MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF PICKMERE PARISH COUNCIL
3rd May 2022
Present: Councillors Read (Chair), Bold, Carson, Dobson, Flannery, Shore, Tarrant and 1 member of the public
Apologies: Cllr K. Parkinson (CEC)
1. OUTGOING CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT FOR 2021-22
The Chairperson gave his annual report, a summary of which will be posted on the Parish Council website. The report was accepted unanimously.
2.1 Election of Chair Cllr Read was elected as Chairperson for the ensuing year.
2.2 Appointment of Responsible Financial Officer The Clerk was unanimously appointed as RFO for the ensuing year.
MINUTES of THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
3rd May 2022
PART A – PUBLIC AGENDA
Present Councillors Read (Chair), Bold, Carson, Dobson, Flannery, Shore, Tarrant
Apologies Cllr K Parkinson (CEC)
Police PC L Price
Public 1 member of the public
2.1 Approval of Minutes The minutes of the meeting of 5th April 2022 were agreed.
2.2 Matters arising from minutes
9.2. HS2 – Cllr Flannery reported that she had received a response to her FoI question to HS2 Ltd about the discussions relating to the continuance of HS2 Ltd as the delivery partner for Phase 2b – contradicting Boris Johnson’s statement to the contrary in Feb 2020. HS2 Ltd stated that they could not provide any information because they had none, a position that seems so inexplicable that Council AGREED to a) contact the ICO for comment/advice; b) make the same FOI request to the Department for Transport; and c) forward copies of correspondence to CEC Cllr Parkinson and Esther McVey MP.
9.1 Asset Maintenance Programme Cllr Bold asked about progress on getting quotes. The Clerk said that he had meetings set up with contractors in respect of 3 of the 4 items; he is looking for a suitable contractor for the pointing etc work at the VH.
9.3 Communications from residents – damage from bus accident Pickmere Lane
Much of the debris has been removed. Cllr Carson reported that apparently the fence will be repaired when CEC have organised the traffic management arrangements that will be required.
3. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS Nil
4. PUBLIC FORUM Nil
5. REPORT FROM POLICE OFFICER [This item was considered earlier in the meeting to permit PC Price to resume his duties.] PC L Price reported that a new PCSO is likely to be appointed in the next month. There are no significant crime incidents to report. He mentioned that there had been a few reports of badly parked visitors’ cars near the lake. The Chair asked if, in the knowledge that summer was coming, the Police could attend in respect of parking issues when the problem was likely to be at its worst, i.e. on sunny weekend mornings and afternoons, rather than later in the evenings.
6. REPORT FROM CLLR K Parkinson (CEC) Nil
7. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
7.1 Form and Programme of meetings 2022-23 The programme was agreed. The Chair asked if dates for two-monthly surgeries could be added.
7.2 Membership of outside bodies and associations The report was noted and AUTHORISATION was given for continuing subscription payments to the bodies referred to for the ensuing year.
7.3 Arrangements re GDPR Council AGREED to adopt the policies and other documents referred to until changed circumstances suggest or require their review, and that the Clerk should continue to act as the Council’s Data Protection Compliance Officer.
7.4 Parish Aims Members AGREED to adopt the Council Aims for 2022-23 as proposed by the Chair.
8.1 Financial Risk Assessment Council CONFIRMED the assessment of financial risks.
8.2 Standing Orders and Direct Debits The Council NOTED AND RE-CONFIRMED the bank standing orders and direct debits scheduled in the report.
8.3 Expenditure from the Community Infrastructure Levy The Council noted the report and AGREED that a copy be sent to Cheshire East Council.
8.4 Current Financial position Council noted the monthly financial summary and reserves balance.
8.7 New payments Council AUTHORISED payment of the items on the schedule together with the following payments:
• Hall cleaning £84.00
• Pavilion cleaning £50.00
• Works to VH car park (Peter Ashley Ltd) £500 excl VAT
• Purchase of hedging for IROS (reimbursement of parishioner) £30.00
9. PLANNING MATTERS
9.1 Update on Planning Applications Members noted the Planning update that was tabled. It was AGREED that a copy of the report should be sent on a monthly basis to a senior planning officer at CEC.
9.2 Neighbourhood Plan
• Council noted the report in relation to expenditure against Government Grant, AUTHORISED repayment of the surplus grant to Government, and AGREED that an application should be submitted for grant for the year to 31 March 2023.
• Council AGREED the amended NP Steering Group Terms of Reference as detailed in the report and summarised by Cllr Bold.
9.3 Cheshire East Local Plan – Proposed Modifications to the SADPD The report was noted.
10. REPORTS FROM CLERK AND FROM COUNCILLORS
10.1 Co-option of 8th councillor Council AGREED that an 8th councillor should be sought, and that the position should be readvertised. Several members expressed their willingness to join the interview panel that would consider potential candidates.
10.2 Liaison with CEC re Visitor parking issues etc The report was noted, including the response from CEC’s Parking Enforcement Team that “summer restrictions around Pickmere have been historically enforced, and are due to recommence once the TRO [Traffic Regulation Order] comes back into date” [i.e. on 1st May]. The team “does have staff rota’d for this area, also other rural locations that require our service. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a constant presence but do take into account the weather forecasts.”
This was noted, and the Clerk was asked, despite the response, to submit a FOI request to CEC asking how many times their parking enforcement team attended Pickmere during 2021. The Clerk was also asked to report to CEC the substantial obliteration of the ‘SLOW’ road marking on Park Lane following roadworks.
10.3 Procurement of traffic cones The report was noted, in particular the fact that of the 100 cones supplied by CEC in 2020, only 57 were available to collect in at the end of that summer, and less than 10 were collected at the end of the summer of 2021, the other 90 or so having disappeared from the streets. The Chair reported that it seemed extremely unlikely that CEC would be willing to supply any further parking cones. There followed a substantial discussion involving all members of the members of the Parish Council about the possibility of the Council buying cones. Among the comments made were:
• The acknowledgement that the use of cones was not a comprehensive answer to the parking problem, but that they did help, even if some drivers ignored them.
• Parking control is the responsibility of the Highway Authority, i.e. CEC, and it is not the responsibility of the Parish Council, through its precept, to provide cones, particularly since if more cones were acquired, they might again require replacement next year.
Following the discussion, Council RESOLVED by majority votes NOT to purchase 100 cones, nor, as an alternative, to purchase 50 cones.
10.4 Events for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee The Chair reported that on Tuesday 2nd June individual households were understood to be organising street parties in some areas. In addition, on Sunday 19th June the Community Group was organising a Tree planting, which would be attended by a brass band. There was some discussion of other possibilities but none was formally supported. Reference was made to the apparent lack of interest among village residents to help organise any larger event, despite attempts made to engender such support.
Council AGREED to permit the Community Group to organise the event mentioned.
10.5 CEC Winter Road Gritting arrangements The report was noted.
10.6 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
11. Play Area Refurbishment Project Following a discussion of the further informal quotation that had been received, Council RESOLVED:
• That in the light of consideration of potential costs etc, it wished to aim to achieve a comprehensive refurbishment/renewal of the play area.
• That an early meeting should be arranged with Cheshire Community Action to explore potential sources for grant applications.
• That the local community should again be invited to comment on the potential approach to and content of such a project.
• That the members working group should meet shortly to progress the project. Cllr Carson was asked to join the Working Group in the light of her experience with a similar project elsewhere.
The meeting closed at 9.25 p.m.