Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held via Zoom Video call due to the Covid 19 virus outbreak
On Wednesday 7th July 2021 at 6pm
Councillors Present: Mr J May (Chair until item 113/21), Mr G Merrick (Chair from item 114/21), Mrs C Bulman, Mr M Evans, Mr P Cassidy, and Mrs J Holmes.
Members of the public in attendance: Three members of the public.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs R Reid
Mr May opened the meeting at 6pm.
106/21 Apologies for Absence: Mr G Howe
107/21 Declaration of Interest: Mrs Bulman declared she lives near to planning application 211921
108/21Minutes: Minutes for 2nd June 2021 circulated via email. Proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Merrick, approved unanimously but not signed due to not being together.
Mrs Bulman joined the meeting during item 109/21
109/21 Public Comments sent to the Clerk or Councillors: Mrs Reid has had contact from two members of public, they raised three issues:
- Speed on London Road is too fast. Mrs Reid will check with Mr Howe if he has an update from a WBC review.
- Grass cutting on London Road has not been done. Since this was reported RPC believe it has been cut but Mrs Reid will check. Mrs Reid has also had RPC added to an email distribution list that updates parishes as to when grass cutting is due. Mrs Holmes also raised that the hedge along Waltham Road is overgrown onto the pavement. Mrs Reid is also believes this to be a problem on London Road. All councillors to send any other locations to Mrs Reid for a collective email to WBC.
- Concern for Bridge Farm development proposal which includes 200 new residences. Mrs Reid expects RPC will be consulted on this but RPC will look out for the application and decide how to comment.
110/21 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: No one in attendance but Mr Cassidy attended Twyford Parish Council Meeting and reported that they meet outside in person and approved their AGAR audit. TPC have cancelled their July and August meetings so will meet again in September 2021.
111/21 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: No one in attendance.
112/21 Planning Applications
211934 Rosebary’s Farm: If this application is to be approved, RPC would like a time limit to be added because the development is in the Greenbelt.
212035 131 London Road: No comment
212065 9 Walnut Tree Close: No comment
Milley Lane, Hare Hatch: Mr May reported that he is aware of proposed plans to build a house on Milley Lane., Hare Hatch RPC will look out for the application and asses how they would like to comment when the application is live.
211921 1 St James Close: This application is being discussed again because the previous application was withdrawn due to it being the wrong type of application. RPC discussed it again and heard from three members of the public. To summarise the objection submitted to this application, RPC object to this application because:
- 1 St James Close would be noticeably taller than surrounding properties and
- The raised ridge height would allow living space to be created in the roof under the permitted development rules without the requirement of further planning application. All the other properties in St. James Close and Northbury Avenue are single storey hence this property would be materially out of character for the area.
- Allowing living space to be created in the roof would create an overlook into neighbours’ gardens and properties on both sides thus denying privacy.
These planning comments are proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
113/21 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Grant request – Cancer Support Network: Mrs Reid has asked for information from the Cancer Support Network as to whether they currently support anyone in Ruscombe but has not heard back yet therefore RPC will hold this request until a reply is received.
Community Action Suffolk Insurance £315.65: Paid #1/7 2021
CR landscapes £60: Paid #2/7 2021
CR Landscapes £120: Paid #3/7 2021
Tactical Management £78: Paid #4/7 2021
Pegasus £600: Paid #5/7 2021
Clerk wages and expenses £1,058.53: Paid #6/7 2021
Nest pension £81.90: Paid #7/7 2021
HMRC £13.96: Paid #8/7 2021
Twyford Youth Centre: £200 section 137 donation made in memory of Dave Turner Paid #9/7 2021
SSE (June) £31.17: Paid direct debit
Mrs Reid informed councillors that RPC have received an insurance claim payment of £1,361.90 for the broken noticeboard. Mrs Reid will order the replacement from Greenbarnes.
These payments are proposed by Mr Evans, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously.
Mr May left the meeting and Mr Merrick took chair.
114/21 Ruscombe walking maps: Mrs Reid has shared via email the two walking maps that Sundew Ecology have produced. Sundew Ecology have asked for any comment or edits, Mr Cassidy asked if both maps could have been in one flyer but Mrs Reid explained that Sundew Ecology separated them into long walks and short walks because there was too much information for one flyer, but Mrs Reid will ask. Mrs Holmes will test the routes at the weekend. Mrs Reid will gather quotes for printing 500 of each to be put in various locations around Ruscombe and Twyford.
115/21 Tree preservation orders: Mrs Reid informed RPC that WBC have sent through the form to be completed for Tree Preservation Orders. Mrs Reid will share this form to councillors and the following councillors will look at which trees RPC should consider for TPO’s in each area:
Mr Merrick Northbury area
Mrs Bulman London Road
Mr Cassidy Pennfields
116/21 Town and Parish Charter: RPC do not accept this Charter in its current form because it makes no comment as to what WBC will do for the Parishes, only what WBC expect the Parishes to do. Mrs Reid will feed this back to WBC. This is proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Evans and approved unanimously.
117/21 Clerk Hours: Mrs Reid has worked 12 hours extra during June, this is an average of 11 hours week. Mrs Reid will continue to monitor working hours to see if this level of work continues. This is proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mrs Bulman and approved unanimously.
118/21 CIL money
Tap for Pennfields land: Mrs Reid has had a quote from Hamblin Watermains for £1,185.00+VAT and shared a picture of the tap. Mrs Reid also had a quote from Wentworth Moling Services for £900 including VAT and shared a picture of the tap. Based on how sturdy and secure the Hamblin Water tap looks and based on RPC’s knowledge that Hamblin Water have installed the same tap into Stanlake Meadow for TPC, RPC would like to accept their quote. This is in addition to the Thames Water quote for £1,862.00 to attach the land onto the mains water. This is proposed by Mr Cassidy seconded by Mrs Bulman and approved unanimously. Mr Cassidy will continue to water the trees and grass until the tap in installed, Mrs Reid offered to come and water if Mr Cassidy would like.
Boundary signs: SSE have come back to Mrs Reid to say they are willing to continue discussion if RPC are willing to pay their and our own legal fees. Mr Merrick will ask a solicitor for an estimate of how much it would cost.
History information boards: Mrs Reid has received a draft from Gerry Wise and will share this to RPC councillors to read through and check it is in line with what they had imagined should be included. Mrs Reid will communicate the plan to put up the sign to the church because it is due to be put up near the church. The board will cost £1,066 including VAT but if Gerry gets the invoice sent straight to RPC, RPC will be able to reclaim the VAT. This is proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mr Cassidy and approved unanimously.
Mrs Holmes left the meeting
119/21 Reports from liaison rep
Neighbourhood Plan: Mr Evans asked if the Neighbourhood Plan steering group should meet before we meet with WBC next week, agreed that Mrs Reid will see if we can agree via email but could meet via zoom over the weekend.
120/21 Any other business
St James Church Maintenance: Mrs Reid read out an email that had been forwarded on from Mr May, it explains that the church needs financial help to clear a diseased tree. RPC are willing to contribute towards the invoice, the amount is to be confirmed. This is proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
SID battery: Mrs Reid explained that she felt it would be better for RPC to have someone to routinely change the SID battery every three weeks as opposed to waiting for it to run out and then it being changed. Mrs Holmes and Mr Merrick both know of a contact who might be willing to do the one hours work for RPC every three weeks, and invoice after. The advantage of using someone with a company is that they will come with their own insurance instead of someone being employed by RPC that would need RPC insurance. Mr Cassidy asked if RPC could purchase a solar panel for the SID to recharge the battery, Mrs Reid will ask the manufacturer. Mr Cassidy suggested also asking the person who did street sign cleaning for RPC a couple of years ago. Mrs Reid will make contact and gather quotes.
Donation in memory of Dave Turner: RPC are aware that Ruscombe resident Dave Turner has passed away, Dave worked hard for local causes and RPC would like to donate in his memory. RPC are aware of the official collection for Cancer Research, but RPC felt they would like their donation to directly benefit the local community and therefore RPC will donate to Twyford Youth Club in memory of Dave Turner. This is proposed by Mr Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
Bench quotes: Mrs Bulman requested that Mrs Reid find quotes for benches before September’s meeting, Mrs Reid agreed.
Mr Merrick closed the meeting at 7:51pm.