HELD ON MONDAY 14 DECEMBER  2020  at 7 pm


Present:               Councillor Margaret Ainsworth-Hickman, Chair

                                Councillor Richard Hopley, Vice Chair

                                Councillor David Davis

                                Councillor John Green

                                Councillor Julie Lawson                                                                                 

In attendance:  Liz Harrington-Jones (Clerk)

 Apologies:         Councillor Bob Jones

                                Councillor Peter Jones, Stafford Borough Council (SBC) 

                                Councillors Jeremy Pert, Staffordshire County Council (SCC)


1111 Welcome and Public Participation

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.  There were no members of the public present; the Chairman had received a report of a dangerous overhanging branch on an ash tree in Chebsey Lane.  The Clerk would contact the landowner.                                                                                                                                                                                                   Action:  Clerk

The Chair reminded Councillors that any fruit and vegetable orders should be submitted by Monday 21 December for delivery on Tuesday 22 December.  A charge of £36 for the collection of garden refuse bins would apply from 1 January 2021; notices reminding residents had been placed on all notice boards.  Posters had been put up in Chebsey village and Norton Bridge concerning a stray cat that had been found at the top of Scamnel Lane.

The Clerk had been contacted by a concerned member of the public over calf carcases left at the entrance to a field in Chebsey; Trading Standards (Animal Welfare) had been notified and the matter had been resolved by them.

The Clerk had ordered a new battery for the defibrillator in the telephone box, Chebsey.


1112  Reports from Borough and County Councillors 

There were no reports from Borough or County Councillors.   The Clerk would contact Cllr Jones for an update on progress with concerns over enforcement issues.                                                                                                             Action:  Clerk

The Chair closed the public session of the meeting.


1113  Apologies  had been submitted by Cllr Bob Jones and SBC Cllr Jones (SBC) and Cllr Pert (SCC).


1114  Declarations of Interest  Cllr Hopley declared an interest in any items relating to Network Rail or HS2.


1115  Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 9 November 2020   

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 9 November 2020 were accepted as a true record of the meeting and were signed by the Chair. 


1116  Matters Arising, from the meeting held on 9 November 2020 and not discussed as agenda items

A letter had been sent to  SBC Chief Executive raising concerns over the removal of a healthy mature oak tree from the Parish and the inconsistency with SBCs stated priorities of Covid 19 and Climate Change.              

A reminder would be sent to SCC Rights of Way team following the request for handrails at the entrance to Footpath 11, and the request for an update on the situation regarding Footpath 18.                                              Action:  Clerk  

A reminder would be sent to SCC Highways following the report of tree roots damaging the road surface opposite St Luke’s Church Hall, Norton Bridge.                                                                                                                         Action:  Clerk

Councillors agreed that Christmas cards should be sent to the three volunteers who monitor the defibrillators each week, as a thank you for their commitment.                                                                                                                     Action:  Clerk

The public liability for safety of footpaths would be checked.  All footpaths in the Parish were difficult and on occasions dangerous to use following recent wet weather; Councillors were asked to forward any supplies of chicken wire to the Chair, as a volunteer would install it to improve the situation on Tommy’s Trail.                                           Action: Clerk, All

Councillors agreed that Mr Challinor had done an excellent job in replacing the damaged gate in Norton Bridge.  The Chair reported that the Friends of Norton Bridge had agreed to contribute £75 towards the cost.

The Clerk would follow up concerns over the behaviour of Chebesey & Cold Meece PC and SRCG (Stone Rail Head Crisis Group) following the dispatch of a letter to the Chairman of the House of Lords Committee without any consultation.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Action:  Clerk

Cllr Davis reported that the camera van had attended Norton Bridge within the last three weeks.  The result of the joint funding application with Yarnfield & Cold Meece PC for speed indicator devices would be known at the end of January.


1117  Planning 

11117.i  Planning decisions, Planning Appeals, and to consider any Planning Applications made

20/32746/COU                                                                  APPROVED

Land at Eccleshall Road, Norton Bridge, Stone, Staffs

Change of Use from Equestrian Centre to Class B8 (Storage & distribution) Use and associated works

20/33002/LBC and 20/33001/HOU                            APPROVED

The Mount, School Lane, Chebsey, Stafford

Proposed oak frame, clay tile carport build off existing retaining wall


No Planning applications had been received since the October meeting. 


1118  Finance

1118.i Expenditure for December 2020

Clerk’s salary (December) and expenses                                                                                               168.81

John Green Landscapes                (grass cutting Norton Bridge recreation area)                      144.00

Mr E Challinor, replacement gate at Norton Bridge                                                           320.00                                                                                                                                                                  Total expenditure          £632.81

NatWest current account (25 November 2020)                                   8,988.29

            less unpresented cheques                                                                 225.00


             Less monthly expenditure (December)                                        632.81                                                                                                                                                                           Balance               £8,130.48

RESOLVED That the expenditure for December 2020 of £632.81 was approved.


1119 Highway and Footpath Matters

1119.i  Footpath 18, obstruction – update on progress to resolve

SCC Rights of Way officers had been asked for an update on compliance with the agreed conditions.

1119. ii The Brickle (also known as The Brittle)  Footpath

Community work on The Brickle had been transferred to resolving a dangerous situation on Scamnel Lane.  Action agreed at the October meeting was therefore reinstated and would be put in hand as soon as possible.  Action: Clerk                            

1119.iii  Tommy’s Trail, surface  This item was covered under Minutes, Matters Arising, Agenda Item 1116.

1119 iv  Consideration of replacement lawnmower  After discussion Councillors agreed to continue with the existing Hayfield mower for as long as possible, and not to purchase a secondhand Mountfield mower.

1119.v  Update from Road Safety Grant application with Yarnfield & Cold Meece PC  This itgem had been covered under Minutes, Matters Arising, Agenda Item 1116.

1119vi  Scamnel Lane  A dangerous and deep (27”) drop had been exposed at the side of Scamnel Lane.  It had been agreed with SCC that a repair could be effected during work in the community by Amey/SCC.   The expected date was 21 December 2020.  The community had been asked to assist with closing a section of the Lane; the Clerk would check on the arrangements made, any requirements to be met, the equipment to be used, and disposal of spoil.Action: Clerk

1119vii  Local bus services, email from Eccleshall PC  A request had been received from Eccleshall PC for information on the reaction to the loss of the local bus service to Chebsey, and the possibility of reinstating a local, subsidised, bus service to villages.  After discussion Councillors agreed that the previous bus service had been missed, but they would prefer a mid morning/early afternoon return service to local towns.  As a rural Parish with a limited precept there were no funds available to contribute to funding such a service.

1119viii  Brown bin for St Luke’s, Norton Bridge, and All Saint’s Church, Chebsey; Dropped kerb at All Saimt’s Church, Chebsey  Cllr Green reported the cost of installing a dropped kerb by the road.  Ater discussion Councillors agreed this was a matter for the PCC, along with the siting of brown bins at St Luke’s Norton Bridge, and All Saints’ Church, Chebsey.


1120  Norton Bridge Recreation Area                                                     

Visign Stafford had quoted £120 for the design and manufacture of a sign to fix on to the gazebo, plus £60 installation.  The Clerk had circulated draft wording to Councillors for consultation, and would circulate a list of contributors to the area  for consideration by Councillors later in the week.                                                                                               Action:  Clerk


1121  HS2/Network Rail update 

Work on the project was continuing; there had been no recent updates issued.


1122  Defibrillators  A replacement battery for the defibrillator at Chebsey was on order.  Letters would be sent to residents’ organisations at Cold Meece for help with replacing the defibrillator there as it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain it as it was no longer in production.                                                                                        Action:   Clerk


1123  Procedure for recruitment of Parish Clerk   Advertisements have been placed on the website, notice boards, SPCA weekly bulletin, and SLCC Facebook.  No applications had been received to date; a number of Parish Councils were also currently seeking replacement Clerks.  It was agreed to re-advertise in the New Year.


1124  Co-option to fill vacancy on Chebsey Parish Council   Interviews for the vacancy had been moved to January as one candidate had been contacted by the Track and Trace system and had been unable to attend in December.


1125  Correspondence received   The Clerk reported the receipt of items of routine correspondence during lockdown; email correspondence had been forwarded to Councillors. 


1126  Items for the  next Parish Council meeting  should be forwarded to the Clerk as soon as possible - Precept requirements and  projects for 2021/2022


1110  Date of Next Meeting   The next meeting of Chebsey Parish Council will take place on Monday 11 January 2021 in All Saints Church, Chebsey, at 7 pm.   The Chair closed the meeting at 8.10 pm, thanked everyone for attending, and wished them all a Happy Christmas and New Year.






Date…..……………………………                                            …………………….……….……………………………………………………………………..Chair