Minutes: Annual Parish Council Meeting 4th May 2020

Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 4th May 2020 – due to COVID –   19 and the Government Social distancing regulations the meeting was virtual @ 7.30 pm.

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Councillor G Bell (Chairman), (GB)

Councillor R Crookes (RC)

Councillor P Crompton Vice Chairman (PC)

Councillor G Derbyshire (GD)

Councillor S Hughes (SH)

Councillor A Power, (AP)

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)

Declaration of Interest.

None declared


Public Forum

Nobody linked into the meeting


Election of Chairman 2020/21

Resolved Cllr G Bell would be Chairman for the ensuing year.

It was noted the Acceptance of Office would be signed at a later date.


53/20 Apologies

Cllr J Wray nothing received.


54/20 Minutes

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 16th March 2020 having been circulated be approved and accepted as a true and accurate record.

It was noted these minutes would be signed at a future date.


55/20 Election of Vice Chairman 2020/21

Resolved Cllr P Crompton would be Vice Chairman for the ensuing year.

It was noted the Acceptance of Office would be signed at a later date.


56/20 COVID –   19  

The result of the lock down rulings from central Government and the impact on the Parish was discussed. The Clerk had added a note on the website if anybody needed any support the Parish Council would assist. Some prescription requests had come forward. She had spoken with Connecting Communities and offered support if the residents of Somerford needed prescription collections, food shopping and emotional support. They had 360 volunteers, but the main cases were in Congleton.


57/20 Parish Councillor Vacancy

Since the last meeting Cllr A Green had resigned from the Parish Council.

Resolved the Clerk would advertise the position.


58/20 Councillor Responsibilities


Cllr G Bell – Rhead’s Meadow, Personnel, Business Plan Delivery

Cllr P Crompton – Rhead’s Meadow, Business Plan Delivery, Planning including Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr R Crookes – Blackfirs Nature Reserve, Planning including Neighbourhood Plan

Cllr G Derbyshire – Blackfirs Nature Reserve, Police , CHALC

Cllr S Hughes – Highways and Congleton Link Road, Newsletters

Cllr A Power – Personnel, Website


59/20 Register of Interests  

No changes to be noted.


60/20 Rhead’s Meadow

It was noted J Ashbrook Ltd had ceased work on the site due to Covid 19 and most of the workforce being furloughed. The planting also had to be postponed. The Chairman requested that the Clerk contact JA to see if there were any plans to resume work as some construction industries were resuming work. A poster had been placed on the site make residents aware.

  1. GRAHAM had completed the majority of the fencing along the access track but still some was missing which lead into the agreed cycleway from the proposed Bellway estate. Bellway had agreed to pay for this fencing but as they would not be on site for some time the PC had gained a quote to complete.

Resolved the PC would instruct Stockdale’s to complete the missing fencing at the approved quoted figure of £9 per metre.

  1. The mound also needed seeding and due to the fencing still being in situ and no public access it was agreed that the mound would be seeded as soon as possible.
  • Ms A Froggatt (appointed RSPB landscaper) had reported that the Woodland Trust application had been successful. The Clerk reported the RSPB funds had been transferred to cover the cost of the designer until the end of the project.
  1. FCC communities grant – the Clerk updated members on the progress. The funding application was now expecting extra quotes for landscaping and the cost of the planting.
  2. Access gates – the delivery had been delayed due to COVID –  19.


61/20 Blackfirs Nature Reserve

This was still in progress the Heads of Terms were with the CWT solicitors for production of the lease.

Cllr RC commented that due to lockdown there had been a great deal more footfall throughout the site, extra footways had been made on top to the usual one. The members agreed that it was very unlikely CWT would improve the site or repair the fencing before the handover. Cllr RC suggested asking for some volunteers to assist in improving the site.

It was agreed to put a poster on the site to request for volunteer help but prior to this action to contact the main volunteer and ask for her advice and support.


62/20 Loachbrook – ‘Bovis’ Estate

Cllr GD reported no actions had been taken on site and the scheduled meeting on the 1st April had been cancelled due to COVID –   19.

Cllr RC had received a complaint from a local resident about a wooden bridge had been built over Loachbrook. The resident thought it was not a safe and causing people to walk through the ‘Anwyl’ and ‘Bovis’ estate across footpaths that were just access routes to properties not footpaths.

Some of the members had walked the bridge and felt it was safe at the present time.

Resolved this was not a matter for the PC as it was on private land and the resident should make any complaint to the housing developer.  


63/20 Dog waste bins across the Parish.

The Clerk had strived for three quotes and ordered four bins from Glasdon, three for the lamppost columns and one grass verge position. These would be sited on each of the four new housing estates in the Parish. This would be within the approved budget of £1,000.

The Chairman requested Cllr GD and Cllr AP to circulate a map of the approved positions.


64/20 Highways

Blackfirs Lane / Potholes – 3380679/ 3380682

Cllr RC reported that there were now markings on the lane which suggested some repair work was due to be carried out. All members agreed that the road should be resurfaced.

It was agreed the Clerk would contact Cllr JW to see if this was repair work as reported over Christmas or a result of the Cheshire East request the PC had put in in September 19 from Cllr J Wray.


The PC were concerned that GRAHAM currently had no form of communication since Mr D Cawthra had been furloughed. There were in excess of 200 HGV journeys a day undertaken by a company called ‘Morgan’ through Somerford removing spoil. Initially under lock down there had been a few workers on the CLR but over the past ten days this figure had risen, works on the Chelford Road and Giantswood Lane overbridges was progressing. It was noted somebody had knocked down a section of the grey stone wall along Chelford Road.

Resolved the Clerk would complain to GRAHAM and CE that a communication point should be reinstated.

Grey Stone Wall along Radnor Bank

Cllr JW had forwarded an acknowledgment to the complaint and a response had been received. This indicated that CE would take accountability. It was agreed the Clerk would check.

40mph along Holmes Chapel Road

The Clerk had received a complaint from a resident that the speed needed dropping to 30mph. She had explained if he thought there were grounds for the criteria to fit the Speed Management Strategy to send an email and the PC would consider challenging CE for a reduction in speed.

The fatal accident which had happened on A54 the previous week was noted.

Damaged manhole cover on Chelford Road on the verge.

The Clerk had reported this after the Chairman had discovered it.  It was the responsibility of United Utilities and would be attended to as soon as possible. The Chairman requested the Clerk check whose responsibility it was as he felt it was CE Highways.

Sandy Lane

Resolved the PC would confirm their objection to the lane being closed to vehicles.


65/20 Cheshire East

No report due to Cllr JW being absent


66/20 Planning Applications

  • 20/1444C Somerford Booths Hall, Hall Green. Somerford Booths CW12 2LY – Listed building consent for – work to the grade 11 listed hall to redevelop as one single property pursuant to variation of condition application 20/1169C.

Resolved No Objection


67/20 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £52,318.41


  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364
  • Online payment – £738.53 Crewe Colour Printers Ltd
  • Online Payment – £1,040.00 Ms A Froggatt
  • Online Payment – £119.29 Carbonite
  • Online Payment – £1,791.00 Cranage PC (including £124.86 HMRC)
  • Online Payment – £36.00 CPRE


 Resolved the above payments are approved and signed for as a true and accurate record.



  • £2,700.00 RSPB
  • £20,000 Precept (Cheshire East)


68/20 Clerks Report

Local Council Award

The gold award status was due to be renewed in July. The Council offered support to the Clerk.

Audit 2019/20

The audit had been submitted to the internal auditor and was still awaiting a response.


69/20 Chairman and Members Report

Community Governance Review

The Chairman requested this was on the agenda at the next meeting.


The hand delivery process was discussed between members due to COVID –   19.


70/20 It was noted the next meeting was on the 15th June 2020 at 7.30 pm at the Pavilion in Somerford Park Farm.

The meeting concluded business at 9.30pm

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