Annual Assembly Minutes – Tuesday 7th May 2013

THE PARISH OF SUNNINGHILL & ASCOT

 Minutes of the Annual Assembly held on Tuesday 7 May 2013 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 J Naylor, Mr A Nehra, Mrs S Jones, Mrs B Story,

Mrs M Turton.

 

In attendance: Borough Councillors: P Comber, D McBride, J Story, Mrs L Yong.

Clerk to the Council, Elizabeth Yates

In addition there were 12 residents who signed the attendance list.

 

Apologies for Absence: Councillor Mrs M Duffield, Mr S Humphrey, Mrs C Lester, Mrs A Sharpe.

 


5303
 Councillor Jeffrey Yong, Chairman of the Parish Council, chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone to the Annual Assembly. He informed the meeting of the passing of Percy Hathaway and the forthcoming retirement of Sergeant Colin Pike; both of whom had served the community for a considerable time.

5304  The minutes of the Annual Assembly, held on 1 May 2012, were approved as a correct record and signed as such.  

5305 Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker gave a presentation on the redevelopment of Bracknell Town Centre.

He began by explaining the background to the project and the history involved.  In the autumn of 2012, planning permission was sought, designs discussed and compulsory purchase orders made, where necessary.

Public consultation followed and a design team was established.  Pre-lettings were arranged with tenant possession and were due to be completed between June and October 2013.  Demolition and initial works were underway, including those to the front entrance of the Princess Square Shopping Centre. The re-developed Town Centre will include 11 restaurants, CineWorld, Marks and Spencers (along with additional new high street stores), four multi-storey car parks, re-designed service areas, semi-enclosed shopping courts and landscaping.  

 

Councillor Brunel-Walker informed the Assembly that further information and the drawings were available on Bracknell Forest Council’s web site and that he would provide the Clerk with a link to this.

The Chairman thanked him for his presentation and the following questions were asked:

Mrs Andreassen asked what the percentage of renewable energies was to be used in the re-development.  Councillor Brunel-Walker replied that the re-development had been given the highest ‘green rating’ possible and would include living roofs and walls, the removal of concrete and asbestos and the use of re-cycled water.

 

Councillor B Story asked if the 3M building was occupied the reply to which was that it was not.  She also asked if Bentalls the Department store was to stay.  Councillor Brunel-Walker replied that it would.

 

Councillor D Hilton asked what the cost of the redevelopment was to the resident’s of Bracknell Forest.  Councillor Brunel-Walker replied that, beyond Borough Officer time, there was no cost to the Borough as the redevelopment was funded by the insurance firm Legal and General, in conjunction with an investment fund.  

 

Councillor Ellison asked if the retail units were to be leasehold to which the reply was yes. He also asked about the los of trees in advance of the redevelopment.  Councillor Brunel-Walker explained that this had been necessary to avoid the bird nesting season and that there was a 3:1 replanting scheme in place.

 

Councillor Jones asked if the existing Town Square Fountains would stay.  Councillor Brunel-Walker replied that there was a Public Arts Strategy and that improvements to Public Open Spaces within the Town Centre were a priority, which could include the water fountains.

 

Mrs King asked if the road network called ‘The Ring’ was being affected, to which the reply was that it would change shape.

 

Mr Griffen (from the Society for Ascot and the Environs) asked if a hotel was included in the redevelopment.  Councillor Brunel-Walker stated that the Grange Hotel would remain in place.

 

5306  Mr Pilgrim, Co-head teacher 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; which had acquired Academy Status since the last Annual Assembly.  He expressed his thanks to the Borough Councillors for their support in obtaining a £500 000 grant for the refurbishment of the Charters Leisure Centre and explained the school’s plans for  improvements to the mathematics block as being the next proposed capital project.  The desire to establish a Community Multi-Sports centre was also stated as was the increase in use of the ‘bungalow’ as a centre for vulnerable children and their families.

 

After the Head Teacher had finished his presentation, the following questions were asked:

 

Councillor Peter Comber expressed his support for the school’s desire to increase the numbers cycling to school, which had fallen substantially over the years Mr. Pilgrim had worked at the school.

 

Councillor Barbara Story asked if there was a timescale for the proposed multi-use sports centre.

Mr. Pilgrim informed the Assembly that the planning permission gained for the centre had been renewed for a further three years and that it was dependant on funding.  Councillor Lynda Yong suggested that the school approached both Parish Councils for a donation toward this.

 

5307  Sergeant Colin Pike presented the annual crime and detection figures for the Parish.  Burglaries within dwellings had decreased in the Parish by 19.9% and criminal damage was down by 23%. Reported incidents of drug dealing and metal theft had also fallen, although Sergeant Pike stated that he thought it unlikely that the use of illegal drugs would ever be eradicated. Staff changes within the local Police Force had taken place, with a newly appointed PCSO and Inspector. Close co-operation with the Borough, particularly their Community Wardens and through the Neighbourhood Action Group had continued, such as the undertaking of burglary road shows.

 

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

 

Mrs King asked for figures relating to the number of cautions.  Sergeant Pike replied that whilst he did not have exact figures, his estimate was that the number had increased; as had the number of offenders involved with the ‘Community Resolution’ process.

 

Mr Clark asked if the opening hours for the Police Station in Ascot High Street were due to increase.  Sergeant Pike replied that this would not be the case; however, the Station was due to undergo a significant refurbishment in October 2013.

 

Councillor Story asked Sergeant Pike for his advice as to how to minimise the risk of vandalism regarding the newly refurbished public conveniences in Sunninghill.  Sergeant Pike suggested that Councillor Story contacted the Borough’s Crime Prevention Officer for their specialist input.

 

Councillor Comber asked if the recently reported murder in Ascot High Street was an isolated incident, or was this symptomatic of problems associated with One Bar, to which Sergeant Pike replied that it was one of five murders in the local Parishes since 2003.

5308  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. He informed the assembly of savings made to the Parish Council’s insurance and waste management costs.  He noted the success of the Diamond Jubilee Beacon Event and the Victorian Street Fayre, as well as informing the Assembly of improvements to the recreation areas and Groundsman’s equipment.  He thanked the Parish Councillors, sub-committee Chairman and Parish Council staff for their ongoing support.  He invited all present to attend the forthcoming meeting regarding Heatherwood Hospital, on 9 May at Ascot Racecourse.

 

5309  The following local charities were asked to address the meeting and present their accounts:

 

a) Ascot Fire Brigade Trust

Councillor David Hilton, as Chairman of the Charity, informed the meeting of the range of grants awarded by the Trust.  These included Sports Bursaries in conjunction with Charters School, a garden at Heathermount School and the Ascot Day Centre. He informed the Assembly of Trustees changes and that he had been appointed as the Chairman of the Trust, following Parish Council endorsement, since the last Annual Assembly.   He called on any organisation that wished to apply for a grant to write to him at the Trust and that the un- audited accounts were available for inspection.

 

Councillor Comber asked where the Trust’s income came from.  Councillor Hilton explained that the income derived from the rent gained annually from the lease of the former Fire Brigade’s premises in Ascot and amounted to a fund for charitable purposes of £30 000 last year.

 

b) Sunninghill Fuel Allotment Trust

Gary Morris, the Chairman of the Trust, informed the meeting that £70 000 had been made available from interest earned on investments for distribution within the Parish, primarily for the alleviation of poverty.  To this end the Trust had awarded grants to the Ascot Day Centre, Thames Valley Hospice, Charters School and individual families.  He explained that the Trust had appointed a new Clerk, Ruth Fettes and that the lease arrangements regarding Allens Field had been resolved with the Borough. This would bring with it additional development funds as Allens Field had become a Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG).  Mr. Morris stated that the Trust wished to raise its profile within the community, was devising a web site to assist with this and called for funding request.

 

Mrs Andreassen asked if funding for bio-diversity and environmental projects would be considered. 

Mrs Fettes replied that any application would be reviewed against the Trust’s funding criteria and that the next Trust meeting was to be held on 15 May.  

 

Councillor Ellison asked what percentage of the income derived from the use of Allens Field as a SANG would be available for charitable donations.  Mr Morris replied that the capital would need to be protected for the long term benefit of the Trust but that the interest gained could be made available.

 

c) Sunninghill Parochial Charities

The Reverend Stephen Johnson was unable to attend to present the accounts.

 

5310  Reports were received from the following Borough Councillors:

 

Councillor Peter Comber

Councillor Comber had submitted a report in advance of the meeting and spoke of his involvement as a Borough Councillor, particularly regarding traffic, parking, planning matters and the use of Section 106 Developer Contributions within Sunninghill. 

He informed the Assembly of a range of measures being looked at regarding traffic speeds in Sunninghill High Street (in conjunction with Parish Councillor Peter Deason), his desire to improve cycle paths within the Parish and the retention of the South Ascot Children’s Centre. 

 

Councillor Lynda Yong

Councillor Yong spoke on two matters, the refurbishment of Charters Leisure Centre and the campaign to retain services at Heatherwood Hospital. She welcomed the additional funding for the Leisure Centre which would result in significant improvements to the facilities which could be used by both Charter’s students and residents.  She urged all those present to attend the Borough’s meeting regarding Heatherwood Hospital.   

 

Councillor Story

Councillor Story informed the meeting of the 3% reduction in the Borough’s Council tax bought about through the renegotiation of contracts, a reduction in staffing levels and improvements in efficiency and cost effectiveness. He went on to inform the Assembly of a 20% budget increase for highways and street lighting, the refurbishment of the Public Conveniences in Sunninghill High Street, which were due to be opened the following week, and a reduction in cost to individuals using the Borough’s home care services.

 

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 stated the Panel’s desire to ensure that delivery standards were retained for Borough services, whilst reviewing performance and efficiency. Furthermore, he wished to ensure that Ascot and the Sunnings were recognised as a significant part of the Borough and welcomed the first Remembrance Service held within the Parish at St Michaels Church in Sunninghill as exemplifying this.

He re-iterated his support for the retention of services at Heatherwood Hospital and thanked Councillor Story for being the ‘lead petitioner’ and his fellow Councillors for their involvement in the campaign.

 

Councillor David Hilton

Councillor David Hilton began by talking about the impact of the National Planning Policy Framework and the significance of the emerging Neighbourhood Plan. He invited residents to inform their Borough Councillors and attend the Windsor Rural Development Control Panel if they were concerned about a planning application. 

Secondly he re-iterated his support for the retention of services at Heatherwood Hospital and cited the public attendance at the initial consultation event as being an example of how local people could affect policy decisions. 

Thirdly he spoke of his role within the Neighbourhood Action Group, which sought to co-ordinate local stakeholders in their efforts to combat matters of concern to residents.

He ended his report by welcoming the additional funding obtained from the Borough for Ascot and the Sunnings, which would include, amongst other projects, the extension of the skate area and improvements to the access road at Victory Field Recreation Ground. 

 

Each Borough Councillor thanked their fellow Councillors for their hard work and support during the year.

 

5311  The Chairman opened the meeting up to general questions which were as follows:

 

A member of the public asked if the Borough had a drain clearance programme.  Councillor Yong replied that they did and that residents should contact the Borough’s Streetcare Department if they considered a drain needed clearing.  The individual raised a further question as to whether or not improvements to the round-about adjacent to the Beechcroft Development in Sunninghill would take place as part of the Developers Planning Obligations. Councillor Comber replied that, to his knowledge, improvements were to be made.  Councillor Hilton added that the bank adjoining Victory Field Recreation Ground was the responsibility of the Developer.

 

Councillor Comber asked the Chairman why a Parish Council Bio-Diversity Officer had been appointed and who the Officer was.  The Chairman of the Parish Council’s Planning Committee, Councillor B Hilton, introduced Lise Andreassen to the Assembly and explained her role as providing specialist knowledge on the bio-diversity aspects of planning applications.  The Chairman added that the Parish Council received such a large number of applications that this voluntary, independent role was needed.  A member of the public supported and thanked the Parish Council for introducing such a role.

 

 

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50pm.

 

 

 

 

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Councillor Jeffrey Yong    
Chairman of the Council

Attachments – Chairman’s report.

Annual Assembly Minutes – Tuesday 1st May 2012

THE PARISH OF SUNNINGHILL & ASCOT

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.
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Councillor Jeffrey Yong