WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Keith Nunn (studying), and Shabana Zeib (unwell).
Councillors Robert Aldridge and Munawar Hussain.
Prior to commencement of the proceedings the Chairman congratulated Councillor Sandra Malik on her election to the Wexham Lea Ward and recorded thanks to retired Councillor Tony Haines for his long-term service to the community.
1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
Councillor Carl Egan was nominated for the position of Chairman, which he duly accepted.
RESOLVED: That Councillor Carl Egan be elected Chairman for the ensuing Municipal Year.
2. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
Councillor Sandra Malik was nominated for the position of Vice-Chairman, which she duly accepted.
RESOLVED: That Councillor Sandra Malik be elected Vice-Chairman for the ensuing Municipal Year.
3. APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
RESOLVED: That apologies for absence offered in respect of this meeting be approved.
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were recorded.
6. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 10TH APRIL 2012
The Minutes of the Meeting of 10th April 2012 were approved as a correct record.
7. APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES AND YEAR-END REPORTS
a) FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE
RESOLVED: That Councillors Robert Aldridge, 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 as necessary.
RESOLVED: That the Authorised Signatories in the current Mandates for NatWest Account No. 10223657 and Santander Account No. 3873358 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, Patrick Donachy and Carl Egan be appointed to serve on the Health & Safety Working Group for the current Municipal Year.
c) NEWSLETTER WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Patrick Donachy, Carl Egan, Harjinder Singh Gahir, 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, Patrick Donachy, Carl Egan, 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 Keith Nunn and Shabana Zeib be appointed to serve on the IT Working Group. Councillor Peter Gerstmann also kindly offered his assistance should it be required.
f) RESIDENT CONSULTATION WORKING GROUP
RESOLVED: That Councillors Patrick Donachy, Harjinder Gahir, 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 be appointed to represent the Parish Council in matters relating to the hospital parking issues.
h) REPRESENTATIVES TO OTHER BODIES
RESOLVED: That Councillor Harjinder Gahir be appointed to represent the Council in matters relating to BALC.
ii) STANDARDS COMMITTEE
Councillors Harjinder Singh Gahir and Sandra Malik were nominated.
RESOLVED: That Councillor Sandra Malik be appointed as the Council’s representative on the Standards Committee.
Brief year-end reports from all committees were recorded as follows:
F&GP Committee - Three meetings had taken place during the last Municipal Year and all the duties required of the committee had been fulfilled, including budgeting and annual reviews.
Health & Safety Working Group - The Annual Risk Assessments had been carried out and the Council was in compliance with requirements.
Newsletter Working Group - The Annual Report had been duly completed within the required timescale, and distributed to all homes in the Parish.
Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group - Consultation with SBC was ongoing in regard to verge protection measures. Parking restrictions had now been installed by SBC in various areas of the estate; high kerbs had been installed in the vicinity of Wexham Primary School; and grasscrete had been installed in Almons Way. Arrangements for further verge protection measures were underway.
IT Working Group – Councillor Keith Nunn continued to provide IT support as necessary. Councillor Zeib had been unavailable to deal with other IT matters due to her illness.
Resident Consultation Working Group – A consultation had recently taken place in partnership with SBC relating to the parking restrictions, and a further consultation was planned in connection with the provision of Section 106 funds for recreational facilities.
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
Inspector Shelly Squire introduced herself and apologised for not having had the time to attend a previous meeting. She clarified the recent changes to the Neighbourhood Policing Team and strategy and introduced the newest member of the Team, PC Gareth Warr, who had replaced PC Phil Hewitt.
There had been no particular crime patterns that were recently a cause for concern, but the following items were reported:
· Some incidents of burglary were still arising and the Police were continuing to spread the message that items of value should not be left in view.
· A robbery had occurred in Wexham Road following which two males had been arrested and would be charged.
· Dispersal Notices had been issued to youths for disorder, and some Wexham School students were being dealt with in relation to antisocial behaviour in the Norway Drive alleyway.
· A ‘den’ on the new Parish land had been investigated following intel from the Clerk.
· The speed monitoring devices were still operating effectively in Wexham Road, Knolton Way and Norway Drive.
Members of the Team would be attending the forthcoming Fun Day and would offer crime advice.
Councillor Davies advised that the new parking restrictions were being ignored by many drivers and asked the Police to intervene. PC Warr agreed to monitor this and contact Parking Enforcement if necessary.
Community Warden Michelle Hewitt reported the following:
· The Team had investigated the above-mentioned den in the park. No sign of drug or alcohol use had been found but they would continue to monitor the area.
· Asbestos had been found in The Cherries and was being removed.
· Dog fouling patrols were ongoing.
· Fly-tipping incidents and building waste left on a verge had been dealt with.
· Glass had been removed from The Cherries Play Area.
· Litter operations were taking place.
· An abandoned vehicle in The Cherries had been removed.
The Chairman raised his concerns about dog bins being left full and this would be monitored. Councillor Malik also raised her concerns about the health and safety hazard of wet grass being left on pavements following mowing. Councillor Davies recorded his thanks to Richard Palacio and his Team for their help with an issue in The Cherries.
Various issues at garage sites were raised. Slough resident Ken Wright frequently monitored the sites and reported problems to SBC. He clarified the ongoing problems in Wexham and was thanked for his efforts. He was advised to call the 101 Police number to report incidents of antisocial behaviour and get youths moved on. Michelle Hewitt would contact the manager of the garage sites, Kashif Khan, to highlight the current problems.
The Clerk requested an update in relation to the removal of some overgrown trees at a property in Knolton Way which Mr Palacio had agreed to investigate. Michelle would make enquiries about this and inform the Clerk. Councillor Vyas had been advised that the green bins would need to be used for free collection of the green waste.
10. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Sohal reported that the Wexham Lea Ward now had three Labour Councillors whose wish it was to work with the Parish Council. The new Leader of the Borough Council would be elected on the 17th May.
It was hoped that the installation of the new yellow lines, which followed the joint consultation, would relieve the illegal parking problems.
The Sikh Temple had now paid for the disused garage site in The Frithe, but no plans had been detailed as yet.
Councillor Sohal presented a written report that had been submitted by Councillor Shabana Zeib to express her well-wishes and clarify her recent health problems.
Councillor Gerstmann reported that he had assisted with the distribution of the Annual Report and had attended a recent meeting with Martin Mallia to discuss the impact of the new parking restrictions in The Frithe. He commented that a bit of backtracking had taken place in respect of some of the new yellow lines in The Frithe due to complaints from some residents. The provision of additional parking bays on the green were being considered to alleviate the problem, but it was noted that there was some degree of irony in this since the green was one of the areas the Parish Council wished to protect. This was a ‘work in progress’ and developments would be monitored.
A new tenant had recently moved into Wexham Lodge, the previous tenants having been evicted due to damage which included destroying the nearby grass verge. It was suggested that this verge should be repaired and the Clerk would provide an email address for the Head of Highways to enable Councillor Gerstmann to make enquiries.
Councillor Malik reported that parking on the grass verges near St. Ethelbert’s School remained a problem despite the new yellow lines. Councillor Davies advised that wooden bollards were now being installed by SBC along the whole stretch of road to resolve this.
Councillor Davies had been dealing with various issues with the assistance of the Community Warden Team. It was noted that he had received a good response from the Team and they had been very helpful. He had attended a meeting relating to the new gravel pit in George Green at which various questions had been raised including access, times of activity, and prevention of mud on the roads. The Project Director had indicated that a working group would be set up to liaise with residents and a member of WCPC would be invited to join this committee.
In relation to Councillor Sohal’s earlier statement that Wexham Lea now had three Labour Councillors, Councillor Davies expressed his gratitude that we had three proactive Ward Members who were keen to work with us for the good of the Parish.
Councillor Davies closed by advising Members that he had given his notice of resignation to the Chairman, effective from the 19th May. He had been a Parish Councillor for 21 years and now had other things he wished to do. He wished his Council colleagues well and stated that it had been a pleasure to work with them and an honour to serve the Parish.
Councillor Vyas reported that he had attended the meeting with Martin Mallia and, whilst it was not ideal to lose part of the green, he felt the proposed measures would protect what remained. He had also attended the gravel pit meeting and found it reassuring to find out more about the extraction plans, which were well structured.
Members were reminded that the Fun Day would be taking place on Saturday and volunteers were needed from 10 am to assist with the setting up and refreshments.
Councillor Donachy had been in touch with the burger van for the Fun Day. He had also been following up the problem of vehicles obstructing the footpaths in The Cherries, about which he had previously spoken to the Police. One of the offenders had been spoken to by a relative and she had since stopped parking there.
Councillor Gahir expressed his regret at Councillor Davies’ resignation, which he felt would be a big loss for the Council. He congratulated Councillor Malik on her Borough election. An update was provided in relation to the CCTV issue. It had been noted that number 178 Knolton Way had an illegal dropped kerb installed and Councillor Malik offered to make enquiries about this. It was also noted that the current Housing Officer had proved unhelpful in dealing with such matters and it was therefore suggested that her superior, Mandeep Bovia, could be contacted.
An update was requested in relation to the new Parish land. The Clerk advised that Michael Condon had recently been emailed but he had since left. Councillor Vyas would make enquiries about who to contact in future. An item would be included on the next Agenda to discuss the matter further and it was suggested that clearance of the land could be included on the list of items that could benefit from the new Ward Councillor’s budget.
The Chairman reported that he had been busy at the allotment site during the last few weeks. He had removed weeds that were re-growing along the stream; had discussions with various allotment tenants during his time on-site; and visited and assisted the Probation Team with their work. He had also delivered his Annual Reports, together with Councillor Aldridge’s who was unwell, with the assistance of the Clerk. They commented that they had both got drenched by the awful weather in the process.
11. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st March and invited questions from Members.
A meeting had been arranged with the internal auditor and an F&GP Meeting would take place on 28th May for inspection of the Annual Accounts. The external auditor had chosen WCPC for a spot-check this year so there would be additional information to review.
The year-end VAT return had been submitted.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for March 2012 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 no objections had been raised this month.
Due to the water shortage the Bowls Club was considering the installation of a bore hole on their premises to feed their water storage tanks. They would need to make further enquiries with Planning, Environmental Health and Thames Water, but they were initially asking whether the Parish Council would have any objections as their landlord. This item was discussed and it was agreed that there were no objections to the proposal.
13. APPROVAL TO PROCEED WITH INSTALLATION OF GRASSCRETE AT DORNELS
The Borough Council had confirmed part-funding of 25% for grasscrete installation at Dornels. However, Councillor Gahir advised that the grass was failing to grow successfully through the grasscrete that had previously been installed in Almons Way. The validity of proceeding with Dornels was therefore questioned and this item was deferred pending investigation into alternative designs. It was suggested that green tarmac would be a possible alternative.
THERE FOLLOWED A PARISH MEETING
TO RECEIVE THE ANNUAL REPORT
14. ANNUAL REPORT
The Annual Report for the year 2011-2012 was formally submitted and approved.
The Chairman explained that copies had been delivered to all homes in the Parish as usual and he invited comments from the Members. The Clerk and the Newsletter Working Group were thanked for a job well done.
15. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk reported that the 2011-2012 financial year had been another cautious one, with careful well considered spending kept under control and well within budget, whilst still enabling some improvements within the Parish during these difficult economic times. Overall we had come in under budget and again we had sufficient reserves to fund the planned capital expenditure for improvements for the next financial year.
Thanks were conveyed to the Chairman, the Clerk, and Councillors Davies and Gahir for their support throughout the year and the Finance Clerk was looking forward to another successful year working with the Council.
16. BOROUGH COUNCILLORS’ OBSERVATIONS
Ward Councillors Dar and Sohal had left the meeting to attend other comittments, and Councillor Malik was a new Ward Councillor, so no observations could be recorded on this occasion.
17. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
A resident in Norway Drive was unable to access his house at school run times and Councillor Gahir would visit him to discuss this further.
Graffiti on the garages in Sheehy Way was also reported.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending this annual meeting of the Council.
The Meeting closed at 9.25 p.m.
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