Clerk’s Tasks

 

Events in 2020.

VE 75th 8th May 2020. On the agenda for January 2020 to consider options. We had a fantastic series of events for the 100th Remembrance Day and these events are an opportunity to show respect and thank those that served.

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VJ 75th 15th May 2020. On the agenda for January 2020 to consider options.

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Wimblebury Remembrance – 1st November (See below).

Heath Hayes Remembrance – 8th November (See below).

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Meetings.

Agendas. Go out signed the week before a meeting. If the meeting is on a Wednesday, the agenda goes out on the Tuesday of the previous week. They are emailed and put on the website. The list of all the planned meetings for the Council up to the next election are listed on each monthly report. The next elections are due May 2023.

Attend the meetings with all the relevant paperwork, cheques made out for signing with an expenses sheet listing all the payments. Post list and planning list. Attendance sheet to be circulated for signing. Chain of Office and gave for Chair.

After the meeting, put the updated attendance on the website. Update the website with any developments and the next meeting date. Send out the letters the Council has asked to be sent and post the cheques.

Minutes. Emailed to all Councillors. Entered as an item on the next agenda for approval. Put on website. Signed at meeting and entered into records.

Accounts. Check the bank accounts weekly. Exercise budgetary planning and control. Take the accounts to every meeting in case of any questions. Claim the VAT within the financial year it was paid if possible. Complete accounts for financial year as soon as possible after 31st March. Present accounts as per audit requirements to the Council for approval in the prescribed time period. HMRC returns due monthly and annually.

Community Infrastructure Levy. Received from Cannock Chase Council. Has to be reported to Parish Council and allocated against approved projects within five years. Annual report to Council and Cannock Chase Council entered on website.

Precept. The money that the Parish Council claims from the residents. The amount is notified to Cannock Chase Council and added to the Council Tax. It is paid in two instalments, April and October. A budget must be set and a precept must be set that is sufficient to keep the Council solvent taking into account potential expenditure and known income.

Inland Revenue. Returns and payments have to be made monthly. End of year returns have to be done as well as the appropriate forms sent to all employees.

Banking. The Council has accounts with the Co-op Bank at Stafford. There is a code generating fob that allows access to view the accounts only. No payments or movements of money can be done by internet or on the phone.

Audit. The Council has an internal and external audit for each financial year. The 2019-20 year will be audited from 1st April 2020 onwards. It is planned that the accounts would be submitted to the Council for approval at the May 2020 meeting and then submitted to the external auditors after that date. The audit is advertised and accounts provided on request as well. Results reported to the Council and put on website.

Pension Scheme. Legally, the Council has to abide by the existing legislation regarding membership of and contributions to approved pension schemes, including the Local Government Pension Scheme. Monthly returns, annual returns. Affect as per HMRC. Check annual rate change from 1st April annually.

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Awards Scheme.

Each year, an annual scheme for Person, Young Person and Business of the Year. Written nominations from any source considered and the winners invited to the APM for a certificate presentation. The YPOTY also gets a £25 voucher. Applications for 2020 determined on 4th March and awards presented on 13th May.

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Cannel Mount.

The Council acquired Cannel Mount on a long term lease (100 years) in 2019. There is a need for ongoing management of the site and there are long term aims to improve the site as a public asset by adding pedestrian access to the site, audit the site for flora and fauna, to have a perimeter path, to have seating at appropriate locations, a car park and picnic area. Some form of toposcope would be welcome with a visual explanation of items of interest that can be seen from the site. The Clerk checks and works on the area on a weekly as well as undertaking minor works such as litter picking and path clearance. The Clerk is working with other groups and persons to undertake safety and remedial works on some trees.

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Christmas Lights.

Cannock Chase Council stopped providing Christmas lights and for the 2017/18/19 festive seasons, this Council joined with Hednesford and Norton Canes to have joint group arrangements for the lights in the respective areas. Costs for the maintenance, checking and the electricity are divided up on a pro rata basis for the number of lights but each Council pays a Hednesford Council employee to administer the checks, repairs, installation, switch on, switch off, collection and payment of bills.

We have seven lights, six pole mounted on lampposts and one set of tree lights. A budget of £3,000 is set aside. A new agreement for 2020/21/22 has been agreed in principle to continue with the current arrangements.

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Defibrillators.

We have four. HGCC, Community Life Church, St John’s Church, Heath Hayes and Tasty Bites, Wimblebury. Check them monthly for battery life (indicator). Look for sources of funding. If another one is acquired, make sure WMAS has it on their database. Look at replacing batteries and other ancillary equipment when needed.

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Facebook. 

Started off in 2010 and was a very useful facility that has had to be moderated as membership grew and there was a need to restrict opportunities for “keyboard warriors” to make inappropriate comments. Now with over 1,000 members (December 2019), it is a useful way of disseminating information about the area and the Council but the posts have to be considered as any attempt at humour or explaining Council actions may result in complaints being made to the Chair of the Council!

Website. 

Fulfils the legal requirements. Administered by the Clerk as part of his duties. Update monthly for attendance and meetings and any other developments as and when required. Renewed annually.

Newsletter.

Goes out quarterly on pdf. January, April, June, September. On agenda for suggestions, then next meeting for draft to be approved. Then published. Copies printed and left at Library. Put on web, Facebook and emailed to local contacts.

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Grants.

The Council has an annual grant scheme. Starts in October, applications (forms available on the web, Facebook, Library or on request) in by 30th November. The Council is notified of the applicants at the December meeting. All applicants are listed. If they are not on the list, they have not applied. The reason that the applications are in by the end of November and considered at the January meeting is to allow anyone interested to see what applications have been received.

A summary is circulated the week before the January meeting and the matter is on the January agenda for decision at that meeting. Cheques written and authorised at the April meeting and presented at the APM.

It is the intention to have the grants dealt with at this meeting to reduce the need to exclude the public and press during deliberations. There should be no need to continue deliberations after the January meeting.

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Green Issues.

What we do to be green.

Paperfree – Agendas, Minutes and Reports are sent by email. Letters are whenever possible.

Electricity – the Clerk uses an electric cycle wherever possible to undertake duties in th area. The cycle is charged at the Clerk’s home using solar power. Council work is undertaken on a desktop computer during daylight hours and a laptop that has been charged up using solar power for work in non-daylight hours. The Clerk has an electric car charging point at home and is looking at purchasing an electric car.

HGCC – We have a new front door and main room doors (2018) to increase insulation. The building is insulated, double glazed and has a new (2018) high efficiency gas combination boiler.

Christmas cards are sent from a Jacquie Lawson site the Clerk pays for at no cost to the Council.

Newsletter. We produce a newsletter four times a year and this is a pdf document and emailed. It os not printed. In the past, we have printed and delivered newsletters to every house and then tried taking out a page advert in a local free paper. Both became expensive and not viable and the decision was taken to electronically produce and distribute the newsletter.

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Hayes Green Centre.

The Council took over the management of the Hayes Green Centre when Cannock Council decided that it no longer wanted to run community centres.

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Banking. The Centre has accounts with the Co-op Bank at Salford (yes – near Manchester). There is a code generating fob that allows access to view the accounts only. No payments or movements of money can be done by internet or on the phone.

Polling  – The Centre is a Polling Station and is used for Parish, District, County, European, General Elections and any other national events such as referenda.

In advance of the poll, liaise with the Returning Officer about the arrangements. Return booking form to CCDC. Cancel all the existing hirers. Liaise with Caretaker and CCDC abut delivery of stations. Check the weather and prepare for adverse conditions. Check the Centre to make sure that everything is prepared. Put the event on the webpage and Facebook. Make sure all is open and running on the day. Give the Poll Staff a contact number you are available on. Be available during the poll. Afterwards, make sure the Centre is cleared and closed and that there are arrangements for the collection of the stations. Update report to Council. When received, bank cheque payment for use fo Centre.

Emergency Standby Point. The Centre is on the list for Cannock Chase Council to use in to deal with any major events in the area.

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Planning. The Council is a Statutory Consultee in the planning process and is invited to comment to Cannock Chase District Council, the Planning Authority. The Parish Council is not as some think, a sub-committee of CCDC and it is their responsibility to obtain residents’ views and determine compliance with building regulations. The Parish Council is a consultee only. Members of the public who want to make comments should do so to the Planning Authority, IE Cannock Chase Council.

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Remembrance Heath Hayes. 

Before.

Apply for road closure order (RCO). Laminate copies and put them up on affected roads both sides. 10 laminates. Get 25 suitable Volunteers. (20 posted and five spare for non attendance).

Plan event. Risk Assessment. Conform with insurance company that it is acceptable. Liaise with Police. Permission from CCDC to use park. Liaise with CCDC regarding road signs. Plan the event. Work sheet for all volunteers. Check the weather. Get the key for the gates from Cannock Council. PA System. Last Post / Reveille / National Anthem. Generator and spare generator. Spare megaphone. Tell CCDC, SCC, Police, Fire, Ambulance, CFR and media. Put on Facebook (Brownhills Bob) and website.

Insurance Compliance Management Document

Equipment. 30 high visibility jackets. Three advance warning signs of Remembrance closures (stored at HGCC). Flags at Wimblebury and HGCC.

On the day. Take road signs to Cannock Road at Newlands Court. Hednesford Road at Chapel Street. Wimblebury Road at Dorset Road. Cannock Road at Skoda Island. Norton Road by entrance to Bleak House. Check flags.

Plan.

Phase 1. Assembly to St John’s. Meet at the Constitutional Club Car Park. 0930. Check all volunteers. Give them their tasks. Give them your contact mobile number. Synchronise watches.

0940 – Close Hednesford Road either side of Cons Club Screenshot 2019-12-15 at 15.29.39.png

Gorsemoor Road, Hednesford Road, Highfields Road, Lyndhurst Road, Gladstone Road, Stafford Street, Bank Street and Chapel Street. Two police at either end. Nine volunteers at each vehicle access point. Parade from Cons Club to St John’s. When Parade leaves road, re-open Hednesford Road. (10 minutes closed). Thank drivers.

Phase 2. St John’s to Memorial Gates.

1030 Close Hednesford Road from Gorsemoor Road and Highfields Road to Five Ways Island. 15 volunteers. Police Officer at Gorsemoor Road, Chapel Street and Five Ways Island. One in marked vehicle at front of Parade to stop oncoming vehicles. apart from roads, look out for vehicles accessing from flats, houses, car parks and the service road at the rear of the library (Coverdale Way).

Parade to Memorial Gates. When Parade starts, close Five Ways Island and Wimblebury Road at Dorset Road. Four police on island 6 volunteers on island and Dorset Road. Open roads off Hednesford Road when clear up to Chapel Street/Stafford Street where Hednesford Road will remain closed 1030 to 1120.

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Phase 3. Memorial Gates.

Check PA working and all taking part know they roles.

Ensure all five roads are closed and area free of vehicles.

Barriers out for scouts etc with colours to stand near the front.

Deal with any incidents of anti-social behaviour.

At the end of proceedings, only open Five Ways Island when all pedestrians have left. Tell those remaining to cross the road carefully.

Phase 4. Return to Cons Club.

Marked police car at front of Parade for safety. All roads and access closed to Cons Club.

Try to keep parade moving. Ask stragglers to get on pavement.

Parade to Cons Club. Then open all roads.

Phase 5. Cons Club.

Before. Get budget and arrangements approved. Liaise with Cons Club regarding arrangements on the day. What is happening? Free soft drinks? Food? Who is preparing it? Is the Cons Club bar open? Buy the provisions required and deliver them to the Cons Club pr to the person who will be managing the arrangements at the Cons. Update details on web, Facebook and report to Council. Ask vicar to mention this in church and at Memorial Gates.

On the day. Make sure arrangements are being followed and all is in order. Tell people that there are refreshments at the Cons Club and invite all to attend.

Phase 6. Afterwards.

Lock the Memorial Gates. Return the key.

Collect our road signs. return them to HGCC.

Collect the CCDC signs. Return to Hawks Green Depot.

Return hire van.

Write to thank all that helped. Volunteers, Churches, Readers, PA Supplier and the Police.

Put matter on agenda for report for December meeting and start to look at arrangements for the next year.

Wimblebury War Memorial. It is not known who owns the Memorial but for the last few years, the Parish Council has looked after it. The Memorial is cleaned annually, as well as the grass being cut regularly. The area is litter picked monthly and before Remembrance Events. The flag is put up before Remembrance and taken down afterwards. The wreaths are removed at the end of January. The names of teh fallen are repainted every year in August. The undergrowth at the perimeter fence is cut back annually (liaise with Wimblebury Community Centre).

Odds and Ends.

Heath Hayes Park. Cannock Chase Council removed two metal benches that were replaced by the two new memorial benches bought by the Parish Council. They are at the Hawks Green Depot awaiting relocation within Heath Hayes Park.

Bench at Heath Hayes Library. The bench was placed as a memorial to Eileen Pitcher in 2018 and the Council has agreed to maintain it for 10 years till 2028.

Meetings. Held monthly (except August) at the Hayes Green Community Centre starting at 7.30pm. Agendas sent out in advance, attendance at meeting, minutes from meeting. List of meetings for four years provided to Councillors and posted on website and Facebook.

Annual Parish Meeting. Public meeting, held first Wednesday in April. Has to be held by law. Awards to Citizen, Young Person and Business of the Year. Grants given out.

Annual General Meeting. Held in May and after election in election year. First business MUST be to elect a Chair.

Noticeboard. Heath Hayes Library. This belongs to the Parish Council and was rebuilt in 2017. The keys are kept in the Library. Practice has been for the outward facing part to be used by the Parish Council and the pane facing down Hednesford Road is used by the library.

Best Kept Village. The Council entered from 1997 to 2018 and had entered Heath Hayes, Hawks Green and Wimblebury with three separate entries.

Chasewater Friends. The Council was the first Council to join in February 2019 and has three year membership. The Clerk attends all “Friends” meetings.

Working from home. The Clerk works from home and has an allowance of £125 a month to pay for phone, heating and equipment such as computers and printers.

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