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Olney Town Council Reports for April 2021

Ron Hall Editor of Phonebox Magazine

Phonebox Magazine's reporter, known as Mercury, listens intently to the reports of the Olney Town Council meetings each month.
The reports are printed in Phonebox. Below we have the recorded minutes of the latest Town Meeting and the Council Meeting for April.

OLNEY TOWN COUNCILLORS (as at April 1st 2021):
Chris Tennant
Desmond Eley
Graham Harrison
Jeremy Rawlings
Joanne Eley
Malcolm Messenger
Paul Collins
Peter Geary
Stephen Clark

Audio Report for The Olney Town Meeting of Friday 16th April 2021

The Mayor

The Mayor, Jeremy Rawlings, welcomes residents to the meeting and informing of the ability to ask live questions during the meeting. The meeting is to consist of a factual appraisal of the council to the town by the chairs of the various committees, followed by the mayor's statement.

Chris Tennant

Chris Tennant, Chair of the Olney Town Council Development Group, kicked things off with his review of development around the town and the Olney Neighbourhood Plan.

Paul Collins

Paul Collins, Chair of the Finance Committee, informed residents of the state of the town's finances, with regard to loss of revenue due to the Covid crisis, steps taken to reduce costs and the 9.5% rise in the precept

Joanne Eley

Joanne Eley, Chair of Human Resources, told of the disarray, serious breaches in HR, paperwork not up to date and written contracts not being held by the council that had now been rectified.

Stephen Clark

Stephen Clark, Chair of Planning, gave a review of the work of planning especially since the covid virus started.

Desmond Eley

Desmond Eley, Chair of the Recs and Services Committee, reported on the issues facing the committee, which covered the cemetery, fields, toilets and flower displays to name but a few.

Jeremy Rawlings

Jeremy Rawlings gave the Mayor's report, consisting of his concern over "keyboard warriors", downright lies on social media, and warned that new councillors do not have superpowers and must be aware of the principles of the Nolan Report

Emails and questions received from the public

The council had received two emailed questions. One regarding development regarding traffic in the town and medical services. The other was a concern about councillors declaring freemasonry. The IT failures were questioned as was concern over the number of councillors who had resigned.

2021 April

Audio Report of the whole Olney Town Council Meeting April 2021

Audio Report for Agenda Items for the Olney Council Meeting of April 2021

The Start - A Minutes Silence for Prince Philip

A minutes silence for Prince Philip. The Book of Condolences that is Covid Secure can be signed at the Council Offices

Email from a citizen

One email read out regarding the Public Arts Fund money that is available

Apologies for Absence

1: No Apologies for Absence - 003

Declarations of Interests

2: No Declarations of Interest declared on Agenda items - 004

3. Approve the Minutes of 1st March

3: Minutes approved after two corrections to the Minutes were offered up - 005

4. The new CAB Advice Service Offer

4. Information regarding the new CAB Advice Service offer agreed subject to Chris Tennant's amendment - 006

5. To receive a report about the Allotment field from interested residents

5. The report, being comprehensive, was passed to the Recreations and Services Committee to report on - 007

6. To review the MKC new Councillor Code of Conduct

6. It was said that a vote could not be taken on something the council had not seen. But it turned out the Code of Conduct had been on the agenda last month, and if no changes had been made to it, it would be voted as acceptable - 008

7. Request to use the Recreation ground for a scaled down Riverfest

7. Nearly 16 minutes of twists and turns resulted in a simple agreement that if the charity field were ok with it, and Covid was not a problem, it would go ahead - the "Swingometer" was really going some at this discussion - 009

8. To agree to hold the May OTC meeting on 17th May rather than the 10th

8. With virtual meetings not being extended the council has to decide when to have the next meeting: 24th May decided, with a fallback (sic) [fallforward] to 17th May if it's not possible on the 24th - 010

9. To consider redesignating sub committees

9. Sub committees have been designated advisory to allow virtual meetings to take place onliine - 011

10. To consider a quote for the re-painting of the Library area in the Olney Centre

10. The quote has been passed. The council are responsible for decoration, not the Library. Their is £6,000 in the Library Support fund which will be used to pay for it - 012

11. To agree the appointment of a Quantity Surveyor to review development plans

11. Peter stepped out of the room. The Quantity Surveyor was appointed. Payment to be claimed from Section 106 money, not from the Precept - 013

12. To review the proposal for purchase of land at Dinglederry and consider if an independent valuation is required.

12. This item was deferred and "kicked down the road to the new council". - 014

13. To receive the Town Clerk's Report

13. Precept accepted, Staffing levels busy, Shredder especially useful, Applicant for zero hours contract received. As far as the Goosey goes it's their land and they will do with it as they choose" and other general news - 015

14. To receive an expenditure report

14. The expenditure report covering routine stuff including a Finance Refresher Course - 016

15. To receive reports from Chairs or Committees and Councillors who represent OTC at external meetings

15. The Chairs or Committees and Councillors who represent OTC at external meetings Report - 017

16. To Exclude Everyone

16. Exclude the public and the press. Everyone was happy to do so, therefore the formal part of the public meeting ended - 019

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