WCPC MINUTES

 

WEXHAM COURT PARISH COUNCIL

 

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

12th November, 2013, at the Parish Hall, Norway Drive, Wexham, Slough.

 

PRESENT:

Councillors Sandra Malik (Chairman),

Trevor Allen, Patrick Donachy, Harjinder Singh Gahir,

Munawar Hussain, Amjad Raja, and Shabana Zeib.

Officers: Dianne Egan (Clerk), Tina Kellett (RFO).

Borough Councillor Haqeeq Dar.

Four members of the public.

 

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:

Councillors Robert Aldridge (working), Carl Egan (working),

Raja Fayyaz (working), and Paul Sohal (at another meeting).

 

 

116.   APPROVAL OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

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

 

117.   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST                                   

 

Councillor Malik declared an interest in relation to her role as a Borough Councillor.

 

118.   CONSIDERATION OF DISPENSATION APPLICATIONS RELATING TO THE CODE OF CONDUCT

 

No applications were submitted.

 

119.   MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8TH OCTOBER 2013

 

The Minutes of the Meeting of 8th October 2013 were approved as a correct record subject to minor amendments, which would be reviewed by the Chairman prior to signing.  The RFO pointed out that the Clerk’s minutes were an accurate reflection of what was actually said at the meeting. 

 

The Clerk was instructed by Councillor Gahir to cease the practice of listing amendments in subsequent minutes, contrary to the previous instruction issued by the Chairman.  However, it was agreed that an email received from Councillor Sohal should be included in the current minutes, at his request, as follows:

 

Email received from Councillor Sohal 11th November 2013 by all Members/Officers (copied and pasted):

 

Dear Mrs Egan,

 

As I have another meeting to attend at the Singh Sabha Slough Sports Centre Slough on Tuesday 12 November 2013, I shall not be able to attend the Parish Council meeting. Therefore could you please pass on my apology.

 

Also I am going abroad for 4 weeks and won't be able to attend the meeting in December as well so please accept my apology in advance.

 

I would like to comments on the minutes that you have circulated. My observations are as follows and I request these be read out at the meeting and noted with the approved minutes:

 

Page 2 Item no. 104 PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

 

Bullet Point 3:    "and the sold Parish land" I believe someone may have referred to the land North of Norway Drive that has been given back to the Slough Borough Council for much needed housing development. If this is the case then I would like to clarify that the Wexham Court Parish Council has not sold any land. Only the councillors in their wisdom and for the best interest of the parishioners resolved to rescind the original decision of Agreement of Lease for the Land North of Norway Drive. When this decision was taken no body could produce a copy of the signed LEASE. Therefore this piece of land never belonged to the parish council.

 

Bullet Point 4:    I cannot speak on behalf of the other Labour Councillors but I know the Slough Labour Party believes that Slough is an urban town and the interest of all the residents could be better served only by the borough council. There is no need of 2 tier system of local government in this urban town. The residents of Wexham will save extra council tax they pay, a large amount of which is spent towards staff cost. I, a Labour Councillor would like to see this Parsih Council abolished. However, the result of the recent survey has been published and I respect the wishes of the local residents who have voted against the abolishing of the parish council.

 

Bullet Point 5:      There is nothing slanderous and libellous in naming the residents who have called for the election. Under the Freedom of Information Act anybody can inquire about these names. I strongly object to the wording "costs had been incurred due to the Labour Party putting forward a candidate in opposition". Let me remind all, the Independents Councillors controlled this parish council for 18 years. During this period councillors were co-opted from time to time whenever a vacancy existed. Never a by-election was held because Labour Party always preferred to save parishioner's money. The individuals who called for elections (exercising their democratic right) are responsible for the costs not the LABOUR PARTY. We are proud that we put forward candidates and won on both occasions. People believe in Labour that is why they have voted for the Labour Party Candidates. 

 

With kind regards.

 

Paul Sohal

Wexham Court Parish Councillor

 

It was noted that the contents of this email did not reflect the views of all Members, and it was disputed that the Slough Labour Group policy, or the Labour Party policy, was to abolish the Parish Council.  In light of this, a Member enquired whether Councillor Sohal would resign his position.

 

120.   MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 7TH NOVEMBER 2013.

 

The Minutes of the F&GP Committee Meeting held on 7th November 2013 were approved as a correct record.  The recommendations therein were also approved, subject to some minor amendments to the 2014/15 budget draft.

 

121.   PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

 

Members of the public raised questions relating to the following:

·       Update on Church Lane speed restrictions in the vicinity of the school.

·       Update on the progress of the new play area and objections to the removal of the adjacent hedge.

·       Request for all Members to call for the resignation of Councillor Paul Sohal.

 

122.   POLICE LIAISON

 

No Police officers were in attendance.

 

123.   INFORMATION REPORTS - MEMBERS & BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

 

The following items were reported/discussed:

 

·       An on-site meeting with borough council officers had taken place in relation to the Church Lane traffic issues and some speed restrictions had been put in place.

·       Arrangements for resurfacing work in The Frithe were underway.

·       Hospital traffic problems in Norway Drive were being investigated and it was noted that it was dangerous for residents trying to get in and out of their driveways.  Further discussion had taken place with Martin Mallia and the content of a resident consultation was discussed.  Subsidising of the potential cost of parking permits was suggested and the RFO confirmed that the current budget would allow this.

A further meeting in George Green in relation to the problem of hospital parking would be taking place on the 12th December, to which various representatives including borough councillors would be invited.

·       People had been found to be sleeping in a camper van at Dornels.

·       New trees were being planted along the Uxbridge Road service road.

·       The recent Community Governance Review poll had returned a majority in favour of retaining the Parish Council.  In Britwell the majority had been in favour of abolition.

·       Several recent Working Group meetings and an F&GP meeting had been well attended.

·       Councillor Donachy had attended the Remembrance Sunday event.  However, it was noted that this was the first year ever that a wreath had not been laid on behalf of the Parish.  The Clerk was asked to include an item on the next Agenda to consider a £100 donation to the Poppy Appeal.

·       Further complaints had been received from residents in Dawes Moor Close in relation to allotment bonfires.  Although previous rules had been put in place, fires were being lit outside of the permitted times.

·       A 17-year-old in Quinbrookes with no licence had been seen driving his father’s car and causing damage.  The Chairman would contact the new Police Inspector in this regard.

·       Traffic movement problems in the area of Knolton Way Parade remained a problem and a one-way system was still required.

·       The new Pavement Parking Policy put in place by SBC was discussed.

·       The installation of yellow lines in the parking area outside numbers 2‑10 Norway Drive would take place in February/March.  This should resolve the current problem of resident’s vehicle access being blocked.

·       The Chairman had attended an award ceremony for 8/9-year-olds from Tunisia.  It had been a pleasant evening at which she had presented the award certificates and was given some sweet items by the children.

·       Update on Kola Court benches.  Settlement of the soil following the recent verge work was awaited.  It was suggested that a sign should be included on the benches to indicate that they had been provided by the Parish Council.

·       The placement of local notice boards was being investigated.

·       The weight restriction limit in The Frithe was being investigated.  There were particular concerns that gravel extraction vehicles may use the road in future.

 

124.   FINANCIAL REPORT

 

The RFO submitted the Financial Statement for 1st to 30th September.

 

The setting up of a dedicated website for Parish Hall bookings was discussed and consideration of the costs for this would be included on the next Agenda.  The current arrangements for the existing website were also discussed.

 

In light of the fact that Age Concern would be using the hall, the installation of a lift was proposed.  This would provide access to the first floor and modernise the hall.  Consideration of the costs would be included on an Agenda once quotes were obtained.

 

The RFO reported that the Annual Accounts had now been completed, without question by the auditors, and would be displayed on the notice board.

 

The Bowls Club would be invoiced for the additional three months CCTV rental. 

 

All funds in the Santander savings account would be moved to NatWest to enable the Council to decide whether to reinvest them elsewhere with better interest.

 

Cover for the booking clerk’s leave was discussed and it was agreed to pay her daughter at the existing rate.

 

A letter had been received from a member of the public who sustained an injury due to the uneven road surface at the entrance gates.  The Health & Safety Working Group would deal with this.  Councillors Allen and Zeib indicated that they would like to join the working group, and Councillor Gahir wished to leave it.

 

The RFO requested permission to write to the Bowls Club regarding the rent review and this was approved.

 

The RFO requested clarification of the arrangements for payment of the play area equipment.  It was agreed that WCPC would pay Kompan and subsequently reclaim the costs from SBC.  The project was currently awaiting formal permissions in accordance with the terms of the Lease and had therefore been delayed.  This had incurred costs in respect of the site equipment and workmen that had been prematurely arranged to commence the project.

 

RESOLVED: That a further sum of £2,000 be approved to cover the costs of the delayed play area project.

 

RESOLVED: That the Finance Statement for September 2013 be approved, and authority be given for cheques to be signed to provide a maximum of 25.

 

125.   ANNUAL MAIN HALL FLOORING MAINTENANCE

 

This was deferred as the additional quotes had not yet been obtained.

 

126.   PARISH GOVERNANCE REVIEW UPDATE

 

An update had been provided during Member’s Reports above.

 

127.   REPORT OF THE CLERK

 

Deferred due to time constraints.

 

128.   CHRISTMAS DAY BOOKING

 

This was approved despite observations from the Clerk that residents living in the vicinity of the hall should have the right to enjoy a peaceful Christmas Day Holiday.

 

129.   WORKING GROUPS UPDATE

 

Various working group items had been discussed earlier in the meeting and would be further discussed in Part II.

 

130.   BOWLS CLUB

 

The rent review had been discussed at the F&GP Committee Meeting at which it was agreed to increase the rent by the maximum 50% and to also backdate a further 50% increase to the lapsed 2010 review.  The RFO advised that, should the matter be escalated, then the Council would need to decide whether legal funding was needed.

 

131.   CAR PARK MARKING

 

The Chairman alleged that the Bowls Club were inconsiderate with their parking and disabled bays were blocked.  A member of the club who was present objected to them being blamed since other users of the car park had been seen to be blocking the bays.  This item was passed to the relevant working group.

 

132.   LIFT AND POTENTIAL ALTERATIONS

 

Quotes were awaited.

 

133.   PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

 

Health & Safety clothing and equipment was required for the caretakers to carry out their duties.  This was passed to the relevant working group to progress.

 

RESOLVED: That the sum of £500 be approved for the purchase of H&S clothing and equipment.

 

134.   SCHOOL KEYS.

 

It was noted that the hall was left in poor condition following a recent hire by Wexham School.  Return of the set of keys in the school’s possession was awaited and the Clerk was asked to follow this up.

 

135.   MEN’S TOILETS

 

It was proposed that the rear Gents’ WC was not required and could be converted into a meeting room with the adjoining store room.  This would be included on the next Agenda for further discussion.

 

136.   STORE CUPBOARD

 

Councillor Gahir wished it minuted that some items had been stored by the Clerk in the Parish Hall store room.  She was asked to remove any personal items from the premises by the end of the month.

 

137.   APPROVAL FOR EXPENDITURE – LGA BOOKLET

 

The Clerk advised that no ‘booklet’ was in existence which could adequately cover the extensive Local Government Act.  The nearest available publication was the Local Council Administration book, which could be obtained at a discounted cost of £60 each due to the Clerks being members of the SLCC.  Other books of use to the Council were also discussed.

 

RESOLVED: That the sum of £200 be approved for the purchase of the required books.

 

138.   EXTRA MONEY FOR PLAY PARK

 

This item had been discussed and approved in the Financial Report above.

 

Part I of the Meeting closed 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

 

139.   DOCTOR’S NOTE

 

Members wished to view the doctor’s certificate relating to the Clerk’s recent absence and the RFO would bring this to the next meeting.

 

140.   REPORT OF WORKING GROUP REGARDING RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO BOOKING CLERK’S TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT

 

The Clerk was asked to prepare a Contract of Employment to include the new and revised duties of the Booking Clerk.  This would be sent to Councillors Allen, Donachy and Gahir to approve the content.

 

The Meeting closed at 10.40 p.m.

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