Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held in the William Penn Room, Loddon Hall, Twyford
On Wednesday 13th July 2022 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr M Evans (Chair), Mr P Cassidy, Mr G Merrick and Mrs Holmes, Mr P Evans, and Mr J May (from item 117/22)
Others Present: Twyford Parish Councillor Mrs L Jarvis and one member of public.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs Ruth Reid.
7:30pm Mr M Evans opened the meeting.
105/22 Apologies for Absence: Mr G Howe and Mrs C Bulman.
106/22 Declaration of Interest: Mr M Evans declared that he and Mr May they are directors for the Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham CPRW.
107/22 Minutes: Minutes for 1st June 2022 circulated via email, approval proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously.
108/22 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: Mrs Reid was contacted by a resident to report that a tree from a neighbouring council housing property was overhanding onto their property because of how tall the tree was, Mrs Reid reported this to WBC Housing and the tree has been cut to a reasonable height.
109/22 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: Mrs Jarvis reported that TPC have a new chairman, Rohan Abeywardana, and although they did not meet formally in June, they did meet socially and discussed aims for TPC for the coming year. Twyford were assessed this week for the In Bloom competition and will await the results. RPC and TPC are also aware that Twyford Together have resurrected their business forum, which is very positive for the businesses in the area.
110/22 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: No one in attendance. Mr M Evans will request an update on Ruscombe’s Neighbourhood Plan because Mrs Reid had asked for one approximately three weeks ago and was told they were expecting an update from the external auditor that week, but Mrs Reid has not heard from them since.
111/22 WBC Local Plan & development sites in Ruscombe: As agreed in RPC June, Mr Merrick has drafted a statement of development. Since RPC June, RPC are aware that developers have reclaimed two small areas of land either side of the main plot of site 2 (off Northbury Lane), these plots had previously been let to neighbouring residents to use as extended garden space and have been reclaimed very quickly. RPC believe this could be because the owners want to sell the plot as 1 plot, instead of owned by multiple owners at point of sale. Mrs Reid will ask if ONeill Homer can draw up a plan of how they would layout Site 2 following the design code they wrote for the Neighbourhood Plan. Mrs Reid will email the development statement to WBC Planning department and ask if they would meet to agree how any development should take place on the Site because there are a number of risks and difficulties with access to the site (e.g. very narrow road, no pathways).
Mrs Jarvis left the meeting.
112/22 Planning Applications
221533 12 Northbury Lane: RPC object because of overdevelopment of the site, this application would make a 5-bedroom house with very few parking spaces and RPC believe the loft conversion window would overlook neighbouring properties. This comment is proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr P Evans and majority agreed.
221016 3 Highgrove Place: No Comment. This comment is proposed by Mr M Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and unanimously approved.
222013 18 Middlefields: No Comment. This comment is proposed by Mr P Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and unanimously approved.
113/22 Clerk contingency plan: Mrs Reid informed RPC that due to personal reasons, she has handed in her resignation to Mr M Evans. Mrs Reid proposes that during her notice period, she should work to create a handover document of all RPC Projects, support recruitment and hopefully have a face to face handover period with a new Clerk. RPC have offered to take work from Mrs Reid if they are able to help, Mrs Reid thanked RPC for this.
114/22 Castle End Road Pond: No update, but RPC have decided that they would like to remove the steps and bench to simplify the situation. Mrs Reid will ask CRoW to help with that.
115/22 Trees: Mrs Reid has asked WBC Highways about land ownership along the London Road but has not hear back. Mrs Reid will next ask Laura Buck if she could help with ownership.
116/22 In Bloom competition: RPC would like to be able to enter the In Bloom Competition, but they have agreed now, is not the right time for RPC to enter because it is a lot of work.
Mr May entered the meeting during 117/22
117/22 CIL Money
Glebeland: No update.
Allotments tap: No update.
Central bollards: Reported to WBC as untidy but Mrs Reid has not had an update since.
Boundary sign: London Road Boundary sign has been replaced. No update on the Ruscombe Lane one.
118/22 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Citizens Advice Grant Request: £150 Section 137 donation paid #1/7 2022
CR Landscapes £126.00: Paid #2/7 2022
Window Flowers £4,935.60: Paid #3/7 2022
Clerk wages and expenses £726.84: Paid #4/7 2022
Nest pension £61.51: Paid #5/7 2022
SSE (June) £54.78: Paid Direct Debit
These payments are proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
119/22 Reports from liaison rep: None
120/22 Any other business
Training: Mrs Reid will share training information when it comes through.
Unpleasant smell: Mr Merrick reported an unpleasant smell and excess water on a right of way route, Mrs Reid suggested it is probably best reported to environmental health.
Hardship: Mr Cassidy raised that with the current cost of living crisis, many people will struggle with heating costs over the winter and would it be possible to have a hardship fund held at a local shop for people to access financial help should they need it over the winter. Mrs Reid is unsure if a parish council is allowed to benefit individuals in this way but will confirm, what RPC could do is donate to a charity already offering this help. Mrs Reid will ask Polehampton Charities, Citizens Advice if they know of any covering Ruscombe.
Mr M Evans closed the meeting at 8:46pm.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 7th September 2022