Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 16th September 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 16th September 2019 in the Pavilion ‘D’ at Somerford Park Farm @ 7.30 pm.

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Councillor G Bell (Chairman), (GB)

Councillor P Crompton (Vice Chairman), (PC)

Councillor A Green (AG) –co-opted at this meeting

Councillor G Derbyshire, (GD)

Councillor A Powers, (AP)

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)

Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East Representative) (arrived 7.50pm)


Declaration of Interest;

Cllr G Derbyshire – Loachbrook estate and RSPB due to being a member


Public Forum

Three members of the public present one of which had applied for the Cllr vacancy.

One resident from Chelford Road wished to complain about the speed of the vehicles on Chelford Road especially the construction traffic from GRAHAM and nearby housing developments. He also enquired when the planning condition from the DWH/ Barratts site would be applied that the speed was reduced to 40mph.

The Chairman responded that there had been no conditions implemented on a speed reduction on Chelford Road.

He continued with a complaint about the pavement along Chelford Road as it was full of sand and debris from the constant construction traffic travelling from GRAHAM and the DWH site.

Another resident from Chelford Road wished to enquire about the progress on the Environmental Weight Restriction Order for Radnor Bridge.

She went on to say how disappointed she was that nobody from the Parish Council had attended an ex Parish Councillor’s funeral as they had served for many years and done so much hard work for the community.

The Chairman noted that a donation had been approved.

The resident standing for the Parish Councillor vacancy gave a brief resume to the members.


103/19 Apologies

Cllr R Crookes due to work commitments and Cllr S Hughes due to ill health.


104/19 Minutes

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 22nd July 2019 having been circulated be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


105/19 Co-option of Parish Councillor

Resolved Mr Alan Green would be co-opted as a Parish Councillor.

The Acceptance of Office was signed in the presence of the Clerk.


106/19 Grass cutting Policy

The Clerk had circulated a grass cutting policy. The Chairman, Cllr AP and the Clerk had walked the verges /hedges around the triangle and due to the new housing development had discussed the current grass cutting arrangements.

Resolved the Grass Cutting Policy was adopted by full Council.


107/19 Chelford Road/ Blackfirs verge adoption

The Clerk had answered questions from CE Highways in relation to the PC’s intentions request to take over the maintenance of the verge. A map had also been submitted.

This was still ongoing.


108/19 Somerford Business Plan

The Chairman asked all members to circulate their proposals for the new Business Plan and he would then redraft for the years 2020-2025 and circulate for approval before the next meeting


109/19 Black firs Nature Reserve – Cheshire Wildlife Trust  

CWT had now responded that they would not sell the site less than their proposed market value and they would now prefer to lease the site to the PC on a peppercorn rent and relinquish the upkeep. The PC again discussed how poor the standard of the site was and it could not be transferred in this condition.

Resolved Cllr PC would arrange a meeting with the Chief Executive of Cheshire Wildlife Trust to discuss further.


110/19 RSPB Land

The PC, the RSPB and Ms A Froggatt had conducted their presentation to the public on 14th September at Blackfirs School, unfortunately the RSPB Event on the 7th September had been cancelled at the West Heath shopping centre. The presentation had been well attended and there had been many comment forms completed. The online form was available for members of the public to complete who could not attend the presentation.

There was a meeting scheduled with the RSPB for the 27th September.

The local searches had been completed and CP was following up the delay with the RSPB solicitors.

Funding Opportunities

The Chairman and the Clerk were in the process of visiting local companies to try and establish funding towards the project. In August they had met with Sibelco which had been positive as they felt they could assist with the gravel and the trees and this month they were due to meet with James Ashbrook’s Ltd.


111/19 Highways

Congleton Link Road

The Chairman and the Clerk had met with Mr D Cawthra – GRAHAM (notes had been circulated) It was noted that the road sweeper was now out along Chelford Road and the A54.

Environmental Weight Restriction

This was still to be reported on from CE.

Sign Cleaning in the Parish Council

The Clerk had obtained a provisional quote from CTC, but it was agreed Cllr PC and Cllr AP would clean the signs on a voluntary basis.

Footpath clearance by the bench on the A54

CTC had quoted but it seemed it would be unsafe due to no traffic management in place

James Ashbrook’s Ltd had quoted £3,630.00 plus VAT

Willis had failed to quote.

It was agreed the PC would not pursue until the Clerk had enquired if GRAHAM were using traffic management in the area due to how this cost had elevated the quote.

Speed of Trucks along Chelford Road

It was agreed the Clerk would contact GRAHAM , DWH and Seddons.

Potholes on Blackfirs Lane

The Clerk had reported one ref – 3369701.

The PC asked the Clerk to contact Mr A Taylor and CE highways to try and resolve the developers repairing Blackfirs Lane now the construction traffic route had changed their routes and before Bellway homes commenced.


112/19 Laptop and Projector

The Clerk had obtained three quotes before purchase and due to costs the PC decide to defer this decision.


113/19 Loach brook – Bovis Estate.

Cllr GD and the residents had arranged leaflet drop on the estate and then a gazebo event on the play area to gain signatures on a petition to object to Bovis not completing the site. There were 116 signatures on the petition. The subject had also reached the front page of the local paper.

Cllr GD now wished to send the petition to the following people;

  • Fiona Bruce MP
  • Cllr J Wray CE Ward Cllr
  • ‘Bovis’ Managing Director.
  • Cllr S Corcoran (CE Leader)

Cllr GD stated how there was very little progress with completing any of the infrastructure on the site and gave many instances of the poor safety aspects especially for children. It was very concerning for the residents.

It was noted that the footpath was being built along the A54 Holme Chapel Road which was part of the planning conditions.

The Chairman had approved a leaflet being printed for the residents to organise a meeting.


114/19 Planning Applications

  • 19/3624C Land to East of Blackfirs Lane and to the south of Back Lane Somerford – approval of matters reserved in outline application 16/1922C; appearance, landscaping, layout and scale pursuant permission for the erection of 200 dwellings.

Resolved No Objection

  • 18/4888C Land at Back Lane, Congleton – reserved matters application for appearance, landscaping, layout and scale following outline approval application 16/0514C for demolition of some existing buildings and the development of up to 140 dwellings.

Resolved No Comment

To note the letter from FOREFRONT ref 19/3308C – the land was in ownership of DWH.


115/19 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £14,117.04


  • Online payment – £206.60 Bowcock & Pursaill Solicitors (land searches)
  • Online payment – £67.51 Ms J Mason (expenses April to September)
  • Online payment – £35.00 CHALC (Cllr R Crookes COC Training 31.07.19)
  • Online Payment – £146.88 Congleton Chronicle (RSPB advert)
  • Cheque no 253 – £20.00 The ChristieDonation
  • Cheque no 254 – £60.00 Crewe Colour Printers  
  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364


  • £10,500 Precept Cheshire East
  • £1.38 Lloyds Banking Group

Grant funding for the Chapel

The Chapel were considering refurbishing the railings outside the Chapel and had approached the PC for funding, they were still debating options at this stage so no decision could be made at this meeting.


116/19 Financial Regulations

Cllr PC reported that he had met with the Clerk to discuss the FR in relation to the eventuality receipt of the RSPB monies. The Clerk had gained advice from SLCC that the PC’s FR regulations could be suspended in order to instruct and therefore pay the works being carried out and adhere to the RSPB Regulations.

Cllr PC had read the recently newly adopted NALC FR’s and explained to members the fundamental changes and the Clerk would now adapting SPC’s FR and circulated before the next meeting. He also went on to propose the financial thresholds which he had advised to adopt.


116/19 Cheshire East

Resolved to suspend the Standing Orders to accept a report from the Ward Councillor.

Cllr J Wray had a meeting with the Local Area Highways Group on 27th September and would be discussing the Weight Restriction Order on Radnor Bank. He had also circulated a document from CE highways to the Ward Councillors to ask for five priority roads with his ward to be patched/ resurfaced. Cllr JW asked the PC which location they would like nominating.

It was agreed by members that Blackfirs Lane would be put forward and Cllr AP would take some photographs to support this action.


117/19 Clerks Report

The Parish Council computer had failed to log into emails that day and there had been a technical error of which the Clerk could not resolve, she had to visit Manor Shop Computers to solve.


118/19 Chairman’s and Members Report

Police Surgery 2.9.19

Cllr GD reported on the surgery meeting held in Holmes Chapel. The notes would be circulated in due course.


119/19 It was noted the next meeting was on the 14th October 2019 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.

The meeting concluded business at 9.50 pm

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