held at the Methodist Church Hall, Barlaston Old Road at 7.00pm on 28th May 2019
Present: Sheila Weightman (Chair), John Redford (Vice Chair), Joan Shore (Treasurer), Sue Brookes (Secretary), Annette Greenwood, Peter Hayward, Elaine Hughes, Lesley Gerhardt, Phil Mellor (Committee Members), Cllrs Dan Jellyman and Rachel Kelsall, PCSO Scott Woodward, Charlotte Eccles (Local Matters Team), Michelle Shaker (Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership) and 23 residents
Apologies: Dr J Green, Jack Brereton MP
SW welcomed everyone to the AGM and introduced the committee and guests. She thanked Terry Follows and presented him with a gift as a token of his stalwart support for TSRA and the people of Trentham for so many years. Terry replied that one of his greatest achievements was to fund the defibrillator on the outside wall of the church but hoped he would not need it himself.
The minutes of May 2018’s AGM were taken as read with AG proposing and JR seconding
SW thanked all her committee and said that residents who wanted a copy of the minutes of bi-monthly meetings should sign the register and SB would forward these. She appreciated the hard work that JR had done on tidying up the stretch of the canal from Longton Road to the Wedgwood bridge which TSRA has now adopted. She mentioned the litter picks undertaken and commented that on one occasion 58 bags of dog faeces had been collected.
TSRA had monitored any planning applications affecting our area and twice had donated amounts to the Keep Our Meadow Green campaign on Meadow Lane. The main bugbear, SW said, was the substantial increase in traffic on Longton Road; indeed, the planning decision for the conversion of the Bod bar seemed to have been approved conditionally on the agreement of a traffic management plan after consultation with local residents. This had not yet taken place. SW complained that the resurfacing of Barlaston Old Road had not yet been undertaken and mentioned the incident of a sewage leek and a complaint to the Ombudsman about Severn Trent and the City’s Highway Department’s failure to deal with this promptly. The Highway Department’s Head of Engineering suggested that we engage with Speedwatch in order to develop a safety campaign to monitor speeding on the roads in the area. TSRA had supported the formation of a Neighbourhood Plan, a mechanism by which local residents could have a say in any future developments affecting the area. TSRA has also developed a website – www.TSRA.co.uk – and a Facebook page linked to that of
Trentham Talking. SW finished her report by saying that the balance in the TSRA account was £209.84, having been audited the previous week.
PCSO Scott Woodward said that anti-social behaviour on The Lea had improved but that some vehicles parked on Meadow Lane had been deliberately scratched. CCTV might well be installed on Hanford Park to try and stop poor behaviour and litter-dropping. Police surgeries in Trentham and Hanford would be held within the next month or so. One resident asked about drugs sale and usage on the canal bridge by Jonathan Road but PCSO SW said there had been fewer calls. The incident of a drunk with a dog physically assaulting a girl had not been reported. There was a heated discussion about cars parking on pavements near the newly-opened Bod bar. PCSO SW said that there was a need for pragmatism since, if cars were parked on the highway at the BOR/Longton Road junction, emergency vehicles would not be able to pass; this parking had also caused problems for STW’s HGVs and the situation was becoming dangerous, especially since parking near to a road junction was illegal. If double yellow lines were drawn it would be the Council’s responsibility and not that of the police to ensure that there would be no parking on these lines nor on the pavement. Residents generally felt that planning permission should not have been given for the Bod bar. DJ said that double yellow lines would be painted later this year along this stretch of BOR plus the corners of Albert and Oaktree Roads but SW commented that this was being done without consultation with residents who would be most affected and would just move the problem further on to Albert, Oaktree and Leyfield Roads. She said that since STW now had a 24/7 licence, the parking situation on Sundays was terrible; three parking spaces only had been allocated to Trentham Methodist Church and these were being paid for by Titanic Brewery. It was asked who would monitor the illegal parking on double yellow lines but, realistically, the PCSO was too busy to do so. PH suggested that the police take pictures of offending vehicles and then fine the drivers .
Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership
Speedwatch’s Michelle Shaker said there were now 400 volunteers, 70 active Speedwatch groups and 45 groups about to be set up within her area. She showed how a speed monitor was used and explained about the logging system and the tuning fork used before and after to ensure that the speed monitor was accurate. She explained that if drivers received more than two warning letters within a year, they would have a police visit at home and on
occasions perpetual offenders would be stopped and their vehicles and all documents checked. SW had applied for funding to buy a speed monitor for TSRA’s use and asked for any volunteers wishing to join the Speedwatch group to contact her. It was emphasised that groups operated in areas other than their own and that, if volunteers were threatened, then the police would intervene. One resident complained about feeling harassed when he was clearly driving less than 30 mph but the monitor was nonetheless pointed at him. SB asked if the discretionary 10% + 2 (ie 30 + 3 +2) applied in Staffordshire and was told it did. MS also mentioned that residents of Yoxall and Kings Bromley had managed to get a temporary injunction against HGVs going through their villages when there were diversion signs by recording the registration numbers of offending vehicles and she suggested that we could do this to limit the number of STW’s HGVs using BOR.
PH said that the Council had approved the formation of a Neighbourhood Forum in June 2018 but had delayed from October 2018 in granting formal approval. Dave Chetwin, a qualified planner approved by central government, had met the City’s Director of Place and the Trentham/Hanford plan would be going to committee in July 2019. As this was a “community interest group” there would be an entitlement to a £20,000 grant. The Stokeon-Trent/Newcastle-under-Lyme local plan should be approved in 2020. PH said that 3,800 houses are scheduled to be built in the Trentham/Hanford area within the next 20 years and full consultation with residents was needed, although in the past these meetings had not been widely advertised.SW emphasised that councillors should convene such a meeting. PH said that without a local plan, developers could attempt to build without restriction.
Canal and River Trust
JR said that he was grateful for the help from the working party on weeding, cleaning the information boards and litter pick-ups along our canal stretch but more volunteers were still needed. Risk assessments were undertaken and public liability insurance was in place. The CRT had cleaned up the lock-keeper’s cottage and installed dog faeces signs and bins.
Three large signs were yet to be installed. CRT would supply three 5’ long planters by the canal to help “Trentham in Bloom” but donations of plants would be needed in mid-July. There had been a collision between a cyclist and a pedestrian on the canal-path and the pedestrian had fallen and broken her elbow. JR said that this needed to be reported to the police via the 101 telephone number so that statistics could be kept and action subequently taken. The towpath should be for both cyclists and pedestrians but unfortunately cyclists often rode too fast and could be dangerous.
SW introduced Rachel Kelsall, our new Councillor, and welcomed her and Cllr Jellyman. DJ said that they could both be contacted on the same phone number. He said that he had applied to have the whole of BOR resurfaced. He said that the planning inspector was due to give his decision on the Meadow Lane application by 10th July 2019 and that this would not be subject to any further appeal by the developers. The application for 500 houses to be built off New Inn Lane has been resubmitted but nothing has been suggested about improving the surrounding roads to accommodate extra traffic. As for consultation on the 3,800 houses envisaged in the Local Plan, the first public consultation was held in 2018 and the second would be before Christmas 2019 and would be advertised in the Sentinel, on lamp-posts and letters sent to affected residents. The traffic lights at Aldi were being reconfigured and the Council had taken over responsibility for the green spaces formerly owned by Persimmon Homes. One resident complained that the filter light at the Longton Road/BOR junction was still problematic. DJ said that the Community Learning Centre at Trentham Academy would shortly be completed and that Trentham Reads had been given a grant of £6,000 to buy furniture and kitchen equipment for this. There was a heated discussion about the fact that Trentham Community Association (TCA) (under the guidance of PH) had registered the library site in Trentley Road as an asset of community value, so consequently the building of the Community Learning Centre had been funded because of
this and not because of the generosity of the City Council. SW acknowledged the rôle of TF and DJ in the Council’s deliberations to facilitate the use of the £360,000 from the sale of the land specifically for the development of the Community Learning Centre in partnership with Trentham Academy. Cllr Kelsall then introduced herself and said that she would work hard to continue TF’s legacy.
Election of Officers
As there had been no volunteers from the floor to join the committee, Charlotte Eccles declared that the present committee members be re-elected and this was accepted unanimously.
The meeting finished at 8.50pm
Date of next committee meeting
Monday 5th August 2019 at 6.30pm. Venue yet to be decided.
Date of next committee meeting
Monday 5th August 2019 at 6.30pm. Venue yet to be decided.