Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 3rd August 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 3rd August 2020 in the Pavilion ‘D’ at Somerford Park Farm @ 7.30 pm.



Councillor G Bell (Chairman), (GB)

Councillor R Crookes (RC)

Councillor P Crompton (Vice Chairman) (PC)

Councillor G Derbyshire (GD)

Councillor J Hardman (JH)

Councillor A Power, (AP)

Councillor J Wray JW (Cheshire East Representative)

Mrs J Mason (Clerk)


Declaration of Interest.

None declared


Public Forum

No-one present.


90/20 Apologies

Cllr S Hughes due to annual holidays.


91/20 Minutes

Cllr PC requested; 87/20 It was also there was a lot of work being completed in the area and now most of Somerford had access to superfast broadband.

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 15th June 2020 having been circulated be approved and accepted as a true and accurate record.


92/20 Cllr J Hardman

It was noted the Acceptance of Office had been signed in the presence of the Clerk.

Resolved Cllr JH responsibilities were social media and GDPR.


93/20 Rhead’s Meadows

Wildlife Meadow

The Chairman, Ms A Froggatt and the Clerk had met with Ms H Dalton from CWT and discussed the wildlife meadow. The grass was due to be cut in August after the weed killing had been completed and the appropriate time lapse. A local farmer had been arranged to remove the grass for hay. CWT would then deep plough and seed, the seeds were being harvested now.

Mr J Baguley CE had arranged this to be funded from S106 monies. The grassland would be postponed until next year and hopefully this would also be funded by Section 106 monies.

JA had left site and would return to complete the entrance.

The gates were still delayed until November.

The complaint in reference to weed killing the site was acknowledged.

Benches and notice boards

There had been designs of benches and noticeboards circulated for the site. It was agreed this was the preferred style.

Resolved the Clerk would obtain two more quotes for the seats and notice boards.

Resolved there would be one large noticeboard on the entrance to the site (the Bellway


entrance would be considered at a later date) and there would be three lectern information

boards within the site.

It was agreed Cllr PC would draft the information for the welcome notice board, this would include the history of the site and an acknowledgement to the sponsors of the site.  Ms A Froggatt and the RSPB would draft the information boards on types of birds, insects, and trees on the site.

Rules & Regulations on the site

All members agreed that rules were required for the site. These would be circulated again and agreed at the next meeting. There had been an enquiry about accessing the site through a gate from their own garden and all members agreed this would not be allowed.

Planting of the site

The plant and tree types would be agreed in September to be planted in October. A letter would be sent to the residents from Blackfirs Lane.


Cllr RC, Cllr PC and Cllr GB had cleared the ragwort manually on the site.


94/20 Social Media

Cllr JH proposed a Facebook page for the Parish Council. She was part of the one on the Loachbrook estate and explained the benefits and the use of the statistics to the PC. It would hopefully be very dynamic on sharing information and would reach the younger generation of the community. All members agreed this was a good idea in principal and it was agreed that Cllr JH would complete some more research and the Clerk would investigate the GDPR rulings.


95/20 Blackfirs Nature Reserve

Mr J Pimblett and Ms H Dalton had carried out a tree and site inspection. Both surveys had been circulated to members, it was noted there were some issues about several trees which was of concern. It had been agreed with CWT that the trees would be actioned by September. The boundary fence was also an action as some needed replacing and some repairing.

The CWT were in a position to transfer the lease and were enquiring of the PC’s solicitor details. It was agreed Cllr GB would retrieve some costings and feedback to the Clerk. The legal costs which had been agreed with CWT initially were read out again to members.

Resolved the actions agreed would be revisited before the transfer was complete.


96/20 Loachbrook – ‘Bovis’ Estate

Cllr GD, Cllr JH, the Chairman and the Clerk had met with Mr R Bebbington (Customer Care Director from Bovis/ Vistry) on 29th July. There were many outstanding issues on the site. Bovis attributed the lack of actions on the site due to United Utilities not approving the sewage pipes on certain areas of the site. There was a disagreement between UU, Bovis and Matthews and Leigh (Bovis contractors) about the outstanding works.

When walking the site in detail there were many issues which could be completed, e.g.  the ‘Breedon’ type gravel pathway on the Community Park, the footpath completion along the A54 and the moving of the bus stops on A54.

Mr RB had agreed that a timeline of actions would be produced in September and then communicated and agreed. There would then be a follow up meeting arranged. Cllr JH and Cllr GD wished for the maintenance of the site and the grass cutting to be improved immediately.

Cllr JH would inform Fiona Bruce MP of progress.

The notes from this meeting were on the website.

The post box still had not been sited.


97/20 Dog waste bins across the Parish.

Six dog waste bins were now sited across the Parish – two on Loachbrook/ Anwyl, two on DWH / Barratts and two on Rhead’s Meadows.

Congleton Town Council were emptying the bins on a Wednesday each week and members were requested to monitor if this was satisfactory.


98/20 Highways


There had been a meeting held with Mr Dan Cawthra on 27th July – notes circulated. The meeting had been arranged to discuss the Mainline 1 opening and the overbridge on Chelford Road being completed.  The road completion date was 27th January 2021. A resident had complained about the speed of traffic traveling around the bend now the overbridge had been completed and the road had reopened. It was noted that further works were to be carried out on Chelford Road to correct the geometry of the road.

Blackfirs Lane

The lane had been repaired after the building and utility works. CEBC had carried out the work and DWH had contributed to the cost. The PC agreed the repairs had been completed to a satisfactory standard and a compromise to not actioning any works at all.

Grass Cutting Policy

There had been a complaint in reference to the standard of the grass cutting around the triangle due to the centre grass not being cut. It had been done in accordance with the PC policy and it was noted it was now a policy of CE Highways only to cut the junction splays and to leave verges to grow for wildlife.

The request to cut the road junctions would be improved.

Resolved the grass cutting policy would not be changed at this stage.

Speed Limits on Chelford Road and Blackfirs Lane

The Clerk had read the Speed Management Policy and felt both roads fitted the criteria to have a reduced speed limit after several resident complaints.

Resolved Cllr JW would request an analysis would be carried out on both lanes by CE Highways.

Damaged manhole cover on Chelford Road

Still outstanding

Gully on Radnor Bank causing water to run down Radnor Bank- 3400776


Grey Stone Wall damaged 7993981

Cllr JW would chase up this issue.

Paving around the bench on A54

The Clerk had received a quote for £225 to put slabs under the bench to stop the weeds growing through and stopping people sitting on the bench.

Resolved the works would be instructed to put slabs under the bench.


The Clerk asked if it could change direction.


99/20 Cheshire East  

Environmental Weight Restriction

No actions have been taken to date and he would chase this issue up.

Traffic Regulation Orders

Cllr JW had requested these for the PCSO.

It was noted CE staff were still working from home, but this did not impede communication. Most meetings were being held on Microsoft Teams.

It was noted the Monitoring Officer had left and but there was a stand-in to assist the process until a replacement was appointed.


100/20 Training Policy

Cllr PC suggested amendments which were accepted

Resolved the Training Policy would be accepted by Full Council.  


101/20 Planning Applications

  • 20/2434C Congleton High School, Box Lane, Congleton CW12 4NS – extension to school to provide additional toilet facilities.

Resolved No Objection

Shed / outbuilding on the Blackfirs Park development

There had been complaints about this redundant shed being randomly occupied by youths and

there was evidence of drinking and some noise. The PCSO was conducting regular visits to the site. The site was owned by DWH, the Clerk had made contact with Mr A Taylor, but no response was forthcoming at this stage.

19/4416C River Dane holiday park – 14 no caravan pitches

Cllr PC reported that there was hard standing being put at the site despite the planning permission refusal. It was agreed the Clerk would enquire.


102/20 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £68,517.45


  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364 July
  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 364 August
  • Online payment – £14.39 Zoom July
  • Online payment – £14.39 Zoom August
  • Online payment – £38,266.80 J Ashbrook Ltd
  • Online payment – £98 Amazon (lock for gate)
  • Online payment – £40.00 ICO
  • Online payment – £420.00 Mr A Kimberley (transport costs for Bridestones)
  • Online payment – £50.00 Cheshire Community Action
  • Online payment – £1,570.60 incl. £102.00 HMRC contributions Cranage PC (Clerks salary from April to June)
  • Online payment – £90.00 TCS Management
  • Online payment – £382.40 Glasdon (dog bins)
  • Online payment – £87.16 Congleton Town Council
  • Online payment – £325.00 Alan Standeven (fitting of dog bins) 
  • Online payment – £445.00 Mr A Standeven (potholes, painting benches and notice boards)

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



  • £1,050.00 Bellway (fencing payment)


103/20 Clerks Report

Local Council Award

The Clerk gave an update to members.


This would be produced in September and the Clerk would send out guidance if suitable with members.


104/20 Chairman and Members Report

Covid-19 Community Recovery fund

Resolved the Parish Council would apply for this funding in relation to improving the RSPB site.

Precept investigation by Cllr JH

This report had been acknowledged and it was agreed a request would be put to CE in October for the number of houses their base was for Somerford.


105/20 It was noted the next meeting was on the 14th September 2020 in Pavilion D Somerford Park Farm at 7.30 pm.  

The meeting concluded business at 10.30 pm

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