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NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN COUNCIL Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting held on Monday 23rd April 2009 at United Reformed Church, High Street, Newport Pagnell at 7.30pm Chairman: Present: Cllr Roger Hornblow (Town Mayor) Cllrs Paul Alexander, Simon Baines, Ian Carman, Pauline Dunford, Derek Eastman, Annette Irwin, John Smith and Nick Warton of Newport Pagnell Town Council. Cllrs Mike Barry, Euan Henderson and Alan Richards of Newport Pagnell Town Council and Milton Keynes Council. Cllrs Irene Henderson and Douglas McCall of Milton Keynes Council. Patrick Martin, Chairman of Bucks Association of Local Councils Connie Hilton, Historical Society Richard Meredith, The Newport Muster Brian Hunt, David M-Mundy, Peter Stanton, Newport Pagnell Partnership. Insp. Sue Usher and PC Kevin Leaney, Thames Valley Police. 57 members of the public. Lesley Welch, Town Clerk Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Wendy Egan, Karen Haycock and Joan Sidebottom. Apologies for lateness were received from Cllrs Euan Henderson and Mike Barry. 1. Welcome and Overview of the year by the Town Mayor The Town Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting and in particular thanked Rev. Jenny Mills for the use of the church. It had been a busy Mayoral year, with attendance at a large number of events such as the inauguration of the Milton Keynes Mayor, Care Home visits, playgroup visits, and events such as the Carnival. This year saw the Town Council achieve re-accreditation of Quality Status. A number of building projects commenced such as the overflow car park at Willen Road Sports Ground, and plans were finalized for the refurbishment of the Town Council’s oldest community centre, the Portfields Centre which was a gift from the builders of the Poets estate. Grants from the landfill tax have enabled projects such as the Skate Park and the new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and play equipment at the Wordsworth Avenue play area. A grant from Sports England has enabled the Town Council to commence plans for the modernization of Middleton Pool to include an extension of the reception area to allow a better flow of people in and out of the premises and a separate room for parties and other functions. Support was widely expressed for this project. The government’s free swim initiative has allowed the Town Council to offer free swimming to those aged 16 and under and those aged 60 and above. NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN COUNCIL This year two new ministers were welcomed to the town: Rev Jenny Mills of the United Reformed Church and Rev Michael Godfrey of the Parish Church. The Town Council would like to see a community heritage orchard for the town and is working towards this goal with local residents. The Town Council is supporting the rejuvenation of the Brooklands Centre and looks forward to seeing this project come to fruition. We are approaching a time of anniversaries. This year is the 200th anniversary of the town’s Horticultural Show. Next year will see the 50 th anniversary of the Christmas Lights and the 200th anniversary of the Iron Bridge. Next year is the 350th anniversary of the United Reformed Church, which has beein on this site since 1660. The youth of the town are important and the Town Council is looking at ways of engaging with young people for example it has set up a Discussion Forum on the website and is looking into the setting up of a Youth Council. Finally the Chairman concluded by mentioning the proposed application for a retail development on the former Aston Martin site. A public meeting on 9th April hosted by the Town Council was extremely well attended and allowed local people to voice their concerns. Since then the Town Council has supported the majority by making strong objections to the planning application to Milton Keynes Council. 2. To agree the minutes of the last Annual Town Meeting The minutes of the last Annual Town Meeting held on 7th April 2008 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman. 3. Quality Status of the Town Council The Chairman welcomed Patrick Martin, Chairman of the Bucks Association of Local Councils. Mr Martin stated that achieving quality status was not about ticking boxes. To qualify for a second term took some doing and was achieved because of the work the Town Council undertakes in the community. The Quality Status scheme is a government initiative for all Parish and Town Councils and the Accreditation Panel is selected by the government. On behalf of her majesty’s government therefore it gave him great pleasure to present the certificate to the Town Mayor. On behalf of the Councillors, the former Mayor and the Clerk the Town Mayor thanked Mr Martin very much for attending this evening and making the presentation. 4. Public Art in Newport Pagnell The Chairman outlined an initiative with local students for ideas for public art in the town, particularly at its four main entrances. He reported that NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN COUNCIL students are working on designs and it is hoped that later in the year there will be an exhibition of their work. 5. The Newport Muster The Chairman welcomed local resident Richard Meredith. Mr Meredith outlined the fact that in the Civil War Newport Pagnell was an important place first of all for the Royalists and later for Cromwell and his men and as a result it basically became a garrison town. With this in mind they have named the proposed event the Newport Muster. This annual event will commence this year on 12th September and will take the form of a number of organized walks. There will be a three mile walk around Bury Field and part of the town and a nine mile walk going out as far as Gayhurst, Tyringham and Lathbury. The aim is to raise funds for Newport Pagnell charities. Mr Meredith introduced Kenton White who will liaise with the media, Steve Tearle who is organizing the route and marshalling and Steve Williams, all of whom are Newport Pagnell residents. This year the headquarters will be the United Reformed Church. It is hoped that this will be a long term event which will grow and develop over the years. 6. Regeneration of the Town The Town Mayor welcomed Brian Hunt, Chairman of the Newport Pagnell Partnership. In Spring 2008 a scheme was launched to attract more ideas and interest into the Partnership. This was called Partnership Supporters and from this new group two working parties were formed. One to look at footpaths and cycle ways – improved signage – more walks in the country areas around the town and eventually to produce local maps for walkers and cyclists. The second new group is looking at the river – improvements to the riverbanks and in the long term to reintroduce small boats or punts back onto the river. There are already considerable improvements where nettles have been cut back and some dangerous trees removed thus opening up the views across the meadows. Funding is now in place for Phase 5 of the High Street regeneration – from Market Hill to the Marsh End Road junction. This work will start in the summer and will be completed before the Christmas Lights. A boardwalk has been constructed in the Old Cemetery making it easier and less muddy to walk along the riverbank even after heavy rain. Considerable planting has taken place over the past two years and it is now a very pleasant walk which can be continued over the footbridge, across the Iron Bridge and then all the way to the Caravan Park and swimming pool. The whole of this walk is now accessible for wheelchairs. Three picnic tables will be placed in Castle Meadow in the next few months in the area between the footbridge and the Iron Bridge on an area which is now being regularly mown. NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN COUNCIL A nature trail questionnaire has been produced and is being circulated to local junior schools and youth groups. The Heritage Group has visited the Aston Martin Heritage Centre in Wallingford to discuss setting up a visitor centre in Newport Pagnell. This was well received and negotiations are ongoing. Next year working with the Town Council the Partnership hopes to enter the Britain in Bloom competition and is also represented on the committee that is planning the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the Iron Bridge. Finally, another group is looking at the future of the Partnership and how we might further improve the quality of life for all our residents. Mr Hunt concluded by saying that although the Partnership is active in many areas it can not operate without the support of Milton Keynes Council and Newport Pagnell Town Council which it really appreciates. 7. Town Award The Town Mayor stated that for over ten years Brian Hunt has worked to make the Partnership the successful organization it is today and it is a pleasure and an honour to present him with the fifth Annual Town Award. Mr Hunt thanked the Town Mayor and said that the Partnership could not have achieved so much without the input from all its working group. The Town Mayor thanked Connie Hilton for nominating Brian Hunt, this is a timely award because Mr Hunt is giving up his Chairmanship of the Partnership at the end of this year and recognition of all his work is well deserved. 8. Bi Centenary of the Iron Bridge The Chairman welcomed Connie Hilton, Chair of the group organizing the celebration of North Bridge and Tickford Bridge, both of which will be 200 years old next year. On 18th September 2010 there will be a parade of transport through the ages from a stage coach to an Aston Martin. Starting at Blakelands it will go to Tickford Bridge and Riverside Meadow. An exhibition in the lower hall of the Library will provide a full history of the Iron Bridge. They are looking for Stewards in this respect. A book is being published in Summer or Autumn 2009 giving a full history of both bridges. Special stamps to commemorate this event will be available at the Post Office and First day covers will be available. NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN COUNCIL Schools are to be involved with a competition and visits to the exhibition. Merchandise is being looked into. They hope to enhance the area around the Bridge with the help of the MKC environment department and highways department and the Environment Agency for silt removal. The Parish Church is holding a flower festival which may include costumes from 1810 to 2010. It is hoped the town businesses will respond in their own ways with special menus, window displays etc. It will be a proud moment for Newport Pagnell and it is hoped that everyone will do something to make it a memorable occasion. 9. Question and Answer Session Barrier on the pathway between Middleton Pool and the Caravan Park: Cllr McCall asked the Town Council to look at taking down the barrier to modifying it to allow access by pedestrians and cyclists. This would be put to the relevant Committee. Boardwalk in the Church Yard: It was confirmed that this had been completed that day. Speed Limit of 20mph in Spring Gardens: It was asked if the speed limit could be patrolled. Inspector Sue Usher reported that Newport Pagnell Police Station has hand held devices it can use to monitor speed and are supported by Milton Keynes Traffic Police. She would look into this matter. Dog fouling at Riverside Meadow: There was a request that signs are put up in Riverside Meadow which are clearer and more vociferous in the message that dog waste should be picked up by the owners. Inspector Sue Usher reported that from May the PCSO’s will have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling which is not picked up. Rubbish left on Riverside Meaadow: There was a complaint about bottles and cans left by young people on Riverside Meadow. Specific places where this happens have been reported to the PCSO’s. Initiative by students of Ousedale School: There was an enquiry as to the outcome of the initiative by students of Ousedale School reported in the minutes of the last Annual Town Meeting. Whilst there was no feedback on the initiative raised last year there had been moves to encourage young people in the community life of the town. For example the public art project, the discussion forums on the website and the move towards a Youth Council, which would allow them to interact with the Town Council in the way they want to. Crossing the Road at Tickford Bridge: Milton Keynes Council was NEWPORT PAGNELL TOWN COUNCIL asked to undertake an assessment of the safety of crossing the road at the Iron Bridge from Castle Meadow to Riverside Meadow. Play Equipment for disabled children: There was a request for play equipment for disabled children. The Chair of the Recreation Committee confirmed that this would be considered for the Kingfisher Play Area. Empty building at the back of the United Reformed Church: This building was being destroyed by vandals and the church was looking for a use for the building. Any suggestions would be well received. The Town Mayor thanked the speakers for their presentations and Councillors and residents for their input in the meeting. The meeting closed at 8.55pm
"Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting (DOC)"