Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held in the William Penn Room, Loddon Hall, Twyford
On Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr M Evans (Chair until item 175/21) and Mr May (Present and chair from item 175/21)
Councillors Present via Zoom: Mrs J Holmes, Mr G Merrick, Mrs C Bulman and connected to the room via RPC laptop.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs Ruth Reid.
Also in attendance: Twyford Parish Councillor Mrs L Jarvis (via zoom) and Mr Gerry Wise (in person).
7:35pm Mr M Evans opened the meeting.
Mrs Reid informed RPC that with not enough councillors present in the room the meeting was not Quorate. RPC decided to proceed with the meeting with councillors via Zoom to be included in the Quorate number because their reasons for not attending in person were valid and inline with RPC’s Covid-19 Safety guidance (one being an in house contact to someone with Covid-19 symptoms and one being unwell. The third councillor was away but attended via Zoom). Once the minutes are prepared Mrs Reid will share to all councillors via email and those in attendance either in person or via Zoom will email reply to say they agree them.
164/21 Apologies for Absence: Mr G Howe, Mr P Evans and Mr P Cassidy.
165/21 Declaration of Interest: None.
166/21 Minutes: Minutes for 6th October 2021 circulated via email. Proposed by Mr M Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick, approved unanimously.
167/21 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: Mr Wise reported that the history board would be ready at the end of November and therefore RPC need some volunteers to help put up the board. Mrs Reid suggested that Mr May and Mrs Reid’s husband could help, which was accepted by RPC. The proposed date for putting up the board, subject the board arriving on time and good weather is 4th/5th December 2021. Mrs Reid will send some photos to councillors to agree location.
Mr Wise left the meeting.
168/21 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: Mrs Jarvis updated that TPC are having new hedges in Stanlake Meadow and the Hurst Road allotments. TPC are planning a fete in August 2022 and are booking facilities in anticipation that this will be able to go ahead but they will make a final decision in February 2022. On the 28th November TPC are having a tree festival in Stanlake Meadow with approximately 25 more trees to be planted. TPC have had their winter hanging baskets put up.
169/21 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: No one in attendance. Mr Merrick asked if Mrs Reid could ask to WBC/ Mr Howe and Mr Halsall for information about if the proposed boundary change will be consulted on, or is it WBC’s decision, and when will it be decided? Mrs Reid will email and ask.
Mrs Jarvis left the meeting.
170/21 Planning Applications
213113 Kanda, Milton Way: RPC object to this application for the following reasons:
- The Dormer Windows would overlook and invade privacy of the bungalows on Ruscombe Lane.
- Allowing this application would set a precedent for allowing upper floors in bungalows in Milton Way, and all other bungalows in Ruscombe.
- Allowing upper floors in bungalows is not in keeping with the submitted Ruscombe Neighbourhood Plan.
- The plans for this application are not very clearly set out.
RPC do not object to the development of the ground floor.
This comment is proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr M Evans and approved unanimously.
171/21 RPC policy review: Mrs Reid has shared via email the Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Asset Register and two versions of Code of Conducts. RPC have approved all these policies and have decided to adopt the Code of Conduct recommended by WBC. This is Proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mrs Bulman and approved unanimously.
172/21 St James Church trees maintenance: Mrs Reid reported that St James Church have requested a donation of £100 to clear the paths around the war memorial ready for the Remembrance Day service on the 14th November. RPC agree this and will approved the payment during finance.
173/21 Northbury Avenue Trees: Mrs Reid shared a quote for a cherry tree for Northbury Avenue. RPC would like to use these trees and thinks its possible that there are up to 17 locations where a tree could be added. Mrs Reid will ask CR Landscapes to check that these locations look like they’re ok for a tree (solid deep enough and no utilities underneath). RPC will write to residents and ask them to help with watering the new trees. Mrs Reid will also email Highways and check that they are ok with this proposal.
Mrs Reid also shared the quote for £300 from CR Landscapes to strim and remove the wildflowers on London Road, RPC accept this quote. These are propped by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr M Evans and majority approved, Mrs Bulman did not disagree with the strimming but felt that the land should not require weed killing and strimming before the new seed can be sown. Mrs Bulman accepts that this quote including the weed killer was accepted by RPC during October’s meeting and the current wildflower growth does need to be removed but for next year RPC might be able to look at not using the weed killer.
174/21 Remembrance Service: Mr M Evans will be attending the St James Remembrance Service on Sunday 14th November at 8:45am and Mrs Reid gave Mr M Evans the Poppy Wreath from RPC to be presented at the service.
Mr May entered the meeting and took chair.
175/21 Neighbourhood Plan: Mr M Evans reported that the Ruscombe Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to WBC and they have accepted its submission.
176/21 Glebeland proposal: The Diocese of Oxford have requested that if RPC could provide them with a proposal of what RPC would like to do with the land, they will consider RPC’s request to lease the land. Mrs Holmes will ask Stephen Loyd for help with a proposal of a community Orchard, something natural, peaceful and tranquil with trees and benches and maybe an area of parking using Grasscrete, this could also benefit the church.
177/21 Boundary Sign Ruscombe Lane: Mrs Reid reported that she is meeting with SSE at the boundary on Ruscombe Lane on 4th November at 9am. Mr Merrick and Mr M Evans will also try and attend. Mrs Reid will report back to RPC after this meeting.
178/21 CIL money
Flower planters: RPC would like three new oval planters to be located at the end of Maple bank in front of the bench, the end of St James near the electricity box and on the corner near the crossroads pond. RPC would also like a boundary box on Castle End Road. Mrs Reid will order these with Window Flowers.
Ruscombe legacy: Mrs Reid has put the Ruscombe Legacy idea onto the RPC website but has not received any interest or proposals yet. Mrs Reid will post it onto Facebook to get more interest.
Trees: Mrs Bulman asked about RPC planting some character trees that would be expected to live 100+ years and asks to all to consider where they could go. Mrs Reid will email Polehampton Junior school and The Colleton School to see if they had anywhere that could host a tree. Another possible location would be London Road, opposite Rolson Tools, on the boundary of the field but this would need permission of the land owner.
179/21 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Grant request St James Church £100: Paid #1/11 2021
CR Landscapes £828: Paid #2/11 2021
CR Landscapes £120: Paid #3/11 2021
CCB £40: Paid #4/11 2021
Clerk wages and expenses £941.97: Paid #5/11 2021
Nest pension £79.26: Paid #6/11 2021
HMRC £7.67: Paid #7/11 2021
SSE (October) £31.17: Paid Direct Debit
These payments are proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously.
180/21 Reports from liaison rep
Neighbourhood Action Group: Mr M Evans attended their meeting; they are renaming as Northern Parishes Communication Group.
181/21 Any other business: Mrs Reid informed RPC that she consulted with SSE about the energy contract, they have reduced the renewal quote slightly and agreed to a one year contract instead of two year. RPC hope that in this time energy prices will reduce again. For next year RPC would be interested in Mrs Reid finding a Green Energy tariff.
Mr May informed RPC that he intends to stand down as RPC chair at the next election point in May 2022.
Mrs Holmes informed RPC that she has sold her house in Ruscombe and is expecting to move to Charvil so she will consider if she wants to remain as RPC councillor.
RPC expects that the need to continue with some Councillors attending via zoom may continue therefore Mrs Reid will purchase conference microphone and maybe video cameras to support this.
Mr May closed the meeting at 9:06pm.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 1st December 2021