8pm on Tuesday 6th January 2009 in Churton Village Hall

Present: Parish Councillors Angela Palmer(Chair), Helen Dearden, Jan Edwards; City Councillor Paul Roberts; Shadow Unitary Councillor Ann Wright; Mr Craig C Eddleston and the clerk.
Apologies for absence were received from Parish Councillors Diana Mander, Jennifer Clayton and Howard Mead.

1. Village Plan Committee. Mr Craig Eddleston reported on the progress of the Village Plan Committee. There was a core membership of about six, picking up projects from the survey. They were involved with the Christmas Party, the Summer barbeque. They were looking at traffic calming measures with the police and the county council. Three people were needed for a traffic monitoring team. They all needed to be police trained for insurance purposes. As well as speeding on the main road, speeding on Stannage Lane was an issue, especially as children tend to play in the lane. Rumble strips could help. The Village Hall was improving, but people were not keen to join the committee. £250 had been received from the Cheshire Community Action Group, and an application form had been sent in for the rest of the £3000 available. The issue of key holders needed to be addressed. Mr Eddleston was thanked for his presentation and the work he and his committee were doing.
2. Co-option of councillors to fill vacancies. Cllrs Angela Palmer and Jan Edwards were asking people to stand. Matter to be discussed at next meeting.
3. Approval of minutes of meeting of 4th November 2008. Cllr Ann Wright, who is also a clerk of several parishes, said that the meeting in November had been quorate with just three parish councillors. With this alteration, they were accepted as an accurate record.
4. Members to identify any further matters for discussion. Gritting was an issue. Some people will not go out at all in this weather. Cllr Paul Roberts said that in Farndon the street orderly was putting down sand. Mr Charles Higgie said that he would do this, if it was provided. It could be stored in a corner of the Village Hall car park.
5. Notice Board. There was no progress on this issue.
6. Memorial bench. It was agreed that this would be bought, ideally with a grant from the Rural South Area Committee, but if necessary, by using Village Hall funds.
7. To set budget/ decide on precept levels. The precept had been held at £1,000 for several years. Unfortunately spending was nearly £2,000 a year. As there was money in reserve, it was agreed to increase the precept to £1,500 for 2009-2010, with an increase to £2,000 the year after likely. The following draft budget was accepted,-
Ron Parker, grass cutting, £300, Clerk Salary £856.70, Clerk Expenses £180, Councillor Expenses £50, Insurance £300, Mid Cheshire Footpath Society £8, Cheshire Community Action, £20, Association of Local Councils £60, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, £30, Best Kept Village Competition, £20, Audit fees, £150, Total, £1974.70
8. Rubbish tipping in quarry. People were putting garden rubbish in the quarry. The Dean family own the site. Paul Roberts would put an item in his newsletter, asking people not to tip there.
9. Planning applications. Nothing to report.
10. Report from Village Hall Committee- membership, signatories, accounts for payment. Cllr Edwards agreed to be a signatory on the account.
11. To consider membership of outside bodies-Association of Parish Councils, Cheshire Community Action. It was agreed to continue with membership of these bodies, but not of the Society of Local Council Clerks.
12. Reports from local County, City and Unitary councillors. Cllr Paul Roberts said that Chester City Council were winding down and all the important council decisions were now being made by the new shadow authority.
13. To consider level of travel expenses for Clerk and Councillors. It was agreed that the recommended rates would be paid. Councillors would only claim if the meeting was a long way away.
14. Accounts for payment. It was agreed to sign cheques for membership of the bodies listed in item 11, and a cheque for clerk salary, expenses and street-cleaning. There may be other cheques which need signing before the next meeting in March.