WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Borough Councillors Haqeeq Ashraf Dar and Tony Haines.
Prior to commencement of the proceedings the Chairman welcomed the newly elected Members and explained that Wexham Court Parish Council is a non-political Local Authority that works solely for the benefit of the people of the Parish.
1. ELECTORAL TERM 2011-2015: Signing of Declarations of Acceptance of Office following uncontested election on 5th May 2011
The Clerk handed out the relevant documents to all Members for their signature.
2. APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence to be approved as all Parish Council Members were present.
3. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
Councillor Dave Davies was nominated for the position of Chairman. He explained that he would rather another Member take on the role this year and asked for alternative nominations, but none were forthcoming. He therefore agreed to be Chairman for a maximum period of six months. The re-election of Councillor Davies was approved by a show of hands but, in light of his reluctance, two Members abstained from voting. He duly signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
RESOLVED: That Councillor Dave Davies be elected Chairman for the first six months of the ensuing Municipal Year.
4. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
Councillors Robert Aldridge and Shabana Zeib were nominated for the position of Vice-Chairman and Members voted by a show of hands. Councillor Zeib was elected by a vote of 5-4 and duly signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
RESOLVED: That Councillor Shabana Zeib be elected Vice-Chairman for the ensuing Municipal Year.
5. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were recorded.
6. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH APRIL 2011
The Minutes of the Meeting of 12th April 2011 were approved as a correct record.
Under matters arising the Bowls Club Rent Review was further discussed. The Chairman declared an interest due to his full membership of the Club. Further to recent communications with them the Clerk advised that they had queried the date of the rent review, which should have been carried out in November 2010 in accordance with the terms of the sub-Lease.
Councillor Donachy questioned whose fault it was that the review date was missed, and suggested that the Club could be prevented from using the car park or charged for using it. The Clerk commented that it was difficult to place the blame since several Members were involved in the completion of the sub-Lease as well as the Officers. She and the Chairman clarified the history of the Club ownership and explained that the sub-Lease was a legal document the terms of which could not be breached. The terms included a clause in relation to free use of the car park. At the time the sub-Lease was completed it was never envisaged that the rent would need to be increased since the Club is run independently at no cost to the Parish.
Councillor Donachy also questioned whether there were any other items for review being missed. The Clerk confirmed that no other items were missed since other reviews were placed on the F&GP Agenda to be carried out annually. The Chairman pointed out that all Members of the Council were equally responsible for ensuring such matters were dealt with.
Following a lengthy discussion it was suggested by Councillor Zeib that, prior to a decision being made at the next meeting, a copy of the sub-Lease could be distributed to all Members for their inspection. The Clerk would seek legal advice regarding the terms therein.
7. APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES:
a) FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE
RESOLVED: That Councillors Robert Aldridge, Dave Davies, Patrick Donachy, Carl Egan, Harjinder Gahir, Peter Gerstmann, and Shabana Zeib be appointed to serve on the Finance & General Purpose Committee for the current Municipal Year, and that the bank signatory mandates be revised accordingly.
RESOLVED: That the Authorised Signatories in the current Mandates for NatWest Account No. 10223657 and Santander (previously Alliance & Leicester) Account No. 387 3358 be changed in accordance with the respective banks’ requirements, the current Mandates to continue as amended.
b) HEALTH & SAFETY WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Robert Aldridge, Dave Davies, Patrick Donachy and Keith Nunn be appointed to serve on the Health & Safety Working Group for the current Municipal Year.
c) NEWSLETTER WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Dave Davies, Patrick Donachy, Keith Nunn and the Clerk be appointed to serve on the Newsletter Working Group for the current Municipal Year.
d) GRASS VERGE/TRAFFIC WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Robert Aldridge, Dave Davies, Patrick Donachy, Carl Egan, Harjinder Gahir, Peter Gerstmann and Vinay Vyas be appointed to serve on the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group for the current Municipal Year.
e) IT WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Peter Gerstmann, Keith Nunn and Shabana Zeib be appointed to serve on the IT Working Group. Councillor Zeib’s husband also kindly offered his assistance.
f) RESIDENT CONSULTATION WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Patrick Donachy, Harjinder Gahir, Keith Nunn and Vinay Vyas be appointed to serve on the Residents Consultation Working Group.
g) REPRESENTATIVES TO DEAL WITH HOSPITAL PARKING ISSUES
RESOLVED: That Councillors Carl Egan and Harjinder Gahir, together with the Chairman when available, be appointed to represent the Parish Council in matters relating to the hospital parking issues.
h) REPRESENTATIVES TO OTHER BODIES – BALC AND STANDARDS COMMITTEE
RESOLVED: That Councillors Harjinder Gahir and Sandra Malik be appointed to represent the Council in matters relating to BALC and the Standards Committee.
8. DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
RESOLVED: That meetings of Full Council continue to be held on the second Tuesday of each month (except during January and August when Council is in recess).
9. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
PCSO Matt Lynch reported the good news that burglary and car crime were virtually non-existent around the estate at the moment. Antisocial behaviour and street robbery remained a problem almost everywhere, but Wexham still enjoyed a very low crime rate overall. The speed monitoring devices were in constant use and having the desired effect. Further drug warrants had been issued elsewhere in the area.
Damon Wilson would be replacing Ben Gasson as Acting Inspector, and Shelley Squire would be joining the team in the next month.
The Chairman advised that complaints were still being received in relation to the sprawling hospital parking. Vehicles were often parked close to junctions and blocking driveways. The Policing Team would monitor this. The Clerk reported that complaints had been received about vehicles blocking access to the steps in Norway Drive. She asked the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group to include yellow lines in front of the steps to prevent this.
Several residents had expressed their appreciation for additional Police patrols in the area, and Matt was thanked for all his efforts.
10. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Sohal reported that the Borough Council would be building houses on The Frithe garage site. This had caused an issue for some residents who had rear access to their gardens, but a new means of access had been agreed to resolve this. He also reported that he had emailed South Bucks Council to enquire about the faulty street lighting in Church Lane. The Chairman advised that enquiries had been made previously but South Bucks responded by stating that they were cutting costs and street lights were not a priority.
Councillor Aldridge reported that he had been dealing with various issues including parking on verges.
Councillor Gerstmann reported that a meeting with South Bucks Council had taken place on the 18th May at the Red Lion, which had been attended by Dominic Grieve MP.
Councillor Egan had obtained the signage materials for the new number plaques at the allotment site and had helped with their fabrication.
Councillor Nunn was continuing to monitor the Intranet service and would prepare the necessary details for the new Members.
Councillor Donachy had received an enquiry in relation to the article in the Annual Report re eviction of deceased tenant’s partners from Borough Council properties. This had worried the resident and he was advised to contact SBC.
Councillor Vyas advised that he would be obtaining paint supplies from Akzo Nobel for the painting of the fencing at The Cherries Play Area. He had measured and counted the panels and the probation team had confirmed that they would be happy to work on this project, and to carry out work at the allotment site. He reminded Members that a door-knocking exercise still needed to take place in relation to the consultation on placement of yellow lines.
A ‘Big Lunch’ day would be taking place on the 5th June and all were invited to the Almons Way street party. Councillor Zeib explained that this was a multi-cultural event and all attendees were invited to bring some of their own food.
Councillor Vyas enquired about the possibility of Section 106 funds being made available in relation to the redevelopment of Wexham House. The Chairman had previously made enquiries about this but the developer had not yet been decided.
The Chairman had been carrying out his usual estate walkabouts during which a couple of minor issues had been raised. He had also been dealing with parking issues in the area of Norway Drive and the Sikh School. A fallen tree bough at the play area was being dealt with by the Parks Officer.
11. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st March and invited questions from Members.
The annual VAT reclaim had been submitted, and it was suggested that an F&GP meeting be convened on the 26th March for inspection of the Annual Accounts.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for March 2011 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
12. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had previously circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and various items were discussed. A letter of objection had been submitted in relation to a re-submitted application at No. 2 The Link following concerns raised by both the Parish Councillors and nearby residents.
The Clerk reported that she had attended the 2nd Anniversary Open Day at Oak House care home, together with Councillor Tony Haines and Mrs Moore. An article and photos had been published on the website.
A letter of thanks had been received from St. Mary’s Church for the recent donation.
Permission was sought from the new Members to share their email addresses with the other Members/Officers and this was granted.
Finally the Clerk conveyed her thanks to the Chairman for all his hard work and support.
13. CONSIDERATION OF PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL SPEED MONITORING DEVICE AND/OR SPARE BATTERIES
The Chairman clarified the need for a third speed monitoring device on the estate, together with spare batteries for the existing devices, and the Clerk handed out information to all Members detailing the costs.
The possibility of a solar-powered device was discussed and it was agreed that a quote should be obtained for further consideration at the next meeting.
RESOLVED: That the purchase of two spare batteries be approved, to be ordered once a decision had been reached on the possible purchase of another device.
THERE FOLLOWED A PARISH MEETING
TO RECEIVE THE ANNUAL REPORT
14. ANNUAL REPORT
The Annual Report for the year 2010-2011 was formally submitted and approved.
The Chairman explained that copies were delivered to all homes in the Parish, although we were not legally required to do so. This resulted in favourable feedback from the public, and the Chairman thanked the Clerk and the Newsletter Working Group for a job well done.
15. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk reported that she had been working on the Annual Return in preparation for the June deadline of the annual audit. She expressed her thanks to the Clerk and Chairman for their continued support, and was looking forward to the next year.
The previous budget had been cautious, but the Parish Council had still managed to carry out various projects within budget and the Finance Clerk was happy with the progress made.
The Chairman conveyed his thanks to Tina on behalf of the Council for all her work as always.
16. BOROUGH COUNCILLORS’ OBSERVATIONS
Ward Councillor Paul Sohal was in attendance and thanked the Newsletter Working Group for including his report. However, he complained that last year’s Annual Report showed photographs of the Ward Councillors, but these had not been included this year.
He pointed out that one of the Ward Councillors had not attended a single meeting of the Parish Council, and stated that all the Councillors should be given equal opportunities in the Annual Report.
The Chairman apologised for the photographs not having been included, but noted that space was tight and that Councillor Sohal’s lengthy report had already taken up one and a half pages.
17. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
It was reported that the hedges in the alleyway between Almons Way and Norway Drive were badly overgrown again due to No’s 16/18 Norway Drive failing to maintain them. Councillor Vyas offered to follow this up.
A resident complained that no financial information was included in the Annual Report and stated that an abbreviated version of the Annual Accounts should be included. The Chairman advised that residents could apply to the Clerk for such information. The Finance Clerk advised that a Notice of Electors Rights is placed on the notice board as directed by the auditors, and all residents are given an opportunity to view the Annual Accounts upon request.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending this annual meeting of the Council.
The Meeting closed at 9.25 p.m.
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