Minutes of Meeting held in The Rez Country Café on Thursday 25th. May 2010.


Present: Councillor R. Dawson (Chair)

Councillors L. Bills, J. Sargeant & S. R. Weston.

District Councillor N. Hawkins.

Four Members of the Public.

14/10. Apologies for Absence.

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors T. Beastall, J. Deaville, C. E. Taylor.

15/10. Declarations of Interest.

There were no declarations of interest at this point.

16/10. Chairman’s Address.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Councillors J. Sargeant and C. Taylor for continuing to represent the Council on the Staffs. Moorlands Parish Assembly.

He reported on press reports, some incorrectly reported, and a local radio interview which he had given on the situation with the recent planning applications for the old New Inn site.

17/10. Public Comments.

A representative from the Longsdon Village Hall Management Committee addressed the meeting to answer queries raised by the Council during recent correspondence. She also asked why grants were not given to the Hall automatically and why the Committee could not have a key to the parish notice boards. Her explanations were accepted and she was advised that Council’s grants had to be applied for and the arrangements for publishing notices in the parish notice boards was also explained.

The Chairman thanked the representative for attending the meeting.

A resident adjacent to Hawthorne Cottage, Leek Road, Longsdon reported on activities at the address which could possibly contravene planning regulations. Recent changes in ownership had seen an increase in activities on the site with possible contravention of hours of work, changes of use, noise and dust problems, paint spraying activities and dumping of waste. District Councillor Hawkins confirmed that she had also received complaints from another source and advised the Council to contact Staffs. Moorlands Planning and Environmental Health Departments to support her representations on the matter. This was agreed.

Councillor L. Bills declared a personal interest in this item and did not vote on the decision.

Another resident raised the matter of the proposed re-opening of the railway line through the parish. Work had already started on clearing vegetation from the line. He pointed out that while the line had been closed it had been used as a public footpath rather than the adjacent official footpaths which had become overgrown and impassable. After some discussion it was agreed, in the first instance, to write to the Moorlands & City Railway company to ask it to outline the company’s plans for the line.

18/10. Minutes of Last Meeting.

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th. April 2010 had been circulated. It was agreed that they be signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record.

19/10. Matters Arising.

Letter had been sent to the acting Secretary of Longsdon Memorial Hall with the grant of £400 – 00 for the Rose Queen’s event and asking details of the financial situation at the Memorial Hall. A letter of thanks had been received together with some explanations and also a copy of last year’s balance sheet for the Hall. Copies of the balance sheet were distributed to Councillors.

Further letter had been received from Staffs. Moorlands District Council Planning Office regarding the erection of the large stables on land between Micklea Lane and Denford Road. It reported that the occupier of the land had been advised that planning permission would need to be applied for.

The Chairman reported that the ownership of the damaged canal bridge in Denford Road was still being investigated. British Waterways had inspected the bridge and considered that it was not dangerous.

On the question of the ongoing saga of problems at the old New Inn a new planning application had been received and this would be discussed later in the meeting.

The Chairman reported on a meeting he had attended with representatives from Endon Parish Council and Staffs. County Council regarding the requested double white lines on the A53 near to the sewage works at Endon. It was agreed to support Endon efforts in the matter.

An e.mail had been sent to County Councillor Gill Heath regarding the delay in tackling projects and she had replied that she would continue to press for the double white lines near to the Wheel public house, the scene of numerous accidents.

The list of jobs for the Highways Community Team had been sent to County Councillor G. Heath.

The Clerk had received a telephone call from the Highways Superintendent pointing out that most of the work had been completed and a further visit would be arranged to complete the list. He also explained that the temporary fencing around a missing inspection chamber cover and damaged stone wall near to the old New Inn had been replaced and reported that the stone wall would be repaired.

A report was given on a meeting which had taken place between Chairman Dawson, Councillor Weston, the Clerk and Paul Rochford, Staffs. County Council’s Footpaths Officer, regarding Footpath 24 in Dunwood Lane. This was to clarify the Council’s objections to the proposed closure of the footpath. The officer noted these and would report back to his superior.

It was reported that:

payments for accounts for lengthsman schemes to Staffs. M. D.C. and Staffs. C. C. had been received.

the fly tipping in School Lane and Leek Old Road had been removed.

the perspex panel in the notice board in Sutherland Road would need to be renewed.

the requested “Cheddleton” village signs in Denford Road and Sutherland Road had been sited.

the number of caravans being sited on the caravan park in Devils Lane was still being monitored.

the collapsing stone retaining wall in Denford Road had been reported to Staffs. County Council.

results of questionnaire on the running of the Staffs. Moorlands Parish Assembly had been received.

20/10. Correspondence.

Information received under this item was:

invitation to attend the A.G.M.of Staffs. Moorlands Neighbourhood Watch Association – 3rd. June 2010.

Staffs. Moorlands Together Action Days.

Staffordshire Local Involvement Network requesting information on health and social care services.

Establishment of a Refuge in the Moorlands for women and families fleeing from domestic violence.

Rural Focus – 12th. & 26th. April 2010 from Rural Services Community.

Clerks & Councils Direct – May issue.

21/10. Planning Matters.

The following planning applications were consideration and it was agreed to forward no objections, subject to normal planning guidelines to:

10/00350/FUL Conversion of Public House A4 to form two dwellings C3 Use at New Inn, Leek Road,

Longsdon, Staffs. Moorlands.

With regard to Application No. SLW/10/00345/FUL Single Storey Timber Garden Office at Greenhills, Leek

Road, Longsdon, Staffs. it was agreed to OBJECT to this application on the grounds that this development

looks too excessive for the site and is not in keeping with the surroundings. There could also be the

possibility that the proposed building could become habitable accommodation in the future on an already

over developed site.

Councillor Weston declared a personal interest in this item and took no part in the discussions.

22/10. Finance Matters.

The Fidelity Guarantee Insurance cover on the Council’s insurance policy had been increased from

£5,000 – 00 to £8,500 – 00 and an acknowledgement had been received.

A report had been received from the Council’s internal auditor which said that he had completed the key tests recommended by the Audit Commission and that the Council’s internal controls are effective, the records and accounts are kept to a high standard and are in good order.

A copy of the balance sheet for the year ending 31st. March 2010 was distributed to Councillors. The Annual Return Form had been completed together with Bank reconciliation and explanations for variations in Box 3 – Other Receipts. The Annual Return Form etc. was perused and it was agreed that it be signed and submitted to the Audit Commission.

23/10. Orders for Payment.

It was unanimously agreed that the following items be paid:-

Recipient Amount Reason
The Rez (UK) Ltd. £20.00 Room Hire.
A. Bridgwood. £236.00 Agency Work.

24/10. Public Comments.

There was no business under this item.

25/10. Any Other Business.

It was agreed that the village tubs be again replanted for the summer by Proctors Nursery. The Kent family would be contacted to ask if they were still willing to look after the tub near to the Memorial Hall.

It was also agreed that the tub near to Dunwood Lane be re-sited, possibly in Sutherland Road.

Questions were asked about the Beat the Cold Scheme which was to be initiated in the parish, as nothing further had been heard. It was agreed to contact the organisation to obtain information.

A suggestion that further meetings of the Council could be held at the Memorial Hall was put forward, after a report was received that the premises known as The Rez could be sold. It was agreed to leave the matter in abeyance for the moment.

26/10. Date of Next Meeting.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 1st. July 2010 at The Rez Country Café in Sutherland Road, Longsdon at 7 - 30p.m.