WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillors Evelyn Aldridge (family member unwell),
Dalip Rajput (working), Vinay Vyas (late due to NAG meeting),
and Tina Kellett (on compassionate leave due to family bereavement).
82. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
83. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 14TH DECEMBER 2010
The Minutes of the Meeting of 14th December 2010 were approved as a correct record.
In relation to Item 6 of the December F&GP Minutes, the Clerk advised that an offer had been received from the Council’s CCTV supplier to install two nearly-new cameras at a discounted price of £995 to cover both of the blind spots around the Hall, rather than the single new camera that had been approved at a cost of £886.50. This was approved subject to the Clerk enquiring about a full warranty being offered on the nearly-new cameras.
RESOLVED: That the offer of the discounted price for two nearly-new cameras be accepted.
84. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
No members of the Police or Community Warden teams were present. Concerns were raised about the current lack of presence of the Policing Team around the estate and A/Inspector Ben Gasson would be invited to the next meeting to address this.
A member of the public had wished to speak to the Police since a ‘Have Your Say’ meeting had been advertised in the local Press at the same time as the Council meeting. It was considered disrespectful that no members of the Policing Team had attended to liaise with the public for the advertised meeting. It was also noted that it was unacceptable to hold Police meetings alongside formal meetings of the Parish Council and the Clerk would investigate.
85. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Borough Councillor Sohal reported that he and his colleagues had carried out an estate walkabout on 8th January. The team had investigated the high quotes for driveways that were required at properties in Norway Drive and had managed to obtain a discounted quote of £1K per property. They had also identified footpaths in The Cherries that were in need of work, and rubbish in the alleyway behind Armstrong House had been reported and cleared. He confirmed that the car park in Sheehy Way was to be retained.
Councillor Vallance reported that he had attended the inspection of the land clearance carried out by SBC.
Councillor Haines had received an enquiry about the state of the footpaths in The Cherries and had advised the Borough Council that this was not the responsibility of the Parish Council. He reported that the closure of Wexham Nursery would go ahead in June 2011 and the staff employed there would be working with Groundwork Thames Valley in future. The Clerk raised her concerns that this site may be considered for the second Sikh School, but no information was available to confirm or deny this. Councillor Davies stated that it would be interesting to see whether the Sikh School Governors keep their promise in relation to not siting a further school in Wexham. Councillor Gerstmann commented that local people have concerns about the additional parking, access and traffic issues that would be caused by an additional school and would hope that the Parish Council will be consulted and kept in the loop before any development takes place. Councillor Sohal assured the Members that he would keep them informed of any information received.
Councillor Davies reported that, despite the Parish Council being in recess during January, he had been called out no less than fourteen times to deal with various issues. He had also carried out walkabouts and had attended numerous meetings with the Clerk and Members, including the inspection of the land clearance. He and the Clerk had attended a meeting with SBC’s Head of Asset Management, Michael Condon, in relation to the unacceptable clearance. Mr Condon had admitted that this had not been carried out in accordance with his instructions and apologised for not informing us. He would arrange for further work to be carried out under our supervision.
The Clerk requested clarification of the Parish Council’s plans for the new land. It was agreed that a 2m path should be weed-treated and kept clear around the boundary, and that the copse should be tidied and edged with logs or a fence to offer protection to the wildlife therein. The central area could be left to re-grow for the benefit of the wild flora & fauna.
An allotment site inspection carried out by Councillor Davies and the Clerk had identified a few minor issues but, by and large, the site was now in good condition and the majority of tenants were complying with the requirements.
Councillor Gerstmann had organised an estate walkabout during January and this was attended by several Members and the Clerk, during which they walked the full perimeter of the estate. Residents had approached the team to discuss various issues, including the need for an additional dog-bin at the entrance to the amenity field. Rubbish dumped at Edmunds Way garages had also been reported and cleared. A page had been added to the website to record walkabouts and the Clerk asked Members to keep her informed of any further estate inspections so that this page could be kept current.
Councillor Nunn reported that he had set up a WCPC presence on Facebook and Twitter for the purpose of improving channels of communication between the Parish Council and its residents.
Councillors Egan and Donachy had also attended the new land inspection and Councillor Donachy reported that the bin collection issues had been resolved following the visit by Ruth Bagley.
Councillor Haines advised that the Census would soon be underway and houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs) were being checked by the Borough Council. He suggested that the current list of HMOs be re-sent to Ruth Bagley.
86. FINANCIAL REPORT
On behalf of the Finance Clerk, the Clerk submitted the Financial Statements for the 1st to 30th November and 1st to 31st December and invited questions from Members.
An offer had been made by the hirer who had damaged the Parish Hall flooring and the Finance Clerk had enquired whether the Members would be prepared to accept a reduced settlement figure rather than incur the additional costs of bailiff action. This option was discussed but it was agreed that it was in the public interest to recover the full amount of the monies due. Councillor Haines suggested including compulsory insurance for hirers as part of the hall bookings process and the Clerk would investigate this when the Parish Council insurance was due for renewal.
An F&GP Committee meeting would be arranged following the Finance Clerk’s compassionate leave. Councillors Nunn and Vyas offered to assist the Clerk with the necessary review of the Standing Orders, including comparison with the new Model Standing Orders issued by NALC, in preparation for this meeting.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statements for November and December 2010 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
87. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had previously circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and various items were discussed. Members were reminded that they need to respond to the Clerk’s updates if they would like objections raised with SBC Planning Department.
A letter had been submitted in relation to a further application for conversion of a garage to a habitable room at 39 Farm Crescent. This garage was already being used as a room. The Senior Planning Enforcement Officer had promised to take action back in 2007 but no prosecution had been progressed. The Clerk had reminded the Planning Officers of their obligations in her letter.
Councillor Davies provided an update in relation to the applications at No.s 68 & 70 Norway Drive.
Members were reminded that a meeting of the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group was necessary so that a further meeting could be arranged with SBC’s Martin Mallia to prioritise the placement of yellow lines. Councillor Haines advised that the Housing Revenue Account makes a contribution to verge maintenance and this could be used to assist in verge protection measures.
88. WCPC ONLINE – IT REFORM TRIAL REVIEW AND ROLL-OUT
Councillor Keith Nunn provided an update in relation to the Intranet trial and he was thanked for all the work he had contributed to this project. It was agreed that a training session for all Members would take place on 21st February to enable full roll-out of the service.
89. PURCHASE OF REFRIGERATOR FOR MAIN HALL KITCHEN
The Booking Clerk and Caretaker had advised that many hirers of the Parish Hall request the use of a refrigerator and this could encourage more bookings. The Clerk had investigated some prices and this was discussed.
RESOLVED: That a maximum sum of £160 be approved for a refrigerator.
90. CONSIDERATION OF DONATION REQUEST FOR ROYAL WEDDING GIFT
A letter had been received from the Lord Lieutenant requesting a contribution towards a Royal Wedding gift to be presented from the Royal County of Berkshire. This item was considered at length and the options discussed included a direct monetary donation; a donation to a Parish Council approved charity; planting of a tree to commemorate the event; or no donation. A vote was taken and it was agreed that no donation would be offered on the grounds that it was considered insensitive in this time of recession to spend tax-payer’s money on such an item.
91. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
No questions were raised by members of the public.
The meeting closed at 9.15 p.m.
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