Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of the Annual Members Meeting of the Parish Council
Held via Zoom Video call due to the Covid 19 virus outbreak
On Wednesday 5th May 2021 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr J May (Chairman), Mr M Evans, Mr P Cassidy, Mrs C Bulman, Mr G Howe and Mr Gary Merrick (from item 70/21)
Twyford Parish Councillor Present: Mrs L Jarvis
Clerk in attendance: Mrs R Reid
Mr May opened the meeting at 7:35pm.
66/21 Election of Chair: Mr Evans proposed that Mr May continue as chair, Mrs Bulman seconded this and approved unanimously.
67/21 Election of
Vice-chair: Mr Cassidy proposed that Mrs Bulman continue as vice chair, Mr May seconded this and approved unanimously.
Planning Chair: Mr Evans proposed that Mr Merrick continue as planning chair, Mr Howe seconded this and approved unanimously.
Planning Vice Chair: Mrs Bulman proposed that Mr Evans continue as planning vice chair, Mr Cassidy seconded this and approved unanimously.
68/21 Apologies for Absence: Mrs Holmes and Mrs Robson
69/21 Declaration of Interest: None
Mr Merrick joined the meeting.
70/21 Minutes: Minutes of the meeting held on 7th April 2021 circulated via email, approval of these proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Evans and approved unanimously but not signed due to not being together.
71/21 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: Mrs Reid has been aware of two car accidents on the London Road and residents commenting on social media about the high speed (national speed limit for single carriageway) allowed on London Road. Mrs Reid will investigate the process for requesting a speed change. Mr Merrick is also aware that on London Road there is an old speed limit sign underneath a new one, Mrs Reid will investigate getting the old one completely removed.
72/21 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: Mrs Jarvis reported that TPC had their Annual Members meeting on 4th May 2021 and Mr R Mantel remained as chair and Mr R Abeywardana is vice chair.
73/21 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: Mr Howe reported that many of WBC have got elections on 6th May 2021 so there could be significant change in WBC.
74/21 Ruscombe Parish Council Elections: Mrs Reid reported that RPC nominations were uncontested so there is no election for RPC.
75/21 Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2020 2021: Mrs Reid reported that David Weller has completed the Internal Audit part of the AGAR and Mrs Reid has shared via email his report. The AGAR form and full finance spreadsheet were also shared via email prior to this meeting. Mrs Reid presented the Annual Governance Statement and the Accounting Statement. Approval of these is proposed by Mr Merrick and seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously. Mr May and Mrs Reid will sign the document and Mrs Reid will submit the AGAR and display the appropriate notices as required.
76/21 Planning Applications
211214 Interserve House: RPC object to this application because
- The addition of a fourth-floor will mean that the residential properties in the surrounding area will be overlooked. It also sets an unacceptable precedent in terms of buildings of this height in the Parish.
- A development totalling 70 apartments will cause a significant increase in traffic travelling along Ruscombe Lane which is already seeing an increase from developments elsewhere in the area.
- The revised application shows a total of only 67 parking spaces to service 70 apartments. This number of spaces is unlikely to accommodate the people living in the apartments let alone any visitors.
RPC feel very strongly that this application is the wrong thing to do for the development of Ruscombe and therefore Mr Howe will request that the application is listed to be reviewed by the full planning committee and Mrs Reid will request quotes from Andy Meader at Pegasus and ONeill Homer to ask about them composing an objection letter on RPC’s behalf. This is proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr Evans and approved unanimously. Mr Howe also recommended that if individuals feel strongly about the application, they should submit objections.
Mrs Jarvis left the meeting.
77/21 Neighbourhood Plan: RPC draft Neighbourhood Plan has completed the Regulation 14 public consultation. Mr May, Mr Merrick, Mr Evans and Mrs Reid will meet on 14th May to look at feedback and consider how much support RPC might need from ONeill Homer.
78/21 St James Churchyard maintenance: Mr May has emailed back to the church to ask for more details of their request in Aprils’ meeting but has not yet heard back. RPC have noticed the land opposite the church is not being rented anymore, Mrs Reid will again ask if the dioceses would consider selling the land.
79/21 Noticeboard: Mrs Reid is still waiting to hear back from the insurance company about the process to make a claim.
80/21 Annual Parish Meeting: Mrs Reid reported that Parish Councils are instructed to cease online meetings. RPC councillors want to continue with the Annual Parish Meeting online because RPC do not have a suitable venue on the 27th May to host a distanced meeting. Mrs Reid presented a Scheme of Delegation to allow Mrs Reid to continue RPC work in the absence of RPC meetings until Covid restrictions are further lifted and councillors are safer with vaccines and decreased risk from Covid cases. Adoption of the Scheme of Delegation was proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
Mrs Reid left the meeting.
81/21 Clerk Pay scale: 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.
82/21 CIL money
Gateway Boundary Signs: Mrs Reid has sent drawings of Ruscombe Lane to SSE for them to consider moving the fencing surrounding the substation. Mrs Reid has met with WBC to discuss the other boundaries and Mrs Reid is awaiting prices of gateways and signs.
Trees in Northbury Avenue: Mr Merrick has reviewed the road, there are 35 living trees and 17 places that could have one planted. Mrs Reid will ask CR Landscapes about the price of 1 tree and then RPC can consider how many they might like to plant. If this works, Mrs Bulman suggested it could be repeated in other locations across Ruscombe.
83/21 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Grant Request – Citizens Advice Wokingham: £150.00 paid via Unity #1/5 2021
CR Landscapes £66.00: Paid Unity #2/5 2021
CR Landscapes £500.00: Paid Unity #3/5 2021
Sundew Ecology £375.60: Paid Unity #4/5 2021
David Weller £50.00: Paid Unity #5/5 2021
BALC NALC subscription £253.05: Paid Unity #6/5 2021
Clerk wages and expenses £600.47: Paid Unity #7/5 2021
Nest pension £50.80: Paid Unity #8/5 2021
SSE (April) £33.66: Paid NatWest Direct Debit
These payments are propped by Mr May, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously.
84/21 Reports from liaison rep: None to report
85/21 Any other business:
Defibrillators: Despite many requests Twyford Together have not supplied Mrs Reid with information about the Defibrillators so Mrs Reid will investigate and let Mr Evans and Mr May what to look for when checking the defibrillators.
Green Prescriptions: Twyford Parish Councillor Mr R Abeywardana has asked RPC if they want to contribute to the Twyford Growers project in exchange to allow Ruscombe Residents to use the service. RPC are willing to contribute £1,250 for 2 spaces. This is proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Howe and approved unanimously.
News article: Mr Cassidy will draft and article about the green/eco friendly work RPC is doing to improve the area.
Mr May closed the meeting 9:54pm