March 2016 – Parish Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Stewkley Parish Council held in the Village Hall
On Monday 7 March 2016 at 7.30pm

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

1. Receive Apologies: Cllr G Morgan

2. Open Forum: (Adjournment).
The new residents of Kingsbridge Farm attended the Open Forum to set out their plans for the site.

PCSO Paula Boston reported an increase in theft of tools from vans in the local area, but added that one person had recently been arrested in connection with some of the thefts in Stewkley.
Cllr Janet Blake advised that BCC would be increasing council tax by 3.99% of which 2% would be ring fenced for social care. She also reported that the Vale Lottery was now supporting 104 good causes.

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

4. To confirm the minutes of the previous PC Meeting on 1 February 2016. These were agreed

5. Planning: To discuss planning applications and make recommendations:
a. 16/00346/APP – School House, 3 HSN – Two storey rear extension and new porch – the Council RESOLVED TO SUPPORT the application.
b. 16/00576/APP – Dean Tythe Farm, Dean Rd – 2-storey side & rear ext. and single storey rear ext. – the Council RESOLVED TO SUPPORT the application.
c. 16/00734/AGN -Kingsbridge Farm, Dunton Rd – Erection of agricultural buildings for hay and tractor. – the Council RESOLVED TO SUPPORT the application.
d. 6/00609/APP – Kingsbridge Farm, Dunton Rd – Demolition of existing dwelling and construction of replacement dwelling including alterations to residential curtilage and formation of new access. – the Council RESOLVED TO SUPPORT the application.

6. To discuss correspondence and communication received since last meeting and decide whether any actions are required:
a. Concerns regarding parking outside Chapel on lunch days. It was agreed that Cllr Wodey would speak to the Chapel to suggest the purchase of traffic cones to mark out a couple of bays for cars to pull into while waiting for oncoming vehicles to pass. ACTION; JW
b. Concerns were raised about broadband outages throughout the village. Cllr Higgins explained the actions that he had taken to find out from BT what had caused the broadband disruption for so many households. The complaint had now been escalated to BT wholesale. He explained that individual customers affected by the outage would need to contact their provider to complain and/or seek compensation. Cllr Higgins also explained that in addition to the upgrade to superfast broadband for Cabinet 1 serving High Street North, there had also been an exchange upgrade to enable ADSL2+ via copper which should provide better stability and improved speeds to many homes in the south of the village.
c. Historic England request to list the war memorial. It was reported that the Royal British Legion had requested that the war memorial should not be listed as this may prevent the village updating it in the future. The Clerk to advise Historic England. ACTION; JE
d. Community Right to Bid – Aylesbury Vale District Council’s decision to register the Carpenters Arms as a community asset was noted.
e. New Homes Bonus consultation – the Department for Communities and Local Government has recently published a consultation document on the future of new homes bonus on which comments are required by 10th March. The proposals could reduce the amount of money available for local projects – Cllrs were asked to respond individually due to the tight timescale.

7. Neighbourhood Plan: The working group reported that there had been a good response to the village questionnaire; the findings will be discussed at a meeting of volunteers to be held on 14 March. Working groups would be set up including Planning, Landscape and Environment, Transport and Infrastructure, Youth Matters, Recreation, The Elderly, Education, Amenities, Conservation and Heritage and Business.

8. Best Kept Village: Cllr Bottomley reported that work on preparing the village for judging was well under way. Judging will take place at the end of May or early June and the focus will be on the tidiness of key facilities such as the Rec, Village Hall, Churches, public houses and shops. Marks are also awarded for the variety and extent of local activities. The council agreed to spruce up the bus shelters and notice boards,

9. Recreation Ground:
a. To receive an update regarding the registration of the lease and the development of the licence to occupy. It was reported that the lease had now been registered with Land Registry. A draft licence to occupy will be produced within the next two months. ACTION: JE
b. To note progress made towards the pavilion refurbishment. The Recreation Association had submitted a bid to AVDC’s Community Chest and Biffa. Building estimates had been provided by five local builders and discussions were taking place to award the contract, subject to planning permission being received. A planning application would be submitted within the next two weeks. Cllr Pryke reported that the extension had been made slightly larger to accommodate a 15 person changing room.

10. 1st Stewkley Scout Group
a. To note any developments regarding the new scout hut and agree any actions arising. It was reported that a planning application was almost ready and would be submitted within the next two weeks.

11. Highways, Footways and Footpaths Lighting – to note highways issues and agree any actions arising
a. The Council has been reviewing ways of calming traffic at the War Memorial. Cllr Higgins reported that the MVAS mounted just before the junction had recorded 2,000 vehicles per day (an average 200 per hour) coming from the south of the village with average speeds of 25mph although the highest speed recorded was in excess of 60mph. Transport for Buckinghamshire had made suggestions to address the traffic concerns and produced a road layout for discussion with residents. Cllr Higgins explained that the next step would be to arrange a meeting with the local residents followed by a public meeting to discuss the options, possibly as part neighbourhood planning. ACTION: KH
b. Street lights – Griffin Field and the pathway to HSS and the replacement of sensors for all existing lights. It was reported that the pathway lights were scheduled to be replaced during the first week of April. Councillors felt that the quotation for new sensors was too high and asked the Clerk to negotiate a lower price, to a maximum of £2,000. ACTION: JE
c. Dog waste bins – to note Wing PC’s approach and decide whether to consider it for Stewkley. This item was carried forward to be discussed at a future meeting.
d. Footpath repairs in Haywood Park. This item was carried forward to be discussed at a future meeting.
e. Trees in Fishweir. A consensus had been reached with residents of Fishweir to apply for planning permission to remove 9 of the trees adjacent to the road. An application will be submitted during March 16.
f. Kingsbridge Farm footpath. It was reported that the hedge running from the Spinney up Dunton Rd had been cut back over the former footpath. The route of footpath was relocated just inside the stock fence rather than between the fence and the hedge. It was agreed that details of the re-routed footpath would be sent to the new owners of Kingsbridge Farm. ACTION: JE

12. Stewkley Wildlife Reserve: To discuss and authorise expenditure incurred or actions required. Nothing was reported.

13. Finance
a. To review the budget monitoring report – this was agreed.
b. To draw cheques – to be confirmed at the meeting:

Mower Maintenance £ 78.00
Printing Questionnaires £151.00
Legal Fees £172.80
Clerk £509.61
Gravel £353.90
SEA Maintenance £511.34
Plants for lawn cemetery £ 19.20
Spinney signs £940.89
Best Kept Village £ 20.00

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.

Cllr. Higgins brought the new signs for the Spinney to the meeting and advised that an official unveiling was planned for 17 April.

Cllr. Kennedy reported that a caravan had been sited at Sunhill Farm. The Clerk to notify the owners that planning permission would be required. She also reported that waste collection dates were incorrectly reported in the Aylesbury Vale Times. The correct day for Easter Monday collections in 2016 should read: Monday 28 March, which will now be collected the following Saturday, 2 April. Those garden waste customers who would normally have a collection on Monday 4 April, will still have their bin collected on Monday 4 April.

The dates of future meetings were agreed:

Parish Council Meetings

2016 – 4 April, 3 May (Tues following the bank holiday), 6 June, 4 July, 1 Aug, 5 Sept, 3 Oct, 7 Nov, 5 Dec,
2017 – 9 Jan, 6 Feb, 6 March

Annual Parish Meeting/Annual Meeting of the Parish Council – Monday 16 May 2016 – 7pm

The meeting closed at 10.00pm