Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 11th March 2019

7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Andrew Bartram, Graeme Dinner, Richard Draycott, Linda Hiscott, Marc Frost, Eric Benton (Vice Chair), Mark Brooks, James Carroll, Nigel Jacobs (Chair), Borough Councillor Graeme Coombes and, Lizzie Barnicoat (Clerk) and five members of the public.


There were apologies for absence from Parish Councillor Andrew Bartram and Linda Hiscott, which were accepted.


There were no declarations of interest for this meeting other than EB as a member of the Jubilee Centre Management Committee. Councillors were reminded that if they become aware of a potential conflict of interest during the meeting then they should declare it then.


Ian Jones gave an overview of the position of the Management Committee and how the Football Club have been considering ways in which they could support the financial viability of the Jubilee Centre.  The Club are proposing to run a licensed bar facility as fixed times around the training and matches during the football season only on a subject to demand basis.  The operating assumptions were detailed over a three year period to show the viability of the idea, as well as how it is intended to run the facility.  IJ nominated himself as the point of contact for the local community to discuss any items with regarding this.  It is expected that this would commence inline with the new football season if the Parish Council were supportive and the licensing process was detailed to all present.

The Parish Council felt there had been careful consideration by all those involved in preparing the viability case for this.  They unanimously agreed to support this idea in principle, encouraging engagement with the licensing Officers at Bedford Borough Council as well as with the community.

The Clerk offered to provide information to EB and the Football Club on the range of potential funding opportunities that are available.

Action 3.01: Clerk


It was unanimously agreed that the February meeting minutes be signed as a true and accurate record by the Chair, once the finance items approved had been updated in the final minute document.Action 3.02: Clerk

It was noted that the minutes of the meeting may contain extracts from Working Group reports which, although presented to the meeting, may not necessarily have been discussed at the meeting. They are included in these minutes in order to capture the progress on all actions placed at previous meetings in a document which is publicly accessible.


Action 6.12: Clerk To purchase a Local Council Administration Book. The book has been purchased. The Clerk to be reimbursed for the purchase cost between meeting on receipt of a copy of the receipt to evidence the purchase of the book.Action 6.12: Ongoing

Action 2.01: Clerk To receive a poster from Greensand Ridge Partnership to enable the Parish Council to circulate the information about the project more widely to the village. Still awaiting this.Action 2.01: Ongoing

Action 2.03: Clerk To ensure residents are fully aware of the compensation aspect following the outage and whether this would automatically be applied to bills or there would be a formal process to go through. This had been included in a Homewatch article and it was noted the process appears to be being applied automatically.Action 2.03: Complete

Action 2.05: GC To clarify with the local authority the chain of communications during such an incident and who tells Cadent there is an emergency plan in place in the parish GC had sought feedback from the local authority, the latest update regarding the Emergency Plan feedback from the recent gas outage was that the local authority did not inform Cadent it appears that there was an emergency plan in place for Wilstead.  This is why DL was not notified and therefore liaison is ongoing with the emergency support organisations to see what feedback there is from their perspective.  GC is awaiting a more substantive response from the Borough Council Officer that is responsible for these matters.  It was noted that the village emergency plan will be updated accordingly on reflection of the event.

Action 2.05: Ongoing

Action 2.06: Clerk To remind residents of how they can access the priority services register to be included in the next Homewatch. This had been done.

Action 2.06: Complete

Action 2.07: GC To clarify what is the out of hours number for the community to alert the local authority to such an issue should it arise again. This is ongoing as part of GC's communication. Action 2.07: Ongoing

Action 2.08: Clerk To locate the GDPR document for the Parish Council relating to the emergency plan and forward to DL. This has been found and to now be forwarded.Action 2.08: Ongoing

It was agreed that the CCTV associated actions would be covered during the Finance and General Purposes point of the meeting.

All other matters arising are covered in the various Working Group sections of the meeting.


No items received.



The Clerk had continued to circulate the monthly crime statistics.  

Action 10.03: Clerk To ascertain what approaches the Police are taking to control and prevent crime in the parish. The Clerk had sent an enquiry to PC Norris and is awaiting feedback.  Following the change in Officer allocated to the area, the Clerk had sent the request through to PC Jones and is still awaiting feedback.Action 10:03: Ongoing

Action 11.07A: Clerk To circulate the summary from the last police priority meeting when this is available. This had been received and circulated.Action 11.07A: Complete

Action 2.09: Clerk To book GD to attend the next priority meeting set for 13th March GD had been booked.Action 2.09: Complete


GC gave a verbal report to the meeting.

Action 6.04: GC To pursue with Borough Officers the recent traveller encampment at Bedford Road becoming a 'hot spot' for travellers. This suggestion has been put forward and GC updated that this had disappointingly not been taken forwards by the local authority.  It was observed that a site in Bedford Rd, Wixams had been identified as a hot spot. It was felt that this may have been done in error instead of Bedford Road Wilstead.   GC was continuing to follow this up and updated at the meeting that further information on the hot spot protection had been received from the local authority and it seemed it does not give any noticeable protection to an area.  It was therefore agreed not to pursue this.Action 6.04: Complete

Action 1.06: Clerk To make an application for a new bench in 2019/20 financial year through the Ward Fund This would be on hold till April.

Action 1.06: Ongoing

Action 2.10: All Councillors to feed back their comments on the recent East West Rail public consultation by the end of February This had been done and the response submitted.Action 2.10: Complete

Action 2.11: GC To forward the latest update on the development of the Wixams station to enable Councillors to be aware of the key updates.   This had been done.  Action 2.11: Complete

Some Councillors had also attended the recent meeting on the Wixams station latest.  

Action 2.17: GC To follow up the question of the interest payment with the local authority over CIL monies GC confirmed this had been done and the local authority have agreed to pay parishes every three months.  GC was thanked for this.Action 2.17: Complete

It was noted the local authority were proposing to remove some trees by 49 and 51 Whitworth Way, the Councillors agreed with this, and the Clerk to feedback agreement with this.Action 3.03: Clerk


JC had circulated a report prior to the meeting.

Action 11.09: PAWG To understand the level of work required which would then inform the budget for 2019/20 following the recent play area inspection. This is being looked into and CPM Playgrounds are being liaised with to assess the bark situation.The surface under the spinner has shrunk back again so AB is monitoring.The latest update was regarding the shrunk surface is that the contractor is aware of the need for the surface to be repaired and liaisons remain ongoing.Action 11.09: Ongoing

Action 4.06: AB To monitor the grass spotted growing through the bonded material surface. This is being monitored and AB updated that the recommendation from Playdale was to pull the grass up through the matting.  There was a discussion on whether weed killer would be a more appropriate deterrent, being mindful of the special rules around weed killer in public places.  A R Worboys have a licence for this work so it was felt best to consider this as a new option to explore.  AB reported at the meeting that liaisons with the manufacturer continue and they have also suggested it can be scraped out. It was agreed to put this action on hold until there is a frost to see if this kills off the grass growing through.  Given weather conditions at present it was felt this will not be looked at till the New Year due to the lack of frost.  AB updated that the grass is slowly dying back, but it is being monitored.  Action 4.06: On Hold

Action 4.06B PAWG To loosen the bark at the play area and then if required top up the material once the area has dried up. This is ongoing and it was noted that this presents no immediate risk.  It was suggested that a useful way to approach the work needed to the bark would be to have a Working Party to help loosen the bark. It was also felt following the recent play area inspection that a potential approach be looked at as part of Action 11.09 as well.  JC confirmed the bark will be rotovated first.Action 4.06B Ongoing

It was felt it would be useful to have a working party approach to help loosen the bark so a potential date for this to be agreed and then given to the Clerk for circulation through the Homewatch.Action 3.04: PAWG/Clerk

Action 1.08: AB To work on a specification for the extension of the footway  to take this project forwards.  AB had commenced work on this, and it was agreed that once three quotes have been obtained that the PAWG to bring a recommendation to the next full Council meeting.  AB had circulated the supporting information to all ahead of the meeting.Action 1.08: Complete

It was unanimously agreed to award the contract for the work to Harton Civil Engineering, AB to contact them.Action 3.05: AB


There continues to be the regular reporting to the Borough of the highways and street light repairs needed in the parish.  

Action 11.11: Clerk To ask Borough Officers Daryl Hall/Iain Booth if the Parish Council concrete street lights would be adopted by the local authority. This request had been send to the Officers, awaiting response.  It was noted that given it had been estimated to be a cost of £700 for the structure test, there needed to be clarity on if this is the cost for one or the cost for all, given there are eleven in total.  The structural tests have to be carried out by a qualified engineer which it has been ascertained the Parish Council contractor is not.  Therefore the Parish Council would also have to find a recommended contractor to undertake the structure test.  It was felt it would be helpful to have a face to face meeting with the relevant Officer to ascertain how best to proceed with this.Action 11.11: Ongoing

Action 1.10: RD To monitor the bench contractor who has confirmed they will review the benches once the weather has dried out, to ascertain the best material to use. RD confirmed this will done in April time.

Action 1.10: Ongoing

The supporting Working Group report was approved for publication.


Action 2.12: Clerk To place the Football Club business case for the Jubilee Centre on the next agenda  This had been done.Action 2.12: Complete

Action 1.11: Clerk To follow up the local authority grass cutting contribution. This had been completed and the contribution had now been received in full.

Action 1.11: Complete

Action 2.13: EB To resite the bench in the burial ground to Northwood Lane so the plaque could be added This is in progress. Action 2.13: Ongoing

Action 2.14: EB To arrange for a new bench then to be purchased for the purpose of the memorials, with it being agreed the Ward Fund application would be for half the cost of a new bench for the Burial Ground and the full cost of the reinstallation of the bench to be moved The new bench had arrived and the family will be installing the bench and then removing the existing bench to enable this to be relocated to Northwood Lane.

Action 2.14: Ongoing

It was felt there should be no application to the Ward Fund at present and thanks was given to MB for his assistance with the installation of the bench.

Action 2.15: Clerk To check the rules of plot decorations with other local parishes The Clerk fed back that this matter is monitored by others and it is difficult to enforce was the general comment from others.  It was agreed that the Parish Council would monitor the situation for now.

Action 2.15: Complete

EB was asked to check the date of the MUGA lighting work so this could be promoted through a future Homewatch.Action 3.06: EB/Clerk

The supporting Working Group report was approved for publication.


Action 10.11A (17) NJ To ascertain whether Persimmon will agree to the staggered release of the Section 106 monies.   There had been a site meeting in December 2017 with the appropriate Director to discuss a number of different aspects of the site.  Persimmon have sought clarification of the staggered payments proposed by the Parish Council, with the Parish Council calculating the cost of the missing equipment items they would wish to see in place prior to any adoption. This had been forwarded to Persimmon and several requests have been made to Persimmon to discuss these with, so far, no success.  There had been three further requests sent to Persimmon who had not responded and noted a resident has sent a request to remove some trees from the public open space area.  This had been forwarded to Persimmon as well, who have finally responded regarding this agreeing to the removal of trees if the Parish Council agree given they will take on the open spaces.  Action 10.11A (17) Ongoing

The Clerk to respond to the resident confirming agreement of the removal of the trees.Action 3.07: Clerk

Action 7.13: Clerk  To send a letter to the Post Office encouraging them to park their vehicles backed up to the hedge once boundary measures are in place to protect the Village Car Park wall. This was on hold until the measures could be secured.  Action 7.13: On Hold

Action 2.16: Clerk To source quotation for the works to the Village Car Park, more than one quotation for the work would be required, MB asked not to be included.  Once quotes have been sourced for the concrete posts to be permanently fixed to the ground an application to be made to the Community Chest fund.Action 2.16: Ongoing

Action 4.19: Clerk To start work on the NALC new Standing Orders This work is ongoing. EB offered to help with this and had commenced this review, it was noted the use of company services needs to be reflected in the revised NALC model document, which EB had done.  All present agreed to review the final updated document, though it was agreed in principle.  The document had been circulated and Councillors were reminded to have a look over.

Action 4.19: Ongoing

Action 4.10: F & GP WG To sign the Jubilee Centre lease given the length of time that has now passed and the lack of response from the solicitors and to be registered with the Land Registry.  The lease just needs a few small changes made to it which will be done by the Parish Council, then to be sent back to the solicitor for them to register with the Land Registry. For several months now priority has been given to other PC work.Action 4.10 : Ongoing

Action 4.13: F & GP WG To follow up the actions from the meeting when Councillors met representatives of the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group on 20th March The actions were being worked through though it is proving difficult to extract responses from Beds CCG and local practices. This had recently been followed up but no response had been received.Action 4.13: Ongoing

Action 6.05: Clerk To arrange a meeting to enable the Parish Council to pursue the transfer of this land off Bedford Road with Bedford Borough; Paul Pace or Paul Adams to be asked for a meeting regarding this. This has been followed up again recently by the Clerk and a meeting took place on 5th March in the Parish Office with Claire Pick.Action 6.05: Complete

NJ and the Clerk were awaiting feedback from the meeting with Claire Pick.

Action 3.08: Clerk

Action 10.09: F & GP WG To sign the woodland transfer documents. The approval of the Parish Council had been given to sign the woodland transfer documents with Gallaghers.  It had been agreed to sign this document off between meetings following a review of the document on behalf of the Parish Council by the Borough Council legal Officers.  This was to ensure this matter continues to progress. A maintenance period of 25 years with the Marston Vale was unanimously agreed as being acceptable to the Parish Council.  The communications remain ongoing on this and the Parish Council will sign as soon as the final document has been received.Action 10.09: Ongoing

Action 10.14: EB To see if Barclays implemented the charges to be applied to the account after the letter was received that the account transactions were over a certain value and so the Parish Council would be charged for each cheque. It was noted the charges do not come into effect until January 2019 so MF offered to assist with this matter as well.  There had been no charges applied to date, though it was expected that charges for January would not be seen until February's statement and the interest charges are to be paid every quarter so again the Council would have to wait to see what happens with this.  It would be at this point the Council would then consider whether to change bank.  To date from the beginning of March nothing had been charged to the account so it was felt this item was completed. Action 10.14: Complete

Action 10.17: F & GP WG To respond to the external audit report outlining the detailed work done previously on the item raised and to highlight the written approval the Parish Council have from HMRC.  The letter had been drafted BY NJ, EB to review, then if agreeable the Clerk to send.Action 10.17: Ongoing

Action 10.18: All To sign into the newly created council email addresses.  It was noted that all Councillors are up and running on their new Parish Council email addresses. The Clerk remains the only person yet to migrate, even after numerous efforts to do so.  AB offered assistance with this and to resend the information to the Clerk.  Progress has been made and the Clerk is working on a full migration to the new email address.Action 10.18: Ongoing

Action 2.18: NJ To attend the meeting of a new Forum for parishes along the A421 NJ was unable to attend.Action 2.18: Complete

2.02: Clerk To ascertain what stage the local authority need to give their permission for the use of highways land potentially to site a pole where the CCTV may be mounted The Clerk was seeking to speak to Andy Prigmore directly regarding this.2.02: Ongoing

Action 11.02: Clerk To ask the Police if CCTV had been a successful deterrent to crime in other areas. The Clerk had made an enquiry with PC Norris, who it appears is no longer supporting the local area, so the Sergeant forwarded the request onto the new point of contact PC Jones.  PC Jones had responded and this had been circulated.  The Police found CCTV a useful resource for their investigations.Action 11.02: Complete

Action 11.03: Clerk To enquire if it is realistic for the Police to have delegated powers to access the information on the cameras, and clarity on how this works in other areas. There is this access available to the Police it has been confirmed by the potential contractor, and the Police have confirmed they do access other local CCTV systems in parishes locally.

Action 11.03: Complete

The Clerk was tasked with when speaking to Andy Prigmore to enquire as to who else at the local authority needs to give permission or be notified of the Parish Council's intention to proceed with cameras, following the departure of the last Anti Social Behaviour Officer the Parish Council were liaising with. In addition to confirming how long the A6 diversion route will be in place, and the expected timescale of the works so this information could be detailed in the next Homewatch.  There also had been the potential for average speed cameras to be installed during the A6 works given the length they are expected to take.  The Clerk to make enquiries and feedback.

Action 3.09: Clerk

The supporting Working Group report was approved for publication.


Action 1.17: Clerk To make communication with the Planning Officer regarding the breach of conditions at the site off Whitworth Way This had been done and see feedback to item 7.05.   The Parish Council wished to express disappointment that at no time had the opinions of the village been sought on the delivery times which are still at peak hours of congestion.  This had been fed back and highlighted to the Council by the Clerk in particular the concern over safety of pedestrians at busy times when lorries will be blocking the roads.Action 1.17: Complete

Action 2.19: Clerk To place the fully discharged timings in the next Homewatch article so residents are fully aware of the situation. This had been done.Action 2.19: Complete

Following the feedback from the Parish Council to the construction management plan document, the local authority had asked for the timings of the vehicle movements to site to be adjusted.  The latest communication suggested this has been updated, and once this had been confirmed a further update to be placed in Homewatch.Action 3.10: Clerk

Given the number of ongoing issues with the site development, the new Construction Manager is planning to hold a public meeting in the Village Hall shortly to discuss a range of items with members of the public and Parish Councillors.

Action 2.21: Clerk To check the original and most recent planning applications concerning a site in Cotton End Road These documents have been looked out.Action 2.21: Ongoing

Action 2.22: LH/Clerk To respond to the recent Tree Preservation Order application The Clerk to check that the comments clearly stated the need for other nearby vegetation to be cleared up.Action 2.22: Ongoing

There had been a recent national planning policy framework update issued by the local authority which detailed how applications for new developments would be dealt with, this had been circulated to all.

The supporting Working Group report was approved for publication.


The meeting minutes from the group continue to be circulated.

The group will be making representation to highlight that now there is no GP surgery operating even part time in the parish this needs to be considered as to a further reason why the village is not a Key Service Centre.


(i)Payment of accounts:

Barnicoat LtdClerking service February   £1039.99

Eon UK LtdStreet lighting energy charges£114.90

Andy Muskett LtdStreet lighting maintenance£101.40

Anglian WaterWater charges £878.39

Mark HainesP3 expenses£58.36

Payments made out of meeting

Claudia FreemanRemembrance planting £314.00

Sanderson Electrical LtdVillage Hall works £6092.40

PlusNet Telephone and broadband £29.36

The Council resolved to pay the above cheques at the meeting.

(ii) Financial spreadsheet 2018/19

This has been circulated to all Councillors and all is inline, it was noted, to the end of February.


The correspondence list had been circulated.


Matters as arisen.  

The Chair closed the meeting at 9.50pm.