Summary of issues raised/arising in the month.

(This document is not intended to be read as a record of the minutes of the Parish Council (PC) meeting.)

Ditches and drains

If you would like to be part of a work party to clear some local ditches, please contact Mark at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open Space

The PC continues to wait for RBWM to get back with a detailed plan and costing based on the input from the village working party’s submission. The PC continues to push for a response.

6 ½ acres at Pool Lane

Following concerns raised by residents and communicated by the PC to RBWM, the RBWM Enforcement team has served a STOP notice on works on this land. It is thought that it may now be put up for auction.

Thames Water

The PC is still awaiting a date from Thames Water for a follow up meeting.

Travellers

The travellers moved from Shurlock Road safely and peacefully early in February.

Neighbours are concerned that the land will be used as a dumping and burning ground for rubbish collected from other locations or that it will be occupied by other travellers. RBWM are aware of these concerns. RBWM’s enforcement team are still working on ensuring the land is returned to its original green and open aspect.

We are currently not sure what the legal position is in respect of Mrs Eastwood and her temporary (5 years) permission to stay.

Planning

Each month the PC reviews the plans that have been lodged with RBWM and comes to a decision to support or object to the applications. The PC has been aiming to adopt a more positive approach towards planning applications. Rather than just lodge a plain objection, where appropriate, we have been giving feedback on any changes or restrictions which might make the plan more acceptable. This strategy has seen results and many of our suggestions have been adopted and the application approved on that basis.

 

If residents wish to make a comment on a planning application then they are urged to submit written comments to RBWM – by fax, paper or email. Only written comments will be taken into consideration. It is difficult sometimes for us, as your PC, to justify a stance in respect of a planning application if there have been no comments at all lodged with RBWM from neighbours. Comments can be positive as well as negative.

Neighbourhood Plan

 The WSL Policy was deemed too restrictive by the Inspector and he advised it should be removed from the plan. The PC is making representations that an alternative wording which is less restrictive but still seeks to protect the central area of the village is included in the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). If the whole policy is removed from the document then Waltham St Lawrence will have no policies in the NP, despite making up 1/3 of the land area covered by the plan and ¼ of the population. We are advised that RBWM have the authority to allow this amendment before the NP is submitted for referendum.

Local Government Boundary Review

RBWM has sought a boundary review to ensure that the number of elected Borough Councillors and the number of residents per elected member is within acceptable parameters.  The last time such a review was made was in 2001.

 

There are currently 57 councillors split across 23 wards giving the Royal Borough the lowest average electors to councillor ratio in Berkshire of 1,897 per elected member. The Berkshire average is 2,222 and the highest in the county is 2,347.

 

Two members of the PC will attend a meeting to represent our interests. We will be arguing that in our rural location it is not appropriate to apply the same pro rata formula as in densely populated areas such as central Maidenhead. Our ward includes 17 villages and hamlets over a large area making it more difficult to monitor than a more urban location.

 

Travelling Post Office and Library.

The travelling Post Office is open from 12.00 to 3.00pm every Wednesday in Neville Hall.

 

The library bus stops in Waltham St Lawrence by the Church and in Shurlock Row by The Shurlocks every three weeks for twenty minutes from 10.15am and 10.45 respectively. The next visit is 16th March.

Milley Bridge Phone Box

The PC voted to adopt the phone box at Milley Bridge by the playing field. As it had been used only once in the last 12 months, BT had added it to a list of 39 public payphones in our region proposed for removal.

Security

Please be aware reports of intruders and suspicious characters hanging around gardens have continued this month.

Pot Hole watch

If residents find any pot holes that need to be reported please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Parish Clerk

The Parish Clerk has resigned after many years’ service. The PC would like to offer their gratitude to Sally for her work.

The application procedure and requirements for the new clerk will be publicised as soon as they have been finalised. Keep your eyes on the Facebook page, noticeboards etc.

Footpath watch

If residents come across any problems with footpaths, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact and share

General queries or items of interest can be addressed to the Clerk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to individual PC members via the email addresses shown at the back of this magazine.  Items of interest can be shared on Facebook and Twitter via https://www.facebook.com/WalthamStLawrence/  and @WSL_RG10

Next Parish Council meeting is 7th March 2017, 7.00pm Neville Hall