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This post is intended to provide a highlight of the monthly meeting which took place in December. 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 December meeting begun with acknowledgment of the resignation of Councillor Hampshire and consideration of a nomination for Vice-chair for Councillor Robinson. This nomination was seconded by Councillor Barnsley and carried on an unanimous vote.

PC Hall could not attend the meeting due to another commitment, but his report for the month was distributed for members to review. Councillor Bennett welcomed the new format, which was agreed by members and Councillor Elson advised he would pass this on to PC Hall.

The meeting then moved on to District Councillor reports. District Councillors Albert Manifield and Maureen Cummings were in attendance. DC Manifield provided an update on works to unblock a pipe in one of the attenuation ponds by the footpath which runs between Hare Park Lane and the Sidings complex. Councillor Ripley advised that he thought a ‘stank’ would be beneficial to act as a filter to remove Red Orca which was causing a problem, whilst DC Cummings noted an environmental survey would be beneficial. Councillor Chalkley also explained that the make up of the land would contribute to the build up of iron residue. The parish council wants this issue resolving before maintenance works are carried out at the Sidings; this is because it is addressing issues further uphill, before attending to additional concerns downhill, and thereby treating the source first. DC Cummings went on to explain that the request by the church in the last meeting to resurface Church lane had been delayed by frost, but that the church was aware of the different funding options available. DC Cummings also advised that Councillor Ripley’s request to look at removing the small island and creating diagonal space parking had been noted and passed to Highways. DC Cummings also replied back about a request to create car parking within the Coppers Lake area. There was a costing of £450 but this was delayed due to funding issues. DC Cummings emphasised that she is keen to work to get an external defribillator set up within the village as there was no provision as such; the nearest cabinets were at Walton Town Hall and the Anglers Country Park. A member of LIVE Crofton was in attendance and advised of a quote for £1500 for an external cabinet. Councillor Bennett noted that he had been asked about moving the external cabinet outside the school reception into a publicly accessible area, and that the school seemed open to this idea. Councillor Gordon noted it was on the agenda for further discussion later in the meeting. DC Cummings finished by noting that a food bank was recently successfully set up with All Saints Church on 6th December and would run again on 20 December. The bank had been used by two residents in need within the village.

The meeting was opened up to public discussion. Representatives from Crofton Juniors FC had attended the meeting to request if they may be given permission from the parish council to take on maintenance responsibilities. This is in connection with an application to Sheffield FA for funding for an artificial pitch at the Sidings, which requires a certain maintenance level in place as a pre-condition for funding. The council advised they had an agreement in place with WMDC to attend to maintenance but the council is in dispute with WMDC about fulfillment of the service agreement terms. It was noted by the District Councillors in attendance. Councillor Ripley noted he had read the report from Crofton Juniors and proposed to set up a meeting to discuss this, once more information had been gathered, particularly on s.106 funds for projects on the playing fields. Councillor Chalkley recommended Crofton Junior ensure they field as many teams as possible for all ages and genders in order to boost the application for funding.

Councillors then considered the approval of the minutes for both the extraordinary and monthly meetings. Discussion of the minutes for the extraordinary meeting took place, and Councillor Chalkley raised some amendments to the minutes: that Trustee A Chalkley had felt ”bullied” rather than ”intimidated”; that an opinion the meeting should not have been called in the first place was widely held amongst councillors other than himself; and that the resolution voted upon granted Councillor Barnsley the power to vote in his own capacity on charity resolutions as he saw fit. Some amendments were noted by Parish Clerk Riley. Discussion of the minutes for the monthly meeting centred around the resolution passed regarding an internal defribillator: Councillor Gordon wanted an amendment to the minutes to reflect a commitment to fund an internal defribillator within 12 months, rather than the reference to funding an external defibrillator at some point in the future. Discussion centred around the exact arrangement for future provision. Initially it was suggested an external cabinet would be provided right away and affixed to the outside cabin once the parish centre is demolished. Further discussion focused on the need for an internal defribillator to be funded from the precept in January, and then an external cabinet would be considered as an addition to the future parish centre; it would be built into the wall to prevent recent thefts occurring from such cabinets which stand out from the wall.

Councillors then moved on to discuss facility updates. Councillor Ripley advised that following a planning meeting in November it had been agreed to move the new parish centre forward by three metres, to increase its distance from a neighbouring property. On query from Councillor Hewitt it was advised that the centre would not obstruct drivers’ view exiting Towers Close, and would be agreed by the neighbouring property on the High Street. The next issue to attend to was flood alleviation regarding rainwater run-off, and in particular the consideration of calverts and rainwater run-off through a SUDS report. Councillor Bennett raised the issue of a flagpole which may need to be considered as part of planning permission; on further discussion it was noted this was not a planning matter but rather a WMDC matter. Councillor Bennett then updated members on the Village Association; in particular the need for a thermostat timer costing £300 as well as a list of other outstanding electrical and mechanical tasks. Councillor Bennett was advised to draw up a list of tasks and speak with eletrical and.or mechanical experts to quote the work prior to the precept meeting. The timer cost will go ahead and then be deducted from next year’s Village Association costs. Councillor Hewitt advised that he was looking at options to replace the gate to Hare Park Lane, part of which had been stolen. On discussion members agreed to replace this with a ‘rhino bollard’. Councillors also agreed dates for the collection of allotment rents in the new year. The council will meet to decide charges, send out correspondence and collect rent on seperate dates throughout January 2020. Councillor Gordon updated members that he is hoping to complete initial development across the site by the next monthly meeting. After this he will turn his attention to engagement on the site, including through social media channels. The council section on this site had been developed over the past month, a few outstanding tasks would be completed this month.

In the correspondence section, an agenda item regarding LIVE Crofton looking to seek an external defribillator in the village. Councillor Gordon was querying whether the council wanted to partner with LIVE Crofton in seeking funding for an external defribillator. Councillor Ripley it would be disadvantageous to use the council’s letterhead, ‘working in partnership’ or ‘with the backing of’ the council as businesses/groups etc approached for funding may expect the council to provide any necessary funds. On discussion it was advised for LIVE Crofton to put in an application for a grant from the council, a representative from LIVE Crofton in attendance was given the details to do so.

Councillor Ripley made reference to the signing of a licence for HS2 to do certain tests on council property over the next 2 years. starting January 2020. After circulation, councillors had inspected the documents and Councillor Ripley proposed to sign the document and receive the monies for the benefit of council activities. He noted that some concerns had been raised but that after signing, the council will pressure HS2 to meet to discuss these concerns. On a vote it was unanimously agreed to sign the licence.

In Parish matters Councillor Hewitt raised the proposal to build a car park on school land directly opposite the exit of Church lane, to alleviate parking concerns arround attendance of funerals, as it had been noted parking for a recent funeral was all along Harrison Road. Councillors noted that this was being dealt with at All Saints church and that to provide extra parking was not a responsibility of the council. In particular, there was plenty of parking at Crofton WMC where the wake is often held, and that the problem was drivers not following instructions or not wanting to follow instructions. Councillor Bennett noted an idea to create a committee to consider annual parish council events and get resident input and community group input (namely, Remembrance Service; Christmas Lights switch-on), this will be considered going forward.