WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillors Dave Davies (working), and Dalip Rajput.
62. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
63. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH OCTOBER 2010
The Minutes of the Meeting of 12th October 2010 were approved as a correct record. Councillor Haines congratulated the Vice-Chairman, Robert Aldridge, for an efficiently Chaired meeting.
64. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
PCSO Matt Lynch reported that there had been some recent changes to the Wexham Neighbourhood Policing Team. PC Shardlow was still working with the Robbery Team, but had recently had a meeting with the Clerk and Councillor Davies to provide an update. PC Tracey Fenton-Smyth and PCSO Richard Kulaga had also moved on. The current Team included PC Nick Curry, PCSO’s Matt Lynch and Bartosz Tluchowski, Sgt. Jon Moores, and acting-Inspector Ben Gasson. A new second PC for Wexham would be recruited in due course.
Overall crime in the Wexham area had reduced, except for burglary which was up slightly. It was suggested that control of the roadside speeding indicators could be passed to the Parish Council. Full control of these devices was declined, although the Councillors indicated that they would like to designate the areas in which they should be positioned. Councillor Haines pointed out that funding for the devices was obtained due to the efforts of the Borough Councillors for use throughout the Ward, and requested that Rochfords Gardens be included in the placement schedule.
The parking problems in Sheehy Way relating to visitors to the Sikh Temple were being monitored and it was suggested that the Irish Club car park could be used. PCSO Lynch requested that a Parish Councillor consult with the Irish Club in this regard and Councillor Robert Aldridge agreed to action this.
Community Warden Dave Lee reported that dog-fouling patrols were ongoing but no offenders had recently been caught. No complaints had been received so it was assumed that the situation was improving.
The Normans garage site had now been cleared of fly-tipping and all present were asked to report any further problems to Dave Lee. Fly-tipping was a major problem throughout the Borough and fixed penalty notices were being issued.
The Clerk reported that she had heard there was a possibility of a forthcoming re‑shuffle within the Community Warden Team. A letter of commendation had been sent to Dave Lee’s teamleaders in the hope that they would allow him to remain in Wexham.
65. REPORT OF THE GRASS VERGE/TRAFFIC WORKING GROUP
The Clerk opened this item by explaining that the many green areas in Wexham were appreciated by the majority of residents, but there were some who habitually abused the verges and caused obstructions with their vehicles. The Parish Council had been trying to deal with these issues for several years, and had recently attended various meetings with the Borough Council with a view to seeking resolutions.
At a recent meeting it had been suggested that yellow lines may help to prevent parking on verges and road junctions and the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group were asked to identify areas that would benefit from this. The Clerk had prepared a report, together with a map, showing the recommended locations. However, it was noted that enforcement of the bylaws would still be necessary in areas where yellow lines would not be appropriate.
SBC’s Martin Mallia was introduced and invited to discuss these matters with the Council.
Mr Mallia started by explaining what the Borough Council can’t do. This included the yellow lines that had been requested on the South Bucks side of the border, in the vicinity of Wexham Post Office and Church Lane. The Slough Borough and South Bucks Councils operated differing parking policies and this made it more difficult to put joint measures in place to deal with the problems. However, Mr Mallia had been in touch with South Bucks to offer them assistance in resolving the current problems and the placement of bollards and/or raised kerbs had been suggested.
A design for yellow lines in the area of the Sikh School had already been put in place and any further measures would depend on the available budget. The Clerk reminded Mr Mallia that the Parish Council had offered part-funding for verge protection measures and this offer was still on the table.
It was explained that a public consultation would have to take place and any objections raised by residents could make it difficult to progress the planned actions. There was an annual limit to the amount of yellow lines that could be installed by SBC and the Working Group was therefore asked to highlight the problematic junctions on the estate since it was unlikely that the placement of lines on all junctions would be approved. If such key areas could be agreed then those areas would be placed on the waiting list.
Councillor Gerstmann discussed the possibility of putting forward a business case to SBC in relation to obtaining funding for additional traffic wardens from parking ticket income. It was felt that the installation of yellow lines in Wexham would assist in this, as well as providing a solution to various current parking issues.
The Clerk enquired about enforcement of the bylaws and prosecution. However, it was made clear that no funding was available for this and it was therefore unlikely to be progressed at the present time. The Clerk commented that it was necessary to take the risk of proceeding with a handful of prosecutions since this would send a clear message out to offenders, thereby protecting our green neighbourhood in the future.
Councillor Haines suggested that the Housing Department must surely have some control over such matters and could consider clamping of offending vehicles. Mr Mallia pointed out that some verges were on public land and some were controlled by Highways.
Prior to closing, this item was opened to public questions for a limited time and several enquiries were addressed. Mr Mallia was thanked for attending and a further meeting would be arranged with him in due course.
66. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Vyas confirmed that Geo-grids would be trialled at Almons Way and Dornels as a verge protection measure. This was likely to take place in the Spring when the conditions would be ideal for new grass seed.
Councillor Nunn reported that work on the Intranet service was ongoing and the trial was underway.
Councillor Donachy had received some complaints from residents in The Normans in relation to youths with footballs running in the road. He was advised to liaise with the Community Warden about this.
Councillor Haines had been exploring the Intranet service and it had otherwise been a quiet month.
Councillor Gerstmann extended a warm welcome to new Member James Vallance. He had recently dealt with a complaint about a coach visiting the Sikh Temple which was parked in The Frithe. A firm talk to the driver had resolved the problem and the coach was moved on. He had noted that the coach bay in Wexham Road was full of taxis. Councillor Aldridge commented that if the taxis don’t park there then it is filled by visitors to the Temple so there is no easy solution.
67. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 30th September and invited questions from Members.
A letter had been sent to Thames Water disputing the large bill incurred by the leaking water main. The necessary documents had also been submitted to the County Court re out claim against the hirer who had damaged the Parish Hall flooring.
The next Finance & General Purpose Committee meeting would be taking place on the 25th November.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for September 2010 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
68. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had previously circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and various items were discussed. There were no current objections, but a previously refused application at No. 2 The Link was the subject of an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
It was noted that Christmas was fast approaching and a Festive Newsletter would need to be ready to go to print for delivery early December. The NewsletterWorking Group would set a meeting date in the near future.
The Clerk requested confirmation of the recipients for this year’s charity fundraising event. Various options were discussed and it was agreed that the sum of £100 would be given to Doreen Barker (a volunteer for the Pet Therapy group which enhances the wellbeing of elderly people by visiting them with animals), with the remainder of the sum raised being split equally between the Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust and Help for Heroes.
The Finance Clerk suggested that we could approach our goods and service suppliers with a view to requesting their support by way of donating raffle prizes. The Clerk agreed that this was an excellent idea and she would prepare an appropriate letter for circulation at the earliest opportunity.
69. APPROVAL OF REQUESTED HALL HIRE RATES FOR PROPOSED MONTESSORI SCHOOL
The Clerk and Chairman had recently attended a meeting with the organisers of a Montessori School who wished to use the Parish Hall on weekdays. They had initially requested a charge of £500 per month to start, but were advised that this would be out of the question since it would not cover our costs. The sum of £1,000 per month was suggested, rising to £1,500 once the group was established. This proposal was put to the Members and an in-depth discussion followed.
The initial charge of £1,000 was agreed, but Members were unable to commit to a maximum of £1,500 since this would depend on the level of income received by the school. It was also stressed that priority would have to be given to Wexham children in order to justify the special rates of hire offered for this community service, and the hires would be subject to regular review.
A further meeting would be arranged with the organisers to discuss the options.
The Clerk advised that an enquiry had also been made by a Cubs/Beavers group for Thursday evenings, but that they would be unable to use the Pavilion Hall if the Montessori School was using it. A meeting would be arranged with the representatives of this group to discuss the possibility of them using the Main Hall, depending on the activities they would be engaging in. Use of the Main Hall for their functions was approved, subject to the satisfaction of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman following the said meeting.
70. PROPOSAL TO PRESENT A STRESS AWARENESS WORKSHOP FOR MEMBERS/OFFICERS
Councillor Peter Gerstmann presented this item and stated that it stemmed from his wish to contribute something to the Members/Officers in his professional capacity as an occupational psychologist. He proposed a two hour workshop to enhance awareness of stress, also incorporating general health and wellbeing and legal implications.
Stress in the workplace was becoming more and more of a hot topic and Councillor Gerstmann commented that the flesh-eating lawyers of the no-win-no-fee variety had picked up on this. He pointed out that employers have a duty of care and the workshop would bring greater awareness of this. The proposal was met with interest and it was agreed that arrangements for the workshop, which would be provided free of charge, would be made in the New Year.
71. PROPOSAL TO PURCHASE A PROJECTOR/SCREEN FOR PARISH COUNCIL USE
Councillor Gerstmann advised that the Parish Council did not currently have any AV equipment available for use by the Members/Officers. He therefore proposed the purchase of an Optima projector and screen at a total cost of £670. This met with a majority approval and the purchase would be arranged in the New Year. In the meantime, the Finance Clerk offered to obtain an alternative quote from one of her contacts to try and obtain a better price.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £670 be approved for the purchase of a projector and screen.
72. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
An enquiry was made in regard to the usage of a notice board at the local launderette. Councillor Aldridge indicated that this was controlled by the Policing Team and it was suggested that they could be approached with a view to advertising Parish Council meetings and events.
The Meeting closed at 9.35 p.m.
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