Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 25th November 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 25th November 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)

Councillor G Derbyshire, (GD)

Councillor S Hughes (SH)

Councillor A Powers, (AP)

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)

Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East Representative)


Declaration of Interest;

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

Cllr A Powers – Black firs Park estate

Cllr A Green – Black firs Park estate


Public Forum

No members of the public present.


136 /19 Apologies

Cllr R Crookes due to a work commitment


137/19 Minutes

Agreed amendment – Present – it was noted Cllr S Hughes was present and not listed.

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 14th October 2019 having been circulated be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


138/19 RSPB Land

The Chairman and the Clerk had visited ‘Bowcock and Pursaill’ solicitors in Leek on Monday 18th November to discuss the transfer deeds. Both Cllr GB and Cllr PC had signed the document, and the Clerk had been a witness.  It had been expected that the transfer would have confirmed last week but the RSPB were querying the PROW / cycleway details.

The Chairman and the Clerk had visited Bridestones in Congleton to quote for supplies on the same day. They had also agreed to gift a large stone for the entrance to enable the PC to add the wording Rheads Meadow.

Quotes had been submitted from ‘Equator’, ‘Jacques’ and ‘James Ashbrook Ltd’, the Chairman was in the process of gaining alternative cheaper quotes to source the materials.  There is a meeting scheduled for 3rd December with the RSPB.

The requirement for the Health and Safety on the site while works were in operation was discussed.

It was noted the local contractor had arranged for the PC to have a soil test completed for free, this was a very kind gesture.


139/19 Black firs Nature Reserve – Cheshire Wildlife Trust

The Chairman, Cllr PC and the Clerk had met with Mr J Pimblott (CWT) on 19th November as Mr M Varley was reluctant to attend a PC meeting to discuss the site. The CWT would not sell the land but had now agreed to lease the land on a 99-year term but wished the PC to pay the legal costs.

At the meeting the PC had objected to paying the total legal costs as it may have reached £2,000. They were assisting the CWT by taking over the site, in such a poor state of repair, and the CWT had agreed they would not be spending any money on the site in the near future, they were just ensuring it was safe.

The Clerk had received communication that day that the CWT were prepared to pursue a lease arrangement and agreed it would make better financial sense, for both parties, to use their solicitor to draft up a lease as they are familiar with the process having dealt with a number of similar agreements for the Trust. They could probably make use of the expertise of one of their Trustees to pull together the bones of an agreement, in a voluntary capacity, ahead of employing the solicitor. If the Parish Council were amenable to this approach, they would be willing to split the cost of the legal fees. There was an option if the PC wished to employ a solicitor afterwards, but this cost would be met in full by ourselves.

Cllr P Crompton proposed – the Parish Council would lease Blackfirs Nature reserve for 99 years on a peppercorn rent and would pay half the legal costs but cap the figure at £1,000.

Cllr A Powers seconded

Vote FOR – unanimous

Resolved the Parish Council would accept the transfer of Black firs Nature Reserve in ownership of Cheshire Wildlife Trust on a peppercorn rent for 99 years subject to the CWT organising the legal costs and the cost to the PC being capped at £1,000.00.

It was agreed the Clerk would make the necessary arrangements.


140/19 Loachbrook Bovis estate

Cllr GD updated members that still no progress had been made on the site with infrastructure. There had been a verbal communication that the contractor ‘Matthews & Leigh’ were meeting United Utilities this week to complete the iron works before the roads and pavements were completed. Fiona Bruce MP had served a petition to Parliament on the 5th November 2019 (the Clerk had sent a letter to thank her). This was to explain how Bovis had not fulfilled their obligation to the residents by completing the infrastructure.

The Chairman had contacted the CE leader again after the inaccuracies in his response to the Clerk and he was still awaiting a reply.

Mr F Jordan Executive Director of Place at CE had also failed to make contact following the email from Cllr S Corcoran’s PA.


141/19 Blackfirs Park – David Wilson Homes estate

David Wilson Homes and CE Highways.

As DWH had declined to meet with the Parish Council and wished the complaints to be submitted by email initially. Cllr R Crookes had written a report on behalf of the members and it had been sent into Mr Andrew Taylor – still awaiting a reply.

Communication from Mr Paul Johnson – CE Highways Officer had been circulated that there had been a meeting with the developer and CE Highways to confirm they would ensure DWH would be made accountable for the damage to the verges and roadsides. It was also to acknowledge Cllr J Wray had requested this was on the resurfacing and patching list instigated by Cllr Brian Roberts Portfolio Holder.


142/19 Highways

Sign Cleaning in the Parish Council – Cllr AP had cleaned the signs in the Parish and cut back the offending foliage which was covering the signs. The Parish Council thanked him for his efforts.

Footpath clearance by the bench on the A54

Cllr GB thought at this time the PC could not afford the cost of completing the footpath and after and after investigating, minor weed clearance/treating work around the bench should be the only works carried out. This was agreed.


It was agreed a meeting would be scheduled for late January.

Potholes on Blackfirs Lane 3369701/3372469

Not actioned – the Clerk would follow up.

Speed Display Gun

Brereton Parish Council had offered the use of their speed display gun. Cllr GD wished it to be noted that the PCSO had caught several cars on the A534.

Grass verge adoption on Chelford Road and Blackfirs Lane

Cllr GB had raised this at the T & P Conference and CE were now reviewing the situation. The Clerk was requested to send the recent correspondence to Mr F Jordan – Executive Director of Place.

Small grey retaining wall on Radnor Bank – Chelford Road

Still no reply from the structures team.


143/19 Dog waste bins in the Parish

There had been a request that there was a dog bin provided on/near the DWH site and the Clerk had received a similar request for one on the A54 Holmes Chapel Road due to the new ‘Anwyl’ estate. The same issue also had been raised last year on the Bovis estate but when there had been an enquiry from the Clerk to Congleton Town Council to empty, they had declined as the roads had not been adopted.

This item would be deferred until further information was made available as there was a concern if the PC purchased the bins they would not be emptied.

Cllr AP discussed the site following on from the report by Cllr RC, he made an offer to arrange a skip from DWH and then organise a working party to collect the rubbish around the site.


144/19 Planning Applications

19/4416C River Dane Holiday Park, Holmes Chapel Road, Somerford, CW12 4SL – To layout 14 no caravan pitches and change the ground levels together with associated landscaping.

Resolved Objection


19/0131C 21 Chelford Road, Somerford CW12 4QD – Demolition of existing house and construction of new residential development (APP/R0660/W/19/3238539) – it was noted this had been taken to appeal on 5TH November 2019. The Parish Council had objected.


145/19 Section 106 monies



146/19 Business Plan 2020/21

The Chairman had circulated the Business Plan and requested the members circulated comments to be discussed at the next meeting.


147/19 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £21,217.93


  • Online payment – £435.00 Mr N Dale (grass cutting)
  • Online payment – £125.00 Mr A Dale (hedge cutting)
  • Online payment – £120.00 Mr B S Amies (website)
  • Online payment – £ 233.06 Congleton Town Council (pavement sweeping)
  • Online Payment – £35.00 CHALC (Cllr A Green 26.11.19)
  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364


  • Nil


148/ 19 Precept 2020/21

The budget had been circulated by the Clerk for 2020/21 and it was discussed by members. The carry over figure was reviewed and the financial commitment to completing the RSPB land. The PC would be gifted £75,000 from the RSPB and a bid to the William Deans Trust was favourable but not confirmed to date. The RSPB project anticipated cost would be £100,000/ £120,000, the possibility of a loan was also discussed by members and the CWT site commitments.

Cllr AP proposed the precept at £40,000 and Cllr SH seconded the proposal.

VOTE – FOR – unanimous

Resolved the Precept for 2020/21 would be £40,000.


149/19 Cheshire East

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

Cllr J Wray updated members on his involvement with the Bovis – Loach brook estate and the communication from highways. He was speaking with the relevant people in CE and asked if the petition could be presented to the portfolio holder of highways.

He confirmed Ms Kath O’Dwyer had been appointed as the Chief Executive after interviews, she had been acting in the position.

The recycling of food waste was also discussed, and the information was available on the CE website.


150/19 Clerks Report

The Clerk had met with CTC Clerk to be updated on their Business Plan she communicated the main issues relevant to SPC.

There was a planning application due to be submitted off Viking Way by Richborough Estates for 200 houses and business use outside the Parish but of interest to SPC.

It was noted the Clerk had left HW & SB PC and the contribution to the Clerk’s computer was discussed.

Community Boundary Review

The information had been communicated and the deadline was the end of January. The PC could comment and so could individual members.

The Chairman discussed his thoughts on the houses along the A54 and the Miller Home development.

Miller Homes

The recent communication from a local resident was discussed that the Miller Home site was advertising (circulated) that they were in Somerford. The members agreed there would be no actions taken at this time.


151/19 Chairman’s and Members Report

Christmas Tree

The Chairman offered to complete a risk assessment and reinstate the lights on the tree. He requested some more lights were purchased.

Resolved the PC would purchase extra lights at a total of no more than £100.  

Town and Parish Conference 20.11.19

Cllr GB and Cllr PC updated the members.

16/0206D – the Clerk was requested to follow up if the condition had been completed.


152/19 It was noted the next meeting was on the 13th January 2020 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.

The meeting concluded business at 10.25 pm

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