Venue: Hybrid Meeting. Council Chamber, Moorlands House, Leek and via Microsoft Teams
Contact: Sally Hampton - Democratic Services Officer Tel: 01538 395429 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Webcast: View the webcast
Notification of Substitute Members, if any.
Substitute members were as follows:-
- Councillor Martin for Councillor Bentley
- Councillor Wilkinson for Councillor Wood
- Councillor Yates for Councillor Page
- Councillor Swindlehurst for Councillor Salt.
That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 November 2021, be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Declaration of Interests:-
· Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
· Other Interests
The following declarations of interest were made:
(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 15).
Questions received from Councillor Bentley: -
Q1. “The Support Businesses Christmas Leaflet to promote shops costing, I believe, £17,000. Who put this together?”
Response from Councillor Ralphs:The print and distribution of the guide was undertaken by a reputable firm which the Council had previously contracted to undertake this type of work. Every household in the Moorlands should have received a copy and I have received compliments about the guide. A further hospitality & food guide was currently being produced by the Council.
Councillor Bentley reported that only a few residents and businesses in Cheadle had received this guide, to which Councillor Ralphs was sorry to hear and asked if he could keep her updated on the receipt of the hospitality and food guide in Cheadle once it has been distributed.
Q2. “Who put the leaflet together that is in theatres bars clubs etc, called Discover Staffordshire? What is the cost and why there is there no mention of Cheadle on there at all?”
Response from Councillor Ralphs: This leaflet had not been produced by SMDC.
The lack of any mention of Cheadle within the leaflet was a concern to Councillor Bentley and he thought that the Council made a financial contribution to the organisation that had produced the leaflet.
Question received from Councillor Cawley:
Q3. “My wife and I spent a day in Bollington recently. We visited the Discovery Centre, a local history museum, in the Clarence Mill which has been open since the summer and which is funded by local authorities in East Cheshire.
Other museums and heritage centres are open in close proximity to Leek and have been for some time in other towns and cities in Staffordshire as well as Cheshire and Derbyshire.
Why does the Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery remain closed to the detriment of tourism in Leek as well as handicapping local history and family research?”
Response from Councillor Ralphs: I regret that the Nicholson Museum and Art Gallery had to temporarily close due to the pandemic. However, an ambitious programme of events is planned from February 2022, when the Nicholson is due to reopen.
On behalf of Councillor Cawley, Councillor Gledhill explained, that he had secured an offer for items to come on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, but he had not received a response from senior officers at the Council. He requested for this project to be considered. In response, the Leader advised, that she hadn’t received any communication from Councillor Cawley in relation to this matter.
Plans were in place for a William Morris Exhibition which had been planned a year in advance.
In response to the second question around tourism and the Tourist Information Centre (TIC), Councillor Ralphs explained, the relocation of the TIC was due to the high cost of the site when situated on the Market Place and the type of work undertaken by the staff had changed, as tourists independently carried out research on the internet. There were plans to relocate the ... view the full minutes text for item 20.
Any additional items to be added to the Work Programme:
· Chair’s Items
· Members’ Items
That the Panel’s Work Programme be agreed.
The Panel gave its consideration to a briefing paper which outlined the need to review the Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for Staffordshire Moorlands. The current SPD dated back to 2004 and therefore required updating to take account of changes within the legislative and policy framework.
As part of the initial work undertaken, a series of stakeholder engagement was carried out with key service areas across the Council and the County Council to gain a more detailed understanding of current processes, key issues and potential opportunities that could be addressed through the SPD.
The Issues and Options document was the next stage in the review process leading to production of an updated Developer Contributions SPD. It identified key planning obligations that that could be sought to mitigate against the impacts of development and set out a number of options for consideration and inclusion within the SPD, including the recommended approach taken where relevant. Where appropriate, a preferred option had also been given based on stakeholder engagement and desktop research. The next steps in this process would be to refine these options and develop a first draft SPD document.
Once adopted, the SPD will help ensure that development proposals made a positive contribution to sustainable development by providing social, economic and environmental benefits to the community as a whole that was in line with current local plan policies. In addition, it would also help to increase understanding of Planning Obligations and provide greater transparency in how they were applied, thereby enabling developers to take potential costs of proposed development into account at the earliest opportunity.
Mark James – Principal Planning Officer and Ruth Woodisse – Planning Officer, gave a presentation which covered the following subject areas: -
· Section 106 Agreements
· Purpose of SPD
· Issues and options
· Prioritisation options and sub-option
· Monitoring fees
· Affordable housing
· Open space, sport and recreation
· Biodiversity and Climate Change
· Training and Employment
· Transport and accessibility
Members broadly welcomed the document and thanked the officers for their comprehensive report.
Discussion took place around a more ambitious SPD in regard to climate change, neighbourhood plans and additional support for education. A suggestion was made for a cross working group (Planning Applications Committee, Health & Service Delivery O&S Panels), to assist with a more meaningful and understandable document.
More details on green infrastructure and travel plans were requested and for reports to be available as soon as possible prior to meetings.
That the presentation be received.
The Panel gave its consideration to a report which detailed the progress of
the work undertaken to identify and support projects with a view to allocating outdoor sports capital funding.
Towards an Active Staffordshire Moorlands was the Council’s Physical Activity and Sport Strategy which identified key priorities and actions that the Council would take, supported by its partners, to enable residents to become more active.
The Council has assigned £100,000 of capital funds in the current MTFP to be used towards supporting the delivery of local projects, with a focus on a ‘sports village’ concept and particularly projects that were located in more rural areas of the District.
At the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 3rd August 2021, approval was given to allocate £11,500 funding from the outdoor sports capital budget towards projects being delivered by Waterhouses Parish Council and Kingsley Parish Council. Both projects were progressing well, new maintenance equipment had been purchased by Waterhouses Parish Council, whilst the funds given to Kingsley Parish Council had enabled them to access additional funding from a local business to complete the installation of a new play area during spring 2022.
It was now requested that allocation of further funds totalling £10,700 to Endon & Stanley Parish Council and Leek Cricket Club. Should approval be given, £77,800 would remain available to allocate towards projects identified in the future.
Endon and Stanley Parish Council wished to improve the walking/running track which boarders the playing fields at Hillswood Playing Fields. The total cost to upgrade the track was £6,700 and it was proposed to allocate the full amount towards this due to match funding being unavailable. As an ‘in kind’ contribution towards the project, the Parish Council would plant a variety of trees in the vicinity, install picnic tables, bird/bat boxes and improve the outdoor gym area that was on the edge of the track.
Leek Cricket Club had aspirations to improve their grounds maintenance programme and develop their intergenerational work within the club, through the refurbishment of existing grounds maintenance equipment. The cost to refurbish their equipment was £6,650 and the club had raised £2,650 towards this project. It was therefore proposed that £4,000 funding was allocated to this project from the outdoor sports capital budget.
Officers were also working on a project to develop a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Hot Lane playing fields in Biddulph Moor. In order to assess the viability of developing this project further, a feasibility study was required which would include various site surveys that would enable an accurate cost to complete the project to be identified. A recent enquiry to a reputable company had provided a cost of this study at around £6,500. It was recommended that revenue funds would be allocated to commission this study. Once this had been completed an updated report would be brought forward with a request to allocate capital funds from the Rural Sports Villages Fund.
In order to maintain momentum when developing projects, working with partners and planning, it was proposed ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
Councillor Hart – Portfolio Holder for Property and Tourism, presented the newly-drafted Staffordshire Moorlands Car Parking Strategy to members of the Panel.
A review of car parking was contained within Aim 4 of the Corporate Plan 2019-23. As part of the recovery from the first wave of Covid-19 in Autumn 2020, this work was escalated within the service plan, such was the importance of parking within the recovery of town centres and to ensure a thriving local economy. Parking Matters were retained towards the end of 2020 to review the existing parking provision with SMDC and to develop a new strategy for the car parks for a 5 year period. The aim was to tackle a number of salient issues, including, condition, payment options and tariffs.
Wide consultation with the residents, local businesses and visitors who used the car parks had taken place. Members Groups, Town and County Council, Peak Park and local business groups had all been included to ensure the widest spectrum of views had been heard. Balancing conflicting opinions and ideas and setting these against factual evidence was often challenging, and it was inevitable that the strategy would not fulfil the wishes of all, however its focus had been to deliver the vision and ensure that positive changes were made and the service invests for the future and meets the needs of residents businesses and visitors.
Following the consultation and review of the Council’s service, Parking Matters produced their base case findings, which were presented to the Car Parking Working Group for feedback. This was then developed into the main report setting out all the findings (Appendix 2). This was discussed by the Car Parking Working Group and Cheadle stakeholder group and further feedback was taken on board. Since then, work had centred around the financial modelling to determine the affordability of free periods and tariff changes in light of impact that Covid-19 had on parking revenues along with the underlying trend of reduction in demand.
The Summary Strategy Report was attached as Appendix 1 and set out the base case findings, reported the outcome of the consultations, made recommendations and finished with an action plan to ensure that the Council’s plans were open and transparent for all to see. If the Strategy was adopted this document would be published on the Council’s website.
Key actions and projects were as follows:
1) Implementation of contactless digital payment provider, such as Pay by Phone to offer an alternative to coin only payments. This could be delivered in the short term, ideally before the end of the financial year.
2) Changes in charging hours and tariffs to be implemented for the new financial year, to include short free parking periods on certain car parks to support quick trips into town centres.
3) Review of parking permits being offered including provision of a tourist pass.
4) Development of a separate EV strategy which determined suitable locations, types of chargers and options for delivery partnerships funding and rollout, supported by the ... view the full minutes text for item 24.