CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL 168


Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Churchill and Blakedown Parish Council held on Wednesday, 21st May 2008, in Blakedown Parish Rooms.


PRESENT Cllr R J Whiston (Chairman)

Cllr Mrs S Cartwright

Cllr S D Charman

Cllr P A Dearden

Cllr T A Gardiner

Cllr Mrs P V Hayward

Cllr J W Long

Cllr B A Pitt

Cllr Mrs V J Swindells

In attendance: PC Phil Green

R D Gurney, Clerk to the Parish Council


67/08 CHAIRMANS REMARKS

The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting. He thanked all the Parish Councillors for their support over the last 12 months. He had enjoyed the debates, the positive thinking and working with such a constructive group of councillors.

The Chairman reported that he had attended the last event of the Parish Games, which was followed by the presentation, which, for the third successive year, was won by Churchill and Blakedown.


68/08 ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

Cllr R J Whiston was proposed by Cllr Dearden and seconded by Cllr Gardiner. There were no other nominations and Cllr Whiston was elected Chairman for the coming year.


69/08 SIGNING OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE

Cllr Whiston signed the Acceptance of Office.


70/08 ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN

Cllr Dearden was proposed by Cllr Pitt and seconded by Cllr Mrs Swindells. There were no other nominations and Cllr Dearden was elected Vice Chairman for the coming year.


71/08 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

None.


72/08 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Long declared a personal interest in Item 15(4), minute no. 81/08(4).


73/08 COMMUNITY POLICING

PC Phil Green was in attendance and gave an apology from PC Sarah Brooks and CSO Karen Lloyd. He reported that there had been two burglaries in Blakedown and Churchill, involving cars and laptops. It is thought that these could be linked to similar thefts in Kidderminster. The Police are aware of problems of parking on pavements in Belbroughton Road and in Stakenbridge.

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74/08 APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES (IF ANY) AND REPRESENTATIVES ON OUTSIDE BODIES

(1) Urgent Business Committee. Members agreed that, as there are monthly meetings, there would be minimal benefit for this Committee.

(2) Wyre Forest Area Meeting of CALC. There were no volunteers.

(3) Churchill and Blakedown Sports Centre Committee. Cllr Dearden to continue.

(4) Wyre Forest Police Consultative Committee. Mr Roy Keys has agreed to continue.

(5) Blakedown Tenants Consultative Committee. Cllr Mrs Hayward agreed to represent the Parish Council on this Committee.


75/08 PARISH COUNCIL INSURANCE

The Clerk reminded the Council that this had been adjusted last year. It was agreed that street lighting columns continue to be covered. Members agreed to continue with this cover at the cost of £1,129.00 (compared with £1,081.88p last year).


76/08 MEETING DATES AND VENUES

A list of the suggested meeting dates based on the third Wednesday of each month was circulated at the meeting. The Clerk had provisionally agreed with Judy Williams, the Booking Secretary, that the Parish Room would be available for all meetings, except for December and April. Churchill Village Hall is not now available on Wednesday evenings, so it was agreed that the 10 meetings be confirmed at Blakedown, and the December and April meetings be held at the school. The confirmed list will be circulated at the next meeting.


77/08 FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

(1) Cheque signatories. The Clerk reminded Members that the current signatories are Cllr Dearden, Cllr Mrs Hayward, Cllr Pitt and Cllr Whiston. Cllr Gardiner agreed to become a signatory and this will be arranged.

(2) Internal Auditor. It was agreed that Mrs Diane Malley continue to be the Internal Auditor.

ADJOURNMENT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

(Six members of the public were in attendance. Five matters were raised. First, Mrs Thomas drew attention to problems which would occur if planning application no. 08/0432 is granted. Second, concern was expressed with the new scheme for the two houses on the site of Little Champson, there being little change from the previous refusal Third, Mr Lorton reported blocked drains in Belbroughton Road and Birmingham Road, and the missing public footpath signs on the Birmingham Road to Wannerton Road path. Fourth, there was concern regarding the impending closure of the signal box at the level crossing, as reported in the Press; this would lead to vandalism, safety and anti social behaviour. Fifth, the lack of action by WCC with the necessary improvements to Station Drive; Cllr Long said he had discussed this with County Cllr Clee and he would be keeping an eye on this).


78/08 REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLORS

Neither County Cllr Clee nor Cllr Williams were in attendance and there were no reports.



CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 21.05.08 170


79/08 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON

19th MARCH 2008

It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Swindells, seconded by Cllr Charman, and RESOLVED that the Minutes, being a true and accurate record of the proceedings of the meeting, be signed by the Chairman.

80/08 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE EXTRAORDINARY MEETING HELD ON 16th APRIL 2008

It was proposed by Cllr Dearden, seconded by Cllr Gardiner, and RESOLVED that the Minutes, being a true and accurate record of the proceedings of the meeting, be signed by the Chairman.

81/08 PROGRESS REPORTS FOR INFORMATION

(1) Parish Web site. Malcolm Hall had tendered his apology and there was no report.

(2) Lengthsman/Handyman report. Mark Jones was not in attendance. The Clerk reported that he has signed the continuing agreement with WCC for the Lengthsman and that WCC has increased the annual grant to £2,060.

(3) Land to the rear of 5 Mill Lane, Blakedown. It was agreed that the Clerk responds by stating that, if there is surplus land, this should be available as allotments. However it would be useful to know what Rev Harrison’s view is on this matter.

(4) Post Office Working Group. Cllr Long commented that he “has heard” that, if no survey has been undertaken by the end of May, then the post office could be safe.

(5) Blakedown Station maintenance. The Clerk has still not heard from Network Rail regarding the ownership of the fence by the signal box. In view of the Press report and concern locally about the impending closure of the signal box, the Clerk was asked to investigate the possibility of this being “listed”.

(6) Listing application for Little Champson. The letter from English Heritage with the decision not to list Little Champson, was enclosed with the agenda. The Chairman expressed the thanks of the Parish Council to all who had worked to get this listed.

(7) Management of the Shoppers Car Park. The Clerk reported that he is still awaiting a reply from officers at WFDC.

(8) Arrangements at Village Halls. The Clerk reported that a member of the parish Room Committee will attend the next meeting.

(9) Harborough Hall ponds. Cllr Mrs Swindells reported that the Environment Agency is now aware of the fluctuating levels in these ponds and will be checking the pumping arrangements.

82/08 PLANNING APPLICATIONS

(1) It was resolved that the comments on the following applications, as detailed, be sent to Wyre Forest DC.

Applications Received.

WF/08/0379 Certificate of Lawfulness; extension and alteration,

43 Belbroughton Road, Blakedown


Provided the dimensions shown on the plans are adhered to, the extensions would appear to be permitted development.


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WF/08/0407 Garage, bedroom and linked roof extension, Kings Barn, Churchill


No objection; it is important that the materials used on the extension match those on the

existing building


WF/08/0430 Change of use to car park, landscaping and associated works, Hingley & Callow Ltd, Station Yard, Station Drive, Blakedown


No objection to this application. The PC strongly supports this proposal, particularly as it appears to be identical as the previous, withdrawn application (08/0107). However, the PC continues to emphasise that this application should not be dealt with in isolation of the car parking problems that exist locally in the surrounding roads, eg Station Drive, Lynwood Drive and the Shoppers car park. The PC considers that appropriate Traffic Regulation Orders must be in place to control parking around the station and that Station Drive must be properly kerbed.

This is the only long term solution to the parking problem and this opportunity must not be lost by being considered in a piecemeal fashion.

PC was pleased to note that conditions relating to low level lighting and times of use were recommended in the Officer’s report to Committee on 8th April 2008.


It was agreed that Cllr Long attends to speak at the WFDC Planning Committee


WF/08/0432 Two storey extension and garage extension, 13 Wheatmill Close, Blakedown


Objection, as the proposed two storey extension is too large for the site and it overpowers

the adjoining properties, to the detriment of the amenities of the occupiers of these nearby

dwellings.


WF/08/0439 Amendments to planning permission 07/0998, removal of windows, new roof light and dormer, Baytree House, Stakenbridge Lane, Churchill

No objection


WF/08/0451 Erection of 2 four bedroom detached houses (demolition of Little Champson), 1 Roxall Close, Blakedown


Objection to the proposal. Apart from the loss of the small utility room, the footprint of

these two proposed dwellings is the same as that refused on 14th February 2008. The PC

considers that the current proposal, as previously, is overdevelopment. This was the view

taken by the Inspector on the appeal decision on 22nd February 2005 (04/0141), and he

also commented that the design proposed paid “scant heed for the need to reflect and

respect the existing street scene”. It is unfortunate that the opportunity to submit a

scheme, which would overcome these strong objections, has not been taken. The PC,

therefore, considers that those previous reasons for refusal are still applicable.


It was agreed that Cllr Long attends to speak at the WFDC Planning Committee.



CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 21.05.08 172


WF/08/0454 First floor extension over ground floor flat area and pitched roof over existing garage, Ismere Grange, Ismere

No objection


Planning Decisions - for information

WF/08/0107 Change of use to car park and landscaping, Station Yard, Station Drive, Blakedown - WITHDRAWN

WF/08/0147 Extensions and alterations, 91 Belbroughton Road, Blakedown - GRANTED

WF/08/0194 Vehicular access, 57 Birmingham Road, Blakedown – REFUSED

WF/08/0210 Swimming pool extension and garage, 93 Belbroughton Road, Blakedown - REFUSED

WF/08/0231 Tennis court and fencing, land adj. Glebe House, Churchill - GRANTED


Appeal notification

WF/07/1201 Glazed link between house and garage, 1 Yarnold Cottages, Stakenbridge, Churchill


It was agreed that the previous “no objection” be confirmed.

83/08 FINANCE

(1) The Clerk reported that the current account today stands at £1,536.94p and the Instant Access account stands at £11,985.03p, giving a total credit balance of £13,521.97p.

(2) The Receipts and Payments Account for 06.03.08 – 04.04.08 was received.

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

Staples UK Ltd, photocopying, stationery – April

£5.87 + £1.03 VAT £ 6.90

R D Gurney salary (April/May) £589.62

Worcs CALC subscription, £506.71 + £77.73 VAT £584.44

Additional MAILS £ 20.00

Blakedown Parish Room Committee (Jan/Feb/March) £ 42.00

Allianz Insurance Plc £1,129.00

Mark Jones handyman £440.00

lengthsman £240.00

£3,051.96

84/08 APPROVAL OF ACCOUNTS FOR YEAR ENDING 31ST MARCH 2008

Copies of the Accounts were circulated with the agenda. The Clerk explained significant differences from the previous year, including the S. 136 Grant. The approval of the Accounts was proposed by Cllr Dearden, seconded by Cllr Gardiner, and agreed.


85/08 EXTERNAL AUDIT ARRANGEMENTS

The Clerk informed the Council that the Annual Return has to be submitted to the External Auditor by 30th June 2008, and the timetable for the period of inspection is

173 CHURCHILL AND BLAKEDOWN PARISH COUNCIL Minutes 21.05.08


currently being advertised on the Parish Council notice boards. The Annual Return will need to be completed at the next meeting.


86/08 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

A copy of the draft minutes of the meeting held on 16th April 2008 were circulated with the agenda. Although they will not be approved until the next Parish meeting it was agreed that they be included on the web site. The items raised in the public forum were discussed as follows:

Allotments. Being pursued with Diocesan Registrar.

School litter project. It was agreed that the PC provides 4 sets of equipment – grabber, gloves and high visibility jackets to enable the supervised litter pick to proceed. It was proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Cllr Gardiner, and agreed that up to £200 be spent on this. The clerk will write to Georgina James, asking her what equipment is required for the litter pick, and the PC can then purchase it.

Walking to school. This will be covered in the Parish Plan.

Churchill Lane/Stakenbridge Lane traffic. This is an on-going problem; Cllr Mrs Hayward agreed to continue to pursue.

Safety issues at the Belbroughton Road/A.456 junction. This will be covered in the Parish Plan.

Blocked footpaths. This has been reported by the Lengthsman; the Clerk is awaiting feedback.


87/08 HIGHWAY MATTERS

As this is a new financial year the Clerk will chase up any action regarding the new line marking at Churchill crossroads and the kerbing at Station Drive. County Cllr Clee to be kept informed.


88/08 STREET NAMEPLATES AND SIGNS

The Chairman commented that several signs and nameplates across the Parish are in need of attention, including painting. It was agreed that there is a need for a sign audit, and this will be started by Cllrs Gardiner, Mrs Swindells and the Chairman.


89/08 PARISH PLAN WORKING GROUP

The Group has produced statistics from the responses and now there is a need to produce something to show. There is a plan for another public meeting and a newsletter is due to be distributed shortly. The Clerk confirmed that he has received and banked the £1,000 grant from Community First. The Clerk will prepare a letter confirming the Parish Council’s support for the Parish Plan.


90/08 PARISH NEWSLETTER

The Clerk reminded the Council that, before we can apply for Quality Parish Status, there is a need for further newsletters to be produced. As one is being prepared in connection with the Parish Plan, this will be the third one of 2008. Consideration will be given to the production of a newsletter in August/September.

91/08 GREEN SUPPLIER OF ENERGY FOR STREET LIGHTS

Due to increased cost implications it was agreed not to pursue a “green source” of power for the street lights. The Clerk was asked to make enquiries of alternative suppliers.

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92/08 ITEMS FROM CALC

The Clerk reported that the next Area Meeting will be held at Trimpley on 4th June.

The Clerk reported that WCC has been awarded a grant of £5 million towards the cost of repair of highways in the County. The Clerk was asked to draw the County Council’s attention to the need to repair the lane at Churchill, where it has been undercut by the stream.


93/08 CORRESPONDENCE (for noting)

(1) WCC Waste Core Strategy – withdrawn

(2) Wolverhampton Airport Action Group – response to Preferred Option

(3) Wyre Forest Matters Sustainable Community Strategy – summary booklet

(4) WCC – Worcester South Transport Schemes exhibition dates and venues

(5) Kinver PC minutes and agendas

(6) Newsletters, etc., including WFDC Gypsies and Travellers; Community First Newsline; Longbridge Area Action Plan; Speaking Out (WMRA); CPRE Fieldwork

(7) Paul West, Chief Constable – thanking the PC and community for the kind remarks about CSO Gemma Goode


94/08 ITEMS OR PARISH INTEREST/ITEMS FOR NEXT AGENDA

1. Geoff Elwell wishes to address the PC at the June meeting about the Parish Games and Neighbourhood Watch.

2. Nigel Potter, Rural Housing Enabler for Worcestershire, wishes to address the PC at the September meeting about an affordable housing survey.


95/08 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

This is scheduled for Wednesday, 18th June 2008 in Blakedown Parish Room.


The meeting closed at 9.58 pm.




Dated this 18th day of June 2008 ………………………………............

Chairman