Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 21st January 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 21st January 2020 at Cranage Hall Hotel.

Not approved due to advise from central Government on 23rd March 2020 to self-isolate due to the Coronavirus.

Part 1

Present Councillor R Hocknell (RJH) – Chairman
Councillor D Bennett – Vice Chairman arrived at 8.10pm
Councillor R Hurst (RH)  
Councillor G Morgan arrived at 8.00pm  
Councillor A Nicol (AN)
Councillor J Swithenbank (JS)
Ms J Mason – Clerk   

Declaration of Interest

Cllr G Morgan – Sibelco

Public Forum

Two members of the public.

A resident who lived on Northwich Road wished to speak on a speed limit reduction on Northwich Road, he read out a letter he had written a letter to the Parish Council to support a site visit with the Ward Cllrs. He had found out that it had been turned down by Cllr A Kolker and wished the PC to rearrange this meeting and continue to take the matter forward with CE Highways and the Ward Cllrs. He gave examples of the speed limit along New Platt Lane and the more concerning issues on Northwich Road which were being ignored.

The Chairman replied that he felt that the Parish Council could not take this issue forward anymore. It had been on the agenda for two years; two CE Highway portfolio holders had refused to accept that Northwich Road did not meet the Speed Management criteria. Both the PC and the Ward Cllrs had endeavoured persistently on the resident’s behalf but had consistently been refused a speed reduction.  

The resident was very disappointed and left the meeting.


Cllr S Houlston no apologies submitted and Cllr A Kolker no apologies submitted.

01/20 Minutes

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 19th November 2019 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.

02/20 Capital Projects  

Football pitch storage for equipment

This was now in situ and the football team were very pleased. It was locked and on the insurance policy and fixed asset register.  

Small Play Area

The Chairman and the Clerk had met with Mr E Yoxall – ANSA representative and agreed the preferred equipment (circulated to members). The bid had been submitted to FCC Communities and a decision of success would be reached on the 4th March 2020.

Social Isolation / Loneliness in the Parish

The Clerk had sent out an invitation to every household and posters had been placed around the parish and the local area. Goostrey, Twemlow and Holmes Chapel Parish Councils had also advertised the event. The PC had been made aware that there was a chance that members of the public outside Cranage may attend the lunch, it was agreed that this would be accepted this time. It was agreed that Cllr DB and Cllr RJH would attend on Sunday 26th January.

Resolved the Parish Council would advertise the 23rd February event by posters.  

Resolved the payment to Cranage Hall Hotel could be made the following day as a credit agreement had not been approved.

03/20 Business Plan


Councillor G Morgan arrived

04/20 Highways
Northwich Road Speed limit

The Parish Council all agreed again that they could not progress the speed reduction any further.

The Chairman encouraged the residents who lived on the road to come together to try and change CE Highways decision.

Leese crossroads

No report had been submitted from Mr C Hodgeson.

Resolved the Chairman would contact Cllr AK for support.

Flooding on Byley Lane – reported ref 3373938 – not actioned

Twemlow Lane flooding by Rose Cottages – reported 3379901  

Manor Barn hedges – actioned.

Dead trees at Brereton fencing – actioned

Memorabilia around the bench on Needham Estate

A resident had approached the Parish Council to act as a mediator to remove the memorabilia around the bench on the entrance to Needham estate. They felt the time had come to remove it. Guidance notes had been sent with the request.

Resolved the Parish Council did not wish to become involved in the dispute.  

Cllr D Bennett arrived

Needham Estate fencing

This has not been actioned.

The Chairman agreed to contact the landowner.

New Boundary Signs

The Clerk had approved the final version, measured the posts and the distance between each one. Two extra signs had been ordered for the different locations than at present and this involved installing four new posts in the verges. The sign company had to subcontract this work out as it was on the highway. The Clerk was awaiting a price for the specialist works.

Resolution the PC would suspend the Financial Regulations to carry out this work as it was specialist works which had to be undertaken on the highway with relevant insurance.  

05/20 Risk Assessment 2019/20

The Clerk had circulated the Risk Assessment to all members. This was discussed by the Clerk.

All the fixed assets had been visited and there was a recommendation for notice board on Middlewich Road to be varnished and the notice board on Northwich Road cleaned.

The teenage play area annual Safety check was carried out by Cheshire East, but they did not take any action with the report which lead the PC to be possibly liable.  The Clerk suggested this was added to the PC safety check.

The Clerk and the Chairman had carried out the landlord check on the Bowling club. It was in satisfactory order, but the Clerk recommended a PAT test. Cllr JS suggested this was not necessary as the PC did not own any electrical goods in the building. He would clarify the information before, and actions were undertaken.

Resolved the noticeboard on Middlewich Road would be varnished

Resolved the teenage play area would be added with the Adult fitness area annual safety check.

Resolved the PA test would be carried out under the landlord’s responsibility.

Cllr Responsibilities

Cranage Bowling Club – Cllr R Hocknell

Police – Cllr D Bennett

Highways – Cllr J Swithenbank

Village Hall – Cllr R Hurst

Social Isolation and Loneliness – Cllr D Bennett

Business Plan Delivery – Cllr R Hocknell

Personnel- Cllr R Hurst

Finance and Audit – Cllr R Hurst

Manchester Airport – Cllr A Nicol

Communication website/ newsletters – Cllr A Nicol

Sibelco – Cllr G Morgan

Planning – Cllr J Swithenbank

Resolved the Risk Assessment would be accepted for 2019/20.

06/20 Footpath and Tree Report  

The Clerk gave feedback about the report from November after Mr Barry Poole PROW had visited the site.

No report had been submitted this time.

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

There had been two objections by the close of the advertising period and both parties had received written responses. Once the file has been acknowledged by the Planning Inspectorate the process  is a similar process as before with the Appeal accepting that there is a set timetable for this procedure and the details of this are all set out in guidance online .Each side has the opportunity to respond to comments made up to a certain point after which a decision is made on how to determine the order; which can be through means of written representations; a local hearing or a public inquiry.  Usually in the case of witness evidence being the basis of the claim, there will be a public inquiry so that the witnesses can give their evidence verbally and be cross examined on it by the Inspector and the objectors or their representatives.  CE would take a neutral stance in this instance so the Parish Council as applicant would need to lead on the support for the Order.

Given the timetables and our recent experience with the quantity of work the Planning Inspectorate is processing, it could be 9 to 12 months from submitting the file to the date of a potential Inquiry.

The footpath officer made a report that the 9×9 pitch was in good order after the recent weather but the 11×11 was very wet.

07/20 Planning Applications

  • 19/5335C ‘Merriwood’, 58 Northwich Road, Cranage WA16 9LD – Proposed single dwelling

Resolved No Objection

Sibelco meeting 16.01.20

Cllr GM had attended a meeting on 16th January, and she had been able to take a resident as a guest. New Platt Lane was closed to allow drainage, widening and upgrade to the road culvert.  The extra traffic was causing congestion on Goostrey Lane. Cllr GM wished the excess of flooding on Goostrey Lane was noted.  The Clerk would confirm Cllr GM attendance.

Proposed development of Chestnut Farm, Cranage

Some residents had received a letter informing them of a proposal for a new development with a mix of two bed and three bed houses. Six will be for Affordable Rent, and 4 will be for Shared Ownership. Adactus Housing Association, a registered provider of affordable housing, will shortly be seeking planning approval for the development of the site and prior to this would like to receive comments on the proposals, which have been developed following some feedback received from Cheshire East Planning Department.

A feedback form was enclosed and there will be a ‘drop in’ event held at Cranage Hall, Knutsford Road, Cranage, Crewe, CW4 8EQ on the 28th January between 4.30pm and 7.30pm.

Resolved Cllr JS would attend and make comments.

The Parish Council would make comments.

08/20 VE Day


09/20 Disciplinary & Grievance Policy

The new NALC policy had been circulated. Cllr RH wished the Legal Topics were removed and left for reference she also suggested the polices were split into two.

Resolved subject to the amendments the policies would be adopted.   

10/20 Accounts   

It was noted the balance of account = Leek United £30,721.75 + Natwest £40,502.91 = £71,224.66.


  • Online payment – £720.00 J D H Services Ltd (GDPR audit)
  • Online payment £4,653.24 Ms J Mason (Oct to Dec) 205.00 Ms B S Amies (website)
  • Online payment – £1,226.59 HMRC contributions
  • Online payment – £68.54 Clerks expenses (Oct to Dec)
  • Online payment – £527.03 Crewe Colour Printers  


  • £1,562.54 SPC
  • £1,562.54 NBACM
  • £1,1007.04 HW & SB
  • £150.00 SPC
  • £150.00 NBACM
  • £150.00 HW & SB

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

It was noted SPC had paid for the SLCC membership in error and this had been rectified.

It was noted HW & SB had overpaid the salary by £77.30 this would be rectified.

Dane Sound Radio

They had requested a grant.  The PC would consider but needed more information to support the request.  

11/20 Cheshire East

No report.  

12/20 Chairman and Members Report

PCSO meeting 27.01.20

Cllr D Bennett would attend.

13/20 The next meeting would be on the 25th February 2020 @ Cranage Hall Hotel

Meeting closed at 9.10 pm