Minutes of Meeting held in the upstairs room of The Wheel on Thursday 3rd. May 2018.

Present: Councillor J. Sargeant (Chair).

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

In Attendance: District Councillor N. Hawkins.

John Bourne, Clerk to the Council.

Three members of the public.

1/18. Apologies for Absence.

There were no apologies for absence.

2/18. Declarations of Interest.

There were no declarations of interest at this point.

3/18. Chairman’s Address.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

4/18. Public Comments.

District Councillor Hawkins gave details of the ongoing situation with the Local Plan, the meeting at Staffs. Moorlands being held this evening on the Data Protection Act, proposed boundary changes for Parliamentary elections and also discussions on the large costs of elections imposed on Parish Councils.

Two members of the public gave details of their objections to a planning application for the erection of a single dwelling on land adjacent to Prospect House Farm, Sutherland Road, Longsdon. The Chairman thanked them for the input and informed them that the application would be discussed later in the meeting.

Another member of the public asked whether Longsdon could commence the procedure to adopt a Neighbourhood Plan. It was explained that this was a lengthy and costly process and, in any case, the whole of the village was classed as green belt.

5/18. Minutes of Last Meeting.

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th. March 2018 had been circulated and it was agreed that they be signed as a true and correct record.

6/18. Matters Arising.

The Electoral Office of Staffs. Moorlands District Council had been informed of the co-option of Beverley Bromley onto the Council and her details had been sent in.

The repairs to renew the support post to the “Longsdon” village sign previously situated near to the Leek boundary were still ongoing.

A letter had been sent to the owner of the land where the reported dangerous situation with a damaged / missing fence in Micklea Lane, opposite the entrance to Sandy Lane, and the fence had immediately been replaced. It was agreed to send a letter of thanks for the prompt attention to the matter.

Further mention was made of the dangerous situation with the state of the old New Inn building. It was agreed to write to Staffs. Moorlands District Council’s Building Control Department pointing out the dangers.

7/18. Correspondence.

Information received included:

Availability of grant aid from Staffs. Moorlands District Council for help to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

2018 National Rural Crime Survey from Staffs. Police Commissioner’s Office until 10th. June 2018 – posted on notice boards.

Results of Rights of Way Survey from Staffs. County Council Request to recycle used postage stamps for UK AIR Ambulance Service – posted on notice board.

Message from the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police.

Message from “Beat the Cold” re support for off-gas properties.

8/18. Planning Matters.

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

SMD/2018/0145 Proposed New Detached Dwelling on land adjacent to High View, Sutherland Road, Longsdon.

Councillor Shaw had not been consulted on this application as he had a pecuniary interest in the matter and therefore took no part in the deliberations.

Mark Trillo, the Standards Officer at Staffs. Moorlands District Council had been consulted on the matter as the application had been submitted by a fellow Parish Councillor.

The following planning application was considered:

SMD/2018/0231 Outline Permission for Erection of Single Dwelling & Garage, including access and layout.

with all other matters reserved on land at Prospect House Farm, Sutherland Road, Longsdon.

It was agreed to OBJECT to this application on the grounds that the site is NOT an infill site and is IN the Green Belt with no exceptional circumstances for approval.

9/18. The Data Protection Regulation.

The Chairman reported that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the EU is due to come into force on 25th. May 2018. In the UK a third version of the Data Protection Bill is being used to determine how GDPR is to be applied here.

As it stands there is a requirement for all public authorities, including parish meetings and parish councils to appoint a Data Protection Officer, a post demanding a certain level of training and expertise.

Some organisations offer the services of a DPO on an as needed basis and while fees vary an annual cost of around £350 – 00 seems common.

Very recently the Government has tabled an amendment to its own Data Protection Bill to exempt all parish and town councils and parish meetings in England from the requirement to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If agreed by the House of Lords and the House of Commons then it seems common sense will prevail.

This Council does not keep any personal information that would be considered a filing system. The Data Protection Act defines a Filing System as any structured set of personal data which is accessible according to strict criteria, whether held by automated means or manually and whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis.

The key is in the data being “Structured” and ours is not.

While other measures from the GDPR regarding safeguarding of information will still apply to us we will need to be seen to be doing the right thing. He was hopeful that we will not incur the unreasonable cost of a Data Protection Officer.

He suggested that we wait to see the outcome of the government’s amendment before deciding any specific course of action.

He thanked the Clerk for keeping the Council informed about the GDPR’s progress, the new proposed amendment and how it might affect our Council.

10/18. Finance Matters.

Two half yearly payment for the Staffs. Moorlands District Council’s lengthsman scheme had been applied for and payments received.

Insurance premium renewal notice for 1st. June 2018 had been received from Zurich Municipal in the sum of £328 – 22. As this figure was only very slightly more than last years’ premium no other quotation was requested. It was agreed that this premium be paid.

A copy of the unaudited account for the last financial year was distributed to Councillors. It was agreed that the usual internal auditor be employed to audit the accounts.

Under the new system, as the Council’s turnover was less than £25,000 – 00, the Council could claim exemption from an external audit. It was agreed that this exemption be certified and the necessary form was duly signed the Responsible Financial Officer and the Chairman and would be forwarded to the external audit firm.


11/18. Orders for Payment.

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

Recipient Amount Reason
The Wheel. £25.00 Room Hire.
A. Bridgwood. £131.75 Agency Work.
Smith of Derby. £264.00 Maintenance of St. Chad’s Church Clock.
Zurich Municipal. £328.22 Insurance Premium.
John Bourne.   Clerk's Salary
John Bourne. £82.64 Clerk’s Expenses.
H.M. Revenue & Customs. £58.00 P.A.Y.E.

12/18. Public Comment.

There was no business under this item.

13/18. Any Other Business.

It was agreed to employ Proctor’s Nursery to replant the flower tubs around the village together with replacing the remainder of the tubs not replaced last year.

The following items were outlined for attention:

Excessive litter in Dunwood Lane. ) to be reported Benches in Sutherland Road and Micklea Lane. ) to the Blocked gully grating in Sutherland Road / Micklea Lane. ) lengthsman.

Pot hole in Micklea Lane. ) to be reported to Disintegrating footpath surface in Leek Road. ) the County Council.

Dangerous state of bus shelter opp. the old New Inn - to be reported to Staffs. Moorlands D.C.

14/18. Date of Next Meeting.

The date of the next meeting of the Council was arranged for Thursday 28th. June 2018 at 7 – 00p.m. in the upstairs room of The Wheel public house, Leek Road, Longsdon.