Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 22nd September 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 22nd September 2020 at the Village Hall @ 7.30 pm.


Part 1


Councillor D Bennett (DB) – Vice Chairman  

Councillor R Hurst (RH)  

Councillor S Lavin (SL)

Councillor G Morgan (GM) – Chairman

Councillor L Gilbert (LG) (Cheshire East Ward Cllr)

Ms J Mason – Clerk

Mr T Sheldon – Footpath Officer  


Declaration of Interest

Cllr G Morgan – Sibelco and Cllr R Hurst – Village hall


Public Forum

There were five members of the public present.

One member was concerned about a visibility issue when you were leaving New Platt Lane on to Northwich Road. There is an empty plot of land on Northwich Road, and an oak tree, which was blocking site vision. Photographs were supplied.

There was concern about the shrubbery being removed by another member of the public around the small new play area as it was a habitat for many birds and small animals. She also had read in our newsletter last year and there were plans to leave some open spaces on Needham Estate and cut grass footpaths solely and leave the grass to grow for the wildlife but this had never taken place. (north of Lawrence Close).

A resident wished the PC to object to planning application 20/3057M, he gave a background to the site and the actions which were taking place at the present time and his observations about the current application.

Another resident made his observations about the planning application 20/3633C and wished to bring to the attention of the PC the movements at the site currently. There were lorries arriving fully laden to the site with what he thought was scrap metal and then leaving empty. He thought it was a business operation not just residential.

The Chairman asked some questions and it was agreed she would visit the site to make her own observations.



Cllr R Hocknell due to holidays and Cllr A Nicol due to holidays.


83/20 Minutes

Cllr RH suggested some grammatical errors.

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 28th July 2020 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.


84/20 Councillor Vacancy

The Parish Council had received one application. The members felt the application did not really contain any information about the candidate and it was agreed the Clerk would ask for it to be completed in full.

Resolved this would be deferred until the next meeting.


85/20 Cycleway / footpath to Holmes Chapel from Cranage

Cllr SL had contacted Cllr S Ackers Smith from Congleton TC and she had explained the thought process of the Parish Council trying to enable a cycleway route from Cranage to HC. There was a possibility of funding from Cheshire East to improve connectivity. A meeting was arranged on 29th September at 12.30pm to see if this was a possibility.

It had also been placed in the newsletter and already received four replies of support.


86/20 Football Pitches

The football manager reported ‘Dutton’s’ had completed the drainage works on the football pitches and the results were particularly good, and he wished to thank the Parish Council for all their support. Hopefully, the pitches will be being played this week depending on CE marking out the pitches. It would make an amazing difference to the youngsters playing football.

Ownership of the land

A resident had pointed out poachers on the River Dane over the summer and after the Clerk had enquired about a replacement gate CE had refuted the land belonged to them. This seemed unusual as the football pitches had been maintained by CE for over 17 years. Cllr RH gave a broad history of the site when the Mersey Regional Health Authority had sold the land over to the housing developers and then the open space to CE (Congleton Borough Council) under the Section 106 agreement. The Chairman then thought they would own it under possessory rights.

Resolved the Chairman would carry out a land register map index search and if there was a small cost the PC would honour.


87/20 Budget 2020/21

The members reviewed the circulated budget. The spend on the social isolation lunches was discussed as due to Covid they had to be abandoned. Cllr SL thought it was probably more important now then ever to keep up contact, but Cllr RH thought it would be difficult. Cllr DB suggested due to the hotel being closed another venue should be found.

Resolved the Clerk would make enquires on an alternative venue and feedback by the next meeting.

Cllr RH had been asked if the PC would supply some picnics benches on the open space in Needham estate.

The footpath officer also thought it would be nice to add nesting boxes on the estate near the woodland.

Resolved the revised budget was accepted.


88/20 Planning Applications

  • 20/3857M Jodrell Bank Service Station, Knutsford Road, Cranage CW4 8HU – Replacement of existing single storey office, kitchen, and toilets with 2 storey building providing additional office space.

Resolved Objection

  • 20/3633C Allotment Wood, Oak Tree Lane CW10 9LU

Resolved this would be deferred but reported to the Environment Agency.


20/00449E Glebe Farm, Knutsford Road, Cranage CW4 8EF – fencing business

There still had been no progress with application. It was agreed the Chairman would contact CE Planning Enforcement.


The Chairman gave an update on the site. There were bunds going in on the Goostrey lane side. A resident has complained about the standard of the road on the A50 due to potholes and he had reported it to the Clerk which had led to a reference number but when looking the enquiry had been closed down as actioned but they was no actions taken.

The Clerk had made further enquires but had yet to receive a reply. It was an issue as the empty sand lorries made an awful noise when traveling empty into the site as there were 130 movements a day now.  There was no action taken.


89/20 Highways

Leese crossroads

Over the summer another letter of complaint had been received in relation to the dangers of these crossroads. The Clerk had written a letter to one residence asked for them to cut back their hedge as it was blocking visibility. The Clerk was concerned there was still no response from Mr C Hodgson-  CE Highways with recommended improvements since the site visit in October 2019.

It was agreed Cllr LG would make enquires.

Gully on Twemlow Lane reference 3379901 – actioned.

Glebe Farm – A50 sandbags on the pavement.

They were still in place and the landowner had complained to Cllr RH that if they were removed his property would flood and there were officers aware in CE who were due to carry out remedial works.

After investigation there was nobody in CE highways aware of this situation. The adjacent land had a busines operating with no planning permission and local knowledge thought a culvert had been covered which exasperated the situation.

It was agreed the sandbags were a danger to pedestrians and should be removed or an alternative solution sought with CE Highways.

Resolved Cllr LG would make further enquires.

Speed of traffic on Northwich Road

There had been a resident complaint to Cllr RJH in relation to the speed on Northwich Road. This item had been on the agenda many times, the PC and the Ward Cllr had tried to reduce the speed limit to 40mph.CE were adamant it did not adhere to their Speed Management Policy and although this had been disputed and they are in breach of their own policy they will not revoke their decision .  It was noted though that the residents took little actions after it was suggested that they should organise a petition.

Resolved Cllr DB would write a report from the last traffic survey and present it at the next meeting.

Sycamore Cottage – there was a sink hole outside this property, and it had been reported to the Clerk. Reference 3403859.

Bulb Planting in the Parish.

Resolved bulb planting would be carried out near the Sibelco site and the Chairman would enquire if Sibelco would assist in digging the holes and the PC would purchase the bulbs.

Trees blocking vision on Northwich Road on the empty plot of land.

Resolved the Clerk would make enquires who owned the land and then write a letter to ask if they would cut them back.

Car Sales outside Seven Oaks, Byley lane CW10 9LP

There had been a report of cars being sold on the grass verge outside the named property.

Resolved the Clerk will report to Planning Enforcement.


90/20 Footpaths and Tree Report

The overhanging trees on Needham estate reference : 3399299 reported as actioned but TS disagreed. The Clerk would follow up.

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

Still no actions due to Covid.


91/20 Cheshire East

Cllr LG reported the member enquiry service which was currently only opened to Ward Cllrs had been a success and was due to be opened to Town and Parish Councils but delayed due to staffing issues. It eliminated members not knowing where to direct their enquiry to within CE Council.

He reminded members there was funding available from Connecting Communities to assist with the vulnerable through lock down and afterwards.

There had been £6.8m funding given to CE for highway improvements and he asked the Parish Council to send their concerns in to ensure they were placed on the list.

The following were listed.

  • Northwich Road surface over the M6
  • Dip in the road on the A50 by Hopley Tyres
  • Hermitage Lane junction

The site allocations were also available to comment on in the Local Plan.


92/20 Accounts   

It was noted the balance of account = Leek United £30,721.75 + Natwest £43,824.35 = £74,546.10


  • Online payment – £240.00 HSF Recycling Ltd
  • Online payment – £250.00 Ms S Amies (website compliance)
  • Online payment – £500.00 Ms S Amies (annual fee)  
  • Online payment – £150.00 Jacques Landscaping
  • Online payment – £25.00 CHALC Training
  • Online payment – £240.00 PKF Little John
  • Online payment – £4,240.40 Ms J Mason (Q2)
  • Online payment – £929.82 HMRC
  • Online payment – £9,276.30 Dutton’s Infrastructure ltd


  • £10,000 Precept CE


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

It was noted the Clerks salary would be paid on the 29th September.

Grant funding

There had been an enquiry from Dane Sound Radio if they could utilise their grant for an alternative piece of sound equipment due to the changes in broadcasting over lock down.

Resolved the Parish Council approved this request.

Leek United

Resolved the bond would be reinvested in the one-year bond

Resolved the new signature on the account would be Cllr R Hurst due to the resignation of Cllr J Swithenbank.

Internal Audit engagement letter from JD Henry Ltd

The letter was noted


93/20 Audit 2019/20

The Clerk reported on the external audit report to the Parish Council.

Resolved the report was accepted by full Council.

The Conclusion of Audit had been displayed in accordance with the regulations.


94/20 Chairman and Members Report

Litter Pick on 20th September

Cllr RH reported that the litter pick was a great success and had been a record turnout of 27 people including a family of three generations. The Chairman thanked Cllr RH for organising the event.

Connecting Communities 30.09.20 at 1.30pm

The Clerk would attend.


95/20 Clerks Report

DeVere Hotel

The hotel manager had reported the hotel and gym was due to be closed until after Christmas and maybe not reopen until March.


It had been delivered today to residents.


96/20 The next meeting would be on the 20th October 2020


Meeting closed at 9.40 pm


It was noted this would be held at Cranage Village Hall Hotel

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