Minutes of meeting held January 17th 2019




Cllr. M. Russell (Chair)
Cllr. J. Forrester (Vice-chair) Cllr. N. MacLeod
Cllr. R. Edward
Cllr M. Winnington.
Gayle Whelan

18/122 Apologies
18/123 Declarations of interest in the following agenda:


18/124 Previous minutes:

Minutes were agreed as a true record. An annotation of a vote for smart water was added on by hand. It was agreed that for ease, minutes and agenda items to be sent out as PDF documents from now on.

18/125 Public questions:

One member of the public was in attendance - Mr Tony Parker, treasurer of the Church at Ranton All Saints. Mr Parker thanked the parish council for mowing the parish lawns over the past years. He explained that the church is in financial difficulty, with year-on-year outgoings being greater than income. The parish of Ranton, along with Ellenhall, Seighford, Chebsey and Norton Bridge pay an annual sum to Lichfield Diocese of just over £5000 per year. Mr Parker estimated that the church may have to close in two years if financed do not change. Eh parish council was asked for its help in raising the profile of the church which only has one service a month now, which somewhat restricts income. There are planned fundraising events over the year, however, it is still expected that there will be a shortfall of around £3000. It was noted that the churchyard itself needs maintenance, with one quote for £700 for surveying tree damage.

Cllr Forrester said that communication via website is not that good. Cllr Russell suggested crowdfunding, although this tends to be a one-off amount. Cllr Winnington said the church itself had many cracks in, with many things needed flagging up. As a village there are very few amenities left. It was suggested that a sign stating 'service this week' would be a good idea.

It was agreed that the parish council should liaise more with the church, and if there are specific maintenance issues, then the parish council should be approached. Start with trees as a priority. Short report outlined three main issues, removing deadwood from the Oak tree and minor work to the Cyprus.

Cllr Winnginton asked for clearer understanding of the legalities of what the parish council can do to support the church.

Action: Parish clerk will look into the parish funding the church and whether there are legalities that may limit what it can do. It was agreed that assessing maintenance and grounds keeping be looked into and if necessary, that be accounted for in the precept.

Replacement of bollards
The bollards have been replaced with wooden thick posts, however, there were several bollards short and therefore not all plastic bollards have been replaced. Councillors will agree what action to take at the next parish council meeting.

Grass cutting
A quote for grass cutting the whole of Ranton village has been received of £2,174.00.

18/126 Finance matters

The forthcoming year's budget was presented to councillors. It was agreed to:
Set miscellaneous to £100; Trees to £250 and gulleys £550.
Fencing (bollards) will be paid in this tax year so will not be carried forwards to the next financial year.
It was agreed that with gulleys, sweeping and weeding needed throughout the village and potentially the church work that needs doing, that an increase of 2.5% in line with inflation and expected maintenance costs expected going forwards.
Cllr Winnington proposed a 2.4% increase to the council tax. Cllr Edwards seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous for agreement to a 2.5% increase.
Vote: unanimous five votes agreed.

Councillors signed cheques for the Christmas tree (£230) and for the bollards (1682.72). VAT has to be completed online, the parish clerk has not yet been able to verify whether the council has previously registered for this.
Action: Clerk to advise councillors on the status of the submission for the refund on VAT.

18/127 Accounts to date:

Forthcoming annual accounts were present. No accounts were available for the meeting as no statement had been provided by Nat West bank due to an address error.

18/128 Reports:

a) Mowing: Parish clerk is following up whether Streetscene's quote for mowing includes weeding and hedgecutting.

Action: Cllr Russell will forward the map on to the parish clerk to identify where exactly needs cutting.

b) Highways: Grit bins were requested and one has been placed outside Ranton School. Mud on the roads is a continuing issue, especially along Coton Lane.

c) Footpaths: There was no up-date on the condition of footpaths. Cllr WInnginton reported trees cut and new stiles around his farm.

d) Gullies and weeding: Gulley emptying at collaborative, major roads yearly, smaller twice, minor every three years. Prioritise Dog Lane and Hextall Bridge before winter.

Action: Cllr Edwrads to follow up with Mark Keeling. PC asked to have a print out of liability of the insurance.

18/129 Clerk's reports

Civic amenity visits dates were agreed in June, August, October and February 2019.18/130 Planning updates

There were no planning applications before the council.

18/131 Chairman's Questions/Items for Information/Next Agenda

Christmas tree - lights need taking off first. Cllr Winnington offered to chainsaw the tree down. The matting over the cables will also be removed by Cllr Russell.

18/132 Date of next meeting

The next parish council meeting will be held on Thursday 21st February 2019 in Ranton Village Hall at 7.30pm.

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

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