MINUTES of THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING (681)
6th September 2022
PART A – PUBLIC AGENDA
Present Councillors Read, Bold, Dobson, Shore, Flannery
Apologies Councillors Carson and Tarrant; CEC Councillor K Parkinson; Inspector A Baker (Cheshire Police)
Public 15 members of the public
2.1 Approval of Minutes The minutes of the meetings of 5th July and 16th August 2022 were agreed.
2.2 Matters arising from minutes
5th July 2022 – Item 9.5 Provision of Mobile Phone for Clerk In answer to a question, the Clerk said that this was on his action list but that he had not been able to research the subject as yet.
3. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS Nil
4. PUBLIC FORUM
• A member of the public asked if any of the parish councillors had any personal interest in being able to access the lake (in contrast to members of the public). The Chair responded that no member had any such rights and that council members had no more rights in this than any member of the public.
• A member of the public stated that the Parish Council has legal obligations to close the IROS at dusk and open it in daylight hours. She also asked whether the proposed fencing was intended to be permanent and said that ‘most’ felt that it should not be erected until other options had been explored.
• A member of the public said that it was wrong for only the Clerk and Council Chairperson to be responsible for making decisions as to when the proposed fence would be closed or opened; it should be the full Council who makes this decision.
• A member of the public said that it is clear that the Council has decided to erect the fence and that it has the authority to do so. However he considered that this should better be decided through consensus, and that perhaps its erection should be postponed until late winter and that in the meantime further discussions with the police and CEC Highways should be held to try to find alternative measures, and that perhaps a public meeting should be called to discuss full details of the fence location and closure arrangements.
• A member of the public asked if a plan of the proposed fence was available. The Clerk confirmed that a plan would be posted on the Council’s website by the end of the week.
• All these comments were noted by Council.
5. REPORT FROM POLICE OFFICER No police representative was present. The Clerk reported that apparently a new PC and PCSO covering Pickmere had now been appointed, and that no doubt they will make contact with the Parish Council shortly.
6. REPORT FROM CLLR K PARKINSON (CEC) Cllr Parkinson was not present but had provided the following information by email:
• Removal of hedge at Spinks Lane – officers are in discussion with CEC’s legal department about the matter.
• ASB issues at the lake – CEC’s ASB team will be considering whether to raise the issue at the periodic working group that involves agencies including the police.
7.1 Current Financial position Councillor Bold queried the detail of the Administration receipt shown of £15.16. The Clerk said that he would supply the answer direct to the councillor. [Post-meeting – The figure relates to a refund from one of the Council’s email suppliers on adjustment of the Council’s subscription, plus a small credit payment from another company.] Council NOTED the monthly financial summary and reserves balance.
7.2 New payments Council AUTHORISED payment of the items on the schedule together with the following payment:
• Play Inspection Company – for annual survey of play area equipment and play area – £83.40 including VAT.
8. PLANNING MATTERS
8.1 Update on Planning Applications Members NOTED the Planning update that was tabled.
8.2 Neighbourhood Plan Cllr Bold reported that she has been seeking to arrange a meeting of the NP Steering Group but without success so far. The report was NOTED.
9. REPORTS FROM CLERK AND FROM COUNCILLORS
9.1 Arrangements for closing IROS after erection of fence For background, reference should be made to the report, where different options had been proposed by three councillors. The three councillors explained in turn their reasoning for their propositions. Following detailed discussion of the merits of various possibilities, Cllr Shore proposed, and Cllr Flannery seconded the following proposed arrangements:
• The gates/land will be closed each weekend (plus any bank holidays) in the period from 1 April to 30 September (except for the public footpath which will remain open)
• The gates will be closed at dusk on the Friday (Thursday if Friday is a bank holiday) and reopened on the Monday morning (Tuesday if Monday is a bank holiday).
• Between 1 October and 31 March the land would remain open from dawn to dusk.
• The Council of course retains the ability to open or close its land at any time should it be considered necessary or desirable.
This proposed protocol was unanimously AGREED.
9.2 Nature of proposed signage in connection with fence Again members discussed various possibilities, and in conclusion RESOLVED the following:
• Signs for the proposed gates to the fence should be commissioned, stating “No Entry – Private Land”
• Consideration of further signs to be erected on the proposed fence and possibly on Mere Lane to be deferred until such time as the fence is in place and can be inspected.
9.3 Proposed Hynet Hydrogen Pipeline The report was NOTED and it was AGREED to defer consideration until further announcements were made as to the proposed pipeline route. [Update: the company’s announcement of the detailed routing of the pipeline subsequent to the meeting shows that it does not affect Pickmere in any way.]
9.4 Erection of village boundary signs Cllr Bold reported on proposals submitted by 3 suppliers. She will report to the October meeting hopefully with material samples and potential sign wording. The report was NOTED.
9.5 HS2B – Arrangements for appearing before Select Committee In connection with the Council’s submission of a petition to Parliament containing objections to HS2B, Council RESOLVED that:
• Cllrs Flannery and Tarrant be asked to appear before the Select Committee if the Council was invited to do so.
• Authority be given for expenditure up to £250 per person (if an overnight stay in London was not required) in relation to subsistence claims from the councillors mentioned in relation to any appearance before the Select Committee, or £500 pp if an overnight stay was required.
• Cllr Parkinson be asked if the Parish Council can take advantage in any way of CEC’s potential appearance before the Select Committee in terms of helping the PC fund the process or contributions to the dialogue with the Select Committee.
9.6 Possible extension of yellow lines in village Cllr Shore introduced the topic and put forward a plan of possible extended yellow lines for the village, in emphasising that the proposal was to use this as a basis for initial discussion with CEC, in the knowledge that any such scheme taken up by CEC will involve consultation with affected members of the public. Following discussion, Council RESOLVED:
• That as an initial short-term request, CEC be asked to repaint the faded yellow lines on Park Lane as soon as possible.
• That the working group on this topic be asked to meet with CEC’s Highway officers to discuss the scheme discussed, and to report back to Council on the results of that discussion.
9.7 Asset Maintenance Programme Progress against the schedule was discussed. It was AGREED that Cllr Dobson would purchase paint for the metal IROS benches and VH external handrail, etc., the working group on this topic would meet to progress other matters, and that the volunteer items were to be progressed.
9.8 CEC Highways – Engagement with Town and Parish Councils The report was noted.
9.9 Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Action Fund The deadline for applications is end-November. Members noted that this might not permit an application for support for the erection of the proposed fence, since applications could not be considered retrospectively, but the Clerk was asked to explore with the Police the possibility of grant aid toward some form of CCTV coverage at the IROS.
9.10 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 Insurance valuations of Council buildings Council AGREED the quotation of Duxburys Commercial (RICS surveyors) to undertake insurance valuations of the council’s two buildings in connection with the renewal of the Council’s insurance policy
The meeting closed at 8.55 p.m.