Approved minutes of meeting of Full Council held on Tuesday Jan 11th 2022, at 7.15pm Shenstone Village Hall.
129 Register of members in attendance
Cllr David Salter, Chairman (Shenstone Wood End), Cllr David Thompson, Cllr John Branch, Cllr Neil Perry (Shenstone) Cllr Sheila Beilby, Cllr Gail Nicholls, Cllr Mick Cox, Cllr Val Neale, Cllr Nicola Macdonald (Stonnall) Cllr Nick Smith (Little Aston). Shirley O’Mara (Clerk)
County Cllr David Smith. PCSO Andrea Horsnall.
130 Acceptance of apologies.
Cllrs Stuart Jones, Rita Hancocks, Lesley Edgley, Kelly Harrison & Nicki Gobran.
131 Public Participation.
Members of the public are invited to address Council for a maximum of 15 minutes.
PCSO Andrea Horsnall wished Council a Happy New Year then briefed as follows:
There has been an increase in vehicle crime across South Staffs. Thefts have increased in relation to high value vehicles but also a motorbike & campervan.
Residents are reminded to be vigilant and not leave valuables on show.
The Fox & Hounds Pub in Shenstone re-opens this week
Keeping a close eye on U.A.V in Shenstone. The company have beefed up security with 3 x dog handlers night & day.
Plans are in place to resurrect Speedwatch in Shenstone & Stonnall as soon as the pandemic allows. This is likely to be in the Spring but posters will be distributed now to assess interest. Cllr Salter indicated volunteers are ready in Shenstone Wood End.
Cllr Salter also suggested this might be a good time to look at service & calibration of the equipment which PCSO Horsnall will deal with.
Cllr Beilby expressed concern about recent vandalism in Stonnall including graffiti on bus stops & a waste bin thrown in the brook. Clerk to share photos with the PCSO.
Cllr Thompson, following earlier conversations with the PCSO, mentioned that the interactive speed sign on the Birmingham Rd could be better positioned or even a second sign purchased, perhaps even number plate recognition signage.
Cllr Branch said he was disappointed that cars are still speeding. PCSO Horsnall will look into this once the 6-month enforcement period from installation is up.
There was some discussion re the use of gates to designate the village & the placement of the speed signs on the gates to catch headlights in the dark.
Costings for these measures will be sought for consideration at a later Council.
132 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:
133 To accept and confirm minutes of the last Full Council meeting on Tuesday 7th Dec 2021.
Approved & signed.
134 Clerk’s update on outstanding issues from last meeting:
Garnet Close, Stonnall: trees requiring attention on unadopted land. The Clerk has established that the land in question is owned by the original builders, Walton Homes.
They have been notified that the trees need attention as does the partition fence & we await feedback.
135 To receive reports from District and County Councillors.
County Cllr Smith briefed as follows:
Re potentially moving the speed sign on the Birmingham Rd, he will investigate this regarding the traffic order.
He is in support of the “20 is plenty “speed initiative.
Black Country Development Plan at Shire Oak- Cllr Smith said that we need to look at mitigating the effects of this by improving the Shire Oak junction. This could be achieved by re-directing Barracks Lane.
Cllr Smith will investigate the £1.6million CIL funding that is available.
With regard to Council’s RCEF application (item 139) Cllr Smith suggested a contact at South Staffs Energy Project who could be very useful with lots of experience in the field. Cllr Smith also happy to support. Cllr Thompson said he has already been in touch with the Clerk at Whittington Parish Council who has been enormously helpful & thanked Cllr Smith for the additional contact.
Cllr Smith referred to a recent complaint from a resident of Richard Cooper Road regarding the April 2020 traffic order. The resident had made an objection which County appear not to have received. Cllr Thompson has also had communications with the resident & the subject will be discussed thoroughly under Item 140.
However, Cllr Perry reiterated his point of a previous meeting that surely any professional organisation would include a project review to address snagging issues.
Cllr Smith said this had not been accounted for and he did not have the resources to support it.
Cllr Nicholls asked Cllr Smith if the bollards at the junction of Church Rd & Gravelly Lane could be replaced. Cllr Smith said he will look into it.
Cllr Nicholls also raised a long ongoing issue with the pavements in Church Lane which are in places so narrow due to overgrowth that it is extremely dangerous.
Cllr Smith said he will investigate this also.
Current financial position & transactions for approval 11th Jan 2022 – link to spreadsheet.
Unity Account £67,305.09. Nat West Current Account £905.00. Nat West Business Reserve £53,316.88. Nat West Liquidity Account £162,400.04.
The Clerk is in the process of moving £30,000 from the Nat West liquidity account to the main Unity account to cover the cost of the professional fees related to the identified ear marked projects: SY&CC lease transfer, Pickerings legal fees & Friend Associates costs.
Next meeting of Finance, Legal, Health & Safety Committee Tuesday 25th Jan 2022 at 5.30 at Shenstone Community Library.
Approve planning applications received in last month and update on any objections/ developments – link to planning applications spreadsheet
Appeal on Ashcroft Lane development. It was agreed that no objection should be submitted.
Cartersfield Lane development application has been refused.
An application has been received for the development of a nursery in Burnett Rd.
Cllr Thompson to assess and advise.
Objection to the SCC proposals made by 1 Richard Cooper Road leading up to the Road Traffic Regulation Act Order No 1/2009.
Cllr Thompson briefed Council on his conversations with the resident at this property and his ongoing problems with cars blocking his drive. Cllr Thompson had evidence that the resident had indeed submitted an objection to County including completing the formal return.
There was a very detailed discussion as to whether Council should conduct its own review to assess the success of the traffic order & identify any areas that could be improved on. Cllr Perry stressed that the review is very important but needs to be carefully managed & Cllr Branch added that it needs to also be done once things settle down after Covid to get the true picture.
RESOLUTION: To compile a survey to assess the success of the traffic order and compile details of any improvements that can be made. This was unanimously agreed. Cllr Perry to liaise with the Clerk.
Next meeting of the Neighbourhood, Planning & Property Committee Meeting Tuesday Feb 22nd Shenstone Library at 5.30pm.
138 Stonnall Youth & Community Centre: update on transfer of lease.
The deed of surrender was completed on 23rd Dec 2021.
139 RCEF Stage 1 Feasibility Study Tender Evaluation & award approval.
Cllr Thompson briefed Council on a Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) funding scheme to support rural communities across England wanting to set up renewable energy projects in their area with grants of up to £40,000 for a feasibility study.
This grant funding is currently available, and an application was submitted on Jan 7th following the evaluation of four tenders. The successful tender is with Bio Regional who have an excellent track record and submitted a detailed, community focused bid of £32,500.
There is no cost to the Parish Council at all.
RESOLUTION: That on the successful awarding of grant funding, Bio Regional be appointed to conduct the feasibility study. This was unanimously agreed.
Cllr Thompson encouraged members to look at the success of a recent study in Swaffham Prior. Link to study summary. He also expressed his thanks to the Clerk for her assistance.
Bidders and the Midlands hub of DEFRA will now be informed of Council’s decision.
140 Richard Cooper Room: discuss RICS survey & next steps inc update meeting.
Still waiting to hear from our Solicitors with clarification of ownership. A meeting has been arranged with the Management Committee to discuss the survey & take matters forward.
141 20 mph speed limits. Consider resolution to inform Staffordshire County council that the Parish Council supports an approach of default 20 mph speed limits in existing 30 mph areas where people live, work, shop, play or learn subject to appropriate exceptions and where this has community support.
RESOLUTION: Following long discussions the resolution was passed with two abstentions & one vote against.
142 Meeting with Shenstone Playing Fields Committee.
Despite requests the Clerk has been unable to engage with the Committee.
Cllr Branch expressed his very strong concerns that the Council should not be acting as the intermediary between Shenstone Village Hall & the Playing Fields. Cllr Salter stressed that the objective of the meeting was not to look at issues which have long been of dispute such as parking but to resolve the subject of the land registry documentation. The Clerk is also keen to move forward with the proposed purchase of playground equipment as part of the CIL funding.
143 Consider office laptop upgrade.
RESOLUTION: Council voted unanimously to purchase a new laptop up to £1000.00.
144 Community Grants: update.
The deadline for receipt of applications has been extended to Friday 14th January to allow for the impact of Covid. So far applications have been received totalling just under £15K. There is £20K in the budget.
145 H.M. The Queen Jubilee 2022 celebrations.
The Clerk has established the cost of a beacon at £490.00 + VAT.
RESOLUTION: Purchase unanimously approved.
146 Remembrance Sunday 2022.
A meeting will be arranged to discuss the future organisation of the event.
147 Next meeting of Full Council Tuesday Feb 8th 2022, 7.15pm Shenstone Village Hall
proved Minutes of meeting of Full Council Tuesday Oct 12th, 2021, at 7.15pm Shenstone Village Hall.
73 Register of members in attendance.
Cllrs David Salter, Sheila Beilby, David Thompson, Gail Nicholls, Lesley Edgley, John Branch, Val Neale, Rita Hancocks, Mick Cox , Nicola Macdonald, Stuart Jones.
County Cllr David Smith
74 Acceptance of apologies.
Cllr Neil Perry
75 Public Participation. Members of the public are invited to address Council for a maximum of 15 minutes.
76 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:
77 To accept and confirm minutes of the last Full Council meeting on Tuesday 14th Sept 2021
Duly accepted & signed
78 Clerk’s update on outstanding issues from last meeting:
Right of Way , Stonnall Playing Fields to Church Lane: awaiting approval from County.
Cllr David Smith advised that County had no objection to the works but advised consulting the landowner of the field to the side of the pathway as the path itself is unadopted land. There was some discussion as to whether Council may wish to consider adopting the land, but it was agreed to move forward without prejudice.
Millennium Clock: RESOLUTION: the quote for £700.00 to repair the clock was unanimously approved.
Lammas Land bridge repairs: quotation pending. Deferred to November meeting
79 To receive reports from District and County Councillors.
County Cllr Smith reported on:
• Black Country Plan. Cllr Smith is concerned about the impact on traffic caused by the housing proposals at Shire Oak & submitted objections from a Highways perspective.
Cllr Salter confirmed that at an earlier meeting of Lichfield District Council changes to the method of awarding Community Infrastructure Levy payments was agreed with monies received by Council being used for traffic management measurement.
• A Highways traffic survey starts soon focusing on weight, speed, volume and time of day running for 24 hours over 7 days. Council have agreed the names & numbers of roads used but Cllr Thompson said there must be engagement with the engineers as to the siting of the equipment. Cllr Smith confirmed he would share the information.
Cllr Thompson also expressed frustration that County gave no forward notice of the Significant works S278 Deanslade Farm-Birmingham Rd, Lichfield which are scheduled to last for 46 weeks. These works will have a major impact on Shenstone with an inevitable increase in traffic. Cllr Branch confirmed that the volume of traffic has already significantly increased & it will only get worse, with Ashcroft Lane also being highlighted as a problem. Cllr Thompson has requested a meeting with the traffic team at Staffs County to discuss this and future plans.
Cllr Salter raised the issue of potholes on the A5127 with Cllr Smith responding that there have been appalling problems with illness amongst crews.
Cllr Salter also asked why only some potholes are identified as needing attention with others right next to them being ignored. Cllr Smith said there is a big debate going on at County level about it but had no further response.
• A wooden gateway in Stonnall which was put in without approval will be moved shortly
• Re the termination of the Stonnal Youth & Community Centre lease (item 82), Cllr Smith confirmed Staffs County Council approval for transfer of liability to go back to them. It is expected that this will take 2 months to complete with £18,124 in lieu of demolition ring fenced for future use. Legal fees are expected to be around £300.00.
Cllr Salter confirmed to Cllr Smith that Council have appointed a Solicitor and details will be forwarded to the Officer at County.
• Cartersfield Lane proposed development: it is up to Lichfield District Council to decide but the development does not fit with the Neighbourhood Plan.
• Re Cartersfield Lane, Cllr Macdonald asked if the road traffic measures have been fully completed including dragons’ teeth. Cllr Smith said he thought they had but did not know for sure.
Current financial position & transactions for approval 12th October 2021.
Details of transactions were shared & the current finances confirmed as:
Nat west Current Account £905.00 Nat West Business Reserve £53315.54
Nat West Liquidity Account £162,379.57. Unity Account £142,879.35.
A report on April-Sept finances & forecast was shared (attached). The Clerk drew specific attention to the invoice from Lichfield District Council for £18,000 which was part of the maintenance contract from last year- the invoice did not arrive until May 2021.
There were no questions from Council on accounts to date or the forecast with the budget scheduled for approval at Nov Council.
Re ring fenced funds, Council approved the projects as detailed on the spreadsheet with further projects to be identified before the end of this year.
The Clerk confirmed application forms for this years Community Grants will be released at the end of November but that the application form will be re-drafted to include a requirement for more information on accountability. The Clerk will present the form to the next Finance, Legal Health & Safety Committee meeting later this month.
Confirm the next meeting of Finance, Legal Health & Safety Committee Tues 26th Oct 2021 at 5.30 Shenstone Community Library
Approve planning applications received in last month and update on any objections/ developments including recommendations from the Neighbourhood, Planning & Property Committee Meeting Tuesday Sept 21st:
Cllr Thompson confirmed that an objection re the Cartersfield Lane proposal has been submitted.
• Consideration of options for the Richard Cooper Room:
RECOMMENDATION: The Committee do not feel that the utilisation of the building justifies the expense of the required repairs, especially with the number of other meeting venues in the village. The Clerk is charged with establishing whether the other venues can accommodate existing Richard Cooper Room bookings, but the Committee recommend that funds are not earmarked for any repairs yet.
Since the meeting was held on Sept 21st Cllrs Salter & Thompson, as well as the Clerk, met the Richard Cooper Room Committee & can now move on from the recommendation with more precision. Utilisation of the hall has been established & the minutes of the meeting were shared (attached) with the following recommendations:
• A full RICS level 3 survey of building to be completed with urgency timescales. RESOLUTION: Majority agreed
– Three “like for like” replacement rebuilding estimates obtained RESOLUTION:
– An outline planning application of a “like for like” building should be made:
• Council should take legal advice on exact details of ownership & obligations.
RESOLUTION: Unanimously approved.
Cllr Thompson said that the handling of the Richard Cooper Room must be absolutely equal to the rigour & scrutiny used in the recent Stonnall Youth & Community Centre investigations
81 .Update on Lammas Land boundary incursion.
Cllr Thompson & Clerk to further investigate the one remaining case of interest through examination of the original title.
Westgate Practice: ongoing closure of surgery. A letter has been sent to the Practice challenging many of the points raised in their notice of ongoing closure listed on the website. The Practice have replied to say they will give a detailed response within 10 days.
Dog fouling: a new stencil has been purchased and will be put into action next week.
Lammas Land path loop: Cllr Jones confirmed that this proposal will be considered by the Lammas Land Committee early next year.
He also confirmed that the Lammas Land Committee would be pleased to support the “Plant a tree for Jubilee” initiative by planting a much bigger specimen tree but with 400 smaller trees being planted with Greysbrooke school that will be enough.
Next meeting of the Neighbourhood, Planning & Property Committee Meeting Tuesday Nov 23rd Shenstone Library at 5.30pm.
82 Stonnall Youth & Community Centre: next steps.
Confirmation of unanimous decision of Staffs County Council Planning Committee to support the recommendations as follows:
1) That the lease to Shenstone Parish Council be terminated early by agreement, subject to the county council receiving £18,324 in lieu of the demolition of the buildings on the site & legal costs in arranging the early termination.
2) That the Assistant Director for Commercial and Assets be delegated approval to enter into a Tenancy at Will for the temporary occupation and management of the property for a maximum of 6 months.
3) Any future long-term arrangements be reported to committee in due course.
83 Staffs County Council Traffic Survey.
Confirmation of roads to be included & discussion of positioning equipment. Discussed under item 79.
84 Update on Footherley Rough.
Cllr Jones asked that the letter discussed & approved at an earlier Full Council meeting is now sent to the landowner. RESOLUTION: It was unanimously agreed that the letter may be sent requesting a lease of 99 years.
85 Consider trimming of trees outside main shops, Shenstone.
RESOLUTION: Clerk to consult shop owners.
86 Poppy project: update on lamp post poppy appeal.
The poppy appeal has been a very big success with 650 poppies purchased. These will start to appear from Oct 28th on lamp posts throughout the Parish. Not all streets/roads have taken part but it is hoped there will be sufficient to have poppies in all key areas.
87 Shenstone Christmas market.
Mrs Gilly Speryn, representing the Christmas Market Committee, has requested that Council re-consider the proviso made earlier this year, that in giving £1300 in grant funding, any profits be held back towards the event next year. Mrs Speryn had stated in a meeting with Cllr Salter & the Clerk that this was against the ethos of the event which was to generate funds for groups in the community & that profits should be given away as previous.
There was a detailed discussion where Cllr Edgley questioned how the community beneficiaries were chosen and stated that they all can apply direct to Council themselves. Cllr Nicholls pointed out that the beneficiaries had in fact received grants direct that year. Cllr Cox said that if Council agree to this request, it will be funding the market in perpetuity. Cllr Jones explained that the motivation of the Market Committee was to do good but understood Council’s reservations.
RESOLUTION: Council voted unanimously that any profits over £1300 may be used according to the Committee wishes but the first £1300 profit retained as a start up for next year.
Council wish to be consulted on beneficiaries’ also. Banking details to be clarified & £1300 to be returned if the event this year does not proceed.
88 H.M. The Queen Jubilee 2022 celebrations.
The Clerk asked Council to consider ideas for the Parish to celebrate the event & discuss at a future meeting.
Cllr Salter said he has already discussed with the Chairman of Friends of Shenstone Tower having a beacon on top of the tower. Council agreed this was a great suggestion.