WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Keith Nunn (studying).
Councillor Munawar Hussain.
Prior to commencement of the proceedings the Chairman announced that Councillor Paul Sohal had been unanimously accepted for co-option and welcomed him to WCPC. He duly signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
71. APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor Sohal raised the matter of Councillor Nunn’s absence from meetings. The Clerk advised that he was unlikely to be returning to Slough and had indicated that he would be willing to stand down if Members so required. This was agreed, subject to the usual 30 days grace period. Councillor Nunn had generously offered to keep in touch with the Clerk and Council on an advisory basis.
Councillor Sohal advised that the Borough Council would disqualify a Councillor who was frequently absent. However, the Clerk pointed out that WCPC was under no obligation to adopt SBC policies and absence was dealt with in accordance with English Law under the Local Government Act.
Councillor Hussain’s absence was also discussed and Councillor Gahir had been informed by him that he had insufficient time for his Council duties. Councillor Gahir would approach him to ask whether he would be standing down.
RESOLVED: That apologies for absence offered in respect of this meeting be approved.
72. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Sohal questioned Councillor Egan’s interests in regard to his family relationship with the Clerk. He stated that Members are required to declare such interests at every SBC meeting, and that Councillor Egan should therefore do so. The Clerk reiterated that WCPC has different policies to SBC and, under the Code of Conduct and national Law, there was no such requirement at every meeting.
It was noted that Councillor Egan had indeed registered an interest in accordance with the Code of Conduct, and a ‘Disclosure of Members’/Officers’ Personal Interests’ had also been signed by both him and the Clerk when he became a Councillor (dated 6th September 2009).
No declarations of interest were recorded.
73. CONSIDERATION OF DISPENSATION APPLICATIONS RELATING TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT
No dispensations were required.
74. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11TH SEPTEMBER 2012
Approval of the Minutes was deferred to Part II to enable discussion of a confidential item therein.
75. POLICE AND COMMUNITY WARDEN LIAISON
Community Warden Michelle Hewitt provided the following updates:
· Dog fouling patrols were ongoing and a Dog Control Order was now in place.
· A dangerous dog in The Frithe had been removed.
· A fly-tipping offender at The Normans had been issued with a warning and the perpetrator of another fly-tip in Holmedale was being prosecuted.
· The camps on the land in Forest Close had been designated as hot-spots and were being patrolled. The overgrown strip of land to the north of the road was scheduled to be cut back during the next two weeks. It was noted that several complaints had been received about these items.
· A Notice had been served relating to bonfires in The Cherries.
Councillor Malik also reported that the fly-tipping in Mansel Close was being dealt with and abandoned vehicles removed. Ms Hewitt advised that the troublesome garages in Edmunds Way were to be removed and she would follow this up.
PCSO Matt Lynch reported that the Neighbourhood Policing Structure had now changed and the new teams were called ‘clusters’. The Wexham Team was now clustered in Central Ward and had an eleven strong team as it was the largest area. One or more officers would be on duty from 08:00 to midnight. PC Gareth Warr was leaving and would be replaced by PC Parker. PSCO Matt Lynch would also be leaving the Team during the next few weeks.
Complaints about youths in The Cherries were still being dealt with, and the garage sites in Edmunds Way and Mansel Close had been designated as drink/drug hot-spots.
Councillor Gerstmann enquired whether the Policing priorities would remain the same. PCSO Lynch confirmed that the three priorities would be antisocial behaviour (to include parking/speeding issues), drugs, and burglary.
Councillor Donachy reported that a person in a wheelchair was frequently seen drinking at Knolton Way Parade, despite the fact that this was supposed to be an alcohol-free zone. It was noted that warnings had been issued to this person several times.
The old garage site in The Frithe was now being used for parking by the Temple. Antisocial behaviour had consequently reduced and no complaints had recently been received about parking in The Frithe.
Crime statistics were discussed and there was a slight increase in burglaries. This was a general trend throughout Slough area and ‘Operation Cape’ was underway, which involved the local CID, to identify vulnerable properties and issue crime prevention advice. In relation to the recent problem of Asian jewellery thefts, PCSO Lynch reported that some gangs had been apprehended and were doing time and others had closed down. The Team was also trying to apprehend two offenders involved in a GBH incident at the Golden Cross public house.
PCSO Lynch was thanked for his service to Wexham and wished the best of luck for the future.
76. UPDATE RE AGREEMENT FOR LEASE AND AWAITED CLEARANCE OF PARISH LAND
Mr John Rice, Assistant Director of Regeneration and Estates, had been invited to discuss this matter. He was accompanied by two Morgan Sindall Investments associates from the Slough Regeneration Partnership. The three guests gave a presentation relating to the housing development plans for the old Wexham Nursery site. Whilst they acknowledged that there was currently an Agreement for Lease for the new Parish Land, an additional development plan was also put forward as an alternative proposal for this land.
The potential benefits of the Parish Council giving up the land were discussed. This included prevention of antisocial behaviour, and the negotiation of appropriate compensation.
Formal public consultation meetings would take place in due course, followed by submission of a planning application in April 2013. Building would be scheduled to commence in March 2014.
Members raised various questions about the developments in relation to the infrastructure and congestion concerns. The Parish Council was asked to discuss the proposal relating to the Parish Land, and then arrange a further meeting with Mr Rice to confirm a decision.
The guests were thanked for attending.
77. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillors Sohal and Dar reported the following:
· The partially demolished structures at the nursery site backing onto Benjamin Lane had now been removed.
· The corner in Dawes Moor Close which had been damaged by large vehicles had now been widened and the kerbs raised.
· The garages in The Frithe had been demolished, providing 50-60 additional parking spaces for the Temple, and a nice fence had been erected. Access was provided from Sheehy Way, but the promised resident gate had not yet been completed.
· Renovations were being considered on the slip-road to The Frithe from Uxbridge Road, including high kerbs to be installed between The Frithe and Broadmark Road. It was suggested that high kerbs were also needed on the stretch between The Frithe and the allotment site.
Councillor Donachy reported another unapproved flat converstion in Hillersdon. He would obtain the property number and pass the info to Councillor Sohal to check with Planning.
Councillor Gahir reported that he had been visiting the allotment site and some tenants had requested an access gate at the far end. The Chairman, Clerk, and Councillor Aldridge clarified that this had previously been considered but rejected, largely due to security concerns and additional costs. It had also been agreed that no further projects could be carried out at the allotment site in the near future due to the large amount of public funds that had already been spent on improvements. However, it was agreed that the matter could be discussed again if sufficient enquiries were received to consider it. The Clerk and Finance Clerk, as managers of the site and tenancy arrangements, had currently received no such enquiries.
Councillor Zeib raised her concerns about bald grass patches in Knolton Way caused by vehicles. Councillor Dar advised that the issuing of tickets for parking on verges was in the pipeline, as in the London Borough.
Work was now taking place at the derelict house at 192 Knolton Way and some progress had been made.
Complaints had been received about taxis in Knolton Way. It was confirmed that this should be reported to SBC’s taxi enquiries on 875664.
A comment had been made about Councillor Zeib wearing a baseball cap, which it was felt was inappropriate at formal Council meetings. Councillor Zeib stated that she was not aware of any dress code and requested that Standing Orders be amended regarding the wearing of head-dress. The Clerk explained that, in English custom, it was considered rude to wear such an item indoors, but that a more formal head covering such as a scarf may be more acceptable.
Councillor Gerstmann reported that he had been monitoring the issues at Forest Close and Benjamin Lane. He also noted that the roundabout improvements at the Shaggy Calf Lane junction had made it much nicer to use.
Councillor Vyas briefly reported on the progress of the new play area arrangements and an item would be included on the next Agenda to discuss this further. A quote for the Dornels verge protection would also be obtained in time for the next meeting.
The Chairman reported that he had been carrying out further clearance work at the allotment site, with assistance from the Clerk and his father. This had been hard work but had resulted in three new tenants now being signed up. He had also pruned the large tree at the far end of the site which had been overhanging the footpath. He continued to carry out regular estate inspections when time allowed.
78. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statement for the 1st to 31st August and invited questions from Members.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for August 2012 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
79. REPORT OF THE CLERK AND PLANNING MATTERS
No planning issues had been raised this month. In regard to Section 106 funding Councillor Sohal advised that money goes into a central pot and is used for items within the Ward. Suggestions should be put forward for consideration at the time planning applications were submitted.
The Clerk reported that a Borough/Parish Councils Forum Meeting would be taking place on 22nd October. Councillors Gahir, Gerstmann, Malik, Zeib and the Chairman volunteered to attend and the Clerk was asked to include two items on the agenda relating to Section 106 funding and hospital parking matters.
80. ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CHARITY FUNDRAISING EVENT
The Chairman explained that this annual event involved a lot of work and only one Member, Councillor Aldridge, had attended last year to assist the Chairman and Clerk on the night. He therefore suggested that it be downscaled this year and simply arranged as a social event that all staff and Members could enjoy, with a small raffle and a donation to charity as usual. This was agreed. The donation amount was discussed, and the date and recipient would be decided at the November meeting. It was noted that the Air Ambulance Trust was always a popular choice but Members were invited to put forward local charities for consideration. The Finance Clerk confirmed the amount of available funding included in the budget.
RESOLVED: That the said fundraising event be approved, and
a) would take place on a date to be decided under matters arising at the November meeting (possibly 14th December);
b) a donation of £1,000 would be presented to a charity or charities to be decided under matters arising at the November meeting;
c) the sum of £200 would be provided for refreshments.
81. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
There were no public questions raised.
Part I of the Meeting closed at 10.30pm 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.
82. MANAGEMENT OF CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTATION
This was a confidential item to further discuss a data management issue raised by a member of staff.
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