Minutes of Council Meeting held on 21st October 2020

Virtual meeting held via Zoom

   Present:  Cllrs J.Preece

J Bernard

Mrs.A. Bernard










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

2 members of the Public


   Public Participation closed at 7.10 p.m.


The Chairman opened the meeting to say that he was sad to announce the death of Brenda Rose who has been a very valuable member of the community for may years. Brenda was involved in Girlguiding and the British Legion and always on hand to help with other community events.  Brenda will be a loss to the village and our thoughts are with her family at this time.


Public Participation:

Road surface on crossover of M6 Toll leading to A5 –   Mr.R.Knowles raised his concern relating to the condition of the road that crosses over the M6 toll leading from Blakeney Way to the A5. There are sizeable sections of tarmac that are missing and given the amount of traffic particularly HGV’s that go along that route it was felt to be in urgent need of repair.


Junction of Norton Green Lane/Walsall Road  – Mr.R.Knowles reported that there are substantial cracks on this area of road and highlighted that this is where there is a tunnel used to take coal to the canal many years ago. His concern is that if this collapses/subsides in any way it will cause severe problems.


Action:            Clerk to raise items reported under Public Participation to the Highways Dept and add them to the schedule of works to be monitored.


Public Participation closed at 7.10 pm



 261/2020   Apologies

                      Apologies were received from Cllrs.J Beddows, M.Holder and R.Wilkinson




 262/2020        Declarations of Interest


Declarations of Interest were receive from:

Member Interest Reason
Cllr Mrs.Z.Stretton Planning applications

Agenda Item 12 (a)

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

Agenda Item(12 (a)

Member of District Council Planning Committee
Cllr Mrs.S.Harding Miner’s Plaque

Agenda item 12 (a)

Member of CHAPS


 263/2020       Minutes of Meeting held on 16th September 2020

                      The Minutes of the Council meeting on the 16th September 2020 were agreed as a true and    accurate record.


       Proposed:    Cllr. D.Bilbie

       Seconded:   Cllr.  J.Bernard


    Matters Arising from the Minutes:


    Page 1 – Miner’s Plaque  –  this should read that the Council will be able to have input of what dedication is included in the Book not on the plaque.


Page 5 – Planning  – it was reported that the Planning Application for the Gypsy/Traveller site on Lime Lane will be heard at the District Council Planning Committee on the 11th November.


 264/2020     Police Report


A written Police report had been received from PCSO Connor Ashton and circulated to all   Councillors prior to the meeting.


The contents of the report were noted and a copy will be attached to the minute book copy.


Cllr.J.Preece has reported the issue of no social distancing at One Stop shop on Norton East Road.


Cllr.K.Fereday said that it was a concern that there appears to be an increase in incidents in the village which does not demand that more PCSO time is available.  Whilst there has been improvement in the contact with the Parish Office since the new PCSO commenced, we still have not had a formal response to our email to the Inspector raising concerns re lack of local policing in the village.  Cllr Newbury reported that he is aware that there has been a problem on the new estate which Police have followed up.


Action:     Clerk to contact Inspector Hines as a reminder to a response to our original enquiry

                                       re local policing.





 265/2020    Adoption of Policies


Following the September Council meeting where adoption of polices was an agenda item, there were some amendments required relating to the Financial Regulations to incorporate a  Delegated Powers instrument attached as Appendix A to the Policy to cover the business of the Council in times of emergency situations.   The Standing Order document was required to be amended to allow more flexibility in terms of scheduling meetings to support the business of the Council .A report was circulated prior to the meeting which outlined the amendments required.



It was resolved:

To approve the amendments outlined in the Report and adopt both the Financial Regulations and Standing Orders for 2020.


   266/2020  White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’

A report prepared by Cllr.J.Newbury as a proposed submission to the consultation on the Government White Paper – ‘Planning for the Future’ on behalf of the Parish Council.  Cllr.Newbury talked through the report and how this could impact on the Parish Council including the Neighbourhood plan in the future.  Councillors thanked Cllr.Newbury for his hard work in preparing this document.


As the document was quite long and Councillors may not have had the opportunity to consider the comments, Cllr.Preece suggested that should Councillors wish to make amendments to the submission then they should be sent to the Clerk by Monday 26th October to enable the deadline for submissions to be adhered to.


Action:              Councillors to let the Clerk know of amendments to submission re consultation for White Paper – ‘Planning for the future’


 267/2020   Miners Plaque for National Arboretum

A report had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting. The report outlined the details of the Mining Memorial to be located at the National Arboretum at Alrewas.  The report referred to the historic mining heritage of the village and asked Councillors to consider whether the Parish Council wished to support the Mining Memorial by purchasing a plaque  The report outlined that the cost of the plaque was £2,500 but the Parish Council had already made a grant of £250 towards the Project and this sum could be used as a contribution towards the overall cost of the plaque.  Suggestions re the mining design on the plaque which was felt should include a mining truck which would replicate the truck that we have on Jubilee gardens.  The Parish Council would be able to put a message in the Memorial Book and also a cast of the actual plaque would also be available to display in the village. Cllr.K.Fereday put forward a proposal that the Parish Council purchase a plaque in recognition of the mining history of the village.


It was resolved:

That approval be given to purchase a Plaque to represent the mining heritage of the village at a cost of £2,250.





  268/2020     Community and Youth Endeavour Award 2020


The meeting was told that due to Covid pandemic nominations in the traditional way  for the community and youth endeavour awards had not taken place.   Discussion ensued on whether this should not take place in 2020 and that the next awards would be held in 2021 or alternatively perhaps the award could be given to the keyworkers.  It was agreed that it would be difficult to identify organisations for the Award as so many came forward to help others during the pandemic.  It was noted that the budget for the Awards is normally £75, Cllr J.Bernard suggested that this be increased to £100 and donated to the food bank as it known that they are struggling for supplies at present and have helped many people during this difficult period of the pandemic.  This would help those who are in need of support can get help.


It was resolved:

To make a donation of £100 to the Food Bank in support of the work they have done during the pandemic.


 269/2020     Cema Upgrade


A report had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting regarding the Cema playground upgrade and open space.  The report included details of the proposed consultation process prepared by the District Council working group which includes the Clerk and Cllr Harding representing CHAPS.   Councillors were asked to consider whether the questions and content of the consultation was felt to be appropriate.  Discussion ensued on process of the consultation and there was some feeling that Councillors require more time to consider the report.   Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard raised some concern that in the circulated document there was no mention that the Ward Councillors were not involved on the working group as she felt that this was important.  Cllr Bernard felt uncomfortable that the Ward Councillors were not there spearheading this as in her experience of District Councillors, should be seen and heard of what is happening in their area.  Cllr.Newbury commented that he had not been involved since April in meetings but this was due to lockdown and said that he thought the consultation should have been communicated before being asked to comment now on the consultation report. Cllr.J.Preece said that he took the comments on board and that in his discussions with Mike Edmunds at the District it was understood that there were two roles as a District Councillor and as a Parish Councillor.  Ward Councillors are aware as they are on the Cabinet who will ultimately sign off the Project.


The Consultation process which included face to face interviews with local people using the park has been delayed due to Covid and it is unsure when this would be able to take place due to government restrictions.  However, it was felt necessary to continue with the consultation but in a different way with more online surveys and involvement of local schools.  Cllr.Newbury felt that it was important that the people who cannot access online surveys, also have a voice .    It was agreed that Councillors would consider the report and report to the Clerk any amendments/alterations that they feel are necessary.  Cllr.Newbury was concerned that not everyone would be able to access online surveys and that other ways of consulting would need to be identified.  The meeting was told that there is a timescale involved for the roll out of the consultation process and to enable all residents to be made aware of the Project this would need to be included in the December edition of the Village newsletter and the next edition of Chase Matters.


Action:       Councillors to consider the content of the circulated consultation and feedback any comments to the Clerk by 28th October.


 270/2020     Grove Colliery

                     Cllr.J.Preece gave an update with regard to the Grove Colliery and reported that a site meeting with Little Wyrley Estates and some Councillors had taken place on the 8th October to primarily look at the site and any potential ideas for possible heritage led regeneration.   The outcome of the Planning Application for the Gypsy/Traveller site on Lime Lane will determine whether an appeal is lodged relating to the refused application for this type of site at Grove Colliery.  If the application at Lime Lane is successful then Little Wyrley Estates will be in a position to put forward  a proposal to the District Council about any potential development of the existing site. The District Council will need to come up with a vision to justify the sale of its assets.  The Officers of the Council have a mandate to sell the building so it is important that an approach is made to try and change the heart and minds of the District Council in relation to this site.


Discussion ensued on this matter which the Parish Council are working in partnership with Little Wyrley Estates to put forward a vision/potential for the site to the District Council.  Cllr.Preece is arranging a site visit with the leader of the Council George Adamson and the Cabinet Portfolio Councillor T.Johnson.


 271/2020     Reports from Councillors

                       No reports from Councillors were received.


 272/2020     Reports from Committees




No of Planning Application Address of proposed application


Proposal Comments by Parish
Planning Committee
CH/20/298 7 Bridges Road, Norton Canes Erection of a 2 bed bungalow on land to the rear of 95 Walsall Road and next to 7 Bridges Road

Amended Plans

Planning Committee considered the amended plans following our objections to the original planning application.

The amended plans incorporated most of the issues that had been raised and the bungalow had now been taken down to a height that meant the window and fennestray had been removed.  This would not allow another floor to be included in any future plans.

CH/20/330 151 Walsall Road

Norton Canes

Partial Demolition of existing retail unit and construction of 4 new dwelling houses with private drive No objections
CH/20/347 252 Norton East Road

Norton Canes

Two storey side extension and single storey rear extension Parish Planning Committee not yet considered this application.


CH/20/350 Norton Canes Business Park

12 Jerome Road

Norton Canes

Change of use of part of existing industrial unit into offices, to include sub-division of the unit into 3 to provide B1 and B2 uses with alterations to the elevations. Parish Planning Committee not yet considered this application.


CH/20/351 41 Newbury Road

Norton Canes

Single storey rear extension and enlargement of existing garage to the front Parish Planning Committee not yet considered this application.


Ch/19/339 21 Bridges Crescent

Norton Canes

Residential development – one detached dwelling. Permission granted


It was reported that the planning application for the Go Kart Track on the A5 was refused at District Council Planning Committee. Cllr.Mrs.Z.Stretton did apologise to Cllr.Bernard regarding her comments at the Planning Committee as she felt that her comments were personal to Cllr.Bernard when they should not have been.  She felt very strongly about this application and wanted to ensure that the right decision was made.   Cllr.J.Bernard had been asked to speak at the Planning Committee in support of the applicant by the applicant which was at a time when the application first came to the Parish Council for comment.  The applicants had been very proactive in getting people’s support for the site and had even arranged a site visit to a similar activity in Leicester.  Residents from Lime Lane area and also Councillors had been invited to this site visit which Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding had attended. It was felt that Cllr.Bernard had spoken as a Parish Councillor which had caused some debate.  Cllr.Preece said that this application had been ongoing for a number of years and that the original submission to this application by the Parish Council had been no objections. Discussion ensued on the protocols involved with planning applications at Parish Council level.    Cllr. Mrs.A.Bernard said that a review of the system was required so that this situation does not happen again and that the Parish Council are speaking with one voice.   It was agreed that the planning process for future planning applications considered by the Parish Planning Committee should be reviewed.


Action:        Clerk to look at reviewing the system for planning applications.


Cllr.J.Newbury commented that it is frustrating that it appears that District Officer argument in relation to green belt sites is inconsistent and lacks diversity which leaves the Parish Council at the short end of it.


Planning Permission re Gypsy/Traveller site on Stokes Lane  – the Parish Council had written to the Managing Director of the District Council about their concerns relating to the granting of the permission for this site.  A response has been received which was circulated to Councillors but was broadly a response supporting the recommendation in the Planning Officer’s report.   It was felt that this was more of a standard response and did not address all the points that we had made relating to this permission..  It was agreed that we should write again requesting answers to the points that we had originally made.


Action:  Clerk to write to District Council regarding a response to the points that we had raised relating to the permission of the Planning application.



Lantern Parade – Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard told the meeting that a decision had been made not to hold the annual lantern parade this year due to Covid restrictions.  Cllr.Bernard put forward a suggestion that an alternative festive parade could be looked into which would involve a Santa float going around the streets of the village with Christmas lights and Christmas music being played.  This would involve on a few people so social distancing would be able to be adhered to.


Discussion ensued on the logistics and arrangements for this type of event and whilst it was felt would be an uplift for families would need to be very carefully planned.    There was some support from Councillors to look into this and agreed that we should look at what other areas of the District are doing.


Action:     Clerk to look into the idea of a santa float and report back to the next Council meeting for a decision.


Welcome Signs  – a report had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting which gave information relating to the current welcome signs in the village and also listing other access sites for consideration.  The report also contained information relating to the different designs that could be considered.   Discussion ensued with regard to the item and there were differing views as to where the locations should be and also the design that should be considered.  Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard felt that some consideration should be given to some kind of sign being located on the peripheral areas of the village boundary for example Gorsey Lane and currently when travelling down that lane you are not aware that you are entering the village of Norton Canes.   It was noted that welcome/entrance signs into the village can help with speeding awareness as drive carefully messages can be included in the design.   Whilst there was some appetite from Councillors to have more signs there was no outcome from the discussion about how to proceed.  Cllr.Bernard stated that whilst there is no urgency re proceeding with this but we do need to plan re a programme and committed expenditure.


Cllr.J.Preece asked if we could contact the Community Speedwatch team and ask if there is any data/evidence to show that these types of gated signs are effective in reducing speed.


Action:  A further report to Council be put forward details costs and consideration of preferred locations.

              Clerk to contact the Speedwatch Unit to ascertain whether there is any evidence of improvements in speeding if straplines re advice re speeding are included on Welcome signs.


Audit and Governance

  • Financial position as at the end of 19/20 – a report giving the end of year financial position of the Council as at the end of 19/20 was circulated prior to the meeting and noted.
  • Reserves Account – a report relating to the current balance held in the Reserves account and detailing the ringfenced amounts held was circulated prior to the meeting and noted
  • Expenditure for new information lectern re Glacial Stone – a report had been circulated prior the meeting which referred to the replacement of the lectern information board on Millennium Garden and asking Councillors to consider the expenditure of £270 plus vat for a new sign.


It was resolved:


              To note the reports in items (i) and (ii).

              Agree expenditure for a new information lectern re the Glacial Stone


  273/2020   Neighbourhood Plan


The meeting was given an update re the current work on the Neighbourhood Plan.  A meeting of   the Chairmen of the topic groups was recently held to look at progressing the Plan following the delay due to Covid.    Draft minutes of the meeting were circulated to all Councillors prior to the meeting.  One of the issues referred to was the performance of Creative Souls who are commissioned to do the PR/Marketing element of the Plan. It has required some micro-managed in terms of what they are being asked to achieve with deadlines set.  Whilst the Neighbourhood Plan should be community led there is a role for Councllors to become involved. Cllr.J.Bernard suggested that Councillors should be advised of the dates of meeting of the topic groups.


 274/2020   Highways

Notes of a Highways Liaison meeting held on the 24th September was circulated to Councillors  prior to the meeting.  It was reported that at that meeting the schedule of works was reviewed and amended where necessary.  The meeting was informed of the other areas of discussion that took place relating to highways matters in the village.


 275 /202     New Cemetery

A report had been circulated prior to the meeting giving the up to date position relating to the  new cemetery.  The legal process for the Deed of Easement is ongoing and the Clerk is chasing the progress of this on a weekly basis.  The landowners have been kept up to date re the current status.


Once the Deed or Easement has been granted there are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to take the project  forward and a number of these which involve the costings of the build.   This requires the input of a Quantity Surveyor to undertake this work an provide a estimate of costs based on the plans that are currently available.  Councillors were asked to consider the fee of £300 for this work.   Discussion ensued and it was agreed unanimously that approval should be given for this expenditure which is necessary to progress the project.


It was resolved:


To agree the costs of £300 for the work of a Quantity to produce a report outlining the costs of the new cemetery project.


  276/2020   Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence

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


The Chairman gave an update on the flooding issues relating to Burntwood Road and the communications from the Flood Risk Team which had identified the responsibility of both the Landowner (Cameron Homes), the High School and the County Council in resolving issues relating to this matter.   There are ongoing investigations to explore the problems being encountered by residents.


Cllr.Preece also reported that the Flood Risk Team are looking into issues relating to gardens in Silver Birch Road which are saturated as they back onto Chasewater and exploring issues with regard to the ditch that has been filled in.


  277/2020   Authorisation of Accounts

                       A schedule of payments for October was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.  .


Proposed:    Cllr J.Bernard

Seconded:    Cllr.Mrs.D.Todd


         278/2020 Date of next meeting: Wednesday 18th November 2020 a 7 p.m.   Meeting will be held via Zoom.


         279/2020   Items for Information and Future Agenda            


         The meeting closed at 21.30 p.m.


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