Minutes of Meeting held Thursday 14th January 2021 Remotely via Zoom.


Meeting Details


Councillor J. Sargeant (Chair).
Councillors T. Beastall, B. Bromley, C. Hawthorne, R. Lovell. D. Sargeant & K. Shaw.


In Attendance:

John Bourne, Clerk to the Council


34/20 Apologies for Absence.

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

35/20 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest at this point.

36/20 Chairman’s Address.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed New Year greetings hoping that this year would be better than 2020 under the Covid restrictions.

He gave a quick update regarding the Council’s website status. He pointed out that the last two years Governance Statements have been made compliant with screen reader software but there is still some work in progress.

37/20 Public Comments.

There was no business under this item.

38/20 Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting.

The minutes of the virtual meeting held on 26th. November 2020 had been circulated and it was agreed that they be signed as a true and correct record.

39/20 Matters Arising.

(a) Demolished Bus Shelter.

An update on the correspondence with County Councillor G. Heath had been distributed to Councillors. There appeared to be no financial assistance for a replacement available from Staffs. County Council. It was agreed to purchase and erect a similar shelter to the last one which the Council had purchased on condition that the project would be within a similar price as the last one.

(b) The Old New Inn.

Karen Bradley M.P. had been contacted about the state of the Old New Inn site. She had forwarded the reply which she had received from the Head of Planning & Development of Staffs. Moorlands District Council which reiterated the answers which the Parish Council had already received. However, a report was contained in the responses to the M.P. that the owners were instructing its representatives to submit alternative schemes for the site. The Chairman reported that, at a recent meeting of the Moorlands Parish Assembly, the Chairman of the Moorlands Council Planning Committee encouraged Parish Councils to give their views on future developments. With this in mind it was agreed to contact the Head of Planning at Staffs. Moorlands District Council to give the Parish Council’s view that there would be no objections to the demolition of the New Inn building which would greatly enhance highway visibility at the adjacent junction and there would be no issues with possibly four affordable dwellings being constructed on the site.

(c) Planting of the Village Tubs.

Proctor’s Nursery had been contacted about the unsatisfactory state of the planting this year. A suggestion had been put forward that a group of Councillors etc could carry out future planting of the tubs but the Chairman pointed out the need to undertake a Risk Assessment and also problems with insurance cover for the participants. It was agreed to approach the Council’s lengthsman to see whether he would / could undertake the work.

(d) Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

It was reported that a letter of thanks had been received from the Hospice for the Council’s £100 grant.

(e) Tree in Sutherland Road.

The request for the reducing the height of a tree in Sutherland Road had been reported to the Tree Officer of Staffs. Moorlands District Council but no reply had yet been received. It was agreed to write to him again.

(f) Highway Complaints.

Two replies had just been received from three highway complaints which were reported in the middle of October 2020. They stated that the areas involved were inspected on a monthly basis but this was strange as it had taken three months for a reply. It was agreed to write to question this anomaly.

40/20 Other Business.

A discussion took place on arrangements for future Remembrance Sunday activities. Among the suggestions to be investigated were the possibility of more wreaths being laid and to obtain some large poppies for roadside display etc etc to show more recognition of the occasion.

41/20 Correspondence.

A Road Closure Notice had been received for a short closure of Sutherland Road during January 2021 and this had been forwarded to Councillors and published on the notice boards.

42/20 Planning.

There was no business under this item.

43/20. Finance Matters.

(a) For Report.

A copy of the Council’s Account Update had been distributed to Councillors.

Councillor Hawthorne and the Clerk had visited the Council’s T.S.B. to sign and verify their signatures for the Mandate but the Bank now required further information. This item to be discussed again on the next meeting’s agenda. 

(b) Estimates for the Year 2021 / 2022 to Determine the Precept Requirement.

The Clerk had prepared estimates for the end of year balance and the requirements for next year and these had been distributed to Councillors with the suggestion that the precept remain unchanged at £5,000.00.

Questions were asked about the large balance in the accounts but it was explained that the earlier agreed purchase of a replacement bus shelter, possible refurbishment of the village benches and replacement village flower tubs would soon reduce the balances. It was also suggested that if the new bus shelter’s estimate was not totally used a further flower tub be sited in Denford Road.

Grants to village organisations were discussed. It was reported that Dunwood First Responders did not require assistance at the moment. The question of grants would be on the agenda for the next meeting.

A mention was also made of why St. Chad’s Church clock was not working as the Parish Council had always paid for the annual maintenance. Enquiries to be made.

The Clerk’s salary was discussed and it was proposed to increase this by £50.00 per annum but an amendment was made that it be increased by £100.00 per annum and this was agreed.

After perusing the estimates it was agreed that the sum £5,000.00 be applied for as the precept – the same as last year.

(c) Orders for Payment.

It was agreed that the following items be paid:

 Recipient Amount  Reason
 John Sargeant (Chair).   £5.99  Paid to Ionos for Website.
  £28.78  Paid to Zoom – Two Monthly Charges.
 J. A. Gibson.    £140.00  Agency Work.
 John Bourne.   £329.28 Clerk’s Salary & Expenses – Nett
 H. M. Revenue & Customs.     £70.00  P. A. Y. E


44/20 Public Comments.

There was no business under this item.

45/20 Items for Inclusion in the Agenda for the Next Meeting.

There were no further items mentioned apart from the ones detailed earlier.

46/20 Date of Next Meeting.

The date of the next meeting was arranged for Thursday 11th. March 2021 at 7.00pm virtually hosted by Zoom..