Minutes of meeting held June 2018




Cllr. M. Russell (Chair)
Cllr J. Forrester (Vice chair) Cllr R. Edwards
G. Whelan (Clerk)

18/65 Apologies

BC R Sutherland and BC S Leighton Cllr. M. Winnington
Cllr N MacLeod

18/66 Declarations of interest in the following agenda:


18/67 Previous minutes:

Minutes agreed as a true record.

18/68 Public questions:

A villager voiced their concerns over the new bollards, unmown verges in Church Close and the village's flagpole.
Bollards: The main issue was with bollards fitted outside the village hall and it was requested that the parish council consider replacing these for wooden bollards, more in keeping with the look of the village. Councillors considered the matter and agreed that wooden bollards were the preferred option, however agreement would need to be reached on how far the wooden posts should extend, potentially all along the green to the church. A number of quotes would also need to be sourced before agreement. One quote of £1300 plus VAT was given for 22 1200x150x150mm tanalised softwood posts with 4 way weathered tops. Cllr Winnington suggested that there may be community funding which could support the cost of the replacement bollards. If replacement bollards were included, these could be added onto the parish council's insurance policy to cover damage by vehicles.

Action: It was agreed that the bollards would be discussed directly with Mr Keeling (Staffordshire County Council), who has already agreed that costs for a license to dig will be waived. Cllr Winnington will look into the possibly of a contribution from the community fund. It was agreed that further information on the bollards will be gathered and the matter was deferred for next month's meeting.

Mowing: It was reported that the verges either side of Church Close are still being left out of the village mowing. A request has been made to Streetscene to include these verges but these have not been included yet.
Action: Cllr Russell (Chair) will follow up directly with Mick Bailey (Streetscene). Parish clerk will forward on contact details to Cllr Russell.

Update: The parish council had received a request to change the day of parish council meeting as a weekly Thursday booking has been requested This is no longer needed as a different venue has been sought.
Update: The village flagpole has now been cleaned. Cllrs Edwards and Winnington volunteered to remove the pole and repair, before replacing the flag.

The Hextall Lane pothole is not considered a priority pothole by the county council. It was reported that two villagers have damaged vehicles because of the pothole. In all cases, potholes need to be reported directly to the council prior to a complaint being made regarding damage.

18/70 Finance matters

Mazars have been appointed as the parish council's auditors. Paperwork to complete the audit has now been received. An internal audit will be carried out prior to this. New regulations means that as the parish council is small, there is no need for an external auditor. Councillors agreed they were happy for the internal audit to be carried out only, saving the cost of an external one.

Councillors agreed that £2000 should be moved from the parish council's account into theMower Fund, resulting in a balance of £7000. Cllr Forrester proposed the motion, which was seconded by Cllr Winnington. All councillors voted unanimously to the money transfer. This will be requested at the bank following next month's parish council meeting as signed minutes need to be provided to the bank as proof of the transfer request.

18/71 Accounts to date:

The forthcoming year's budget was presented which included start point. The parish clerk address has recently changed and bank records need to be updated accordingly.

18/72 Reports:

Footpaths: Cllr Russell has not heard back from rangers regarding complaints made regarding fields where wheat has been grown to the very edge so walkers cannot get through. It was agreed that pathways need to be maintained.

Mowing: Standard of mowing this year has been very good so far.

Highways: Mark Keeling (Staffordshire County Council), was provided a detailed report from officers regarding flooding in Long Compton. It is hoped that work will be completed within a month. Officers also looked at gulleys in the village and stated these would be cleaned out with machines and then use another team to dig out the gulleys and if needed, a jetter will blast the dirt through. The council only cleans gulleys every three years although it was agreed once a year is needed. Estimates for a clean are approximately £400 each year. Councillors felt that the effect on village of having these gulleys and drains cleaned annually would be worth the additional cost. Councillors have been told from the contractor spraying company that Ranton village is not on the list of areas to be sprayed.

Action: Mick Bailey at Streetscene to meet with Cllr Edwards regarding sweeping of all village roads.

Action: Await news from Mr Keeling and Streetscene regarding cleaning of gulleys and drains.

Action: Cllr Russell will look into who is responsible for fencing bordering the road and brook in the village.

18/73 Clerk's reports

Website - It was agreed that a page with councillors' information, general Ranton information, and planning issues needs to be included.
Action: the parish clerk will look at costs and design for a new website which the parish council can maintain and upload.

The Annual Governance, Accounting Review (AGAR) and Audit 2017 - 2018. The Parish Clerk outlined recent legislative changes which facilitate a smaller council being permitted to exempt itself from external audit, if both its income and expenditure for the year are below £25,000 and certain core requirements have been met. Ranton Parish Council is in a position to exempt itself from external audit. Councillors agreed unanimously to the exemption.

18/74 Planning updates

Cllr Forrester reported that several complaints have been reported about noise from Drive Me over the past few weeks. He emailed a complaint to Stafford Borough Council and included the chief executive in the email. Residents were urged to continue complaining whenever noise levels are unbearable.

18/75 To resolve on planning applications.

None received.

18/76 Chairman's Questions/Items for Information/Next Agenda

In the past, a parish councillor has been present on the school governor board. It was agreed that this should be deferred until the school could confirm its desire to have a parish councillor on its governing body.
The parish council's noticeboard is leaking water so much so that mould is growing and condensation collects and the notices are becoming destroyed.

17/77 Date of next meeting

The next parish council meeting will be held on Thursday 20 September, 2018 in Ranton Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Signed.................................................. Date...........................

Gayle Whelan, Ranton Parish Council Clerk rantonparishcouncil@gmail.com