Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
You are summoned to attend the Annual Meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council, to be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday May 17th 2023 at Eccleshall Community Centre.
1. To elect a Chairman and signature of declaration of office
2. To receive apologies for absence
3. To elect a Vice-Chairman and signature of declaration of office
4. To consider Councillor requests for dispensations and accept Declarations of Interest relating to items on the agenda
5. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on April 19th 2023
6. Co-option of Councillors for vacancies in Croxton and Horsley Wards
- Signing of Declarations of Acceptance of Office and Disclosable Pecuniary & Personal Interest Forms.
7. To appoint Committees and Liaison Representatives
8. To confirm eligibility and approve a resolution to adopt the General Power of Competence
9. To consider the Council’s Deeds and Insurances
10. To review and re-adopt the following policies:
- Complaints procedure (content unchanged, awaiting updated guidance for future update)
- Standing Orders (content unchanged)
- Financial Regulations (minor amendments as noted in Clerks Report)
- Publication Scheme (minor amendments as noted in Clerks Report)
- Policies, procedures and practices in respect of its obligations under freedom of information and data protection legislation. (content unchanged).
- Financial Risk Assessment (content unchanged apart from update to Community Centre insurance valuation)
Current policies are viewable at https://eccleshallparishcouncil.co.uk/finances-and-documents/
11. Public Participation:- a period for members of the public to address the Council
12. To receive any reports from Borough and County Councillors and police representatives
13. Committee Updates:
- To agree membership of the Parking Working Group, as resolved at the last meeting.
- To note the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd May 2023
- To approve re-printing of 6 walk leaflets
- To approve re-printing of bench to bench walk brochures
- No updates to report
Policy and Resources:
- No updates to report
- To note the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd May 2023
- To provide a summary of the Coronation picnic
14. Post-election actions:
- Remind continuing councillors to review their Disclosable Interest Forms and provide an updated version to the Clerk
- Reminder to submit any election expense forms to the Borough Council
15. To consider and appoint the internal auditor for the period April 1st 2023-31st March 2024
16. To note and express thanks for the service of outgoing Councillors
17. To provide an update to discussions with Stafford Borough Council regarding the Eagle Street Art location and to decide if the new Council wish to proceed with the project
18. Flooding: – To receive any response in relation to:
- Questions asked to SCC Flood team and Highways
- Flooding issues in Croxton
19. Summer newsletter – request for content
20. To receive the Clerks Report, containing liaison representative updates
- To receive correspondence from Community Speed Watch (CSW) for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in relation to canvassing interest of Croxton residents to set up a Speedwatch group
22. To receive the Chairman’s Report
A1 – To receive the Internal Audit report
A2 – To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1 of the Annual Return)
A3 – To consider and approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2 of the Annual Return)
A4 – To note the date of announcement and the commencement and ending dates for the accounts public inspection period
A5 – To accept the Financial report to end April 2023
A6 – To approve accounts for payment May 2023 to include sponsorship for Eccleshall in Bloom (x4 baskets)
A6 – to approve a quotation for cleaning of Croxton play area
24. To note the Annual Public Parish Meeting date – Weds May 24th 2023 from 7.30pm, Eccleshall Community Centre
25. To request any future agenda items and confirm the date and venue for next meeting – 21st June 2023, 7.30pm, Offley Hay Village Hall
S. J. Worden………
Clerk to the council – 11/05/2023
Minutes of the Meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council held on MAY 17th 2023
The Annual Meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council was held at Eccleshall Community Centre on May 17th 2023, at 7.30pm. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the Planning Committee at 8.45pm.
66/23). Present were:-
Councillor R. Taylor (Chairman) Councillor B. Delanchy
Councillor P. Jones Councillor C. Wilkins
Councillor D. Hill Councillor L. Dale
Councillor D. Hall Councillor S. Perren
Councillor C. Ryan-Bloor Councillor R. Langford
Councillor G. Dale Councillor L. Dale
Mrs Stacey Worden (Clerk)
Seventeen members of the public
67/23). To elect a Chairman and signature of declaration of office.
Cllr Peter Jones took the Chair for the election of the Chairman. There were two candidates for the Office of Chairman, Cllrs. Jones and Taylor. Councillor Taylor was duly elected as Chairman for the ensuing year.
Cllr. Taylor signed the declaration of office form.
Apologies were received from Councillors Kean and Mifflin and Borough/County Councillor Pert.
69/23). To elect a Vice-Chairman and sign the declaration of office.
There were two candidates for the Office of Vice-Chairman, Cllrs. Wilkins and Jones. Councillor Wilkins was duly elected as Vice- Chairman for the ensuing year.
Cllr. Wilkins signed the declaration of office form.
70/23). To consider Councillor requests for dispensation and accept Declarations of interest relating to items on the agenda.
There were no requests to receive, and no declarations of interest were made.
71/23). To confirm the minutes of the Council Meeting held on April 19th 2023
The minutes, which had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed.
72/23). Co-option of Councillor to Croxton and Slindon Ward vacancies
There were no applications for the Slindon Ward vacancy, which was deferred to the next meeting on the 21st June.
There was one applicant for co-option to the Croxton Ward vacancy. Following a vote, Bryan Delanchy was duly co-opted to represent Croxton Ward.
Cllr. Delanchy duly signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and completed the Disclosable Pecuniary & Personal Interest Forms.
73/23). To appoint Committees and Liaison Representatives.
It was resolved to approve the current membership and liaison responsibilities as listed below:
Planning Committee All Councillors. Cllr. Delanchy (Ch), Perren (VC)
Traffic Management Committee Councillors Jones, Langford, Perren, G. Dale, Wilkins, Hill, Reid, Ryan-Bloor, Taylor and Hall.
Enhancements Committee Councillors Jones, Langford, Taylor (VC), G. Dale, Wilkins, Perren, Hill and Ryan-Bloor.
Policy and Resources Councillors L. Dale, Taylor, G. Dale, Perren (VC), Wilkins, Hall and Hill.
Footpaths Councillors Taylor (Ch), Mifflin, Wilkins (VC), Perren and Hill, together with co-opted members – Mr. N. Davenport and Mr. Graham Cole.
Events Councillors G. Dale, Taylor (Ch), Hill, Ryan-Bloor and Hall.
Staffing Committee Councillors Jones, L. Dale, Delanchy and Taylor.
Other responsibilities/Liaison Reps:
Croxton Playing Fields Croxton Councillors
Allotments Councillor S. Perren
Eccleshall Community Centre Councillors L. Dale and D. Hill
Parish Councils Assoc. Clerk
Parish Forum Clerk
Police Liaison Officer Clerk
Flood Action Group Councillor S. Perren
Eccleshall First Responders Clerk
Offley Hay Village Hall Clerk
Press Officer Councillor P. Jones
Ecclian Society Councillor G. Dale
Internal Auditor Councillor S. Mifflin
Independent Internal Auditor Mr. Alan Toplis/Toplis Associates
Slindon Residents TBC
Children & Young Peoples Champion Councillor D. Hill
Croxton News Councillor R. Langford
Newsletter Editorial Team Councillors P. Jones, R. Langford and R. Taylor
Current Working Groups:
Sustainability and Climate Change (direct to Council):- Councillors Langford, Reid, Hill and non council member Mr. David Llewellyn
Business Plan (P&R):- Councillors Reid, Hill, Jones and Wilkins.
Youth Engagement (direct to Council):- Councillors Hill, Reid, Perren, Langford and Ryan-Bloor.
Parking (Traffic Management):- Councillors Jones, Reid, Ryan-Bloor, Hall, Perren, Langford and Hill together with co-opted member – Mr. J. Baldry.
74/23). To confirm eligibility and approve a resolution to adopt the General Power of Competence
Key points of the General Power of Competence were provided in the Clerks report circulated with the agenda. The power is defined in the Localism Act 2011 ss 1-8.
It was noted that the General Power of Competence does not supersede any other legislation that prohibits the Council to act.
The Council resolved that it is eligible to adopt the General Power of Competence by confirming it meets the following criteria as cited in The Parish Councils (General Power of Competence) (Prescribed Conditions) Order 2012:
- A qualified clerk who has obtained the CiLCA qualification
- The number of elected members (not co-opted) equal to or greater than two thirds of the total number of council members. The Council has 13 members out of 15 elected.
Having determined to have met the qualifying criteria, the Council resolved to adopt the General Power of Competence.
75/23). To consider the Council’s Deeds and Insurances
It was resolved to defer this item to the next Policy and Resources committee meeting, to allow for full consideration.
76/23). To review and re-adopt the following policies: –
The following policies were reviewed and re-adopted with any changes as noted below: –
- Complaints procedure. Unchanged.
- Standing Orders. Unchanged.
- Financial Regulations. Amended with minor change to page 8/9 to clarify the payment process.
- Publication Scheme. Amended with minor change to refer to budget and asset information being available on the website.
- Policies, procedures and practices in respect of its obligations under freedom of information and data protection legislation. No changes required.
- Financial Risk Assessment. Amended with minor change to reflect current insurance value for Community Centre
77/23). Public Participation
A resident spoke to update the council with regards to ongoing illegal parking concerns. The local PCSO has agreed to receive reports of illegal parking and where number plates are visible, will facilitate the issuing of warning letters.
78/23). To receive any reports from Borough and County Councillors and police representatives.
Borough Councillor Jones provided a report. Updates included:
- The election resulted in a change of control for the Borough which is now led by a coalition of Labour, Independent, Green and Liberal Democrat.
- There are now 14 Conservative Councillors including Cllrs Jones and Pert, thirteen Labour councillors, five Green, seven Independent and one Liberal Democrat.
- The new leader of the coalition is Aiden Godfrey (Labour) and the deputy leader Rob Kenney (Stone Independent).
- Pert is the new leader of the Conservative group and Cllr. Jones is the chairman of the group.
- The new situation should not detract from the support that we give the residents of Eccleshall and surrounds.
- Borough councillors will now spend the next month attending briefing sessions on the various parts of the council.
The police provided a crime report update for the period 16/3/23 to 16/5/23. During that period, 4 instances of ASB, 20 crime and 3 road traffic collisions were reported.
79/23). Committee Updates:
- Membership of the Parking working group was agreed as listed in minute 73/23 above.
- The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd May 2023 were noted.
- It was resolved to approve printing of 6 walks leaflets x 250 each at a cost of £228
- It was resolved to approve printing of 300 bench to bench booklets at a cost of £315
Cllr L. Dale reported that the works to clear the pavement along Stafford Road have now been completed and has made a big difference to the available space for pedestrians.
Policy and Resources:
There were no updates to report. The committee will meet on the 7th June.
- The minutes of the committee meeting on the 3rd May 2023 were noted.
- Taylor provided a review of the Coronation picnic event on May 8th. Although there were showers during set up, the rain held off for the majority of the event. The activities for children were much appreciated. Thanks were expressed to all the marshals who supported the event. The Carter-Motley family agreed that monies taken from the event were donated to a number of local groups – Katharine House, 1st Eccleshall Scouts, Eccleshall Trust and Stafford Youth Marching Band.
80/23). Post Election Actions:
Members were reminded to review their Disclosable Interest Forms and provide an update to the Clerk if not already received. Members were also reminded to submit any election expenses forms to the Borough Council.
81/23). Appointment of the Internal Auditor for 2023-24.
The Council resolved to approve the re-appointment of Toplis Associates (Kim Squires/Alan Toplis) as internal auditor for the period April 1st 2023-31st March 2024.
82/23). To note and express thanks for the service of outgoing Councillors
Cllr. Taylor expressed thanks on behalf of the council to outgoing councillors Leather and Joy Jones.
John Leather was a council member since 2016 and his extensive local knowledge and experience of land management was invaluable to discussions. Prior to leaving he served as Vice Chairman of the Traffic Management committee and a member of the Footpaths committee.
Joy Jones was a member since 2017 and served as Vice-Chairman of Planning and ably deputised in the absence of the Chairman. She was also a member of the Traffic Management, Enhancements and Events committees, helping to plan the Royal events in Eccleshall.
83/23). To provide an update to discussions with Stafford Borough Council regarding the Eagle Street Art location and to decide if the new Council wish to proceed with the project.
Members were provided with financial information, drawings, design statement and a verbal overview of the project was provided by Cllr. G. Dale. After approval was withdrawn for the original planned locations, the current location near the roundabout on the Stone Road was proposed but is held with the Borough Council and its request for a new formal proposal. Members had differing views on the project and wished to obtain further information to confirm the cost for completion of the street art, photos of the art in its current state and whether the stand could be designed with or without the branches, which were of concern as a climbing hazard. It was resolved for:
- the Clerk to obtain this information from the artist
- members to take the time to consider the paperwork and further information raised in the debate as well as the additional details once available
- To add to the June agenda for final review and decide on whether to proceed.
84/23). Flooding: – To receive any response in relation to:
- Questions asked to SCC Flood team and Highways: The questions were forwarded to the Staffordshire County Flood Authority and a response is still awaited. This has been chased by the Clerk.
- Flooding issues in Fair Oak: the flooding at the junction of Langot Lane and Fair Oak Bank was determined to be an accumulation of two separate issues, one on Fair Oak bank and one along Langot Lane. The SCC officer was aware of the Fair Oak problem and is escalating remedial action. The Langot Lane issue was investigated and found to be a result of a blocked pipe underneath the road and remedial work has been raised to clear this. Following resident feedback it has been noted to the officer that the pipe has been cleared in the past and reclogs quickly and more permanent works to address the issue would be of use.
- Flooding issues in Arn Hill: the floods were occurring at a point where 4 road gullies intersected and works were undertaken to clear the pipe leading from those gullies.
- A copy of the recent EFLAG meeting minutes were circulated to members separately.
85/23). Summer Newsletter:
Work on the newsletter will commence in June, and councillors were asked to send any articles or suggestions to the Clerk. The newsletter will contain pages of photos of the recent Coronation events.
86/23). To receive the Clerks Report, containing liaison representative updates.
The Clerks report was received by the Council. The blessing of the bench and tree at Holy Trinity was held on Sunday 7th May and Cllr. Jones attended.
87/23). Correspondence: –
- Correspondence was received from Community Speed Watch (CSW) for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in relation to canvassing interest of Croxton residents to set up a Speedwatch group. A number of years ago there was a CSW team working in the village, run by a resident who housed the CSW equipment comprising of a handheld radar device, a calibrated tuning fork and 2 temporary signs which is believed to have been paid for by the Council. Following a number of complaints by local residents in relation to speeding, it has been suggested that the Council could help to encourage residents to contact the CSW team and form a new group. If successful, the Council can consider funding the expected cost of replacement batteries for the existing kit. All training will be undertaken by the CSW team. An advert has been supplied and will be placed in the Croxton ABC magazine and the summer newsletter.
88/23). Chairman’s Report: –
There were no updates to report.
89/23). Accounts: –
A1 – To receive the Internal Audit report. Copies of the report were circulated to members in advance of the meeting. The report advised that there were no matters to be brought to the attention of the council. The Parish Council resolved to accept the report.
A2 – To Approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1 of the Annual Return). The Annual Governance Statement was considered by the Council in detail and it was resolved that all matters had been adequately complied with. The Chairman signed the form accordingly.
A3 – To consider and approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2 of the Annual Return). Copies of the statement had been circulated to members in advance of the meeting. It was resolved to approve the statement of accounts and this was signed by the Chairman.
A4 – To note the date of announcement and the commencement and ending dates for the accounts public inspection period. This was noted by the Parish Council. The period is from the 7th June to the 18th July 2023 inclusive.
A5 – To accept the Financial report to end April 2023. It was resolved to accept the Financial summary.
A6 – To approve accounts for payment May 2023:-
Payments made since the last full Council meeting were received and noted as follows:
|Mr. Peter Thompson – distribution of Coronation flyer||240.00||0.00||240.00|
|Mr. Graham Cole – Footpaths Maintenance||193.00||0.00||193.00|
Authorisation was sought for payment of the following accounts:-
|Staffing Expenses (BACS £126.96), balance s/o)||182.77||15.66||198.43|
|The Ecclian Society – Eccleshall in Bloom baskets x 4||140.00||0.00||140.00|
|Creative Copy n Colour – Picnic signage||138.00||0.00||138.00|
|Rialtas Business Solutions – Annual licence||134.75||26.95||161.70|
|Rob Keyzor Tree Surgeons – Jubilee Field ash tree||250.00||50.00||300.00|
|HAGS – routine inspection Croxton play area||70.00||14.00||84.00|
|Trent Grounds Maintenance – grass cutting||376.50||75.30||451.80|
|G-TEC – Footpath clearance works Stafford Rd||600.00||120.00||720.00|
|G-TEC – lengthsman work Stone Rd/Castle St||200.00||40.00||240.00|
|Stafford Brigades Youth Marching Band – Coronation picnic||250.00||0.00||250.00|
|Stafford Brigades Youth Marching Band – donation from picnic||254.00||0.00||254.00|
|Alan Williams – picnic (country singer)||243.00||0.00||243.00|
|Stafford Morris – Picnic entertainment||150.00||0.00||150.00|
|Bishop Lonsdale PTFA – commemorative medals||80.00||0.00||80.00|
|Katharine House – donation from picnic||800.00||0.00||800.00|
|1st Eccleshall Scout Group – donation from picnic||300.00||0.00||300.00|
|Eccleshall Trust – donation from picnic||300.00||0.00||300.00|
|Creative Copy n Colour – misc printing (letter and booklets)||327.00||0.00||327.00|
|Loo’s Direct Limited – picnic portaloos||792.00||0.00||792.00|
|A G Jones – SIDS movement||120.00||0.00||120.00|
All were in favour and the accounts will be paid accordingly.
A7 – It was resolved to approve a quotation of £325 for cleaning of Croxton play area.
90/23). Date of Annual Public Parish Meeting:- It was noted that the public parish meeting will be held on Weds 24th May 2023 from 7.30pm, Eccleshall Community Centre.
91/23). Items / Date and Venue for next meeting: –
The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for June 21st, 2023, Offley Hay Village Hall, commencing at 7.30pm.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 8.40pm.