Shenley Parish Council
shenley parish annual meeting
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY, 5 MARCH 2019, AT 6.30PM IN THE VILLAGE HALL, 108 LONDON ROAD, SHENLEY.
Apologies for Absence: Councillors Annette Edel, Helen Hussain, William Susman, Peter Wayne and County Councillor Morris Bright.
Councillor Nicky Beaton, Vice-Chair of the Parish Council formally opened the proceedings by welcoming everybody present. 13 local residents/electors were present. The Chair invited the Parish Clerk, Amanda Leboff, to record the Minutes with the agreement of the meeting.
Copies of the Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on 15 March 2018 had been distributed together with copies of the audited accounts for the year 2017/18 and the Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2018. It was agreed by those present to accept the Minutes as read, and with the consent of the meeting, the Chairman signed the Minutes as a true record. There were no matters arising from the above Minutes.
The Vice-Chair then proceeded to read a copy of the Chairman’s report on the activities of the Parish Council for the past year as follows: –
Once again, I am really honoured to be completing my fourth year as Chairman of the Parish Council and am really proud to be able to represent such a unique and vibrant village community. We are so lucky as we are of such a size that it really makes it possible for everyone to have an opinion heard and be able to influence what happens in the Village. I love my role as I know that once we make decisions there is no bureaucracy involved and we can get things done quickly.
We see the role of The Parish not just keeping the open spaces tidy and the streets swept but to facilitate community engagement and create “added value” for the residents. We want to make Shenley a Village that people aspire to live in. It’s about creating and maintaining a Village that we are proud of and to be able to create a happy and inclusive environment that will last long into the future.
Our continuing aims are to keep the Village tidy, presentable and safe together with planning for a green and sustainable future involving retaining our greenbelt and Village charm.
The first draft of the Shenley Neighbourhood Plan was launched at the Shenley Village fete in Sunday July, it was great to see so many people visit the stand and participate in the process to see and influence what is planned for our Village for the next fifteen years. We are additionally delighted that over 150 people took the time to complete the online survey, doing this has given them the opportunity to give their comments on The Plan and shape the final document.
Our Plan is making amazing progress having gone through Regulation 14 and a recent Mock Exam. We need to thank everyone who has attended meetings, responded to questionnaires and surveys and the Regulation 14 consultation. The Plan is having final revisions made at the moment and will be submitted to Hertsmere at the end of the month to start the final Regulation 16 consultation after which it will be examined by a Neighbourhood Plan Inspector. If all goes to plan, we hope to have the referendum at the end of the year, late Autumn if we can. The Mock Examiner commented that we had made extremely good progress and it is thanks to the hard work of the Steering Group led by Nicky Beaton and Rosemary Gilligan and our consultant Angela Koch of Imagine Places.
As previously stated, we are keen to retain the greenbelt and will resist plans for “mass” development. There is however an element of this that maybe outside of our control and imposed on us by Central government. We hope that our Plan will be robust enough to protect us but if not, it will identify areas where development will have least impact and bring the most benefits to the Village. We have talked about the possibility of using a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) to help us achieve this but it appears that we may not be able to achieve our goals using this tool.
We are delighted that our dedicated PCSO’s are on top of the anti-social behaviour in the Village but to make sure that it doesn’t return and to assist them we have now acquired a second CCTV camera. Our CCTV footage has been instrumental in reducing the level of anti-social behaviour.
We have had some success with CCTV footage and as a result two youths were identified behaving in an anti-social manner and they and their parents received a visit from the Police. As a result of the rise in anti-social behaviour outside Shenley Primary School and the field adjoining the shops our two CCTV cameras have been moved to monitor these areas. Additionally, you will be pleased to learn that last month tickets were issued by the Police to a number of motorists who parked on the pavement outside the School who were endangering the safety of both children and adults alike.
It was sad to see that a band of criminals tried to take the cash machine from Tesco’s late last year. Apart from causing a huge amount of damage to Tesco’s and Shenley Estates they fled empty handed. The good news is that thanks to the diligent work of our Police Service they have now been caught and are behind bars awaiting trial. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the cash machine is reinstalled.
Perhaps the lowest point this year was the daubing of Anti-Semitic graffiti in various location in the Village. I am extremely upset that everything we have all worked so hard for over the years in terms of creating a fully integrated and inclusive community in Shenley has been undermined by some thoughtless and hateful acts by ignorant and selfish individuals.
We swiftly had the graffiti removed and are working with the Police to identify the individuals concerned to bring them to justice.
We regard the Village as fully inclusive with many interfaith events and activities organised. Reverend McCarthy and Rabbi Garber work very closely together to create fully harmonised and integrated communities. They are currently working together on an interfaith project for the Shenley Community. With funding from The Parish Council, they are organising a Mental Health First Aid Course for later this year.
After much time and lobbying we have managed to implement the first stage of making the roads of Shenley safer with the installation of our first “SID” along Porters Park Drive. We are hoping that its presence reminds drivers of the speed limit along that stretch of road and encourage them to drive safely. Speeding along Black Lion Hill, Shenleybury, London Road and Woodhall Lane continues to be a problem and we are exploring options to try and make this stretch of road safer.
The first stage to start tackling this is to implement our Police “Community DriveSafe Scheme”. The volunteer teams will be given speed display equipment and stand at the roadside monitoring passing vehicles. Speeding motorists will then be sent an advisory letter from the Police and those who speed frequently will receive a visit from a police officer. I would like to thank those people who have volunteered to take part in the scheme.
Ironically our cardboard cut-out Policeman on Black Lion Hill was so successful in slowing drivers down that the Police actually themselves complained.
This stretch of road together with Shenleybury is proving to be so dangerous that 160 letters have been written by residents to Hertfordshire County Council and have been presented to Councillors Bibby & Bright who are Executive Member & Deputy Executive Members for Highways and the Environment. Hopefully highlighting this to them will spur them into action!
We are pleased to announce that with funding from Councillor Morris Bright Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council we are able to install flashing warning 20mph lights outside Shenley Primary School in an attempt to make the area safer for the children at drop-off and collection times. These will be installed over the coming months.
A huge vote of thanks must go to the Shenley resident who after seeing how many fires were being caused by kids in Shenley was motivated to visit the fire station and speak with the Red Watch team. As a result of this Red Watch visited Shenley twice in August with their fire appliance and spent the afternoon and evening raising awareness of fire safety, dangers of hoax calls, repercussions of arson and showing the kids what the role of a firefighter is and how they support the community.
Traffic and roadworks are recurring issues and certainly they have given us some challenges in Shenley over the end of last year. The closure of Radlett Lane really made me angry, it is beyond my comprehension that the legal system in this country can allow a private company to close a major thoroughfare for six weeks to lay a cable down the middle of the road and cause total chaos and utter inconvenience. It is a shame that no thought is given to residents or local businesses who suffer for the gain of some anonymous corporate.
Recent chaos was caused by temporary lights that were put up in Watling Street at its junction with Harper Lane whilst they made what they called “road improvements” to accommodate the extra traffic that will be caused by the new development of 200 homes. All it actually achieved was to show that the road network cannot accommodate the extra vehicles and the lights that they proposed to put there will do nothing but cause total chaos and gridlock. Congratulations must go to our County Councillors who got the roadworks lifted whilst a better solution was found.
Whilst talking of safer roads we are grateful to Hertsmere Borough Council who have provided funding that will enable Shenley Park to widen the Radlett Lane entrance to the park making it much safer for road and pedestrian users. It is timetabled that these works will be carried out over the next few months.
Keeping our Village tidy and presentable is a priority and as such we must thank the Community Payback Scheme, who have been working on improving the Pond area next to The Cage by repainting the posts and rails. They have cleared masses of footpaths, painting the Hub and the benches, cleared out the ditches at Pursley FC, and cleared years of neglected growth along Newcome Path. Thanks goes to Supervisor Chris Townsend and team and Co-Ordinators Nicky Beaton and now Gavin O’Sullivan also to Guy Beaton and others who have made numerous trips to take Payback waste to the tip. We are also grateful to The Café in The Orchard for proving the teams with welcomed refreshments.
In addition, our own team of Action for a Cleaner Shenley gets together monthly to tidy the Village in the last year they have accrued 112 hours of volunteer time, collected 141 sacks of rubbish and recycled 25 sacks of recyclables. Special thanks go to organiser Nicky Beaton and the Volunteer team Nigel Davies, Jo Hall, Jo Headland, Julia and Mick Hore, Annie Keen, Keith McLeod and Katrina Tizley
I would like to thank the ladies of the Carpet Bowls Club together with the other local residents for looking after the Village planters who ensure that the planters are refreshed, fed and watered.
This year we have improved the Pond area by fitting new subtle feature lighting and also installing a new Village sign. Grants from our Borough Councillors ensured that these projects were able to go ahead.
Due to the resignation of Robert Perlmutter in June a vacancy arose for a new Parish Councillor. In previous years, between statutory four yearly elections, a candidate was co-opted on for the remainder of the term after the position was advertised and candidates interviewed. This time 10 electors requested a formal election. After much campaigning, a £7,000 bill and an hour of vote counting at Hertsmere’s offices the results were declared and Nigel Heller representing the Conservative Party won and was declared to be our newest Parish Councillor. We should congratulate ourselves as we achieved a 19.5% turnout which is a little higher that the average for a similar election nationally. All Parish Councillor positions are up for election this May so please exercise your democratic right and vote.
After having to book over a year in advance, in April we were pleased to have been able to take over 100 seniors from Shenley to Highclere Castle in Berkshire, where Downton Abbey was filmed. Despite the cold it was great day out and enjoyed by all. July saw our Summer outing, where we went to Windsor and partook of lunch and a trip along The Thames. The trio of trips ended in December with a trip to see the musical Motown and on the way back a tour through Central London to see the Christmas lights.
We held our usual community events at the end of last year with “Halloween at the Cage” held on 31st October which gave the children, and their parents, of the Parish the opportunity to meet the Shenley “Witches” & “Skeletons”. Thanks to Alex of Café in The Orchard for providing the hot soup.
The morning of Sunday 11th November saw our annual remembrance service at the war memorial followed by a Shenley archive exhibition with refreshments at the Village Hall served by the WI. The interfaith service coordinated by Reverend Daniel McCarthy was really special as also marked 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Our annual Christmas Light switch on at the Village Hall was held later in November and we were delighted that our resident celebrity Ben Caplan and his family were able to join us and “flick the switch”.
We held a fantastic Chanukah Candle lighting event on 8th December which saw about 100 members of the Shenley community enjoy an evening of candles and donuts.
Santa Day on 16th December was another successful community day. After Santa’s parade through the streets of Shenley on what was a cold December morning, he took residence in The Cage later in the day to see the children of the village. I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Waverley Driving Group RDA for providing the “reindeers” and “Santa’s Sleigh”. This fantastic organisation provides a carriage driving experience to disabled people from a wide area around its Radlett base. On behalf of the community we made a well-deserved donation to their organisation in recognition of their help and the work that they do for the community.
A huge vote of thanks must go to Nicky & Guy Beaton and their committee of hard-working volunteers who organised this year’s fete in The Harris Lane Fields. It was again an amazing day and thanks to the tremendous support from the Village a magnificent £6,000 + was raised for local good causes.
A huge thank you must go to all the people who make our Village such a fantastic place to live. Our Clerk Amanda works tirelessly to look after us Councillors and attend to the red tape that is imposed upon us from above. In addition, she virtually single handedly organises all the community activities that we enjoy. Mr & Mrs Gough who have for many years attended to all our grass and hedge cutting and all those other odd jobs we can find them. They also help at all our events. The members of the allotment committee who ensure the smooth running of the allotments. Guy and Nicky Beaton who prepare, edit, liaise with the printers and arrange distribution of our local Parish magazine Shenley Village Matters and Dayaram Nakrani (Dee) who looks after our website.
I have had a really enjoyable year and have great expectations for the next and look forward to seeing you at one or all of our events.
The meeting received the report on the Sir Richard Cox’s charity.
The Chairman then went through the accounts. The Vice-Chair thanked Mr Jeremy Leboff for all his help in doing the Parish Council accounts every month.
The Vice-Chair then addressed the meeting on ‘UPDATE ON THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN’. Councillor Beaton informed the meeting that Regulation 14 Consultation closed on 28/09/19, with responses having been analysed and changes made accordingly. The mock exam was held on 21/02/19 and the report has been received with recommendations having been made. The revised plan will then be put forward followed by Regulation 16, with the aim of a referendum being held in late Autumn/ early winter.
There were several questions from residents including concerns regarding the increase in traffic that will naturally follow development. It was concluded by thanking Councillors Nicky Beaton and Rosemary Gilligan for their tireless work with the Neighbourhood Plan.
There was a question asked under ‘Questions and Matters of Local Interest’, which were answered: –
Problems regarding the youth
It was asked what provisions there are for the youth. Following a discussion, it was agreed to speak with BOX CLEVER of Borehamwood and if they can assist in Shenley.
Concerns were also raised that only 5 out of the 9 Parish Councillors attended the Annual Parish Meeting.
The Vice – Chairman thanked her fellow Councillors and everybody for attending.
The meeting ended at 7.35p.m.
March 2019 Chairman ……………….