Our annual meeting took place on Monday 21st May at Farnham Common Village Hall. Trevor Clapp was re-appointed as chairman. Grants were made to the organisers of the Big Picnic and to FCSC demolish the groundsman’s sheds. FCSC are also considering putting up new signage and will be consulting neighbours about this shortly.Please read the draft minutes of this meeting elsewhere on this website.
If you have an interest in Neighbourhood Planning for our Parish then please see the planning page of this website where notes taken at the public meetings on 17th April and 22nd May are available to read.
Highway verges are owned by and are the responsibility of Bucks County Council (BCC). Until 2016, BCC cut the grass on the verges but were providing a decreasing level of service year on year. They were starting in late May and only providing four cuts per annum. Their minimum standard is that traffic signs should be legible to road users. Our concern was that the service they provided was already not good enough and might get a lot worse if it fell to the minimum standard.
FRPC took up the opportunity to accept devolved responsibility to cut the verges in 2016 on a three year contract in order to guarantee a high level of service for our residents within a remit of what is reasonable for tax payers to pay.
The following is our commitment to grass cutting:-
• We will ensure that at least 6 cuts take place each year and up to ten cuts will take place if grass growth requires it.
• Cuts are scheduled to take place approximately every 3 weeks between April and October depending on growth and the weather. That is the ground must be sufficiently dry to allow work to take place.
• It takes 3 or 4 days for the cut of all parish verges to be completed – starting with the A355 and then working around village roads.
• If a complaint is received we will investigate promptly and arrange remedial work as necessary. This has proved to be quite rarely needed although sometimes parking on verges can make cutting impossible or risky.
If you have any comments, concerns or issues please contact the Clerk on 01753 648497 or email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Set out int he link below are the notes of the meeting on 17th April.
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.
At our meeting on 23rd April the Council agreed a revised policy for dealing with illegal signage and will shortly be in touch with other stakeholders in the parish to ensure this policy is made clear to all. The first steps have been taken towards agreeing to consult with residents of Beeches Road about what support there might be for a one way system for traffic. Residents in the immediate vicinity will be canvassed for their views in the next month or so. We are also hoping to consult on whether residents want to reinstate the free first half hours parking in the Broadway car park. Figures provided by SBDC who run the car park suggest this will only be possible by increasing the tax payable by local tax payers for parish matters by a third.
Finally the Council is organising a Neighbourhood Plan inaugural meeting on 22nd May at Farnham Common Village Hall at 7.30pm. All welcome. More details will follow shortly.
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.