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Parish Council Minutes

November 2006

Minutes of the Meeting of Sherington Parish Council held on Tuesday 7th November 2006 in the Village Hall, Sherington commencing at 7.30pm.

PRESENT: Cllrs Bill Lewis (Chair), Bob Finn, Peter Burton, David Hyde and David Keene

ATTENDING: Lara Bruce (Clerk) and 7 public.

1. APOLOGIES Cllr Cook

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST None.

3. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd October 2006 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. MATTERS ARISING

4.1. Repairs Pilot Sceme The Clerk reported that Ian McGregor is working on the protocol for the new initiative whereby village repairs could be prioritised according to need. He would like to arrange a “village walkabout” for December with councillors. ACTION: Clerk to arrange

4.2 Flooding in Water Lane. The Clerk reported that following the last meeting a letter had been written to Mr Jonson Cox, the chairman of Anglian Water which outlined the parish council’s dissatisfaction with the continuing flooding in Water Lane. The letter was copied to Mark Lancaster MP. A reply had been received from the Chief Operating Officer, Mr Peter Simpson who explained that Water Lane was currently on a routine nine-month jetting cycle. Due to the frequency of blockages (which he understands are due to the discharge of fat into the sewer) they have decided to move to a three-month jetting cycle. The sewer is due to be jetted this coming week and then again in January 2007, April 2007 and so on. He also pointed out that Water Lane may continue to be at risk of flooding in periods of prolonged rain due to inadequate highways drainage and advised the parish council to contact the Highways Department at MK Council regarding this. It was agreed that a letter should be sent to Anglian Water thanking them for their response and inviting them to attend the January meeting in order that they can explain to councillors how the drainage system in Sherington works, both in theory and practice. They should be advised in advance of all likely questions in order that they are in a position to respond at the meeting. The letter should be copied to both the Highways Dept at MK Council and Mark Lancaster MP. ACTION: Clerk to arrange
Councillor Hyde reported that he had spoken to Phil Smith in Water Lane who advised that a large lorry had been present at the sewer works in Water Lane in order to jet a build up of silt. This may indicate a possible problem and Anglian Water should be asked to explain how the sewage treatment plant links into the village sewer system. ACTION: Clerk to arrange

4.3 Bedford Road Surface Water. The Clerk reported that the drains in the area where there is surface water on Bedford Road outside the nursery were due to be jetted in the middle of October, but confirmation of this was still outstanding. The matter must be chased urgently as the colder weather will result in a very icy patch of road. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

4.4 Undergrounding and street lighting. Cllr Hyde reported that he had walked the length of the undergrounding in High Street and Crofts End with Bob Semple from McAlpine. Bob confirmed that some posts will not come down as they have BT wires on them. The Clerk reported that Lorraine Calcott had confirmed that the new street lamps were due to be delivered to the contractor during the week beginning 6 November. Bob confirmed that he hoped to start reconnections at the beginning of the following week. Bob also confirmed that he expected that the project would run into at least January 2007. Cllr Hyde reported that although the undergrounding in Water Lane was largely complete there were some outstanding issues which needed following up. ACTION: Cllr Hyde to liaise with Eddie Cochrane at Central Networks

4.5 Co-option of new councillor. The Chair reported that David Wright had agreed to be co-opted onto the Parish Council. It was agreed to write to him with an invitation to the December meeting. MK Council should also be contacted regarding the formalities. ACTION: Clerk to follow up.

4.6 Bench in Carters Close. Cllr Burton reported that he had spoken to the resident on the corner of Carters Close and Crofts End regarding installation of the new bench. The resident has no objections to this but was concerned that the bench did not become a gathering place for youths. It was agreed that the bench may need to be removed should any significant problems arise. It was agreed to approve expenditure of up to £650 for the supply and installation of a bench. The exact position of the bench adjacent to the large tree and the street name must be agreed. ACTION: Clerk to follow up.

5. VILLAGE REPAIRS

5.1. The Mound. The Clerk reported that Tony Hunt from MK Council had confirmed what works were taking place at the mound. The path around the mound would be redefined, wooden steps would be added up the mound, the car park would be resurfaced, the pot holes would be filled in and the shrubs tied. The councillors welcomed this work. MK Council must be asked to provide a rubbish bin to encourage cleanliness. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

5.2. Footpath to Newport Pagnell. The Clerk reported that no response had been received from MK Council regarding the condition of the footpath between Sherington and Newport Pagnell. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

6. SHERINGTON SPORTS GROUND

6.1 Caretaker Report. Shane Lea reported that there had been an instance of sheep getting onto the football pitch from a nearby field. ACTION: Clerk to follow up with Peter Cook. It was also reported that Sherington Football Club had enquired about the possibility of getting a new white marking machine. There may be funding available for this which should be investigated. Before this is done it must be established what product the football club currently use to mark the white lines on the pitch. Lime is not recommended by the Football Association. ACTION: Clerk to follow up. The poor state of the showers in the pavilion was raised and it was agreed to look into the cost of improving these. ACTION: Cllr Burton to investigate.

6.2 Hawthorn hedge. Quotes had been received from Raymond Graham for planting hawthorn hedging alongside the car park at the rear of the properties on Hillview. The aim of this is to deter children from climbing over the fences. The quote for planting the 3ft plants all the way to the front of the car park of £446 was approved. It was agreed that the hedge should be planted as close to the fence as possible in order to maximise the turning circle for cars using the garages. ACTION: Clerk to raise the order

6.3 Goal Posts. The new goalposts have now been installed. The old posts were dismantled and removed by Bernard Haynes. The council appreciated this as it would have been difficult to organise. A letter of thanks should be sent to Bernard. ACTION: Clerk to arrange

7. VILLAGE POST OFFICE - FUTURE

The Chair reported that he had agreed with Ray and Teddy Barber to discuss the future of the post office at this meeting. Their intention is to retire and move the Post Office out of their property. There may be the possibility to relocate the Post Office elsewhere in the village, but at present the intention of the main Post Office is unknown. If a suitable property could not be found in which to situate the Post Office, it may be possible to site it in a temporary structure. Cllr Hyde noted that at present the sorting of all post for Sherington is done at the Sherington Post Office and this represents an important part of the income for the village Post Office. It would therefore be a key point to consider for the relocation of the Post Office. It was agreed that the Parish Council should get in touch with the main Post Office to find out what their plans are for the village Post Office. ACTION: Chair to follow up.
The Chair also reported that the council had received literature from a group called “The Pub is the Hub” which outlines the success other villages have had with relocating post offices, and other village services, in the local pub. The new landlords at The Swan had been approached about this. Although they would not want to run the Post Office themselves, they would be open to discussions about the Post Office being run from the pub by other people. The White Hart had not yet been consulted. ACTION: Chair to follow up with Keith Shepherd.

8. VILLAGE APPRAISAL

Cllr Finn reported that this is in the process of being updated, and will reflect the current situation with the Post Office. It is hoped to have something available for the New Year. It was reported that an informal meeting with the Planning Department at Milton Keynes Council had been arranged. A meeting was also going to be held with the Village Hall Trustees to find out what their future plans are for the Village Hall. ACTION: Chair to arrange meeting with Trustees

9. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

The Clerk reported that the parish council had been invited to make an application to Central Networks for a grant for new Christmas lights and decorations. Grants of £1,000 and £2,500 were available. The application had been made.
Cllr Finn reported that the parish council had been offered a Christmas tree from Willen Hospice who had come forward in response to the advertisement seen in SCAN. The offer was in recognition of the fund-raising work done by the village for Willen Hospice. The tree is in Mursley and would need to be felled and transported back to Sherington. It was hoped that either Peter Cook or Raymond Graham may be able to provide transport for the tree. Mrs Graham will speak to Raymond. ACTION: Cllr Finn to ask Cllr Cook if he would be able to transport the tree.

10. FINANCE

10.1 Monthly balances. . Enterprise Account £23,157.29. Treasurer Account £2,779.72. Receipts during the month included the VAT repayment for the period 01/04/06 to 30/09/06

10.2 Cheques for payment were as follows:

07/11/06Lara Bruce Clerks Salary £194.19 101397
07/11/06Lara Bruce Clerks Expenses £33.42 101398
07/11/06Sports Ground Services Playing Field Mowing - Aug & Sep £324.30 101399
07/11/06D C Blunt Mowing £924.26 101400
07/11/06Powergen Pavilion electric £28.15 101401
07/11/06Sports Ground Services Playing Field Mowing - Oct £162.15 101402
07/11/06A H Contracts Dog Bins £51.70 101403
07/11/06Shane Lea Pavilion caretaker £50.00 101404
07/11/06Nina Beal Pavilion cleaner £86.90 101405
07/11/06Raymond Graham Works at Perry Lane Recreation Field £580.00 101407

11. PLANNING: APPLICATIONS AND DECISIONS

11.1. Applications
No planning applications to be considered

11.2. Decisions
The Clerk reported that the planning applications for the tree work at The Barn, Park Road (06/01330) and at The White Hart, Gun Lane (06/01430) had been permitted. The decision on The White Hart stated that the Norway Spruce should be replaced by two trees as recommended by the Parish Council.

12. EXTERNAL MEETINGS

12.1. Rural police meeting 26th October. The Chair reported that he had attended this meeting held by the police for farmers and the rural community. Minutes will be put in circulation. Issues covered included staffing, MK Cruise, fly tipping, hare coursing, the mobile police station and “smart water”.

12.2. BALC AGM Friday 10th November. No one was available to attend this meeting.

12.3. Visit to CMK Police Station 6:30pm Thursday 16th November Cllr Burton will attend this.

13. CORRESPONDENCE

13.1. BBC Breathing Spaces Grant. Colin Storey from Sherington CE School had sent councillors information on the BBC Breathing Spaces grants. This is a UK-wide small grants programme, developed by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with the BBC campaign to inspire communities to get involved in transforming, creating and caring for local green spaces that are good for wildlife and good for people. Councillors agreed that they would like further information from Colin on what ideas he has for developing the environmental area at Perry Lane. It may be possible to apply for funding from the Parish Partnership Fund also. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

13.2. Sherington Historical Society. A letter had been received from SHS regarding the Edith Lucas Paintings and the question of copyright. The society has been asked to take part in a web preservation programme by The British Library. Permission to copy and archive the entire SHS website will allow the consortium the right to take down any material from the archive site which in its reasonable opinion either infringes copyright or any other intellectual property right or is likely to be illegal. The society is also trying to locate the original paintings. Councillors believed they were with Christine Bearman. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

13.3. Eastern Expansion Area Stakeholder Group. The Chair agreed to join this group.

13.4. MK Forum. A document had been received from MK Forum which challenged the MK Plan and made alternative proposals.

14. PUBLIC COMMENTS

14.1. A resident asked whether a camera could be positioned at The Mound in order to identify fly tippers. Councillors agreed that MK Council should be asked to put a “No Tipping” sign up and ask about the possibility of the camera. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

14.2. Virginia House Stores has copies of the latest bus service leaflets.

14.3. As part of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme Virginia House Stores has received an increasing number of notices about travellers, burglaries etc. It was agreed to include a note in SCAN on general household security, eg disposing of packaging etc. ACTION: Cllr Hyde to include in SCAN notes

14.4. A resident asked if the plan of the village hall car park was available as requested the previous month. Cllr Keene had a copy available.

14.5. A resident noted that the street light on the corner of Crofts End and School Lane was obscured by trees. As it is on council house land the housing department should be contacted. ACTION: Clerk to follow up.

14.6. Residents in Hillview reported a man acting suspiciously by his vehicle. The residents were advised that if this happens again the number plate details should be taken and reported to the police. ACTION: Clerk to inform MKC

14.7. A resident reported that the waste bin in the Perry Lane car park had been removed. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

14.8. A resident reported the standing water on Bedford Road outside the nursery had been there since works were done on the drains on the other side of the road a year ago. ACTION: Clerk to follow up as noted in item 4.3

14.9. A resident reported that cars had been heard “spinning” in the Perry Lane car park at night. The gates are due to be closed at 6pm each night and this should be checked with Shane Lea. It was also queried whether vehicles were permitted to be parked in the car park overnight. When lorries are registered owners have to state where they will be kept overnight and this can be followed up with the police if necessary.

15. COUNCILLORS ITEMS

15.1 Cllr Finn noted that the road sweepers had been in the village that day and councillors were asked to check the roads had been cleaned satisfactorily

15.2 Cllr Finn reported that a meeting was to be held at Sherington CE School to discuss what “event(s)” the village could hold next year. Cllr Finn would attend.

15.3 Cllr Finn questioned whether a January meeting was necessary, particularly as it fell on 2nd January 2007 and was close to New Year. This would be agreed at the December meeting.

15.4 Cllr Burton expressed sadness on hearing of the death of Norman Arnold. He had provided valued input into the Sherington Residents Management Group regarding the bowls club. It may be appropriate to put a plaque of remembrance on the new bench in Carters Close, but the family would need to be consulted.

15.5 Cllr Lewis reported that councillors had a village walkabout during the month. It was agreed that the possibility of a bus shelter outside the school needed further investigation. ACTION: Cllr Burton to follow up. A resident noted that there was graffiti in the bus shelter on the High Street. ACTION: Clerk to follow up

15.6 Cllr Lewis reported that the copse on the High Street by Crofts End needed tidying up. ACTION: Chair to speak to Cllr Cook

16. DATE OF NEXT MEETING The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 5th December in the Village Hall at 7.30pm. There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.22pm.

          Pages 1204 to 1208  

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