Church Eaton Parish Council minutes 2014

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 2ND DECEMBER 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S.Dodd and Mrs K.Reeves, Messrs P.Bailey, T.Houghton, D.Massie, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington, Emma Crout from Streetscene Stafford Borough Council and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
were received from Councillors Mr P.Harriman and Mr S.Moore.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and were then duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING:
It was reported that the proposed road closures to accommodate the installation of broadband cabling between Church Eaton and Gnosall had now been cancelled. All other matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


During Open Forum, Staffs County Councillor Mr M.Winnington asked for an update on road conditions in the Parish especially those in the Marston area. While Parish Councillors noted that some pot holes had been filled nothing had improved at Marston. The Parish Council expressed their frustration that despite their frequent requests for improvements at Marston and a petition by Marston residents, nothing was happening. The need for improved drainage was emphasised followed by a discussion regarding re-surfacing works.

Curbing of the triangle at Marston was discussed. The Clerk had received acknowledgement from Chris Mitchell, Staffs County Council’s Community Infrastructure Liaison Manager, regarding the recent email outlining the kind offer made by Mr S.Cox to pay for and use his own contractor to carry out this work. Mr Mitchell had commented that health and safety issues and insurance may play a part in the process but had not yet responded with more information.

It was therefore agreed that Mr M.Winnington, accompanied by Marston Parish Councillor, Mr P.Harriman and Chris Mitchell would visit to Marston to look again at the poor road conditions. The Clerk was asked to contact Councillor Winnington’s secretary to arrange a mutually convenient date.

The Chairman commented on what a good service the Neighbourhood Teams provided. Councillor Winnington then left the meeting as he had another meeting to attend.


STAFFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL’S STREETSCENE
In attendance was Ms Emma Crout, representing Streetscene. Emma described the wide range of services her organisation could provide to the Parish Council include the gritting of car parks, tree removal and other ground maintenance jobs. Fly tipping was discussed at length. Emma provided handouts and contact information regarding Streetscene. The Chairman thanked Emma for her attendance.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to the Councils several Neighbourhood Watch bulletins, including a warning about scams involving emails claiming to be from a parcel delivery companies.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
It was reported that an additional grass cut had been carried out following a request by the Clerk, however the requested pruning had not been done. Mrs K.Reeves had kindly carried this out during her turn of weekly inspections. Mrs Reeves had also noted a lot of mole activity and that some of the gym equipment was squeaking and potentially needed greasing. Mr P.Bailey took the inspection book for the forthcoming month. Mr D.Massie confirmed that he had moved the boulders further away from the gym equipment by the roadside fence.

The Clerk had experienced a great deal of difficulty in emailing G L Jones with the photographs of the rocking horse in order for them to assess and identify the equipment for maintenance. In the end the Clerk had written to Hevin Jones - GL Jones’s representative, who had in turn telephoned the Clerk and had sent an email with a quote and diagram. He had suggested that the horse might just require some new rubber buffers at around £150 plus VAT. It was understood that members of the Parish Council could probably carry out the work of replacing the buffers. It was therefore agreed that the Clerk would ask Parish Councillors, Messrs Harriman and Bailey to contact Hevin to discuss this matter more thoroughly and order the buffers if required.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had, as instructed at the last meeting, written to Bill Cash MP regarding the suggested amendment of the National Planning Policy Framework.The Clerk had also notified Ted Manders, Head of Planning and Regeneration about Church Eaton’s response.

The site visit at Wood Eaton Manor on Monday the 10th November had taken place with Councillors P.Bailey, P.Harriman and S. Moore in attendance. Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp was also in attendance as was Viscount Newport and his architect. At the meeting the group were shown draft plans for the proposed new dwelling and landscaping which appeared to be of a very high quality and specification. However these were still at a very early stage and it was not envisaged that the final plans would be submitted to the Borough Council until sometime in 2015.


CIVIC AMENITY VISITS FOR 2015:
The Clerk had received a letter from Stafford Borough Council regarding requirements for the forthcoming year. Although the cost had risen to £75.00 per visit it was agreed to request three visits (the third visit being free).


HIGHWAYS:
Highways matters had been discussed in Open Forum. .


FINANCE
The Clerk had received several invoices including one from JWH for the recent grass cutting amounting to £44.00. Mrs Dodd presented an invoice for both the Parish Council’s entry into the recent Xmas Tree Festival and additional trimmings to the tree amounting to £23.19. The Village Institute had invoiced the Parish Council for November and December hire of the hall amounting to £40.00. The payment of these invoices were proposed by Mr T.Houghton and seconded by Mr P.Bailey. All were in favour.

The Chairman had received a financial request from the Institute Committee to assist with funding for the upcoming seniors’ Christmas lunch. After discussion, it was proposed by Mrs S.Dodd to give a £50.00 contribution. This was seconded by Mr P.Bailey. All were in favour. Mr Houghton who would be attending the meal did not vote.

The Clerk reported that the Parish Council would have to consider the precept request for the forthcoming financial year. This would be discussed at the January meeting.

Mrs Reeves reported that the budget of £50.00 set for the village Christmas tree would not now be required as the tree had very kindly been donated.


CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL
Mrs Dodd reported that the festival had been a great success. Mr Houghton thanked Mrs Dodd and Mrs Jayne Moore for all their hard work in decorating the Parish Council tree.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received a Members Digest from Stafford Borough Council and information regarding changes to the 483 Bus Service.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 6th January 2015 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.05 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 4TH NOVEMBER 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Bailey. P. Harriman, T. Houghton, D. Massie, S. Moore, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B. Stamp, one member of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
were received from Staffordshire County Councillor, Mr M. Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and were then duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING:
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


This was not required on this occasion.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members several Neighbourhood Watch bulletins, including a warning about Nottingham Knockers operating in the area and petrol being syphoned from a vehicle in Haughton.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mrs Reeves had forgotten the inspection book but offered to continue with the weekly inspections for the forthcoming month. Mrs Reeves had noted that the grass in the playground would probably require another cut and that some of the hawthorn needed pruning back. The Clerk was asked to contact John Hall about carrying out this work. It was also noted that CERS play equipment sign was becoming loose and required some attention.

Mr Harriman had forwarded several photographs of the rocking horse on to the Clerk who had in turn sent them to G L Jones and was now awaiting a response.

Mr Houghton gave the Clerk a copy of the risk assessment form which had now been sent to Wicksteed Leisure Ltd detailing the Council’s maintenance policy.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had again emailed Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer regarding the recent submission of the revised document but as yet had still not received a response.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had received a planning application with regard to a proposed new agricultural cattle building with underground channel and reception pit.

Following discussion of these proposals the Parish Council agreed in principal but asked the Clerk to request that some sort of appropriate screening be implemented as a condition of any consent. It was felt that this would reduce the visual impact of the new building on neighbouring properties.

The Bradford Estates had contacted the Clerk to invite several Parish Councillors to a site meeting to discuss proposals regarding a replacement dwelling at Wood Eaton Manor on Monday the 10th November. Several Councillors were able to attend and the Clerk was to reply to Carla Whelton to confirm attendance.


NPPF?
The Clerk had an email from Ted Manders regarding amending the National Planning Policy Framework. This had emerged from concerns voiced by Councillor Francis Beatty, at a recent planning forum whereby concerns over the recent actions by developers to sideline localism and the protests of local communities regarding the recent spate of planning applications.

Suggested amendment.............. it was proposed to support this amendments by Mrs K.Reeves, seconded by Mrs S.Dodd. All were in favour. The Clerk was therefore asked to write to Bill Cash MP about this matter and to request that he also lobby the Secretary of State.


HIGHWAYS:
It was reported that the new sign at Marston had arrived and been installed as requested on the other side of the road. It was confirmed, following an invitation by Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington for a Councillor to accompany him on a road inspection, Mr P.Harriman would be attending.

It was confirmed that at the next Parish Council meeting, to be held on December 2nd, Emma Crout would be in attendance to discuss the various work and roles of Stafford Borough Council’s Streetscene.

Mr D.Massie reported a very large pot hole in the road adjacent to Home Farm, Wood Eaton.


FINANCE
As requested at the last meeting, the Clerk provided Councillors with details of the next quarterly budget. Also from the last meeting, the current refurbishment of the Village Institute was discussed and providing another donation to these works. It was proposed by Mr T.Houghton to make a financial donation of £500 which was seconded by Mrs S.Dodd. All were in favour. Mrs K. Reeves declared an interest.

The Clerk had received invoices from JWH for recent grass cutting service amounting to £220; an invoice from Stafford Borough Council regarding the last civic amenities visit for £73.00. Mrs Reeves presented an invoice for £111.86 for re-planting of the village troughs and Mr P.Harriman was owed £44.45 for other trough expenses.

The payment of these invoices were proposed by Mr T.Houghton and seconded by Mrs S.Dodd. All were in favour.

It was noted that the Byford family had put a great deal of time and effort in replanting the village troughs. The Clerk was asked to thank them.

It was proposed that a budget of £50.00 be set for the village Christmas tree.


CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL
Mrs Dodd reported that arrangements were all in hand.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received notification of the Borough Council Carol Service and Pantomine. The forthcoming planning forum was discussed and the email about this which the Clerk had forwarded. Unfortunately no-one was able to attend.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 2nd December 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.20 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 7TH OCTOBER 2014



PRESENT:
Mrs S.Dodd and Mrs K.Reeves, Messrs P.Bailey. P.Harriman, T.Houghton, D.Massie, S.Moore, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, two members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
were received from Staffordshire County Councillor Mr M.Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present. The Minutes were then duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING:
Following an enquiry from the Chairman regarding the kerbing of the triangle at Marston, the Clerk informed the meeting that she had contacted Chris Mitchell from County Highways who was looking into this matter further. Mr Mitchell did point out in his email that the proposed work would be subject to health and safety and insurance provisions. The Clerk was to chase this matter up with Mr Mitchell and report at the next meeting.

All other matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
Mrs K.Reeves has asked if re-planting of the village troughs could be discussed. It was noted that while the troughs were still largely in flower, future plantings would need to be planned. At Mrs Reeve’s suggestion, it was considered that these could include more permanent shrubs as a background to seasonal plants. It was proposed by Mrs Reeves that the Council allocate a budget of £150 to carry out this work. This was seconded by Mrs S.Dodd. All were in favour. It was further agreed that Mrs Dodd and Mrs Reeves would discuss possible planting schemes.

Trough repairs were also discussed.


OPEN FORUM:


Mr John Edwards wanted to inform the Parish Council that he was impressed with the recent highways work that had been carried out, especially mentioning Slab Lane. Mr Edwards also mentioned that he had received the revised Welcome Pack and had noted some errors. The Chairman pointed out that the Clerk required notifying of any changes especially as information was frequently changing.

Mr Edwards had put the revised pack on the village web site but had had to change the format slightly. The Clerk had run off a number of copies of the revised pack which were kindly being distributed to new residents by Mrs Daphne Rutherford and Mrs S.Dodd in Marston.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. Councillor S.Moore informed the meeting that the new Neighbourhood Watch sign had been put up in Apeton.

Mr Edwards informed the Council, that following the recent theft of mowers etc from the churchyard, permission had been granted by the Archdeacon for close circuit television to be installed.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
The inspection book was returned by Mr S.Moore who had greased the turn stile bearings. Mrs Reeves took the book for the forthcoming month. The Clerk had contacted G L Jones, suppliers of the rocking horse to see whether they could provide any further maintenance or refurbishment of this piece of equipment. The Clerk had spoken with Hevin, one of their maintenance representatives, who requested that the Council forward some photographs of the underside and exterior of the horse in order to be able to quote for any work that might be required. Mr P.Harriman said he would take some photographs and forward these to the Clerk so they could in turn be sent to G L Jones.

Mr Houghton was in the process of filling in the risk assessment form to return to Wicksteed Leisure Ltd and discussed with the Council the maintenance policy section to be filled in on the form. It was agreed that this should include the weekly inspections carried out by Parish Councillors, a three monthly thorough inspection and an annual safety inspection by a company such as Wicksteed Leisure Ltd. The Clerk was to keep records of these.

Mr D.Massie had returned the inspection book and had found the playground to be in reasonable condition


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had emailed Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer regarding the recent submission of the revised document but had still not received a response.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had nothing to report on planning matters.


BOUNDARY REVIEW:
The Clerk had received notification from the Local Government Boundary Commission of the outcome of the recent electoral review of the Stafford Borough Council area. The final recommendations included the joining together of the existing Church Eaton and Seighford Wards to form a larger new ward which would be served by two ward councillors. The Parish Council were disappointed at this outcome. The new ward would come into effect from next year’s Borough Council elections.


HIGHWAYS:
The Chairman, Mr T.Houghton had attended the recent Staffs County Council interactive workshop with Amey Infrastructure + on 25th September. It was hoped that in the future a more effective reporting structure would be in place resulting in a better outcome for road repairs and improvements. More information regarding this matter should be available soon.

Mrs Dodd reported on road repairs resulting in diverted traffic in the Marston area commencing on the 16th October until the 27th November.

The Clerk had received a notice for the temporary road closure of several parish roads. This notice has been displayed on the Parish Council notice board. The road closures will be advertised and traffic diverted.

It was reported that the next Neighbourhood Teams visit to carry out minor highways works was to take place on the 4th and 5th November. Councillors compiled a list of jobs for the team to carry out. The Clerk had not received a response from an email sent to Staffs County Councillor Mr M.Winnington regarding the proposed new boundary sign for Marston for an update on road improvements in Marston.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received the an invoice of £20.00 for hiring the Institute for the October meeting from the Institute Committee. The Clerk also presented an invoice for the printing of Welcome Packs amounting to £9.00.

The payment of these invoices were proposed by Mr T.Houghton and seconded by Mrs K.Reeves. All were in favour.

The current refurbishment of the Village Institute was discussed and the Chairman asked the Parish Council to consider at the next meeting another donation to these works. The Clerk was to provide a budget to the end of the next financial year.


WELCOME PACKS:
These had been discussed earlier in the meeting.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION


Mr T.Houghton had now received comments from this year’s judging. These were largely favourable. Mr John Edwards, who was in attendance, was thanked for his superb village map which had impressed the judges.


CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL
The Clerk had sent contact details to the festival organisers. Mrs Dodd, assisted by Mrs Jayne Moore, was collecting photographs for the tree’s theme of ‘Times Gone By’. Mrs Dodd also reported that it was anticipated that the cost of the tree from the organisers would be in the region of £10.00


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received notification of the re-opening of the Village Institute on the 11th October at 3pm. A copy of the Members Digest from Stafford Borough Council had also been received.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 4th November 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 8.55 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 2nd SEPTEMBER 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Harriman, T. Houghton, D. Massie, S. Moore, Viscount Newport, Carla Whelton, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B. Stamp four members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D. M. Key.


APOLOGIES:
were received from Councillor Mr P. Bailey and Staffordshire County Councillor Mr M. Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present. The Minutes were then duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING:
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Mr P. Harriman had spoken with Mr S. Cox who was still keen to assist with funding for the proposed re-kerbing of the triangle at Marston. Mr Cox was currently having some building work carried out at the farm and had approached his contractor as to whether he might be able to carry out this work, subject to approval by County Highways. His contractor had agreed and at a more reasonable cost than Staffs County Council had quoted. The Clerk was asked to contact Chris Mitchell at Staffs County Council to see whether this was possible.

Mr Tony Lendon addressed the meeting to inform those present as to his, and other Marston residents, recent involvement with the local media regarding the lack of road improvements in the Marston area. Mr Lendon had been interviewed by the Staffordshire Newsletter and local radio. The Chairman thanked Mr Lendon for all his efforts.


PRESENTATION FROM THE BRADFORD ESTATES:
Viscount Newport assisted by Carla Whelton, gave a short presentation regarding the Estate’s plans to apply for planning consent to create a replacement dwelling and extensive landscaping at Wood Eaton Manor.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. The recent theft of mowers from the churchyard was discussed. The Clerk had contacted Mandy Corser regarding a replacement Neighbourhood Watch sign for Apeton. The new sign had now been received at a cost of £5.34. Mandy had asked that rather than compensate her for the money the Parish Council might like to donate this money to charity. It was agreed however that Mandy should receive the money and then select a charity of her own choice.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Prior to the commencement of the meeting the Parish Council met in the playground to discuss the recent findings of the safety inspection and risk assessment carried out by Wicksteed Leisure Ltd. The Inspector had given the playground a clean bill of health but had made some minor recommendations and suggestions including moving the boulders a little further away from the gym equipment. Mr D. Massie had kindly offered to carry out this work . Mr Houghton was to fill in the risk assessment confirmation form. The Clerk was asked if she could contact the rocking horse suppliers to see whether they could provide any further maintenance or refurbishment of the horse.

Mr D. Massie had returned the inspection book and had found the playground to be in reasonable condition but had noted that there had been some litter. He also noted that the new hedging plants seemed to be growing well.

Mr Houghton informed the Council that a quotation for both the playground and general council insurance had been received from Zurich which came out at £539.31 compared to AON’s renewal quote of £916.80. Mr Houghton had gone through both policies and concluded that Zurich provided better cover. It was therefore proposed by Mr Houghton to accept Zurich as insurers for the forthcoming year. This was seconded by Mrs S. Dodd. All were in favour. It was further agreed to inform AON that the Council would not be taking their cover for this year.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had emailed Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer regarding the recent submission of the revised document but as yet had not received a response.


PLANNING:
Three planning applications had been received in the past two months. The first was for a conservatory at 22 The Oaklands. The other two were for a replacement farrowing shed and grain store at Midland Pig Producers, Little Onn. There were no objections made to these proposals.


POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONERS MEETING:
Councilor Moore was thanked for attending the meeting held on the 9th July and for his report which he had circulated to all other Councilors.


HIGHWAYS
The Clerk had received an invitation for a representative from the Parish Council to attend an interactive workshop organised by Staffs County Council to explain the new joint working arrangement between the Council and Amey Infrastructure +. This would to be held on the 25th September. Mr Houghton was to attend.

The Clerk had not received a response from an email sent to Staffs County Councillor Mr M.Winnington regarding the proposed new boundary sign for Marston for an update on road improvements in Marston.


FINANCE
The Clerk confirmed she had now received the results for the audit carried out by Grant Thornton for the last financial year. The Auditor had found no problems or concerns with the accounts but had made one recommendation - which had been issued to all Parish Councils - regarding the writing down of capital assets, which in the case of Church Eaton was the play equipment. Grant Thornton has stated that value of capital assets should in the future, not be depreciated, and instead the Council should just report the original book price.

The Clerk confirmed payment of the following invoices which had been paid during the summer recess. £154.94 for the new cradle seat from Wicksteed Leisure Ltd; £176.00 for grass cutting from JWH; £73.00 for the last civic amenities visit received from Stafford Borough Council and £103.20 for the recent playground safety inspection carried out by Wicksteed Leisure Ltd.

The Clerk had more recently received the following invoices. £88.00 from JWH for the last round of grass cutting. £40.00 for hiring the Institute for the July and September meetings. The Clerk also presented two invoices for the printing of Welcome Packs amounting to £9.40.

The payment of these invoices were agreed proposed by Mr T.Houghton and seconded by Mr P. Harriman. All were in favour.


WELCOME PACKS:
The Clerk was asked to amend two contact details in the latest edition of the Welcome Pack before printing off some more.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION


Mr T. Houghton had attended the prize giving evening for the winners of this year’s Best Kept Village competition. Church Eaton village was presented with a highly commended certificate.


CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL:
Details had been received regarding the forthcoming festival. The Clerk was asked to respond with Mrs S.Dodd’s contact details as decorator, assisted by Mrs Jayne Moore. Mrs Dodd stated that the tree’s theme would be ‘Times Gone By’. She requested that Councillors each supply a photograph of themselves in younger days for the tree. The Council elected for a tree to be supplied by the festival organisers.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received notification of the forthcoming Parish Forum on the 25th September. Mrs S.Dodd said she would attend. Two copies of the Members Digest from Stafford Borough Council had also been received.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 7th October 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.40 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 1ST JULY 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S.Dodd and Mrs K.Reeves, Messrs P.Bailey, P.Harriman, T.Houghton, D.Massie, S.Moore and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
were received from Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present. It was noted however that there was a misspelling of Justin O’Doherty’s name, which was corrected. The Minutes were then duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING:
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Was not required on this occasion.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. The Clerk has also been asked to enquire about replacing the Neighbourhood Watch sign at Apeton following the recent damage to the Village sign.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mr T.Houghton returned the inspection book which was taken by Councillor, D.Massie for the coming month. Mr Houghton had noted lager bottles, some of which had been broken, in the playground. The Clerk was asked to report this to the local police and publicise this in the next Parish magazine. Dog fouling was also discussed and the Clerk asked to include how to report incidents of dog fouling in the Parish magazine.

The Clerk had confirmed with Wicksteed Leisure, that the proposed accompanied safety inspection visit would take place on the 25th July. The Clerk had also ordered a replacement cradle seat for the swings. It was agreed to wait for the safety inspection before ordering new swing chains.


ELECTORAL BOUNDARY REVIEW:
The Clerk had forwarded a response to the Boundary Commission, following consultation with members of the Parish Council. This response echoed concerns regarding the proposal to join Church Eaton Ward and Seighford Ward to form a single new ward served by two Borough Councillors.

The Clerk had received a confirmation email from the Boundary Commission regarding the response from Church Eaton. The Clerk was asked to forward a copy of this response to all Councillors.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk was still waiting to receive a response from Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer regarding the recent submission of the revised document.

The Clerk was asked to continue chasing this matter up.

It was reported that the Local Plan had now been adopted by Stafford Borough Council. Letters to this effect were circulated.


PLANNING:
Two planning applications had been received. The first, for a single garage at Apeton Byre, Common Lane, Church Eaton was felt by the Council, to be in essence an extension to the existing dwelling and as such did not feel that this was in keeping with the property. It was noted that the previous application for a stand alone, wooden, open fronted garage was much more in keeping with the rural character of the property. The Clerk was asked to convey these comments to the Planning Department at Stafford Borough Council.

The second application was for a single storey extension at 6 Oak Close. There were no objections made to this proposal.


HIGHWAYS
The recent Neighbourhood Teams visit on 1st July was discussed. It was noted that some of the drainage channels at Apeton had not been finished clearing.

The Clerk reported she had not received a response from County Councillor Mr M.Winnington concerning when highways work was being scheduled for Marston or when the replacement Marston sign was to be installed. However, another letter had been received via Bill Cash MP from Nick Bell, Chief Executive of Staffordshire County Council which stated that Councillor Winnington had prioritised an assessment of road conditions and drainage in the Marston area. It was agreed to follow this matter closely.

Councillor Moore had provided members of the Council with a copy of an Express and Star article in which MP Bill Cash had invited reports of potholes to be forwarded on to him and that significant funding would be available for repair work.


FINANCE
The Clerk confirmed that the audit return form had been sent on time to Grant Thornton following the internal audit by Helen Bellamy; however as yet nothing had been heard anything from them.

The Clerk had received two invoices from Mr C.Byford for the planting of the village troughs amounting in total to £135.20. This was proposed for payment by Mrs K.Reeves and seconded by Mr P.Harriman. All were in favour. A cheque amounting to £500.00 was also raised following the Council’s recent pledge to contribute to the refurbishment works at the Village Institute. It was also agreed to pay Helen Bellamy £40.00 for her work auditing the accounts for the previous financial year. This would take the form of a donation to the school PTA. This was proposed by Mrs S.Dodd and seconded by Mrs K.Reeves. All were in favour.

Mr Houghton gave the Clerk a cheque for payment of her quarterly fees amounting to £546.10 and explained that this was an increase on the previous quarterly fee as the Clerk’s annual rise had not been included in the previous payment.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION


It was reported that a judging inspection had taken place. The Clerk had received the results of this year’s hanging baskets and tubs competition, judged by Mrs Jayne Woodward from Sheffield. The results and judge’s comments were as follows.

First Prize – Church Farm Barn ~ nicely structured balanced baskets co-ordinated with the border plantings below, very sympathetic to the property.

Runner Up – Willow Cottage ~ two well planted racks with an interesting use of colour, texture and design.

Runner Up – 3 Swan Court ~ striking full baskets with a vibrant use of colour.

Commendations: Heath Mynd, 5 Oak Close, The Old Rectory, Maltshovel Farm and Palmers Croft.

The Clerk confirmed that the overall winner and two runners-up have been forwarded their respective National Garden Vouchers.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received a Members Digest from Stafford Borough Council. Information had also been received regarding the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner’s meeting on the 9th July at County Buildings in Martin Street, Stafford. It was hoped that the Parish Council would have a member(s) present at this meeting. All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that there would be no meeting in August but that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 2nd September 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 8.55 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 3rd JUNE 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Bailey, P. Harriman, D. Massie, S. Moore, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B. Stamp, and the Clerk, Mrs D. M. Key.


APOLOGIES:
were received from Chairman, Mr T. Houghton and Staffs County Councillor, Mr M. Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were read out by the Clerk and were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Vice-Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
The Village School had requested that the cheque that had been received regarding a financial donation towards the new flooring should be made out to Staffs County Council rather than the School. It was agreed that a cheque would be re-issued to this effect. All other matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Was not required on this occasion.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. It was also noted that there had been publicity regarding a bank card scam leading to an arrest in Stafford. The Clerk was asked to include this in the next Parish magazine report.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
In his absence, Mr T. Houghton was retaining the inspection book for the coming month. The Clerk had received a response from Wicksteed Play Equipment confirming an accompanied safety inspection visit to take place on the 25th July.

It was agreed that the Clerk should place an order for a replacement cradle seat for the existing swings. This was catalogued at £135 plus VAT but it was unknown as to whether new chains would be required. To this end the Clerk was asked to contact Wicksteed to clarify whether new chains would be required.


ELECTORAL BOUNDARY REVIEW:
Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B. Stamp reported on the recommendations being made by the Boundary Commission which would see Church Eaton Ward and Seighford Ward joined together to form a new single ward served by two Borough Councillors. The Clerk had received this information plus a map of the proposed boundary changes. The Commission were now holding a public consultation on this proposal which would end on June 24th. It was agreed that the Clerk would respond on behalf of the Council as part of this consultation expressing concern over the effect this large ward would have on the interests of the various settlements within it. The Council’s view was that two smaller single member wards would best serve the interest of the residents of Church Eaton Parish. Councillors were asked to forward any views they may have to the Clerk for these to be incorporated in the reply.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk was still waiting to receive a response from Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer regarding the recent submission of the revised document.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
The Clerk confirmed that the new Welcome Pack, following revisions, had now been forwarded to all Parish Councillors. Mrs Dodd was given several copies for distribution in the Marston area. The Clerk was to photocopy several more copies for the Chairman, Mr T. Houghton. The Clerk had forwarded copies to John Edwards and Justin Doherty.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had received a planning application for an extension to The Maples in Malthouse Lane. There were no objections or comments made in relation to this proposed development.


HIGHWAYS
Jobs for the forthcoming Neighbourhood Teams visit on 1st July were finalized. Mrs K. Reeves requested that the drainage channels at Apeton be dug out. The Clerk was to pass this request onto the Chairman for inclusion on the list.

Highways issues at Marston were also discussed at length. Mr Harriman read out some correspondence regarding Mr and Mrs Skelton’s efforts in contacting the local ombudsman over the appalling state of the Marston roads. The Clerk was to chase up the replacement boundary sign for Marston and to request again that this be re-located to the other side of the road.


FINANCE
The Clerk confirmed that the internal audit of accounts for the annual return was being carried out by Helen Bellamy. The Audit form required signing by the Chair following agreement by the Parish Council. This was duly carried out.

The Clerk had received an invoice from JWH for recent grass cutting amounting to £88.00. Mrs S. Dodd queried the rise of £2.00 per cut. The Clerk reminded the Council that Mr Hall had not increased his fees for some time and it had been agreed that when he was instructed to carry out this year’s work, the Council could expect a small increase. An invoice of £40 for May and June’s hire of the hall from the Village Institute had also been received. Mr Harriman had presented an invoice for trough repairs amounting to £32.59. These were proposed for payment by Mrs K. Reeves and were seconded by Mr S. Moore. All were in favour.

A financial pledge toward the proposed improvements of the Village Institute, in light of the recent generous Biffa grant was discussed. The Institute Committee were still short of their overall target but it was agreed that the Parish Council would pledge an initial £500. This was proposed by Mrs S. Dodd and was seconded by Mr P. Harriman. All were in favour. Mrs K. Reeves declared an interest in this matter and therefore did not vote. The Clerk was asked to put confirmation of this pledge in a letter for the Institute Committee.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
Mr Houghton confirmed that the posters were now up. Posters for the competition had been chosen. It was agreed after discussion that the Parish Council would present certificates to the winners. Mr P. Harriman offered to look at creating these. It was hoped that these could then be presented during a school assembly.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received a Members Digest from Stafford Borough Council. Any other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 1st July 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.00 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 6TH MAY 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S.Dodd and Mrs K.Reeves, Messrs P.Bailey, P.Harriman, T.Houghton, D.Massie, S.Moore, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, two members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
Mr Trevor Houghton was proposed for re-election as Chairman by Mrs S.Dodd and this was seconded by Mr P.Harriman. There were no other nominations. All were in favour.

Mrs S.Dodd was re-elected to the post of Vice-Chairman after being proposed by Mr T.Houghton and seconded by Mr P.Harriman. There were no other nominations. All were in favour.


APOLOGIES:
were received Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman. A small over writing error was noted and amended concerning the Annual Parish meeting.


MATTERS ARISING
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Mr and Mrs Grew commented on their planning application for retrospective consent for a two horse stable block with storage and a tack room. The Clerk reported that this application had just been received from the Borough Council planning office. The Council agreed that this would be considered later in the meeting.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mrs P.Harriman returned the inspection book which was taken by Mr T.Houghton for the coming month. Councillor, Mr D.Massie had removed the pieces of concrete as requested at the last meeting. Mr S.Moore and Mr P.Harriman had drilled some holes into the sitting bench-press to drain out the water which accumulated there during wet weather.

The Clerk was asked to repeat the request to John Hall concerning cutting back any overgrown Hawthorn. It was further noted that the new hedging whips were growing well.

The Clerk had been contacted by Rob Heard from Wicksteed concerning playground inspections, a new product catalogue, and the purchasing of a new cradle seat for the existing swings. Mr Heard was arranging for a catalogue to be sent out immediately, as the Clerk had not received one following an earlier request. Mr Heard also offered to visit the playground, if required, to advise on new equipment. It was agreed to purchase a new cradle seat so long as the cost did not exceed £200.

The Clerk reported she had also received an email from Wicksteed’s Safety Inspection Department listing the various costs and contents of safety inspections. It was unanimously agreed that the Clerk should book an accompanied visit plus risk assessment report. This would be at a cost of £86.00 plus VAT.


ELECTORAL BOUNDARY REVIEW:
Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp reported that the Boundary Commission had now reported their recommendations and that the consultation period would end on June 24th. The Clerk had received this information plus a map of the proposed boundary changes. The Boundary Commission were proposing that Church Eaton Ward and Seighford Ward would be joined to form a single new ward served by two Borough Councillors.

Information regarding the review and how to make comments was to be posted on the Village notice board and the Clerk was to include this in her forthcoming parish magazine report.


FOOTPATH 15:
The Chairman and Mr D.Massie had recently met with the Footpaths Officer and it had been agreed that three new gates would be installed on this footpath. It had been pointed out that a finger post was pointing in the wrong direction and this was to be corrected.

The annual Community Paths Initiative bids were discussed but no response was actioned.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had received an email from Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer who had offered to attend a forthcoming Council meeting. To progress this matter the Clerk had sent Ms McKnight a draft of the review the Council had produced, and her comments were now awaited.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
The Clerk confirmed that the new Welcome Pack was almost ready although she was still waiting for updated information from the school. In the interim the Clerk had included basic contact details for the school. It was agreed that the Clerk would forward the draft pack to all Parish Councillors and subject to their approval or any comments, run off several copies. Daphne Rutherford had kindly offered to distribute these to new Parishioners.


BUS SERVICES:
It was reported that the local bus service had been taken over by BP Brown Travel Ltd. Mr John Edwards had kindly produced an easier to read version of the new timetable which was available on the Village notice board and web site.

It was confirmed that there would be no Saturday services but there would still be several visits to Church Eaton through Monday to Friday. It was noted however that some of these visits would not go through Bradley which was causing some concern.


PLANNING:
Two planning applications had been received in the past few days. The first for retrospective planning consent for a two horse stable, storage and tack room at Bank Cottage, Goosemoor and the second for the continued siting of three mobile homes until the 31st December at Manor Farm, Marston. There were no objections made to these applications.


HIGHWAYS
Jobs for the forthcoming Neighbourhood Teams visit on 1st July were discussed. It was confirmed that the Apeton signpost had been repaired. Drainage issues at Marston were also discussed at length

The Clerk read out two letters that she had recently received from Bill Cash MP regarding the roads in Marston. The contents were essentially just copies of the previous responses received from Mr Phillip Atkins, leader of Staffs County Council and Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington. Mr Cash had written to Robert Goodwill, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and had received a response in which Mr Goodwill recommended that the Parish Council Chairman, Mr T.Houghton, continued to raise his concerns with Staffordshire County Council!

It was agreed that the Clerk should reply to Mr Cash to thank him for his help but also to express the disappointment and frustration of the Parish Council that nothing was being done to improve the terrible road conditions in Marston and that the Marston residents felt abandoned and forgotten. The Clerk was also asked to email, Staffs County Councillor Mr M.Winnington to ascertain when work was being scheduled for Marston.


FINANCE
The Clerk confirmed that, on instruction from the Chairman, a cheque amounting to £400 had been sent to the school regarding the recent request for financial support for new flooring.

The Clerk presented the accounts for the last financial year. The notice of audit was to be posted on the Village notice for the prescribed time. Helen Bellamy was to be asked to internally audit the accounts.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
Mr Houghton had written to various village organisations prior to the judging to ask for help in keeping the Village tidy etc. The school posters had been completed and would be put up shortly. Mr P.Harriman and Mr T.Houghton were to liaise over the ongoing trough repair programme.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received a Members Digest from Stafford Borough Council, leaflets for the Walking For Health events, and a newsletter from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archives. Information had also been received regarding the post of the Local Authority Governor at the village school which would become vacant on 31st August. Currently this position was filled by Councillor Mark Winnington. All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 3rd June 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.45 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 1ST APRIL 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S.Dodd and Mrs K.Reeves, Messrs P.Bailey, P.Harriman, T.Houghton, D.Massie, S.Moore, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
None were received.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
Mr Houghton had been in contact with footpaths officer, Chris Rose, re improving Footpath 15 and matters were now progressing. The Clerk confirmed entry of the Parish Council into the proposed Christmas Tree Festival. The Clerk had also attended to all correspondence from the last meeting. All other matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Was not required on this occasion.


DECLARATION OF OFFICE:
Mr D.Massie had completed and returned his register of pecuniary interests forms which the Clerk was to forward on to the Borough Council. Mr Massie also signed the Declaration of Office ledger and undertook to observe the Council’s code of conduct. The Clerk also issued Mr Massie with a copy of the Parish Council’s standing orders.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. It was noted that vehicles were again being targeted with a tractor being stolen from High Offley, and vehicles such as Landrovers having parts removed.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mrs S.Dodd returned the inspection book which was taken by Mr P.Harriman for the coming month. It was noted that John Hall had commenced grass cutting. The Clerk had telephone Mr Hall to warn him about the new hedging whips which had been planted and to request that he cut back any overgrown Hawthorn. It was further noted that there were a couple of pieces of concrete in the new hedge line that needed removing. Mr D.Massie offered to do this.

The Clerk was awaiting a response from Wicksteed concerning playground inspections and a new product catalogue. The purchasing of a new cradle seat for the existing swings was discussed.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had not received any planning applications this month.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
Following some discussion it was agreed to contact Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer to update her on the review. It was further agreed that the Clerk should suggest sending her a draft of the review so far, for her comments.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
The Clerk had received the information requested at the last meeting and a new article concerning the church and its various activities had been organised by the Chairman. Councillor Harriman had contacted the school again about updating their section for the revised pack and was hoping to receive their contribution shortly.


HIGHWAYS
Mr Houghton read out a letter which was in response to his recent letter to Mr Phillip Atkins, leader of Staffs County Council, over the lack of action concerning road repairs in Marston. The response said very little, and in essence was just a summary of an email to the Council which had been received from Councillor Winnington a few weeks previously. There had been a reply received from MP Bill Cash written in a similar vein but he did confirm he would contact the Secretary of State over this matter. The Chairman commented that Mrs Skelton was to contact the ombudsman for Highways over these problems. Councillor Winnington pledged some financial support from his Community Highways Fund if nothing was done soon to improve the roads at Marston.

It was reported that there had been some highways maintenance carried out in the Village. A very large pothole outside Rose Cottage at Marston was discussed and the Clerk was asked to email concerns about this directly to Councillor Winnington along with a reminder regarding the request for a new metal post for the Village boundary sign which had been damaged at Apeton.


BOUNDARY REVIEW:
Borough Councillor Barry Stamp reported that the outcome of the review had been delayed but that he would probably have further information regarding this matter by the 18th April.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
Mr Houghton and Mr P.Harriman were making progress with repairs to the village troughs. BKV posters advertising the event had now gone up and the school had been asked to provide posters and items of poetry for the new poetry competition. It was agreed that there should be the usual annual hanging baskets and tubs competition, which the Clerk would arrange. Mrs B.Byford and Ms J.Byford had kindly offered to help with the trough re-plantings. The Chairman was to liaise with them.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received one invoice for the hire of Village Institute amounting to £20.00. This was proposed for payment by Mrs S.Dodd and seconded by Mrs K.Reeves. All were in favour. It was also agreed to have a £150 budget for spending on plants for the troughs.

The school had requested financial assistance towards the new flooring proposed for one of the classrooms. It was proposed that £400 should be ear marked for this donation subject to a request for further information regarding school funding of maintenance and repair works.

The Clerk had received this year’s annual audit return from Grant Thornton to be completed by the 23rd June. It was agreed to ask Helen Bellamy if she was agreeable to conduct the internal audit. The Clerk briefed the Parish Council on the current bank balances.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received an invitation for the Chairman to attend this year’s Mayor Making ceremony. All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting would be held on the 6th May 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.25 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 4th MARCH 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Bailey, P. Harriman, T.Houghton, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, five members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
These were received from Parish Councillor Mr.S.Moore and Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


CO-OPTION OF NEW MEMBER:
Mr Houghton confirmed that the Clerk had received notification from the elections office at Stafford Borough Council that there had been no request for an election to take place. The Parish Council was therefore able to co-opt a new member on to Council. Mr David Massie, who had previously expressed an interest, was in attendance and was duly co-opted on to the Council. The Clerk was to notify the elections office of this new appointment and arrange the register of interests and code of conduct forms for Mr Massie for the next meeting.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Mrs Skelton and Ms Jones from Marston attended the meeting to express their concerns about the continual deterioration of road conditions within Marston. Issues such as drainage, speeding traffic and routes unsuitable for heavy good vehicles were discussed. Mr Houghton confirmed that he had written to both the leader of Staffs County Council and Bill Cash MP over the continual frustration of nothing being done to improve the roads in Marston. Road sweeping as an interim measure was discussed and the Clerk was to look into this matter. Mr Houghton thanked both Mrs Skelton and Ms Jones for attending.

Mr and Mrs Grew were in attendance as they had recently submitted a planning application requesting consent to extend their property Bank Cottage, at Goosemoor. Mr Grew explained that they needed to extend their property given that they did not have enough bedroom space for their three growing children.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. It was noted that vehicles such as Landrovers had been targeted for the stealing of parts. Poaching was still an ongoing issue.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mr P. Bailey returned the inspection book which was taken by Mrs S. Dodd for the coming month. Mr Bailey had noted that going forward the cradle seat on the swings might need replacing. Mr Houghton confirmed that concerns over water in the frame of the sitting bench press had been raised with the suppliers.

It was also noted that Mr Tom Alexander had repaired the back fence. Mrs K.Reeves confirmed that the hedging whips had arrived. The generosity of the Bradford Estate in supplying these was duly noted and the Clerk was asked to contact Estate Manager, Carla Whelton, to thank the Bradford Estate for their kindness in donating the whips. Mrs Reeves had contacted the school to see if any of the pupils would like to be involved in the planting and was awaiting a reply. Mr Harriman stated that he would chase this matter up. The Clerk was asked to contact John Hall, to make him aware that of the new plantings, subject to him renewing his grass cutting contract. The Clerk was also asked to request that Mr Hall prune back any overgrown hawthorn branches.

It was reported that annual safety inspections of the playground had been discussed with the insurance company. Following this discussion a list of equipment would be created and a competent person appointed to carry out a check. This would be carried out in tandem with regular weekly playground inspections by Councillors. The Clerk was to follow up an advert from Wicksteed (play equipment suppliers) offering to carry out inspections. Costs and obligations to this offer would be investigated.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had received one planning application for the first floor extension to Bank Cottage, Goosemoor. There were no objections to this proposal.

The Clerk reported that she had received an email from the applicant at Apeton Hall Farm regarding the proposed development of a single storey portal frame building comprising four stables, feed and bedding store and ménage. The applicant, MrHarvey Northwood was concerned over the Parish Council’s response to the planning department that work had already commenced. The Clerk has spoken with the Chairman and an email relaying these concerns had been forwarded on to the case officer.


FOOTPATH 15
Mr Houghton was still chasing this matter up with the County Footpaths team.


HIGHWAYS
There was some confusion over which signs the Highways Department were replacing or repairing. The village boundary sign at Apeton, which had been recently damaged by a vehicle, required a new post. The sign at Marston needed reinstalling and possibly replacing. The Chairman was to clarify these matters with County Councillor M.Winnington. Mr Houghton outlined his recent letter to Mr Phillip Atkins, leader of Staffs County Council, over the ongoing concerns and the lack of action for road repairs in Marston. Mr Houghton had also written to Bill Cash MP in the same vein.

The Clerk reported she had also received a letter from Ms Jones regarding these issues which she would acknowledge.

The Clerk had spoken with Mr S. Cox who was still happy to look at contributing to the triangle repairs. It was agreed to take this matter up again, if it was clear that road works were to commence and if so when!


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had again been in touch with Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer to update her on the review. Mr P. Bailey had created an excellent power point presentation highlighting areas to be included in the new document with a series of photographs and accompanying comments. It was hoped to combine this with the written draft that the Clerk had already produced.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
Councillor Harriman had contacted the school about updating their section for the revised pack and was hoping to receive their contribution shortly. The Clerk had updated the various contact information for local organisations but was still requiring further information which the Chairman and Councillor Reeves kindly offered to supply. Mr P.Bailey was asked by the Clerk if he might have a suitable photograph for the front cover.


BOUNDARY REVIEW
Borough Councillor Barry Stamp reported that he had no further information regarding this matter, but would keep the Council informed of any future developments.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
Mr Houghton confirmed that the entry form had been submitted. Judging would take place on 1st May and 22nd June. Finals would be judged in July. Mr P. Harriman was to organise, through the school, posters created by the children. The Clerk mentioned that a poetry competition would be held in tandem with the competition. Dog fouling was commented upon with concerns that this was still an issue. Mrs K.Reeves was to look at overseeing the village trough plantings. Mr Tony Weston had very kindly offered to make a new trough for the village. Mr Houghton was to liaise with him.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received several invoices, the first from Mr Tom Alexander for repairing the playground back fence amounting to £125.00. The second was for two months Village Institute hire amounting to £40.00. Mrs Reeves had paid carriage for the new hedging whips amounting to £18.00 and Mr Houghton had entered Church Eaton into the Best Kept Village Competition which came to £17.90. These was proposed for payment by Mrs S. Dodd and seconded by MrP.Harriman. All were in favour.

The Clerk had received an invitation from St Editha’s Church for the Council to take part in this year’s Christmas Tree Festival. The Clerk was asked to write and confirm that the Parish Council would like to be involved. Mrs S.Dodd agreed to oversee this.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received notification of Stafford Borough Council’s main modifications to the Local Plan. Zurich Insurance had sent a letter regarding insurance renewal. The Clerk was asked to file this for later consideration. Stafford Borough Council had provided a poster and leaflets promoting organised walks and dates for this year. Information regarding the proposed Good Neighbours Scheme was circulated for reading.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting would be held on the 1st April 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m.
The meeting closed at 9.45 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 1ST APRIL 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S.Dodd and Mrs K.Reeves, Messrs P.Bailey, P.Harriman, T.Houghton, D.Massie, S.Moore, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
None were received.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
Mr Houghton had been in contact with footpaths officer, Chris Rose, re improving Footpath 15 and matters were now progressing. The Clerk confirmed entry of the Parish Council into the proposed Christmas Tree Festival. The Clerk had also attended to all correspondence from the last meeting. All other matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Was not required on this occasion.


DECLARATION OF OFFICE:
Mr D.Massie had completed and returned his register of pecuniary interests forms which the Clerk was to forward on to the Borough Council. Mr Massie also signed the Declaration of Office ledger and undertook to observe the Council’s code of conduct. The Clerk also issued Mr Massie with a copy of the Parish Council’s standing orders.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. It was noted that vehicles were again being targeted with a tractor being stolen from High Offley, and vehicles such as Landrovers having parts removed.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mrs S.Dodd returned the inspection book which was taken by Mr P.Harriman for the coming month. It was noted that John Hall had commenced grass cutting. The Clerk had telephone Mr Hall to warn him about the new hedging whips which had been planted and to request that he cut back any overgrown Hawthorn. It was further noted that there were a couple of pieces of concrete in the new hedge line that needed removing. Mr D.Massie offered to do this.

The Clerk was awaiting a response from Wicksteed concerning playground inspections and a new product catalogue. The purchasing of a new cradle seat for the existing swings was discussed.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had not received any planning applications this month.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
Following some discussion it was agreed to contact Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer to update her on the review. It was further agreed that the Clerk should suggest sending her a draft of the review so far, for her comments.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
The Clerk had received the information requested at the last meeting and a new article concerning the church and its various activities had been organised by the Chairman. Councillor Harriman had contacted the school again about updating their section for the revised pack and was hoping to receive their contribution shortly.


HIGHWAYS
Mr Houghton read out a letter which was in response to his recent letter to Mr Phillip Atkins, leader of Staffs County Council, over the lack of action concerning road repairs in Marston. The response said very little, and in essence was just a summary of an email to the Council which had been received from Councillor Winnington a few weeks previously. There had been a reply received from MP Bill Cash written in a similar vein but he did confirm he would contact the Secretary of State over this matter. The Chairman commented that Mrs Skelton was to contact the ombudsman for Highways over these problems. Councillor Winnington pledged some financial support from his Community Highways Fund if nothing was done soon to improve the roads at Marston.

It was reported that there had been some highways maintenance carried out in the Village. A very large pothole outside Rose Cottage at Marston was discussed and the Clerk was asked to email concerns about this directly to Councillor Winnington along with a reminder regarding the request for a new metal post for the Village boundary sign which had been damaged at Apeton.


BOUNDARY REVIEW:
Borough Councillor Barry Stamp reported that the outcome of the review had been delayed but that he would probably have further information regarding this matter by the 18th April.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
Mr Houghton and Mr P.Harriman were making progress with repairs to the village troughs. BKV posters advertising the event had now gone up and the school had been asked to provide posters and items of poetry for the new poetry competition. It was agreed that there should be the usual annual hanging baskets and tubs competition, which the Clerk would arrange. Mrs B.Byford and Ms J.Byford had kindly offered to help with the trough re-plantings. The Chairman was to liaise with them.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received one invoice for the hire of Village Institute amounting to £20.00. This was proposed for payment by Mrs S.Dodd and seconded by Mrs K.Reeves. All were in favour. It was also agreed to have a £150 budget for spending on plants for the troughs.

The school had requested financial assistance towards the new flooring proposed for one of the classrooms. It was proposed that £400 should be ear marked for this donation subject to a request for further information regarding school funding of maintenance and repair works.

The Clerk had received this year’s annual audit return from Grant Thornton to be completed by the 23rd June. It was agreed to ask Helen Bellamy if she was agreeable to conduct the internal audit. The Clerk briefed the Parish Council on the current bank balances.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received an invitation for the Chairman to attend this year’s Mayor Making ceremony. All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting would be held on the 6th May 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.25

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 4th MARCH 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Bailey, P. Harriman, T.Houghton, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp, five members of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
These were received from Parish Councillor Mr.S.Moore and Staffs County Councillor, Mr M.Winnington.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


CO-OPTION OF NEW MEMBER:
Mr Houghton confirmed that the Clerk had received notification from the elections office at Stafford Borough Council that there had been no request for an election to take place. The Parish Council was therefore able to co-opt a new member on to Council. Mr David Massie, who had previously expressed an interest, was in attendance and was duly co-opted on to the Council. The Clerk was to notify the elections office of this new appointment and arrange the register of interests and code of conduct forms for Mr Massie for the next meeting.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


OPEN FORUM:


Mrs Skelton and Ms Jones from Marston attended the meeting to express their concerns about the continual deterioration of road conditions within Marston. Issues such as drainage, speeding traffic and routes unsuitable for heavy good vehicles were discussed. Mr Houghton confirmed that he had written to both the leader of Staffs County Council and Bill Cash MP over the continual frustration of nothing being done to improve the roads in Marston. Road sweeping as an interim measure was discussed and the Clerk was to look into this matter. Mr Houghton thanked both Mrs Skelton and Ms Jones for attending.

Mr and Mrs Grew were in attendance as they had recently submitted a planning application requesting consent to extend their property Bank Cottage, at Goosemoor. Mr Grew explained that they needed to extend their property given that they did not have enough bedroom space for their three growing children.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. It was noted that vehicles such as Landrovers had been targeted for the stealing of parts. Poaching was still an ongoing issue.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mr P. Bailey returned the inspection book which was taken by Mrs S. Dodd for the coming month. Mr Bailey had noted that going forward the cradle seat on the swings might need replacing. Mr Houghton confirmed that concerns over water in the frame of the sitting bench press had been raised with the suppliers.

It was also noted that Mr Tom Alexander had repaired the back fence. Mrs K.Reeves confirmed that the hedging whips had arrived. The generosity of the Bradford Estate in supplying these was duly noted and the Clerk was asked to contact Estate Manager, Carla Whelton, to thank the Bradford Estate for their kindness in donating the whips. Mrs Reeves had contacted the school to see if any of the pupils would like to be involved in the planting and was awaiting a reply. Mr Harriman stated that he would chase this matter up. The Clerk was asked to contact John Hall, to make him aware that of the new plantings, subject to him renewing his grass cutting contract. The Clerk was also asked to request that Mr Hall prune back any overgrown hawthorn branches.

It was reported that annual safety inspections of the playground had been discussed with the insurance company. Following this discussion a list of equipment would be created and a competent person appointed to carry out a check. This would be carried out in tandem with regular weekly playground inspections by Councillors. The Clerk was to follow up an advert from Wicksteed (play equipment suppliers) offering to carry out inspections. Costs and obligations to this offer would be investigated.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had received one planning application for the first floor extension to Bank Cottage, Goosemoor. There were no objections to this proposal.

The Clerk reported that she had received an email from the applicant at Apeton Hall Farm regarding the proposed development of a single storey portal frame building comprising four stables, feed and bedding store and ménage. The applicant, MrHarvey Northwood was concerned over the Parish Council’s response to the planning department that work had already commenced. The Clerk has spoken with the Chairman and an email relaying these concerns had been forwarded on to the case officer.


FOOTPATH 15
Mr Houghton was still chasing this matter up with the County Footpaths team.


HIGHWAYS
There was some confusion over which signs the Highways Department were replacing or repairing. The village boundary sign at Apeton, which had been recently damaged by a vehicle, required a new post. The sign at Marston needed reinstalling and possibly replacing. The Chairman was to clarify these matters with County Councillor M.Winnington. Mr Houghton outlined his recent letter to Mr Phillip Atkins, leader of Staffs County Council, over the ongoing concerns and the lack of action for road repairs in Marston. Mr Houghton had also written to Bill Cash MP in the same vein.

The Clerk reported she had also received a letter from Ms Jones regarding these issues which she would acknowledge.

The Clerk had spoken with Mr S. Cox who was still happy to look at contributing to the triangle repairs. It was agreed to take this matter up again, if it was clear that road works were to commence and if so when!


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had again been in touch with Penny McKnight, the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer to update her on the review. Mr P. Bailey had created an excellent power point presentation highlighting areas to be included in the new document with a series of photographs and accompanying comments. It was hoped to combine this with the written draft that the Clerk had already produced.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
Councillor Harriman had contacted the school about updating their section for the revised pack and was hoping to receive their contribution shortly. The Clerk had updated the various contact information for local organisations but was still requiring further information which the Chairman and Councillor Reeves kindly offered to supply. Mr P.Bailey was asked by the Clerk if he might have a suitable photograph for the front cover.


BOUNDARY REVIEW
Borough Councillor Barry Stamp reported that he had no further information regarding this matter, but would keep the Council informed of any future developments.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
Mr Houghton confirmed that the entry form had been submitted. Judging would take place on 1st May and 22nd June. Finals would be judged in July. Mr P. Harriman was to organise, through the school, posters created by the children. The Clerk mentioned that a poetry competition would be held in tandem with the competition. Dog fouling was commented upon with concerns that this was still an issue. Mrs K.Reeves was to look at overseeing the village trough plantings. Mr Tony Weston had very kindly offered to make a new trough for the village. Mr Houghton was to liaise with him.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received several invoices, the first from Mr Tom Alexander for repairing the playground back fence amounting to £125.00. The second was for two months Village Institute hire amounting to £40.00. Mrs Reeves had paid carriage for the new hedging whips amounting to £18.00 and Mr Houghton had entered Church Eaton into the Best Kept Village Competition which came to £17.90. These was proposed for payment by Mrs S. Dodd and seconded by MrP.Harriman. All were in favour.

The Clerk had received an invitation from St Editha’s Church for the Council to take part in this year’s Christmas Tree Festival. The Clerk was asked to write and confirm that the Parish Council would like to be involved. Mrs S.Dodd agreed to oversee this.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received notification of Stafford Borough Council’s main modifications to the Local Plan. Zurich Insurance had sent a letter regarding insurance renewal. The Clerk was asked to file this for later consideration. Stafford Borough Council had provided a poster and leaflets promoting organised walks and dates for this year. Information regarding the proposed Good Neighbours Scheme was circulated for reading.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting would be held on the 1st April 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m.
The meeting closed at 9.45 pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 4th FEBRUARY 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Bailey, P. Harriman, T. Houghton, and S. Moore, five members of the public and the Clerk, MrsD.M.Key.


APOLOGIES:
These were received from Staffs County Councillor, Mr M. Winnington and Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B.Stamp.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
The Clerk confirmed that all correspondence relating to the last meeting and had been sent. Mr Houghton had written a letter in support of the grant application for the proposed refurbishment of the Village Institute. Mrs K. Reeves briefed the meeting as to what different grants were being applied for. It was acknowledged that the Bradford Estate had been very supportive in this matter. All other matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.

The Clerk reported she had contacted Stafford Borough Council over the vacancy that had arisen following Ms J. Byford’s resignation. A notice from the Borough Council had now been received advertising this vacancy and had been displayed on the notice board. The Clerk had also received one expression of interest from a parishioner.


OPEN FORUM:
Mr T. Lendon addressed the meeting over the continuing problems with the roads at Marston. Mr Lendon said he was organising a petition and involving the local press to highlight these problems as well as arranging a meeting with Bill Cash MP. Mr Houghton explained to Mr Lendon that while the Parish Council obviously shared his frustrations, the Council had been and would continue, to bring these concerns to the County Council at every opportunity. They had also written to Bill Cash several times over these problems. The Clerk confirmed that emails have been regularly sent to the Staffs County Highways department and that Councillor Mr M Winnington was aware of the situation. Mr Houghton thanked Mr Lendon for his attendance.

Mr Edwards asked if he could receive the Parish Council minutes earlier in the month.

The Clerk said that she would try to get these to him earlier. The Clerk also confirmed that Mr Edwards and Justin Doherty were copied in to every Parish magazine report. Mr Edwards also asked about the Welcome Packs and Conservation Area Document reviews. The Clerk reported that these were in hand and would probably be completed in the next couple of months, although the Conservation Area Document would have to be inspected by the Conservation Area officer at Stafford Borough Council.


LATE ITEMS
There were no late items.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins which again focused on poaching issues and concerns that the ‘Nottingham Knockers’ were back in the area.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mrs K.Reeves returned the inspection book which was taken by Mr P.Bailey for the forthcoming month. Work to the back fence was again discussed and it was agreed that Mr T.Alexander should attempt to patch the approx 20m area that required work, and that hedging whips should be planted to try encourage the formation of a hedge. Mrs K.Reeves was to enquire whether Bradford Estates might be able to supply these.

The recent tree survey conducted by Mr Terry Merchant had been circulated to Parish Council members by the Clerk. It was generally agreed that the survey had been well worth doing and that Mr Merchant had done a good job. It was also noted that the playground trees appeared in good health but would be reviewed at a later date.

It was also agreed that the Clerk would look into further safety inspections for the playground and report at the next meeting.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had received two planning applications. The first being a retrospective application for the retention of a vehicular access at Apeton Manor Farm Cottage, Common Lane, Church Eaton. The Parish Council requested that the red brick pillars remain in situ and that the replanting of the hedge should be carried out using indigenous mixed deciduous species of hedging plants. The Parish Council also requested that the minimum of existing hedge be removed to allow adequate visibility splays to be installed.

The second planning application was for a single storey portal frame building comprising four stables, feed and bedding store and ménage at Apeton Hall Farm.

As this application had been received so near to this meeting, it would be circulated around the Parish Councillors for further consideration and comments.


FOOTPATH 15
Mr Houghton had walked the footpath since the last meeting and work was required to improve the path and the stile. Mr Houghton is to follow this matter up with the County Footpaths team.


HIGHWAYS
It was reported that the boundary sign and trough at Apeton had been damaged by an unknown vehicle. It was agreed that Mr Houghton and Mr Harriman would look at whether the timber from the trough could be re-used. They would also inspect the other troughs as several needed maintenance. Mrs K. Reeves had removed the watering system from the damaged trough. The Chairman had contacted the Clerk about claiming for the trough through the Council insurance, but as the excess was £115 and the trough was of much lower value it was decided not to pursue this.

The Clerk had received from Councillor Stamp, a copy of an email from a Woollaston Lane resident who was very concerned about the poor conditions of the lane.

The Clerk was asked to contact Councillor M. Winnington about these concerns as well as the ongoing concerns over the roads at Marston and the flooding on Jolt Lane.

Mr Houghton added that he was to write to the leader of Staffs County Council over these ongoing concerns and the lack of action.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had forwarded to the new Councillors, details of the original Conservation Area document. They were also given a copy of the document that consultants working for Stafford Borough Council had produced for Bradley. It was hoped that Church Eaton’s review would be progressed at the next meeting.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
Councillor Harriman had contacted the school about updating their section for the revised pack. The Clerk was to update the various contact information for local organisations, including the Parish Council, and to look at creating a new cover. Other Parish Councillors were asked to bring any further updates or suggestions to the March meeting.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received an invoice for the recent tree survey from Mr Merchant amounting to £50. This was proposed for payment by Mrs K.Reeves and seconded by Mrs S.Dodd. All were in favour.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
After some discussion, it was agreed that Church Eaton would enter this year’s competition. An entry would therefore be submitted.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received two separate Members Digests.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 4th March 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.30pm.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 7th JANUARY 2014


PRESENT:
Mrs S. Dodd and Mrs K. Reeves, Messrs P. Bailey, P. Harriman, T. Houghton, and S. Moore, Staffs County Councillor, Mr M. Winnington, Stafford Borough Councillor, Mr B. Stamp, one member of the public and the Clerk, Mrs D. M. Key.


APOLOGIES:
These were received from Councillor Ms J. Byford who had also tended her resignation due to work commitments. The Clerk was asked to contact Ms Byford to acknowledge her resignation and to thank her service as a Parish Councillor. The Clerk was also to contact the elections office at Stafford Borough Council to inform them of this matter.


MINUTES:
The Minutes from the previous meeting were deemed as a true record by those present and duly signed by the Chairman.


MATTERS ARISING
All matters arising would be taken as they appeared on the agenda.


OPEN FORUM:
Mr P. Harriman had been approached by a resident in Marston over very early morning deliveries to Manor Farm. The Clerk was to speak with Mr S.Cox about these concerns.


LATE ITEMS
It was agreed that a letter of support would be written by Mr T.Houghton on behalf of the Parish Council supporting the grant application for the proposed refurbishment and extension to the Village Institute.

Mr Houghton had received a letter from Mr S.Rutherford, Chairman of the Church Eaton Relief In Need Charity, notifying the parish Council that several Trustees were due for re-appointment. These Trustees namely Mrs S.Bennett, Mr D. Rogers and and Mr S. Rutherford were proposed for re-appointment by Mr T. Houghton, seconded by Mrs S. Dodd. All were in favour. The Clerk was asked to notify Mr Rutherford of these re-appointments.

Mrs K. Reeves gave a brief update on how the Glebeland’s committee were fairing. More new committee members were required.


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH:
The Clerk had forwarded to all Council members recent Neighbourhood Watch bulletins. Poaching issues were still of concern.


VILLAGE PLAYGROUND:
Mr S. Moore returned the inspection book which Mrs K. Reeves was to take for the forthcoming month. Work to the back fence was briefly discussed as another hole had appeared. The Chairman and Councillor Bailey were to inspect this. Mr Moore had also noted that the sitting bench press arm was filling with water. After discussion it was agreed that the Chairman would report this to CERS. With regards to the proposed tree survey in the playground, the Clerk had contacted Mr Terry Merchant who had now carried out the inspection and was to provide a report and produce an invoice. He was however satisfied that the trees in the play park were in satisfactory condition.


PLANNING:
The Clerk had received the plans for the proposed work at the Village Institute. These had been circulated and there had been no objections.


FOOTPATH 15
The Chairman reported that Footpath 15 leading from Brookhouse Cottage to the canal needed some maintenance work, more specifically a new stile. Mr Houghton was to walk the footpath and report at the next meeting.


HIGHWAYS
The Clerk confirmed that the Willow Tree which had been leaning very dangerously over the road by the High Onn canal bridge had been cut back by the landowner. Flooding on Jolt Lane was reported as a matter of some concern by the Chairman. Staffs County Councillor, Mr M. Winnington said that he was dealing with this matter.

The terrible road conditions at Marston were discussed again. There had been no improvements and no works carried out. There was concern that the triangle at Marston had been damaged even further by heavy traffic. Councillor Winnington asked for the Clerk to email details of these concerns to him.


REVIEW OF CONSERVATION AREA DOCUMENT:
The Clerk had contacted the senior conservation officer at Stafford Borough Council to confirm that the review was going ahead. The Clerk was to send Councillors Bailey and Moore a copy of the original document. This matter would be discussed at the next meeting.


REVIEW OF WELCOME PACKS:
The Clerk reported that the Welcome Packs, devised several years ago, were out of date and required updating. The Clerk was to email a copy of the pack to Parish Councillors for consideration. Councillor Harriman was to contact the village school for their input for the school section. This matter would also be discussed at the next meeting.


VILLAGE TOUGHS:
The Clerk was asked to contact Ms Byford ascertain what was happening with the replanting programme and also to accept her offer of help in continuing to help with the troughs following her resignation.


BOUNDARY REVIEW
Borough Councillor Barry Stamp updated the Council on the current position of the Electoral Ward Boundary Review for Stafford Borough. The Borough Council had recommended that Church Eaton Ward and Seighford Ward be amalgamated to form a new two member ward. The LBCE would publish their preferred structure in late February at which time the Parish Council could make comment.


FINANCE
The Clerk had received a request from Stafford Borough Council for the forthcoming financial year’s requirements. The Parish Council unanimously agreed not to request an increase in the level of precept for the forthcoming year. The maximum Concurrent Functions Allowance was requested.

The Clerk’s fee was discussed and it was proposed by the Chairman to increase

this in line with inflation from £2,070 per year to £2,140. This was seconded by Mr P. Bailey. All were in favour. Also agreed was the payment of an invoice for the January hire of the hall amounting to £20.


BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION:
The Chairman discussed entry into this year’s competition. It was agreed to give this matter some thought and to make a decision in February. The Clerk had received a letter inviting Church Eaton to rejoin the competition.


CORRESPONDENCE:
The Clerk had received a recent copy of the Members Digest. Stafford Borough Council had requested the number of Parish Civic Amenity visits for 2014. The Clerk was asked to request three. The Village Institute Committee had written a thank you letter for the recent donation towards repairs to the hall.

All other email correspondence had been circulated to all Parish Councillors. It was agreed that the next meeting of the Parish Council would be held on the 4th February 2014 in the Village Institute at 7.30 p.m. The meeting closed at 9.30 pm

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