Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 14th October 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 14th October 2019 in the Pavilion ‘D’ at Somerford Park Farm @ 7.00 pm.



Councillor G Bell (Chairman), (GB)

Councillor P Crompton (Vice Chairman), (PC)

Councillor R Crookes (RC) arrived at 7.20pm and left at 9.30pm

Councillor A Green (AG)

Councillor G Derbyshire, (GD)

Councillor A Powers, (AP)

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)

Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East Representative) (arrived 7.40pm)


Declaration of Interest;

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

Cllr S Hughes – grass cutting contract


Public Forum

No members of the public present.


Storey Homes – Mr Dan Chant and Mr Adam Gallimore – Land Manager/s (North West) Storey Homes Ltd

There was a presentation to the PC ref; 16/1824M Land at Back Lane – 165 dwellings which had been approved in September 2018. Storey Homes (arranged by Ainscough the developer) had come to show the PC the detailed proposed plans which would be submitted before the end of the year as reserved matters It was evident there was would also be an employment area attached to the site.  The s106 donation – £1.3m was being contributed to the CLR and £730,000 to education.  The research obtained by Storey Homes in the area seemed to indicate a demand for mostly 3 bed houses as opposed to 4/5 bedrooms, they were only supplying 17% affordable but none rented affordable. The company was gradually moving south, and the closest site north was Preston, Lancashire.  They felt their houses were to a high specification similar to Redrow. The PC thought the footpaths could have better connectivity as one just seemed to lead to the River Dane.


120/19 Apologies



121/19 Minutes

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 16th September 2019 having been circulated be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


122/19 Grass Cutting Policy

The Clerk had approached the existing grass cutting contractor and he had retendered for the new works and this was circulated.

Resolved Mr N Dale would be instructed for twelve months to cut the grass and hedges around the Green on Chelford Road and Blackfirs Lane.

Cllr RC proposed the hedge cutting was revisited as around all the electricity poles within the hedge as the tractor had not manged to get close enough to cut the branches. He understood this would incur an extra cost.

Resolved the Clerk would ask Mr N Dale to revisit and cut back the specified areas.

Tree canopies along the Green

The grass cutter requested that they were looked at as they were impeding works. It was agreed the Clerk would gain some quotes.

Chelford Road/ Black firs verge adoption

The Clerk had met with CE Highways and they were asking for risk assessments and traffic management procedures to cut the grass. The PC had cut this section of grass verge for over 40 years and CE highways had absolved all responsibility, and requests seemed to be unreasonable.

Resolved the Clerk would arrange a meeting with Cllr B Roberts Portfolio Holder for CE Highways.


123/19 Business Plan

Deferred until next meeting.


124/19 Black firs Nature Reserve – Cheshire Wildlife Trust  

Cllr PC had gained some more information from Mr J Pimblett in relation to the site. The site was no longer for sale, but a 12-year lease was offered. All members thought this was not financially viable as the PC would reinvest in the site and then it would be returned to the CWT. Cllr PC had challenged CWT for a 99-year lease. It was evident the site was getting worse; the front boundary fence was almost all damaged.

Resolved PC would invite the Director of Operations, Martin Varley to the next Parish Council meeting to discuss further.


125/19 Highways

Congleton Link Road

There had been several complaints about the height of the CLR along Sandy Lane from residents on the ‘Anwyl’ estate. Mr P Griffiths – CLR Project manager had responded directly.  There was a meeting scheduled on Thursday 24th October.

Sign Cleaning in the Parish Council

Still outstanding.

Footpath clearance by the bench on the A54

GRAHAM was not using any traffic management along the A54. The Clerk had asked CTC to requote for these works with traffic management.

The PC still felt this quote was excessive and agreed to refuse it at this stage.

Potholes on Blackfirs Lane

The Clerk had reported one ref – 3369701 still outstanding.

Meeting with David Wilson Homes and CE Highways.

CE Highways had met with DWH and it had been agreed that DWH would take remedial actions on the lane.

Cllr AG was concerned that HGV’s were still utilising the Blackfirs Lane entrance for access to the Barratts site as early as 6.30am some mornings. The street furniture also was overtaking the lane.

Resolved the Clerk would arrange a meeting with Mr A Taylor from DWH.

It was noted they had refused to meet the PC reference the lane patching.

Daffodil bulb planting and remedial stonework on the wall under the Cheshire Railings on Radnor Bank

An offer from a local resident had been made to improve the wall and plant daffodil bulbs – a cost was included.

This was agreed by members and it was noted there was also a cost for the electricity for the engineer who repaired the Cheshire railings.

Small grey retaining wall on Radnor Bank – Chelford Road

The wall was crumbling away, and some stones were falling into the road. CE Highways had thought it was the responsibility of the landowner but the residents from Radnor Bank Farm had a letter dated 1994 from CE Highways confirming it was CE highways responsibility. The Clerk had sent the letter to Ms G Kidd Highways Officer and was now awaiting a response from the Structures Team.


126/19 Loach brook – Bovis Estate.

The petition had been sent to Fiona Bruce MP, Cllr S Corcoran (CE leader) and Cllr JW had forwarded it to electoral services. There was still no action on site although the footpath was being completed along the A54.

The outcome of the petition was as follows;

  1. The CE leader had allocated the task to his shadow director Frank Jordan but still no contact had been made to date and he had declined to visit the site.
  2. Mr Brian Reed had contacted the Clerk to acknowledge the petition and he was liaising with Mr D Malcom Head of Planning – no response to date.
  • Fiona Bruce MP had arranged a meeting with Cllr GD and the residents to discuss further.


127/19 Planning Applications

  • 19/4709C 26, Blackfirs Lane, Somerford Cw12 4QQ – construction of one residential dwelling.

Resolved Objection

Letter from Cllr S Ackers Smith ref Congleton Leisure Centre



128/19 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £24,097.94


  • Online payment – £570.00 Mr A Standeven (Cheshire Railings painting)
  • Online payment – £1,707.02 Cranage Parish Council (inc £132.92 HMRC contributions)
  • Online payment – £42.00 Manor PC Ltd
  • Cheque no 257 – £135.00 Mr J Pointon
  • Cheque no 256 – £400.00 Mr J Douglas (Cheshire Railings repairs)  
  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364


  • Nil


129/19 Financial Regulations

Resolved the circulated Financial Regulations were adopted by Full Council.


130/19 GDPR

J D H Services, as the Data Protection Officer , had approached the PC to reinstruct for 2019/20.

Resolved the PC would reengage the services of Mr John Henry.


131/19 School in the Woods

The PC had been approached by a member of staff from the ‘School in the Woods’ situated at Davenport Chapel as she was concerned about its future. The current owner due to personal circumstances had moved away from the area and it was being caretaken by the staff, one of which wished to take it over. The Chairman and the Clerk had visited the site and it did need some reinvestment.

The Clerk had contacted the Chapel to see if any support could be given but it seemed the new Rector was resolving the situation.


132/19 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, the Weight Restriction Order on Radnor Bank investigation was now on the list. He envisaged this would be looked at within the next year.

The S 106 monies for Brereton Rural had been circulated and he would await comments from the members.

Cllr AP had submitted Black firs Lane to be patched by CE highways and Cllr JW had referred his comments together with his other PC’s in Brereton Rural.


133/19 Clerks Report

The Clerk had attended a training day by SLCC on 9th October and discussed the areas she felt was relevant.

She had been invited to see the Congleton Town Clerk to discuss their Business Plan and if members wished to make comments, she requested to send her an email.


134/19 Chairman’s and Members Report

Induction Training for Cllr AG on 26th November 2019

Resolved this was approved

Town and Parish Conference 20.11.19

Cllr GB, Cllr PC and the Clerk would attend.

Annual CHALC meeting 24.10.19

Cllr GD would attend.

Cllr AP wished the PC to be aware that there had been several incidents of cars being ‘tried’ to see if they were open on the Brereton Park site.



Resolved; “That in accordance with the public bodies (Admission to meetings) Act 1960 as extended by the Local Government Act 1972 section 100 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for discussion of the under mentioned item on the grounds that the publication of the matter would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted”

RSPB Land Transfer

The quotes to carry out works for the RSPB land were debated. The approaches to local businesses by the Chairman and the Clerk were communicated to the Parish Council.

The solicitor’s fees and transfer details for the RSPB land were discussed.


135/19 It was noted the next meeting was on the 25th November 2019 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.

The meeting concluded business at 10.10 pm

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