Minutes of the meeting of the Annual Parish Meeting of the East Claydon Parish Council held on Thursday 21st May 2015
Present Councillors: Graham Wylie (Chair), Esther Turnbull, Clive Preston, Paul Lupton, Peter Wright, County Councillor Angela Macpherson, Lynne Stacey (Clerk) and eighteen electors of the parish. 1. Apologies: Martin Paul and Brian Cable. 2.
Re-election of Councillors and co-option of Paul Lupton – Following the recent Parish Council elections, it was noted that an uncontested election had occurred as there were fewer nominations than positions available. Due to an administrative error, Pau Lupton was a day late in submitting his nomination papers and consequently it was formally proposed by GW and seconded by PW to co-opt PL back on to the Parish Council into the final vacant position.
3. Minutes -These were read and signed as a true record.
4. Chairman’s Report – the following is a transcript of the Chairman’s report which includes further comments shown in brackets: Welcome to the 2015 AGM of the Parish Council.
Welcome and thanks for their support and advice to Angela Macpherson our Bucks County Councillor and John Chilver our AVDC Councillor – these people are very hardworking and we do appreciate their efforts.
Thanks first to my fellow councillors for their support during the year. Each of the councillors has contributed greatly to what has been a busy year and the community should be grateful we have such a proactive group. We avoided an election which saved the Parish money.
Work on the Village Design statement has proceeded through the year and we are currently in the final drafting. We are seeing if there is a pot of grant money that AVDC may have hidden somewhere that we can dip into to fund the printing of the VDS.
The Council strongly opposed plans to build a waste incinerator at Calvert and continues to campaign against the planned High Speed Train HS2. Clive Preston has led our efforts – so a brief update please Clive. (It was felt HS2 will definitely go ahead but it will probably be 20-25 years before a train runs down it. There will however, be 10-15 years of construction which will bring a lot of people and traffic into the area. The marshalling yard at Steeple Claydon will be working 24/7. The Parish Council is petitioning Parliament to gain an assurance written in law that construction traffic will not be allowed to come through the village – a decision on this is awaited. It was felt the new road from the A41 to the incinerator had made a big difference to the incinerator construction traffic through the village.) The Mobile Vehicle Activated Sign has been installed. It seems to do its job of slowing traffic particularly well when we are stood by it changing the batteries – whether or not it has impact at any other time is not so clear,
Peter Wright can update us on this and any other traffic related news including a plan to do some tidying up of phone boxes. (PW felt that when they were at the MVAS changing the battery, vehicles were slowing. A member of the public commented that in an informal survey, 7 out of 12 cars that caused the MVAS to flash were parents stopping at the school.
GW will again put a note in the Parish Magazine requesting that vehicles are not parked on pavements. It was also advised that Ray Kite will act as co-ordinator for the Speedwatch project. PW confirmed he had the equipment in his garage ready for use when the team was ready).
(PW reported that the Parish has now adopted the phone box in Botolph Claydon. The electricity will be disconnected at some point by BT and then the box will be taken down and the area tidied. The WI have offered to purchase a tree for this area).
The village clock was in a sad state so we completed the refurbishment work this year. Peter Wright can bring us up to date. (Mick Burrell has kindly agreed to wind the clock).
If you read your Parish Mag – as I am sure you do – or visited the web site then you will have seen that we decided to publish an explanation of the significant increase in the precept for 2015/16. The total PC precept has increased dramatically from just under £8,000pa – where it has stood for several years – to £16,000 for the coming year. The increase of £8,000 is mainly explained by three reasons:
The clock alongside the village hall has been completely refurbished including much needed repairs to the timing and chiming mechanisms. The cost of this work was initially expected to be covered by grants from the Bucks Historic Building Trust. In the event the clock was in much worse condition than anticipated and the Parish Council has been left with a bill of over £3,000 to find from its reserves. This amount has been recovered from the 2015/16 precept.
The result of a very long and ongoing change to the way Bucks CC organise the cutting of grass in the villages looks like it will result in the Parish Council needing to find approximately an additional £2,000 pa to employ its own contractor to do this work. Bucks CC are providing about 75% of the cost for this year which will reduce over the next couple of years to nil. On the upside at least we can be in charge of organising the grass cutting rather than relying on Bucks CC – whose job was less than perfect last year. This was also explained in a separate Parish Mag note.
Plans are taking shape to redevelop the village hall – which is owned by the PC. At this stage the PC, Village Hall Management Committee and the Mushroom Club have all agreed to put £2,000 into a seed fund to be used to pay an architect and quantity surveyor to prepare plans and estimated costings which can then be used to apply for grants to fund the project.
Work is continuing on the production of a Village Design Statement. The estimated cost of printing is £2,000 and therefore we have added this to the precept with the expectation that completion will be during the next year. Thanks go to Nigel Turnbull for auditing the accounts. (County Councillor Macpherson commented that £3million had been reserved for patching work on unclassified roads in the county. However, a third of the BCC budget this year had been allocated to adult social care and an approximate additional £10m has been needed to supplement the children’s services budget (increasing the total spend to c£50m)). (Special thanks were extended to Brian Cable for his expertise in dealing with health and safety issues and risk assessments. The Parish Council is very dependent on Brian’s skills in this area and it is invaluable to have his support). Finally, a special word of thanks to Lynne Stacey our much put upon Clerk who manages somehow to keep all the mountain of stuff the Parish Council receives under control. So a busy year just gone and a busy year in the offing 5. Financial Report: A copy of the accounts was issued to all the Councillors and members of the public (attached). GW had covered much of the detailed information from the accounts in his report.
GW invited questions from the public of which there were none.
6. Any Other Business As there was no further business the meeting was closed.