MINUTES of THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
1st February 2022
PART A – PUBLIC AGENDA
1.1 Present: Councillors Read (Chair), Bold, Dobson, Flannery, Shore, Tarrant, Apologies: Councillor Carson, CEC Cllr K Parkinson, PCSO
Public: 4 persons
2.1 Approval of Minutes The minutes of the council meeting of 14th December 2021 were agreed with the addition of “and/” after “VH” in the final line of item 7.3.
2.2 Matters arising 2.2 No further information had been received from Cllr Parkinson about the checks made on the Spinks Lane site.
3. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST Cllr Flannery declared a non-pecuniary interest in respect of her involvement in the organisation Mid-Cheshire against HS2.
4. PUBLIC FORUM Nil
5. REPORT FROM PCSO The PCSO had emailed to say that there had been no crimes reported in the parish in the previous month. The Clerk was asked to write to her to ask why there were from time to time discrepancies in the number/nature of crimes reported between her reports to the Council and the Police.uk website.
6. REPORT FROM CLLR K PARKINSON The Clerk was asked to report to CEC the storm damage to the 7.5 tonne vehicle limit sign at the junction of the A556 and Pickmere Lane.
7.1 Financial reserves The Clerk had circulated a table showing the schedule of Financial reserves approved by Council at its December 2021 meeting, which had been supplemented to incorporate the likely expenditure heads for the various other potential items of expenditure discussed at that meeting. The report was noted.
7.2 Current financial position The monthly financial summary was noted. The Clerk drew attention to the second table which showed the position with regard to the Council’s earmarked reserves, which will be updated for each meeting.
7.3 New payments The schedule of new payments was agreed with the addition of a payment of £56.44 (excl. VAT) to Netwise in relation to the upgrading of data storage capacity for the Council’s website and emails.
8. PLANNING MATTERS
8.1 Planning application update The schedule was noted.
8.2 Neighbourhood Plan Update The minutes of the NP Steering Group meeting of 11 January were noted. Cllr Bold reported that the initial project questionnaires had been circulated to all households and businesses in the parish and will be collected in shortly. This was an initial survey to address the broad themes that the Plan was to consider; further surveys are likely in the coming months.
9. REPORTS FROM CLERK AND FROM COUNCILLORS
9.1 Potential co-option of 8th councillor The report was agreed; an advert will be placed on the boards and website shortly, and also in Pickmere Press. The process for selection of a co-optee was agreed.
9.2 Asset Maintenance Programme The Clerk reported that the installation of broadband at the Village Hall had been held up as the suppliers of the Sogea service had not yet satisfied themselves that such a service was available to the Hall. The Clerk was working with the supplier to resolve this issue. A quote for the clearing of moss form the Pavilion roof had been promised but was still awaited.
Cllr Dobson reported as follows:
• The gutter on the front of the VH was about to be repaired; at the same time gutter mesh will be installed and the post box replaced.
• He will look at the bench at the Pickmere Lane (Red Lion) bus stop, which is in need of repair.
• Discussion is proceeding with the Residents Association as to the maintenance of the IROS benches and picnic tables.
9.3 Potential projects for Village Hall and/or Pavilion Following a discussion of the best approach to dealing with the current damp problem in the VH toilets, in conjunction with the establishment of potential projects to improve the VH/Pavilion, it was agreed that Cllrs Read, Dobson, Carson and Shore would meet separately to consider these matters and to report back to Council.
9.4 Parish Council speaker at CEC Council meeting It was agreed that the Chair would attend this meeting; the Clerk will draft a script for a 2-minute presentation focussed on CEC’s shortcomings with regard to Planning and Highways services as well as general deficiencies with regard to communication.
9.5 Need for further survey of Council trees Members agreed that the Clerk should carry out a walk round of the Council’s landholdings with the tree consultant with a view to identifying any trees/tree groups that might require closer examination. This should be an annual process.
9.6 HS2 – Hybrid Bill A variety of comments was made as a result of the recent publication of the Hybrid bill including:
• The importance of the overall cost issue, which was likely to be significantly higher than even Government’s latest announcements.
• The need to seek maximum mitigation measures, if the project does proceed.
It was agreed that Cllrs Flannery and Tarrant would consider the recently published documents [which are available for public inspection at Knutsford Library] and report back to Council at its March meeting.
9.7 The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations The Chair suggested a number of ideas to celebrate this occasion; he will consider further with Cllr Bold.
9.8 Questionnaire re Visitor Car parking near the lake 107 responses had been received to the Council’s questionnaire, with some interesting results. Whilst ‘no change to present parking arrangements’ received more positive responses from respondents from Jacob’s Way, Mere Lane, and the Orchards than other choices, there was significant comment in favour of extending or otherwise strengthening the village’s yellow line restrictions. Several residents thought a residents’ parking scheme should be established.
During discussion it was pointed out that:
• CEC have already said that a residents’ parking scheme is not a practicable proposition for the situation in the village, and that it would not be pursued.
• The Parish Council has been pressing CEC for several years both to repaint the existing faded yellow lines on Park Lane, and also to discuss the possibility of establishing a further yellow line regime of some sort in the village. The provision and maintenance of yellow lines is CEC’s responsibility and the Parish Council has no direct powers in these respects.
The Clerk was asked to write to CEC Highways, copy to Cllr Parkinson, to make reference to the survey and to request again a dialogue about parking issues in the village.
9.9 Play Area refurbishment – Update Cllr Flannery updated the meeting. The working group have now gained an initial idea of the potential costs of a refurbishment scheme; it may be that the size of such a project would require formal tendering processes to be followed. The research was being pursued further.
9.10 CEC – Availability of Commuted sums for provision of Affordable Housing The report was noted. There were no suggestions as to potential housing sites in the parish.
9.11 Consultation – HynetNW Hydrogen Pipeline The proposed zone for the construction of this pipeline runs through the parish and close to the village. Two consultations on this project were in process at the moment. Members commented on the potential conflict of this project with HS2. It was agreed to note the report, and that the Clerk is to respond to the Planning Inspectorate’s consultation as described in the report.
9.12 Resolution to exclude the public Council resolved that members of the public should be asked to leave the meeting at this point to enable discussion of confidential matters.
PART B – PRIVATE AGENDA
10. RECEIPT OF QUOTATIONS
10.1 Surfacing of VH car park The quotation from Peter Ashley Ltd was agreed.
10.2 Draft contract – Broadband in VH As reported above, discussions were still being held with the potential supplier and so a draft contract was not yet available to sign.
11. Clerk’s fees The Clerk left the room at this point while a discussion took place. Following discussion, Council agreed that the Clerk’s paid hours should be increased to 35 per month backdated to 1st December 2021; this will be reviewed after 3 months when consideration will be given to additional payment for any hours beyond this figure.
The meeting closed at 9.00 p.m.