MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MAVESYN RIDWARE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON THURSDAY 17th September 2020 AT 7.30PM
PRESENT K Vernon, D Harris, G Stockdale, P Stevenson, A Jones, R Lowries.
IN ATTENDANCE Miss E Moreland – Parish Clerk.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION- No Comments
Parish Clerk advised of enquiry from K Wakefield regarding PC purchasing and putting large poppies on lamp posts throughout the village. All agreed. Enquiries to be made.
1. TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES - None
2. DECLARATION OF INTEREST Cllr Stockdale declared interest on item 23 of the agenda, as a governor of Henry Chadwick School. Cllr Stevenson declared interest on the item 13 - allotment agreement.
3. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES FROM THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 23 JULY 2020
The Chair proposed the approval of the minutes. All agreed.
The minutes recorded as a true and accurate record.
• S106 monies: no residual 106 funding, as project signed off by outgoing Parish Clerk. Chair in lengthy discussions with LDC re. potential reversal of requirement to return c.£5000 to LDC. Awaiting response.
• PC/Village hall noticeboard (Item 8) Reef. To PC/VH subcommittee.
• Footpaths in the village – Cllr Stevenson reported that Footpath 19 has been cut back and the stile repaired. Cllr Stockdale contacted the school about maintenance of the hedge alongside the school, now cut back.
• Village Gateways: village signs installed by Staffs Highways are fine. No action on alternatives.
• Maintenance of the play area and the village hall grounds; PC/VH subcommittee discussions ongoing.
• Hire charges for the Village Hall: The PC has not paid for some time, (no bill received as VH misinformed about whether or not the PC pay for the hire of the hall). Records indicate that the PC have paid up to the 31st of March 2018. Bill for outstanding hire charges requested.
• Neighbourhood plan (item 14):Cllr Stevenson and Cllr Jones have met to initiate actions.
• Re opening the playground: Risk Assessments completed and all required actions taken.
4. DECLARATION OF CHEQUES Chair reported that we would disclose all cheques made payable over £100. Under GDPR regulations the salaries of the Parish Clerk and the caretaker would not be disclosed.
5. PLANNING MATTERS As all Planning Applications comments have been made via the Parish Clerk, we do not need to discuss further. General public can see all Cllrs comments via the LDC website for each application and applications are posted in the vicinity of the applicant’s address.
6. OFFICE MATTERS – Clerk Wage increase from April 2020 Salaries for Parish Clark's has been increased from April 2020 by 2.75%. All agreed.
7. TRAFFIC CALMING UPDATE Report from Cllr Stevenson: it is progressing slowly. Delays to the works caused by the drainage problem at Rake End. Speed cushions along Uttoxeter Road and the chicane in Rake End completed. Gateways at Armitage end of village and on School lane to be completed. School Lane. Comments/complaints re. the speed and quality of the work should be made to Staffordshire CC Highways, and not to the PC who have absolutely no control over the works. Cllr Stockdale reported feedback from residents:
• A letter from J Grimley saying thank you to CCllr Martin Tittley for driving this process forward. He said it's the first time that he and his wife have felt happy either turning into their drive not worried about somebody ploughing into the rear end of their car, and also from leaving their drive because traffic is not zooming into the village at speeds up to 60mph.
• Resident in Sandford Close said they can now drive out of their close safely.
• Rake End residents have said the same thing. Children can cross the road into the field without any risk of being run over.
• There have been complaints that the speed bumps are too high. Regulations state speed bumps can be up to 10cm high (4 inches). Cllrs have measured the majority of the speed bumps and they were all between 2.75inches and 3.25inches, well within regulation height. The purpose of a speed bump is to slow traffic, they're not designed to be driven over at 40mph, and that is what people are doing - but some residents aren't happy. Some are ecstatic that for the first time in years, they have felt safe.
8. PUBLIC FOOTPATHS UPDATE Chair referred to J Grimley’s letter of thanks for attending to the footpath 19 off Chadwick Crescent, for having it cut back and fully attending to the broken stile. Cllr Stevenson advised that this footpath could do with a bit of extra work. We need to get people out there and walking the footpaths, reporting any issues they find. Walkers are keeping the grass flat. FB page has been created ‘Mavesyn Parish Wanderers’. Any footpath issues need to be reported to Staffordshire CC. Cllr Stockdale advised letter received from Mr. Grimley added ‘Will you also thank Phil Stevenson for his wonderful parish footpaths campaign. It is so refreshing to have someone who sees a problem, and then challenges himself to deal with it.’
9. BANK FARM UPDATE Cllr Stevenson reported some allegedly unlawful practices at Bank Farm. LDC have issued 2 enforcement orders but not enforced the orders. One relates to shipping containers used for storage facilities which was refused by LDC Planning. The second order referred to allegedly unauthorised businesses, a catering company and plant training company. LDC have issued an enforcement order against the company but they haven't yet enforced it. An ongoing email dialogue with LDC has not yet resulted in action. Cllr Stockdale has also contacted LDC, on behalf of the people living in Mavesyn Ridware. Unfortunately, Mr. Wynn, LDC enforcement officer, cited the fact that they're understaffed. We could refer the matter to DCllr Shirley Barnett or ultimately Michael Fabricant MP. We hope for a response next week before discussions as to how to escalate.
10. VILLAGE HALL DEED OF TRUST DOCUMENT/CODICIL UPDATE Chair advised to deal with this under Agenda item 20.
11. UPDATE ON PC WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE Update from Cllr Jones: New PC website under development. Would welcome any ideas from other parishioners on what to put on website. Planning applications relevant to the village/Parish suggested. All agreed.
Also village walks: Cllr Stevenson could advise. Want to turn the FB page to a group, which will allow followers more interaction. Currently over 1000 hits per week. The FB page now has Photographer of the Year section. Need more ideas from the parishioners. There was the option of a calendar, but no interest.
12. RETURN OF S106 MONIES Return of 106 monies to LDC: The Chair reported that he has requested that LDC rescind the signing off form, signed wrongly by the outgoing Clerk, allowing the PC to spend the left over monies to finalise some planned work on the play area.
13. ALLOTMENT AGREEMENT • The allotment group has been approached by some of the allotment holders to install a large shed to be used as a communal allotment holders’ meeting place where they could also leave gardening tools. Cllr Stevenson reported: No great enthusiasm from the majority of allotment holders for large shed next to their plots due to shade cast. • A request that small trees (4 foot high) can be planted; currently the rules indicate that trees cannot be planted. Cllr Stevenson suggested we should review the regulations to bring us in line with current allotment practice. • Cllr Stevenson suggested a survey be conducted of all allotmenteers regarding the current regulations, including matters such as small sheds, small fruit trees etc. All agreed.
14. TO CONSIDER A VILLAGE CHRISTMAS COMPETITION Cllr Jones suggested a village Christmas competition, with a prize. • A competition whereby residents including children could dress up a window in their house, with or without the parents’ help; residents could walk around the village and actually see the Christmas displays evolve, and the PC would award a prize for the top three. • Village Zoom quiz/Village zoom bingo. Christmas light decorations on the outside of houses. A charitable contribution involved in a competition. A nominal contribution to enter the competition and the profits donated to Crisis at Christmas or something similar. • Needs to be decided by the next meeting, to allow time for advertising.
15 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN UPDATE Cllr Stevenson and Cllr Jones are working on the Neighbourhood questionnaire, the first stage on drawing up the Neighbourhood Plan, including what parishioners would see in the village in,say,10 years’ time, what kind of environment they want to live in, what kind of housing they want to see, how we can make the Parish a better place. Questionnaire finished by the end of September; we collate all information collected and see what ideas there are, anything needs to change, whether we need to add anything in and agree on a final draft. This would then be irculated to all households in the parish. We can help steer the Local plan providing we keep within LDC’s district plan. To date we are refining the questions. LDC have been in touch with Cllr Jones , LDC has been quite helpful with the range of questions that we should be asking. This has to be driven by the residents of the parish, and not the PC
16. UPDATE ON FLOODING • Cllr Stevenson advised there was not much to report at present, as the flooding issues at Rake End seem to have been solved although there has been no heavy rain since the issue. He will contact Severn Trent for an update. • Mr. Grimley, in association with Cllr Lowries, has escalated the flooding and drainage issues adjacent to 31 Uttoxeter Road to the Water Redress Scheme, with supporting letters from PC and villagers. Cllr Lowries noted that we should get a final decision within approx. 2 weeks from the WRS, which is binding either on ourselves or Severn Trent. If it's not as we would like, there is one further step that we can take, through our MP, Michael Fabricant. • A further issue is the height of the resurfaced road adjacent to number 31 Uttoxeter Road, which tends to be higher than the curb in certain places, causing intermittent flooding. Report sent to Staffordshire CC Highways. The engineers are fully aware that there is a problem but to date, a satisfactory response hasn’t been received from them. Cllr Stevenson is in regular contact and will update when possible. • Also, ongoing flooding issues at Pipe Ridware near where the drains are blocked. Drain cleaning takes place periodically but not successful; possibly the same situation as at Rake End, where the drain pipes are clogged with silt from off the fields. Cllr Stevenson will action.
17. UPDATE ON HIGH BRIDGE AND WAYS FORWARD The Chair advised that the previous Chair had forwarded information from the Coal Board (land owners), who appear not to want to do much. If we want to proceed, need to submit details of what we want to do and get permission to go on their land; if this involves work close to the road would have to inform Highways. The bridge is falling into disrepair; the site could be cleared and opened up and be part of the history of our village and Lichfield DC. Need to get LDC’s reaction to this proposal and explore the possible funding, eg HS2. Could develop, enhance our village, our reputation and bring people in. Maybe take this on as a project, enhance the whole environment and make it into a wildlife facility. We could talk to the staff at Wildlife Trust. Whole area of the bridge could be opened up and cleared with parking provision. Cllr Stevenson advised if we open it up for parking/public access got to take into account abuse/rubbish etc . He suggested the formation of an action group and its addition to the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire.
18. TO DISCUSS THE KEEP BRITAIN SEPTEMBER TIDY SCHEME Report received from one of the litter pickers in Hill Ridware, offering her support to help this cause There are lots of volunteers of litter pickers already in the area. Suggested we promote the litter picker group on our PC Facebook page/website to encourage people to get involved.
19.VEHICLE WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS THROUGH VILLAGE Cllr Harris suggested that a vehicle weight restriction in Hill Ridware, as in Kings Bromley, and that a conversation with Highways is the first step. Chair advised we make some inquiries and put that as something to be actioned. Cllr Stockdale advised that we have assurances from HS2 Ltd (in 2014) that no Phase 2 construction vehicles would pass through Hill Ridware. Chair advised we make some enquiries and action it.
20. REPORT OF SUBCOMMITTEE MEETIING WITH VILLAGE HALL Cllr Harris reported that the PC/VH subcommittee met last week in the context of managing trustees and custodian trustees. Discussed at length the Village Hall deed of trust document which we are awaiting some information from Moseley's solicitors (The Village Hall committee have now got a copy of the original document) The common aim is to work together for the benefit of parishioners of Mavesyn Ridware.
21. TO APPROVE THE PURCHASE OF A NEW FILING CABINET The PC requires a new filing cabinet. Currently own 2 cabinets which are both full. Cllr Stockdale has enquired into costs, and confirms the average cost is about £150. All agreed.
22. TO CONDIDER WHETHER THE PC SHOULD HAVE A GRANTS AND DONATION POLICY Chair advised that we need to consider the PC grant and donation policy. The PC cannot just make a grant for any amount that we want; the amount of money that we can donate is subject to a formula, which at the moment stands at £8.63 x number of parishioners. Chair will seek clarification, as to what is meant by ‘parishioners’; is that inhabitants or electors? There are restrictions on what percentage of that money we can give to any one applicant. Chair to investigate and advise.
23. TO CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO HENRY CHADWICK SCHOOL Chair held this in abeyance to a future meeting.
24. CORRESPONDENCE Unit Trust bank statement – Received the most recent statement today Letter from the Village Hall committee about the trust deed; they managed to get an original copy. Moseley Solicitors have provided a photocopy of the original deed. Letter from J Grimley about the footpath and the traffic calming. Email from a resident complaining about the speed bump heights. Letter from Moseley’s Solicitors regarding a colour copy of the Trust Deed which has now been handed over to the village hall committee.
25. TO NOTE THE DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING The next meeting will be on Thursday 22nd of October 2020 at 7:30pm. (Action re poppies required before next meeting)
26. FINANCIAL MATTERS – TO APPROVE ADDITION OF SIGNATORIES ON THE BANK ACCOUNT Chair advised we approve the addition of Cllr Lowries as a signatory on the bank account. All agreed.
27. FINANCE – TO APPROVE PAYMENTS FOR SEPTEMBER Chair proposed the approval of the accounts. All agreed.
Meeting closed at 9:11pm ……………………………………………………Signed by the Chair