WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillors Pauline Cordery (working) and Dalip Rajput (working).
Borough Councillor Latif Khan.
Members of Neighbourhood Policing Team.
30. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
31. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 9TH JUNE 2009
The Minutes of the Meeting of 9th June 2009 were approved as a correct record following some minor amendments.
32. MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING HELD ON 24TH JUNE 2009
The Minutes of the Special Meeting of 24th June 2009 were approved as a correct record. The Clerk reported that in relation to Item 29, tennis court maintenance, she had managed to negotiate a discount of 7% since the meeting and the work would be commencing next Monday.
33. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
PC Cerrig Shardlow reported that the Policing Team now constituted four members again since PC Keith Steward had joined them. PCSO Pietro Mingolla, who had been on duty at Wexham Park Hospital, had also returned and several young residents had commented that they were glad to see him back.
The Team had recently been dealing with various items including antisocial behaviour, drug dealing, youths causing a nuisance in Bell Close, parking issues, and damage being caused to verges outside local schools. Speeding operations would be taking place in Norway Drive and Knolton Way in the near future.
34. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor MacIsaac reported the following:
· The Heart of Slough Master Plan had now been approved.
· Slough Football Club would be moving to the old Arbour Vale site but it was not yet clear what would be happening to West Wing.
· It was anticipated that the estate walkabout with James Swindlehurst would now take place in July. Nothing requested during the previous walkabout had been actioned apart from the installation of a hard-standing in Uxbridge Road.
· An update was provided in relation to the recent cases of swine flu. It had been decided that no more school closures would be taking place, and the advice to people getting the virus was to stay at home and rest. Most of the related deaths had been due to complications arising from existing illnesses.
Councillor Haines reported that he and the Clerk had been copied in on an email relating to hospital parking issues, as part of the Saving Lives Consultation. However, he could see no point in responding to it as it also included other matters relating to Stoke Poges.
Councillor Haines had been called out to Quinbrookes garage site due to a report of fuel being dumped. The fire service had inspected the area a couple of days later and noted that no attempt had been made by SBC to remove the fuel. The fire officer would be taking this matter up with them. A planning application had been submitted for the building of houses on the site, which it was felt may eventually help to resolve some of the problems there. Many of the garages were currently used for storing building materials and issues with fly tipping and youths gathering were common. It was noted that some residents had access to their back gardens from the garage site, but that this access was not a right and could be removed. The Clerk was asked to obtain a copy of the building plans from SBC.
An update in relation to proposed speed restrictions for the estate would be sought. Councillor Robert Aldridge commented that speed humps had been installed in Upton Lea but not in Wexham Court. Councillor Haines advised that this was due to lack of funds, and signage indicating the speed limit was more likely to be installed than humps.
Councillor Vyas had attended a one day CCB conference in Newbury with the Chairman relating to ‘empowering communities’, where various items had been discussed and information about the Parish Plan and other planning matters had been obtained. He had also attended a recent course involving community engagement via a web portal.
Councillor Robert Aldridge had been dealing with the problem of youths gathering in Bell Close, and had also reported a noise nuisance caused by a kebab van generator to environmental health.
Councillor Donachy commented that the Police were ineffective in dealing with such issues, and the Community Wardens were rarely seen on the estate. The Chairman responded to this by stating that all Members can help by getting out and about around the estate in their hi-vis vests, since this improves residents’ security and helps to resolve problems. It was noted that on the rare occasions that traffic wardens had been seen in the area they hadn’t done anything to resolve the traffic problems and appeared to avoid any kind of confrontation. Likewise, no action had been taken in connection with parking on grass verges since SBC were reluctant to take offenders to court.
The Clerk suggested that enquiries should be made on behalf of the Parish Council about the possibility of returning the powers to the Police that had previously been removed by SBC. Councillors Haines and Davies volunteered to look into this.
Councillor Corps expressed his sincere thanks to the Council for the get well message and fruit basket that was recently sent to him.
The Chairman reported that he had found the CCB conference very useful and informative. He had also attended a public Police/NAG meeting, together with Councillors Vyas and Donachy and the Clerk, the purpose of which had been to decide the Policing Team’s priorities for the forthcoming year. Public attendance at the meeting had been poor due to volunteers having distributed the leaflets to a limited area. Traffic and speeding problems remained a priority.
35. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st May and invited questions from Members.
The Annual Return had now been submitted to the auditor. An update was requested in relation to the Ya-Rah Association and the Chairman advised that they were no longer using the Parish Hall for their activities. They had failed to respond to correspondence from the Clerk and no further funds would be released to them until such time as they confirmed their future intentions.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for May 2009 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
36. 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 97 The Frithe and 27 The Normans. It was suggested that the handover of the lease for the new piece of Parish land should be chased up now that the care home developments were completed.
Councillor Corps had suggested that the installation of parking bays outside the allotment site entrance should be considered since complaints had been received from a resident about tenants parking on the verge. This was discussed but it was agreed that parking bays could not be installed there due to the area’s close proximity to the slip road. Councillor Corps had also enquired about removal of the temporary fencing in our amenity field adjoining the new development. This would be dealt with when the expected clearance of the new land was underway.
The next Borough/Parish Council Forum Meeting would be taking place on 28th July and an item had been placed on the agenda relating to funding for The Cherries Play Area. Councillors Davies and Aldridge hoped to attend.
37. CONSIDERATION OF CHANGE TO ALLOTMENT TENANCY CONDITIONS RELATING TO BONFIRES
The Clerk had distributed a copy of the current Allotment Tenancy Conditions to all Members. She explained that many complaints had been received about bonfires, particularly at weekends when people want to enjoy their gardens, and suggested that the conditions be amended to restrict bonfires to two days per week.
This was discussed at some length and a vote by a show of hands confirmed that six Members were in favour of restricting bonfires to Tuesday and Thursday evenings. It was also agreed that a condition should be included instructing tenants to only burn dry allotment waste, and not to bring items from home. A further rule was also added, at the request of the allotment managers, instructing tenants and their visitors not to trespass on other plots, and pointing out that the conduct of visitors is the responsibility of the tenant.
The Clerk would apply the agreed amendments to the conditions and distribute a revised copy together with a letter to each allotment tenant.
38. ATTENDANCE AT NALC ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The next annual conference would be taking place at the Royal College of Physicians, London, on the 4th/5th September 2009. Any Members wishing to attend were asked to notify the Clerk within the next 10 days.
39. CONSIDERATION OF QUOTES RECEIVED FOR REPLACEMENT PARISH HALL ENTRANCE DOORS
The Chairman had contacted eight companies, four of whom had responded with quotes. Options included full replacement of the four doors, or replacement of two doors with brickwork replacing the second set which is unused.
Councillor Donachy requested clarification of the standards applied in construction of the doors quoted. The item was therefore deferred to give Councillor Donachy the opportunity to scrutinise the quotes and make enquiries with the companies in question.
40. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
This item was brought forward to allow the co-option to be dealt with as the final item. Residents reported that the parking problems outside Wexham Post Office and around the hospital were ongoing. It was noted that South Bucks Police had been ticketing vehicles.
41. CO-OPTION OF NEW MEMBER – CANDIDATES ADDRESS
The recent vacancy had been duly advertised and Electoral Services had confirmed that the Parish Council was free to co-opt. The Chairman clarified what is expected of a Wexham Court Parish Councillor.
The three candidates in attendance were each invited to address the Council to introduce themselves, and to clarify their reasons for wishing to be co-opted. A discussion and ballot would take place during a Part II meeting to decide the successful candidate to fill the vacancy, following which the Clerk would notify them of the Council’s decision in writing.
Part I of the Meeting closed at 9.15 p.m. and it was Resolved that, in view of the 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.
42. CO-OPTION OF NEW MEMBER – BALLOT
The Clerk also withdrew from the meeting at this point, due to her relation to one of the candidates, and handed over to the Finance Clerk to take notes and receive the Members’ completed ballot forms.
The Finance Clerk recorded the following:
The merits of each candidate were discussed and it was suggested that, if not elected this time, the youngest candidate, Keith Nunn, should be encouraged by bringing him onto the Council as a Youth Representative. The ballot then took place.
RESOLVED: That Mrs Linda Ball be co-opted to serve as a Member of Wexham Court Parish Council, her Declaration of Acceptance of Office to be signed at the next Meeting of Full Council.
43. APPOINTMENT OF YOUTH REPRESENTATIVE
Following the co-option it was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Councillor Corps that Keith Nunn should join the Council as a Youth Representative. Councillor Haines asked for the constitution to be checked that this was within the rules, but it was noted that the Council had previously tried to arrange the appointment of Youth Representatives with Wexham School some time ago. Members voted by a show of hands – five were in favour, with one against and one abstention.
RESOLVED: That Keith Nunn be appointed to serve as a Youth Representative for Wexham Court Parish Council.
44. CONSIDERATION OF DESIGNS SUBMITTED BY WEXHAM SCHOOL FOR MAIN HALL MURAL
One of the designs put forward was generally accepted. However, it included religious symbols and it was pointed out that these should be removed as the Parish Hall is not a religious building. It was suggested that the word ‘welcome’ could instead be included in different languages around the border of the design, representing Wexham being multi cultural, and the words Wexham Court Parish could also be included. This was agreed.
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