Parish Meeting 14th October 2014


Chicheley Parish Meeting


Tuesday 14th October 2014

1.    Present

Chairman:    Mr Robert Ruck-Keene

Clerk:          Ms Jo Parker

14 electors of the Parish

In attendance: Mr Sandeep Kaushik (Chicheley Hall), Ms Judy Hammond, Mr Alan Plater, Cllrs Peter Geary, David Hosking, Keith McLean


2.    Apologies for absence: Matthew Pearce, Ian Townsend


3.    The minutes of previous meeting were approved.


4.    Matters arising


·            Visibility (foliage) around A509 roundabout still an issue (Clerk to raise via MKC system)

·            A signpost has been put up showing there is a ‘proper’ roundabout

·            Need for replacement grit bin on Bedlam Walk has been raised again via the MKC system.

·            Chicheley Hall were receptive to idea of a defibrillator being kept there.  Chair to discuss funding options with Emberton and North Crawley. Cllr McLean offered to make a contribution from the ward budget. The cost to the village needs to be very small given limited funds; a box to house the device (at considerable cost) might not be needed as it may be held in the more controlled environment of the Hall.  Chair to carry out investigation and draft business plan for Cllr McLean. Final decision to be taken by parish members by email.

·            Quality of service (MKC website and services) still poor – no metrics were available on e.g. requests within a parish. There is however a new drive to improve how the portal is working. Cllr McLean recommends writing to Mike Hains (Clerk), requesting facility to get management information as to what the requests are in the parish, so we and our Councillors can adequately monitor the situation and performance.

·            Chair thanked David Blamires for tidying up the board; cork is expensive but Chair will try to find an alternative.

·            Litter on A509 reported following recent cycle race; presented a potential hazard to drivers. Marshalls had litter picked during previous events at Emberton Park (and participants generally drop litter near marshalls for collection) but the road may present a safety issue. Events are not licensed by the council and it is ‘littering’. Race organisers should be made aware that residents are concerned; they have been receptive to requests in the past.  Getting them to pay for an additional litter pick on the road may be one option  (Clerk to email organisers (Big Cow events, copying in Andy Hudson at MKC)

·            Grass cutting – it has been quite long over the summer. New contract with Serco starts mid-November and is based on need, keeping the grass to a particular length. Andy Hudson is the contact but all encouraged to report any issues via MKC system

·            Trees on mound at top of Chicheley Hill are overgrown and there is litter.  Unclear as to whether the area is within Sherington Parish remit; they are in touch with MKC requesting that the trees be pollarded. Those concerned to report via the system; position re responsibility will become clear.  

·            Pot holes – slow response to repair needed to pothole on A422 has led to several claims for damage to vehicles. When it was reported as an emergency, a temporary repair was carried out the same evening, and a more permanent fix made the next day. All encouraged to report potholes via the system (the more residents who do so the better); Cllr McLean recommends checking the repair regularly in case more damage emerges. 

·            Potholes have been fixed on Bedlam Lane; sunken pavement outside the post office has been reported. 

·            Hall Lane culvert: it was repaired and then it ‘blew’ and has left the road blocked off.  Proper investigation revealed that it is a problem with the water main. Anglian Water should be coming to fix it, but it still may be blocked. All encouraged to make sure that if Anglian Water are spotted there, to ask them to check/rod. Thanks to Cllr McLean for his support.  [Post meeting note: this work has now been completed].

·            Diversion signs from last year’s roadworks are still here (reported)

·            Massive grit delivery earlier this year blocked the layby and a farm entrance; it was reported but the farm had to remove it themselves in the end.

·            Plan MK: the development plans for Milton Keynes were discussed and it was noted that MKC were asking for potential rural expansion sites that could accommodate 10 or more houses. Chicheley is hardly mentioned in the plan but it does cover, for example, potential housing development in Newport Pagnell and Sherington.  Nothing is planned for this side of the bypass.  Cllr McLean reported that Sherington had put themselves forward as a potential development area for houses in certain areas within the village, but they were reconsidering. Whilst Chicheley is not in the plan, the question was raised as to whether as a village we would benefit from more housing. It was noted that this can be requested even though it is not in the plan; strategic planning officers at MKC can give impartial advice and could be invited to a future meeting. Chair and clerk to email some questions seeking the views of parishioners (e.g. if we were to put the village forward as a potential development site suitable for 10 or more houses, what housing would be desirable: sheltered, affordable etc.) - with a view to adding it to a future agenda and a Council Officer would be asked to attend if there is sufficient interest [post-meeting note: all villagers on the email list were invited to comment but there was insufficient interest in taking this further].


·            Minerals local plan is also out for consultation. There is a public meeting in Sherington on 23rd .  Sites that have been put forward locally are in Lathbury, Lavendon and Sherington, and if they are approved the village may be affected by increased lorry traffic.  There are still a series of consultations and approvals to go through before these sites are approved and this is unlikely to be complete before 2016. Cllr Geary suggested that it would be useful if the parish and individuals raised any concerns about increased traffic, the subsequent impact on road condition given the tonnage of extraction planned in Lathbury, and ask why sites nearer the processing plants (e.g. Haversham ) were not being considered as a priority (Chair to follow up). Both consultations are open for anyone to send their views.


5.    Ward councillors’ update

3 councillors now, covering 17 parishes but they should be able to get to our meetings. Dates for election vary (David 2015, Keith 2017, Peter 2018). 

Their email is  Cllr McLean is deputy mayor and will be mayor next year according to current protocol, but there should not be a reduction in service given 3 councillors.  Hall launch, June:  Cllr McLean attended (excellent event and his first event in capacity as deputy mayor). Head of Highways at MKC is visiting the ward shortly; culvert and pothole in this parish will be on the list as areas of concern. 


6.    Future expenditure

It was agreed to keep the precept at the same level for the next financial year (£650).  Meeting agreed to use some of reserves towards defibrillator if necessary. Bus shelter guttering may need attention. Level of donations agreed – £125 to Village Hall and £ 50 to Scan.


7.    NAG update

Priority in the rural area (stretching from Weston Underwood to Moulsoe) is dealing with speeding. 10 new SIDS devices have been provided by MKC, 6 of which are being operated in the rural NAG area. Now Chicheley has a 40mph rather than 60 mph speed limit, we are eligible to use them. They were deployed a few weeks ago for the first time following relevant training. Volumes are not always correct because it doesn’t collect all the data if, for example, vehicles are in a queue, but the data indicates a high level of speeding (60-70%). Unsure as to how this compares to national averages. Outputs are sent to Adrian Carden (MKC) and Newport Pagnell police station, and to road safety representative at MK police (Neil Biggs). Adrian Carden and PS Andy Paulden have been asked to report back, and they are going to raise it with Neil Biggs who is responsible for acting on the figures. Frequency that we see the police indicates that they are catching people. Not sure what to expect next, thought we have passed on the data. Further  information is due from PC Andy Perry shortly. Cllr Geary suggested that the figures indicate that we are a prime site for a mobile speed camera, although policy review (between Police commissioner and MKC) is needed as these are not current policy. Cllr Geary agreed to follow this up with the PC and Neil Biggs. Road safety and safer roads partnerships are already on the list for a future meeting. We could write to the PC ourselves. Chair to ask Adrian Carden and  Sergeant Paulden to correspond with Neil Biggs to get something ready for the NAG meeting  5/11


8.    AOB

Raised noise levels at Chicheley Hall had been reported and quickly dealt with by Sandeep, who assured residents that ‘amplified sound’ will not be an issue going forward. Meeting thanked him for prompt action.


Satnavs are still taking vehicles to Chicheley Hall down Hall Lane even though we have been in touch with the main providers to alter their guidance. There are also still people mistaking Chicheley House for the Hall.

Sandeep agreed to act quickly to make a bigger, more prominent sign, also indicating pedestrian access only.


Chicheley Farms Ltd will be taking barns down and putting new barns up and there will be a planning application. (Chair declared an interest). 

Clerk will circulate application when it comes through and we can call a meeting if necessary. Unlikely to be done before harvest next year.


Question raised as to when the village is likely to get improved broad band access.  Cllrs recommend writing to Martyn Smith asking about plans for Chicheley, and where the nearest exchange is (Clerk/Chair) [Post meeting note: exchange is in North Crawley].


9.    Date of next meeting: 14 April 2015


There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:30pm.