Parish Council - April News
5 May 2017

Snapshot of the Parish Council meeting on 11th April 2017

Items discussed included:

Planning Applications

A large house extension in Curridge and other applications were considered at the meeting.

Further information about Planning Applications can be found on the Planning Advice section of the West Berkshire Council website.

New Code of Conduct

The Parish Council considered and adopted a new Code of Conduct. This document can be viewed on the Parish Council page.

Chieveley Parish Annual Assembly

The Parish Assembly took place on Tuesday 11 April 2017 at Chieveley Village Hall & Recreational Centre and commenced with the Parish Council Chairman 's welcome, introduction, and Annual Report followed by other community group reports from Chieveley Village Hall & Recreational Centre, Chieveley Cricket Club, Curridge Primary School and information on the progress of the West Berkshire Council Housing Site Allocations and Development Plan Document.  Displays from Chieveley Primary School on Ernest Shackleton, minute book excerpts from 1917 and pictures, census snapshots of 2001, 2011 and recent demographics for the Parish on housing, jobs, travel, Chieveley Pre-School and Chieveley Toddler Group information, Speed Indictor Device demonstration with display with recent speed data captured from locations of concern.

The Chairman's Annual Report included information about the Parish Council's role and responsibility as a Statutory Consultee for several government agencies and District Council consultations, the continued work by the Speeding and Road Safety Working Party, Curridge Playground Generation news, Oare Pond Environmental Improvement project.  Disappointment was expressed to the Assembly regarding the ongoing West Berkshire Council Home to School Transport Policy and the conflict between the School's Admission Policy and the Discretionary Fares Policy which continues and providing damaging inequality for some families in the Parish with the three fold increase in costs per child for these affected families.

The Chairman also outlined to the Assembly that due to cost cutting at West Berkshire Council, devolution of some of the services to Parish Councils is inevitable in the future. Whilst Chieveley Parish Council have resisted some devolved service cost requests i.e. Library services it is inevitable that the Parish Council will have to meet some costs for essential services in the Parish. Examples given included additional vegetation cuts to important PROWS, the priority of some parish roads for salting in icy conditions.  An overview of the income and expenditure for the 2016/17 Financial Year and the precept and budget for 2017/18 was presented.   A full transcript of the Annual Report will be published on the MyChieveley web site in due course along with the other community reports. 

M4 Junction 12 to 13 closures for bridge repairs

The Highways Agency are carrying out works on two bridges involving replacing central reservation barriers, road resurfacing, deck beam and bridge joints. Full closure was over 31 March - 3 April.  Future dates to note: 5 - 8 May, 12 - 15 May, 19 - 22 May.  Clear diversions will be in place.

Spotlight....I want to chop down a tree do I need Planning permission?

Under certain circumstances. Consent is required for work on trees covered by Conservation Areas or Tree Preservation orders. It is advisable to contact West Berkshire Council prior to starting work on any trees to find out if they are protected. It is an offence to top, lop, fell or damage a protected tree without obtaining consent.

Frequently Asked Question of the month

Question - Who makes Parish Council decisions in an emergency?

Answer -  It is good practice to specify in standing orders the kind of decisions that the clerk can make routine decisions, such as dealing with emergencies or spending small sums of money. Standing Orders may require decisions to be taken after consultation with two councillors (including the chairman), but the decision remains with the officer. Most important, the council must not allow delegation to a single councillor - not even to the Chairman. 

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place at 7.30pm on 9th May 2017 at Chieveley Village Hall and Recreation Centre, Berkshire RG20 8TE.

The first 10 minutes of the meeting are available for members of the public to express a view or ask a question of the Parish Council.

Members of the public are welcome to stay and observe for the rest of the meeting