UNICORN FOLK CLUB: The Unicorn Folk Club has can be found in the upstairs function room at the Bradford Arms, Ivetsey Bank, Wheaton Aston, next to the A5, every Friday. Tomorrow is singers’ night. This is an open mic night where everyone is welcome to come and join in. To guarantee a slot, please telephone Vicky on 01952 810355. For further details, please telephone Vicky Evans on 01785 841274 or visit the website www.unicornfolkclub.co.uk.
WINTER QUIZ: There will be a quiz held in St Mary’s church on Friday, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5.00 which includes refreshments but please bring your own drinks. Tickets are available from Margaret Holmes on 01785 840241, Margaret Kelly on 01785 840562, or Janet Fox on 01785 840334. All proceeds are to go to the Lapley Church Restoration Fund.
PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: There were no questions from the public at the start of the recent parish council meeting. A representative from the Pegasus Group on behalf of Selbourne Homes attended the meeting and handed out a brochure to each councillor present outlining the development and landscape strategy concerning land off Ivetsey Road. It did not contain any details concerning possible houses that could be built but gave an analysis of the suitability of the site for a residential allocation in the South Staffordshire Site Allocation Development Plan Document. This document is to be published soon by South Staffs Council and it would be discussed at the next forward planning and finance working group meeting later in February. South Staffs Council hope to formally start consultation concerning this document with the local residents in March.
The parish council manager gave a report. Research concerning ownership of land at Stretton was continuing; Mr Piers Monckton had been unable to find any documents relating to the transfer of land by his grandfather so the parish council minute books were being examined and legal advice sought. A meeting was to take place with Tedstone Solicitors regarding the registration of two plots of land owned by the parish council. A meeting with the village agent and the chairperson of Our Village Our Plan was planned for February 25 at 7.30pm, to discuss progress. A parish council facebook page had been set up to promote the parish council work and raise awareness of local issues. A list of dates for work priorities and future meetings and News & Views deadlines, was distributed.
The statistics for crimes figures for locality 2 for December had been emailed to members and these were discussed. There had been 1serious acquisitive crime, 3 reports of criminal damage, 2 acts of damage to property, 9 crimes against the person, and 2 incidents of anti-social behaviour. The PCSO allocated to our area attended the meeting and he explained that he now has a huge area to cover but that he would come to the meetings when possible. He said that the 9 crimes against the person had occurred at Huntercoombe and had to be included in the report but this distorted the statistics for our parishes. He said that more PCSOs were being trained and he hoped to use one around our area.
Mark Sutton from the county council attended the meeting; he said that there would be no council tax increase; he was trying to address the speed problems at Stretton and a ’20 is plenty’ sign would be put up near the Vernon Lodge school; he was updated by members about the potholes and state of the roads in the local area.
The forward planning and finance working group had met. It was suggested that savings could be made by changing the parish council telephone and internet provider. Several council policies had been reviewed and amended where necessary. It was suggested that the same auditor as last year be appointed to audit the 2011/12 accounts. The ownership of land and assets at Stretton had been discussed. Two invoices had been received for maintenance work incurred by a resident to the Stretton war memorials grounds and these had been considered; an email from a Stretton councillor had been received prior to the parish council meeting explaining the reasons behind these invoices; however it was decided that the parish council should not pay the invoices as an official order had not been placed, no VAT could be claimed as the work had not been requested by the parish council and the invoices should have been in the parish council’s name, and a precedent would be set that could lead to any member of the public instructing contractors to carry out work and sending the invoice to the parish council. It had been reported that the sports and social club had been suffering from a cash flow problem, that the accounts had been with an accountant for the last 18 months and that the accounts for the Charity Commission were overdue. The parish council manager would write to the trustees to raise concerns about these points. The members present accepted the recommendations put forward by the forward planning and finance working group.
Planning matters were discussed. No comments could be made for the planning application for an extension to the cellar at Yew Tree Farm, Ivetsey Bank, as no documents were available; no objections were raised for the application to remove the top of the tree at the Bower House, Stretton Road, as it was obstructing nearby cables; the appeal for 44 Greenhill Lane for a 2 storey extension had been dismissed; the use of cones and tree stumps at the front of the building next to the post office, had been reported to South Staffs Council and Stafford Highways and the situation had now improved; the alleged change of use without permission for a dog grooming business in the garage at 15 School Road had been dismissed as planning permission was not required in this instance; comments were raised about the length of time that the pavement outside the Coach and Horses pub had been roped off to prevent anyone from using it as there had been falling tiles from the roof.
The parish council manager reminded everyone of the type of work carried out by the neighbourhood highways team and gave a list of the work suggested for their next visit; she asked if anyone had any other suggestions to add to the list.
Roy Wright said that the village hall management committee were considering changing the chairs used in the village hall. Although the chairs had only been purchased in 2006, some of the chairs legs had broken; the chairs had been examined and the faulty ones removed. A grant was being sought to help with the cost of replacement.
The Christmas lights working group had met to discuss how the event could be improved for 2014. A list of possible stall holders had been drawn up and local groups would be approached to see if they would be interested in joining in the event.
The Community Council of Staffordshire had sent a letter asking for a list of future events that were to take place in 2014. These could then be included in the Staffordshire Diary of Village Festivals and Events 2014.
The next meeting of the parish council will take place on Thursday March 6 2014, in Wheaton Aston village hall, starting at 7.30pm.
ST MARY’S CHURCH: On Tuesday, the internet cafe drop-in session runs from 10.00am – 12.00 noon. On Wednesday, there is a prayer meeting from 8.00am – 8.30am; at 9.00am, there will be a bible study session; the weekly drop-in takes place from 10.30am – 12.00 noon (and internet facilities will also be available).
ZION CHAPEL: On Sunday, there will be a service starting at 6.15pm, when the preacher will be Mr. Brian Cantrill from Stafford. A warm welcome to all.
SERVICES: On Sunday 9am Holy Communion All Saints’; 10.30am Holy Communion St Mary’s.
VILLAGE HALL: The Management Committee are holding their annual meeting on Monday in the hall at 8pm.
PARISH COUNCIL: Members of the council are meeting next Thursday at 7.30pm in the Council Chambers, 35 Stafford Street. Parishioners are welcome to attend and a short public session to discuss any issues they may have.
ST MARY’S RC CHURCH: To help Beth Parlane raise funds for the YAMBA project, a children’s charity based in Uganda which provides support for local street children, a cake sale is being held on Sunday in the church hall after the 11am Mass. Cakes can be brought to Mass at 6pm the previous day or brought in on the day. Beth has already raised £337 from the sale of wristbands. Parishioners will be enjoying a curry night by Maggie at The Curry Inn next Thursday starting at 7pm. The cost will be £13 per person and will be a buffet. Final numbers are needed by Monday.
VILLAGE HALL: A quiz night has been arranged for Saturday at 7.30pm. Entries will be teams of four at a cost of £16 per team and entry forms are available from Brocton Post Office. Patrons can bring their own drinks. Light refreshments provided.