MINUTES of THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
5th October 2021
PART A – PUBLIC AGENDA
1.1 Present: Councillors Read (Chair), Bold, Carson, Dobson, Tarrant.
CEC Councillor K Parkinson for part of the meeting
Public: 2 members of the public
Apologies: Councillors Flannery and Shore; PCSO
2.1 Approval of Minutes The minutes of the council meeting of 7th September 2021 were agreed, with the substitution of “The Chair declared a personal interest in” with “The Chair recused himself from discussion of” in Agenda Item 3 Declarations of Interest.
2.2 Matters arising 5.1 Survey of residents’ attitude to visitors – no further comments had been received from the PCSO about this topic. The Clerk was asked to remind her.
8.2 Neighbourhood Plan Update – The Clerk confirmed in response to Cllr Bold’s question that the Council’s Neighbourhood Plan consultant had no particular views in terms of the best online meeting platform to use.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST Nil
- PUBLIC FORUM Nil
- Report from PCSO Nil
- REPORT FROM CLLR K PARKINSON [This item was dealt with later in the meeting on Cllr Parkinson’s arrival]. Cllr Parkinson reported as follows:
- She had had further discussions with various parties about the possibility of a residents’ parking permit scheme near the lake, but without much progress being made – the issues are more complicated than appeared at the outset.
- She is pursuing the idea of securing further yellow lining of roads in the village, and in particular is pressing for the project to be viewed as an over £10k scheme, which would mean that Parish Council funding would not be required. Cllr Tarrant agreed to email Cllr Parkinson photos of the existing but faded yellow lines, where repainting is required. The Clerk was asked to look out any past correspondence on this issue.
- Little progress is being made in terms of achieving CEC/CWAC action to enforce the requirements of the lake private landowner s106 undertakings in respect of the use of the lake by power boats.
- Cllr Parkinson was asked by members to ask CEC officers to check who is currently occupying the Spinks Lane site; Cllr Tarrant is to send on his email to CEC officers about the recent importation of a further large mobile home onto the site.
- Cllr Tarrant asked whether Cllr Parkinson could pursue further with CEC officers the poor condition of Frog Lane at the Frog lane Farm entrance.
7.1 Current financial position The monthly financial summary was noted.
7.2 New payments The schedule of new payments was agreed.
7.3 Adoption of accounts for 2020-21 Council agreed to adopt the accounts.
7.4 Half-year Financial accounts and financial allocations The report was noted.
- PLANNING MATTERS
8.1 Planning application update The schedule was noted. The following comments were made:
21/4818M Retrospective application for erection of potato grading building and outdoor storage area – Frog Lane Farm: It was pointed out that the Frog Lane farm holding amounts to only about 15% of the farm business’s total landholding, and further that the roads serving the Frog Lane site are small, narrow local country lanes totally unsuitable for the heavy and large vehicles that the farm use generates even at present. There is the additional problem of the very poor state of the Frog Lane carriageway outside the main farm access which Cheshire East Council has continually neglected despite its continually worsening condition. In that context, and also in the light of the fact that the farm business forms part of a larger company involving other farms and potato producers, members were concerned that the potato grading activity in the proposed building might serve parts of the farm holding, and perhaps other farms, which are located away from the Frog Lane site, and that this would therefore mean that potatoes will be imported from other farms for grading at the Frog Lane site, before being exported from the site again in HGVs. There is no information in the application’s supporting documents as to whether this occurs now, or whether it might happen in the future with this proposal. If the proposed potato grading facility is used for the processing of potatoes brought in from other sites, it will give rise to further heavy goods vehicle traffic on the unsuitable roads that access the Frog Lane site – affecting the amenities of dwellings that live on these narrow country lanes as well as causing further damage to the local highway infrastructure – and the Parish Council would wish to object to that possibility. Further if the facility is used in this way then there are grounds for considering the potato grading use to be a separate activity to that of the farming of the land, requiring separate consideration as a material change of use of the site.
21/5051M Certificate of Existing Use/Development – Church Farm, School Lane – no comments.
8.2 Neighbourhood Plan Update Cllr Bold reported that the first Steering Group and Consultation Group meetings had been held. A bulletin for issue to residents is currently being drafted.
The Chair wished to minute the thanks of the Council for the work being done by individual members and also members of the Pickmere community (all of which is voluntary and unpaid) in relation to the Council’s Community Speedwatch, Neighbourhood Plan, play area, and asset maintenance projects.
- reports from clerk and from councillors
9.0 The Chair proposed an additional urgent item – CHALC Speeding Issues Consultation The Council agreed to investigate further taking part in a Police-led pilot using average speed cameras to try to resolve individual speeding problems following the discussion hosted by CHALC some months ago about the problem of speeding vehicles across Cheshire East. There was a brief discussion about the Speed Indicator Devices owned by the Council (which became surplus when CEC erected SIDs on Pickmere Lane). The Clerk was asked to see whether these might be of use to another parish council.
9.1 Continued closure of lakeside boardwalk by CWAC Council agreed that a letter be sent to CWAC expressing concern about the continued closure of the boardwalk and the public right of way that it represents and to press CWAC to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible.
9.2 CEC Governance Review Draft Proposals The report was noted.
9.3 The possibility of broadband at the Village Hall and the possibility of holding hybrid meetings Members were generally minded to pursue the installation of a broadband service, and such a possibility was to be included in the consideration of the budget for 2022-23. Council decided not to pursue the idea of streaming meetings for the present.
9.4 Adoption of complaints policy Council agreed to adopt the policy drafted by the Clerk.
9.5 Installation of village road signs to further deter speeding Following an explanation of options and procedures by Cllr Bold members agreed that they were minded to pursue the erection of such signs. In particular, members favoured structures similar to the Brookthorpe or Longstanton examples. Cllr Bold is to provide the Clerk with ballpark figures for such provision to enable inclusion in the forthcoming consideration of the budget for 2022-23.
9.6 Update from Asset Maintenance Sub-Group The schedule of projects was noted and agreed. Cllr Dobson is discussing with the Residents Association the creation of a list of potential volunteers to carry out some maintenance jobs.
9.7 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
- RECEIPT OF QUOTATIONS
10.1 Parish Council Insurance Council noted and confirmed the appointment of HISCOX as the Council’s insurers for three years from 1st October 2021 and authorised payment of the resultant premium for the current year.
10.2 Village Hall Cleaner Council agreed to the cleaner’s request for an increase in her hourly rate, which had not changed for 4 years.
The meeting closed at 9.00 p.m.