Please see the agenda for this meeting on the Agenda and Minutes page of this website. All welcome. Residents may have their say during the first fifteen minutes of any meeting. This meeting will cover amongst other things approving a new illegal signage policy and more Christmas lights as well as trying to tackle problems caused by speeding and parking in the parish. There is real progress on Kingsway Green to report not to mention the outcome of the consultation meeting held on 17th April and how to move forward with the proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan.
There is currently a consultation underway on unitary authorities which ends on 25th May. The idea is to do away with a tier of government to save money.
Currently we have Bucks County Council based in Aylesbury mainly responsible for highways, education, social care and libraries. The second tier is the District Councils. mainly responsible for planning and licensing, waste and recycling .
Over the last few years BCC have been proposing themselves as a single unitary authority taking over the work of all the district councils whilst the district councils have been against a single unitary authority and had proposed two such unitary authorities – one in the north run by Aylesbury Vale and one in the south of the County run by an association of South Bucks, Wycombe and Chiltern District Councils.
The Secretary of State for Communities has announced he is minded to go with the BCC proposal and has put the matter out for further consultation until 25th May.
We would urge as many of you as possible to give feedback to Sajid Javid on this. Please send an email to him at email@example.com with your views.
Farnham Royal Parish Council supports the creation of two unitary authorities as proposed by the District Councils rather than just one unitary authority led by BCC because:-
There will be less local democratic representation if BCC is the sole authority
The needs of the north of the county are completely different geographically and economically from those of the south
BCC have a poorer performance record than the district councils
We are in the process of writing up the notes of the meeting on 17th April which will be published here and on noticeboards shortly.
Farnham Royal Parish Council has been approached by two separate developers in the last few months. They have asked for our views on their proposals to develop Green Belt land to the east of the A355 and to the west of Parsonage Lane.
There are a lot of issues on which the Council would like to consult with residents. The principles of protecting the Green Belt, the need for more housing particularly affordable housing and highway concerns being some.
We would also mention that if residents want more say in how developments unfold then the time to have that say might be now – in the pre-application stages.
The Council has decided to gauge local opinion on this issue and call a public meeting to be held at Farnham Common Village Hall on 17th April 2018 at 7.30pm
Please come to this consultation meeting and have your say so that we can properly represent what our residents want.
The Annual Parish Meeting took place on Monday 5th March .
The purpose of the meeting is for all the organisations and groups in the Parish (including local government reports) to have an opportunity to talk about what they have been up to in the year since the last meeting. It is about inclusiveness and getting to know who’s who and what is happening in the community.
This year there was also a keynote speech from County Councillor Ralph Bagge about how local government is meeting the challenges it faces.
The minutes are available on the Agenda and Minutes page of this website.
Our next meeting is on 23rd April at 7.30pm in Farnham Royal Village Hall. All residents are welcome and may have their say – through the Chair – during the first 15 minutes of the meeting. Please see the agenda on the relevant page of this website. The agenda will be put up on 18th April.
The Parish Council’s role is to serve the Farnhams and we are very glad of residents coming along and helping us to fulfill that role.
We are aware that there are some public spirited residents who go out and litter pick our public spaces. This is very generous but we would be grateful if you could make yourselves known to us so that we can overcome one of the issues we are having of people dumping collected litter in black bin bags by the bus shelter near the Kingsway.
Sadly SBDC refuse to pick up such bags and will treat them as fly tipping for investigation and possible prosecution. They are unattractive and cause problems for neighbours. However if you would like to carry on volunteering proper arrangements could be made to supply you with bags that will be collected and arrange a mutually convenient time/place for collection.
So please get in touch on 01753 648497 and please stop putting bags by the bus shelter.
This winter’s weather has been tough on Buckinghamshire’s roads – while the heavy snowfall in December was the most remarkable weather event, the worst conditions for roads are actually when the ground temperature fluctuates constantly between just above and just below zero.
Pothole formation is accelerated by this ‘freeze-thaw’ effect, whereby moisture gets into small cracks in the the road surface and expands when it freezes, then thaws out when the temperature rises. This process repeats until the road surface begins to break up and potholes are formed.
County Councillor Mark Shaw, Cabinet Member for Transportation, urges road users in Buckinghamshire to report potholes when they see them” the road network is far too vast for us to possibly know where all the potholes are, so we need members of the public to report them to us either using the online form, which only takes a few minutes, or by calling if it’s dangerous or an emergency. ”
On average, when there are no severe weather issues, TfB repairs over 4,000 potholes every month.
- You fixed one pothole, why didn’t you fix the one next to it while you were here?
Potholes are prioritised according to risk – if they are on very well used roads, they are more of a priority. Size and depth are also factors. Resources have to be used responsibly, and cannot be used up fixing a more minor road surface defect when there are more urgent defects needing attention just up the road.
- Why can I only report one pothole online at a time?
Our online reporting system works on an interactive map, so that each individual defect can be risk assessed and dealt with on a case by case basis. The map allows for accurate pinpointing, which saves time when it comes to inspections. There are drop-down menus to allow you to input as much detail, such as size and position, as possible.
- Why do you make temporary repairs that don’t last?
Temporary repairs, where the pothole is filled in with hot material and made smooth, are often carried out as a safety measure when a permanent repair cannot be carried out at that moment, likely due to the location of the defect. That is to say, where a larger area of road needs to be cut away to make a full repair, likely requiring a road or lane closure, a temporary or ‘make safe’ repair is an effective way of keeping the road safe in the meantime.
- How do I report a pothole?
You can report potholes, as well as any other road issue, using the Report It forms on the county council website. In an emergency, for instance a severe road defect, a flooded road, or a tree in the road, you can always call Transport for Buckinghamshire on 01296 382416 or 486630 (out of hours). The online reporting tool is at www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/report-a-problem/report-a-pothole/
Some parishioners have asked what the difference is between the two types of plan which the Parish Council has been considering recently.
A Parish Plan is about understanding local needs generally on all matters that affect our community ( for example how to manage our open spaces) and setting out parish council aspirations to meet those needs. Typically there is a questionnaire developed and sent to all parishioners to gather the information, an analysis of that information and a Plan put in place setting out the council’s policies to try and meet the needs identified. It is not a planning document. It has no legal status. We have just completed a Parish Plan process and hope to publish our Parish Plan early in the New year.
It’s a shame they have similar titles because the difference between the two couldn’t be greater.
A Neighbourhood Plan when completed becomes a legally binding formal planning document which sits alongside the District Council’s Local Plan. It focuses only on planning issues and in particular zoning/re-zoning. So when a planning application is made the Planning Authority ( SBDC) must have regard to what is set out in a Neighbourhood Plan. It is a long expensive and arduous process to get a Neighbourhood Plan put in place involving different stages of consultation. One or two residents have started to come forward willing to be on a working group to pursue this. If this is of any interest to any of our residents please let the Clerk know.
At our meeting on 27th November the following decisions were made. It was agreed to increase the number of cuts that take place along the Rights of Way footpaths leading from Home Meadow across Park Road to Church Lane. Under our devolved services contract with Bucks County Council we maintain all the ROW footpaths in the parish and find that 3 cuts a year is usually enough. However these particular footpaths are the main walking route to school for many young children in our parish and residents had complained of overgrowing vegetation making the walk difficult at the start and end of the growing season. We hope this measure will ensure the walk is easier going forward.
Our new Councillor Bill Baker has volunteered to champion the redesign of Kingsway Green – if you are interested in volunteering to be on the new steering group for this please let the Clerk know.
We now have a final draft of the Parish Plan which has been approved and will be printed and presented to our residents in due course. We are aiming for a launch at our Annual Parish Meeting on 5th March next year. We have had this in the pipeline for years with many layers of consultation and promotion of its development through the Farnhams Magazine, our noticeboards and website, a local poster campaign in the shops and many references to it through the community facebook page. The questionnaire was hand delivered to every household in the parish in the summer of 2016. We are thrilled we will shortly be able to present the final document to our residents.
We are still working on agreeing our precept ( our portion of the Council tax) for 2018/19. We have a Council which is ambitious to make a real difference to the lives of our residents and pursue the policies identified in the Parish Plan. Many projects are vying for funding – such as revamping the play area in Farnham Common – and we are keen to ensure we have a strategy to provide the funding to deliver the projects with the greatest priorities. This may mean an increase in our precept for next year.
Finally it has been agreed that the council should seek to hold a public meeting for residents to discuss with a local developer their long term plans to develop land south of Elm Close in Farnham Common. This is Green Belt land currently but SBDC will be re-conducting its review for the Local Plan in the near future and so its future status is not guaranteed. The Council has taken no position on this yet other than that there should be no inappropriate development in the Green Belt – development would be inappropriate if it harmed its function. The purpose of any public meeting would be for information to be made available if possible and to see to what extent the Council may be able to steer any future development if necessary. We are in the process of trying to contact the developer to set up a meeting and will let residents know through as many channels as we can when and if such a meeting can be agreed.
Our next meeting is on 26th February at 7.30pm in Farnham Royal Village Hall. All residents are welcome and may have their say – through the Chair – during the first 15 minutes of the meeting. Please see the agenda on the relevant page of this website.
The meeting will focus on work necessary under our devolution contract as well as progressing with various projects such as extending our christmas lights, improving Kingsway Green and our play areas.
We are aware that many residents have stated their intention of attending to inform the Council of their views about the Miles and Miles Nurseries application to redevelop their site.
All our welcome. The Parish Council’s role is to serve the Farnhams and we are very glad of residents coming along and helping us to fulfill that role.