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Stoke Poges Parish Council

Full Parish Council - Meeting Minutes

Monday 11th September 2023



Present: Cllr Bagge (Chair), Cllr Bassi, Cllr Crocker, Cllr Finan, Cllr Flower, Cllr Moore, Cllr Pritchard & Cllr Webster.

In Attendance: Mrs J Simmonds (Clerk)

Also Present: 3 members of public

Agenda Items

Councillor Bagge welcomed Cllr Webster to his first Parish Council meeting.

078/PC/23 - 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 on items on the agenda. 

One member of public was here to listen to item 085/PC/23

Two members of the public asked if they could stay for the Pond item in Part II.  Cllr Bagge explained why this item was in a Part II due to the nature of a legal letter and the reasons why members of the public and press are not allowed to stay for that part of the meeting.

079/PC/23 - Apologies for Absence

APOLOGIES were received from Cllr Carter, Cllr Cox and Cllr Knox-Scott.

080/PC/23 - Declarations of interest

Members to declare any personal interest in any item of business as defined in the Code of Conduct adopted 2021.  If that interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest as defined in the Code; the member should withdraw from the meeting for that item. 


081/PC/23 - Minutes

RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 10 July 2023 which were signed by the Chairman.

082/PC/23 – Beeches Community Board

Cllr Bassi reported that this request is required in writing to the board, Clerk has already requested this but needs to complete paperwork.

Cllr Bassi reported that this request for a static 30 mph sign on Gerrards Cross Road which was submitted to the board in Spring 2022 did slip under the radar but was re-requested in July 2023.

Clerk to ask board for paperwork to request both.

083/PC/23 - Buckinghamshire Council Report  

Cllr Bagge reported that three schools in Bucks were impacted by the concrete (RAAC) issue.  All are being dealt with.

Budgets are in process and the biggest strain for Bucks is adult care which has been impacted severely by inflation.

Cllr Bassi asked why Farnham Common residents receive a quarterly A4 magazine with updates from Buckinghamshire Council but Stoke Poges do not?  Cllr Bagge investigate.

084/PC/23 – Chairman’s/Councillors' Update from last meeting.

Cllr Bagge reported that the litter pick was poorly attended by only six people and requested that this is put on the next agenda to discuss whether or not to continue in the future.

The Speedwatch group have been very active, in Wexham Street they recently reported 36 speeders and on Gerrards Cross Road 26 speeders.

Cllr Crocker reported that she had met with the agent for Brockhurst Woods under the Neighbourhood Plan umbrella.They stated they are going to conserve and maintain the ancient woodland and have taken out a covenant to ensure that no activity can take place on the land now or at any time in the future. If in the future tranches of the wood are to be sold they were asked to let the Clerk know.  Bring back to October to discuss formal letter to be sent requesting to be told.

Cllr Finan reported that he was disappointed that the works on Rogers Lane had not taken place during the school holidays.

085/PC/23 – Neighbourhood Plan

Following the presentation to the Parish Council and the working party in July 2023 to agree to adopt the plan in its final stage and for the formal consultation period to start on 12 September 2023. Previously circulated. 

To note that this is the final draft, information cannot be added after 12h September 23 as the plan will enter a consultation phase Regulation 14

Cllr Finan proposed to adopt the plan and move into the consultation phase Regulation 14, this was seconded by Cllr Bassi, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

086/PC/23 – Pond

  1. NOTED that the pond has been partially unblocked but not totally as the drains are now broken, cracked, and have moved, therefore beyond repair. Advice from Highways is that the drainage system needs to be replaced and to remove the willow trees. See report under Part II.
  2. NOTED that letters have been received from a solicitor and our MP on behalf of one pond owner. AGREED by all to deal with this under Part II as this is now a legal issue. Report on findings and quotations to also be dealt with under Part II.
  3. NOTED that the fence at the culvert end in Bells Hill Rec is broken and requires a gate to be installed and the culvert to have a steel mesh sheet fixed to stop leaves, branches, and balls from entering the culvert as these were found during the unblocking of the pond. 
    that we are liaising with Highways to find a solution.

087/PC/23 – Future Land Sales

NOTED updated list has now been sent and was circulated to all councillors with updated areas. Clerk will diarise to enquire about the Bells Hill Land which comes up for lease again in 2027. 

088/PC/23 – Bells Hill Footpath Repairs 

Bells Hill Recreation Ground – Footpath Resurfacing – To note and agree new quote to do repairs if received in time to be tabled or circulated. Quote not received in time, AGREED to defer to October 2023

089/PC/23 – Bus Shelter Hastings Meadow

NOTED that the area has been sided out to uncover a fairly large hard standing.

NOTED quote for a small brick-built bus shelter not received in time for the meeting and Clerk was asked to get quotes for several different types of shelter not just brick. Defer to October 2023.

090/PC/23 – Grey Hoarding Panels – Bells Hill

NOTED that the Clerk wrote to the landowner Hopewell Housing who has responded. RESOLVED to agree all in favour to write back and accept that the painting of the hoardings in a light blue would be welcomed, but the Parish Council cannot agree to advertising on the hoardings, and this would have to be agreed through the correct channels with the licensing department at Buckinghamshire Council.  

091/PC/23 – Benches Bells Hill Toddler Area

NOTED quote has been obtained from our usual playground installer for benches to be sited in the toddler area at Bells Hill Rec.  Cllr Pritchard proposed to accept the quote for item 1 on the quote £1820 for two benches to be sited at the toddler area to be taken from the general fund,  this was seconded by Cllr Finan, RESOLVED to agree all in favour

092/PC/23 – Recreation and Environment Committee Member Addition

RESOLVED to agree all in favour to Cllr Steve Webster joining the Recreation and Environment Committee which has a vacancy.

093/PC/23 – Carols on the Green

Update given from Cllr Crocker, and everyone was asked if they were happy with the positions allocated for the event which they were apart from Cllr Flower who requested a different role, Cllr Flower to suggest to the working party what role would be suitable.

NOTED quotes for Marquees to hire rather than borrow, it was agreed to try this option as getting helpers to erect and take down marquees each year is becoming more and more difficult.

Cllr Crocker proposed that the quote of £2100 from The Real Marquee Company be accepted, this was seconded by Cllr Webster, this was on the basis that the Village Centre were in agreement to them being put up early and left up until the Monday, RESOLVED to agree all in favour, to be taken from the Christmas events fund.  

NOTED quotes and options for Christmas Trees.  Cllr Finan proposed that we accept the quote from The Real Christmas Tree Company for a 20ft tree of £496 to include delivery and accept quote from Progress Services to install and remove of £450.00, this was seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

094/PC/23 - Annual Return/Audit 22/23

NOTED that the Annual Return has been approved by the external auditors with no comments, and the notice of completion placed on the website and boards. The Clerk was thanked by all.

095/PC/23 - RECEIVED and ADOPTED minutes from previous meetings of sub committees and working parties: 

  1. Planning Committee Minutes 19 June 2023 – Agreed/Signed 17 August 2023
  2. Recreation & Environment Minutes 27 February 2023 – Signed 10 August 2023
  3. Finance & General Purposes Minutes 8 December 2022 – Signed 19 July 2023

096/PC/23 – Finance 

 (1) RECEIVED Financial Summary & Statement Cashbook – July 2023. NOTED August 2023 to be circulated later in the month.

 (2) RESOLVED to approve list of cheques/Bacs for signature July 2023 - £11957.71. NOTED August 2023 to be circulated later in the month.

 (3) RECEIVED Bank reconciliations – July 2023. NOTED August 2023 to be circulated later in the month.

 (4) RECEIVED Income & Expenditure Heading Detail/Budget Monitoring – July 2023. NOTED August 2023 to be circulated later in the month.

August unable to be completed in time for the meeting due to IT issues in the office.

097/PC/23 – 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.


098/PC/23 – NOTED Dates of Future Meetings

Planning Committee Meeting – 18 September 2023

Full Parish Council Meeting – 9 October 2023

099/PC/23 - Exclusion of the Press & Public

Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960. RESOLVED to exclude the press and public from the following business because publicity would prejudice the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business. 

100/PC/23 – Pond

After much discussion the Council came to the same conclusion as outlined in the previous letter that was sent to all pond owners after the June 2023 meeting. 

In this meeting it was proposed, seconded and resolved unanimously to exercise our riparian responsibilities as landowners of the recreation ground to make the area safe from surface water as advised by our solicitor, Highways, Buckinghamshire Council and pond experts, all of whom have said that the willow trees are the problem and have caused the pipes to block, and they are now broken beyond repair.  The Council cannot allow this to happen again.  Therefore, it has agreed to remove the willow trees as soon as possible before time runs out and the bad weather sets in.  The Council are also waiting for a quotation to replace the pipes which are, as noted, beyond repair.

Once the trees have been removed the Council expects the undergrowth to grow back as it did following the last time it was cut back.

They have also clarified that they have not ruled out future conversations regarding the more extensive works required but, at the moment time is of the essence and these intermediate works are most important. Future discussions could include whether the owners wanted to have a bank re-instated, and a screening hedge planted – but this would be at their own expense and not that of the taxpayer for the part of the pond that belongs to the Parish Council. Clerk to write to pond owners, solicitor and MP.

Meeting ended at 9.25pm