Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead. View directions
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and conducted around the table introductions.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Colin Rayner, Phil Watson and Russell Watson.
To receive any declarations of interest.
No declarations of interest received.
To agree the minutes of the last meeting.
The Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 4 November 2015 were unanimously agreed.
To meet and receive an update from Superintendent Bhupinder Rai.
The Chairman welcomed Superintendent Bhupinder Rai, Commander for Windsor and Maidenhead and Inspector Emily Roberts, lead in Windsor and Maidenhead on rural crime. Inspector Emily Roberts is based in Windsor.
Superintendent Bhupinder Rai informed Forum members that Inspector Emily Roberts would be regularly attending the Rural Forum to update Members on rural crime.
Points highlighted by Superintendent Bhupinder Rai included:
· Drop of crime by 14%, 133 recorded crime incidents last year compared to 114 this year.
· Increase in arrests.
· Currently six ongoing investigations.
· Four further people charged last year.
· Ongoing work includes:
§ Tack marking – engagement carrying on
§ Crime prevention
The intelligence was not really flowing as well as it could and therefore now using automated number plate recognition (ANPR). The peaks in rural crime are currently being looked at.
Questions and Answers asked by Forum Members included:
§ Hare coursing problems – in the past five weeks, had a very good response and police attended the farm within 10-15 minutes. It took one hour to catch the two hare coursers, both aged 14 years. It was confirmed that 14 years old was not under aged and was prosecutable. They may not be taken to court but would go through the correct youth justice processes and system.
§ What evidence was required by the police to prosecute the accused? It was advised that this was on a case by case basis by Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The police would arrest, collect evidence, conduct the witness evidence interviews and pass all information on to the CPS. Currently there were a few ongoing cases which would be good examples to learn from once completed.
§ The local access forum of West Berkshire is working with another company with large cars to capture the hare coursers. Insurance for this would be an issue.
§ Machinery theft – national organised crime – police have been successful in this. All organised crime information is collected and once a week the information is sent to Thames Valley headquarters. All patterns are looked at and weekly bulletins are prepared. Windsor and Maidenhead are very well linked in. This is still a significant problem nationally.
§ What do the rural community need to be aware of? It was highlighted that the biggest issue was cyber crime, and fraudulent transactions. Forum Members were advised that in the main, the fraud was targeted mainly at vulnerable people but not exclusively. Internet security work has to be preventative, issuing many safety messages.
§ Data tagging in coordination with Thames Valley Police.
Forum Members highlighted that they are not receiving Neighbourhood Crime emails that the community used to receive. Members were advised that the email was still sent out and the mailing list probably needs refreshing. Superintendent Rai would look into geo-fencing to see if the existing system can be adjusted.
ACTION: Clerk to send the contact details of Inspector Emily Roberts to all Rural Forum Members. . Email - Emily.Roberts@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
ACTION: Clerk to send the future meeting dates to ... view the full minutes text for item 16.
To receive an update from Andrew Randall on issues affecting the farming community.
Update received from Andrew Randall.
ACTION: Clerk to send Streetscene contact number to all Rural Forum Members for rubbish and fly tipping.
Link to the RBWM Website report IT form: https://forms.rbwm.gov.uk/popup.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=LcSmztQpUYS
To receive a verbal update from Colin Batchelor/Kevin Griffin.
The Rural Forum received a presentation from Colin Batchelor, from Superfast Berkshire Project. Presentation attached.
Points from the presentation included:
· Project conducted in two places.
· £4.6 million public funds invested.
· There are 120 cabinets in the county and 19 of which are in Windsor and Maidenhead Borough.
· In phase II, the government framework was not used but using and working with other suppliers.
· Monies were put forward by individual unitary districts, Windsor and Maidenhead did not put forward as much as some other boroughs, £415k was put forward.
· Further work in Windsor, Wraysbury and Burchetts Green would be completed by the end of 2016.
· At the present time, Windsor and Maidenhead were at the bottom of the table shown.
· Councillor Bateson raised the issue that a large amount of money was spent by Windsor and Maidenhead. Colin Batchelor explained that in phase I, there was one pot for all districts, in phase II, individual districts raised funds which were matched. Windsor and Maidenhead had actually made the lowest contribution of the six authorities in Berkshire.
The Chairman went round the Members to record what speeds of broadband they received. They were indicated as follows:
· Pinkneys Green – 1.2
· Drift Road – 0
· Forest Green – 0.8 and 0.5
· Cookham – 1.29 and 0.35
· Holyport – good
· Burchetts Green – 7.0 and 1.0
· BCA – very good
The main aim was to ensure that each property had basic broadband (deemed to be 24mps). There was a satellite scheme at present where £350 would be given to offer an alternative broadband connection per household.
ACTION: Colin Batchelor to provide link to Clerk for minutes.
Colin Batchelor informed the Rural Forum that there was a significant underspend in phase I and this was still available to use. It had been decided that half would be used with both BT and the other half with other companies. Funds were going to be used to bring all districts to 97%. Windsor and Maidenhead would therefore benefit the most from this remaining funding.
ACTION: Clerk to circulate presentation with minutes.
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN
To receive an update from a representative of Planning, Development & Regeneration.
Chris Hilton, Director of Planning, Development and Regeneration and Flo Churchill, Interim Policy Manager gave an update to the Rural Forum on the progress on the Borough Local Plan.
In September 2015, it was agreed that all councils would have a local plan. Windsor and Maidenhead have been working very hard to produce a local plan.
Points discussed included:
· Decisions on planning applications securing sufficient and appropriate land for affordable housing.
· There was a call for potential sites last year.
· Further consultation to take place later this year, the results of which would be used to support the draft plan when sent to the Secretary of State.
· Concern that all large houses being built and a desperate situation occurring for affordable housing.
· High rise buildings would be detrimental to the borough.
· A supplementary planning document will be produced after the local plan completed.
· Neighbourhood plans and them fitting in with the local borough plan.
· Neighbourhood plans have to be pro development and conform to the local borough plan.
· The most recent plan always takes president.
· Green belt guidance is very clear, should only be altered once in a generation when writing a local borough plan.
· In Windsor and Maidenhead, we aim to protect green belt land.
WEIGHT LIMITS FOR HGV'S ON LOCAL ROADS
To receive an update from a representative of Highways & Transport.
Tony Carr, Traffic & Road Safety Manager, gave an update on the changes that have taken place.
In connection with the Holyport Weight Limit, points discussed included:
· The diversion route being three miles long and HGVS transferring, from A roads to rural B roads, going through minor roads and passing a primary school.
· The change being rushed without proper consultation.
· Tony Carr confirmed that the Road Haulage Association were consulted as the general representative body for road hauliers, but no response was received within the consultation deadline.
· Signage being a major issue for the new route.
· Major effect on agricultural community.
ACTION: Place this item on next meeting agenda.
ACTION: Send Members consultation documents and road plan.
BERKSHIRE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
To receive a verbal update from Amanda Gee on how the college is progressing.
Points highlighted by Liz Hadden, Berkshire College of Agriculture, included:
· 16 graduating students from BCA.
· All but one have employment.
· Many agricultural apprentices.
· Scholarships available for different 3-4 apprenticeships
· Insight from local forums is very valuable to find out what is actually needed.
· Further report due out in May 2016.
· Seeking joiners for BCA networking group.
UPDATE ON THE RURAL WALK
To receive an update from Paul and Simon Rinder regarding the upcoming Rural Walk.
Date to be confirmed.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
Rural Walk – Monday 27 June 2016 – 5.30pm – Stroud Farm – Holyport – Maidenhead.
Wednesday 2 November 2016 – 6pm.
Thursday 2 March 2017 – 6pm.
Members to note dates of future meetings:
· Wednesday 2 November 2016 at 6.00pm
· Thursday 2 March 2017 at 6.00pm