MINUTES Parish Council meeting Monday 9th January 2023

Minutes of the Stewkley Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 9th January 2023 at 7.30pm at the Stewkley Village Hall

Cllr Keith Higgins (Chair), Cllr Brian Bottomley, Cllr Margaret Burgess, Cllr Phil Delafield, Cllr Henry Hunt, Cllr Andrew Pryke, and Joanna Simonds, Clerk & RFO.

There were 6 members of the public in attendance

  1. Apologies for absence Apologies were received from Cllr Arthur, Cllr Morgan, Cllr Simeone, and Unitary Cllr Gomm.
  2. Open Forum The agent representing the Old Forge Farm application, spoke in favour of this their third application for a replacement dwelling, confirming they have a detailed ecology report on biodiversity, have reduced the property in height, and agreed to put it much closer, capturing the existing dwelling. He added that the existing dwelling is of poor quality and inefficient to heat, manage and maintain, and has very little or no architectural merit. This replacement dwelling would be a three-bed dwelling sufficient for the applicant’s family going forward.
  3. To receive any declarations of interest No declarations of interest were received
    • Since the last update there has not been many changes except as of late the POTHOLE saga continues. The Cabinet Member has just sent out an update on his behalf, but it’s mainly been because of the severe frosts/cold weather, followed by rain. All we ask is report on Fix My Street, but any real bad defects caused by this weather please email me direct for reasons of Health & Safety.
    • Regards the Row closure … Cricketers Close, I understand my response on your local FB page annoyed some Parish Councillors following the PC post on this issue, it was not my intention to do so and never would be. The PC were made aware of this issue in and around October/November and was discussed I recall at November’s meeting and rather the Clerk and I both deal the BCC RoW issue for ease I requested. just to be looped in, so I knew what was being stated. I was extremely annoyed to read the response on FB and hadn’t been given the chance to challenge that response on your behalf or your parishioners. I since have challenged, asking where has the original funding gone and asked whether volunteers could complete the works required …I understand the works are going to be around February now but I’m still asking plenty of questions to resolve.
    • UPDATE from/on minutes Enforcement 74 High Street although slight improvements had been made, I have expressed your parish’s discontent and now legal proceedings are commencing, furthermore a Section 125 notice is being pursued for the alleged unauthorised storage of builder’s waste including ALL other materials (toilets etc). Let’s hope the Landowner complies before expensive court proceedings and further upset for Parishioners waiting for a clear clean site.
    • The Swan Public House if I can help in anyway including MP Greg Smith, we are available.
    • Jubilee Garden I have now passed on to the PC, advice from our planning department which I believe has covered the questions well about what’s required.
    • Community Board funding for the Rec Bike shelter is looking good to the point I’m recommending we put some up in Winslow Town parking area, so we have some extra green.
    • Please could you forward parking proposals and potential opportunities.
    • I would like to know please what was stated about the CB and the re-jig because all operate differently at the recent Wing and NP meeting. Who organises the meetings and chairs them? I thought it was just for PC not Unitary.

5. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 5th December 2022

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

4. Update from Buckinghamshire Unitary Councillor, Phil Gomm

Cllr Gomm, having sent his apologies earlier in the day, emailed the following verbatim update:

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  1. Planning
    Land at High Street South, Stewkley
    Cllrs resolved to OPPOSE this application, it being outside of the settlement boundary and in breach of the Stewkley Neighbourhood Plan
    Proposed: Cllr Pryke / Seconded: Cllr Bottomley / Agreed unanimously 22/04226/APP Old Forge Farm, Dunton Road, Stewkley LU7 0LU Following lengthy discussion, Cllrs had mixed views on this application, so the Chairman put it to a vote. With one Cllr abstaining, there were three votes in favour to SUPPORT the application and two votes in favour to OPPOSE the application. It was therefore resolved to SUPPORT this application
  2. Enforcement Issues
    • Regarding 74 High Street South, a Section 125 notice is being pursued for alleged unauthorised storage, and there were reports of activity on the site today, although the portaloos still remain.
    • The stables in Dean Road are still being pursued by Enforcement with a view to stopping the extra splay entrance, and they have persuaded the applicant to put in an application to discharge the lighting condition of the original planning application. Cllr Pryke suggested that in future, rather than just happening upon such discharge of condition applications on the planning portal, which is what happened on this occasion, might it be worth asking BC to circulate these to Parishes, or at the very least have our Unitary Cllr, who represents us, bringing them to our attention. The Chairman suggested that for those Cllrs planning on attending the Planning Liaison Forum on 30th January, that could be an ideal question to ask. The Clerk was asked to request questions from Cllrs in order to submit in advance of the 20th January deadline. Action Clerk 8. Finance

• To agree the January payment run as circulated

Proposed: Cllr Delafield / Seconded: Cllr Bottomley / Agreed unanimously

Stewkley parsih council payments januaryr 2023

• To approve the Accounts to 31st December 2022

Proposed: Cllr Delafield / Seconded: Cllr Pryke / Agreed unanimously

• To agree the 2023/24 PC budget

Cllrs agreed unanimously to support the proposed budget as circulated

• To agree the 2023/24 precept figure

Cllrs agreed unanimously to support the £2 per band D dwelling increase, taking the requested precept to £50k.

9. Recreation Ground

A discussion was held on a couple of recent incidents where there have been some unruly off the lead dogs on the Recreation Ground running up to children in the play area. There was also mention of litter and broken glass discovered after older children had been seen using the area. This to be on Cllrs radar and raised at the next Rec Committee meeting.

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10. Stewkley Tree Project

Cllr Delafield presented a proposal to establish an area of woodland and wetland within the Stewkley Parish which would be accessible to the public for leisure, nature, and educational purposes. The project would be hosted by SPC and would involve councillors and others with knowledge/experience.

11. Highways, Footpaths, and Lighting

  • Some concerns have been raised at the number of parked cars on the roads in Stewkley, causing potential traffic flow and hazardous issues and the Parish Council has been asked what can be done to ease this. Following discussion, Cllrs agreed to undertake a current status review to assess if and where these ‘issues’ are and then to look at a possible way forward.
  • The Clerk confirmed she was in dialogue with Dandara regarding the 5 streetlighting columns on Soulbury Road, outside the St Michael’s Park development, confirming that they would soon be adopted by SPC.

12. Wildlife Reserve

Nothing to report

13. To report on meetings attended


14. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Monday 6th February 2023 at The Village Hall The Chairman confirmed the meeting closed at 20:52