Cllr: C Sully (Chair)
Cllrs: D Chinnery, C Perry, R Fowler, C Little, S Morris
M Averill (TfB, BCC),
District Councillor N Rose.
11 Members of the public.
17/65 Apologies for absence:
Councillor Weir. District Councillor N Rose will be late arriving.
17/66 Approval of Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 4th July 2017, were approved with one small amendment to item 17/57 – 3 volunteers (not 2).
17/67 Matters arising from Minutes not itemised separately:
17/68 Declarations of interest on forthcoming business:
17/69 Report from County/District Councillors.
Cllr Rose provided information on the following:
i) Planning permission for the development of former chicken sheds at Kings Ash Farm: The Government has issued planning guidance that widens the scope for the conversion of farm buildings to dwellings. This has opened up a grey area between ‘development’ and ‘conversion’.
ii) Broadband connectivity: Cllr Rose will arrange for Cllr Morris to meet with The Director of Services. There is a Bucks Programme Board Meeting this week to discuss how to get Broadband to the remaining 5%. 6.
iii) Joint Working Initiative with South Bucks: Achieved a £1.8m saving this year and has seen a £7m saving since 2013.
17/70 Invitation to M. Averill to add comment to:
a) Oxford Street Consultation
Cllr Sully introduced Mark Averill, Head of Highways (Client), TfB, BCC, and he gave an introduction to the issue of parking and congestion along Oxford Street. The issue is historic and the Parish Council did previously consult with Thames Valley Police who explained that road users were not adhering to the Highway Code. The proposed solution of a single white line would reinforce the need to do so and remind road users not to park on or opposite junctions, in the bus stop, or blocking the fire hydrant.
M Averill began by stressing that this is by no means an isolated problem, but one experienced by many Buckinghamshire villages.
Questions and comments from the public followed:
Mrs Wilson: There is a pavement on Oxford Street, currently obscured by a hedge that would help make it safer for pedestrians. She went on to say that whilst parking on the corner of Princes Lane is dangerous, a white line would make little difference.
Mr Peace: How will any works be funded? Would the school and council consider a drop off system, incorporating vehicles exiting via School Lane.
Mrs Norton: Suggested parking at the Village Hall car park and the children walk to school, supervised. She also raised the issue of school buses following different routes through the village and asked that a ‘one way’ route is considered for buses.
Mrs Batty: A school governor, Mrs Batty advised that the school is doing what it can in staggering school start times and appealing to parents to use the local roads considerately.
M Averill responded to all of the above as follows:
BCC would have no objection to the instatement of white lines if that is the agreed route forward
A school drop off point is a solution successfully used by other schools in the county
Use of the village hall car park may be more appropriate for the afternoon pick up, to reduce the number of cars parking in Oxford Street.
Regarding buses, MA advised that a one way system would be very expensive to introduce. He agreed to consider what influence BCC may have over Service 73.
BCC are cutting back on the school bus services offered, instead looking to improve routes for children to walk or cycle to school.
Regarding the overgrown hedge, the Clerk should involve Scott White, LAT, TfB.
Mr Usborne made the point that it should be possible for school buses to avoid Oxford Street altogether.
Cllr Sully rounded up this matter by inviting further comments to the Clerk by the end of September.
b) Chesham Lane Review
Cllr Sully highlighted three key areas:
i) HGV’s & buses speeding
ii) the only 30mph stretch is through Kings Ash, although much of the road is unsuitable for speeds above 30mph
iii) The road surface is in poor repair in places and the gullies & ditches are full of silt.
M Averill responded as follows:
Generic lorry bans are difficult to introduce and even more difficult to police because of the needed for access. For example, there is a generic lorry ban that includes the A 4010, A4027 & B4009, however Thames Valley Police does not enforce it. BCC are pushing for SatNav software in HGV’s to show these as forbidden routes. Width restriction measures would also impact on agricultural vehicles & deliveries, so not an option.
HS2 vehicles will have defined routes and should be tracked so will hopefully not present an issue.
M Hafner pointed out that other examples of 30mph stretches (Hyde Heath) lend themselves better to the speed than stretches of Kings Ash that currently have a higher limit; allocation of speed limits seems inconsistent.
M Averill advised that the speed limit currently set is a result of historic road studies and will ask that BCC reviews this section of road again.
c) General Road Maintenance
M Averill advised that currently resources are low and unclassified road gullies will be cleared every 3 years unless there is a specific need, and suggested the Clerk contacts the LAT because increased funds have been made available for such works.
The Clerk should also speak with the LAT regarding the clearing of ditches and maintenance of vision splays & sight lines. The quality of pothole repair and pot holes in Oxford Street, were discussed specifically. MA advised that quality of repairs is improving.
Cllr Sully summarised the discussions:
i) The Parish Council will revert to Paul Hodgson with agreed proposals for Oxford Street
ii) M Averill will feed back on a review of speed limits in Chesham Lane
iii) The Clerk will raise requests for gully clearance and pothole repair with Amersham.
iv) The Parish Council will issue letters to property owners regarding hedge cutting
Action: Cllr Sully, The Clerk, M Averill
17/71 Comments or questions from the public
Questions from members of the public were dealt with in 17/69 & 17/70 above
17/72 Clerks report
Contents of the Clerks report were noted
i) Cllr Sully & the Clerk provided an update on the review of the Annual Return 2017. This matter is progressing. Action: The Clerk
ii) Invoices approved for payment included:
Centrewire – new gates: £452.93
All Seasons August – grass cutting: £200
Zurich Insurance – incorrectly signed, replacement cheque: £683.94
All Seasons September – grass cutting £200
Clerks Salary, 1/4ly to September - £773.94
Cllr Chinnery installation of gates - £21.96
Cllr Sully printing costs - £86
iii), iv) & v) - Financial Regulations, Risk Register & Re-evaluation of Assets:
Cllr Sully advised that review of the above is in hand and requested that final documentation be presented at the November meeting. An insurance valuation for the War Memorial is required.
Action: Cllrs Sullly, Chinnery, Fowler & The Clerk
17/74 Council property – reports and proposed actions
i) Playground– Cllr Perry
Everything seems to be in good working order and the weed killing around the wooden legs seems to have helped prevent further erosion by over enthusiastic strimming. This will need to be done again next spring. The fort is still okay - no signs of any further deterioration. Cllr Weir reports (below) on the new gates, which make the whole allotment/playground area more secure. The signs have been ordered and will be installed when they arrive.
Cllr Sully added that the Playground working party had a good first meeting and now need to get quotes for some of the proposed work
Cllr Chinnery suggested a working party to clear fallen branches from the eastern side of the playground and it was agreed a tree surgeon be consulted about raising the tree canopy in this area. Action: The Clerk
Cllrs noted that the litter bins are regularly emptied and thank those responsible. Cllr Weir will look into who this is. Action: Cllr Weir
ii) Allotments – Cllr Weir
Water troughs and Benches - The Clerk has contacted Ken Humphries who has agreed to make water covers for the troughs and remedial work to the benches. Awaiting a quote for the work & the Clerk will seek alternative quotes.
Nettles and brambles around the troughs had been cleared but will require further clearance late September. One unkempt allotment has now been cleared and weed killed. The cost of the work was £120. This allotment has now been rented.
The last allotment tenant for the plot nearest the telephone box has been asked to clear and weed kill the plot. The response was that she would speak to Steven Chilton to carry out the work at her expense.
This leaves one unkempt plot previously rented by Lee Common School requiring a considerable amount of clearance.
Two self-latching wooden gates have been installed. One on Oxford Street near the telephone box the other on Cherry Tree Lane.
All Seasons will cut the grass per schedule in September and October. The grass around the newly planted trees have been strimmed and sprayed with weed killer.
Further strimming and another application of weed killer will be made in late September/early October
iii) Other assets – Cllr Fowler
Quotations to refurbish The Well are still work in progress. Action: The Clerk & Cllr Fowler
Cllr Sully has spoken to the local Scouts re cleaning Emily’s seat and this is something they could do in the Spring.
No new issues reported.
Footpath TLE/11 between TLE/13 and TLE/14 behind Cornerwood [area 2 ]. Chiltern Society has a order to clear fallen free obstructions. Path is passable and remaining work will be carried out shortly.
A fallen tree has been cut & cleared from L30
Cllr Sully queried who might be responsible for clearing fallen trees on a footpath within private woodland.
Cllr Sully will approach the owners of Bramble Cottage regarding the hedge. Action: Cllr Sully
i) Oxford Street. Discussed in item 17/70 above.
ii) Sentinel equipment – the Parish Council will register interest at this stage Action: Clerk
iii) To consider the BCC consultation document on Transport Development Policy – it was agreed that this is not applicable to the Parish Council. No action.
17/76 Planning applications
Planning – comments submitted:
CH/2017/0999/VRC, 7 Oxford Street, Lee Common HP16 9JY - objections
CH/2017/1134/KA, Mulberry Lodge, Lee Clump Road, The Lee. HP16 9NA – no objections/request to consider alternative planting.
CH/2017/1080/FA, Nanton, Village Road, Lee Common. HP16 9LA – no objections
CH/2017/1263/EU, 2 Kingswood Cottages - concerns over curtilage & absence of full information
CM/71/17 BCC, Land Arrewig Lane – no objections
Outstanding – to be submitted:
CH/2017/1588/FA, High Tor, Village Road, Lee Common. HP16 9LA
Planning – decisions:
CH/2017/0895/VRC, Oaklands, Red Lion Hill, HP16 9NF; TLPC - no comment. Decision: Accepted
CH/2017/0907/FA, Crawshays Cottage, Lee Clump Farm, Princes Lane, Lee Common. HP16 9NB; TLPC -comments and objection. Called in to Planning Committee. Decision: Refused
CH/2017/0999/VRC, 7 Oxford Street, Lee Common HP16 9JY – TLPC –objections. Decision: Refused CH/2017/1134/KA, Mulberry Lodge, Lee Clump Road, The Lee. HP16 9NA – TLPC - no objections/request to consider alternative planting. Decision: No TPO
CH/2017/1080/FA, Nanton, Village Road, Lee Common. HP16 9LA – TLPC - no objections. Decision: Conditional Permission.
17/77 Parish Communications
i) to agree future programme of Drop-ins: January / May APM / Oct - tbc
ii) to agree items for next Newsletter: A summary of this evenings discussions on Oxford Street, an update on the allotment & playground area and the water saving link from Affinity Water.
iii) meeting dates 2018: 9 Jan / 13 March / 8 May / 22 May APM / 10 July / 11 Sept / 13 Nov
17/78 HS2 Hybrid Bill
Cllr Sully reported that:
* Joint parishes will meet with the HS2 AONB Review Group on 19th September.
* Dates for meetings with the construction teams have been offered. The Lee Parish Council would like a more detailed construction schedule.
* The Lee may submit a Community Project bid for playground equipment refurbishment. The Village School may also make a bid.
17/79 LAF Matters
Cllr Little reported that there was nothing further to add to his report circulated after the last LAF meeting.
17/80 Superfast Broadband
Cllr Morris reported: Connected Counties is the organisation tasked with contracting the services of BT for rolling out Superfast Broadband(SB) in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. On August 4, he met with Navin Sankersingh who is the key operating officer in Bucks Business First (who are acting for Connected Counties) dealing with this SB rollout and he reports to Philippa Batting at BBF. A note of that meeting has been circulated.
In summary he confirmed that those whose telephones are connected via The Lee Common Exchange or by Cabinet 2 (Ballinger) are scheduled to be able to receive SB by March 2018 but that those connected via Cabinet 1 (Chesham Lane, Red Lion Hill and Chartridge Road) will not be connected within this current programme (the “Excluded Premises”) because the funds available are deemed to be insufficient.
Sankersingh explained the alternative ways SB can be obtained by the Excluded Premises but they would have to be largely privately funded. There are government contributions towards such costs being a £350 government grant per premises and £30k available for schools in this situation. However the £350 is subject to the applicant having a download speed of less than 2MBps and a small sample of the Excluded Premises revealed download speeds of 2 to 3 times this level. It also revealed upload speeds which were all less than 0.5MBps which are pretty useless for commercial or leisure use of Broadband. As for the £30k school grants Lee Common School already has SB and SM is trying to find out the position of the Chartridge Village School but suspect they will have it also being a sizeable school.
In July the Government announced additional funds would be made available for the SB rollout. The Bucks roll-out is financed by central government, BT and local authorities. SM has written to Bob Smith, the Chief Executive of CDC, asking him to assist us in getting the SB roll out extended to the Excluded Premises, noting that excluding households in this fashion is divisive within the community. Since the last Parish Meeting Colin Sully has also written a strong letter to Cheryl Gillan complaining about the current situation.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.02pm.
The next meeting will be on 13th November, 2017.