Minutes of the Longsdon Annual Parish Assembly held on Thursday 10th. May 2012 at The Rez Country Café, Sutherland Road, Longsdon, Staffordshire Moorlands.


Present: Councillors T. Beastall, L. Bills, R.P.A.Lovell, J.F. Sargeant, C. Taylor & S. R. Weston.


In attendance: John Bourne, Clerk to the Council.

1. Apologies for Absence:

Apologies for absence were received from District Councillor N. Hawkins.

2. Minutes of Last Annual Parish Assembly.

The minutes of the last Annual Parish Assembly held on Thursday 26th. May 2011 were read and approved as a true record.

3. Matters Arising.

The current Chairman, Councillor Sargeant, thanked all the members of the Council for their excellent attendance record at Council meetings and attendances at the Churnet Valley Action Group, Longsdon Memorial Hall and the Moorlands Parish Assembly. He thanked Councillor Bills for being his deputy and John Bourne, Clerk for preparing the minutes and financial reports etc.

4. To Receive a Report for the Year 2011 / 2012.

Existing Councillors, together with new Councillor R. P. A. Lovell, were returned unopposed at the early May 2011 election process.

Councillor John Sargeant was elected as Chairman with Councillor Bills elected as Vice Chairman at the Annual General Meeting of the Council.

Councillors Sargeant and Taylor were again elected as representatives on the Staffs. Moorlands Parish Assembly and Councillor Bills was appointed as the Council’s representative on the Longsdon Memorial Hall Management Committee.

John Bourne, Clerk to the Council, was appointed as the Responsible Financial Officer.

Estimates for the next financial year were prepared and the Council agreed that the current precept of £3,500 – 00 should remain unchanged.

The One Year Fixed Rate Bond with Leek United Building Society matured in December and the balance was transferred to a Two Year Fixed Rate Bond with the same Society. It was also agreed that, due to the minimal amount of interest being earned on the Business Reserve Account with the Council’s bankers, the account be closed and the balance be transferred to the fixed rate bond account.

The annual accounts of the Council were submitted to the Audit Commission after the usual internal auditor had scrutinised them. There were no adverse comments from either auditor.

After studying two quotations for the Council’s insurances, cover was obtained from a new insurance company, Zurich Municipal at a reduced cost.

The Council was registered with H. M. Customs and Excise for the purpose of administering P.A.Y.E on the Clerk’s salary. Due payments were forwarded as and when required.

A contract of employment for the Clerk was drawn up and agreed. This was duly signed. Also a revised copy of the Council’s Standing Orders was drawn up and agreed. The Council’s Risk Assessment policy was also reviewed.

Due to a proposed increase in the cost of room hire at the current venue, information was obtained on the cost of hiring the Longsdon Memorial Hall. After some discussion, however, it was agreed to remain at the current venue for the present.

The Council awarded the usual grants to Dunwood First Responders Group in the sum of £600 – 00, Longsdon Memorial Hall - £500 – 00 and paid the annual maintenance charge for St. Chad’s church clock.

A wreath was again purchased for the Remembrance Day service and the village tubs were again planted for the summer and winter periods. One tub was maintained by a private person. An additional tub was purchased and another re-sited.

Various suggestions were put forward to commemorate H. M. the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, including a beacon, support for a flower display and the purchase of a commemorative seat. These are being investigated.

The Council’s normal contractor was again employed under the lengthsman schemes of Staffs. County Council and Staffs. Moorlands District Council with an overspend on each.

It was agreed that it would be advantageous for the Council to have its own website in order to publicise the Council’s information. The web site has been set up and will be up and running in the very near future.

Continuing efforts were made to register the two bus shelters with the Land Registry but, due to the fact that they would need to be registered under Adverse Possession and the excessive costs involved under this system, it was agreed to leave the matter in abeyance.

The double white lines on the A53 adjacent to the Wheel public house were re-designed and installed under highways regulations. There was a request from Endon Parish Council for double white lines on the A53 to be extended near to the boundary between the parishes. A traffic survey confirmed that the current lines were within highway regulations but the Endon Council continues with the negotiations.

Enquiries were made regarding the “temporary” length restriction signs erected to try to prevent large vehicles using Park Lane to Cheddleton. A reply stated that the signs were an actual permanent fixture. It was agreed to contact Cheddleton Parish Council on the matter.

Footpath No 24 in Dunwood Lane was officially closed despite the efforts of the Council to maintain the path. An application for a Modification Order on the footpath known locally as the Cinderpath was supported.

Numerous planning applications were commented on with no objections but objections were submitted on aspect of proposals for the old New Inn site and a single storey Timber Garden Building in Leek Road.

Complaints regarding barns in Micklea Lane / Denford Road resulted in an enforcement order being issued by the planning authority. This was the subject of an appeal which was later dismissed. A further complaint regarding unauthorised use of a building in Sutherland Road is being investigated.

Some Councillors attended a Community Conversation event at Endon on the Local Development Framework.

Various items in connection with highways were duly reported to the highway authority and there was also a visit to the parish by the Highways Community Team.

A survey of litter bins was carried out by the Chairman and this showed sufficient coverage.

The wooden bus shelter, opposite the old New Inn, had been vandalised. It was agreed to approach Staffs. Moorlands District Council to facilitate the necessary repairs.

5. Any Other Business.

There was no business under this item.