Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 7th July 2011

Present:- Cllrs D Inskip (chair), R Winter, C Sharman, D Newman, D Snowball, K Harte; R Atkinson (who

                arrived after the Church Green Meeting).

    Clerk B Gale                      4 Villagers

The Meeting proper was preceded by a Meeting specifically for the residents of Church Green to discuss the issue of unauthorized traffic using their private road. Residents in attendance were Tim Wesley, Judith Marley, Joan Howes, Ken Long, Jane Doidge-Coker, Marianne and Ronnie Lowe. A variety of views were expressed over the severity of what may be an evolving problem and the meeting was reminded that there used to be gates which were closed annually for one day. Solutions, from various types of speed hump to barriers, were discussed but it was felt that a low cost approach should be considered first and if this had no effect it would be desirable to quantify the problem before making significant investment. It was decided to explore the cost of signs and low cost speed humps.

Decision: To explore the cost of signs and low-cost speed humps.

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

The residents took the opportunity to express concern over the dog waste bin obstructing the view of traffic emerging from Church Green onto Thurleigh Road; it was decided to explore the possibility of moving the bin further from the junction.

Decision:- To explore the possibility of moving the bin.

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

1. Apologies for Absence


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 9th June 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 9th June 2011.

5. Matters Arising – for information only

    a. Thurleigh Road Layout and Signage.  Via Cllr Inskip, Cllr McMurdo reported he had been active in pursuing ongoing issues viz. bollards at the bottom of the road, width restrictions (6’ 6”) at the bottom of the road and outside Twinwoods Business Park gate, planning issue surrounding the closure of the Clapham gate of the Business Park and the deployment the £56k section 106 money originally intended for accident monitoring near the Business Park gates. He will pursue these initiatives further.

It was noted that a Thurleigh Road resident had telephoned in frustration at just seeing four car-transporters and a heavy lorry going up Thurleigh Road. She felt real action was becoming increasingly necessary.

    b. Old Post Office Lane and other footpaths.  Overhanging greenery at this and other locations and the best way to handle it were discussed. It was concluded that the correct approach was to refer the matter to the proper authority, namely The Highways Dept of BBC. The locations in question are Old Post Office Lane, the passageway adjacent to 36 Radwell Road, the passageway from Radwell Road to Huntsmans Way (behind 30 – 36 Huntsmans Way, opposite The Malting on the A6 and outside Shoyswell on Radwell Road. It was further noted that the concrete bollards by Old Post Office Lane need to be removed and the adjacent grassland surface needs to be properly re-instated following excavations.

Decisions:- To involve the Highways Dept in clearing greenery and removing bollards; to request the proper re-instatement of the distrurbed grassland.

Actions:- Clerk to contact Highways over the above issues and the relevant authorities over grassland re-instatement.

    c. “School Railings”.  The Highways Dept have agreed this work and we await its implementation.

    d. Church Green traffic.  Please see report of pre-meeting above.

    e. A6 Signage.  It was noted that the BBC plans for new signage up the A6 had been received and that a response was required soon. Cllrs Winter, Snowball and Harte have yet to see them and then a response will be collated by Cllr Inskip.

Actions:- Councillors Winter, Snowball and Harte to read the A6 signage report and all to liaise over a response.

6. Parish Action Plan

    a. A6 “Average Speed” Cameras.  Cllr Inskip had raised this issue with the Asst Chief Constable whose initial response had been that cameras were too expensive but who agreed to look into the matter further and get back to Cllr Inskip. Cllrs Newman and Harte thought the matter should now be taken to higher authority.

    b. Village Street Lighting Plan.  The final phase of the plan is nearly complete with only the bollard in River Lane (currently on order) to be installed. The question of exactly what lights could be dimmed could not be answered definitively; the clerk will resolve the matter with Amey.

Action:- Clerk to contact Amey.

    c. Progress with Land Registry.  We have not yet received the village maps from Cllr McMurdo.

Actions:- Clerk to progress with Cllr McMurdo.

    d. Progress on Allotment Provision.  Neither Cllr Inskip or Cllr McMurdo have yet been able to establish contact with Majesticare so further consideration must be given to the offered site along the A6; it was decided to consult with residents overlooking the proposed site.

Decision:- Consult with residents overlooking the site.

Action:- Clerk to draft a letter and prepare a map showing the site.

    e. Provision of glass recycling facility.  There has been no response from BBC, not even confirmation that a site survey has been carried out. Cllr Snowball with continue to pursue the issue.

Action:- Cllr Snowball to progress.

7. Financial Regulations

To ensure the Council is acting in accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 and the Accounts and Audit (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2006 and 2009, Financial Regulations based on the NALC Model Regulations of 2004 have been customized to meet Milton Ernest Parish Council’s needs and circulated for review by Councillors. Adoption of these Regulations was proposed by Cllr Snowball, seconded by Cllr Harte and agreed unanimously.

Decision:- To adopt the customized 2004 Model Financial Regulations for Local Councils and eventually publish them on the Council web-site.

Public Forum

Issues raised concerned:-

  • Affordable Rural Housing and the Parish Plan.
  • Accuracy of Minutes
  • Council Procedures for Correspondence

8. Finance

  a. Financial Situation@ month end June 2011
HSBC Community A/C 18,085.71  
HSBC BMM 27.16  
Total 18,112.87 18,112.87
Income yet to be credited    
Total 0.00 0.00
Total Cash   18,112.87
Uncashed cheques    
Amenity Land Lease 50.00  
Total 50.00 50.00
Cheques to be written    
Warners of Bedford, 5992, 6041 792.00  
Dylan Newman Litter 40.00  
BATPC Subscription 152.00  
Clerk’s pay (Apr-Jun) 532.65  
Total 1,516.65 1,516.65
Total Committed Expenditure 1,566.65
Latest position   16,546.22
Ring-fenced Funds   7,715.97
Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds   8,830.25

    b. Payment Decisions.

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

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

    c. Activitots Grant.  A recent request for financial support has been received from Activitots; the matter was discussed and it was agreed to award a grant under section 137 of £250.

Decision:- To make the above grant.

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

    d. Book Sales.  Cllr Newman passed the clerk £25 cash from book sales.

Action:- Clerk to process the payment.

9. Village Welfare

    a. Biogen Power Action Up-date.  Cllr Inskip advised that the two local MPs were conferring to decide on how best to approach The Secretary of State charged making the decision.

    b. Operational issues relating to village street lights.  See 6b above; issues over timer controls to be addressed next March.

    c. Kerbs at Marsh Lane and Church Close junctions with Thurleigh Road.  A villager had expressed concerns over the speed tables near the school and motorists using the elevated area extending to the kerbs to turn round; Cllr Inskip extended this topic by mentioning inconsiderate and dangerous parking round the school. A variety of measures were discussed (letter to parents via school, stones at kerb, bollards, deployment of parking enforcement vehicle) and it was finally concluded that initially suitably located bollards of appropriate design should be considered. Cllr Atkinson will give her brochure to the clerk who will promulgate it to councillors. He will also get a quote for 6 bollards.

Decision:- To consider the installation of bollards.

Action :- Clerk to get quotation.

    d. Web-site Developments.  It was established that currently only Cllr Sharman and the clerk could access the web-site to effect changes; Cllr Sharman will arrange for all councillors to have access to allow the confidential modification of documents. Further, he will consider where to publish regulatory documents.

Action:- Cllr Sharman to arrange access to the web-site and the publication of regulatory documents.

10. Correspondence

    No significant correspondence had been received.

11. Decisions on Planning Applications

    a. Application 11/01246/FUL – Back-up electricity generation system at Twinwoods Business Park.  This application does not seem to make sense and needs very close scrutiny; more time will be required to do this than has been allowed. An extension on the response date will be sought from the Planning Dept..

Decision:- To request an extension to the response date.

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

    b. Traveller Sites.  Cllr Inskip noted that site situation within Bedfordshire was back to square one following the elimination of certain sites.

12. Reports from Representatives

    a. School Governors.  The Consultation over the proposed Federation with Eileen Wade School is now complete and an FGB Meeting has been called for 13th July to determine the next step. During consultation some parents had expressed legitimate concerns and these had been laid to rest at a recent meeting.

    b. Village Hall Committee.  No meeting planned until October.

    c. Playing Field Association Committee.  A safety inspection has been carried out which revealed nothing of concern; however, a swing seat will be replaced and new goal nets have been ordered. 

    d. P3 Sub-committee.  A quote for mowing Riverside meadow of £275 has been received; it is not possible to quote for clearance because it will depend on the quality of the hay produced. It was proposed by Cllr Inskip and seconded by Cllr Newman to accept the mowing quote and review the situation when the hay quality is known. This was agreed unanimously.

Decision:- To accept the quote for mowing Riverside meadow.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson will implement the above decision.

Cllr Atkinson noted that, despite the sterling efforts of villager Chris Lewis watering it (for which the Council would like to express its gratitude), the Christmas tree was looking rather brown.  She plans to confer with local expert John Brown and then contact the supplier of the tree.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to confer with J Brown and the tree supplier.

    e. Village Fete Committee.  Cllr Sharman presented a comprehensive report (attached) on a very successful Fete. Cllr Inskip wished to record the Council’s gratitude to everybody involved, especially the Fete Committee chair Cristina Goldwin and Zoe Marley-Hyatt who organized the competitions. The next meeting will be in September to clarify the direction of the project.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  Cllr Harte reported on the Bedfordshire AGM at Kempston on 23rd June where the Chief Constable had talked about the cut-backs and its effects. He felt community policing had a part to play but in future it will be organized differently and it wouldn’t be the same people involved all the time – faces will change. A local meeting will be organized after the holidays.

13. Members Calendar

14. Date of next meeting

    The next meeting will be on 1st September 2011 at 8pm.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.30pm.

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

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

                  Mrs D M Inskip, Chair

Milton Ernest Fete 2011 – summary report to Parish Council meeting 7 July 2011

The Fete was well attended and all activities and events went as planned. Reports and photographs are on the Church and Parish Council websites.

Compliments have been received from a variety of individuals and groups regarding the efficient organisation, the good turnout and the positive atmosphere, suggesting that it was very much appreciated by all, especially children.

Stalls were successful and contributed to a profit of £3366.03 which compares favourably to previous years.

Competition winners list has been published.

Raffle prizes as follows were all claimed; First prize £100, Second prize £50, voucher for Sailing (from David Wood), Hazel Kaye voucher, Only You voucher, Manicure (by Louise Sullivan), a beauty set (donated by Zoe Marley), two bottles of wine (donated by The Sharnbrook Hotel) and one bottle (donated by The Sharnbrook Newsagent), voucher for Sunday Lunch (from Woodlands Manor) and a voucher for Tea (from the Barns Hotel).

The winner of the balloon race is D. Lewis from Clapham, of 87 balloons entered 5 labels were returned, the furthest afield from Felixstowe (79.8 miles). 2010; 7/93 furthest 45m.

The Fete Committee shall consider the following for future years;
1. the potential to combine the 2012 Fete with Golden Jubilee celebrations which have been suggested by a separate group.
2. issues surrounding stalls; registration, commercial vs. ‘all profit’, accepting those from outside the village, exclusivity or possible duplication of items on sale.
3. committee membership and organisation, including the need for additional support and ‘new recruits’.
4. confirmation of the agreed distribution of profits.

The first meeting will be convened during September 2011

N.C.Sharman 7 July 2011