MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
WEDNESDAY 28th MARCH 2022, 19:30pm, KIDSGROVE VICTORIA HALL
Cllrs: G Mitchell (chair); A Armstrong, L Mackinnon, B Newton, K Newton.
Clerk – Sue Davies Assistant Clerk – Chris Greenhalgh
The meeting started at 7:30pm
21-22/184 To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies of absence were received from L Grimshaw and A Woodhead-Coates.
21-22/185 To note that Cllr Hicks was no longer a councillor due to non-attendance for over six months and that a notice of casual vacancy has been issued.
The Clerk outlined that, due to non-attendance for over six months, Cllr Hicks was no longer a Councillor and that a notice of casual vacancy has been issued.
21-22/186 Public Speaking – to allow any members of the press or public the opportunity to speak in accordance with Standing Orders.
21-22/187 To receive any Declaration of Interests regarding Agenda items.
Cllr B Newton declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 9 [21-22/192] – Grant application: To receive a grant application from Lawton Memorial Hall and to resolve to approve or otherwise – as a member of the Lawton Memorial Hall Management Committee. It was agreed that Cllr B Newton would not participate in the debate or vote for this item.
Cllr K Newton declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 9 [21-22/192] – Grant application: To receive a grant application from Lawton Memorial Hall and to resolve to approve or otherwise – as his wife is a member of the Lawton Memorial Hall Management Committee. It was agreed that Cllr K Newton could participate in the debate and vote for this item.
21-22/188 To approve the Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Wednesday 16th February 2022.
The Council resolved to approve the minutes of the Council Meeting of Wednesday 16th February 2022.
21-22/189 To receive and note the minutes of Committee Minutes.
None to receive.
21-22/190 To receive matters from the Cheshire East representative present.
21-22/191 Matters Arising from previous minutes not covered elsewhere – to receive an update from the Clerk.
21-22/192 Grant application: To receive a grant application from Lawton Memorial Hall and to resolve to approve or otherwise.
The Clerk noted that the grant request included the VAT on the item. There could be the potential to purchase an item and gift to Lawton Memorial Hall in future.
It was resolved to award Lawton Memorial Hall a grant of £1,625.95 (the net value) towards the purchase of a fridge and accessories.
a. To receive and approve receipts and payments schedules since those approved at the last meeting.
The Council received and approved the payment scheduled since those approved at the last meeting.
b. To receive and approve a month 11 budget report from the Clerk.
The Council received and approved the month 11 budget report.
c. To consider any virements and earmarked reserve changes prior to yearend.
The Council resolved to earmark the funds associated with the provision of a Christmas Tree, CIL funds, two benches (as spend committed – £1,200), a projector (not required currently) and Footpath Maps.
d. To consider a list of regular suppliers and approve for use in 2022-23 or otherwise.
21-22/194 Risk Assessment: To review the Council’s Risk Assessment and resolve to approve subject to any agreed changes.
The Council review and resolved to approve the Council’s Risk Assessment subject to agreed changes.
21-22/195 Assets: To note the Clerk and Assistant Clerk will check all assets and report back to the April meeting with a revised Asset register dated 31st March 2022.
It was noted that the Asset safety check will be completed ahead of the next meeting. The Clerk further noted that an updated assets register would be brought to the next meeting for approval. Cllr Armstrong requested to join the assets check if she was available.
21-22/196 Planning Matters
a. To consider and agree responses to the following applications:
21/5665C – 7 Rectory Croft, Church Lawton, ST7 3FE
The Council resolved that there was no further action required in relation to the application.
22/0870C – 4 Greengate Road, Church Lawton, ST7 3EG
The Council resolved, for the Clerk, to submit a response highlighting the following:
- In principle, Church Lawton Parish Council has no objection to the planning application.
- Ensure that the Planning Officer reviews the proposed openings, on the southern elevation of the proposed extension, in relation to the neighbouring properties.
Pre-Planning Application Consultation – Proposed Installation of telecoms apparatus at Land North of Moss Lane, Moss Lane, Church Lawton, Scholar Green, Congleton, ST7 3LB.
The Council resolved, for the Clerk, to outline that there were no comments, in relation to the proposals, at this point.
Action: Clerk / Assistant Clerk to submit comments to Cheshire East Council.
b. To receive updates on outstanding applications.
An update on outstanding and existing applications was provided by the Assistant Clerk.
c. To receive feedback from the Neighbourhood Plan Group and to receive any recommendations for consideration regarding the way forward and next steps.
It was highlighted that the group agreed they were keen to progress with the Neighbourhood Plan. It was highlighted that the group was not complying with Constitution as need a minimum of 4 members.
It was resolved that Cllr A Armstrong would become a member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
The date of the next meeting is 6th April 2022.
21-22/197 To receive an update from the Memorial Hall representatives on Lawton Memorial Hall.
It was noted that there haven’t been any applicants to either the Trustee or Caretaker adverts. Events and Bar is functioning well. The Committee is keen to continue to explore the acquisition of the land with the Parish Council.
21-22/198 To receive an update on police matters:
a. To note correspondence, already circulated, regarding an invitation from the Police and Crime Commissioner to an engagement meeting. To agree the attendee and to consider any questions or issues that Church Lawton PC might wish to raise.
It was agreed that a Member should attend on behalf of the Council – Cllr Armstrong offered to attend.
The question noted was in relation to the lack of a PCSO and when a replacement could be expected.
b. To receive any other policing updates.
None – no PCSO in post.
21-22/199 Community Speed Watch:
a. To receive an update on Community Speed Watch from A Armstrong and the Clerk.
Cllr Armstrong reported that group members are trained and ready to go. With equipment arriving, the group will need to contact Police to inform of intention to start.
b. To receive an update on the purchase of speed watch equipment for use by the group.
The speed gun has arrived and vests are ready to collect. It was agreed to purchase compliant signage due to unclear advice from Cheshire Police and due to signage being a requisite in some other counties.
Action: Clerk to purchase compliant signage.
21-22/200 Noticeboards – To receive an update including consideration of any quotes available
It was reported that the Clerk has ordered two noticeboards from Broxap. It was noted that a 50% payment has been made upfront with the remainder due on delivery.
21-22/201 Environmental Improvement:
a. To receive an update on the provision of two operatives to work in the parish.
One day’s work has been completed, by two operatives from Congleton Town Council Streetscape Service, with a further days scheduled.
The main tasks that will be completed are the clearance of the flower beds on Grove Corner, a tidy up at Red Bull Lights and clearance of footpath on the A50 (opposite Grove Corner).
Action: Councillors to send Assistant Clerk any potential tasks / areas in need of attention.
b. To receive an update regarding bench provision.
Two benches have been ordered for the area near Red Bull Lights.
c. To agree a date for the Environmental Working Party.
Action: Clerk to schedule a meeting of the Environmental Working Party.
21-22/202 Community Group:
a. To note the date of the next meeting.
The date of the next meeting will be the 4th April 2022 at 7pm on Zoom. Membership includes Cllrs Armstrong, Grimshaw, Mackinnon and B Newton as well as the Memorial Hall and Church. No response has been received to emails sent to the school.
b. To receive feedback from Cllr B Newton regarding Connected Communities Event.
Cllr B Newton noted the event was informative and well attended. IT was agreed that the next meeting will be face to face. The date has not yet been agreed.
c. HRH the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Church Lawton.
It was agreed that it would be considered by the Community Group at the next meeting.
21-22/203 Barrows Group: To note the next meeting of the Barrows Group.
A meeting has not yet been arranged. It was noted that Matt Hick was keen to remain as Chair of the Barrows Group but that he understood if this was not agreeable with him not being a Councillor, in which case he would stand down. It was agreed, as non-Council group/committee, that there wasn’t an objection to Matt continuing in this role.
21-22/204 Banners at Lawton Lights – To receive an update and to agree any actions required.
The Clerk has emailed a historic contact from Wain Homes but as yet not received a response. It was proposed to try an alternative contact. It was noted that the historic arrangements were with the previous landowner rather than Wain Homes.
Action: Clerk to try alternative contacts at Wain Homes regarding the removal of banners at Lawton Lights.
21-22/205 Highways Issues: To receive any highways issues from the Clerk, Assistant Clerk or members including:
a. To receive an update on a meeting of Odd Rode Ward Parish Council representatives from Cllr Mitchell and the Clerk in relation to the CE Ward Councillors’ Highways Budget and to further consider the Church Lawton view in regard to the A50 proposal.
Following the meeting with the Clerks from Odd Rode and Astbury Parish Councils and the chair of Odd Rode Parish Council to discuss the proposal for a refuge area on A50 near the junctions with Cherry Lane/Sandbach Road, it was noted that there haven’t been any further updates and/or correspondence.
b. To consider lighting on Liverpool Rd and to agree any actions.
No updates since last meeting.
Action: The Clerk to contact Ian Darlington (Cheshire East Council) to discuss potential options and costs for lighting around the Bus Stop on Liverpool Road West.
c. To receive an update and further consider the traffic problems with Cherry Lane and to agree any actions.
Following correspondence received from Cllr Liz Wardlaw, the Clerk reported that it is a low priority at Cheshire East Council due to the lack of collisions and/or incidents in the area of Cherry Lane.
21-22/206 To affirm the date of the Annual Parish Meeting as the 20th April 2022 and to discuss and agree arrangements.
The date of 20th April was agreed with the topics of the Neighbourhood Plan and Community Speed Watch proposed. It was noted that Andrew Thomson (Neighbourhood Plan Consultant) wasn’t available to attend.
21-22/207 To receive any updates on the date for the 2022 Civic Service and to agree any actions.
On the original date proposed, Cllr Mitchell (chair) isn’t available. Whilst it was noted that Cllr Mitchell may not be in the role at that point, it was agreed to look at alternative dates later in the year.
21-22/208 To receive any correspondence or other matters from the Clerk and Assistant Clerk.
21-22/209 To receive any other reports and matters from members.
Cllr Mitchell noted that he had been invited by Alsager Town Council to the Civic Service (10th April) and Chairman’s Event (May).
21-22/210 Training/meetings and courses: To consider any training requirements.
21-22/211 Future Agenda Items
21-22/212 To agree Date of next meeting.
Full Council – 27th April 2022
Annual Council Meeting – 25th May
21-22/213 Exclusion of press and public: To resolve under 1960 (Admission to meetings) Act to exclude the press and public due to the confidential nature of the business to be discussed.
The Council resolved to exclude the press and public for the next items.
21-22/214 To note that the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) has agreed the new rates of pay applicable from 1st April 2021. A 1.75% increase has been awarded. To approve the processing of this award in the March salaries backdated as advised.
The Council noted the new rates of pay, increased by 1.75%, and approved the processing of this award in the March salaries backdated as advised for the Officers.
21-22/215 Councillor issues relating to retirement from Council.
The Clerk updated that Austin Fernihough is available to attend on two dates in April. To make him a Freeman of the Parish, it would need to be proceeded by a Special Council Meeting. Based on the availability of Members, it was agreed to proceed on the evening of 29th April.
21-22/216 Operation London Bridge.
It was agreed that it would be considered by the Community Group at the next meeting.