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Stoke Poges Parish Council

Full Parish Council - Meeting Minutes

Monday 12th June 2023



Present:-Cllr Bagge (Chair), Cllr Bassi, Cllr Carter, Cllr Crocker, Cllr Finan, Cllr Flower, Cllr Moore & Cllr Pritchard.
In Attendance:- Mrs J Simmonds (Clerk)
Also Present:- Three members of Stoke Park

Agenda Items

030/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. 

Three representatives of Stoke Park Ltd came to update the council on what is happening there at the moment.  They are in talks with Historic England which has taken a lot longer than expected to get to where they are, they now have a good case officer from there helping them with their plans.  Their plans are to work on the landscapes which are 60 acres, add additional hotel accommodation, underground parking, update the golf course to 18 holes along with a separate clubhouse.  They expected to be further along the process by now and they apologise for the delay.  Once Historic England has given the go ahead an application to planning will be submitted.

They have carried out three heritage tours for local residents so far and more are planned, Boodles tennis tournament is taking place this year.  Routing is in place for the golf course which will be a public golf course, not membership but it will be high end and the hotel will be open to all.

Councillors reminded them of some outstanding Enforcement issues with buggy tracks and Moonraker where the application stated that outbuildings had been there for four years when in fact, they had been there for less than four months. The representatives took this on board and said they would look into it.

031/PC/23 - Apologies for Absence

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

032/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. 


033/PC/23 - Minutes

RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 May 2023 which were signed by the Chairman.  

034/PC/23 –Vacancy

NOTED The vacancy has been advertised as agreed, closing date 30 June 2023, any applicants will be invited to complete the forms and attend the July meeting.  Co-option process will be followed as per Standing Orders.

035/PC/23 – Beeches Community Board

Cllr Bassi attended her first meeting which incorporated The Pride of Bucks awards of which Stoke Poges had won two, Thames Valley Heartbeat and a member of the public who plays a pivotal role with The Friday Club.

Potholes were discussed and are being prioritised and a range of other services.  County are working on the Local Plan and the Transport Plan and the Neighourhood Plan is being considered.

The Budgets for 23/24 were reduced by £5k.

036/PC/23 - Buckinghamshire Council Report  

Cllr Bagge has nothing extra to report other than the Pride of Bucks awards as mentioned under 035/PC/23 congratulating the Stoke Poges winners.

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

Cllr Bagge has been approached by the owner of Hedgegrail Pharmacy who has been there for 20 years this year and would like to make a personal donation to a charity of the Parish Councils choosing.  It was AGREED by all that their choice would be The Friday Club.  Cllr Bagge to feed that back.

Cllr Moore attended the first Heritage Walk meeting at Stoke Park along with the Church and other Councillors.  The route has been clarified along with the printing of maps etc., costs to be covered by Stoke Park.

038/PC/23 – Neighbourhood Plan

Update on Neighbourhood Plan and meetings held with working party and make any decisions necessary.

Cllr Carter said that she had done a walk around the village with the consultants to work on a Design Coding policy.  The Parish Council previously agreed to look at Sefton Park as an option for small stock housing if it ever became unsustainable as a business park. This is an extra piece of work therefore the cost will come out of the Neighbourhood Plan reserve. 

The HEA and environmental impact studies has been signed off by localities.  Letters have been sent to all potential landowners as agreed.  The NDHA complaint letters are to be looked at.  The plan is at a pre-draft stage, and it is going really well and looking really good and tangible, this has also been submitted to Buckinghamshire Council for their comment.  Central government grants are no longer available,  but the Parish Council have managed to submit all applications before the cutoff date.

039/PC/23 – Pond

An update on the meeting held with residents on 1 June 2023 was given by those present, they had believed that huge progress was being made and had hoped that final decisions would be made that evening but sadly no agreement was met. AGREED decision on this and quotes to be taken in Part II.

040/PC/23 – School Traffic/Traffic Watch Update

Update from Cllr Bagge & Cllr Carter on cameras and meeting held with head of the school.  The meeting with the head was about a resident who had contacted the head about the traffic issues.  It was agreed that there is nothing more the Parish Council can do to help with this, and the resident has suggested that the school be closed and has gone away to contact Ofsted.  A resident has recently struck by a parent at the junction of Aldridge Place and Rogers Lane. The resident was injured and is pursuing a complaint with the Police.

Cllr Bagge has spoken to an officer at Derby County Council about their camera system around schools.  Derby use SEA Cameras and outsource the system to other councils and it works well, however only on zig zag lines and not double yellow lines as legislation does not allow this. We could have two cameras on trial for 8 weeks costing around £5k but the feeling around the table was it is not worth it just for the zig zag lines.  The officer at Derby is happy to answer any further questions or have a Teams meeting with the Council.

041/PC/23 – Bells Hill Green

DISCUSSED quotes obtained for pruning of trees on green in time for Christmas lights to be installed as agreed at the last meeting. Cllr Carter proposed that we go with either Quote 1 £920.00 or Quote 2 £940.00 and get the work carried out, this was seconded by Cllr Moore, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

042/PC/23 – Future Land Sales

NOTED Property & Assets at County supplied the list of land which is owned/leased by Buckinghamshire Council in this area which was circulated but unreadable to some.  Clerk to re-send.

043/PC/23 – CIL Payments

NOTED and Cllr Finan proposed to agree that the CIL payment received last year is now transferred to a ringfenced reserve as requested by the auditor, this was seconded by Cllr Bassi, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

044/PC/23 – Pavilion

NOTED that the Clerk has not had time yet to look into the Solar Panels on the Pavilion roof to cut electricity costs.  NOTED it will be done over the summer months.

045/PC/23 – Christmas Lights

Cllr Carter proposed to agree a quote for new lights for 2023.  Quote 1 is to replace the lights in the trees in the car park where existing have come to the end of their life - £4751.36 they will last at least three years. Also, to dress the Christmas tree as usual with snowflakes onto the roof - £775.00, this was seconded by Cllr Flower, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

AGREED for additional lights on the Green and opposite on Hollybush Hill, the current lights are old, some have broken and been damaged in the winds.  They repair and replace what they can.  The Council have a reserve to add to the display.  AGREED by all, that lights are the most commented positive action by the Council and are so well received by residents. The existing lights have lasted approximately five years.

Cllr Bassi proposed to agree to the second quote of 3D Mistletoe stars and snowfall boas on the Bells Hill Green at £6205.00, this was seconded by Cllr Finan, RESOLVED to agree all in favour. 

Cllr Carter proposed option 2 on Hollybush Hill for 3D Mistletoe stars and snowfall boas at £8790.00, this was seconded by Cllr Flower, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

046/PC/23 – Jogging Trail – Plough Lane

DISCUSSED having a jogging trail at Plough Lane like the Bells Hill one.  The Clerk and Cllr Carter met with the same contractor and have received a quote. It was AGREED to consult with the residents local to the recreation ground via Stoke Poges News and website first, and to try to obtain some funding, maybe from the Beeches Community Board as well. Bring back.

NOTED Bells Hill Recreation Ground – Footpath Resurfacing – Quote circulated to do repairs. - £3875.00, it was agreed to get a further quote for some additional paths to the existing jogging path to possibly be done at the same time and bring back to the next meeting.

047/PC/23 – Offer of Services

Email received from Urenco offering some volunteering service.  The clerk advised of litter picking dates.  To decide if there is anything else that could be offered. AGREED to suggest contacting the church about the Community Garden and to offer the use of litter pickers if they wished to arrange their own.

048/PC/23 – Bus Shelter

NOTED Request from a resident for a bus shelter at the bus stop opposite Hastings Meadow.  It was AGREED that this would be very costly and there has been no budget set aside for this and NOTED that there is a bus shelter further along the road within 100 meters of this one.  RESOLVED to agree by all not to pursue.

049/PC/23 – BMKALC/NALC 

NOTED Subscription request. £798.23 per annum. RESOLVED to agree as with previous years not to join and it was AGREED not to continue bringing this back annually.

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

  1. Planning Committee Minutes 17 April 2023 – Agreed/Signed 22 May 2023

051/PC/23 – Finance 

 (1) RECEIVED Financial Summary & Statement Cashbook – April/May 2023 

 (2) RESOLVED to approve list of cheques/Bacs for signature April/May 2023 

 (3) RECEIVED Bank reconciliations – April/May 2023 

 (4) RECEIVED income & Expenditure Heading Detail/Budget Monitoring – April/May 2023 

052/PC/23 – Accounts for Year Ended 31st March 2023

NOTED that the accounts have been audited with no issues. All Councillors thanked the Clerk for achieving this again.

Cllr Finan proposed that all three points below are accepted to be signed and sent to the external auditors, this was seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

1)  RECEIVED, APPROVED and SIGNED the summary income and expenditure account, balance sheet, supporting statement and assets, auditor's matters arising, which were signed by the Chairman of the Council and the Responsible Financial Officer.

2) RECEIVED, APPROVED and SIGNED the Annual Return which was signed by the Chairman the Council and the Responsible Financial Officer and RECEIVED and APPROVED bank reconciliation and statement of significant variations. 

3) NOTED that the internal auditor has suggested again that the Council consider moving all  of the individual accounts into the CCLA fund and NOTED the comments on the internal auditor report.

Clerk to supply councillors with current interest rates on each account.

053/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.

054/PC/23 – NOTED Dates of Future Meetings

Finance Meeting – 12 June 2023 – to follow this meeting.

Planning Meeting – 19 June 2023 

Full Parish Council – 10 July 2023 followed by

Recreation & Environment Meeting – 10 July 2023

055/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. 

056/PC/23 – Pond

After much discussion about the meetings and talks that have taken place it was agreed the pond is a balancing pond and not an ornamental pond, this has been clarified by surveyors, contractors, and County.

Options of where to go next were tabled.

Cllr Crocker proposed that option 1 be the route that the council choose because of legal advice around the health and safety of residents, so to get the drains jetted and to remove the willow trees as soon as possible, this will hopefully stop the flooding, this was seconded by Cllr Pritchard, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

Meeting ended at 10.08pm

It was AGREED by all to defer the Finance Meeting to another time.