Minutes of Council Meeting held on19th June  2019 at Norton Canes Community Centre at 7pm

 Present:           Cllr J.Preece







` R. Wilkinson


Also Present:   Mrs.L.Florence (Clerk)

5  members of the public

PCSO K.Willis

County Councillor J.McMahon

Sarah Jones, Planning and Policy Officer, Cannock Chase DC.

(for presentation on Local Plan)


The Chairman welcomed Councillors to their first full Council meeting of their four year term of office following the elections.


Presentation by Sarah Jones Re District Council  Local Plan

A review of the Consultation process for the District Council Local Plan was given to the    meeting.  Sarah Jones informed the meeting that this was a medium to long term Plan for the whole District for 2018-2036.  The Plan is wide ranging and covers a number of issues such as housing, business development, sustainable transport infrastructure, safer local communities, healthy living opportunities. Brownfield sites will be prioritised before Green Belt and it was stated that 60% of Cannock Chase is green belt.  Various drop in sessions had been arranged whereby the draft Plan could be viewed.  The deadline for the consultation process is the 8th July.  Sarah Jones referred to the consideration of housing from the Birmingham and Black Country shortfall that the District Council will be asked to consider.  The Parish Council highlighted that it would struggle to support even the lower number of urban extension which is suggested to be 500 homes.  The District Council would be expected to meet their minimum need and Norton Canes would be looked at.   The Parish Council could argue that with the current developments and those that have received planning permission that the village has already made its contribution to the 5,100 homes that the District Council are required to provide.  Comments were made that the village is already struggling in terms of the infrastructure with the additional homes already being built together with those sites that have planning permission which will further impact on gp surgeries, schools etc.   Part of the Local Plan will give consideration to affordable housing, gypsy/traveller and land for employment sites.


There are several stages of the Consultation process but the current one refers to the Issues

and Options stage which provides opportunities for local residents to comment.  Sarah   Jones said that the local drop in events had been attended between 15 to 20 people.


The Parish Council will be formulating a response to the document. It was suggested that a small working

group of Councillors meet to produce a draft response to the Consultation which will be circulated to all Councillors for approval before submission.


It was resolved:

  That Councillors, M.Holder, J.Beddows, J.Newbury and Mrs.S.Harding be part of a working group to formulate the Parish Council response to the Local Plan to be approved by full Council.


  78/2019     Public Participation


Papers for Parish Meetings –  Mrs.J.Bullock asked if copy correspondence and reports that      the Parish

Council are discussing could be made available to the public attending the Parish Council meetings so that   they are aware of what is being discussed.


Action:    To look into additional information for members of the public attending

                          Parish Council meetings.


    Car Parking on Norton Hall Lane due to new housing development  Mr.R.Knowles raised a concern regarding

the potential issue of car parking on the grass verges on Norton Hall Lane.  He suggested that something   needed to be done to prevent this happening and referred to wooden stumps being put along the verge.  There are problems with the current traffic management in place re the installation of the traffic island on the development as this is causing queues tailing back particularly at busy times.


  Action:       It was agreed to raise the potential car parking issues with the Highways Dept.


Turf Island – Mr.Knowles reported the problem with regard to the height of the grass on the Turf island which   causes problems with visibility.  This is the responsibility of the Highways Agency.


  Action:     Clerk to raise the matter with the Highways Dept.


 Flooding outside Co-op  – Mr.Knowles stated that he had reported this problem previously  but nothing has been done.  When there is a significant amount of rain, the area at the front of the Co-op becomes flooded.  This poses problems when trying to access the post box.  He asked if the Co-op could either deal with the paving slabs or if the Post office could get the post-box moved.


  Action:      Clerk to discuss with Co-op and Post Office re this problem.


Land on Hednesford Road leading to Heath Hayes  – question raised as to what was happening with the  land that has now been cleared.  The Chairman stated that the land was for stables and ménage and that this was due to be put before the District Council Planning Committee on the 26th June.  


                    Public Participation closed at 7.50 pm


  79/2019      Apologies

Apologies were received from Cllrs.Mrs.Z.Stretton and M.Stretton


  80/2019      Declarations of Interest

                     No Declarations of Interest were received.


  81/2019      Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Council held on 14th May 2019

The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on the 14th May were agreed as a true and accurate record.


  Proposed:    Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding

  Seconded:   Cllr.J.Bernard


  Matters Arising from the Minutes


Page 1 –  Cllr.J.Beddows thanked Councillors who voted for him as Vice President for the ensuing year.


 82/2019      Police Report

A written report had been received covering the period 16th May to 16th June.  PCSO K.Willis was in  attendance and referred to the contents of the report which included some reported issues of Anti-Social Behaviour relating to off road motor bikes in and around areas of Norton East Road, Red Lion Lane and Brownhills Road.  A number of Police operations are currently running generally over the weekends when this is the time there seems to be problems. Police are currently working with Lichfield policing team re use of these bikes across Chasewater.  Crime issue relating to a large amount of Aluminium from Norton Aluminium was taken but unfortunately CCTV was not good enough to identify culprit. It was reported that there has been a spate of thefts from motor vehicles there is some intelligence available and it is believed that work vans are being targeted.


Questions were asked about police powers relating to car parking issues.  PCSO Willis stated that a some of the powers to act have been taken off PCSO’s and it is the Chief Officers who make these decisions.  A suggestion made that an approach be made to Clear Streets which is where the Parking Enforcement Officers are located and request that they monitor the village at the key times identified particularly around school opening and closing times but also generally around the village. PCSO Willis highlighted that it is important that issues are reported straightaway to ensure that stats of incidents are recorded.  PCSO Willis referred to the drop in surgeries that she is arranging at Sub-way where people can go and speak to her directly about issues they may have.  It is important that these surgeries are communicated to the local people and PCSO Willis agreed to let the Clerk have posters for the Notice Board.


It was also reported that there are still ongoing issues relating to drugs in the village and PCSO Willis was provided with the details and stated that the Police will continue to monitor the areas identified.


83/2019       Annual Governance Statement


Cllr.J.Bernard, Chairman of Audit and Governance Committee referred Councillors to the Annual Governance Statement which was required to be completed. Cllr.Bernard made Councillors aware of their responsibility to consider each statement contained in the Governance Statement to ensure that the Parish Council are compliant and have adequate systems in place in terms of the business of the Council.  Each statement was considered and agreed that all areas were covered.  The Clerk referred Councillors to the Asset Register which had been a comment from the External Auditor in last year’s Annual Return.  Following this action has been taken to update the Asset Register and figures will be included in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 in Box 9 on the Annual Return.


84/2019     Annual Return


(a) Internal Auditor’s report – a copy of the internal auditors report for 2018/19 was circulated     to Councillors prior to the meeting.  Discussion ensued on the report which was considered to be a comprehensive document that covered areas and scope of the systems for internal control for the Parish Council.


      It was resolved:     

To accept the Internal Auditor’s report.


(b)  Annual Return – a copy of the Annual Return for 2018/19 was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting together with an explanation document prepared by the Clerk explaining how the figures had been calculated for each section of the return.    


It was resolved:

                                               To accept the Annual Return for 2018/19 to be submitted to the External Auditor.


    85/2019    Councillor Vacancies


                     A report was circulated prior to the meeting concerning the 3 Councillor vacancies. Advise

had been sought from the SPCA on the process for filling the vacancies. 2 of the

vacancies had occurred due to insufficient candidates at the time of the election and these

could be filled by co-option.  The 1 vacancy is due to the resignation of Cllr.M.Hoare who did not take up office and did not sign his Declaration of Acceptance, this vacancy is required to be advertised as a casual vacancy.  Discussion ensued on the process and the timescale for filling the vacancies.  Cllr.M.Holder stated that the vacancies should have been advertised earlier.   It was agreed that perspective candidates should complete a form giving their personal details and why they wish to become a Councillor. The deadline date for submissions would be the 31st July following which copy forms will be sent to Councillors and the candidates will be asked to attend the September Parish Council meeting.


86/2019   Christmas Lights


                  A report had been circulated prior the meeting for Councillors to consider whether there was any additional lights required for 2019.   The report stated that if additional lights were agreed then there would be financial costs in terms of maintenance and testing of the poles together with cost of purchasing additional lights which has not been included in the 19/20 budget.  It was suggested that as the Contract for the Christmas lights is up for review at the end of 2019 then this would be the appropriate time to consider a review of the lights for 20/21.  Some suggestion of solar/battery operated lights may be an option in future years.


It was resolved:


No increase in Christmas lights for 2019/20 to be reviewed at a later date. Confirm decision to Co-ordinator at Hednesford Town Council.


87/2019  Reports from Councillors:


Forget Me Not Day –  Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding reported on the event that took place on the 25th May  and thanked

Councillors who attended for their support.  The event went well with the MASE group in attendance and was  an event to raise awareness of Dementia in the Community.  A thank you to Brenda Rose for making items for the event which raised £98.50.  The planned event in the evening at the Lido Working Men’s Club was a complete failure as no one attended.   The Lido organised a cup-cake day on the 13th June which was well attended and raised £337.  They are now looking to have a monthly drop in café type event.  An event is also planned for the 19th July.


Village Newsletter – Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding asked if anyone wished to put an article in the next newsletter to bear

in mind the timescales as the Editor, Janet Lee, had been in hospital for an operation and would not be in a position to chase people for articles.


88/2019  Reports from Committee                                                                                                       

  Summary of Planning Applications/Decisions/Responses

No of Planning Application Address of proposed application Proposal Comments by Parish
Planning Committee
CH/19/175 15 Newbury Road

Norton Canes

Replace existing conservatory with a sun room No objections
CH/19/176 The Yew Tree

1 Jerome Drive Norton Canes


Proposed installation of new retractable canopy to frontage No Objections
CH/19/146 8 Burntwood Road

Norton Canes

Proposed two storey rear extension and porch to front Consideration re windows at side of development to not overlook neighbours.
CH/19/093 Land off Stokes Lane,

Norton Canes

Proposed change of Use of Land for the keeping/stabling of horses No objections but would make comment that we would not agree if there were any future changes re this becoming a residential gypsy/traveller site.
Decisions by CCDC      
CH/19/108 Land off Norton Hall Lane and Butts Lane, Norton Canes Substitution of house types on part of approved layout on CH/17/450 substituting 20 open market dwellings for additional 20 affordable house dwellings Permission granted
CH/19/074 Kingswood Lakeside,

Blakeney Way

To vary condition (B2 & B8 use to include (B1c use). Pursuant to CH/16/465 Permission granted
CH/19/076 18 Burntwood Road

Norton Canes

Retention of roller shutter to secure shopfront Permission granted with condition that the roller shutter be painted white


CH/19/021 151 Walsall Road

Norton Canes

Demolition of existing retail unit, erection of 5 new dwellings Permission granted.


Projects   there had been no meeting of this Committee and Clerk agreed to arrange an August meeting.  Any agenda items to be forwarded to the Clerk for consideration.

Audit and Governance

     It was reported that the next quarterly Committee meeting will be arranged for end of July/early August.  The only item for consideration is expenditure for the watering of the plants during the Lengthsmaan’s holiday in June for one week.  It was agreed that the Clerk would monitor the weather and where necessary request the Garden Contractor to carry out this task as additional work to the Contract.

It was resolved:

The Clerk was given authority to arrange watering of plants as and when    necessary during the Lengthsman holiday.  Clerk was given authority to manage the watering of plants during this period and request the Gardener to undertake this task as and when required. The cost would be £50 per visit.

89/2019   New Cemetery

      The was reported that the new planning application had now been submitted.

90/2019   Neighbourhood Plan

  • Minutes of the working group held on the 21st May were circulated to Councillors which gave an update on the progress.. It was noted that the first meeting of the Steering Group would take place on the 18th June at 6.30 p.m. at the Library.  There would be a cost involved for the hire of the room of £20 but the Clerk confirmed that this expenditure would come from the grant.  The Clerk informed the meeting that there was an underspend on the grant funding for 2018/19 and it has been agreed that this can be carried forward into 2019/20 to support the expenditure for the Plan.  A further bid will be required to be submitted to cover the work of the PR/Marketing company together with additional expenditure relating to the Plan.

(b) A copy of the Contract for the appointment of the Admin Co-ordinator for the  Neighbourhood Plan was circulated to Councillors and noted.

   91/2019    Highways

                   No update re highways issues.


 92/2019   Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence

Incoming and outgoing correspondence was circulated prior to the meeting and noted.   


The Chairman reminded Councillors of the Armed Forces Day to take place on 24th June.


 93/2019 3  Authorisation of Accounts    

                      A schedule of accounts for payment in June 2019 had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting

which were noted and authorised.


                  Proposed:  Cllr.J.Bernard

                  Seconded: Cllr.J.Beddows


 94/2019    Date of Next Meeting – 19th July Wednesday  2019  at 7 p.m. at Norton Canes     Community Centre.                

 95/2019    Items for Information and Future Agenda             


The meeting closed at 8.55 pm


 Signed ………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………