Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held via Zoom Video call due to the Covid 19 virus outbreak
On Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr J May (Chairman from item 163/20), Mr M Evans, Mr P Cassidy, Mrs C Bulman, Mr G Merrick, Mrs K Robson, Mrs J Holmes and Mr G Howe (from item 163/20)
Twyford Parish Councillor Present: Mrs L Jarvis
Others Present: Thames Valley Police PC Adam Young and PCSO Edward Hobart
Clerk in attendance: Mrs R Reid
Mrs Reid opened the meeting at 7:32pm.
159/20 Apologies for Absence: None
160/20 Declaration of interest: Mr May and Mr Evans declared that they are directors of the Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham (CPRW).
161/20 Minutes: Minutes for 4th November 2020 circulated via email. Proposed by Mr Merrick, seconded by Mrs Robson, approved unanimously but not signed due to not being together.
162/20 Thames Valley Police: Mrs Reid explained the RPC had received various reports of antisocial behaviour (dogs barking, moving caravans repeatedly making people feel intimidated), sometimes resulting in physical fights and had invited TVP to attend the meeting to help us understand what is and what is not a police issue. RPC wondered what should be reported to the police and which number to call is best. TVP explained if there is a fight taking place the police should be called on 999 because it is a criminal offense to physically assault another person. When there is general community tension, the police can work with residents and other authorities and share information to resolve situations but they are reliant on situations being reported to them on 101 or via the online reporting tool – accessed via the Thames Valley Police website. Neighbourhood agreements can be especially useful for resolving community tension. Situations like dogs barking are best reported to environmental health as a noise disturbance. Environmental Health can use noise monitors if appropriate to see what levels of noise there are and then act if necessary. With situations like moped driving on private land or along public footpaths, TVP explained if it is taking place at the time it should be reported via 999 because then the police have got a chance of catching the people doing it in the act. Although driving a moped is not illegal, if they are being driven on private land or down right of way pathways then there is also a chance that they are causing criminal damage to land or property and therefore this is a 999 situation. RPC asked what about cars parking up suspiciously, TVP explained the key to reports like this are to explain why the situation appears suspicious because that could dramatically change the level of severity TVP place upon the report. PC Young and PSCO Hobart are responsible for the northern parishes, which is why seeing them is sporadic, they spend more time in the areas that require them according to priority. PC Young is rural crime officer for this area of TVP so he does have more time in Ruscombe than the built up parishes. RPC asked what can we do to help prevent crime? TVP explained that more lighting and CCTV can help prevent crime. ANPR cameras can be useful to track cars driving in an area and can help lead police to criminals.
Mr May and Mr Howe joined the meeting.
RPC asked if anywhere in WBC area had a full area coverage of CCTV, TVP explained Wokingham town centre did, until about 10 years ago when there were budget cuts. Now there are privately owned CCTV and parish council owned CCTV. TVP think Twyford Parish Council have CCTV in King Georges field. Mrs Reid will put information onto the RPC noticeboards to inform people of the online reporting tool because RPC were not aware of it so RPC expect the majority of the public are also unaware of it too. RPC thanked PC Young and PCSO Hobart for joining the meeting, it has been extremely useful to RPC.
163/20 Public Forum: None received.
164/20 Liaison with Twyford Parish Council: Mrs Jarvis reported that TPC had Gordon Holmes talk about Twyford rethinks its plastic campaign. TPC have installed new gates on Stanlake Meadow, this will hopefully prevent unauthorised encampments on the land. There has been some criminal damage to Stanlake Meadow, a fence kicked down and picnic bench broken. TPC have donated £400 to Me2 club. TPC Twyforward has had a good response on the TPC website. Mr Cassidy reported that TPC neighbourhood plan team had wondered if Twyford and Ruscombe could have the same neighbourhood plan referendum date, RPC thinks there are positives and negatives to arranging this but Mrs Reid will make contact with them to discuss.
165/20 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillors: Mr Howe reported that WBC are still working hard to manage Covid. Mr Howe wondered if it might be more productive for RPC to give him questions of anything RPC would like answers or updates on, Mr Howe will then endeavour to find answers before the next RPC meeting. RPC agreed with this.
166/20 WBC Councillor Code of Conduct consultation: Mrs Reid will submit a comment to say RPC acknowledge and agree with the code of conduct proposed.
167/20 Planning Applications
202790 5 Northbury Lane: No comment
203000 134- 146 London Road: No comment
203126 141 London Road: No comment
These comments are proposed by Mr Evans, seconded by Mr Merrick and approved unanimously.
Mrs Bulman thanked RPC for helping to establish if planning enforcement could help with a boundary dispute.
168/20 Neighbourhood Plan: Mrs Reid reported that she expects to receive the design code policy from ONeill Homer on Friday and then Mrs Reid will proof read the document and then send round to RPC and Neighbourhood plan team to proof read as well, then Mrs Reid expects RPC should be able to sign off the document in January to begin Regulation 14.
169/20 Ruscombe Ponds: Mrs Reid has spoken to Stephen Loyd, now is a good time to dredge the pond because the Great Crested Newts are elsewhere hibernated. Mrs Reid is awaiting a quote to dredge the pond. In order to provide access to the pond RPC will need to remove part of the metal railing fence, Mrs Reid wondered if RPC would like to consider removing all of the metal fence and replacing it with a wooden fence to match the fencing around the church. RPC do like the idea, but Mrs Reid will investigate fence height requirements and report back to RPC. Mr Merrick has written a Health and Safety document and Mrs Reid has shared it with the insurance company, if they agree it is sufficient then Mrs Reid will share to RPC to adopt.
170/20 Adopt a street Volunteers: Mrs Reid will purchase boxes of chocolates for £5 per volunteer and pass them to Mrs Robson for delivery.
171/20 CIL money
Land at Pennfields: Ackers solicitors are preparing lease documents for RPC to sign. Mrs Reid presented a maintenance quote for the land from CR landscapes, £50 per visit, planned to visit every 2 weeks. Mrs Reid will see if this could be reduced to once a month during the winter months where the grass will not require mowing as regularly.
Wildflower highway: Mrs Reid presented a quote for £1298.27, this is a similar quote to one RPC received last year and a third company were not willing to quote. Mrs Reid will ask CR Landscapes to proceed. This is proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mrs Holmes and approved unanimously.
Streetlamps: Mrs Reid will ask Streetlighting team to quote for streetlamps in New Road and one in Pennfields.
History Board: Mrs Reid will ask the Twyford and Ruscombe Historical society to quote for a display board of Ruscombe history to be placed on the grass land near St James Church.
172/20 Finance: Payments to consider: –
Me2club: £150 Section 137 Grant Paid Unity #1/12 220
Clerk wages and expenses £647.55: Paid Unity #2/12 2020
Nest pension £55.76: Paid Unity #3/12 2020
SSE (November) £30.18: Paid via direct debit NatWest
Mrs Reid has received notification that the RPC website domain name needs renewing in January. Before this is renewed Mrs Reid will check that this is suitable to use with a new Netwise website. If it is, Mrs Reid will renew for 7 years.
These payments are proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mrs Bulman and approved unanimously.
173/20 Reports from liaison rep
NAG: Mr Evans reported that NAG have meet. Mr Evans reported that Wargrave Fire Station has closed, there had been an unauthorised encampment in Sonning and NAG would like more representation from members of the public and police.
174/20 Any other business
In January 2021 meeting RPC will go through the budget to set precept for 2021/2022
Mr May closed the meeting at 9:42pm