Minutes of the Aston Abbotts Annual Parish Meeting8.00pm 14th May, 2014Present: Mr Peter Shorrock (Chairman, Parish Council), Mr Paul Bruton (acting secretary), Mr Peter Cooper (District Councillor), Ms T Hobson (PCSO, North Wing) and 26 parishioners.1.Apologies: County Councillor Mrs N Glover.2.The Minutes to the meeting held 8th May, 2013 were approved and signed as a true record3.No matters arising.4.County Councillor Glover had kindly sent in a report for the meeting and the Chairman gave a précis of the main points.Roads: Bucks CC will not be re-surfacing our road in the near future, but in the year 2015/16 the road from Wingrave Crossroads into and through the village will be resurfaced, together with a stretch of Cublington Road.Potholes: One can now report potholes by iphone, ipad or Android devices, as well as laptops and computers, by logging onto www.buckscc.gov.uk/telltfb. If wished one can send a photo of the offending hole. However, the team who check for potholes were in our area last week, and found no category 1 holes in Wingrave or Cublington Roads.Finally two topical items: (1) the fire brigade urge people not to set dish-washers, washing machines or tumble driers to come on while they are out or asleep. A woman in High Wycpmbe who had gone out while her dish-washer was on, fortunately came back early, to find it had just caught fire!Secondly she asked me to remind you that one of the most prevalent crimes at the moment is doorstep callers who call on elderly or vulnerable people and persuade them to have work done which is unnecessary; or for which they will be grossly overcharged. Anyone who thinks that he or she has a dodgy doorstep caller can ring one of three numbers:101 for the police01296 382649 for Bucks Trading Standards, or08454 040506 , the Consumer Advice Line District Councillor Cooper addressed the meeting with a number of updates to local issues affecting Aston Abbotts and the Aylesbury area in general. The proposed development of a Crematorium at Cane End appeared to be well received and all those who attended the recent presentations appeared the have no objections. The current proposals covered an area of 6 acres with 120 car parking spaces. The design was sympathetic to the landscape and the emissions controls were in accordance with the latest standards. The planning application has been submitted and will take 3 to 4 months before approval with the development being completed within 18 months to 2 years.The development of Aylesbury town centre was continuing at present located around the Theatre area. The new University building was under way and on the Northern side – the open car park – the proposal was to demolish the rear of the old Police Station and back of the buildings, this area would then become the car park, with a development to provide shopping and some residential housing. The discussions on this development were on going at present and it was noted that most present felt the current open car park was really well supported and one of the most popular. The decision on this development appeared to be some time away. Planning – As most of you are aware the new Vale of Aylesbury Plan (VAP) was rejected by the Government and as a result we have no Local Plan and the date for completing the re written Plan is currently 2017. The reasons for rejection were that the proposed housing was too low, the previous plan had 25,000 houses compared to only 6,000 in the VAP, and not cooperating / consulting with neighbouring planning areas. The effect of there being no plan is that the Planning Inspectorate has nothing to judge proposed developments against so we may see a number of speculative development applications. Those communities that are developing Neighbourhood Plans may have some protection against this speculative development following a recent judgement so it may make sense for Aston Abbotts to re visit this opportunity. A review of the boundaries for the Electoral Wards had been concluded necessary due to the increase in population. The objective was to equalise the number of voters per Ward and although there was no change for Aston Abbotts Councillor Cooper had gained Slapton but lost Cublington, these new Wards would apply at the next election in 2015.Finally he confirmed that Sainsbury’s would be building a superstore in the Gatehouse Road areas that would include a Petrol station. They would retain and rejuvenate the existing town centre store, it was anticipated the work would start this year.The Chairman thanked Councillor Cooper for his report and making the effort to attend given the other meetings he was committed to attend this evening.PCSO Hobson who had kindly attended on behalf of PCSO Boston gave a summary of the crime figures. In 2012-13 there were 3 crimes of note that included one theft and one criminal damage. In 2013-14 there had been 1 burglary, 2 thefts, 1 vehicle interference and 1 dog out of control. Aston Abbotts continued to have a low crime rate compared to other villages and areas. Never the less they were patrolling more and were continuing to target and address speeding in villages. There was advice on the Thames Valley Police website on protecting your property in the Summer period and individuals can sign up to the Neighbourhood Alerts which had proved very popular with residents and businesses. If any one has any intelligence on local crime they can contact Andy Dunn@ Aylesbury Police Station who is the Intelligence Officer and any calls are always treated in strict confidence. A question from the floor concerned parking in the village – PCSO Hobson advised that she would discuss the issue with PCSO Boston and have a look at matter. The Chairman thanked PCSO Boston for her report.5.Parish Councils Chairman’s Report, Mr Shorrock summarised the work undertaken during the year;•The most important has been the completion of the Village Plan document. This is a pre-production copy: the printers will be producing the number we have ordered in the next week or so, and we intend to deliver a black & white copy to every house in the village. You may recall that over the last couple of years we have asked you to complete questionnaire, and some of you may have attended the meeting in this hall, when we asked for your opinion on various issues. •All these views have been included in this document, and it is intended to set out what the village is like now, and to provide a vision of how we would like it to be. It contains issues of social, economic and environmental concern. Documents like this are regarded by the district council as supplementary planning documents, and the planning elements should be regarded as material considerations to be taken into account, when making decisions that could affect this village.•The document contains an action plan; and the intention is that this should be kept up to date by a committee. We hope that some members of the community will volunteer to join this committee, so that it is not just composed of members of the PC. When you have read it, if you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with me or our parish clerk, Paul Bruton.•As you may know, it is intended that on planning matters the document will eventually be superseded by a further document, to be called a Neighbourhood Plan. However, we cannot produce this yet, since our Neighbourhood Plan must dovetail with the similar plan prepared by Aylesbury Vale; and as you may have read, the plan they had prepared was rejected, and they have had to go back to the drawing board again. We cannot prepare our plan until theirs is approved, which I think is unlikely to be before 2016•The next item I would like to mention is that during the year we had to accept the resignation of James Perkins, who had served as a councillor for almost 4 years with great enthusiasm, due his having left the village. We were delighted to be able to co-opt Phil Spooner as a councillor in his place•Thirdly we were able to get BCC to erect a sign to try to persuade heavy lorries not to use the section of road running past the entrance to Bricstock, but to go round by the Green. We would like to stop them from using the road leading to Weedon altogether, but this was impossible - and the route they are now asked to take is the lesser of two evils. •Fourthly we discovered there was some confusion about who was entitled to use the notice board outside this hall. The parish councillors thought it was for council use only; but a number of villagers believed it was for general use. We on the council had not appreciated that there was no other notice board available – since the one on the bus shelter was locked, and the key had been lost. We have accordingly removed the defunct lock from that board, and it is now available for general use – and anyone who needs to use the Village Hall Notice Board is invited to ask our clerk Paul Bruton for permission to do so.•Fifthly we contributed £250 towards the cost of refurbishing the bus shelter at the Wingrave crossroads. While the shelter is in their parish, it was of course given by President Benes for the use of the two villages, and residents of this village do make use of it.•Finally, at the request of two or three villagers, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the star of ww1, we purchased several hundred thousand poppy seeds, which have been spread on the grass verges around the village and in the Rec., and planted in the churchyard.6.Parish Councillor Bob Carvey gave an overview of the importance of a Neighbourhood Plan, and the link to the Vale of Aylesbury Plan (VAP). As a result of the rejection of the VAP we had suspended the decision on our own Neighbourhood Plan as any Plan we developed had to be consistent with the VAP. However given the date for completion of the Plan had been put back till 2017 we should re visit the decision. The cost of the developing a Neighbourhood Plan was considerable even for a village of our size and may well be prohibitive. There followed a number of questions from members of the public concerning the potential for developers to make speculative applications and the village’s exposure to potential large housing development. Although this was thought unlikely there was a risk. It was noted that a number of local councils had developed Neighbourhood Plans and these included Winlsow, Buckingham and Wing. The Council were continuing to review our position.7.Phil Spooner reported on the activities of the 630 Club that was started in 1985 and meets at 6:30pm every Saturday night at the Royal Oak to enjoy a social gathering of conviviality and newcomers were welcome. Over 40 people attend regularly. Carol Spooner reported that the GNOMES (Girls night out men excluded) met every Tuesday night on a similar basis to the 630 Club with numbers varying between 5 and 20 – new lady members were always welcome. They had organised a number of events during the year including an evening of Boules in Cublington, the 11th Annual Christmas dinner, games night and a race night.John Hardcastle read Peter Knight’s report on the progress of the Village Orchard. The Orchard contains 109 trees, sponsored by 78 people or families. We have a wide variety of species with some very rare trees among them. One pear tree, native to this Parish is probably one of only three in the country of this type. Giving a home to rare Bucks. Varieties is on of our long term commitments. There are still 32 places available for new-comers to the village to get involved with this great project. 42 trees bloomed this spring, 2 apple trees putting on a great show and the Medlar trees looked lovely with their beautiful flowers. Our natural cowslips increased in numbers which is all very encouraging. This winter David Brandon, Roger & Ian Towle took on the job of returning the Trig point which had been removed from Lines Hill and installing it in the Orchard as a splendid feature – we are delighted with the result, it will be re-painted. Despite having a new roof our donated shed leaked badly this wet winter. Our official shed inspector has suggested a possible cause and we hope to correct this problem. Our next project are benches, we intend to install 2 benches as soon as we can despite the managing trio finding many things to discuss – should they be sponsored or should we just raise money – fixed or free standing – Where – Cheap and cheerful or serious and expensive etc etc. We will be very disappointed if we can’t attend a great social; function in our village Orchard but who can we persuade to take on the organising of this event. We regret the the furor over the muck heap but at the Orchard AGM those present expressed the strong opinion that the muck heap for the allotments should not be placed in the Orchard, we can think of no reason why it should. Finally remember it is your Orchard, use it and if you have any questions or suggestions please contact, John Hardcastle, Gordon Smith or Peter Knight, who are always available to talk about this great project.There followed a discussion and exchange of views on the subject of the muck heap. Tracey Hinds reported that the Coffee mornings in the Village Hall on Thursdays continued to be popular and the more that came along the merrier, so please continue to support.Pam Dixon gave details of the monthly Bingo Club that she organised with Sondra Dickason now in its 60th year. The evenings were originally started by Frank and Josie Humphreys and continued to be a fun evening raising funds for various local and national charities normally chosen by the members. On average 20 people attended the ages ranging from 8yrs to 90 yrs and it is a friendly gathering playing traditional Bingo as well as other forms, such as American, Reverse as well as themed evenings, the next one scheduled for the 12th June at 7:30pm – the theme being Florence Nightingale. They would like more villagers to attend as currently about 6 came along regularly.Colin Higgs mentioned the Whist Club that had been running for 75 years and is held every other Thursday of the month – again a;; were welcome to join in.John Hardcastle reported on the Book club that was started in 2009 and now had 14 members (2 male) who meet once a month at one of the member’s homes to discuss the book of the month (chosen by the host) and enjoy the odd glass of wine, they were now on their 55th novel. The size of the club seemed to be just about right and if other people were interested then he would be happy to start another club with the emphasis on attracting a few more male members.8.John Hardcastle reported to the meeting on the status of the Village Hall. After 12 long years Peter Shorrock had succeeded in completing the lease of the Hall. A public meeting had been held in January showing proposed outline plans for alterations to the Hall. Following the meeting the meeting and the comments received the proposed extension had been modified to provide as much floor space as possible. Two unisex toilets are proposed, one of which can accommodate wheelchair users. Externally ramps will be built to comply with the legal requirement to provide access for the disabled. The kitchen will be refurbished. The trustees have consulted with the Planning Department and with Building Control. The Historic Buildings Officer visited the site and Mr Hardcastle read his report that was favourable and indicated that the plans would be acceptable with perhaps a few minor alterations. The Trustees have now commissioned consultants to carry out a measured survey and prepare a planning application. Armed with planning consent and detail costings the Trustees will then be able to approach funders to judge how much money can be raised and advise villagers of the funds the village will need to raise.The Trustees will keep villagers informed of further progress.9.Phil Corrigan, the new Editor reported that advertising revenue from the Chronicle was down about 20% this year and with the production costs continuing to rise every year he would have to review current advertising rates as well as try to generate more interest from potential advertisers. The contribution from the Fete proceeds would again be well received to ensure the sustainability of the Chronicle. If anyone had anything they wanted to say or wanted to write an article please send them to him. The meeting thanked Phil for taking on the role, it is appreciated by all.10.Tracey Hinds reported that there was a Fete meeting scheduled for the 2nd week of June and the main attractions for the day were already booked, however currently distribution of profits from the 2013 fete was discussed and a debate followed on the needs of the various village organisations. It was agreed that the profits from the fete would be distributed as follows - £500 to The Chronicle, the balance to be shared equally between The Church, The Church Room and The Recreation Ground .11.AOB – Colin Higgs reminded residents that there was a Flower Festival and Craft Fair in the Church in the Sunday after the Fete. Jo Perkins asked who owned the hedge running alongside the allotments down the road to the garages behind the houses along Wingrave Road as it was not being maintained by anyone and she wanted to thank David Gray for cutting it back. After discussion it was concluded that the Church owned the hedge and Colin Higgs would ensure that the hedge was maintained in the future.Sally Palmer raised concerns over the condition of the pole on an item of play equipment in the Recreation Ground as it was thought to be a risk to children who might cut their hands when sliding down it. It was noted that the equipment is inspected annually by ROSPA and this was not highlighted as a risk by them in their recent report. The Councillor responsible for the Recreation Ground would look at the problem and if necessary close off the item from use and arrange for any necessary repairs.There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.50pm Read the minutes from the 2013 Parish MeetingRead the minutes from the 2012 Parish MeetingRead the minutes from the 2011 Parish Meeting
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is an Annual Parish Meeting?All Parish and Town Councils throughout England are required by law to hold an Annual Parish Meeting between March 1st and June 1st.Is the Parish Meeting the same as a Council meeting? No. Although a Parish meeting is convened, chaired and minuted by the Parish Council, it is a meeting of registered electors from the Parish and it is not a Parish Council meeting.What is the purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting?The purpose is to enable the registered electors to discuss parish affairs and to pass resolutions thereon. This meeting is also an opportunity for the Parish Council (and often the District and County Councils) and other community group leaders to explain their activities over the last year.Who can attend the meeting?Anyone may attend, whether they live in the Parish or not, but only registered electors in the parish may speak and/or vote.Can anybody ask questions and make resolutions?Any registered elector may ask questions of the Council. These will usually be answered by the chairman or by the Parish Clerk or a designated Councillor. An elector may also make suggestions and comment on parish issues and propose resolutions. Resolutions are not legally binding, but will be considered by the Parish Council at their normal meetings.Who will chair the meeting?The Chairman of the Parish Council must chair the meeting, if present. In his absence the vice chairman must preside if present. If neither is able to attend, then the meeting will elect a chairman from those electors present.Will Parish Councillors be there?Councillors normally attend and they will speak if required, but the purpose of the meeting is to enable ordinary electors to have their say. Councillors are electors themselves, so they also have the opportunity to raise questions and make comments if they wish.