Regular readers of the GMK will appreciate the increasing amount of liaison reported in recent years between the County Council and Gnosall Parish Council, with the Parish Council also taking-on an increasing number of services. To help improve this growing collaboration, a monthly liaison meeting has been established between our local County Councillor (Mark Winnington) and the Parish Council’s Clerk and Chairman.
So far, the arrangement has proved very constructive, with improved communication and transfer of information. Meetings are scheduled to take place before our monthly Parish Council meetings - so feedback can be given on how our partnership working is progressing and highlighting particular items of interest to Gnosall.
West Stafford Parish Councils get together
Staffordshire County Council (SCC) attended to report on changes to highways arrangements.Â In particular the neighbourhood highway teams will not operate any more - a loss to us as they came regularly and did the smaller jobs which the Parish Council pointed out to them, suchÂ as cleaning signs and gully-emptying.Â SCC will concentrate on 'priority issues', and ask for help from the parishes on more aesthetic matters which enhance villages, such as cutting hedges, putting in flower beds or bulbs in verges.Â The County Council will provide yellow jackets and road signs if requested, and assist with training and risk assessments.Â In Gnosall we are already very lucky to have the Best Kept Village Group who undertake quite a lot of this sort of work.
Streetscene, run by Stafford Borough Council, gave an interesting presentation on all their activities, which range from street-cleaning and clearing fly-tipping, to growing plants.Â They suggested that parish councils might collaborate to make use of their services, such as for tree work or spraying weeds.Â They also have Payback teams doing community service who are willing to do work for parishes.
Staffordshire Parish Councils' Association had sent guidance on the powers of local councils, and how financial constraints among other parts of local government were leading to moves to shift work onto parishes.Â There is to be more information on this in the future. There was general concern among the parish councillors present regarding the extra burden this might put on rural residents, and the likelihood of 'double taxation' if the work that should be done by another authority was undertaken.
(Left: An example of 'enhancement'- daffodils in the verges)