Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 13th January 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 13th January 2020 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 S Hughes (SH)
Councillor A Power, (AP)
Mrs J Mason (Clerk)
Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East Representative)

Declaration of Interest;

None declared

Public Forum

1 member of the public present.

The resident was concerned about the grey stone retaining wall along Chelford Road on Radnor Bank and as it was on the agenda wished to listen to what actions are being taken by the Parish Council and Cheshire East.


01/20 Apologies

Cllr R Crookes due to a work commitment, Cllr G Derbyshire due to ill health and Cllr A Green due to holidays


02/20 Minutes

Cllr PC proposed the following amendment for minute reference; 139/19 – Resolved the Parish Council would accept the transfer of the Blackfirs Nature Reserve currently in ownership of Cheshire Wildlife Trust on a peppercorn rent for 99 years subject to the CWT organising and paying for the legal costs and the Parish Council paying fifty percent but capped at £1,000. 00.

This amendment was accepted by full Council

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 25th November 2019 having been circulated be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


03/20 Business Plan 2020/25

The draft Business Plan had been circulated by the Chairman and members had made comments via email. These were discussed by the Parish Council. The Chairman would redraft incorporating the agreed additions and circulated again before the next meeting.


04/20 Community Governance Review

The deadline for comments was 31st January 2020 and the Chairman had drafted a response for members to consider from Somerford Parish Council.

Resolved the draft response was accepted and would be submitted by the Clerk on behalf of the Parish Council.


05/20 Blackfirs Nature Reserve

The Clerk had contacted Mr Joe Pimblett from CWT with the agreement to accept the site and the restriction on the legal fee contribution from the Parish Council. There was a meeting with the Trustees on the 23rd January where it would be decided whether the CWT would accept this offer.


06/20 Loachbrook Estate – Bovis

There had been no actions taken by Bovis on site, there had been no correspondence from Cllr S Corcoran or Mr F Jordan and the residents were still very frustrated. The Action Group were due to arrange another meeting with Fiona Bruce MP after the December elections.

The Chairman requested Cllr J Wray to put pressure on CE to take some serious actions, he asked why they were unable to ‘call in ‘the bond with Bovis.

Resolved Cllr J Wray would speak with highways to try and establish why no actions were being taken against Bovis.

Resolved Cllr J Wray would arrange a meeting with Cllr S Corcoran (leader of Cheshire East) or Mr Frank Jordan and the Parish Council.


07/20 Blackfirs Park – DWH estate

Cllr AP had arranged with the residents a litter collection in and around the site. The Clerk would arrange the litter equipment to be delivered from ANSA.

The boundary fence still had not been repaired between DWH and the Blackfirs Nature Reserve. The Clerk would make further contact with Mr A Taylor.

There was still a concern that DWH had made commitments with Cheshire East Highways to repair the lane, but no actions still had been taken since October.


08/20 Highways

Trees on Chelford Road

The grass contractor had requested some of the trees had the crowns lifted to aid with his grass cutting. There had been a quote submitted from ‘Branching Out’ for £600.00.

It was noted this work had been carried out by local volunteers due to the cost.

Footpath clearance by the bench on the A54



There was a meeting scheduled for 23rd January. There had been concerns raised on the following;

  1. the issue of the dangerous use and direction of the arc/floodlights pointing directly down Blackfirs Lane which blinds both pedestrians and cars drivers.
  2. the large pothole on the edge of the carriageway by the diversion roundabout on Blackfirs Lane.
  • the warning speed signage on Chelford Road was on the footpath at times and not the road which was not ideal for pedestrians.
  1. the raised grid on Chelford Road which would split a tyre if hit by a car. There was a cone on the site warning traffic.
  2. The noise from the water pump and drying room was getting worse to the nearby houses.

Cllr PC wished it to be noted at the meeting that the PC was extremely disappointed on the delay of the reopening of the Sandy Lane as they had been promised February 2020 and now it had been delayed.

Potholes on Blackfirs Lane 3380679/ 3380682

Not actioned.

Small grey retaining wall on Radnor Bank – Chelford Road

There had been no reply from the structures team in highways. It was noted there had also been fallen tree over the seasonal period within this area.

Radnor Bridge

A resident had contacted the Clerk to express his concern about the speed in which the River Dane was moving, he had estimated 6 metres since September 2019. Cllr SH supported this view and said he had great concerns about the bridge and hence the road due to the river. The Chairman asked Cllr JW for support with this issue as actions should be taken, the PC had proved the retaining wall on Radnor Bank was in ownership of CE Highways and the bridge had been brought of the attention of Ringway Jacobs previously and they had deemed it satisfactory in structural stance but the river was now severely impacting upon impounding this situation.


09/20 Dog waste bins in the Parish

The Clerk had enquired from Congleton Town Council if they would empty bins in our parish and if there was a cost involved. It had been indicated due to the number of new houses and estates they would be making a nominal charge to empty the bins.

The Parish Council thought it would be a responsibility of the management company within each estate to empty and install the bins. This was in effect correct but estates were in situ and the management company not yet established.

It was agreed the Clerk would request a cost from CTC and then if the bins were purchased by the PC the management companies must, when established, must take over the responsibility and cost of emptying in the future.


10/20 Planning Applications

19/5766C Land at Back Lane, Congleton CW12 4RB – demolition of existing buildings and erection of 5 no dwellings.

Resolved No Objection

14/4518C Somerford Park Farm – retrospective application for retention of a new stable building with ancillary groom’s accommodation (16/0206D)

It had been brought to the attention of the Parish Council that the conditions on this application had not ben met.

Resolved the Parish Council would make contact with SPF to establish the facts and if not, satisfactory they would reproach CE planning enforcement.


11/20 Section 106 monies

The Clerk had read in the S106 monies for Brereton Ward and there was monies allocated against the David Wilson estate (Richborough Estate);   ‘the land at Black firs Park, Congleton’ Richborough Estates had to allocate monies to several areas but there was a line that stated ‘Habitat’ – to deliver off site habitat creation/enhancement and has £28,844.03 allocated and not ear marked.

The Clerk had enquired with the Ward Cllr and it had been referred to James Baggaley -Principal Nature Conservation Officer. The Clerk had written a report about the RSPB land and the CWT site in anticipation some monies could be retrieved.


12/20 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £20,263.88


  • Online payment – £1,562.54 Cranage Parish Council (£119.94) HMRC contributions)
  • Online payment – £150.00 Cranage Parish Council (GDPR contribution to JDH Services).
  • Online payment – £119.89 Mr G Bell – Christmas lights
  • Online payment – £67.16 Ms J Mason- Clerks expenses Oct to Dec
  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364


  • £75,120.00 RSPB monies from transfer of the land
  • £2,000.00 William Dean Trust

Bank Reconciliation

Cllr PC confirmed the bank reconciliation.

Error on accounts

An error was noted that a payment had been made by SPC as opposed to Cranage Parish Council for the SLCC membership. This had bene amended.


13/20 RSPB

The Clerk had made an application to the FCC Community Foundation. The budget was discussed in relation to the site and costs.

Resolved there would be an extraordinary meeting held on the 27th January to appoint the contractor and decide budgets.

Resolved the Parish Council would allocate £10,000 in this financial year to the RSPB site from their funds.

Resolved the Parish Council would be willing to allocate £2,150.000 of the gross funding for third party funding to the FCC Community Foundation if the bid was successful.  The amount requested will be 10% of the cost of the grant including the levy charged by the regulations and the proportion of the cost of administrating the funds.

It was noted this decision would be made on 4th March 2020.


The Chairman asked that the Clerk make enquires about obtaining a loan from NALC.


Purchase of materials for the footpaths (quotes circulated)

All contractors had made reference to the plastic edging for use to edge the footpaths both contractors had quoted; ‘Ashbrooks’ – to supply and fit black plastic edging to pathways = £27,925.00 + VAT and Equator £16,250 for labour and materials ( £3,750 for labour only).

Due to the Parish Council being a public body they had the option to purchase directly and the quotes had been –£8,865.08 including VAT.

It was proposed the edging was purchased direct from the supplier to save monies.

Resolved   the Parish Council would purchase from the supplier Filcris.


14/20 Cheshire East

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

Cllr J Wray made members aware he would arrange both meetings as requested.

He went on to update members on the situation with the appointment of the new Chief Executive, due to circumstances the appointed person had taken the role in St Helen’s. This now offered another opportunity for another interview process.

Environmental Weight Restriction was still on going

15/20 Clerks Report

Internal Audit Course

Cllr PC would attend on the 29th January 2020.


15/20 It was noted the next meeting was on the 27th January 2020 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.


It was noted this was an extraordinary meeting to discuss the RSPB site.

The meeting concluded business at 10.10 pm

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