Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting held at Whiteleaf Golf Club.
Present: Mrs K. Symons (Chairman), Mr. R. Shaw (Hon. Secretary), Mrs. S. Robinson, Mr. J. Clegg, Mr. P. Miles, Mrs. L. Stevens and 24 members.
The Chairman welcomed everyone and Cllr Alan Turner, Chairman and Mayor of Princes Risborough Town Councl and set out the agenda for the evening. She also asked for the Minutes to record the sad loss of a number of residents who have made a valuable contribution to the Residents’ Association and our community. Posthumously we thank Tom Frodsham, past treasurer involved with local and national charities, John Clegg (senior) founder and chair of local charities, Andy Beaumont stalwart helper for the Kop Hill Climb and Peter Robinson, one of the founding trustees of the Princes Centre in Princes Risborough.
- Apologies were received from the Dyer/Giles, Masterton-Smith, Hibbert and Henderson families and Mr. S. Clark, Mr. D. Aldous, Mr. A. Hitchcock, Mr. R Scully, Mrs. C. Frodsham, Mrs J. Fox, Mrs. L. Clegg, Mrs. P. Evans and Mrs. S. Shaw.
- Minutes. There being no comments, the minutes of the 2014 AGM were approved.
- Matters arising. The Secretary said that there were no matters arising from last years’ minutes, which had not been covered either in newsletters or in the Chairman’s report.
- Chairman’s report. The Chairman summarised her report and highlighted the success of the social events held last year, in particular those involving the younger members of our community. There were no questions from the floor about the Chairman’s report.
- Annual accounts. In the Treasurer’s absence, the Secretary invited any comments on the accounts which contained few transactions, the main source of income this year being the sausage sizzle. There were no questions from the floor about the Treasurer’s report and this was approved.
- Elections. The Secretary, Mr. R. Shaw and Committee members Mr. J. Clegg and Mrs. S. Robinson were due to retire from the Committee and offered themselves for re-election. No other candidates were forthcoming. Mr. Shaw was proposed by Mrs. A. Miller and seconded by Mr. P. Miles, Mr. Clegg was proposed by Mr. S. Ruck and seconded by Mrs. J. Biggs and Mrs. Robinson was proposed by Mr Clegg and seconded by Mr. D. Miller. All three were duly re-elected.
- History Project. Mr. Shaw announced that the project was now live on the WCRA website. It is not yet complete and it is hoped to add more details as they become available. There is a new page on the site called “History of Hamlets”, which acts as the home page for the project and gives instructions as to how to access the information. Mr Shaw thanked all those residents who have contributed to the project as well as Chris Kingham (for help and documentation) and Sandy Macfarlane (for many photos and documents). Mr. Shaw invited those present to view the information and to send any comments and additional information to him when convenient.
- Any other business.
a) The Chairman made a plea for additional e-mail addresses in order to improve speedy communication.
b) The Secretary mentioned the recent accident in Peters Lane. The Town Council have supported WCRA request to support the case to the local Highways Authority (Buckinghamshire County Council – BCC) for uphill signage on the uphill approach to the pinch point on Peters Lane.
c) The Secretary also said that the Holloway is still designated for re-surfacing during the 2015/16 financial year.
The formal meeting closed at 8.20pm
Cllr. Turner (“AT”) said that it was a pleasure to attend the AGM and confirmed that the Town Council fully support the Association’s request for uphill signage in Peters Lane. He said that there are three big issues (the first three items below) facing the town, some of which are interlinked.
- In relation to housing and the Wycombe District Council (WDC) Local Plan, AT said that no decisions have yet been made. He stated that he had attended a meeting with WDC last week and was informed that the Council was not sure when proposals would be available. AT felt that it might be July/August before any proposals are forthcoming and that a steering group, made up from various local groups, would be set up to review the proposals. In response to a question from John Clegg about purchasing “back lane” and using this for parking, AT said that part and parcel of any increase in housing, has to be increased parking and retail usage. The “back lane” idea had been considered and there is a further idea to relocate the fire station, say to Longwick Road and to develop, sympathetically, a two tier parking garage on the site. The Council continue to press for 1 hour’s free parking as Risborough is still at a disadvantage to Thame and Wendover. WDC is reluctant to grant this as it would have to apply to other towns in the south of the Wycombe District AT also said that the recently installed ANPR parking system is not popular with many people.
- HS2 is likely to have a much bigger impact on the town than previously thought. Following a meeting with HS2 Ltd, they (HS2 Ltd) confirmed that the likely construction traffic through the town could be as high as 800/1000 HGVs per day for 21/2 years. The Council have retained the services of a retired Head of BCC Highways, who has suggested an alternative route, using more dual carriageways and better roads, and this suggested alternative route will be presented to the Select Committee. This alternative has the full support of BCC. Any damage to road surfaces as a result of this traffic would not be paid for by HS2 Ltd. In this regard Simon Ruck suggested that “blue light” journeys to Stoke Mandeville could be seriously affected and David Robinson asked whether the Town Council had plans to mitigate the effect if the HGVs did pass through the town, for example increased control of pedestrian crossings. Mike Pitcher suggested that there would be massive grid lock, particularly trying to exit the High Street. AT promised to take on board all suggestions and said that the blue light issue had been factored into the alternative route proposal.
- As part of the East-West Rail project there is a possibility that the Aylesbury to Risborough railway line might be upgraded to a double track, however it may be 2 to 3 months before this is known. This would have implications for housing levels. The Council will lobby for a stop at Risborough in order not to miss out on any opportunities the E-W Rail link might offer.
- The town centre is looking a lot more vibrant relative to 5 years ago, when a lot of shops were vacant. A restaurant is coming to Birchnells old shop and the bakery shop lease has now been sold.
- Peter Miles asked whether the cycle lane in the High Street was ever going to be removed. AT said that, although this had been agreed with BCC in September 2013, it had been delayed by BCC and that it is unlikely that work would begin until much later this year.
- Douglas Miller asked whether Morrisons are going to open a store in the town. AT confirmed that they will open a store on the site of the old Post Office building. The new development will have flats above and customer parking will be in the old yard.
- Mike Pitcher expressed sympathy for the Town Council given the problems of dealing with different authorities. AT said that, although Aylesbury Vale wants to declare UDI, he felt that it would be unlikely this would work as Aylesbury Vale District Council on its own would be too small to make a unitary council and it would be far better if the local district councils all amalgamated with BCC into a single combined ‘unitary’ authority.
After the meeting, Mr. Andrew Howard, Managing Director of Beechdean Dairies Ltd, gave a very interesting talk and slide show about the Dairy, its origins, philosophy as well as its products. The Chairman thanked Mr. Howard for the talk and also for providing the residents with samples of the company’s ice cream.