WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
Three members of the public.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Robert Aldridge.
27. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
28. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13TH JUNE 2006
The Minutes of the Meeting of 13th June 2006 were approved as a correct record.
Councillor Davies reported that the problems with The Cherries Play Area had now been resolved.
29. MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 28TH JUNE 2006.
The Minutes of the F&GP Meeting of 28th June 2006 were approved as a correct record, and the recommendations of the F&GP Committee therein were also approved.
30. POLICE LIAISON
PC Shardlow reported that it had been a good month and he had now been allowed to get on with his Community Policing. Local youths were aware that he was back and issues such as late night drinking at The Cherries were being tackled. He had advised the youths to look after the new equipment or they wouldn’t get anything else. Issues relating to parking disputes and untaxed vehicles had also been actioned. There was an ongoing problem of graffiti at Sheehy Way, and Thames Valley University had been approached regarding a community youth project to paint a mural on the wall. It was felt that graffiti artists may respect this and subsequently leave it alone.
A spate of dog thefts had been reported in the area and PC Shardlow was monitoring this.
The Chairman introduced Kam Bhatti, SBC’s Community Safety Project Officer, who addressed the Council and offered her assistance in resolving local issues. Items were raised in regard to suspected drug dealing at the Wexham car boot sale and also by a local ice-cream van.
A new Tesco store would be opening on the 4th August on the site of the previous One-Stop-Shop at Upton Lea and the new store would employ two security guards. A joint venture between the Gurdwara Temple and Tesco was being considered to install CCTV in the area and Ms Bhatti would be meeting with a representative of Tesco to discuss both this and her concerns about articulated vehicles making deliveries.
Community Warden Chris Spencer had been dealing with various issues, including graffiti, and advised that SBC would arrange removal of graffiti on residential properties if a disclaimer was signed by the resident. He also advised that untaxed vehicles would now receive fixed penalty fines. Additional staff were currently being recruited by SBC under a new system headed by Caroline Husbands in relation to the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act. He was asked to deal with a problem hedge at the Norway Drive/Almons Way alleyway. Ongoing problems were raised in relation to vehicles driving across grass verges and Mr Spencer suggested that an invitation could be extended to Chris Weedon to discuss such problems. Ms Bhatti offered to provide information on how to deal with the illegal crossing of verges and footpaths by vehicles.
31. INFORMATION REPORTS
Councillor Haines reported that the damaged grass verge at 101 Quinbrookes would be tarmaced. The Chairman raised his concerns that this would lead to all damaged verges being tarmaced and bollards were suggested as a protective measure.
Councillor MacIsaac reported that additional refuse bins had now been delivered for the multi-occupational properties at 101/103 Quinbrookes and the dropped kerb had been repaired. The Chairman suggested that the landlord should be charged for the extra refuse collection. A resident at 13 Quinbrookes had illegally started a building business in his back yard and this was being dealt with by SBC through the courts. There had been a problem with heavy vehicles using the Edmunds Way garage area and signs would now be erected to prohibit this.
Councillor Cheryl Hemming had been dealing with the concerns of a neighbour in regard to the proposed developments at 212 Knolton Way. The Clerk provided the plans and the Chairman clarified the details of the respective planning applications. It was felt that the Borough Council should put a stop to the spate of large extensions on the estate, which are often used for multiple occupation and cause various problems. The Borough Councillors explained that current planning laws have many loopholes and it is therefore not always possible for the Planning Officers to prevent such development. The Chairman pointed out that the recent demolition of a garage and building of an extension at 39 Farm Crescent was not permitted under the original conditions imposed by the Planning Department, and the Officers needed to take the appropriate steps to police such breaches.
An environmental health issue had been caused by an accumulation of rubbish at 26 Almons Way and Chris Spencer and Kam Bhatti offered to follow this up.
The glass recycling bell had now been installed in the Parish Hall car park and was being well used.
Councillor Davies and the Clerk had recently attended a meeting of the North Slough Forum, at which Caroline Husbands had been invited to speak. She had assured those present at the meeting that issues such as dog fouling, graffiti and anti-social behaviour would now be dealt with by the new staff allocated to her. He had also been dealing with planning issues and meeting with Officers at SBC.
Councillors Davies, Egan, Cheryl Hemming and the Clerk had attended the Wexham Court Primary School Wildlife Opening Day. This had been an enjoyable morning and the Clerk had prepared a page on the Parish website with photographs and details of the event (http://wexhamcourt.co.uk).
The Chairman had prepared a written report and this was circulated to Members and to the public attending the meeting. He and his sons had recently helped to deal with a fire in the field behind the Parish Hall to which the fire service was also called out. PC Shardlow was currently investigating some vehicles suspected of drug dealing, the registration details of which had been notified by the Chairman.
Thanks were recorded to the Clerk and the Finance Clerk for dealing with their heavy workload.
32. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st May and invited questions from Members. Some minor changes to the format of the Finance Statements had been made in accordance with the Council’s request at the previous meeting. The Finance Clerk was complimented on the clarity and accuracy of statements.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for May 2006 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
33. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had previously circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and various items were discussed. Objections had been raised to applications at 36a Berryfield, 349 Uxbridge Road, 39 Farm Crescent, 212 Knolton Way, and Orchard End.
The scheduled electrical works at the Parish Hall had now been completed. However, the electrician had indicated that he would provide a full report highlighting further items requiring attention.
Members were invited to attend the opening of Wexham School Art Exhibition on the 17th July and five Members and the Clerk indicated that they would be available.
Councillor Corps stated that, following a recent report in the Daily Mail, he would like to raise the problem of immigration into Slough with the Borough Councillors. The Clerk indicated that she would be happy to complete her report following discussion of this item. The Borough Councillors addressed Councillor Corps’ concerns and explained that no restrictions on immigration had been put in place when we joined the European Union. Therefore, the Borough Council had no powers to stem the flow of immigrants into the local area. The Office of National Statistics had been insisting that Slough’s population was falling, despite evidence to the contrary. Appeals had been submitted to our Member of Parliament, Fiona McTaggart, but she had failed to take the matter up on our behalf thus far. It was of grave concern that a further influx of immigrants could take place in the near future when other countries join the EU.
The Clerk now continued her report and enquired about attendance at the forthcoming meeting between Slough Borough Council and the Parish Councils on the 18th July. Councillor Cheryl Hemming, the Chairman, and the Clerk hoped to attend if possible.
The Clerk thanked the Chairman for his assistance at the Parish Hall, particularly in respect of getting the boilers up and running again following the electrical works.
34. THE CHERRIES PLAY AREA & ALLOTMENT SITE GROUNDWORKS
A quote of £802.07+VAT had been received from Accord for removal of the hedges at The Cherries Play Area. The Clerk had also arranged a meeting with a private contractor for a further quote. Removal of these hedges was a priority since it would improve the visibility of the play area and help prevent the accumulation of litter. The Council therefore approved a maximum cost of £1,000 and delegated consideration of the quotes received to the Finance Committee.
A quote would also be obtained from Accord and the private contractor for annual clearing of the ditches and other necessary works at the Allotment Site. This would also be delegated to the Finance Committee and a meeting would be called by the Chairman of Finance if necessary.
35. BOROUGH COUNCILLOR REPORTS
South Bucks County Council had recently displayed Notices regarding the proposed reduction of speed limits on local roads. A review of the adjoining roads in Berks may also take place.
An update had been received from Catherine Edwards in relation to the proposed Elderly Care Home in Wexham. Plans were being prepared, but this had been delayed since BUPA was now required to submit a revised tender for the care home. Hanover would be managing the extra care home. Members were informed that the land promised to the Parish may now be situated at the western end of the complex rather than at the eastern end as previously indicated. Members did not consider this acceptable and requested an invitation to the next Project Meeting with Catherine Edwards so that Parish representatives would be given the opportunity to comment. The Chairman had been approached by the local Press for an interview and he was considering this. He also requested a meeting with Councillors Dexter Smith and Derek Cryer, and the Clerk would email them to arrange this.
Members were also informed that negotiations for the lease arrangements would take place with Andy Algar after the elderly care home plans were finalised. It was made clear that the Parish Council did not wish to deal with Mr Algar and would be resisting any further involvement by him in the renewal of the leases.
Councillor MacIsaac thanked the Chairman for attending his Mayoral Civic Service at St Mary’s Church. He had recently attended Wexham School’s theatre show, which had been excellent, and expressed his pride in Wexham’s schools and what they achieve. He would also be attending Wexham School’s forthcoming Culture Evening, and notified Members that there were currently two vacancies for School Governors.
Councillor Haines expressed his disgust that large sums had been taken out of local budgets in the South East and sent up north to John Prescott’s area.
A recent survey had been carried out regarding possible use of the Wexham Nursery site and a further, more detailed, report had been commissioned with a view to running it as an environmental/horticultural centre. Councillor Davies pointed out that he and the Clerk had attended a meeting with the previous surveyor but the promised copy of his report had never been received. Councillor Haines would obtain a copy.
36. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Members of the public requested a public meeting to clarify the details of the care homes proposal. The Chairman explained that public consultation would be taking place in due course.
A resident in Holmedale had been suffering repeated vandalism of his vehicle, which he considered was racially motivated due to his being Italian, and complained that neither SBC nor the Police had assisted him. He was advised to replace the Italian registration plates, and also to contact John Mortimer (organiser of the Holmedale Management Company) to suggest the possible installation of floodlighting.
The Meeting closed at 9.35 p.m.
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