WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillors Pauline Cordery (working), Bryan Corps (unwell),
Dave Davies (holiday), and Patrick Donachy (unwell).
Borough Councillor Latif Khan.
Members of Neighbourhood Policing Team.
16. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
17. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH MAY 2009
The Minutes of the Meeting of 12th May 2009 were approved as a correct record.
18. MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 27TH MAY 2009
The Minutes of the F&GP Meeting of 27th May 2009 were approved as a correct record and the recommendations of the F&GP Committee therein were also approved. This included Full Council approval of the Annual Accounts subject to inspection by the internal auditor. A meeting would soon be taking place with the auditor and no problems were anticipated.
RESOLVED: That the Annual Accounts for year ending March 2009 be approved and submitted to the auditors.
19. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
PC Cerrig Shardlow reported that the Policing Team had been exceptionally busy for the last two months and apologised for not being able to attend the previous two meetings. The Team had been dealing with cases of criminal damage, theft, antisocial behaviour, and neighbour disputes. They were trying to balance their workload with the need to get out on the streets but this was difficult. The management had agreed that a second PC was needed in the area and PC Keith Stewart would be joining the Team in July. PCSO Pietro Mingolla, who knows the area well, would also be returned to Wexham Court from his current duties at the hospital.
A resident at the meeting requested the installation of a speed camera on Wexham Road to reduce the often dangerous speeds of the traffic. PC Shardlow confirmed that there were plans to install a speed monitor to assess the traffic over a period of two to four weeks. If the monitor deemed it necessary then a camera may be installed, although this may be for a temporary term rather than permanent.
20. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Rajput reported that a meeting of the Standards Committee would be taking place during July and he would report back.
Councillor Vyas had been involved with the arrangements for the Big Clean-up Day and had been liaising with the Clerk and Wexham Primary School accordingly. Signs relating to the Alcohol Exclusion Order were needed and he and PC Shardlow had been trying to obtain these. The whole of Wexham was covered by the Order which could now be enforced. It was drawn to PC Shardlow’s attention that a man who appeared to be mentally handicapped had been regularly seen sitting on a local verge with cider cans, photos, toys and a radio.
Councillor MacIsaac reported the following:
· A new shadow cabinet had been formed separately from the BILLD group as some members did not feel that they could work with Pervez Choudry as Tory Group leader. David Munkley was now the Leader of the new group with Tony Haines as Deputy. They had also withdrawn from the official scrutiny group as this was being controlled by Labour and effective opposition was being blocked. It was planned to hold scrutiny meetings in the Community on issues that affect residents and to bring recommendations to Cabinet. It was suggested that the Parish Hall could be a possible venue. Two members of the Tory group may be applying to cross the floor and join the new group.
· The Borough was in a financial mess. Labour had not pursued fair funding and Slough had lost out on special grants that could have been obtained.
· Councillor MacIsaac congratulated Chairman Dave Davies on his success in dealing with the troublesome resident in Quinbrookes, who had now moved out all his building vans and materials. Unfortunately it now appeared that the same person was causing problems in Rochford Gardens.
· Several incidents of fly tipping had occurred, and several garage sites were being misused for drinking sessions and left in a mess. This had been cleared up and the Police informed.
· A lady in Mansel Close had been bothered by gatherings of drinking youths but this had been resolved by increased patrols.
· Some problems were still ongoing in relation to traffic at the Sikh School. Parents had been spoken to and also the school Head with a view to improving access.
· An allotment holder had requested the installation of a rear gate to enable manure deliveries at the site. It had been explained that it would be too costly to install a second entrance.
· Enforcement of the misused garage extension at 200a Knolton Way was still being chased up. The owner had submitted a retrospective planning application for conversion of the garage to habitable accommodation in an attempt to delay enforcement proceedings, but assurances had been received that permission for this would be denied. A date would soon be issued to force the owners of the flat conversion at 35 Hillersdon to revert the property to a single dwelling.
· An estate walkabout with James Swindlehurst had been scheduled for 16th June but due to the unavailability of the Borough Councillors and the Chairman for that date it would be rescheduled in the near future. All Members were invited.
· The damaged cable that had caused street lights in Church Lane to be faulty had now been repaired, and a similar problem outside the Sikh School was being attended to.
· An issue had arisen in connection with a boundary fence at 57 Knolton Way and the owner had been instructed to move the fence.
Councillor Haines reported that the PCSOs had now installed further cameras at the front of Knolton Way shops. The Team had also been painting and steam cleaning the shop area, and B&Q had agreed to provide hanging baskets free of charge. Crime had dropped substantially since the cameras had been installed.
Councillor Haines had been contacted by a resident in Coftards to raise concerns about the possible disturbance of birds during the allotment clearance. The Clerk confirmed that the contractors were instructed not to disturb any active nests that they came across but that none had been found. Councillor Haines suggested that it might be good practice to plan any future work outside of the nesting season and to have a policy in place. Councillor Vyas advised that a new Biodiversity Act would need to be adopted by all Councils in the near future.
The European Election results were discussed and it was reported that the turnout had been 31-32%.
21. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 30th April and invited questions from Members.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for April 2009 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
22. 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 57 Knolton Way and 200a Knolton Way.
The Clerk advised that Councillor Bryan Corps was suffering severe health problems and she sought approval for the delivery of a fruit basket from his Council friends and colleagues. This was agreed unanimously.
A letter of thanks had been received from St Mary’s Church for the Council’s recent donation.
The allotment clearance work was well underway and had resulted in a couple of inevitable complaints. However, the majority of allotment tenants had no problem with the work taking place and were happy that this would provide further plots and tidy up the site.
23. REPORT OF THE PARISH PLAN WORKING GROUP
The Clerk had prepared a report on the recent meeting with Paul Stimpson and this had been circulated. Councillor MacIsaac clarified the need for a Parish Plan to protect the character of the estate, identify Parish facilities, and control development. Recommendations would be put forward to our residents for full consultation and it was suggested that a newsletter could be prepared specifically to provide information on the project. The completed Parish Plan would have to be approved by Slough Borough Council but, once agreed, it would give us more weight in dealing with matters relating to our area. Chairman Dave Davies was very enthusiastic about the Parish Plan, but it was stressed that every Parish Councillor would need to be involved and support this project.
Councillor Haines stated that this could be one of the most important pieces of work that the Members had ever been involved in, and it was something we could be proud of achieving. He felt that it would give us an opportunity to highlight the features of this family-friendly estate and could also detail rules relating to other matters such as garden hard-standings including suitable drainage, wildlife features, and protection of green areas.
A meeting would be arranged in due course for all Members to discuss the way forward.
24. APPROVAL OF REFRESHMENTS BUDGET FOR BIG CLEAN UP DAY
The sum of £30 had been provisionally agreed at the previous meeting and was now brought before the Council for formal approval. Councillor Evelyn Aldridge and David MacIsaac volunteered to assist the Clerk in setting up the refreshments table.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £30 be approved for the purchase of refreshments, fruit and snacks for the children of Wexham Primary School carrying out the clean-up.
25. CO-OPTION OF NEW MEMBER – CANDIDATES ADDRESS
This item had been deferred to the next Meeting of Full Council due to the absence of the Chairman and Councillor Corps’ current hospital attendance.
26. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
A member of the public, who was also a co-option candidate, made a statement relating to the allotment clearance. He had regularly been in attendance at the allotment site and had ensured that no nests were being disturbed. He had also suggested that the large tree at the corner of the clearance ground be left standing both to improve the appearance of the area and to retain a resting place for the birds. The Chairman and Clerk had instructed the contractors accordingly.
A resident raised the matter of some loose and damaged kerbstones in the parking area on the Wexham Road service road.
The Meeting closed at 8.35 p.m.
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