WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Bryan Corps (unwell).
Tina Kellett (Finance Clerk).
Borough Councillor Latif Khan.
Community Warden Sadie Broadbridge.
100. The Chairman advised that Dianne Walker had decided she would have to stand down as a Councillor due to her family and work commitments. However, she would still look forward to attending the monthly meetings of Council as a member of the public whenever possible. Dianne was thanked for the contributions she had made as a Councillor and Committee Member.
101. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
102. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 10TH MARCH 2009
The Minutes of the Meeting of 10th March 2009 were approved as a correct record. There were no matters arising.
103. MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 9TH MARCH 2009
The Minutes of the F&GP Meeting of 9th March 2009 were approved as a correct record and the recommendations of the F&GP Committee therein were also approved.
104. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
No members of the Policing Team or the Community Warden were available to attend. The Chairman reported that new speed indicator signs were being installed around the estate. The purpose of these was to generally slow down traffic in the area and initial observation had proven that they seemed to be working.
105. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor MacIsaac reported the following:
· Everything at Borough level was now being controlled by the Labour administration. Scrutiny had become a pointless exercise and the BILLD Group had therefore been withdrawing from committees.
· A CCTV camera would be obtained for a resident in Hillersdon who had repeatedly had her wall knocked down by vandals.
· Multiple occupancies involving the unauthorised use of garages for rental were causing problems at 200 Knolton Way and 102 Norway Drive. These had been reported to the Planning Department for enforcement.
· Another replacement refuse bin had been obtained for 103 Quinbrookes, for which the landlord would now be charged since he had moved previous bins to other properties.
Councillor Haines reported that rent increases had been capped by SBC at 3.1%. He had also heard that the Borough Council want to keep the Thames Valley University.
Councillor Vyas reported that he had been liaising with PCSO Pietro Mingolla regarding the possible installation of gates at the Knolton Way Parade. Despite the shopkeepers being in favour of this the tenants were not so the project may not go ahead. Concerns about the repeated vandalism of the new bus shelters was also raised by Councillor Vyas.
Councillor Robert Aldridge reported that vandalism had also occurred at the Football Club and it was believed the perpetrators were 16-17 year olds. He also reported that the ongoing problems caused by traffic near the Sikh School seemed to have improved slightly.
The Chairman had also been dealing with school traffic problems and was getting the Highways Department involved. He was also continuing to follow up the problems that had been caused for a resident due to the new parking restrictions outside Wexham Post Office. The approval of the Members was sought to write a letter to SBC requesting an amendment to the restrictions, and this was agreed.
The Chairman had attended a recent NAG meeting but there was not much to report on this. New objectives were to be set for the next twelve months and this would be discussed at the next NAG meeting.
An update was requested in relation to the vandalism that had been taking place near the Wexham Road/The Frithe alleyway. A camera had been installed and this was acting as a deterrent. Frequent checks had been made by the Chairman and Councillor Robert Aldridge. Councillor Haines commented that the number of incidents in this alleyway had been exaggerated, and that a total of three such incidents had actually occurred. He stated that the overall crime rate in Wexham remained low and the Neighbourhood Policing Team do a great job.
106. FINANCIAL REPORT
The finance statement for the 1st to 28th February was submitted. A cheque had now been received from Zurich in settlement of the claim for the Main Hall flooring. A meeting had been held with representatives of Glad Tidings Fellowship to discuss various issues and payments from them had now been brought up to date. The Chairman thanked Councillor Donachy and the Clerk for their help in resolving this matter. The Clerk reported that similar issues had also arisen relating to Ya-Rah and a meeting with them may become necessary.
On behalf of the Finance Clerk, the Clerk reported that the PAYE Tax Year End for 2008/09 had been completed and submitted online and the VAT reclaim would be submitted by the end of the month. The Auditor had confirmed that Council approval of the Annual Accounts would be required by 30th June, for submission to Mazars by 17th August.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for February 2009 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
107. 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 were raised to applications at 35 Hillersdon and 48 Dawes Moor Close.
The 2009 Annual Report & Newsletter had now been completed and was ready to go to print. The Chairman thanked the Clerk for her work in preparing this, and the Clerk thanked the Chairman and Councillors MacIsaac and Donachy for their assistance. Councillor Donachy had obtained a competitive quotation of £596 from a printing company in Uxbridge (Kentchase) which he knew to be reliable. The Clerk explained that printing is usually carried out by SBC, but there was sometimes a problem meeting the required timescales due to them being busy with election documents at this time of year. It was therefore agreed that Kentchase would be used.
Paul Stimpson had offered two dates for the Parish Plan meeting, 22nd & 29th April, and the members of the working group agreed the 29th.
108. CONSIDERATION OF OFFICER SIGNATORY ARRANGEMENTS FOR WCPC BANK ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT (INCLUDING REQUIRED AMENDMENT OF STANDING ORDERS AS APPROVED BY BALC)
The Chairman clarified that the Council’s bankers would not communicate with the Officers in relation to following up requests made for transfers, etc, since they are not registered as signatories. This had caused repeated problems since Finance Committee Members were not always available during bank opening hours. The Clerk had found it necessary on recent occasions to interrupt the Chairman at his place of work so that he could make the necessary phone calls.
Advice had been sought from the Council’s advisors, BALC, who had confirmed that this was a common problem and Officers can become signatories on the condition that the Financial Regulations of the Standing Orders are amended to include the following wording:
“The Clerk and/or RFO are authorised to make the required transfers between accounts and manage the day to day cash flow of the accounts to ensure best value with regard to interest, but the Clerk and/or RFO are not authorised to sign any cheque(s) relating to payments for goods or services provided to the Council.”
Some Members had reservations about allowing the Officers to become signatories, largely due to the fact that they were not satisfied with the wording suggested by BALC. The item was therefore deferred for further consideration and advice.
109. SIGNING-OFF OF THE COMPULSORY PENSION FUND SLA
The Chairman clarified that the Pension Fund Administrators had prepared an SLA (Service Level Agreement) which all member Councils were required to sign under new legislation. Copies of the SLA had been circulated by the Clerk but it was stressed that neither the Clerk nor Finance Clerk, as members of the pension scheme, had any involvement in the preparation of this statutory document.
Despite the objections of some Members, and Councillor Haines’ request that his refusal to sign it be minuted, the Chairman reiterated that his signing-off of the document was compulsory and he asked for a vote by a show of hands in support of this. Members voted 4 for, 1 against, with the remainder abstaining.
110. CONSIDERATION OF QUOTE RECEIVED FOR PAINTING OF THE CHERRIES PLAY AREA FENCING
The Chairman explained that The Cherries Play Area fencing was looking tired and re-painting in bright colours would enhance the area. A quotation of £3,600 had been received. Councillor Donachy requested further quotes and the Chairman asked for volunteers to obtain these. However, in the absence of any forthcoming volunteers the Chairman reluctantly agreed to do this himself.
111. CONSIDERATION OF QUOTE RECEIVED FOR REPLACEMENT OF THE PARISH HALL FRONT SHUTTER
The Chairman explained that the shutter had recently been repaired again and the engineer had advised full replacement as soon as possible due to a worn motor and parts. Quotes had been received for a new shutter curtain, in the sum of £860+VAT, or full shutter and motor replacement, in the sum of £1,658+VAT. It was also possible to fit a sensor to prevent the shutter closing on an open door or other object, which had frequently happened in the past, and this would be in the region of an additional £200. Full replacement plus sensor was agreed unanimously.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £1,658 (+ £200) +VAT be approved for full security shutter/motor replacement including sensor.
112. CONSIDERATION OF DONATION IN SUPPORT OF 1ST WEXHAM BROWNIES
A letter had been received from Brown Owl requesting the support of the Parish Council in funding the activities of the 1st Wexham Brownies. Since no donations had been made for two years, the sum of £200 was agreed unanimously.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £200 be donated to 1st Wexham Brownies in support of their ongoing activities.
113. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The Wexham Cottage resident expressed his thanks to the Members who had been working to resolve the parking issues caused by the new restrictions.
The meeting closed at 9.05pm
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