Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 1st March 2012

Present:- Cllrs D Inskip (chair), R Winter, D Newman (arrived at 8.25pm during the Public Forum), R Atkinson, C Sharman, J Williams, D Snowball.            Clerk B Gale                            4 Residents


1. Apologies for Absence

Received from Cllr McMurdo and accepted.

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 Garden Society

Cllr Inskip is a Governor of Milton Ernest Lower School

Cllr Sharman is a member of the Village Fete Committee

Cllrs Atkinson, Sharman 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 2nd February 2012

After changing the month from December to January in item 8h, Councillors unanimously accepted these minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were signed by the Chair.

Decision:- to approve the amended minutes of the meeting held on 2nd February 2012.

4. Matters Arising – for information only

    a. Thurleigh Road Layout and Signage.  In his absence, through Cllr Inskip, Cllr McMurdo advised that he had met with Ben du Boulay, manager of the Twinwoods Business Park, and the Borough Mayor to discuss ongoing issues at the Park, including gate closure. It had been agreed that quarterly liaison meetings would be set up to include a representative of ME Parish Council.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to progress Thurleigh Road issues.

    b. Old Post Office.  Via Cllr Inskip, Cllr McMurdo confirmed that he had requested that the Highways Dept undertake repair work.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo will progress the repair work.

    c. Church Green traffic.  Via Cllr Inskip, Cllr McMurdo confirmed that “Private Road” signs have been ordered by the Highways Dept.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to progress with the Highways Dept.

5. Parish Action Plan – for information only

    a. A6 “Average Speed” Cameras.  Cllr Inskip advised that she had recently spoken to Borough Cllr Royden who confirmed that the trials were still planned and that preparatory work was being undertaken; however, they had decided to await type approval before commencing the trials because without it, offenders cannot be prosecuted. This will inevitably mean some delay.

    b. Village Street Lighting Plan.  Cllr Sharman’s louvred light reducing device has been taken by the bollard manufacturers as a model to work from; they expect production models to be available some time after April.

Action:- Cllr Sharman will liaise with the contractors/manufacturers.

    c. Progress with Land Registry.  Responses from councillors have been passed to Geoff Atkinson for evaluation; he has found that he needs to have full birth certificate names on the affidavits and is gathering this information using resources available to him.

Actions:- Resident Geoff Atkinson will progress Land Registry issues.

    d. Progress on Allotment Provision.  Cllr Inskip advised that she had had no further discussions with Jan Dobrzanski and didn’t expect a positive outcome in the foreseeable future. This being the case, it was agreed to investigate three other possible sites viz. behind “The Maltings”, behind the Garden Centre and on Glebe land. Cllr Inskip will investigate the first two sites and Cllr Atkinson will pursue the last.

Action:- Cllr Inskip will pursue “The Maltings” and Garden Centre sites and Cllr Atkinson the glebe site.

    e. Provision of glass recycling facility.  It appears it may be possible to proceed without the mooted concrete works; the idea of forming a path on the far side of the skip was also discussed but dismissed for now. Cllr Snowball will continue to monitor the situation and report any anomalies but this item will now be dropped from the agenda.

Actions:- Cllr Snowball to monitor.



Public Forum

A resident noted that meetings of other organisations were referred to in the minutes but no further information given. It was decided to put the minutes of such meetings on the web-site.

Action:- Clerk to put relevant minutes on web-site.

6. Publication Scheme

A draft Publication Scheme was presented and discussed. With minor modifications (including making the copy fee 25p per page), adoption of the scheme was proposed by Cllr Inskip, seconded by Cllr Winter and unanimously approved. The scheme will be put onto the web-site.

Decision:- to approve the adoption of a MEPC Publication Scheme.

Action:- Clerk to effect changes, circulate to Councillors and put onto the web-site.

7. Finance

a. Financial Situation@ month end February 2012
HSBC Community A/C 17,498.39  
HSBC BMM 27.16  
Total in bank 17,525.55 17,525.55
Income yet to be credited    
Total 0.00 0.00
Total Cash   17,525.55
Uncashed cheques    
ME Youth Club 100242 250.00  
Total 250.00 250.00
Cheques to be written    
D Newman Litter 40.00  
Visible Performance (Bench treatment) 60.00  
D Tonks Clerk’s Salary (Jan-March) 535.50  
SLCC-CiLCA Management Fee 150.00  
CPRE Subscription 29.00  
Total 814.50 814.50
Total Committed Expenditure   1,064.50
Latest position   16,461.05
Ring-fenced Funds   7,071.77
Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds   9,389.28

    b. Payment Decisions.

Decision:- It was decided to accept the monthly reconciliation and effect the above payments.

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

    c. Donation to The Villager Minibus.  After discussion it was decided to make a donation of £150. 

Decision:- It was decided to make a donation of £150 to The Villager Minibus.

Action:- Clerk to implement the above decision.

    d. CLOWD.  A request for a donation to help the group protesting the Airfield Farm Windfarm Development with their legal costs was discussed and the general feeling was that both the contentious nature of the project (not everyone would be against it) and the remoteness of the site would make it very difficult to defend a Council decision to use ME funds to local people. For that reason, it was decided to not acquiesce to their request. However, it was also felt that individuals could very well wish to respond and the request will be put on the Council web-site and in “The Villager”.

Decision:- It was decided not to make a donation to CLOWD.

Action:- Clerk to advise CLOWD and put the request on the website and in “The Villager”.

8. Village Welfare

    a. Biogen Power Action Up-date.  Cllr Inskip noted that the appeal had been dismissed by the Secretary of State but that Biogen Power still had up to 23rd March to lodge a further appeal – fingers crossed.

    b. National Planning Policy Framework.  No progress had been made on this matter and as it is well past the time when any action could be taken, it was agreed to let the matter rest.

    c. Web-site developments.  No significant events had occurred; it will be dropped as a regular item.

    d. Grass cutting contract.  A model contract from our selected contractor was discussed and certain proposals made; these will be effected and presented to the contractor.

Action:- Clerk to effect changes and issue contract.

    e. Rural Housing Survey results.  The results showed there was not enough demand from ME to pursue any development. The suggestion that ME could collaborate with a neighbouring village was dismissed since it was felt there was no-one near enough. Cllr Atkinson noted that she had heard at a recent meeting that such developments could attract people from out of the area who had enough “points” to qualify for assisted housing.

 Action:- Clerk to advise BRCC.

    f. Training needs.  It was agreed that Cllr Williams will attend a suitable BATPC course, to be booked by the clerk. The question of chairmanship training was left in abeyance.

Action:- Clerk to book course.

    g. Damaged sign.  Cllr Winter asked about the damaged sign in London End; the clerk was able to advise him that the issue had now been picked up by the authorities and DSD would be assigned to effect repairs.

    h. Radwell Road gasworks.  Cllr Sharman noted that the protracted road works in Radwell Road were incomplete, with a hole still existing in River Lane. The clerk will phone to expedite the filing of the hole and Cllr Sharman will draft a letter expressing concern over the apparent ineptitude displayed.

Action:- Cllr Sharman to draft letter of complaint and clerk to phone to get the hole filled.

    i. Dog-fouling and fly-tipping.  Cllr Snowball and others noted that dog mess and was being left at numerous places around the village and that waste had been dumped at the entrance to the playing field. Cllr Newman will clear the waste and the clerk will bring attention to the situation in “The Villager” report and on the web-site, noting that BBC has introduced a team of rangers targeting such anti-social behaviour with the object of bringing legal action against offenders.

Action:- Cllr Newman to clear rubbish and clerk to alert people to the situation.

    j. Motorhome in Huntsman’s Way.  It was noted that the motorhome was still parked in Huntsman’s Way with its trailing mains cable constituting an extreme trip hazard. Via Cllr Inskip, Cllr McMurdo advised that the matter was with the Housing Dept of BBC but that some issues had emerged.

    k. Bulky Waste.  Cllr Inskip noted that there was to be a bulky waste collection on 23rd June; this has already been noted on the web-site but will now be mentioned in “The Villager” and a notice put on the boards. This was also advised by an email from BBC.

Action:- Clerk to post notices and mention in “The Villager”.

    l. Salt bins.  Cllr Sharman queried the location of salt bins in the village. He was advised that there was a salt bin by the entrance to the Village Hall.

    m. Bollards on Thurleigh Road.  Cllr Inskip advised that Cllr McMurdo was making funds available from his Ward Fund to pay for bollards to be placed by speed tables in Thurleigh Road to discourage the turning of cars at the entrance to Marsh lane. Cllr Snowball will contact Cllr McMurdo to see what bollard design options are available.

Action:- Cllr Snowball to contact Cllr McMurdo over bollard design.

    n. Quota underspend.  Cllr Inskip noted that ME had not spent all of its quota this year and asked that councillors should consider projects totalling £2.5-3k for next year and to have this information available in the autumn.

Action:- All councillors to consider projects for next year.

9. Correspondence – for information only

    a. BBC Press Release.  Concessionary travel available throughout the day; put on web-site.

    b. BBC Press Release.  BBC hosting Olympic and Paralympic teams; put on web-site.

    c. BBC Press Release.  Day of Action in Tavistock Street; put on web-site.

    d. BBC Press Release.  Request for personal experience of flooding in the area; put on web-site.

    e. Invitation to attend meeting chaired by Alistair Burt MP to discuss “Traveller’s Sites in North Bedfordshire”; 17th March at Bletsoe Village Hall; Cllrs Inskip and Atkinson will attend. Clerk to book places.

Action:- Clerk to book places.

    f. Parks and Countryside, BBC.  Request to advise of any changes required to the Seasonal Vegetative Cropping programme, nomination of a Footpath Officer (Cllr Atkinson volunteered) and instruction to ask residents with a complaint to contact BBC directly.

Action:- Clerk to respond and note in “The Villager” how complaints should be handled.

    g. Borough of Bedford Local Access Forum.  Invitation to an extra meeting to discuss Rights of Way on 5th March; Cllr Atkinson will make contact and attend.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to attend.

    h. Villager Bus.  Planning to organize excursions; put on web-site and to be put in “The Villager”.

Action:- Clerk to put in “The Villager”.

    i. Dept of Communities and Local Government.  Acknowledgement of ME email supporting the proposals of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council and the Suffolk Association of Local Councils.

    j. Anglia in Bloom.  Invitation to a meeting at Dunstable to discuss; forwarded to resident John Brown.

    k. BBC.  Notification of withdrawal of home to school transportation cost support; put on web-site.

    l. BBC Keeping Warm.  Advice on funding support for vulnerable people in cold weather; put on web-site. Clerk to feed back disappointment at lateness of advice.

Action:- Clerk to send expression of concern.

    m. BBC Parish & Town Council Conference.  Invitation to book places; councillors will consider.

    n. BBC Consultations Dept.  Invitation for residents to be consulted over issues related to BBC; put on the web-site.

Action:- Clerk to put on web-site.

    o. Hamilton-Baillie Associates.  Toolkit addressing traffic issues in rural areas; promulgated to all interested parties.

10. Decisions on Planning Applications

    a. 12/00115/FUL Replacement dwelling, 9 Radwell Road, Milton Ernest; an new application has been submitted and, following circulation to and review by councillors, a letter of objection submitted to the Planning Department.

    b. The Maltings.  Cllr Inskip noted that she had contact with the potential developer of “The Maltings” who advised her that the owners had come to an agreement with the current tenants and that it looked unlikely that the building or site would be developed in the foreseeable future.

11. Reports from Representatives

    a. School Governors.  Cllr Inskip advised that there is to be a Full Governing Body meeting on 21st March when the topics for discussion will include the extension of the sister school and the removal of the swimming pool at Milton Ernest LS because of it’s limited usefulness and high cost of upkeep.

    b. Village Hall Committee.  There was a meeting on 21st February when the committee was given a talk on licensing the Hall for various events. An application has been made to WREN for a grant to develop the Hall; this will be discussed at the next meeting on 6th March.

    c. Playing Field Association Committee.  A safety check by Wicksteed is scheduled for March and a meeting is planned for 19th March to decide on future developments and actions.

    d. P3 Sub-committee.  A meeting will be planned shortly to discuss the school’s involvement in planting and tending the “Brandon strip”.

    e. Village Fete Committee.  A meeting on 8th March will concentrate on planning the evening event for which a charge of £10 (£5 children) is anticipated. They will also consider who exactly will receive gifts and road closure. They hope to run their finances through the Council bank account; no problem could be foreseen with doing this.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  Via Cllr Snowball, the coordinator was able to report that in January there were 3 reported crimes in ME, a stolen motor vehicle in Radwell Road at 9pm, criminal damage in Huntsman’s Way at 8pm and an assault (domestic?) in Thurleigh Road at 9.50am.

    g. Youth Club.  The future has now been secured.

12. Members Calendar.

13. Date of next meeting.

    The next meeting will be on 29th March 2012 at 8.00pm. It will be preceded by the Annual Parish Assembly of Milton Ernest Parish Council at 7.30pm.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.

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

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

                  Mrs D M Inskip, Chair