MINUTES of THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING (693)
held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 5th September 2023
at Pickmere Village Hall, Pickmere Lane, Pickmere
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 5 members
Apologies Councillor K Parkinson, PC John Milman (Police representative)
The Chairman introduced the new Clerk, Mrs A Riley and thanked Mr J Steel for his service over the last seven years.
2.1 Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the meeting of 1st August 2023 were AGREED.
2.2 Matters arising from minutes
The Chairman outlined his disappointment that someone had chosen to cut back growth on the IROS while the Parish Council were still considering the effect on the wildlife and ecology in the area. There was a discussion about how to deal with this issue moving forward.
It was AGREED that the Clerk should report the incident to the Police.
It was suggested that the Parish Council should adopt a volunteer scheme to ensure that guidelines are followed if residents are undertaking tasks as volunteers.
2.3 Update on Council’s actions
The Chair reported on the action list. Approximately half of the items have now been closed off.
- DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Item 9.3 Neighbourhood Watch application for grant and 9.6 Free use for Warm Wednesdays – Cllr A Knights and Cllr P Knights declared a non pecuniary interest in these items and did not take part in the discussions.
- PUBLIC FORUM
- REPORT FROM Police Officer
The report from PC J Milman was NOTED.
There is still no dedicated PCSO for Pickmere. The advice given is that residents who have a problem with illegal parking should call 101 to report the issue.
- REPORT FROM CLLR K Parkinson (CEC)
The report from Cllr K Parkinson was NOTED.
The benches at the bus stops have been identified as belonging to the Parish Council and quotes are being obtained to repair both. At the moment the benches are taped up to prevent use.
There was some discussion about whether the SIDs belong to the Parish Council and the Clerk was asked to investigate further.
7.1 Current Financial position
The Clerk advised the Council that as she did not have access to the bank account she had been unable to produce the reports and that these would follow as soon as practicable.
7.2 New payments
The Clerk advised the Council that this report would follow as soon as she was able to reconcile the bank accounts.
7.3 To remove the previous Clerk from the Unity Bank account and to add the new Clerk’s details.
It was RESOLVED to add the new Clerk to the bank mandate.
7.4 To retrospectively agree to the payment of £60 for an emergency repair to the Village Hall roof.
It was RESOLVED to agree to the payment.
- PLANNING MATTERS
8.1 Update on Planning Applications
There were no current applications to discuss.
Reference 23/2220M Land off Frog Lane, the retrospective planning application has been withdrawn. The Clerk was asked to contact Enforcement at Cheshire East Planning to ask for an update on the situation.
A discussion took place about Spinks Lane and it was agreed that the Clerk should contact Cllr K Parkinson and Cheshire East Planning to ask for more information.
- REPORTS FROM CLERK AND FROM COUNCILLORS
9.1 To adopt the General Power of Competence
It was RESOLVED to adopt the General Power of Competence as the Council meets the requirements of two thirds elected members and a qualified Clerk.
9.2 TO CONSIDER ADOPTING THE REVISED CHESHIRE EAST COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT
The Council RESOLVED to adopt the revised Code of Conduct.
9.3 REQUEST FROM PICKMERE NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH FOR A GRANT TO PURCHASE SIGNS
It was RESOLVED to purchase signs at a cost of £51.80 for use by the Neighbourhood Watch Group.
9.4 TO CONSIDER ENERGY PROVIDERS FOR THE VILLAGE HALL
Following a discussion, Council RESOLVED to continue with British Gas Lite for another 12 months,
9.5 TO CONSIDER INSTALLING WI-FI AT THE VILLAGE HALL
The Council RESOLVED to install wi-fi at the Village Hall through BT at a cost of £32.95 a month with a one of connection charge of £29.95.
9.6 TO CONSIDER RENTAL FEES FOR THE HIRE OF THE VILLAGE HALL
Following a discussion, Council AGREED to:
- Delegate bookings for the hall to the Clerk and Cllr L Marshall.
- To charge £8 an hour for all new hirers with effect from 1st October 2023.
- To continue to charge £6 an hour to existing hirers until 1st January 2024 when the rate will be increased to £8 an hour.
- To allow free use of the hall for a Macmillian coffee morning on 30th September 2023.
9.7 TO ACCEPT THE QUOTE FROM HISCOX INSURANCE COMPANY LTD TO PROVIDE INSURANCE WITH EFFECT FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2023
It was RESOLVED to accept the quote at a cost of £2,083.77.
9.8 TO NOTE UPDATE RE HS2 AP2 PETITION AND TO CONSIDER THE WORKING GROUP STRUCTURE FOR THE FUTURE
Cllr E Campbell thanked Cllr N Greenwood, Ms S Flannery, Mr A Shore and Mr C Tarrant for their work in producing the objection documents. The Clerk to write to the residents involved in the process to express the Council’s gratitude.
The Council NOTED and ratified the contents of the documents that had been submitted on 15th August and 30th August 2023.
Moving forward it was AGREED that a Working Group led by Cllr N Greenwood would continued to be utilised to ensure that the expertise within the village could be accessed. In addition, a HS2 Committee consisting of Cllr N Greenwood, Cllr E Campbell and Cllr S Read be set up, with delegated powers to submit objections and petitions in relation to HS2, to meet with other interested parties and to be delegated a budget of £250.
It was NOTED that it would be necessary to make contact with Cheshire East and share concerns in a formal arena.
9.9 TO NOTE THE FEEDBACK FROM THE INITIAL KNUTSFORD AREA PARISHES MEETING
Cllr A Knights gave feedback from the forum. The main concern raised was a lack of response from Cheshire East Council when problems are raised.
9.10 TO DISCUSS THE FEEDBACK ABOUT POSSIBLE PARKING MEASURES AT THE IROS
Cllr C Hart explained the alternative solutions offered by different parking companies and agreed to collate the information and present it at October’s meeting.
Cllr J Henderson outlined that there had been a generally positive response from residents on the question of resident parking. It was AGREED that the Chairman would circulate the Cheshire East Council policy on resident parking and ask them to start the process.
9.11 TO CONSIDER INCREASING THE ‘TRAINING FOR COUNCILLORS’ BUDGET
The Council RESOLVED to delegate the booking and purchasing of Councillor training to the Clerk in agreement with Cllr L Marshall and to similarly delegate an additional budget of £200 to this area.
9.12 TO DISCUSS THE OPTION OF HOLDING A CHRISTMAS FAIR IN DECEMBER 2023
The Council RESOLVED to delegate a budget of £250 to the clerk in agreement with Cllr L Marshall to support future community and resident events in the village.
9.13 TO CONSIDER DELEGATING THE FUNCTION TO APPLY FOR GRANTS FOR THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN TO THE CLERK AND CLLR A KNIGHTS
It was RESOLVED to delegate the function of applying for grants for the Neighbourhood Plan to the Clerk in agreement with Cllr A Knights.
- TO CONSIDER A RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC AND PRESS
Pursuant to Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, as applied by Section 100 of the Local Government Act 1972, members AGREED to exclude the press and public from the meeting as the matters to be discussed are confidential since they relate to an employee of the Council or they involve matters of commercial confidence.
PART B – PRIVATE AGENDA
- TO JOIN THE CHESHIRE PENSION SCHEME
The Council RESOLVED to become an Employer in the Cheshire Pension Fund.
- TO DISCUSS THE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS FOR 2023/24.
It was AGREED to pull together a working document which shows the areas that the Parish Council is responsible for, the frequency of work that is required and the assets that need maintaining.