MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE STOKE POGES PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 9 MARCH 2020 AT 7.30 P.M. IN THE LIONEL RIGBY ROOM AT THE VILLAGE CENTRE, ROGERS LANE, STOKE POGES, SL2 4LP
Present: – Cllr Carter (Chair), Cllr Cox, Cllr Crocker, Cllr Finan, Cllr Fox, Cllr Hoskins, Cllr Knox-Scott & Cllr Lynch.
In Attendance: – Mrs J Simmonds (Clerk)
Also Present: – Cllr Egleton & 4 members of public
249/PC/20 – Public Session Time (7.30 pm-7.45 pm)
The meeting is open to the public and press and fifteen minutes will be reserved, if required, for public comment.
Four members of public came to ask about the possibility of reducing the speed limit on Stoke Green from 40mph to 30mph. Several options were discussed and taken away for investigation.
250/PC/20 – Apologies for Absence
APOLOGIES were received from Cllr Bagge.
251/PC/20 – Declarations of interest
Members to declare any personal interest in any item of
business as defined in the Code of Conduct 2012. If that interest is a disclosable pecuniary
interest as defined in the Code; the member should withdraw from the meeting
for that item.
252/PC/20 – Minutes
RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 10 February 2020 which were signed by the Chairman.
253/PC/20 – County Councillors’ Report
Reported from Cllr Bagge tabled:-
County Councillor’s report
Corona virus (Covid-19) – the County Council has responsibility for Public Health and is playing a lead role in coordinating the response to this threat. It is using all its social media channels to relay the messages to minimise risk by frequent hand washing, use of sanitisers, remaining aware of risk factors when in public, avoiding touching your face (and especially the eyes) and self-isolating if you suspect you have the symptoms. At the time of writing, 96 Bucks residents have been tested with no positives found. The situation will change rapidly and due to the lag between infection and the symptoms presenting there is a significant risk that people may unintentionally spread the virus.
On Tuesday 25 February I attended the Council’s ‘Workplace Hero’ awards at the Gateway Theatre, Aylesbury, in my role as Deputy Portfolio Holder for Resources (which includes human resources). This event, sponsored by a number of key suppliers, recognised council staff members who go above and beyond expectations in helping residents. Some of the achievements were remarkable – a park ranger who found and talked round a suicidal man in Langley Park, an officer who is so passionate about mental health issues that he pays for leaflets to be printed from his own pocket and visits community venues like pubs and clubs in his own time to promote the options that are available to help people.
The Shadow Authority met on Thursday 27 February and agreed the corporate plan, the budget for next year and the three-year financial plan for the new Buckinghamshire Council and the Council’s constitution. The report pack was nearly 800 pages! As I have said previously, all current services are being copied and pasted across to the new authority. Rationalising the senior leadership compared to the five current councils will save £2.5m, which is being reallocated to service delivery. In addition there will be some one-off new money – the highlights include extra funding for road repairs; £5m for climate change mitigation and £2m for the 19 Community Boards, which is an order of magnitude increase in funding compared to the LAFs. The medium term financial plan forecasts savings of £18.5m per year will be achieved after 3 years. I would expect members would want this extra money to be used to alleviate pressure on services rather than freezing or reducing Council Tax.
I attended the Property Board on 3 March. A scheme for a new motorway service area in the Ivers has been announced – this will be a new source of income for the Council. There is an interesting and prestigious commercial development on Council-owned land coming forward for Handy Cross (High Wycombe) which is supported by members. A refurb of Marlow Library, which will accommodate the Town Council upstairs, has also been agreed. The income from the new rent money is being used to fund additional opening hours, including on Sundays! A new country park site has been acquired, between Marlow and Bourne End, which will be leased to a film company next year as an outdoor location.
I have been active in chasing reactive repairs to potholes, getting enforcement action against mud deposition on roads and drainage works prioritised. Our LAT is currently overwhelmed with reports from Fix My Street, due to the persistent heavy rain in February and last week which has caused lots of new potholes to appear in our roads.
I’m aware of three significant drainage issues locally, which link to item 261. Its first worth setting the scene that officers have been focused on protecting property in the Chesham area which was under real threat of being under water. The priority flooding/drainage issues that I have communicated to TfB are: 1) Hollybush Hill near Broom Hill. The gulley cleaner has been out and emptied the gulley which has not solved the problem. Officers believe there is a flow capacity issue on the pipe which feeds a pond in Sefton Park. This will require a new scheme to be designed. 2) Willow Park. Again, the gulley has been emptied and the problems persist. It is suspected that an outfall (on private land) into the pond to the rear of the houses has been blocked causing the flow to back up. TfB are following an enforcement route to gain access to homes to inspect and address this. (I suspect that residents don’t appreciate the function the pond plays in helping surface water to drain away down the hill, which results in the flow being blocked on both sides of the pond). 3) Duffield Lane – I have requested that TfB bring a JCB to dig out the ditch along the length of the road. I have been assured this will happen.
Due to annual leave/etc. I wasn’t able to arrange a meeting between me, Cllr Carter and the TfB engineers about the Rogers Lane LAF scheme until Monday 9 March. Cllr Carter will update the Council following our meeting earlier today.
254/PC/20 – District Councillors’ Report
Report from Cllr Bagge tabled:-
At last Wednesday’s Planning Committee, the Khalsa School application was considered and a site visit undertaken. Members were not convinced that very special circumstances justify the construction of the 300 square meter multi-function hall which would harm the openness of the Green Belt. We asked for more information and for an education specialist to assess the totality of space available (including Pioneer House) with and without the proposed new building in relation to the numbers on roll, the number of classes and the curriculum. The committee could have refused the application on the ground of insufficient evidence in support of Very Special Circumstances. However, it decided to defer a decision pending more detailed information, and an analysis be an education specialist of the space available and required, so that a decision will be made on stronger evidence.
The Country Park site on Stoke Road. The wet weather has made it difficult for HGVs to leave the site without depositing material on the roads. Apparently the wheel wash was unserviceable for a day or two. The site management hired in a third road washer/sweeper and has been continually sweeping Stoke Road. However, the sweepers have struggled to keep up. At a meeting two weeks ago, I raised this with the Leader, and Trevor supported me. The Leader agreed to challenge the Directors at a meeting last Friday. At that meeting officers committed to take action to improve the situation and it was agreed to review again on Friday 6 March.
255/PC/20 – Chairman’s Update from last meeting.
Report from Cllr Bagge was tabled:-
I emailed colleagues the good news on the day it was done that Stoke Park had cut back the overgrown grass and weeds in Gray’s Field. I have inspected it and they have done a very good job – it is unrecognisable now compared to the state it was in and I hope neighbouring residents and users of this great amenity are now content. Stoke Park has committed to a second cut in May.
256/PC/20 – Khalsa School
Cllr Carter reported that Enforcement at SBDC are onto the events and weddings complaints.
257/PC/20 – Brockhurst Wood
Update from Cllr Carter and NOTED that letters have been sent to all owners of plots from the solicitor regarding the TPO on the land and that it is an ancient woodland etc, any unauthorised activity could lead to prosecution. NOTED report from Chiltern Woodland project after initial visit, AGREED to write to other organisations listed to gain further help in protecting the woodland.
258/PC/20 – Local Area Forum
Brought back from January & February meeting, Cllr Bagge & Cllr Carter met today with officers from TfB Highways for a two hour meetings. It was a successful meeting and lots of advice was given to the Parish Council to carry out several of the surveys themselves to save costs. Once done they can then submit the information to TfB for further discussions on what can be done.
259/PC/20 – Defibrillator
NOTED SSE have agreed siting of defibrillator on the substation at the green. Quote from electrical contractor to install tabled, Cllr Fox proposed to accept the quote for £290 this was seconded by Cllr Carter RESOLVED to agree all in favour. NOTED that money raised for the third defibrillator by the Fox & Pheasant was stolen in an armed robbery and it was not insured. They will start again and won’t be beaten.
260/PC/20 – Litter Picking
NOTED 22 bags of rubbish were collection at the litter picking event on 7 March 2020.
261/PC/20 – Survey of Drains, Gullies, Ditches & Gutters
Request from Cllr Carter to resolve to write to Buckinghamshire Council’s Head of Highways and Transportation, identifying locations where highway drainage has not coped with recent rainfall and seeking a time-bounded action plan for flooding in each location to be mitigated. RESOLVED to agree all in favour to check roads and report back which needed work:-
Cllr Finan – Sefton Close, Rogers Lane and Hazell Way. Cllr Crocker – Upper part of Duffield Lane. Cllr Knox-Scott – Pennylets Green and Bunby Road, Cllr Fox – TBA, Cllr Cox – Freemans Close and Gerrards Cross Road, Cllr Lynch – Lower Duffield Lane and Wakefield Cresent, Cllr Carter – TBA, Cllr Bagge – TBA
262/PC/20 – Meeting Dates 2020/2021
NOTED and AGREED meeting dates May 2020 to April 2021, all in favour.
263/PC/20 – MUGA
CONSIDERED quotation to secure the MUGA from people being able to climb up and over the top when it is locked, Cllr Carter proposed to accept quote of £1320 to be taken from maintenance budget to place razor barb and signage, this was seconded by Cllr Hoskins, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.
264/PC/20 – Tennis Lease
NOTED lease is in process of being signed.
265/PC/20 – Best Kept Village Competition
NOTED that the Recreation and Environment committee agreed to enter this year’s competition. RESOLVED to agree to set up a subcommittee to agree details and bring back to next meeting, committee members Cllr Carter, Cllr Knox-Scott, Cllr Lynch.
266/PC/20 – Parking at Bells Hill Recreation Ground
NOTED that quotes have been obtained for signage, bollards and yellow lines at the entrance to the recreation ground. NOTED that resident requesting work has not responded to three emails asking for input and details of contribution to work, RESOLVED to agree all in favour that problem has obviously gone away and not to continue with work, clerk to write to resident.
267/PC/20 – Parking at Hastings Meadow
NOTED request from resident who has been advised by County to contact Parish Council about issues at Hastings Meadow. RESOLVED to agree to ask resident to start a diary of events and log all vehicle details etc. as evidence. Bring back.
268/PC/20 – RECEIVED and ADOPTED minutes from previous meetings of sub committees and working parties:
- Recreation & Environment Minutes Monday 10 October 2019 – Signed Monday 10 February 2020
- Planning Committee Minutes Monday 20 January 2020 – Signed Monday 17 February 2020
269/PC/20 – Finance
(1) RECEIVED & NOTED Financial Summary & Statement Cashbook – February 2020.
(2) RESOLVED to approve list of cheques/Bacs for signature February 2020 £6777.96
(3) RECEIVED & NOTED Bank reconciliations – February 2020.
(4) RECEIVED & NOTED Income & Expenditure Heading Detail/Budget Monitoring – February 2020
270/PC/20 – NOTED Circulars List/Correspondence and Items received by clerk but not on agenda.
List appended to the agenda of all circulars received in the office and available to view for one month after this meeting.
271/PC/20 – NOTED Dates of Future Meetings
Planning Meeting – 16 March 2020
Reception – 20 March 2020
Full Parish Council Meeting – 6 April 2020
Meeting ended at: – 9.22pm