Councillors Houghton, Beswick, Coan, Forbes, Gardiner, Gray, Lowe, Malloy, McCulloch and Robertson.
In attendance: A Keppel-Green (Town Clerk)
22/090 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllrs Dalzell, Morris and Nicholson (health), and Cllrs Abel and Power (personal business)
22/091 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr Malloy declared a personal interest in 22/097 as chairman of the Knutsford Beer Festival which plan to use 60 King Street for the 2023 event.
Cllr Gardiner declared that when hosting the Cambodian Ambassador during his term as Town Mayor, he had received a gift of a silk scarf which had not been declared previously.
22/092 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A resident spoke in relation to the sale of 60 King Street, urging the council that if it decides to sell the building to favour options which ensure some form of public access such as restaurants over options which would close public access such as housing.
A representative of Knutsford Residents of Over Ward spoke in relation to the Longridge development noting that borough councillor Dean had called for the site to be withdrawn from the Local Plan at its forthcoming review and thanking the Town Mayor for issuing a letter calling for the application’s withdrawal. Speaking as a resident they further noted the consultation on proposals at Booths Park stating there was misinformation circulating that the site has approval when it is merely identified as a potential development site for the future and noting that the business development on site could have delivered some of the benefits of the proposed housing scheme.
Cllr Gardiner absented himself from the meeting whilst the resident spoke about planning matters.
The resident suggested caution to the statement in the draft strategic plan concerning the suggested disconnect between Longridge and the wider town and further noted the increase in staffing costs as part of the council’s budget which now account for around 50% of expenditure suggesting that the budget allocate staff costs across activity.
A member of the public spoke in relation to 60 King Street calling on the council to defer a decision on sale to allow him to develop a proposal for community led management of the building.
A member of the public spoke in relation to 60 King Street stating they also wished to develop a proposal for utilising the building and echoing the call for delay.
22/093 CONFIRMATION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
It was RESOLVED to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7th November 2022.
22/094 COMMITTEE MINUTES
The minutes of the committee meetings held since the previous ordinary meeting were noted.
22/095 CHESHIRE EAST COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
The report of Cllr Dean was noted and Cllr Gardiner apologised that he was unable to provide a report due to ill health.
22/096 MEMBERS’ REPORTS
Cllr Forbes reported on attendance at a virtual town and parish council liaison meeting with Cheshire East Council advising it focused on what the council was doing to support residents through the current cost of living challenges.
Cllr Malloy reported that Friends of College Wood were progressing new signage for the woodland and planned to hold a litter pick in the spring, that the Knutsford and District Schools Council had held a meeting which the Town Mayor attended and that their priorities were the environment and road safety. Cllr Malloy further reported that the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership were recruiting new directors and a new community rail officer, that the peak services had been reinstated but that timetable changes had created a new issue in the afternoons of schoolchildren having to wait longer for a train.
Cllr McCulloch reported that the Friends of St Johns Wood were continuing to develop their strategy, had opened a bank account and were planning a spring litter pick and further reported that the Cheshire Fund impact group were looking to understand the work undertaken by the various charities in Knutsford.
22/097 SALE OF 60 KING STREET
A motion to proceed with the sale of 60 King Street was proposed and seconded. A recorded vote was requested.
For Cllrs Forbes, Gardiner, Gray, McCulloch and Robertson (5)
Against Cllrs Beswick, Coan, Houghton, Lowe and Malloy (5)
The Town Mayor used his casting vote against, and the motion was not carried.
It was RESOLVED to provide 60 days for community lead proposals to be put forward to the council and concurrently for bids for the purchase of the building to be submitted to the council; that the proposals include a business case and plan showing how the building would be used and that these be considered at a special meeting of the council.
22/098 PURCHASE OF WATER BOWSER
It was RESOLVED to authorise the use of the capital receipts reserve to purchase a water bowser.
22/099 COUNCIL STRATEGIC PLAN 2023-2032
It was RESOLVED to approve the draft plan for consultation subject to the correction of formatting issues, a more positive phrasing to C5, addition of reference to ensuring high quality buildings and public areas as part of C14 and addition of reference to the landowner in T2.
22/100 CORONATION OF HM KING CHARLES III
It was RESOLVED not to hold a screening of the coronation and refer the matter back to the Events and Town Centre Management Committee with direction to look at tree planting, commemorative coins and community singing.
22/101 REVISED CIVIC AND MEMBER/OFFICER PROTOCOLS
It was RESOLVED to adopt the revised protocols subject to:
- the addition of reference to ‘upheld’ code of conduct complaints Annex A of Civic Protocol
- reference to procedures for deputising the in the Town Clerk’s absence to 3.7 of the Member/Officer Protocol
- reference to involvement in setting the agenda for council meetings in the Town Mayor role description within the Member/Officer Protocol and moving ‘(if necessary)’ to follow ‘triggering’
- reference to members referring issues outside their ward to the appropriate ward members and cc’ing Cheshire East Ward members on borough council issues within the Member/Officer Protocol
22/102 COUNCIL BUDGET AND PRECEPT 2023/24
It was RESOLVED to increase the Music Festival sponsorship income budget to £2,000.
It was RESOLVED to approve the budget and reserves as amended and set the precept at £571,184.
The Finance Committee was directed to investigate apportioning staff costs within committee budgets.
22/103 REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS
It was proposed and seconded that “upheld” be added to precede reference to code of conduct complaints in Annex D. The motion stood adjourned without debate to the next meeting.
22/104 MAYORAL DUTIES
The Town Mayor reported on duties as detailed in Annex A.
The payment schedules were noted.
22/106 OUTSTANDING MATTERS LOG
The outstanding matters log was noted. It was agreed that a meeting should be held with Cheshire East Highways to discuss their refusal to reduce the speed limit on Manchester Road.
22/107 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A resident enquired as to the progress made in addressing the concerns of Bexton School at the previous meeting, echoing the need for a reduced speed limit on Manchester Road and also Northwich Road following the creation of the new roundabout and complimenting the council on the robust discussion.
22/108 QUESTIONS TO THE TOWN CLERK
Cllr Beswick noted the quality of the illuminations at the Courthouse and asked the Town Clerk to find out the company involved. Cllr Beswick further noted the continued vandalism at the Malt Street public toilets, advising that the Police are aware of the names of the vandals and requesting the Town Clerk find out from the Police what they are doing on the matter.
Cllr Lowe asked the Town Clerk to provide an update on the upgrade to the Ladies Mile footpath, which the Town Clerk undertook to arrange.
22/109 DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING
To note that the next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday 6th March at 7pm.
ANNEX A: MAYORAL ENGAGEMENTS
|10/11/2022||Manchester Airport Festival of Remembrance||Town Mayor|
|12/11/2022||Opening of Urban Sanctuary Hair Salon||Town Mayor|
|19/11/2022||Tatton Singers Knutsford Choral and Orchestral Concert||Town Mayor|
|22/11/2022||Schools council meeting||Town Mayor|
|24/11/2022||Lord Mayor of Chester’s Charity Evening||Town Mayor|
|25/11/2022||Mayor of Knutsford’s Annual Ball||Town Mayor|
|26/11/2022||Sharston House Light Switch On||Town Mayor|
|03/12/2022||Mayor of Knutsford’s 24hr Cycle Challenge||Town Mayor|
|03/12/2022||Knutsford Christmas Lights Switch On||Town Mayor|
|04/12/2022||Mayor of Knutsford’s Christmas Market Raffle Stall||Town Mayor|
|08/12/2022||Chat with Scouts||Town Mayor|
|08/12/2022||Lord Mayor of Chester Christmas Carol Service||Cllr Gardiner|
|11/12/2022||Tabley Hill Chapel Christmas Service||Town Mayor|
|16/12/2022||Christmas Window Judging||Mayoress|
|19/12/2022||The Tea Room: Bake Off Judging||Cllr Gardiner|
|25/12/2022||Knutsford Lions’ Christmas Lunch||Town Mayor|
|17/11/2022||Knutsford Little Theatre Production of Lady Killers|
|18/11/2022||Knutsford Lions’ Houghton Weavers Charity Night|
|22/11/2022||Friends of the Heath AGM|
|03/12/2022||Opening of the new 1st Knutsford Scout Hut|
|04/12/2022||St John’s Ambulance Carol Concert|
|04/12/2022||Louise Crawford Exhibition|
|18/12/2022||Brook Street Chapel Christmas Service|