Agenda and minutes

Parish Council Forum - Monday, 17th October, 2016 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, Merrial Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 2AG

Contact: Geoff 01782 742222 

No. Item


Councillor Billy Welsh


A minute’s silence was held in tribute to Councillor Billy Welsh who had recently passed away.


The Chair said that Billy had contributed so much to the Parish of Madeley and to the Borough and would be sadly missed.   




Apologies were received from Mrs Simpson, Mrs Withington and Councillor John Williams.


Declarations of Interest


There were no Declarations of Interest stated.


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 95 KB


Resolved:     That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July, 2016 be agreed as a correct record subject to the following amendments:


Agenda item 6:  amend second paragraph to read ‘ last year, applications for the designation of  Neighbourhood Planning Areas were received from Loggerheads, Whitmore, Aston and Maer.  Keele would be submitting theirs by the end of the week.


Third paragraph: remove Keele and insert the word ‘perhaps’ before Kidsgrove, and replace the word ‘submitting’ with ‘preparing’. .




Heritage Lottery Fund


Elise Turner from the Heritage Lottery talked to members about funding which was available for local authorities and groups.


A leaflet, entitled ‘For Heritage. For People. For Communities’ was handed round which showed funded projects and  also listed the types of grants available.  There are three grants:  ‘Sharing Heritage’ – giving grants from £3,000 to £10,000; ‘Our Heritage’ giving grants of £10,000 to £100,000 and ‘Heritage Grants’ for projects over £100,000.  Members were advised that projects under £100,000 did not require match funding.


Special grants are also available for funding places of worship and projects led by young people.


Any type of new heritage project could be funded provided they were from ‘not for profit’ organisations.


The Chair thanked Ms Turner for coming along and sharing this information.




Update on Planning Enforcement


Members were updated on the current position regarding Planning Enforcement and were advised that authority had yet to progress the appointment of a Senior Planning Officer to deal with enforcement due to the post being considered for the application of a market supplement.  Before the post could be advertised, it would as with any vacant posts, require to be cleared by the Council's Executive Management team. 


The post would be dedicated to dealing with retrospective applications and would provide support for the Council’s planning enforcement officer.  It was hoped that that the post would be filled as soon as possible.


Information was provided on the number of retrospective applications and Whitmore Parish council thanked the officers for providing, in correspondence, additional information about the criteria used to determine when planning enforcement action would or would not be taken.


Resolved:     That the information be received.


Update on Neighbourhood Planning and the Joint Local Plan


Members were informed that there were now four approved Neighbourhood Planning Area applications, with the latest being from Keele.


With regard to the Local Plan, it is a joint document with Stoke on Trent City Council and will replace the Core Spacial Strategy.  Newcastle went to the issues consultation stage between February and March this year and eighty two representations were received.


The next stage will be the Strategic Options stage.   Members were advised that this process is running behind by approximately six months.


Members were updated on the four neighbourhood Plans.  Loggerheads Parish Council had produced a report, done a business survey and housing needs assessment and had made a submission to the Borough Council.


Whitmore Parish Council stated that a steering group had drawn up a housing needs assessment and had submitted it to Newcastle.  Results from a questionnaire were currently being analysed.


Keele had been designated and had appointed a consultant and had drafted a questionnaire and were currently holding a series of open sessions.


Betley had some ex local authority staff who had commenced discussions/consultation with the Planning Policy Team.


Resolved:     That the information be received and the comments noted.


Any Other Business




A question was raised about HS2 and what affect it would have on the Borough.  Members had several concerns regarding the scheme .


The Chair agreed that in order to inform its response to the current HS2 Phase 2A consultation on HS2’s Working Draft Environmental Impact Assessment, and enable officers to have a better understanding of the local issues, officers should agree to meet with representatives from Whitmore, Madeley and Loggerheads Parish Councils.


Resolved:     That arrangements be made as a matter of urgency for a meeting between officers and the Parish Councils of Whitmore, Madeley and Loggerheads to be arranged.


Staffordshire Parish Councils Association Bulletin


Members attention was brought to an issue mentioned in a bulletin produced last week which outlined referendum principles : the threat to precepts.  The query was with regard to such referendum costs being recharged to the Parish Council and what this was likely to be.


Members were advised that this would be in the region of five to six thousand pounds.


Resolved:     That the information be received.



British Telecom – Removal of Payphones


Members were informed of a proposal by British Telecom to remove approximately thirty telephone boxes from locations around the Borough.


Clerks to Parish Councils would be receiving a copy of the consultation letter and their views should be fed back to the Borough Council.  There would also be an opportunity for Parish Councils to consider ‘adopting’ redundant telephone boxes.


Resolved:     That the information be received.



The Future of the Parish Council Forum


The Chair advised members that future meetings of the Forum would not be clerked by the Borough Council’s Democratic Services team and suggested that Parish Clerks perform the role on a rota basis in order for the Forum to take ‘ownership’.


The Clerks were not in agreement with this and therefore an alternative solution to minuting of the meetings would have to be sought.


Resolved:     That the information be received.