MINUTES of THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING (686)
7th February 2023 commencing at 7.00 pm
PART A – PUBLIC AGENDA
Present Councillors Read, Bold, Carson, Flannery, Shore, Tarrant (and Cllr Dobson from 7.45 pm)
Public 7 members of the public
Apologies CEC Councillor K Parkinson; Police representatives
2.1 Approval of Minutes The minutes of the meeting of 6 December 2022 were AGREED, subject to the omission of the word “to” in para. 2 of item 8.2. [Item 8.3 – Neighbourhood Plan – it was also agreed to change the word “Steering” to “Working” Group. However following clarification after the meeting, it was agreed that the original version was correct, in that the NP Working Group is solely composed of several parish councillors, whilst the NP Steering Group is composed of both councillors and lay members of the community.]
The minutes of the meeting of 17 January 2023 were agreed.
2.2 Matters arising from minutes
6 December 2022 Item 6 Report from Cllr Parkinson In reply to a question the Clerk said that Cllr Parkinson had reported back from CEC officers that if the PC wished to consider employing its own traffic/parking wardens it would have to enquire with private companies (although a member noted that private companies would have no powers to deal with problems on the public highway).
Item 7.3 Budget and Precept for 2023-24 In reply to a question, the Clerk suggested that one immediate area where economies could be made in the budget was to cancel the current Zoom contract.
Item 8.2 Licensing application – Cheshire Showground In reply to a question the Clerk said that no contact had yet been made with a representative of Cheshire Showground in respect of a possible meeting with the Parish Council.
17 January 2023 Item 4.2 Parish Poll The Clerk reported that the parish clerk for Wincham would assist in administering the parish poll on 21st February. A question was also asked about how long the voting slips should be retained; the Clerk was asked to ask CEC’s Election office how long their voting slips are kept.
3. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS Nil
4. PUBLIC FORUM Several comments/questions were raised by a member of the public (MoPs) including the following. [It is to be emphasised that these minutes are required only to be a record of decisions made by the Parish Council, and do not seek to provide a verbatim or detailed record of discussion at the meeting; Public Forum comments made at the meeting are noted by the councillors present.]
• The resident considered that the minutes of the December Council meeting were insufficiently detailed.
• The resident considered that for the Clerk to choose the person who will assist at the proposed Parish Poll would not demonstrate independence.
• The resident expressed disappointment that the Council should request feedback from the recently held Warm Space coffee mornings on numbers attending etc; the Council’s response should have been ‘without strings’.
• On the Neighbourhood Plan the resident wondered why there had been several resignations from the NP Steering Group.
Council NOTED these points.
5. REPORT FROM POLICE OFFICER The Clerk summarised a report that had been submitted by Cheshire Police, which referred to 3 police incidents. A date for a Police surgery in Pickmere was still awaited.
6. REPORT FROM CLLR K PARKINSON (CEC) Nil
7.1 Current Financial position The report was NOTED. The Clerk made reference to the substantial increase in energy bills that had been received during the winter. [Following the meeting the Clerk has clarified that the Village Hall gas bill for the period 10 October 2022 to 6 Feb 2023 was in total £618.83 excluding both VAT and the current Government subsidy for that period of £325.05].
7.2 New payments The schedule was AGREED/AUTHORISED, including the following additional items:
• Purchase of new mop for Village Hall cleaning £9 (payable to cleaner).
• Purchase of new padlock for IROS £9.22 (payable to Cllr Read).
7.3 Proposed donation from Pickmere Community Group Council AGREED to accept the offer of the total cost of the proposed village boundary signs and wished to record its thanks to the Community Group.
8. PLANNING MATTERS
8.1 Update on Planning Applications Members NOTED the Planning update that was tabled and asked that it be forwarded to CEC to note the outstanding enforcement matters.
8.2 Adoption of CEC Local Plan (SADPD) Members NOTED the report.
8.3 Implications of adoption of Cheshire East Local Plan for Pickmere Council RESOLVED that a meeting with CEC be requested to discuss the recommencement of action to bring to an end the unlawful use of the land at Spinks Lane for residential purposes; the communication was to be copied to Cllr Parkinson (CEC), Esther McVey MP, Mobberley Parish Council, and the relevant Secretary of State.
8.4 Neighbourhood Plan Cllr Bold reported that:
• A further application for Government grant has been submitted.
• An initial draft of possible Plan policies has been received from the planning consultant; this will require much work to refine.
• In the absence of volunteers to fill the vacant residents’ positions on the NP Steering Group, the Group has agreed to approach individual residents directly to try to fill the positions. A post will be put on the Council’s website seeking new members.
• An open meeting has been arranged for 14 March 2023 at the Village Hall where residents can ask questions about the Plan and its progress.
The report was NOTED.
9. REPORTS FROM CLERK AND FROM COUNCILLORS
9.1 Review of use of Village Hall for Warm Place Coffee Mornings It was reported that attendance at the coffee mornings has been increasing, with 26 at the last event. This was welcomed by members, and it was also commented that it was perfectly valid and responsible for members to request a review of the success of the events, particularly in the light of the increased costs for heating that the Council is experiencing. It was AGREED that the events can continue to use the Village Hall as planned without hall rental fees being required.
Councillor Dobson entered the meeting at this point.
9.2 HS2 – Receipt of CEC response to query and update re Petition to Parliament The report was NOTED, and authority was GIVEN to the HS2 working group to incur expenditure up to £3000 on the preparation of evidence and any other requirements to enable and facilitate appearance before the Parliamentary Select Committee on the HS2 Hybrid Bill. The Clerk was asked to identify where, within the Council’s accounts, this funding might be sourced. It was further AGREED that an event be arranged to allow a public presentation of the HS2 proposals.
9.3 CEC Enquiry – Garages side of 100 Pickmere Lane It was AGREED that the Parish Council is not interested in acquiring these buildings from CEC.
9.4 Update – Application for Grant Aid toward CCTV installation at the IROS Council NOTED that the application was unsuccessful.
9.5 Update – Advertisement of vacant Clerk’s position The report was noted. It was AGREED that the post should be readvertised for a further period.
9.6 Licence application – Proposed Dubbed Out festival at Cheshire Showground The report was NOTED.
9.7 Update – Play Area Refurbishment It was AGREED that a notice would be issued shortly advertising a proposed meeting where residents can view the scheme suggestions that have been submitted to date.
9.8 Arrangements for Coronation of King Charles III During discussion the following points were made:
• This is essentially a resident-driven event.
• The IROS is the ideal location, although the Parish Council would have to be satisfied that there was adequate insurance cover and a risk assessment had been carried out.
• It would be sensible for all groups in the parish to meet to agree a jointly-organised event.
The Chair therefore suggested, and it was AGREED, that he would meet representatives of Pickmere Residents Association and Pickmere Residents Group, and any other interested parish groups, to discuss a way forward. The matter will be included on the next Council agenda to report progress.
9.9 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 Appointment of Internal Auditor Council AGREED to accept the quotation of JDH Business Services for the carrying out of the Internal Audit task for the 2022-23 accounts at a cost of £225 excl. VAT.
10.2 Ground maintenance – IROS (part), Play Area and Village Hall Council RESOLVED that Amos Wright be commissioned to carry out the specified maintenance tasks (including the work at the IROS which has formerly been funded by Pickmere Community Group) on the basis of his quotation.
11. CEC RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR MEETING The report was NOTED.
The meeting closed at 8.15 p.m.