Councillors Gardiner, Houghton, Abel, Beswick, Coan, Dalzell, Forbes, Gray, Malloy, McCulloch, Nicholson and Robertson
In attendance: A Keppel-Green (Town Clerk)
20/053 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllr Power (personal business)
20/054 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr McCulloch declared a personal interest in 20/064 on the grounds of living on Longridge.
20/055 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A representative of KROW spoke in relation to the disposal of public opens pace at Longridge expressing their frustration at the dismissive nature of the response to the council’s complaint and stating that they would be speaking with the MP to look at taking the matter up with the government.
20/056 POLICING UPDATE
Sgt Craig Hodson joined the meeting for this item and reported that the most horrific crime in recent months has been burglary with two reports which is notably lower than surrounding town and that the police have seen a rise in intelligence being passed to them.
In discussion with members it was stated that there would be a community policing presence at schools as they return to reinforce messaging around appropriate parking during start/finish times and that there have been a lower number of lockdown breaches in Knutsford than surrounding areas.
The desire for a reduced speed limit on Manchester Road was highlighted and Sgt Hodson stated he would arrange the gathering of speed data.
20/057 CONFIRMATION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
It was RESOLVED to approve the minutes subject to typographical corrections to 20/043 and 20/044.
20/058 COMMITTEE MINUTES
The minutes of committees were noted.
Cllr Houghton highlighted that the Bunny Hop had been cancelled due to the coronavirus restrictions.
20/059 CHESHIRE EAST COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
Cllr Tony Dean joined the meeting for this item and reported that Cheshire East Council received reimbursement for 97.3% of its coronavirus expenditure, that the council was not progressing ‘20s plenty’ in all areas but would be selecting the most appropriate areas such as outside schools, Cllr Dean stated he anticipated it would be a couple of years before it was introduced. Cllr Dean further reported that the council proposed to close the Congleton Household Waste Recycling Centre and that the council has received funding for pedestrian and cycling improvements but that no proposals had been brought forward for Knutsford yet.
Cllr Dean responded to a question in relation to a budget for a cycle path on the A50 arising from the recent planning consent at Radbroke Hall stating he expected cycling to be considered as part of the A50 Corridor Study, which should take place after coronavirus restrictions are lifted. Cllr Gardiner reported that a sum of money had been set aside to create a cycle way from Knutsford to Radbroke Hall on the existing A50 road through the s106 agreement.
Cllr Abel expressed thanks to residents for their sensible use of Tatton Park during lockdown which enabled the park to remain open, highlighted that the closure of the Congleton Household Waste Recycling Centre was due to the land having been sold by a previous council and highlighted that he was exploring a solution to address the increase in dog fouling. Cllr Abel further reported that under the new council budget ward members have a highways budget for minor projects and that the council tax would be increased 4.99%.
Cllr Gardiner reported that from May the council was moving to a committee system which would significantly change the way decisions are made by the council and that he considered the approved budget did not distribute funds in the fairest way due to cuts in children services and SEND budgets. Cllr Gardiner further stated that the new highways member budgets constituted a reduced budget for minor highways schemes.
Cllr Beswick questioned by Tatton Park was not open seven days per week during low-season and why the gardens were closed when neighbouring properties were both open all week and had gardens open. Cllr Abel undertook to find out.
Cllr Beswick further questioned why the new roundabout on Mobberley Road was tarmac and not grassed like other roundabouts in the town, Cllr Gardiner responded that he was uncertain and would investigate.
20/060 MEMBERS’ REPORTS
Cllr Nicholson reported on attendance at a meeting of the Knutsford Heritage Centre trustee board noting the centre was currently closed due to the pandemic and that he meeting focused on general housekeeping. Cllr Nicholson further reported on attendance at a meeting of the Manchester Airport Joint Consultative Committee noting that the works to Terminal 2 were nearing completion and it is expected to reopen in July.
Cllr Dalzell reported that the Crosstown Community Orchard had held a successful tree planting day in February where 38 trees were planted, and that the charity had secured grant funding from the lottery, Town Council and David Wilson Homes.
Cllr Forbes reported on attendance at a meeting with local doctors on a public health initiative but that he could not provide further information at this time due to it being developed in confidence.
Cllr Malloy reported on attendance at meeting of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership where he fed in the council’s priorities of half hourly services at Knutsford, the reopening of the Middlewich link and a western link to the airport and that he had been received suggestions from residents for improved departure boards and cycle facilities.
Cllr McCulloch reported that a successful community meeting to establish a Friends of St John’s Wood group had been held where a great amount of local knowledge of the site had been shared and that a litter pick would be held in the woodland on 13th and 14th March.
Cllrs Beswick, Coan and Nicholson reported on the works at the cemetery chapel which were nearing completion.
The meeting was adjourned for a five-minute recess.
20/061 REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS
In accordance with standing order 115 the proposed changes stood adjourned to the next meeting without debate.
20/062 REVIEW OF CORPORATE RISK REGISTER
It was RESOLVED to approve the revised corporate risk register subject to an amendment to the impact of the risk pertaining to an inability to fund building works to 3.
20/063 REDEVELOPMENT OF WINSTANLEY HOUSE AND BUNGALOWS AT WARREN CLOSE
It was noted that an application has been submitted for the demolition of Winstanley House (including the garages) and the bungalows at Warren Close without the submission of any proposals for replacement development.
It was noted that a meeting is being arranged with Peaks and Plains Housing Association to discuss the redevelopment.
20/064 DISPOSAL OF OPEN SPACE AT LONGRIDGE
It was RESOLVED to request that Cheshire East Council commissions an independent investigation into the Town Council’s complaint and to further raise the matter with Esther McVey MP.
20/065 COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLAN
It was RESOLVED to defer consideration of developing a new strategic plan for 6 months unless it affects the council’s reaccreditation under the Local Council Award Scheme when it would be considered sooner.
20/066 MAYORAL DUTIES
The list of duties set out in Annex A were noted and the Town Mayor highlighted he was hosting a virtual fundraising quiz on 26th March and hoped to hold a summer ball on 16th July.
The schedule of payments made since the previous meeting were noted.
20/068 ACTIONS LOG
The log was noted.
20/069 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A member of the public stated they felt Cheshire East Council appeared to be on a mission to overzealously enforce parking restrictions and called on Cheshire East Council to suspend parking charges during the lockdown.
20/070 QUESTIONS TO THE TOWN CLERK
The Town Clerk responded to questions stating that a virtual public meeting with Redrow was being hosted the following week to provide an update on development and take questions from the community; that no response had been received from Cheshire East Council on the flooding issues on Mereheath Lane; that any change to parking restrictions on Mereheath Lane should be channelled via Cheshire East ward members; that the council was still awaiting progress from Cheshire East on the transfer of the council offices; that the council was awaiting information from Cheshire East Council on funding a circular bus route and that consideration of the merit of commissioning a third party investigation into the council’s handling of 60 King Street would be a matter for Council or the Assets and Operations committee.
20/071 DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING
It was noted that the next scheduled meeting would be held on 10th May at 7pm.
ANNEX A – MAYORAL DUTIES
|27th January||Holocaust Memorial Day Service||Cllr Malloy|