WCPC MINUTES

 

 

WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL

 

MINUTES of the MEETING of the COUNCIL held on Tuesday, the

10th April, 2012, at the Parish Hall, Norway Drive, Wexham, Slough.

 

PRESENT:

Councillors Carl Egan (Chairman),

Robert Aldridge, Dave Davies, Patrick Donachy, Harjinder Singh Gahir,

Peter Gerstmann, Sandra Malik, and Vinay Vyas.

Officers: Dianne Egan (Clerk) and Tina Kellett (Finance Clerk).

PCSO Matt Lynch.  Community Warden Team Leader Richard Palacio.

One member of the public.

 

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:

Keith Nunn (studying), and Shabana Zeib (unwell).

 

ABSENT:

Councillor Munawar Hussain.

 

 

115.   APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

RESOLVED: That apologies for absence offered in respect of this meeting be approved.

 

116.   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST                                   

 

No Member had an interest to declare.

 

117.   MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13TH MARCH 2012

 

The Minutes of the Meeting of 13th March 2012 were approved as a correct record.

 

118.   MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 26TH MARCH 2012

 

The Minutes of the F&GP Committee meeting of 26th March 2012 were approved as a correct record, and the recommendations therein were also approved.

 

119.   POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON

 

PCSO Matt Lynch reported that antisocial behaviour remained a key concern locally, although no particular incidents had been identified during regular monitoring of The Cherries and surrounding areas.  Burglary and drug related crime was on the decrease as a whole since some perpetrators had been apprehended and other individuals were being closely watched.

 

Parking problems were also being monitored.  Double yellow lines had now been installed in various areas, but some drivers were claiming that they didnít know what they meant.  The Clerk suggested that they should be instructed to read the Highway Code.  Civil enforcement officers were required to deal with most parking matters, and the issuing of tickets, since decriminalisation meant that the Police could only deal with obstruction.  The majority of residents seemed generally pleased with the installation of the yellow lines.  Some opposition had been voiced in The Frithe and the Police were asked to check the area, particularly on Sundays when activities at the Temple increased the amount of traffic.

 

Councillor Donachy had recently raised his concerns with PC Hewitt regarding a vehicle parking on the pavement in The Cherries.  Photographs had been provided but no action had been taken and more vehicles were now parking there.  PCSO Lynch was asked to follow this up.  Councillor Aldridge advised that there were similar problems in The Frithe.  Members were advised to call 101 to report such matters since the Police could issue a warning or fine for obstruction of a footpath.

 

Community Warden Team Leader, Richard Palacio, provided the following report:

 

       Litter patrols had been carried out, including duty of care and ASB surveys around Upton Lea shops and hotspot patrols in Hillersdon and Moat Drive.

       Dog fouling patrols were ongoing.  A new tactic was being employed which involved spraying the dog foul with fluorescent spray to highlight the problems.  This had already proved successful in Langley.

       Hotspot patrols were carried out in Sheehy Way alleyway and the grassed area next to Mirador Crescent in relation to littering and bird feeding.  Some food was being put out that was not eaten by the birds and this caused a problem.

       Several fly-tips had been identified and removed.

       An abandoned vehicle was reported in Rochfords Gardens.  A Notice was issued and the vehicle was removed before this expired.

       Two messy gardens in Knolton Way were investigated.

       Cars for sale at Upton Lea shops were stickered and moved.

       Problems caused by ball games in Bell Close were investigated and letters dropped to all houses in the vicinity.  Laminated letters were also put up in the area.

 

The matter of some overgrown trees causing a nuisance to an elderly neighbour in Knolton Way was raised and Mr Palacio offered to investigate this and advise.

 

Councillor Malik reported the fly-tipping of rubbish and two mattresses in Farm Crescent.

 

The problems caused by multiple occupancy properties was discussed and Mr Palacio advised that the application of trade waste arrangements were being considered for landlords.  This could be applied to all properties with large refuse bins, or additional bins, and a £300 fixed penalty could be charged for non‑compliance with the regulations.  The Clerk enquired whether an increase in the level of Council Tax was applied to properties that were extended, and thus increased in value, but this was not known.

 

PCSO Lynch and Mr Palacio were thanked for attending. 

 

120.   INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

 

No Ward Councillors were in attendance.

 

Councillor Donachy recorded his apologies for not having attended the recent F&GP Committee meeting, which was due to illness.  He reported that the fly-tipping of a fridge/freezer had taken place outside his house on Friday, but that it was taken the following morning by gypsies.

 

Councillor Aldridge advised that complaints had been received about dog bins being full and this had been reported.  He had also tried to deal with vehicles parked on the paths in Knolton Way, but received abuse.

 

Councillor Gerstmann had now returned from his travels abroad and commented on how smart the new perimeter fencing looked.  He had noted that the yellow lines had been appearing and had received an email from a resident in The Frithe objecting to this.  The Clerk advised that the consultation had returned the majority of responses in favour of the lines.

 

Having travelled far and wide and spoken to other councils and officials abroad, Councillor Gerstmann had found that if people act responsibly then they are left alone.  However, if not, they are severely dealt with.  It was noted that in Singapore any drug offence is punishable by death, and there are no second chances.  Chewing of gum, throwing of cigarette butts, or spitting resulted in an immediate fine or prison if this was not paid.  This strict enforcement of the law resulted in communities that were cleaner, safer, and generally more pleasant for all who complied.

 

Councillor Malik enquired about the missing CCTV cameras at The Cherries and shops.  Councillor Davies and the Clerk provided an update on this.

 

Councillor Davies had been dealing with parking problems outside Wexham School.  He and the Clerk had also recently been called out to deal with a resident complaint relating to a function that took place at Kingdom Hall.

 

Councillor Gahir requested further clarification regarding the missing CCTV system and this was discussed in more detail.  The matter had been passed to the Officers to resolve.

 

Councillor Vyas apologised for his work duties having clashed with Council meetings.  He commented that he was pleased the installation of the yellow lines had been achieved, largely due to the efforts of the Parish Council.  He was continuing to make enquiries regarding part-funding for verge protection measures at Dornels, since the Parish Council was reluctant to foot the full cost out of its limited budget.  It was noted that the Borough Council supplied verge protection in other areas which were not served by a Parish Council, and was considered unfair that Parish residents would effectively be paying twice for this out of their taxes.

 

A Fun Day would be taking place in the Parish Hall grounds on the 12th May.  Arrangements for this, including a bouncy castle, were underway.  It had been suggested that a burger van and ice-cream van could be asked to attend on the day.  Councillor Vyas was trying to arrange this, but advised that there could be a charge.  The Clerk strongly rejected this idea and pointed out that the burger van would make a profit from the sale of his food.

 

The £2 million budget that had been allocated to Ward Councillors for their areas was discussed and it was agreed that a list should be compiled of possible uses for this money in Wexham Court.  The Chairman would arrange an estate walkabout in the near future to enable Members to identify and discuss projects that could be considered.

 

The Chairman had been spending further time at the allotment site assisting with the plot clearance, and had also dismantled the large derelict shed that stood on one of the plots with the assistance of his brother.  He also continued to carry out regular checks on the estate either by foot, bicycle or car.   

 

121.   FINANCIAL REPORT

 

The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 29th February and invited questions from Members.

 

The tax year was now completed and the Council was compliant with HMRC requirements for this year.

 

A visit to the bank had been arranged to review the savings account and obtain a better rate of interest, and to update the signatories.

 

RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for February 2012 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.  

 

122.   REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS

 

The Clerk had circulated updates to Members regarding recent planning applications and was surprised that no objections had been received in relation to a large side/rear extension at 84 The Frithe.  It was agreed that a formal objection shoud be submitted to SBC.

 

Councillor Donachy advised that a neighbouring application for installation of a polycarbonate roof was causing an issue since he objected to the installers working in his garden or erecting scaffolding on his property.  The planning department were not of any help and advised that he would have to take civil action if a problem occurred.

 

Following the Annual Charity Fundraising Event the Clerk had been unable to obtain a response from the Blue Cross.  She therefore requested that their share of the donation should be sent to the PDSA instead, and this was agreed.

 

A public meeting would be taking place in relation to a proposed gravel extraction site which could affect the Parish.  The Clerk would forward details of this to all Members.  She had also been notified that an application had been submitted to the Department of Education for a new SASH school (Slough Association of Secondary Headteachers) in 2014.  An email had been sent requesting clarification of where this school would be situated, but no further information was currently available.  The organisation had promised to keep her informed of any developments.  In the meantime, Members were invited to look at the website at sasheducation.co.uk.

 

123.   ANNUAL DONATION TO ST. MARYíS CHURCH, WEXHAM

 

RESOLVED: That the sum of £275 be donated to St Maryís Church as in the previous year.

 

124.   PURCHASE OF PETROL LAWNMOWER FOR PARISH HALL GROUNDS

 

The Clerk explained that the Caretaker currently used his own lawnmower to keep the hall grounds tidy.  This was much appreciated since it was above and beyond the duties required of him, and she didnít consider it acceptable that he should have to bring his own equipment.

 

A discounted lawnmower had been identified at a local company which may be suitable.  However, Members considered that a stronger machine may be more appropriate for the job.  The Chairman and Clerk would make enquiries with the local mower centre to seek advice about a better quality mower.

 

RESOLVED: That a maximum sum of £500 be approved to purchase a suitable petrol lawnmower.

 

125.   PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

 

There were no public questions.

 

The Meeting closed at 9.20 p.m.

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