Neston Town Council Meeting - December 2009
|Published: 16th December 2009 09:31|
The final meeting of 2009 took place at Neston Community & Youth Centre, and welcomed the newest Town Councillor, Judy Pugh.
The following is an informal report on December's meeting. Full approved minutes will appear in due course here.
Andy Mills brought a request before the Council to consider the possibility of Town Twinning with Guémené Penfao in France. The suggestion came about following a football tournament in the area, to which Neston Nomads were invited. Andy also explained that the towns have much in common, particularly as regards efforts to engage young people in positive activities.
Chairman Moira Andrews noted the request and stated that this may be something the Council will consider at some point in the future.
Mr Mansfield of Hilltop Lane, Ness, asked to be heard on a Green Belt issue. He explained that he was there to bring the Council's attention to current status of two fields backing onto Flashes Lane, Ness, that are known locally as "The Common." He stated that they have been left untouched for over 25 years and have been home to a number of species of wildlife as well as ancient hedgerows. He went on to explain that the land is privately owned and that recently there has been some activity involving clearing of the land, which may have had implications for the ecology of the area.
Mr Mansfield asked the Council to be alert, as consultees on any planning matters pertaining to the area, should any request to develop this land come before them for consideration.
Chairman Moira Andrews thanked Mr Mansfield for bringing the item to the meeting and acknowledged that both Neston Town Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council are monitoring the situation. Cllr Mike Wellman, Deputy Chairman and Ward Councillor for Ness, also thanked Mr Mansfield and noted that representations have been made to all proper authorities.
Matters discussed by Council included:
- The Chairman thanked Deputy Chairman Mike Wellman for deputising at the official switching on of the Neston Christmas lights on December 4th. Cllr Wellman, in turn, thanked Carrie Spacey of the ch64inc Events Group and Town Clerk Alison Kunaj for their contributions to the organisation of the event.
- The Chairman noted that she and other Councillors had held an informal meeting with local Cheshire West Councillors immediately prior to the Council meeting and that they intend to continue such meetings on a regular basis.
- The result of the recent by-election for a seat in Parkgate Ward was noted, and the Chairman welcomed Cllr Judy Pugh as the successful candidate. It was confirmed that there had been a 20% turn-out for the election.
- The Employment Committee asked for their recommendation for the employment of a part-time Administrative Officer to be approved by the Council.
- The Boundary Committee asked that three recommendations be approved. They re-iterated their recommendation that the area would be best served by representation resulting from elections in smaller rather than larger wards, and that there should be four wards based on Parkgate, Neston, Little Neston and Riverside & Ness. They further recommended that Burton might be more appropriately included with Puddington in the Mollington and Saughall ward.
- Planning & Environment recommended that Ward Councillors look into the issues of parking on pavements in each of their Wards and report back to the Town Clerk who will then arrange a meeting with the Police and the appropriate officer from CWaC. They also moved that the Council should not approve the request to support the Friends of Park Fields in the voluntary registration of Park Fields as a Village Green, stating that the Council should not support either the Friends or Neston Nomads in this matter as to do so would be prejudicial to one or the other organisation. They further recommended that a memorial bench for the late Neston Town Councillor Philip Owen be placed at St Thomas' Church in Parkgate.
- A discussion took place regarding four memorial benches that are to be placed in various locations in the area. The Finance & General Purposes Committee recommended that two of these be made of Oak from a sustainable source, and two from recycled plastic. Cllr Gaskell put forward his view that it was not appropriate for a recycled bench made to look like oak be placed on the green in Little Neston opposite the Royal Oak pub. A lively discussion with views put forward both for and against the proposal ensued. Put to the vote, the final decision was that all four benches be made from Oak, but it was noted that the Council would endeavour to utilise recycled materials when considering future installations.
- During a discussion of recommendations put forward by the Communications Committee, Cllr Judy Pugh suggested that the Council look at the possibility of surgeries on Friday mornings, to take place in the Town Centre. It was agreed that the issue of dates, times and locations of surgeries be referred back to the Communications Committee for further consideration.
- The Council agreed that a proposed News Management Policy & Protocol be adopted.
At the end of the public section of the meeting it was agreed that there will be an extra meeting of the full Council on 7th January 2010 to discuss next year's precept requirements.
The next regular full Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 19th 2010, 6.30pm at Neston Community & Youth Centre.