HANKELOW PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting held on 28th July, 2008.
THOSE PRESENT:- The Chairman, Cllrs. Williams, Cope, Hulme, and Foster. Also present were 17 parishioners.
Apologies were received from Borough Councillor Rachel Bailey.
At 7.00 p.m. prior to the Parish Council Meeting Police Inspector Bob Hassall had been invited by the Chairman of the Parish Council to hold an Open Forum when residents of the local community could question the Inspector on policing in the local area.
Inspector Bob Hassall informed residents of his duties at Nantwich Neighbourhood Policing Unit. He gave information on his work in Nantwich and also in the 45 rural parishes his area covered . To update his computerised information he had recently contacted all the Clerks to local Parish Councils and he reported that he is attempting to visit as many Parish Councils as possible. Questions on local policing were then received from local residents.
1. MINUTES OF THE A.G.M. HELD ON 12TH MAY, 2008.
The Minutes of the A.G.M. held on 12th May, 2008 were approved and signed by the Chairman, subject to the following amendment re: Burial Board:- Cllr Foster also reported that if Newhall and Dodcott join Audlem Burial Board the amount that Hankelow Parish Council has to pay each year will come down by £13.00. Mr Ralph Warburton in his role as Clerk to the Burial Board sells Audlem Cemetery plots for £500. £1.000 if you live outside the area. These figures are “in the region of “because Cllr. Foster was not aware of the exact figures.
It was agreed that draft minutes should be circulated for Parish Councillors to approve, before publication.
2. MATTERS ARISING :-
(a) MR J. BOWER – PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT. The Chairman reported as follows:- Mr Bower sends his apologies that he is unable to attend because of a clash of engagements which he had not realised until too late.
The land which is the subject of his proposals is that behind the “Swedish Houses” on the left of the footpath and further on, on the right.
His declared objective is to encourage and contribute to the “nucleic” nature of the village, i.e. the classic structure with duck pond, public house and a Chapel with high quality amenities.
He would also hope that, should the discussions bear fruit, there would ultimately be an opportunity for him to develop affordable housing on the site, which amounted to 20 acres.
His opening suggestion is that unspecified recreational facilities could be provided on part of the land which would complement and supplement the existing above-mentioned village amenities. Should capital expenditure be required, this would be the subject of further discussion. Conditionally, the land would remain Mr Bower's property and the maintenance and upkeep would be the responsibility of the village.
Cllr. Hulme questioned the need for a bowling green. The Chairman replied that we need to look at the whole package. Cllr. Hulme reported that many bowling greens and cricket clubs struggle to keep going and the cost of their upkeep can be enormous with costs of £4,000 - £5,000 a year to keep in order. Many members would be required to fund such clubs. Moreton Say Bowling Club costs £5,000. per year to run with only 18 members, requiring a three figure sum from each member to enable them to bowl. Cllr. Hulme said that in Hankelow it would be a non starter - there would not be enough support. Mr Tom Hassall who lives at the Swedish Houses said if the development went ahead his home would lack privacy if a cricket pitch and pavillon were built directly behind his home. Mr. Hassall described the offer as “a carrot - that was all.” The Chairman replied that he could not comment on that. The Chairman continued to say that Mr Bower is not saying that he will pay maintenance. The maintenance of the ground would be the responsibility of the village whilst the ownership of the land would remain his. The Chairman continued to say that a peppercorn rent would be required. Cllr. Williams reported that it would be necessary to establish ownership and it would then be up to parishioners to decide. Cllr. Foster reported on what she thought Borough Councillor Bailey would say. In 5 to 10 years time we will be forced to have some affordable housing in Hankelow. We need to look at the best option. The recent survey showed that Hankelow would need 4 Affordable Homes NOW. In future we will be forced to have more, maybe 12. Ian Jones said he thought that Mr Bower would not stop at 4 houses on 20 acres. The Chairman replied that this was outside the envelope. Cllr. Williams said that he thought the site was too far from the road. There was not much difference between the back of the Swedish Houses and the back of The Nook. Mr. Heath had offered land for affordable housing in the past, along the main road. The Chairman said that planning control should protect the village. Cllr. Williams asked whether we want a recreational area – here, instead of Audlem Cricket Club. We would have to spread the net very wide. Mr Tom Hassall replied that Audlem Cricket club cannot find enough members. Cllr. Williams said that at present the village appreciates the offer but doesn't need recreational facilities and that in time, should the need arise for affordable homes in Hankelow, Mr Bower should make his own proposals to the Planning Authorities.
The clerk was instructed to write to Mr Bower informing him of the Council's decision.
(b) BEST KEPT VILLAGE COMPETITION. Cllr. Hulme reported that he thought the village green was looking wonderful. The Chairman reported that the village had entered three competitions, the Community Pride Competition, the Community Spirit Competition and Best Kept Garden Competition. The Clerk reported that it was necessary for representatives from the village to attend the Award Ceremony before any awards could be handed to the village. It was proposed that Sue Walley, Ann Wright and Val Morrey might like to attend the Award Ceremony at Wilmslow. It was decided to arrange representatives at a later date.
(c) TRANSPORT FESTIVAL. The Clerk reported that residents had received a letter from ASET informing them of the arrangements for the 9th Audlem Festival of Transport on Sunday 27th July, 28. No problems had since been reported and it was agreed that the day had been a great success.
(d) SPEED LIMIT – AUDLEM ROAD HANKELOW. The Clerk read out an email she had received from Judy Tarrant who lives at The Meadows, Longhill Lane Hankelow. Mrs. Tarrant reported that she is having great difficullty pulling out from Longhill Lane into the A529 because of speeding traffic and suggested convex mirrors are installed for which she was prepared to give a contribution to the cost as she feared that there would be a serious accident there if nothing is done. Cllr. Cope reported that he had rung the Council and asked them if they would put signs up in the village. The Council said they would not put signs up but there was nothing to stop us putting up our own signs but then they would take them down. The Parish Council needs to provide figures for serious accidents and fatal accidents before they will act. The Chairman reported that he had started the process with the Authorities to try to get the speed limit reduced and a traffic count had taken place on Audlem Road soon after the process with the Authorities was initiated. The Chairman suggested that a Petition would be required. We should not need to qualify for a reduced speed limit with a list of fatalities and there is no reason why we should not have a speed limit as the precedent is set at Stapeley on the Woore Road at 40mph where there are no street lights. Cllr. Williams asked at what speed the limit should be set. The Chairman suggested that it was unlikely that we would get a 30mph. speed limit but might be more successful with 40 m.p.h. Cllr Williams thought 40mph. would be appropriate. The Chairman commented that the cost and responsibility of enforcing a restriction would be considered by the police. The Chairman proposed that a Petition be prepared which was seconded by Cllrs. Williams and Hulme.
(e) EPLANNING MEETING. Cllr. Foster reported that she had attended an eplanning meeting with Chalkie White. There was a scheme whereby Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council plans could be seen on the internet as eventually there would be no printed plans circulated to Parish Councils and plans could be seen on laptop computers. Hankelow has no laptop and no internet access, but there is funding for Parish use under this scheme. However, Cllr. Foster did not have the address for the application. She reported that if we apply quickly we might get one. Cllr. Foster thought it would be beneficial to take a laptop on site. Cllrs. could zoom in on Parish Council and village plans and the laptop could even be taken to people in the village who have never seen the village website.
The Chairman reported that he had received a letter from Cheshire County Council Online, informing the Parish Council that they could now see plans for road works on line and also report problems on the road It was proposed that Mr. Charlie Foster be asked to publish the information from Cheshire County Council Online on the Hankelow Village website.
(f) FOOTPATH - HALL LANE. An email had been received by the Clerk from Mr. Charlie Foster informing the Council that the South Cheshire Way footpath FP5 SJ6725 4603 to SJ67454605 was blocked with growing crops. It was concluded that the land belonged to Hazel Vernon and the Chairman suggested that the proper process would be to contact the Footpath Association to report the matter. Cllr. Hulme reported that if it was his crop he would far rather be approached by a member of the Council than the Authorities. It was established that he knew whose crop it was and he would put it to him that it should be strimmed.
The Chairman reported that there is an initiative to replace stiles with kissing gates. He suggested that two stiles needed replacing with kissing gates on the Hall Lane footpath to the Swedish Houses. Cllr. Foster suggested that three would be required. Cllr. Foster reported that the Parish Council is a member of the Footpath Association but receives nothing. Cllr. Foster stated that it was agreed in principal that 2 stiles should be replaced with kissing gates but more clarification is required.
The Clerk reported that there is now a Parish Council Progress Report on the Hankelow Village website.
The Chairman reported that he had ascertained that there is a regulation depth at which potholes are deemed to be unsafe.
The Clerk reported that she is now in receipt of Bank Statements and returned paid cheques. The Clerk also reported that the Annual Return for 31st March, 2008 needed to be signed by the Council before being forwarded to Alan Davenport for signature. The form would then be sent to the External Auditors for signing by 31st July. 2008.
The Clerk reported a Balance of £4,840. 94.
Receipts since last meeting:-
£40.00 In lieu of cheque for John Scott.
Cheques issued since last meeting :-
£312.02 Allianz Insurance
£50.00 Grass Strimming
(a) The Clerk had received a letter enclosing three Invitations to Cheshire County Council's Chairman's Garden Party at Tatton Park. It was decided that no representatives from Hankelow Parish Council would attend.
(b) Plans had been received for alterations to the front and side elevations of Development on land at Manor Cottages for Mr and Mrs R. Ayres.
(c) Notification had been received that Longhill Lane would be closed to traffic for resurfacing work on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th August, 2008. Cllr. Foster agreed to ask Mr. Charlie Foster to put this notification on the Hankelow Website and the Clerk agreed to prepare a poster for the Notice Board.
(d) Cllr. Cope said that he refused to accept that payment could not be made to Sue Walley and Ann Wright for the work that they do on the village green and he would like a Mr Griffiths from Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council to attend a Parish Council Meeting to explain how Sue and Ann could be rewarded for the work that they do. Cllr. Foster said that if regular payment was made it would turn into a job as by law payments or gifts to individuals by the Council was not allowed. The Clerk confirmed that at her training she had learned that under Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 Parish Councils have no powers to give gifts or give money to individuals.
(e) Cllr. Williams asked whether it had been decided to retain the fence round the pond. Cllrs. informed him that it was agreed that the fence should be retained. Cllr. Williams suggested that the wire netting fence on the southern part of the pond should be replaced and it was agreed that Ken Mottershead should be approached and asked for prices for new p.v.c. coated wire netting.
(f) At the close of the meeting the Clerk was handed a note by Val Morrey which she passed to the Chairman to the effect that many of the parishioners who had attended the meeting in order to hear Mr Bower speak about his intentions regarding land at the rear of Swedish Houses were very disappointed that he did not attend.
There being no other Business the meeting was closed with the date of the next meeting fixed for the 3rd November, 2008.