MINUTES Parish Council meeting Monday 6th November 2023

Minutes of the Stewkley Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 6th November 2023 at 7.30pm at the Stewkley Village Hall

Cllr Keith Higgins (Chair), Cllr Andrew Arthur, Cllr Phil Delafield, Cllr Henry Hunt, Cllr Joanne Locke, Cllr Virgilio Simeone, Joanna Simonds, Clerk & RFO, and Unitary Cllr Phil Gomm

1. Apologies for absence Apologies were received from Cllrs Brian Bottomley, Gill Morgan and Andrew Pryke.

2. Open Forum There were no members of the public present.

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

4. Update from Buckinghamshire Unitary Councillor, Phil Gomm

  • Sycamore Close has now been resurfaced.
  • Some of Dunton Road has been resurfaced with more to do next year.
  • The HSS footways from top to bottom have been added to the capital programme for 2024/25 along with a stretch of Soulbury Road.
  • The abandoned Peugeot on HSS has now gone, albeit in unfortunate circumstances and the driver who hit it, has been charged with driving without due care and attention.
  • Aware that SPC have two applications in with the Community Board, Cllr Gomm said he was fully supportive of them both.
  • The flashing warning signs by the school, as a CB application, has not been forgotten and Cllr Gomm said he was planning to pick this back up but needed some assistance. The Chair said he would assist with whatever Cllr Gomm needs to get this to fruition.
  • Enjoyed being part of the Stewkley Drop In event last weekend.

5. Update from the Clerk on Parish Matters

  • Our Community Board funding application, for the Commemorative Garden has now progressed to the next stage and will be tabled at a panel meeting for sign off on 15th November.
  • Everyone now knows, but just for the record, Sycamore Close has now been resurfaced and residents were complimentary of the team that undertook the work.
  • In regards to High Street South footways, our LAT has confirmed they are on the provisional programme for next year. To be confirmed sometime in the Spring, but the plan is to do both sides of the road from the pub to the War Memorial.
  • The two new ground sockets on High Street North and High Street South were installed this morning by our new contractor so our MVAS can now be moved to different locations.
  • Confirmation has been received of our road closures in place from 10:45 to 11:20 on 12 November 2023 for the Stewkley Remembrance Day Parade.
  • An email was sent to Devolved Services on 16/10 requesting an increase in next year’s payment to cover green maintenance of (i) Courtneidge Close, (ii) Stockhall Crescent hedges (the stretches along Soulbury Road and the section on HSS backing onto Manor Drive from the bus shelter), (iii) Fishweir green, and (iv) the Ivy Lane boundary behind the Village Hall. We await their response.
  • On 74 HSS, Enforcement have confirmed that the sewerage container has now been removed and only one toilet remains which is being used for welfare whilst work is being carried out on the land. The owner also asked to retain some bricks which he wants to re-use and permission has been granted provided they are placed out of sight and stacked neatly. Permission has now been given to close the case so if Cllrs have any remaining concerns, they need to let the Clerk know asap.
  • On Red Brick Farm, we’re waiting on a response from Enforcement following their last site visit on 8th Sept where they observed further breaches and confirmed they were planning to issue a formal notice. I have not heard back whether this actually happened or not, but Cublington Parish Council are also very unhappy with the recycling unit.
  • Following our S106 approval on 3rd August, for the footpath across the Rec connecting the car parks, AT Bone marked out areas for digging today and work will get underway from tomorrow.
  • On the Stewkley bus routes, we were recently informed by a couple of parishioners that the route was due to stop as no bus companies had tendered for the business. Thankfully that was incorrect information “provided by the bus driver…” and Red Rose Travel took over the service on 30th October. There is no change to the routes and only very minor timing changes to the 162 (none to the 154).
  • On the potential two new bus stop points outside the St Michael’s estate either side of the Soulbury Road, for routes into LB and MK, upon inspection, the lamp columns currently there are a type of column BC are not allowed to put flags on. Our request is approved though, and the team will return shortly to put in new poles, near the lamp columns for the bus stops.
  • Finally, just to start giving some lighting stats, 5 streetlight issues have been reported since the last meeting, 3 of which have already been repaired; 2 only reported today.

6. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 2nd October 2023

The draft minutes were approved and signed as a true record by the Chairman. Proposed: Cllr Delafield / Seconded: Cllr Hunt / Agreed unanimously

7. Planning
23/03266/APP –
125 High Street North, Stewkley LU7 0EX
Cllrs resolved to OPPOSE this application pending more detail on how they would intend to maneuver 3 or 4 cars so that all vehicles can enter and exit forward on this dangerous area of High Street North if all 4 cars are in the ‘driveway’.

8. Enforcement Issues

  • On Red Brick Farm, Cllr Gomm raised his frustrations at the lack of progress there has been and said he would pick up with Enforcement.
  • The equestrian centre, Land off Dean Farm was discussed and Cllrs agreed a new email to Enforcement referring to our last communication and copy it to the Service Director and Head of Service and ask them to explain how this fits into planning policy. Action Chair

9. Finance

a) To approve the November payment run as circulated:

SPC payments November 2023

b) To approve the Accounts to 31st October 2023 as circulated
The payment run and accounts were unanimously supported by all Cllrs.

10. Antisocial behaviour

Whilst the importance was stressed of parishioners reporting any antisocial behaviour they witness directly to 101, Cllrs resolved unanimously to support Cllr Simeone’s suggestion of a working group consisting of Cllrs and any members of the public that would like to be included. Cllrs Simeone, Locke and Hunt agreed to take the lead on this.

Cllr Gomm commented that sadly this is a problem all over the county but the Community Board are setting up an antisocial behaviour group to help local village groups. The scheme is about to be launched and there will be £1k funding available to help fund different ideas, and support from a police officer and safety team that groups will be able to work with. Cllr Gomm said he would link up with the new working group so that Stewkley can be one of the first to benefit from this new initiative.

11. Lawn Cemetery

Cllrs resolved unanimously to SUPPORT the appointment of TGMS Cemetery Development and to commission the next stage of technical design drawings. Action Clerk

12. Recreation Ground

  • As mentioned in the Clerk’s update, the footpath works will start tomorrow and are anticipated to take approximately three weeks. Part of the pavilion ground car park will also be fenced off for equipment for the contractors but this is only short term.
  • The Chair will put a notice up saying the Burial ground car park will be closed on Sunday morning, reserved for the groups attending the Remembrance Day service who will assemble before they process round to the church to join the service by the war memorial.

13. Highways, Footpaths, and Lighting

  • Cllr Delafield updated that a new Speedwatch team is being set up in village being led by a local resident coordinator who plans to produce an article for the Grapevine to reach out for volunteers. She will then feed back into the PC’s Traffic Working Group in order to work together on new initiatives.
  • Cllr Arthur updated that on lighting, 20 upgrade work jobs have been instructed – 5 were completed as of last Friday, 13 are being done this week and the remaining 2 next week.
  • The Chair mentioned that the Slow signs on the dangerous corners on the village roads are almost invisible and when we’ve asked previously, we’ve been told it is being rolled out across the county. Cllr Gomm confirmed that was the case but now is not the right time of year.
  • Cllr Delafield said he would welcome Cllr Gomm joining one of the upcoming Traffic Working Group meetings if possible. Cllr Gomm said he would very much like to.

14. To report on meetings attended

  • Cllr Delafield attended the recent BMKALC: AGM and 75th Awards Ceremony although remotely rather than in person. The meeting felt very administrative and not particularly informative.
  • We had the Drop in event last Sunday. Not so many people as last time but it was deemed very successful in terms of intermingling with a lot of good cooperation.
  • Cllr Morgan uploaded her notes on Dropbox of the recent Neighbourhood Plan review meeting she’d attended and Cllrs will need to consider whether SPC should consider a review next year.

15. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Monday 4th December 2023 at The Village Hall.

The Chair confirmed the meeting closed at 20:56