Parish Council Meeting

Bayford JMI School, Parish Assembly, 7th April 2008

Present: Michael Wainwright (Chairman), Alan Fitzjohn, Bob Orme, Jackie Fulcher, George Rowley, Maggie Broomer (Clerk) + 68 members of the public

Absent: Linda Haysey
1.0Introduction by the Chairman 
 MEW welcomed everyone to the meeting. 
2.0Mark Prisk - MP for Hertford and Stortford / Mike Carver Councillor EHDC
2.1MP outlined the reasons why the government were asking local authorities to make provision for more gypsy / traveller sites because there was a 'lack of provision for secure accommodation for them which has lead to an increase in illegal sites'. MP stated that he had asked the government to support this statement with evidence. After 4 months he is still waiting for a response. He stated that EHDC were approaching the problem correctly and he was fully supporting parishes that were raising objections. Noted
2.2MC expanded on the planning process. He stated that they had consulted with the travellers to ascertain their needs. It would appear that the travelling communities favoured Cambridgeshire and Essex. East Herts currently has 3 private sites and that technically Bayford was only listed as a possibility in the appendices and in any case it was on hold. It came to light that the landowners had never received an official letter from EHDC re the compulsory purchase of their land for a site - MC to look into this. It was stressed that the compulsory purchase of private land for any 'change of use' was the issue being rejected rather than the possible presence of travellers living in the village, where there is no infrastructure to support their needs. Noted
3.0Andy Woodward - PC 962
3.1AW informed everyone that the police station in Hertford would be moving to its new HQ on Monday 14.04.08. Noted
3.2Reported crime has reduced by 10% in East Herts. In the last year Bayford has had 26 various crimes from speeding - theft - possession of cannabis. In response to a question from the public, AW responded that any fly tipping seen is now the responsibility of EHDC. Noted
4.0David Sitwell - Chairman of Bayford Action Group (BAG)
4.1 In response to a question from the public DS stressed that BAG was not discriminating against travellers but was strongly against anyone trying to take over private land that was not for sale for any 'change of use' and where the owners had not been consulted by the EHDC. Noted
4.2Membership of BAG is now 60. Following lawyer's advice re the travellers site in Bayford it was recommended that villagers did not at this stage get involved with the proposed public consultation through BAG, but should do so in their own right. Noted
5.0Charles Lambert - Organiser Bayford Musical Gardens Day Noted
5.1The date has been set for Sunday 15th June 2008 and at present there are 12 gardens promised, with 6 bands and 1 choir. There is currently some 15,000 in the bank already from various sponsors and other sources. Noted
5.2A meeting is to be held on Tuesday 15th April 2008 at 8.00pm at New Pond House to discuss arrangements with garden owners and helpers. Noted
6.0 George Rowley - Governor of Bayford School re New Car Park
6.1GR reported that a scrutiny committee have looked into the various possibilities for the site and the following observations were noted:-
  • the land is not for sale but for leasing only
  • it is not for housing
  • a nature reserve is being assessed at the moment
  • 240 signatures backing the car park was dismissed by the committee
Following the above, the next course of action being proposed is a referendum for the whole village.
6.2It was then brought to the attention of the meeting by Andrea Trendler, that no decision had been made at present into the future of this piece of land and the possibilities of a nature reserve was still being looked into. Noted
6.3 It was reported by Margaret Grocock that the nature reserve had the support of the RSPB and the Herts and Essex Wildlife Trust. Noted
6.4 It was reiterated that car parking for the school was a major safety issue, as the village hall and pub car parks were not suitable as overflow.
7.0 Any Other Business
7.1It was announced by John Brocklehurst that the annual churchyard spring clean was to take place on Saturday 10th May 2008 between 10.00 - 12.30 pm Noted
7.2The chairman again thanked all the villagers and guest speakers for attending Noted
7.3David Latham thanked MW for his work as chairman of the council. Noted
 Meeting closed at 21.45