Meeting documents

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No. Item


Election of Chairman




That Councillor Everitt be elected Chairman for this meeting only.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2017.




That the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2017 be approved as correct a record.


Ecology Update 2017 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider the attached report.


Contact Officer: Paul Holton 01296 585974


The Committee received an Ecology report from the AVDC Ecologist, Paul Holton, which provided an update on the service. In attendance for the item were volunteers that had been invited by the Ecologist and each gave a short presentation.


Doug Kennedy – Active Volunteer


After a brief introduction on how he became involved in activist work, Doug Kennedy explained how he had been involved with the Website Working Group and liaison meetings with Thames Water regarding the River Thame’s cleanliness. The Committee heard of the importance of monitoring water quality and holding perpetrators of pollution to account. A brief summary of why Thames Water (TW) was fined £20million earlier in the year for breaches of environmental legislation at the Haydon Hill Sewage Treatment works was provided. A liaison group that included AVDC, TW and The River Thame Conservation Trust ensured better communication between all parties. Fish had been monitored this year in the Aylesbury section of the River Thame and numbers were lower than anticipated. Fresh water Invertebrate populations had also been monitored with a lower threshold seen than expected. Both these declines were indicative of water quality so continued monitoring by volunteers to support the Environment Agency statutory monitoring stations was critical to understand what was happening in the River Thame. The value of a healthy river in Aylesbury Vale was considered to be a huge asset and it was hoped work to achieve this would be supported in full by Councillors and Staff at AVDC.


Natalie Brehan – The River Thame Conservation Trust


A map showing an overview of the River Thame’s route and catchment area was provided to Members along with notable locations of the Conservation Trust’s work. The four main strategic aims were as follows:


·         Increase understanding of the freshwater habitats and species of the Thame catchment and monitor changes in them

·         Improve biodiversity by practical habitat works on the ground

·         Improve water quality

·         Improve knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the freshwater environment of the River Thame catchment and increase its recognition in local planning frameworks


Work that had been carried out by the Trust included Eythrope Habitat Improvement Works and Eythrope Fencing which intended to improve habitats and reduce livestock access to the river. The Trust had also worked at Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve in 2016 in order to reduce silt deposition and discourage dog entry into the river as this caused bank erosion. Designated dog access points into the river had been successful in combating this as these entry points were gravelled which prevented excess mud and sediment entering the river. Volunteers were important in the Trust’s work and were crucial in the implementation of species surveys, river cleaning and the removal of invasive Himalayan Balsam. The Trust wanted to advise Households on how they impact the river even without being in proximity to it as surface drainage often ended up in rivers. Incorrect waste in sewage systems would also cause blockages and issues at treatment plants which may cause inadvertent damage to rivers and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Work Programme

To consider the future work programme. Meetings are scheduled as follows:-


19 December 2017:    Taxi Licensing fees review

Built Facilities Strategy


13 February 2018:      Community Safety update


21 March 2018:           No items yet


22 May 2018:              VAHT annual update


Previously requested items:


·         Update from County Council on road repairs

·         Housing acute needs

·         Update on inspection of residential buildings in the Vale to review fire safety

·         Food Service Plan 2017/18: Commercial Proposition


The upcoming work programme for items coming to Scrutiny was considered as per the agenda. The Built Facilities Strategy scheduled for 19 December 2017 was subject to a three month consultation period so would not feature at that meeting. Consequently, this item would be scheduled for 2018. Members expressed an interest in receiving a report covering Sporting Facilities which was expected to be covered in the Facilities Strategy. Additionally, Members discussed the possibility of receiving an update on Aylesbury Garden Town. This would be investigated after the Member’s Event was held.


Members were also advised that the next meeting would contain an update on Friars House following the fire safety inspection of residential buildings in Aylesbury Vale which was previously brought to Committee.




That the situation regarding the work programme be noted.