Milton Ernest Parish Council

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

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

                B C Gale, Clerk

                11 villagers

The meeting was preceded by an exhibition and Q & A session with senior representatives (Chairman, Chief Executive and Site Manager) of Biogen Power, over whose proposed Energy Recovery Facility at Twinwoods Business Park there is considerable disquiet in the surrounding villages. Around 130 local people packed into the village hall along with two Borough Councillors to learn more about the scheme and voice their unequivocal objections in a robust manner. Biogen Power is now well aware of local feeling. The issues raised covered increased traffic, emissions and the validity of the modelling used to predict fall-out, the reliability and track record of the processes used, the visual impact of the stack, the validity of the planning conclusions in the light of a half-formed strategy and the wisdom of choosing this particular site.

1 Apologies    
  Cllr J Walker, Bedford Borough Council    
2 Declaration of Interests    
  The clerk read out the declared interests of the councillors:-Cllr Newman and Cllr Winter are members of the Playing Field Association

Cllr Winter is a member of the Village Hall Committee

Cllr Atkinson is a member of the Gardens and Allotments Society

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

Cllrs Atkinson, Newman and Winter have an interest in the Youth Club

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

3 Minutes of the Meeting held on 3rd February 2011    
  The minutes were modified by striking out the sentence in paragraph 6 stating that Cllr Newman would meet with Twinwoods Business Park site managers. The minutes were then accepted as a true record and signed by the Chair.    
4 Matters Arising    
4a Progress on Thurleigh Road layout and signage (09/10/4p)    
  Cllrs Inskip and Harte have met with Cllr Roydon of BBC to discuss the situation. To stop HGVs using the road the possibilities of narrowing the road, having alternate passage and introducing a 20 mph limit were discussed very seriously. He also confirmed that the large road sign on the A6 which is missing will be replaced as soon as possible and has agreed to a site visit to look at the situation in more detail, when the opportunity to talk about a further speed restriction on Radwell Road will be taken. Relating specifically to the school, Bedford Borough has determined that speed near schools will be limited to 20mph.    
4b Old Post Office and other footpaths (09/02/6a)    
  It was noted that the hedge had been partially trimmed but still needed more serious attention in the near future. The lighting situation is being addressed in phase 2 of the street lighting scheme.    
4c Progress on “School Railings” (10/09/67c)    
  A site visit is planned for Brian Hayward of BBC Highways Dept on 08/03/11.On the same day there is to be a visit by Andy Prigmore. DI  
4d Protection of village open spaces (10/12/8e)    







There has been no response to the council’s letter suggesting a lease on the plot next to 36 Radwell Road. The clerk will progress.Parish Action Plan

A6 “Average Speed” Cameras (07/12/11d)

This issue was also raised with Cllr Roydon who is not in favour of average speed measurement on cost grounds; however he did suggest relocating one of the cameras from the end of Paula Radcliffe Way to the northern end of the village and converting it and the remaining camera to be able to be adjusted to look in both directions. This might cost £20-30k. It was mooted that perhaps it could be funded from Ward Fund money but with ME having to find perhaps £5k. Cllr Roydon is to make a proposal and this will be progressed by Cllr Inskip.

The issue of parking on roads and on verges was also discussed. Cllr Roydon confirmed that if yellow lines were painted then a “pre-programmed” van could be deployed to monitor the situation. Councillors were not in favour of yellow lines in the village generally but it may be necessary to consider them around the school.

Village street lighting plan (10/11/4p)

Cllr Newman reported that phase 2 of the plan (to replace old lamp columns and bollards) should be complete by April. Rob Ferguson of Amey had been approached about vehicle activation of lights in Thurleigh Road but he felt it would be unsatisfactory, preferring the option of a 20mph limit so the lights could go off at midnight as in the rest of the village. He advised there would be some cost associated with this but has yet to specify this. The clerk will progress the matter with him.

Land Registry (07/04/8)

Cllr Atkinson reported she had sorted out the earlier misunderstanding with a resident and the maps showing the areas the council wishes to register need to be modified. When this done the letters to residents can be distributed. Cllr Newman will assist the clerk in identifying the appropriate residents.

Allotment Provision (08/07/6h)

With regret, Bedfordia has had to withdraw its offer of land at Flewton End because of adverse neighbour reaction. So it’s back to the drawing board; Cllr Inskip was reminded about the possibility of land near ME Hall and confirmed she had already tried to contact the owner. Cllr Inskip will also be meeting with Clifton Ibbett to discuss other possibilities

Report on the new website (10/06/6a)

Cllr Sharman confirmed the website had gone “live” a few days ago. He also advised that John Alsop had had to undertake more work than had originally been anticipated and would need to be paid for this; Mr Alsop will also be needed to give some training to 2 or 3 people so the site can be kept current without having to turn to Mr Alsop all the time. A letter of appreciation will be sent to Mr Alsop.

Provision of glass recycling facility (11/01/5f)

Cllr Snowball had at last got a reply from the recycling officer at BBC who confirmed their decision not to offer an 1100L container; instead, they will let us have a larger container which would require more costly footings. The issue will be progressed with the Garden Centre but they may also be unhappy with the larger unit. Cllr Snowball will liaise with them but the general feeling was that we should continue to insist on a smaller unit (they are available but now being aimed at urban applications) and enlist the support of Cllr Roydon.

Public Forum

v  Villager John Brown highlighted that the Old Post Office path hedge was now in need of urgent treatment, both by the owner and probably the village work group. He suggested a site meeting to decide on a course of action.

v  A villager and her husband are very concerned about the new village street lights being turned off at night – she believes there is a security issue, that the scheme has been implemented without full consultation with the residents and that there had never been any indication that “time controlled” meant turning the lights off in the dark. She has already spoken to Cllrs Walker and Newman, and the mayor and chief executive of Bedford Borough from whom she believes she has had inadequate responses. At the meeting Cllrs Atkinson, Inskip and Snowball sought to allay her concerns and demonstrate to her that all their actions had been in accordance with the Parish Action Plan and, moreover, that further comments had been solicited at the end of 2010. Another villager at the meeting was able to produce a copy of the original questionnaire upon which all subsequent plans and actions had been based; this document explicitly asks about turning the lights off at midnight to which the majority response had been in favour.

v  A concern was expressed that with the impending re-organization of the electoral boundaries, ME was not getting full representation at Borough level; for example, the closure of the second gate at Twinwoods Business Park may be seen to be favouring Clapham over ME; Cllr Inskip assured the meeting that was not the case.

v  The possibility of using Riverside meadow, land which the council already owns, for allotments was raised. It was explained that this was not possible because of an agreement with BBC and restrictive covenants held by the residents of Riverside View which would keep the meadow a wildlife and amenity area.








66a Finance

Financial Situation@ month end February 2011
Community A/C 15,199.43  
BMM 27.16  
Total 15,226.59 15,226.59
Income yet to be credited    
Total 0.00 0.00
Total Cash   15,226.59
Uncashed cheques    
ME Village Hall (183) 88.88  
Total 88.88 88.88
Cheques to be written    
Astbury Wren Insurance 605.71  
John Brown 55.00  
Clerk’s Salary & Expenses 209.80  
Dylan Newman 40.00  
Villager Minibus 150.00  
CPRE 29.00  
David Newman gift for Xmas Band 12.00  
Total 483.80 483.80
Total Committed Expenditure   572.68
Latest position   14,653.91
Ring-fenced Funds   7,695.97
Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds   6,957.94


6b PaymentsIt was resolved to pay the above items.  
7 Village Welfare  
7a Riverside View hedge-cutting; discussion was deferred.  




Biogen Power Energy Recovery Plant; the earlier Q & A session with Biogen Power executives had shown vigorous opposition to their scheme by residents of ME and surroundings villages. A petition for the BBC Planning Committee had been signed but may need more signatures. It was decided that emails outlining the Villages’ objections should be sent to each committee member and the objections re-iterated in the reserved time slot at the meeting on 7th March. The key objections are around traffic, visual impact, emissions, whether the scheme is in line with the half-formed planning strategy and whether the planning justification is consistent in itself and with the half-formed strategy. Cllr Inskip urged as many people as possible to attend the meeting.A letter from Mark Holyoak expressed concern over parking in Radwell Road, its role in a recent accident and his mother’s problems in getting safely onto the road. A reply will be sent assuring him that the issue was receiving attention.

Cllr Sharman noted that there were still many A6 lights not functioning after several weeks. Clerk to progress.

Cllr Snowball noted that there was still noticeable amounts of litter and dog-mess around. This will be noted in the “Villager” report along with encouragement to remedy the situation.

Cllr Atkinson asked if the Council would offer small prizes for competitions planned for the Royal wedding day celebrations. This was agreed with the prizes being something like book-tokens.




8 Correspondence  
8a8b Security and Policy review and Development CommitteesThese committees undertake checks on various aspects of the services delivered to residents living in the Bedford area and would welcome suggestions from members of the public about topics they believe should be investigated. The clerk will put this before the public via the website and a notice in the “Villager”.

Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity

The Charity has a Registered Social Landlord who believes he may have access to a parcel of land suitable for affordable housing for local residents. The Charity would like to come and talk to the Council about this. The clerk will arrange a mutually convenient date.



9 PlanningNo Planning Applications had been received but Cllr Atkinson noted that in a recent application decision document from BBC (Application 10/02875/FULWM), there was mention of a large number of vehicle movements being anticipated from Twinwoods Business Park. She will investigate this further.  RA
10 Reports from Representatives  
10a School Governors  
  A Full Governing Body meeting will be held on 23rd March 2011.  
10b Village Hall – The lighting issue was discussed at a meeting on 8th February and will be resolved at the next meeting.  
10c Playing Field Committee – There has been no meeting but a safety check was made by representatives of Wicksteed Park. The next meeting will be in April.  
10d P3 – It was noted that the group are now in possession of the Council’s tools.  
10e Village Fete – Plans are well advanced for the next Fete, the theme of which will be “The Best of British” There will be some new children’s games and produce stalls; there is an issue to be resolved over some of the stall holders coming from outside the village.  
10f Neighbourhood Watch – Nothing to report; there will be a meeting in the near future.  
11 Members CalendarDN will miss the next meeting.   
12 Date of Next Meeting – 7th April 2011, 8.00pm, Milton Ernest Village Hall  
  The meeting closed at 11.30pm  
  These minutes were signed as a true record of the meeting  

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