Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 3rd January 2013

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

Clerk B Gale                            5 Residents

Prior to the meeting proper, the Council was addressed by PCSO Jonathan Sharratt (responsible for this village) and PCSO Chris Warmington (responsible for other villages in the area) who confirmed that ME was a very low crime location, absolutely and in contrast to certain other surrounding villages. They advised that they were well aware of the traffic and anti-social behaviour issues and confirmed they would do all they could to help. For the future they were unable to confirm how the anticipated organizational changes would affect them and the service they could offer. They further advised that while in the past they had used marked cars, they now used unmarked vehicles – better for crime detection but not so good for instilling confidence in locals who like to see their presence. They also approved of the re-invigorated Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the village.

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Snowball who was unavoidably delayed in Sunderland.

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. None were declared.

3. Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th December 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 6th December 2012.

4. Matters Arising – for information only

    a. Thurleigh Road Layout and Signage.  No report was made but it was noted that ANPR cameras had been deployed before Christmas and the results from the survey were currently being analysed and would be available before the next meeting.

    b. Old Post Office and other footpaths.  It was reported that the Old Post Office footpath had received some remedial work but probably not as extensive as was really required so that a mud puddle was still forming but shifted a little way up the path; the clerk will report this and request an extension to the work.

Action:- Clerk to report on Old Post Office footpath repairs and request further work.

    c. Progress with Land Registry.  Cllr Atkinson confirmed 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.

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.  The BBC Highways Dept report on the cameras was outlined and the full version will be circulated to councillors. There was disappointment in the possibility of having to share the system in the future and in the signage, especially coming from Bedford; this will be communicated to BBC, along with a request to establish the exact state of activation, number of warning letters and fines issued. It was noted that Cllr Atkinson had been interviewed rather aggressively on the radio.

Actions:- Clerk to communicate the Council’s initial response to the camera system and request

                 state of activation.

                Clerk to circulate full BBC report.

    b. Progress on Allotment Provision.  It was noted that the clerk had not received any further responses to his requests and that Majesticare and Twinwoods have to be discounted as possibilities; however, Cllr McMurdo is expected to have further discussions with Bedfordia. It was further noted that currently about 15 residents wanted plots despite a few going to Clapham and the availability of plots at Felmersham.

Action:-Cllr McMurdo to continue approaches to Bedfordia.

Public Forum

  • It was noted that some street lights did not seem to be turning off when expected to.
  • The hope was expressed that the Council could recognize the contribution to the village of the late Sheila Ibbett in some form of lasting memorial reflecting her interests.


6. Finance

a. Financial Situation @ 31st December 2012
 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 since last reconciliation    
 BBC School Field rent  £            5.00  
 Christmas Concert  £       699.26  
 Total  £       704.26  £           704.26
 Total    £     22,952.90
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 Wildman Transport  £          59.40  
 C Sharman  £          93.13  
 H Snowball – NHW Co-ordinator  £          10.00  
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          61.00  
 Clerk’s Salary  £       535.50  
 B&T Brewery  £       114.60  
 Rushden Town Band  £       250.00  
 M J Granger  £       894.53  
 R Atkinson  £          78.69  
 M Quince  £          10.00  
 Total  £    2,106.85  £       2,106.85
 Calculated Balance @ 31st December 2012    £     20,846.05
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 31st December 2012  
 HSBC Community A/C  £  20,818.89  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  20,846.05  £     20,846.05
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Cheques not presented    
 R Winter (Barclaycard)  £          90.00  
 M J Granger  £       318.00  
 Total  £       408.00  £           408.00
 Payments to be made    
 Wildman Transport  £          59.40  
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 Village Hall donation  £       300.00  
 Total  £       389.40  £           389.40
 Total Committed Expenditure    £           797.40
 Latest position    £     20,048.65
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       5,652.60
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds    £     14,396.05


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.  Following careful investigation by Cllr Williams, the clerk was able to propose a budget for 2013-14; following discussion, Cllr Atkinson proposed its acceptance; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was resolved to accept the proposed budget.

7. Village Welfare

    a. National Planning Policy Framework.  Cllr Atkinson reported that the constitution for the RAE Development Plan Partnership was still being worked on so it was agreed to delay a decision on its acceptance until all details were known. To ensure any decision is fully informed, the final version of the document will be circulated prior to the next meeting. In the discussion on the budget, an annual figure of £500 was mooted as a notional figure for the ME Council contribution to the funds of the RAE DPP; it was agreed that, while there was much uncertainty over what figure was likely to be required finally, this was a reasonable starting point, with review likely as things become more certain.

    b. Trees at 64 Radwell Road.  Cllr Atkinson reported she was engaged in discussion with the loss adjuster over the Council’s responsibility for historic damage; she will report developments when matters crystallize.

    c. Riverside Meadow.  The development of the riverside area near the Oakley allotments was brought to the attention of the Council which expressed an ambition to develop Riverside Meadow in a similar way; it was agreed that Cllr Atkinson will contact BBC wild-life experts as a matter of urgency to arrange a visit (if possible over a weekend) and that a mowing, maintenance and development programme would be evolved from their expert opinion. The cutting contract will then be re-negotiated with Grangers.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to arrange meeting with BBC wild-life experts.

    d. Litter picking.  The clerk presented the proposed information pack to be sent to candidates for the post; following their responses, a decision will be made at the next Council meeting.

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

    e. Radwell Road “Gates”.  Cllr McMurdo has promised Ward Fund support up to about £1200 for “gates” on both Radwell and Thurleigh Roads. Locations will be agreed with BBC and a license applied for.

Action:- Clerk to agree site for “gates” with BBC and apply for a license.

    f. The Brandon Strip.  Having placed an order for the site to be cleared, the clerk received notification that new residents may have access rights over the land which might make it inappropriate to spend public money improving its appearance; the clearance work was put on hold but, following consultation with the land owners, it appears that there should be no problem (the rights being limited to gaining access to effect drainage pipe repairs). As a precaution the location of the pipes will be established and the work then allowed to commence.

Action:- Clerk to establish the location of drainage pipes on the Brandon Strip.

8. Correspondence – for information only

    a. From Mr Olly Martins introducing himself as the new Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

    b. From Beds Fire & Rescue Service.  Invitation to consult on their budget.

    c. From BBC, P Rowland.  Invitation to consult on the new Community Infrastructure Levy Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document.

Action:- Clerk to circulate to Councillors.

    d. From Bedfordshire Police Planning Partnership.  Invitation to a Community Safety Forum.

    e. Newsletter from Came & Co, our insurance broker.

    f. From Mr Mark Minion a briefing note on BBC service specifications.

9. Decisions on Planning Applications

    App 12/02209/FUL, extension to 2 River Lane, Milton Ernest – documents circulated for review by councillors; no objections were raised and this has been communicated to BBC.

    App 12/02348/LBC, installation of a bathroom at 3 Radwell Road, Milton Ernest; documents in circulation.

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

Item in Dec 2012 minutes Who Action Refer/


4b Clerk To check time scale for Old Post Office footpath repairs. Complete
4c GA/Clerk To address the “Statement of Truth”. See 4c above
5b DMcM To continue approaches to Bedfordia. See 5b above
PF DMcM To pursue “postcode” issue via Economic Development Dept. On going
6b Clerk To make payments. Complete
6c JW To assess effects of Council Tax benefit rule change. See 6c above
6c Clerk To review and re-present budget for 2013-14. See 6c above
6d DN To liaise with Rushden Town Band. Complete
6d Clerk To make payment of £300 to the Village Hall. Complete
7a Clerk To advise CPRE of the attendance of 3 councillors at the planning workshop. Complete
7c Clerk To cancel the order on M Towler to rake the meadow. Complete
7e Clerk To proceed with the litter-picker selection process. See 7d above
7f Clerk To identify a suitable Thurleigh Road site for “gates” and refer it and the Radwell Road site To BBC. See 7e above
7g Clerk To order Brandon Strip site clearance from Chris Horne. See 7f above
8a Clerk To accept offer of visit by ASB officer for February meeting. Complete


11. Review of Meeting Format.  Based on his previous experience, Cllr Quince has some ideas to optimise the running order of meetings; he will summarize these and circulate them to councillors for consideration at the next meeting.

Action:- Cllr Quince to circulate his ideas on optimizing the running order at meetings.

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 was noted that some work had been carried out on the Riverside View hedge and more work was planned in the near future.

    d. Village Fete Committee.  It was noted that the new chair had resigned but that the previous chair had agreed to take over again.

    f. Neighbourhood Watch.  No report.

13. Members Calendar.

14. Date of next meeting.

    The next meeting will be on 7th February 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