Minutes of a meeting of Sunninghill & Ascot Parish Council held at the Ascot Day Centre, Bagshot Road, Sunninghill, Ascot on Tuesday 7 August 2012 at 7.00pm.
Members Present: Councillors J Yong (Chairman), B Hilton (Vice-Chairman), P Deason, M Duffield, R Ellison,
D Hilton, S Jones, S Humphrey, L Roberts, M Turton
In attendance: Elizabeth Yates, Clerk to the Council
5055 TO NOTE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillors Christine Lester, Allison Sharpe, Barbara Story and Daniel Whittall
5056 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 26 June 2012, were approved and signed as a correct record.
5058 PUBLIC ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned to allow a resident to enquire about any potential use of the land along St George’s Lane, under what is commonly referred to as ‘Bog Bridge’. The Clerk informed the resident that she had not been a party to any discussion or meetings regarding this area of land. Councillor David Hilton confirmed that he had received no communication relating to this from the Borough, but that he would ask the Borough if they knew of any matters relating to land use and inform the resident accordingly.
5059 PRESENTATION OF COMMITTEE MINUTES
The Planning Committee minutes of 10 and 31 July were presented by Councillors B Hilton
The Leisure & Cultural Committee minutes of 17 July presented by Councillor R Ellison
The Victorian Street Fayre Committee minutes of 23 July presented by Councillor B Hilton
5060 FINANCIAL REPORTS – Months 2 and 3
The Clerk reported on the accounts for May and June 2012. No significant matters were noted, except a current under spend on administration, due to the reduction in insurance costs following a change of broker.
5061 THE LOCALISM ACT 2011 AND THE CODE OF CONDUCT
The Parish Council formally adopted the Royal Borough’s Code of Conduct, in pursuance of the Localism Act of 2011. The Clerk confirmed that each of the Parish Councillors had completed and signed the Register of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests. The Chairman informed the committee of a request from the Borough’s legal services that individual registers be published on the Borough’s web site. He recommended that Parish Councillors did not give their consent to such publication. The Clerk was asked to circulate the request from the Borough to each Parish Councillor for their individual consideration and response. Councillor David Hilton explained the key variances between the newly adopted Code and the existing Parish Council’s Code.
5062 THE DEVOLUTION OF SERVICES
Proposals from the Borough regarding the devolution of services relating to car parks and dog fouling enforcement were discussed. It was agreed that the Parish Council would not look to take on a devolved role in the management of car parks, parking schemes or dog fouling enforcement within the Parish, at this time. The committee could not identify sufficient ways in which the Parish Council could add value to the existing provision. The role of the Parish Council in shaping the Borough’s schedule in their provision of such direct services was considered to be a more apt role by Councillor David Hilton; as was the possibility of increasing this provision through the Parish precept. He also informed the committee about a planned change in the role and scope of the Borough’s Community Wardens and enforcement officers which could increase their ability to issues fines.
The Clerk was asked to enquire as to what the overall Borough budget for dog fouling enforcement was and how much had been allocated to the Parish. The Parish Council could then review again its role in the light of this information and the impact of the proposed changes to enforcement within the Borough. The Chairman went on to inform the committee that the Clerk was still awaiting information regarding the street cleaning schedule but that proposals for the devolution of the determination of specific planning applications was in progress. Councillor David Hilton advised that the Parish Councillors should seek training on planning matters if the devolution proposal went ahead. Councillor Peter Deason suggested that this training would be better undertaken once current changes to the planning framework and planning laws had been passed and bedded in.
The Clerk informed the committee of a letter received from Mark Taylor, the Head of Libraries, Arts and Heritage, at the Borough, requesting a meeting to consider the role of the Parish Council in assisting with the recruitment of volunteers for the libraries within the Parish. The Clerk was asked to arrange such a meeting.
5063 THE LOCAL BUDGET CONSULTATION
The Clerk informed the committee that the closing date for voting for area based projects had been extended until 20 August. The Parish Councillors were encouraged to vote for an extension to the skate park area at Victory Field, as recommended by the Leisure Committee on 17 July (minute 5033). The Councillors were also encouraged to vote on line for the ‘Big Society’ project to install inclusive play equipment within the Parish Recreation Grounds. Councillor Robert Ellison asked about a previous proposal for the refurbishment of the public conveniences in Sunninghill High Street. The Clerk informed him that the project had not secured sufficient votes to be approved. Instead the Borough had placed this project on their capital works programme. She was asked to enquire as to where on the list of works this project was.
5064 ITEMS RAISED AND ACTIONED WITH THE BOROUGH
The Clerk reported on matters raised with the Borough, including approval for emergency tree works at Blythewood, the Code of Conduct and devolution matters, as already raised.
Councillor David Hilton informed the committee of a series of planned road works within Sunninghill. He also asked Councillors for their views concerning a license application for the erection of an A Board outside Bar 1 in Ascot High Street. There was a general consensus that the High Street should be uncluttered and allow for pedestrian access. Councillor Peter Deason stated that he thought there had been a relaxation regarding the rules for A Boards. Councillor Luke Roberts enquired as to whether or not a Breech of License notice could be issued by the Borough where applicable. Councillor Barbara Hilton informed the committee that she was aware of inconsistencies regarding the placing of A Boards along the High Street. It was agreed that the Parish Council should remain vigilant regarding this and report any concerns to Councillor Barbara Hilton.
5065 FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Chairman informed the committee that Councillor Daniel Whittall had resigned due to work and family commitments. It was agreed that the vacancy would be filled, as a ‘Casual Vacancy’ and that the Clerk would action this, in accordance with the Parish Council’s procedures. Councillor Spike Humphrey requested that a vote of thanks to Councillor Whittall be recorded in the minutes.
5066 OTHER BUSINESS
The Clerk informed the committee of the success of the Parish Tour at Victory Field, with 60 children signed up each day for the activities involved, and that the Parish Soccer Shield was to be held on Sunday 26 August at 10.30am at Victory Field, to which all Parish Councillors were invited.
Councillor Robert Ellison informed the committee that judging for the Allotment Shield had taken place on Monday 6 August, with the help of the Head Groundsman at Winkfield Parish Council. The Clerk was in the process of arranging an ‘Awards Ceremony’.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.12pm.
Councillor Jeffrey Yong, Chairman