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

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

Borough Cllr D McMurdo.               Clerk B Gale                            6 Residents


1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllrs D Snowball and D Newman.

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 when the item is reached.

3. Minutes of the Meeting held on 4th October 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 4th October 2012.

4. Matters Arising – for information only

    a. Thurleigh Road Layout and Signage.  Cllr McMurdo confirmed that the ANPR camera system was due to be installed shortly and that the re-design of the Thurleigh Road/ A6 junction lay with the Highways Dept.

    b. Old Post Office and other footpaths.  Please refer to item 4e below.

    c. Progress with Land Registry.  Cllr Atkinson confirmed that the fee for registering land in the Council’s name (£130 for a number of unregistered plots like plots 1 and 2 and £130 per plot for already registered plots, which plots 3-6 are); would in total be £650. It was proposed by Cllr Quince and seconded by Cllr Winter that steps should continue to register all 6 plots in the Council’s name, and this was unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was resolved to proceed with the registration of all 6 identified plots in the Council’s name.

    d. Report on tasks placed on the Highways Dept.  (Highways Helpdesk response in carmine italics)

1. Bollard no 3 on Old Post Office footpath is not working. Complete.

2. The 30mph speed limit sign on the Thurleigh Road coming down into the village is obscured by greenery. CRN 177951. Order raised on 12-09-12 to trim back trees from speed limit signs. Still to be done; see item 4e below.

3. On the left hand side going down River Lane, the hedge from the parking area down towards the river needs to be cut back. Completed. It was also noted that the planting of a new tree in London End had been stopped.

4. On the left hand side going down River Lane, after the junction with London End, trees overhang the road. Completed.

5. On the A6, the footpath along the wall of Milton Ernest Hall (from its entrance to the start of houses) is being obstructed by overgrowth. The footpath has been cleared but overhanging growth remains; Cllr McMurdo will progress.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to progress cutting back of overgrowth outside ME Hall.

6. There is considerable weed growth in the gutters of Huntsmans Way, Arkwright Road, Marsh Lane, and Church Close. See item 4e below.

7. On the west side of the A6 from Butterfield Court down towards the village centre, grass is encroaching onto the footpath. See item 4e below.

    e. Report on Village walk-around.  A Village walk-around took place on 23rd October; the following actions were agreed:-a. Repair pothole outside Village Hall entrance. b. Clear grass growth from pavement on Rushden Road to Butterfield Court. c. Clear manhole cover by traffic light railings. d. Patch road in London End. e. Patch Old Post Office footpath to remove dip. f. Church Close potholes – A Prigmore will put on resurfacing wish-list. g. Weeds generally – programme for this year is over but it will again take place next year. h. Thurleigh Road 30mph sign obstruction – order for this will be progressed. i. Off road area on left of River Lane will be re-fettled.

5. Parish Action Plan – for information only

    a. A6 “Average Speed” Cameras.  It was noted that the cameras were still not installed but were still scheduled to be very soon. Further a resident spotted that the camera on the A6 coming north would obscure the weight limit road sign; Cllr McMurdo will check on this.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to check on camera position with Highways Dept.

    b. Progress on Allotment Provision.  Cllr Atkinson declared a prejudicial interest in relation to allotments on Riverside Meadow. Cllr McMurdo reported he had had a meeting with Bedfordia and was due to be meeting with them again soon. The complete list of sites considered was reviewed and it was decided to persist with Bedfordia (via Cllr McMurdo) and the Diocese, Twinwoods and Majesticare (via the clerk), with the possibility of land purchase being mooted.

Actions:- Clerk to contact the Diocese, Twinwoods and Majesticare.

                Cllr McMurdo to continue approaches to Bedfordia.

Public Forum

  • 40mph warning signs before 30mph signs and “Gates” on Radwell Road. Cllr McMurdo advised he had a quote from BBC of up to £2k for gates and suggested getting local quotes.

Actions:- Cllr McMurdo to raise 40mph sign on Radwell Road with Highways Dept.

                Clerk to get local quotes for “gates” on Radwell Road.


  • The progress on installing the final bollard up Thurleigh Road. Cllr McMurdo reported it would be complete by Christmas.
  • Inclusion of the “WI” Garden in the village land registration plans.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to establish feasibility of registering land known as WI garden.

  • New bin collection scheme – late but it got there.
  • Church Green ownership.
  • Litter picking up Thurleigh Road.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to raise litter-picking with Environmental Services Dept and pursue the issue of the charges for bin clearance from the playing field.

6. Finance

a. Financial Situation@ 31st October 2012
 Bank Balances @ 30th September 2012    
 HSBC Community A/C  £  23,385.87  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  23,413.03  £     23,413.03
 Receipts since last reconciliation    
 VAT Refund  £       774.76  
 Total  £       774.76  £           774.76
 Total    £     24,187.79
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 D Newman Litter  £          40.00  
 BATPC Training  £          25.00  
 M J Granger  £          60.00  
 H Snowball – NHW Co-ordinator  £          10.00  
 Water pump renovation – paint  £          53.98  
 RGP cost  £       180.00  
 Total  £       368.98  £           368.98
 Calculated Balance @ 31st October 2012    £     23,818.81
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 31st October 2012  
 HSBC Community A/C  £  23,791.65  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  23,818.81  £     23,818.81
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Cheques not presented    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Payments to be made    
 M J Granger  £       596.35  
 M Towler  £       300.00  
 Rosetta Publishing  £       684.00  
 H Snowball – NHW Co-ordinator  £          10.00  
 Total  £    1,590.35  £       1,590.35
 Total Committed Expenditure    £       1,590.35
 Latest position    £     22,228.46
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       6,636.60
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds    £     15,591.86

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the reconciliation.

    b. Payment Decisions.

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

Action:- Clerk to make payments.

    c. Clerk’s Expenses Arrangements.  (The clerk left the room for this item and notes were taken by Cllr Winter). After discussion, it was agreed to pay the clerk £100 for regular costs (use of capital equipment, storage, phone and emails, paper and ink) already incurred, £30 a month henceforth and 45p per mile for any travel on Council business.

Decision:- It was resolved to authorize the above expense payments.

7. Village Welfare

    a. National Planning Policy Framework.  Following the meeting on 23rd October with representatives of neighbouring villages, Cllr Quince proposed that MEPC should engage with other Councils to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan for areas/ sites to be determined at the next joint meeting; this was seconded by Cllr Winter and agreed unanimously. A small number of Councillors will be deputed to be the core of the ME team which may include others with specialist experience.

Decision:- It was resolved to engage with neighbouring Councils to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan(s).

    b. Trees at 64 Radwell Road.  Cllr Atkinson advised that she awaited a full response from the Borough “Tree-man” on the OCA report, although he has indicated that the trees may indeed be the source of the problem. Subsequently bats have been reported in the area and a preliminary survey will be undertaken when all leaves have fallen.

    c. Riverside Meadow.  It was proposed by Cllr Quince that the cut grass be raked together ; this was seconded by Cllr Winter and agreed by the Council. Residents confirmed they would co-operate to dispose of the raked grass.

Decision:-  It was resolved to order M Towler to rake Riverside Meadow.

Action:- Clerk to place an order on M Towler to rake the meadow.

    d. Review of Riverside Meadow hedge proposals.  Having reviewed the Council’s letter to residents and their responses, Cllr Atkinson summarized the main issues raised which were height (residents want the max height to be lower than 3m) and density. She then re-iterated that it was not the intention for the whole hedge to be 3m high but that there would be a variety of heights, some kept low in strategic positions to maximize light and views. She also noted that dense plants like hazel would be thinned out. Other issues such as encroachment of the hedge onto driveways were addressed in the proposed maintenance programme. The residents views are important and are given weight because of the proximity of the hedge. She proposed that, because of the range of ideas received, that work on the lines generally suggested by the Council should proceed as soon as possible with residents help, the results reviewed on a continuous basis and the plan modified in the light of initial results. A resident produced a document relating to the development in 1995 and Cllr McMurdo will check with the BBC Planning Dept to see what the initial requirements of the development were.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to liaise with the Planning Dept over Riverside View.

    e. Litter picking.  Having gathered further information on the employment of young people, the clerk was asked to check on the cost of extending personal accident insurance to 13-year olds. If this issue can be agreed, the clerk was authorized to make an appointment to the post.

Actions:- Clerk to establish the cost of personal insurance for 13-year olds.

    f. Christmas Concert.  Cllr Atkinson proposed that following arrangements be confirmed:- a. A  temporary license is to be applied for. b. A barrel of beer is to be ordered. c. Entrance tickets are to be £2 for an adult, £1 for a child and £5 for a family. d. Free mulled wine and mince pies are to be available for those just coming to the tree light turn-on. f. Any profits are to go to the Village Hall fund. This was seconded by Cllr Williams and agreed unanimously. It was noted that the hire fee for the Village Hall would be £1. An informal meeting will be arranged for Monday 5th November to finalize the details.

Decision:- It was resolved to confirm the preliminary arrangements for the Christmas Concert.

    g. Membership Reports.  Postpone until next month.

    h. Parking in Church Close.  It has been reported that carers have been abusive to a resident when they were challenged about their thoughtless parking. Cllr McMurdo will investigate.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to investigate thoughtless carer parking and abusive attitude.

    i. Disturbances by the bus stop.  A resident (who cleared up this and other mess) noted debris, a fire and broken alcohol bottles at the bus-stop and subsequently a damaged road sign. Further, young people have been noted playing “chicken” on the A6. This was reported to the police with no known outcome. A councillor has also noted music all night. Cllr McMurdo will refer the matter to the BBC Ranger service. Another councillor has also reported fly-tipping and broken bottles by the goal posts on the playing field even though litter bins are not full.

    j. The Brandon Strip.  It was noted that the strip has now been cleared of weeds; the clerk was asked to get quotes for its rehabilitation as a garden area.

Action:- Clerk to get quotes to rehabilitate the Brandon Strip.

    k. Area Policing.  It was noted that policing in the area was probably being reduced. Our local PCSO will be invited to a meeting to explain the situation.

Action:- Clerk to invite the local PCSO to a meeting.

    l. New water main.  It was noted a new water main is to be installed in Radwell Road; work will start mid-November.

8. Correspondence – for information only

    a. Call from Mrs Maskey, 31 Huntsmans Way. Concern over the cutting of the grass in front of her house; as before her husband would prefer to do it to minimise mess. Grangers have been notified.

    b. Call from Mr Palmer.   The small hedge near him heeds to be cut; Grangers have been notified.

9. Decisions on Planning Applications

    No applications received.

10. Review of Actions Summary from the meeting of 4th October 2012

Item in Oct 2012 minutes Who Action Refer/


4c Resident To arrange to have Statutory Declarations signed. See 4c above
4d 4 Clerk To query new tree. See 4d 3 above
4d 5 DMcM To query decision cutting back overgrowth outside ME Hall. See 4d 5 above
4d 6 Clerk To query weed spraying decision. See 4e g above
4d 7 Clerk To query A6 footpath clearing decision. See 4e b Above
4e Councillors To select a walk-around date. Completed
5b Clerk To contact the Diocese over glebe land up Thurleigh Road. See 5b above
5b DMcM To continue approaches to Bedfordia. See 5b above
PF DMcM To raise 40mph sign and “Gates” with Highways Dept. See PF above
PF DMcM To progress bollard installation with Highways Dept. See PF above
6b Clerk To make payments. Completed
6c Clerk To place an order on Rosetta Publications. Completed
7a Clerk To check councillors availability and liaise with other clerks to set up a meeting. Completed
7b RA/Clerk To meet with the BBC Tree Officer. See 7b above
7c Clerk To place orders on Grangers and M Towler and to request a further quotation for M Towler. Completed
7d Clerk To seek litter-picking advice from the Sharnbrook clerk. Completed
7d Clerk To send copy of bins clearance quotation to Cllr McMurdo. Completed
7d DMcM To query bin clearance quotation. See PF above
7e Clerk To advise BATPC of MEPC’s support for TPCs LGO motion. Completed
7g DN To place an advertisement in the “The Villager”. Completed
7k Clerk To write to Riverside View residents about the hedge. See 7d above
8a Clerk To write advising latest speed reduction actions. Completed

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

12. Reports from Representatives

    a. Village Hall Committee.  At a meeting on 8th October it was decided to get more plans for the extension for discussion next March.

    b. Playing Field Association Committee.  The meeting on 25th October, wound up operations for the year. The possibility of using a wheelie bin was mooted.

    c. P3 Sub-committee.  Two new members have come forward and a meeting is planned in the near future. A resident noted that at a recent meeting of the Rights of Way committee at BBC, a new mechanism for flagging up issues was introduced.

    d. Village Fete Committee.  No report, but it was noted that there was a candidate for a new Fete chairman.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  A meeting of street co-ordinators on 10th October discussed plans for a “Meet the Burglar” evening on 31st January 2013. The forthcoming elections for Police Commissioners was noted.

13. Members Calendar.

14. Date of next meeting.

    The next meeting will be on 6th December 2012 at 8.00pm at The Village Hall, Milton Ernest.

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 R Atkinson, Chair