Minutes of the meeting of Milton Ernest Parish Council held on Thursday 23rd January 2014 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

Present: Cllrs Atkinson, Williams, Winter, Newman, Sharman, Bailey, McMurdo, the Clerk Mrs S Bottoms and 8 members of the public.

1)    Apologies for Absence: were received from Cllr Snowball. It was resolved to accept these apologies.

2.   Declarations of interest in items on the agenda:

i)      To receive written requests for a dispensation. None received.

ii)     To consider any requests for a dispensation.  None received.

3.  To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 29th November 2013: It was resolved to amend Item 11b, replacing it with the following: Following advice from Louise Ashmore at the BATPC,  it was resolved that a Playing Fields Committee must be formed by the Parish Council to manage the Parish Council’s assets in line with correct procedure. Following this amendment, it was resolved to accept these as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  Cllr Atkinson signed them.  The meeting then closed for Item 4.

4.  Public Open Session (15 mins):

i)      Rubbish/Thurleigh Road: There was concern that this had not been done and did not appear on the agenda/minutes.  The Clerk explained that the minutes only record decisions taken and that monitoring the resulting action was done under item 10.  Cllr McMurdo reported that he had raised this with the Borough on a number of occasions and agreed to contact James Lynch again and ask it be done as a matter of urgency.                                                Action: Cllr McMurdo

ii)     MK41 Postcode/Use of Thurleigh Road: Cllr McMurdo would continue to persue this matter.

Action: Cllr McMurdo

iii) Bromham Christmas Lights: The Clerk reported that Bromham PC would pay      DSD to put up/take down their lights.

iv) Public Questions/Parish Council: A member of the public said that in his opinion members of the public attending a Parish Council meeting should be aware that the Parish Council would not take action regarding accusations made during the public open session.

The meeting then re-opened for Item 5.


a)    Applications Received:

13/02524/COU Hollow Farm Rushden Rd, MK441RZ. Change of use of part            agricultural building to B8 storage and distribution. No objection.

6.  Village Welfare:

i.   Litterpick 15th March: Decision: To assemble at the Village Hall. The Clerk would contact Debbie Shrimpton at the Borough.  Action: The Clerk

ii.  Borough Consultation re: Speed Change Thurleigh Road/Radwell Road:

this will run until 7th February. Cllr Newman reported that he believed the preference would be 20mph zones within Milton Ernest.  Decision: to allow the present consultation to progress and be implemented then to seek the 20mph.  Clerk would put on a future agenda.                                                                 Action: The Clerk

iii.  Area/frequency to be included in the grass cutting contract for 14-15: Decision: to keep the main village areas including the playing field and verges and the River Meadow paths and picnic areas and do 16 cuts per year. The Brandon strip to be included.  In addition, one cut per year of the Village Green in August and one annual weed killer of the village. It was agreed that the Clerk send quotation letter and maps to Warners, Grangers and C Horne.   Action: The Clerk

New Village Welfare Issues:

i.   Christmas Tree Lights: Decision: To purchase new lights and to delegate P3 group to put lights on the tree and remove after Christmas. Cllr Atkinson agreed to speak to Oakley PC about the supplier and price of the lights they had this year.

Action: Cllr Atkinson

ii.  Baxter Land: Removal of branches overhanging neighbouring property causing damage. Decision: To obtain a report from an arboriculturalist to support the application to carry out work on the trees.  Action: Cllr Atkinson/The Clerk

iii. Leaves opposite the Maltings: Decision: that the Clerk contact the Borough Council.                                                                      Action: The Clerk.

iv. Damaged Christmas Tree: On the verge near the Lewis’s which has been damaged by the grass cutter.  It was decided that all the Parish Councillors have a look at it and report back at the next meeting.  Action: All Parish Councillors.

v.  Light: No 219 on the A6 near the Old Police Station is not working.

Action: The Clerk.

vi. Bus Shelter Timetable:  Cllr Sharman agreed to attach the new holder to the shelter.                                                                  Action: Cllr Sharman.

vii.Dog Mess: This was noted as a problem around the village.  Decision: the Clerk to put up a poster on the boards, website and also send an article to the Villager.

Action: The Clerk

7.  Finance:

Acceptance of Monthly Reconciliation Presentation: It was resolved to accept    this.

Payments to be made: It was resolved to accept these.  Cllr Newman  handed    the  Clerk £16 from book sales and monies from the Christmas Concert.

Balances at the start of the meeting totalled £24,447.23.

Payments to be made:

Chq No Payee For £
363 Village Hall Refund of £2000 incorrectly credited 2,000.00
364 Rushden Band Performance at Christmas Concert 250.00
365 Village Hall Rent 6m plus two extra meetings 208.50
366 B & T Brewery Alcohol for Christmas Concert 114.50
367 S Bottoms Expenses (4 months) 120.00
368 Broker Network Insurance of Kick Wall (part year) 25.00

It was resolved to accept these.

Budget for 2014-5 and Precept Request: Following discussion, it was resolved to accept the proposed budget and to increase the precept requested by 2%.  It was resolved the Clerk request £13,477.                                   Action: the Clerk.

8. To receive E-mailed questions from members of the public and to agree action:

  1. i.        Street Lights/Rubbish/Huntsman Way: With regards the five rubbish bags from the playing field at the entrance of Huntsman Way, the Clerk reported that she had contacted James Lynch at the Borough who informed her he would contact the Refuse Supervisor.  Cllr Mc Murdo agreed to contact James Lynch again.                                                  Action: Cllr McMurdo

With regards the concern that the street lights in Huntsman Way still had not been turned on despite it being raised in October as an issue, Cllr McMurdo reported that to keep all the lights on would require a change in previously agreed policy. Cllr McMurdo did agreed to contact Brian Heyward again to ask that 008 and 09F be kept on from midnight until daylight.  The Clerk had already contacted the Borough about 002 which appears to have a faulty sensor.                                                              Action: Cllr McMurdo

  1. ii.        Letters regarding the September PC Meeting: A letter had been received suggesting that the Chairman Cllr Atkinson had failed to carry out her assurance that she would ensure that the discussion which had taken place during public questions at the September Parish Council meeting was accurately minuted and appropriate action taken. In a further letter from the same resident, he questioned whether the Parish Council had procedures in place to ensure that members of the public or councillors are not subject to baseless allegations.

Cllr Atkinson responded by saying that she had taken advice from Louise Ashmore at BATPC.  Following that discussion the action taken and the minutes produced were in line with that advice.  The Parish Council has in place procedures to deal with a situation which disrupts Parish Council business. The Parish Council has no jurisdiction over what members of the public say in the public open session.  If an accusation is made during this session, it is a civil not a parish council matter.

  1. iii.        Correspondence regarding MEPFA: A letter had been received signed by the MEPFA informing the Parish Council that they were disappointed with the resolution made by the Parish Council at its meeting on the 28th November 2013 that the Parish Council would form a Playing Fields Committee.  It was with great sadness that they had decided to terminate the MEPFA with immediate effect.   Cllr Atkinson said that it was unfortunate that the members of the MEPFA were not prepared to bring their many years of experience to the new Parish Council Committee but acknowledged all the hard work done over the years.

9. Reports by Representatives:

a)    NDP Steering Group: Following discussion it was decided: to adopt the Terms of Reference.

b)    Playing Fields Association Committee: Following discussion, it was decided to accept the circulated Terms of Reference.  It was further decided that Cllrs Atchinson, Bailey and Williams form the Committee.  An approach would need to be made to the school and youth club to recruit additional adults.  The Clerk would contact Wicksteed to arrange an inspection. Action: The Clerk.

c)    P3 Committee: a meeting was planned in February.

d)    Village Fete Committee: Cllr Sharman reported that a meeting was being planned with interested parties to re confirm the constitution of the fete.

10. Review of Actions Summary from Last Meeting: This was reviewed and  updated.

11. Member’s Calendar: was discussed.

12. Date of the Next Meeting: is Thursday 27th February at 8.00pm in the Village Hall


R Atkinson (Chair) 27th February 2014