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This post is intended to provide a highlight of the monthly meeting which took place in November. 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.

Our November monthly meeting was well-attended.

We started the meeting by hearing a presentation for co-option by Helena Stennet, who was then unanimously co-opted onto the council. Councillor Stennet is our 13th member and therefore our council is sitting as a full council for the first time in many years, which is very positive for the community of Crofton.*

We then heard from PC Hall, who gave his monthly report, which you can find on this website. He highlighted a proposal to work with WMDC to provide average speed cameras in the Shay Lane area to help road safety, if it had community support. Councillor Ripley welcomed the idea but noted that it can be difficult for these cameras to cover the full scope of the 20mph zone in Crofton due to roads where vehicles can exit or join the zone along its full stretch. PC Hall then went through the remainder of his report. Councillor Stennet raised the issue of residents sharing CCTV footage on the Crofton Village Group forum (see Village Information > Facebook Forums) regarding burglaries happening in the area, and asked if she could share it with him. PC Hall advised that he would work out a way of recieving this evidence with Councillor Elson, who works at the headquarters, as such files can be large and difficult to receive virtually. PC Hall advised all residents to double check their cars before bed and keep keys out of reach of front doors. He advised that car thieves used to use screwdrivers to break into cars, but due to this evidence being later found and used against them, they now fortuitously check car doors to see if they are unlocked, as it is harder for the police to find any evidence, or for them to be caught in the act this way. PC Hall also highlighted parking outside the youth centre (located within the High School) in contravention of a restriction preventing waiting till 6pm. Councillor Ripley advised the council raised the idea of using this space as zig zag parking to relieve parking congestion at the church, noting this parking bay was originally where buses picked up and left off school students but is no longer in use this way. This idea had been raised 10-15 years ago by the council but not taken up. An opportunity was given for members of the public and then councillors to question PC Hall before he left.

District Councillors Heptinstall and Cummings were in attendance from WMDC and gave various updates on matters from the September and October meetings. A report was given on the roundabout at Hare Park Lane/High Street, where some accidents have occurred between cars using the roundabout and nearby properties (most recent incident in May and September minutes). On 9 October a WMDC inspection was held there and a proposal to extend speed restrictions around surrounding streets to alleviate the problem was presented for review by the council. Councillor Cummings reported that an Engie quote for works at the Cemetery using s.106 funds had been approved (see September/October minutes) and Councillor Ripley pressed for more details on the logistics of receiving the payment/getting the work underway. A van which has been parked in an obstructive manner at the Priory Ridge t-junction was also highlighted. Public participation: Reverent Tinniswood was in attendance from All Saints church and raised a query regarding attending to the potholes on Stocks Lane/Church Lane (the hill leading up from Harrison Road to the church). It was advised this would qualify for a capital grant and arrangements would be made to take this forward. Parish Councillors then presented their questions to the District Councillors. Councillor Gordon raised the issue of the gas work repairs at Doncaster Road/Slack Lane t-junction. At one point the left-hand lane of Slack Lane leading to the Doncaster Road was partially blocked off, but not traffic controlled. This obstruction was very close to the t-junction, and led to a situation where cars exiting left off Doncaster Road were covered from view by a blind corner when cars travelling towards the Doncaster Road on the left-hand side of Slack Lane were attempting to overtake the obstruction. Councillor Cummings confirmed she was aware of this issue and shared this sentiment.

In our public participation session, Reverent Tinniswood also raised the proposal to capital fund a streetlight in the Churchyard (opposite the bench). Councillors explained that Amey look after streetlight provision in this section, but that they would note in their minutes for November approval in principle of the plan, to be included with a letter by the church offering to capital fund (through a community grant) such a streetlight.

The Council fed back on the successful Remembrance Day event on 10 November. Councillor Chalkley raised the point that his nephew has offered to build a memorial for free at the new location, so funds would not necessarily be needed from the council, and it was agreed the council will contact him in this respect. Negative sentiment towards the change of location to the Annual Act of Remembrance, on Facebook and at the service, was raised. You can read the reasons for the change of decision in our post dated 10 November, these reasons being reiterated and affirmed at the meeting. Councillor Stennet raised the point that taking on board negative sentiment from the village on Facebook, some residents felt they had not been kept in the loop about this decision, and they should have some say over the design of the new memorial. Councillor Chalkley concurred, and advised residents will have an opportunity to look at design plans in the parish centre prior to it being built.

The council then considered a matter arising from previous minutes regarding defibrilator provision. Councillor Gordon had conducted research into current provision within the village, noting the need for greater access in the village centre due to the only outside AED cabinet in the High School now being fenced off. Councillors discussed this, and Councillor Chalkley put forward a motion to make a commitment to provide a defibrilator within the parish centre within the next 12 months, which was carried unanimously on a vote by the council. Once the parish centre has been rebuilt, an AED cabinet will be considered. Following the meeting, councillors are investigating whether AED provision can be made at Sainsburys in the interim.

On the topic of the parish centre rebuild, Councillor Bennett advised that an asbestos survey due to be carried out on 10 October was postponed as the library would need to be emptied before drilling could take place. It will now happen as a matter of course during the demolition phase. Councillor Ripley advised of an issue raised on the planning application by WMDC regarding a neighbouring property. He also advised there will be a WMDC meeting on 18th November. Councillor Bennett asked if the issue of off-street parking within the application could be raised at this point and clarified.

The council discussed the procedure for booking the parish centre by groups. A concern was raised about businesses being run from the premises as the council is prohibited from making a profit from the centre, and business activities must be properly insured etc. Councillors Chalkley, Bennett and Parish Clerk Riley confirmed the procedure for examining new booking applications.

Councillor Bennett reported on the Village Association, and in particular regarding an artificial football pitch which is looking to be provided in co-ordination with Sheffield FA. A previous issue raised with regards to the length of the council’s leases on the property had been resolved, but a new issue regarding maintenance was raised. The council’s pitch maintenance is carried out by WMDC but the council are currently in dispute over non-fulfilment of contractual obligations in regards to maintenance.

Councillor Gordon updated members on website development. The site will be developed with regards to providing more information on the council, council activities and councillor profiles over the next month so please keep a look out for these updates.

Other than this, the last point to note is the council has made arrangements now for the Christmas tree and lighting and for our very own Santa for the annual switch-on on 3 December 2019. We would love to see you there.

*NB Following the subsequent November 2019 resignation of Councillor Hampshire, the council now has 12 members and has an open vacancy. Please contact our clerk here if you are want to express an interest or find out more.