MINUTES Parish Council meeting Monday 3rd June 2024

Minutes of the Stewkley Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 3 rd June 2024 at 7.30pm at the Stewkley Village Hall

Cllr Keith Higgins (Chair), Cllr Gill Morgan, Cllr Brian Bottomley, Cllr Phil Delafield, Cllr Henry Hunt, Cllr Joanne Locke, Cllr Andrew Pryke, Joanna Simonds, Clerk & RFO.

There was 1 member of public in attendance, 3 members of Thames Valley Police (TVP), during Open Forum, and Unitary Cllr, Phil Gomm (up to and including item 5).

1. To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Andrew Arthur and Cllr Virgilio Simeone.

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

3. Open Forum
The Chair gave a warm welcome to three members of TVP, Stewkley having recently transferred
back to Wing Neighbourhood Policing Team. In attendance was PCSO Tina Hobson, PCSO
Connor Smith and, PC Jake Bye. The team provided an update as follows:

The new team plan to be very visible in the village, but if members of public have issues they’d like to raise directly, the suggested contact is via email at: WingNHPT@thamesvalley.police.uk

There have been 23 reported crimes in Stewkley since January ’24 as follows:

  • 7 reports in January – 2 x vehicle thefts, 1 x drink/drug drive incident, 1 x public order, 2 x assaults without injury, and 1 x road traffic accident.
  • No reported crimes in February
  • 5 reports in March – 1 x road related incident, 1 x concern for safety, 1 x theft of a quad bike, 1 x road traffic accident, and 1 x community anti-social behaviour.
  • 5 reports in April – 2 x arson incidents, 1 x assault without injury, 1 x assault with
  • 6 reports in May – 1 x vehicle theft, 2 x residential burglaries, 1 x criminal damage, 1 x action fraud and 1 x theft of a quad bike.

As well as 101, residents can report incidents via the website at www.thamesvalley.police.uk

Wing TVP now have speed guns and are trained and allowed to carry out speed

Cllr Delafield asked for guidance on an incident witnessed today where a tractor pulling a
large trailer mounted the pavement due to parked cars reducing the width of the road. PC
Jake Bye suggested contacting the business first, but if no adequate response is received,
TVP would be happy to pick it up if Cllr Delafield could email
WingNHPT@thamesvalley.police.uk Cllr Delafield also invited the TVP team to attend a
future Traffic Working Group meeting.

Update from Unitary Councillor, Phil Gomm on BC matters

  • Have been canvassing in Stewkley today and will pick up some issues on behalf of residents.
  • Attended the Teams meeting last month with the Chair, Cllr Pryke and Village Foundations.
  • Lots of emergency closures around the area due to potholes and plain and patch works.
  • Unitary Cllr Jilly Jordan is now Chair of the Community Board and the recent dementia weekend was very well attended.
  • Very involved with projects in the pipeline for the regeneration of Winslow.
  • A big ongoing project is the LC WIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan).
  • On Fly tipping, a policy is going through County to deal with people throwing litter out of their cars, and if recorded on video cam, drivers will be prosecuted. Information on this will be circulated soon.

Questions of Cllr Gomm
The Chair mentioned that a year or so ago Cllr Gomm said he could get Stewkley some “dog
pooh pick up or you will be fined” signs but we are still waiting. Cllr Gomm said he would get
this actioned.

Cllr Morgan asked for an update on the Community Bus project, discussed at the 8 th Jan PC
meeting. Cllr Gomm said he is still working on this but nothing has progressed yet.

Cllr Bottomley updated that nothing has progressed with the land behind 74 HSS and the site
remains virtually unchanged 3 years on. Cllr Gomm said he would pick up with Enforcement.

5. Update from the Clerk on Parish matters

  • The year end accounts have been submitted to the External Auditor.
  • The damaged nameplate sign for Parsons Walk has been reported and added to the works schedule, but Highways have confirmed that as there is no safety issue, this is not a priority.
  • A follow up email has been sent to Highways re the blocked drain on the corner of Ivy Lane and HSN, the south end, as reported last July. Highways say the gulley was cleaned on 23/08/2023 but local residents tell me it wasn’t, or if it was, it wasn’t cleared.
  • A request to “Call-In”, the Upper Dean Farm application was made to the Case Officer on 28 th May, ahead of the 31 st May deadline.
  • The Rec Committee has met with our insurers regarding the septic tank. They have confirmed there is an issue and they will need to do their own investigations, so this is ongoing. I will keep Cllrs updated when there is further news.
  • No faulty streetlights reported since the last meeting.

6. To approve the minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 7 th May 2024
The draft minutes were approved and signed as a true record by the Chair.
Proposed: Cllr Morgan / Seconded: Cllr Bottomley / Agreed unanimously

7. Planning
24/01413/APP – 6 High Street North, Stewkley LU7 0HH
Cllrs voted unanimously to OPPOSE this application on the grounds that:

  • The design and the mass of the ‘holistic group’ of roof designs forms a poorly thought-out proposal that is out of character with the village.
  • The design does not meet the County’s ‘Design Guide’ (e.g. Use of mono-pitch roofs) in this Conservation Area.

8. Enforcement Issues
As per the Clerk’s update earlier in the meeting, we have requested a “Call-In” for
determination by the relevant Planning Committee in relation to planning application
24/00135/APP for Upper Dean Farm.

9. Finance
a) To approve the June payment run as circulated:

SPC payments June 2024

b) To approve the Accounts to 31st May 2024 as circulated
Proposed: Cllr Pryke / Seconded: Cllr Morgan

The payment run and accounts were unanimously supported by all Cllrs.

10. Recreation Ground

  • The Chair referenced the Rec Committee minutes and confirmed that they are proceeding with CCTV in various areas around the Rec. There will be a new mast and potentially 10 cameras.
  • Cllr Morgan commented that there is a lot of sport going on which is great, but it does have a knock-on effect with regular car parking spilling out onto the roads. This problem will not go away and will be discussed with the Rec Committee.

11. Highways, Footpaths, and Lighting

  • Cllr Arthur has drawn up a proposed list of asset upgrades. Cllr Bottomley commended the proposal saying it made a lot of sense and utilises the budget well, so the lighting team are content for it to be put to Council for approval.
  • Cllr Bottomley confirmed the repair to the pump will be done tomorrow.
  • Cllr Pryke mentioned the white kerb lines and centre lines throughout the village and how they are becoming a safety issue. The Clerk was asked to write to BC highlighting how bad they are and emphasising that they are becoming a safety concern. Action Clerk
  • Whilst too late for this year’s BKV competition, the Chair suggested siding out the footpaths next year which could give an extra foot or so of walking space. Potentially an SEA project.
  • Cllr Pryke mentioned that there are a few houses, particularly in HSS, where shrubs are extending over the pathways. It was agreed that the best approach is probably to do a Cllr door knock, but failing any action, if Cllrs let the Clerk know the households in question she can write to them.

12. Community Projects

  • On the Community Garden project, Cllr Bottomley said Charles Hill has done a great job with the footings and has started to make the border fence behind. We are however, still in search of a bricklayer.
  • Cllr Delafield confirmed that the Copse project (previously referred to as the Wetland project) will go ahead. A site visit is being planned to get some advice on how close the trees should be planted in the Autumn, and Cllr Delafield continues to keep the Community Board Manager in the loop.
  • Cllr Bottomley praised our new BKV co-ordinator saying what a tremendous job she is doing. Cllr Bottomley was also praised for re-painting the notice boards and two of the bus stops.
  • Unfortunately, two lorries have driven across the grass verge in Dunton Road that the PC had patched up, and which was growing well, despite the PC’s “keep off the grass verge” sign.
  • Cllr Delafield asked whether Cllrs were minded to hold another drop in event. Cllr Locke said she’d received feedback from the village groups that holding a drop in event every 12 months was a little too soon but there might be merit in combining it with something else, for example the ASB working group and the new local neighbourhood policing team. Cllr Bottomley said he’d also like the opportunity for people to talk about the issue of wilding versus cutting because we are ready as a village to at least experiment with some of our grass verges with some of the more environmentally friendly ideas. Cllrs Bottomley, Lock and Delafield will get together and come up with some ideas.
  • Cllr Locke confirmed that the Village Hall committee have agreed to consider putting the King portrait in the VH but would like to see it first. Cllr Locke will take it along to their July mtg.

13. To agree the date of the next Parish Council Meeting
The next Parish Council Mtg will be held on Monday 1st July 2024 at The Village Hall at 7.30pm.

The Chair confirmed the meeting closed at 21:13