Parish Council Meeting Minutes
MEETING OF CHOLMONDELEY & CHORLEY PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT SCHOOL FARM, CHOLMONDELEY ON 26 NOVEMBER 2019
|PRESENT:||Councillor A D Fennell (Chairman)|
Councillor C Baker
Councillor C Farquharson
Councillor R Keyes
Councillor S Langton
Councillor C Crossley
Councillor A Gresty
Councillor C Nickson
Councillor P Probin
|ABSENT:||Councillor C Hopley|
Councillor P Winward
Preliminary Note: In recording the apologies of Councillor P Winward, the Clerk reported that as he had been absent from meetings for a continuous period of six months, he was now disqualified under S.85 of the Local Government Act 1972.
In accordance with S.85 of the Local Government Act 1972 a parish councillor was automatically disqualified if he/she failed to attend a parish council meeting for a consecutive period of six months, unless the reasons for absence had been specifically considered and approved by the Parish Council prior to the expiry of the six month period. A distinction is drawn between the reporting of apologies at meetings, and the ‘approval of reasons for absence’. Prolonged absence must be considered specifically.
The vacancy would be reported to Cheshire East Council.
44 DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Members were asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest which they had in any item of business on the agenda, the nature of that interest, and in respect of disclosable interests, to leave the meeting prior to the discussion of that item.
No declarations were made by Members at this point in the proceedings.
45.1 Approval of the Minutes
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 September 2019 be approved as a correct record.
45.2 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising from the Minutes.
46 PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Members of the public are able to ask a question or make a statement. Questions or statement must relate to the business of the Parish Council, either generally, or in respect of any item on the agenda.
There were no members of the public in attendance.
47 SMALL GRANTS POLICY
The Parish Council operated a small grants policy (up to £250). These grants were intended to fund specific projects, or part-fund projects, but were not intended for expenditure which could be regarded as revenue; however, this was not explicitly stated on the form, and the Council was asked to consider adding the following in the section marked ‘What/who is excluded from the grant scheme?’ as one of the reasons for declining an application’.
‘Grants intended to cover revenue expenditure’
Revenue could be described as expenditure incurred in the ordinary conduct and administration of the business because it is incurred to support operations but does not extend the life of, or improve, an asset.
RESOLVED: That the clause ‘Grants intended to cover revenue expenditure’ be inserted in the Small Grants Policy as one of the reasons for excluding an application.
48 BUDGET 2020-2021
The Parish Council was invited to finalise its budget for 2020-2021. This had been discussed at the September 2019 meeting.
The following documents were submitted:
- Clerk’s Report
- Receipts and Payments statement for the period 1 April 2019 – 30 September 2019.
- Budget monitoring for the same period.
- Specific section explaining how the budget was prepared, and, in view of theconfusion which arose during Public Question Time at the July meeting, the Clerk had provided a full explanation, together with an illustrative example, of how the revised estimates to 31 March in any financial year, impacted potential spend to the end of the current financial year and also on the budget for the forward year.
The following amendments to the budget were agreed:
|Line 10||General Grants Fund|
It was agreed that the availability of grants be publicised in the next newsletter
|Line 11||Website support|
There was a full discussion about the website generally and its security. This was also addressed in Minute No. 54 below.
|Line 12||‘DNA’ security marking £1,800 kits for each household in|
The funding was included in the financial year 2020-2021. There was no funding in the revised estimates to 31 March 2020. Notwithstanding this the Clerk was asked to contact PC Nicky Berry to inform her of the number of dwellings in the parish and to place the order, to enable this project to be completed by January 2020.
|Line 14||Neighbourhood Plan||Reduce the revised £500 estimates figure of|
|New item||Chairman’s Allowance S.15(5) Local Government Act 1972||Add||£100|
Calculation of the precept requirement was noted.
|Balance at bank on 30 September 2019 |
LESS Spend 1 Oct 2019 – 31 Mar 2020
Balance available on 1 April 2020
LESS Balance available on 1 April 2020
Precept Requirement (rounded)
RESOLVED: (a) That budget proposals amounting to £7,730 be approved;
(b) That the Clerk’s gross annual salary be increased to £1,000; and
(c) That the Clerk be authorised to request a precept of £4,500 from Cheshire East Council.
49 FINANCIAL MATTERS
49.1 Authorisation of Payments
RESOLVED: That the following payments be authorised:
|£160.00||Mrs C M Jones – salary|
|£328.60||Cheshire Community Action – fee for Neighbourhood Plan support|
(One day – meeting and event – £315.00 and mileage – 34 x 0.40P = £13.60)
|£20.00||Cheshire Community Action – membership fee. This would give the Parish Council a 10% discount on expenditure|
|£49.96||C Crossley –reimbursement for timber for Neighbourhood Plan public event on 10 September 2019|
49.2 Internet Banking
At the previous meeting, the topic of Internet Banking was raised. The Clerk’s report was now submitted for information. This was not for decision at this stage, as further enquiries need to be made to ensure that there is a clear audit trail for all transactions, and access to the accounts.
49.3 Grant Application
This item was withdrawn from the agenda as the Clerk had not received the expected application from Cholmondeley Bowling Club.
50 BOROUGH COUNCILLOR W S DAVIES
Councillor W S Davies was not in attendance.
51 PLANNING MATTERS
The Parish Council considered the following planning application.
|19/5183N||Old Hall, Cholmondeley Park, Cholmondeley SY14 8HB |
Free standing timber orangery
RESOLVED: That no observations be made on planning application No. 19/5183N.
52 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN STEERING GROUP
The Clerk had not provided the Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group meeting held on 15 October 2019. These would be submitted for information to the Parish Council meeting in January 2020.
53 CHESHIRE EAST COUNCIL CONSULTATIONS
Cheshire East Council was currently running the following consultations and the Parish Council was invited to submit observations on each.
53.1 PRE-BUDGET CONSULTATION
Cheshire East Council was consulting on its budget for 2020-2024. The document was 96 pages long and was not enclosed, but the link to access was provided. The consultation commenced on 1 November 2019 and concludes on 6 January 2020. Members were, therefore, able to formulate comments at this meeting, or decide at the December meeting.
RESOLVED: That no observations be made on Cheshire East Council’s Pre-Budget Consultation document for 2020-2024.
53.2 COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW
Cheshire East Council (CEC) was conducting a review of town and parish council governance arrangements across the Cheshire East Borough to ensure that these continue to reflect local identities and facilitate effective and convenient local government.
The Borough Council has undertaken some preliminary analysis of each of the town/parish council wards within the borough. A small number of requests had been received from parish councils asking for their specific governance arrangements to be considered.
The consultation would close on 31 January 2020 and CEC expected the review to be concluded well before the May 2023 local elections.
RESOLVED: That no observations be made on Cheshire East Council’s Community Governance Review.
53.3 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY – 2019-2024
Cheshire East Council’s Draft Environmental Strategy set out the strategic goals and priority actions the Council would take to respond to the global challenge of climate change, and to protect and enhance the local environment.
The Borough Council was now consulting on this strategy, seeking views by 1 December 2019 on how it could be improved and whether the Parish Council could support the wider community to reduce its carbon footprint.
RESOLVED: That no observations be made on Cheshire East Council’s Draft Environmental Strategy 2019-2024.
54 REVIEW OF WEBSITEAt the previous meeting, Councillors C Baker and C Nickson offered to review the Parish Council’s website and report to this meeting.
A comprehensive report was provided for each Member. A summary of the recommendations for immediate action were noted –
- Councillors Baker and Nickson to be authorised to contact David Proctor at Coderra to enable them to make changes to the website.
- Attempt to renegotiate Coderra’s service charge.
- Update the website with current information.
- Repair broken links.
- Set up email distribution lists for internal use within the Parish Council.
- Set up a regular monthly schedule for website updates.
- Link the website to the Cholmondeley and Chorley Community Noticeboard on Facebook.
The report also contained medium and long-term actions.
RESOLVED: (a) That the Parish Council support the aims in the report;
and(b) Councillors Chris Baker and Chris Nickson be authorised to contact Coderra Ltd, as indicated above, to enable changes to be made to the website.
The Parish Council was invited to suggest items (and prepare articles if appropriate) for inclusion in the newsletter.
Members agreed that the newsletter be published in Spring 2020.
56 SHARED ITEMS
Members were invited to share information, or request items to be included on the next agenda. This was also an opportunity for Members to report on attendance at any recent meetings of outside bodies, including Police Cluster meetings.
The only item raised was in respect of tree-planting by the Woodland Trust. The Clerk was asked to add this as an item to the January 2020 agenda.
57 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
21 January 2020 (date changed owing to the Chairman’s availability)