Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 21st May 2020

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Minutes of a Parish Council meeting held on Thursday 21st May 2020 @ 7.30pm via video conference.


Part 1 Public and Press present



Councillor Mark Wakerly MW

Councillor Tony Richardson TR

Councillor John Spence JS

Councillor Vic Brown VB

K Marsh – Clerk


Public Forum

1 member of the public was present.


48/20 Apologies for absence



49/20 Declarations of Interest



50/20 Minutes

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd April 2020 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record. The minutes were signed by the chairman.


51/20 Co-option of new councillor

One application has been received and was discussed.  The councillors will go away and carry out their due diligence, aiming to take a vote at the meeting in June.


52/20 To adopt the General Power of Competence for 2020 / 21

The Council continues to meet the requirement to exercise the General Power of Competence and no longer needs to use S137 as a power to spend on certain items.

Resolved the Council adopted the General Power of Competence.

53/20 To allocate councillor responsibilities for 2020 / 21

Resolved the following responsibilities were agreed by full council.

  • Congleton Link Road and Highways – Cllr TR
  • CHALC – Cllr MW
  • Neighbourhood Plan and Planning x 3 – Cllr VB, Cllr TR, Cllr MW
  • Personnel x 2 – Cllr MW, Cllr TR
  • Communication – newsletter and website – Cllr VB
  • Bloor Homes and Richborough Estates – Cllr JS, Cllr VB
  • Police – Cllr JS
  • Rural Lanes – Cllr JS
  • Finance and Audit Compliance – Cllr MW
  • Footpath and Bridleways – Cllr VB

Audit and Local Councils in England 2019 / 20

54/20 Internal Audit

The Internal Audit had been circulated to all members.  The Council accepted that they needed to monitor the budget at regular intervals throughout the year and that the financial regulations needed to be amended to ensure consistency of the thresholds for tenders.

Resolved the Internal Audit was accepted by the council.

55/20 Section 1 Annual Governance Statement section 2019 / 20 of the AGAR

The statement had been circulated to all members who had read the report.

Resolved the Council accepted the report and it was signed by the Chairman.  Due to the Coronavirus restrictions the report was then sent to the RFO / clerk to sign after the meeting.

56/20 Section 2 Accounting Statements 2019 / 20

Resolved the Council accepted the statements and the Chairman signed to confirm approval.

57/20 Exemption Certificate 2019 / 20

Resolved the council accepted that they would accept exemption from an external audit. The clerk will email the certificate to the external auditors, PKF LittleJohn. The chairman signed the certificate to confirm approval.

58/20 Public Inspection period (Notice of Public Rights) from Monday 15th June 2020 to Friday 24th July 2020, inclusive.

Resolved all information will be posted on the website and noticeboards for inspection on the above dates.

59/20 National Cycling Route 55

Cllr VB updated the members.  Cllr VB had clarified the location of Route 55.  There is nothing further to update at the present time.

60/20 Community Chest

This will be deferred until the first meeting after the coronavirus lockdown.

61/20 Business Plan

Cllr MW has done some work on the business plan and hopes to have it to the council in the next few months.

62/20 Highways.

Congleton Link Road. The clerk had been in contact with GRAHAM who had emailed an update for the members. Earthworks operations have continued on the project over the last few weeks to take advantage of the dry weather, this activity was critical to completing the scheme this year. Works across the site will start to ramp up over the coming weeks including Giantswood Lane. The concrete works to form the wingwalls have restarted this week but it is unlikely that Giantswood Lane will be re-opened before the end of June. The Site Team are still working through the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the works programme.  The planned reopening of Giantswood Lane will be the 24th July 2020. GRAHAM will be in touch when they are able to provide a new expected date for completion. Dan Cawthra, from GRAHAM, has suggested joining next months’ meeting via Zoom to provide members with an update.  The clerk will make arrangements for this to take place.

Smithy Lane Flooding.  Cllr TR updated the members about an issue that has come to light at the junction of two streams where soil run off was causing a flooding issue.  Cllr TR has spoken to GRAHAM and together with Bloor Homes they are going to sort the problem out.

Deterioration of Smithy Lane. The clerk circulated a letter that had been sent to Cheshire East Council Highways and to GRAHAM that highlighted the concerns that were raised at the last parish council meeting in regard to the deterioration of Smithy Lane, since the road closures as a result of the Congleton Link Road. The Cheshire East Highways Officer has been in contact with the Clerk and suggested that the Parish Council make contact directly with GRAHAM with regard to funding for the deterioration caused by the diversion.  The issue has already been logged with GRAHAM who now have a database of all the issues that need to be resolved when the link road is completed.

Resolved the clerk to write to Cllr John Wray to request for him to take the issue up with Cheshire East Highways.

63/20 Cheshire East. No ward member present.

64/20 Planning

  • 20/1752C Tannoch Brae, Mill Lane, Somerford Booths, CW12 2JT – change of use land from grazing to a 20m by 40m all-weather horse-riding arena / manege.

Resolved No objection.

65/20 Accounts

To note the balance of accounts = £22,366.23   

Payments for approval

  • Online payment – £245.74 Clerk salary.
  • Online payment – £166.80 JDH Business Services Ltd, Internal Audit.

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


  • £6,500 – Cheshire East Council, 1st instalment of parish precept for 2020 / 21.

Resolved that the bank reconciliation was approved and will be signed at the first meeting following the coronavirus lockdown.

66/20 Clerks Report

The clerk updated the members following communication with North West Ambulance Services about the possible installation of a defibrillator.  A member of North West Ambulance Services has offered to meet with the clerk to discuss possible locations for a defibrillator in the parish.  The members advised the clerk to go ahead with a meeting when it is safe to do so.

The equipment check has been carried out for 2020. There is some remedial work that needs to be carried out to the straps that hold the dog bin on Giantswood Lane to the post. The ‘Hulme Walfield’ sign on Giantswood Lane needs repainting and the plastic post cap needs replacing.  A further update will be given at the meeting in June.

67/20 Chairman and Member Report.  Nil

The next meeting will be the on 18th June 2020 @ 7.30pm either by video conference or at Westlow Mere Fisheries depending on whether the coronavirus lockdown has been lifted.  

Meeting closed at 20.43pm.

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