Minutes: Parish Council Meeting 25th February 2020

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 25th February 2020 at Cranage Hall Hotel.

Part 1

Councillor R Hocknell (RJH) – Chairman
Councillor D Bennett – Vice Chairman
Councillor R Hurst (RH)  
Councillor G Morgan arrived at 7.40pm  
Councillor A Nicol (AN)
Councillor J Swithenbank (JS)
Ms J Mason – Clerk   

Declaration of Interest

Cllr G Morgan – Sibelco and Cllr R Hocknell – 20/0186C

Public Forum

Two members of the public.

Ms Debra Cummins (DC) from Dane Sound Community Radio had attended to request a donation towards the radio stations operation costs. She explained how the radio was received and that it operated from Cranage Village Hall. They worked with only volunteers and started in March 2018. They were financially dependent on donations and investors who paid for advertising. DC explained the debates they held e.g. political, recognition of local heroes in the area, listening music types and when they broadcast. The donation would go towards more ‘up to date’ equipment to assist them in playing music at outside events to raise revenue.

There was a period to ask questions from Cllrs.  


Cllr A Kolker due to other meetings.  

14/20 Minutes

The amendments were accepted from Cllr RH.  

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 21st January 2020 be approved and signed as a true and accurate record.

15/20 Councillor Resignation

Mr S Houlston had resigned from the Parish Council.

The vacancy had been advertised and sent to electoral services.

16/20 Business Plan 2020/24

The Business Plan had been circulated to members.

The draft was discussed, and proposed amendments were accepted.

Resolved the Business Plan was adopted.

17/20 Budget 2019/20

The budget was discussed year to date. The predicted spend against the budget was acknowledged. The closing balance was revised until the end of 2019/20 and subsequently agreed by the PC.  

18/20 Annual Parish Council 2020

A speaker was required for the Annual Parish Meeting on 21st April.

Cllr AN suggested a member from the CE Highways team to speak on the Speed Management Strategy.

This was agreed in principal but there was a doubt they would attend so an alternative was agreed of Dane Sound Radio.

The Annual newsletter topics were agreed as follows.

Sibelco – Cllr GM

Chairman’s Report – Cllr RJH

Social Isolation and Loneliness – Cllr AN

PROW appeal by Carver Avenue – Cllr RH

Northwich Road – Cllr JS

This would be delivered to all residents by the end of March.

19/20 Capital Projects

Small Play area

The Parish Council were awaiting a decision on the FCC Communities by the 4th March.

Social Isolation / Loneliness in the Parish

Cllr DB, Cllr RJH and the Clerk had attended on the 26th January and Cllr GM had attended the luncheon on 23rd February. There had been 16 in attendance on the first luncheon and 21 had attended in February. Both had been a great success and it was noted a thank you letter had been received.  It seemed the luncheon was encouraging people to come together and socialise.

There had been feedback that there had been more Holmes Chapel residents as opposed to Cranage residents.

It was agreed the Parish Council would wait for three months and then decide the rules for the future.

It was agreed to add in the newsletter that the Parish Council would consider solutions if there were transport issues.

Boundary Signs

These had been delivered and were due to be fitted on the 27th March.

20/20 Sibelco

Cllr GM gave an update on progress to date. Cllr JS commented on the amount of water in the area with the recent rainfall. It seemed most of the water was being held on the roadsides. Cllr RJH offered to check the nearby ditches in the fields.

21/20 Highways
Brereton Timber

There had been several complaints about cars parking on the grass verges outside the business. It impedes pedestrians and was damaging the verges. This has been reported to CE highways, but no actions had been taken to date.

Leese crossroads

Cllr AK had given no feedback from Mr C Hodgkinson.

Flooding on Byley Lane – ref 3373938 – no actioned

Twemlow Lane flooding by Rose Cottages – ref 3379901- no actioned.  

Needham Estate fencing

This has not been actioned. The Chairman had contacted the landowner but there was no urgency and nothing the PC could do to enforce actions.

New Boundary Signs

These needed to be fitted by a specialist company. This was due to be carried out on the 27th March. The Clerk asked for authority to pay before the works were carried out.

Resolved the payment was approved.

Maintenance of Green space on Needham estate

There had been a complaint in reference to the tree cutting and grass ruts left on the estates open spaces. The Clerk had reported the issues to ANSA but there had been a small dispute whether remedial works were completed to a satisfactory standard.

22/20 Footpath and Tree Report  

  • Again due to the continuous rain over the past 2-3 months, most cross-country / field-based paths in the parish are only passable in wellington boots
  • Again, to the weather, the ditches adjacent to Twemlow Lane are totally full, leading to greater than usual flooding of the lane

Resolved Cllr RJH would inspect.

  • The main post supporting the kissing gate entering the Cranage 11v11 football pitch (pitch nearest to the main road, and gate closest to the car park) has snapped due to rotting, making this unsafe to people using the gate. The post needs replacing.

Resolved the Clerk would report to ANSA.

  • Both Cranage football pitches have been closed by the CE council for the past 2 weeks. The 9 v 9 pitch closest to the estate is in very poor condition – mainly due to the weather, but also due to lack of attention from the council, that has left it unplayable since Christmas. The Hurricanes will seek advice from J K Ashbrook Ltd.
  • Previously reported, but no action taken, the footpath adjacent to the A50 (same side as Animal Feeds Factory), from approximately the School House to the bridge is in desperate need of clearing. Mud / leaves that have accumulated over the past year or so, the problem being exacerbated by the recent rain.

Resolved the Clerk would report

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

The Clerk reported that this was still on going and she had been asked if the PC would represent themselves or it would be a sponsor. It was agreed it would be the PC; apparently it was then necessary to complete a statement of facts.

It was very likely it would go to a public inquiry, but the process was slow, and this may take up to 9 months.

23/20 Planning Applications

  • 20/0252N 2 Crescent Road, Cranage CW4 8EN – two storey side extension.

Resolved No Objection

Cllr RJH left the room and Cllr DB chaired this item.

  • 20/0186C J & S M Hocknell, Hollins Farm, Twemlow Lane, Cranage CW4 8GE – proposed farmworkers dwelling adjacent to the main farmstead (outline planning permission reference 19/0836C).

Resolved No Objection

Cllr RJH returned to the meeting.

  • 20/0371C Oak Farm, 63 Northwich Road, Cranage WA16 9LE – proposed new Velux roof widows in roof over existing single storey rear construction, remodel ground floor layout including new rear bifold doors and associated structural alterations.

Resolved No Objection

  • 20/0468C Elmwood, Sandy lane, Cranage CW4 8HR – construction of new garage.

Resolved No Objection.

  • 20/0451C Shanty Farm, Moss Lane, Cranage Cw10 9NG – Change of use of a grassed paddock to create an extension to Lowes Farm shop car park to provide additional overflow car parking.

Resolved No Objection with conditions

  • 20/0614C ‘Penolver’, 75 Northwich Road, Cranage WA16 9LE – Proposed demolition of single dwelling to erect 2 dwellings.

Resolved No Objection

Proposed development of Chestnut Farm, Cranage

Cllr JS had attended the open evening and the Clerk had submitted preliminary comments to the developer.

24/20 Safety checks on play area and Audit Fitness

There had been a safety check carried out by CE on the adult fitness area and the Clerk had referred it to Pentagon. They were carrying out some of the actions for the advised remedial works free of charge, but the replacement rope needed to be paid for and replaced. They were undertaking these actions on 26th February. It was noted that the safety check on the teenage play area would now be undertaken by the PC.

The teenage play area was scheduled for April.

25/20 Accounts   

It was noted the balance of account = Leek United £30,721.75 + Natwest £37,889.64 = £68,611.39.


  • Online payment – £4,909.20 Leander Architectural (Boundary Signs)
  • Online payment – £24.00 Crewe Colour Printers
  • Online payment – £160.00 De Vere Hotel (Jan)
  • Online payment – £210.00 De Vere Hotels (Feb)
  • Cheque no 279 – £40.00 ICO   


  • NIL

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

Grant Funding

The Parish Council considered the request for a grant towards the running of Dane Sound Radio. The accounts had been circulated.

Resolved the Parish Council would fund at a maximum of £320.00.  

26/20 Internal Auditor

Resolved JDH Services would act as Internal Auditors for 2019/20.

27/20 Cheshire East

No report.

28/20 Clerks Pension

The relevant paperwork had been completed by TCS Management and the Clerk. The Clerk had opted out of the pension through NEST.  

29/20 Chairman and Members Report

PCSO meeting 27.01.20

Notes were discussed and it was noted PCSO Liz Chesters was leaving due to promotion. There had been a report from a resident on Needham estate as there was evidence of drug taking and possible fire building in the wooded area by the Village Hall.

The Clerk had reported the recent activity.

Litter Collection  

Cllr RH was organising a litter collection of the 5th April.

30/20 Clerks Report

PAT Testing at Cranage Bowling Club

This had been delegated to the Bowling Club.

Notice board varnishing

Resolved the NB would be varnished by CTC.


Resolved; “That in accordance with the public bodies (Admission to meetings) Act 1960 as extended by the Local Goverment Act 1972 section 100 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for discussion of the under mentioned item on the grounds that the publication of the matter would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted”

Local business development proposal in Cranage

The Chairman communicated information from a potential buyer/developer and his plans for the site within the Parish. It was agreed no comments could be made at this stage as it was premature.

The Clerk left the meeting.

Clerks Appraisal

Cllr RH and Cllr RJH communicated the Clerks appraisal.

31/20 The next meeting would be on the 24th March 2020 @ Cranage Hall Hotel

Meeting closed at 9.45 pm