Minutes of Council Meeting held on 17th February 2021

Virtual meeting held via Zoom at 7 p.m.


   Present:  Cllrs J.Preece

J Bernard

Mrs.A. Bernard











   Also In Attendance:    Mrs.L.Florence (Clerk)

3 members of the Public


   Public Participation:

                Flooding on Church Road – Mr.R.Knowles raised the issue of flooding on Church Road which appears to be attributable to a blockage in the system and the water coming down from the higher part of Church Road.  It was felt that this may have been complicated by tarmac being left in the gulley’s when the road was resurfaced and  Mr.Knowles asked for this to be looked into.  Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding said that she had reported these issues to Highways.  Mrs.Woodman said that she felt the flooding problems had been worse since the installation of the speed cushion on Church Road as this now seems to be holding back the water. Mr.Sanders said that he had sand bags that had been provided previously by Highways should anyone need them.


               Flooding on Walsall Road – Mr.P.Sanders referred to the ongoing problems with flooding on Walsall Road which affects properties in Norton Grange.  Need to ascertain if the gulley and piperwork issues with Severn trent have been followed up and also if the clearing of brook on Walsall Road/CherryBrook is being maintained.


Hednesford Road – Mrs.J.Bullock raised the matter of the repair on the drain on Hednesford   Road that had been done within the last month.  Not all of the tarmac was taken away and this is   now starting to break up.


Action :     Clerk to follow up all actions relating to highways matters.


                Public Footpaths – Mr.R.Knowles raised the issue of footpaths on Washbrook Lane that comes out on Norton Lane.  He said that although there is a public footpath sign the path itself is in need of repair as it cannot be walked along.  He highlighted that these matters should be dealt with by the Depts responsible for them.   Some discussion ensued on land ownership as to whose responsibility it is to maintain the paths.Cllr M.Holder explained that only those pathways on the definitive map would be the responsibility of the County Council.


The public pathways and rights of way is something that is being addressed as part of the Neighbourhood Plan and discussions with the Consultants and the County Council have already taken place.


It was agreed that we should approach the County Council and ascertain what their plan of action is to maintain the pathways.


Action:          Clerk to ascertain position with County Council re maintnenance of the public              

                           rights of way.


Public Participation:  Closed at 19.20 p.m.


017/2021   Apologies

              No apologies were received.


018/2021    Declarations of Interest were receive from:

Member Interest Reason
Cllr Mrs.Z.Stretton Planning  applications

Agenda Item 10 (a)

Member of District Council Planning Committee
Cllr Mrs.D.Todd Planning applications

Agenda Item 10(a)

Member of District Council Planning Committee
Cllr Mrs.S.Harding Agenda Item 6

S137 Grants

Watercolour Club

Support Staffordshire

Cllr.J.Newbury Agenda item 6

S137 Grants

Norton Canes Community Centre
Cllr.J.Preece Agenda item 6

S137 Grants

Norton Canes Community Centre

Woodturners Group

Catherine Care

Cllr Mrs.D.Todd Agenda item 6

S137 Grants

Support Staffordshire


      019/2021  Minutes of Meeting held on 27th January 2021

    The minutes of the meeting held on the 27th January 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate



      Proposed: Cllr.M.Holder

      Seconded: Cllr.J.Bernard

      All in favour


     Matters Arising from the Minutes


Page 1 – ‘A’Boards on Walsall Road  –   Cllr.Mrs.Z.Stretton told the meeting that she had been to   view the area but had not yet followed this up.  Agreed to find more information and report back to Council.


Action:          Cllr.Mrs.Z.Stretton to follow up the matter of ‘A’boards.


Page 2 – Flytipping on Norton Lane – Cllr.Newbury said that there are regular sweeps of this road undertaken but that it is a hotspot for flytipping.  Some of the items reported have been removed and the remainder will be moved.  It was reported that a lot of green waste has been copllected this week.



020/2021   Police  Report

                A written report from PCSO Connor Ashton was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. It was a detailed report providing information on incidents that had in the since the last meeting.  A copy of the report will be attached to the Minute book.

Incidents relating to motorbikes on the park on Brownhills Road had previously reported and the meeting was told that the Police have spoken to those concerned and it does not appear that there have been any repeats of the incidents.


021/2021   Policies

  The Audit and Governance committee had reviewed GDPR (Data Protection) policies for full Council to approve to ensure the Council are compliant with the Data Protection Act.  The policies circulated prior to the meeting at statutory NALC policies which have been adapted for the use of this Council.   The Council have entered into a Service Level Agreement with the County Council for advice and support re Data Protection and an Officer of the Council will be attending a future meeting to ensure Councillors are aware of their responsibility relating to this Act.


It was resolved:

            To adopt the GDPR Policies en bloc.


The Audit and Governance Committee had also considered the draft Planning Protocol put forward for adoption.  This provided a system for the Planning Committee to follow when considering any planning applications.  Discussion ensued on the contents of the protocol and some suggested amendments made with regard to when a Councillor can speak at a District Council meeting.   It was agreed to include the amendments in the Policy and refer circulate to full Council for approval.


Action:            Clerk to make amendments to the Planning Protocol and circulate to full Council for approval.


022/2021   S137 Grants

     Applications for grants from community groups had been received.  A schedule of applications was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.  As is normal practice the Chairman of the Audit & Governance Committee and the Clerk had reviewed the applications and had put forward suggestions for discussion.  Cllr J.Bernard said whilst the figures had been included in the schedule they were not set in stone and applications can be discussed on merit.


Some discussion ensued around the reasons why some groups had applied for funding for example towards rent.  It was pointed out that this grant was for 2021 and that groups were hopeful that they would commence meeting again early Summer so grants would be required.  Some groups would have already been given grants in 2020 for rent which because of lockdown these grants have not been used and therefore the groups should still have the money available.  Further discussion about some groups not being granted the sum that they had applied for.   There were some amendments required to the figures contained in the template based on the actual need of the group. Cllr.Fereday asked whether the groups awarded grants are those that are for the benefit of the residents of the village or are they groups that use the venues but are not solely for the benefit of the residents.  It was not felt appropriate to vet the membership of the groups so it may be that the groups operate in the village but their membership is not solely made up of residents of the village, it can be for people who live outside.


The amendments were as follows:

Darby & Joan – grant of £400 be approved but only if the activity trip they were requiring the grant for takes place. This should be a condition of the grant.

Woodturners – grant of £250 had been requested to purchase equipment to support

the activities of the group.  The amount suggested had only been £200   Cllr.Newbury

proposed that this group be allocated the full amount of £250.


It was resolved:

To agree the S137 grants as per the schedule provided to include the changed as agreed.


     023/2021  Cema Upgrade


The meeting was informed that the consultation process had now closed and there had been a

good response and had highlighted the wish that the pathway around the permitter of the field was

including in the plans.  Plans are moving forward to go out to tender  with a timeframe for completion as

early part of the Summer.


024/2021  Grove Colliery

There is nothing to report regarding this item but will remain on agendas for the future.


025/2021  Reports from Councillors

 Closure of Norton Road – it was reported that there will be a road closure on Norton Road coming out

of the village towards Heath Hayes from the 1st to the 15th March.


Dementia Friendly – Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding reported that she now had the window stickers. Cllr Mrs.Harding

has also now undertaken online training so will be able to deliver this awareness in the

future.  Cllr.Mrs.Harding also reported that there are various projects coming through Support



Food Bank –  Cllr.Preece informed the meeting that met with a representative from Avon in the village

who had collected a significant amount of items and donated them to the Food Bank. It was

acknowledged this that this was a really good gesture from a local company to support families

that are struggling in these difficult times.







  026/2021 Reports from Committees

  • Planning                 

Summary of Planning Applications                         


No of Planning Application Address of proposed application


Proposal Comments by Parish
Planning Committee
CH/21/0063 96 Chasewater Way

Norton Canes

Proposed two storey extension Planning committee not yet reviewed.
CH/21/0040 Stokes Lane


Application under Section 73 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act to develop land not in accordance with approved plans but in accordance with plan JMD-60-07 (Larger amenity block) Pursuant to CH/20/198 Noted that this is for a larger amenity block to the existing smaller block for which permission has previously been granted. Comment that we would have concern if this was used for residential purposes and would not wish to see more caravans/mobiles on this site. It is considered to be an encroachment into the green belt.
CH/321/0059 Land to the east of Norton Road and South of Cannock Road, Heath Hayes

(Crematorium site)

To remove condition 11 of planning permission CH/14/404 (overflow car park extension) as not required No Objections
CH/21/0064 34 Pinfold Lane

Norton Canes

Proposed single storey rear extension Planning committee not yet reviewed.


No decision to report      


Projects Committee

          Cllr Mrs.A.Bernard referred to a meeting of the Committee held on 15th February where a

number of items were discussed including:


Lantern Parade –  it has been agreed that in principle we will plan as far as possible to have the lantern parade this year but this would be dependant on government guidelines re the pandemic at that time.  The date would be the 5th December.


BKV – at the time of the meeting there was no information available as to whether the competition would take place this year.  We will continue to plan and will enter the competition if it proceeds but it as acknowledged that some of the tasks for BKV are for the benefit of the enhancement of the village. Summer plants have been ordered and other tasks will be carried for example, cleaning of bus shelters and litterpicking.


Xmas Lights –  there are no plans to increase the provision of lights for this year.  Other ideas had been discussed such small features on garden areas and this is being looked into.

The idea around involving children in the design of Christmas lights has been looked into but further investigation is required and it maybe that this will not be in time for this year but consideration for a future year.


Welcome Signs – whilst there has been agreement on the design of new welcome sign there are problems with some of the locations.  Due to Covid restrictions the site visits with highways has been delayed. Some discussion ensued on the locations and whether there was intended to be one sign  or two.  The Clerk agreed to look into this as some of the locations may not lend itself to having a sign either side of the road in parallel. This will be taken forward when possible.


Land Matters – ongoing work is continuing to explore resolution to ownership and permissions relating to a small land areas that we would like to maintain/developed.


Community Speedwatch Signs – Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard reported that the Committee had discussed the provision of Speedwatch signs in the village.  Council was informed that the costs of the 6 signs and installation costs amounted  to £1,043 and asked Council for approval for this expenditure.


It was resolved:

To approve the expenditure of £1,043 for 6 signs including installation for

Community  Speedwatch.


It was reported that due to Covid the Speedwatch sessions have not yet commenced and there is no date when this will happen.  Cllr.Newbury suggested that there should be a rethink about the times when these sessions take place as there are times when speeding in the village is worse particularly around rush hour.


 Plaque for Brenda Rose –  this item had been discussed at the Committee and it was agreed that we should instal a plaque on a bench to remember Brenda Rose. The cost of the plaque would be in the region of £30 to £50 depending on the amount of words included.  Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding put forward a suggestion tat the plaque could be in memory of both Brenda and her husband Trevor who had also been involved in the.  Discussion ensued and Council agreed that the plaque should be recognition of both.    It was agreed that a form of wording for the plaque would be sent to Councillors for agreement.  The Rose family would also be consulted on the wording before proceeding.  It is suggested that the location of the plaque should be on one of the benches on Jubilee gardens, this is a preferred location of the family.      


 027/2021    Neighbourhood Plan

                     An Extra Ordinary Council meeting had been held on the 9th February and the only agenda   item was to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan.  This was to enable full Council to receive an update from the Consultations looking at present status of the Plan, what work is involved and the next steps.  It also provided an opportunity for Councillors to ask any questions.


Councillors were invited to attend any of the topic groups if they wished to be further involved with the Plan.


    028/2021     Highways

      It was reported that a Highways Liaison meeting is being arranged early in March to monitor the schedule of works and any other highways issues raised.


Cllr.J.Newbury referred to his involvement in the issues of flooding on the pathway from Jackson Close to the new housing development on Norton Hall Lane.  He has been liaising with Persimmon regarding these matters and he has received a good response from them in terms of trying to resolve matters. However they will only address the symptoms and it will require the County Council to investigate the issue of the cause.


Mrs.J.Woodman highlighted the wet condition of the field leading from Jackson Close which

has always been a historic one.


Washbrook Lane – Cllr.Mrs.Harding said that she had reported an issue of water ‘bubbling’ up

which is raising the tarmac on this road.


    029/2021     New Cemetery

It was reported that there is a still a delay in the legal proceedings relating to the Deed of Easement which we are chasing on a regular basis.


  030/2021    Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence

                     To note the correspondence that was circulated prior to the meeting.


  031/2021   Authorisation of Accounts

                    The schedule of payments for February was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. The Clerk reported that there had been one additional payment since the circulation of the schedule and that referred to the payment for £329 to G.Turner, Admin Co-ordinator, Neighbourhood Plan for invoice relating to work carried out in January.  The Clerk explained that the expenditure of £110 related to the provision of disabled ramps to support the access to the Covid Vaccine Centre in the village.  This will be refunded by Persimmon Homes who have agreed to donate the money for this.


Proposed:    Cllr.J.Bernard

Seconded:    Cllr. Mrs.S.Harding


        032/2021  Date of next meeting: Wednesday 17th March 2021 via Zoom.


        033/2021   Items for Information and Future Agenda            


         The meeting closed at 8.45 pm


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



Staff Pension

A report referring to staff pension scheme was circulated to Councillors the meeting for discussion.  This related to the provision of a pension scheme for the lengthsman.  Discussion ensued on the contents of the report.


It was resolved:

            To enter the lengthsman into the Local Government Pension Scheme as from the 1st         January 2021.