Present: Sheila Weightman (Chair), John Redford (Vice Chair), Joan Shore (Treasurer), Lesley Gerhardt, Elaine Hughes, Phil Mellor, Richard Rae, Sue Brookes (Secretary) and David Norman (Barlaston Speedwatch)
Apologies: PCSO Scott Woodward, Charlotte Eccles (Local Matters Team), Una Handley (Trentham Golf Club General Manager), Peter Hayward and Annette Greenwood.
Speedwatch:SW introduced David Norman from Barlaston Road Safety Campaign/Speedwatch. He said that Michelle Shaker, the co-ordinator from the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership had been very helpful and had given their group of 12 volunteers a two-hour introductory training session. They worked in threes; one was responsible for using the laser which recorded a vehicle’s speed and which needed to be calibrated before every session; one recorded the make, model and registration number of the speeding vehicle and one person recorded the number of speeding vehicles and sent this record to Michelle. They normally had two one-hour sessions weekly, generally between 8.00am and 9.00am, 12.00pm and 1.00pm or 4.00pm and 5.00pm in nine different locations within the confines of Barlaston and these had been monitored as safe by Staffordshire Police. Since May 2018, 900 vehicles had been speeding at 35mph or above and 250 had been doing more than 40mph. There had been sixty repeat offenders who had been sent a headed letter from Staffordshire Police, who also visited drivers who had been doing an excessive speed or who had speeded three times or more. A local co-ordinator would need to organise the group and send out weekly emails asking for availability of volunteers. Initially, temporary “speedwatch” signs are erected and these become permanent fixtures after six months. Grants are available for these and also for buying the £5,000 Speed Illuminating Device (SID). Michelle Shaker is arranging a further training session on Saturday 16th February 2019 at 10.30am at Trentham High School. JR will advertise this on the website. RR has also contacted Michelle re speeding waste vehicles from STW. David Norman said that he would be willing to advise if we set up a Speedwatch group in our area.
Trentham Traffic Problems: SW said that there had been three traffic accidents recently. She had forwarded the video link of the large tree branch on BOR (brought down by STW vehicles) to David Stubbs of Stoke-on-Trent’s Highways Department. She had also reported and sent photos of an STW vehicle’s collision with a telegraph pole and of another with large boulders in front of the property at 192 BOR. There had recently been a three-car crash at the junction with Albert Road and SW will send David Stubbs photos. David Stubbs had said that he would obtain traffic data from Chris Borradaile, site manager at STW’s Strongford site but had not yet done so. SW has written to David Stubbs about the traffic problems on BOR and JR will contact Chris Borradaile. SW felt that David Stubbs was unaware of how dangerous BOR is. She wanted residents to forward to the City’s Highways Department any details of incidents on BOR, thus reinforcing our concerns.
Natwest/Bod café/bar: The variation to extend the opening hours from 8.00am to 11.00pm seven days a weeks was approved 5:2 but subject to parking restrictions. It was felt that the Bod should be opened only after the morning rush hour, not on a Sunday morning or not at peak traffic times in the morning and afternoon. It was surprising that there had been no complaints from the Church about the planning application until the day before the meeting. Cllrs Fellows, Jellyman and Irving were to be involved in all decisions. Building on the site could not be started until the parking conditions had been satisfied. About seventy other businesses had shown an interest in developing the property and these would not have created such parking problems.
Meadow Lane proposed development: Peter Hayward was attending a meeting in support of this on our behalf and this was being held on the same night as our meeting. Ascalon Properties/Barratts have contacted many residents explaining that 25% of the proposed 227 houses will be for first-time buyers, this adjustment totally ignoring the major problem, that of traffic saturation. SW will inform the council of our continued concerns.
New Inn Lane:There had been no further developments with the plans for the housing estate. Apparently, the incinerator is outmoded and will need to be replaced or even moved, which may affect any future planning applications.
Community Learning Centre: A Sentinel article had suggested that the City Council had funded the CLC at Trentham High School. Peter Hayward had had the land and library at Trentley Road registered as an asset of community value under the 2011 Localism Act and thus the CLC should have been described as a community-financed project in all council documentation. According to David Sidaway, the City Council Director, this fact had been omitted in “error” from documentation but would be contained in all future papers. The land had been sold for £360,000 and the six bungalows being built there were priced at around £335,000/£340,000 so the project had proved profitable! The Sentinel article intimated that two weekly sessions would be free to the community but others would have to be paid for, which was inequitable as the land which had funded the CLC was an ACV and, as such, it was the community that had funded its construction. SW felt that we needed clarity to ensure community representation on the CLC’s governing body.
Neighbourhood Plan: The next meeting would be in April. The boundary had been drawn up to include Trentham Lakes and the development in Hanford but would exclude Newstead.
Canal Trust/Trentham in Bloom
New signs warning about dog faeces had been erected and another bin installed. The Council will empty the two bins regularly. SW will have signs made for the local noticeboards about leaving dog faeces. JR said that, as John Massey of Trentham Central R.A. is organising a litter pick on 6th April, we might find volunteers for the same day. The Keep Britain Tidy Scheme runs from 22nd March to 23rd April. CE will supply the equipment (please). There will be a meeting of Hanford R.A. on 6th April to organise a Hanford in Bloom competition. It was felt that this would be too complex for us to organise,so, instead we will concentrate on individual projects.
Treasurer’s Report: The balance remains at £461.82
Website: JR said that Facebook was more relevant than a web-page and Trentham Central R.A. were interested in joining us for this. There would be a link to the website where the committee minutes would be located. JR will consult Andrew Fishwick about setting up Facebook and LG will help administer it. The Facebook page of Trentham Talking was very informative and warned residents about problems with aggressive bikers and other youths. This would be a useful monitoring vehicle for local police, as they could see where there were problems.
Date of next Meeting Monday 1st April 2019 at 6.30pm