WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Councillor Robert Aldridge (son in hospital).
130. APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
RESOLVED: That apologies for absence offered in respect of this meeting be approved.
131. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillors Malik and Sohal declared an interest in relation to their roles as Borough Councillors.
132. CONSIDERATION OF DISPENSATION APPLICATIONS RELATING TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT
No applications were submitted.
133. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH FEBRUARY 2013
Councillor Sohal again stated that minutes were being ‘manufactured’, and he and Councillors Malik, Zeib and Gahir disputed the accuracy of the content. However, no specific questions were raised or amendments requested and it was noted that the meeting could not continue until this item of business was resolved. The Minutes of the Meeting of 12th February were therefore approved and Members were invited to contact the Clerk if they would like to raise any queries.
The Chairman was asked to remove from the meeting any persons present who interrupted the business being discussed.
The Chairman advised that an election to fill the current vacancy would take place on the 18th April. Councillors Sohal and Gahir enquired who was going to pay for the election. The Chairman advised that costs would only be incurred if further candidates stood against the resident who had requested the election.
The Clerk advised that a letter had been received from members of the public who attended the last meeting stating that they considered the vote of no confidence in the Chairman put forward by Councillor Gahir, and supported by the Labour Party members, was wholly inappropriate and that they would like to record their confidence in the Chairman in the minutes of this meeting.
134. MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 25TH FEBRUARY 2013
An amendment to the minutes was requested by Councillor Zeib since she disputed that she was prompted to adjourn the meeting by Councillor Sohal and wished for this item to be removed. Councillor Malik stated that she had actually prompted the adjournment. The Minutes of the F&GP Committee Meeting held on 25th February 2013, as amended, were approved as a correct record.
It was noted that the Members remaining at the meeting had agreed that a further meeting would be convened on the 4th March, but that meeting did not go ahead as it was inquorate due to the absence of some of the committee members. The Finance Clerk clarified that an F&GP meeting could be convened at any time, subject to the necessary period of notice. The 4th March was the first available date. The Finance Clerk also commented that it was not worth changing the minutes since the entire meeting was a hash and nothing was achieved. A further meeting would take place on the 25th March.
135. POLICE LIAISON
PCSO Terrie Parker-James reported that six burglaries had taken place during February in the Wexham Lea area. A figure specific to Wexham Court and times of burglaries were requested. Free timer devices were distributed to all in attendance.
The PCSO was advised that local drug dealing had been taking place involving vehicles, and also on foot and on bicycles. The descriptions and registration numbers of several vehicles had been provided and this would be followed up.
Councillor Gahir reported that the speed monitoring devices were still not functioning and the batteries may need charging.
The matter of the vehicles causing a nuisance in The Frithe was raised again. The Police had carried out a check and all the vehicles apart from one belonged to local residents. The owners could be asked to find an alternative parking place, but it was noted that they were legally entitled to park on the road as long as no obstruction was being caused.
The officer was thanked for attending and for providing the timer devices.
136. INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
Councillor Gahir volunteered to take over the arrangements for the proposed new play area and a meeting with retired councillor Vinay Vyas would be arranged to exchange information.
It was noted that the arrangements for surrender of the Agreement for Lease had not been handed over to the Parish solicitors, and borough council officers had complained that the Clerk had not progressed this.
The Clerk explained that it had been agreed at the February meeting that a complaints procedure would be put in place to deal with the complaints received, and that she had not been instructed to progress the handover of the land in the interim.
Councillors Zeib, Gahir, Malik and Sohal stated that legal documents had been sent to the Clerk, but the Clerk advised that no such documents had yet been received. These Members disputed the Clerk’s honesty in this regard and asked for this to be minuted.
The Finance Clerk pointed out that at the end of the financial year she would be required to report to the Audit Commission any sale of assets, and that the Parish Councillors would be required to justify the sale. All Members would therefore be answerable to the Audit Commission.
Councillor Gahir put forward a motion, seconded by Councillor Zeib, to hand this matter over to the solicitors in the next five days. A named vote was requested, 6 for (Councillors Fayyaz, Gahir, Hussain, Malik, Sohal and Zeib), 1 against (Councillor Egan), 2 abstentions (Councillors Donachy and Gerstmann). Councillor Donachy wished it noted that he abstained because he disagreed with the amount the land was being surrendered for.
The following other items were reported:
· A ‘Have Your Say’ meeting would be taking place on the 20th March.
· The Chairman and Clerk had attended a meeting with the new sergeant, Kashmira Singh Mann.
· An update in regard to the Cherries CCTV system was on the agenda for the F&GP meeting.
· Councillors Gahir and Sohal had turned up for the planned walkabout on the 10th March, but had not actually carried it out.
· The Chairman was criticised for not attending the walkabout, but it was noted that he was not required to attend all meetings and other Members should be capable of working on their own initiative. The Clerk pointed out that a previous walkabout had already taken place to identify areas for verge protection, following which quotes had been obtained by Vinay Vyas. This item had been placed on the F&GP Agenda for discussion.
· A resident had raised a complaint about the camber of the pavement leading from Knolton Way along Moat Drive since it sloped towards the road and made it difficult to travel along in a mobility scooter. This was being investigated.
137. FINANCIAL REPORT
The Finance Clerk submitted the Financial Statements for the 1st to 30th November, 1st to 31st December, and 1st to 31st January.
Councillor Gahir requested details of all staff overtime hours during the past year. The Finance Clerk advised that nobody is paid overtime, only time, and that some staff were employed for minimum contracted hours whilst others were not.
The blocking of personal data on the finance statements was questioned yet again and Councillor Sohal requested confirmation that the Finance Clerk had the authority to block this information. The Finance Clerk stated again that she had never refused the Councillors any information, but had only restricted the information published in the accounts in accordance with the training received and the Council’s approval. This was not her decision, and the Councillors had seen her willingness to provide the information. However, if such information was provided in the accounts this would result in the Finance Clerk, as Data Controller, losing control of the data. If the Council were to decide that it wants this information included in the accounts then it could take a vote and instruct the Finance Clerk to do it and, on their heads be it, she would not be the Council’s Data Controller any more. The Finance Clerk stated that she would just like this matter resolved so that the Council could move on, and get on with finance matters, and get this Council working again. The Clerk commented that the Finance Officer could not break the Law, and Councillor Gahir asked for this to be minuted. A Part II meeting in April was requested to further discuss the matter.
Councillor Malik enquired about the Parish Hall toilet renovations and Councillor Donachy agreed to obtain quotes from a known contractor.
Councillor Sohal questioned the procedure regarding the issuing of cheques and the Finance Clerk clarified this.
Councillor Gahir questioned whether the current gas and electric contractors were qualified and this was confirmed.
RESOLVED: That the Finance Statements for November 2012, December 2012, and January 2013 be approved, and authority be given for twenty-five cheques to be signed.
138. REPORT OF THE CLERK
The Clerk deferred her report in favour of allowing time for the public to speak.
139. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Councillors Sohal, Malik, Zeib, Hussain, Fayyaz and Gahir rose from their seats to leave the meeting. This prompted objections from the members of the public who had been waiting to speak to them and a member of the public stood in front of the door. Councillor Donachy encouraged Councillor Gahir to re-take his seat. The Councillors’ unwillingness to listen to the public resulted in a heated exchange and strong opposition to their actions. The Chairman attempted several times to restore order to the meeting but this was not possible. The Police were called.
The Chairman did not have an opportunity to formally close the meeting due to the disruption.
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