January 2016 – Parish Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Stewkley Parish Council held in the Village Hall
On Monday 4 January 2016 at 7.30pm

Attendees: Cllr J Wodey (Chair), Cllr B Bottomley, Cllr M Burgess, Cllr K Higgins, Cllr A Kennedy, Cllr G Morgan, Cllr C Pragnell, Cllr Pryke, Cllr P Smith, Cllr Janet Blake, , Janette Eustace (clerk),

1. Receive Apologies: PCSO Paula Boston

2. Open Forum: (Adjournment).

Representatives of the Scouts thanked the PC for the £500 community fund grant towards the new scout hut and gave a brief outline of progress to date. They reported that the Rec Association were unanimously in favour of submitting a proposal to the PC to apply for planning. In answer to questions raised, it was confirmed that wider community use would be considered, subject to avoiding possible clashes with Pavilion hirers. Two potential suppliers had been identified for the new hut. Drainage has been discussed with Thames Water and a response will be made as part of the planning application. It was confirmed that the main Rec car park would be used, rather than the small car park off Ivy Lane.

A resident attended the Open Forum to explain Community Land Trusts and enquire whether the Council would be interested in a presentation by Debbie Wildridge. Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are local organisations set up and run by ordinary people to develop and manage homes as well as other assets important to that community, like community enterprises, food growing or workspaces. The CLT’s main task is to make sure these homes are genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier.

Cllr Blake reported that she was pressing the County Council to agree to undertake the planned road repairs in High Street South and North at the same time, rather than in two separate phases. She also reported a continued freeze on all non-essential spending and that the Government’s spending review had put BCC in a worse position than envisaged which will require savings of £16m over and above the expected £50m.

3. Declaration of interest in items on the agenda: There were none

4. To confirm the minutes of the previous PC Meeting on 7 December 2015 and deal with any matters arising that are not covered on the agenda. The minutes were agreed as a correct record and duly signed.

5. Planning: To discuss planning applications and make recommendations:
a. 15/04039/APP- 14 Bletchley Road – Construction of single storey, one bedroom annexe , conversion of existing garage & construction of new detached double garage. It was reported that neighbours had requested the hedge to remain. It was resolved to SUPPORT the application subject to submitting a note to retain the hedge.
b. 15/04191/AGN – Blackthorn Nursery Wing Road – Erection of an agricultural building. The council resolved to SUPPORT the application.
c. 14/03724/AOP – Land at Valley Farm,Leighton Rd, Soulbury – outline planning 300 dwellings. Cllrs agreed that they had no further to comment to make – the previously submitted response of no objections was unchanged
d. 15/00932/AOP – 66 High Street North – feedback from planning meeting – it was reported that the decision had been deferred to allow councillors to attend a site visit on 22 December and that the application would be reviewed again by AVDC Development Management Committee on 7 January 2016.
e. Soulbury Road Proposed Development – the Clerk had written to the land owner’s agent for a copy of the action/project plan and timeline but none had been forthcoming. Cllrs agreed to invite Steven Smith, of Denison Investments to the next PC meeting on 1 Feb 2016.
f. 15/04234/COUAR- Red Brick Farm Barn, Dunton Rd–to determine whether prior approval is required – the Council resolved that prior approval would be required for this planning application. The PC considers that the site has been operating principally for storage of building materials and building waste and, although some horses have been kept on part of the land and that hay and straw are occasionally stored this does not constitute agricultural trade. Also, that the construction of the three dwellings appears almost independent of the barn structure.
Action: JE

6. Budget 2016-7 – to discuss and agree the precept. The Clerk presented the draft budget which showed that if the precept remained at its current level in 2016, income would exceed routine expenditure by some £5,000 per year. Also that the carry forward balance for 2015/6 would be £80,000 of which £46,500 had been earmarked for agreed expenditure. Cllrs therefore resolved to maintain the precept at its current level.

7. To discuss correspondence and communication received since last meeting and decide whether any actions are required:

a. Play Around the Parishes 2016. It was agreed that one, two hour session with sports would be purchased for August 2016.
b. Queen’s Birthday Beacons – to decide whether to participate on 21 April 2016. Cllrs decided not to participate.

8. Neighbourhood Plan: To receive an update from the working group and agree any actions. A first meeting of volunteers had been arranged for 8 January 2016 at the Village Hall. It was agreed that Community Land Trusts could be considered as part of the NP and Cllrs agreed to invite Debbie Wildridge to a future meeting, as requested by David Lett in the Open Forum.

9. Recreation Ground:
a. Lease – to note the signing of the lease and agree any actions arising. A lease had been signed on 21 December 2015 by the Parish Council and the Trustees of The Stewkley Recreation Ground Association to enter into a tenancy of the premises at the Pavilion and Part of the Recreation Ground, commencing on 6 January 2016 for 25 years. Actions arising:
i. PC to register the lease at the Land Registry
ii. PC to produce a draft Licence to Occupy for title number BM367552
iii. PC to agree the Licence to Occupy to be issued by the Recreation Association for the Stewkley Sports Clubs

A letter to be sent to the Stewkley Recreation Ground Association confirming the next steps                                         Action: JE

b. Cricket nets – The Council confirmed its agreement to purchase new nets, subject to sufficient funding being make available by SVCC
c. Pavilion refurbishment – to discuss and agree how the PC would like to be involved. The PC had agreed to submit planning at its meeting in December and is now awaiting formal plans. A letter to be sent to the Stewkley Recreation Ground Association requesting a full description of the planned refurbishment with estimated costs, sources of funding etc.                                                      Action: JE

10. 1st Stewkley Scout Group – to discuss developments in the planning application for the new hut. The Council had agreed at its December meeting to submit the planning application for the new scout hut. Additional information will be required before a planning application can be made including:
a. Detailed description, plans and materials
b. Site, location and size
c. Access
d. Waste strategy & utilities
e. Sewage
f. Parking
g. Hours of use
h. Consultation with local residents
Also, the PC will require a copy of the Terms of Use agreed between the Recreation Association and the Scouts, in due course. The Clerk to send a note to the Scouts setting out these requirements which will then be considered at the next PC meeting on 1 Feb 2016. Action: JE

11. Highways, Footways and Footpaths Lighting
a. Near miss at the War Memorial – to review letter of complaint and responses from Paula Boston and BCC. The Clerk had advised PCSO Paula Boston and BCC Local Area Technicians (LAT) of the near miss and had received a constructive response from PCSO Boston offering suggestions and support. The LAT also responded and stressed the requirement to consult with residents, sent a ‘Members Parking Tool Kit’ and suggested that Cllrs consider the village as a whole, rather than just one area, to get better value from a future feasibility study, but declined the request to support Councillors by holding a workshop. Cllrs Higgins and Bottomley will review the comments and information received, consider the options and report back to a future meeting of the PC. Action: KH/BB

b. Replacement trees after consent granted to remove them – to confirm the policy and agree any actions. Cllrs agreed that implementation of planning recommendations should be monitored and enforced.

12. Stewkley Wildlife Reserve: To discuss and authorise expenditure incurred or actions required. None were raised.

13. Finance
a. To review the budget monitoring report – the report was reviewed and agreed.

b. To draw cheques –

Dog Waste £915.30
Clerk £518.91
BCC Legal £108.00
Xmas tree donation £75.00
Village Hall Rent £231.50

c. Community Fund – to review any applications received –there were none

14. Councillor’s General Items: to report on meetings attended on behalf of the Parish Council and agree whether to add to the next agenda.
a. Cllr Higgins referred to a letter that had been sent to Inspector James Davis on 7 September 2015 suggesting police support to reduce traffic speeds. No response had been received and the Clerk was asked to send a reminder
b. Cllr Higgins suggested requested LAF funding for traffic calming/safety measures
c. Cllr Higgins gave information about two new signs for the Spinney – approx. cost £900, to be mostly funded from the grant with a small contribution from the agreed PC budget. This was agreed.
d. Cllr Pryke outlined the dreadful, dirty state of the BT telephone box and it was agreed that this should be passed to the BKV working group to consider ways of improving it.
e. Cllr Bottomley advised that residents at the back of the Village Hall during the Neighbourhood Planning meeting were unable to hear and offered to bring a PA system in future. It was agreed that the slides and the Q and A should be posted on the website.

Agree the date of the next meeting: Monday 1 February 2016 – 7.30pm

The meeting finished at 9.50 pm