WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Peter Gerstmann (unwell).
Borough Councillor Tony Haines.
Community Warden Dave Lee.
Councillor Robert Aldridge.
33. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
The Chairman reminded Members that he wished to stand down from the Chair as soon as another Member comes forward to fill the position. The Clerk had therefore been asked to regularly include this item on the agenda in the meantime. Nominations were invited, but none were received at this meeting.
34. APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor Gerstmann had advised that due to personal comittments he would be unable to attend any forthcoming meetings of the Working Groups and he therefore wished to stand down from these for the time being. However, he was happy to remain on the F&GP Committee since the next scheduled meeting wasn’t until November.
RESOLVED: That apologies for absence offered in respect of this meeting be approved.
35. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
36. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 14TH JUNE 2011
Councillor Donachy requested a copy of the revised F&GP Committee minutes that were amended at the last meeting. The Minutes of the Meeting of 14th June 2011 were approved as a correct record.
37. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
PC Nick Currie reported that the new speed device had been delivered and would be installed the following day. The Chairman reminded him that the three devices should only be used within the Parish.
A green transport plan for Wexham Park Hospital had been recommended to limit the number of staff using the available parking space. The Policing Team had been patrolling the estate to monitor the parking sprawl and would ask hospital staff/visitors to park elsewhere. The Chairman advised that several complaints were being received about blocked driveways and SBC was being consulted regarding the placement of white lines to prevent this.
Local burglaries had increased and, in particular, Asian households were being targeted to steal items of gold. The main point of entry had proved to be through unsecured windows and doors, and the Police were advising all occupants to ensure that these were locked before leaving the house. Members were advised that a black male, approximately 6’2” tall, in an army-style jacket was possibly linked to local robbery/burglary.
PC Currie was thanked for attending the meeting.
38. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Sohal advised that the Planning Committee had approved a development of 23 houses on the Wexham House site. The planning arrangements included a long list of items under Section 106 and funds for the Parish Council had been requested. It was explained that such funds would be used on items considered to be of benefit to the Parish. The Chairman commented that this course of action would give WCPC no control over how the funds were spent, and pointed out that we should be consulted. It was noted that it was the task of the Commissioner for Neigbourhood Renewal, Councillor James Swindlehurst, to deal with such matters.
The figures for the recent Census had been encouraging and showed more than a 90% return. The Borough had previously lost funding due to inaccurate population figures and it was hoped that the increased response may help to reduce future Council Tax charges.
Councillor Sohal also reported on the proposed reforms being carried out by the Electoral Commission. SBC currently had 41 councillors, but it had been suggested that this should be increased to 42 so that the total number was divisible by three (i.e. three councillors per Ward). The final recommendations would be published end September, and a full election of all Borough Councillors would take place in 2014.
Councillor Vyas enquired whether the Ward boundaries would be changing and this was confirmed. The number of Wards would remain the same but the boundary changes would make them more equal in size. The Wexham Lea Ward, which currently totalled 7,500, would be reduced to 7,000.
Councillor Malik advised that she had attended a recent meeting in relation to these boundary changes, which were being considered by an independent body. She had also attended a recent Standards Committee meeting and a new committee had been elected.
Councillor Malik had received complaints about a truck parking on the Almons Way service road but Councillor Vyas, who resides in Almons Way, confirmed that the recovery vehicle belonging to a nearby resident had not caused any obstruction. The Clerk enquired about the weight limit for such vehicles and was advised that the limit is 3.5 tonnes for parking, increasing to 7.5 tonnes for through-traffic such as refuse trucks.
It was noted that the hedge along Knolton Way bordering the old library site was overgrown and the Chairman offered to follow this up.
Councillor Egan reported that he had dealt with some youths playing cricket in the tennis courts and moved them on. He had also attended the Wexham School Art Exhibition, and had arranged to take a day off in August to work with the Probation Team at the allotments.
Councillor Gahir reported that he had moved on some young people found drinking in The Cherries Play Area. This problem always tended to increase during the summer months and the Policing Team were asked to patrol the area. The area had been designated as a drink exclusion zone, but the Police couldn’t always be there to catch offenders.
Councillor Gahir had also attended a Councillor Training event, which he had found very informative, and had reported some door-knockers whom he spotted entering a rear garden. The Police had moved the intruders on but failed to take any other action, despite Councillor Gahir having witnessed them throwing some items back into a garden when they heard the sirens.
Councillor Donachy had received yet another phone call reference the transfer of tenancy advice printed in the Annual Report. He had again advised the resident to contact the Borough Council to be put on the Council List or amend their tenancy.
Councillor Vyas had analysed the information received during the Norway Drive parking measures consultation and had forwarded the results to the Highways Department. He advised that residents could request a white line outside their property and this would be done free of charge. He suggested a leaflet to notify them of this, or an article could be included in the next newsletter.
It had been agreed that yellow lines would be installed in the area of the Wexham Road greens, plus some junctions. Many residents were concerned about speeding and Councillor Vyas suggested writing to Savio De Cruz with a view to installing a speeding test line, preferably during school term time. These lines were normally left down for seven days to monitor the traffic.
Members were advised that the Probation Team would be tasked with trimming the Norway Drive/Almons Way hedges during their visit to the estate on Thursday, but the height of the hedges would need to be cut back by Enterprise. The Probation Team had also been re-painting the fencing at The Cherries Play Area and this was almost complete. The Team Leader had unfortunately suffered an assault by a previous offender, but he was bravely continuing to work with his team.
The Chairman reported that he had been carrying out the Norway Drive consultation with Councillors Vyas and Donachy, which had received a 90% response.
The Chairman wished it noted that he spent a lot of time liaising with the Clerk to discuss important matters relating to the Council and the Parish. He was concerned that some Members were not responding to communications. Members were also asked to ensure that they visited the Probation Team on their Thursday sessions at The Cherries and the allotment site.
39. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st May and invited questions from Members.
The final quote from Zurich for the Parish insurance had been reduced to £3,165 and this offer had therefore been accepted. The Members recorded their thanks to the Finance Clerk for the work that had been involved in obtaining this discount.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for May 2011 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
40. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications but there were still no responses being received so no objections had been submitted to SBC. The Clerk explained that this would result in large developments being approved that could have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of the estate.
Four Members had confirmed their attendance at the forthcoming NALC Conference and their places had been booked.
An email had been received from the manager of The Pines Care Home in relation to youths climbing over the fence and trespassing on their property. The manager had asked whether the Parish Council could offer any solution to this problem. The Clerk was asked to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter.
41. REVIEW OF ALLOTMENT CLEARANCE AND PROBATION WORK
Councillor Vyas had enquired about arrangements for collections of green waste following the Team’s work at the allotment site. He had obtained a box of green waste bags and each collection of the filled bags would cost £50.
The Clerk advised that once the allotment work was underway she would approach the Team Leader with a view to undertaking the clearance of the overgrown plots. If this was possible then the hire of skips would be necessary to dispose of the waste.
Clearance of the stream was now a priority since it was a requirement of the Environment Agency. If the Probation Team were unable to take on this task then the Clerk would arrange the work with our contractors.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £50 per collection of green waste be approved as necessary, and that hire of skips be approved if needed.
42. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Concerns were raised in relation to speeding vehicles and groups of youths gathering at The Cherries. The Chairman would notify the Policing Team and ask them to increase their patrols. Parking problems in The Frithe and Berryfield were also reported, which may be linked to the Sikh Temple.
The Meeting closed at 8.55 p.m.
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