Minutes of the Meeting of Milton Ernest Parish Council held on Thursday 26th November  2015 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

Present: Cllrs Dilley (Chairman), Williams, Winter, Snowball, Reddington, the Clerk (Sue Bottoms), 5 members of the public.

  1. Apologies for Absence: Cllr Newman and Sharman.  The Parish Council agreed to accept their apologies.
  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 the 29th October 2015: These were signed as a true record of the meeting.
  4. Presentation by Lisa Virnuls, Head Teacher of Milton Ernest Lower School on the implications of the introduction of the two tier education system on the school:

Lisa Virnuls explained that the proposed change would result in the need for an extra classroom and the only available space was on the existing trim trail.  Surrounding trees would screen the building from adjacent houses. The classroom would result in the loss of a lot of play area meaning more use would need to be made of the village green area.  She asked if the parish council would give consideration to the re-locating of some trim trail equipment onto the green.  The school will find out in January the outcome of the consultation.  Consultation meetings would be taking place on the 14th December at 2.30pm and 6pm.  Councillors were welcome to visit the school to look at the proposals.  Cllr Dilley asked what proportion of children at the school came from Milton Ernest.  Lisa Virnuls said she would find out and report back.  She was thanked for attending and left.

  1. Public Open Session (15 mins):

WI garden: It was asked whether the parish council might not consider selling the land to a neighbouring property as it was untidy.  Cllr Dilley explained that this area had been recently tidied up and was an area that the parish council had requested to be designated as a green open space.

  1. Planning:

Applications Received: None.

Applications Approved by Bedford Borough Council: None.

7. Village Welfare: To consider and agree action regarding the following:

i)        Heavy lorries in Thurleigh Road: The Clerk reported that she had contacted the local PCSO.  Cllr McMurdo was not available to report on his actions with regards requesting the installation of a number recognition system.

ii)      Cycle path near Entrance to Milton Ernest Nursing Home: The white markings were now in place.  The Clerk had written to the Manager of the Nursing Home to ask if it was possible to put signage on the Nursing Home side of the path.  Cllr Reddington reported that she had been told by Andy Prigmore that the cost to move the path would be £2,000 and a bid for this work would be made in next year’s budget. Cllr Snowball reported that some work to the pavements in Huntsman’s Way had taken place.  Apparently this had been as a result of a customer complaint. Cllr Reddington reported that other resurfacing would be included in next year’s programme of work.

iii)    Christmas Event: The Clerk had obtained the temporary licence.  The list of tasks were allocated out.

iv)    No through traffic – Radwell Road: Cllr Snowball said that much had been done to deal with traffic problems in Thurleigh Road but very little had been done to deal with similar problems in Radwell Road. Whilst there were not enough parish councillors in attendance to debate, the quantity of traffic and speed meant that something needed to be done.  Cllr Dilley replied that he had made initial enquiries with Bedford Borough Council who, at this time, would be unlikely to support such a request. As part of the budget consultation by the Borough Council they were proposing cutting back on the implementation of traffic regulations, along with related matters, unless there were obvious safety issues. It was therefore important to obtain relevant evidence to support any application.  It was also necessary to consult closely with the Garden Centre and all affected businesses. All traffic management solutions have both strengths and weaknesses. He had asked for two traffic counts to be put in to establish quantity and speed of traffic and had requested 5 years-worth of collision data for Milton Ernest. Cllr Dilley proposed that a working party be set up to look at potential solutions.  A local resident who specialised in traffic management design has offered to assist.

8.  New Village Welfare Issues:

i)  To consider the brambles across the footpath in March Lane and agree   actionIt was agreed that the Clerk would ask Martin Granger to quote to cut back the brambles and remove the shrub.  Action: the Clerk.

9.  Finance:

i)        Decision: to accept the monthly reconciliation presentation: This was agreed.

ii)      Decision: to agree payments to be made: It was agreed to make these.

iii)    To consider and agree action regarding the budget for 2016-17: Changes were made with the intention of agreeing it at the January meeting.

Cheque No Who To Amount (£)
DD BBC Salaries – Nov 293.33
489 S Bottoms – Expenses 21.00
490 White Hart newsletter 70.00
491 Morgan Pell – meadow cut 450.00
492 Wicksteed repairs 920.28
493 Warners – Last cut 276.00
494 Wildmans Glass collection 66.00
495 D Newman – Christmas Event 28.73

10. To receive E-mailed questions from members of the public and to agree action: None.

11.  Reports by Representatives:-

i.  NDP Steering Group: Cllr Dilley reported that the Group had met and were addressing policies for inclusion in the Plan having identified objectives from the questionnaire responses.  The Group would make a submission regarding the consultation on the Local Plan 2032 by the deadline of the 14th December.  Once completed, he would circulate around the parish councillors for comment.  He referred to a report by consultants employed by the Borough Council which suggested that because of its location Twinwoods could effectively be used for non-class B activities that other communities did not want. A robust response was required.  In keeping with its requirements, any remaining grant monies would need to be returned by the end of December.  It was hoped that most of the remaining work could be done without needing to employ another consultant, although a new grant application may be made in the New Year to support key activities.

ii. Playing Field Committee: Cllr Williams reported that all the work identified in the recent Wicksteed report had been completed.  A quote had been received from Wicksteed to replace the existing surfacing with something more suitable at a cost of £13,499.50.  It was agreed to write to Bedfordia to seek a donation towards the cost.  It was further agreed to write to Wicksteed to say that the quote will not be considered until January.   Action: The Clerk.

iii. Gate/Huntsman’s Way: The Clerk to write to Bedfordia to ask if the gate could be replaced with a fence and a smaller gate.                Action: The Clerk.

12. To agree dates for 2016:

It was agreed that the parish council meetings would be held on the last Thursday at 8.00pm each month except for August and December and for the Playing Field Committee at 7.30pm immediately preceding the parish council meeting in January, April, July and October.  Clerk to contact booking secretary.

Action: The Clerk

13. Review of Actions Summary from Last Meeting: Reviewed and updated.

14. Date of the Next Meeting: Thursday 28th January 2016 at 8pm in the Village Hall.    

…………………………………………………………………………………….  Chairman  28th January 2015