Approved S.P.C Minutes – March 2022


Serving Little Aston, Shenstone, Stonnall, Shenstone Wood End, Lynn, Parish Council Office 25C Main Street Shenstone WS14 OLZ
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Approved minutes of Full Council meeting Tuesday March 8th, 2022, 7.15pm Shenstone Village Hall.

167 Register of members in attendance

Cllr David Thompson, Cllr Stuart Jones, Cllr Lesley Edgley, Cllr John Branch, Cllr Neil Perry, Cllr Rita Hancocks (Shenstone)

Cllr Sheila Beilby, Cllr Gail Nicholls, Cllr Mick Cox, Cllr Val Neale, (Stonnall)

Cllr Kelly Harrison (Little Aston). Shirley O’Mara (Clerk)

County Cllr David Smith.

168 Acceptance of apologies.

Cllrs David Salter, Nick Smith & Nicki Macdonald.

169 Public Participation.

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

Mrs Debbra Pastel Tullah, Mr Stuart Tullah .

Mrs Tullah informed Council that the Village Hall committee did not wish to progress with the recommendation under item 175 Shenstone Village Hall/ Shenstone Playing Fields as they consider it a waste of public funds. There was some discussion as to how this matter had originated & what has occurred since and it was agreed that a separate meeting should be arranged to discuss. Mrs Tullah agreed adding that we should “let slide” the issue around the title register documentation being considered incorrect.

Cllr Branch stated that in his view the reasons why the Parish Council had got involved were completely wrong & based on incorrect information that communications between the Village Hall Committee & the Playing Fields Committee were poor, when this was not the case.

He is concerned that the issue has been raised at all & there is some hidden agenda.

Cllr Nicholls said her understanding was that the Council are trying to assist with future proofing land and property administration across the Parish & this is part of that. Cllr Jones said he agreed.

Cllr Thompson summarised a recent meeting with the Chairman & Treasurer of the Playing Fields Committee & how positive & helpful it had been. He asked that we meet separately with both sides asap.

170 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:


171 To accept and confirm minutes of the last Full Council meeting on Tuesday 8th Feb 2022. Approved & signed

172 Clerk’s update on outstanding issues from last meeting:

Quotation received for the restoration of gravestones at St Johns. Cllr Jones briefed Council on a meeting with a stonemason at St Johns closed Cemetery & the quote for work received since. After some discussion it was agreed that the Clerk should seek further advice and feed back to Council next month.

173 To receive reports from District and County Councillors.

County Cllr Smith briefed as follows:

  • Congratulations to Council on the successful RCEF grant fund. There are County wide members who will be interested in the findings of the project. Cllr Smith to share contacts.

  • Stonnall Youth & Community Centre lease: progressing well & will be complete soon.

  • Traffic order re A5127. County prepared to look at small tweaks to the order.

  • Community Governance Review & review of Parliamentary Constituencies.

Cllr Smith expressed surprise that this item had not been put on the agenda & he urgently recommended public consultation. The Clerk stressed that the info has been shared with all Council, added to the website & features heavily in the March newsletter which will be out at the end of the month.

Cllr Perry informed Cllr Smith that despite several attempts he has been unable to engage a Staffs County Engineer re the Shenstone Station area traffic order. Cllr Smith said he was not surprised & that contact should go through him. Cllr Perry & Cllr Thompson both stressed that a meeting should be held as soon as possible to move forward with the review of the traffic order and that Council would consider funds for any tweaks considered necessary.

Cllr Harrison also asked for an update on her email to Cllr Smith regarding the parent campaign for a safer road crossing on Walsall Rd, Little Aston. Cllr Smith said he is not promising anything but will look at an all-embracing order for Walsall Rd through to the Chester Rd.

174 Finance.

Current financial position & transactions for approval 8th March 2022. Link to financial transactions spreadsheet

The Clerk confirmed that as instructed funds had moved from the Nat West Liquidity Account to cover the costs incurred to date for the ear marked projects as follows:

£40,000 to cover professional fees of which £31,739.60 has been spent to date & £10,000 for the Jubilee grants.

Latest position: £90,535.55 Unity Account. £112,409.35 Nat West Liquidity Account. £905.00 Nat West Current Account. £53,317.74 Nat West Business Reserve.

Looking at the Liquidity Account Council voted unanimously to divide the account into the following ear marked projects:

£25,000 for Neighbourhood Plan renewals, £25,000 for traffic calming/parking measures including safety crossing on Walsall Rd, £25,000 for restoration & safety work at St Johns Cemetery & £25,000 for ongoing legal & survey fees re establishment of management agreements, clarification of ownership &responsibilities of land & buildings.

Balance of £12,409.35.

Consideration of Councillor led grant request for £350.00: new sign at Stonnall Youth & Community Centre. RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved.

Next meeting of Finance, Legal, Health & Safety Committee Tuesday 22nd March 2022 at 5.30

Shenstone Community Library.

175 Planning.

Approve planning applications received in last month and update on any objections/ developments. Link to planning applications spreadsheet

Appeal pending for development on Cartersfield Lane. Objections submitted for application at the Fox & Hounds.

Update on Neighbourhood Planning & Property Committee Meeting Feb 22nd including recommendations:

Shenstone Playing Fields & Shenstone Village Hall landlocked issue: RECOMMENDATION: Parish Council pay the Playing Fields legal costs incurred in establishing a wayleave or other legal authorisation, recognising its part in the creation of the original problem, and seeking to find a long-term resolution for the benefit of all. Covered under public participation.

Lammas Land boundary incursion: RECOMMENDATION: The Committee were unanimous in their support for a looped path which will allow walkers to benefit from the extra safe walking space but will not incur the problems of being boggy ground or the potential high maintenance costs.

The Clerk briefed Council on the site meeting held on the Lammas Land to look at an area of land that is unused due to its extremely boggy nature. The Chairman of the Lammas Land Committee wished Council to consider options on what to do with the land as well as consider extending a loop pathed for walkers to enjoy. The NPP Committee reviewed the options which included putting a short, looped footpath in at the narrowest point & selling off land around it & putting a complete footpath in & out of the area.

Then they added a further option; put a footpath loop around the least boggy area to avoid that land & the maintenance costs associated with it and keep it as a nature reserve. The Clerk highlighted that, though this was a valid & legal recommendation from the Committee, as only four members had attended the site meeting, Council should carefully consider the whole issue. RESOLUTION: Following discussion Council voted unanimously in agreement with the Committee resolution to progress with a shorter but complete looped path. Quotations to be obtained.

Next meeting of the Neighbourhood, Planning & Property Committee Meeting Tuesday April 26th Shenstone Library at 5.30pm.

176 Lammas Land boundary incursions: consider request from Lammas Land Committee Chairman for a legal view on chances of enforcement

Review of Boundary report from Friend Associates if received in time.

The Chairman of the Lammas Land Committee has expressed concern that recent incidents of boundary incursions by residents onto Lammas Land grounds have not been legally investigated. It was agreed at November Council that the way forward would be to have a boundary survey to assess the problem. This has now been completed & the report with photographs will be with Council next week. The surveyor has indicated several instances where the boundary has been clearly breached. RESOLUTION: Council to consider findings of the survey report & photographic evidence & discuss at next meeting.

177 Decarbonisation Two Village Feasibility Study Update: Working Group membership & inception meeting date.

Cllr Thompson briefed Council on the formation of the Working Group which will be Cllr Thompson, Cllr Nicholls, Cllr Salter & Cllr Smith. There will also be volunteers from residents. The first Zoom meeting with Bioregional will be Thursday 10th March with the inception meeting planned for April 6th.

178 Richard Cooper Room: feedback from Management Committee meeting & next steps.

The meeting on Feb 9th was extremely positive with the Committee emphasising their commitment to self-fund building renovations as much as possible.

An item of paperwork sought by Council Solicitors is still to be presented.

179 Stonnall Youth & Community Centre: lease transfer update.

Covered under Item 173. Cllr Cox confirmed everything going well.

180 H.M. The Queen Jubilee 2022 celebrations. Consideration of latest grant requests.

Of the £10,000 ring fenced £5167.73 has been allocated: Stonnall Playing Fields, Jubilee trees, purchase of a beacon, Beacon Lighting ceremony & Shenstone Library event.

A request for £500 for a street party in Court Drive has been received. RESOLUTION: Approved on the strict basis that it is an event open to all.

Following the planting of the Jubilee trees on the Lammas Land a request has been made for a street sign to indicate “Jubilee Way”. The cost is £235.00, RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved

181 The Govt UK OZEV offer to provide up to 13k to Parish Councils for the installation of each new individual on street charge point.

Cllr Thompson briefed Council on this initiative & it was agreed that the details be shared with Village Halls across the Parish as the places that may meet the eligibility rules to locate the charge points.

182 Traffic Management Order Review: next steps. Covered under Item 173.

183 Lengthsman interviews: update & recommendation from Employment Committee.

The Employment Committee wish to appoint Mr Nigel Hewitt on a three-month temporary contract to replace Steve Crane as Lengthsman at a rate of £11.00 per hour.

RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved

184 Bee Friendly status: request for grant funding to supply bee bombs across the Wards

Cllr Jones explained how towns & villages can take part in this environmental initiative & gain Bee Friendly status. To encourage full community participation there will be a number of projects linked to schools & the Shenstone Village Festival. Start up funds are required to supply seed bombs and marketing materials. RESOLUTION: Council unanimously approved £500 towards the project.

185 March newsletter.

The Clerk asked for ideas for the Newsletter. It was agreed there should be a big feature on the Community Grants, the Bee Friendly project, the Lammas Land boundary investigations & path, the Rural Energy Fund & street charge point funding, Jubilee plans & available funding,

New Lengthsman & goodbye to Steve, traffic calming plans.

Deadline for copy 9.00am Tuesday March 22nd.

186 Review and adopt: Code of Conduct policy, Procurement Policy, Health & Safety Policy, Complaints Policy.

RESOLUTION: Code of conduct, Health & Safety & Complaints adopted with no amendments. Existing contracts covered by the Procurement Policy to be fully reviewed at the next meeting of the Finance Committee in late March.

187 Next meeting of Full Council Tuesday April 12th 2022, 7.15pm Shenstone Village Hall