Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held via telephone conference call due to the Covid 19 virus outbreak
On Wednesday 1st April 2020 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr J May (Chairman), Mr M Evans, Mr C Bell, Mr P Cassidy, Mrs C Bulman, Mrs K Robson and Mr G Howe.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs R Reid
Mr May opened the meeting at 7:30pm.
48/20 Apologies for Absence: Mr A Wrigley and Twyford Parish Councillor Mrs L Jarvis.
49/20 Declaration of interest: Mr May, Mr Howe, Mr Bell and Mr Evans declared that they are directors for the Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham (CPRW).
50/20 Minutes: Minutes for 4th March 2020 circulated via email. Proposed by Mr Bell, seconded by Mrs Robson, approved unanimously but not signed due to not being together.
51/20 Public Forum: Mrs Reid has been contacted by a resident concerned that a neighbours dead tree might fall onto her house in the high winds the UK has been getting, agreed that Mrs Reid will write to the owner of the tree and request them to maintain it.
52/20 Liaison with Twyford Parish Council: No one in attendance.
53/20 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: Mr Howe reported that WBC are working hard to communicate with all residents about the Covid 19 virus and all household should have received a flyer of information from WBC including where to get help and what to do e.g. social distancing, only going out for food shopping or exercise. WBC are hosting virtual meetings twice a week to keep up with the changing demands. WBC staff are working at home wherever possible and have been provided with the equipment to do so to keep WBC running as effectively as they can. Rubbish collections will continue as normal. WBC do expect that there will be an economic impact on them because of the Covid 19 virus, they expect the cost of adult social care and children’s services to be higher and with 80% of WBC budget being spent on these two things the whole annual budget is likely to be impacted. The closing date for WBC’s local plan consultation has been delayed by 2 weeks and WBC are aware the impact on it could be much greater than just a small delay. WBC have offered the leisure centres to the NHS to use as temporary hospitals should they require them.
54/20 Planning application:
200753 2 Walnut Tree Close: Ruscombe Parish Council objects to this planning application due to the neighbours not being formally notified and consulted on the application. In addition to this RPC also object because the proposed extension is:
- overdevelopment of the site,
- overlooking the neighbour’s house,
- will cause a loss of light and privacy to the neighbour’s house and garden,
- not in keeping with RPC’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan policies (all developments should be in keeping with the surrounding area) and
- would set a precedent for future extensions in the road
200672 Spitfire House: No comment
55/20 Neighbourhood Plan: Mrs Reid reported that the Neighbourhood Plan is progressing well, WBC are completing the screening opinion.
56/20 Covid 19: Already covered in WBC 53/20.
57/20 Annual Parish Meeting, End of year audit: Mrs Reid reported that NALC are advising of how to complete these whilst the UK are under strict distancing rules. Mrs Reid will email NALC and ask if we write written reports and advertise them on the notice boards and website will this be enough to meet the requirements?
58/20 Parish Council Website: Mrs Reid has circulated one quote and is awaiting another.
59/20 CIL Money:
Bridge painting: Mrs Reid has not heard from Network Rail despite emailing numerous times, agreed that Mrs Reid would email to inform Network Rail that we would go ahead with painting the bridge unless we hear from them to say not to.
SID: Mrs Reid shared via email a quote from Message Maker, last month RPC choose this SID because it had all the features they wanted (smiley face, battery operated, portable) and had a longer battery life than the others Mrs Reid had requested quotes from. Mr May proposed that this is the right SID for RPC and therefore RPC should purchase it, seconded by Mr Evans and approved unanimously. Mr Evans will look for locations on Ruscombe Lane, Mrs Robson will look on London Road and Mr Bell on New Road.
Verge flowers: Mrs Reid will email Gardening4Good to confirm if they can start work now, if not RPC will wait until next year.
Streetlamp Pennfields and New Road: Mrs Reid is awaiting a quote.
Bin in conservation area: Awaiting residents to choose a bin design.
60/20 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Winson Woodcraft £1140.00: Paid cheque #431
Sundew Ecology £925: Paid Cheque #432
ONeill Homer £990.00: Paid Cheque #433
Groundwork UK (return of Neighbourhood Plan grant) £578.60: Paid cheque #434
Information Commissioner £40: Paid Cheque #435
Clerk wages and expenses £540.15: Paid Cheque #436 & 437 (paid via two cheques for £440.15 and £100 so Mrs Reid can pay it in via online banking app, limit of £500 per cheque)
Nest pension £46.33: Paid Direct Debit
SSE (March) £91.43: Paid Direct Debit
These payments are proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Bell and approved unanimously.
NatWest Online Banking: Mrs Reid has submitted the forms and signatories should receive banking cards and machines to access the bank online, Mrs Reid will email telephone number and bank account details for one of the signatories to ring and ask for a progress update.
61/20 Reports from Liaison reps:
NAG: Mr Evans shared minutes via email.
Polehampton Swimming Association: Mrs Robson reported that currently it is unknown if the swimming pool will open this year, members have been advised not to pay until it is known if it will open.
62/20 Any other business: Mr May requested if the grass verge on the Southbury Lane bridge to be reinstated, Mrs Reid will ask Network Rail.
Mrs Bulman asked how RPC could help our residents in these difficult times, it has been agreed that Mrs Reid will investigate if Woodley foodbank are used by Ruscombe residents and Age Concern Twyford and if appropriate RPC could make a donation to these services under Section 137 to allow them to carry out the vital work they’re doing to support Ruscombe residents. This is proposed by Mrs Robson, seconded by Mr Evans and approved unanimously.
Mr May closed the meeting at 8:58pm