Ruscombe Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting of the Parish Council
Held in the William Penn Room, Loddon Hall, Twyford
On Wednesday 3rd July 2019 at 7:30pm
Councillors Present: Mr J May (chairman), Mr M Evans, Mr P Cassidy, Mr A Wrigley, Mr C Bell and Mr G Howe.
Twyford Parish Councillors Present: Mrs L Jarvis.
Clerk in attendance: Mrs R Reid.
Mr May opened the meeting at 7:32pm.
87/19 Apologies for Absence: Mrs C Bulman and Mrs K Robson.
88/19 Declaration of interest: Mr May, Mr Evans and Mr Bell declared that they are directors for the Campaign to Protect Rural Wokingham (CPRW).
89/19 Minutes: Minutes for 5th June 2019 circulated. Proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Cassidy, approved unanimously.
90/19 Public Forum: No one in attendance.
Mr Howe entered the meeting.
91/19 Update from Twyford Parish Councillor: Mrs Jarvis reported that TPC have co-opted a new councillor, so they are now full with 15 councillors. Gordon Holmes spoke at their recent meeting about rethinking Twyford use of plastic and they are encouraging alternative recycling and reuse of plastic like eco bricks. Polehampton Swimming pool Association have been given a loan of £5000 over a 5 year period. The contractor they had intended to use for the work has declined the job but has referred them onto someone else. Gordon Holmes spoke to TPC about Enough is Enough and so far, WBC have received about 7000 replies to their housing consultation. There is a possibly that WBC will develop the old Polehamoton boys school into the new library and run it, but not develop the rest of the hub at this stage.
Mr Evans entered the meeting.
92/19 Update from Wokingham Borough Councillor:
WE ARE SEEKING VIEWS ON GOVERNMENT IMPOSED HOUSING NUMBERS
Excessive housing targets have tyrannised our lives, our roads and our communities. We want to push back on the government-imposed housing targets and we need your help to show just how strongly our residents feel about this issue.
On June 24th Wokingham Borough Council wrote to all households to ask for your view of the housing numbers.
Under the current planning system, the Government could seek to impose a new house building target of between 800 and 900 houses a year on Wokingham Borough. The council believes that figure is too high and significantly more than we need and, as a result, is launching a consultation to ask residents if they agree.
The consultation, which will run until July 22, will be open to all adults in the borough and the council is encouraging as many people to take part as possible.
We want as many responses as possible. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE look out for the letters and make sure you respond. It is better for the planet and less cost to the council, if you reply online but there is a freepost envelope included for you if you prefer.
Letters will be sent to all households next week with a free post envelope to return the responses. Alternatively, residents will be able to go online at take part in the consultation at: www.wokingham.gov.uk/consultation – you will need to enter either the reference code on the letter or a valid postal address in the borough for your views to be counted.
Please don’t leave it to your neighbours to reply. Failure to respond essentially means that we will be made to accept all future housing targets issued by the government, regardless how how excessive they become. We already have enough house building approved to satisfy our forecast need until 2036. Please help us ensure we aren’t forced to build more houses, than we need. Make your voice heard and vote in this crucial consultation.
FOOD WASTE CADDIES
We apologise that some addresses have still been missed. Every household in Wargrave should have received caddies unless you live in a flat in which case we are resolving food waste collection household by household.
IF YOU HAVE NOT HAD A FOOD WASTE CADDY DELIVERED. PLEASE CONTACT ONE OF US AND WE WILL ARRANGE FOR THIS TO BE CORRECTED.
Accessing primary care is becoming more of a difficulty. The Council by becoming engaged should be able to help. I chair a forum with the primary care providers and the NHS in Wokingham.
Congestion is the greatest frustration felt by residents. They assume it is consequent upon development, but the reality is that it is mainly not. By concentrating officers on easing this I believe great inroads can be made quickly through removing road blocks on major roads, smart traffic lights, making contractors work at night, strictly applying the street works scheme and information to avoid road blocks.
Climate Change as we wrote last month is an issue which every governmental body needs to take seriously. The Local authority cannot resolve the issue but can do much to help.
We will be proposing a “climate emergency” at Council next month, which is making a statement that the council takes the issue seriously and giving a commitment to a plan within six months. There is much that the Council can do, which interalia are:
Air quality in Twyford and Wokingham Town.
Amending the Borough Design Guide so that new homes are green Ensuring that our planning policies encourage development proposals to incorporate measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions as part of sustainable design and construction
Purchasing a proportion of its energy from generated renewable sources
Promoting the use of ultra-low emission vehicles by supporting the electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Increasing recycling and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill
Encouraging the development of smart technologies to reduce energy usage
Green Energy, solar power and LEDs
Green technology for council plant and machinery
Enabling and encouraging more sustainable travel through enhancing pedestrian, cycle and bus routes
Planting trees, living walls, urban horticulture increasing wild flowers and attempting to increase carbon substitution
Please be in touch if we can be of help
John Halsall 07939 041227
Graham Howe 07540 193239
93/19 Neighbourhood Plan Update: Mr Evans reported that they had a very positive, well attended public meeting, some interesting comments from residents and they agree with the direction the Neighbourhood Plan is taking. They are concerned by vehicle speed, which RPC are aiming to reduce by purchasing a speed alert device. Mrs Reid will communicate with surrounding parishes as to whether anyone would like to discuss Neighbourhood Plan content together. Mrs Reid has been talking to the professionals about Neighbourhood Plans and we have three options:
Pegasus Andy Meader: Quotes £25,000 to £30,000 they do not have a standard format for us to follow.
Oneill Homer: Quote £8,250+VAT for standard Neighbourhood Plan, more complex policies would be in addition to this. Oneill Homer have also completed Hurley and The Waltham’s Neighbourhood Plan and are currently working with Wokingham Without. Oneill Homer have been responsive and helpful to our enquiries
Bell Cornwell: Quote £100 per hours but for an unknown quantity of hours required.
The Neighbourhood Plan Team would like to use Oneill Homer, this is proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Evans and approved unanimously. Mrs Reid will advise Oneill Homer to begin work and plan an inception meeting with the NP team.
Pennfields Parking: Mrs Reid will ask if we could get a detailed quote to take away the unknown costs.
Land opposite St James Church: Mr Howe is of the impression that WBC are in discussion to use the land, this is contrary to what RPC had been told. Mr May will talk to Mr John Halsall for some clarity.
Cleaning street signs: RPC would like all signs and street names to be cleaned, Richard has quoted £2.50 a sign, we do not know how many signs there are but £2.50 is a reasonable cost, therefore this work is proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Wrigley and approved unanimously. Mrs Reid will book it. Unfortunately, Mrs Reid has not been able to obtain any other quotes despite contacting numerous local companies that might off cleaning services.
Speed awareness alert sign: Quotes are all approximately £3,000, Mrs Reid will have further discussion with the companies and WBC and decide which devise is best for RPC. Intent to purchase proposed by Mr Bell, seconded by Mr Wrigley and approved unanimously.
Pennfields Community Orchard: Mrs Reid had emailed asking for permission to use this land but has not had a reply, Mrs Reid will try again.
95/19 Neighbourhood Watch: Neighbourhood Watch have written to RPC with concerns over speed of traffic, heavy weigh of traffic down the narrow Ruscombe Lane and Ruscombe Road and parking in the area. Mrs Reid will write to WBC about weight restriction, RPC have written previously but WBC may rethink their stance on the situation if they realise it is of concern to residents. RPC are planning to purchase a speed sign and would propose that the crossroads area would be a very useful place to locate it. We are unsure what RPC can do about parking at this time.
96/19 Horticulture, wild flower boarders: Councillors to have a think about a trial area. Grass would need cultivating then seeds sewn.
97/19 Planning applications:
Mr Evans has stepped down as planning chairman but will become Planning Vice chairman and Mr Bell will become Planning chairman, proposed by Mr Cassidy, seconded by Mr Howe and approved unanimously.
Mrs Jarvis left the meeting.
Bank reconciliation checked and signed by Mr May.
Grant request – Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association. £50 awarded Cheque #401
Cedric Gilson Internal Auditor £40 Cheque #398
Purco Print £60 Cheque #399
Econet £60 Cheque #402
Clerk wages and expenses £748.04 Cheque #400
Nest pension £64.15 Direct Debit
These payments are proposed by Mr May, seconded by Mr Bell and approved unanimously.
99/19 Reports form Liaison Reps:
Mr Wrigley informed the council he intends to step down from Ruscombe Parish Council next May, this will be a great loss to RPC as Mr Wrigley has served for many years.
Mr May closed the meeting at 9:02pm