CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL 144
Minutes of the Meeting of Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council held on Wednesday, 12th December 2007, in Churchill Village Hall.
PRESENT Cllr R J Whiston (Chairman)
Cllr Mrs S Cartwright
Cllr P A Dearden
Cllr T A Gardiner
Cllr J W Long
Cllr B A Pitt
Cllr Mrs V J Swindells
In attendance: R D Gurney, Clerk to the Parish Council
228/07 CHAIRMAN’S REMARKS
The Chairman welcomed Members and CSO Gemma Green to the meeting.
229/07 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
These were received and accepted from Cllr Charman and Cllr Mrs Hayward.
230/07 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Long declared a personal interest in Item 7(6) (minute no. 234/07(6)).
231/07 COMMUNITY POLICING
The Chairman invited CSO Gemma Green to speak. She reported that there are on-going investigations into the recent arson attacks on cars in the area, but there have not been any further incidents. She reminded the Council that at this time of the year there is often an increase in the number of burglaries and preventative action should be taken.
ADJOURNMENT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
(One member of the public was in attendance. Mr Lorton again reported the lamp outside 20 Belbroughton Road is still not working (the Clerk will report on this later); and a large caterpillar vehicle has been down Forge Lane near the Millennium Green, but no-one had any knowledge of its purpose, unless there is a problem with the sewerage system).
232/07 REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS
County Cllr Clee was not in attendance and there was no report.
233/07 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON
21st NOVEMBER 2007
It was agreed that amendments be made as follows:
Minute 211/07, line 5, after top 10 add “speeding hot spots.”
Minute 222/07, line 5, should read 7.30 pm.
Subject to these amendments it was proposed by Cllr Pitt, seconded by Cllr Dearden, and RESOLVED that the Minutes, being a true and accurate record of the proceedings of the meeting, be signed by the Chairman.
145 CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 12.12.07
234/07 PROGRESS REPORTS FOR INFORMATION
(1) Parish Web site. Malcolm Hall had submitted his apology, but he had informed the Clerk that there have been 2047 page loads this month, with 519 new visitors) including from Oslo and Beijing) and 241 returning visitors. He commented that he has investigated the use of forums, guest books, surveys and blogs on the Parish website and comments that all are possible and available to us; he is currently looking at trying to get the forum software working.
(2) Lengthsman/Handyman report. Mark Jones was not in attendance. He had told the Clerk that he continues to report fly tipping to WFDC and last week he had reported dead Canada Geese in a bin bag in Waggon Lane; this was dealt with by WFDC.
The Clerk reported that he had passed 3 new traffic to Mark Jones, but he had not been able to find an orange strobe light on the web. Cllr Dearden agreed to check out a company in Stafford and to inform the Clerk of the outcome.
(3) Land to the rear of 5 Mill Lane, Blakedown. The Clerk reported that he has contacted March and Edwards, the solicitors for the Diocese, and will arrange to visit early in the new year.
(4) Quality Parish Status. The Chairman and Clerk are discussing the format of a newsletter to be circulated with the Parish Plan consultation.
(5) Street light no 35, outside 20 Belbroughton Road. This was raised in the public forum. The Clerk reported that Eon had told him that the power supply had been re- connected and all that is required is a new bulb the Clerk has informed Prysmian of this.
(6) Post Office Working Group. Cllr Long had nothing to report.
(7) Blakedown Station maintenance. The Clerk had ascertained that Network Rail had assumed that the work, referred to in his August enquiry, had been completed. This has now been resurrected.
(8) Annual Parish Meeting arrangements. Cllr Gardiner confirmed that the School will be available and Cllr Mrs Swindells agreed to speak to Jim Brown regarding the update on the Blakedown Playground.
(9) Mobile Library Service in Blakedown and Churchill. The Clerk reported that this service, which operates from Bromsgrove Library, is in the Parish on the third Wednesday of each month, at Wheatmill Close, The Old House at Home car park, and by Churchill crossroads. The mobile library service is currently under review and is likely to change during 2008. It was agreed the Clerk arranges for these times and venues to be advertised in the parish magazine, on the web site and in the forthcoming newsletter. It was suggested that an invitation be sent for a representative to attend the Annual Meeting.
(10) Unauthorised work at the Swan Inn, Blakedown. The Clerk reported that the Enforcement Officer at WFDC had informed him that the DC was aware of the ongoing work taking place without the benefit of planning permission. A retrospective application has been requested for the new decking and the smoking shelter. The Clerk was also told that the new advertisements did not require consent and an appeal has been lodged against the decision to refuse consent to fell the yew tree.
235/07 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
(1) It was resolved that the comments on the following applications, as detailed, be sent to Wyre Forest DC.
CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 12.12.07 146
WF/07/1176 Erection of two storey side extension and front canopy extension,
53 Lynwood Drive, Blakedown
WF/07/1201 Erection of glazed link between house and garage, 1 Yarnold Cottages, Stakenbridge Lane, Churchill
WF/07/1207 Two storey extension, Railway Cottage, Birmingham Road, Kiddderminster
No objection. It is pleasing to note that work is being planned to renovate this cottage.
WF/07/1211 First floor extension over existing single storey, new entrance porch and replacement of flat roof with pitched roof to kitchen and store, Old School House, Stakenbridge Lane, Churchill
WF/07/1221 Erection of agricultural store and cattle rearing facility and use for the grazing and breeding of horses, Jubilee Field, off Birmingham Road, Blakedown
Objection to the proposal. The PC considers that the size and scale of the proposed building (phase 1 of a larger scheme!) is disproportionately large for the size of the holding and would be a dominant feature in the open landscape. It is also considered that the existing access is in a dangerous location on the busy A.456 and its further use will cause additional traffic problems.
WF/07/1230 Change of use from highway to garden land/residential curtilage, land at Fiveways Cottages, Sugar Loaf Lane, Ismere
WF/07/1237 Erection of extensions and alterations, Oaklands, Waggon Lane, Churchill
Objection as there is concern with the height of the proposed extension above the existing
Planning Decisions - for information
WF/07/0258 Use of land for a wooden chalet, Field 2, Glebe land, Churchill – APPEAL DISMISSED, 21.11.07
WF/07/0920 Fell Yew tree, Swan Inn, Birmingham Road, Blakedown - REFUSED
WF/07/0940 Extension to chimney, Three Crowns Cottage, Stourbridge Road, Ismere – LBC GRANTED
WF/07/0942 Change of use of pool for commercial fishery, including parking and access, Stakenbridge Farm, Stakenbridge Lane, Churchill – REFUSED
147 CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 12.12.07
WF/07/0995 Conservatory, 12 Sculthorpe Road, Blakedown – GRANTED
WF/07/0998 Extensions and alterations, Baytree House, Stakenbridge Lane, Churchill – GRANTED
WF/07/1018 Thin sycamore tree, r/o 33 Lynwood Drive, Blakedown - GRANTED
236/07 FINANCIAL MATTERS/GRANTS
(1) Distribution of the Flooding - Community Support Grant.
(2) Grant request, Churchill Church.
The Chairman suggested that these two matters be considered together as the Clerk had received a cheque for £750 for the flooding relief. The letter from the Treasurer of Churchill PCC was enclosed with the agenda. After some discussion it was proposed by Cllr Pitt, seconded by Cllr Gardiner, and agreed that a grant of £400 be given to the Sports and Recreation Committee, following the request in October, which the Parish Council felt unable to meet in full at that time.
The Clerk was asked to respond to the PCC, pointing out the current churchyard maintenance grant and asking for a detailed breakdown of the additional grass cutting costs.
(1) The Clerk reported that the current account today stands at £1,077.10p and the Instant Access account stands at £7,431.29p, giving a total credit balance of £8,508.39p.
(2) It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Swindells, seconded by Cllr Gardiner, and resolved that the following accounts be approved for payment:
Staples UK Ltd, photocopying, stamps - November
£24.69 + £3.66 VAT £ 28.35
Blakedown Parish Rooms (August, September, November) £ 42.00
V Rudge (grass & hedge cutting,
September, October, November) £255.00
Mark Jones - handyman £245.00
- lengthsman £125.00
Churchill and Blakedown Sports and Recreation Committee £400.00
238/07 BUDGET FOR 2008/2009
The draft budget for the next financial year was enclosed with the agenda the Clerk commented that WFDC does not require the Precept until early in February. The Clerk also reported that on some items - administration, insurance, elections, street lighting - the costs are mainly outside the PC’s control. Other items - handyman, subscriptions, training - could be pared, but would probably not be acceptable. The only item which is entirely in the PC’s control is the giving of grants. Concern was raised over fall in the end of year balances since 2006, due to the employment of Mark Jones as the handyman and the increased level of support for projects in the Parish. After discussion it was proposed by Cllr Dearden, seconded by Cllr Pitt, and agreed that the Precept for 2008/2009 be based on the budget figure of £18,000. The Clerk was asked to include a note in the newsletter, emphasising the future plans for the Parish Council.
CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 12.12.07 148
239/07 CHURCHILL CROSSROADS/HIGHWAY MATTERS
The Clerk informed members that the locally determined fund of £1,000, made available by County Cllr Clee, is to be spent through the lengthsman scheme and this sum has already been added to the lengthsman’s budget at WCC. The Clerk had spoken to Mark Jones of this arrangement and he is pleased to undertake more highway work and less village work until April. It was suggested that, with this money available, Mark Jones should work wholly on lengthsman’s work and the Clerk will discuss this with him. Members asked that the Clerk invoice WCC now for the full amount. As no work has started to reduce the width of the carriageway at the crossroads, it was agreed that WCC be asked to erect 7 ton weight limit signs at either end of Stakenbridge Lane/Rocky Lane and “Narrow Lane” signs in Churchill Lane, Blakedown (near Mill Lane) and in Crown Lane.
240/07 MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS TO RIGHTS OF WAY
A letter from Phil Coulson, NW Area Countryside Access Officer, was circulated with the agenda, asking for views on the priority for work on the rights of way in the Parish. Cllr Dearden agreed to receive comments from Members to pass on to WCC. It was noted that there has been a successful lottery bid by Sustrans for improvement to public paths, etc.
241/07 ACCESS TO THE SHOPPERS CAR PARK
Cllr Mrs Swindells circulated plans showing improvements to the access off A.456. It was agreed that Plan C should be supported, with some additional signage; this was the lowest cost option, but it would be safer than at present and represent good value. It was agreed that the Clerk approached WFDC in the first instance, for advice on implementing the scheme.
Following comments at the previous meeting the Clerk was asked to seek advice from CALC regarding a suitable sign in the car park, to deter overnight parking by non residents.
242/07 POSSIBLE MANAGEMENT OPTIONS FOR THE SHOPPERS CAR PARK
Members expressed concern at the poor standard of maintenance and management of the car park and asked the Clerk to enquire with WFDC whether the Parish Council could have an agency arrangement to take over the running of the car park. There is need to find out what is involved and how much this would cost.
243/07 PARISH PLAN WORKING GROUP
The Group has been updating the Survey consultation and it is hoped that this will be circulated early in January.
244/07 CAR PARKING AT THE PARISH ROOMS
It was reported that the Parish Rooms Trustees do allow concessionary parking in their driveway to the residents of Belbroughton Road who have yellow lines in front of their properties; these were laid down when the access was provided to the Parish Rooms.
245/07 ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE CLERK’S SALARY
(The Clerk left the room during the discussion of this item, during which notes were taken by the Chairman).
Following discussion it was resolved that the Clerk progresses to SCP 22, and this would
149 CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 12.12.07
be backdated to 1st April 2007, as set out in the National Salary Award for Local Council Clerks.
246/07 ITEMS FROM CALC
The November 2007 MAIL was enclosed with the agenda.
247/07 CORRESPONDENCE (for noting)
(1) WCC – Report on the 2nd Consultation Exercise of SEN Provision in Wyre Forest
(2) Magazines, including Worcestershire Warden; Community First “Newsline”
(3) Register of Electors for 2008
248/07 ITEMS OR PARISH INTEREST/ITEMS FOR NEXT AGENDA
1. To consider the implications of the approval of Plan no. WF/07/1126, change of use of shop to A2 office use, 39B Birmingham Road, Blakedown
249/07 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
This is scheduled for Wednesday, 16th January 2008, in Blakedown Parish Rooms.
The meeting closed at 10.20 pm.
Dated this 16th day of January 2008 ………………………………............