Minutes of Council Meeting held on 15th January 2020 at Norton Canes Community Centre at 7pm

Present: Cllrs J.Preece













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

6  members of the Public


Cllr.J.Beddows took the Chair in the absence of the Chairman at the commencement of the meeting.


Presentation of Festive Window Competition 2019

Cllr Beddows presented the winners of the Festive Window Competition with their trophies and thanked them for entering.


The winners were as follows:


Ann’s Café                       1st Place

J D Nevell                        2nd Place

NSD                                 Joint 3rd Place

C K Hairdressers             Joint 3rd Place


The winners of the joint 3rd trophy were not present at the meeting to receive their awards.


The Chairman arrived at this point of the meeting took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.


  173/2020    Public Participation


                     Parking at Jerome School – Mr.R.Knowles raised the problems being encountered with the parking at the school.  This has been more problematic since the introduction of the traffic calming measures and now find that cars are using Castlecroft and Bridges Road/Crescent which blocks off access to Chapel Street, It would prove very difficult for emergency vehicles to get through during these busy periods at school times.  It is acknowledged that this is a difficult situation as with all schools but unfortunately there is no immediate solution.  Suggestion of yellow lines being put outside the school but the difficulty with this, as experienced in other areas, is that there are not enough enforcement officers across the County to deal with the problems and therefore it is not classed as a deterrent.


Action:      To raise the issue of parking at Jerome School with the Highways Liaison Officer.





                     Bettys Lane – Mr.P.Sanders reported that he had noted lorries parked on the road for 48 hrs.


Norton East Road – Mr.P.Sanders reported that at different places there was a smell of sewerage and wondered if this was due to the sewerage plant on Bettys Lane.  There had been no other reports/complaints received regarding this area.


                     Public Participation closed at 7.30 p.m.


 174/2020     Apologies

                     Apologies were received from Cllr.Mrs.D.Todd and County Councillor J.McMahon.


 175/2020    Declarations of Interest

To declare interests for this meeting:


Member                            Interest                                                                Reason


Cllr.Mrs.Z.Stretton                     Planning Applications             Member of District Council Planning Committee

Agenda item 6(a)


 176//2020   Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 18th December 2019

The Minutes of the Council meeting held on the 18th December were agreed as a true and accurate record.


  Proposed:    Cllr.J.Bernard

  Seconded:   Cllr. R.Wilkinson


  Matters Arising from the Minutes


  Page 2 – Railings on Chapel Street outside Jerome School –  highways have been informed.  It was agreed to log this on the County Council reporting site.


Action:   Clerk to log problem with the railings on the County Council site.


  Page 3 Grove Colliery – Cllr.J.Preece informed the meeting that he, Cllr.Mrs.Z.Stretton and Cllr J. Newbury had attended the Planning Committee at the District Council that day to speak against the planning application and he was pleased to report that the application had been refused based on heritage, the Local Plan and the quality of life for new residents.  Cllr.R.Wilkinson said that he had also attended the meeting and wished to record that the Councillors who spoke against the application represented the village very well and that he was impressed with their input and the amount of work that had been done to achieve this outcome.  Cllr.M.Holder said that this was very welcome news and that if the applicant does Appeal the decision then the Parish Council have a contingency in place should there be a need to employ a  Planning expert to continue challenging this application.  Cllr.Wilkinson said that his view was that it would be a good idea for the Parish Council to plan ahead in readiness for any appeal process.


 177/2020     Police Report


.                    A Police report had been received via email but this had arrived after the close of office.  Report therefore could not be circulated.   It was agreed to circulate the report to Councillors after the meeting.


Action:   Clerk to circulate the Police Report to Councillors.


    178//2020   Reports from Councillors:


Dementia Alliance – Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding informed the meeting that the application for a Dementia Community for the village had been submitted.


Community Centre –  Cllr.D.Bilbie suggested that the box located at the overspill car park at the Community Centre could be painted yellow to make it more visible.


Action:      Clerk to make suggestion to the Committee of the Community Centre.


Patient Participation Group – Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding reported that the next meeting of this group was due to be held on the 16th January.


SPCA – Cllr J.Bernard reported that he had recently attended an Executive Committee of the SPCA where a decision had been made not to increase the subscriptions for 2020/21.


District Council meeting – Cllr.J.Preece reported that a decision had been made at the District Council that their full Council meetings would now take place at 6 p.m. and not 4 p.m.  This is to accommodate those Councillors who work and enable them to attend meetings.  This will affect those District Councillors who are also Parish Councillors as it would prevent them from attending Parish Council meetings.  Discussion ensued that this may not affect many of the Parish Council meetings for Norton Canes and that as District meetings are known 12 months in advance this information could be communicated to Clerks of Parish Councils so that they can look at where there may be a clash of dates.  It was suggested that when reviewing our Standing Orders that the wording provides an opportunity to change Parish Council dates provided any changes are communicated correctly.


179/2020   Reports from Committee  

                  Summary of Planning Items from Parish Meeting on 15th January 2020

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/19/433 3 Grove Close

Norton Canes

Proposed first floor side extension and proposed loft conversion comprising of flat roof dormer to rear elevation. Proposed garage conversion. This application had been reviewed in detail as there had been a complaint from a resident direct to the District Council.  The contents of the complaint were viewed against the planning application.  The District Planning Officer had made a visit to the property and after review had stated that the proposed application would be refused.  Cllr.J.Bernard had also visited the site and took photos which were able to be viewed by the Committee.  Amended plans were produced which the Planning Committee viewed and felt that the applicant had taken on board the comments of the Planning Officer and made improvements to the original application.
CCDC Decision      
No Decisions received      


A meeting of the Projects Committee is to be arranged at the end of January.

Traffic Island on Norton Hall Lane –  Cllr. K.Fereday suggested some ideas to help with the presentation in terms of whether a water trough to include flowers could be put on the island.  It was agreed that we should discuss this with the Highways Dept as we would have to apply to take over the island if we wished to make any improvements.  This item should be discussed at the Projects Committee.

   Action:     Clerk to raise adopting the island under Licence and that the item be put on the Projects     Committee for discussion.    

Audit & Governance

   Cllr.J,Bernard confirmed that the Precept for 2020-21 for the sum of £91,274 had been submitted to the District Council.

Christmas Lights – Cllr.Bernard reported that he and the Clerk had recently attended a meeting with Hednesford Town Council and Heath Hayes & Wimblebury Parish Council to review the Contract for the Christmas Lights together with the role of the Co-ordinator. The meeting had discussed the new 3 year contract and the costs involved.  A full report for Council approval will be put before the February Council meeting.

Action:       Christmas Lights Report to be available for February Council agenda.

   Defibrillators –  Cllr.J.Bernard reported that expenditure had been incurred relating to a replacement battery and new pads at the defibrillator located at the Railway Tavern  The cost involved was £335.  Discussion ensued regarding the role of the Parish Council’s financial obligation in maintaining the 5 defibrillators in the village and whether it should be the venues themselves that take this responsibility.  It was felt that defibrillators are an important resource for the community and that there was some concern that if the responsibility for maintaining the defibrillators was left to the administration of the venues then this may lead to the equipment not being properly monitored and ultimately not being able to be used in an emergency.  In addition to the financial aspect for the Parish Council there is the issue of the staff time that it takes to ensure the equipment is fit for purpose and effectively be the custodian of the Register.  We have now registered the defibrillators on the National Register but there is a query relating to the access of the defibrillator located at the Community Centre due to it only being open at certain times.    Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard suggested that it may be worthwhile checking with other Parish Councils as to how they manage the defibrillators in their area.

Action:      Clerk to liaise with other Parish Councils re their role regarding defibrillators in their area.

180/2020   List of Committees

The list of Committees was reviewed to enable the 3 new co-opted Councillors to be included.  Councillors    were asked to look at their membership of the Committees and say whether they were happy to continue or wished to be considered for other Committees.   Discussion ensued and the following changes were made:

Planning Committee:     Cllr.K.Fereday to be added.

Audit and Governance:  Cllr.K.Fereday to be added

                     Projects:                         Cllrs Mrs.A.Bernard, K.Fereday and D.Bilbie to be added

Highways:                       Cllr.M.Holder to be added

New Cemetery Working Group – Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard

NCCA – Cllr. Mrs.A.Bernard to be added.  Cllr.Mrs.D.Todd already sits on this Committee and it was noted  that there is only one place allocated for a parish representative.  It was agreed that notification of meetings should be sent to both Councillors but that they would liaise directly about who will be attending.

Poplars Liaison Committee –   Cllr.J.Beddows said that whilst he is a member of this Committee he does not  receive any communication about dates.  It was agreed to contact Biffa and formalise who our representatives are together with their contact details.

Action:     Clerk to write to Biffa to confirm Parish Council representatives on the Poplars Liaison    Committee.

181/2020   Environmental Matter re Odour from Poplars Landfill site

                  Discussion ensued on the problems arising from the odours coming from the Poplars Landfill site.  The meeting was informed of the action being taken to address the issues.  There has been a lot of public involvement particularly within the Heath Hayes community to try and get agencies to take action.   Various meetings have taken place with the Company, at District and County level together with the Environment Agency.

The Chairman reported that a joint letter from Hednesford Town Council, Heath Hayes and Norton Canes Parish Councils is being sent to Public Health England raising concerns about the effectiveness of the organisations that have been monitoring this landfill site and the day to day management of the site by Biffa.

Cllr.J.Newbury gave feedback from a meeting that he attended and outlined the work that was being carried out and the concerns that had been raised. It was noted that there have been 500 complaints in January alone. There was concern expressed that the Environment Agency response to the issues raised was inadequate and that they had not understood the depth of public feeling about the problems being encountered.

Questions asked as to what the life of the site was and there appears to be some differing statements relating to this but it is accepted that now that more recycling is taking place then this extends the life of the landfill sites generally.   

182/2020  .New Cemetery

Cllr. Mrs.A.Bernard reported that it hoped that the planning application for the new cemetery will be heard on the 5th February.

183/2020   Neighbourhood Plan

                 A summary of the timeline for the Neighbourhood Plan which outlines actions taken and what work needs to be completed had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting for information.  Creative Souls, PR Company had also provided an update which was circulated at the meeting.

Cllr.M.Holder referred to a report that John Heminsley, Neighbourhood Planning Consultant had prepared for the Housing Infrastructure Topic Group.  This was a considerable report that looked at housing allocations across the District which highlighted the housing development within the village for the future.

Cllr.Holder gave a resume of the discussions that had taken place at the Housing Topic Group and referred to the proposed development of Rugeley Power Station some of which belongs to Lichfield District Council and Cannock Chase District Council. It It was highlighted that because our Neighbourhood Plan has to conform with the District Local Plan whose objectives will not be available until July 2020, there are some difficulties with timeframes in us determining housing numbers within our Plan .   The report does emphasise that Norton Canes has already met its obligations by the planning permissions already granted and which are being built. It was noted that there is no specialist housing need, particularly for the elderly and this should be highlighted in the Neighbourhood Plan. It was also mentioned that our infrastructure has not yet caught up with the current and planned developments so would not like to see any more housing which would take the Local Plan up to 2036 The Topic Group agreed to ask John Heminsley to produce a report in the next couple of weeks to be presented to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group in February for a decision to be made regarding housing.

The Topic Group had also agreed that Creative Souls should be asked to carry out a consultation with the residents of the village based on the proposal in John Heminsley report for support from electors for the Parish Council to present to the District Council.

Action:    Clerk to circulate the Housing report by John Heminsley to all Councillors for information.

  Cllr.M.Holder reported that the advisors for the Neighbourhood Plan have been particularly helpful re the presentation for the Grove Colliery planning application which does link to the heritage section of the Plan.

184/2020   Highways             

            A meeting has been arranged with the Liaison Officer for the end of January.  If Councillors have any issues that they would like to be discussed could they inform the Clerk.

 185/2020   Chairman’s Announcement

                  Incoming and Outgoing post which had previously been circulated was noted.


 186/2020  Authorisation of Accounts


                  A schedule of accounts for payment in January had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting   which were noted and authorised.


                   Proposed:  Cllr.D.Bilbie

                   Seconded: Cllr.M.Stretton


 187/2020 Date of Next Meeting –  Wednesday 19th February 2020 at 7 p.m. at Norton Canes Community Centre          


 188/2020  Items for Information and Future Agenda             


The meeting closed at 8.55p.m.


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