Minutes of a meeting of Sunninghill & Ascot Parish Council held at the Ascot Day Centre, Bagshot Road, Sunninghill, Ascot on Tuesday 18 September 2012 at 7.00pm.
Members Present: Councillors J Yong (Chairman), B Hilton (Vice-Chairman), P Deason, M Duffield, S Jones, A Nehra, L Roberts.
In attendance: Elizabeth Yates, Clerk to the Council
5083 TO NOTE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillors Robert Ellison, David Hilton, Spike Humphrey, Christine Lester, Allison Sharpe, Barbara Story and Michelle Turton.
5084 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
The Chairman asked to receive any Declarations of Interest in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.
None were received.
The Minutes of the Council Meeting, held on 7 August 2012, were approved as a correct record and signed as such.
5086 FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Chairman made no formal announcements. Councillor Hilton informed the committee of a forthcoming Neighbourhood Plan Public Meeting, to be held on Monday 8 October, from 7.00pm – 9.00pm, at The Pavilion, Ascot Racecourse, where ‘a vision for Ascot High Street’ would be discussed.
5087 PUBLIC ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned to allow Peter Standley to address the meeting regarding the need for the Parish Council to appoint a Bio-Diversity Officer. He considered this to be an important time for such an appointment. This was due to the designation of Allen’s Field as a SANG, the need to monitor the implementation of Ascot Racecourse’s Management Plan, (which identified the Racecourse as a wildlife site and set out means to develop bio-diversity arising from the Racecourse’s re-development), and the possibilities for bio-diversity within the Parish Council’s parks and recreation grounds. The establishment of an ‘Ascot Wildlife Group’, emerging from the Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale Neighbourhood Plan, and the desire of this Group to identify and encourage ‘wildlife corridors’ between the Parish villages was also considered by Mr Standley to necessitate the need for a Parish Council Bio-diversity Officer. This Officer could work alongside the Group, the founder of which had expressed an interest in such an arrangement.
The Chairman proposed that the Clerk asked for a volunteer amongst the Parish Councillors to take on this role.
Councillor Jones expressed an interest in joining the ‘Ascot Wildlife Group’.
5088 ALLENS FIELD AND SECTION 106 FUNDING
The Chairman took this item next as it followed on from Mr. Standley’s address. The Chairman reported on the plans for the management of Allens Field and the impact on the Parish Council. He informed the committee that Councillor Barbara and David Hilton, Councillor Ellison, the Clerk and himself had met with Kevin Mist, Head of Leisure Services, at the Borough. The management and maintenance of the field as a SANG was discussed as were the actions necessary to make it a suitable alternative to Chobham Common, for the purpose of development.
A follow up meeting had been held with Stephen Anderson, Outdoor Facilities Manager, also from the Borough, during which specific matters such as car park opening times and arrangements, the identification of an area for dog walkers, the possibility of a children’s play area and the need for an initial clearing of the car park and entrance had been discussed.
The Chairman and Clerk had agreed to work with the Borough in defining the scope of work involved and identifying local contractors/ residents to assist with this.
The use of Section 106 funding and the signing of an agreement between the Parish Council and the Borough regarding this were also considered. Councillor Roberts expressed concern that any agreement should not preclude the Parish Council from being involved in determining how funding was spent. The Chairman stated that the Borough would need to go out to consultation with residents before any significant activities were carried out and that the Parish Council would be involved with this. However, the formula for determining how much funding would be allocated was within the Borough’s jurisdiction and what actions were necessary for Allen’s Field to be become a SANG had been specified by Natural England. Therefore any Parish Council involvement or opinion would need to comply with these guidelines.
5089 PRESENTATION OF COMMITTEE MINUTES
The Planning Committee minutes of 21 August and 11 September were presented by Councillor B Hilton.
The Leisure & Cultural Committee minutes of 4 September were presented by the Chairman.
The Victorian Street Fayre Committee minutes of 22 August and 12 September were presented by Councillor B Hilton.
5090 FINANCIAL REPORTS – Months 4
The Clerk reported on the accounts for July 2012. No significant matters were arising. The Clerk informed the meeting that a strimmer had been purchased for the Groundsman and that the Parish Council would have to finance the Section 106 project at the Blythewood Nature Reserve before being reimbursed by the Borough.
The Clerk informed the committee that the interim internal audit was due to be carried out on 15 November.
5091 THE CO-OPTION OF A PARISH COUNCILLOR
The Clerk informed the committee that one resident from Cheapside had put himself forward for co-option to the Parish Council. However, he was not registered to vote within the Parish and was therefore ineligible for co-option. The resident had contacted the Borough regarding this and is in the process of applying to register to vote.
The Clerk would keep the committee updated regarding this application.
The Chairmen asked the committee to let Parishioners know of the vacancy for a Parish Councillor and to suggest that anyone interested send their CV to the Clerk.
5092 THE GROUNDSMAN’S STORAGE UNIT
The Chairman reported on the possibility of obtaining permission to erect a groundsman’s storage unit behind Ascot Business Park. This would be dependant on the owners of the business park agreeing a lease with the Borough and planning permission being granted. It was agreed that the Chairman and Clerk would pursue this.
Councillor Nehra informed the committee of a double garage that might be available for rent in the Parish and was asked to look into this.
5093 THE SKATE AREA AT VICTORY FIELD
The Leisure Committee’s recommendation for the improvement of the skate area at Victory Field was approved.
The Clerk informed the committee that following the Leisure Committee held on 4 September, a user group had been set up and that possible funding sources and suppliers had been looked into.
5094 ITEMS RAISED AND ACTIONED WITH THE BOROUGH
The Clerk reported on two matters raised with the Borough. Firstly, 750 spring bulbs had been ordered as part of the Community Bulb Planting programme run by the Borough. Secondly, Hilary Oliver, the Section 106 Special Projects Officer within the Borough, had emailed a draft agreement and flow chart regarding the devolution of Section 106 funding to Parish Councils. The Clerk was asked to circulate this email to all Parish Councillors for full consideration at the next Parish Council meeting, to be held on 30 October.
5095 OTHER BUSINESS
The Clerk asked each Parish Councillor who had not done so to send a photo of themselves for inclusion on the Parish Council’s web site.
The Chairman informed the committee that the Parish Council’s Allotment Shield had been awarded at a small ceremony held on 10 September, with two runner up prizes. The prizes had been donated by Longacres Garden Centre and Shepherds the Florists of Ascot.
Councillor Nehra asked if any further progress had been made regarding traffic claming proposals on Sunninghill Road. Councillor Deason replied that no further progress had been made, but that he was due to have a meeting with the Borough regarding this and parking arrangements within Sunninghill Village shortly.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 7.50pm.
Councillor Jeffrey Yong, Chairman