Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 12th May 2011

Present:- Cllrs D Inskip, D Newman, R Winter, C Sharman, D Snowball, K Harte; Cllr Atkinson (arrived late).

                BBC Cllr D McMurdo                                4 Villagers

Prior to the meeting, all the recently returned parish councillors (except Cllr Atkinson) completed their Declarations of Acceptance of Office; Cllr Atkinson completed her Declaration on arrival.

1. Election of Chairman and Vice-chairman

Cllr Inskip was proposed as Chairman by Cllr Newman and seconded by Cllr Snowball; there being no other nominations, Cllr Inskip was duly elected (fully supported by all councillors present).

Cllr Newman was proposed as Vice-chairman by Cllr Harte and seconded by Cllr Inskip; there being no other nominations, Cllr Newman was duly elected (fully supported by all councillors present).

2. Signing of the Declaration of Acceptance of Office by the Chairman

Having been elected, Cllr Inskip duly signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office of Chairman.

3. Appointment of Representatives to Village Organizations

The following appointments were mutually agreed and accepted:-

Village Hall Committee                        Cllr Winter (with back-up representative Lyn Hall)

MELS Governors                                 Cllr Inskip

Neighbourhood Watch                         Cllr Harte

Playing Field Association                     Cllr Newman

Village Fete Committee                       Cllr Sharman

P3 Sub-committee                               Cllr Atkinson (was suggested, and subsequently accepted on her arrival)

4. Declaration of Interests

Councillors completed new forms notifying the Borough Council of any relevant interests which they may have (except Cllr Atkinson who has written a letter indicating there has been no change to the interests currently registered with the Borough Council).

Action:- These documents will be submitted to the Borough Council by the clerk.

The clerk then 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

5. Minutes of the Meeting held on 7th April 2011

Councillors accepted the minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed by the Chair. Decision:- to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 7th April 2011.

6. Matters Arising – for information only

    a. Thurleigh Road Layout and Signage.  Cllr Inskip noted that the large sign on the A6 approaching the village from the south had been replaced. Cllr Harte stated that, as one of the actions agreed at the last meeting, he had contacted Andrew Prigmore of the Highways Dept (with a copy to Cllr Charles Royden) about modifications to the Thurleigh Road (including a zebra crossing) and signage along the A6; he has not yet had a reply but will pursue the matter. Cllr McMurdo indicated that he had had preliminary discussion with Cllr Royden and they plan a site meeting (which others are welcome to attend) to see how matters might be progressed.

Action:- Cllr Harte to progress proposals for Thurleigh Road.

    b. Old Post Office and other footpaths.  Cllr Sharman noted that the hedge had been trimmed but still needs more attention. Cllr Newman mooted the possibility of Warners being retained but before this, Cllr Inskip will inspect the site again and recommend appropriate action.

Action:- Cllr Inskip to inspect the site.

    c. “School Railings”.  Hopefully, with the new budgets being available this work should be carried out very soon.

    d. Protection of Village Open Spaces.  The clerk advised the meeting that Mr Brandon had agreed the arrangement proposed to lease the small plot adjacent to 36 Radwell Road and would issue documents for signature.

Action:- Clerk to contact Mr Brandon’s representative.

7. Parish Action Plan

    a. A6 “Average Speed” Cameras.  Cllr Inskip reviewed her contacts with Siemens over the possibility of using “average speed” cameras in ME. Cllr McMurdo advised that he had been discussing the issue with Cllr Royden who had been considering the possibility of using such a system up the A6 north of Souldrop on a sharing basis.

    b. Village Street Lighting Plan.  The final phase of the plan (changing concrete standards and adding bollards) was due to be completed in April but is still pending.

Action:- Clerk to progress the matter.

    c. Progress with Land Registry.  The modified maps have yet to be completed before letters (which are ready to go) can be sent to relevant residents. When complete a master copy of the plans will be sent to Cllr McMurdo with the view to him getting the maps prepared on the Borough’s mapping facility.

Actions:- Cllrs Atkinson and Sharman to liaise over map preparation.

                 Clerk to send the result to Cllr McMurdo.

    d. Progress on Allotment Provision.  Cllr Inskip reviewed the 3 sites identified, two adjacent to the A6 and the third in the grounds of Milton Ernest Hall. This latter site is their walled garden measuring 65m square; this is probably too small. The possibility of an alternative site off River Lane now seems to have receded but Cllr McMurdo will pursue the issue with the owners of ME Hall

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to progress this latter site.

    e. Provision of glass recycling facility.  Cllr Snowball reported that he had made no progress with BBC but that ME Garden Centre had confirmed they would be unhappy with the large container the Council were offering. Cllr McMurdo has spoken to Cllr Royden and he may be able to offer a smaller container on a trial basis; this will be pursued.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to speak to Cllr Royden at BBC.

8. Standing Orders

At the start of this new council, it was deemed appropriate to initiate a review the Standing Orders under which the council operates by customizing the latest model document, published in 2011. Cllr Newman had produced a summary of the current orders which should prove extremely useful. Cllr Sharman will investigate how to put the new model document (which the clerk will send to him) into the private area of the web-site so councillors can access it and suggest modifications, with the view to arriving at a consensus soon to allow formal acceptance at the next meeting.

Actions:- Clerk to forward model orders to Cllr Sharman who will put them on the web-site.

Public Forum

v  Concern over traffic on Thurleigh Road and the closure of the Clapham gate to the Twinwoods site; closure of Thurleigh Road.

v  Appreciation of everybody’s efforts resisting the Biogen Power Appeal.

v  Limiting traffic in Church Green.

In subsequent discussion, Cllr McMurdo proposed a petition for presentation to the full Borough Council to get a full appraisal of the access situation to Twinwoods Business Park.

Action:- Clerk to draft a letter for residents of Church Close.

9. Finance

    a. Financial Situation@ month end April 2011
HSBC Community A/C 20,314.79  
HSBC BMM 27.16  
Total 20,341.95 20,341.95
Income yet to be credited    
Total 0.00 0.00
Total Cash   20,341.95
Uncashed cheques 0.00  
Total 0.00 0.00
Cheques to be written    
Warners of Bedford 5833 396.00  
Warners of Bedford 5877 396.00  
Warners of Bedford 5907 396.00  
Express Monitoring (Web-site) 35.99  
Dylan Newman Litter 50.00  
Total 877.99 877.99
Total Committed Expenditure 877.99
Latest position   19,463.96
Ring-fenced Funds   7,715.97
Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds   11,747.99


    b. Payment Decisions

Decision:- It was decided to effect the above payments.

Action:- The clerk will make the necessary arrangements.

    c. All Saints Church Grant Request

After discussion it was proposed by Cllr Harte and seconded by Cllr Newman that a grant of £900 be awarded to the Church and this was unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was decided to award a grant of £900.

Action:- The clerk will make the necessary arrangements.

    d. Year-end Accounts.  The clerk had previously distributed to councillors the year-end accounts to be presented to the Internal Auditor; Cllr Atkinson proposed and Cllr Inskip seconded their acceptance and this was unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was decided to accept the Year-end Accounts.

Action:- The clerk will make the necessary arrangements to forward the Accounts to the Internal Auditor.

10. Village Welfare

    a. Biogen Power Action Up-date.  Cllr Inskip outlined the events at the recent 5-day Appeal by Biogen Power to build an energy recovery plant at Twinwoods Business Park. There had been a very strong, collaborative effort by local individuals and communities to show the Inspector why the Appeal should not be allowed. Some difficulties arose because of the local planning officials reversing their decision on the appellants second application and the lack of local knowledge on the part of their planning consultant but these appear to have been very largely off-set by the calibre of the 3rd party (Local) presentations which even brought compliments from the appellant’s barrister. The outcome is still uncertain (and will not be announced for 7 weeks) but there are grounds for some optimism.

    b. Operational issues relating to village street lights. 

A letter from a resident indicated her support for the time-controlled lighting but queried the installation of a standard lamp rather than the originally planned bollard; the clerk will be query this with the lighting experts.

Following concerns expressed about the time–controlled aspect of the new lights the possibility of asking residents (via “The Villager”) their opinion some time after Phase 2 of the installation (bollards and steel standards) is complete. Cllr Harte suggested seeking people’s views on other issues of identified in the Parish Plan at the same time

Action:- The clerk will contact the lighting authorities.

    c. Web-site Developments.  Cllr Sharman suggested that residents should be reminded to advise the Council of any changes that need to be implemented on the web-site. Further, he stated that he felt there was no fundamental problem but that the privacy provisions were very broad; he has made proposals and asked Brian Inall to review them. The Terms of Use require anybody who wishes to create a link needs to approach the clerk for permission.

Action:- Clerk to put a reminder in the “Villager” council report.

               Cllr Sharman to progress privacy with B Inall.

    d. Riverside Mowing.  Cllr Winter noted that the Riverside was looking a little shaggy and Warners should be alerted to cut it right down to the river.

Action:- Clerk to instruct Warners.

    e. Bush on Riverside.  Cllr Newman had noted that a bush had been planted which may eventually obstruct the lifebelt stand; this is a safety issue and he suggested the bush needs to be relocated, perhaps by the P3 team.

Action:- Clerk to request relocation by the P3 team.

    f. Bench varnishing. Cllr Newman had noticed that the 4 benches around the village need to be re-varnished. After some discussion it was decided to ask for volunteers via the “Villager” council report.

Action:- Clerk to include appeal in report.

    g. Cracked stop-cock cover. Cllr Snowball had noted a cracked Anglian Water cover in the pavement outside 5 Arkwright Road which should be repaired.

Action:- Clerk to advise Anglian Water.

    h. Overgrown hedge. A resident has reported an overgrown hedge and verges at the Radwell Road entrance to the playing field obstructing the view when reversing out of no. 86 and other properties.

Action:- Clerk to contact Bedfordia to see if something can be done.

11. Correspondence

    a. BATPC Training.  Cllr Snowball has not undertaken training to date and will attend the “New Councillor Induction Training” in Renhold.

Action:- Clerk to forward Application Form and payment.

    b. Meeting with Alistair Burt MP and the new Chief Constable.  This meeting will take place on 17th June in Biggleswade; Cllrs Inskip and Harte wish to attend.

Action:- Clerk to make arrangements.

    c. From Cllr Walker.  A request for councillors to complete a survey on Community Safety BBC.

Action:- Clerk to circulate the request.

    d. From Cllr Walker.  Information on Health and Community Roadshows.

Actions:-  Clerk to circulate.

12. Decisions on Planning Applications

    a. Application 11/00749/EXT – Extension of validity of permission previously granted.  This application was received shortly after the last council meeting and was circulated to all councillors. There were no objections and this has been confirmed to the Planning Officers.

Decision:- To confirm the decision to raise no objection.

13. Reports from Representatives

    a. School Governors.  There had been a Governance Committee meeting on 11th May at which there had been further discussion on progress towards federation with Eileen Wade Lower School of Upper Dean; the relevant paperwork will be issued in about 1 week.

    b. Village Hall Committee.  A meeting had been held on 3rd May at which the question of outside lights had been further pursued. The success of the Wedding Day events had been noted.

    c. Playing Field Association Committee.  The AGM had taken place on 3rd May at which, very disappointingly, only committee members had been present leaving the committee unchanged. The committee has about £2.4k in its account. Adrian Winter is going to join the Fete committee. Minor issues have to be addressed on the playing field. The report on the safety inspection which took place some time ago has just been received and Cllr Newman will report on this at the next Parish Council meeting.

    d. P3 Sub-committee.  Nothing to report.

    e. Village Fete Committee.  There had been no meeting recently and the next one will be on 23rd May. The raffle first and second prizes will be £100 and £50 respectively; other prizes will be vouchers for various things.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  No meeting has taken place yet.

14. Members Calendar

15. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting will be on 9th June 2011.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.45pm.

These minutes were signed as a true record of the meeting.

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

                  Mrs D M Inskip, Chair