Councillors Houghton, Abel, Beswick, Coan, Dalzell, Forbes, Gardiner, Gray, Lowe, Malloy, McCulloch and Robertson.
In attendance: A Keppel-Green (Town Clerk)
22/0111 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllrs Morris (health) and Power (personal business)
22/112 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr McCulloch declared a personal interest in 22/120 on the grounds of being a trustee to a charity which may tenant the proposed community building.
22/113 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Cllr Abel joined the meeting. Cllrs Gardiner and McCulloch left the meeting.
A resident spoke in relation to the acquisition of a proposed community building at Longridge noting that the minutes of the Assets and Operations Committee do not properly reflect the decision made by the committee and suggesting a decision was premature.
Cllrs Gardiner and McCulloch re-joined the meeting.
The chair of the joint Patient Participation Group for the Knutsford surgeries expressed the group’s outrage at the decision of the NHS not to proceed with a joint health centre for the town, requesting the council’s support in challenging the decision. The Town Mayor responded advising that the council would convene a public meeting with the NHS and other stakeholders.
22/114 CONFIRMATION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
It was RESOLVED to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2023.
22/115 COMMITTEE MINUTES
The minutes of the committee meetings held since the previous ordinary meeting were noted.
It was noted that the minutes of the Assets and Operations committee meeting needed reference to the ownership of the proposed community building not being subject to any restriction as to how it is utilised for the community.
22/116 DEPUTY TOWN MAYOR
It was RESOLVED to elect Cllr Coan as Deputy Town Mayor for the remainder of the civic year. Cllr Coan gave his declaration of acceptance of office and was invested with the Deputy Mayor’s chain of office.
It was RESOLVED to appoint arising vacancies to committees and sub-committees appointing Cllr Robertson to the Assets and Operations Committee, Cllr McCulloch to the Personnel Committee and Cllr Malloy to the Council Offices sub-committee. It was further RESOLVED to appoint Cllr Gardiner to the Events and Town Centre Management Committee.
22/117 CHESHIRE EAST COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
The reports of Cllr Dean and Gardiner were noted and Cllr Abel provided a verbal report.
Concern was expressed over the decision to withdraw funding for the Stanley Centre in the approved borough council’s budget prior to any consultation taking place.
22/118 MEMBERS’ REPORTS
Cllr Forbes reported on attendance at the council’s Strategic Plan meeting.
Cllr Malloy reported that Friends of College Wood was in the process of planning its activity for 2023, that the Knutsford and District Schools Council were arranging to meet with Friends groups to influence their activity and the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership was interviewing for a new Community Rail Officer and continuing to engage with Northern concerning the new problem created by the timetable changes which present a challenge for school pupils arriving in Knutsford for a 9am school start.
Cllr Lowe further reported on attendance at the council’s Strategic Plan meeting noting that whilst it was a challenging meeting there was positive engagement from the public.
Cllr McCulloch reported that Friends of St John’s Wood had met and plans to hold a litterpick in the wood on 26th March.
Cllr Dalzell reported she had also attended the council’s Strategic Plan meeting and reported that Crosstown Community Orchard had a volunteer day on 26th March, that trustees were meeting with Bruntwood to share knowledge as Bruntwood is looking to reinstate an orchard at Booths Hall and that the Methodist Church was looking to hold a special service in the orchard during the year.
22/119 FUNDING FOR TOWN CENTRE BUNTING
It was RESOLVED to approve an amendment to the 2023/24 council budget to provide a budget of £2,500 for the provision of Town Centre bunting from May 2023 noting that this would be drawn from an underspend in the current financial year.
22/120 ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
It was RESOLVED to approve the acquisition of the Freeholder’s Hut.
It was RESOLVED that, whilst the council is strongly objecting to the proposed development at Longridge, should the application be approved by Cheshire East Council this council approves the principle of a freehold transfer of the allotments to be provided on the site.
It was RESOLVED1 that whilst the council is strongly objecting to the proposed development at Longridge, should the application be approved by Cheshire East Council this council approves the principle of a freehold transfer of the proposed community building subject to the use of the building not being restricted to any specific use or lessee.
It was RESOLVED to authorise the Assets and Operations Committee to determine the detail of the allotments and community building transfers subject to the former being fit for purpose and ready to use and the latter subject to the conditions outlined in the previous resolution.
It was RESOLVED2 to authorise the sealing of any documents necessary for the transfer of the properties.
22/121 CORPORATE RISK REGISTER
It was RESOLVED to approve the corporate risk register subject to:
- increasing the likelihood score for vandalism to risk 6 (60 King Street) to High (3)
- a typographical correction to risk 16 (building legal compliance)
- addition of the Personnel Committee to the oversight of risk 2 (loss of key staff)
- addition of an action to provide code of conduct training to new members under risk 37 (code of conduct)
22/122 REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS
It was RESOLVED that “upheld” be added to precede reference to code of conduct complaints in Annex D.
It was proposed and seconded that the quorum for the Assets and Operations Committee be reduced to four. The motion stood adjourned without debate to the next meeting.
22/123 MAYORAL DUTIES
The Town Mayor reported on duties as detailed in Annex A.
The payment schedules were noted.
22/125 OUTSTANDING MATTERS LOG
The outstanding matters log was noted and it was requested that reference to when the last updated was received be added.
Cllr Abel reported that the appointment of the road repairs quality assurance manager had been delayed.
22/126 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A resident congratulated Cllr Coan on his election as Deputy Town Mayor and noted thanks to the former Deputy Town Mayor. The resident encouraged the council to involve the wider public in discussions on the health centre and engagement with the NHS.
22/127 QUESTIONS TO THE TOWN CLERK
The Town Clerk responded to questions advising that:
- the felling of a tree on Hollow Lane was being undertaken by Cheshire East Council and that the land formed part of the highway.
- officers were awaiting revised quotations for the proposed footpath installation at Ladies Mile
- the council had received permission to grind the stumps on Mereheath Lane and that this would be arranged
- he would discuss an idea of seeking landlords to introduce reduced rents for new business tenancies with the Town Centre Manager but noting that most properties are not vacant for long which is a disincentive for landlords to do so
- he would ask the Town Centre Manager to speak with the management at the Old Sessions House and Lost and Found concerning the condition of outside areas
- he would work with the Town Mayor to convene regular meeting of surrounding parishes to discuss issues and enhance joint working
22/128 DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING
To note that the next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday 20th March at 7pm.
ANNEX A: MAYORAL ENGAGEMENTS
|14/01/2023||Crosstown Community Orchard Wassail||Town Mayor|
|04/02/2023||Knutsford Lions Senior Citizens Variety Show||Cllr Gardiner|
|07/02/2023||Road Safety meeting with Bexton School pupils||Town Mayor|
|15/02/2023||Tatton Park local council liaison meeting||Town Mayor|
|17/02/2023||Lord Mayor of Chester Banquet||Town Mayor|
|23/02/2023||Knutsford Young Artist of the Year Awards||Town Mayor|
|26/02/2023||Strictly High Tea with Congleton TC||Town Mayor|
|03/03/2023||Meeting with Toft Cricket Club||Town Mayor|
|05/03/2023||Bollington Civic Sunday Parade||Town Mayor|
|27/01/2023||Sheriff of Chester Annual Sheriff’s Breakfast|
|27/01/2023||Holocaust Memorial Service|
|28/01/2023||Burns Night Ceilidh|
|10/02/2023||Nantwich Charity Quiz Night|
|15/02/2023||Eric Newton & Friends Jazz Band in Aid of Alsager Friends of Christie|
 Cllr Lowe voted against the resolution, Cllrs Gardiner and McCulloch abstained.
 Cllrs Gardiner and McCulloch abstained from voting on the resolution.