11/01/05 – Balsall Parish Council Minutes December 2004


Present: Cllrs: Maltman (JM) (Chairperson), Brill (AB), Mulroy (EM), Smith (AS), Longfield (ML), Chesshire (GC) and Lea (PL)
Parish Clerk L Dury (LD)
4 members of the Public

Item Subject Action
1. Apologies: Cllrs Crossley, Lusty and Brookes
1.1 Cllr Brookes has verbally informed LD and JM that she has resigned from the Council. JM will obtain her formal letter of resignation. JM
2. Declaration of Interests
2.1 None
3. Minutes of the previous meeting:
3.1 There were no amendments to the previous meeting?s Minutes. The Chairman signed the Minutes. (Proposed by AS. Seconded by GC.)
4. Matters arising from the Minutes
4.1 7.5.1 ? The increase to £7,500 from 1 April 2005 reported by LD was in fact the rateable value, not the actual rates payable.
4.2 4.2 ? ML and RC have inspected the tree and it is still alive. As the tree is not in a heavily used area, it is felt that it is safe to leave the tree standing.
5. Committee Reports
5.1 Chadwick End Village Hall ? Cllr E. Mulroy
5.1.1 The Post Office has now decided to permanently close the Post Office in Chadwick End from 21 December 2004.
5.1.2 EM will provide the village hall accounts to LD for circulation. EM
5.1.3 Resolution:
Councillors resolved to order £750 of repair work from George Deeleys at the village hall to replace a cracked sink in the toilet, replaced slipped roof tiles, and re-point the brickwork. (Proposed by EM and seconded by ML.)
Order sent 14 Dec
5.2 Parish Plan ? Cllr Dr. P. Lea
5.2.1 A meeting was held last week where various ideas were debated. It has been decided to refer to the Parish Plan as a Village Plan. A plan will be developed for Balsall Common and Chadwick End. The Berkswell Society is developing its own village plan for Berkswell and information will be shared. The Steering Committee agreed to order software to the value of £75 and the invoice will be sent to LD for payment.
5.3 Footpaths, Highways and Bus Shelters – Cllr J. Maltman
5.3.1 A list of items for consideration will be passed to the Environment Group on the Parish Plan. JM
5.3.2 LD reported that the bus shelter at Blacksmith?s Corner has been re-glazed by mistake by Centro. As the material used conforms to safety standards, it will be left in place.
5.4 Administration ? The Clerk
5.4.1 All councillors should attend a Precept meeting on 18 January.
5.4.2 Resolution:
Councillors resolved to authorise the Clerk to appoint a new internal auditor without further reference to them. (Proposed by EM, and seconded by PL.)
5.4.3 AS will be attending a seminar on the proposed new Licensing Laws.
5.4.4 LD will be attending an all-day Clerks? Training Day on 2 February 2005.
5.5 Play Areas – Cllr A. Smith
5.5.1 The Play Areas Committee has voted to elect AS as Play Areas Committee Chairman following Cllr Brookes? resignation.
5.5.2 Following a RoSPA Safety Inspection, it was found that suppliers of spare parts for play area equipment could not readily identify parts required for repairs. The quickest method to ensure these repairs are carried out quickly was to order another safety inspection by the main supplier of the parts, and the Clerk had done this to ensure play areas are kept safe.
The Play Areas Committee have decided that Wicksteed Leisure will be used for future safety inspections, in addition to weekly inspections by David Elkington and more regular spot checks by councillors on the Play Areas Committee.
5.5.3 A metal litterbin has been ordered from Glasdon UK to replace the one burnt out at Willow Park.
5.5.4 Councillors decided to ask various people who work at Oakley Play Area to see if they can identify who is riding their bikes on play area equipment.
(The Clerk has informed SMBC and asked the Police to keep a watch. Cllr Smith will speak to the Parks Maintenance Contractor when he meets with him.) LD/AS
5.5.5 Resolution:
Councillors resolved to ask the current grounds maintenance contractor, Andrew Green, to continue with the grounds maintenance contract until 31 March 2006, and to see if he will accept the same terms. Proposed by AS and seconded by ML.
This has proved necessary to give the Play Areas Committee time to draw up the specification, which has been delayed due to lack of resources caused by councillor resignations and consequential loss of valuable experience and councillors? outside work and personal commitments.
(Andrew Green has agreed, providing that the contract continues until 31 March 2007, and has given an option for yet another year to 2008, if required. The Clerk has agreed 31 March 2007 without reference to Council based on the fact that a delay of a few weeks in responding to Mr Green, who was in the process of negotiating elsewhere, could have left the Play Areas with no grounds maintenance.)

LD to send letter to confirm new date
5.5.6 AS has recently visited all the play areas with members of the committee. He is now aware of the scale of the task at hand. AS asked that his thanks to the Clerk for her support be put in the Minutes.
5.5.7 AS will be arranging meetings with all maintenance contractors as soon as possible to ensure that he and they all understand what they are supposed to be doing.
5.5.8 AS has arranged a meeting with Mr Richard Ghent, Chairman of Chadwick End Football Club, to allow an interior inspection of the Pavilion.
5.6 Planning – Cllr Dr Peter Lea
5.6.1 2004/2690, 24 Alder Lane ? substitution of garage on plot 1. The Council objected as the proposals could lead to unsafe internal traffic manoeuvres. (Proposed by PL and seconded by GC.)
5.6.2 2004/2594, 199 Kenilworth Road ? Ground floor rear extension and loft conversion. The Council objected as there was concern that there would be intrusion into neighbouring properties due to the 4 bedrooms in the loft. (Proposed by PL and seconded by GC.)
5.6.3 The council made no observations to the following applications:
2004/2800, 233 Kenilworth Road ? Lounge extension, porch and conservatory
2004/2692, 24 Alder Lane ? Use of existing access to the site off Alder Lane to serve plot 1
2004/2716, 45 Balsall Street East ? 2-storey side extension and addition of pitched roofs to existing flat roofs of front and rear
6. Public Questions
6.1 Cllr Hitchcock, Chairman of Berkswell Parish Council, informed the meeting that he had attended a meeting concerning works at the railway. The Public pedestrian underpass is scheduled for completion this week and will be opened for use very shortly. The finish date for the road is not yet known.
6.2 Cllr Hitchcock stated that Warwick Council have taken over management of the Greenway.
6.3 It was agreed that Cllr Hitchcock would take any necessary action over dead elm trees on the A452 near the parish boundary.
6.4 A member of the Public asked if consideration had ever been given to provision of public toilets in the village. She was informed that it had been considered many times before and that there was a public disabled toilet at the Co-op, but that no one knew where to obtain the key.
6.5 Mr David Deanshaw, Secretary of the Balsall Common Village Residents? Association stated that he had received a reply to his letter sent as a result of comments made at the last council meeting. Superintendent McGinty had stated that he would be attending a parish council meeting in January 2005 for an update. It was felt that it was likely that he meant to attend the meeting held by Berkswell, as that was the one he had attended before.
6.6 Councillors asked the Clerk to write a letter to the Co-op in support to concerns the Balsall Common Residents? Association has about the Co-op?s proposed extension plans. In particular, there is concern that there will not be easy access for people approaching the shop on foot, and that the walkway will be too narrow. Letter sent 14 Dec
7. Representation Reports
7.1 ML asked councillors to include a figure of £5,000 in the Precept 2005/6 calculation to support the Balsall and Berkswell Jubilee Project.
7.2 Councillors will debate who will replace Cllr Brookes on the Jubilee Project Board at the next meeting. LD was asked to include the item on the next agenda. LD
8. Correspondence
8.1 There was no demand for any councillors to attend seminars on Quality Parish Councils, but the option remains open.
8.2 Councillors decided that there was no need for anyone to attend the one-day conference run by the Society of Local Council Clerks as the topics covered on the agenda had been covered at other seminars and courses.
8.3 LD will notify the West Midlands Fire Service that no one can attend its consultation meetings. Complete
8.4 LD will notify SMBC that the Parish Council has no objection to the application for an occasional theatre licence at Heart of England School on 21, 22, 28 and 29 January. Complete
8.5 SMBC?s Housing Strategy 2004-2008 is available on the Council?s web site at www.solihull.gov.uk/policies/housing/strategy.
8.6 LD was asked to put an item on the next agenda for the Council to support the Girl Guides efforts to refurbish the Scout Hut at Holly Lane to the value of £500. LD
8.7 Councillors decided that there was no need for them to comment on SMBC?s Native Woodland Plans.

9. Accounts
9.1 Payments made since the last Council meeting
Payments made 1 December:
Andrew C. Green £417.13 in respect of grounds maintenance at Willow Park and Chadwick End, WALC £1.85 for stationery, Severn Trent Water £11.70 for water rate charges at the Cemetery, BT £140.53 for installation of a phone and call costs, Warks Training Partnership £15 for a seminar on the proposed new Licensing Act, Cllr Longfield £6.00 in respect of keys to Willow Park.
9.2 Invoices to be approved for payment
N. Ainsworth £125 for cleaning at the office, Cleanaway Limited £11.75 for refuse collection at the office, Cogent (Fm) solutions £470 for CCTV notification signs and installation, Quadrant Video Systems £352.50 for CCTV system maintenance. Cheques for these items were written on 1 December but have not been sent until they have been approved for payment.

Cleanaway Limited £42.65 for refuse collection until 1 January 2005, David Elkington £300 for play areas maintenance.

Councillors resolved to approve these invoices for payment. Proposed by JM and seconded by PL.

LD will check with Cogent why they have sent an invoice for the full value of consultancy services on the CCTV upgrade and see if it can be paid at the end of the project or 50% now, and 50% at the end.

Cogent agreed 50/50
9.3 Orders placed without prior reference to Council
Balsall and Berkswell Jubilee Project ? Room hire for council meetings 2005, Wicksteed Leisure Limited for a safety report on all 3 play areas (see 5.5.2), Viking direct for replacement of a faulty inkjet cartridge.
9.4 Additional suppliers to be added to Balsall Parish Council?s approved regular payments listing.
Natalie Ainsworth for cleaning at the office up to a value of £500 and Cleanaway Limited for refuse collection at the office up to a value of £500.
10. A.O.B.
10.1 EM remarked that tonight’s attendance of 7 councillors was disappointing and hoped attendance becomes more regular.
10.2 GC queried why there were no meetings scheduled at Chadwick End Village Hall but was informed that people were no longer willing or able to fetch heavy tables and chairs required into the meeting room from the container outside and return them after the meeting had finished. The Chairman responded by saying he too had noted that no meetings are scheduled for Chadwick End and thought this needs to be reviewed and the problem overcome. JM / LD
10.3 ML will ensure that the Jubilee Centre is sufficiently heated at future meetings. LD pointed out that there were electric fires that could be borrowed from the office. ML
11. Next Meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday, 10 January 2005 at The Jubilee Centre commencing at 7.30 p.m.
The Meeting closed at 10.15 p.m.