Minutes 5th October 2023

November 2023October 2023 Uploaded on October 20, 2023


held at 8.00pm on Thursday 5th October 2023

at Pickmere Village Hall, Pickmere Lane, Pickmere



  1. Attendance

Present               *          Cllr E Campbell      (Chairman)
*          Cllr C Hart               (Vice Chairman)

*          Cllr N Greenwood
*          Cllr J Henderson

*          Cllr A Knights

*          Cllr P Knights

*          Cllr L Marshall

*         Cllr S Read


*          denotes attendance


Clerk                                Mrs A Riley

Public                             1 member

Apologies                       Councillor K Parkinson, PC John Milman (Police representative)




2.1      Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the meeting of 5th September 2023 were AGREED.


2.2      Matters arising from minutes
The Chairman referred to the news that the Birmingham to Manchester leg of HS2 had been cancelled and it was AGREED that there would no longer be a need for the HS2 Working Group or the HS2 Committee. The Chairman expressed the Council’s gratitude to everyone who had worked on the petitions and objections over the years.


2.3      Update on Council’s actions
The Chairman reported on the action list. Approximately 51 of the 77 actions were open and the Chairman asked Councillors to send information on any completed items.


     Item 9.3 Pickmere Press, Cllr E Campbell declared an interest in the item as a sponsor of the publication.




  1. REPORT FROM Police Officer
    The report from PC J Milman was NOTED.

            The report is shown as an appendix to the minutes. Cllr E Campbell informed the Council that Inspector for the area is currently working on filling the PCSO vacancy for Pickmere.


  1. REPORT FROM CLLR K Parkinson (CEC)
    The report from Cllr K Parkinson was NOTED.

            The report is shown as an appendix to the minutes.




7.1      To note current financial position (see monthly summary).

The monthly statement and payments were NOTED.


BRITISH GAS Electricity – VH £56.00
BRITISH GAS Gas – VH £38.76
ARTHUR GALLAGHER Hiscox Insurance £2,083.77
WATER PLUS Water – Pavilion £6.17
WATER PLUS Water – Hall £16.28
BRITISH GAS Electricity – Pavilion £56.42
CHESHIRE EAST Rates £54.00
Village Hall Hire – Income Hall Hire £146.00
Cheshire East Council – Income Precept £7,825.00


7.2      To note, approve or authorise new payments (see schedule).       

There were no new payments.

It was RESOLVED to set up a four weekly payment for the cleaning of the Village Hall and the Clerk to monitor any amend the payment if any weeks are missed.


7.3      To note the completion of the external audit and to note the contents of the report. To agree to pay PKF Littlejohn £210.00.

            The Council NOTED the report and the areas of concerned that were raised.

The Clerk advised the Council that a new system had been implemented to ensure that all hirers of the Village Hall complete a booking form and are issued an invoice.

The bank account has four Councillors as signatories and two Councillors are required to authorise expenditure.

The Clerk to update the financial risk assessment to include checks for supplier fraud.

The Clerk to ensure that a clear audit trail is completed for all contracts issued.


            It was RESOLVED to pay PKF Littlejohn £210.00 plus VAT for the external audit report.


7.4      To agree to vire amounts from reserves and note reserves balances.

            It was RESOLVED to vire the amounts below to more accurately reflect the Council’s financial positon:



Insurance                                              £433.77 from     Other Earmarked Reserves

Councillor Training              £200.00 from     Other Earmarked Reserves

HS2 Representation            £1350.04 from   Other Earmarked Reserves (£1206.23)

and Unforeseen Legal Fees (£143.81)

Neighbourhood Plan          £650 from           Neighbourhood Prep Reserves

Vhall Equip Repairs             £445 from           Building Repairs Reserves

Licence Renewal                  £70.00 from       Building Repairs Reserves

Community Events              £250.00 from     Building Repairs Reserves

HS2 Representation            £250 from           Unforeseen Legal Fees




8.1      To note and consider update on planning applications received and other planning matters (please click on application number to access details online)


22/1820M Land North of Park Lane – Appeal against refusal of application

Building for storage of agricultural machinery and produce

AGREED: to resubmit the original objection


23/3381M 2 The Orchards – Householder

Construction of single storey extension with associated internal alterations.

No objection.


23/3670D Pickmere Hall Farm – Discharge of conditions

Discharge of conditions 3, 4 and 5 on application 19/5562M

To note the application.


8.2      To note the feedback from Cheshire East concerning Spinks Lane and Land off Frog Lane

            The response was noted but it was AGREED that the Clerk should write and ask for a timeline in which Cheshire East would expect the considerations to be completed.

Cllr S Read to check and distribute the legal ruling on the situation.




9.1      To adopt a Volunteer Policy
It was RESOLVED to adopt the Volunteer Policy.


9.2      To consider planting a wildflower area next to the lake – Cllr J Henderson

This item was taken after item 9.9.
A discussion took place about the benefits of a planting wildflowers.

It was decided that more information was required and the item was deferred to a later meeting.


9.3      Pickmere Press – Cllr E Campbell
Cllr S Read advised the Council that he would be producing one or two Pickmere Press newsletters, with the help of another resident, in the first quarter of 2024 until a decision had been made about how to move forward.

            It was agreed that the Clerk should produce the content for the Council’s page for the November issue.



9.4      To consider repairs and replacement of benches – Cllr A Knights

            Following a discussion, it was decided that additional quotes should be obtained for two new benches and installation and for the removal of the two benches.

It was AGREED to contact the Community Group to see if they would be able to help with funding new benches.


9.5      To resolve to PAT Test electrical equipment and to agree that annual fire extinguishers checks are undertaken– Cllr A Knights

The Council RESOLVED to accept a quote of £100 to PAT test electrical equipment in the Village Hall and Turton Pavilion.

It was RESOLVED to service the fire extinguishers in the Village Hall and Turton Pavilion. A budget of £150 to be delegated to the Clerk.


9.6      To consider opting into Cheshire East’s subscription plan for green bin collections from January 2024 – Cllr P Knights

            The Council AGREED that this service would not be required.


9.7      To consider an application for a grant from SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity – Clerk

It was AGREED that the Parish Council is unable to donate to charitable organisations.


9.8      To consider undertaking a spring clean in the Village Hall with volunteers – Cllr A Knights

It was AGREED that a spring clean of the Village Hall could be undertaken by volunteers lead by Cllr A Kinghts. The Clerk to undertake a risk assessment and to distribute a copy to all volunteers.

It was RESOLVED to delegate a budget of £50 to the Clerk to purchase materials.


9.9      To note the Pickmere Lake Water Safety Partnership Site Visit Report – Cllr J Henderson and Cllr C Hart

The contents of the report were NOTED.


9.10    To discuss arranging a volunteer project to paint the Cheshire Railings at the top of Clover Drive – Cllr J Henderson

It was AGREED that a project to paint the Cheshire Railings at the top of Clover Drive could be undertaken by volunteers lead by Cllr J Henderson. The Clerk to undertake a risk assessment and to distribute a copy to all volunteers.
It was RESOLVED to delegate a budget of £300 to the Clerk to purchase materials.


9.11    To agree the revised Terms of Reference for the Pickmere Neighbourhood Plan Working Group – Cllr A Knights
The item ‘Terms of Reference for the Working Group’ was deferred until November’s meeting.

It was AGREED that the members of the Neighbourhood Plans Working group would consist of: Cllr A Knights, Cllr S Read, Ms D Owen, Ms J Hughes and Ms W Rimmer with the Chairman and Vice Chairman as ex-offico members.

9.12    To discuss the application to hold a Christmas Event on Parish Council land – Clerk

The Council AGREED to allow a Christmas Event to be held on land at the top of Clover Drive on Sunday 26th November 2023. It was also AGREED that the Parish Council would advertise the event.

9.13    To consider applying to Electrical Safety First Grants – Cllr E Campbell

It was AGREED to apply for a grant to PAT test appliances in households with residents of pensionable age. Cllr E Campbell to submit the application with the Clerk.

9.14    To discuss the erosion of the bank of the lake and to consider repairing the area – Cllr J Henderson

After a discussion it was decided that the erosion of the bank needs to be addressed and that the quote for boulders and backfill of £850 should be accepted.
It was AGREED to place an order for the works which will be undertaken in the Spring of 2024.

9.15    To consider charging for parking on Parish Council land at the lake – Cllr J Henderson and Cllr C Hart

Cllr C Hart updated the Council on his discussions with parking companies and will report back when further information has been gathered.

9.16    To agree to have an annual maintenance inspection of the playground – Cllr A Knights

To discuss future plans for the playground – Cllr J Henderson

It was RESOLVED to arrange for an inspection of the playground by an external organisation. A budget of £250 to be delegated to the Clerk to allow the work to be undertaken.

It was also AGREED that Cllr J Henderson will look for funding for new play equipment.



The meeting closed at 10.00pm.










I am PC 30219 John MILMAN, and I am the beat PC for PICKMERE. Please accept my apologies for not being with you as I am on early shift today.

To keep you updated on the staffing situation at KNUTSFOD our new SGT has started. We still do not have a PCSO on the ward however we will be joined by another PC to work with me in the area. I do not have a timeframe yet for when this other constable will join me.

SEPTEMBER has been a busier month in PICKMERE on the local system. There have been 29 recorded incidents.

Again, the main source of calls to police has been regarding the lake. 16 calls over parking issues were taken. I have been down to the lake and issued tickets for obstruction when able. A meeting was held this week with CHESHIRE EAST and plans have been put in place to try and alleviate the issues. This may take some time to implement the proposals however it is a step in the right direction to try and reduce the issues. I have also managed to liaise with the drone team, and we have obtained footage which shows the scale of the issue at the lake.

Whilst down at the lake a stop search was conducted on a male who was found to be in possession of Class B drugs. The offence was dealt with via an out of court disposal. Officers will continue to use their stop search powers when down at the lake when the grounds present themselves.

A domestic incident has been reported to the police which is currently under investigation.

A reported assault was taken from speaking with a local resident. However, as it stands the suspect has not been identified.

A theft of livestock was reported to police however no suspect has been identified.

If there are any issues or matters, you feel we need to be aware of then please get in touch via email or 101/999.













Green bin, some background into the decision – The Labour / Independent led Administration of Cheshire East Council claims it has “no choice” but to bring in a ‘opt-in’ green bin subscription service, which is planned to go live in January 2024, for residents who choose to continue using their garden bin to recycle green waste..

The Administration included this item in their February Budget to raise £4m (together with a number of other service cuts and price hikes) claiming that the move was essential to balance their 2023-25 budget and still provide essential front-line services.

Many Residents opposed it during the budget consultation earlier this year and the Conservative Group voted against these budget proposals in February 2023

However, we have consistently highlighted the lack of forward thinking in relation to the green waste charge and the potential higher cost impacts of greater fly tipping and greater tonnage of green waste in black bins (which has a far higher fiscal management cost and increased carbon cost).

This policy flies in the face of the Administration’s own environmental and waste management strategies and whilst councils do not have a statutory duty to remove green waste, it makes sound economic and environmental sense to do so.

The decision to approve this proposal was challenged in August 2023, where I, with a handful of other colleagues sat down with the Administration and CEC Officers, to scrutinize the need for the charge.  At £56, this is far higher than the cost of the green bi charge that neighbouring councils are charging.

Unfortunately, our appeal to bring this proposal to Full Council for a full challenge was quashed by the Cheshire Eats Monitoring officer, and the Leader, Sam Corchrane, who insisted that we needed fund in the CEC pot to present a balanced budget.


HS2 – now that the news that HS2 has finally been scrapped, I am now going to investigate into how long it will take Balfour Beatty to remove their bore holes from across the borough, and properly capped, as the boring has caused running sand and water issues in many areas.