WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
Three members of the public.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Simon Goddard.
Beat Officer Cerrig Shardlow.
151. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No Member had an interest to declare.
152. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 14TH MARCH 2006
The Minutes of the Meeting of 14th March 2006 were approved as a correct record.
Councillor MacIsaac provided an update regarding various planning matters raised at the previous meeting, and Councillor Davies provided an update regarding the purchase of trophies for the local schools and the Bowls Club.
The Chairman and Councillor Davies reported that they and the Clerk had recently carried out an estate inspection with the Community Warden, and pointed out that incorrect information had been provided in respect of the lack of such a warden for the Wexham area. Several items had been highlighted during the inspection, many of which had now been resolved.
153. POLICE LIAISON
Beat Officer Cerrig Shardlow was unable to attend the meeting but had asked the Clerk to let him know whether Members had any items they would like to bring to his attention. No such items were raised.
154. PROPOSED INSTALLATION OF AMBERWATCH ALERT SYSTEM
The representative was unable to attend and this item was therefore deferred until June.
155. INFORMATION REPORTS
Councillor Davies had attended a meeting between Slough Borough Council and the local Parish Councils, together with Councillor Robert Aldridge and the Clerk. Several items had been raised on the Agenda that were relevant to Wexham, and updates were awaited to some of the items discussed. The meeting had been interesting and informative.
Councillor Davies and the Clerk would be attending a meeting with Slough Borough Council on 20th April in connection with possible funding for The Cherries Play Area. All Members were invited to attend and an update would be provided at the May meeting.
Councillor Cheryl Hemming had been following up local issues with regard to parking on verges and footpaths.
Councillor MacIsaac reported that the skips had now been removed from No’s 2 & 103 Quinbrookes. The law had recently been revised in regard to multiple occupation properties, to restrict the number of persons per property. With regard to the derelict house in The Cherries, Environmental Services were now involved and a Notice had been served on the current owner.
A notice to home-owners was now being publicised stating that a £50 reduction in Council Tax could be obtained if cavity wall insulation is installed.
Clamping companies had offered their services in regard to the parking of vehicles on verges and footpaths, but the majority of Members agreed that clampers could not always be trusted.
Councillor Corps had been chasing up the Borough Council regarding the ongoing problem of multiple cars for sale at Upton Lea shops. The vehicles were removed after being stickered, but often returned the following day. Councillor Corps had requested the installation of disabled parking bays outside the shops, but had been advised that this was not possible on a service road. The Clerk would raise this matter with the Highways Officer at a forthcoming meeting.
Councillor Corps also reported that he had spotted youths abusing the tennis courts and climbing the fences, but was unable to get to the courts in time to reprimand the perpetrators. The Clerk asked him to telephone her if any further incidents occur so that she could deal with the matter.
Councillor Haines reported that the enforcement of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, and the local bylaws, had been discussed at the recent Cabinet meeting. He had asked that Wexham Court be included as soon as such enforcement action was initiated. The proposed elderly care homes in Wexham had also been discussed and a project meeting would be taking place in the next few weeks, following which a meeting with the Parish Council would be arranged to present the plans. The project had been approved by Central Government, and funding agreed, and detailed negotiations would now commence. A question was raised regarding the future of Wexham House and Councillor MacIsaac confirmed that this home would be closed since it is no longer up to standard, but no decision had yet been taken on the subsequent use of the brown-field site.
New ‘My Council’ facilities, including a customer care centre, had opened in January and services offered by the Borough Council were now accessible on-line. Customer service was now much improved, 25,000 people per month were using the website, and the average waiting time at the centre had been reduced to 7-8 minutes.
The Chairman had previously prepared a written report and this was circulated to Members and to the public attending the meeting. The Parish Hall roof had now been completed, and kerbstones had been installed to protect the grass verges within the hall grounds, all with minimal disruption to hirers. Decoration of the Main Hall was now underway.
156. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 28th February and questions from Members were invited.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for February 2006 be approved, and that authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
157. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
The Clerk had previously circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and various items were discussed. Formal objections had been submitted for an extension at 25 Hillersdon and conversion to flats (retrospective), the addition of conservatories to the proposed Kings Oak development in Church Lane, and a front extension at 88 The Frithe. A letter had been submitted in support of the planned wind turbine at Wexham Primary School.
A meeting with Borough and Parish representatives had been requested by the residents of 58-68 Norway Drive in relation to parking issues. The Chairman pointed out that the problems were largely being caused by multiple-occupancy of some of the properties concerned, and the Parish Council had objected to the proposed installation of an access road across the green. It was suggested that the installation of parking bays on the north side of Norway Drive may be an alternative option for these residents.
The Clerk reported that the Parish insurers had agreed to pay the cost of repair/redecoration of the Main Hall which had been due to water damage from the leaking roof.
158. ANNUAL DONATION TO ST MARY’S CHURCH
A letter had been received from the Churchwarden requesting the assistance of the Parish Council towards the cost of churchyard maintenance.
RESOLVED: That the sum of £175 be donated to St Mary’s Church.
159. PURCHASE OF NEW EQUIPMENT FOR THE CHERRIES PLAY AREA
Further quotes had now been obtained and Councillor Davies submitted a written summary and various plans for discussion by Members. The options were discussed at some length, following which it was unanimously agreed that ‘Company B’ (Kompan) should be given the contract. The Chairman recorded his thanks to Councillor Davies for all his time and effort on this project, and the Clerk was asked to make the necessary arrangements for the work to proceed.
160. PROPOSAL TO PURCHASE A CHAIRMAN’S CHAIN OF OFFICE
Councillor Davies reported that increased visibility of the Parish Council in the community was recently being promoted, and there was therefore a need for it to be more readily recognisable at public events. A suitable Chain of Office would satisfy this need. However, it was felt that the substantial cost of such an item out of public money may attract criticism from both the public and certain political representatives. Whilst several Members agreed that a Chain of Office would promote the recognition of the Parish Council for what it achieves, it was suggested that perhaps the cost could be met by personal contributions or sponsorship rather than out of public funds. It was unanimously agreed that this would be the most appropriate option, and the Borough Councillors all indicated that they would be happy to offer donations towards the cost. Further enquiries would be made and this item would be reviewed by Council at a later date.
161. BOROUGH COUNCILLOR REPORTS
Various items in relation to the Borough had already been included in the reports above.
162. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Concerns were raised in relation to the suggested installation of parking bays in Norway Drive, since this may become a trend that would spread to other areas thus resulting in a substantial loss of green space on the estate. A resident enquired about the licensing regulations in relation to renting out a property to multiple tenants. It was clarified that a license is only required if a property is three storeys or more, and this therefore did not apply to two-storey properties in multiple occupation.
The parking of large vehicles on footpaths and junctions was raised, and this would be followed up.
The Meeting subsequently closed at 9:25 p.m.
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