Minutes of the Meeting of Milton Ernest Parish Council held on Thursday 31st March 2016 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

Present: Cllrs Dilley (Chairman), Williams, Reddington, Winter, Snowball, the Clerk (Sue Bottoms), and 4 members of the public.

  1. Apologies for Absence: Cllrs Newman and Sharman and Borough Councillor 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 the 25th February  2016: These were signed as a true record of the meeting.
  4. Public Open Session (15 mins):

i)        Thurleigh Road/HGV Weight Limit Sign/Camera: Mr Freshwater asked if there was any progress regarding installing a sign limiting access to a wider range of vehicles than purely on weight.  Cllr Dilley said that such a sign would still be able to be ignored as happens with the existing weight limit sign and what was needed was some physical restrictions.  Cllr Reddington agreed to raise the issue with Andy Prigmore from BBC on her next village walkabout.  Action: Cllr Reddington. Mr Freshwater said that residents supported the installation of a “camera” funded out of Cllr McMurdo’s ward fund.  Cllr Dilley agreed to speak to Cllr McMurdo about this.  Action: Cllr Dilley.

ii)      Deception in Church Close: Cllr Snowball said that Neighbourhood Watch would make contact with the resident.  Action:  Cllr Snowball.

iii)    Lack of access to walks for families around the countryside outside the village: Cllr Dilley noted the fact that it was largely private land but that as part of the NDP process this would be examined given that the feed back from the village indicated that there was a desire for such access.  He would be raising the possibility further on in the meeting to a parish councillor taking on responsibilities regarding rights of way.

iv)    Potholes: Residents were encouraged to contact Bedford Borough Council’s pothole hotline or report to highways on the Borough website.

  1. Planning:

Applications Received:

16/00487/FUL Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Twinwood Rd, Chapham, MK44 1FD. Over cladding of the render treatment with insulated metal faced cladding panes. No objections.

Applications Approved:

14/02942/FUL 28 Huntsmans Way, MK44 1SA. Single storey front extension.

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

i)        To receive an update re: heavy goods vehicles and the weight limit sign Thurleigh Road: This had been dealt with under public questions and some answers required input from Cllr McMurdo who had been unable to attend the meeting.

ii)      To receive an update re: gate/Huntsman’s Way: The Clerk reported that she had been in contact with Ian Rudge but there had been no action.  Cllr Dilley agreed to speak to him.  Action: Cllr Dilley.

iii)    To receive an update re: the intended purchase of land in Huntsman’s Way: Cllr Dilley reported that a cheque for £7500.32 had been sent to Burges Salmon for the purchase of the land, there would be further legal costs involved.  This money has been placed in a holding account by Burges Salmon and would be held pending final completion.  Mr Atkinson would make contact with the parish council again once the land transfer had been completed.  The parish council would then apply to access the rural grant monies from Bedford Borough Council.

iv)    To receive an update re: the proposed village path inspection:  Cllr Reddington reported that Andy Prigmore was on leave until Monday but she hoped to be able to undertake the walkabout either on the Tuesday or Wednesday.  Could councillors e-mail her with any additional specific issues that they would like raising by Monday.

v)      To receive an update re: school buses travelling through the village and using Radwell Road: Cllr McMurdo was continuing to pursue this and was having a meeting with SAF next month so will raise it there as he suspects these buses are private hire and not under contract to Bedford Borough Council therefore out of their control.  Action:  Cllr McMurdo.

7.  New Village Welfare Issues:

i)        To note that the rural bulky skip service will be in the village on the 28th May 8.30 – 12.30: The Clerk would let The Villager know and advertise on the boards etc once specific locations were known.  Action: the Clerk.

ii)      Decision: re: the picnic table on Riverside Meadow: One of the tables had been moved adjacent to the other.  Cllrs Winter and Dilley would attempt to rectify the situation over the weekend.   Action:  Cllrs Winter and Dilley.

iii)    Decision: re: the pruned tree and arisings on land at the junction of Huntsman’s Way and Radwell Road:  The Clerk would contact Tree Specific for a quote to clear away the arisings and undertake any necessary remedial work to the tree. Once all the land had been transferred to the ownership of the parish council it would be necessary to look at the state of all the trees.  Action: the Clerk.

iv)    To review of PC member areas of specialism/responsibility: Cllr Dilley said that it would be helpful for a parish councillor to assume responsibility for the rights of way and liaison with local landowners regarding access rights. Given that elections were nearly a year past Cllr Dilley asked members to review their areas of responsibility to check they were still relevant. Cllr Sharman had reviewed the website and identified some issues which the Clerk and John Alsop would deal with.  All councillors should review the web site and contact Cllr Sharman with any errors etc. they identify.  Action: All.

v)      Clarity over designation concerning fete event – is it a Village Fete or Church Fete? Cllr Dilley had been asked for clarification regarding the fete event by number of residents which he had initially raised with Cllr Sharman.  Cllr Sharman said that it seems to be officially known as the Milton Ernest Church and Village Fete.  Historically the Church had been the main beneficiary but that it had been recently agreed that other worthy village organisations should get a proportion of the income in rotation year after year.  It was agreed that any questions or concerns the parish councillors had regarding the fete should be directed in the first instance to Cllr Dilley who would forward them on to Cllr Sharman to raise if necessary at the next Fete Committee meeting on the 11th April.

8. Finance:

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

ii)      Decision: to agree payments to be made: It was agreed to accept these (See below).

iii)    Decision: to consider and agree action regarding a request for funding towards computer equipment for Milton Ernest Lower School.  Whilst the parish council was in favour of supporting the application they agreed that more clarity was needed in terms of what equipment would be purchased from the monies, what percentage of the total project was the grant application for and also how the remaining funds were to be generated.  Action: the Clerk.

Cheque No Who To Cost (£) VAT (£) Amount (£)
DD BBC Salaries – March 293.33 293.33
508 Burges Salmon – land purchase in Huntsmans Way 7500.32 7500.32
509 E of E Amb. Trust – grant for first responder equipment 250.00 250.00
510 Wildman’s Transport Glass Collection 55.00 11.00 66.00
511 S Bottoms Telephone Feb and March 12.00 12.00
512 Express Monitoring  Website Support 98.00 19.60 117.60

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

  1. i.            To consider the future of the Village Youth Club: Following the lack of willingness of suitably qualified adults to continue the club it had been decided to dispose of the remaining equipment.  The parish council supported the suggestion that the table tennis table be donated to the village hall and suggested that the £35.90 remaining funds should be used to support the playing field.  The Clerk to contact Vicky Parry.   Action: the Clerk
  2. ii.            Dog Fouling/Fly Tipping at the Garden Centre: The parish council had received correspondence from the garden centre about dog owners exercising their dogs and throwing bagged dog waste into the hedges.  Also the problem of fly tipping.  Cllr Dilley had responded and asked for more details.  Action:  Cllr Dilley.

10.  Reports by Representatives:-

i.  NDP Steering Group: Cllr Dilley reported that since the last parish council meeting there had been one meeting of the group and some members had attended a very useful workshop held at the Borough Council which had confirmed that the group were heading in the right direction.  The draft policies produced by the group had been examined by the Borough Council who had provided feedback.  At the next meeting of the group on the 6th April the plan will be to review the comments from the Borough Council against the policies proposed.  A new grant application was to be made from Locality.  A new consultancy company had been identified who specialise in NDP’s and whose charges were in line with the previous consultant.  The intention would be that they would provide expertise toward writing the plan and moving forward to the referendum stage.

ii. Playing Field Committee: Cllr Williams reported that Cllr Sharman was still investigating replacing the existing tyres with new ones.  Discussion took place around the goal nets and missing pegs and whether the nets should be removed or replaced.   Attempts would be made to ascertain the views of the children using the nets.  Cllr Williams was completing a lottery grant application and would get two more quotes for the replacement of the surfacing.  Action: Cllr Williams.

11. Review of Actions Summary from Last Meeting: these were reviewed.

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

…………………………………………………………………………………….  Chairman  28th April 2016