Draft Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 10th September 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 10th September 2019 at Cranage Hall Hotel.

Part 1

Councillor R J Hocknell (RJH) – Chairman
Councillor D Bennett (DB) – Vice Chairman
Councillor R Hurst (RH)
Councillor G Morgan (GM)
Councillor A Nicol (AN)
Councillor A Kolker (Cheshire East Representative)  
Ms J Mason – Clerk   

Declaration of Interest
Cllr R Hurst – Village Hall and Cllr G Morgan – Sibelco

Public Forum
Six members of the public present.

A resident was concerned about the road surface on Northwich Road over the M6 bridge, he had reported it to both the Ward Cllr and CE highways as it was in desperate need of resurfacing and no actions had been taken to date. There was also Himalayan balsam and ragwort in the grass verge on Goostrey Lane.

The resident went on the query the way documents were downloaded on the website as it had changed and was not as ‘user friendly’.

A resident was very concerned about the speed limit on Northwich Road, he recognised it had been reduced to 50 mph, but he felt it required 30mph or 40 mph. There was a warning pedestrian sign by the A50 junction, as there was no footpath at all for 1,000 yards and pedestrians relied on the residents cutting back their verges to walk safely which he reiterated was a CE owned verge. There was 43 properties one side and 31 the other and they all kept their verges maintained, if they did not and there was an accident he questioned where the responsibility would lie.  The speed of traffic was excessive, and he wanted advice from the Parish Council about what actions to follow to reduce the speed limit.  

The applicant for a new Parish Councillor gave a resume of his background.

Apologies Cllr J Swithenbank due to work commitments   

98/19 Minutes
The proposed amendments were accepted.  

89/19 Budget 2019/20 Resolved
the Parish Council would place £20,000 in capital reserves.
The grammatical errors proposed by Cllr RH were accepted.
Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 30th July 2019 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.

99/19 Co-option of Parish Councillor
The PC considered the application which had been deferred at the last meeting.
Resolved Mr S Houlston would be co-opted as a Parish Council.
The Acceptance of Office was signed in the presence of the Clerk.

100/19 Capital Expenditure in the Parish
Football pitch storage for equipment
This was due to be in the newsletter.
Resolved the Clerk would obtain three quotes for the unit and storage.

Improvement to small play area on Needham estate.
This was to be included in the newsletter primarily.

Welcome Boundary Signs
The Parish Council approved two types of boundary sign and the Clerk was requested to gain quotes and bring them to the next meeting.   

Social Isolation in the Parish
The Chairman had made enquires with ‘Bridge the Gap’ in HC and the Health Centre , he had been advised to meet with Connecting Communities. The Clerk had arranged a meeting for the Chairman in September.

Footpath along A50
The Clerk had met with the contractor and he was willing to cut this section of grass six times at a cost of £200 a time to assist walkers. The hedge was also over hanging the footpath.
It was agreed the Clerk would adapt the Grass Cutting Policy to include the extra cuts along the A50 and gain a quote and the Chairman would speak to the landowner in reference to the hedge cutting.

101/19 Grant Fund – Community Clean Up fund.
The bowling club had completed the clearing works and the Chairman had checked the site. The border now needed planting.
Resolved Cllr R Hurst would organise the planting with the bowling club.  

102/19 Business Plan
The Chairman requested this was deferred until the next meeting.

103/19 Highways  
Northwich Road
Cllr AK would approach the Portfolio Holder Cllr B Roberts

Car Parking on pavements on Byley Lane
The PCSO had now communicated the advice on parking on the pavements. Cllr RH had informed the residents concerned.

Letter of complaint in reference to Leese crossroads
the Clerk would write to the properties concerned to request they cut back their hedges to improve visabilty.
Resolved Cllr AK would request a site visit with CE highways.  

Road surface on bridge over M6
Cllr AK would add this to the works maintenance programme with CE Highways.

104/19 Footpath and Tree Report
Resolved to accept the report for the officer.
Due to work commitments the officer had been unable to submit a report.


  • Fire damaged trees still not attended to on the Holmes Chapel Fencing site. There are 3 trees – very flimsy, that could present a pedestrian / highways hazard in high winds

No actions taken by highways

  • 100 yards from the Needham Drive entrance on A50 (same side of A50 as Holmes Chapel Fencing) a small bow has snapped off a tree it is not blocking the path and entirely on the grass verge but could do with removing though not urgent.

No action taken by highways


  • Manor Barns hedges
  • No actions taken by highways

Resolved the Clerk would write to Cllr B Roberts to report the lack of communication from highways.

Footpath Claim – Carver Ave/ Byley Lane/Crescent Avenue Ref FPS/R0660/14A/2

The was still awaiting a response. The Clerk had received communication they were behind due to the workload.

105/19 Planning Applications

  • 19/3833C Caravan Court, Knutsford Road, Cranage CW4 8HJ – proposed single storey extension to form entrance lobby with external refurbishment.

Resolved No Objection

  • 19/4135C Shanty Farm, Moss Lane, Cranage CW10 9NG – Change of use of land from agricultural to a dog exercise area (retrospective) # cross boundary application, site is within Cheshire West and Chester.

Resolved No Objection


Sibelco had approached the PC to be part of a liaison committee.

Resolved Cllr G Morgan would represent the Parish Council.

It was noted CPC supported Mr Gareth Woods (Chairman of the Residents Action Group) a local resident also joining the committee.

18/5051C Land at rear of Cotton Farm, Middlewich Road, Holmes Chapel CW4 7ET- proposal certificate of lawful existing use as a non-commercial private use motorcycle track

The leader of Cheshire East Cllr S Corcoran has responded to the letter of complaint which had been circulated to members. Cllr AN had also met with the enforcement officer to explain her concerns and to show the evidence that the site was being used for commercial activity.   

Proposed Draft Site Allocations and Development Policies Document; Consultation 19th August to 30 September – letter was noted from Cllr S Corcoran CE leader.

Resolved No comment

106/19 External Audit Report 2018/19

The report from PKF Little John had been circulated to members.

Resolved the Parish Council accepted the report and would take the necessary measures to resolve the areas of concern; capital expenditure, the midterm budget review and the risk assessment .

107/19 Accounts   

It was noted the balance of account = Leek United £30,488.46 + Natwest £39,141.15 = £69,329.61.


  • Online payment – £30.00 SLCC Branch Conference    
  • Online payment – £174.14 Congleton Town Council (bench)
  • Online payment – £1,350.00 James Ashbrook Ltd (football pitches)
  • Online payment – £408.00 Mr L Dooley (bulbs)
  • Online payment – £796.70 Edward Bloor (Bowling Club)
  • Online payment – £360.00 PKF Little John Ltd
  • Cheque number 275 – £81.00 Sam Dale Ltd
  • Online payment – £98.70 Ms J Mason (expenses April to September)


  • £112.00 Good Companions Bowling Club
  • £10,000 Precept CE   

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

Leek United Bond

Resolved the bond monies would be reinvested in the Leek United for 12 months

Signature on Natwest Bank Account

This was still outstanding

108/19 Cheshire East

Resolved to suspend the Standing Orders to accept a report from the Ward Councillor A Kolker.

Cllr AK had met with Mrs D Ackerley , CE Enforcement Officer – reference 18/5051C and reported the following ‘ the site had been served two Planning Contravention Notices, one in relation to the land currently covered by the Lawful Use Certificate and the other in relation the stubble field and adjacent woodland. These contain numerous questions around the usage for private/commercial purposes as well as frequency of use. A provision of a PCN is that the recipient can request a meeting with officers to discuss the answers that they have provided and to discuss a way forward. Mr Sheard has requested such a meeting and officers will be meeting with him.   

When CE are in possession of the responses to the PCN’s and have had the meeting a view will be formed with regards to whether or not the use of the land falls within the scope of the Lawful Use Certificate and also whether or not there has been a breach of planning control in relation to the use of the stubble field and the adjacent woodland and/or the land covered by the Certificate’.

109/19 Chairman and Members Report

Police Forum 02.09.19

Cllr DB and the Clerk updated members on the police forum in HC

Cranage Beer Festival

Cllr RH reported the amazing success of the Beer Festival which raised £4,000 for the Village Hall. She thanked the PC for their donation.  

Litter Collection on 6th October

Cllr RH was organising the collection and encouraged members to attend.

Bulb Planting on 29th September

A resident from Needham estate was bulb planting on Needham estate on 29th September and was encouraging volunteers.

110/19 Clerks Report


The Clerk updated members on the content of the newsletter.

There was a discussion on the difficulties of hand delivering the newsletter.

Resolved the newsletter would be posted by the Crewe Colour Printers

111/19 The next meeting would be on the 22nd October 2019 @ Cranage Hall Hotel  

Meeting closed at 9.00pm