Minutes of a Meeting of Milton Ernest Parish Council held on Thursday 27th October 2016 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

Present: Cllrs Dilley (Chairman), Williams, Winter, Newman, and the Clerk (Sue Bottoms), Borough Councillor McMurdo and 6 members of the public.

1. Apologies for Absence: Cllrs Snowball and Reddington.
2. Declarations of interest in items on the agenda:

i)        To receive written requests for a dispensation: none.

To consider any requests for a dispensation: none.

3. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on the 29th September 2016: These were signed as a true record of the meeting.  The meeting then closed for item 4.
4. Public Open Session (15 mins):

i)        Finance from the Milton Ernest Garden Society: Gill Jackson said that after further consideration it had been decided not to purchase an alternative Christmas tree but rather a variegated hawthorn.  One possible location was on Village Hall land near the road.  The village hall committee and neighbours to the possible site were being consulted.  They were likely to be concerned that the future growth would not damage the footings of their houses.  Cllr Dilley said that this species was not invasive and if grown in a container would have had its root structure trained.   Gill Jackson said that daffodils had been planted near the village sign at the Queens Head.  There would be some spare funds available for the purchase of new lights for the existing tree.  The parish council would make sure Cllr Snowball was made aware so he can organise the purchase.   Action: the Clerk and Cllr Snowball.

ii)      Parking on Radwell Road: and near the junction with the A6.  The resident asked whether double yellow lines were not the answer.  Cllr Dilley said he had spoken to the resident concerned who had apologised.  Cllr Dilley said that he was not in favour of more double yellow lines in a rural environment but the Transport Management Group would be looking into, amongst other issues, at the style of this particular junction.

iii)    Thurleigh Road: a resident discussed the use of the road by large trucks and noted that in 50 minutes, 6 big trucks went along the road.  Storage.Com and traffic to B & W Recycling were highlighted.  Cllr Dilley said a letter had been sent to B & W already.  The resident said that Storage.Com should also be contacted.  Cllr Dilley said that there was the hope that Marcol in taking tenancy of the Business Park could be used to support the re-direction of large vehicles.  The resident also noted that he had collected three large orange sacks of rubbish from the road including 49 beer cans.

5. Planning:

  1. Applications Received: None.
  2. Applications Approved: None.
  3. To receive any update re: proposed new developments around Milton Ernest: Cllr McMurdo said that the Planning Department at Bedford Borough Council were looking at the feasibility of the submitted large developments and will circulate an update in early 2017.
  4. To receive any update following the letter from Marcol dated 9th July and agree action: Cllr McMurdo had no update at the moment.
  5. To receive any update re: the letter from St Modwen Developments and agree action:  Cllr McMurdo said that St Modwen wanted to meet with the parish councils.  They would bring along their traffic consultant.  He would get some possible dates for a meeting.     Action: Cllr McMurdo.
  6. Other planning matters: It was noted that the application for Growing Beds had been resurrected and would be considered by the Planning Committee at Bedford Borough Council on the 7th November.  Cllr McMurdo was aware of the concerns and was liaising with the Borough Council with regards to this.
6. Village Welfare:

i)        To receive an update re: Thurleigh Road: Cllr McMurdo was disappointed having discussed the issue of the camera with Brian Hayward at Bedford Borough Council to find out that it was unlikely to be returning.

ii)      To receive an update re: the proposed village path inspection: Cllr Reddington would update at the next meeting.

iii)    To receive an update re: the website facility for the parish council: It was agreed that all was going well with developing the new site.  The Clerk had forwarded a user manual to Cllr Newman and told him to ask to be a member which will give him access to the site.

iv)    To receive an update re: land purchase in Huntsmans Way: Cllr Dilley said that Geoff Atkinson had said that the paperwork had been lodged with land registry and that the process should take approximately 14 weeks.  We would expect to hear that the land transfer had been completed by mid November.

v)      To receive any update re: trees to the rear of 64 Radwell Road: Cllr Dilley reported that he had spoken to the resident affected as well as the resident who had previously expressed concern regarding a tree in another location.  Cllr Dilley said that he had been undertaking a tree survey of the land which the parish council are in the process of acquiring. There were three sites where work needed to be done and he would meet up with Simon Owen about prioritising and quoting for the work.                Action:   Cllr Dilley.

vi)    To receive an update re: the footpath from Church Green: Cllr Dilley reported that he had cut back the area.

vii)   To note the cost and agree action re: the cutting Riverside Meadow: The quote for £400 had been accepted.

viii) To note update re: the painting of the gates on Radwell Road: The Clerk reported that she had asked for a quote from Chris Horne and had not yet received it.  The other gates would be prioritised next year.

ix)     To receive an update re: the overgrowth at the end of River Lane: Cllr Dilley reported that there were three areas of concern two of which he and Cllr Winter had attempted to tidy up.  The third area is closer to the river and borders Geoff Atkinson’s land, who is keen to retain what is there.  Cllr Dilley agreed to have a look when he meets with Simon Owen to consider options and possibly obtain a quote.

x)      To receive any update re: playing fields:  Cllr Williams reported that she had asked the clean/green team at the Borough Council to quote for some of the work including painting and some repairs, including the edge of the path and the surfacing.

xi)     To receive any update re:  litter picker vacancy: Cllr Newman had heard from someone likely to be interested and had told him to contact the Clerk.

xii)   To receive any update re: parish councillor vacancy: the Clerk had not heard from anyone so will change the closing date on the website, boards etc.

xiii) To receive a report on the recent Town and Parish Council Forum: Cllr Snowball had circulated a summary to all parish councillors. It was noted that Pavenham Parish Council had received a letter from Bedfordia concerning the proposed development on the Twinwoods site and would like a meeting with all adjacent parish councils.  Cllr Dilley said that whilst this parish council were prepared to meet Bedfordia as a group with other parish councils. It remains a priority to focus on the best interests of this parish.

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

i)        To agree action re: the switching on of the Christmas Tree lightsIt was decided to have this on the 3rd December and could tie in with the Village Hall quiz that evening.  New lights were needed.  TLC Direct were suggested as a possible company to supply them.  Once Cllr Snowball had purchased them he was to ask Gill Jackson to refund the cost.  Action: Cllr Snowball.

8. Finance:

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

ii)      Decision: to agree payments to be madeIt was agreed to make the payments listed below.

DD Bedford Borough Council – Clerk’s Salary Oct £252.50
539 Warners – Grass Cutting 288.00
540 Information Commissioner – Data Register £35.00
541 Warners – Grass Cutting £288.00
542 Village Hall – Half Year Hire £72.00

iii)    To receive the spend against budget to date: It was noted.

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

i)        The question has been asked:  In reference to the Thurleigh Road weight limit can the following still use the Thurleigh Road?  (a)  Coaches – not stopping  in the Village:

(b) Refuse vehicles not collecting in the Village.

Cllr Dilley said that traffic regulations generally provide blanket exceptions so for example if refuse vehicles are permitted it would generally apply to all such vehicles.  Similarly, with coaches and where they are picking up.

ii)      E-mail re: Bedford  Body Shop:  The resident was concerned that lots of cars park on the verges outside the premise.  As the weather worsens these verges will get worse making the entrance to the village an eyesore.   It was agreed that the Clerk would write to the premises and Cllr Dilley will speak with them.  Action: the Clerk and Cllr Dilley.

10. Reports by Representatives:-

  1. NDP Steering Group: Cllr Dilley said that the consultant had been looking at gap analysis and the Group will be meeting in the coming weeks to look at what still needs to be done.
  2. Traffic Management Working Group: Cllr Dilley said that he had written to Bedfordshire Police and to Bedford Borough Council in order to get recent data on traffic on the A6. There would be a speed/volume recording camera located in Thurleigh Road through the gates and just inside the 30mph.  It would be there for one week with the data being available in approximately sometime after.
  3. Any other reports: None.

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

i)        Manhole Cover in Thurleigh Rd: This still needed repairing and would be added to Cllr Reddington’s list.  Action: Cllr Reddington.

ii)      Planning Application – The Maltings: Cllr Dilley had enquired with regards the councillors Code of Conduct which seemed to focus on pecuniary interests. Cllr McMurdo advised that there was no right of appeal. He thanked Cllr McMurdo for his help and support.

12. Date of the Next Meeting: Thursday 24th November 2016, 8.00pm in the Village Hall.   

…………………………………………………………………………………….  Chairman 24th November 2016