Westminster Park Residents Association

Bringing our community alive

August 17, 2021
by Penny White

Minutes of WPRA Committee meeting, 9th August 2021


Committee meeting held on Zoom at 8pm 9 August 2021


Present: Jennifer Crew, Penny White, Annemarie Macfadyen, Karen Liddle (part time), Dave Craggs, Brian Westcott, Richard Short, Sue Britton, Olwen Bellis.

Apologies: Colin Dollimore, Sandra Magilton, Susan Eva, Pauline Brown, Tracey Casey.

1. Minutes of last meeting: apart from notes added after the meeting about our Facebook page they were agreed as a true record by those who attended.
The red truck at the shops is still there but the Council have taken steps to remove it. The bottle bank has been emptied.

2. Treasurer’s Report: As per statement already circulated. There is no longer a charge for advertising on Facebook, we have paid for planting of planters and will have a second planting later in the year and two newsletters. Christmas lights still need to be looked at and checked. Jennifer and Sue will sort out a bid for funding from the Councillors for new posters and lights including a temporary tree for this year as the permanent one has died. We will check with Morreys for a replacement tree as the Council are too short staffed to look after it for possibly planting in the Spring and we look after it.

3. Membership: Colin submitted a report in his absence:
The current membership stands at 480 and is tantalisingly close to my target of 500.
There is still plenty of potential to exceed the target and I would suggest the following.
I can provide details of non- members in specific roads.
If committee members agree to canvas specific road(s) and contact just 5 to 10 householders we can get our numbers up.
Only part of the new Wrexham Road Development had Newsletters in June , so we need to provide copies to the remaining households.
Can Penny/Jennifer let me which roads have been done please. Penny has done this.
I will see if one of our existing members up there will take on the task for the September issue.
Is Tracey’s offer to canvass some of her non-member customers still available ?
Maybe we should focus on some of the roads most affected by the current drainage work chaos ?

There was a suggestion of canvassing previous members who had not renewed. Annemarie and Sue are happy to canvas with membership forms, a note could be included with the next Newsletter.
Regarding Kings Moat our Councillors are talking of setting up a Residents Association there. Any spare newsletters from deliveries could go back to Colin to send out to Kings Moat, maybe by a resident there. We suggested we would continue to deliver there until the end of the year.

4. Social/future events: It was decided that if we tried to hold a quiz in the hall we would probably have restricted numbers meaning it would not be worthwhile. We will concentrate our efforts on the Christmas lights. (Thursday 2nd December).

5. Kings Moat/WRD: Regarding the drainage works Welsh Water has sent an email to say that work has started on Whaddon Drive to be completed by 20th August but there is lots more to come. Traffic lights are in operation which is helping with traffic delays. A resident has asked if Redrow could stop the weeds on the site spreading into gardens by Greenacre Road. Brian has contacted Ian Jones who will deal with it.
Neil Sullivan is concerned about the funding from the Council for the new school, Belgrave is now an Academy and it is assumed the new school will be run through the Academy. We need a meeting or an update. Brian will arrange a meeting with the Council’s Education Officers to find out what is happening.
Houses are being occupied rapidly, particularly on the Redrow site. Taylor Woodrow Phase 2 does not seem to be going so well. The target was 100 houses a year but it appears to be more.

6. Winkwell Drive: The outcome to the Planning meeting was not what we had hoped for though we achieved a few changes to the design and a few concessions. There are still concerns regarding drainage. Howard Williams did a lot of work and is still asking questions and is monitoring the situation with Karen.

7. CRAG: Pauline submitted a report in her absence:
Wish to record thanks to everyone who responded regarding E-Scooters and Clockwise.
Attended an on line Meeting with CRAG Executive Members regarding both matters on 16 July 2021 and had representation from Jacob Goontiliake from Ginger E-Scooters and Kay Parry, Principal Engineer, Environment & Communities (CWAC). Both parties gave responses to our concerns and a response in turn has been sent to them for follow-up.
E-Scooters are working with CWAC on the trial and so far it has proved popular although they did take on board concerns expressed from residents regarding safety. It is likely that the E-Scooters will increase in numbers to approximately 100 across the City in various locations.
Kay Parry noted the suggestions regarding trying to ease Clockwise which although we accepted was necessary the economic impact was discussed regarding the time to navigate the system if it becomes gridlocked. She agreed to refer some suggestions to the Highways Department such as improved signage into the City warning visitors of the Clockwise System and also that it was not permanent!
Next CRAG meeting is due on September 2021 and I will provide further feedback.
Chester Rows – a consultation letter is attached for information in Word and PDF format. This is in connection with funds to improve shop fronts.
If you would like any particular issues raising at the next CRAG meeting, please let me know.

8. Newsletter/media: We will print the same quantity and keep spares for Kings Moat until the end of the year.
The new arrangements for our Facebook page seem to be working with the moderation panel. Inappropriate advertisers and potential members are being blocked.

9. Evergreen: Sandra submitted a report in her absence:
EVERGREEN’ will restart its sessions on 26th August at the Community Centre. Numbers will be limited to 30 members and we will modify our routine and put stringent measures in place to ensure the safety and comfort of our members and committee. The response has been positive, which is a great encouragement. Our sessions will continue with ‘in-house’ entertainment and we will monitor the situation and increase numbers as the need requires. It will be a learning curve for the committee, but it is time to take a positive move back to some form of normality, whilst still observing a degree of caution. We are confident all will go well. With regard to publicity, there will be an article in the September Newsletter. However, as we are only inviting limited member numbers to sessions for the rest of this year, it seems pointless to campaign for new members now. We intend to start our promotion in December for 2022, with the hope we can fulfil our completed 2022 draft programme of events in our usual manner.

10. Gardening Club: nothing to report.

11. AOB: There are surveys taking place : Police consultation ending 15th August. There is a National Bus Survey, ending 31st August. Links to these need to be publicised. The ‘conversation’ about the Local Plan has appeared on CWAC FB page.

Incredible Edibles have received permission to go ahead which means some bulbs may be moved but no timescale has been given.

Permission has been refused for a phone mast on corner of Lache Lane/Circular Drive.

Olwen brought up the deplorable state of the cul de sac parallel to Bartholomew Drive which is in a poor state and overgrown. Jennifer will have a look at it with Olwen and contact the Council.

Brian suggested a note in the Newsletter for residents to look after their verges and weeds in gutters etc, this and the grassed areas around the shops need regular care which it would appear residents will have to do as Council cannot. He will write up a piece. Maintenance/upkeep of the estate is still very poor.

12. Next meeting: 27th October 2021 at 8pm at the Community Centre (unless otherwise communicated). Dave will book the hall.

July 31, 2021
by Jennifer Crew

Proposed Boundary Changes – Chester

You may be aware that the Boundary Commission has proposed a review of boundaries to ensure that each MP has broadly similar sized constituencies.

The Boundary Commission (who are politically neutral) have suggested that Chester be split into two constituencies ie

  • Chester North – Chester North of the River Dee plus, Neston, Little Neston Willaston and Parkgate.
  • Chester South – Chester South of the River Dee ie Handbridge Park, Lache , Christleton and Huntington  is being merged with most of the current Eddsibury seat. This includes wards such as Farndon, Malpas etc which used to be part of the old Chester city council area. It does include some Cheshire East wards such as Audlem.

It does mean that there would be two Members of Parliament representing Chester and the constituency would be “Cheshire South which includes Westminster Park.

The current consultation closes on 2 August 2021 and after that there will be public hearings in 2022  before the final proposals which are anticipated in Summer 2022.

If you would like to make a representation, you can do so online via the Commission’s website: www.bcereviews.org.uk

There is a web form which you will need to complete. The form only accepts comments up to 10000 characters, so if you write more detailed representation please send in a Word document and send it as an attachment.

It important that residents have their say on the proposed changes and we encourage you to do so.

Jennifer Crew


July 19, 2021
by Jennifer Crew

Last chance to comment on the proposed development for 21 dwellings on the Winkwell Drive pond and field between Lache Lane, Lower Field Road and Rowcliffe Avenue

The proposed development by Blueoak Estates to build 21 houses on Winkwell field will come before the planning committee this Thursday 22 July.  If you have any comments to make about their revised scheme, they need to be submitted now.

Please note, if you commented back in December/January, you need to resubmit your objection because revised plans were submitted in June and they are treated as new.

 Points you may wish to comment on include:

  • These plans should be refused because this is a Local Wildlife Site, designated by our Council. This development will destroy over 70% of it. No measures have been put in place to prevent the remaining part of the site being developed in the future.
  • This will be a high density development of very tall houses situated very close to the boundaries of existing houses, some just 1-2 metres. Local residents will be significantly overlooked and impacted by the loss of privacy.
  • Because of the underlying clay, this area is subject to flooding as experienced by Rowcliffe Avenue/Merton Drive residents this winter. Part of the flood avoidance plan is to use the residents’ gardens to retain the water, but no conditions are in place to ensure that they don’t put patios or sheds on them.  Where is the water going to go?
  • Properties bordering the access road from Lache Lane will have traffic passing very close to their houses. No sound barrier treatments have been proposed.
  • CWAC housing completions are far in excess of targets – there is no need for these houses.

Comments can be submitted via the Council’s website https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/planning-and-building-control/planning-and-building-control.aspx and need to refer to application number 20/04861/FUL


July 19, 2021
by Penny White

Minutes of WPRA Committee dated 30th June 2021


Minutes of Committee meeting held on 30 June 2021 on Zoom


Present: Jennifer Crew, Colin Dollimore, Sue Britton, Penny White, Olwen Bellis, Susan Eva, Richard Short, Sandra Magilton, Annemarie Macfadyen, Pauline Brown, Karen Liddle

Apologies: Dave Craggs, Brian Westcott, Tracey Casey

1. Minutes of last meeting of 14th April 2021 agreed as a true record by those who attended.

2. Treasurer’s Report: A statement had already been circulated to members of the Committee. There are expenses expected for newsletters and planting of planters and they may be more expenses for more Christmas lights etc. We hope to have a ‘switch on’ event on Thursday 2nd December.

3. Membership: currently stands at 454, Colin plans to have a table at the shops on Saturday at the Councillors’ surgery. If anyone wants to set up a SO to repeat the payment, this should happen on 1st of January, amend details on sub form.
Newsletters to Kings Moat still to be delivered.
Distribution at present 1700 – more newsletters are being printed, 1500 are distributed and approx 200 for shops and library for others to pick up.

4. Social and future events: There was some discussion about a summer community event eg picnic or bbq. However with ongoing uncertainties as to whether anything will be able to take place or anyone want to attend it is difficult to plan so we will leave it for now and possibly discuss an event in the autumn.
Mela event – not heard anything.

5. Kings Moat/WRD: Roadworks connected to drainage will take place on Lache Lane leading to a one way system from 8th July – 2nd August (traffic will be allowed to run towards town). It cannot safely be done any other way. Green Lane/Circular Drive etc residents will be badly affected as well as the bus. There continues to be much ongoing discussion about this but H&S issues are driving it.

6. Winkwell Drive: The planning committee will meet to discuss this in August. Revised plans are open for comment to the Council. Jennifer will put together a response from WPRA if people will send their comments to her. There has been a suggestion of a public meeting at the end of July but it was felt that this will achieve little, comments to the Council are more important.

7. CRAG: Pauline had circulated documents related to three matters for discussion: A survey on local policing, escooters and Clockwise. The latter has had a huge impact on businesses in the city. Signage for those coming into the city if very poor or non-existent and the scheme does not flow. Comments to be in by next Monday.

8. Newsletter/media: The June newsletter was not put together particularly well with community items not at the forefront. A comment was made on the frequent free advertising of the Interiors Shop and it was decided to spotlight different local shops/businesses in future issues and make sure people pay for their advertising.
No progress on website, Colin to ask Dave to create a Member’s Zone.
Our Facebook page has huge membership but there has been growing unpleasantness and Admins called in to delete posts on a daily basis. It was decided to close down the current page and start a new one for WPRA members only. This should be discussed with Dave Craggs who was not at the meeting. Colin and Annemarie offered to assist as all members will have to be checked that they are paid up members.

After the meeting, on Friday 2nd July, Penny posted onto the FB page warning of closure at the end of the month to be replaced by a ‘WPRA Members’ FB page open for paid up WPRA members. The idea was that Colin would be able to take new or renewing memberships at the Surgery on the Saturday morning. This produced an outpouring of uninformed and abusive comments, so much so that Penny has now withdrawn as Admin on the FB page, and has removed herself from the page. Colin reported that he had received quite a few subscriptions on the Saturday morning.

A lot of supportive messages were also received and many from users ‘out of area’ explaining how useful they find the site. Consequently it has been decided that we will continue to administer the WPRA page as an open page, but the rules of use will be strengthened and applied rigorously. The content will be monitored and reviewed on a frequent basis. A moderating sub-committee has been established to share the load of administering the page consisting of Jennifer, Dave, Sue B and Annemarie.

9. Evergreen: still suspended. July meeting now cancelled. May start in August.

10. Gardening Club: still no meetings but a garden visit had taken place.

11. AOB: 65 Lache Lane. The occupant has had planning permission refused twice to squeeze another house onto his site. He has now put a mobile home on hardstanding. This is permitted by the council as is occupation during renovation works. If anyone has any comments contact Neil Sullivan who is looking into it.

Conversation about local plan: Redrow has an ‘interest’ in Decoy Farm and it would appear their next development site will be in that area. CWAC has plenty of housing now but nationally more housing is required. We will need another generation of committee/subcommittee members to get involved to stop another huge development. This will be highlighted in the next Newsletter to get people and Councillors involved.

Boundary changes: These are Parliamentary boundary changes that are proposed for Chester, to divide the city into two with the River Dee as the dividing line; we would be ‘South Cheshire’, a rural constituency. CWAC would remain covering the whole city…. Breaking up the city cannot be seen as a good move. Any comments need to be received by 2nd August. Pauline will circulate an item about it.

Tracey Casey had asked for us to discuss fundraising for a defibrillator at the Park for football etc groups using it. It was pointed out that there was one at the Tennis Club which was part funded by the Councillors for all park users in an emergency. One should be sufficient. Better signage would be put up. Sue said that the coaches of the Football Club and other sports clubs already have information on it and how to access the defibrillator. Sue will put up posters and talk to Nick Stark. The park is actually not in our remit.

Penny has offered to chase up removal of the red pick-up truck that has been parked at the shops for over a month now. Sue will forward the email conversation she has had with Neil Sullivan already, Jennifer will forward landlord contact.

12. Next meeting: Wednesday 4th August at 8pm, probably on Zoom?