WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillors Robert Aldridge (working), Bryan Corps (unwell),
Pauline Cordery (working), David MacIsaac (vacation),
and Vinay Vyas (working).
Borough Councillor Latif Khan.
Members of Neighbourhood Policing Team.
46. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
47. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8TH JULY 2008
The Minutes of the Meeting of 9th September 2008 were approved as a correct record following two minor amendments. Councillor MacIsaac had arranged removal of a skip on the road reported in Item 40 of the September Minutes. There were no other matters arising.
48. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
No members of the Policing Team were able to attend the meeting. Dympna Molloy addressed various questions from Members pending the placement of a new Community Warden for Wexham. Sadie Broadbridge would be commencing in mid November and the Clerk would invite her to the December meeting to meet the Council.
Ms Molloy provided handouts of a document outlining the activities of the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team and the members therein. The Team was employed to deal with various issues including environmental health matters such as noise, fly-tipping, pest control, littering, graffiti, dog-fouling, waste, sale/repair of vehicles on the highway, nuisance parking, planning & licensing consultation, nuisance neighbours, and gathering intelligence re anti-social behaviour. They also work closely with the Neighbourhood Action Groups (NAGs), the Police, and the Community Safety Team. Other issues not mentioned above were dealt with by the Housing Department.
Concerns were raised regarding the problems created by multiple occupation properties. The Clerk had written to David Scourfield about this and he had confirmed that a planning application should be submitted for any property intended for multiple occupation. Ms Molloy advised that two Enforcement Officers were now employed by SBC to deal with such issues. Councillor Haines advised that two reports were currently being compiled in relation to the matter and anyone wishing to contribute to the reports should contact Manju Dhar.
49. INFORMATION RELATING TO NEW RECYCLING ARRANGEMENTS
(Including further information about Neighbourhood Enforcement Team)
Sarah Bryan was invited to address the Council in relation to the new Recycling Scheme. She advised that the black box scheme would soon be ending and would be replaced by the red bin scheme. The red wheelie-bins would be used for glass, cans, paper/card, and plastic bottles (with lids removed). Information leaflets were handed out to all present and one of the new red bins was on display. Two of Sarahís colleagues, including Rasa Luzyte who had accompanied her to the meeting, had been employed to answer any queries relating to the new scheme.
Various questions were raised and addressed by Sarah and Rasa. It was confirmed that the assisted scheme for disabled residents would continue as before for all those registered. Concerns were raised about large cardboard items which the recycling truck had previously left behind. The Council was assured that any such item that could fit in the bin would be taken. Three different sizes of bins would be available depending on the needs of individual properties.
Ms Molloy explained that the purpose of the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team was to improve the local area for residents. The Team was now well established and was gaining more powers to deal with various issues and enforce the Law. They are however required to work within the parameters of the Law, i.e. giving the required notice to offenders to remove fly-tipping, etc. Problems that are common to several areas are given special attention, currently including theft of items from vehicles, fly-tipping and related vermin problems.
The Chairman raised the issue of parking on verges which is a major problem in the Wexham area. Ms Molloy explained that if the bylaw was enforced there would be nowhere else for people to park. However, it was pointed out that this was not the case in Wexham and the damage to verges was largely due to the irresponsible and selfish behaviour of drivers rather than any shortage of space. This was duly noted. Encroachment onto footpaths by overgrown hedges was also raised and it was hoped that the Team would soon be given new powers to deal with this.
The Chairman and Clerk also commented that previous Wardens with whom we had formed good working relationships had been taken away and moved to different areas. The Clerk asked for an assurance that the new Warden, Sadie Broadbridge, would be permanently assigned to Wexham and this was confirmed by Ms Molloy.
The Community Wardens currently work from 09:00 to 22:00 in the summer and 09:00 to 20:30 in the winter (Monday-Saturday). The summer and winter times change in accordance with Daylight Saving hours.
A total of 127 fixed penalty notices had now been issued by the Team and they were encouraged to be persistent with non-payers. It was hoped that the Team would be performing at optimum level within the next year or so.
The visitors were thanked for attending, and were invited to attend further meetings of the Council in the future.
50. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor MacIsaac had been dealing with parking issues that had arisen in connection with the new Sikh School. Councillor Haines would be attending a meeting at the school on Thursday and the Chairman would also attend if available.
Some 70 to 80 sites had now been identified for development in relation to the Local Development Framework. SBCís Paul Stimpson would be invited to the next meeting of the Council to discuss this.
Councillor MacIsaac had also reported the following:
∑ The Cabinet had approved the £10K LABGI funding for the Parish tennis court fencing and a copy of the invoice should be sent to Denise Alder.
∑ New Planning Regulations had been put in place by the Labour Government and a document outlining these was distributed to all the Members present. The regulations had generally been relaxed but there were still restrictions in place for items such as extensions. The Parish Council would need to be vigilant and report any unapproved developments for enforcement.
∑ The primary school hedges had now been cut back as promised.
∑ The pizza/kebab shop in Knolton Way Parade had now closed, but the neighbouring Chinese takeaway had advised that this would only be for one year.
∑ Monitoring of the parking issues with the Sikh School was ongoing.
Councillor Haines reported that the NAG group was to be re-formed in order to try and get new people involved. It was pointed out that some of the initial people had been offended because they werenít invited back, so it may now be difficult to find new members.
It was confirmed that the Council would need something in writing from the SEEDS Trust in order for the Council to consider offering support. The project involved Wexham Nursery, who would be providing training in organic methods. This would be further discussed once information had been received.
Councillor Donachy reported that a sewage problem relating to 103 Quinbrookes had occurred on Sunday and that it had been resolved on Monday evening following several phone calls.
Councillor Rajput had been unable to attend the recent Standards Committee meeting and he was asked to convey his apologies on behalf of the Council.
The Chairman reported that it had been a quiet month apart from the issues relating to closure of the Main Hall. The Clerk had arranged the purchase of two flatbed trolleys for use by hirers to avoid marking of the floor by equipment. A flood had occurred in the first floor kitchen due to corroded pipes and this had been quickly resolved. A staff meeting had taken place to discuss the care of the new flooring, including thorough checking after each hire. Renovation of the kitchen and bar area would be progressed as soon as possible.
The access road to numbers 58-68 Norway Drive, to which the Parish Council had objected, had now been installed. However, some vehicles were still crossing the verge and also encroaching on the adjacent footpath. It was suggested that bollards should be installed to stop this.
51. PROPOSAL TO SPONSOR YOUTH ACTIVITIES
The Ya-Rah Association, who had been working closely with Wexham School in support of local young people, had been organising various events and activities. They had requested the support of the Parish Council in funding items of equipment and use of the Hall. It was agreed that the Discretionary Rate could possibly be offered for hire of the Hall on the condition that the activities were for the benefit of all local young people and not just for specific groups.
The Chairman put forward the suggestion that, since the games area project had been shelved, the Parish Council could instead fund the use of the schoolís all-weather pitch and MUGA for regular activities by Parish youths. The funding put aside could also be used to support Ya-Rah.
It was requested that further details should be obtained in relation to the actual percentage of youths within the Parish who would benefit from the above arrangements, and also a more detailed breakdown of the equipment costs for each activity. The question of the ongoing annual costs to the Council was also raised. Yasir Museud would provide the requested information, following which a meeting would be arranged to further discuss the matter. The Chairman together with Councillors Robert Aldridge, Dalip Rajput, Patrick Donachy and Tony Haines would attend the said meeting and the cost of hiring the school facilities would also be investigated.
In the meantime, a budget had been put aside for Ya-Rah to run a dance group and use of the Parish Hall was requested on Thursday evenings. The sessions would be for two hours and suitable shoes would be worn to avoid damage to the new flooring. Use of the Hall for the dance group was agreed and it was proposed/seconded and approved unanimously that the Concessionary Rate would be offered for this activity since it would be for the benefit of young people within the Parish. The arrangements would be reviewed after three months.
52. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st August and invited questions from Members.
The new external auditor had been in contact and had made a minor change to the way in which the figures were presented, which was not the same method as requested by Hacker Young. This amendment would therefore need to be made before the Annual Return could be approved and the Finance Clerk would make the necessary arrangements.
The reliability of the Councilís bankers was discussed, in light of the recent economical problems. The Finance Clerk was therefore asked to investigate the use of Nationwide Building Society in respect of the savings account.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for August 2008 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
53. 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 35 Hillersdon, 19-21 Farm Crescent and 24-26 Bell Close. The Clerk had submitted letters of objection to SBC in respect of these applications.
In light of the time the Clerk did not raise any further matters.
54. CONSIDERATION OF QUOTES FOR REPLACEMENT TENNIS COURT FENCING
Three quotes had now been received for replacement of the Parish tennis court fencing and details of these were distributed for discussion by the Members. It was proposed and seconded that the quotation from IPS Fencing in the sum of £32,165 be accepted. This included 3 metre high double wire panel system fencing together with a turnstile to prevent entry by troublesome cyclists, and a separate lockable gate for disabled access. The total sum was slightly over the budgeted amount but a 2.5% discount had been offered for prompt confirmation and the Finance Clerk confirmed that adequate funds were available. £10K would be reclaimed from the approved LABGI funding. In addition the sum of £730 had been quoted by this company for the installation of a pathway to the tennis gates. Both quotes were accepted unanimously.
RESOLVED: That the quote received from IPS Fencing in the sum of £32,165, plus £730 for a pathway, be approved.
55. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
In light of the late hour and the need for a Part II meeting the Chairman omitted public question time and the residents present had no objections to this.
Part I of the Meeting closed at 10.15pm 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.
56. REQUESTS MADE BY GLAD TIDINGS FELLOWSHIP RELATING TO THEIR USE OF THE HALL
Members discussed various requests that had been submitted by the regular Sunday hirers relating to their use of the Parish Hall but it was unanimously agreed that these requests should be denied.
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