Minutes of Meeting held in the upstairs room of The Wheel on Thursday 25th. January 2018.

Present: Councillor J. Sargeant (Chair).

Councillors T. Beastall, R. Lovell, D. Sargeant, K. Shaw & S. R. Weston.

District Councillor N. Hawkins.

In Attendance: John Bourne, Clerk to the Council.

68/17. Apologies for Absence.

There were no apologies for absence.

69/17. Declarations of Interest.

There were no declarations of interest at this point.

70/17. Chairman’s Address.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and wished all Councillors Happy New Year.

71/17. Public Comments.

District Councillor Hawkins gave a brief report on the dates of the next stage of the Local Plan. There had been no more meetings at Staffs. Moorlands District Council but one had been arranged for 7th. February 2018.

72/17. Minutes of Last Meeting.

The minutes of the meeting held on 30th. November 2017 had been circulated. After Councillor Taylor’s name had been removed from the list of those present at the meeting, it was agreed that they be signed as a true and correct record.

73/17. Matters Arising.

Enquiries had been made regarding the complaint from a resident in Gratton Lane. She had reported the matter to Staffs. County Council but the complaint was given a Category 3 rating which meant the matter would be dealt with within 60 days. The resident had been informed of this time restraint.

A report was given on the damage to the defibrillator cabinet front panel at the Memorial Hall. The manufacturers had been contacted but, due to the excessive cost, the panel had been obtained from a local source and had now been fitted. The lock on the cabinet was not really serviceable and, after consultation with the Ambulance Service who had no objection, it was agreed that the cabinet be left unlocked as were others in the district.

An email had been received from Councillor Clive Taylor offering his resignation from the Council due to him moving away from the area. This was reluctantly accepted. After discussions with the Chairman, the Electoral Office of Staffs. Moorlands had already been informed and the necessary procedure for a replacement put in place. The Parish Council had now been informed that a replacement Councillor could be co-opted. Notices had been displayed on the notice boards. This action was sanctioned.

It was agreed that a letter of thanks for his service to the Council should be sent to Mr. Taylor.

As Councillor Taylor had been elected as Vice Chairman of the Council it was agreed that Councillor Lovell should now be elected to the post.

The question of the legal ownership of the Memorial Hall was again discussed. A Management Committee representative had been contacted who had stated that the original deeds to the land were to hand. A list of the present Trustees, which required updating was produced to the meeting. Councillor Lovell, the Council’s representative on the Management Committee, offered to bring the matter up at its next meeting.

The Clerk reported that the Highways Superintendant of Staffs. County Council had reported that the “Longsdon” village sign near to the Leek boundary had fallen over due to the supporting post rotting and it had been removed to the local highways depot. It was agreed to obtain a quotation from a local tradesman for the sign to be attached to a new wooden post and enquiries be made with the County Council regarding fixing requirements and cost.

The road issues from the last meeting had been reported to Staffs. County Council and the fly tipping in Devils Lane had been reported and removed by Staffs. Moorlands District Council.

74/17. Correspondence.

Information had been received from Staffs. County Council about proposals for changes to the Managed & Delivered Libraries and the Mobile & Travelling Library Service. More community involvement was suggested but the County Council was launching a 12 week consultation period which will end on 1st. April 2018.

Other information received was:

further invitation to enter Best Kept Village Competition 2018 had been received - no action.

need for volunteers for the Samaritans in Leek – posted on notice boards..

Clerks & Councils Direct – January 18 issue.

75/17. Planning Matters.

A report was given of excavations of soil and replacement with hardcore in a field adjacent to the old New Inn site. It was agreed to monitor this operation.

The following planning applications had been distributed to Councillors, due to the time frame, and it had been agreed to forward no objections to:

SMD/2017/0811 Variation of Section 106 Agreement dated 15th. June 1994 at Lyme House, School Lane.

Councillors had also agreed, by a MAJORITY decision, to OBJECT to the following planning application:

SMD/2017/783 Re-submission of SMD/2016/0647 Amended Outline Planning Permission, with some matters reserved for the Erection of a Single Dwelling with Integral Garage at Ridgeway House, Leek Road on the grounds that an additional property on the site could increase the risk of flooding which had recently happened to a neighbouring property. The application states that surface water would go to the watercourse but also states that there is a watercourse within 20 metres of the site which is incorrect.

Councillors had also agreed, with one abstention, to OBJECT to the following planning application:

SMD/2017/0785 Outline Application, with some matters reserved, for the Erection of a Single Dwelling & Double Garage at High View, Micklea Lane on the grounds that the site is in the Green Belt without any Special Circumstances and the site is not an infill plot.

76/17. Finance Matters.

After further forms for change of signature had been submitted to Leek United Building Society, the new One Year Member Only Fixed Rate Fixed Term Bond had been set up with the £1,000 – 00 addition.

Further information had been received that Mazars LLP, Auditors, would need to be notified that Longsdon Parish Council is an Exempt Authority for Local Audit after the annual accounts had been completed.

A review of the Clerk’s salary then took place and it was agreed to increase the salary by £50 - 00 per annum.

A quarterly account update was distributed to all Councillors.

The Clerk / Financial Officer produced estimates for final Income and Expenditure and end of year balances for the current year and estimated Income & Expenditure for 2018 / 2019.

After studying the figures, it was agreed that the Precept Requirement for 2018 / 2019 be £4,485- 60 which would result in the Band D property charge remaining unchanged at £16 – 02.

Information had been received that the Council would need to appoint a Data Protection Officer from May 2018. However, further information on the matter would be collated.

77/17. Orders for Payment.

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

Recipient Amount Reason
The Wheel. £25.00 Room Hire.
A. Bridgwood. £144.50 Agency Work.
John Bourne. £345.33 Clerk’s Salary & Expenses.
H. M. Revenue & Customs. £53.60 P. A. Y. E.

78/17. Public Comment.

There was no business under this item.

79/17. Any Other Business.

Councillor Lovell, the Council’s representative on the Memorial Hall Management Committee gave a brief report on events at the venue. He said that the Committee wished that the annual events which took place there should continue but that more publicity would help. He suggested that the Council’s website and notice boards could be used for this purpose and would show the Council’s support for the Hall.

80/17. Date of Next Meeting.

The next meeting of the Council will be held at 7 - 00p.m. on Thursday 8th. March 2018 in the upstairs room of The Wheel public house, Leek Road, Longsdon.

The provisional date for the Annual Parish Meeting, and the Annual General Meeting of the Council was set for Thursday 3rd. May 2018.