Pitstone Parish Council update from PPP Issue 139

Memorial Bench

We would like to express our gratitude to the Deeley family for the donation of a commemorative bench, now located on the Recreation Ground by the magnificent Oak tree, in loving memory of Graham Joseph Deeley 27/08/79-14/01/22.

Christmas Lights

We hope that all our residents enjoyed the festive illuminations at the Recreation Ground and Pavilion.  As the cherry tree that used to house the lights at the pavilion had sadly needed to be felled during the year, we opted for column mounted panels combined with our existing string lights.  Feedback from residents and hirers has been very positive.

Buckinghamshire Council Street Lights

Buckinghamshire Council worked hard to try and catch up on the backlog of outstanding street light remedials in the village.  By the end of October all the columns along Westfield Road were operational except 2 that had UK Power Network faults that had to be rectified before BC could return to complete their works.  Since that point, several have developed new faults, and been fixed again so on 21/12/23 all streetlights along Westfield Road were operational with the exception of one on the corner of Warwick Road.  By 31/12 3 further lights had gone out, which had been fixed on the next check on 4/1/24 (the one on the corner of Warwick Road remained out), but 3 different lights had then gone out, all were reported to BC.  These are all old lighting stock so will be subject to ongoing issues.  The Parish Council has been pushing for them to be upgraded to LED in line with the rest of our village and BC’s own policies, and Taylor Wimpey provided Buckinghamshire Council with some funding.

Along Marsworth Road, the illuminated bollards were all fixed, but some are now out again, but the illuminated directional arrow signs on the islands required some replacement parts that will be installed upon receipt.   BC continue to experience some issues with the reliability of some of the main lanterns along the road, but they did fix many of the long outstanding issues.  BC Lighting are also working on the replacement of the signage & illumination at the Westfield Road roundabout following a traffic accident.

BC no longer monitor any of their lights, they solely rely on reports being uploaded to their Fix My Street portal on their website.  The Parish Council, and a team of volunteers, do monitor lights and we upload reports to the BC portal on a regular basis.  If you spot a light that is not operational, or is flashing, or is on when it should not be, please let us know by emailing parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or log it direct to the BC website.   If you would like to join our team of street light champions and check the lights near you, please email parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk.

Would you use a footpath between Westfield Road and College Lake?

A few residents have enquired whether a path along this route would be possible.  Initial enquiries with adjacent landowners have shown that any such path would need to run within the verge, besides the carriageway, rather than being set back through the woodland.  Buckinghamshire Council’s Community Board has advised that such a path would not qualify for grant funding via the Board, so would need to be funded locally or via grants from other sources, if any are identified.  Before any investigative work can be undertaken by the Highways Authority, we would need to assess how many people already walk this route, how many would utilise such a path, where you are trying to access, what other routes you currently use, and whether residents feel that this would be a good use of Local Council tax funds.   If you have any views, for or against, please complete the online survey at https://pitstone.co.uk/path-to-college-lake/ by the end of February.   If you do not have computer access and would prefer a hard copy, please telephone 767261 and we will happily provide a printed version.  Buckinghamshire Council has advised that it will be consulting in 2024 on its Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) so if you are keen to see such a path installed, please keep your eyes out for that consultation and make sure you have your say.

Do you experience any problems crossing Westfield Road?

At the Annual Assembly a resident enquired whether Westfield Road qualified for zebra crossings.  Buckinghamshire Council’s Community Board has advised that crossings would not qualify for grant funding via the Board nor BC, so would need to be funded locally or via grants from other sources, if any are identified.  Before any investigative work can be undertaken by the Highways Authority, we would need to assess how many people experience difficulty crossing Westfield Road, how long you have to wait before a clear gap becomes available, where along the road you are crossing, where you are trying to reach, how many people would benefit/use a crossing, and whether residents feel that this would be a good use of Local Council tax funds.   If you have any views, for or against, please complete the online survey at https://pitstone.co.uk/westfield-road-crossing/ by the end of February.   If you do not have computer access and would prefer a hard copy please phone 767261 and we will happily provide a printed version.

Another resident enquired whether the pedestrian refuge islands along Marsworth Road could be upgraded to zebra crossings.  The Highways Authority advise that the low wait time and clear visibility at these locations had identified refuge islands as the most appropriate type of pedestrian crossings for these locations.  There are proposals within the Pitstone Safety Scheme to try and enhance their prominence, and reduce traffic speeds, via the use of coloured tarmac at crossings and median strips.   Phase I of the safety scheme was installed outside Brookmead School in 2023.  Buckinghamshire Council are currently reviewing Section 106 funds they are holding towards Safety Scheme works and whether the next phase of Safety Scheme implementation can progress to the next phase.

Westfield Road Bus Shelters

We continue to liaise with Buckinghamshire Council regarding the possibility of bus shelters for Westfield Road.   They have now confirmed that no funding is available from either Buckinghamshire Council Public Transport or the Community Board, so these will need to be funded locally via the precept.  There are a number of steps that would need to be completed before we can obtain their final approval on the design (particularly as they’d sit next to the cycle path) and get permission to carry out minor works to their highway verge to install them, so this may take some time yet.

Anti-Social Behaviour

On a sadder note, we continue to experience vandalism to the play equipment on the Recreation Ground and have received one report of anti-social behaviour near the Skate Park.  If you do witness any anti-social behaviour, please report it to our neighbourhood policing team at Thames Valley Police by emailing greatbrickhillwingivinghoenhpt@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk and providing details of the people/vehicles etc involved and the date/time that it was witnessed.  This enables them to speak to offenders (if known) and better target their patrol activity. 

New Curtains at Pitstone Memorial Hall

The Parish Council was pleased to supply a grant to Pitstone Memorial Hall Charity for the supply and installation of new curtains in the main hall, to provide improved acoustic and black out qualities, which will benefit many hirers and enable the Pitstone Picturehouse (previously Pitstone Film Club) to resume. The curtains were supplied by Panache Interiors at cost, so thank you to this local company for their support of a local charity.  If you are a local community group that benefits the residents of Pitstone, and could do with a helping hand towards the cost of a project, you can find out all about our grant scheme and how to apply by clicking this link: https://pitstone.co.uk/ppcinfo/grant-policy/

Vacancy for Parish Councillor

Due to a change in personal circumstances Councillor Jack Heyman sadly resigned from his seat on the council as of 4/1/24.  We thank Jack for his hard work and dedication during his term in office and wish him well for the future.  Jack was a member of the Sports & Leisure Committee, the Pitstone Development Area working party, the youth café working party and regularly organised the annual Children’s Competition, as well as fulfilling his duties on the main council.  The BC Monitoring Officer has been advised and notices erected, the details are also available on our website.  Please contact parishclerk@pitstone.co.uk or 01296 767261 if you have spare time to volunteer each week (the role of councillor is a voluntary one with no renumeration), a passion for our village, and would like to fulfil the remaining term of office until the parish elections in 2025.

Planning

There are several major planning applications for which we are still waiting for BC to provide a determination including 5 new dwellings behind 87 Marsworth Road, 1 new dwelling on Marsworth Road and 4 dwellings on Queen Street.  As always, you can find full details of all planning applications on the BC Planning Portal.

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