Parish Council

Minutes of Meeting Held at St Michael’s Church, Shirley
12th December 2016

Councillors: Alvin Baker (vice chair), Ian Crabtree (chair), Tony Taylor, Hugh Tyler and Sue Walker.
County council: Steve Bull
Clerk: William Ellis
Parishioners: 7

16/53 Apologies for Absence
16/54 Public Participation
  1. A parishioner reported seeing Japanese knot weed growing in the parish. The clerk will write and inform the landowner and investigate what else can be done.
  2. Via Tony Taylor a parishioner has asked who is responsible for the steps on the footpath with its junction with Park Lane / Church Lane? Specifically the disappearance of the handrail. The general consensus was that it lay with the County Council
16/55 Declarations of Members’ Interests
16/56 Approve the minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held 5th September 2016 were approved.
16/57 Approve grant of £250 to Shirley Sports and Social Association toward capital equipment for FY 2017
The meeting agreed that the grant would be for general maintenance and was approved.
16/58 Approve grant of £3,500 to the Parochial Church Council for continued free use of the community space by parishioners for FY 2017

The increase this year is to cover a shortfall last year. The request was approved. The meeting also agreed grants of £3,000 for FYs 2018 and 2019.

16/59 Set the precept for financial year 2017
The clerk went through the proposed precept.

There was some discussion about burial ground reserves. Several parishioners have complained about the new mowing regime and it was agreed to discuss this at the next meeting.

Item (e) in the clerk's report recommends acquiring IT kit for the council. If this is agreed, it would be under guarantee for the first year. It was agreed to drop the £140 for IT kit for this year.

A precept of £5,701 was approved.
16/60 Clerk’s report.
The clerk reported:
  1. There are payments of £434.94 not yet cleared or reconciled in the general account.
  2. Payments made and received:
    • £585 paid into reserves for burial ground maintenance.
    • £105.00 received from SS&SA for defibrillator maintenance.
    • £195.00 paid for Burial ground maintenance.
  3. Drains 3 and 4 (see map) are blocked and were reported to DCC on 10 Sept. As this is the third time of reporting, it suggests a bigger problem. During an informal meeting with Andrew Shirley, he suggested problems like this will not get fixed because of budget cuts.
  4. The clerk had volunteered to report potholes in the parish highways to the county council. This is still outstanding.
  5. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 requires that councils publish certain information on a website. As some councils (like Shirley), do not have their own IT equipment, grants are available for councils to procure such equipment. The clerk was authorised to bid for suitable equipment.
  6. Following the complimentary comment about the Neighbourhood Watch leaflet, the clerk has been asked to point out that credit is due to a Mr Mark Walker of this parish.
  7. The risk assessment has been completed and was handed to the clerk.
  8. The snow warden has completed training at County Hall. Note that bins labelled by the council are filled for free and that the snow warden scheme only covers footpaths and pavements.
16/61 Transfer £120 from the general fund to reserves for election expenses
This should have been done at the May meeting but was overlooked because the clerk was absent. Approved.
16/63 Burial ground walls. Status and next steps
In November the building department of Derby College met with members and agreed to re-point the walls free of charge with the council providing materials. A parishioner has kindly offered to meet the cost of the materials. This work is due to be done in the spring. Also, the horticultural division is looking for projects (again free of charge) and it was suggested an annual tidy-up could be arranged.
16/64 Salt spreader. Status and next steps
At the last meeting there was an informal discussion about procuring a salt spreader for inclement weather. The clerk reported that it would not be covered by the council's current insurance and the premium would more than double for such cover. The unanswered questions about liability, especially in the case of an incident, caused the idea to be shelved.

This started a general discussion about gritting and the idea of buying one or two more grit bins was suggested.
16/65 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be held at 7.30 pm in the community space of St. Michael’s church on Monday, 13th March 2017.