Minutes of a meeting of Milton Ernest Parish Council held on Thursday  31st July 2014 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall.

Present: Cllrs Atkinson, Williams, Winter, Snowball, Sharman, the Clerk, Mrs Sue Bottoms and eight members of the public.

  1. Apologies for Absence: Cllr D Newman and Borough Councillor D McMurdo.
  2. Declarations of interest in items on the agenda:
    1. i.            To receive written requests for a dispensation:  None.
    2. ii.            To consider any requests for a dispensation: None.
  3. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 26th June 2014: The minutes were duly signed as a true record of the meeting.
  4. Public Open Session (15 mins):

i)        Village Fete Accounts: Concern was expressed that the full accounts were still not available.  For transparency, they should be published in the Villager, as should details of the winners of the raffle and the total raised.  It was agreed that Cllr Atkinson would raise it with Cllr Sharman (who at this point in the meeting had not arrived).

ii)      Footpaths/Marsh Lane: The pavements, especially in the area of the pensioners bungalows are getting worse increasing the danger that one of the elderly residents could tumble.  It was agreed that the Clerk contact Andy Prigmore. Action: The Clerk

iii)    Recording of speeds in Thurleigh Road: Andy Prigmore had recorded the speeds but now needed to analyse.  There was concern that lots of people with kids walk to Yarlswood from the bus stop in Thurleigh Road. There was concern also that because of the average speed cameras on the A6, more traffic was using Thurleigh Road to save time.

iv)    Benches in the Village: It was noted that the bench outside Majesticare and the Harris’s were in need of maintenance.  It was agreed that Cllr Sharman would investigate.  Action: Cllr Sharman

v)      Defibrillator Training:  Thanks were given to the organisers.  It was agreed to try to arrange another session next year and to give a donation, the amount of which would be agreed at the next meeting in September.

  1. Planning:

Applications Received:

i)        14/01452/FUL Installation of new 1.9m max wooden gates set back from road & 1m high post & rail fence.  The Old Rectory, 15 Thurleigh Road, MK44 1RF.

Applications Approved:

i)        14/00960/FUL 41 Rushden Road, MK44 1RU. Change of use of land from agricultural/paddock land to B8 (open storage) as an extension to an existing commercial private car park serving a local motor trade business.

  1. Village Welfare:

i)        The future of the sign at the entrance to Riverside Meadow: The Parish Council had purchased the current sign in good faith and under the impression that it was wanted by the majority of the residents. It was decided that the Clerk would contact all affected residents to establish if they wished to have an alternative sign or no sign at all.

Action: The Clerk

ii)      Whether to continue to consider an information board for Riverside Meadow: It was decided in view of more important demands on Parish Council finances that no further consideration would be given to this project at this time.

iii)    Co-option to fill the casual vacancy:  The Parish Council had only received one application.  It was unanimously agreed that Mr Steve Dilley should be invited to join the Parish Council.  The Clerk gave him the relevant paperwork to complete.

iv)    To receive an update from Cllr Williams and decide action regarding London End/Overgrown hedge: It was agreed no further action was needed.

v)      To receive an update from Cllr Atkinson regarding overgrown area/Shoyswell: No further action needed.

vi)    To receive an update on grassed area between Church Close/Flewton End: Cllr Atkinson reported that Cllr McMurdo had contacted BPHA regarding the condition of the fence.  It was agreed that the fence was needed and that the Clerk ask Andy Prigmore whether highways could deal with it.  The Clerk to contact Cllr Murdo to ask for permission from BPHA for Cllr Sharman to fix it in the event that highways are not able to.                                      Action: The Clerk.

vii)  Amenity Land/Huntsman’s Way: Cllr Atkinson asked that this item be moved off the list under item 11.  She reported that Geoff Atkinson had been in contact with The Crown.  He had established that the cost of the land would be a minimum of £5,000 and legal costs of approximately £2,500 plus VAT plus a land valuation fee of between £1,000 – £2,000.  She further reported that Cllr McMurdo suggested there may be grants available to help finance the purchase.  It was agreed to ask Geoff Atkinson to continue to persue the matter.  With regards the land between 17-19 Huntsman’s Way, the owner, Mr Baxter, had made contact and was happy the Parish Council maintain it.  The Clerk to check with the insurance company as to whether its public liability insurance covered accessing the land for maintenance.

Action: The Clerk, Geoff Atkinson

7.  New Village Welfare Issues:

i)        Bottle bank at Milton Ernest Garden Centre: It was agreed that the Parish Councillors would check when in the area.  The Clerk would ask Georgia, the litter picker to have a look and if full or messy to contact Cllr Snowball.        Action: The Clerk

ii)      Overgrown footpaths: Two were identified: Radwell Road/Arkwright Road (overhanging ivy) and Radwell Road/Huntsman’s Way.  Also, the cycle path opposite the Maltings had brambles across it.  It was agreed that the Clerk contact Andy Prigmore and Cllr McMurdo regarding the first two for advice and highways for the latter.   Action: The Clerk

iii)    Footpath from Radwell Road to Rushden Road: Soil was encroaching on the path.  It was agreed that the Clerk contact highways.     Action: The Clerk

iv)    Weeds generally around the Village: It was agreed that the Clerk contact Warners and ask to spray and inform them that P3 have not managed to scrape the footpaths.

Action: The Clerk

8.  Finance:

i)        It was decided to accept the monthly reconciliation presentation.

ii)      It was decided to agree payments to be made.

iii)    It was decided to fund the biodiversity map at a cost of £125 plus VAT from (BRMC).

iv)    It was decided to agree the request for a grant by the PCC.  The Clerk to write to the Church to ask for more details in future regarding the upkeep of the clock.

Action: The Clerk

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

i)        To agree action regarding the hedge along the road leading to 58 Riverside View: Cllr Dilley kindly agreed to cut the hedge back.     With regards the quotation from Warners, the Clerk would reject this and also inform them that the hedge around the playarea was the responsibility of Bedford Borough Council grounds maintenance.  Cllr Williams to contact them to arrange cutting.                    Action: Cllr Williams and the Clerk.

ii)      To agree action regarding tree on A6 adjacent to fence of 5 Butterfield Court:It was agreed that the Clerk forward this concern to the Borough Council as it was their responsibility.  The Clerk would also inform the resident of the action she had taken.

Action: The Clerk

10. Reports by Representatives:

i.  NDP Steering Group: Cllr Atkinson reported that the Group meets on the first Tuesday of the month.  The Group had been considering the Call for Sites from the BBC and were formulating a response.  It was agreed that Cllr Atkinson would circulate the response around the Parish Councillors via e-mail and obtain their agreement before sending off.  Cllr Dilley would take responsibility for circulating the Steering Group minutes around the Parish Council.  Action: Cllr Atkinson and Dilley

ii.   Playing Field Committee: Cllr Williams reported that the bramble needed cutting back and she would get some quotes for replacement bins.  The basketball net support needed straightening.

iii.  P3 Working Group: Nothing to report.

11.   Review of Actions Summary from Last Meeting: This was updated.

12.   Date of the Next Meeting: Thursday 25th September at 8.00pm in the Village Hall.


Cllr Atkinson, Chairman,                        25th September 2014