1884 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM PRESENT: Mr P. Briercliffe in the Chair. Mesdames A. Hindson and L. Smetham. Messrs. J. P. Burgess, J. P. Collins, K. B. March, G. Parks and T. R. Richards. Cllr. Mrs J. Palmer (Borough Council representative). 54. DECLARATION OF OFFICE OF NEWLY CO-OPTED COUNCILLOR The newly co-opted parish councillor, Mr K. B. March, duly signed his completed ‘Declaration of Acceptance of Office’ form and this was witnessed by the Chair in the presence of those council members in attendance. Mr March then additionally provided the Clerk with his completed ‘Register of Interests’ form. RESOLVED:- That the Clerk lodges copies of both of the above forms with Macclesfield Borough Council to complete the formalities. 55. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Mr N. Phillips. Cllr. Mr B. Hardern (County Council representative). The Chair informally opened up proceedings by congratulating Mr G. Parks & the absent Mr N. Phillips on their recent marriages and, on behalf of the parish council, he wished them both the very best for the future. 56. MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 10TH JULY 2007 RESOLVED:- That the Minutes of the meeting as now presented be approved and signed by the Chair. 57. MATTERS ARISING 57.1. Bus Shelters – No Smoking Signs The Clerk reported that, as requested, he had successfully acquired rigid ‘no smoking’ signs and that the handyman had subsequently stuck them in the council’s three bus shelters using strong adhesive. It was noted that ready-made rigid signs with the required wording are not seemingly available. It follows that three signs had to specially ordered. The Clerk added that, rather annoyingly, the two at the Penningtons Lane bus shelters had since been forcibly removed and that, as a consequence, there was now a need to identify a longer lasting solution. One suggestion was that perhaps the words ‘No Smoking’ could simply be painted onto the shelters. It was further noted that, as an interim measure, one of the originally-supplied vinyl signs had been placed on the notice board affixed to the brick bus shelter. 1885 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM 58. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS AND REGISTER OF INTERESTS The members present (excepting Mr P. Burgess), as trustees, have a declared interest in the John Upton Charity. Also Mr P. Briercliffe, as a member of the Parish Plan Steering Group, has an interest in the Parish Plan initiative. 59. PLANNING MATTERS 59.1. Decisions and Prior Notifications RESOLVED:- That the decisions of the Macclesfield Borough Council and the comments of the Gawsworth Planning Sub-committee, as detailed in Appendix A, be noted. 60. FINANCE 60.1. Double Taxation The Clerk advised the members present that MBC had requested the submission of a double taxation claim from Gawsworth Parish Council (by 26 th July 2007) for 2006-7 based on the content of the document originally forwarded to them in April 2006. He added that this had been duly attended to by the said date and that the claim had amounted to £2,948.09. It was noted though that some of the highlighted overlapping services would normally be provided by CCC rather than MBC so it was unlikely that the council would receive the full amount. Cllr J. Palmer added that it was unlikely anyway as there was only a limited pot available for distribution to claimants. 60.2. Income Received and Accounts for Payment RESOLVED:- That the creditor accounts listed in Appendix B be approved for immediate payment. 60.3. Transfer of funds from the Instant Gold Account to the Current Account. RESOLVED:- That, taking into account receipts paid directly into the cheque account, the transfer of £3,618.06 be approved to cover these payments. 61. HIGHWAYS 61.1. A536 Speed Limit Reduction Scheme (from 50 mph to 40 mph) The Clerk reported that the end was now in sight and that the interactive signs were, at last, scheduled to be commissioned on the afternoon of Wednesday 22 nd August 2007 following the belated connection of power to the signs by United Utilities over the weekend of 14th & 15th July 2007. 1886 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM 61.2. Highway Issues The Clerk informed the members that the street light (attached to the telegraph pole) in Penningtons Lane had stopped working and that he had subsequently alerted the electrical engineer accordingly. The Clerk stated that he had also been made aware of two road visibility issues i.e. a poorly placed portaloo at the crossroads and an overgrown verge at the junction of Marton Lane & the A536. He added that both of these matters had subsequently been swiftly attended to by CCC Highways. 62. GAWSWORTH PARK 62.1. Football Goals RESOLVED:- That the Clerk now asks Sodexho to return the goal posts to the Park at the earliest opportunity. 62.2. Private Hedge Cutting from within Gawsworth Park Mr P. Burgess reported that he was under the impression that the lady concerned had now arranged for her own gardener to attend to her boundary hedge. Previously she had suggested that perhaps the parish council’s Park contractors could cut it back on her behalf. 62.3. Inconsiderate Road Parking by Park Visitors Mrs A, Hindson reported that she had been unable to ascertain for certain whether or not the responsibility for the Village Hall car park lay with the Village Hall committee or the parish council. She added that opinion was that it lay with the parish council. It also transpired that this view was supported by a former parish councillor in a recent letter to the Clerk. Mr K. March requested the background to this particular topic as, being a new member, it was unfamiliar to him. The discussion then digressed to the original issue of inconsiderate parking by visitors to the Park near to the wicket gate entrance in Church Lane and how best to resolve it. It was agreed that there were only two options of real merit. The implementation of double yellow lines, which was frowned upon by the members present, or the actual eradication of the wicket gate entrance itself, now a feasible proposition as MBC had confirmed that one of the entrances in the Village Hall car park met all the criteria for wheelchair & pushchair access. It was subsequently agreed to progress the latter. RESOLVED:- That the Clerk obtains one or more quotes for removing the wicket gate, all of its adjacent fencing and replacing the whole line with a new timber fence of the same (or similar) design. The fence would need to be treated with preservative and, most importantly, have its height set at exactly one metre. It would also be prudent for the new fencing to be designed in such a way that the entrance could, if required at some future point in time, be easily reinstated. It was also agreed to plant some form of hedging behind the new fencing once it was in place. 1887 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM 62.4. Flooding on Tennis Court The Chair explained, that even though the flooding had now been successfully dealt with and the tennis court had re-opened, there was still a further amount of remedial work to attend to and that this was being progressed by Mr Peter Mason on behalf of the parish council. He added that particular gulleys needed to be sucked out to get rid of large build ups of silt, debris etc and that CCTV probes were required to facilitate further investigations into where the debris was coming from. The Clerk stated that the quote for the first of these additional tasks amounted to £1,000 excluding VAT. It was noted that £1,200 (inc VAT) had already been spent to date on the pumping out of the flood water and blockage clearance and that there would, of course, also be the CCTV probes invoice & Mr Mason’s account to settle. The Clerk added that, at the moment, the money is being paid out of the Recreation Reserve account i.e. money specifically set aside for such emergency situations in the Park, which stood at circa £11k prior to the flooding; and that this also needed to fund the unplanned tree felling (see 62.6). The Clerk did suggest though that, surplus funds permitting, this reserve account should be replenished as much as possible at the end of year. RESOLVED:- That, at the end of the 2007-08 fiscal year, the Recreation Reserve account is, surplus funds permitting, replenished as much as possible. Note that the 2007-08 budget did not include a top-up this time round for this particular reserve account. 62.5. Wild Flower Area The Chair informed the members that, following the removal of the flood water, he had felt compelled to sanction a complete trim of the grassed areas (that had been purposely left uncut) at the bottom of the Park as it had been devastated by the flood water and had become a worsened eyesore. It followed that the Clerk had, at the Chair’s request, subsequently alerted Sodexho accordingly and the matter is currently being attended to. The members present all supported this action and it was agreed to keep all of this grassed area regularly cut for at least the remainder of the year in order to encourage its recovery. RESOLVED:- That the Clerk arranges with Sodexho for the regular cutting of all of the grassed areas at the bottom of the Park until further notice. 62.6. Tree Survey Report The Clerk reported that the Chair had elected to accept the quote from the tree surgeons who had dealt with the fallen tree in the Park last January as their price was more competitive at £320 less than that quoted by the company that had performed the tree survey. The Clerk further stated that the two condemned trees in the Park had since, and most satisfactorily, been attended to adding that the Recreation Reserve account would again need to fund this further unplanned expenditure. 1888 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM 62.7. Other Issues It was noted that there had been an amount of vandalism in the Park in recent weeks i.e. obscene graffiti scrawled on the play equipment and a forced entry made through the tennis court fencing; both of which had since been dealt with. The Clerk further reported that the Goslings had made him aware of further loosening of nuts & bolts on the play equipment; primarily the inspection lid on the roundabout that conceals its mechanism and the horizontal support of the swings. The Clerk added that he had subsequently asked the handyman to apply loctite to the lid’s bolts and to tighten (and keep an eye on) the swing nuts. It is not really known if these types of incident are occurring as a consequence of poor equipment design or if the nuts are being deliberately worked loose by persons unknown. Regardless of the reason it was agreed that there was a need to further consult the manufacturers on the matter. RESOLVED:- That the Clerk makes the play equipment manufacturers aware of the incidents that have occurred to date with a view to them advising on how best the matters could be resolved. Two further issues were raised. One by Mrs A. Hindson requesting that the area by the boundary of the Park on Church Lane (where there is currently a growth of nettles) was regularly strimmed, and another by Mr P. Briercliffe concerning the current ragged appearance of the hedging that borders the Park on Congleton Road. RESOLVED:- That the Clerk makes the handyman aware of the first requirement and that he also reminds the council’s other contracted gardener that the hedging concerned is ready for its annual cut back. 63. PARISH MATTERS 63.1. Policing Matters The Clerk stated that he hadn’t received any information on policing matters or issues specific to Gawsworth since the last meeting. It was noted that a police car patrol of the village had recently been observed thus confirming that there is still a police presence of sorts in Gawsworth. 63.2. Parish Plan Mr P. Briercliffe reported a flurry of activity on the Parish Plan front. The questionnaire returns had now all been tabulated and an Open Meeting to present the findings to local residents was imminent. The latter being the catalyst for the actual production of the Parish Plan itself. It was noted that, once the Parish Plan has been completed in mid-2008, it first has to be presented to the Parish Council and MBC for their endorsement. 1889 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM 63.3. Extension to Gawsworth Conservation Area The Clerk stated that there had recently been some progress relating to the extension of Gawsworth’s Conservation Area with a specialist report having been commissioned from conservation consultants. The Clerk added that a draft report was now to hand and that it was currently under MBC consideration. It was noted that some form of public consultation, including a presentation to the parish council, was being planned for the autumn. However, it was further noted that the MBC Conservation Officer is on long term sick leave and that her interim replacement leaves in the summer! The Clerk added that he had alerted Mr John Knight to the dates of forthcoming council meetings and that he was now waiting for Mr Knight to select one for the aforementioned presentation to the members. 63.4. Green Wheelie Bin in Village Hall Car Park The Clerk reported that a local resident had made him aware of a rogue, green wheelie bin in the Village Car park that had been over-full for some considerable time and was now attracting further rubbish. The Clerk added that, having established it didn’t apparently belong to the parish council, the handy man, the Village Hall or the Scout Hut, he had arranged with MBC for its immediate disposal and this has already been attended to. It was noted that there may possibly be a charge for this service but it is more likely to be managed under the fly-tipping banner. 63.5. Public Seating in the Village Mrs A. Hindson felt that the best placement for a new public seat (near to Penningtons Lane) would be on the grassed area to the left of the brick bus shelter as you face it. However, Mr P. Burgess (an absentee at the last discussion) suggested that, for road safety reasons, it might be better placed behind, and facing away from, the aforementioned shelter. It was noted that the Clerk hadn’t, as yet, ordered the new bench owing to a lack of storage space. RESOLVED:- That Mrs A. Hindson further assesses the situation in the light of Mr Burgess’s comments and makes the Clerk aware (via email) of her subsequent conclusion. 64. JOHN UPTON CHARITY. On behalf of Mr N. Phillips the Chair informed the members that the Girls Brigade and the Village Hall committee had now both received their cheques and indeed had purchased their applied for equipment. It was noted though that there was still a significant amount of interest for the year remaining and that it was proving difficult to dispose of this money as a consequence of lack of applications that met the criteria. Mr P. Collins left the meeting 1890 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM 65. CORRESPONDENCE & REPORTS RECEIVED SINCE THE LAST MEETING 65.1. The following correspondence was received and noted: o Letter received from MBC Community & Wellbeing regarding the adoption of specific Dog Control Orders. Note that the Gawsworth entry was incorrect in that it just specified the enclosed Play Area in the Park rather than the whole of Gawsworth Park as originally requested. The Clerk stated that he had notified MBC accordingly and the matter had since been remedied. o Notice of Meetings of the MBC Committees received for hand out. Given out to those members present. o MBC Standards Committee. Notice of Meeting and recent Minutes. o ChALC Macclesfield & Trafford Area Meeting. Notice of Meeting and recent Minutes. It was noted that the Chair had put forward Mrs L. Smetham at this meeting in response to a request for a nominee from the parish council for Cheshire Rural Women’s Day. o Macclesfield Borough Council. Notice of Council Meeting and recent Minutes. Taken by Mrs L. Smetham. o MBC Gawsworth Park inspection report for June 2007. Just the mention of loose fixings on the roundabout as previously reported at the July 2007 meeting. o Letter received from MBC requesting the display of a poster relating to the major change to the Concessionary Fares scheme from 2008. Poster duly displayed by the Clerk on the Longbutts Lane notice board. o Letter from Henbury Parish Council that asked if the parish council would be interested in sending not more than two members to a ChALC Basic Councillor training course at Henbury later in the year noting that this is normally only available at ChALC’s headquarters in Shropshire. RSVP required by 28th September 2007. Confirmed to be of interest to Mr K. March and possibly Mr P. Collins. o Letter received from CCC communicating the fact that the Secretary of State was minded to implement a two unitary structure in Cheshire. Enclosed were the Government Statement and decision letters. A final decision is expected before the end of the year. Also a letter received from MBC with the same message but additionally stating that they would be seeking a contribution from the parish council in the coming months. Taken by Mr P. Briercliffe. o Letter from CCC stating that on 12th July 2007 it adopted the Cheshire Replacement Waste Local Plan. o Letter received from MBC seeking the parish council’s views on their draft revised Statement of Licensing Policy. RSVP by 5th October 2007. Not deemed to be of interest to the parish council. o Email from ChALC seeking parish councilors prepared to take part in ‘Take My Councillor to School Day’ during Local Democracy Week later this year at Eaton Bank School, Congleton. It is understood that a number of its pupils are from the Gawsworth area. 1891 MINUTES OF GAWSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE PARISH HALL ON TUESDAY 21ST AUGUST 2007 COMMENCING AT 7:30 PM Any interested members were asked to contact Chalky White (ChALC Regional Development Officer) directly for further details. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01948 871314. o Invitation to the members from the Borough Mayor to attend a Civic Ball at the Town Hall, Macclesfield on Friday 21st September 2007 at a cost of £27.50 per person. Early applications were advised as numbers are restricted. Not of interest on this occasion. o Invitation for up to three representatives to attend the ChALC Annual Meeting at 6:30 pm on Thursday 18th October 2007 at Middlewich Civic Hall. RSVP before 14th September 2007. Mrs L. Smetham is not available on that date but Mr Briercliffe will endeavour to attend if possible. o Letter received from CCC regarding Parish Small Grants Scheme for Countryside Access Improvements. A maximum of 50% match funding up to a £1,000 grant is on offer to Parish Councils for the likes of leaflets, map boards, benches, kissing gates and path resurfacing projects. The application process is competitive and the deadline for applications is 31 st October 2007. Note that applications of £500 or less are expected. 65.2. The following reports and publications were received and distributed: o Cheshire Rural View, July 2007. A Cheshire Community Council publication. Taken by Mr P. Briercliffe. o The Playing Field, Summer 2007. A Cheshire County Playing Fields Association newsletter. Taken by Mr P. Burgess. o Cheshire Police Authority Forum Newsletter, Macclesfield – July 2007. Taken by Mrs A. Hindson. 66. DATES OF THE NEXT AND SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS All meetings are scheduled to commence at 7:30 pm unless otherwise stated. 9th October 2007 27th November 2007 15th January 2008 26th February 2008 8th April 2008 20th May 2008 (APM & AGM) 7:00 pm 8th July 2008 26th August 2008 7th October 2008 25th November 2008 RESOLVED:- That the August 2008 date be revised as the Clerk is not available on the originally mooted date of 19th August 2008.