WHITELEAF AND CADSDEN RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (WCRA) Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Whiteleaf Golf Club on Wednesday 22nd March 2017.
Present: Mrs K. Symons (Chairman), Mr. R. Shaw (Hon. Secretary), Mr. S. Clark (Hon. Treasurer) Mrs. S. Robinson, Mr. P. Miles, Mr. D. Larose, Mr. R. Francis and 33 members.
The Chairman welcomed everyone and Cllr Matthew Walsh (MW), Chairman and Mayor of Princes Risborough Town Council (PRTC) and set out the agenda for the evening.
1. Apologies were received from the Giles, Lum, Hosseini, Greenstein, Aldous, Taylor, and Sanger families and Mrs. R. Millard, Mrs. E. Russell, Mrs. L. Clegg and Mrs. S. Shaw.
2. Minutes. There being no comments, the minutes of the AGM held on 16th March 2016 were approved.
3. Matters arising. The Secretary said that there were no matters arising from last years’ minutes.
4. Chairman’s report. The Chairman summarised the report and highlighted the number of social events held during the year, all of which were successful and well attended. She thanked all those involved in putting together the events and mentioned that one of the reasons for the change in social emphasis was owing to the number of young children now in the hamlets. The Chairman also reported that a successful outcome to the issue of signage on Peters Lane had been achieved. A “road narrows” sign is to be fitted to the existing “bend” sign on the uphill side of the pinch point. There were no questions from the floor about the Chairman’s report.
5. Annual accounts. The Treasurer referred to the accounts and the small number of transactions and invited comments. There were no questions from the floor and the Accounts were approved.
6. Elections. The Treasurer Mr. S. Clark was due to retire from the Committee and offered himself for reelection. No other candidates came forward and Mr. Clark was re-elected, proposed by Mr. J. Clegg and seconded by Mr. P. Miles.
7. Revised Constitution. The Chairman explained that, whilst WCRA is not an official body, it must have a clear operating remit. The Committee had concluded that the previous aims of WCRA needed to be updated to reflect the strong community focus and change of recent activities and events. The proposed new objectives of WCRA were outlined in the circulated “Constitution” document, which also outlined other operating principles, as a comprehensive informative document for WCRA residents. Mr. D. Robinson asked whether there were any funding implications arising from the additions. The Chairman said that there were none and asked for a show of hands. The “Constitution” was duly approved.
8. Any other business. a) Mrs. J. Biggs informed the meeting that a plant sale to raise funds to update the fabric of the Golf Club is to be held on Saturday 27th May from 10.00am. All residents are welcome.
b) Mr. P. Masterton-Smith said that that the condition of the posts around the perimeter of the cricket pitch was very poor and presented no barrier to unauthorised vehicles. The Secretary confirmed Cricket Club responsibility for the boundary posts, which are in the process of re-instatement. Repairs should be carried out soon.
c) Mr. A. Hibbert expressed concern about hedges and trees overgrowing roadways around Whiteleaf. He mentioned hedging on the right hand side of the Upper Icknield Way by Peters Lane, where woody stems might scratch cars. A fallen tree protruding dangerously on the Holloway and the trees opposite the Red Lion PH, which he had been unofficially advised may fall. Mr. J. Clegg (in a professional capacity) outlined that it is the responsibility of all tree owners to carry out a health assessment of their trees every three years. Failure to do so may affect the owner’s insurance cover, in the event of damage. Mr. Masterton-Smith said that trees on the Upper Icknield Way verge had caused damage to his adjacent property. It was unclear who is responsible for trees on the verges but the verge appears to be the responsibility of Bucks County Council (BCC). Mr. B. Bendyshe-Brown (BBB) stated that BCC did not own any trees. The Chairman said that WCRA would write to the various owners of the land mentioned by Mr. Hibbert and would also try to clarify the issue of ownership of the trees on the roadside verges. d) Mr. M. Pitcher asked if anyone knew what permission was required for a road seemingly under construction, off Cadsden Road, which has been laid to allow farm lorry access. This would appear to fall under Kimble Parish. It was agreed that enquiries would be made.
e) Mr. P. Hitchcock asked whether there was a resident agreement about the use of noisy machinery at weekends (he thought that there was an unwritten agreement). The Secretary said that there was no formal agreement, but residents had been asked in 2007 to try to avoid the use of noisy machinery at weekends. Mr. Hibbert suggested that this should be restricted to Sundays. It was agreed that this should be in the minutes.
f) The Chairman informed the meeting that a Peters Lane resident had asked PRTC if additional lighting might be provided for Peters Lane. PRTC had asked WCRA for their views on this. The Chairman explained that our hamlets fell within the AONB and are classed as zone E1 areas, which means that they should be intrinsically dark. She referred to DEFRA report (2013) which stated that Government continues to promote dark skies within AONBS. It was thus important to establish if it was necessary to press for additional lighting in Peters Lane, or to respect the definition of the AONB zone E1 category definition. A show of hands was asked for in relation to a) additional lighting in Peters Lane and b) in the hamlets collectively. In both cases one resident was in favour of additional lighting. The Chairman confirmed that the vote results would be forwarded to PRTC for their information and that the Peter’s Lane resident would also be informed.
The formal meeting closed at 8.35pm Cllr. Walsh (MW) commented on the large attendance at the AGM and updated the meeting on a number of issues.
1. Town Festival. MW said that the Town Council ran the Festival last year for the first time and it was well attended. This year’s festival starts on Saturday 8th July with the theme of Risborough by the Sea.
2. Market House. It is hoped that this will re-open on May 19th. Delays have been caused by major structural issues and the need for listed building consent for an RSJ to replace the main structural beam.
3. Town Appearance. MW felt that the town was looking particularly attractive at the moment. He commented on the good work done by the maintenance crew who have taken over grass cutting duties from BCC. He also said that LED lighting was being rolled out and would serve to keep electricity costs down in the future.
4. Unitary Authority. Mr. Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, will pronounce shortly on two options for Buckinghamshire local government, one which envisages one authority and the second, favoured by PRTC, which would have two authorities, one for the North and one for the South.
5. Local Plan. MW said that there was a lot going on with the Local Plan, and that dates had slipped. He outlined the benefit from the inner relief road and that two new primary schools would be built and money would be available for expansion of the top school. Mr. Clegg said that there was no provision in the Plan to create new jobs in Risborough and that the relief road would not solve, but rather exacerbate, the traffic issues in Wycombe due to the additional traffic from Risborough. BBB said that the traffic from the Pedestal to Cressex is always going to be a problem. MW said that he thought that the relief road would reduce traffic flows in Risborough 2012 levels.
Mr. Robinson asked whether the relief road would be ready by the time the HS2 traffic rolled through the town. MW said that the road would be built in 2 or 3 stages depending on financing, but would not be ready by the time HS2 construction starts.
Mr. Shaw asked how traffic from Aylesbury would be diverted towards the relief road and MW said that the railway bridge junction at Kimble would be totally re-organised.
Mr. Robinson asked about the state Town Farm House. MW said that it had been chased but it was a complicated matter owing to the ownership issues.
Mr. Francis asked about station parking, given that the car park is at 98% capacity. Would parking provision double in line with the doubling of the town population. MW said that it was a Chiltern Railway responsibility and as they only have 4 years left on their franchise, it is unlikely that there will be further investment in parking provision in the near future which would need to increase.
After the meeting, Mr. Jim Mackellar, co-owner of Orchard View Farm, gave a very interesting presentation on the farm, its origins, its range of animals, the farm shop and cafe and some of his ideas for future expansion. The Chairman thanked Mr. Mackellar for the talk and said that she thought that his customer base was likely to expand as a result of his fine speech.