Minutes – May 2022

Minutes Uploaded on August 22, 2022


Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting held on 16th May 2022 at Simpson Village Hall

Councillors present:      Cllr Pye – Chair (DP)

Cllr Barnes – Vice Chair (PB)

Cllr Ezeh (CE)

Cllr Eatwell (RE)

Also present:            Katherine Harmsworth, Parish Clerk (KH)

Apologies:           None

Others present: 15 Members of the public (MOP)


Part 1 – Annual Parish Meeting commencing at 7pm


16) Welcome

17) Minutes of Last Meeting

The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 7th June 2021 were agreed and signed by the Chair as a true and correct record.

18) Chair to celebrate achievements of the last year

See attached report (Appendix 1).


19) Presentations from invited speakers

Gaynor Arrowsmith on Heritage (Appendix 2).

Sue Napleton on The Friends of Simpson Village Hall (Appendix 3).

Ross Eatwell read on behalf of the Ashland Lakeside Steering Group (Appendix 4).


20) Public Forum

Discussion focused on key questions including:

1) How can the Parish Council engage others? and

2) How can the Parish Council get more people involved?

DP explained that the Parish Council will not be able to sustain the current level of activity in the future unless more people come forward to be Parish Councillors or to volunteer their time in other ways. There are currently 4 Parish Councillors out of a possible 8.


21) Refreshments


Part 2 – Annual Meeting of the Council commencing at 8pm


22) Introductions and Apologies for Absence

None received.


23) To Appoint Chair for 2022/23

David Pye confirmed he was willing to stand again. No other nominations were made.  The Parish Council unanimously supported this nomination and Cllr Pye is the new Chair for the forthcoming year. The Declaration of office was signed at the meeting.


24) To Appoint Vice Chair for 2022/23

Peter Barnes confirmed he was willing to stand again. No other nominations made.  Parish Council unanimously supported this nomination and Cllr Barnes is the new Vice Chair for the forthcoming year.


25) Specific Declarations of Interest

No change to current declarations in place.


26) Minutes of Last Meeting

The minutes of the last annual meeting of the council held on 8th May 2021 were received and signed

as a correct record.

27) Finance Report and Discussion

  1. Payments made between 29th January 2022 and 30th April 2022 were reviewed and approved.
  2. The financial summary for 2021/22 was reviewed and approved.
  3. It was agreed to transfer £27000 from the current account to the reserve account.
  4. It was agreed to use the bank account that was previously for the S106 funds, as a dedicated bank account for Simpson Village Hall Hire and Ashland Lakeside Hire.


28) Asset Register

  1. The Asset Register as of 31st March 2022 was agreed.


29) Audit

  1. The report from the Internal Auditor was received and approved.
  2. The following recommendations and actions needed from the Internal Audit Report were agreed:
    • “Steps should be taken to ensure that risk assessment forms part of the regular meetings and is included as a regular agenda item” – Action is: To update risk assessment and agree at the next meeting and to review at least yearly.
    • “Councillors should ensure that when invoices are presented for payment that they bear evidence of physical review” – Action is: The Finance Councillor to check a sample of invoices and receipts prior to every meeting of the PC.
    • “Consideration should be given as to whether the small items of equipment with small value should be included in the register of assets” – Action is: To update the asset register removing items of small value and mark these on an inventory list instead.


  1. The questions on the Annual Governance Statement were considered and agreed.
  2. The Accounting Statement Figures were considered and agreed.
  3. The dates of the Exercise of Public Rights as 1/6/22 to 14/7/22 were noted.


30) Planning Applications

  1. 22/00461/FUL 103 Simpson – The PC returned a response of no comment.
  2. 22/00399/FUL 47 Old Groveway – The PC returned a response of no comment and MKC have since refused the application.
  3. PB reported that he had just been notified of a new application (22/01230/HOU) for 426 Simpson. This is a revision to application 21/02173/FUL and includes changes to external materials, removal of window from side extension, addition of roof lights, gravel driveway, steps up to front porch, and installation of log burner and flue.
  4. PB reported that there had been irregularities in the last planning application for Five Acres and this meant that it has been rejected. New plans are expected to be submitted.


31) Open Space

  1. RE gave an update on Open Space. The mowing scheme for Simpson was agreed with Serco in March and is now under way on a regular 3 – 4 week cycle. Serco have the contract until 2023 when a new contract will begin. This contract is currently out to tender.
  2. RE gave an update on the Canal towpath. He has been in discussions with the Canals and River Trust and is hoping to continue the resurfacing works with volunteers in the Autumn.
  3. The Simpson Garden Group have volunteered to help with the maintenance of the flower beds surrounding the war memorial. It was agreed that the PC would cover the cost of some compost to enable this.


32) Ashland Lakeside

  1. RE gave an update on the current situation at Ashland Lakeside. He thanked Andrew Armes, the Architect and Project Manager and the Steering Group for their continued efforts on the project.

He explained that there are a few decisions that need to be made with the project. One of the external shutters was damaged in the storms in February and a tougher replacement must be agreed upon. RE also explained that the cladding is very expensive, and an alternative solution would be to use vegetation to soften the look of the building instead. The Parish Council agreed to pursue a more cost effective and eco-friendly alternative to the cladding. RE is having a meeting with the Parks Trust on 23rd May to discuss the landscaping. MK College have been volunteering their time to help with the project and have done a fantastic job. It was agreed that PB would draft some letters to send out to the college tutors and students to thank them for their efforts.

  1. It was agreed that RE will discuss the cladding and external shutters with Andrew Armes, the Architect and MKC and then amended plans will be submitted. Once alternative cladding and shutters have been researched a more accurate budget can be agreed upon.
  2. It was agreed that it is not currently possible to set a date for the opening event and this will be reviewed as the project moves forward.


33) Simpson Village Hall (SVH)

  1. Payments and receipts were reviewed for SVH and it was shown that a profit of £393.50 was made in April 2022.
  2. DP thanked the Friends of Simpson Village Hall for all their continued hard work in helping to run and maintain the building.
  3. RE gave an update on the Electrical Installation Condition Report that was done on SVH. It showed that some maintenance needs completing to ensure it complies with new regulations. The work includes needing a new consumer unit and having the lighting circuit redone. RE has received 2 quotes back and is awaiting a third. The PC have agreed to choose the best value quote via email once it comes in and report it as a delegated decision.


34) Young People

  1. It was agreed to commission the Play Rangers from Woughton Community Council to provide summer play sessions in the same format as last year. They will be held at Charles Warren Academy at a cost of £1000 for 5 weeks (Fridays 22nd July 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th August 2022).
  2. Charles Warren Academy have asked if the Parish Council could recommend anyone to be a community representative on their Parent and Community Board. The PC will consider this and respond accordingly.


35) Review of Delegated Decisions

The following delegated decisions were reviewed and agreed:

  1. Equipment and cleaning supplies were bought from Hygiene Supplies online for Ashland Lakeside totalling £386.
  2. Equipment for Ashland Lakeside was bought from Amazon totaling £145.30.
  3. It was decided to grant Alarum Productions (a non-profit organisation) free hire of Simpson Village Hall on 20th May to show their theatre production ‘I Dig Canals’ to local residents.


36) To note that the next meeting of the Full Council will be held on Monday 5th September.