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

Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held in the Village Hall on Thursday 6th June 2013

Meeting commenced 8.04pm

Present:- Cllrs R Atkinson (chair), R Winter (arrived during item 6a), J Williams, C Sharman, M Quince and D Newman.

Borough Councillor D McMurdo         BBC Hd of Highways B Hayward (up to item 7a)         Clerk B Gale          5 Residents


Public Forum

  • Concern over having to give notice of contribution to the Public Forum.

Action: Clerk to put notice to speak requirement on next agenda.

  • Obscuration of 30mph sign on Thurleigh Road by foliage and position of speed tables.

Action: Cllr McMurdo to advise BBC of Thurleigh Road 30 mph sign obscuration.

  • Flooding outside Village Farm.

Action: Cllr McMurdo to investigate flooding outside Village Farm.

  1. 1.     Election of Vice-chairman for the coming year.

Cllr Quince was proposed by Cllr Sharman and seconded by Cllr Atkinson; there being no other nominations, Cllr Quince was duly elected.

Decision:- It was resolved to elect Cllr Quince as Vice-Chairman for the coming year.

  1. 2.     Apologies for Absence.

Apologies were received from Cllr Snowball.

  1. 3.     Disclosures 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. No new interests were declared.

  1. 4.     Approval and Signing of Minutes of the meeting on 2nd May 2013.

Councillors unanimously accepted these minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were signed by Chair, Cllr Atkinson.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting of 2nd May 2013.


5.  Planning Applications

            a. 13/00957/FUL, extension at The Old Rectory, Thurleigh Road, ME, MK44 1RF. Application being circulated.

6.  Matters Arising – for information only

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

BBC official Brian Hayward presented details of the scheme. It is in two parts; 1. Relocation and addition to the signage on the A6 funded by BBC. 2. Width restriction above Church Close and possibly footpath widening. This will require a legal order so no work will be possible before September/October. The total cost is now likely to be £22k of which, subject to further negotiations, £5k will be borne locally with £3k coming from MEPC. Cllr Newman proposed the Parish Council bear this £3k cost; this was seconded by Cllr Winter and unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was resolved that MEPC bear the estimated £3k cost as its contribution towards the width restriction scheme for Thurleigh Road.

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

Amey have advised that they plan to re-fettle 20m of Old Post Office footpath. The clerk is to ask if it would be possible to make provision to preclude mud running onto the footpath in the first place. It was also noted that there several other footpaths requiring attention; Cllr Sharman will do a survey of the village and mark up a map showing where there are problems.

Actions: Clerk to ask Amey if provision can be made to preclude mud.

               Cllr Sharman to survey village footpaths.

7.  Parish Action Plan – for information only

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

Despite delays, Cllr McMurdo was able to confirm that the cameras were working and collecting data; about 4% of drivers are exceeding the speed limit. Proceeding to prosecution is to be undertaken by Hertfordshire Police and is dependent on final approval of their software and the training of personnel; this should all be in place in the very near future; Cllr McMurdo will advise the Council when this has happened.

Action: Cllr McMurdo to advise the Council when speeding prosecutions have started.

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

It was noted the application had been submitted to the Land Registry and a response was expected before the next meeting.

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

No developments were reported.

8.  Finance

a. Financial Situation @ 31st May  2013
 Bank Balances @ 30th April  2013    
 HSBC Community A/C  £  26,493.90  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  26,521.06  £     26,521.06
 Receipts since last reconciliation    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Total    £     26,521.06
 Payments since last reconciliation    
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 Ben Combe Litter picking  £          40.00  
 Internal Auditor invoice  £          50.00  
 Express Monitoring – web-site  £       117.60  
 BATPC  £       156.00  
 Total  £       393.60  £           393.60
 Calculated Balance @ 31st May  2013    £     26,127.46
 c/w Actual Bank Balances @ 31st May  2013  
 HSBC Community A/C  £  26,100.30  
 HSBC BMM  £          27.16  
 Total in bank accounts  £  26,127.46  £     26,127.46
 Receipts yet to be credited    
 None  £                -    
 Total  £                -    £                    -  
 Cheques not presented    
 Broker Network Ltd – Insurance  £       920.55  
 Total  £       920.55  £           920.55
 Payments to be made    
 Clerk’s Expenses  £          30.00  
 Ben Combe Litter picking  £          40.00  
 Chris Horne Gardens Ltd – “Gates”  £    1,320.00  
 CPRE  £          29.00  
 Wildman Transport Ltd  £          66.00  
 MJ Granger Ltd  £    1,192.70  
  Clerk’s Salary   £       535.50  
 Total  £    3,213.20  £       3,213.20
 Total Committed Expenditure    £       4,133.75
 Latest position    £     21,993.71
 Ring-fenced Funds    £       5,722.60
 Position at month-end exc. ring-fenced funds    £     16,271.11


Cllr Quince proposed approval of the monthly reconciliation; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was resolved to approve the bank reconciliation.

            b. – Payments to be made.

Cllr Quince proposed payment of the above accounts including the insurance premium which had been held over subject to agreement on the frequency of inspection of the playing field; this was seconded by Cllr Newman and unanimously agreed.

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

Action:- Clerk to make payments.

            c. Cash receipt.

The clerk received £50 cash for book sales at the Garden Centre.


9.  Village Welfare

            a. 64 Radwell Road.

Following expressions of concern from residents, Cllr Atkinson has liaised with the contractor over the timing of the “pruning”; it is believed that the optimum time is nigh and the clerk will confirm this with the contractor.

Actions:- Clerk to ask the contractor to proceed with tree “pruning” work.

            b. Huntsmans Way Garage access.

It was noted that the grass adjacent to the access is churned up; Cllr Atkinson proposed getting quotes for this work; this was seconded by Cllr Quince and unanimously agreed.

Decision:- It was resolved to get quotes for restructuring the garage access in Huntsmans Way.

Actions:- Clerk to get quotes for restructuring the garage access in Huntsmans Way.

            c. Riverside Meadow Enhancement.

There have been no developments.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to draft a letter the Wildlife Trust.

            d. Cultivation of the “Brandon Strip”.

The clerk reported that he had ordered the contractor to clear the strip but because his quotation was out–of-date the contractor wished to re-validate it. This has yet to be done.

Actions:- Clerk to chase the contractor over a quotation for the clearance of the “Brandon” strip.

                Clerk to ask contractor for quotes to seed and turf the “Brandon” strip.

            e. Neighbourhood Development Plan for the village.

Cllr Atkinson reported that at the meeting of 30th May the first steps had been taken to establish what needs to be done, including registering the scheme to get support funding of up to £7k per parish and completing the Project Brief, a very substantial job. This will be followed by a community consultation. Consultants had attended to advise on the process.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to complete the NDP Project Brief.

            f. Recruitment of new clerk.

The current clerk noted that Cllrs Atkinson and Quince had interviewed a candidate and decided she would be suitable. She has subsequently approved our draft contract and references are being taken up. To accommodate her availability the question of an alternative meeting day was then discussed.

            g. Alternative Council meeting day.

The optimum days were discussed and it was decided to ask the potential new clerk if Monday would fit in with her plans.

Actions:- Clerk to check with the new clerk her availability on Mondays.

            h. New Village Welfare raised by Councillors and residents.

              i.        The long grass on Radwell Road and the A6 and was noted along with concerns over the quality and length of cutting and the clerk will ask Grangers to address these matters.

Action:- Clerk to ask Grangers to cut grass on Radwell Road and the A6, and address quality of cutting.

            ii.        Possible tree work was noted on the Radwell Road – Huntsmans Way footpath, by the Village Farm, outside No 23 Riverside View and behind 11 Butterfield Court; P3 will be asked to review the situations.

Action:- Cllr Atkinson to ask P3 to review tree work.

           iii.        It was noted that there were complaints of fumes from the Bodyshop on the A6 believed to be causing ill-health of residents at adjacent houses; the Environmental Health Dept at BBC had been notified. Cllr McMurdo has also contacted the Head of Dept to ensure the matter is progressed.

           iv.        A resident has raised questions over the ownership and maintenance of the the play area off Riverside View; a councillor will establish the situation.

Action:- Cllr Williams to establish the status of the play area off Riverside View.

             v.        A resident has raised the possibility of installing a defibrillator in the village; the Fire Brigade are currently making them available free of charge and it was agreed in principle to accept one. The optimum location needs to be established and the matter will be more fully addressed at the next meeting.

           vi.        Milton Ernest Garden Centre has written to express concern over issues relating to the bottle bank on its site; Suggestions were made to alleviate the problem which the clerk will investigate.

Action:- Clerk to confer with Cllr Snowball over bottle bank and respond to the Garden Centre.

          vii.        Cllr Quince noted that the “gates” on the A6 at the northern end of the village needed painting; he will do this for the cost of the paint. It was agreed he should proceed and that the clerk should advise the BBC Highways Dept.

Action:- Clerk to advise BBC Highways Dept that the “gates” will be painted.

         viii.        The question of the location of the Sheila Ibbett memorial bench was discussed and it was decided to put it on the verge outside the school’s large window, subject to other’s approval. Cllr Newman will get quotes for the installation work.

Action:- Cllr Newman to get quotes for bench installation.

           ix.        It was noted that there was considerable growth over the wall outside ME Hall; the clerk was asked to arrange for this to be cleared.

Action:- Clerk to arrange for the clearance of growth outside ME Hall.

            x.        Weeds were noted in a number of locations around the village; the clerk will request a spray.

Action:- Clerk to request weeds are sprayed.

           xi.        A resident has noticed broken glass at the corner of Marsh Lane on more than one occasion; she was requested to keep a log of such events to see there is any pattern.


10.  Correspondence – for information only; documents in the circulation file

  1. From NALC – briefing on the Queen’s Speech.
  2. From “Yes2RushdenLakes” – request for support.
  3. From BBC “healthwatch” – introducing itself to councillors.
  4. From BBC Planning Dept – consultation on Planning Obligations SPD.
  5. From The Mayor encouraging engagement with the Borough on speeding.
  6. From The Mayor encouraging engagement with the Borough on highway servicing.
  7. From BBC – press release on food waste reduction. Put on web-site.
  8. From BBC – update on Youth Innovation Zone.
  9. From BBC Environmental Services – update on Dog Control Orders.
  10. From BBC Community Engagement Officer – request for items at P&TC Network Conference, 10th September.
  11. From BBC Community Engagement Officer – information on Borough Assembly Conference 9th July.
  12. From BBC Bedford Tree Fund – Appeal.


11.  Reports by Representatives

            a. Neighbourhood Development Plan – RAE-DPP

See item 9e above.

            b. Village Hall committee

A committee meeting was held about 2 weeks ago at which development plans were discussed.

            c. Playing Field Association Committee

There was a meeting on 20th May at which the possibility of refurbishing the safety tiles was discussed. Cllr McMurdo will indentify a contact at BBC from whom cost support may be available. It was noted that the insurance company had agreed to accept a monthly inspection regime. Fete preparations were also discussed. Cllr McMurdo took the opportunity to advise that he had had discussions with the Environmental Health Dept of BBC and agreement had been reached whereby black rubbish bags left at the Huntsmans Way gate of the playing field would be collected as part of the regular domestic waste regime.

Action:- Cllr McMurdo to identify source of support funding for playing field refurbishment.

            d. P3 Sub-committee

No report.

            e. Village Fete Committee

A final meeting was held 15th May.

            f. Neighbourhood Watch

No report.

12.  Review of Actions Summary from the last meeting

Item in May 2013 minutes Who Action Refer/


PF Clerk To request a litter-pick up Thurleigh Road by BBC. Complete
12 Clerk To confer with the insurance brokers over the playing field inspection regime. Complete
16a Clerk To advise The Highways Dept of the Council’s support in principle for the width restriction scheme and urge the availability of plans and design details by the end of May. Complete
16b Clerk To confirm with Amey when the footpath re-work will be done. See item 6b above
17a Clerk To liaise with Cllr McMurdo over police progress with speeding prosecutions. See item 7a above
17c Clerk To liaise with Cllr McMurdo to try and get definitive response from allotment stakeholders. See item 7c above
18b Clerk To make payments. Complete
18e Clerk To submit the Statement of Accounts to the External Auditor. Complete
19a Clerk To order the tree reduction work from the Treepeople. See item 9a above
19a DS To check mowing of 64 Radwell Road plot. Complete
19b Clerk To write expressing appreciation for the work at Riverside Meadow. Complete
19b Clerk To remind Grangers of the requested cutting specifications. Complete
19c DN To investigate locations for the memorial bench. See item 9hix above
19c RA To draft a letter the Wildlife Trust. See item 9c above
19e Clerk To order the clearance of the strip. See item 9d above
19e Clerk To ask contractor for quotes to seed and turf the strip. See item 9d above
19hi Clerk To advise Highways Helpdesk of potholes. Complete
19hii DS To progress action on churned grass area in Huntsmans Way. See item 9b above


13.  Member’s Calendar

14.  Date of next meeting

The next meeting has yet to be finalized.

The Chair offered her thanks to all attendees and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.

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

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

                  Mrs R Atkinson, Chair