Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Via Video Conference (Teams)
Contact: Liz Hornby
Welcome and Introduction by Chairman
The chairman welcomed everyone to the third meeting of Chesham and Villages Community Board.
The Chairman explained that the Community Board was a link between the Council and the Community to ensure the community had a stronger voice, decide how services were delivered, pursue priorities and work together for the benefit of the local residents. The Board would back up and support local ideas and projects with funding.
It was noted that a number of funding bids had been received, which had been carefully evaluated by the cross-party Funding committee. These recommendations had been included with the agenda.
The Chairman invited PC Roy Evans to give an update from Thames Valley Police.
Roy Evans introduced Richard Vine who was attending also.
High-Visibility patrols were being carried out in an attempt to prevent and detect burglary. Statistics historically showed that certain areas of Chesham would be more likely the targets of burglary. Increased patrols were conducted in and around these areas with “Burglary prevention” letters posted (attached to the minutes). With recent offences reported, he said that the TVP were concentrating on these areas which included central Chesham and the rural locations.
Continued support to the emergency response teams was given by responding to suspicious incidents resulting in arrests of offenders. Recent examples included a time where PCSO’s spotted suspicious males and when challenged the males ran away leaving stolen items behind. Other neighbourhood officers and PCSO’s intercepted and arrests were made.
It was reported that PCSO Les Roche responded to a burglary in progress and knowing the area well, she patrolled the likely escape route and found the suspect. An early guilty plea and remand in custody was granted.
TVP took part in operations in the Chilterns. These operations had not only been local police area operations but also cross border with other forces. Operation Groundhog and Operation Pandilla.
In relation to speeding, Roy Evans reported that speed enforcement in Chesham had been conducted, concentrating on roads that had been highlighted as a concerns. Roads included Botley Road, Lye Green Road, Broad Street, Berkhamstead Road, Bellingdon Road, St Marys Way and Chartridge Lane.
Enforcement had been conducted by officers and community support officers with handheld devices. Concern was raised that most of the persons stopped for speeding, were local residents and some even lived on the roads where the enforcement was taking place.
Although speeding was a concern, many complaints had been received about parking and vehicles having no Tax. The DVLA attended Chesham again and with support, many vehicles were seized, clamped and or fined on the spot. The feedback from social media did show that the public were happy with this annual event and it did free up a lot of car park spaces in the process.
Roy Evans reported in respect of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) it was found there was an increase in people reporting neighbours for Covid breaches, noise, persons loitering and arguments. This then caused further demand on the police as the neighbours no ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from:
Mike Smith (Ashley Green Parish Council)
Rachel Winfield (Paradigm Housing)
Declarations of Interest
To receive any disclosure of disclosable pecuniary interests by Members relating to items on the agenda. If any Member is uncertain as to whether an interest should be disclosable, he or she is asked, if possible to contact the Monitoring Officer prior to the meeting.
Members are reminded that if they are declaring an interest, they should state the nature of that interest whether or not they are required to withdraw from the meeting.
Councillor P Jones declared an interest in the Franklin Field funding application. However, this item was not discussed at this meeting.
Mr C Brown declared an interest in Hawridge & Cholesbury Cricket Club aand withdrew from the conversation.
To agree the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020 were agreed as a true record.
To respond to questions submitted to the Chairman prior to the meeting.
This item was for members of the public to raise questions or matters for the board’s consideration. It was noted that questions should be submitted in advance of the meeting so that responses could be provided at the meeting and gave an opportunity to invite the appropriate people to the meeting, if required.
The Chairman stated that three questions had been received from Vicky Mistry and due to her being unable to attend the meeting, the Chairman read out the questions and provided the following responses:
“Following on from targets set by both Bucks and Chesham councils, how can this Community Board develop carbon reduction initiatives, incorporate carbon reduction in their work, and include local people and organisations ideas/contributions for this?”
· The Chesham and Villages Community Board took green issues and carbon reduction initiatives very seriously, not just because of the environmental impact but also because they had a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of residents.
· The Board aimed to support initiatives that were not only in line with Buckinghamshire Council’s climate strategy but also the reasonable environmental aspirations of its residents. Schemes that encouraged local engagement and behavioural change were welcomed. The aim was to work in partnership with local people and organisations to support the delivery of carbon reduction initiatives and would utilise the Board as a vehicle to promote green campaigns and groups in the local area.
· We would also encourage local environmental groups to connect with Bucks Climate Change Alliance to build a cohesive countywide strategic approach. Several of the Board members were Chesham Town Councillors who had already completed a far-reaching eco audit, pledged comprehensive support for the urban Communi-Tree planting scheme and for the cycling initiatives brought forward by the Zone 9 Cycle Group.
· Chesham was viewed as an exemplar of environmental policy and project work at local level and our Members will continue to build on that reputation. There were Members of the Board who represented the rural community that was already very active in preserving our local Green Belt and AONB in a wide variety of ways working with partner groups such as the Rights Of Way team, the Chiltern Society and the Chilterns Conservation Board.
“The website is clear that the Community Boards are community led, however all members of the board appear to be councillors. How does the Community lead this initiative? I know councillors are also community, but they as named councillors on the Board I assume they represent the council in this forum.”
· Community Boards were the local face of Buckinghamshire Council and Members were the democratically elected representatives of the community.
· Opportunities were provided for local people to raise issues and discuss local priorities and solutions and also provide funds to help address them.
· The meetings were chaired by a local Buckinghamshire Councillor and all local Buckinghamshire Councillors were formal voting members. There was a keenness for the Boards to be inclusive of key partners, ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
Discussion highlighting key issues facing communities within Chesham and the Villages during the winter months and solutions to address them.
1. Lockdown Recovery – update from Mr Michael Rowan
2. Winter support; adverse weather and 4x4 support and transportation to and from health appointments – from Mark Rosales, (Local resident 4x4) and David Ouvry, Chiltern Dial-A-Ride
3. Christmas Preparations and Support for Vulnerable Residents during the Seasonal Holiday – Mr Andy Garnett
a) Lockdown Recovery
The Chairman was pleased to welcome such a large range of local groups and organisations to the meeting as they had been part of the impressive community support in the area throughout the response to the pandemic. Many of the issues that faced the communities prior to the pandemic had been exacerbated and other issues had also emerged. The way that communities had come together, adapted and responded had been very inspiring.
As the country had come out of lockdown and, locally, had moved into Tier 2 restrictions, views were invited on the following:
· The support offered to local communities over the lockdown period.
· They key longer term issues faced by communities within Chesham and Villages over the coming months. To explore ideas and solutions to address those issues.
· Any gaps in support provision and funding requirements
Areas raised from the discussion would help inform the board’s priorities over the winter months and into spring and provide areas of focus for the local Covid recovery plan.
The Chairman welcomed Michael Rowan from Chesham Help for Coronavirus who was attending to provide an update.
Michael Rowan reported that numbers using their service had been low over the past month during the second lockdown. A meeting had recently taken place to discuss how to continue the service particularly as there could be a spike in mid-January following Christmas. Following the first lockdown, residents who had used the service were assisted in sourcing grocery deliveries as well as prescription pick-ups/deliveries. It was noted that the organisation had a healthy number of volunteers, although it was recognised that if volunteers were not called upon that some could be lost through non-use. To that end, volunteers were receiving a weekly update.
The Cabinet member for Communities and Public Health commented that the council had liaised and worked with Chesham Help for Coronavirus during the first lockdown and complimented them on setting up the infrastructure so quickly including putting safeguarding in place.
b) Winter Support
The Chairman welcomed Mr Mark Rosales who would update the Board on the 4x4 response team.
Mark Rosales reported that he was a resident in Chesham and had been asked to support the 4x4 support team. He explained that he had a military background and was used to dealing with natural disasters. He also explained that his role would be to co-ordinate residents and that discussions with community teams and other groups were to take place shortly at which point a stronger update would be provided.
The idea of the 4x4 response was to identify residents with 4x4 vehicles who could respond in an emergency should they be needed during wintry weather.
The Chairman then welcomed Mr David Ouvry of Chilterns Dial-A-Ride to provide the Board with an update.
David Ouvry reported that Chilterns Dial-A-Ride had a fleet of nine vehicles which were driven by both volunteers and paid staff who were all trained to the highest standard and who work from 09:00 to 17:00 every working day. ... view the full minutes text for item 24.
1. Village Forum – verbal update from Cllr P Birchley
2. Town Team – update from Cllr J Macbean
3. Update on position regarding Parking matters – Cllr P Birchley
4. Community Speedwatch issues – Cllr J Macbean
1. Village Forum
Councillor Birchley referred to the report within the agenda pack and reported that a subject which had been specifically discussed was fly-tipping and that it was reported the fly-tipping team had been busy at certain points within the area. It was also noted that the council had a good record on stopping fly-tipping. Councillor Birchley urged members to report any fly-tipping they saw via the Fix My Street page on the Council’s website.
2. Town Team
Councillor MacBean reported that the update report in the papers was from the Principal Economic Development Officer, Donna Wilkinson, who offered support to the group. Recent efforts had been around supporting local businesses and sharing information about the new support grants available. It was good that lockdown had ended and the High Street and other independent traders could re-open their doors. Chesham Connect were doing some great work around promoting the Stay Safe Shop Local campaign and alternatives were being investigated to the unattractive TfB barriers in Market Square. Councillor MacBean reported that there would be a small group of live entertainers in Market Square at 11am this Saturday (5 December) and on Saturday the 12 December to entertain visitors as everybody finished off their Christmas shopping.
3. Update on position regarding Parking Matters
A positive and extensive dialogue with residents had been undertaken in the town over the last five years having undertaken Phases 1 and 2 of the Chesham Parking review. In light of the time and budget already focussed on parking and the new concerns brought forward during the Covid pandemic, the Board believed it should now focus on other important issues.
4. Community Speedwatch issues
Councillor MacBean reported that there was an active group in Ley Hill and Latimer and that there were new volunteers in Chartridge and Chesham. Unfortunately, as the area was a Tier 2 Covid area, information had been received of confirmation from Thames Valley Police that all Community Speed Watch activity was currently suspended. The situation would be reviewed if there was a change to the level assigned to Buckinghamshire and at that point updates in respect of local groups on new arrangements would be explored of the likelihood of training dates.
To receive an update and recommendations from the funding group on applications to be agreed by the board – update from Cllr E Culverhouse.
The Chairman reported that the group met on 19 November to review the funding applications that had been received and had made their recommendations which could be found within the summary document within the agenda. The group may have further funding applications it would like to bring forward to discuss at the next meeting to be held on 16 December.
Councillor Culverhouse, Chairman of the Funding Working Group, introduced the applications for consideration.
Voices and Choices: the group went back to the organisation with some questions that had since been answered satisfactorily. The recommendation was to award £3,000.
Chiltern Voice: Cllr Culverhouse reported that she had declared an interest in this application due to her assistance in forming the application and was involved in the organisation. Following a short discussion the recommendation was to award £5,200.
Restore Hope: the recommendation was to award £2,000.
Oasis Education: two bids had been received. However the recommendation was to award the first application in full and not the second application. The recommendation was to award £9,000.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB): it was confirmed that the CAB had reached out to the Oasis organisation and discussions would take place. The recommendation was to award £5,128.
Ashley Green Parish Council: the recommendation was to award £1,300.
Cricket Club: the recommendation was to award £7,500.
It was noted that the Franklin Field and Theatre Shed applications would be discussed at a later meeting.
It was also noted that grants that had been approved would be paid up-front and then followed up for evidence from the organisation that the funds had been used in accordance with their application.
To note the update in respect of Current Live Consultations.
The Board members noted the update which had been included in the agenda. The Chairman reported that the Climate Change Consultation which was listed within the summary, had now been postponed and that an updated version would be provided with these minutes. (Attached)
Date of Next Meeting and Proposed Agenda Items
Thursday 11 March 2021 at 7.00pm.
The next meeting would be held on Thursday 11 March 2021 at 7.00pm.
It was hoped to theme meetings in future. A suggested theme for the next meeting was Public Health and a suggestion of Meeting Local People had been received. The Chairman asked for any suggestions members may have to be sent to her.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting and commented that it was an important way of fostering community cohesion.
The Chairman wished all attendees a Happy Christmas.