Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Guildhall, Windsor. View directions

Contact: shilpa manek 

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No. Item




Councillor Bateson and Parish Councillor Mandy Brar welcomed all to the Conference.


ACTION: The Conference agreed to invite the Leader of the Council to all future Parish Conference’s.






Apologies for Absence were received from Mrs MJ Streather (Waltham St Lawrence), Ken Elvin (Bray), Katy Jones (Datchet), Councillor Hewer (Cookham) and Inspector Louise Warbrick.




To receive the Minutes from the last Conference held on 14 June 2018.


Chris Graham, Bray Parish Council, requested an amendment to the minutes. Chris Graham asked to add a sentence that Councillor Dudley had said, this was: Councillor Dudley said “he did not support the politicisation of Parish Councils”.


The Conference Unanimously agreed to add this to the minutes of the last meeting.


Once amended, the minutes were duly Agreed.


RESOLVED: After making the above amendment, the minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record.


It was also agreed by the Conference that any information in reports be referenced to the original source.


Councillor Bateson read out the latest update on the Borough Local Plan which had been provided by Planning and read:


The Council has responded to the Inspector’s advice contained in ID07.  This went to the Programme Officer on Friday 26 October 2018 and includes a signed statement of common ground with the Environment Agency.  Once the Council has received authority from the Programme Officer it will upload its response (referenced RVWM/18 & 19) to the website.  The Council will then wait to have a response to its documents RBWM/18 & 19 from the Inspector.



An update to be provided on the progress towards an updated Parish Charter.


Stephen Hedges, Cox Green Clerk, gave an update to the Conference on the Parish Charter. The Conference were informed that the working group had worked really hard to develop a revised parish charter. It was considered reasonable for all parties and made sure that each understood the role of the other which was the best way for effective communication.


The Conference members had all been sent the new Parish Charter in advance of the Conference in order for all to endorse.


Chris Graham proposed to endorse the new parish Charter and this was seconded by Anne-Catherine Buxton. RESOLVED: This was Unanimously Agreed by the Conference.


Andy Jeffs thanked Stephen for all his hard work and the working group for working so well together and developing a new Parish Charter. Andy Jeffs thanked the Conference for agreeing to adopt the new Parish Charter which would be implemented with effect from May 2019.




Chris Graham, Bray Parish Council, to provide an update to the Conference on the Berkshire Association of Local Councils.


Chris Graham, Bray Parish Council, informed the Conference that the County Officer had resigned and Hampshire County Council were currently providing member services on the operational side. Chris Graham informed the Conference that Sandra Baker and Martin Coker as well as himself had been carrying out all other work and the Chairlady had been resolving queries. The decision had been made that BALC would continue to use the services of Hampshire County Association for Services but further details were going to be discussed at a meeting with the CEO on Tuesday 6 November.


Chris Graham informed the Conference that the AGM was also coming up on Wednesday 14 November at Shinfield. The Hampshire County Association representative would be there to answer any questions. Conference members should contact BALC if they had any further questions. All Conference attendees confirmed they had received the newsletter that Martin Coker had sent around.


Councillor Allison Sharpe asked what were the benefits of being a member of BALC. Chris Graham informed the Conference that the clerks of each parish council would be able to explain the benefits as they used BALC the most. BALC Office provide administration for membership, training for councillors and clerks, dissemination of information, information such as legislation and consultation documents relevant to the work of town and parish councils, liaison with NALC when necessary, administration of quality council accreditation and responding to individual enquiries from member councils.


Councillor Barbara Story asked if Hampshire County Association were happy to join work with BALC and was informed that they were and discussions were taking place on how to shape the working relationship. It was indicated that the new arrangements for BALC would likely be moving to a limited company.




Suzanne Martin to provide an update to the Conference on the May 2019 Elections.


Suzanne Martin, Electoral & Information Governance Services Manager, gave a presentation on the May 2019 Elections. The presentation concentrated on three main aspects, standing for election, fees and purdah.


The combined elections, borough and parish would be held on Thursday 2 May 2019.


Suzanne went through the timetable for parishes to follow and the fees that would be charged to the parishes. Suzanne went through the next steps and informed the Conference that letters to each parish council with the outline of indicative costs of elections would be due out in November 2018, written purdah guidance would also be sent to all in November 2018, prospective candidates and agents briefing will be held on 27 February 2019 and nominated candidates and agents briefing would be on 4 April 2019.


Suzanne Martin could be contacted on or on 01628 682935 for further information. The presentation would be issued.





Update to be provided to the Conference on the future Parish Conference arrangements in light of the RBWM restructuring.


Andy Jeffs informed the Conference that during and after the senior leadership restructure, the council would continue to work with parish and town councils as it has been, working on improving relationships further.


Andy Jeffs informed the Conference that on Tuesday 23 October, Alison Alexander decided to step back from day to day running of the council. The interim MD was Russell O’Keefe. On Monday 5 November, there would be an extra-ordinary full council meeting at RBWM where the interim appointments to fill the statutory roles that Alison Alexander held would be confirmed. These appointments will remain in place whilst the recruitment of a new Managing Director was ongoing. In addition David Scott would be the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer until the new MD was appointed and a long term appointment to this role was confirmed.


Andy Jeffs informed the Conference that both he and David Scott would have new roles and David Scott with effect from January 2018. The change in senior leadership included two executive directors being reduced to one executive director and that was Russell O’Keefe. Andy Jeffs reassured the Conference that his new role included liaison with parish and town councils. The relationship had improved over the last year and by working collaborately, this would continue to improve, in order to provide the best service to residents and businesses.




Bray Parish Council to share with the Conference, their experiences on the travellers.


Susan Cook, Bray Parish Council Clerk, gave a presentation to the Conference on their experience with travellers, during 2018.


Susan Cook informed the Conference that Bray Parish Council had experienced an unprecedented number of unauthorized encampments by travellers this year. At the time, it had proved to be very difficult to get together with the police, the council and local residents to discuss how such problems should be dealt with if they re-occurred. There was also a lack of printed information. After a number of separate conversations, a set of template documents had been developed by Susan Cook, to use when dealing with unlawful incursions as effectively as possible for the parish council to use. The parish council, when dealing with unauthorised encampments on Parish land, is considered a Private Land Owner and has the same rights in law and has to follow the same procedures as private landowners when faced with the same situation. It should be borne in mind that trespass is not a criminal offence but a civil one.


Parish Councils needed to be aware that the process of dealing with unauthorised encampments takes a lot of time, puts all else on hold, may happen at any time and be very demanding.


Susan explained that in her experience the following process is best to follow:

·         Firstly, a timeline must be started - with all the dates and times of when events occur. The timeline should be a standalone document that all can access and should include telephone numbers and email addresses for the police and council officers of those at the Parish dealing with the incursion.

·         Contact the police on 101 - advising them on the exact location, number of vehicles and requesting a URN number, share this URN so that all further reports can be linked to the same incident.

·         Request a Section 61 Notice be considered by the Police - The clerk or a Member of the Parish Council needs to ask the police to consider if they will invoke use of their powers under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, especially if any property had been damaged, threatening behaviour has been experienced when there are six or more vehicles.

·         Issue an Eviction Notice – ask the police to accompany the clerk as the ’landowner’ and a ward councillor to the site in order to issue the eviction notices to each vehicle, this should require the travellers to leave by 4pm on the day that the notice had been served and advising that the council would apply to Slough County Court for a repossession order if the notice was not complied with by that time. Provide a map that highlighted the whole area referred to on the eviction notices. The police would need to coordinate officers to attend, and would wear cameras. This year the usual meeting time has been between 10:30 and 11:30. Do NOT go on your own, ask a Councillor to attend with you. Do not allow  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.




The Chairman advised the Conference to speak to or email Sandra Baker or Shilpa Manek to raise any Agenda Items.


Conference members raised the following points:


·         Parking for attendees of the Conference whilst York House was closed. It was suggested that the library car park and Victoria Street car park or Alma Road car park.

·         CIL Monies – where was this information available on the website. It was pointed out that it was all available on the transparency pages. During the next round, all parish councils would be getting a letter about their own individual parish council.

·         Parish Stakeholders Meeting was on Tuesday 13 November, could discuss CIL further at that meeting.






Conference Members noted the date of the next Conference to be:


Monday 11 February 2019 – 7pm – Council Chamber, Town Hall, Maidenhead