Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held in the William Penn Room, Loddon Hall, Twyford
On Wednesday 6th October 2021 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr M Evans (Chair), Mr P Cassidy, Mrs J Holmes, Mr G Merrick and Mr P Evans.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs Ruth Reid.
Also in attendance: Mr Stephen Loyd and Twyford Parish Councillor Mrs L Jarvis.
7:35pm Mr M Evans opened the meeting.
144/21 Apologies for Absence: Mr J May, Mrs C Bulman and Mr G Howe.
145/21 Declaration of Interest: None.
146/21 Minutes: Minutes for 1st September 2021 circulated. Proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Merrick, approved unanimously.
147/21 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: This will be discussed during planning applications.
148/21 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: Mrs Jarvis updated that TPC have resumed face to face meetings in the pavilion at Stanlake Meadow. TPC have had to purchase a new seat for the zip line in King George’s field because the previous one was stolen, this cost £517. TPC are planning to have a Neighbourhood Plan stall at the Christmas market.
149/21 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: No one in attendance.
150/21 Planning Applications
213110 104 London Road: Mrs Reid and Mr Merrick have been contacted by a resident concerned about privacy to their property if this application is approved. RPC will comment on the application to say “RPC note that the written description of the proposed works does not include a reference to the creation of an additional entrance with steps to the existing house.
Although not a large change, its location may have an impact on the privacy of the neighbouring property and therefore we would suggest that the glazing to the door and side window is obscured glass.
Also as there is very little space on this side of the property, care should be exercised during the construction of the steps and associated works, as to not cause any disturbance to the adjacent mature hedge.”
212767 6 Garraway Close: Mrs Reid can see via the planning application comments that a neighbour is concerned by privacy if this application is approved. RPC will comment to say “RPC acknowledge the neighbours comment and if WBC are going to approve the application RPC think it should be a condition of the approval that the proposed windows should be obscure glass to protect privacy.”
These planning comments are proposed by Mr M Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
151/21 RPC policy review: Mrs Reid has circulated via email RPC policies and explained that they need to be reapproved. RPC have the choice of using WBC Code of Conduct or continuing with RPC’s existing Code of Conduct. The other policies requiring reapproval are Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Risk Management. RPC councillors will read these policies, ready to be reapproved in November RPC meeting.
152/21 Tree preservation orders: Mr Loyd explained that TPO’s should really only be placed on trees that are under threat and the trees should be healthy. Mr Merrick explained that there are trees on the two potential development sites have a number of substantial trees on the sites and these could be under threat because of the potential developments. Mrs Reid will look at getting these listed with TPO’s.
153/21 St James Church trees maintenance: Mrs Reid has had contact with the church and they are very grateful for the £500 donated to them but they did explain that although this donation was very helpful they do still have an ongoing problem with maintenance of the churchyard. RPC discussed this and agreed that although the church can come and ask RPC for financial help with individual projects, it is not sustainable for RPC to help on an ongoing basis. Mr Loyd explained that there is a tree on the Church Green that is dying and should have its branches cut off but if possible leave the trunk for wildlife. Mrs Reid will report this to WBC.
154/21 Northbury Avenue Trees: Mrs Reid shared a quote from CR Landscapes for £780 to prune the trees. Mr Merrick proposed that RPC should proceed with this quote, this is seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously. Mr Merrick reported that he has seen cherries on the trees on Northbury Avenue and therefore RPC do not require the very expensive crab apple trees that have been discussed previously. Mrs Reid will ask CR Landscapes to quote for an Ornamental Cherry tree.
155/21 Reading Greenbelt proposal: Mrs Reid explained that RPC have been invited to sign a petition for a proposed Reading Greenbelt. RPC are supportive of Greenbelt but Ruscombe is already part of the Metropolitan Greenbelt and therefore are not going to sign this petition at present.
156/21 Jubilee ideas: RPC will think of what they would like to do to mark the Jubilee in 2022, ideas include trees, benches and a fete on the Church Green.
157/21 Remembrance Service: Mrs Reid will order a poppy wreath to the value of about £25 for the Remembrance Service. RPC will consider if they are available to attend to present the wreath.
158/21 Neighbourhood Plan: Mrs Reid reported that the Neighbourhood Plan has been proofread and amended as necessary. WBC have offered to check the document before submission but because RPC has the support of ONeill Homer, RPC do not want to delay submission. WBC have also advised that SEA screening should be repeated during submission but ONeill Homer have advised this is not necessary because there has not been a substantial change to RPC Neighbourhood Plan since screening was completed previously therefore RPC are not submitting the Neighbourhood Plan for screening again. The approval of the Neighbourhood Plan and submission on 7th October 2021 is proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously. Mrs Reid will submit the plan and supporting documents to WBC on the 7th October 2021.
159/21 Wildflowers London Road: Mrs Reid shared a quote from CR Landscapes for £1,605.60 to repeat the wildflowers on London Road again of 2022. This is proposed by Mr P Evans, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously. Mrs Reid will ask if they could quote to cut and remove the existing flowers.
160/21 CIL money
Benches: Mrs Reid shared a picture of a Winson Woodcraft bench and quote for £450 for supply and £60 for fitting. RPC will order two as part of the Jubilee, one for the Crossroads pond and one for the Castle End Road pond. Mr Loyd explained that CRoW could make a sitting area at Castle End Road with steps leading up to it and wildflowers planted. This is propped by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously.
History information board: This is now ordered.
Flower planters: Mrs Reid shared a quote from Window flowers, for £3,112+VAT to replant the current planters and supply and plant three new planters. Mrs Reid will check where RPC had wanted to place three planters because RPC could not remember.
New Road Pond bin: Dave Barks had made contact with RPC to request a bin for New Road pond, due to the inaccessible location of this pond RPC do not think a bin is feasible but RPC will add this location to their litter pick days.
Ruscombe legacy: Mr Cassidy explained he thought RPC could use some CIL money for a Lasting Legacy. Resident can make proposals to RPC to consider, it must be something that would last 100+ years and cost a maximum of £30,000. Mrs Reid will post this onto RPC website to ask for proposals. This is proposed by Mrs Holmes, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously.
Mrs Jarvis left the meeting.
161/21 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Grant request Friends of Ruscombe Wood £200: Section 137 donation Paid #1/10 2021
Grant request Me2 Club Section 137 donation: £150 Paid #2/10 2021
Greenbarnes £1,461.90: Paid #3/10 2021
CR Landscapes £120: Paid #4/10 2021
Clerk wages and expenses £1,272.72: Paid #5/10 2021
Nest pension £116.25: Paid #6/10 2021
HMRC £102.58: Paid #7/10 2021
SSE (September) £31: Paid direct debit
These payments are propped by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr P Evans and approved unanimously.
162/21 Reports from liaison rep
NAG: Mr M Evans reported that he will be attending NAG meeting on 13th October.
163/21 Any other business
SSE Energy contract: Mrs Reid reported that RPC have received renewal notice for the energy contract. Mrs Reid has calculated that under the new rates, the bill approved today would have been approximately £60. Mrs Reid will ask if RPC can renew for 1 year instead of 2 years because they believe energy prices should come down again. This is proposed by Mr M Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
Defibrillator Chest Pad: Mrs Reid will order one and claim back on expenses because one device has a chest pad set that will expire.
Planning press release: RPC are making a press release in response to newspaper articles about Berkley homes 2,500 homes in Ruscombe. Mrs Reid will ask Mr May who need to see the view before it is shared. The approval of the press release that has been shared via email is proposed by Mrs Holmes, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
Mr M Evans closed the meeting at 9:31pm