Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 6th September 2012

Present:- Cllrs R Atkinson (chair), R Winter, C Sharman, J Williams, D Snowball, D Newman, M Quince.

Clerk B Gale                            2 Residents


1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Borough Cllr D McMurdo.

2. Disclosure of Interests

Members were invited to declare any pecuniary, non-pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests they may have in any items on the Agenda for this meeting, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members. Cllr Atkinson confirmed her land borders an area which may be considered for allotments and Cllr Snowball confirmed an interest in the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.

3. Minutes of the Meeting held on 5th July 2012

Councillors unanimously approved these minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed by the Chair.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5th July 2012.

4. Matters Arising – for information only

    a. Thurleigh Road Layout and Signage.  No report.

Action:- Clerk to progress Thurleigh Road issues with BBC Highways Dept.

    b. Old Post Office.  A village “walk-around” has been proposed by a representative of the BBC; this will be arranged.

Action:- Clerk to organize a village walk-around.

    c. Church Green traffic.  It was noted that “Private Road” signs had been installed. Remove from agenda.

    d. Progress with Land Registry.  Geoff Atkinson is progressing this.

Actions:- Resident Geoff Atkinson and Cllr Atkinson to progress Land Registry issues.

5. Parish Action Plan – for information only

    a. A6 “Average Speed” Cameras.  No report.

Action:- Clerk to progress speed camera system with Borough Cllr Royden.

    b. Village Street Lighting Plan.  Cllr Sharman noted that louvres had now been installed on the three remaining bollards on River Lane, Radwell Road and footpath between Radwell Road and Hunstmans Way but B3 on Old Post Office Lane is not working. Remove from agenda.

Action:- Clerk to report fault on B3.

    c. Progress on Allotment Provision.  It was agreed to pursue a number of other approaches.

Action:- Clerk to contact the Diocese over glebe land up Thurleigh Road, Twinwooods administrators and Cllr McMurdo to get the address of ME Hall owners.

    d. Glass re-cycling Facility.  It was confirmed that the arrangement for reclaiming credit for recycled glass was in place. Remove from agenda.


Public Forum

  • It was noted that the 30mph sign up Thurleigh Road was obstructed by overgrowth.

Action:- Clerk to arrange clearance of growth.

  • It was suggested that the sign be re-positioned.
  • It was pointed out that provisional plans for the redevelopment of the Village Hall were being displayed.


6. Finance

    a. Financial situation at 31st August 2012

 Bank Balances @30th June 2012    
 HSBC Community A/C  £  19,093.34  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  19,120.50  £     19,120.50
 Receipts since last reconciliation    
 Glass re-cycling refund  £       420.61  
 From MEPFA  £       312.48  
 Final RGP Income  £       271.84  
 Mug sales D Snowball  £          15.00  
 Total  £    1,019.93  £       1,019.93
 Total    £     20,140.43
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 D Newman Litter  £          40.00  
 ME Village Hall (Final RGP balancing Payment)   £          42.64  
 Wicksteed Bill (Off -set by £312.48 from MEPFA)  £       374.98  
 NHW Co-ordinator  £          30.00  
 M J Granger  £       596.35  
 M J Granger  £       298.18  
 ME Toddler Group  £       250.00  
 Total  £    1,632.15  £       1,632.15
 Calculated Balance @ 31st Augest 2012    £     18,508.28
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 31st August 2012  
 HSBC Community A/C  £  18,481.12  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  18,508.28  £     18,508.28
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Cheques not presented    
 RGP cost  £       180.00  
 Total  £       180.00  £           180.00
 Payments to be made    
 D Newman Litter  £          80.00  
 ME Village Hall Hire  £          63.00  
 Water pump renovation – paint  £          53.98  
 BDO Audit Fee  £       162.00  
 J C Ibbett Playing Field Rent  £            0.05  
 M J Granger  £    1,192.70  
 Clerk’s Salary  £       535.50  
 Total  £    2,087.23  £       2,087.23
 Total Committed Expenditure    £       2,267.23
 Latest position    £     16,241.05
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       6,778.74
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds  £       9,462.31


    b. Payment Decisions.

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

Action:- Clerk to make payments.

Mr Allen’s work repainting the pumps around the village was acknowledged; Cllr Williams will write a letter of thanks.

Action:- Cllr Williams to write letter of appreciation to Mr Allen.

    c. External Auditor’s Opinion.  The External Auditor has reported that there were no matters which came to their attention which required the issuing of a separate additional issues arising report. The 2011-12 Annual Return was then presented to the Council for its approval and acceptance.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve and accept the 2011-12 Annual Return.

    d. Heritage Walk leaflets.  New supplies needed; the clerk will get quotes.

Action:- Clerk to get quotes for reprinting 2,000 and 4,000 copies.

    e. Litter picking.  Our current litter picker is resigning so a replacement must be sought.

Action:- Clerk to put notice in “The Villager” re. Litter picker.

7. Village Welfare

    a. National Planning Policy Framework.  Cllr Atkinson outlined the meetings she and Cllr Williams (along with representatives from Thurleigh and Bletsoe) had attended with the Borough mayor and later with senior Borough planning officers. It was felt that further information was needed before spending any money on preparing neighbourhood plans but that there was a need to have further talks with the other villages and invite a Borough planning policy officer along to clarify the process.

Action:- Clerk to liaise with other clerks to set up meetings.

    b. Grass cutting contract.  Cllr Atkinson and the clerk had met with a representative from the grass-cutting contractor, Grangers. With respect to the main contract, a complete set of village maps has now been given to Grangers it was felt that we should await their response before acting further. Subsequently, prices have been received for clearing the bottom of River Lane (£265), weed-killing (£50) and mini-digging (£280) the Brandon Strip and flailing Riverside Meadow (£400). It was agreed to ask Grangers to immediately spray the Brandon Strip and then to get further quotes to clear it properly, remove any rubble and apply top soil.

Decision:- It was resolved to order Grangers to spray the Brandon Strip.

Action:- Clerk to request spraying of the Brandon Strip.

    c. River Lane.  It was noted that trees and the hedge were obstructing River Lane and should be cleared.

Action:- Clerk to request Highways Helpdesk to cut back overhanging branches from the London End junction downwards and trim the hedge from the parking area downwards.

    d. ME Hall wall.  It was noted that the path outside the Hall was obstructed by overhanging growth along the whole length of the wall

Action:- Clerk to request Highways Helpdesk to cut back overgrowth by ME Hall.

    e.  Christmas Light Turn-on.  Cllr Newman advised that Rushden Town Band were planning a Christmas Concert in ME village hall and suggested that it might coincide with the light turn-on. It was agreed this was a good idea and so plans will be made for the event to take place on 1st December.

    f. M&W Local Plan.  The plan is being submitted to The Secretary of State to test its soundness; Cllr Atkinson confirmed that she had reviewed it and found no issues which should currently concern local residents.

    g. Cycle paths.  It was noted that while there were cycle paths along the A6 north of Bletsoe and south of ME, there was nothing in between; this had been mentioned to the mayor. The issue will be raised with the relevant department (to be ascertained by Cllr Williams).

Action:- Clerk to draft an enquiry re cycle paths following input from Cllr Williams.

    h. HGVs up Thurleigh Road.  It was noted that the companies recently challenged over their vehicles illegally using the road had apologized

    i. Playing field litter.  This is still a problem, apparently of two parts – bins being full and careless disposal. The first issue will be addressed by getting Borough “bin-men” to empty them.

Action:- Clerk to request borough to empty bins.

    j. Weeds in gutter.  It was note that there are weeds in the gutters of Huntsmans Way, Arkwright Road, Marsh Lane and Church Close.

Action:- Clerk to request Highways Helpdesk to spray gutter weeds.

    k. A6 path encroachment.  It was noted that the path to the west of the A6 from Butterfield Court southwards was being encroached on by grass.

Action:- Clerk to request Highways Helpdesk to clear A6 path.

    l. Unauthorized notices.  It was noticed that there were a number of unauthorized notices on lamp-posts etc which should be removed forthwith and out-of-date notices on Notice Boards. This will be noted in “The Villager”.

Action:- Clerk to place a notice in “The Villager” asking for these practices to stop.

    m. Internal information exchange.  It was noted that the volume of internal exchanges had increased; to help recipients quickly determine a message’s priority, it was agreed that all emails should have included in their “Subject” window a note indicating if it was a message “For information” or one for “Action”, needing to be read as soon as reasonably convenient. Further, the number of messages should be minimised (no chit-chat) and non-urgent notices circulated monthly.

    n. More formalized quote procedures.  It was noted that the quotation request procedure should be tightened-up with all quotes being requested by the clerk and returned to him for presentation to the Council.

    o. Trees at 64 Radwell Road.  Following expressions of concern over the removal of some trees because they are allegedly causing subsidence, it was agreed to request further information from the contractor.

Action:- Clerk to contact contractor and request further tree information.

8. Correspondence – for information only

    a. Healthwatch, a consultation by BBC on local health and social care.

    b. Free insulation,  BBC scheme offering free insulation for Bedford Borough residents.

    c. Meeting with Alistair Burt MP, 2nd November, Renhold Village Hall; pls advise who would like to go.

9. Decisions on Planning Applications

    12/01362/EXT Data Centre, Twinwoods Business Park.

    12/01495/FUL Microwave dish and Cabinet on water tower, Thurleigh Road.

    12/00591/S73WM Increase in waste capacity at Oakley Wood plant.

All the above had been reviewed by councillors since the last meeting; no objections had been raised and the Borough has been advised accordingly.

Decision:- It was resolved to confirm the decisions to raise no objections.

10. Review of Actions Summary from the meeting of 5th July 2012

Item in July 2012 minutes Who Action Completed/

Carry forward

4a D McM To progress Thurleigh Road issues. See 4a above
4b DMcM To organize a village walk-around. See 4b Above
4c DMcM To follow up on “Private Road” sign query to the Highways Dept. Completed
5a DMcM To follow up on “Average Speed” camera queries to the Highways Dept plus See 5a above
5b CS To liaise with contractors over Radwell Road bollard louvre. Completed
5c RA Geoff Atkinson and Cllr Atkinson will progress Land Registry issues. See 4d above
5d DMcM To continue to try to establish contact with landowners. See 5d above
6 All To complete their personal interest forms as soon as possible and return them to the clerk for onward transmission to the Borough authorities. Completed
7b Clerk To implement payment decision. Completed
8a DMcM To facilitate a Neighbourhood Development Plan meeting. See 7a above
8b Clerk To arrange for bush trimming to renegotiate grass cutting contract. See 7b above
8c Clerk To get quotes to clear the Brandon Strip. See 7b above
8c Clerk To get Grangers to strim the site. Completed
8d Clerk To liaise with Highways Helpdesk over OP Lane greenery, ref 162570. Completed
8g DMcM/RW To discuss waste bin problem. See 7i above
8h Clerk To sign glass recycling forms and effect reclaim regime. Completed
8i DMcM To advise police of noise problem. Completed
8j Clerk To put note about mugs in the Villager Report. Completed
Action Chart Actions      
June 4 DMcM To get name of village gate supplier. See below
June 8c DMcM To request cutting of trees outside ME Hall. See 7d above
June 8d Clerk To follow up with Highways Help Desk about deteriorating plastic bollards on A6, ref. Completed
June 8i DMcM To contact BBC Planners and developer over Bob’s Shop . See below
June8j Clerk To arrange  a visit with Grangers over River Lane clearance. Completed


From chart:-

  • Item 4 – Highways to advise name of village gate supplier. DMcM to do.
  • Item 8i – Check status of Bob’s Shop to be done by DMcM.

11. Review of Meeting Format.  Discussion postponed until next meeting.

12. Reports from Representatives

    a. Village Hall Committee.  Next meeting on 8th October to discuss extension plans.

    b. Playing Field Association Committee.  No meeting is planned; there will be a final clear-up day before shutting down for the winter.

    c. P3 Sub-committee.  It was noted that more volunteers are needed and Cllr Atkinson will draft a notice; following a request from a Riverside View resident, the hedge will be addressed.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to draft a notice for “The Villager”.

    d. Village Fete Committee.  A new committee chair was being sought. No chair – no Fete. A reminder asking for a volunteer will be put in “The Villager”.

Action:- Clerk to place a notice in “The Villager” asking for a volunteer as fete chair.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  A security marking event will take place next Saturday at the Garden Centre; there is to be a meeting of street co-ordinators in the near future. Over the last month no crimes were reported in the village.

13. Members Calendar. 

14. Date of next meeting.

    The next meeting will be on 4th November 2012 at 8.00pm at The Village Hall, Milton Ernest.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.25pm.

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

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

                  Mrs R Atkinson, Chair