Minutes of Council Meeting held on 19th December 2018 at Norton Canes Community Centre at 7pm

Present: Cllr J.Preece

Also Present: Mrs.L.Florence (Clerk)
5 members of the Public

The Chairman opened the meeting by thanking Councillors for entering into the spirit of the festive season
by wearing their Christmas jumpers.

159/2018 Public Participation
Property on Burntwood Road (old dentist business) – Mr.R.Knowles raised the issue of the debris that was
located at the rear of this property which is becoming a rubbish dump and asked if anything could be done about this.

Action: Clerk to write to the owners of the property and ask if action could be taken to remove the rubbish.

Trees on Hednesford Road – Mr.R.Knowles reported that the trees are still overhanging by the pool on Hednesford Road and that this needs to be addressed.

Drain on Co-op car park – it was reported that this ongoing problem had now been resolved as a new drain cover had been put down.

Trees on Norton Lane – Mrs.J.Bullock asked if the trees on this road could be cut back and explained the problems that are being experienced.

Action: Clerk to contact Highways about this matter.

¬Access to Planning for Proposed New Crematorium – Mrs.J.Bullock stated that she had received a letter about the proposed new Crematorium at Bleak House site which is on the Norton Canes border. Problems are being encountered with the District Council planning portal when trying to access the plans. It was reported that the District Council are aware of the issues with the planning portal and are taking steps to rectify this.

Norton Hall Lane – Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding reported that she had been contacted regarding the poor visibility due to overhanging bushes by Norton Hall Lane coming from the M6 toll.

The cutting of the Palm trees on Blakeney Island were also mentioned. On looking at this it was felt that it may have been cut by the Highways Dept as the sign was infront of the highways chevron which Highways may have taken action as it was felt the with the growth of the tree, the sign was not completely visible. Cllr.Hampshire felt that there were no hazards to drivers and that this was a malicious act to destroy the tree.

Public Participation closed at 7.15 p.m.

160/2018 Apologies
No apologies were received.

161/2018 Declarations of Interest
Cllr.Mrs.Z.Stretton declared an interest regarding Agenda item 7(a) re planning as she is a member of the
District Council Planning Committee.

162/2018 Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 21st November 2018
The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on the 21st November were agreed as a true and accurate record.

Proposed: Cllr. Mrs.Z.Stretton
Seconded: Cllr. C.Cox

Matters Arising from the Minutes

Page 1 – Mud on Norton Hall Lane – mud is still causing problems on this road due to the lorries that are delivering materials to the new housing development. This has been raised with the District Council and the Chairman agreed to chase this up with the Planning Officer.

Action: Chairman to chase issue of mud on Norton Hall Lane with the Planning Officer at the District

Page 1 – Sewerage re land on Walsall Road (opposite the Turf) – question raised as to whether there was any update regarding this issue. The Chairman reported that there is no further update as the Environment Agency are now taking steps to address the problems. There is an ongoing investigation and the Chairman may be called as a witness in the legal process.

Page 3 – Lantern Parade – Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding thanked Mrs.J.Bullock for her help in marshalling at the parade and for being alert in ensuring the traffic was directed at the end of the parade.

Cllr.M.Holder said that whilst he was not able to be at the event he felt enthused by the arrangements and how the parade itself went but there are small issues to be negotiated going forward to next year. It was acknowledged that the Lantern Parade needs to be a priority for the 3 organisations involved in the event to avoid some of the issues that occurred this year.

Page 5 – we have written to the County Council to say that in principle we will look at adding the shelter on Brownhills Road to our Asset Register but that we should only do this when the requested installation of a hard standing on the bus stop site opposite Chasewater Grange has been completed.

163//2018 Police Report
A written report had been received from PCSO Bainbridge outlining incidents in the village during the period 19th November to 19th December which referred to off road motor bikes in and around the areas of Norton East Road, Red Lion Lane, Newbury Road and Brownhills Road. The Police are looking at a number of operations over weekends and Christmas which is a prominent time when the bikes are being used. The Police are also working closely with the Rangers at Chasewater as the users of the bikes use this area frequently.

There have been reported issues relating to suspicious activity late evening whereby door handles on properties have tied to be accessed and people looking through windows. There is no CCTV footage available to identify the culprits.

In the report the Police asked for the general public to be made aware of steps that they should take during the busy Christmas period to ensure that their properties and valuables are kept safe. (a copy of the full report is attached to the Minute book copy).

Cllr.J.Bernard gave feedback from a recent Police meeting that he attended where it had been highlighted that there was activity of ‘pick pockets’ in and around Cannock and Brownhills area.

Cllr.J.Preece also referred to homeless people that are locating themselves in the underpass in Cannock. People should be aware that these are professional beggars.

164/2018 Reports from Councillors:
Youth provision – Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard informed the meeting that as a Councillor at Heath Hayes & Wimblebury Parish Council a youth club had previously been set up and had run for some years. A decision had been taken to close the Youth Club in July 2018, The Club are now looking to distribute resources and any surplus money. A number of children did attend the Youth Club from Norton Canes and it was felt appropriate that a sum of money should be transferred to Norton Canes to assist in any youth initiative that is being considered. The donation would be on the basis that this is ringfenced to support youth activities.

Recycling initiative – Cllr J.Newbury referred to a big campaign that has been launched to encourage Walkers Crisps to look into making crisp packaging recyclable. As recycling and waste is high on Councils agenda Cllr.Newbury felt that this was something that Norton Canes could be involved in. He informed Councillors of the process which would require us to have a public collection point. There are only 3 other areas in Staffordshire that are applying for this. Discussion ensued on this initiative and it was agreed that Cllr.Newbury explore further the issues involved and what would be involved if we committed to proceed.

Action: Cllr.Newbury to explore the matter further and report back to a future meeting.

Vice Chairman’s Chain of Office – Cllr.J.Beddows informed the meeting that he had been disappointed with the chain of office that had been produced by Fattorini’s and that he was not prepared to accept it. Cllr.Beddows stated that it will be resolved and that his wish is that this chain is given as a gift to the Parish Council.

Chasewater Friends – Cllr.J.Preece informed the meeting of a new formed volunteer group supporting and promoting Chasewater. It was explained that there was a membership of the organisation at a cost of £1. A launch date is scheduled for the 19th January 2019 at Chasewater from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with various activities planned.

165/2018 Reports from Committees
Comments forwarded to Cannock Chase Council by the Parish Council’s Planning Committee

No of Planning Application Address of proposed application
Proposal Comments by Parish
Planning Committee
CH/18/392 71 Burntwood Road
Norton Canes Housing development for 70 homes including bungalows See attached email

CH/18/426 71 Burntwood Road
Norton Canes Proposed single storey rear extension Parish Planning Committee to meet to discuss
CH/18/176 Land at Walsall Road
Norton Canes Amended Description and Plans re residential development comprising of 67 dwellings Parish Planning Committee to meet to discuss

CCDC Decision

92 Burntwood Road
Norton Canes Proposed dwelling of 1 house Approved


Lantern Parade – Cllr Mrs.A.Bernard reported on the Lantern Parade which took place on the 9th December. This was a well attended event. There are still lessons to be learnt for the future planning relating to venue, timing of parade and involving more volunteer support. It was suggested that an article be included in a edition of the Newsletter nearer the date to ask local people if they would be willing to give some time to support the parade in terms of Marshalls etc.

Festive Window Competition – the judging of the Festive Window Competition had taken place during week commencing the 10th December and the winners were as follows:

1st Place J D Nevells
2nd Place Ann’s Café
Joint 3rd Place Mandie’s Baps/Chequers Hairdressers.

The trophies will be presented at the January Council meeting.

Audit and Governance
The draft minutes of the Audit and Governance Committee held on the 13th December had been circulated prior to the meeting. The following agenda items were discussed and Cllr.J.Bernard gave feedback as follows:
(a) Precept 2019-20
A draft Precept document had been prepared by the Clerk based on the income and expenditure during the current financial year. The content of the draft document was considered and suggestions where increases and decreases could be made. Cllr.J.Bernard explained how the figures had been determined. Consideration was given to the increase in the Clerk’s hours for the 2019-20 financial year to 25 hours per week. This was based on the increase in workloads arising from Council business and projects. Discussion also took place with regard to asalary increase for the lengthsman. It was agreed that a figure should be included in the Precept for potential salary adjustments but that the actual detail should be put as an agenda item for a future meeting. A contingency budget had been included for 2019-20 as currently there is no identified funding to provide for contingencies for the Parish Council which was felt to be a risk. The allocation for S137 grants had been increased to £8,000 and this was suggested due to the difficulties that local community groups are experiencing due to loss of other funding streams and the need to pay for rent etc.
Following the discussion it was agreed that £85,800 should be demanded from the District Council for the Precept for 2019-20 which achieve no change from the Band D figure for 2018-19.. 12 Councillors approved the Precept for 2019-20 with 1 Councillor against.
It was resolved:
To approve the Precept for 2019-20 in the sum of £85,800.

(b) Honorarium for Lengthsman
The Audit and Governance Committee had considered a report prepared by the Clerk relating to the work of the Lengthsman who has been in post since end of May 2018. The probationary period has been successfully completed and he has proved to be a real asset to the Parish Council. He has undertaken over and above his 12 hour contract to ensure that the work is carried out as there was a backlog following the retirement of the previous Lengthsman. It was suggested that Councillors consider a one off honorarium of £500 to acknowledge this extra commitment.
It was resolved:
That an honorarium of £500 be approved for the Lengthsman for the extra commitment shown in his work.
166/2018 New Cemetery
Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard reported on the new cemetery working group meeting that took place on the 12th December. Notes of the meeting were circulated to Councillors. The main issue arising from the meeting was the District Council’s statement that the internal wall, which is being proposed as the access pathway to the site of the new cemetery, is a listed wall by virtue that it comes within the curtilage of the Church. If we are not able to take the wall down and rebuild it then this is a barrier to the project moving forward. Discussion ensued on the contents of the notes of the meeting and Cllr.J.Bridgen raised the question as to how the £45k figure had been arrived at in terms of purchasing the land. We are at the juncture now that we need to have all involved to meet and ensure that we are at a point that issues are resolved before we submit a new planning application. Councillors were asked to note the action points from the meeting which will now be taken forward.
Action: Clerk to deal with action points from new cemetery meeting group.
167/2018 Neighbourhood Plan
No further update to report. The questionnaires from the Consultation have now been collated and the outcome will be reported to the working group at its meeting on the 8th January.
168/2018 Highways
No meeting of highways has taken place but other potholes on Chapel Street, Bettys Lane and Church Vale have been reported.
169/2018 Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence
Incoming and outgoing correspondence was circulated prior to the meeting and noted.

170/2018 Authorisation of Accounts
A list of accounts for payment in December 2018 had been circulated to members prior to the meeting which were authorised.
Proposed: Cllr. J.Bernard
Seconded: Cllr. M.Stretton
171/2018 Date of Next Meeting – Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 7 p.m. at Norton Canes Community Centre.
172/2018 Items for Information and Future Agenda

The meeting closed at 8.40 p.m.

SIGNED: ………………………………………………..…….………. DATED …………………………..………….