Minutes of the Council held on 27th October  2021 at Trinity Methodist Church, Poplar Street, Norton Canes at 7pm

Present:   Cllrs J.Preece

J.Bernard

Mrs.A.Bernard

J.Newbury

M.Holder    (left meeting at

Mrs.S.Harding

Mrs.Z.Stretton

M.Stretton

K.Fereday

D.Bilbie

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

M.Hoare – District Councillor

6 members of the public

                   7 p.m Public Participation:

New cemetery –  question raised as to the status of the new cemetery.   It was reported that whilst this has been a long ongoing matter there has been some movement in that we have planning permission, we have approval from Government for a loan to construct the new cemetery but we are currently stuck in legal proceedings relating to the Deed of Easement which is required to allow us to access the pathway from the existing churchyard to the new cemetery.  A meeting has been arranged with the PCC on the 7th November to resolve some of the outstanding issues to the satisfaction of both the Church and Parish Council. Until this process is concluded we are unable to apply for the Faculty from the Diocese which will go out to public consultation.  We will then need to go out to obtain the design layout so there is still a number of processes to go through before construction can commence. Parish Council are mindful that this project needs to move forward with some urgency as the planning permission expires in March 2023 and the permission to draw down the loan expires in August 2022.

St.James Churchyard –  a resident raised her concerns relating to overhanging branches on trees in the churchyard which causes problems when accessing some of the graves and feels that something needs to be done to maintained.  The resident has approached the Church but no action has been taken.  The Chairman said that the Parish Council do not have responsibility for the churchyard so cannot comment on action that can be taken but we do know that there have been problems with the maintenance of the churchyard in the past and have helped with this.  It appears that the Community Payback team are now visiting the churchyard regularly to do the maintenance as in the past so there should be some improvement in the future.

The Chairman confirmed that the Parish council will be the Burial authority for the new cemetery and we would be responsible for the maintenance.  The churchyard now has no burial spaces so becomes a closed churchyard which the Church have to apply for.  It is at that point that this may be offered to the Parish Council to take over the maintenance but we would not be looking to do this which then leaves the responsibility to the District council to maintain the churchyard  in the future.

Development land  – the Council was asked if it was true that land belonging to the farm on Hednesford Road was up for sale for development.   The Chairman explained that the District Council are currently going through the Local Plan process which looks at land allocations for future housing growth up until 2038.  The Chairman explained how the Local Plan process works with land being put forward by landowners and developers for possible housing.  14 plots in Norton canes have been put forward and 3 pieces of land including farmland.  The District Council will assess the sites and make a decision in Spring 2022.  The government has directed that there should be 5,600 houses across Cannock Chase.  The District are also asked to support housing for the West Midlands area and Officers from the District have assessed this and put forward the figure of 500 homes.

Walsall Road – Mr.R.Knowles raised the deterioration of Walsall Road/Norton Green Lane where a an old colliery tunnel runs under the road.  This is causing a crack to appear and needs to be dealt with as a priority.  District Councillor M.Hoare told the meeting that this has been reported but he did not realise it had become worse.  He agreed to follow this up.

Action: Raise the problem with County Councillor Mrs.S.Thompson and ask for an update on the progress of repair.

Parking on Norton East Road outside One Stop – a resident raised a concern regarding cars parking on double yellow lines outside the One Stop shop and felt that it was an accident waiting to happen.  The Chairman responded to say that unfortunately double yellow lines do not deter people from parking.  The Clear Streets Dept of the County Council have responsibility for Traffic Wardens who can impose fines but with limited number of staff to cover the whole of Staffordshire and it proves difficult to get wardens in the village.  This is why there is a reluctance to install yellow lines because they are difficult to enforce.

Other problem roads with parking issues were discussed.

Allotments on Chasewater Grange – Mrs.J.Bullock asked whether there was any movement in the allotments on the Chasewater Grange estate. The Chairman responded to say that Taylor Wimpey had built a sewer under the allotments which has caused problems.  The District Council are asking Taylor Wimpey to resolve the problem which will then allow the allotments to be available.

 Public participation closed at p.m. 8.05 p.m.

144/2021  Apologies

                    Apologies were received from Cllrs.Mrs.D.Todd, J Beddows.

145 /2021  Declarations of Interest

                    Cllr.J.Preece- Member of the PCC

     146/2021   Minutes of Meeting held on the 15th September 2021

  The minutes of the Council meeting held on the 15th September were agreed as a true and accurate record.

       Proposed:          Cllr.D.Bilbie

  Seconded:         Cllr.M.Holder

    Matters Arising from the Minutes: 

Page 2 –  the Parish Council had put in objections to the 5G Mast but another application has now been submitted for a Mast but at a reduced height.  It now asks for a Mast at 15ft rather than 18ft.  This new application is still considered to be too high and not in the right location.

Cllr.J.Newbury gave further information relating to this application and stated that an offer to discuss this application and to be able to suggest alternative sites has not been taken up by the Company which is disappointing.   Cllr Newbury said that we do need to be mindful as Government guidelines are due to change which will allow companies to install 15ft Masts without planning permission.  It seems the company will not consider sites that are not on a highway.

Page 2 – Norton Aluminium  – it was reported that we have enquired whether the Liaison Committee is still operating.  Cllr.J.Bernard said that he was informed that unless there is anything seriously wrong with issues at the plant then they did not intend to start the meetings up again.

147/2021 Police Report

A written report was received from PCSO Connor Ashton covering the period from the 15th September to the date of this meeting.  The report referred to incidents of ASB, Burglaries and vehicle crime that had occurred between 20th September and 20th October. (copy attached to minute book)

The Clerk reported that there have been complaints about young people being on the Cema on the new fitness equipment, drinking and throwing the glass into the road which has landed on residents drives.   The Clerk has asked the Police to have a presence in that area to monitor the behaviour on the park.

There have been numerous posts on facebook relating to a white van going round the village late at night looking at cars.   Some suggestion that this is a milkman but no real confirmation regarding this.

Action:              Clerk to check with the Police if they have had any reports.

148/2021  Changes to Standing Orders

A report was circulated prior to the meeting regarding amendment to standing orders.  The report states that there is a requirement for 3 Councillors to put forward a Motion to amend a standing order.  The reason for the amendment relates to the appointment of Chairman and Vice Chairman of Committees at the first meeting of the Committee rather than at the Annual Meeting as stipulated in the Standing Orders.

A vote was taken and there were 5 votes in support of the amendment.

It was resolved:

To accept the amendments to the Standing Orders to reflect the appointment of Chairman and Vice Chairman of Committees at the first meeting of the said Committee.

149/2021 Additional Admin Support

A report was circulated prior to the meeting giving details relating to additional admin hours to support the Clerk in the general day to day admin duties to enable the Clerk to prioritise the work of the new cemetery given the timeframes we are now working to.  The contents of the report outlined the costs involved for additional hours up to 5 per week until the end of March 2022 when this can be reviewed.    The Neighbourhood Plan Co-ordinator is happy to take on additional hours and the advantage of that is that she is fully aware of the work of the Council so very little training is involved.

It was resolved:

To accept the contents of the report and authorise the expenditure for admin support for up to 5 hours per week until March 2022.

150/2021  Remembrance Sunday

                 The arrangements for the Remembrance Sunday Church services was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.  Due to the restrictions on numbers inside the church the Service will commence at 11.55 a.m. outside the Church by the memorial window.  The Service at Trinity Methodist Church will commence at 6 p.m. both services will take place on the 14th November. It was reported that there will be no school service at the Academy this year.

The Chairman said that going forward he would like to look at a different approach to how we do Remembrance Sundays and suggested to muster a group at a location maybe the Centenary Garden on Norton Green Lane and parade to Church with community groups.

151/2021  School Placements in Village

Through the work of the Neighbourhood Plan the Consultants had requested information from the County Council relating to school funding for additional spaces in the village.  There was some concern relating to the data provided which demonstrated that given the number of new houses in the village there was no plan in place to spend the S106 school funding to increase school numbers which now leaves new residents unable to get a school place for their children in the village where they live.    The County Council response does not address what is happening to those children who cannot find places.  Norton Canes Academy is close to being full, Jerome School had this year 71 applications which was twice the number of spaces available.  This school is in the catchment area for the new housing development on Norton Hall Meadow with 400 houses being built. The physical capacity at the Academy as it is a 2 form entry.  Cllr K.Fereday suggested whether temporary mobile classrooms could be considered.

Discussion ensued on what the Parish Council could do to raise this problem to a higher level at the County Council.  Cllr Newbury felt that there will be a permanent shift in catchment area. He said that the situation re school places will only get worse next year and what is required is for someone to fight our corner at the County Council to force them to spend the S106 money provided for education.   Cllr Mrs.A.Bernard stated that she felt there is a 5 to 10 year plan for schools as the County have a responsibility to children.

It was resolved:

That a letter be sent to the Chief Executive of the County Council and the Cabinet Lead for Education to raise our concerns re school placements.  This letter should be signed by all Councillors and the County Councillor.

152/2021  Maintenance of Pathway from Walsall Road to Bridges Crescent

                 Councillors were referred to the report circulated relating to maintenance issues with the pathway from Walsall Road to Bridges Crescent.  A letter has been sent to the residents whose houses back on to the path to politely ask if they would maintain the overhanging trees/bushes that impact on those using the path.   The County Council and District Council are not taking ownership of the path as it is unregistered so no maintenance now takes place.    The Chairman asked whether this is something Councillors feel the Parish Council should maintain but Cllr.Holder felt that this then sets a precedent as there are other paths around the village that require maintaining. Some paths in the village have been cleared by volunteers and members of the Council.    It Cllr.Newbury said he felt as a Parish Council we have a duty to do something.   was agreed to undertake this maintenance of the path as a one off and try and liaise again with the County Council about their responsibility as highways.

Action:         Clerk to arrange for the path leading from Walsall Road to Bridges Crescent to be cut back and maintained as a one off and then to explore through the County Council how this can be dealt with in the future.

153/2021  Reports from Councillors

                    Dementia alliance – Cllr.Mrs Harding told the meeting she done some webinars recently.

Gym Equipment – Cllr.Mrs.Harding said that she had received a number of positive comments about the gym equipment installed on the Cema.

Newsletter – Cllr.Mrs.Harding reminded Councillors that the deadline for articles in the next edition if the Newsletter is 5th November.

Emergency Climate – What it means for Parish Councils. Cllr Newbury told the meeting that he had attended a 2 day conference recently on Climate Change and what it means for Parish Councils.  The Conference was very informative.  There were a number of potential actions and proposals for Parish councils to consider.  Cllr.Newbury suggested that this should be further discussed as an agenda item for the next Council meeting

Action:         Climate Change and what it means for Parish Councils to be an agenda item at November meeting.

Local Plan    Cllr.Newbury reported that he had attended a district council meeting re the Local. There are 40 sites for employment and 83 sites for housing included in the Plan.  The date for the publishing of the Local Plan is Spring 2022.  All concerns relating to infrastructure were put forward.

154/2021  Reports from Committees

                   Planning  

No of Planning Application Address of proposed application

 

Proposal Comments by Parish
Planning Committee
SCC/21/0031 Poplars Waste Disposal Site

Lichfield Road, Cannock

Retain the Poplars Anaerobic Digestion Facility to make the facility permanent

 

No objection.
CH/21/0418 Burntwood Road

Norton Canes

Prior Notification for Proposed 15m 5G Telecoms Installation

 

Planning Committee yet to consider this application

 

 

Decisions by CCDC

 

 

 

   
CH/21/0352 Sainsburys Foodstore

Voyager Drive, Cannock

 

Installation of plant and relocation of fire door Permission granted
CH/21/0358 11 Spinney Close Proposed first floor extension and rendering to all elevations

 

Permission granted

Projects

Lantern Parade – plans are moving forward for the lantern parade.  A road closure notice has been applied for. Local groups and schools are making lanterns.   The cannock rotary club are supporting the parade by providing a sleigh and there will be entertainers dressed in childrens characters supporting the parade along the route . The entertainers have been funded through the Welcome Back Fund.  We will be looking for Marshalls to support the parade so anyone who wishes to be part of it or knows anyone that would be willing to be a volunteer to let the Clerk know.

Bench Plaque for John Hampshire –   a suggestion for the wording of the plaque in recognition of John Hampshire was circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.  Some discussion ensued on this with varying comments.  The general wording suggested was agreed with one or two amendments.

   It was resolved:

           To accept the wording for the Plaque for John Hampshire as ‘’in memory of John Hampshire a former Parish Councillor whose enthusiasm and passion for the village is his legacy in the community’

Mining Plaque replica –  the Parish council are now in receipt of the mining plaque replica and discussion ensued on the most appropriate location.  It was agreed because it was relating to the mining heritage of the village that it should be installed on Jubilee gardens as the mining truck is already located there.   It was reported that Craig Watts had offered to help build a brick feature that the cast could be inserted in. He is happy to discuss what the Council wants. Cllr J.Bernard asked if the Projects committee could oversee this.

   Action:         To contact Craig Watts to discuss the feature for the miner’s replica cast.

Flashing speed signs –     discussion ensued on the appropriate roads for the locations for the flashing signs.  It was generally agreed that Hednesford Road coming from Heath Hayes to be located on the left hand side of the road by the first house coming into the village as this road is problematic re speeding.  The other location suggested was Brownhills Road going out of the village towards Brownhills West.  Cllr.Fereday felt that this may not be a suitable location as the whole idea of the flashing speed signs is to stop speeding coming into village rather than going out of village.  It was reported that Highways have to give their consent to the locations before installation can proceed.

It was resolved:

       To contact Highways Dept and inform them of the locations for their approval.

  Festive Window Competition  – it is suggested that we have a different format to this year’s competition, instead of independent judges deciding on the winners, that the shops be asked to take photos of their displays if they wish to enter and for these to be sent to the Parish Council for us to display on facebook page and notice boards and ask residents to judge.   It was felt that it may be better to do this online rather than judges visiting each shop.

Action:                        Clerk to write to shops and inform them of the change of format for this year   

                             with dates when the photos should be sent and the date the prizes will be presented.

        Audit & Governance   

A report was circulated prior to the meeting outlining a request for Councillors to consider expenditure for replacement Christmas lights that may be needed,  The costs for this is not yet known at the time of the meeting as the lights have not been checked. It was agreed that under the Terms of Reference adopted for Audit and Governance Committee that they could approve expenditure.

It was resolved:

     That the Audit and Governance Committee to approve any expenditure for Christmas lights.           

155/2021   Highways

There has been no Highways Liaison meeting but the Clerk has been raising highways issues on a regular basis.  Cllr.J.Newbury suggested that it would be a good idea to arrange another Liaison meeting to review the schedule or works.

It was reported that the pothole on the junction of Brownhills Road/Burntwood Road was planned to be repaired a few weeks ago but this hasn’t happened.

Action:         Clerk to raise this with the County Councillor Samantha Thompson for an update  on why this work has not been completed.

156/2021   Cema Upgrade

                It was reported the upgrade of the play area is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of November with landscaping completed by the end of December.

157/2021    Grove Colliery

                    Nothing to report

158/2021    Chairman’s Announcements and Correspondence                         

The incoming and outgoing post having been circulated was noted.

The Chairman reported on the Youth Outreach Programme. He had met with the staff from the Bloxwich Partnership who would be delivering the project and also the Police to go through some details. The programme is due to start during half term week.

159/2021   Authorisation of Accounts

The schedule of payments for October was circulated prior to the meeting.  There were no additional payments to be added since the schedule was circulated.

Proposed:          J.Bernard

Seconded:          D.Bilbie

All in favour            

     160/2021  Date of next meeting : Wednesday 17th November 2021 at 7 p.m. Norton Canes Community Centre.

     161/2021   Items for Information and Future Agenda   

 

                         The meeting closed at 9.15 p.m.

 

SIGNED: ………………………………………………………………………   Dated : …………………………………………………..

 

      

CONFIDENTIAL ITEM

162/2021               New Cemetery

The notes of a meeting between the new cemetery working group and our Solicitors was circulated.  Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard discussed the contents of the report and gave an update of where we are at with regards to the legal proceedings relating to the Deed of Easement.   Councillors noted the contents of the report and agreed the actions to be taken.  A meeting with the PCC to discuss our concerns is planned for the 7th November.

 

 

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