Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 16th January 2020

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Minutes of a Parish Council meeting held on Thursday 16th January 2020 @ 7 pm at ‘Westlow’ Mere Fisheries meeting room.

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Declarations of Interest

Part 1 Public and Press present

Councillor P Amies, PA
Councillor V Brown VB
Councillor M Wakerly MW (Chairman)
Cllr J Wray (ward councillor).
K Marsh – Clerk

A presentation was given by Cllr. Suzie Akers-Smith, Cycling and Walking Champion for Cheshire East Council. Her role has been put in place to try to improve connectivity to coordinate walkways, cycleways, bridleways etc., and also to focus on sustainable transport in general.  Early on in the role she realised the need to tie in with the parishes in order to coordinate everybody’s efforts.  Funding is in place to enable traffic-free cycling to Congleton High School to reduce school car journeys.  The intention is for existing cycle routes to become connected in order for journeys into the town centre to become viable.

A particular focus is on what needs to be in place where new developments are concerned and to look at how they will be connected in a more sustainable way.  There is a need to look at how to create continued access for new planning applications for future developments.  The River Dane Greenway funding has been applied for in order to link new developments and have a bridge under Clayton Bypass and have a traffic-free connection to the town centre.

Cllr MW queried if the parish council would have access to any materials when commenting on planning applications.  Cllr SAS is asking that developers consult with the parishes in order to make sure that what the developers believe is needed ties in with what the parishes are wanting.  Cllr MW felt it would be useful to consult with Cllr SAS before the parish council made comments on pertinent planning applications.  Cllr SAS would welcome the offer.

Cllr SAS will circulate copies of the Cycling Master Plan.  The Clerk is to put the master plan on the parish council website.  The Parish Council will also add a section to the next newsletter to seek parishioners’ views.

Public Forum

Four members of the public were present.

One resident reported that Giantswood Lane was swept before Christmas.  Thanks had been passed onto Cheshire East for doing this in a timely manner.

A resident reported an increase in dog fouling on Smithy Lane.

There was a query as to whether signage would be put in when passing places on Smithy Lane were resurrected.  Cllr MW stated that signage wouldn’t be put in place.

A resident brought up that since work on the Congleton Link Road started the contractors have re-routed the BT cable. This has meant the Wi-Fi on the other side of the route has suffered as a consequence.  A resident queried as to whether service would be restored when building of the road was completed.

Members of the public requested to hear the Parish Council’s views on the planning application for land off Viking Way.


01/20 Apologies for absence

Cllr T Richardson due to annual holidays, Cllr J Spence due to illness.


02/20 Minutes

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 21st November 2019 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


14/20 Planning

  • 19/5596C Land Off, Viking Way, Congleton, CW12 1TT – outline planning application with all matters reserved except for principal means of access for the erection of residential development, employment and commercial floor space and a local centre with associated landscaping, drainage and other infrastructure.

Resolved Cllr VB would circulate the Richborough Estate comments to all and the Clerk would ask for comments by 20th January in order to make comments to Cheshire East by the deadline.


Members of the public left at 8.05pm.

03/20 Community Governance Review

Pre-consultation review.  Cllr J Wray outlined the nature of the review. The documents had been circulated by the Clerk and Cllr J Wray felt it prudent to make a submission.  It was noted the deadline was the 31st January.

Resolved a section would be added to the newsletter to gain the resident’s views.  Cllr MW will make a submission before the deadline of the 31st January.


04/20 Trees on Westlow Mere

The Clerk reported having had a discussion with the Fisheries to inform them of the Parish Council’s decision to allocate a sum of money to them for the work they have done removing the trees.  The Fisheries declined the offer of any money at the present time.


05/20 Rural Lane Improvement Plan

The Clerk presented three quotes that had been obtained for the work to reinstall passing places on Smithy Lane. Quote one £2832, quote two £3542, quote three £2560. It was agreed that quote two would be queried and this would be deferred until the next meeting.


06/20 Highways

Congleton Link Road. There is to be an update meeting to be held on 23rd January.  Cllr PA will attend and feedback at the next council meeting.

Resolved Cllr PA to attend the Congleton Link Road meeting on 23rd January.

Water on Smithy Lane. The Clerk and Cllr TR had spoken with the landowner of the field adjacent to Smithy Lane and he was intending to write to the Clerk to allow permission to access his land in order to carry out the drain survey. To date the Clerk has not received written notification. This matter will be deferred to the next agenda.


07/20 Business Plan.

This will be deferred to the next agenda.


08/20 GDPR. The clerk had met with the GDPR advisory company and had circulated the report from the meeting.   

Resolved that the clerk would complete online GDPR training via High Speed Training, at £25 +VAT and feedback to all council members.


09/20 Community Chest. Cllr VB outlined the proposal for a community chest to actively engage with the new members of the parish by looking to support community initiatives.  Cllr MW thanked Cllr VB for his proposal. The chairman asked this item to be deferred to the March full council meeting.


10/20 Risk Assessment. The clerk had completed the risk assessment and circulated to full council.

Resolved that the risk assessment was accepted by full council.


11/20 Complaints Procedure. The policy was due for review. The clerk had circulated the policy to all members.

Resolved that the complaints procedure was adopted by full council.


12/20 Spring Newsletter. Cllr VB intends to write a piece about the cycling and walking scheme.  There will also be a section on the Community Governance Review to gain feedback from residents.

Resolved to send out the newsletter in March with an invite to the annual meeting.


13/20 Cheshire East. Cllr Wray reported that Cath O’Dwyer has moved to another council.  An acting chief executive will be appointed.  Cllr Wray will circulate the latest Cheshire East newsletter to the clerk.

15/20 Accounts

To note the balance of accounts = £19,372.17   


  • Online payment – £76.76 Mark Bailey Locum Services
  • Online payment – £150 JDH Business Services Ltd (to pay Cranage Parish Council.)
  • Online payment – £279, clerk December salary
  • Online payment – £1007.05 Cranage PC (previous clerk salary Oct to Dec 2019 Inc. £77.20 HMRC)
  • Online payment – £9 clerk expenses
  • Online payment – £350 SLCC, CiLCA payment.
  • Online payment – £271.61, Zurich Insurance
  • Online payment – £21.33 Cllr VB expenses

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



  • Nil

Resolved that the online bank statement is a true reflection of the payments authorised to be made at the previous meeting.


16/20 Clerks Report

The Clerk’s employment contract was signed by the chairman.


Cllr VB had done some research for the purchase of a laptop for use by the clerk.

Resolved the Clerk would purchase the recommended laptop at a cost of £179.


Resolved the Clerk would purchase a copy of The Clerk’s Manual at a cost of £75.


The chairman signed the mew bank mandate with the new Clerk’s details.

Resolved that the Clerk would action this with HSBC.


Information about the Internal Auditor Support session was circulated.

Resolved that the Clerk would attend the course on 29th January 2020.


17/20 A Bloor Homes update meeting has been arranged for 23rd January.

Resolved that the Clerk would attend and feedback at the next council meeting.

The next meeting would be the on 20th February 2020 @ 7.30pm at ‘Westlow Mere’ fisheries.


Meeting closed at 9.06 pm






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