Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held via Zoom Video call due to the Covid 19 virus outbreak
On Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr J May (Chair), Mrs Bulman, Mr M Evans, Mr P Cassidy, Mr G Merrick, Mr G Howe (until item 40/21) and Mrs J Holmes (from item 39/21).
Twyford Parish Councillor Present: Mrs L Jarvis
Clerk in attendance: Mrs R Reid
Mr May opened the meeting at 7:33pm.
34/21 Apologies for Absence: Mrs K Robson
35/21 Declaration of Interest: Mr May and Mr Evans declared that they are directors of the Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham (CPRW).
36/21 Minutes: Minutes for 3rd February 2021 circulated via email. Proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Evans, approved unanimously but not signed due to not being together.
37/21 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: Mrs Reid has had a request for RPC to consider a footpath on Stanlake Lane from the crossroads to the bridge. RPC discussed this, there are many limitations to being able to do this, however Mrs Reid will ask WBC Highways if this would be a possibility. Mrs Reid has also received complaints about bonfires. Mrs Reid will ask residents to record evidence and then report to environmental health. Mr May has had complaints about vans being parked up and not taxed. Mr May will ask them to record evidence and report to local community police.
38/21 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: Mrs Jarvis reported that Twyford are purchasing a hanging basket for Twyford Doctors surgery to thank them for their work during the pandemic. TPC have purchased two Winson Woodcraft rustic benches. TPC have cancelled their summer fete and will hold their Annual Parish Meeting via Zoom. Age Concern have been awarded a lockdown Grant of £6,800.
Mrs Holmes joined the meeting.
39/21 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: Mr May asked Mr Howe if RPC could get an update on the WBC local Plan and proposed housing development sites? Mr Howe confirmed that WBC are looking for alternative locations to Grazeley. Mr Howe explained that there will be elections in May and WBC Councillor Ruscombe, Remenham and Wargrave John Halsall is up for election, as well as Lyndsey Ferris for Twyford, Emma Hobbs for Charvil, and Wayne Smith for Hurst. WBC will be writing to all resident to remind them of how they can apply for a postal vote. An elected Councillor usually lasts 4 years but for those elections that have rolled over from the cancelled 2020 elections, their term will be 3 years.
Mr Howe left the meeting.
40/21 Ruscombe Parish Council Elections May 2021: Ruscombe Parish Councillors are also due an election on the 6th May if WBC receive 9 or more candidate nominations. Mrs Reid will resend councillors the email from WBC about a briefing session on Tuesday 9th March 2021. If RPC do have an election then the Annual Members meeting will take place within two weeks of the new council joining, depending on how long the vote count takes, this could be the 12th or 19th May 2021. If RPC do not have an election, the Annual Members Meeting shall remain on the 5th May.
41/21 Annual Parish Meeting: RPC will host the Annual Parish Meeting via zoom on 27th May 2021 and then submit reports to RPC website after. Mrs Reid will ask Alex at Sundew Ecology to talk about the walking maps. Mrs Reid will ask that residents send in questions before the meeting. Mrs Reid explained that the current legislation allowing online meetings is due to expire on 6th May 2021. One of the other clerks within WBC parishes will be drafting a letter to be sent to UK government to request that they extend the legislation because the clerks forum did not feel Parish Council could meet appropriately by May. RPC are supportive of this letter because they agree RPC would not be safe to meet by May and RPC do intend to continue with zoom meeting for the foreseeable future for this reason.
42/21 End of year Audit: Mrs Reid will ask David Weller to conduct the internal audit again so it can be completed online.
43/21 Planning Applications:
210457 141 London Road: No comment
210277 1 Garraway Close: No comment
These comments are proposed by Mr Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
Mr Evans has stepped down as planning chair. Mr Evans proposed Mr Merrick become planning chair, seconded by Mr May and approved unanimously.
44/21 Neighbourhood Plan: The Neighbourhood Plan has begun Regulation 14 public consultation on Monday 22nd February and will run for 8 weeks until Monday 19th April 2021. Mrs Reid has received 8 comments so far from residents and statutory consultees and has had 3 printed copies of the plan have been requested. The plan is on RPC website.
45/21 CIL money
Gateways: Mrs Reid will ask TPC which design and supplier of gateways they have ordered and then RPC will consider what they would like. Mrs Reid will ask WBC is some form of boundary sign could be fitted at the electrical substation on Ruscombe Lane to provide a marker for residents to understand where Ruscombe begins.
Streetlights New Road and Pennfields: RPC would like 1 streetlamp on Pennfields and 2 on New Road. Mrs Reid will ask WBC streetlighting to confirm a new quote.
Hanging Baskets: RPC would like to order approximately 30 hanging baskets for the busiest routes in Ruscombe: London Road, Ruscombe Lane, New Road and Maple Bank and the part of Pennfields that follows on from Maple Bank. Mrs Reid will work out how many streetlamps there on these roads and ask RPC councillors to confirm how many they would like ordered. RPC would also like a new flower box, to be placed somewhere near the crossroads. Mr Merrick will suggest possible locations for good visibility of the box.
Trees on Northbury Avenue: Some of the crab apple trees on the verges along Northbury Avenue have died. RPC would like to consider replacing them. Mr Merrick will have a count of how many would be needed and Mrs Reid will ask CR Landscapes to quote. New trees would need to be hand dug in because cables run under the verges.
46/21 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Purcoprint £70.00: Paid via Unity #1/3 2021
Purcoprint £70.00: Paid via Unity #2/3 2021
Purcoprint £155.00: Paid via Unity #4/3 2021
CR Landscapes £5789.04: Paid via Unity #5/3 2021 CIL payment
Clerk wages and expenses £894.56: Paid via Unity #6/3 2021
Nest pension £73.10: Paid via Unity #7/3 2021
SSE (February) £29.52: Paid via NatWest
These payments are proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
47/21 Reports from Liaison Reps:
Litter picking: Mrs Holmes coordinated two successful litter picking days on the 21st and 28th February with 15 households/approximately 50 people joining to litter pick around Ruscombe. Mrs Holmes reported multiple bags of rubbish were collected and it was evident that much of the rubbish had been there for a long time. Mrs Holmes felt it would be good to repeat this probably every 6 months. Mrs Reid will draft a letter to thank the volunteers for their hard work helping Ruscombe.
Mr May attended the Wokingham District Association of Local Councils, they were wanting more councillors to join.
48/21 Any other business:
Mrs Reid explained that other WBC parishes have plans already set up in case a top member of the Royal family was to pass away. Mrs Reid will consider different options for RPC and report back.
Mrs Reid will make a charitable donation in memory of Gordon Storey who passed away recently, he undertook a huge amount of charitable community work for Ruscombe and Twyford.
Mrs Reid will ask for an update on painting Stanlake Lane bridge.
Mr May closed the meeting at 9:56pm