CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL 82

Minutes of the Meeting of Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council held on Wednesday, 13th December 2006, in the Village Hall, Churchill.

PRESENT Cllr R J Whiston (Chairman)

Cllr A J Cairns

Cllr P A Dearden (until Minute no. 214/06)

Cllr Mrs P V Hayward

Cllr J W Long

Cllr B A Pitt

Cllr Mrs V J Swindells (from Minute no. 211/06)

In attendance: R D Gurney, Clerk to the Parish Council

206/06 CHAIRMAN’S REMARKS

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and informed Members that, on behalf of the Parish Council, he had attended the Area meeting of CALC, the Wyre Forest DC Carol Service and the meeting of Parish and Town Council Chairmen at Wyre Forest DC.

207/06 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

These were received and accepted from Cllr Mrs Scott.

208/06 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

The Chairman asked the Clerk to remind councillors of the interests which must be declared by Members. The Clerk explained “personal interests” and at what stage they become prejudicial. If a personal interest is declared the Member is able to stay at the meeting, contribute to discussions and vote. When an interest is personal and prejudicial the Member must leave the room for that agenda item, and this must be minuted. Cllr Long declared personal interests in Items 16 and 17 (Minute nos. 213/06 and 222/06).

209/06 COMMUNITY POLICING

No one was in attendance and there was no report.

210/06 CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLOR

The Clerk formally reported that one application had been received for the vacancy, from Mrs V J Swindells: this was circulated to members with the agenda. As agreed at the previous meeting a secret ballot was held, the result of which was that Mrs Swindells was elected. Mrs Swindells signed the Acceptance of Office and took her place in the meeting.

ADJOURNMENT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

(One member of the public - Glyn Roe - was in attendance. As representative of the sub Postmaster in Blakedown he thanked all those who support this local amenity. With the current threats to post offices, particularly in the rural areas, this support is even more important and he emphasised that closure of the post office would be a threat to the survival of the shop).

211/06 ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

There were no nominations and it was agreed that this item be left on the agenda.

83 CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 13.12.06

212/06 REPORT FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR

County Cllr Clee was not in attendance and there was no report.

213/06 SUGGESTED OF CLOSURE OF RURAL POST OFFICES

In view of the comments made during the open session the Chairman agreed to bring this item (no. 16) forward for discussion, which was highlighted by the campaign of the Countryside Alliance, a copy of whose letter was enclosed with the agenda. Whilst supporting the aim of the campaign Members did not wish to become part of the Alliance, which is now seen as a political organisation. The need to retain the Post Office was highlighted in 2003, when there was a planning application for a change of use of the post office/shop to a restaurant. This was supported by WFDC at that time.

Whatever is contained in the Government announcement expected on 14th December the Parish Council hoped that WFDC would continue to support the Post Office in Blakedown and the Clerk was asked to write to Mr Delin (Chief Executive) with the case for supporting, requesting that WFDC confirms its support. A similar letter is to be sent to Jim Fitzpatrick, MP, Post Office Minister, with a copy to Dr Richard Taylor, MP.

214/06 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON

15th NOVEMBER 2006

With the substitution of the word “a” for “as” in the first line of Minute no. 193/06 and for line 4 of Minute no. 200/06 to read “suggest any” it was proposed by Cllr Pitt, seconded by Cllr Long, and RESOLVED that the Minutes, being a true and accurate record of the proceedings of the meeting, be signed by the Chairman.

215/06 PROGRESS REPORTS FOR INFORMATION

(1) Parish Web site. Malcolm Hall was unable to attend. He had informed the Clerk that he has given the front page of the website a festive air and that, during the last month, there 643 unique visitors, 424 first time visitors and 219 returning visitors. New hits had come from Estonia, India, California and Israel.

(2) Lengthsman report. The Clerk reported that, following advice from WCC, lifting irons had been purchased and been handed over to Mark Jones. The Clerk was asked to seek reimbursement from WCC. The recent spate of fly tipping, particularly in Crown Lane, has been reported to WFDC. The Clerk reported that WCC is monitoring the drains along Belbroughton Road. The Clerk was asked to find out what the Highways Agency or Amey Mouchel is intending to do with the blocked drains along the A.456.

(3) Stream Course, adj. Churchill Lane. The Clerk has not received a reply from the Environment Agency.

(4) Display of Definitive Rights of Way Map. The Clerk confirmed that the parish Room Committee has agreed for the Rights of Way Map to be affixed to the wall in the small committee room, and for the display screen to be fixed to the ceiling. Cllr Dearden’s offer to fix these was accepted and the Map and screen were passed to him.

(5) Maintenance at the Shoppers Car Park. The Clerk has been unable to make contact with the relevant officer regarding the maintenance of the area surrounding the car park. and Cllr Mrs Hayward will make enquiries. This is to be included as an agenda item at the next meeting. There was nothing to report on the pedestrian/traffic conflict at the access to the car park.

(6) Parish Council Minutes. The Clerk confirmed that the Minutes from December 1995 to April 2004 have been deposited with the County Records Office.

CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 13.12.06 84

(7) Speaker at the Annual Parish Meeting. The Clerk confirmed that Nigel Tolley, the Chairman of SLUG, is wiling to speak at this meeting. The Clerk was asked to find out about a speaker from the Norman Dawson Trust.

216/06 PLANNING APPLICATIONS

(1) It was resolved that the comments on the following applications, as detailed, be sent to Wyre Forest DC. (Cllr Mrs Swindells declared a personal interest in application no. WF/06/1108(revised)).

Applications received

WF/06/1108(revised) Two storey and single storey extensions, front porch, parking area with new vehicular access (demolition of conservatory and single

storey extension), 4 Mill Lane, Blakedown

No objection

WF/06/1135 Various work to 9 trees, 7 Wannerton Road, Blakedown

No objection

WF/06/1146 Single storey rear extension and replacement of flat roof with pitched roof, 7 Forge Lane, Blakedown

No objection

WF/06/1182 Prune 2 oak trees at front, Woodlands, Waggon Lane, Churchill

No objection

Planning Decisions (for information)

WF/06/0947 Pergola, Mill Meadow House, Mill Lane, Blakedown - GRANTED

WF06/1009 Asset renewal, Blakedown Sewage Treatment Works - GRANTED

Park Hall (Enforcement appeals). Appeals at Dairy Cottage and Activity Barn

allowed and Notices quashed. Other appeals were allowed to a minor

extent and Notices upheld with amendment.

It was agreed that a further detailed report of the Park Hall decision be included on the next agenda.

217/06 REPORT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR

The Clerk reported that Clement Keys, the External Auditors, have given an unqualified audit opinion on the Annual Return for 2005-2006. Comments raised in an earlier letter relating to an adjustment of the figures was reported. The Clerk confirmed that the closure of audit notice is currently on display for two weeks on the notice board in Churchill.

218/06 FINANCE

(1) The Clerk reported that the current account now stands at £3,458.74p in credit and the Instant Access account stands at £6,614.60p, giving a total balance of £10,073.34p.

(2) The Receipts and Payments Account for 06.10.06 - 06.11.06 was received.

85 CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 13.12.06

(3) It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Hayward, seconded by Cllr Mrs Swindells, and resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment:

Staples UK Ltd, photocopying, stamps, stationery - November

£22.87 + £2.67 VAT (3 invoices) £ 25.54

Blakedown Parish Room Committee - room hire (7 meetings),

March - October £ 98.00

V Rudge, grass cutting at play area (Oct/Nov) £ 85.00

Arthur Trow, grass cutting at war memorial £100.00

Society of Local Council Clerks - subscription for 2007 £ 85.00

Clement Keys £120.00 + £21.00 VAT £141.00

R D Gurney, reimbursement for lifting irons

£24.53 + £4.30 VAT £ 28.83

Mark Jones, handyman (£325) and lengthsman (£160) £485.00

£1,048.37

219/06 LITTER PICKING ARRANGEMENTS

The Clerk reported on the arrangements for Mark Jones to start the litter picking duties on behalf of WFDC at the beginning of January. The Parish Room Committee had agreed that the wheelie bin for the litter collection can be kept at the Parish Rooms and this is acceptable to WFDC. The Clerk will submit an invoice to WFDC in January for the £100 payment for January-March 2007. A copy of the agreement between WFDC and Churchill and Blakedown was enclosed with the agenda; several comments were made and the Clerk will clarify these with the solicitor at WFDC and report to the next meeting for signing.

220/06 HIGHWAY MATTERS, INCLUDING CHURCHILL CROSSROADS

The Clerk has not received a reply from WCC. Members expressed concern at the continued traffic levels along Stakenbridge Lane, particularly at the bend under the railway bridge. It is hoped that Network Rail may be an ally in reducing traffic along this route and the Clerk was asked to find out from Network Rail the number of incidents reported to them when lorries have made contact with the bridge.

The Clerk informed the Council that the County Council has introduced an online method of registering complaints regarding highway maintenance and he had reported the poor drainage in Belbroughton Road by this method; it is possible to follow progress, although there have been some problems with this. It is suggested that the details should be put on to the web site.

221/06 REVOCATION OF KIDDERMINSTER/BLAKEDOWN/HAGLEY BYPASS

The Highways Agency has informed the Clerk that this road scheme has now been abandoned. (This was proposed some months ago, it was subject to an objection from WCC, but this has now been withdrawn). Members noted that the A.456 is still a lorry route and this will presumably remain until it is re-routed. The Clerk was asked for this to be included on the website.

222/06 TREES IN THE AVENUE, BLAKEDOWN

Cllr Long reported that he and some neighbours had received letters regarding refuse collection in the area and, particularly, the unsuitability of The Avenue for refuse vehicles, because of the unevenness, narrowness and overgrowing trees. The Clerk reminded the

CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 13.12.06 86

Council that the ownership of The Avenue is not known and, therefore, there is no single authority or person liable for work along its length. Work by Mark Jones on behalf of the Parish Council by way of litter picking and removal of brushwood from the base of the trees has been done in the public interest and does not confer liability on the PC. As the trees are covered by a TPO it was agreed that the Clerk writes to the solicitor for WFDC asking what action that Council could take regarding necessary work on these trees. The Clerk was also asked to find out from WCC whether it is possible, or desirable, for The Avenue to be designated as a public footpath with vehicle access.

223/06 ANNUAL INSPECTION OF THE BLAKEDOWN PLAYGROUND

It was agreed that the Parish Council arranges for the annual inspection of the playground and to pay for this, providing the cost does not exceed £100 excluding VAT. The Clerk was asked to keep Jim Brown informed of this action.

224/06 CORRESPONDENCE FROM CALC

The MAIL was enclosed with the agenda. The Clerk reported that there is to be no change in the method of calculating the subscriptions for next year.

225/06 CORRESPONDENCE (for noting)

(1) WFDC - notification of Team Co-ordinator for 2007 Parish Games

(2) WFDC - requirement for precept by 12th February 2007

(3) WFDC - Register of Electors for 2007

(4) WFDC - notice of bylaw for registration of businesses of cosmetic body piercing

(5) WCC - notice of public consultation of Regional Spatial Strategy (from Jan. 2007)

(6) WCC - consultation document, Special Education Needs in Wyre Forest

(7) Kinver PC agenda and minutes

(8) Magazines - CPRE newsletters; SMP playground equipment; WCC Children's

and Young Peoples Plan

(9) West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy - invitation to workshop, 17.01.07 (no-one able to attend as this coincides with the next PC meeting)

(10) Newswyre

226/06 ITEMS OR PARISH INTEREST/ITEMS FOR NEXT AGENDA

1. Horse warning signs have been erected along Bissell Lane as this has become a rat run

2. Parish Council budget and precept for 2007-2008

227/06 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

This will be held on 17th January 2007, in Blakedown Parish Room.

The meeting closed at 9.55 pm.

 

 

Dated this 17th day of January 2007 ………………………………............

Chairman