WCPC MINUTES

 

 

WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL

 

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

12th June, 2012, at the Parish Hall, Norway Drive, Wexham, Slough.

 

PRESENT:

Councillors Carl Egan (Chairman),

Patrick Donachy, Harjinder Singh Gahir, Peter Gerstmann,

Sandra Malik (also a Ward Councillor), and Shabana Zeib.

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

Borough Councillor Paul Sohal.

PC Gareth Warr, Community Warden Michelle Hewitt.

SBC Officers Hayley Fails and Savio De Cruz.

Five members of the public.

 

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:

Councillors Robert Aldridge (unwell), Munawar Hussain (unwell),

Keith Nunn (studying), and Vinay Vyas (working).

Borough Councillor Haqeeq Dar.

 

 

18.     APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

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

 

19.     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST                                   

 

No declarations of interest were recorded.

 

20.     MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8TH MAY 2012

 

The Minutes of the Meeting of 8th May 2012 were approved as a correct record following two minor amendments in relation to information items.  The Clerk was asked not to record items in the Minutes that did not relate directly to Wexham Court.

 

Under matters arising the Clerk reported that Councillor Harjinder Singh Gahir had now been confirmed as the Parish Councilís representative on the Standards Committee, and that quotes had been sought by Councillor Vyas in relation to alternative verge protection measures for Dornels.

 

21.     MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 28TH MAY 2012

 

The Minutes of the F&GP Committee Meeting of 28th May 2012 were approved as a correct record.

 

The recommendations of the F&GP Committee were approved including Full Council approval of the Annual Accounts and signing of the Annual Return, in accordance with the legal requirements and timescales set by the auditor.

 

RESOLVED: That the Annual Accounts for year ending March 2012 be approved, and that the Annual Return be duly signed and submitted to the auditor.

 

22.     POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON

 

PC Gareth Warr reported that incidents of antisocial behaviour and other local crime were down, but the Policing Team was still dealing with some neighbourhood disputes.

 

An incident of vandalism at the Parish Hall had recently been reported by the Clerk.  The culprits had since been identified from CCTV footage and were being dealt with.

 

Councillor Donachy had been called out by a resident with a disabled parking bay, whose car had twice been broken into to steal the blue badge.  The resident had been advised by the Police not to leave the blue badge in the vehicle, but this had resulted in tickets being received due to not displaying the badge.

 

SBCís Savio De Cruz advised that other complaints had been received in this regard and a consultation had taken place.  There was now a Traffic Regulation Order in place permitting action to be taken for unlawful use of disabled bays.  Therefore the blue badge must be on display in the vehicle.  Various options were being discussed to try and find further solutions to the problem.  It was suggested that Parking Officers could have access to a list of vehicle numbers with disabled owners so that lawful use of the bays could be checked.

 

Members raised various other items with the Police and Community Warden including obstruction being caused by high fencing during construction work at 2 The Link; youths building a Ďdení on the land south of Wexham Lodge; overgrown bushes alongside the Sheehy Way/Wexham Road pathway; a high hedge obstructing the path in Farm Crescent; and an overgrown hedge at 88 Quinbrookes blocking the footpath.

 

Community Warden Michelle Hewitt provided updates to several items recently reported by the Clerk, as follows:

       Fly-tipping outside Cannon Gate had been removed.

       An old concrete post left at the rear entrance to Coftards would be removed.

       Garages causing ongoing problems at the Edmunds Way Garage Site were to be removed.

       Installation of an additional dog-bin in the area of the Wexham Road/Knolton Way roundabout had been requested.

       A request had been submitted to have overgrown bushes at the junction of Hillersdon/Farm Crescent removed.

       Further legal action was being taken against the owner of the derelict property at 192 Knolton Way.

       Abuse of the verge due to no dropped kerb at 109 Knolton Way had been reported to Highways.

       Enquiries were being made regarding the need for parking wardens to enforce the new parking restrictions in Wexham.

       The problem of overgrown trees/bushes from a neighbouring property in Knolton Way was being followed up.

 

The Police Officer and Community Warden were thanked for attending the meeting.

 

23.     BOROUGH COUNCIL MEASURES RELATING TO ROAD SAFETY

 

SBC Officers Hayley Fails and Savio De Cruz attended the meeting to discuss road safety improvements.

 

Road casualty figures were reported annually and the Borough Council were targetting a reduction in these figures.  Approximately 400 minor casualties had been reported, but no serious or fatal incidents had recently occurred.  The road safety team had been asked to look at vulnerable areas and this included The Frithe.  The approval of the Parish Council for traffic calming measures was being sought prior to the matter going to public consultation.

 

Various options were discussed and it was agreed that the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group should be involved in the design of any proposed measures.  A good response rate from the public consultation would also be required for the project to go ahead.  The matter of road safety issues in Norway Drive was also raised, but this was not considered a key area by SBC since no casualties had been recorded.  The Clerk would be kept informed of dates for future stakeholder meetings.  The SBC Officers were thanked for attending.

 

24.     INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

 

Councillor Sohal pointed out that Ward Councillorís reports related to the whole of the Ward, including Rochfords Gardens, and enquired whether the Members wished him to continue including the areas outside of Wexham Court.  This was agreed, although such items may not necessarily be included in the Minutes.

 

Councillor Malik introduced John and Linda Willis, who had attended the meeting to discuss information relating to the proposed gravel extraction site at George Green.  Presentation documents were handed out and the problems were clarified.  Members were invited to visit the website that had been set up, and the support of the Parish Council was requested (www.georgegreen-rage.org.uk).

 

Councillor Malik had also inspected the addresses relating to the recent planning applications update distributed by the Clerk; had reported vehicles parked on the verges in The Frithe; and had followed up an illegal driveway in Knolton Way.  The Clerk asked the Ward Councillors to pursue enforcement of the bylaw by SBC in relation to verge parking.

 

Councillor Zeib congratulated Councillor Malik on her election to the Wexham Lea Ward and stated that it was nice to be back following her long-term illness from which she was now starting to recover.  Councillor Zeib confirmed that she would make enquiries about the digital map for the WCPC website which had been raised prior to her ill-health.

 

Councillor Gahir requested an update in relation to the CCTV system at The Cherries.  The Finance Clerk would be dealing with this, but arrangements for the audit and completion of the Annual Accounts had taken priority in recent weeks since this was required by law.

 

Councillor Gahir had been asked to make enquiries with Housing and Environmental Health in relation to a burned-out house in Dawes Moor Close which was being used for storage, including gas cylinders.  The Ward Councillors were also asked to make enquiries.

 

Councillor Donachy reported that he had attended the Fun Day and F&GP meeting, and had written a letter to SBC regarding the parking tickets received by the abovementioned disabled resident.  He also enquired about buses around the estate that appeared to be arriving from the wrong direction.  This was making it difficult for residents to know which bus-stop they should wait at, and often resulted in the inconvenience of missing the scheduled bus.  The Clerk advised that First Buses should be contacted with a view to resolving this issue since they should have control over the routes and their drivers.

 

Councillors Donachy and Gahir commented that Members should be permitted use of the formal Parish Council letter-heading when making enquiries with outside organisations, and Councillor Zeib supported this view.  The Clerk and Finance Clerk advised that the use of the letter-heading was currently restricted due to problems that had come to light in the past.  It was stressed that the title of ĎCouncillorí enabled all Members to be recognised as officials of the Parish Council, even though the letter-heading was reserved for formal communications by the Officers.  This item would be included on the next Agenda for further discussion.

 

The Chairman reported that his work at the allotment site was ongoing.  He had also attended the recent committee meetings, walkabout, etc., and had visited a resident in Wexham Road regarding a complaint about an overgrown neighbouring garden.

 

Councillor Gerstmann had followed up the issue of the den on the new Parish land.  He was also pleased to report that a bund was being constructed along the west side of the Wexham Road opposite Wexham Lodge and Nursery to prevent hospital parking.  However, it was noted that this could increase the number of hospital vehicles parking in Norway Drive.  He had attended the F&GP meeting and noted that protection of the Parish Councilís deposits with Santander was confirmed.  It was also confirmed that sums allocated to particular projects in the budget could be re‑allocated if necessary.

 

Councillor Vyas had provided a written report including updates relating to the Dornels verge protection; details of a new contact in relation to the lease of the new Parish land; and progressing of new play facilities further to the Fun Day consultation.  He had also asked for WCPC to carry out an audit of houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), and all Members confirmed that they would assist with this.

 

25.     FINANCIAL REPORT

 

The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 30th April and invited questions from Members.

 

The year-end VAT reclaim had been accepted and paid.

 

Councillor Donachy questioned why the section of the financial report relating to staff salaries had been blanked out.  The Finance Clerk explained that this was due to the requirements of the Data Protection Act.  She clarified the various measures that were in place to protect the Councilís funds, and advised that Members could approach her if they wished to know more details about any aspect of the Councilís finances.

 

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

 

26.     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. 

 

The SBC Planning Department had now advised that two-storey side extensions could not be refused as they fall within the Planning Framework Guidelines.  The Clerk asked the Ward Councillors to press for a standard condition to be applied to all approved applications regarding potential use of a property for multiple occupancy, and for extended properties to be placed in the next Council Tax Band to remove the loophole currently enjoyed by landlords.  It was suggested that Borough Councillor Swindlehurst could be invited to a Parish meeting to discuss this.

 

The Clerk reminded all Members that updates to their Declarations of Interest should be notified within 28 days of any change.

 

A meeting of the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group was required to discuss items raised during the recent walkabout.  It was agreed that this would take place on the 5th July.

 

27.     APPROVAL TO PURCHASE REPLACEMENT LAPTOP FOR FINANCE CLERK

 

The Finance Clerkís laptop was becoming slow and inefficient and would need to be replaced at the earliest opportunity.  This matter was discussed and it was agreed that a new machine was required.

 

RESOLVED: That the sum of £1,000 ex-VAT be approved for the purchase of a new laptop, together with any updated software that may be required.

 

28.     APPROVAL OF REPAIR COST FOR DAMAGED TENNIS COURT FENCING

 

The Clerk advised that some damage had occurred to the tennis court fencing (possibly caused by a motorcycle being driven into it) and a quote of £210 had been obtained from the Councilís usual contractor to replace the damaged panel.

 

RESOLVED: That the sum of £210 be approved for repair of the tennis court fencing.

 

29.     CONSIDERATION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR NEW PARISH LAND AND LEASE

 

Due to time constraints this item was deferred.  There had also been insufficient time to discuss the matter of possible new play facilities.  The Clerk was asked to convene a Special Meeting, which it was agreed would take place prior to the Grass Verge/Traffic Working Group meeting on 5th July from 7pm.

 

30.     CONFIRMATION AND NOTIFICATION OF MEMBER VACANCY

 

The Clerk requested confirmation that the vacancy arising from Councillor Dave Daviesí resignation should now be advertised, and this was agreed.  Electoral Services would be contacted immediately.

 

31.     PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

 

Further concerns were raised about the effects of hospital parking on the estate following the work taking place in Wexham Road.

 

 

Part I of the Meeting closed at 9.40 p.m. and it was Resolved that, in view of the nature of the business about to be transacted, it was advisable in the public interest that the Press and Public be temporarily excluded, and they were instructed to withdraw.

  

 

PART II

 

32.     GIFT FOR RETIRED COUNCILLOR DAVE DAVIES

 

The Chairman proposed that a gift be considered for retired Councillor Dave Davies in recognition of all his work as a Member and Chairman during 21 years of service to the Council and Community.  An appropriate sum was discussed and agreed and the Clerk would make the necessary arrangements.

 

RESOLVED: That the sum of £210.21 be approved to purchase a gift for Dave Davies.

 

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