Minutes of Council Meeting held on 16th September 2020 Virtual meeting held via Zoom

   Present:  Cllrs J.Preece













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

3 members of the Public


Presentation by CHAPS re Mining Memorial Plaque

A presentation by Mr and Mrs Mellor from CHAPS attended the meeting to give a presentation regarding the National Miners’ Memorial to be located at the National Arboretum in Alrewas.  This was a project that been borne out of an idea to recognise and respect the Mining heritage of Cannock Chase and to those who had lost their lives whilst working in the mining industry.


The details of the presentation had been circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting for information. Mr and Mrs Mellor discussed the details of the project which wasto  install a structure created by artist Andy de Comyn and that there were 22 bronze plaques available for purchase at a cost of £2,500 by individuals or organisations.  The plaques would be positioned around the memorial depicting the mining history which would have different designs on each plaque.  Those who have purchased plaques would be acknowledged in a book to be produced for the dedication of the memorial and would also receive a full size plaster cast of the panel made which could be displayed locally or in people’s homes if purchased by individuals.


CHAPS were asking if the Parish Council would like to consider purchasing a plaque to recognise the mining heritage in Norton Canes where there were many mines a number of years ago .  It was suggested that if the Parish Council did consider purchasing a plaque, the £250 that the Parish Council had already been granted to CHAPS towards this Memorial could be used as part of the payment, so that the cost to the Council would be £2,250.


Councillors raised some questions relating the plaques and the contents of the book of dedication.  It was confirmed that if the Council proceeded they would have input in was included on the plaque and also what statement was included in the book.


Mr and Mrs Mellor thanked the Council for inviting them to give the Presentation.



   Public Participation closed at 7.50 p.m.   


   246/2020              Apologies

                                             Apologies were received from Cllr.R.Wilkinson and Mr.P.Sanders


   247/2020               Declarations of Interest


Cllr Mrs.Z.Stretton Planning Applications Agenda item 7(a) On District Council Planning Committee
Cllr.Mrs.D.Todd Planning Applications Agenda item  7(a) On District Council Planning Committee
Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding Audit and Governance Agenda item 8(c )

Re Expenditure for Mining Plaque

Member of Chaps


248/2020  Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 19th August  2020

The Minutes of the Council meeting on the 19th August 2020 were agreed as a true and accurate record.


                 Proposed:    Cllr. M.Holder

     Seconded:   Cllr.  J.Bernard


   Matters Arising from the Minutes

Page 1 – Flooding on Walsall Road/Norton Grange –  it was confirmed that sandbags had been delivered to the houses on Norton Grange.


                             Page 4- Planning Decision re Gypsy/Traveller site on Stokes Lane –   question raised as to whether a response had been received to our email to the Managing Director about our concerns relating to the decision re this application.  The Clerk confirmed that no response had yet been received.


Action:                Clerk to chase up response from the District Council.


                  Page 5 – Audit and Governance –  Cllr.J.Bernard asked if the Honorarium had been made to the Planning Consultant.  The Clerk confirmed that this payment had been made and a response had been received showing appreciation.


249/2020               Police Report

A written Police report had been received from PCSO Connor Ashton and circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.  The Clerk informed the meeting that since communication with Sgt Burslem about the lack of networking with Police in the village there had been some improvement and PCSO Ashton has been very proactive.  He is currently covering PCSO Karen Willis who is on long term sick leave at present.  PCSO Ashton had been into the Parish Office and the Clerk reported that she had spoken to him about some of the issues for the Council relating to the continuing drugs on the Co-op car park and also an increase in damage to our local parks.  PCSO Ashton was asked to monitor both on a more frequent basis.


The report gave information relating to some incidents of ASB personal nuisance re some neighbour disputes and also nuisance of young people on the Brownhills Road play area. The Police had attended and gave the young people some advice.


There were some transport related matters regarding 3 vehicles on separate occasions being seized due to no insurance and/or driving licence.  It was reported that there was one incident of a burglary from a commercial site on Norton Hall Lane/Harrier Way which the Police are aware of and paying attention to the area overnight.


250/2020             Adoption of Policies for 2020

Copies of the following policies for review and adoption were circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting.


  • Standing Orders

Discussion ensued on point 5(d) of the Standing Orders which refers to the number of meetings.  It was felt necessary to amend this statement to provide the Council more flexibility in arranging meetings around business and operational need. It was not felt that the current wording confirms how we can change dates.


The statement referring to co-opted Councillors having voting powers was clarified. Councils can co-opt to Committees (which maybe a member of the community) without voting rights but if a Councillor is co-opted to full Council  then that person would having voting rights.


Action:      Amendments to the Standing Orders policy be put before the     October Council meeting for adoption.


  • Financial Regulations

The meeting was told that a statement at 4.10 had been added to the document to reflect the Delegated Power instrument that was initiated during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It was felt that this instrument should be appended to the Financial Regulations to cover the Council in any emergency situation which would enable the business of the Council to continue.


The Clerk referred to the use of a Unity Card for purchases on behalf of the Parish Council which would require 2 cards to be issued one for the lengthsman for general garden items throughout the year and additional purchases and the second card for the Clerk.  This would replace the current petty cash system but the process would be he same whereby receipts are provided for each expenditure and recorded on a spreadsheet which is verified by the internal auditor.  The amount of money on each card would be agreed by full Council and reconciled on a monthly basis.  It was suggested that this could be discussed by the Audit and Governance Committee and referred back to full Council.


Action:   It was agreed that this amendment to the Financial Regulations should be made and be put forward to the October Council meeting for adoption.


               Unity Card be referred to Audit and Governance Committee for discussion and thereafter referred back to full Council for a decision.


(c)       Code of Conduct

Discussion ensued on the Code of Conduct.  There are changes being proposed NALC and it was agreed that we should adopt the policy as it currently stands and revisit this as and when the updates from NALC are available.


It was resolved:

                        To adopt the Code of Conduct.


  • Pension Policy

The contents of the Policy were noted and no changes required.


It was resolved:

                        To adopt the Pension Policy


251/2020                White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’

                               The meeting was informed that the Government have issued a White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’.  The Parish Council had asked John Heminsley if he would review the contents of the White Paper and suggest any issues that may affect the Parish Council which could be put forward as our response to the consultation process. A paper giving a summary of the contents of the White Paper had been circulated to Councillors for consideration  The timeframe for submitting a response is the end of October and this needs to be put before full Council in October to enable us to respond within the timeframe.  It was agreed that a small working group be set up to consider the implications for the Parish Council and put together a response for submission.  The working group will consist of :






Cllr.M.Holder said that John Hemminsley should be thanked for his work on this lengthy document and providing the Parish Council with advice regarding its response.


Action:                        Clerk to arrange a Zoom meeting of the working group.


  252/2020               Councillors Reports

There were no reports from Councillors.


253/2020               Reports from Committees


A summary of planning applications was circulated prior to the meeting.

No of Planning Application Address of proposed application


Proposal Comments by Parish
Planning Committee
CH/20/290 16 Stag Crescent, Norton Cqanes Extension of existing dormer window on front elevation and replacement porch to front elevation entrance No objections
Ch/20/298 7 Bridges Road/95 Walsall Road Norton Canes Erection of 2 bedroom bungalow on land to rear of 95 Walsall Road and next to 7 Bridges Road Objections based on property considered to be a tandem development.  Whilst empathy for residents in Walsall Road and Bridges Road, no empathy shown for residents in Wallace Close who will have the most impact. Issue relating to window above kitchen and development in close proximity of fence for No 10 Wallace Close due to loss of privacy. Requested site visit and that the application is dealt with by full Planning Committee.
CH/20/305 Land at Lime Lane, Pelsall Change of use of Land to a Gypsy/Traveller residential site for up to 10 caravans No objections


CCDC Decision      
CH/20/198 Land at Stokes Lane, Norton Canes Change of use of Land to use as a residential caravan site for 4 gypsy families Permission granted




Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard gave a verbal report relating to the following items under the Projects Committee. Cllr.Mrs.Bernard told the meeting that whilst it had been agreed that the Cil money had been invested in a 1 year Bond, we do need to focus on projects that this money could be used for.


Lantern Parade –  given the current restrictions relating to COVID-19 it is suggested that it will not be possible to hold the lantern parade this year.  Some plans had tentatively been made which can be cancelled.   Some discussion had taken place about whether an alternative way could be looked at in recognising this event.


BKV 2021 –  whilst the competition did not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic it did not stop us focusing us on areas of enhancing the village and the summer plants have been particularly good this year with positive feedback received.   When the competition details are announced for 2021 we will submit our entry.


Christmas Lights – The Christmas light arrangements for this year are all in place and the switch on date is 4th December.  All the lampposts have been tested and passed apart from one which required some repair but this will be at no cost to the Parish Council. The admin co-ordinator role for the Contract for the Christmas Lights will be undertaken by Laurie Bowman who has previously carried out this role when employed at Hednesford Town Council   Laurie Bowman is now the Clerk at Heath Hayes Parish Council and it is agreed that she will continue in the role of  Co-rdinator which provides continuity for the Contract arrangements.going forward for the next 3 years.


Welcome sign  – the second Welcome sign for the village is awaiting installation to be located on Walsall Road just before the turning for Cherry Brook. The delay has been due to the backlog of the Contractors work due to Covid but it is hoped that this will be installed within the next few weeks.

Other sites at entrances to the village are now being explored for additional Welcome signs.


Hanging Basket Poles – these have now been delivered and awaiting installation.  As these will not be in use until early in 2021 when the summer planting takes place, there is no real urgency in arranging the installation.


Triangle of Grass Verge at the junction of Norton Green Lane and Walsall Road –  we have the Highways Liaison Officer to look at the grass verge at this road junction to ascertain if we could take this area under Licence and we are awaiting a response.#


Grove Colliery  – during the work of the Neighbourhood Plan under the Heritage topic group and a recent planning application for a Gypsy/Traveller site, there has been discussions about the potential for the regeneration of the Grove Colliery site. Little Wyrley Estates are keen to work in partnership with the Parish Council to take this further to put forward ideas to the District Council. The meeting was told that any development of this site would not be the responsibility of the Parish Council as the building itself is owned by the District Council.  From discussion with Little Wyrley Estate it has been suggested that the Parish Council come up some ideas for the site which could be put to the District Council.  Some discussion ensued on the District Council’s position relating to this site and the need for them to see a financial return on the asset they own.


Cllr.M.Holder suggested that the partnership with Little Wyrley Estates needs to be formalised and that a working group could be set up to meet on site and commence dialogue regarding the issues and ideas that can be then put to the District Council. Cllr.Holder also suggested that if the regeneration/development of the site went ahead it maybe that the Parish Council may want to consider the possibility of pump priming a project from Cil Money and the grant received from the government for Small Business rates which in total amounts to £64k.


Members of the working group are:








Action:            Clerk to arrange a site visit with Little Wyrley Estates at Grove Colliery to look at the potential ideas regarding regeneration that could be put forward to the District Council.


It was discussed whether this could be taken forward under the umbrella of the Neighbourhood Plan but Cllr.J.Preece felt that there is some urgency about putting forward some ideas to the District  and he is not sure that the timing of the Neighbourhood Plan would coincide with taking this forward.

Councillors were asked to let the Clerk know if they have any ideas/suggestions for the future of the Grove Colliery site.


Cema Upgrade

The upgrade of the Cema had been delayed due to Covid-19 but Cllr Mrs.A.Bernard said that it was now important that the Parish Council need to work with the District Council in taking this project to the completion stage which will now probably take place in the Spring of 2021. Cllr Mrs Bernard felt that the experience and work of both Cllr Mrs.S.Harding and Cllr.Preece in taking this project forward had been significant and had taken it to the level of where it was now going to happen.  With this in mind she felt that those representatives on the Cema project had played an important part in the project through local groups, Friends of Norton Parks and Open Space etc and that  their experience on working on this type of project could be beneficial if were part of  working group on the Grove Colliery project as this is starting from scratch. The Cema Project is now being taken forward by the District Council which is being funded through S106 money and the Parish Council are part of the consultation.  A working group of Officers of the District, the Parish Clerk and Sheila Harding as a member of CHAPS will be steering the Cema project forward and meetings are taking place to look at recommencing the consultation process.


Cllr.Mrs.A.Bernard felt that the Cema Project had been ongoing for 7 to 8 years and a number of avenues through bids by local community groups and the partnership had tried to raise funds to take this project forward.   The project has only been possible due to the District Cabinet agreeing to use S106 funds for the upgrade.  Some discussion ensued on what the consultation process should include and that people’s expectation of what could be part of the project needs to reflect the sum of money that is available is £120k which is quite small in terms of what is to be provided. Cllr.Newbury said that it was important to get the consultation right and the children and elderly to be included in this process which may be difficult in the current pandemic restrictions.  Cllr.Mrs.Bernard said that she felt that all Councillors were not aware of the Plans apart from the background which had been reported previously at Council meetings an that an update of what is proposed would be helpful   Cllr.Mrs.S.Harding responded by saying the plan for the upgrade is still and always has been  based on the original lottery bid plan and that this was consulted on a number of years ago but that the consultation process does require to be updated.


Action:            Clerk to circulate the plans and costings provided by the District Council to all Councillors for information.


Traffic Island on Norton Hall Lane – following the report at previous Council meeting that the artificial grass on this island had been taken which the County Council have confirmed do not intend to replace but are suggesting grey shale.  The Parish Council have previously agreed in principle to take over this island pending clarification of any funding that the developer had given to the County Council for the future maintenance.


Parish Council Office –  following the last Council meeting the Clerk contacted the

District Council to enquire if there were any long term plans for the building which may affect the Parish Council. A response has been received that there are no plans for the building in the future.  Cllr.Mrs.Bernard said that the discussion that had taken place was just a suggestion and that this may grow itself in the future depending on any changes that may be required in terms of the growth of the Parish Council.


Audit and Governance


  • Annual Return 2019/20 – the Clerk informed the meeting that there was delay in the External Auditor completing their audits as all the dates for Councils to submit their Returns had been delayed due to Covid.
  • Expenditure for Miners Plaque – following the presentation of CHAPS regarding the National Miners’ Memorial at the National Arboretum in Alrewas and the question as to whether the Parish Council would wish to purchase a plaque in recognition of the mining heritage of the village.  The cost of the plaque is £2,500 but the Parish Council have previously provided a grant of £250 towards the Memorial which could be used as a contribution to the £2,500 leaving a balance of £2,250 to approve.  Discussion ensued and Cllr Mrs.A.Bernad felt the presentation was good and it is a nice idea but felt that as we are looking at some bigger projects, this money may be better spent elsewhere.  M.Holder felt that it would not be right to make a decision at this meeting and that a formal intention to give it legitimacy should be put forward as an agenda item for October.


254/2020               Neighbourhood Plan

A brief update on the work of the Plan was given to the meeting.  Ongoing work is now progressing following the delay of Covid and the meetings are now planned to take place.


255/2020               Highways

                               A Highways Liaison meeting has been arranged for the 24th September when all highway issues relating to the village will be reviewed.


256/2020               New Cemetery

The Clerk reported that Solicitors are still working on the Deed of Easement and that until this process is completed no further work on the new cemetery can be undertaken.


Cllr.M.Holder informed the meeting that an approach had been made to the Planning Consultants John Heminsley and Bob Phillips to ascertain their advice about how the project management of the new cemetery could be taken forward. We are awaiting their response.


Cllr Mrs.A.Bernard told the meeting that the work on both the new Crematorium and the District Council new cemetery was progressing. CllrMrs.Bernard asked if we could enquire if it was possible to have a visit to the Crematorium as an offer had been put forward previously by the Company and she would be interested in visiting the site.


Action:                        Clerk to contact Horizon re a possible site visit to the Crematorium,


257/2020               Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence

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


The Clerk referred to Remembrance Sunday and had been asked whether the Parish Council required a poppy wreath this year as it had been informed that the Academy School would not be holding their usual service and that it was unlikely that the Church would have a Service.  Discussion ensued and it was agreed that a Poppy wreath should be obtained which could be displayed on the Church wall as usual.  It was stated that despite the restrictions with regard to holding of Services, it was important to still recognise this and comment that the British Legion are still in need of funds that the poppy appeal generates.   Some suggestion about whether a flag with a poppy on could be sourced and fly on the pole on the Millennium garden.


Action:            Clerk to look at Poppy Flag that could be located on the flagpole on Millennium garden as a gesture to recognise Remembrance Sunday.


 258/2020              Authorisation of Accounts

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


Proposed:       Cllr J.Bernard

Seconded:      Cllr.D.Bilbie


259/2020             Date of next meeting: Wednesday 21st October 2020 a 7 p.m.   Meeting will be held via Zoom.


        260/2020              Items for Information and Future Agenda     


                                       The meeting closed at  9.05 p.m.


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






affect the occupancy by the parish council and also which may involve the car park.  A response had been received that there were no plans and so it was agreed just to keep monitoring the situation in the future.