Minutes of the Fourth Meeting of Wittering Parish Council 2011/2012
held on Thursday 2nd. February, 2012 at 7.30 p.m.
in the Community Meeting Room of the Bowls Pavilion, Wittering
Richard Roffe (Chairman)
Hubert Warren (Clerk to the Council)
Wing/Cdr. Paul McClurg (RAF Representative)
MOD Pc. Andy Grainge (Unit Beat Officer)
Ward Cllr. John Holdich OBE
Ward Cllr. Dianne Lanb
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Geoff Dunkley (Vice-Chairman)
Mrs. Sam Cooper
A declaration of personal interest on an agenda item was made by a member of the Council.
1. VILLAGE POLICING
MOD Pc Andy Grainge distributed an official printed report with bar charts detailing crime and anti-social behaviour in the Village from 2002 to 2012 which show a very significant decrease in all recorded crime and clearly indicate the effectiveness of joint police initiatives over the past ten years.
However, 2012 started disappointingly, with eleven recorded incidents of criminal damage, theft and theft from motor vehicles reported to Cambs. Constabulary and MOD Police in January, on which appropriate action was taken.
Pc Grainge had received complaints regarding speeding in the Village and had been using a speed gun to detect offenders, but unfortunately it was an old fashioned type which could not now produce acceptable evidence that could lead to prosecution. However, he would continue to use it and issue warnings as a deterrent.
The Council was very concerned to learn from PC Grainge and Wing/Cdr. Paul McClurg that the current joint policing activities involving Cambridgeshire Constabulary, MOD and RAF Police will shortly regrettably be no longer financially sustainable due to Governmental cuts .
The Chairman expressed fears that as a consequence Wittering and surrounding villages are likely to be inadequately policed by part time officers with no powers of arrest and the Clerk will expound these fears to the local police authorities and the MP.
2. RAF WITTERING
Wing/Cdr. Paul McClurg (RAF Representative) reported that in response to complaints regarding litter problems outside the Spar shop, litter bins have been installed by the management and as these have proved too small they will be replaced by bins with bigger capacities ASAP.
Bins are emptied twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays but it has been noticed that bags of dog fouling are being deposited and a notice is required to stop this unpleasant practice as dog refuse bins are situated on the recreation field and the verge of St. Mary’s Avenue which are regularly emptied.
The Chairman has since visited the Spar site and noted a great improvement.
Wing/Cdr. McClurg, in response to queries regarding the current and future presence of the RAF in Wittering, explained that the Station is part of Air Command, with personnel levels the same as two years ago and flying activities 7 days per week including elementary training courses for (eg) University Air Squadron Cadets and visiting aircraft.
Meetings on the Station have also been arranged for representatives of City and Parish councils to be kept in touch with available information for the avoidance of doubt and inaccurate rumours.
The Chairman attends these meetings.
3. MINUTES of the Third Meeting of the 2011/2012 Parish Council held on Thursday, 24th.November, 2011, were reviewed, approved and signed by the Chairman.
Proposed by: Simon Hurd
Seconded by: Jon Warders
4. MATTERS ARISING
i) Parish Hall and Sports & Social Club
The Chairman reported that there had been no renovation work on the main building for fifteen years and following the completion of the 2010/2011 major projects (Sports Pavilion and Bowling Green building), the budget for 2012/2013 will include necessary expenditure to carry out interior decoration, improvements to toilet facilities and urgent attention to the sewerage system.
ii) Retirement of the Clerk
Two applications have been received to fill the vacancy and procedural advice is being sought regarding the composition of a Committee of the Council to agree the appointment.
i) The financial statement and bank reconciliation as at 26th. January, 2012 circulated with the Agenda, was reviewed and approved.
ii) The revised budget for Council Year 2012/2013 was circulated and discussed. (Copy attached to the Agenda). As agreed at the last meeting, no increase in the annual precept has been applied for in view of the current economic climate and the main items of expenditure included are in respect of the projects recorded by the Chairman in Minute 4 ( i) above.
iii) Risk Assessment.
The Clerk reminded the Council that risk management is not just about insurance, but also very importantly about achieving the aims and objectives of the Council within the financial parameters of the approved budget.
Insurance policies have been reviewed and upgraded to cover all risks for both established and new buildings from 1st. May, 2011 to 30th. April, 2012 and renewal of all other relevant sections.
In the circulated revised budget for 2012/2013, income and expenditure were calculated to safely finance the above works and provide an adequate carried forward figure to maintain reasonable reserves.
The Chairman confirmed that all statutory security, comprehensive insurance policies, health and safety measures and risk assessment have been documented.
It was agreed that proposals for the revision of hire charges for the Parish Hall will be formulated by the Chairman and Clerk and circulated to Councillors for approval at the next meeting.
The financial statement and revised budget were approved as presented
Proposed by: Deirdre McCumiskey
Seconded by: Roger Paull
The list from 8/10/201 to 23/01/2012 was reviewed and discussed.
Robin Talbot reported that the fence surrounding the primary electricity substation adjacent to the A1 was insecure and the area polluted with rubbish. The Clerk will bring this matter to the attention of the responsible authority.
The Chairman had received a complaint from an elderly disabled parishioner regarding a silver birch tree on neighbouring land whose branches were blown against the wall of her house in windy weather which was very disturbing.
For this and several other matters and concerns to be discussed with the two Ward Councillors, a mutually convenient date for a tour of the village with the Chairman was agreed.
8. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
This was agreed as Thursday, 29th. March 2012 in the Bowling Green Community Meeting Room
at 7.30 p.m.
There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.25 p.m.