Parish Council - Chairman's Monthly Report

Chairman's Monthly Report

The following report is published in the June edition of Quainton News by Chairman Arthur Evans

THANKS to those many people who have been attempting to make sure that no one in need in our community has been overlooked and left without access to vital goods or service. Should there be any person who has slipped through the net then please let someone/anyone know and you will be put in touch with assistance through the impressive network of volunteers just waiting to help. Additionally our village services have been superbly supportive and efficient so do continue to give them the benefit of your custom. The days of sunny weather amid our lovely surroundings and the cheeriness of residents have hopefully contributed to your being able to reflect on our good fortune in living in such a wonderful village and somewhat softened the impact of isolation. 

Planning Matters –New applications include the replacement of 2 rotten sash windows and the construction of a tennis court at Brudenell House in Church Street. Plans for the design and layout of the permitted 40 houses on land behind 151 Station Road have been submitted. These have raised a number of issues and concerns from neighbours and Parish Council, particularly the lack of regard for the appeal Inspector’s remarks, our village plan and the effect on present residents, plus the absence of any drainage plan. The plans for the building of 5 properties behind 135 Station Road are presently opposed by Highways as well as this Council. Disgusted at the long drawn out saga of the application to demolish what remains of 159 Station Road and replace with two dwellings, landowner, Parish and Bucks Councillors are remonstrating with those responsible for this delay and demanding a speedy resolution. Amendments to the approved development plans at Mill View, Upper Street have been withdrawn. On Carters Lane, on land at Big Hill, applicants wishing to erect an agricultural building for use as an approved finishing unit for cattle have been asked for greater clarification on a number of issues, including size. 

Village Plan The present policy on isolation has prevented the next step in the consultation stage but when circumstances allow we should be in a position to proceed, in spite of the completion of the plan for the whole Aylesbury area (VALP) with which our plan must conform being still some way off. 

HS2 You will have seen for yourselves that, in spite of the dire financial consequences the nation faces as a result of the lockdown, preparatory work for the line is still proceeding. In our area the project is very soon to see the construction of the haul road which will be built alongside the projected rail line. For Quainton this will start from the station crossroads and proceed towards Calvert, with machinery and materials being brought, via the A41, up Station Road. No associated vehicles should come through the village. A meeting to acquaint us more fully with these plans is, as I write these notes, being formulated.

Criticisms of the HS2 workforce’s frequent disdain for the social isolation rules and ignoring of advice, during present times, to avoid local residents’ amenities have been rife, with an abundance of photographic evidence to prove the point. Concerns expressed by our MP and local councils are received and heard by HS2 who seem powerless to ensure their sub contractors, sub sub contractors and sub sub sub contractors (you get the gist) conform. It is not hard to imagine why the poor old Red Indians opposed the Iron Horse? 

Blocked drains This is another problem which, despite promises galore, over several years, in answer to frequent polite and impolite pleas, remains unresolved. When rain falls the consequent flooding in Lower Street means that pedestrians wishing to avoid a soaking need to walk on the opposite pavement to the School side, yet we are still told there are roads in the county having greater traffic and pedestrian flows where remedial work is more urgent.  Station Road, Berryfields crossroads, The Willows and Townsend have similar long standing issues. Unfortunately we are wholly reliant on Buckinghamshire Council for a resolution since they hold the purse strings for such work. 

Transport for Bucks (TfB) We still await attention to long standing problems, including signage at the Aylesbury end of Berryfields road to denote the 7.5 ton weight limit, replacement of the signpost  at our station crossroads, plus the desperate need for white line repainting at that junction where we continue to warn of the likelihood of a fatal collision, so do take extra care traversing that area, kerbstone resetting in Lower Street and carriageway repairs in lower Station road towards the A41. 

Facebook etc Please note that the Parish Council does not respond to comments made on social media. If you have issues you wish to raise please make contact via our Clerk whose details are freely available, or by completing the form on our website. You can even take advantage of the slot during our monthly meetings, again via our Clerk, and address the Council in person. 

Litter Hopefully you will have noticed how local residents have cleaned up so many of our verges, several using their permitted exercise to clear litter. Many thanks to all those concerned. We still have one or two road lengths without volunteers. 2 or 3 more are needed to complete coverage of the main parish highways? 

Thames Water Should they ever leave us for any long period how much we would miss their traffic lights and fenced off portions of road, often within a few feet of an actual leak, as revealed by water  seeping through the tarmac inches from the hole dug in front of Quainton Garage. How often do we marvel at sections of road cordoned off with no evidence of workers? It is all too easy to be cynical – I hold my hands up - but a chat with those who are at work often reveals that they are aware of residents’ annoyance and frustration, being frequently just as frustrated themselves for they find themselves working without any up to date plans so confusion between new and old mains pipes, storm and fresh water courses, plus previous workforce’s botched efforts, mislead and impede them. They know many of us view them in unflattering light and they sometimes face understandably embittered and, even a few, vocally hostile residents. Worth a bit of sympathy perhaps? 

The public footpath across Trail Flatt land has now dried out. No one owned up to chaining the kissing gate access to the Skate Park. The chain has been removed. 

Skate Park Sadly no news has been received that the spray painting offender has been identified so residents will have to pay for consequent repainting. The amenity is now open for play but users need to obey the government guidelines which are displayed at the park. 

Allotments Occasionally there have been thefts of produce from holders’ plots and recently the theft of some special soil, in bags, was reported. These bags would have required collection by a vehicle. Please be alert and notify any concerns to police and Clerk. 

Our elected County Councillor, Janet Blake, has resigned and is unlikely to be replaced until the 2021 elections. As a consequence of the postponed elections to next May, for the next twelve months relevant District Councillors will also be members of the new Buckinghamshire Council so that Scott Raven will be our main representative. 

Clerk Vacancy As indicated in the April News our present Clerk has kindly offered to remain in post until October in order to see the Council through the present situation. In hope of a smooth transition we wish to ensure outgoing and incoming clerks are able to work alongside each other for at least a couple of months so we would be looking to make an appointment around or before August. 

Next Parish Council Meeting, on Thursday July 9th is almost certain to be conducted by video conferencing, as was our May meeting. Thanks to our Clerk’s tutoring our ease with this system, which is new to most of us, continues to improve. Members of the public are invited to view and participate as appropriate. Four residents were present online at that May meeting. The Clerk provides details via the PC website and Quainton Alert. If you wish to be present please notify him.