Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 15th March 2021

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 15th March 2021 virtually on Zoom.

It was noted the meeting failed to start until 8.00 pm due to technical difficulties with the Zoom platform.


Councillor G Bell (Chairman), (GB)
Councillor P Crompton (Vice Chairman) (PC)
Councillor R Crookes (RC)
Councillor G Derbyshire (GD)
Councillor S Hughes (SH) arrived at 8.30pm due to being at work.
Councillor J Hardman (JH)
Councillor A Power, (AP)
Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East Ward Cllr) arrived at 8.35pm due to another meeting.
Mrs J Mason (Clerk)

Declaration of Interest.

Cllr JH – Loachbrook estate and Cllr GD – Loachbrook estate.

Public Forum

Nobody present.

30/21 Apologies


31/21 Minutes

Resolved the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 15th February 2021 having been circulated be approved and accepted as a true and accurate record.

32/21 Community Governance Review

There had been a meeting of the CE Community Governance Review sub-committee held on the 26th of February and the agenda pack indicated in the case of Somerford Parish the proposal was to abolish the parish and extend the Congleton Town boundary the Congleton Link Road. This would leave Somerford with 107 electors from a current figure of more than 1,000. There was a proposal to then join the residue of Somerford with the parishes of Somerford Booths and Hulme Walfield.

The proposals were to be considered again on the 6th April at the CE Constitution Committee and, if the report was accepted, there would then be a twelve-week public consultation period. CE would have to consider the views of Somerford residents on whether or not they wished to join with Congleton.

It was noted that none of the submissions made by SPC had been referred to or commented on in the report.

Resolved the PC would write to Mr Brian Reed, Head of Democratic Services at CEBC, to ask why the comments from SPC were not referred to in the agenda pack on the 26th February and to ask if SPC could address the Committee on the 6th of April.

There was a subsequent discussion on the communication process to the residents of Somerford to gauge the level of support of living in Somerford as opposed to Congleton and the proposal boundary changes.

Resolved the Annual Parish Newsletter would be the main platform to communicate with each member of the Parish to inform them of the process of the Community Governance Review. It would then be placed on Facebook and the website.

Resolved the Parish Council would conduct their Annual Parish Council meeting on Zoom and discuss how the residents could assist Somerford in influencing the boundary change.

33/21 Rhead’s Meadows

The Clerk had met with three contractors to cut the grass on Rhead’s Meadows site and only one had responded at £60 each cut.

Resolved Company A would be instructed to cut the grass on Rhead’s Meadows.

Turfing the mound and the bunds around the pathways

It was noted the mound and some flat areas had been turfed and the bunds were due to be seeded later this month.

Owl boxes

These would be fitted after the covid restrictions were lifted.

Tree Safety Inspection

This still had not been received but was in progress.

Dog waste/ behaviour signs

Cllr SH had circulated a sign to be installed on site. There was a discussion on wording, and it was then approved to be placed on each entrance to the site.

The email of complaint about some dog’s behaviour on site was acknowledged.

Memorial Benches

Resolved the Parish Council would pay for siting of donated memorial benches and they would be added to the insurance and fixed asset list.

‘Filcris’ side edging for pathways.

There had been a cash offer for the remaining sidings.

Resolved the Parish Council would sell the path edging at the agreed price.

Silver Birch Trees

Ms A Froggatt had proposed that there were 14 more trees purchased for the site.

Resolved the PC would purchase 14 more trees for Rhead’s Meadows.

34/21 To consider recessionary resolution on the terms of the committee for Rhead’s Meadows.

Four members of the Parish Council had agreed to resolve to rescind the resolution of a committee.

Recessionary resolution

Resolved the Parish Council would not set up a committee system for Rhead’s Meadows.

35/21 Blackfirs Wood Nature Reserve

Our solicitor was asking the Clerk to arrange for the PC to sign the lease, but the Clerk had responded the reason for the delay was that they were arranging a tree survey on site beforehand as they were not satisfied with the one the CWT had arranged last year.

The three quotes had been circulated.

Resolved Eden Arboriculture Ltd would be instructed to carry out the tree inspection at Blackfirs Wood Nature Reserve.

36/21 Loachbrook estate

There had been a meeting with Cllr GD, Cllr JH, the Chairman, and the Clerk with the North West Director on Tuesday 9th March plus a site visit on the same day with Mr C Hodgson CE Highways office to discuss the A54 pavement. The side kerbings of the pavement were collapsing into the ditch and Bovis had asked that they could fill in the ditch alongside to resolve. The ditch seemed to be serving no purpose and the members had agreed to the ditch being stoned and covered as per the planning consent.

The meeting was still alluding to works being completed as requested but the timeline was terribly slow. Cllr JH was still holding the letter to Fiona Bruce MP to see if progress would be made as promised by April/May.

37/21 Highways

Damaged sign on Chelford Road

Still no action

Speed Display Unit

The sign did not seem to be always flashing, there was a call out charge from TMS to check if it was working correctly. It was agreed Cllr SH and Cllr GB would investigate and report back with their findings.

Blocked Gullies on Radnor Bank

CE Highways had attended to empty gullies, but it had been reported there were no issues. It had been reported for sweeping to clear an accumulation of fallen leaves before they blocked the gullies.

Potholes on Blackfirs Lane

Cllr RC asked the Clerk to report.

Grass cutting contractor.

It was noted the grass contractor had resigned. The Clerk had strived to gain three grass cutting quotes to carry out the works.

Two had failed to reply.

Resolved Quote A was accepted by full Council.

It was noted that this was also the contractor for Cheshire East and he had carried out works for Cranage Parish Council.

Congleton Link Road

It had been confirmed the name was Wolstenholme Elmy Way – after Congleton’s famous pioneering educationalist and campaigner for votes for women, Elizabeth Clarke Wolstenholme Elmy. The road was due to open on Monday 19th April.

38/21 Cheshire East

Environmental Weight Restriction – no progress as the LAH meeting in March had been cancelled and there was now a suggestion that the Ward Cllrs would hold a budget of £4k for their Wards as an individual as opposed to the Local Area Highways budget.

Grey Stone Wall 7993981 still ongoing.

39/21 Planning Applications

  • 20/5680C19 Chelford Road, Somerford CW12 4QD – outline application with all matters reserved for one detached dwelling.

Resolved No Objection

Bellway Homes

The Clerk reported she had made contact, but no reply had been forthcoming.

Stuart Milne Homes

The Clerk had arranged a meeting for 25th March with the Chairman.

Resident complaint from Anwyl estate

A resident who was living on a private drive on this estate was annoyed with cars parking in front of his house invading his privacy and drivers climbing over the fence to accessing the bridge to Sandy Lane Community Park.

Cllr GD had visited and suggested some solutions to the situation as Anwyl did not wish to become involved.

40/21 Accounts

To note the balance of the accounts = £18,383.55


  • Direct Debit £5.99 Office 365
  • Online payment – £14.39 Zoom
  • Online payment – £48.70 Mr G Bell (plaque for bench)
  • Online payment – £243.42 Congleton Town Council (bin emptying 8 weeks 01.01.21 – 01.03.21)
  • Online payment – £180.00 NALC (LCA Award)
  • Online payment – £1,800.00 Carbutt’s Turf
  • Online payment – £25.00 CHALC (Chairmanship – Cllr Bell)

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


  • Nil

Bank Reconciliation

Cllr PC would check and approve after these payments in March had been made by the Clerk.

41/21 Clerks Report

Cllr G Derbyshire would attend the speed awareness event held by CHALC on 16th March.

42/21 Chairman and Members Report

Cllr A Powers requested contact details of Bellway Homes as they had started works and their contractors were parking on the verges.

The Clerk had received a copy email to ask for support from the electrical contractor with care and attention from existing residents as Blackfirs Lane was due to be closed for four weeks from 6th April. MD at Energetics, the latest company that is about to use Blackfirs Lane as a conduit to install utilities at Bellway Homes.

43/21 It was noted the next meeting was on the 19th of April 2021 and this was Annual Parish Council meeting.

The meeting concluded business at 10.25 pm


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