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

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

Borough Cllr D McMurdo (Left after Public Forum)               Clerk B Gale                            7 Residents


1. Apologies for Absence

No apologies – all councillors present.


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. Cllr Sharman declared he was a neighbour of the applicant in relation to planning application 12/02209/FUL; Cllr Newman declared he was a friend of the applicant.


3. Minutes of the Meeting held on 1st November 2012

Cllr Quince proposed the approval of the minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and unanimously agreed. The minutes were duly signed by the Chair.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 1st November 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 width restriction work at the top and bottom of the road had been included in the capital programme for next year; in the mean time he is pressing the Highways Dept to implement some temporary measures. He noted that bollards could not simply be installed at the bottom because a certain “swept curve” had to be maintained to accommodate emergency and farm vehicles.

    b. Old Post Office and other footpaths.  Work to fill the dip is planned; clerk to check time-scale.

Actions:- Clerk to check time scale for Old Post Office footpath repairs.

    c. Progress with Land Registry.  Cllr Atkinson advised that resident Geoff Atkinson had now got all the statutory declarations signed and will be addressing the “Statement of Truth” with input from the clerk, before proceeding to register the plots of land in the Council’s name. It was suggested that including the WI Garden in the first phase of registration would be an unwanted distraction but that it should be included in a second tranche of packets of land.

Actions:- Resident Geoff Atkinson and the clerk to address the “Statement of Truth”.


5. Parish Action Plan – for information only

    a. A6 “Average Speed” Cameras.  It was noted that the cameras were now installed but no extra warning signs had been installed. Cllr McMurdo advised that this was to happen soon but that in the meantime the cameras were collecting data for trial purposes. When the cameras are officially operational, maximum publicity will be sought.

    b. Progress on Allotment Provision.  It was reported that the clerk had approached the Diocese, Twinwoods Business Park administrators and Majesticare; the two former organizations had responded with holding statements but there had been no acknowledgement from the latter. Cllr McMurdo reported he had had a meeting with Bedfordia with no positive result and a further meeting was planned.

Action:-Cllr McMurdo to continue approaches to Bedfordia.


Public Forum

  • Opening of the South Gate of Twinwoods BP; Cllr McMurdo assured residents that the Borough Mayor would shortly be responding to a letter from residents. From photographs taken in the snow it was clear that traffic was using this gate.
  • Use of inappropriate postcode to direct visitors to organizations on Twinwoods BP; Cllr McMurdo confirmed that the Home Office would change the practise but that Bodyflight had been resistant; he will pursue the matter through the Economic Development Dept of BBC.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to pursue “postcode” issue via Economic Development Dept.

  • Future developments at Twinwoods BP.
  • Link road from Paula Radcliffe Way to the South Gate of Twinwoods BP.
  • Rubbish outside the Village, especially up Thurleigh Road – take-away debris.
  • Thanks to the Council for the recent Christmas Concert.
  • Congratulations to the Council for getting the average speed camera system.


6. Finance

a. Financial Situation @ 30th November 2012
 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 since last reconciliation    
 Recycled glass credit  £       120.18  
 Total  £       120.18  £           120.18
 Total    £     23,938.99
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 M J Granger  £       596.35  
 M Towler  £       300.00  
 H Snowball – NHW Co-ordinator  £          10.00  
 Clerk’s Expenses (Back payment)  £       100.00  
 Rosetta Publishing  £       684.00  
 Total  £    1,690.35  £       1,690.35
 Calculated Balance @ 30th November 2012  £     22,248.64
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 30th November 2012  
 HSBC Community A/C  £  22,221.48  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  22,248.64  £     22,248.64
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -    
 Cheques not presented    
 Payments to be made    
 Wildman Transport  £          59.40  
 M J Granger  £       318.00  
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          61.00  
 Clerk’s Salary  £       535.50  
 M J Granger  £       894.53  
 B&T Brewery (CC)  £       114.60  
 Rushden Town Band (CC)  £       250.00  
 C Sharman (CC)  £          93.13  
 R Winter (CC)  £          90.00  
 M Quince (CC)  £          10.00  
 R Atkinson (CC)  £          78.69  
 H Snowball – NHW Co-ordinator  £          10.00  
 Total  £    2,514.85  £       2,514.85
 Total Committed Expenditure    £       2,514.85
 Latest position    £     19,733.79
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       5,652.60
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds    £     14,081.19

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. Budget for 2013-14. A preliminary budget was presented by the clerk and the question of how the rule change relating to Council Tax rebates previewed by Cllr Williams. When indicative information is released next week Cllr Williams will take a view on the best option for ME and the Council will make a decision on responding to the BBC consultation. The budget will then be reviewed and re-presented to the parish council next month.

Actions:- Cllr Williams to assess effects of Council Tax benefit rule change.

                Clerk to review and re-present budget for 2013-14.

    d. Hire of Rushden Town Band.  As allowed under section145 of LGA 1972, the Council hired Rushden Town Band for the Christmas Concert at a cost of £250. The excess of receipts (from ticket sales, the bar and the raffle) over costs (drinks and snacks) amounted to a little over £300; Cllr Atkinson proposed donating £300 to the Village Hall for development work; this was seconded by Cllr Quince and agreed unanimously. The Concert was adjudged to have been a great success and Cllr Newman proposed booking the band again for the same fee for another concert on the equivalent Saturday (7th December 2013) next year. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and agreed unanimously.

Decisions:- It was resolved to donate £300 to the Village Hall.

                    It was resolved to book the Rushden Town Band for another concert on 7th December 2013.

Action:- Cllr Newman to liaise with Rushden Town Band.

              Clerk to make payment of £300 to the Village Hall.


7. Village Welfare 

    a. National Planning Policy Framework.  Cllr Atkinson reported on the preliminary meeting of inter-village committee to develop a plan for the area, the RAE Development Plan Partnership. She noted that she had been voted vice-chair and the ME clerk appointed clerk for this committee. A proposed constitution has subsequently been circulated but may not be absolutely in its final form; until it is, a decision on its acceptance by this parish council has been deferred, hopefully to next month since it is certainly the intention to be fully engaged. The constitution calls for each council to nominate two representatives with voting rights, although these may be substituted. The council was assured that these representatives would keep the council closely advised and not make decisions in a vacuum. It was agreed that Cllr Atkinson should be one representative and she proposed Cllr Quince as the second; this was seconded by Cllr Williams and unanimously agreed. It was noted that CPRE is planning a workshop on the issue on 21st February; Cllrs Atkinson, Quince and Snowball plan to attend.

Decision:- It was resolved to nominate Cllr Quince as the second ME representative on the RAE Development

                 Plan Partnership.

Action:- Clerk to advise CPRE of the attendance of 3 councillors at the planning workshop.

    b. Trees at 64 Radwell Road.  Cllr Atkinson confirmed that the householder’s insurance company were pursuing a claim against the Council over tree damage from the adjacent land and that a loss adjuster from Aviva, (the Council’s insurer) had visited, along with an aboriculturalist from BBC, to assess the situation. He believed that OCA were recommending too draconian action but would confer with them and advise the insurance company and the Council of his recommendations. Next Tuesday a preliminary examination for the presence of roosting bats will be made.

    c. Riverside Meadow.  Since the order to Mr Towler to rake the grass was issued it has been too wet to undertake the work; it was therefore agreed it was too late to do the work so the order will be cancelled. For next year, Cllr Quince has identified a farmer who will undertake the complete job and he will be contacted again early in the year.

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

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

    d. Review of Riverside Meadow hedge proposals.  Cllr Atkinson re-stressed that work will start soon on the hedge and hoped that over the coming months a mutual understanding could be arrived at with the residents.

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

    e. Litter picking.  Cllr Winter declared an interest and abstained from voting since one of his relations is a candidate for the post. Having established that personal accident insurance is not available for under 16-year olds, a decision had to be made whether to extend the acceptable age range for candidates down to 13-year olds. By 4 to 2, it was agreed that 13-year olds could be considered for the post. The clerk will proceed to the next step.

Decision:-  It was resolved to include children down to 13 years old as candidates for the litter-picking job.

Action:- Clerk to proceed with the litter-picker selection process.

    f. Radwell Road “Gates”.  Cllr Atkinson and the clerk have surveyed the site and selected an optimum location; its suitability must be checked with BBC and brought back to the next meeting for confirmation. Quotations have been received for the work and again will be reviewed at the next meeting. The possibility of putting “gates” up the Thurleigh Road was mooted and agreed in principle; the clerk will confer with interested parties to indentify a suitable site and again check its suitability.

Actions:- Clerk to identify a suitable Thurleigh Road site for “gates” and refer it and the Radwell Road site to


    g. The Brandon Strip.  Quotes have been received to prepare the site for cultivation ranging from £100 to £525; the lower quote was accepted and the clerk will order the work.

Action:- Clerk to order Brandon Strip site clearance from Chris Horne.

    h. Christmas Concert.  See item 6d above.

    i. Membership Reports.  Discussion postponed until next meeting.


8. Correspondence – for information only

    a. From BBC Community Support Officer.  Offer for a representative to come and address the Council on anti-social behaviour.

Actions:- Clerk to accept offer of visit by ASB officer for February meeting.

    b. From Beds Fire & Rescue Service.  Invitation to a Public Forum in Biggleswade on 19th January.

    c. From BBC, P Rowland.  Advising that the government consultation on permitted development rights is open.

    d. From BBC.  Advising that the Borough draft policy on Sexual Entertainment Venues is open for consultation.


9. Decisions on Planning Applications

    App 12/02091/EXT and 12/02127/EXT, extension of validity of permission for development of The Old Mill, Bedford Road; BBC advised of no Council objection following circulation of the documents and review by councillors.

    App 12/02209/FUL, extension to 2 River Lane, Milton Ernest – documents in circulation.


10. Review of Actions Summary from the meeting of 1st November 2012

Item in Nov 2012 minutes Who Action Refer/


4d 5 DMcM To progress cutting back of overgrowth outside ME Hall. Refer on
5a DMcM To check on camera position with Highways Dept. Completed
5b Clerk To contact the Diocese, Twinwoods and Majesticare. Completed
5b DMcM To continue approaches to Bedfordia. See 5b above
PF DMcM To raise 40mph sign on Radwell Road with Highways Dept. Refer on
PF Clerk To get local quotes for “gates” on Radwell Road. See 7f above
PF RA To establish feasibility of registering land known as WI garden. See 4c above
PF DMcM To raise litter-picking with Environmental Health Dept and pursue the issue of the charges for bin clearance from the playing field. Refer on
6b Clerk To make payments. Completed
7c Clerk To place an order on M Towler to rake the meadow. See 7c above
7d DMcM To liaise with the Planning Dept over Riverside View. Refer on
7e Clerk To establish the cost of personal insurance for 13-year olds. See 7e above
7h DMcM To investigate thoughtless carer parking and abusive attitude. Refer on
7j Clerk To get quotes to rehabilitate the Brandon Strip. See 7g above
7k Clerk To invite the local PCSO to a meeting. Completed


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


12. Reports from Representatives

    a. Village Hall Committee.  No meeting until February 2013.

    b. Playing Field Association Committee.  No meeting until March 2013.

    c. P3 Sub-committee.  It is planned to commence work on the Riverside View hedge soon.

    d. Village Fete Committee.  No report, but awaiting the call for a meeting by the new Fete chairman.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  The “Meet the Burglar” evening on 31st January 2013 has been cancelled.


13. Members Calendar.


14. Date of next meeting.

    The next meeting will be on 3rd January 2013 at 8.00pm at The Village Hall, Milton Ernest.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.0pm.

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

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

                  Mrs R Atkinson, Chair