AGM Minutes 2018


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Whiteleaf Golf Club on Wednesday 21st March 2018.

Present:-  Kate Symons (Chairman), Dick Shaw (Hon. Secretary) Simon Clark (Hon. Treasurer) Sue Robinson, Peter Miles, Dom Larose, Robbie Francis and 35 members.

The Chairman welcomed everyone, especially a number of new residents and Councillor Matthew Walsh (MW), Chairman and Mayor of Princes Risborough Town Council (PRTC) and set out the agenda for the evening.

The Chairman mentioned that Dickie Thomas, ex-committee member and resident of Whiteleaf for 47 years, who did much to support the community, had died on 11th March.

1. Apologies were received from the families: –  Dyer, Fox, Masterton-Smith, Hitchcock, Anderson, Ruck and Biggs plus Gwen Miles, Carole Frodsham, Fiona Gracie, Sally Shaw and Ian Chadwick.

2. Minutes. There being no comments, the minutes of the AGM held on 22nd March 2017 were approved.

3. Matters arising.   The Secretary reported on various matters from last years’ minutes:

a) Cricket posts: these have been replaced by the cricket club (as they are their responsibility). b) Trees/hedges overgrowing roads: this had been pursued with individual residents.  It appears that Transport for Bucks (TfB) have accepted that trees on roadside verges are their responsibility, provided that it can be demonstrated that the trees are not within another property’s boundary. c) The new road at Cadsden: advice was provided to the residents concerned and they were happy to deal with the matter themselves. d) Additional lighting in Peters Lane: residents in Peters Lane and Westfields were canvassed for their view.   There was no support for additional lighting.

4. Chairman’s report.   The Chairman summarised the report and said that it had been a successful year of community events.  She emphasised that WCRA does not seek to represent resident’s collective views on planning issues such as are contained within the Local Plan, but advises residents of deadlines and how to make comment on such matter.   The Chairman said that an initiative had commenced to establish if there was a possibility of obtaining a 20 m.p.h. speed limit for some parts of the roads in the hamlets.   This was further discussed under item 7b) below. There were not any further questions from the floor regarding the report.

5. Annual accounts.   The Treasurer referred to the accounts and said that there was not a surplus this year from the sausage sizzle.   He stated that ongoing costs are rising, since WCRA now had responsibility for sending out e-mails (previously handled by John Clegg’s offices, who were thanked) plus associated registration costs with the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO).   He stated that annual total outgoings are likely to be circa £200.   David Robinson asked whether there were fund raising ideas and was told that this was a subject for the next Committee meeting.   There were not any questions from the floor and the Accounts were approved.

6. Elections.  The Hon. Sec., Dick Shaw was stepping down from the Committee.   Andy Vere had offered himself for the position.   Sue Robinson was due to retire from the Committee and offered herself for re-election.   No other candidates came forward for either position.   Andy Vere was elected as Secretary, as proposed by Dick Shaw and seconded by Peter Miles.   Sue Robinson was re-elected, as proposed by Keith Muras and seconded by Andy Vere.

7. Any other business.

a)  The Chairman made a plea to all residents, particularly newcomers to provide an e-mail address and to notify the Secretary if they  change their e-mail address.

b)  The Chairman updated the meeting, on the 20 m.p.h. speed limit initiatives and said that this was in the early stages of a formal process.  Preliminary meetings had been held with TfB and Bill Bendyshe-Brown (representing Bucks County Council) and officers involved with the (similar) Askett initiative.   She stated that we would shortly be contacting other parties to present a case to PRTC with a view to putting a formal case to TfB with supporting data.   The initiative had been commenced  following requests from residents who walk children to school and who are concerned for their safety on some roads in the hamlets.

The Chairman outlined that vehicle movement data was to be gathered over the next 4 to 6 weeks from a traffic monitoring device in the Upper Icknield Way and Peters Lane.   A simple survey of all residents would be undertaken, to determine their enthusiasm for a 20mph speed limit in certain areas.  This would be carried out in the coming month or so.

The Chairman went on to say that the Travel Group of Monks Risborough Primary School (MRPS) had made contact with WCRA asking for support for their wider 20 m.p.h. campaign.   She said that the issue of WCRA cooperating
with MRPS, could be progressed.   The meeting supported this idea.   Thus a meeting would be arranged to establish the extent of MRPS and WCRA collaborating on their overlap areas to benefit the common community.

There were concerns expressed regarding enforcement and the Neighbourhood Action Group and Speed watch were mentioned, as well as a potential graduated slow down on the Cadsden Road to the Askett roundabout.  The Chairman said that the WCRA initiative was very much in its infancy and that everyone would be able to have a say through the survey as and as the initiative progressed.  A show of hands indicated that the majority of attendees were in favour of a consultation (survey).

c) Colin Wright said that he had rented a field next to his house for 40 years from Monks Risborough Parochial Charities (MRPC) and wanted to pass his lease on to any potential purchaser of his house.   An approach to MRPC had triggered a survey of the field.   It appeared that MRPC might wish to sell the field for future development (as well as other fields within the hamlets which are also currently leased by them).  The chairman thanked Colin Wright for raising the matter and said that, as there could be wider issues for the hamlets (AONB/conservation matters) that the WCRA would look into the matter.  Linda Clegg (resident and RARA member) asked from a RARA perspective to understand the issue more.   John Clegg asked Matthew Walsh if there was any intention to seek planning approval for the Ragpit (owned by PRTC) in the light of the successful planning application for the Spinney.    Matthew Walsh said that PRTC had not supported the Spinney application and that the lease of the Ragpit ran out in December 2018.   He stated that PRTC had no intention to apply for planning permission to develop the Ragpit.

d) Douglas Miller commented that the notice board opposite the Red Lion was poor and said that Meadle had a much more impressive notice board.   David Robinson said an approach should be made to the Rotary Club to see if they would fund a replacement.

e) Robbie Francis asked why there was resistance to developing spare plots of land in the hamlets. The Chairman said that most people, who move into these hamlets, did so because of the AONB/ Conservation/Green belt status and did not want that to change.   The Chairman said in effect, a dilution of the pleasant environment that the hamlets special status afforded to all was feared, should any additional infill development be permitted to take place.

The formal meeting closed at 8.35pm

Matthew Walsh (MW) updated the meeting on a number of issues as follows:-

1. Town Festival.   MW said that the beach themed Festival last year was extremely successful.

2. Christmas Lights.  This was moved to a Saturday and proved very popular.

3. Market House.  The refurbishment is complete and all are encouraged to visit. The Market House is available for hire.

4. Precept.   MW was pleased to say that the Town Council had the lowest increase of all contributors to this year’s Council Tax increase.

5. Unitary Authority.   The Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, is minded to support a single Unitary Authority for Bucks, whereas PRTC favours a two council solution, with Wycombe combining with South Bucks and Chiltern.

6. Local Plan.  MW said that the Local Plan would now be submitted on 28th March, thus delaying consideration of the Plan by the inspector.

David Robinson asked MW how the town was going to cope with HS2 traffic.   MW said that PRTC was against the proposed traffic route and had engaged a number of experts to argue the case.   However £350k has been allotted to PRTC to mitigate problems with the flow of trucks.   He promised to forward a note of the measures to be taken.   Asked about timing, MW said that it was still unclear, but it would probably be 2020.

Douglas Miller asked why the building by the station had not been fully demolished.   MW said that there were some legal issues, but that he would ask the owners why the demolition could not be completed.

John Clegg said that Princes Risborough was clogged with people and traffic and felt that this will only get worse with the vast number of houses proposed under the Local Plan.  His view was that the houses would be better built in North Bucks, where Crossrail would pass through and there are better communications.  He also asked why PRTC did not support the resident’s views on the Local Plan.   MW said that elections were coming up and if residents did not have faith in the current council they will be able to vote them down.   Sue Robinson said that Aylesbury Vale will be even more constrained as they are expected to take some 30,000 new houses.


After the meeting, Mark Sanger gave a very entertaining presentation on his career in film making and in particular the lead up to his receiving the award of an Oscar for his part in the editing of the film Gravity.   The Chairman thanked and congratulated Mark for his presentation.

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