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Local Politics

The Parish Meeting is the lowest level of local government, but is perhaps the most democratic form.

Chicheley is part of Milton Keynes Unitary Authority.  

Chicheley is represented in Milton Keynes Council by the Councillor for Sherington Ward,  Keith McLean.  Chicheley became part of the larger Olney Ward from the local election of 22nd May 2014.

Chicheley is represented in Parliament by the MP for North East Milton Keynes, currently Mark Lancaster.

Chicheley Parish Meeting is usually held in the Village Hall twice per year.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss matters of importance to Chicheley, and to report them to local and national government for attention.

The Parish Meeting is run by an elected Chair and Clerk.

Any person on the Electoral Register of the Parish is entitled to speak at a Parish Meeting.

Any member of the Electorate can ask for an item to be put on the Parish Meeting agenda.

Any matter pertinent to the parish may be discussed at a Parish Meeting.

The Press and general public have a right to attend Parish Meetings, but anyone not on the Electoral Register of the Parish is “stranger” and does not have the right to vote.

Chicheley Parish Meeting Accounts 2017-18


Parish Meeting Accounts Audit 2016


Parish Meeting Accounts Audit 2017


Parish Meeting - 11th April 2017

 

Chicheley Parish Meeting & AGM Tuesday 11th April 2017 Minutes

1. Present

Electors of the parish (12) Councillors Hosking and McLean

Chair: Robert Ruck-Keene Clerk: Jo Parker

2. Apologies for absence

Cris & Jill Tarrant, Ian Townsend, Kevin Breeze, Matt Pearce, Paula Blamires, Cllr. Peter Geary

3. Minutes of previous meeting

Approved

4. Matters arising

  •   No indication from BT as to date of removal of telephone box
  •   Fire hydrants have been repaired
  •   Access cover repaired
  •   No further issues reported with water pressure
  •   According to the MK portal website which has the latest and most accurate information, superfast broadband is planned for the village between January and September 2018. There will be a cabinet in village and residents within 1.1km should benefit from the service. The whole broadband programme has been accelerated.
  •   Manholes have been covered.
  •   Access to Chicheley Hall via Hall lane still a problem, as regards satnav instructions

5. Ward councillors’ update & Plan MK

Plan MK

Available for consultation following significant revisions, in which wholesale development of rural areas is not detailed. There is still some concern from Moulsoe, about the area east of the motorway where a mix of employment development and housing (c.5k homes) is likely.

Councillors encouraged individuals and the Meeting to respond to the consultation, which closes on 9th June. The plan makes reference to 1000 new homes in the rural area, which will be planned according to existing Neighbourhood Plans and the national housing plan.

Councillors encouraged the Meeting to look into putting together a Neighbourhood Plan which would enable the local community to have some control over future development and could ensure enhanced services in the area. Sherington and North Crawley are developing theirs. There is considerable work involved which would need careful consideration; funding may be available to support the work; it would be best done jointly with another parish e.g. Moulsoe to share expertise and costs. Weston Underwood are doing a risk assessment as to whether to go down this route. Guidance from MKC planning officers would be available; there are some exemplar plans.

Other local plans have indicated an increase of c.10% in housing, which would be around 5 homes in Chicheley. A Neighbourhood Plan would enable residents to decide where these might go.

The Chair indicated that his involvement in the development of any Plan as part of Parish Meeting business would represent a conflict of interest and he would have to step down.

Clerk to research local activity (e.g. do Astwood have any intention of developing a neighbourhood plan?) and contact John Cheston (MKC) for advice: how does it work for parish meetings, is it worth it, should we go ahead, what do they recommend – etc.

Plan MK details planning for development of the area east of the motorway by 2031, which would be equivalent in size to Newport Pagnell. At the recent Ward Forum, there was no evidence of focus on the additional infrastructure (e.g. roads, upgrading of junction 14, extra bridge, access, volume of traffic) etc. Should MKC consider this, all are encouraged to respond with concerns and issues, and any questions.

MK Dons training facility

The option to develop land off the A509 has been sold to MK Dons to develop a training facility. There is more land than they need so it may feature shops etc. Concern over the treatment of the tenant farmer was expressed. Should the planning application go ahead, individuals and the meeting will need to respond if there are any questions or concerns e.g. environmental impact, availability of the facility for public use. There is no timescale as yet.

New waste Strategy

Our councillors challenged the plan on the grounds that the proposals for making savings were questionable. No public meetings had taken place to consult. There will be a special council meeting where the strategy will be reviewed. Proposals include removing green bins or making extra charges for them; closing Newport Pagnell tip; reducing the distribution of pink sacks. Charges for parking permits is also an issue.

Minerals plan

This has not yet been adopted. Cllr. Hosking agreed to find out the approved route for lorries and keep the meeting informed.

6. Annual accounts

Thanks were expressed to the Balney Trust for the donation which enabled the purchase of the defibrillator, which has been added to the list of parish assets and the insurance.

The accounts for the financial year ending March 31st 2017 were approved

7. Audit
The meeting approved the draft audit and annual governance statement, and authorised the Chair and the Clerk to formally sign off the document following the internal audit.

8. Future expenditure
It was agreed to earmark a further £75 for landscaping Bedlam Walk, and make donations of £125 to the Village Hall and £50 to SCAN

9. Election of Officers
The Chair and the Clerk were reappointed (proposed by David Robertson; seconded by Judith Duncombe).

10. Any other business

  •   Chicheley Hall: the new sign was noted but residents indicated that there had been

no reduction in traffic trying to access the Hall via Hall Lane. Chair agreed to raise

with Chicheley Hall.

  There had been an increase in lead thefts from churches in the area. The Chair

agreed to ask Chicheley Hall security to be alert to this.

  The War Memorial is being included on the national heritage ‘list’. This is not only

gratifying for the village but the fact that it is on the register might help us get

financial assistance should maintenance or repairs be needed in future.

  Changes in local bus services had been detrimental to local service users. A ‘request

stop’ for the x5 bus would solve this. Councillor Hosking agreed to follow this up with

the local transport officer but it was deemed unlikely.

  Despite the signage and the fence, dog walkers are still using the route from the pub

car park behind the houses on Bedlam Lane. Rosie Armstrong and Andrew Burton

are the MKC contacts who may be able to advise.

  The Chair reported that repairs to the A422 are planned in 2017-18. MKC will also

inspect Bedlam Lane.

  Motorbikes had been travelling at speed through the village, usually early on Sunday

mornings. The Chair agreed to talk to the local neighbourhood team to see if Traffic could come out on a sunny Sunday. Speeding has been moved up the issues list in rural areas.

11. Date of next meeting

Thursday 12 October 8pm 

Chicheley Parish Meeting Accounts 2016-17


Parish Meeting 5th April 2016

Minutes


Present

10 electors of the Parish

Councillors Geary & Hosking

In attendance: Dean Thompson (Chicheley Hall)

Chair: Robert Ruck-Keene

Clerk: Jo Parker


Apologies for absence

Matthew Pearce, Jill Tarrant, Keith McLean, Paula Blamires, Christine Girard


Minutes of previous meeting

Approved as a true record of the meeting.


Matters arising

Traffic and incorrect sat nav instructions to Chicheley Hall are still a problem

Grain store is being built at Hill Farm after successful planning application 

We missed out on defibrillator funding via the British Heart Foundation but the meeting agreed to support an application for funding from alternative sources as well as earmarking some funds towards the purchase. Clerk to pursue. 

Bus shelter repairs have been completed; thanks to Ian Richardson for an excellent job 

SIDS are operational, and had been in the village during the previous week. Statistically speeding is a problem. Police van follows the SIDS (the village is a ‘hot site’). There are questions over what more the police centrally might do, as Newport Pagnell police have done all they can. Cllr McLean is following this up. More volunteers are needed to staff SIDS in neighbouring villages. At the next NAG meeting on 29th June, a strategy between council and police will hopefully be discussed. 

Inspection covers – MKC not of the view that they have sunk. 

Fallen fire/water hydrants need a piece of wood behind them 


Plan MK

Plans have been circulated by email. 

Chair read out a submission on behalf of the meeting, which was agreed. 

Councillor Geary reported that at the recent Executive Scrutiny Group names of the villages affected by proposed satellite settlements were removed. In his view the document is not fit to be the visionary document. Refresh of the core strategy is needed, given that expansion is a must, but this should be on a five rather than fifty year basis. In Milton Keynes developers will only build to accommodate the market. Growth should not be more than 1750 houses a year; maximum growth here has been 3000 houses a year. 

A legal challenge as to how this has been handled is being prepared, and it was suggested that we make a modest contribution from parish funds, up to £500 if requested.

Later this year, the outcomes of this round of consultation will be considered then the proposed plan will follow. There will be a further 12 weeks of consultation and modification, after which the planning inspector will comment, prior to a public enquiry (summer 2017). Recommendations will be due by autumn 2017, after which MKC will adopt or amend the plan in spring 2018.  

Likely outcome is a mixture of the proposed options. Some of option 1 and 4 are likely to be involved. Rural areas are a real asset to MK, so we hope option 3 is avoided. 


Ward Councillors’ update

Minerals local plan is in the final stage of consultation. Our comments were submitted. Public enquiry due in June/July. View of our councillors is that the plan is not sound; they will represent the area.  

School transport has improved

Thanks were expressed to the ward councillors for the donation to the Village Hall from the ward budget, to support refurbishment

MKC budget for next financial year was passed in February (approved first time).  3.95 % increase in Council Tax. Kitchener centre in Olney will remain open and service likely to be enhanced. Pink sacks will be available for at least another 12 months. There will be a review of waste and recycling. Sheltered housing warden service has been retained. Green bins will still be provided free of charge. Plans to close play areas have been dropped at least for the short term. No libraries closed; Olney remaining open. Some service cuts to children and schools – e.g. child mental health services.  Money for improving failing schools has gone. 

In May elections, Keith would be standing again; the Chair encouraged meeting members to support Keith as he has done a tremendous amount for Chicheley. 

Anthony Stansfield would be standing again as police and crime commissioner; the Chair expressed his support as one of his key objectives is tackling rural crime.


Annual accounts

Presented and approved (proposed by Pat Townsend, seconded by Pierre Girard).

We do not depreciate our assets, on the advice of the auditors. An extra pound for (nominal) has been included to cover the bus shelter. There has been a significant reduction in the cost of the insurance, and significant expenditure on the bus shelter repairs. A 3-year commitment to the insurance company only gives us a small discount. 


Audit & new audit rules

Thanks expressed to David Blamires for completing the internal audit. 

The Clerk will respond to feedback from last year’s audit regarding recommendations to earmark funds for additional expenditure and not maintain reserves (e.g. defibrillator plans, reduction in insurance, repairs to bus shelter). 

There have been some changes to the procedures for external audit whereby we have to submit our accounts but do not have to have an audit, so we have not opted out of the current arrangements, following consultation with members of the Parish by email. 

The audit documentation was circulated and approved (proposed by Cris Tarrant; seconded by Judith Duncombe). 


Future expenditure

Donation to Village Hall made, under Section 137. 

Agreed to withhold planned SCAN donation until its future is clear

Agreed to earmark £500 for the MK strategic plan ‘fighting fund’. This could come out of Section 137 allocation; Chair to check with other parishes how they are dealing with it. 

Agreed to earmark £500 towards defibrillator

Clerk to inform auditors of future spending plans. 


Election of Officers

The Chair and the Clerk were reappointed (proposed by Pat Townsend; seconded by Ian Townsend)


Any other business

Street light out on Bedlam Lane – all to report to ensure it is mended.

Road wear and tear (A422) in same place as in previous years – this has been reported.  

New system for reporting faults is operational. 

A ward visit will follow. All to send areas of concern to Clerk so list can be collated ready for the new service lead to pick up. Reference numbers when faults have been reported are useful to share, to enable tracking of progress. 

Recent flooding led to a diversion along Gog Lane, which caused further congestion. Chair to raise with MKC (Tony Toynton)  

Ian Townsend alerted the meeting to possible traffic disruption along Bedlam Lane at the end of the month when the thatched roof is replaced.  Patience requested. 

The Chair thanked the Councillors for attending. 


Date of next meeting: Tuesday 11 October 8pm




Notice of Parish Meeting

The next Parish Meeting will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 13th October at 19:30hrs.

Minutes of Parish Meeting October 2015

Minutes

1.     Present

Chairman: Mr Robert Ruck-Keene

Clerk: Ms Jo Parker

12 electors of the parish

In attendance: Cllrs Peter Geary, David Hosking, Keith McLean; Dean Thompson (Chicheley Hall); Michael and Tracey Schwartz (Chester Arms)

 

2.     Apologies for absence

Pat and Ian Townsend, Judith Duncombe, Christine Girard, Matthew Pearce

3.     Minutes of previous meeting

The minutes of the April meeting were approved (with one minor spelling correction).

4.     Matters arising not on the agenda

·       Grain store will now be located at Hill Farm; no application submitted as yet.

·       Broadband deployment planned from 2016 over two years. Chicheley should benefit.

 

5.     Chicheley Hall

·       Dean Thompson, new manager, was welcomed to the meeting.

·       Satnavs are still sending vehicles to the Hall via Hall Lane. It is particularly an issue for drivers approaching from Bedford.  It has been reported repeatedly by De Vere’s to e.g. Google. An ongoing problem.

·       Sewerage smell and leak down the main drive has been reported.

 

6.     Expenditure

Defibrillator

·       Agreed to apply for a defibrillator and cabinet package via the British Heart Foundation who have funding to provide equipment. As the Hall is too far from the centre of the village, it should be located at the Village Hall, attached to the building and the electrical supply. There are conditions attached e.g. volunteers will have to commit to training.  We should qualify for funding as the equipment will be publicly accessible and we are in a rural area some way from ambulance services.

·        If we are successful in our application for the equipment (due by March), a support package will be £300 to cover 7-10 year via Well Medical. 

·       Volunteers for training welcomed

·       Cllr McLean recommended obtaining a defibrillator and outlined the process: once an ambulance is despatched following a 999 call, one of the trained volunteers will be called. They will know the code to access the equipment, which they then take to the patient.

·       Clerk to apply and to let people know if we are successful

Bus shelter repairs

·       Work required on the bus shelter includes replacement window frames, new perspex, new guttering, and painting throughout, at a cost £460

Future expenditure

·       Bank balance stands at £1722.74

·       Known annual expenses, including insurance and planned regular donations, are around £460 against precept income of £651

·       The external auditors indicated that we should not hold large reserves. This is being addressed through the planned work on the bus shelter and the purchase of the defibrillator support package.

·       Given known and planned expenditure, including a considerable reduction this year in the insurance costs, it was agreed to reduce next year’s precept request to £550 (proposed by Pierre Girard, seconded by Cris Tarrant).

·       Clerk to investigate paying for the insurance for further 2  years to obtain a further reduction

 

7.     NAG business

Speeding

·       SIDS had been up in the week prior to the meeting, and covertly during the week of the meeting. Average speed is 47- 49 mph which indicates there is a problem. One vehicle recorded at 100mph with a significant number doing over 70mph.  People do seem to slow down when they see the SIDS flashing.

·       Thames Valley Police take the issue very seriously; Adrian Carden and the police station in Newport Pagnell see the outputs.  The camera van caught 30 drivers in 45 minutes; the area is successful in that respect.  Officers are also trained in the use of a handheld gun.

·       There are 3 SIDS kits shared with Olney, Emberton, North Crawley, Moulsoe and Chicheley and they are in the village roughly every 3 weeks. Shortly after they are deployed the police also visit.

·       The main road is a real concern especially between 3-6 pm, given people’s lack of care, farm vehicles, overtaking etc. A lower speed limit (50mph to the county boundary) has been requested before with no success. Rumble strips could help.

·       Cllr Geary suggested that permanent cameras would make a difference but there are strict criteria; we are probably above the threshold and the SIDS are useful in supplying police with data.

·       Chair agreed to update local officers ready to report to the next NAG.

 

·       Speeding in Bedlam Lane: there is a 30 mph limit and speeds over this are unlikely but blind bends and drivers unfamiliar with the road are more likely to be an issue. Unlikely to be funding for speed humps but additional signage might be possible. Mirrors suggested but there is a strict policy. Agreed to monitor the situation

National Rural Crime network survey

·       Results were circulated prior to the meeting by email.

·       Results indicated that respondents generally perceived that speeding and dangerous driving were ignored by the police, but that is not the case here.

 

8.     Ward Councillors’ update

·       Cllr Geary reported that the local minerals plan had been delayed pending a review of its robustness. Further consultation is due at the end of the year followed by a series of reviews by MKC and planning inspectors prior to a public examination.  It is still a plan, rather than actual planning applications, and will be complete by autumn next year. The area’s previous concerns are still valid e.g. the proposed Lavendon site will affect the parish as up to 30 lorry movements a day are expected, which is in any case unenforceable.

 

·       Cllr McLean has been tackling inefficiencies with school transport operated by a particular company. Evidence of where contracts are not being fulfilled should be passed to MKC school transport. Funding is an issue, but the service should be high quality and contracts should be properly managed.

o   Plan MK – calling a meeting for parish councillors – 29th October 730 at the Olney centre. Paper being published that becomes public. Officers from the development plan team coming to explain what’s in the plan. Consultation starts 25 Nov with a number of public meetings

·       Cllr Hosking indicated bids for funds from the allocated ward budget could be submitted by email.

·       The councillors were thanked for their continued support in applying for the waiver of community relief.

 

9.     AOB

·       Following PC Andy Perry’s retirement, Andy Hipkin has taken his place and will be visiting the village. PC Hipkin attends NAG meetings and can attend the Parish Meeting if there is a specific topic.

·       A large bird transport crate had been dumped in the layby. PC Hipkin has inspected it.

·       Overhanging trees in Hall Lane reported; Chair to have a look.

·       Clerk to report loose, noisy, inspection covers opposite car park and opposite Bedlam Lane.

·       2 fire hydrants have fallen over; David Blamires to advise on locations. They could be reported to the Fire Service.

·       Satnav: could visitors to the Hall please be advised to use the road signs rather than satnav.

·       Grass cutting is going well; Cllr Geary is chairing the landscape review group and will report back. Clerk to report to Andy Hudson the fact that North Crawley Road has only been cut twice. 

·       Road closure notice has been issued between 14 Oct and 14 Jan A509 westbound 730-1930 from Chicheley Hill to Renny roundabout with the diversion through Newport.

·       Dean Thompson, Chicheley Hall: are there any issues with landing a helicopter in the grounds e.g. animals in the fields? Advised to check with Cranfield.

·       Reiterated that De Vere do not permit fireworks and Chinese Lanterns to be used.

 

Date of the next meeting: 5th April 2016

 

 

 

Parish Meeting, April 2015

Chicheley Parish Meeting & AGM

Minutes of Meeting on 14th April 2015

1.     Present

Chairman:        Mr Robert Ruck-Keene

Clerk:               Ms Jo Parker

12 electors of the Parish

In attendance: Mr Sandeep Kaushik (Chicheley Hall), Cllrs Peter Geary, David Hosking, Keith McLean

 

2.     Apologies for absence

Matthew Pearce, Ian Townsend

3.     Minutes of previous meeting

Approved (proposed by Pat Townsend, seconded by Judith Duncombe).

4.     Matters arising

·       Noticeboard: repaired and cork inserted

·       Building plans: there had been insufficient interest in taking forward discussions with MKC re future expansion of the village.

·       Minerals Plan consultation: comments had been sent. Further consultation was underway to gather more potential sites across Milton Keynes.  Should the route to the Lavendon site involve lorries coming through the village, information on the tonnage and the amount of movements per day would be needed, and the Meeting would need to make further representation if this proved a problem. The Councillors offered to ensure that the relevant information is passed on to parishioners.  Phonebox magazine will be another source of information. The Chair agreed to monitor the situation.

·       NAG update: SIDS are in operation, overtly and covertly across the area. The speeds recorded and flashed to drivers are accurate; however the figures coming in on the reports are lower than anticipated, in line with findings at Moulsoe and North Crawley. A request that the equipment be recalibrated has been submitted although there has been no response from MKC. Cllr McLean was supporting the use of the devices.  Some devices remain unused across MKC (4 out of 10) which the rural area ought to be able to use. Thames Valley Police had responded positively to the initial results. There were now two officers trained in use of the speed gun, who will be covering the area.

·       Satnavs: directions from Google direct drivers down Hall Lane to Chicheley Hall. This has been reported but nothing has changed. The sign for the Hall has been changed as requested and has had a reasonable effect.

·       A new grain store for Chicheley Farms is in the final planning stage. A planning application will be submitted. The Clerk will pass these on to the email list and details will be available in the farm office.  The Chair will step back from this process to avoid any conflict of interest.

·       The organisers of the Emberton triathlon apologised for any rubbish on the A509 following October’s event and were monitoring litter picking at future events.

 

5.     Accounts

The annual accounts were circulated and approved (proposed by Pierre Girard and seconded by Pat Townsend).

 

6.    Audit

The audit was circulated. Thanks were expressed to David Blamires for his help in completing it.

7.     Future expenditure

The bank balance at the end of the financial year stands at £1526.93

Regular payments include playground rent (£1), BALC membership (£13.28) and annual insurance. Donations of £125 for the Village Hall and £50 to SCAN magazine were approved for the financial year 2015-16.

Future plans for expenditure were discussed:

·       A defibrillator (to be kept at the Hall) would cost around £ 1400 although grant funding may be available. The Chair agreed to pursue this. A final decision will be sought via email once all the information is available (Clerk).

·       The suggestion that the Parish fund black refuse sacks on a ‘one-off’ basis following the decision of MKC to stop the supply was withdrawn.  There will be further communication about the distribution of pink recycling sacks.

·       The condition of the bus shelter was cause for concern, particularly the guttering and windows. This would be addressed before the next meeting.

 

8.     Election of officers

Both officers were re-elected.

9.     Any other business

Ward Councillors’ update:

·       The road improvement programme 16-17 will include repairs to A509; Gogg Lane, and Chicheley road to Griggs piece.

·       Parishioners were encouraged to continue to report potholes and any safety issues observed around contractors.

·       There will be an opportunity to vote in support of the CMK neighbourhood plan on May 4th, although most parishioners were unclear as to its purpose.

·       Councillors had been active in opposing plans at Ousedale School to prioritise admissions for children with musical aptitude over children in catchment. It was expected that the plans would be overturned.

·       Further budget cuts are planned: there will be a rise in Council Tax, and cuts to services e.g. bus services. There are some questions about the costs of senior and middle management which ought to be looked at before cutting services.

·       MKC are going through procurement process for broadband roll out in MK. A decision was expected on 21st April which would indicate which areas are going to get it. Councillors agreed to keep the meeting informed. It was unclear as to whether an upgrade to the North Crawley exchange would improve speeds in Chicheley. All were encouraged to write to Mark Lancaster’s office.

 

·       The Meeting congratulated Cllr McLean on taking up his post as Mayor.  His charities of choice are the Royal British Legion and MK Cancer Care Unit.

·       The pub is scheduled to reopen on 1st May.

 

10.  Date of next meeting: 13th October. Agreed to meet in the interim if necessary as meetings are regular but infrequent.