Annual Assembly Minutes – Tuesday 1st May 2012

Annual Assembly Minutes – Tuesday 1st May 2012


Minutes of the Annual Assembly held on Tuesday 1 May 2012 commencing at 7.00pm.

Parish Council Members Present: J Yong (Chairman), Mrs B Hilton (Vice-Chairman), P Deason,
R Ellison, D Hilton (also Borough Councillor), Mr S Humphrey, Mrs S Jones, Mrs C Lester, Mrs A Sharpe, Mrs B Story,
Mrs M Turton, Mr D Whittall.

In attendance: Borough Councillors: D McBride, J Story, Mrs L Yong.
Clerk to the Council, Elizabeth Yates and Assistant Parish Clerk, Jane Shanahan.

In addition there were 16 residents who signed the attendance list.

Apologies for Absence: Councillor Mrs M Duffield.

4577  Councillor Jeffrey Yong, Chairman of the Parish Council, chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone to the Annual Assembly. 

4578  The minutes of the Annual Assembly, held on 3 May 2011, were approved as a correct record and signed as such. Councillor Allison Sharpe asked if any further progress had been made regarding traffic calming measures for Sunninghill Road.  The Clerk informed the meeting that the Borough was still considering the introduction of temporary ‘pinch points’ at the ends of Sunninghill Road. 

4579  The two Co-head teachers of Charters School addressed the meeting and reported on the examination success, number of students, teachers and support staff, funding, community and extra-curriculum activities within the school.  The 40th anniversary of the outdoor pursuits activity centre, Tirabid in Wales had been celebrated and the sixth form had grown over the last year to accommodate 450 students.    The move to Academy Status and the desire to establish a Community Multi-Sports centre were also stated.

After the Head Teachers had finished their presentation, the following questions were asked:

Councillor Allison Sharpe noted that the School had a Community Services Team and enquired if this could incorporate litter picking within the Parish council’s Recreation Sites where litter was a persistent problem.

Councillor Barbara Story asked of there was sufficient car parking for the sixth formers.

Councillor Barbara Hilton asked if Academy Status differed from Foundation Status.

Councillor Daniel Whittall asked how the community could help the school.

Councillor Lynda Yong informed the meeting of the Olympic Community Celebration Day on Saturday14 July and encouraged residents, businesses and local charities to attend.

Mr. Parker answered by stating that the school was keen to be involved with tidying areas that their pupils had frequented, that the sixth form car park was well used and managed through a marshal and the use of parking permits, that yellow lines down Charters Road had alleviated parking problems, that Academy Status was not significantly different to Foundation Status, but allowed the school greater financial autonomy and curriculum control, that residents were welcome to tour the school and suggest ideas for community projects and that cycle routes from the adjacent villages would be most welcome.

4580  Sergeant Martyn Withers presented the annual crime and detection figures for the Parish.  Whilst there had been a 13.7% reduction in crime within the Thames Valley, burglaries within dwellings had increased in the Parish (figures include metal theft from unoccupied dwellings). Burglary non-dwelling, auto-crime and violent crime rates had fallen. Detection rates were 24%, assisted by links with Charters School and adjacent police forces in Surrey and Bracknell. Sergeant Withers went on to describe the make up of the Neighbourhood Police Team and informed the meeting that a new PCSO had been appointed so that the Team was back up to its full complement. However, the police station in Ascot is reducing its opening hours to 12 hours a week.

After Sergeant Withers had finished his presentation, the following questions were asked:

Mrs King asked for figures relating to non-motor fixed penalty notices and their effectiveness.

Councillor Lynda Yong asked what powers the police had to combat anti-social behaviour during Royal Ascot week.

Councillor Duncan McBride asked if the Olympics would reduce local policing.

Councillor Christine Lester asked if incidents of vandalism had increased

Sergeant Withers explained the effectiveness of the fixed penalty notice, that there were sufficient powers to combat anti-social behaviour during Royal Ascot week, that the crime allocation had not been affected by the Olympics and that vandalism had always been a problem and that the police’s links with Charters School and the Neighbourhood Action Group assisted with reducing this where possible.

4581  The Chairman gave a summary of the areas of activity over the past year and proposals for the future. 
A copy of his report is attached in the Minute Book copy of these Minutes. 

4582  The following local charities were asked to address the meeting and present their accounts:

a) Ascot Fire Brigade Trust
Councillor David Hilton, as a Trustee of the Charity, informed the meeting of the range of grants awarded by the Trust.  These included five Sports Bursaries in conjunction with Charters School, Charters Youth Summer Programme and the Sebastian’s Action Trust.   He called on any organisation that wished to apply for a grant to write to him at the Trust.  The audited accounts were not available but would be published shortly.
b) Sunninghill Fuel Allotment Trust
The Accounts had been received and were available at the meeting.  Gary Morris, the Chairman of the Trust, informed the meeting that £100 000 was available for distribution within the Parish primarily for the alleviation of poverty.  To this end the Trust had awarded grants to the Ascot Day Centre and jointly funded a Youth Worker, with St Michael’s Church and Ascot Racecourse.  He explained that the Trust wished to raise its profile and involvement within the community.

c) Sunninghill Parochial Charities
The Accounts had not been received but Reverend Stephen Johnson informed the meeting of the role of the Charity through their support of the Alms Houses within the Parish and Christmas gifts for those in need.

4583  Reports were received from the following Borough Councillors:

Councillor John Story
Councillor Story informed the meeting as to why and how the Borough’s Council tax had been reduced and the impact on staff and front line services.  He stated that the Borough had sought to limit the effect on services and had delivered the tax reduction through improvements in efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Although Councillor Comber was unable to attend, Councillor Story informed the meting that he had submitted a written report in advance (attached).

Councillor Lynda Yong
Councillor Yong began by explaining her positions within the Borough’s Panels and Committees.  Through her role within the ‘Health and Well Being Panel’ she had been involved with the campaign to retain services at Heatherwood Hospital, and that a Strategic Health Authority Plan had been drawn up.  As a result of this Plan the retention of medical services had been guaranteed on the site.  She emphasised the importance of the Patient Participation Groups and urged local residents to get involved.

Councillor David Hilton
Councillor David Hilton spoke about two issues, the first being the future of Heatherwood Hospital. 
He thanked Ascot Racecourse for hosting the Public Meeting last year which he considered important in shaping the debate regarding the hospital and the inclusion of the Bracknell Health Space within the review by NHS Berkshire East.   He informed the meeting that he was now a Governor of the Heatherwood and Wexham Trust and that a Finance and Performance Governors Panel had been set up to scrutinize and monitor expenditure so that the Trust remained financially solvent.
Secondly he discussed planning matters, in particular the involvement of the Parish Council in the drafting of the Local Development Plan, in conjunction with Sunningdale Parish Council.  Councillor Hilton thanked all those involved for their hard work and explained the purpose of the Borough and Local Plan and referendum.  He welcomed the Localism Act as a means of devolving responsibilities to the Parish Council.

Councillor Spike Humphrey asked if the maternity services could be restored at Heatherwood Hospital and Councillor Hilton replied that the details of the services to be retained were being considered.

Councillor Duncan McBride
Councillor McBride informed the meeting of his role within the Borough’s Audit and Performance Review Panel and the Standards Panel.  He re-iterated Councillor Story’s welcoming of the reduction in Council tax and the role his Panel had in this process.  He also went on to list the main issues raised with him by his constituents, such as road re-surfacing, broken kerbs, litter, parking and speeding.  Councillor Hilton and he had funded signs at Cheapside School to assist with speed reduction in the village.

4584  The Chairman opened the meeting up to general questions which were as follows:

Peter Standley asked of the cuts in the Council Tax had resulted in a reduction in the Borough’s focus on bio-diversity, as there was no Bio-Diversity Action Plan or designated Borough Officer.

Reverend Stephen Johnson asked about the future of the Sure Start Children’s Centre in South Ascot.

Councillor Daniel Whittall asked if the Council tax cuts had reduced the role of the Careers Service within schools.

Councillor Hilton replied by stated that he would ask the Borough’s Head of Planning with regard to issues of bio-diversity and the relevant officers regarding the careers service. Councillor Story informed the meeting that the Sure Start Centre was to remain open.

Peter Standley thanked the Parish Office for their assistance with planning and community matters.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.30pm.
Councillor Jeffrey Yong