WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
Community Wardens Chris Spencer and Michelle.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillors Evelyn Aldridge (family member unwell),
Bryan Corps (unwell).
Borough Councillor Latif Khan.
Members of Neighbourhood Policing Team.
107. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor MacIsaac reiterated his interest in respect of being Chair of the SBC Planning Committee.
108. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11TH MARCH 2008
The Minutes of the Meeting of 11th March 2008 were approved as a correct record. The Chairman advised that the updates to the CCTV system would be completed within the week. Councillor Haines advised that SBC’s Director of Finance had been approached by the Wexham Lea Borough Councillors and had approved the installation of four additional dog bins, key sites for which had been identified by Councillor Robert Aldridge. The only cost to the Parish would be for maintenance/emptying.
109. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
PCSO Pietro Mingolla reported that recent speed enforcement operations had been successful, 27 vehicles having been ticketed in one day alone and two untaxed. A recent arrest had also been made for being drunk and disorderly.
The Policing Team was currently working on a scheme with Councillor Haines called ‘shop watch’ whereby local shopkeepers had been asked to report matters of concern such as underage drinking. Depending on the results it may be possible to put restrictions in place such as Alcohol Exclusion or Dispersal Orders. Reports from the Parish Council in relation to any such incidents would also be welcomed.
Councillor Aldridge reported that youths on mopeds and mini bikes continued to be a problem, causing a nuisance and also damage to grass verges. The PCSO’s had noted the areas affected and were dealing with them.
Community Warden Chris Spencer introduced his colleague, Michelle, who had joined the local team. Linda Corcoran had patrolled the Parish land with a view to apprehending dog-foulers but had not yet caught anybody without a bag. She would try alternative times.
The issue of rubbish in front gardens was raised and the Wardens reported that notices can be served on offending properties to clear them. This problem had been successfully tackled in other areas and notices would also be applied in Wexham. A resident in Quinbrookes had already been served such a notice to remove their rubbish by the end of the week.
Councillor MacIsaac reported that the dog-breeder in The Frithe continued to cause problems and Chris would follow this up. A similar complaint was raised about a house full of cats. He was also continuing to follow up the widespread issue of parking on grass verges, but reported that it was difficult to obtain any answers from SBC when he made enquiries. The Chairman had also spoken to Highways about this but was faced with a similar problem in that answers were never forthcoming. The ‘mudbath’ that had previously been reported outside numbers 102-106 Norway Drive continued to cause a hazard and the Wardens would chase this up with SBC’s Louise Roberts who had promised to seek a solution to the problem.
Councillor Vyas reported grafitti in The Frithe/Wexham Road alleyway which was racist in nature. The Wardens would investigate this.
110. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor MacIsaac reported the following:
v Firstly, he thanked the Members/Officers for their condolences following his Mother’s recent death.
v An apology had been forthcoming from SBC for neglecting to show the reduction in the Parish Council Tax on the annual bills.
v The drain in Norway Drive had now been cleaned following the oil spillage from a coach.
v The building materials blocking the footpath outside 212 Knolton Way had been removed.
v The planning application for 128 Norway Drive, which had been refused by SBC, had now been approved following an appeal.
v An NHS consultation – ‘Right Care, Right Place’ – had been taking place. This proposed an urgent injury centre at Wexham Park Hospital, and a special baby unit to take difficult maternity cases. A new GP medical centre, which would undertake minor surgery, and a cancer treatment centre were also planned at Upton Hospital. Wexham and Heatherwood’s mental health wards would also be moved to Upton.
v Rubbish causing an environmental hazard at 101 Quinbrookes had currently been removed.
v Approval had been given to Jehovah Witness’s Kingdom Hall for rebuilding and underground parking, which would help alleviate congestion.
v Assuming the current SBC Administration remains in control, a bid could be submitted for LABI funding towards the new games area if it goes ahead.
v Mo’s Pizza had been taken to court but it was ruled that SBC would have to prove that the competing business was detrimental to the existing shops. (The Chairman considered it unacceptable that SBC should be required to justify an existing policy in court).
v The grass area at Armstrong House had been cleared six months ago but there was now a debate over who was responsible for repair of the fencing, which Councillor MacIsaac was chasing up.
Councillor Haines reported that People 1st had now relocated to new offices opposite the old St Bernard’s convent and were operating independently of the Borough Council. He had attended the recent NAG meeting and discussed what is required to ban drinking in shopping areas and parks. An Alcohol Exclusion Order had already been applied in Chalvey and Baylis and it was hoped it could be extended to the Wexham Lea area. WCPC would be formally approached for their views on this.
Councillor Donachy had also attended the NAG meeting and reported that they would like the Parish Council to fund speed strips (three needed @ £200 per strip). However, Kam Bhatti had indicated that SBC may already have a budget for this. If speeding could be proven then a speed camera may be installed.
Councillor Vyas raised his concerns about orange dots that had been appearing on verges but it was explained that this may be related to the installation of new street lighting. He also asked how to go about obtaining the Citizen magazine. Despite previous enquiries in this regard some parts of Wexham were still not receiving it and Councillor MacIsaac offered to chase this up.
Questions were raised regarding WCPC’s association with the new Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG). It was clarified that we are not directly linked to the group since they cover a wider area than Wexham Court, although we may work on some joint issues with them. Further items in relation to the NAG would be discussed in Part II.
Councillor Walker was concerned about vehicles still parked on the corner of Quinbrookes. The vehicles had been previously ticketed by the Police, but had now returned. Councillor Aldridge was dealing with this.
The Chairman reported that it had been a busy month. He and the Clerk had attended a meeting with Kam Bhatti regarding a request for additional street lighting in the Wexham Road/The Frithe alleyway, and he had also attended a meeting with the Site Manager in regard to issues relating to the development at Wexham School.
The Chairman reminded Members about the forthcoming local elections and advised that, in relation to their manifesto relating to play areas in Slough, the Labour Group had decided to target WCPC due to The Cherries play area currently being closed. This was due to recent vandalism involving the removal of some parts of the equipment, which had rendered it unsafe. The Clerk and Chairman had received telephone calls from the local Press and a radio station and various interviews had taken place with the Chairman in response to the Labour Group’s unnecessary accusations. Replacement parts for the play area had been ordered but it would have to remain closed pending repair for Health & Safety reasons. In light of the strictly non-political stance of the Parish Council, it was considered that the Labour Group’s attacks on us were completely uncalled for.
Workmen from Accord had turned up a few days ago to install a tarmac driveway across the green fronting number 58 Norway Drive. Fortunately the Clerk had noticed their arrival and immediately contacted the Chairman and Councillor Corps who were able to halt the work. This recreational green, which fronts numbers 58-68, was the subject of a Village Green application submitted by the Clerk some time ago on behalf of the Parish and no notification had yet been received to advise the outcome of the application.
A letter was subsequently received from SBC confirming that the Village Green application had been refused, and four additional weeks had now been granted to submit a further application. Members were asked to contact the Clerk during the next few days to become involved in the preparation of a new application. In the meantime it was suggested that the Clerk respond to SBC’s Legal Department requesting their support in protecting this recreational area, and make arrangements for a meeting with them to be attended by all WCPC Members.
111. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 29th February and invited questions from Members.
A letter had been received from SITA advising that, due to the Government’s landfill tax being raised during the last three years, the bills for refuse collection had now increased and would be reflected in the next invoice.
The Finance Clerk was complimented on the clarity of her financial reports.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for February 2008 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
112. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had previously circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and various items were discussed. No objections had been raised this month, but the Clerk had written to the Planning Department asking for clarification as to why some previous applications had been approved despite the Parish Council’s concerns.
A total of 39 responses had been received to the games area consultation (16 for, 23 against). This item would be considered by Members following the NALC Conference, at which it was hoped further information could be obtained.
The Clerk had now prepared the Annual Report with the assistance of the Newsletter Committee and it would be going to print in the next couple of days. Two people had approached the Clerk offering to undertake delivery to all residents and it was agreed by the Members that the sum of £120 would be paid for this.
113. PURCHASE OF NEW DOG BINS REQUESTED BY THE PUBLIC
Our Borough Councillors had now managed to secure the funding for four additional dog bins as detailed in Item 108 above.
114. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The NAG had organised a path cleanup day for the 26th April in relation to the overgrown footpath next to the Khalsa School. Volunteers were needed to walk the route and clear the path.
A resident offered photographic evidence in relation to the vehicles parked on the corner of Quinbrookes, as mentioned in Item 110 above.
Part I of the Meeting closed at 9.00pm and it was Resolved that, in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted, it was advisable in the public interest that the Press and Public be temporarily excluded, and they were instructed to withdraw.
115. ITEMS RELATING TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD ACTION GROUP
Members discussed the use of the Parish Hall for NAG meetings and related activities. It was agreed that a formal request should be submitted to enable the Council to consider ongoing free use of the hall for regular group meetings.
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