25 Jan 2018

Minutes: 15th January 2018





Councillors:                                         Nic Brown (NB), John Lewis (JL), Martin Hearmon (MH), Julia Witcher (JW), John Howard (JH), Michael Edmonds (ME), Clive Harriss

Parish Clerk:                                       Helen Spurgeon

Responsible Finance Officer:      Robert Parkes (RP)

Parishioners:                                      There were 27 Parishioners


There were no interests declared.

1.       APOLOGIES

Paul Bown (PAB), Michael Hawkett

PC AGREEMENT sought to re-arrange the agenda.


Minutes were agreed as a true record and signed by Chairman, Nic Brown.

BUDGET 2018/19

Presentation of 2017/18 achievements. This was presented by JH and included the role of the Parish Council, village improvements carried out during 2017/18 and potential village improvements to be carried out during 2018/19.

Summary of 2017/18 expected outturn and 2018/19 proposed budget. This was presented by JL.

Formal laying of budget proposals. It was proposed to increase the precept by £2,000 to £34,000.

A copy of these presentations will be available on the Parish Council website.


  • A parishioner enquired whether the precept will remain at the current level. NB explained that there may be another year with a £2,000-£3,000 increase then the PC may be able to reduce the precept unless there are any unforeseen events. The increase in the precept is to fund specific projects. JL explained that many services will devolve from district to parish council over the coming years so regular expenditure will increase. NB also explained that many years ago the PC planted a number of trees in Chearsley that are now having to be maintained at a cost.
  • NB read out a statement from PAB. ‘’Councillor Paul Bown apologises for being unable to attend this evening’s meeting. However, he wishes to convey his view that the precept for 18/19 should be no higher (and preferably much lower) that the previous year and that the PC must find a way of carrying out all intended works within budget guidelines and seek a wider debate on the specific traffic calming plans being proposed.’’ NB does not share this view.
  • Part of the new traffic calming measures will include new road markings at the village entry points. A parishioner enquired as to how the road markings on Aylesbury Road will remain when the road surface keeps disappearing. This is a Thames Water issue caused by a faulty water main and pipework. The road surface is much better now than it was 6 months ago following recent repairs. The Cuddington to Chearsley road needs resurfacing and the gulleys need cleaning regularly. Thames Water and Transport for Bucks need to work together to resolve this issue before any new road markings are painted.
  • Cllr Clive Harriss expressed his view that he is in support of the precept increase for Chearsley. As there are fewer people in Chearsley it does have a bigger impact when the precept is increased than it would in a larger parish. 
  • A parishioner commented that they are pleased the PC is dealing with the trees in the village. A number of trees are falling down and there is ivy and brambles that need cutting back. ME is undertaking a tree survey to determine which trees the PC are responsible for. UK Power Networks were cutting back ivy by the village hall today but they have left a mess where they were working. ACTION: NB to write to UK Power Networks. Work needs to be carried out on footpaths next year that are overgrown and inaccessible. Parishioners were asked to inform the PC of any issues with trees.
  • Chilton Road is due to be resurfaced by March. A parishioner enquired as to who makes this decision. It is decided by Bucks County Council.
  • A parishioner commented that potholes in Bernards Close were reported to BCC and repaired the next day. The quality of the repairs is variable.
  • A parishioner enquired what the dragons teeth are which are due to be painted at the village entry points as part of the new traffic calming measures. They are white teeth painted on the road surface (similar to bunting).
  • A parishioner commented that the PC are carrying forward large amounts of money each year as projects are taking longer than anticipated to complete. He enquired whether the PC are getting a better feel for how long projects will take. JL explained that the PC are getting better, learning how to drive the authorities and plan the work and hope to improve further. Clive Harriss added that slippage does happen. The parishioner felt it was better to plan for the work and have slippage than to delay the work.
  • A parishioner enquired as to how we can measure the success of traffic calming. JH explained that speed tests had been carried out and the worst area for speeding was Aylesbury Road. The PC have access to the Sentinel Speedwatch device and this can be used to follow up on the speeding.
  • JL asked for a show of hands from parishioners if there were in support of the proposal of a precept of £34,000. All parishioners were in agreement.
  • JL gave an update to the meeting on the defibrillator. The case has been fitted to the wall outside The Bell, the defibrillator will be installed shortly and once it is operational the PC will inform the village.
  • NB gave an update to the meeting on the new Chearsley PC website. It is about to go live and there will be lots of information on there such as agendas and minutes of meetings, a link to AVDC planning and much more.

To formally approve 2018/19 budget.

ME gave his view that councils should keep costs down. He has concerns over devolved government and that there is no cap on parish councils. ME came to the meeting with 3 amendments: to spend only what we need to spend with a precept of £9,000, to reduce the precept or to keep the precept at £32,000. He is concerned that parishioners do not pay twice. After what he has heard at this meeting, ME will not come forward with any amendments.

Councillors voted on the proposed 2018/19 budget, the majority of councillors were in favour and the budget was approved.

  • JL informed the meeting that the Village Hall invites all Chearsley residents to a meeting on 29th January at 8pm at Willow Corner, School Lane to agree the sale of a 3ft strip of land to a neighbour with all proceeds going to the Village Hall. Details are in the Chearsley News.


    • Stockwell on Church Lane.  RP enquired whether this is covered by public liability insurance. ACTION: Clerk to check with insurance company. PC needs to consider whether the stockwell should have a fence around it. ACTION: JH to look into the availability of grants.
    • PC logo. This is now complete.
    • Grit bins. These have now been refilled. Bins are to be repaired by Bucks Landscapes and a new one to be located by Stoney Furlong. ACTION: NB to chase.
    • Grove Farm. Nothing further to report with regards to the bad smell. ACTION: MH to continue to monitor.
    • War Memorial repair and conservation.  ACTION: JL to produce requirement statement for contractors to quote against. Advice from other parishes, such as Shabbington and Thame, who have completed similar projects needs to be sought.
    • PC Governance. It was agreed that it is not necessary to produce a separate Risk Assessment document as this is already covered by the Financial Guidelines.
    • Trees. ACTION: ME to identify on a map trees the Parish Council are responsible for.
    • Madges Farm development. JH did not manage to get hold of Long Crendon PC. The revised routing of construction traffic has not been published on the AVDC planning portal. ACTION: JH to contact Suzanne Winkels to get this amended.
    • Bus stop. ACTION: JH to look at the installation of a noticeboard inside the bus shelter to display children’s art work.
    • Defibrillator. NB confirmed that Cuddington have no insurance for their unlocked cabinet. ACTION: Clerk to inform insurance company of new defibrillator in locked cabinet at a cost of £1800 and seek their advice on whether this should be insured.

4.       PLANNING

No new planning applications received.


Correspondence was received from Venetia Davies asking the PC to agree to formally adopt the new Parish Council website. Councillors agreed to this. ACTION: Clerk to agenda for the next meeting the maintenance and management of the website and also the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Nothing new to report.

7.       FINANCE

·         The monthly finance report has been circulated to Councillors. At present there is just under £30,000 in the bank.

·         Orders for Payment

AVDC -dog bins
N Brown - lights
Bank charges
Cricket club- rental
Peter Leybourne
N Brown - Equip hire
N G W Property Services
H Spurgeon
WEL Medical - Defibr.
Julia Witcher – tree
N Brown – various

·         Jacqui Porteous has agreed to act as Internal Auditor for the coming year.


JH attended the December LAF meeting. The minutes have been circulated. The next meeting is in Haddenham.

9.       GRIT BINS

This was covered under point 3 above.


·         A discussion took place regarding the state of the pathways in the village. Farmyard Path and Hicks Path are both blocked by debris. A survey of all footpaths is needed. ACTION: Clive Harriss to ask whether BCC can help. A parishioner enquired whether the holly on Hicks Path can be removed. ACTION: NB to follow up. ME’s gate on Church Lane is difficult to open, ME agreed to have a look at it.

·         A parishioner spoke about speeding in the lanes in the village. It is difficult to police. It was suggested that a note be put in the Chearsley News and website.


JH will be attending the Planning Liaison Conference at The Gateway, AVDC, 20th February 2018 17.30 – 19.30.

12.   DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING in Chearsley Cricket Club

·         Monday 19th February 2018 at 7.30pm