Minutes of the 10th meeting – 22 February 2017
Held in the Meeting Room, at The George Inn, Maulden, 20:00hrs
Committee/Working Group members:
Julie Sheppard (Vice Chair SG/Chair of Social, Education & Welfare WG)
David Bailey (SG Chair)
Simon Barnes (Treasurer/Chair Local Economy WG)
Robbie Locke (Chair Environment WG)
Alan Murray (Communications)
Alan Plom (Secretary/Chair Infrastructure WG)
Cllr Roger Ball (Maulden Parish Council)
Apologies for absence:
- Welcome and Update from the Vice-Chair
Julie chaired the meeting (as David was delayed) and welcomed everyone, including several new attendees. All present outlined their role, interest and relevant experience/help they could bring to the Group.
- Minutes of previous meeting (25/1/17)
Agreed and Julie duly signed.
- Matters arising and actions carried forward
The full list of matters arising (from 25/1/17 and 30/11/16) deferred to next meeting.
- Village and working party updates
- “Moving Maulden Forward” –
- The Joint NHP/MPC meeting held on 24/1/17 was reviewed. Julie praised David and the ‘NHP Team’ for providing clear information on the scope and role of the NHP and the various Working Groups (WG). Maulden Parish Council (MPC) Chair was also very supportive. 100+ attended. Good interaction and feedback but the lack of ‘younger’ people was disappointing and we need to find other ways to get them interested and out to future consultation meetings. The next is being planned for 25/4/17 on ‘Housing’ with further meetings focussed on each WG topic at approx. 6 week intervals.
- Julie explained this had given us an opportunity to develop and refine the questions needed for the Village Survey and useful feedback already received. For example:
- ‘Social, Education and Welfare’ – Julie summarised the responses to her WG’s initial questionnaire. Key concerns identified were the unreliable and costly bus service, the high proportion of children driven to Maulden School – and the consequent problem of inadequate parking near the school. JS proposes to approach the new School Head.
[ACTION JS: Julian Smith kindly offered to let teachers use The George car park.]
- ‘Infrastructure’ – Alan described his questions, which cover roads, transport, utilities and services. The main concerns were speeding and the condition of roads, poor broadband and mobile phone service. The bus service and car parking (particularly near the school) were also highlighted. This will inform discussions about traffic calming between Central Beds Council (CBC), MPC and others in relation to the proposed match funding bid, but it is not the NHP’s role to identify exactly what should be done.
- The format of questions to avoid leading answers was discussed. David advised the NHP’s questions should lead to ‘reasonable answers’, eg to identify if priority should be given to spending ‘CIL’ money [ie Community Infrastructure Levy on developers which could raise ~£108k/100 homes] or to selling MPC land (eg specifically to pay for ‘traffic calming’). David estimated this could raise ~£1.5m/Ha or more, ie ~£4.2m per 100 homes.
- Villagers’ preferred options and locations will be identified by Safer Maulden’s proposed survey. Simon Barnes is a Trustee and Alan is also linked with Safer Maulden. Alan also produced and trialled their survey at the event on 24 Jan. All agreed that decisions should be based on evidence, and experience in other villages should be sought. Greenfield and Lilley were mentioned as locations where various traffic calming measures have been tried
[ACTION: AP to contact Nigel Coote, for his useful contacts in Lilley (including on their PC).]
- ‘Local Economy’ – Simon Barnes explained that Simon Ratcliffe is preparing a leaflet describing the NHP and seeking comments. This will be delivered to all local businesses, to overcome the poor response to his initial email. A small amount of money will be needed for printing and this needs to be added to the draft budget. [ACTION: SB/DB]
- ‘Environment’ – Robbie Locke has produced a draft ‘As Is’ statement, and draft questions were trialled on 24 Jan. His update summarises the 9 responses received so far. However, these probably did not reflect the ‘demographic’ that might ‘use’ local areas.
- ‘Housing’ –David reported a ‘surprising’ amount of feedback from the 24 January meeting. This has been analysed and the summary charts and information presented at the last meeting posted on www.mauldenvillage.org website. This has already been used by MPC and others in response to recent planning applications.
[ACTION: RB to circ copy of the Housing Questionnaire to all MPC Cllrs for info.]
- Discussions and feedback from residents concerned about the possible development at Old Hall Farm (Clophill Rd) had confirmed that a Housing Survey is needed asap to collect and collate resident’s views and to create a ‘vision’ for Maulden.
ACTION: MPC Chair was to obtain and provide a copy of the ADAS Consultation summary.
- There was a strong indication that smaller homes were needed and preferred to larger 4-5 bed houses. This will feed into the Village/Community Plan and the Local Plan for Central Beds. The ‘Housing Needs Survey’ report commissioned by MPC in 2013 had been used as a basis for the Questionnaire, but it was agreed another ‘Housing Needs Survey’ is needed. This was proposed to be commissioned with BRCC as soon as funding is obtained.
- However, David and Julie have written an ‘Interim Housing questionnaire’ regarding the future developmental needs for housing in Maulden. The questions were available for inspection at the meeting. It was hoped the questionnaire would be finalised with a map (Robbie to provide) and foreword (Alan M to provide), then to be printed and delivered to the whole village as part of our ‘community plan’. This might then inform planning decisions before the NHP is complete.
- All draft Questionnaires and summaries of responses will be placed in the Steering Group’s Dropbox folder and on the NHP webpage on www.mauldenvillage.org . [ACTION: WG Leaders]
- Report from Maulden Parish Council meetings (16/1/17 + 20/2/17)
- Cllr Roger Ball reported on discussions at MPC’s January meeting. As at the MPC/NHP meeting on 24 January, the proposal to use planters for traffic calming had led to some debate and opposing views, so no decision had been reached. The MPC meeting on 20 Feb had to be deferred due to an administrative error. Roger clarified that match funding had not actually been applied for, but the MPC Chair had agreed with CBC that a bid can be submitted later in the year, when (if!) a project is agreed.
- Roger has circulated the draft NHP Steering Group minutes to Councillors, to keep them fully informed. ACTION: AP to add MPC & Ward Cllrs to the ‘NHP Consultees’ list.
- Roger referred to the two big planning applications had been received, ie for the large developments at Old Hall Farm, Clophill Rd and at the junction with Green End Lane. MPC would be objecting strongly to both on the grounds that these are both large areas of open land, outside the ‘settlement envelope’, and good agricultural land will be lost. MPC have responded to both applications mentioning the emerging Maulden Neighbourhood Plan and an emerging desire in the village to be involved in the NHP, and feel these applications are “premature and insufficient”.
- David has had discussions with MPC Chair to clarify the boundaries between NHP and MPC. He also confirmed that MPC can provide a small amount of funding if needed, eg for publicity before funding is obtained from CBC.
- “Watching Out For Maulden” event (16/2/17) – Convened by the Police to promote membership and volunteers for the 3 ‘Watches’ (‘Neighbourhood’, ‘Speed’ and ‘Street’) in Maulden. Although only 50 attended on the night – despite all houses in the village receiving a flyer + extensive advertising in social media and articles in the local paper – it still proved to be another useful opportunity to raise awareness of what the NHP (thanks to Alan Murray) and Safer Maulden (by Alan Plom) can do for Maulden and further NHP questionnaires were completed. Again it was mostly older residents.
- CBC’s ‘Community Planning’ event (23/2/17) – several Steering Group members proposed to attend the ‘open meeting’ between 2 and 7pm at Haynes Village Hall (including Simon B, Alan, Roger and David).
- The initial (very lengthy) ‘Expression of Interest’ on-line form had been completed and approval received to apply formally. A draft Project Plan and budget has also been produced. These are fundamental because any funds requested (from the total of £9k support available) must be spent within a limited period, so a series of applications will be needed during the 2-3 year life of the project.
- Funding can be used to pay for a wide range of activities, including publicity, website, meetings/venues, Public Indemnity Insurance, engaging researchers to help establish the evidence base (eg Housing and Environment Surveys), consultants and specialist advisors on the process and to ensure the final NHP is fit to be submitted. An account for the NHP funds will also need to be set up, via MPC. All agreed to leave the detailed application to the ‘Funding Team’.
[ACTION: David, Julie, Simon and Alan P to meet at DB’s, 10:30am on Sat 26 Feb to complete and submit the formal application.]
- Project Plan
David outlined some key elements of the Plan but further discussion was deferred to the next meeting.
- A suitable introduction to the Interim Housing questionnaire is needed to set realistic expectations, ie to emphasise its statutory status in planning applications and to acknowledge that ‘some development’ is inevitable, but it is about preventing ‘uncontrolled development’.
[ACTION: AM to produce draft text.]
- A logo is also needed, eg for publicity materials, a banner and the website.
- Training needs – Discussed briefly. WGp leaders feel they need a steer on framing their questions and getting the wording ‘right’ for the Survey, and the format of the ‘As Is’ Statements, to cover everything that is required. Unfortunately, CBC cannot provide training until late-May but Jemma McLean at BRCC has offered to help us meanwhile.
[ACTION: AP to discuss this with Siobhan Vincent at CBC’s Community Planning event at Haynes on 23 Feb.]
- Next meeting – Wednesday 29 March, 8pm in The George [ACTION: AP to book room.]
Meeting ended at 21:35pm