Editor's note : as part of its Freedom of Information initiative, copies of the Parish Council's minutes will be placed on this web site after council approval at the following meeting, but are for information only. The printed edition is the only authoritative version.
ACTON BRIDGE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 6th February 2017 at 7-30pm in the Parish Rooms
R Holt – Chairman
Clr H Tonge CW&C
Clr P Williams CW&C
1 Public Matters
The Parish Council discussed the issues and effect of the work to the swing bridge now that the part-closure has started.
It has been confirmed that the possibility of a Bailey Bridge, as had been used at Sutton Weaver, was not an option at Acton Bridge.
Clr Tonge said that there had been complaints on the management of the lights and the control of the queues in both directions. The control is intended to be by manual operation so that judgement can be used on the traffic load in both directions.
Members gave information on their experiences to date. After some bad delays on the first couple of days of the part-closure, the delays were now averaging at about 10 minutes. Clr Tonge asked to be kept informed of any problems that might develop, e.g. increased use of Hill Top Road by large vehicles & HGV.
The Chairman reported that he had emailed Mr S Bentley of CW&C regarding the work to clear the narrow pavement along Hill Top Road, between Pepper Street and Cliff Road. The work has now been done and access for pedestrians is much better.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the January 2017 meeting
The minutes were agreed and signed.
3 Matters arising
November 2016 Meeting
Reference Mr Gidley's request to install a notice board near the Parish Rooms, to display the Petal Walk and associated footpaths, ABCA is to be asked to consider a site where the board could be installed.
The Chairman said he had raised the matter at ABCA and the installation had been well received. A possible location had been considered and Mr Gidley would be asked for approximate size of the notice board. Clr Pardoe said he had been working on a layout and content with Mr Gidley. Action Clr Holt (next ABCA meeting) Completed b) Further to the issue raised by Mr T Brocklebank on the subject of broadband speed, there was no new information and Clr Fifield said he would make enquiries. Action Clr Fifield - ongoing
Clr Pardoe said that he believes that Acton Bridge is included in an area that will have further investment to expand the Superfast Broadband.
October 2016 meeting
a) Meeting with Town Farm Quarry Operators.
Covered under Item 8 Reports from other meetings.
b) Mirror installed at Station Hill / Milton Rough
The subject had been discussed at the meeting on 3rd Feb with CW&C Highways on speeding issues (see below). Mr Mark Jones is still trying to get the matter resolved. However the resident who had complained about the installation has this weekend (4th - 5th Feb) taken the mirror down. The Parish Council can only await any developments.
September 2016 meeting
a) Public Matters
Further to the on-going speeding issues and the items raised, the Parish Council agreed that a further meeting should be requested with CW&C Highways and to push for action on the matters raised nearly a year ago. The Parish Council representatives met Mr J Barron and Mr M Jones on 3rd Feb at CW&C office. Action Clr Holt Completed
The matters raised during the meeting were;
i) The speed camera signs have been installed but there has not been a noticeable change in speeds. CW&C were requested to carry out a further data collection exercise. CW&C said that they did not know how many enforcement operations had been carried out. They have been trying, without success, to contact the Police to obtain update of the situation.
ii) The installation of 'dragons teeth' as a speed limit alert / warning was again raised but was not accepted by CW&C.
iii) The progress on the signage and line painting was raised. CW&C stated that the scheme has been put in next years budget.
iv) The cost of installing an interactive sign was discussed. The Parish Council said that they have submitted a request for a grant from the PCC Safer Communities Fund to pay part of the cost. CW&C stated that where it is shown to be justified by the speeding data they would pay part of the cost.
Clr Forbes suggested that the Parish Council should wait a week or two and then remind Mr Barron of the jobs he said he would do.Action Clr Holt
b) Damaged road signs
The meeting discussed the lack of action to repair the sign for Acton Bridge Station and the 30mph sign at Milton Rough that had been destroyed by a vehicle. The Clerk has phoned and been given job numbers but will chase again. This issue was also raised at the meeting with CW&C on the 3rd Feb. Action Clerk - ongoing
4 Planning Applications
a) - Change of use for barn on Station Road. This item had only been added on the web site on the day that consultation was due to expire. This issue has been raised with CW&C by Clr Tonge. The Parish Council has sent in objections to the proposed change.
The application had been lodged under Lawful Development Consent (LDC) but an amended application has been received but still applies for change of use under Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 Schedule 2 Part 3 Class Q.
The Parish Council considered the application and the 'change of use'. It was agreed that the barns have not been used for agricultural purposes. The extent of building work was not reasonable and that they could not be considered 'change of use'. It is believed that the application does not fulfil the highways requirements for the development.
The effect of the development on the use of the Hazel Pear Wood was also a factor. It was suggested that the Woodland Trust be contacted to ask for their views and support. The CPRE should also be consulted. Action Clr Holt
Clr Tonge said that as the application was under 'permitted development' it cannot be called in.
5 Planning Decisions
Application to prune the tree at 40 Cliff Road - Approved.
6 Financial Matters
a) Approval of cheques;
Two cheques were approved;
£36 annual subscription to CPRE;
£127.15 Acton Bridge contribution to the Joint Cemetery Committee for 2016-17.
b) The Chairman reported that correspondence has been received from HMRC regarding 'Work Place Pensions' and the employment of the Clerk. It has been confirmed that the Parish Council does not have to participate, on the grounds that the Clerk is over the Pensionable age and the Clerk's salary is under the scheme minimum level.
Parish Precept 2017 to 2018
c) It was confirmed that the Precept Form for 2017 to 2018 has been completed and sent to CW&C.
7 CWAC Ward Councillors
a) The CW&C Councillors mentioned that the proposed development at Northgate Arena in Chester and the 'Shopping Mall'.
b) It was anticipated that there is to be rise of 3.99&percent; on the Council Tax.
c) Clr Fifield mentioned that application for 'Members' Budgets' for Acton Bridge has been received from ABCA. It was also said that the sum of £5,000 per Councillor is to be retained for 2017 / 18.
8 Reports from other meetings
a) - Clrs Pardoe and Oliver had attended the meeting with CW&C and the Quarry operators. Traffic movements have increased significantly recently. There is a projected 120 lorry movements excavating and infill. This is under the allowed 140 per day.
A further application is being prepared by the operators.
Next meeting of the Group is scheduled for 27th March.
b) - Clr Oliver and Bayley had attended the Joint Cemetery Committee. It was regrettably reported that there has been vandalism at the cemetery grounds.
Letter HMRC re Workplace Pensions.
Joint Cemetery Committee - Contribution for 2016 / 2017 request.
CPRE - Membership renewal.
Glasdon - brochure.
The Chairman mentioned correspondence from ChALC regarding grants available for equipment to comply with the Transparency Code. This matter has been raised in earlier meetings. It was again agreed that there are problems with setting up and storage of equipment, but that the Parish Council complies with the Code by publishing minutes and required data on the web site serviced by Clr Pardoe. Many small Parish Councils are similarly affected.
Letter Cheshire Police re Neighbourhood Watch (via Clr Pardoe)
The possibility of starting up 'Homewatch' again was raised. It was agreed that the Chairman would prepare a notice for inclusion on the Village Facebook page. Action Clr Holt
10 Village Matters
a) It was mentioned that the Hazel Pear pub is soon to re-open. This is considered to be very welcome and a positive move for the Village.
b) Clr Pardoe showed a draft layout of the proposed 'Saltscape Petal Walk' notice board.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Monday 6th March 2017, starting at 7-30pm.
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