WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Bryan Corps (unwell).
Beat Officer Cerrig Shardlow.
98. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
99. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13TH MARCH 2007
The Minutes of the Meeting of 13th March 2007 were approved as a correct record. There were no matters arising.
100. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
Community Warden Chris Spencer reported that the planned meeting and estate inspection had taken place on the 15th March and a list of addresses had been noted in relation to cars parking on grass verges and the need for dropped kerbs. This had been reported to Mr Singh (SBC Highways Dept.) who had indicated that he would be investigating the said problems. Letters would be going out to offenders who crossed verges to gain access to their gardens. It was noted that the Borough Council’s attitude was now changing in relation to this issue and that they had recognised that there is a possible income to be gained from enforcement of the bylaw, as previously highlighted by Members of the Parish Council. Councillor Davies offered to provide photographs of offenders.
Problems had been reported in regard to the recycling bins at Knolton Way shops being moved. The possibility of anchoring the bins was being explored, and a new recycling centre in Knolton Way was being considered. It was reported that recycling of plastics was planned to recommence next year since the necessary funding had not been available this year. Funding for this and other items had not been available due to the shortfall caused by Slough’s inaccurate population figures, which Members of the Borough Council were still working to correct. A Member enquired whether local Council Tax would continue to be increased to cover this shortfall. The answer was yes, but there is a ceiling on the amount of the annual increase which had been 5% this year.
It was clarified that there is not much profit to be made from recycling, but this reduces the collection fees for other refuse and is environmentally friendly. However, Members felt that the current black recycling boxes were inadequate and the refuse collection arrangements should be reviewed. Councillor Haines confirmed that forthcoming changes were planned, and suggested that the Parish Council could talk to SBC about this.
101. ATTENDANCE OF SBC OFFICER/MEMBER TO DISCUSS BOROUGH & PARISH PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
The SBC Officer had again been unable to attend the meeting so this item was deferred until further notice.
102. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Gavin Hemming commented that a candidate in the forthcoming Borough election had been at his door canvassing for votes. The candidate had claimed that he had been working closely with the local police and had obtained a Community Warden for Wexham. Councillor Hemming had never seen the man before and felt that his claims were inaccurate at best!
Councillor Robert Aldridge reported that a hole outside a property near Knolton Way shops had been created by the resident, and this would be investigated.
Councillor Walker reported that a pile of rubbish still remained in the garden of number 103 Quinbrookes, despite ongoing efforts to clean up this property. Councillor MacIsaac confirmed that an Environmental Hazard Notice had been served and the pile of rubbish would again be removed. The bins that had been provided had since disappeared and further bins had been ordered for which the landlord would be charged.
Councillor MacIsaac also reported that Planning Enforcement was taking place in respect of multiple-occupation properties at 52 Quinbrookes and 53 Hillersdon. A Noise Abatement Order had also been served on 324 Wexham Road who had again been playing loud music to annoy his neighbour. The verge crossing that had been requested at 58 Norway Drive had been refused following objections raised by the Parish Council due to this green being a play area. A Village Green application had been submitted by the Clerk in an effort to protect this green. Councillor Haines reported that the Borough Council policy had changed and they were now also keen to protect such areas.
It was rumoured that the Slough Town Football Club may obtain the Arbourvale School site if Labour regained control at the forthcoming elections. However, Councillor MacIsaac reported that this was untrue since the site had already been sold.
The planning decision for Phase II of the Care Home site in Wexham would be made on the 16th April, and it was hoped that this would release Section 106 funds for the Parish Council. It was suspected that Labour would try to sabotage the Care Homes if they regain control in May and would try to sell off the land for housing. Councillor MacIsaac had been chasing up the SBC Members and Officers regarding the delay of the revised Parish Leases, including the 1.5 acre piece of land remaining from the Care Home development.
Councillor MacIsaac also reported that cars for sale at Upton Lea were still being stickered, and the broken down fence at Clarendon Court would be replaced with a brick wall.
The Garden Assistance Scheme would now be using community service offenders to carry out some of the work. It was suggested that this wouldn’t work because people abuse Community Service Orders and make excuses to avoid doing their duties. However, this had now changed since offenders who fail to carry out their duties are given a custodial sentence. Concerns were raised about the standard of the work previously carried out by Accord, and Councillor Egan questioned why they seem to always be used to carry out such tasks. Councillor Haines explained that Accord had been given a 17 year contract by the previous Administration and it would cost too much to pull out of this contract. The current Borough Council therefore try to maintain a good relationship with Accord in the hope of getting things done more efficiently. Councillor Rajput asked whether anybody monitors their work, since the Borough Council seems to be somewhat lacking in dealing with performance and management issues. He was assured that the work of Accord is indeed checked.
The current Independent Members of the Parish Council had been re-elected unopposed for the next Term of Office (4 years) and it was suspected that this was due to the Labour candidates not having submitted their nominations in time for the deadline. Councillor MacIsaac thanked all those who were helping him with leaflet deliveries for his Borough election.
Councillor Haines reported that a builder in Quinbrookes had been running a business from his property and disturbing neighbours. This was being investigated.
The Chairman reported that he had been busy as usual. He had attended the recent Election Briefing with the Clerk and other Members, and would be supervising the postal count at election time. He and the Clerk had also attended a meeting with Wexham School to discuss various items, and some issues of joint concern.
Several quotes had now been received for CCTV installation at the Parish Hall and this would be discussed after the AGM. Councillor Egan suggested that, since some damage had occurred during the past week, the CCTV should therefore be given priority.
103. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 28th February, and invited questions from Members.
The Finance Clerk reported that she would be submitting a VAT reclaim for 2006/07 in the sum of £12K. Hacker Young had requested that the audit be brought forward to August but it was decided that, since Council is in recess in August, the accounts could not be approved until the September meeting.
It was noted that the gas bill had increased significantly due to recent price increases and the Clerk was asked to check the meter reading to ensure the accuracy of the latest bill.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for February 2007 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
104. 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 numbers 94 The Normans, 132 The Frithe, and 17, 62 and 173 Knolton Way.
The Clerk reported that she had received informal confirmation from Steven Quayle, Monitoring Officer, that the Parish election had not been contested.
105. PURCHASE OF BEVERAGES MACHINE FOR PARISH HALL
The Clerk had suggested that Members might like to consider the purchase of a beverages machine in order to provide refreshments for Councillors and visitors when meetings take place at the Parish Hall. Various quotations had been obtained, but it was decided that the substantial cost of such an item could not be justified.
106. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
There were no members of the public present.
The Meeting closed at 8.50 p.m.
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