Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 3rd February 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 3rd February 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 G Derbyshire (GD)

Councillor A Green (AG)

Councillor S Hughes (SH)

Councillor A Power, (AP)

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)


Declaration of Interest;

Councillor S Hughes – Crewe Colour Printers


Public Forum

Nobody present


19/20 Apologies

Cllr R Crookes due to holidays


20/20 Minutes

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 27th January 2020 having been circulated be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.

Resolved the minutes would be made public but due to the commercial sensitive nature of the tenders the costs would be removed for twelve months.


21/20 Business Plan 2020/25



22/20 Annual Parish Meeting

The plans for the Annual Parish Meeting on the 27th April 2020 were discussed together with the newsletter.

Resolved the newsletter topics to be written were as follows;

David Wilson/ Barratt site – Cllr AG

Loachbrook – Bovis site – Cllr GD

Litter Collection – Cllr AP

RSPB – Cllr PC

Congleton Link Road – Cllr SH

Blackfirs Nature Reserve – Cllr RC

Community Governance Review – Cllr GB

It was agreed there would be an Annual Newsletter produced in March and a postcard invitation reminder delivered in April.

Resolved the topics to be discussed would be as follows – Congleton Link Road – GRAHAM, RSPB – Cllr GB, Blackfirs Woodland Reserve –  Cllr RC.

Resolved Cheese and Wine would be served as refreshments.


23/20 Risk Assessment 2019/20

The Risk Assessment had been circulated to all the members. The new fixed asset register was noted. The equipment check list was discussed. The noticeboard on Chelford Road did need some attention and the benches needed cleaning.  Cllr PC discussed the value of the Lloyds Shares.

Resolved the Risk Assessment 2019/20 was approved.


24/20 Internal Auditor 2019/20

Resolved Mr G Roberts from Odd Rode Parish Council would be appointed as the Internal Auditor.

It was noted the income and expenditure would be in excess of £25,000 for 2019/20.


25/20 RSPB

The Chairman had written a letter to all the attendees at Blackfirs Primary School and responses from the website (of whom we had contact details for) who had passed comments on the plans for Rhead’s meadow last year. This was an update on the transfer of the land and a progress report.  

The Clerk had written an article to be published in the local paper, this was an update for the residents, and it had been advised that the name of the appointed contractor should be made public.

The Chairman, the Clerk and the Ward Councillor were meeting the CE Section 106 Officer on the 6th February and the Chairman and the Clerk were meeting James Ashbrook’s Ltd on 7th February.

There was not enough information on the planting costs to make any decisions so this would be deferred.  The Chairman thought a lot of the planting could be volunteer work.

There was a discussion on the grant applications.


There had been a quote circulated to instruct a day’s work from a wildflower specialist to give advice on the soil and seeding on the meadow.

Resolved the parish council would instruct Dr David Hackett Technical Director for one day at a cost of £400.00.


26/20 Blackfirs Nature ReserveCheshire Wildlife Trust had circulated a draft’ Heads of Terms’ to enable the reserve to be transferred on a 99-year lease to the Parish Council. The Cllrs made comments on the draft document but were generally satisfied the content covered all relevant points.

Resolved the Clerk would report back the feedback to the CWT.


27/20 Loachbrook – ‘Bovis’ Estate

Cllr GD reported that there had been a survey carried out on the United Utilities drainage pipes across the estate site, but no results had been feedback.

Cllr J Wray reported that it was very unlikely that CE would call the’ bond in’ as the dispute was between the developer and UU.

The Chairman re iterated there needed to be some intervention on the compliance with the planning conditions. Cllr JW was endeavouring to arrange a meeting with Cllr Toni Fox and Mr D Malcolm – Head of Planning.

Cllr GD had arranged a meeting with the Loachbrook resident’s action group and Fiona Bruce MP on Friday 7th February.


28/20 Blackfirs Park – David Wilson Homes

Cllr AP had organised a litter collection on the weekend 8/9th February. The Clerk had arranged equipment from ANSA. The relevant risk assessments would be completed.

Resolved the Parish Council would obtain hi vis vests for the event.

Blackfirs Lane

The DWH development had caused a great deal of damage to the lane since arriving on site and it had been acknowledged that they had offered CE highways a financial contribution to repair the damage. This had been agreed in October 2019 with Ms G Kidd CE Highways Officer (now resigned) and no actions had been forthcoming. The Clerk had enquired with Mr Paul Johnson – Developer Highways Officer but he had said it was not his responsibility. Mr W Ashdown also denied responsibility. It was now with Mr R Cooper – CE highways officer.


29/20 Highways

Footpath Clearance by the bench on Holmes Chapel Road

It was acknowledged a resident had complained about the standard of the footpath in this area.  The PC agreed there were more important financial commitments at this time, but this would be revisited.

Potholes Blackfirs Lane 3380679/ 3380682

No actions taken by CE

Congleton Link Road

A meeting had been held on 23rd January – notes had been circulated. The next meeting was on 19th March.

Grey Stone Wall on Chelford Road

The Parish Council were concerned about the wall breaking away and had evidence is was in ownership of CE. Cllr J Wray had made enquires but this was ongoing.

River Dane/ Radnor Bridge

Cllr J Wray had made enquires and CE had reported this was down to the Environmental Agency and the landowner. They were aware of the situation.

Somerford Park Farm

SPF had made enquires if the Parish Council would support them in gaining improved signage for their major events within the calendar year as they were receiving complaints about horse boxes travelling down Smethwick Lane. They felt if signage was improved on the Motorway 6 the horse boxes would leave Junction 18 and travel directly down the A54.

Resolved the Parish Council would support SPF and send a letter to CE Highways.


30/20 Dog waste bins

There had been communication from some residents that there was a requirement for dog waste/litter bins in/by the new estates. They felt it would improve litter and the dog mess which was left. The Clerk had enquired if Congleton Town Council would engage to empty five bins, twice a week they had agreed at a cost of £29.50 each month.

The Chairman felt this was the responsibility of the Management Company on the sites. Cllr AP felt the need was a requirement at the present time and this could take years to organise.



31/20 Planning Applications

There were no applications to consider.


It was noted the Bellway Home application off Blackfirs Lane, for reserved matters may be refused. It had been reported it was due to the house designs not being in keeping with the area and the wildlife corridor not being sufficient.   

14/4518C Somerford Park Farm (16/0206D)

The Clerk had made enquires and these had been circulated to members. It was agreed there was no breach of planning conditions at this stage.

It was noted the Bellway Home application off Blackfirs Lane, for reserved matters had been refused. It had been reported it was due to the house design not being in keeping with the area and the wildlife corridor not being sufficient.   

14/4518C Somerford Park Farm (16/0206D)

The Clerk had made enquires and these had been circulated to members. It was agreed there was no breach of planning conditions at this stage.


32/20 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £95,539.47


  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364
  • £250.00 Donation to All Saints Chapel of Ease


Resolved to approve the first payment to James Ashbrook Ltd.



  • £2.93 Nationwide Closure
  • £20.00 Bowcock & Pursaill solicitors


Bank Reconciliation

Cllr PC confirmed the bank reconciliation.


Resolved the Parish Council would donate £250.00 to the Chapel for the upkeep.


33/20 Cheshire East

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

Cllr J Wray reported sadly Cllr B Roberts CE Portfolio Holder for Highways had passed away.

Environmental Weight Restriction

He reported this was still ongoing.


34/20 Clerks Report

Internal Audit Course

Cllr PC had cancelled.

Training 2020

Cllr A Green – Code of Conduct 13th May

Cllr S Hughes – Induction to Cllrs 17th June

Cllr A Powers – Planning 1 Seminar 1st July

Cllr G Derbyshire – Planning 1 Seminar 1st July


35/20 It was noted the next meeting was on the 16th March 2020 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.

The meeting concluded business at 10.05 pm


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