MINUTES OF THE ASTON ABBOTTS ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 2011The Annual Parish Meeting was held on Wednesday 11th May in the Church Room at 8pm.PRESENT: Peter Shorrock (Chairman of the Parish Council), Paul Bruton (Clerk to the Annual Parish Meeting), Mr D Broadley (AVDC), Ms P Boston (PCSO) and 14 parishioners.MINUTE 1 Apologies - Mrs Kate Curry and Mr James Perkins.MINUTE 2 Minutes of previous meeting were approved by the Meeting as a true record, and signed by the Chairman.MINUTE 3 Matters arising - none.MINUTE 4 County Council, District Council and PolicePolice Community Support Officer Paul Boston reported to the meeting that it had been decided this year to incorporate the Neighbourhood Action Group reporting into local Parish meetings on a quarterly basis, giving residents the opportunity to raise any issues of concern. The crime statistics since the beginning of the year were 6 reported crimes - 2 damage to vehicles in Brickstock, 2 burglaries from other buildings (Garden shed or Garage), theft of a vehicle from The Green and a burglary from an other building in Brickstock.The major incident was the attempted Arson that was under investigation.There had been 6 calls in respect of other incidents, 4 in relation to suspicious males, 1 in relation to a stolen vehicle left in the village and 1 noise complaint. Paula Boston would encourage people to continue reporting such incidents and if a crime was or believed to be being committed then to call 999. considered further at a future Parish Council meeting.In response to questions from the meeting it was agreed that a supply of fridge magnets that give the number to call be supplied for residents to collect from either the Church room or The Royal Oak Public House. In regard to a question relating to parking in the village, in particular on verges and pathways PCSO Paula Boston advised that as a rule of thumb if you could get a Mobility scooter or double buggy past then the vehicle was not causing an obstruction. Residents can report the matter and the Police will try to contact the registered owner, the final resort would be the issuing of a ticket. For dangerous parking then they do have the option of removing the vehicle, but again would contact the owner to try to resolve the matter in the first instance. MINUTE 5The Big Society - Neighbourhood PlanMr David Broadley on behalf of the AVDC Forward Plans Group gave a talk to the meeting on the Government's Big Society and in particular the introduction of the Neighbourhood Plan in relation to planning policy.It is intended to replace top down targets for House building incorporated into the Core Strategy (this had been withdrawn in October 2010) and develop a New system taking a bottom up approach with all communities being able to suggest how much new housing is required in their communities to the year 2031.Housing policies can be delivered within a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) that is developed by Parish Councils after due consultation with residents. NP's are part of formal planning policy.A meeting with the Parish Council was scheduled for the 25th May to discuss the likely approach we might take that will include a full Public Consultation and then reported upon by the end of 2012.The Vale of Aylesbury Plan together with NP's will form the new development policies and strategies, it is intended that local input is sought at all times and nothing will be imposed.Newsletters produced by AVDC were available at the meeting and can be reviewed on the AVDC website.There was discussion around the difference between our proposed Village Plan and the NP, the major difference being that the latter will include formal planning policies specific to Aston Abbotts and developed by the Parish Council in consultation with residents. The cost of preparing a NP is borne by the Parish. We can use the resources of AVDC in preparing and planning our Plan if we decide it is something we wish to develop, additionally Grants may be available. If we decide not to develop our own applications will be considered based upon AVDC policy.Mr Broadley then took questions from those present, these varied from the concern over the burden being placed on the Village, what happened if we did not prepare a plan or didn't want any development, is the Village plan now redundant, are AVDC working with Local Forums and is there a relationship between the NP and the publicised Community Right to Build.In summary it was confirmed that AVDC would assist at all times in preparing the plan, there was to be no imposed housing targets, the NP was specific to planning policies whereas the Village plan incorporated wider issues, they only worked with Forums when there was no Parish Council.Finally Mr Broadley advised he would pass to the Parish Clerk any details on the mechanism of the Community Right to Build as it may be relevant to areas such as purchasing assets for the use by the Village. The Chairman thanked Mr Broadley on behalf of the meeting for his presentation.MINUTE 6 Annual Report from the Parish Council ChairmanThe Chairman presented to the meeting his Annual report on matters dealt with by Council during the year that included lodging a complaint on the introduction of the Egg Production plant that Planning enforcement are reviewing at present, finishing the upgrade of the streetlights in the Village, replacing the fencing and gates on the recreation ground, finished repayment of the Loan to fund the playground improvements resulting in a reduction in our Precept.Additionally with the support of our Local Councillor, County Councillor and neighbouring parishes we had been successful in obtaining funding from the Local Area Forum fro the 2nd Phase of the footpath to Wingrave Crossroads.Finally he wished to thank Peter Knight who kindly installed a new gate at Lines Hill that had recently been damaged beyond repair.MINUTE 7 Village Plan.The Chairman read out a report from James Perkins on the current status of the Village Plan."Firstly the bad news, it isn't finished. Secondly and more upbeat is the plan has moved into a state where it is very close to completion. The village has a draft village plan and a draft action plan.The following needs to be undertaken to complete.The draft action plan needs to be finalised by completing a final piece of consultation with the village as recommended by Community Action Bucks. A questionnaire has been drafted and this needs to be delivered and feedback recorded.Once this is complete the varying different draft sections need combining with the draft action plan. The combination of both will enable the plan to be brought forward for signing.I have recommended to Councillors Shorrock and Curry that we have a meeting to look at the detail of these broad actions which will take place next week. I will then be able to report back to the Parish Council in the following week at their monthly meeting.Finally I understand that people might be feeling a little worn regarding the time taken to complete this plan. I agree it is taking a long time however I must reiterate that we are not far off. A final push will see the plan put into publication and I am committed to getting it there."Village Sign - Mr John Whyte advised that he and his Astonbury colleagues had the idea of using the surplus funds from Astonbury and the Christmas shows to purchase on behalf of the village a Village Sign. He reported that having floated the idea with friends and the Parish Council the feedback had been pretty supportive and he wished to present the idea to a wider audience.He was therefore asking for ideas for emblems depicting the village that could be incorporated into the design of the sign. It was thought that three such emblems would be representative and details would be included in the Chronicle.It was noted that planning permission would be requiredThere followed a discussion around the possible location, probably The Green, and the size and materials to be used.All present agreed it was a good idea. MINUTE 8 Church RoomThe Chairman read out a short letter he had written to the lawyers regarding completion of the Lease. It seemed that he was unable to get any response or move the matter forward.It was felt that a meeting of the Committee should discuss this issue and decide what steps to take in order to progress the Lease.The Chairman believed there was sufficient funds to complete the repairs required to the building that included subsidence in one corner of the building, new kitchen, toilets and electrics. However further funds would be required to build an ant extension, disabled toilet and access ramps, but that grants may be available from WREN and other similar organisations that supported such projects.The meeting was in full support of continuing with the objective of securing a Lease.MINUTE 9 The ChronicleJohn Hardcastle reported that Janet Issitt who took over the publication until December after which there was a gap and he had volunteered to resume as Editor of the village magazine. It was noted that revenues were down, due to less advertising, and that the level of financial support be maintained at last year's level.MINUTE 10 Fete 2010 and 2011There was nobody present to report on the Fete, however April Curnow reported that as far as she was aware the plans were in place for this year's event and with the continuation of the Summer Ball afterwards, once again it promised to be an exciting day.After some discussion, it was agreed to distribute the proceeds as follows: a)Chronicle £600 (regardless of actual takings) b)Church - 50% of the remainder c)Church Room - fund for refurbishment 35% of the remainder d)Recreation Ground 15% of the remainderMINUTE 11 A.O.B. Sally Palmer commented that she had noted that the village had not organised anything to celebrate the recent Royal Wedding. It had already been announced that next year in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Wedding Anniversary there would be a public holiday on the 4th and 5th June. It was suggested that the village might like to join in the celebrations and she was suggesting perhaps an event is organised on the Recreation Ground that could include activities for children, 50's style picnic and if any residents were around at the time of the Coronation any ideas for the day would be welcome. Any funds raised from the day could perhaps be put towards replacing some of he Oak trees the village has lost over the last few years.It was agreed this was a good idea and an article asking for ideas and suggestions would be included in the Chronicle.The Chairman thanked all those attending and the meeting closed at 9.40pm
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is an Annual Parish Meeting?All Parish and Town Councils throughout England are required by law to hold an Annual Parish Meeting between March 1st and June 1st.Is the Parish Meeting the same as a Council meeting? No. Although a Parish meeting is convened, chaired and minuted by the Parish Council, it is a meeting of registered electors from the Parish and it is not a Parish Council meeting.What is the purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting?The purpose is to enable the registered electors to discuss parish affairs and to pass resolutions thereon. This meeting is also an opportunity for the Parish Council (and often the District and County Councils) and other community group leaders to explain their activities over the last year.Who can attend the meeting?Anyone may attend, whether they live in the Parish or not, but only registered electors in the parish may speak and/or vote.Can anybody ask questions and make resolutions?Any registered elector may ask questions of the Council. These will usually be answered by the chairman or by the Parish Clerk or a designated Councillor. An elector may also make suggestions and comment on parish issues and propose resolutions. Resolutions are not legally binding, but will be considered by the Parish Council at their normal meetings.Who will chair the meeting?The Chairman of the Parish Council must chair the meeting, if present. In his absence the vice chairman must preside if present. If neither is able to attend, then the meeting will elect a chairman from those electors present.Will Parish Councillors be there?Councillors normally attend and they will speak if required, but the purpose of the meeting is to enable ordinary electors to have their say. Councillors are electors themselves, so they also have the opportunity to raise questions and make comments if they wish.