Milton Ernest Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 3rd February 2011

Present:                Cllrs D Inskip (Chairman), R Winter, D Snowball, D Newman, K Harte, R Atkinson, C Sharman

                                Cllr J Walker, Bedford Borough Council

                B C Gale, Clerk

                10 villagers

Sharnbrook Cllr Doug Mc Murdo – Observing

1 Apologies    
2 Declaration of Interests    
  The clerk read out councillors’ areas of interest:-

Cllr Newman and Cllr Winter are members of the Playing Field Association and have an interest in the Youth Club.

Cllr Winter is a member of the Village Hall Committee

Cllr Atkinson is a member of the Gardens and Allotments Society and has an interest in the Youth Club.

Cllr Inskip is a Governor of Milton Ernest Lower School.

Cllr Sharman is a member of the Village Fete Committee.

Cllr Harte is a member of the Neighbourhood Watch group.

Cllr Newman’s children undertake litter picking for the Parish Council.

3 Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th January 2011    
  The minutes were accepted as a true record and signed by the Chair.    
4 Matters Arising    
4a Report on progress of road layout and signage around Thurleigh Rd.(09/10/4p)    
  Cllrs Inskip and Walker met with Ben du Boulay of the Carlyle Group, owners of the Twinwoods site, to discuss developments and in particular the closing of the Clapham access gate. The cost to re-open the gate is £120k and so Carlyle say they will not spend this money, although MEPC do not necessarily accept this. It was noted that traffic was now even using Church Green, So, for now efforts to control access via the Thurleigh Road will continue and to this end further BBC meetings will be scheduled. (See below).  


4b Report on the Old Post Office and other footpaths.(09/02/6a)    
  A Villager noted that greenery was still overgrowing from the Old Post Office. Cllr Inskip assured him that the matter would be addressed at the right moment. It was noted that some verge trimming had taken place at the bottom end. (The clerk reported that he had spoken to Alistair Rundall of Amey who advised him that the hole in the footpath outside 3 Radwell Road and the footpath outside The Queens Head would be repaired early in the next financial year).    
4c Report on Lights on Village Hall.(10/10/7g)    
  Cllr Winter advised that the meeting had not yet taken place but that the matter would be resolved internally.    
4d Report on Progress with “School Railings”.(10/09/7c)    
  Brian Hayward of BBC would like to visit to discuss the issue and investigate. The opportunity will be taken to discuss speed tables outside the school.  


4e Protection of Village Open Spaces.(10/12/8e)

The Council will write to the householder of 36 Radwell Road and propose leasing the land in question with the view to grassing it; some preparatory work will be needed and villager John Brown will investigate to see if the village team can take care of everything. It was proposed that Mr Brandon was also written to with an offer of a £50 annual lease.













Parish Action Plan

Report on progress with A6 “average speed” cameras.(07/12/11d)

Cllrs Walker and Inskip will be meeting with Cllr Roydon on 11 February to establish the current situation.

Report on village street lighting plan.(10/11/4p)

Phase 1 is complete; phase 2 (replacing concrete posts and bollards) should commence very shortly. There seems to be a mainly favourable reaction although someone did express concerns about security, and winter early morning activities for some may be a little more difficult.

Because of the speed tables in Thurleigh Road the lights must stay on; Cllr Inskip intimated that in the future vehicle activated lights would be good. The clerk was asked to investigate this possibility.

Report on progress with Land Registry.(07/04/8)

The clerk has been progressing the matter with villager Geoff Atkinson (solicitor) but villager Chris Lewis raised concerns that the council had not taken all the correct steps, perhaps leading to an attempt to appropriate a small piece of land he said was registered in his name. He was assured the last thing the council wished to do was alienate residents and that, despite hitherto acting in good faith and doing what it believed to be correct, the procedure would be reviewed taking into account local (neighbours) knowledge about current ownership.

Report on progress with allotment provision.(08/07/6h)

Cllr Inskip reported on her meeting with Bedfordia and it’s agent from which a Heads of Terms resulted. The terms were explained and their ramifications discussed. Concerns centred on the length of the lease (5 years) and the set up costs (including Bedfordia’s agent and solicitor fees, both some £500 plus VAT, and fencing) to be borne by the council and/or the Allotment Society. Cllr Walker advised that the Mayor had a “Green Infrastructure Fund” which might help. The clerk will investigate this and get a quote for fencing work. The question of whether the current permitted use (agricultural) was appropriate for allotments; the clerk will check with BBC Planning Department. Operational issues were also discussed.

The Council would like to record it’s appreciation of Bedfordia’s offer of the use of this land.

Report on progress with the new web-site.(10/06/6a)

Work has progressed and the site should be up and running in the very near future.

Provision of Glass Recycling Facility.

Cllrs Walker and Snowball met with the BBC recycling advisor and agreed an 1100 litre bin would be placed at ME Garden Centre; subsequently, the advisor emailed to go back on the agreement and offered a large skip facility instead. The Council felt this to be inappropriate because of the extra noise and heavier duty facilities needed and Cllr Snowball will go back to them and try to get the original agreement re-instated.

Public Forum

Villager Ian Kirk expressed the ongoing concern over the traffic up the Thurleigh Road being exacerbated by further developments at Twinwoods Business Park. Councillors shared his concern and a wide range of measures mooted, including modifying SATNAV software (clerk to progress), width restrictions, restricted one-way operation, better signage and, again, complete road closure although this, it was thought, would  alienate too many individuals eg from Thurleigh.

There may be section 106 money available for some work and this will be raised by Cllrs Inskip, Walker and Harte at their scheduled meeting with Cllr Roydon. The clerk will arrange a meeting with Andrew Prigmore of BBC to discuss improving signage. The responsibilities of the Twinwoods site operators should be taken up by Simon Deards of BBC. Cllr Newman will attend one of the regular Twinwoods site company managers to express the council’s concerns.













7a Monthly Finance Report

Financial Situation@ month end January 2011
Community A/C 16,707.98  
BMM 27.16  
Total 16,735.14 16,735.14
Income yet to be credited    
Total 0.00 0.00
Total Cash   16,735.14
Uncashed cheques    
Activitots (172) 250.00  
Dylan Newman (174) 30.00  
Dylan Newman (181) 40.00  
Total 320.00 320.00
Cheques to be written    
Milton Ernest Village Hall Trust 88.88  
Clerk’s Salary & Expenses 172.80  
Dylan Newman 40.00  
Warners of Bedford (5399) 387.75  
Express Monitoring 588.00  
Total 1,277.43 1,277.43
Total Committed Expenditure   1,597.43
Latest position   15,137.71
Ring-fenced Funds   7,695.97
Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds   7,441.74


7b Decision on payments to be made.  
  It was resolved to pay the above mentioned invoices.  
8 Village Welfare  
8a Cllr Harte had had discussions with residents who felt that the police follow-up following a burglary in the village was inadequate.  
8b Cllr Sharman noted that the failed lights on the A6 reported last week had still not been fixed; the clerk will follow up.  


8c Cllr Sharman further noted there had been a police raid just off Radwell Road where it was suspected there had been drug and firearms activity.  
8d Cllr Sharman noted concerns over charity and cold calling; if a resident has any concerns Trading Standards should be contacted on 0845 040506; the clerk will put a notice in the Villager to this effect.  





Cllr Inskip wished it to be known that there will be a Memorial Service at All Saints on 16 February for Mr J Starey.

A very noisy, very late party in Church Close had been reported to Cllr Inskip The resident’s attitude had not been conciliatory.

Lesley Hattersley had been doing further research following the “rear door” incident outside the school last December and other similar incidents have been reported; she will continue digging but in the meantime the Council will pursue the possibility of removing the offending speed table and installing a pelican crossing. The clerk will pursue this with Brian Hayward of BBC.






Cllr Inskip had been contacted by Clapham Society of Gardeners about closer co-operation with their activities and shared this with the meeting.

9b The Council reviewed the BBC Structural Maintenance Schemes for 2011/2012 and concluded that the only additional work that should go in the plan is the replacement of the flexible bollards at the north end of Paula Radcliffe Way, The clerk will relay this information.  





BBC has sent information about the Parish and Town Council Conference; Cllr Inskip and the clerk will attend.

BBC has notified the Council of night-time resurfacing work between ME and Sharnbrook Roundabout necessitating the diversion of north-bound A6 traffic up Thurleigh Road and of south-bound traffic via Thurleigh and Ravensden. The work will commence on 28th February for 5 nights.




10/03075/FUL- The Grange, ME; installation of railings within and around the site. The Council has no objection.

09/01258/FULWME – Biogen Power; Energy Recovery Facility. Cllrs Inskip and Walker have met with officials of Biogen who believe their scheme should not present any problems based on Cllr Walker’s letter of objection. To help demonstrate this to the Council and local residents, Mr Bastion of Biogen Power has agreed to arrange an exhibition and meeting in ME Village Hall between 2.00pm and 8.00pm one day before the 3rd March. Residents will be encouraged to attend and voice their opinions.

11 Reports from Representatives  
11a School Governors  
  A Full Governing Body Meeting is scheduled for 23rd March.  
11b Village Hall –A meeting of the committee is scheduled for 8th February.  
11c Playing Field Committee – A meeting is scheduled for April.  
11d P3 – The group plan to check the site adjacent to 36 Radwell Road for suitability as a green area.  
11e Village Fete Committee – A meeting was held on 10th January confirming the date of the Fete to be 25th June and allocating a range of tasks. A hope was expressed that there might be more involvement from the Council, especially during the set-up and clear-up phase. The next meeting is scheduled for 28th February.  
11f Neighbourhood Watch – Concern had been expressed over poor feedback from the police following a burglary.  
12 Members Calendar


13 Date of Next Meeting – 3rd March 2011, 8.00pm, Milton Ernest Village Hall.  
  The meeting closed at 10.30pm.  
  These minutes were signed as a true record of the meeting.  

Signature ………………………………………………                                                         Date ….. / ….. / …..

                       Deborah Inskip, Chair