MINUTES Annual Parish Council meeting Monday 7th May 2024

Minutes of the Stewkley Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 7th May 2024 at 7.30pm at the Stewkley Village Hall

Cllr Keith Higgins, Cllr Gill Morgan, Cllr Brian Bottomley, Cllr Phil Delafield,
Cllr Joanne Locke, Cllr Andrew Pryke, Cllr Virgilio Simeone, and Joanna Simonds, Clerk & RFO.
There were 2 members of public (MoP) in attendance up to and including item 6).

1. To elect a Chair
Cllr Morgan nominated Cllr Higgins. This nomination was seconded by Cllr Bottomley.
There being no further nominations, Cllr Higgins was unanimously voted in as Chair and signed a declaration of acceptance of office as required under the LGA 1972, section 83.

2. To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Andrew Arthur and Cllr Henry Hunt.

3. To elect a Vice-Chair
Cllr Bottomley nominated Cllr Morgan. This was seconded by Cllr Higgins. There being no further nominations Cllr Morgan was unanimously voted in as Vice-Chair.

4. To appoint representatives to the following:
NBPPC – Cllr Morgan and Cllr Pryke were re-appointed;
(ii) Recreation Ground Committee – Cllr Morgan and Cllr Higgins were re-appointed (with one vacancy remaining); and
(iii) Village Hall Committee – Cllr Locke was re-appointed.

5. To appoint Working Groups for:
Traffic – Cllrs Delafield, Pryke, Simeone and Bottomley were re-appointed.
Streetlighting – Cllrs Arthur, Delafield and Bottomley were re-appointed.
Devolved Services (DS) – Cllrs Bottomley and Simeone were appointed as DS representatives.
Internal Financial Controls – Cllr Delafield was re-appointed.
Anti-Social Behaviour – Cllrs Locke, Simeone and Hunt were re-appointed.

6. Open Forum
The two members of public present asked whether the new owners of the Swan pub have made contact with the PC and whether any of their plans could be shared. The Chair confirmed he had been in touch with the new owners and the PC’s understanding is that the establishment will be re-opened as a pub, and the new owners are intending to attend the June PC Meeting.

[Post meeting, it was confirmed the new owners will not have any update by the PC’s 3rd June meeting so will not attend.]

Whilst the PC chose not to hold an Annual Parish Meeting this year, thanks were acknowledged to Alan Dickens for his report on the wildlife area and all his hard efforts throughout the year.

7. To receive any declarations of interest
No declarations were received.

8. To receive updates from Unitary Councillor, Phil Gomm on BC matters and from the Clerk on Parish Matters

Apologies were received from Cllr Gomm. No update was provided.

Update from the Clerk on Parish matters

  • This last month has focused on year end, meeting with the Internal Auditor and now compiling all the necessary information for submission to the External Auditor.
  • Highways have confirmed that 19th July through to 15th August has been set aside for the long awaited HSS footway resurfacing.
  • The free framed portrait of His Majesty the King, referenced in the Clerk’s update back in March, to celebrate this new reign has now been received and as the Village Hall representative, Cllr Locke agreed to liaise with the Village Hall committee on finding a suitable place for it to be hung.
  • The Appeal decision against the refusal of the erection of two dwellings at Land at HSS was received earlier today and was a split decision with plot 1 allowed and plot 2 dismissed.
  • Just one faulty streetlight reported since the last meeting; that being PB086 on the Dunton Road which was reported as being on during the day.

9. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 2nd April 2024
The draft minutes were approved and signed as a true record by the Chair.
Proposed: Cllr Morgan / Seconded: Cllr Pryke / Agreed unanimously

10. Planning
24/01009/APP – Grange Farm, 3 Bletchley Road, Stewkley
Cllrs ratified their NO OBJECTIONS comment made on 3rd April which fell outside a full meeting.

24/01051/APP – Potash Nursery, Mursley Road, Stewkley MK17 9JE
Cllrs voted unanimously to SUPPORT this application.

24/01052/APP – 8 Walducks Close, Stewkley, LU7 0JG
Cllrs resolved to OPPOSE this application on the grounds that the existing 3 bed house is being extended to create a 5 bedroom house which would require 4 car park spaces on the application site. No plan shows this. If time had allowed, Cllrs would have reached out to the applicant to request a parking plan with 4 parking spaces. This was however, not possible in the consultation timescale, the resolution therefore was to OPPOSE until such time as parking spaces are shown.

24/00946/VRC – Land Adj Wing Road, Stewkley
Cllrs resolved that no comment was necessary in relation to this variation of condition.

24/00815/APP – Land South of 20 Wing Road, Stewkley
Following the April meeting, Cllrs reiterated their objection to this planning application on the basis of non-compliance with the Made Stewkley Neighbourhood Plan (NP).

STK3 Housing allocations makes it clear in the preamble that support for the land South of 20 Wing Road, Stewkley (the subject of this application) is part of a co-joined site and that complementary planning applications will be required to be submitted. It has been noted that certain documents submitted for 24/00815/APP do contain information relating to both sites. The consultation for this site allocation in the NP presumed a joint application would be put forward.

In addition, STK3 stipulates that a new village gateway in keeping with its surrounds and created utilising the new houses and landscaping shall be included in the plan. We do not see this.

STK6 – There is insufficient information provided on parking provision for 24/00815/APP for the council to determine if adequate parking provision has been made for residents and visitors. In the absence of this provision, cars will park on the Wing Road, which does not comply with the requirement of STK6 to take parking off the roads.

STK7 – This is a development of a significant size however no contribution has been proposed to help the Parish Council improve local amenities for walking, cycling or Rights of Way.

11. Enforcement Issues
There were no updates received on enforcement matters.

12. Finance
To approve the May payment run as circulated:

SPC payments May 2024
  • To approve the Accounts to 30th April 2024 as circulated
    The payment run and accounts were unanimously supported by all Cllrs.
  • The Annual Internal Audit Report for 2023/24 was noted with an update from the Clerk.
  • The Section 1 Annual Governance Statement for the y/e 31st March 2024 was approved.
  • The Section 2 Accounting Statements for the y/e 31st March 2024 was approved.
  • The dates Monday 3rd June-Friday 12th July 2024 was noted for the Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return.

13. Recreation Ground
Other than lots of positive comments received in regard to the new footpath, no further updates.

14. 2024 Best Kept Village competition
The PC was pleased to confirm we have a new co-ordinator to lead on this year’s competition.

15. Highways, Footpaths, and Lighting
BC has reached out regarding adoption of any streetlights installed as part of the Wing Road development. Cllrs were in principle content with adopting, subject to agreeing a commuted sum.

16. Community Projects
Charles Hill has made a great start on the Community Garden. Footings will go in once the weather is good. Next steps are securing a bricklayer and getting volunteer labour lined up.
On the Wetlands project, we have the grant secured for the trees and benches but for various reasons are now looking for an alternative piece of land.

17. To agree the date of the next Parish Council Meeting
The next Parish Council Mtg will be held on Monday 3rd June 2024 at The Village Hall at 7.30pm.
The Chair confirmed the meeting closed at 20:49