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This post is intended to provide a highlight of the monthly meeting which took place in January. For an official record of the meeting, please see our minutes section here: Council Documents > Monthly meeting documents > Monthly meeting minutes where the official minutes for this meeting will be added roughly a week before the next monthly meeting.

This post is only intended to give a highlight of what happened, and for specific details and points you must rely on the official minutes which are agreed by all members as an accurate record. The council does not take responsibility for any errors or omissions on this post.

The meeting began with presentations for co-option by two candidates seeking to fill the vacant parish councillor role (see December minutes).

A police report for the Safe Scheme was distributed, and District Councillor Maureen Cummings was in attendance for the District Council to provide various updates (please see the official minutes for more details on this).

Representatives from Crofton Junior FC were in attendance to provide an update from the last meeting, in the public participation section. They had received an offer of funding from Sheffield FA and wanted to discuss maintenance of the Sidings playing fields, which is a condition of the offer made. Discussion centred around the existing arrangements with WMDC and whether Crofton Juniors FC could take over these duties. It was explained that WMDC would need to consent to any of this as the parish council only leases the land, and as owner of the reversion, WMDC has stipulations within the lease regarding maintenance standards etc on the playing fields.

The minutes were discussed from the last meeting and two points were raised: 1) Councillor Chalkley raised a concern about how the part of the minutes relating to discussion of the extraordinary meeting was written in a definitive way, and after discussion, amendment was made to reflect the statement was a matter of opinion rather than fact; 2) Councillor Gordon raised how the minutes needed to explicitly state that the council had made a commitment to look at funding an internal defribillator for the parish centre within 12 months, by considering this at its annual precept meeting. On discussion, Councillors Chalkley and Bennett affirmed this position and Councillor Ripley confirmed that it was a point of clarification sought to be added into the minutes.

Councillor Ripley reported back on the new parish centre, which has now received planning permission. Councillor Ripley advised that the next step was to look at building regulations approval, and that he had met the architect to review engineering studies. There would now be a meeting for councillors to get involved in determining the criteria for quotes to be received from building companies, assessing such matters as quality, price, time and experience as per the council’s financial regulations (which you can find at: Council Documents > Council Regulations > Financial Regulations). Councillor Ripley would send out meeting dates for councillors to get involved in this. Councillor Chalkley raised the query about how there was reference in the planning application to ‘parish centre/library’ rather than simply ‘parish centre’ which could contain a library as part of its plans. Councillor Gordon queried the ‘use’ section of the planning permission, whether it covered a ‘community facility’ which could cover both uses; Councillor Ripley affirmed that it did.

Councillor Bennett reported back on plans to create a special event in the village to mark VE day in the village (8 May 2020). It was stated the council would look at creating a sub-committee to involve councillors and community groups (Craft group; LIVE Crofton etc). It was agreed councillors were to attend the next LIVE Crofton meeting on 23 January to discuss this further. Councillor Stennett noted down various other community groups which LIVE Crofton could contact to get involved.

Upates were given regarding progress on allotment charges: a meeting had already taken place to determine charges and send out correspondence, and councillors would assist in collecting payment on 18 January 10am-12pm.

Councillor Gordon advised he was working on the profiles section of the website at the moment. He also confirmed with Councillor Barnsley that information on the Constable & Pinders charity would be supplied for the website.

In terms of traffic issues, a previous issue raised regarding the roundabout at the High Street/Hare Park Lane had now been approved for a speed cushion to help alleviate speeding issues just outside of the current 20mph zone which had caused damage to properties adjacent to the roundabut. Other initiatives were discussed that at the moment are deemed not practical or convenient to implement, particularly due to the proximity of Bedford Farm Court.

Councillors considered the financial arrangements of the council for the month and going forward; the annual precept meeting was set for Sunday 26 January.

Councillor Gordon presented a submission to councillors regarding public involvement in the decision to allocate section 106 funding. It was proposed a formal mechanism could be set up for submissons to be made and assessed by the council. Reservations were raised that public involvement can tend to be low, and that WMDC place criteria on whether to allocate funding, this not being in the sole discretion of the council. It was also raised by Councillor Chalkley that the funding, being awarded at the discretion of WMDC, is very hard to get hold of and may not be possible to obtain again in the future, especially as the council is obligated to release similar funding under the CIL to the parish council. Councillor Ripley advised that the best thing would be to open up a consultation with the public, explaining the above position and seeking ideas, but that there is no guarantee that any ideas can be taken forward, due to the reasons stated above. Councillor Gordon confirmed that this could happen across all main media channels. The consultation will now run 1-29 February 2020 so please keep a look out for further details on this.

Councillor Bennett reported back on discussions with HS2 representatives regarding a meeting. There have been public reports of spiralling costs regarding HS2, whose operations are currently stalled. HS2 are however keen to meet with councillors and discuss new designs; they understand the council’s opposition to the plans but want to work together to find an amenable solution, and so a meeting is something that will hopefully be sorted out in due course.

Councillors Robinson, Stennett and Elson gave an update from the Hanging Baskets/Planters working party; they had looked into the position regarding future provision of hanging baskets and planters and proposed a change of supplier with some conditions around the contract going forward. Their submissions were put to a vote and councillors voted in favour of taking these submissions forward.

The meeting concluded with a vote on who out of the two candidates (see above) would become the new councillor. After a vote taken on both candidates, Sylvia Walker was voted in as the new Parish Councillor. More details on this will follow.