Category Archives: News

Actions for Everyone Following Public Meeting with Dominic Grieve QC MP

After our meeting with our MP on Friday, his advice is as follows:


Letters that arrive on ministers desk in abundance result in them taking notice.”


Please find some time to write to:


Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Education

House of Commons


ministers [Email address: ministers #AT# - replace #AT# with @ ]


Rt Hon Dominic Greive QC MP

Disraeli House

12 Aylesbury End


HP9 1LW [Email address: #AT# - replace #AT# with @ ]

Points you may include:

Slough and beyond education need being met in South Bucks – unfair and unnecessary disruption to South Bucks, where education provision is already excellent and the need for a Free School does not exist.

The proposal to bus children from London boroughs is against the principles of sustainability. The school should be sited closer to the children to minimise journeys, congestion and polluting carbon emissions.

Harm to a quiet residential area and surrounding roads. No more building in Green Belt.

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill, allowing change of use to office buildings should only apply to town centres, where there is surplus space, not to Green Belt sites.

Inequality in announcing and promoting the availability of 2013 Year 7 places to the Sikh community but not to South Bucks parents.

Misleading press announcements which were unclear about the consultation process and implied that the school opening was certain.

Segregation of ‘parent’s and ‘residents’ at exhibition nights and giving different questionnaires to the two groups. The ‘resident’ questionnaire did not ask the key question about whether the trustees should sign the agreement with the Secretary of State.

Putting undue pressure on the Parish Council for immediate decisions, without regard for the democratic process and alleging political bias.

The Secretary of State should refuse Slough Borough Council’s application to demolish the Arbour Vale school, when there are three Free Schools looking for sites in Slough.

Theft of Catalytic Converters

From Thames Valley Alert.

We have recently seen an increase in theft of catalytic converters from vehicles. With increasing scrap metal prices this has become a problem across the whole country.

The Police are working with local scrap yards and garages to tackle metal theft and South Bucks Community Safety Partnership is offering advice to residents and businesses to help prevent the theft of catalytic converters.

Who is at risk?

Vehicles with a higher clearance such as people carriers, 4x4s and vans are targeted more than other vehicles as it is easier for criminals to get underneath and access the converters, meaning thefts can take as little as 60 seconds.

Locally the most targeted vehicles during recent months have been people carriers – namely Volkswagen Sharan, Seat Alhambra and Ford Galaxy’s.

What simple steps can you take to protect your vehicle?

Park strategically & use garages
Homeowners are urged wherever possible to park their vehicles in garages. If not possible, park in view of housing or in busy and well-lit areas. Commercial vehicles should be kept in a locked building or compound if available. To prevent access to the underneath of your vehicles, try to block high clearance vehicles by walls or hedges or use other vehicles with a lower clearance.

CCTV / Alarms
The installation of CCTV to cover parking areas can help reduce theft. The use of driveway alarms can help alert you to anyone trespassing on your property.

Security Lighting
Good security lighting can make vehicles more visible, improving natural surveillance to deter thieves. On a driveway consider using motion sensor lighting. External dusk to dawn lighting which automatically stays on during the hours of darkness and goes off as it starts to get light can be very effective in areas where there is good surveillance from other people.

Security fencing
Fencing is the first line of defence for most compounds and regular checks of fences for damage, ensuring holes are properly repaired will help deter the opportunistic thief. Business managers are advised to think about putting fencing around vehicles to act as a deterrent.

Look out for people working under cars who are acting suspiciously. If it doesn’t look right – report it.

What security products are available?

You can find out more about specially designed security products that aim to protect vehicles against catalytic converter theft by looking online. The use of marking kits and protective clamps among other measures act as a deterrent and help the police to prosecute those that steal or handle stolen property. Your local garage may be able to help you choose and fit these products.

Property marking
There are special marking fluids available to etch a registered security number permanently to the catalytic converter. If it’s stolen and recovered, it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle. Kits include a sign for your vehicle’s window stating that the converter is security marked. This may act as a deterrent to thieves as it will be easier for Police to trace to a theft and reduce the opportunities for selling on the converters at reputable scrap metal dealers.

Welded Bolts
If your catalytic converter is bolted on it is possible to have the bolts welded shut to prevent a thief unbolting it easily with a spanner. However this makes it more difficult and costly if you ever need to replace your catalytic converter.

Clamp it
To secure your converter invest in a specially devised lock, clamp or security cage, and you could save yourself time and money in the long run. Protective coverings are quite expensive but make converters much more difficult to steal.

How can you contact us?

If you have any information which may help the Police with these crimes please call 101 or to give information anonymously you can call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111. If you see any suspicious activity around vehicles then call 999 immediately.

Public Meeting with Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP

Friday 15 February, 7 pm – 9 pm

The Stoke Poges School

Stoke Poges residents are invited to a Public Meeting to discuss the proposed secondary school in Hollybush Hill with our member of Parliament.

Questions should submitted in advance to the Clerk to the Parish, either by email or in writing, by 12 noon on Thursday 14 February. The Chairman will call residents to put their question to Mr Grieve, ensuring that all issues of interest are covered in the time available.

The meeting will be standing only, however, there will be a limited number of reserved seats available for residents who may have difficulty standing – residents with special requirements should contact the Clerk.

Cllr Mike Appleyard, Bucks CC cabinet member responsible for Education and Skills and Cllr Adrian Busby, Leader of South Bucks District Council have also been invited.

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Proposed Secondary School – Events This Week

The Parish Council meets this evening (11 February) at 7.30 pm in the Lionel Rigby room at the Village Centre.

Khalsa School is on the agenda. The Council will decide its response to the current consultation and will decide on engaging a barrister expert in planning matters. The Public Meeting voted unanimously in favour of so doing.

Cllr Trevor Egleton, who is a governor of Wexham Park Hospital, will be writing to the Chief Executive and facilities manager about the proposed school and traffic issues.

Cllr Egleton is meeting them on Wednesday 13 February and the proposed school is on the agenda.

Two representatives of the Council have a provisional appointment to meet a representative of Pioneer on Thursday 14 February.

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP will attend a Public Meeting in Stoke Poges on Friday 15 February, at 7 pm. Further details will be announced on Tuesday.

Secondary School Update

The actions recommended at the Public Meeting on 6 February are still relevant:

every resident is recommended to complete and return the Consultation Questionnaire. These can be returned via the Parish Council office at the Village Centre, where their submission will be recorded. Questionnaires must be returned by Wednesday 13 February.

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the questionnaire may be completed by individuals, so one per household – check that your neighbours know and have taken part, particularly those who may not have internet access

write to our MP, Dominic Grieve, the leader of Bucks County Council and Adrian Busby, leader of South Bucks District Council asking them to agree that Pioneer House is an unsuitable site for a secondary school.

Contact details for these people are on the ‘Things You Can Do’ sheet distributed at the public meeting, downloadable here.[download id=”325″]

Actions Following Public Meeting, 6 February

Everyone attending was advised to submit an individual response to the school’s statutory consultation on entering into an agreement with the Secretary of State for Education. Parishioners were asked to encourage friends and neighbours in South Bucks also to participate.

The consultation form is available to download. Paper copies may be obtained on request from the Clerk to the Parish.

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Completed questionnaires may be passed via the Parish Council office, to be registered and enable an audit to check that responses are included in the Consultation Report, due to be published by Slough Sikh Education Trust on 18 February.

Parishioners were given contacts details for our MP and council leaders with the suggestion that they make their concerns known to them.

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The following actions were agreed, by a unanimous show of hands:

To accept the offer made by Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP to hold a public meeting in Stoke Poges at his earliest convenience.

The Parish Council will engage consultants to advise on legal and planning aspects of the Free School consultation and any subsequent planning application.

A majority show of hands agreed to the setting up of a ‘fighting fund’ to cover the cost of opposing the siting of a secondary school in Stoke Poges.

It was noted that irregularities in the school’s consultation have been reported. These will be reviewed by the Parish Council, which will consider submitting a formal complaint to the Secretary of State for Education.

Further, it was agreed to explore a suggestion from one member of the public to make a community bid for Pioneer House, by enabling parishioners to share the purchase cost, with the intention of using the site for a purpose appropriate to its location that is acceptable to residents.

It was also agreed to formally question the allegation that the school’s bid for Pioneer House (using taxpayers’ money) is £700,000 more than an acceptable offer from a commercial organisation.

A pdf copy of the slides shown at the Public Meeting is available to download.

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New information available on Free School Proposals

Three documents relating to the proposals to convert Pioneer House to a Free School are now available to download:

Notes summarising a meeting between representatives of the parish and the chair of the Slough Sikh Education Trust, held on 31 January

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A briefing compiled by a working group of the Parish Council’s Planning Committee outlining the key  issues relating to the Free School proposals

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A letter to Stoke Poges residents from the Trustees and Headteacher of the Khalsa Secondary School

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Start dates for play areas in parish recs

Contractors will begin work at Bells Hill rec on Thursday 24 February by marking out the site and erecting safety fencing. They will be using the access gate on Bells Hill to move 200 tonnes of material onto the site for landscaping.

The contractors have warned the Parish Council that their vehicles will damage the grass area between the the path and the football pitch. They will reinstate this as part of the project, however, rec users should be prepared for the footpath and a strip of grass to be muddy whilst work is in progress.

Work starts on the teen play areas (near the teen shelters on both recs) on 21 March, with a scheduled completion date of 8 April. Further information in the spring edition of Stoke Poges News.

County consultation on transport and youth services

Buckinghamshire County Council is running public consultations on its budget proposals for transport and youth services.

The key proposals for transport are: cutting subsidies for Sunday bus services; switching off street lights in residential roads between midnight and 5.30 am (this won’t affect Stoke Poges – our street lights are provided by the Parish Council); road safety and travel education to be concentrated on BCC’s website with more local involvement and working more with local communities to develop walking and cycle routes.

The main change in youth services is withdrawing funding for staff at County’s 27 youth centres and relying on volunteers to take on the work. The proposals allow for existing buildings to be retained and offer some flexibility for meeting local needs. The nearest youth centres to Stoke Poges are at Evreham, Burnham and Gerrards Cross.

Both consultations are open until 31 March. You may access the proposals and the questionnaires online here.