WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
ANNUAL REPORT, APRIL 2008
Members and Officers at end of year
Councillor Mrs Evelyn Aldridge, 353 Uxbridge Road,
Wexham, Slough, SL2 5RG. (Tel: 01753 526438) (Ind)
Councillor Robert Aldridge, 4 Welden, Wexham,
Slough, SL2 5SJ. (Tel: 01753 732565) (Ind)
Councillor Ms Pauline Cordery, Wexham, Slough.
(Tel: (mobile) 01753 732565) (Ind)
Councillor Bryan Corps, 42 Norway Drive, Wexham,
Slough, SL2 5QW. (Tel: 01753 532309) (Ind)
Councillor Dave Davies, 96 Norway Drive, Wexham,
Slough, SL2 5QW. (Tel: 01753 670693) (Ind) (Chairman)
Councillor Patrick Donachy, Wexham, Slough.
(Tel: (mobile) 07775 781508) (Ind)
Councillor Tony Haines, 537 Rochfords Gardens,
Slough, SL2 5XG. (Tel: 01753 538263) (Ind)
Councillor David MacIsaac, 156 Knolton Way, Wexham,
Slough, SL2 5RY. (Tel: 01753 532774) (Ind)
Councillor Dalip Rajput, 12 Shaggy Calf Lane,
Slough, SL2 5HJ. (Tel: (mobile) 07958 192226) (Ind)
Councillor Vinay Vyas, 12 Almons Way, Wexham,
Slough, SL2 5UE. (Tel: 01753 673405) (Ind)
Councillor Miss Dianne Walker, Wexham, Slough.
(Tel: 01753 799018) (Ind)
Clerk to the Council: Mrs Dianne Egan, 44 Norway Drive, Wexham,
Slough, SL2 5QW. (Tel: 01753 534924)
Finance Clerk: Mrs Tina Kellett, Sedgemere, Stonecroft
Avenue, Iver, Bucks, SL0 9QG. (Tel: 01753 651790)
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(Prepared by Chairman Dave Davies and Dianne Egan, Clerk)
I have enjoyed the challenges of serving you as Chairman of the Parish Council during the last municipal year, and I am pleased to present to you our Annual Report. Firstly, I would like to convey my thanks to the Clerk, the Finance Clerk, my fellow Parish Council Members, and our four other members of staff, whose hard work and support throughout the year is much appreciated. Our collective effort as a team enables the Parish Council to function in a successful and efficient manner for the benefit of our residents. As always, our key priority is to continue to represent the best interests of Wexham.
Many questions and comments have been received regarding the construction of the elderly care homes that are being built on the land north of the Norway Drive amenity field. Whilst I accept that the loss of this open green land has adversely affected our area, I would reiterate that the care home development is far more desirable than the huge amount of social housing that was planned for the site by the previous Borough Council Administration. Once the development is completed, and the surroundings have been landscaped, I’m sure that the finished appearance will reduce the visual impact which is currently so evident.
It gives me the greatest of satisfaction to report that, after many years of negotiations with Slough Borough Council, the Parish Leases have now been renewed for the next 25 years. This excellent achievement is mainly due to the hard work and combined efforts of the Clerk (Dianne Egan), retired Councillor Henry Egan, and myself. I would also like to extend my thanks to Borough/Parish Councillor David MacIsaac and our solicitor for their help and support.
The Leases include the amenity land north of Norway Drive (incorporating the playing field, tennis courts, Parish Hall and Bowls Club) and also The Cherries recreational area. An Agreement for Lease has also been obtained in relation to the 1.5 acre wedge of remaining land at the Wexham Road end of the care home site, but this cannot be handed over to us until the development is completed. All of this leased land can now be protected from development and maintained by the Parish Council as recreational space for the full term of the Leases. It may well be the only surviving piece of green space in Slough at the end of the 25 years!
In addition to the above, we have also obtained the Freehold of our Allotment Site at the junction of Church Lane/Uxbridge Road so that this too can be protected for the ongoing benefit of our allotment tenants.
As previously (at the time of writing) we still have two Borough Councillors serving on the Parish Council, and this is of benefit to us in relation to the exchange of information between the Borough and Parish Authorities. All three Wexham Lea Ward Borough Councillors are invited to attend our monthly meetings to report on their local activities.
The Parish Council holds regular meetings with local schools and continues to present annual awards to pupils who deserve recognition for their achievements.
All of us in Wexham now benefit from the presence of an excellent Neighbourhood Policing Team consisting of PC’s Cerrig Shardlow & Nick Currie, PCSO’s Richard Kulaga & Pietro Mingolla, and Sgt. John Moores, all of whom attend our monthly Meetings of Council whenever they are available. Our sincere thanks to the Policing Team for all their hard work and efforts in keeping Wexham safe. We continue to enjoy the lowest crime rate in all of Slough.
We now have a new Community Warden, Linda Corcoran, who works closely with the Parish Council and the Police and also attends our monthly meetings to report on her activities and deal with enquiries. We continue to carry out regular Estate Inspections on which Linda often accompanies us.
Residents are encouraged to make use of the facilities and amenities provided, including the Parish Hall and Tennis Courts, The Cherries Play Area, and our Allotment Site, and we would ask that you keep a keen eye on your local area and alert us, the Police, or the Community Warden to any problems.
Please bear in mind that Parish Council Members are not paid for their work in the Community and most have full-time jobs to attend. Therefore, we cannot be on duty 24 hours per day and we rely on our residents to report criminal activities. Local youths need to be reminded that any damage they cause is paid for by their fellow residents, neighbours and, ultimately, their own parents, through the Parish Precept.
The Parish Council meets on the 2nd Tuesday in each month (except for January and August) at the Parish Hall, commencing at 7:30 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend each meeting, and we urge you to do so as this is your opportunity to keep up-to-date on local matters, and to raise any issues or concerns you may have. We will always do our best to resolve any issues that are raised, or to offer advice and guidance. You are welcome to come along to any meeting whether or not you have any specific items to discuss.
We make ourselves available to be contacted at varying times and also via email from our website (www.wexhamcourt.co.uk), which is managed and maintained by the Clerk. My fellow Members and I take pride in serving the people of Wexham and we look forward to continuing our work during the coming year.
DAVE DAVIES, CHAIRMAN
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PROPOSED INSTALLATION OF MULTI-GAMES AREA
A proposal has recently been put forward for a new Multi-Games Area next to the tennis courts in the Norway Drive recreational ground. Consultation letters have been distributed by the Chairman and Clerk to all residents in the northern part of the estate who will be mostly affected by the proposal, but the number of responses has sadly been very low despite our best efforts to obtain your views and comments.
Your Councillors will decide whether the games area is to go ahead in the near future, based on the limited number of comments that have been received.
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OTHER PARISH COUNCIL INFORMATION & AMENITIES
SCHOOL AWARDS - The Parish Council continues to support the schools in our area by awarding annual trophies and prizes for the outstanding achievement of a deserving pupil designated by each school. These are presented each year by the Chairman.
The Chairman and Clerk also attend regular meetings with the Head and other representatives of Wexham School in relation to local matters that are of joint concern.
CCTV INSTALLATION - A substantial CCTV system has now been installed with views of the Parish Hall & grounds (including the Bowls Club) and is monitored by the Clerk and Chairman. This will help us and the Police to identify the culprits if the Parish Land becomes the target of vandalism, graffiti or any other antisocial behaviour.
Please let the Police or one of your Parish Councillors know if you witness such incidents in your own area.
PARISH HALL - The Parish Hall is well used for various events which provide an income to manage and maintain it. Regular functions also take place that are of benefit to the community including a Tae Kwon Do school on Mondays, an Asian Drummers class on Tuesdays, a Games Club on Fridays, and Glad Tidings Group meetings on Sundays. Wexham School is also making use of the Hall during the daytime whilst their building works are taking place. The rates of hire are reviewed annually by the Finance & General Purpose Committee and we continue to offer discounted rates for Parish residents and community groups.
Enquiries in regard to hiring of the Parish Hall can be made with our Booking Clerk, Lynne, on 01753 574945.
TENNIS COURTS - The Tennis Courts are made freely available for the public and are well used throughout the year. However, please be reminded that football, cricket, cycling, dog-walking!!, and any other inappropriate pastime is not permitted since such activities can cause damage to the surface which is expensive to repair.
THE CHERRIES PLAY AREA - Despite our best efforts to maintain the Play Area and make budgeted improvements out of the Parish Precept, we regret to advise that it continues to be subjected to vandalism and antisocial behaviour by mindless individuals who have no consideration for others.
Graffiti and litter are ongoing problems, and the area recently had to be closed for Health and Safety reasons due to some of the play equipment panels being stolen. Replacements have been ordered and will hopefully be installed by the time you receive this report.
Please note that the equipment in The Cherries Play Area is intended for use only by children up to 14 years old. If you witness any abuse or vandalism taking place, please contact the Police or the Community Warden team.
Cutting of the grass and litter collection is the responsibility of Slough Borough Council and residents should contact the Parks Department if this is not done.
BOWLING GREEN - The Wexham Bowls Club is managed independently of the Parish Council and we have therefore granted them a sub-Lease on the land they occupy. However, they continue to make a rink available to the public when not required for competitions, and we continue to support their annual Charity Day on which a trophy is presented by our Chairman to the winning bowler. The club will always welcome new members and you should apply direct for further information.
COMMUNITY CARE - The Parish Council continues to make grants to Community Groups working in the Parish, including St Mary’s Church and the Wexham Brownies.
NALC & CCB MEMBERSHIP - We are members of the National Association of Local Councils, and the Community Council for Berkshire, both of whom offer advice to Local Authorities.
PLANNING MATTERS - The Parish Council reviews planning applications relating to properties within the Parish and makes comments and representations to the Borough Council on behalf of our residents. However, it should be noted that the final decision in respect of any given application rests with the SBC Planning Department or the Planning Inspectorate, who often approve inappropriate developments despite our formal objections.
DROPPED KERBS/DRIVEWAYS & ABUSE OF VERGES - Please note that anyone wishing to install a dropped kerb and driveway for access across a public verge/footpath must officially apply to Slough Borough Council. Private installation of such access is illegal as is driving or parking on footpaths or green verges, fines for which we are lobbying the Borough Council.
DOG FOULING - This is an ongoing problem around our estate and has become a major issue on the open public land at Norway Drive/The Cherries. Whilst we realise that an existing dog-walking area has been lost due to the care home development, we cannot tolerate dog owners who condone antisocial behaviour by failing to clean up their pets’ mess in our recreational areas. This nasty habit also poses a health hazard to others.
We will actively pursue the issuing of maximum fines to any offenders who are seen by the Community Warden, the Council, or our CCTV cameras.
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PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP AND ATTENDANCE
All eleven of your Independent Councillors were elected unopposed at last May’s elections. However, three have since retired (two of them due to moving abroad) and we therefore have three new Members – Pauline Cordery, Patrick Donachy, and Vinay Vyas.
* Councillor Bryan Corps continues to play an important role within the Parish Council, despite his ill health, and he attends meetings whenever possible. He keeps a keen eye on his local area, including the Parish Hall and tennis courts, and is also a Member of the Health & Safety Working Group wherein his advice as a qualified electrician is often called upon.
Attendance at Meetings of Full Council (11 Members, total 10 meetings), and Finance & General Purposes Committee (4 Members, total 4 meetings),
during the last municipal year is as shown below: -
Evelyn Aldridge 8
Robert Aldridge 7 / 3
Pauline Cordery 2 (of a possible 2)
Bryan Corps 4 *(please see note above)
Dave Davies 9 / 4
Patrick Donachy 2 (of a possible 2)
Tony Haines 7
David MacIsaac 6 / 1 (of 1)
Dalip Rajput 9
Vinay Vyas 6 (of a possible 7) / 1 (of 1)
Dianne Walker 9
Meetings of the Health & Safety Working Group also take place periodically for the purpose of carrying out inspections and risk assessments.
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Note: A hard copy of the Annual Report, including an invitation to the Annual General Parish Assembly, is delivered to every household in the Parish. As previously, this year's Report also included other information items including photographs of the Councillors, and the article about what we do for you on the centre pages, that are already published elsewhere on this website.
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