BRERETON AND RAVENHILL PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of a Parish Council meeting held at the Parish Hall, Ravenhill Park, Brereton, on Tuesday, 4th February 2020.
Councillors TA Jones [Chairman], K Ansell, Mrs P Ansell [Vice-Chairman], Ms IJ Brown,
Mrs DM Easton, Alderman R Easton and Mrs L Johnson.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors PA Fisher, Mrs W Fisher, Mrs G Harvey,
JC Harvey, DR Johnson and GN Molineux.
Mr PG Davies, the Parish Clerk, was also in attendance.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations were given at the commencement of the meeting.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 7th January 2020 be approved and signed as a correct record.
The Chairman welcomed Chief Inspector Becky Hyde, Deputy Commander Mark Burslem and PCSO Chad Carrington to the meeting.
The Chief Inspector reported as follows:-
- the ratio of Police Officers allocated to Brereton and Ravenhill was proportionate to demand – there had been a total of 155 incidents in Brereton and Ravenhill during the past twelve months;
- eight officers and PCSOs [23% of the Chief Inspector’s resources] were allocated to Rugeley and the surrounding area, including Brereton and Ravenhill. Three officers [spread over shift patterns] were permanently allocated to Brereton and Ravenhill;
- these officers were supported by the Criminal Investigation Unit and additional resources were allocated to Brereton and Ravenhill to support the dedicated staff as and when required;
- the average response time for calls to the 101 Police number was 3 minutes 27 seconds. The Chief Inspector recommended on-line reporting wherever possible as this was a far quicker method of reporting incidents.
Members, in response, commented as follows:-
- there was a genuine feeling in the community of a lack of visible policing;
- many elderly residents would find it difficult to report crimes on line and therefore the 101 remained an essential service for them;
- issues causing particular concern at present included scrap metal dealers operating illegally and burglaries of such items as bicycles and items taken from garden sheds. Members stressed that such issues made people feel more vulnerable and insecure.
The Police undertook to send the Clerk details of a new initiative called ‘Smart Alert’ where people signing up to a platform would receive regular updates from the Force.
The Police Report for January 2020 is attached to these minutes.
The Chairman thanked the three officers for attending the meeting.
- POWER FOR ALL
The Chairman reported that he had attended the meeting held on 27th January 2020, at Mansfield House.
The Clerk had circulated a copy of the responses received to the consultation exercise carried out by Power for All.
- BRERETON AND RAVENHILL CANAL SCHEME
Members expressed concern that no reference had been made to Brereton and Ravenhill Parish Council in a recent press release issued by Lichfield District Council.
This was most disappointing as the project had been the brainchild of the Parish Council and, in particular, its Chairman, Councillor TA Jones. It was certainly the case that the project, which was now underway, would not have gone ahead without the intervention of the Parish Council.
The Clerk would liaise with the Chairman in issuing a separate press release in due course.
- BUS STOP – SETTERFIELD WAY
The Clerk reported that following consultation with Alderman R Easton, it had been agreed to accept a quotation from Shelutions for the provision of a new bus shelter at Setterfield Way in the sum of £3,995.00 plus VAT.
Members reported on comments from residents regarding the actual siting of the new shelter. Some residents considered it would be preferable to have it on the opposite side of the road to the existing shelter.
- That the action taken in accepting the quotation from Shelutions be approved and confirmed.
- That the Clerk seek the views of Arriva on the best location for siting the new shelter.
- CHASE LINE’S PERFORMANCE
The Chairman referred to the ongoing appalling service being provided by West Midlands Railway and London NW. Between 7th June 2019 and 27th January 2020, there had been a total of 1,312 cancellations of trains into Rugeley Town Station. This affected the work/education/medical appointments of parishioners on a daily basis.
The Company was continuing to offer excuses for the poor performance and as the situation was not improving, it was
- That the Clerk acquaint the Secretary of State for Transport with the details of this appalling situation and request that he revoke the franchise of the Company forthwith.
- That a copy of the letter in [1.] above be sent to the Mayor of the West Midlands.
The Clerk tabled the following document for the information of the Parish Council:-
- Staffordshire Pension Fund – Employer Focus [January 2020]
The Parish Council noted that Liz Davis from HS2 would be attending the April meeting of the Parish Council to give an update on community engagement.
- BENCH IN FRONT OF VICARAGE
A local resident had raised concerns regarding the poor state of the bench outside the vicarage.
Alderman R Easton undertook to examine the bench and report back to the next meeting.
- PLANNING COMMITTEE
That the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 7th January 2020, be approved.
- PARISH HALL AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
That the minutes of the Parish Hall and Property Management Committee held on 8th January 2020, be approved.
- FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
That the minutes of the Finance and Management Committee held on 8th January 2020, be approved.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The Parish Council had previously agreed that the next meeting would be held on
3rd March 2020.
- PUBLIC FORUM
A member of the public expressed deep concern about the £1.2 million Business Rates Rebate received by Amazon in respect of its site in Brereton and Ravenhill. The Parishioner undertook to send to the Clerk details of other sites occupied by Amazon elsewhere in the country.
Members echoed the sentiments expressed and it was
That when the further information is received, the Clerk write to the local MP asking her to
put pressure on the government to secure a review of the decision of the Valuation Panel to ensure the public interest is properly protected.