13th Dec 2004


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13th Dec 2004

  1. 1. 189 Minutes of Roade Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 13 December 2004 at 7.30 p.m. at the Village Hall Present: Cecil Bottomley (Chairman) Mrs Harriet Abbott Rev Malcolm Beech Dr John Gwilt Jerry Hardingham Miss Alison Hawkins (part meeting) Bill Hudson Mrs Myra Inglis Nigel Wickens Apologies: Dave Bennett Glenn Dudman Dick Johnson Rick Thake Clerk: Mrs Nicky Hall Action 1. Public Session: The Public Session was opened at 7.30 p.m. 1.2 Cllr Townsend reported that work on the proposed new bus shelter on the southbound side of London Road had been postponed. Cllr Batten had agreed to raise this at the next meeting of Mid Northants which was scheduled for the end of January. 1.2.1 South Northants Council Local Development Framework Pre-Submission Draft: Cllr Townsend reported that she had made a comment on SNC’s draft document, this being a consultation draft. Cllr Townsend confirmed that Councillors had 29 days in which to comment on planning applications and re-iterated the need for the Parish Council to pass on observations and comments as quickly as possible. Cllr Bottomley reported that the Clerk had confirmed with a member of the Planning Department that “nil returns” were not required; he also confirmed that Cllr Townsend would be copied in on any comments made by the Parish Council. Clerk 1.3 Cllr Bottomley noted the concern which was raised regarding the fencing off of land adjacent to the railway line by the bridge in Hyde Road; enquiries would be made from the appropriate Railway Authority. Clerk 1.4 Cllr Bottomley confirmed that the replacement play equipment proposed for Churchcroft Open Space was a multi purpose item intended for children under the age of 5. At a cost of £2,157, this would replace one of the two sets of swings. 1.5 Cllr Bottomley confirmed that a replacement for the recently removed broken seat in Churchcroft Open Space was being considered and any new seat would be as vandal proof as possible, probably of steel construction. It was suggested that the seat might be placed away from the light. 1.6 Cllr Bottomley confirmed that the recent resurfacing work carried out in Butlin’s Lane had been done as a service to the community having last been done 9 years ago by the County and District Councils. 2. End of Public Session: The Public Session was closed at 7.45 p.m. 3. Apologies: Apologies had been received from Councillors Bennett, Dudman, Johnson and Thake. RPC Meeting 13 December 2004
  2. 2. 190 4. Attendance Register: The Attendance Register was signed by all Councillors present. 5. Declarations of Interest: There were no Declarations of Interest. 6. Matters Arising from the Public Session: 6.1 Ownership of Butlin’s Lane: Previous attempts to ascertain ownership of this registered common land had been unsuccessful. 6.2 Fencing adjacent to railway off Hyde Road: It was believed that the land in question, despite the presence of allotments and previous suggestions of establishing a “pocket park”, does, in fact, belong to the Railway. Cllr Bottomley confirmed that under the 1949 Act, we would not be able to claim established rights in order to create a footpath following the route of the railway. 7. Minutes of the Last Meeting: 7.1 Item 9.1.3: the date should read October 13 in place of October 11. 7.2 It was agreed by all present that the Minutes, with the amendment above noted, be signed by the Chairman. 8. Matters Arising from the Last Meeting (8 November 2004): 8.1 Regarding item 10.5.4 – Safety Surface: Cllr Bottomley confirmed that Safety Surfaces were recommended in three areas, details of which had been circulated to Councillors. The proposed option was the cheapest of the three most viable options. It was agreed that the Clerk be requested to order the Safety Surfaces as soon as possible. Clerk 8.2 Regarding item 101.5 – New path for Memorial Garden: Cllr Beech confirmed that a quotation had been received from S. Day in the sum of £685.00 and from AJ Block Paving in the sum of £480.00 per path. After some discussion it was agreed that Cllr Beech would confirm that these are, in fact, quotations and not estimates. It was likely that the lower MB quote would be accepted with the monies being found from this year’s finances. 8.2.1 A question was raised regarding the exact positioning of consecrated and unconsecrated land in the Cemetery. A concern was raised that as more people were interred in consecrated land, the encroachment into it by the installation of a new path may lead to problems of space in the future. 8.2.2 A concern was raised regarding wheelchair access for a new path. 8.2.3 It was agreed that the Cemetery Advisory Group should reconvene to look into both consecrated/unconsecrated land and also wheelchair access and report back to the next meeting. MB/CAG 9. Reports from Outside Bodies: 9.1 Neighbourhood Watch/Police Matters: Cllr Gwilt reported on the following: 9.1.1 October 13 Ford Mondeo removed from Butlins Lane (not October 11 as previously reported.) November 10 Four mini-bikes stolen from Main Garage (Hemmings) November 14 Break-in at home in London Road November 15 Youths causing trouble in The Ridings November 23 Intruders in garden of house in High Street RPC Meeting 13 December 2004
  3. 3. 191 November 27 Two cars in The Ridings vandalised December 1 Youths causing damage on Churchcroft estate December 3 Land Rover stolen in Milton Keynes was recovered in High Street 9.1.2 Every household in the village has received a card with the special phone number (432436) which enables residents to reach the Neighbourhood Watch dedicated police operator directly. (999 should still be used for emergencies). 9.1.3 The “Nominate a Neighbour” programme will be introduced at a meeting at Cripps House at 11am on 12 December. 9.2 Village Hall Charity: Nothing to report 9.3 Feoffee & Chivalls Charity: Cllr Hudson reported that two of the four cottages are currently without tenants. A programme of refurbishment is being put in hand before new tenants move in, hopefully not too long after Christmas. 10. Reports from Advisory Groups: 10.1 Cemetery: Cllr Beech had received a helpful report from the Village Technician regarding the condition of the cemetery, together with a work schedule going forward. One response had been received by the Clerk following the item on burial charges which appeared in the Winter 2004 edition of Roade News. Letters to those who have yet to make full payment for plot reservations will be sent out in January 2005. Clerk 10.1.2 Top-up gravel: this will now be completed in the New Year. 10.1.3 Cemetery extension: no response had been received from Chartwell Industries. 10.2. Lighting: Cllr Hudson confirmed that nothing in addition to normal repairs was currently being carried out. 10.3 Planning: Several applications had been received but were still being circulated to the Planning Advisory Group for comment. 10.4 Footpaths: Nothing to report in Cllr Thake’s absence. 10.5 Recreation Field/Churchcroft: 10.5.1 Rubbish Clearance: Rubbish from the ditch and the culvert beside the factory, together with that in the spinney at the top of Butlin’s Lane, had been cleared by a contractor. Letters had been delivered to householders nearby requesting no further dumping of rubbish. The broken seat from Churchcroft Open Space had also been removed. 10.5.2 Gate Replacement: This will now be put in place during the beginning of January. 10.5.3 Safety/Risk Assessments: The clerk will prepare a draft Assessment Sheet for each piece of equipment, to be circulated for discussion. Clerk 10.5.4 Replacement of existing equipment (Churchcroft): It was proposed by Cllr Hardingham, seconded by Cllr Wickens and agreed that the multi-activity Little Miss Muffett item should RPC Meeting 13 December 2004
  4. 4. 192 be ordered to replace one set of swings in Churchcroft, together with appropriate safety surface, during the next financial year. Clerk 10.5.5 Goalposts: It was proposed by Cllr Beech, seconded by Cllr Abbott and agreed that new box girder construction goalposts be purchased at a cost of £555. These will replace existing goalposts which would need to be removed before the new ones arrive so that storage did not present any problems. Clerk 10.5.6 Wicksteed Safety Inspection: As there would be an 18 month gap between the last Wicksteed Safety Inspection (Jan 04) and the proposed RoSPA inspection (June 05), it was agreed that an extra Wicksteed Inspection should be authorised for Jan 05. It was also agreed that a Risk Assessment at £25 would be requested at the same time. Clerk 10.6 Milton Keynes-South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy – SNC LDF Pre-Submission Draft Oct 2004: Cllr Bottomley had circulated draft comments to Councillors. These comments had been incorporated into a letter which had been sent to South Northants Council. Cllr Bottomley had also received a very useful letter (to be circulated) from one of the organisations Clerk concerned with housing which gave a breakdown of required housing by area. It showed that this area of South Northants would need to accommodate 6,600 new houses up to 2020. 10.7 Cricket Working Party: As agreed at the last meeting, a letter had been sent to Richard Strugnell requesting that the cricket field remain outside the village confines when reviewing the Local Development Framework. Mr. Strugnell’s reply had confirmed that Parish Councils will be consulted, probably in March/April 2005. 10.8 IT – Web Site: Nothing to report in Cllr Dudman’s absence. 11. Crime & Disorder Act: Recreation Ground Bye-laws – Motorcycles and Fires: 11.1 The first draft has now been sent to the Home Office. 11.2 Regarding Churchcroft Open Space, Cllr Gwilt reported that as there was only one Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator in the immediate area, Cllr Dudman had suggested he be called if any minor problems arose. (Police should still be called for any major incidents.) It was agreed that if Cllr Dudman was happy to do this as a Parish Councillor, the Neighbourhood Watch team would send a note to all nearby householders giving Cllr GD Dudman as a point of reference. Under the Crime and Disorder Act, Parish Councils are JG able to take names of those causing a nuisance; this may help in discovering where alcohol is currently being sold to underage drinkers. 12. Risk Assessments – Council Property: Cllr Beech agreed to produce an appropriate sheet for the Cemetery which would be circulated to Councillors for their information and input. The final sheet will then be distributed via the monthly circulation box. It was noted that one of the principal concerns MB was regarding headstones which may become unstable. 13. Proposed New Bus Shelters on London Road: 13.1 Cllr Bottomley reported that the infrastructure on the Northampton bound side of London Road was complete and working well. On the southbound side, residents of 24, 26 and 28 London Road had all raised objections to a shelter being erected immediately adjacent to their properties. Cllrs Bottomley and Batten had met on site to discuss the problem. Work has been put on hold and will be referred to the next meeting of the Area Committee of the RPC Meeting 13 December 2004
  5. 5. 193 County Council towards the end of January, at which residents and Parish Councillors will be able to voice their concerns. A decision will then be made on whether or not a bus shelter will be placed on the southbound side, or whether a post-mounted Real Time Indicator will be deemed sufficient. 13.2 Regarding on-going maintenance and repair bills for the new shelter(s), a letter has been sent re-iterating the Parish Council’s strong objection to meeting these costs. 13.3 This item will be put on the Agenda for the next meeting. Clerk 14. Estate Roads resurfacing (inc. Priory Crescent) 2005: Cllr Bottomley reported that a letter and telephone call had been received from two residents, deploring the state of the road in Priory Crescent. Cllrs Dudman and Bottomley have visited the area, as has Tony Clarke MP, and found the pavement in particular to be badly pot-holed. Cllr Bottomley suggested and it was agreed that he would invite a few Councillors to walk round the estate roads in the village and draw up a list in order of priority of those roads which are deemed in most urgent need of repair. CB 15. Memorial Green – tree pruning: 15.1 An invoice has now been received from Ashley Lane Treeworks for the work carried out at Memorial Green. Whilst carrying out remedial works, the tree surgeons discovered another hole further up the trunk of the horse chestnut tree which is now visible after the fall of leaves. This needs to be monitored carefully. In addition it may be appropriate to cut back the limb of the tree further than originally anticipated in order to reduce the possibility of disease. 15.2 A letter has been received from the insurers of Lichfield Shipping Company who are claiming damages resulting from an incident in June 2004 when one of their vans became wedged under a tree on Memorial Green. Cllr Gwilt was present at the time and had seen the van and the fire brigade who had been called to assist. It was agreed that a clear statement be drawn up and forwarded to the Parish Council’s insurers. CB/Clerk 16. Section 137 requests – Victim Support: This item had been carried forward from the last meeting. After some discussion it was agreed by 5 votes to 2 that no grant would be made. Cllr Wickens expressed the view that Section 137 payments were intended for the good of villagers and, by supporting a more widely-based charity, this could open the floodgates for other similar requests. 17. Calor Village of the Year Competition 2005: The appropriate forms would be sent to the Clerk in January 2005 at which time further discussion would take place. 18. Correspondence: 18.1 A letter had been received from Mrs. P. Mavir asking that the Parish Council again raise the problem of traffic congestion caused at the roundabout junction of High Street and London Road due to insufficient signage and poor driving etiquette. It was agreed that a letter be sent to the appropriate authority requesting assistance in mitigating this problem. Clerk 18.2 Parish Poster Boards: It was agreed that Parish Poster Boards be requested again in 2005 to assist in the fight against speeding motorists. Clerk 18.3 It was agreed that in answer to an email received from someone attempting to trace their (Baptist) family history that she be directed to the Baptist Union headquarters or the Northampton Record Office. Clerk RPC Meeting 13 December 2004
  6. 6. 194 19. Finance: Cllr Thake had produced the normal monthly statement of account which was circulated in his absence. 20. Precept April 2005-2006: 20.1 Cllr Bottomley had circulated an aide memoire to help Councillors in understanding what was needed in terms of the precept for financial year 2005-2006. Taking the present financial situation into account, there is roughly £3,700 available to the end of this financial year, although there are built up reserves of £26,781 which would cover any shortfall. 20.2 Cllr Wickens proposed and Cllr Gwilt seconded and it was agreed that proposed expenditure for financial year 2005-2006 should be £37,000. 20.3 It was agreed that at the next meeting (10 January) it should be possible to form a clearer idea of the likely financial outturn by the year end, which in turn would better clarify how much the Council would need to precept. 20.4 Several Councillors requested that the monthly financial statement be clarified. RT 20.5 Cllr Wickens suggested that a 24-month forecast sheet would better help in controlling budget/expenditure. He would look at formulating a draft sheet for discussion. NW 21. Bills for Payment and Receipts: Cllr Hardingham proposed, Cllr Wickens seconded and it was agreed that all payments be taken en bloc: Receipts: M. O’Brien Double plot reservation £240.00 Cemetery Post Office 50 copies of Roade Review @ 80p £ 40.00 R Finch & Sons Memorial Garden fees £ 60.00 Cemetery Miss M Collins Single plot reservation £ 70.00 Cemetery Already Paid: Cheque no: Roade Village Hall 285 £880.00 1st Roade Guides 286 £ 70.00 Roade Red Cross 287 £125.00 1st Roade Scouts 288 £110.00 British Legion 289 £ 15.00 BT 290 £ 42.20 Roade Beavers & Cubs 291 £200.00 W Dredge 292 £ 62.40 Cheques for signature:: R& G 293 £142.15 Time Retail Finance 294 £ 20.78 Aylesbury Mains 295 £264.98 Ashley Lane Treeworks 296 £340.75 Northants County Council 297 £ 24.62 NJ Blackwell Garden Services 298 £650.95 TH Strudwick & Sons 299 £145.00 T Cross & Sons (Hartwell) Ltd. 300 £ 44.76 Mid Northants Parishes 301 £ 15.00 P R Holloway 302 £581.63 Post Office Ltd. 303 £200.18 Hugh Geddes 304 £303.15 Mrs. NJ Hall (Clerk) 305 £328.28 Stuart Shrubb 306 £ 44.87 RPC Meeting 13 December 2004
  7. 7. 195 22. Draft Standing Orders section 51-end: Deferred to January meeting. 23. Any Other Business: 23.1 Cllr Bottomley reported that a complaint had been made regarding the rubbish in Grafton Road near the chip shop. He had visited the site and found it reasonably clean. After discussion it was agreed no action be taken. 23.2 Cllr Inglis requested that the “Northampton Road” sign be also prominently positioned such that it can be seen when approaching the village from Northampton. This is especially necessary for any emergency vehicles coming into the village from Northampton as the sign currently is visible only when approached from Milton Keynes. It was agreed that a request Clerk be made to the Highways Authority. 23.3 Cllr Bottomley had previously expressed a wish to step down from the Chairmanship of the Council. He now proposed to step down in January 2005 and the Vice Chairman, Cllr Wickens, had indicated that he was willing to put his name forward. Cllr Wickens briefly addressed Councillors, outlining the way in which he would anticipate running the Council if he were to be elected. In light of his business and family interests, he would be a less “hands on” Chairman and would expect to delegate a great deal more than was currently the case. Cllr Wickens agreed to draft and circulate some notes in a more structured way on his NW proposed modus operandi. 23.4 Cllr Bottomley stressed again the importance of each Councillor ensuring that the next recipient of the monthly Circulation Box is available to take delivery, and not simply leave the box hanging on or by the front door. As well as leaving Council documents lying All around, this is also an advertisement of the fact that someone is away from home. The meeting closed at 9.40 p.m. 24. Date of the next meeting: Monday 10 January 2005. RPC Meeting 13 December 2004