Strawberry Tree Cottage, Radwell Road, Milton Ernest MK44 1RY; 01234 823889

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 7th February 2013

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

Clerk B Gale                            9 Residents



Prior to the meeting proper, the Council was addressed by Angela Williamson, BBC Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator, who described the background to the establishment of her service and outlined the way it operated to the benefit of victims. The ASB Hotline number to report incidents is 01234 276037. 


Public Forum

  • A resident from Riverside View gave a presentation (verbally and by way of a hand-out) on the issue of the hedge at Riverside Meadow; the matter will be discussed at the next Council meeting.


1.         To receive apologies for absence

All Councillors were present so there were no apologies.


2.         Declaration of Interests – Members were reminded that where they have a local and/or disclosable pecuniary interest in any business of the Council to be considered at this meeting they must disclose the existence and nature of that interest at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes apparent, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct.

Cllr Winter declared an interest in the selection of a litter-picker; Cllr Atkinson declared an interest in issues relating to Riverside Meadow.


3.         Planning Applications         

            3.1 – 12/02348/LBC, bathroom at 3 Radwell Rd, ME, MK44 1RY.

The details having been previously circulated, councillors confirmed they had no objections to this development; this has already been conveyed to BBC and permission has been granted.

            3.2 – 12/02372/LBC, repair of dovecote at ME Hall, ME, MK44 1RJ.

The details having been previously circulated, councillors confirmed they had no objections to this development; this has already been conveyed to BBC.

            3.3 – 13/00069/FUL & 13/00003/LBC, replacement of extension at Forge Cottage, Rushden Road, ME                           MK44 1RU.

The details having been previously circulated, councillors confirmed they had no objections to this development; this has already been conveyed to BBC.

            3.4 – 11/02690/S73, Appeal no 12/00045/REF, change of use at “Waiting for the Sun”, Rushden Road,                         Bletsoe, MK44 1QW.

It was noted that a letter supporting the rejection of an earlier application had been sent by this Council; this letter will be circulated to councillors so they can decide if a similar letter should be sent to support the rejection of the appeal.

Action: Clerk to circulate “Waiting for the Sun” objection letter.



4.         To consider approving the Minutes of the meeting on 3rd January 2013

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

Decision: It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on 3rd January 2013.

5.         Matters Arising – for information only.

            5.1 – Report on progress of road layout and signage around Thurleigh Rd. (09/10/4p)

The recently received results of the ANPR survey on Thurleigh Road were outlined; the validity of the survey was queried. The details will be circulated. Cllr McMurdo advised that he had had a meeting with the Mayor who was also surprised at the results survey; as a result of this more signage at the top and bottom of the road was planned; it seems that the legality of the survey had been queried. He further advised that he was to have another meeting with the Mayor, his deputy and Head of Highways to pursue the matter. The possibility of extending Highfield Road to the Business Park was raised; Cllr McMurdo advised that this would be dependent on developments at the Park and would in any case be quite some time in the future; not all surrounding villages would be in favour of it anyway.

Action: Clerk to circulate APNR survey results.

            5.2 – Report on Old post Office & other footpaths. (09/02/6a)

The continued presence of a puddle on Old Post Office footpath had been reported to Amey who promised to address the matter in the new financial year.

            5.3 – Report on progress with Land Registry. (07/04/8)

It was reported that Geoff Atkinson and the clerk had met to retrieve information to support the Council’s claim; a little more information was still needed before the claim could be made.

Action: Resident Atkinson to pursue further information to support the Council’s land claim.


6.         Parish Action Plan – for information only.

            6.1 – Report on progress with A6 “average speed” cameras. (07/12/11d)

The recently received initial results were presented and it was pleasing to note that the cameras were having a significant effect, average speeds falling from 36 mph to 27mph. The clerk will circulate the data. It was less satisfying to note that the police were not yet taking any action against offenders; Cllr McMurdo will try to find out why.

Actions: Clerk to circulate average speed camera results.

                Cllr McMurdo to check on action against offenders.

            6.2 – Report on progress with allotment provision. (08/07/6h)

The possibility of money from the BBC Rural Affairs Committee was raised. Cllr McMurdo noted that he was to re-arrange a meeting with Bedfordia; the clerk was asked to try and contact Majesticare again at a different address.

Actions: Clerk to re-contact Majesticare.

                Cllr McMurdo to re-arrange meeting with Bedfordia.


7.         Finance

            7.1 – Acceptance of Monthly Reconciliation.

Financial Situation @ 31st January  2013
 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 since last reconciliation    
 Recycled glass credit  £       219.18  
 Book sales  £          30.00  
 Total  £       249.18  £           249.18
 Total    £     21,095.23
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 Wildman Transport  £          59.40  
 Village Hall donation  £       300.00  
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 M J Granger  £       318.00  
 Barclaycard (R Winter expenses)  £          90.00  
 Total  £       797.40  £           797.40
 Calculated Balance @ 31st January 2013    £     20,297.83
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 31st January 2013    
 HSBC Community A/C  £  20,270.67  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  20,297.83  £     20,297.83
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -  
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Cheques not presented    
 Total    £                    -  
 Payments to be made    
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 Wildman Transport  £          59.40  
 Village Hall rent  £          90.75  
 Total  £       180.15  £           180.15
 Total Committed Expenditure    £           180.15
 Latest position    £     20,117.68
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       5,682.60
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds    £     14,435.08


Decision:- It was resolved to approve the reconciliation.

            7.2 – Payments to be made.

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

Action:- Clerk to make payments.

            7.3 – On donation to Villager Minibus.

Cllr Newman proposed a donation of £150; this was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

Decision: It was resolved to make a donation of £150 to the Villager Minibus.

Action:- Clerk to make payment to the Villager Minibus.



8.         Village Welfare

            8.1 – 64 Radwell Road – Report on the insurance situation of the adjacent trees.

It was noted that the Council’s insurers had reserved their position pending the finalization of ownership of the plot of land.

            8.2 – Riverside Meadow – Discussion on BBC representative recommendations.

It was noted that Cllr Atkinson had not yet been able to arrange a meeting with the BBC Countryside Sites Officer but was persisting and hoped to agree a time when other councillors could be involved. In the meantime she was planning to get P3 to do further work on the hedge to originally proposed standards, pending a final decision. Cllr Newman was still trying to establish who owned the fishing rights on the meadow.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to persist with arranging a visit by Countryside Officer.

            8.3 – Litter picker selection

Of the five applicants, Ben Combe was selected by lottery. He will be advised; other applicants will also be advised and their names kept on file for future possible use.

Decision: It was resolved to offer the post of litter-picker to Ben Combe.

Action:- Clerk to offer the post of litter-picker to Ben Combe and take him through the necessary administrative procedures. 

            8.4 – Installation of Village “gates” – Report on status of the project.

The clerk advised that the locations for the gates had been agreed, a contractor selected, a claim made for ward fund money, utilities whose facilities may be affected by the works contacted and a works license applied for. Cllr Quince proposed the following resolution; this was seconded by Cllr Snowball and unanimously agreed.

“This Council resolves to proceed with the installation of “gates” on Radwell Road and Thurleigh Road.”

Decision: It was resolved to proceed with the installation of “gates” on Radwell Road and Thurleigh Road.

Action:- Clerk to proceed with arranging the installation of “gates”. 

            8.5 – Cultivation of the “Brandon Strip” – Report on the status of the project.

The clerk advised that the project was in abeyance because of the uncertainty of the rights of the new owner of 64 Radwell Road over the strip. The Council remains guarded over the use of public money to enhance the site until the matter is clearer and has asked the clerk to write to both parties and ask for clarification over the situation.

Action:- Clerk to write to both parties over the “Brandon Strip” seeking clarification. 

            8.6 – New Village Welfare raised by Councillors.

  • Concern expressed over the reliability of waste collection under the new regime; BBC (Paul Pace) to be advised.

Action:- Clerk to advise BBC of concerns over waste collection (copy to DMcM).

  • It was noted that the verge outside “Bob’s Shop” was churned up; Cllr McMurdo will advise the relevant Planning Dept.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to advise Planners over churned verges. 


9.         Correspondence – for information only. Documents are in the circulation file.

  1. Mr Chiswell urging the Council to respond to the BBC consultation on sexual entertainment. Response to the clerk by 22 February.
  2. BBC announcing publication of its Housing Strategy.
  3. BBC requesting suggestions for scrutiny by the Overview & Scrutiny Committees. Response to the clerk by 24 March.
  4. BBC offering free Warm Home Energy Audits – on web-site.
  5. Mr Dunn commenting on new waste collection regime.
  6. Mr Freshwater – copy of letter to Mayor Hodgson concerning HGVs on Thurleigh Road.
  7. Biogen advising of fertiliser spreading operations.
  8. BBC advising of the Council Dog Watch scheme.
  9. The Police and Crime Commissioner – invitation to a joint meeting at Harrold Centre on 13th March. Response to the clerk by 22 February.
  10. BBC Highways Dept calling for capital maintenance scheme 2013-14 suggestions.
  11. The Village Hall Committee thanking the Council for the £300 donation.

In future, items where councillors may wish to respond will be put on a secure location on the web-site.


10.       Reports by Representatives

            10.1 – Neighbourhood Development Plan 

            Cllr Atkinson reported on the RAE DPP Meeting of 22nd January 2013, noting that Bolnhurst & Keysoe PC had withdrawn from the scheme but that Clapham PC had decided to be involved. The scheme was again discussed and Cllr Newman expressed concern over an aspect of the proposed DPP constitution. Cllr Quince proposed the following resolution; this was seconded by Cllr Sharman and agreed by all other councillors except Cllr Newman voted against the motion.


(a)  To prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) in relation to the area(s) given in (b) below;

(b)  Pursuant to Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 to apply to Bedford Borough Council for the designation of the area of this parish (or part thereof as shown on the given map) as a Neighbourhood Area;

(c)  To approve the constitution of the RAE Development Plan Partnership;

(d)  To delegate to the RAE Development Plan Partnership preparation of the said NDP in relation to the following matters insofar as they are within the boundaries of this parish:-

i.  The employment areas given by the Borough’s Allocations and Designations Plan known as Thurleigh Airfield and Twinwoods.

ii.  The highways serving the employment areas given in (d)i. above.

(e)  To delegate the preparation of the planning document(s) to the RAE Development Plan Partnership.  The content of these documents, in relation to areas not covered by (d) above (or by further delegation as may from time to time be made) to be exclusively within the control of this parish.

The RAE Development Plan Partnership shall enjoy status as a joint committee of the participating parishes.”

Decision: It was resolved to prepare an NDP and delegate the task for selected areas to the RAE DPP and agree to its constitution.

To cover the cost of administration and specialist services the RAE DPP needs funding from participating Parish Councils; Cllr Quince proposed the following resolution; this was seconded by Cllr Winter and agreed by all other councillors except Cllr Newman who abstained.


 “This Parish Council resolves to contribute £125 per quarter, starting on 5th April 2013, to fund the work of the RAE DPP until the work of the Partnership is complete or the resolution is rescinded or otherwise modified by resolution of this Council.”

Decision: It was resolved to approve funding for the RAE DPP at a rate of £125 per quarter, starting on 5th April 2013. 

            10.2 – Village Hall committee

At a recent meeting it had been agreed to up-grade the toilets; proposals were pending for a kitchen extension and grants from outside sources under consideration.

            10.3 – Playing Field Association Committee

A meeting is planned for 4th March; Wicksteed Leisure has been retained for an inspection; a representative has been nominated for the Fete Committee.

            10.4 – P3 Sub-committee

A working party will be organized to resume work on the Riverside Meadow hedge.


            10.5 – Village Fete Committee

The event is to be called the Church and Village Fete and is scheduled for 29th June when it will coincide with the School Open Day. It will be opened by the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and competitions will be reinstated.


            10.6 – Neighbourhood Watch

There will be a stall at the next coffee morning to raise its profile; one (theft from a vehicle) crime was recorded in January.


11.       Review of Actions Summary from the last meeting

Item in Jan 2013 minutes Who Action Refer/Completed  
4b Clerk To report on Old Post Office footpath repairs and request further work. See 5.2 above  
4c GA/Clerk To address the “Statement of Truth”. See 5.3 above  
5a Clerk To communicate the Council’s initial response to the camera system and request state of activation. Complete  
5a Clerk To circulate full BBC report. Complete  
5b DMcM To continue approaches to Bedfordia. See 6.2 above  
6b Clerk To make payments. Complete  
7c RA To arrange meeting with BBC wild-life experts. See 8.2 above  
7d Clerk To proceed with the litter-picker selection process. See 8.3 above  
7e Clerk To agree site for “gates” with BBC and apply for a license. See 8.4 above  
7f Clerk To establish the location of drainage pipes on the Brandon Strip. See 8.5 above  
8c Clerk To circulate to Councillors. Complete  
11 MQ To circulate his ideas on optimizing the running order at meetings. Complete  
Follow-up DMcM To pursue “postcode” issue via Economic Development Dept. On-going   On-going


12.       Review of new meeting format

Councillors agreed that they liked the new agenda and meeting format; it will be used in future.


13.       Members Calendar


14.       Date of next meeting

The next meeting will be on 7th March 2013 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