Agenda, decisions and minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

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Minutes:

There were no apologies.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 472 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 January 2021.

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Minutes:

RESOLVED: The minutes of the meeting, including the confidential minutes held on 5 January 2021 be agreed as an accurate record.

3.

Declarations of interest

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Minutes:

Angela Macpherson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, explained that she is a local member for the Grendon Underwood ward. John Chilver, Cabinet Member for Property and Assets, explained that he is also a local member for the Grendon Underwood ward. Furthermore, he has a daughter who works for the Ministry of Justice.

4.

Hot Topics

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Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change reported on waste services and the adverse weather conditions. He reported that all waste services in former Chiltern area were suspended today but residents were to present their waste containers as normal and the Council would aim to reinstate the services as soon as they were able. In the former South Bucks area they hoped to undertake the collection today but it could be delayed. Residents were asked not to report them as missed bin collections. The bulky waste collection would also be delayed but again resident were asked to present their waste containers as normal. Garden waste in the former South Bucks area had been cancelled this week because of covid and in the Chiltern area would be delayed by one day. In Aylesbury Vale waste collections were suspended today but operators hoped to be working as normal tomorrow so most residents waste collection will be a day late. A service would be undertaken on Saturday this week to keep up to date. Information was provided on social media.

 

5.

Question Time

The following question has been received  and will either be responded to during the meeting or a written response will be included in the minutes:-

 

1.    Question from Councillor Cameron Branston to Councillor Martin Tett

 

As a Councillor for the Grendon Underwood Ward, I am writing to put forward the views of residents in Edgcott and Grendon Underwood, the villages most affected by this proposed expansion.

 

Both villages are under significant strain managing traffic from HS2 and EWR projects, can the villages manage more traffic to the prison site? Once the prison is operational, traffic movements will continue. None of this is environmentally sustainable. As a Council, we have agreed to some significant targets in line with national carbon reduction targets by 2050. Daily movements from 500 - 600 coupled with visitors will only increase carbon footprint in Buckinghamshire. A brand-new bus stop will not encourage more people to use public transit.

 

The proposal will increase the prison population to 1,400, which is larger than both Grendon Underwood and Edgcott and several residents have argued that this development moves away from organic growth to a point of being intrusive even artificial given its location in the countryside. Moreover, it is difficult to understand how trees could camouflage four story buildings with jarring colours in the open countryside, nor does it seem possible that trees and shrubbery will contain light pollution emanating from these large edifices at night.

 

Several major infrastructure projects have been viewed with scepticism in part because they are deemed expensive and offer little value locally and instead are perceived to harm the countryside. Can Cabinet assure residents living in the countryside, especially those living in Edgcott and Grendon Underwood, that it will do all it can to protect the environment and the countryside allowing residents to enjoy the amenities in the countryside?

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question from Councillor Cameron Branston to the Leader

 

As a Councillor for the Grendon Underwood Ward, I am writing to put

forward the views of residents in Edgcott and Grendon Underwood, the

villages most affected by this proposed expansion.

 

Both villages are under significant strain managing traffic from HS2 and

EWR projects, can the villages manage more traffic to the prison site?

Once the prison is operational, traffic movements will continue. None

of this is environmentally sustainable. As a Council, we have agreed to

some significant targets in line with national carbon reduction targets

by 2050. Daily movements from 500 - 600 coupled with visitors will only

increase carbon footprint in Buckinghamshire. A brand-new bus stop

will not encourage more people to use public transit.

 

The proposal will increase the prison population to 1,400, which is

larger than both Grendon Underwood and Edgcott and several

residents have argued that this development moves away from organic

growth to a point of being intrusive even artificial given its location in

the countryside. Moreover, it is difficult to understand how trees could

camouflage four story buildings with jarring colours in the open

countryside, nor does it seem possible that trees and shrubbery will

contain light pollution emanating from these large edifices at night.

 

Several major infrastructure projects have been viewed with scepticism

in part because they are deemed expensive and offer little value locally

and instead are perceived to harm the countryside. Can Cabinet assure

residents living in the countryside, especially those living in Edgcott and

Grendon Underwood, that it will do all it can to protect the

environment and the countryside allowing residents to enjoy the

amenities in the countryside?

 

Reply given by Martin Tett, Leader of the Council

 

The Cabinet recognises the concerns of residents around the proposal of a new prison at the site on HMP Grendon/Springhill and believe that it is important that the Council responds to the public consultation. It is very helpful for us to hear your views as a local member, and those of residents who will be affected, so that we can take those into account as we consider the paper on our agenda today.  During the discussion on this item, I will therefore ask Cabinet Members to satisfy themselves that the themes you identify are reflected in our final response.

6.

Forward Plan (28 Day Notice) pdf icon PDF 619 KB

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Minutes:

RESOLVED: Cabinet NOTED the Forward Plan.

7.

Buckinghamshire Council corporate response to the proposed new prison at HMP Grendon/Springhill, Grendon Underwood pdf icon PDF 495 KB

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Decision:

Cabinet received a report on Buckinghamshire Council’s consultation response to the proposed new prison at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Grendon/Springhill in Grendon Underwood.

 

On 2 December the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) launched a public consultation on ‘The New Prisons Programme’ which outlined their proposal to build a new prison to house up to up to 1680 additional prisoners in a category C resettlement environment in Buckinghamshire. Appendix 1 to the report set out the Council’s draft response to the consultation. This had been formulated by seeking input and views from relevant departments across the Council as well as local councillors. Feedback from local residents and key partners had also been taken into consideration.

 

Cabinet were in support of the draft response to the Government consultation, as set out in the Appendix 1, agreeing to enhance the section on the environmental impact and review the wording in the labour market and housing affordability section. 

 

RESOLVED: That the draft response to the Government consultation, as set out in Appendix 1, be agreed and that responsibility for submission of the final response, incorporating any further changes after the Cabinet meeting, be delegated to the Corporate Director (DCE) in consultation with the Cabinet Member/Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

Cabinet received a report on Buckinghamshire Council’s consultation response to the proposed new prison at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Grendon/Springhill in Grendon Underwood.

 

On 2 December the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) launched a public consultation on ‘The New Prisons Programme’ which outlined their proposal to build a new prison to house up to up to 1680 additional prisoners in a category C resettlement environment in Buckinghamshire. Appendix 1 to the report set out the Council’s draft response to the consultation. This had been formulated by seeking input and views from relevant departments across the Council as well as local councillors. Feedback from local residents and key partners had also been taken into consideration.

 

The Cabinet noted that a large number of objections had been received against this proposal including from the Parish council, local schools and neighbouring villages. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have stated that they would consider the consultation responses before submitting a planning application. Concerns fell into two areas; the proposed location of the prison which was not appropriate and the impact on local residents and communities.

 

The proposed location of the prison:-

  • On the site itself there was concern about the scale of the proposal and if it was built would be one of the third largest prisons in England and Wales; it would vastly increase prisoner numbers and vastly increase staff numbers of up to 5-600 coming to the area. This was a rural location on greenfield land.
  • The proposal showed six/seven tower blocks located on top of a hill at this site five storeys high with the additional services required. In a recent MoJ meeting the prison was described as of urban design suitable for an urban setting. Therefore, this was inappropriate and the buildings would be difficult to screen.
  • A car park would be required for 500 cars and the proposal included a football pitch on the lower end of the site. This was on a ridge and furrow field with historical interest and was very close to the community of Springhill. With the car park and building there would be light pollution and significant noise issues with the cars coming in and going at different hours with staff shift patterns.
  • Environmental protection – the proposed location would be in open countryside with significant wildlife. The Council for the Protection of Rural England have objected on environmental grounds including concern regarding the closure of footpaths. Cabinet Members were referred to a series of photographs.
  • This prison was suitable for a brownfield development close to an urban area.

 

The impact of local residents and communities: -

  • HS2 was already impacting on this area with considerable vehicle movements, mud on roads and operatives working in the area. East West rail was also crossing this area, which was supported by the Council because of its connectivity, but making it marks on the area with problems arising from construction. So there were already two huge infrastructure projects in a rural area.  If this prison proposal went ahead  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

10.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 10am.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Tuesday 2 March 2021 at 10.00am