MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
WEDNESDAY 25th MAY 2022, 19:30pm, KIDSGROVE VICTORIA HALL
Cllrs: G Mitchell (chair), L Grimshaw, B Newton, K Newton
Cllr E Wardlaw – Cheshire East Councillor
Clerk – Sue Davies Assistant Clerk – Chris Greenhalgh
The meeting started at 7:10pm
Cllr Mitchell, as outgoing chair, opened the meeting.
22-23/1 To receive nominations and to elect a Chair of Church Lawton Parish Council for the forthcoming Civic Year.
The Clerk had received one nomination in advance: Cllr Gareth Mitchell
Nominated by: Cllr K Newton
Seconded by: Cllr B Newton
No further nominations were received at the meeting.
Resolved: Cllr Mitchell was elected as the Chair for the 2022-23 Civic year.
Cllr Mitchell signed his declaration of acceptance witnessed by the Clerk.
22-23/2 To receive nominations and to elect a Vice Chair of Church Lawton Parish Council for the forthcoming year.
The clerk had received one nomination in advance: Cllr Ken Newton
Nominated by: Cllr G Mitchell
Seconded by: Cllr L Grimshaw
No further nominations were received at the meeting.
Resolved: Cllr Mitchell was elected as the Vice Chair for the 2022-23 Civic year.
Cllr K Newton signed his declaration of acceptance witnessed by the Clerk.
22-23/3 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies of absence were received from Cllr L Mackinnon.
22-23/4 To note recent resignations from the Parish Council and steps taken.
The Council recorded their appreciation for the service of the two former Councillors that had resigned since the last meeting.
The Clerk noted that Cheshire East Council had been informed and that an advert was being prepared to try to recruit new Councillors once the notice period for an election to be called ends.
22-23/5 Public Speaking – to allow any members of the press or public the opportunity to speak in accordance with Standing Orders.
22-23/6 To receive any declaration of interests regarding agenda items.
Cllr L Grimshaw declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 40 [22-23/27] – as a member of the Lawton Memorial Hall Management Committee. A dispensation was agreed to allow Cllr Grimshaw to participate in the debate and vote for this item.
Cllr B Newton declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 40 [22-23/27] – as a member of the Lawton Memorial Hall Management Committee. A dispensation was agreed to allow Cllr B Newton to participate in the debate and vote for this item.
Cllr K Newton declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 40 [22-23/27] – 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.
22-23/7 To receive matters from the Cheshire East representative present.
Cllr Wardlaw provided the following updates:
- She has made enquiries at CEC regarding hygiene courses and funding for the Christmas party and their is no assistance available for either.
- She has not received anything back from enquiries in to improving safety at Lawton Lights.
- Winter Highways Consultation – no major issues in Church Lawton so she is not battling for anything specifically.
- Cllr Wardlaw noted that other Parish Councils were not keen to participate, due to the wording of the questionnaire regarding gritting – it was felt it could open up a conversation regarding Parish Council’s having to fund things they don’t currently.
22-23/8 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.
Cllr Wardlaw highlighted that Cllr Patrick Redstone had requested an updated from CEC but as yet nothing had been provided.
Cllr Mitchell noted that the Council were keen on the proposal, particularly given the lack of alternative options, but it was not deemed as being crucial.
b. To consider further lighting on Liverpool Rd.
No further updates.
c. To receive an update and further consider the traffic problems with Cherry Lane and to agree any actions.
No further updates.
22-23/9 To receive an update on police matters.
The Clerk noted that PCSO Scott Watson and Sergeant John Roberts were currently covering Church Lawton and it was understood to be for an interim period.
Cllr Wardlaw noted she had contacted Scott regarding speeding and Speed Watch in Church Lawton for his awareness.
22-23/10 Planning Matters
a. To consider and agree responses to the following applications:
22/1946C – 18 Acton Way, Church Lawton, ST7 3RD
The Council resolved to defer this application to the following meeting.
22/0990C – Land adjacent to 76 Congleton Rd North, Church Lawton
The Council resolved that there was no objection to this application.
22/1358C – Land North of Moss Lane, Church Lawton
Noted that the application had already been determined – approval not required (stage 1) – 11th May 2022
Action: The 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.
22-23/11 To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on Wednesday 28th March 2022.
The Council resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting of the 28th March 2022.
22-23/12 To approve the Minutes of the Special Meeting held on Wednesday 29th April 2022.
The Council resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting of the 29th April 2022.
22-23/13 To receive and note the minutes of Committee Minutes.
None to receive.
22-23/14 Planning Committee
a. To agree and approve the Terms of Reference of the Planning Committee
The Council resolved to approve the terms of reference for the Planning Committee subject to an amendment to point 4a.
b. To agree membership of the Planning Committee
The Council resolved that Cllr G Mitchell, Cllr Mackinnon, B Newton and K Newton be the members of the Planning Committee.
c. To receive nominations for and appoint a chair for the Planning Committee
Cllr K Newton was nominated and elected as the Chair of the Planning Committee.
d. To receive nominations for and appoint a vice-chair for the Planning Committee.
Cllr B Newton was nominated and elected as Vice-Chair of the Planning Committee.
22-23/15 Staffing Committee
a. The agree and approve the Terms of Reference of the Staffing Committee.
The Council resolved to approve the terms of reference for the Staffing Committee.
b. To agree membership of the Staffing Committee.
The Council resolved that Cllr L Grimshaw, Mackinnon and B Newton be the members of the Staffing Committee.
It was noted that, in her absence, Cllr Mackinnon was resolved but it was agreed that Cllr Mitchell would take this place if she did not want to be nominated.
c. To receive nominations for and appoint a chair for the Staffing Committee
Cllr Grimshaw was nominated and elected as chair of the Staffing Committee.
Action: The Clerk / Assistant Clerk to add Committee Terms of References to the Website.
22-23/16 To agree the continuation or otherwise of any working groups and membership.
a. Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
It was agreed that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group would continue but was not a priority given the reduced number of Councillors currently. It was agreed that it would be deferred to September when the position and forward plan would be reviewed.
Action: The Clerk / Assistant Clerk to collate an advert to try to recruit new members to join the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
b. Environment Task Group
It was agreed to close the Environment Task Group as a formal working group but items will still be discussed on future agendas.
c. Community Group
It was agreed that the Community Group would continue, with membership from the local community, and the Council represented by Cllrs Grimshaw, Mackinnon, B Newton and K Newton.
22-23/17 To agree members to do in-house audits.
It was agreed that Cllr Grimshaw will conduct the in-house audit for the 1st Quarter then this role would be rotated. It was noted to aim to complete each audit within a month of the end of the quarter and to report to the council at the next available meeting.
22-23/18 Appointment of Members to the outside bodies, committee, and community groups:
a. Lawton Memorial Hall representative.
It was agreed that Cllr B Newton will be the Lawton Memorial Hall representative.
b. To confirm Barrows Task Group membership.
It was agreed that Cllr Mackinnon will represent the Council as a member of the Barrows Task Group. It was noted that the Clerk is also a voluntary member of this group.
c. To confirm Police liaison representation and Speed Watch lead councillor(s).
It was agreed that Cllr K Newton would be police liaisons and the Council lead for Speed Watch.
22-23/19 To review and approve Standing Orders dated May 2022.
The Council resolved to approve the Standing Orders dated May 2022.
It was noted to strive to send all papers out with Agendas to assist with preparation for meetings but not to include as a revision in the Standing Orders.
22-23/20 To review and approve Financial Regulations dated May 2022.
The Council resolved to approve the Financial Regulations dated May 2022 subject to minor amendments being made in sections 2.2, 4.4, 4.5 (£750 limit) and 5.6.
22-23/21 To approve the Council’s Asset Register dated 31st March 2022.
The Council resolved to approve the Council’s Asset Register dated 31st March 2022.
22-23/22 To receive a report from the Clerk on the Council’s insurance provision and to consider quotes received for renewal
The Council resolved to appoint Zurich as the Council’s Insurance Provider for 2022/23.
Action: The Clerk to set-up the insurance.
22-23/23 To agree a calendar of meetings for the 2022-2023 Council year.
It was agreed to schedule meetings, subject to change due to holidays / unavailability, for the 3rd Wednesday of the month with the Planning Committee on the 1st Wednesday of the month.
a. To receive and approve receipts and payments schedules since those approved at the last meeting.
The Clerk reported the receipts and payments since those approved at the last meeting. The Council resolved to approve the receipts and payments. (See appendix 1)
22-23/25 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.
22-23/26 To note the progression of the award of Honorary Freeman to a previous councillor.
At the Special Meeting (29th April 2022) Austen Fernihough was made an Honorary Freeman of Church Lawton. The planned celebration event, for the evening of 29th April, had to be cancelled due to Mr Fernihough being unwell. It is hoped that the event can be rescheduled at a later date.
22-23/27 To receive an update from the Lawton Memorial Hall representatives on Lawton Memorial Hall and from the Clerk and Chair. To agree in principle to determine means by which the Parish Council can assist subject to the Lawton Memorial Hall demonstrating that all other options to keep the hall open have been pursued.
It was agreed in principle that the Council would be prepared to take on a management role/trustee role of Lawton Memorial Hall if it could be demonstrated that no alternative was viable and after seeking its own advice on the available options.