Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
Held in the Twyford Room, Loddon Hall, Twyford
On Wednesday 4th May 2022 at 7:30 pm
Councillors Present: Mr M Evans (Chair), Mrs C Bulman, Mr G Merrick, Mrs J Holmes, Mr J May (from item 73/22), Mr P Cassidy and Mr P Evans.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs Ruth Reid.
7:34 pm Mrs Reid opened the meeting.
65/22 Election of Chair: Mrs Bulman proposed Mr M Evans for Chair, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously. Mr M Evans signed the acceptance of office and took the Chair.
66/22 Election of:
Vice-Chair: Mr M Evans proposed Mr Cassidy for Vice-Chair, seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously.
Planning Chair: Mr M Evans proposed Mr Merrick for Planning Chair, seconded by Mrs Bulman and approved unanimously.
Planning Vice-Chair: Mr Cassidy proposed Mr P Evans for Planning Vice Chair, seconded by Mr M Evans and approved unanimously.
67/22 Apologies for Absence: Mr G Howe.
68/22 Declaration of Interest: Mr M Evans declared that he and Mr May are directors of Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham CPRW.
69/22 Minutes: Minutes for 6th April 2022 circulated via email, proposed by Mr M Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
70/22 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: Mrs Reid has had contact with a member of the public to request a bench on the London Road near New Road, RPC agreed it is a long stretch without a bench and Mrs Reid will look into possible locations of where RPC could place a bench.
71/22 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: No one in attendance but Mr Cassidy had attended TPC meeting and reported that they will not be having the beacon they had wanted for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee because they cannot get the gas, so instead they are donating £500 to Twyford Together to help pay for the celebrations that they are organising. TPC is also doing seeds for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and these will be available for residents to collect from estate agents in Twyford.
72/22 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: No one in attendance but RPC knows that Ruscombe, Remenham and Wargrave have elections on Thursday 5th May 2022.
Mr May entered the meeting.
73/22 Planning Applications
220707 11 Middlefields: RPC has no objection to the development but wants to check that consideration has been given about how to make good of the adjoining garage and garage roof if this application is approved.
221159 33 Pennfields: No comment
221005 23 Heron Drive, Twyford: RPC would support the suggestion from the neighbour to have obscured glass in the new kitchen window to protect the privacy of the neighbouring property.
74/22 Ruscombe Neighbourhood Plan: Mrs Reid reported that Mr Martin Lee has been appointed as External Auditor, as per RPC request.
75/22 Northbury Avenue Trees: CR Landscapes have planted the extra three trees but one of them could not be planted in the requested position due to utilities in that location, CR Landscapes asked Mr Merrick what to do who suggested an alternative location. Mrs Merrick then looked at the unsuitable location and realised a tree could be planted carefully and Mr Merrick found 1 remaining tree in a local garden centre so decided to buy it and got it planted. Mr M Evans proposed that RPC should reimburse Mr Merrick for the tree, seconded by Mr May and approved unanimously. There are a total of 22 new trees on Northbury Avenue. Mrs Reid will write a note to the residents to remind them to water and to request that for this summer watering to the top soil is best, instead of down the black tube.
76/22 Tree Preservation Orders: Mrs Reid reported that applications for TPO’s have been made for the 4 trees opposite Maple bank junction, the willow tree on the corner of Northbury and a tree on the triangle on land on Stanlake Lane crossroads. These applications will be discussed at WBC’s next TPO meeting.
77/22 Edge IT Accounting System: RPC would like to renew with Edge IT for a further five-year contract for £264 per year, this is a very small increase from the price agreed for the previous 5-year contract. This is proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously.
78/22 RPC Insurance: Mrs Reid informed RPC that the insurance will need to be renewed by 1st June 2022. Mrs Reid has received information from Community Action Suffolk that insurance for Parish Councils is becoming more difficult and CAS has asked RPC to say what level of cover they require. Mrs Reid has completed a draft of this document and asked CAS for advice as to whether the level sounds appropriate for us but has not heard back from them yet. Mrs Reid will share the draft document for councillors to review as well.
79/22 End of Year: Mrs Reid informed RPC that the internal Audit will be on the 17th May 2022 and Mrs Reid will have the AGAR ready for approval at RPC meeting in June.
80/22 RPC Policy Renew: Mrs Reid has shared via email the Standing Orders, Code of Conduct and Financial Regulations, Mr Merrick proposed that RPC continue to use these policies, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously.
81/22 Annual Parish Meeting: This is due to take place next Wednesday 11th May. Laura Buck will be the guest speaker, as well as the Chair report, planning report financial report and an opportunity to ask RPC questions. Mrs Reid has already advertised the date, time and location on noticeboards and delivered to all houses with the Jubilee seeds. Mrs Reid will add it to the website and email volunteers.
82/22 CIL Money
Allotments tap: Mr May has no update.
Central bollards: Mrs Reid has requested a quote from WBC.
Boundary sign: Mrs Reid has been informed that WBC has got the boundary sign for London Road ready and is due to be installed soon. Mrs Reid has asked for an update on the Ruscombe Lane sign but has not received one.
Stanlake Lane Bridge: Mrs Reid will ask Network Rail to repaint the bridge with the correct colour green.
Mrs Reid left the meeting.
83/22 Clerk pay review: This is minuted in Confidential Minutes. That by virtue of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item(s) of business under Section 2 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.”
Mrs Reid re-joined the meeting.
84/22 Finance: Payments to consider: –
CR Landscapes £331.92: Paid #1/5 2022
CR Landscapes £120: Paid #2/5 2022
CR Landscapes £777.60: Paid #3/5 2022
PurcoPrint £45.00: Paid #4/5 2022
Edge IT £264.00: Paid #5/5 2022
HMRC £20.29: Paid #6/5 2022
Mr G Merrick £50: Paid #7/5 2022
Clerk wages and expenses £1,053.68: Paid #8/5 2022
Nest pension £86.02: Paid #9/5 2022
SSE (April) £58.07: Paid direct debit
These payments are proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr P Evans and approved unanimously.
85/22 Reports from liaison rep: Mr M Evans reported that he attended the Northern Parishes Communication Group and will forward minutes via email.
Mr Cassidy informed RPC that his neighbour’s van had been graffiti “tagged”, RPC are aware of this happening very commonly around the Twyford area recently and Mrs Reid will request any support that the new WBC anti-social behaviour team can offer.
86/22 Any other business: Mrs Reid asked to purchase two new batteries for the Speed indicator device because the current batteries are not lasting any longer than 12 days and never reach a status of being fully charged. Each battery will cost approximately £45 and postage of £8, RPC agreed to this.
Mr M Evans closed the meeting at 8:58pm