes of the last Full Council meeting on Tuesday 4th May 2021. Confirmed & accepted

25

Clerk’s update on outstanding issues from last meeting:

  • Confirmed details to Boldmere Computers for change to .gov emails.

  • Email received from Mrs Jill Street of Stonnall objecting to being referred to as Mrs John Street in the April minutes. Mrs Street wished to be clearly identified as an individual applicant for the vacant Stonnall Youth & Community Centre Working Party position and not referred to jointly with her husband. The Clerk apologised and an addendum has been added to the April minutes.

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To receive reports from District and County Councillors.

County Cllr Smith shared:

  • Enforcement measures around Shenstone Station will be tightened up following some breeches of regulations

  • Shenstone & Stonnall gateways will be in place soon

  • Pedestrian crossing at Blake St will be in place this financial year.

  • Work will begin soon on the road from the Playing Field in Stonnall to Church Lane. There are still issues with a privately owned wall that is in need of attention.

  • There have been some complaints re traffic on Little Aston Lane.

Cllr Smith said as a busy 30 MPH A road there is nothing that County can do to restrict speed or volume of traffic.

  • Following recent flooding in Stonnall, a new ditch & a soakaway in the problem area is now in place.

  • Shire Oak Quarry is making steady progress.

  • There will be a new County Council fund for highways & community grants starting at the end of the month.

Cllr Salter briefed Council on a cabinet reshuffle at Lichfield District Council & also the opportunity for a member grant facility in the coming months.

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Finance.

Current financial position & transactions for approval as at 8th June 2021. (see attached spreadsheet)

Unity Account £187,523.12. Nat West Current Account £905.00. Nat West Business Reserve £53,313.71 Nat West Liquidity Account Ring Fenced Funds for Earmarked Projects £162,320.64.

The recommendation from the internal auditor is that the ring fenced funds be broken down into specific project amounts. It was agreed that at the next Finance meeting this division of funds will be confirmed & approved at the next Full Council.

Recommendations from the meeting of the Finance, Legal, Health & Safety Committee Tues May 25h at 5.30.

RECOMMENDATION: Confirm Alan Topliss as internal auditor for 2021-22.

RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved.

Confirm Mazaars as external auditor for 2021-22

RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved

Confirmation of the adoption of Financial Terms of Reference & Financial Regulations. RESOLUTION: Signed & unanimously approved

RECOMMENDATION: Consider purchasing Footherley Rough to create a nature reserve. Cllr Jones requested that Council approve investigations into the possible lease or purchase of woodland in Footherley which until recently has been enjoyed by residents across the Parish. Following some anti-social behaviour the area is now cordoned off. As the owner is quite elderly & his family do not wish to continue the business Cllr Jones would like to enquire as to whether Council could buy or lease the land & manage it with an appointed management committee as natural woodland or a nature reserve. He had also shared articles from a recent edition of Countryside Voices which referred to a similar initiative. This was very positively received.

RESOLUTION: Council voted unanimously to support further investigations by Cllr Jones. Proposed Cllr Thompson, seconded Cllr Hancocks.

RECOMMENDATION: Investigate cost of re-surfacing right of way from Stonnall Playing Field to Church Lane.

Following much wear & tear & flood damage on this heavily used footpath, Cllr Beilby requested that Council investigate the cost of re-surfacing.

RESOLUTION: Council voted unanimously to approve research into costs.

Proposed: Cllr Nicholls, seconded Cllr Perry

Consideration & completion of Annual Governance Statement 2020-21

Consider & approve unaudited return.

Council read & approved the Annual internal audit report & completed the Annual Governance Statement Section 1. Council then certified Section 2 of the same statement.

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Planning.

Approve planning applications received in last month and update on any objections/ developments. (see attached planning applications list)

Cllr Thompson briefed Council on a recent successful objection to Planning app 20/01562 27 Lincoln Croft: conversion from Accountancy Business to 2 x residential flats. A further indication of the importance of the Neighbourhood Plan which lays out strict rules for such development.

There have been recent communications with residents of Foden Close & Oakwood Close, Shenstone, following building incursions onto the Lammas Land. Both are being followed up with a visit to one address to assess & discuss planned. No response as yet from the second so a legal approach may be necessary.

Whilst visiting the sites Cllr Thompson discovered a third much more extensive development onto the Lammas Land: this is also being investigated with the owner of the property intending to share legal proof of permission.

Confirm next Neighbourhood, Planning & Property Committee Meeting Tuesday June 22nd at 5.30pm.

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Standing Orders- approve & adopt.

RESOLUTION: Signed & approved.

30

Stonnall Youth & Community Centre: update from Working Group.

Cllr Thompson read the following update.

The detailed RICS survey of the SYCC will commence on the 16th June and on the day previously the SYCC Management Committee will give us all the details they have of repair work previously carried out to the building. The RICS survey will be used to inform Zurich of the outcome on the 25th June.

Following the response to the Parish Council News offer to apply for two WG places on the SYCC Working Group (SYCC WG) five residents put their names forward all linked directly or indirectly to the existing SYCC.

After careful consideration of this response the WG recommends that from the five names submitted Doug Morrison is invited onto the WG. In addition it is recommended Mick Cox is invited to rejoin the WG and further that a place is kept vacant for a resident who is not directly or indirectly involved with the SYCC.

The response to consultation has delivered no interest in the independent Trustee work required to implement the Village Hall accommodation option. The Working Group recommends that the option of the existing or new Village Hall Trustees leading on the redesign of the Village Hall is no longer pursued.

Following the distribution of the Parish Council News the SYCC Management Committee have made further representations maintaining that they have and wish to continue to repair the building while advocating that they can grow attendance and justify a replacement building.

Therefore the WG recommends that we respond to the offer of ownership as follows:-

  1. The WG meet the SYCC Management Committee to discuss the option of the SYCC forming a Charitable Trust to take ownership of the SYCC.

  2. Following meetings with the SYCC Management Committee the Parish Council informs the County Council that they do not wish to take up the offer of ownership.

The Council to note that (i) following a successful outcome from the above the SYCC Management Committee will independently approach the County Council to negotiate ownership (ii) the Parish Council will continue to make appropriate contributions to both the immediate and long term bids for funding by the Charitable Trust. This will be consistent with support to other Charitable Trusts and community organisations.

There were lengthy discussions including accountabilities and liabilities after which the following resolutions were made.

RESOLUTION: Council voted in the majority to invite Mr Doug Morrison to join the working group, keep a space free for an impartial A.N.Other & request that Cllr Cox rejoins the group. Cllr Cox thanked Council & will consider the request.

RESOLUTION: Council voted in the majority to no longer pursue the Village Hall option.

RESOLUTION: Council voted in the majority to meet the SYCC Management Committee to discuss the option of the SYCC forming a Charitable Trust to take ownership of the SYCC.

RESOLUTION: Council voted in the majority to inform County that they do not wish to take up the offer of ownership.

It was noted that Council should review and support succession planning for all Committees to ensure effective, efficient ongoing management.

31

Village Hall hot desking.

Cllr Harrison asked Council for support in investigating the idea of renting rooms/space in the Village Halls for use by individuals who are looking for a business space away from home. It would be beneficial to the individual & support on many levels as well as provide an income stream for the village halls.

The idea was very well received.

RESOLUTION: Fully endorsed by Council as something to pursue.

Proposed: Cllr Thompson, seconded Cllr Gobran

32

Consider request from Cllr Neale to support the Plant a Tree for Jubilee initiative.

RESOLUTION: Fully endorsed by Council. Clerk charged with investigating costs.

33

Lammas Land Calder Crossing: Consider bridge survey.

The Calder Crossing bridge is in need of repair work but the extent needs to be professionally clarified. RESOLUTION: Fully endorsed by Council. Clerk charged with investigating costs.

34

Consideration of Local Nature Reserve status for LARGA.

Cllr Salter requesting permission from Council to continue looking into establishing this change of status.

RESOLUTION: Fully endorsed by Council.

35

Consider request for £1300.00 grant funding to support Shenstone Christmas Market 2021.

RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved with the proviso that profits are re-invested in the project the following year.

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As defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 & Standing Orders 1.6 , the following item is deemed confidential in nature & therefore the public are excluded.

Cllr Thompson to brief Council on recent issue of inappropriate conduct.

Cllr Salter led the briefing and following a lengthy discussion Council voted in the majority to express its strong objection by letter.

Cllr Salter also briefed Council on a number of social media comments circulating which contain rumours and speculation re the Stonnall Youth & Community Centre as well as, in one instance, individually naming a Councillor. It was agreed that the planned public meeting will afford Council the opportunity to address these issues.

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Date of next meeting: Tuesday July 13th 2021 at 7.15pm Shenstone Village Hall.