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: <firstname.lastname@example.org >
APPROVED DRAFT MINUTES OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING WEDNESDAY 8th MAY at 7.30pm held at SHENSTONE VILLAGE HALL, BARNES ROAD, SHENSTONE W514 0LT
Register of attendance:
Cllr David Salter (Chairman), Cllr Sheila Beilby, Cllr Nick Smith, County Cllr David Smith, Shirley O’Mara (Clerk & RFO), Mr Malcolm Beilby (Stonnall & Lynn Playing Fields), Mrs Rita Hancocks (Shenstone Village Hall & Friday Friends), Mr Keith Goldsworthy (Trinity Church Hall) Mrs Dot Horton, Mr Keith Jones, Mr David Morris.
1. Apologies for absence
Cllrs Mick Cox & Val Neale
Cllr David Salter, Chairman ofShenstone Parish Council welcomed all attendees and explained the format of the meeting along with an explanation of the legal requirement to hold one.
3. To approve & adopt the minutes of the 2018 Annual Parish Meeting, Shenstone Village Hall, Wednesday 17th May 2019
The minutes were duly approved and signed. .
4. Shenstone Parish Council Annual Report 2018.
Cllr Salter read the following report:
Over the last 12 months the Council has been extremely busy regarding dealing with planning proposals.
Forefront of this is the Parish Council response to Lichfield District Councils Local Plan Review. The public meetings and subsequent responses, coordinated with ”Save our Shenstone”, are part of an ongoing effort to ensure your opinions and concerns are heard and taken into consideration. The next stage is more detail on the plan from LDC in September.
We have successfully submitted objections to housing plans based on over intensification and raised questions and specific objections regarding the proposed development on land At Shenstone Business Park, Lynn Lane, Shenstone.
Traffic and parking problems are an ongoing issue in all villages with Council working with County Councillor David Smith and Staffordshire Highways to find solutions. A public consultation last summer proposing restricted parking lines around Shenstone Station received over whelming public support with work scheduled to take place as soon as possible. Council are also objecting to action that would have a detrimental effect on parking & traffic around Little Aston School.
As always the Parish Council is pleased to support community groups and initiatives with a community grant. This year we have spent just under £21,000 with grants to Stonnall and Lynn Playing Fields Association, Stonnall Village Hall, Stonnall Gardeners Guild, Stonnall Brownies, St Peters Church, Stonnall Little Fishes, Shenstone Village Hall, Shenstone Day Care Centre, Shenstone Cares, Shenstone Guides, Shenstone Rainbows, Trinity Methodist Church, St Johns Hall, Shenstone Community Library, Shenstone Playing Fields, The Lammas Land , Aardvark Explorers,
Footherley Hall, Little Aston Tennis Club, Little Aston Bowling Club & Little Aston Village Hall.
The purposes of the grants are varied but include specialist tents for the scouts, roof refurbishments, replacement of hand dryers, purchase of furniture & equipment for nurseries & library and power lifter and hoist for Footherley Hall.
We also purchased walkie talkie radios to aid the Speedwatch initiative in Stonnall.
Three commemorative benches were purchased to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 with a bench in each of the Wards- all proving immensely popular.
The Parish Council has also invested in improved Christmas tree lighting in Shenstone & Stonnall but most significantly in Little Aston where we have taken over responsibility for the much loved tree outside Pat’s Butchers.
New village signage has recently been erected in Shenstone & Stonnall highlighting our village status. It is hoped these ”Please drive carefully through our village” notices will assist in controlling traffic. Other new signs in the villages include dog fouling penalty warnings.
One of the biggest changes- and one that has had a very significant & positive impact- is the appointment of a Lengthsman in September. Steve Crane works two days per week looking after the general maintenance of the Parish. As well as the general routine duties Steve has renovated the Parish Community noticeboard outside the shops in Main St, Shenstone, laid a gravel path from Pinfold Hill to Millbrook Drive, repaired & restored a bus stop in Little Aston and replaced the gate and renovated the pinfold in Stonnall.
There have been two highly successful community clean up initiatives in Shenstone both focusing on St Johns Cemetery. In June and September this year a willing band of volunteers came together to transform the old cemetery at St Johns Church. The site had become extremely overgrown with many of the older grave stones completely hidden and the back of the Old Tower inaccessible.
On a sweltering hot day in June, over 30 volunteers worked incredibly hard to generate over 100 bags of waste and complete well over half of the site with the other half being successfully finished on the second visit in September.
On both actions, we were joined by volunteers from The Rapid Relief Team whose contribution was huge and our thanks go to all of them. Many villagers took part as well as members of the Parish Council with both days being declared successful and rewarding.
This was all excellent ground work for an event in March launching the Shenstone History Trail & draw residents attention to the restoration project of the Old Tower at St Johns Church supported by Heritage England. Overall we had 200+ visitors to our event to view the tower and see the newly restored bells at St Johns. One of the highlights was the opportunity to see the 140 entries to the tower making competition which was held at Greysbrook School.
Winners from each year received a book token and an Easter Egg at a presentation assembly with a further ”Peoples Vote” winner& runners up chosen on the day.
Investigations are ongoing regarding a location for a potential new cemetery in Shenstone. With capacity expected to be reached in approximately five years it is important to start investigations early and the Council have set aside a reserved fund for the research and necessary tests as well as construction costs. There is no actual information to share at this stage re possible locations but research continues.
The Parish Council is currently considering a formal lease agreement with Little Aston Recreation Ground Management Committee for the recreation ground itself. A lease will enable the Committee to apply for grant funding which will allow the grounds to thrive and develop in the future. Solicitors for Council are currently inspecting the document and will advise accordingly.
To improve communications across the Parish resident are invited to register their email addresses with the Parish Clerk. You will then receive regular updates on news and activities as well as important meetings and events.
5. Shenstone Parish Council Financial Report 2018—19
Financial year end closed with a balance of £221,358.52. £160,000 of this figure is earmarked funds for the potential new cemetery and funds towards the formation of new neighbourhood plans. Accounts have been scrutinised by the internal auditor and are now with the external auditor for final authorisation. Once received the audit certificate will be published on the website & Parish noticeboards and full records available for public inspection from mid-June.
6. District and County Councillors Reports 2018-19
County Councillor David Smith
Cllr Smith congratulated both new & returning Councillors and looks forward to working with them.
Cllr Smith described major projects including a proposed pedestrian crossing at Blake Street Station, the recent parking consultation around Shenstone Station, speeding and the unreasonable use of roads, problems with pot holes and the road works at Wall Island. He stressed that statutory consultation periods can be frustrating as it appears that nothing is happening when work is ongoing. He is pleased that Shenstone Parish Council will be working with him and four other parishes to look at interactive traffic signals.
Cllr Salter explained that of the 47 Councillors elected to Lichfield District Council, 21 are new with a good mix of party representation.
Cllr Salter also explained that Council are currently considering a lease with Little Aston Recreation Grounds to enable the managing company, Little Aston Recreation Ground Association, to apply for bigger grant funds to secure future development. Everything is currently with Parish Solicitors for close scrutiny and advice will follow.
7. Matters raised by residents Open Forum.
Mr Dave Morris asked on what grounds Parish had submitted an objection re the proposed development of 96 houses on Shenstone Business Park & it was explained that the figures are in excess of the neighbourhood plan & that there are a number of errors in the submission.
Mr Keith Jones asked for clarification of the work being planned on Wall Island. Cllr Salter explained it is for the reallocation of road markings and directional markers with the replacement of road studs.
A discussion about the problems incurred at the island over the last year or so without clear signage & lines followed.
8. To receive reports from Community Organisations.
Reports were read from the following: Stonnall & Lynn Playing Fields, Stonnall Village Hall, Stonnall Youth & Community Centre, Little Aston Recreation Ground, Little Aston Bowls Club, Little Aston Village Hall, Shenstone Cares, Shenstone Village Hall, Shenstone Day Care Centre, and Trinity Methodist Church Hall.
9. Vote of thanks to all participants
10. Closure of meeting.