Page 30 - Phonebox Magazine December 2016
P. 30

Mercury Report
was concern that the replacements would be basic and functional, rather than aesthetically pleasing, but two designs have been submitted which are similar to the existing ones. OTC decided to opt for the designs produced by Holophane. It is expected that the full cost will be met by MKC with no contribution necessary from OTC.
Olney Wine Bar – license application
Olney Wine Bar and Brasserie Ltd are owners of the Wine Bar and the next door premises, Cross Keys House, and have recently obtained planning permission to knock through the existing internal walls on the ground and  rst  oors in order to link the two. The existing Wine Bar license covers opening hours, sale of alcohol, and music and dance all with slightly different timings. A new application has been made for the combined buildings which attempts to standardise the hours for the permitted activities although the  nishing hours for the music is later than currently permitted. The nearby residents have expressed concern about the extended hours and OTC has formally raised an objection. A member of the council will attend the meeting of the MKC Licensing Committee on November 22nd to present their case.
Changes to MKC planning delegation
As reported extensively last month MKC is attempting to reduce the number of Planning Applications placed before its Development Control Committee (DCC) and Development Control Panel (DCP) by deciding more strictly which should instead have been determined by its of cers under delegated powers. A survey has been sent to all parish and town councils for them to express their opinion of the proposed changes and identify what aspects of the planning process they consider most important. There was some concern at the ‘tick in box’ nature of the survey, since the importance of the various aspects and elements would vary from case to case and simple ranking was not appropriate.
Devolved Landscape Maintenance
Three years ago OTC agreed to take on responsibility for landscape maintenance from MKC, which covers litter picking, grass cutting and play area maintenance. In order to fund this additional work OTC received a grant from MKC. Due to the  nancial crisis MKC has had to cut £111m from its current budget, needs to  nd £20m next year and
Olney Town Council
Public participation
First to speak in this section was Sue Warren on behalf of the Oakdown Crescent residents. She thanked the council for their efforts in the recent meeting with Milton Keynes Council (MKC) but expressed concern that the funding for the proposed residents’ parking scheme and changes to the parking layout was not currently available, since she was under the impression that it had been ring- fenced. This matter was an agenda item later on in the meeting.
Next to speak was Gill Behari, owner of Leo Antiques in the Market Place who presented a petition requesting that the Big Olney Food Festival (BOFF) be relocated from the Market Place to the recreation ground, signed by 75% of businesses in the centre of the town. Gill said that the event had grown from the original one day event featuring Olney food providers and there were now food stalls occupying the roads and pavements around the Market Place. The roads and car park were now closed for almost three days, disrupting normal business practices resulting in loss of earnings for many retailers. Residents and visitors, particularly the disabled, have great dif culty in parking she said. Many of the shops have to close their doors due to food smells and deafening music and shop keepers had complained of  nding people sleeping in their doorways, as well as vomit and general drinking detritus. The council had been due to discuss the request for next year’s event to be held, but decided to defer the decision pending further discussions.
Oakdown Crescent
Town Clerk Liam Costello reported that there was actually nothing to report at present, as MKC is yet to complete the consultation with the residents regarding the parking scheme.
Community Skate Park
This section was introduced by Councillor Colin Rodden who requested a commitment for  nancial support from OTC towards the total cost, expected to be in the region of £75k, so that the fundraising committee
could approach local businesses for funding. Tony Summerscales was present with three young members of the committee. Tony explained that £145 had been raised from a stall at Riverfest but a  rm commitment was required from Olney Town Council (OTC) in order to start the planning process, engage suppliers, and seek additional funding. Mayor Jeremy Rawlings reminded members that they had previously discussed using money obtained by Section 106 ‘planning gain’ for the project which was not currently available but could be ‘forward funded’. Liam Costello said that the proposed housing development in East Street would generate £33k and the Lavendon Road development £111k. However, the next Finance Committee meeting was not due till January. Tony was keen to move things forward, explaining that they wanted to start building in March 2017 so that the project was completed before the summer and not to disrupt the normal use of the play area and even a month’s delay would jeopardise that. Ron Bull suggested that if OTC was genuinely committed to supporting the skate park then it should provide the funding regardless, but Ward Councillor Peter Geary was adamant that the money must come from Section 106, otherwise it would have to come from the precept (the amount of Council Tax that MKC gives back to OTC to run services). He was 98% certain that the money would be made available, he said. Joe Stacey proposed that the anticipated £33k from the East Street development be earmarked to support the scheme and a vote taken which was passed unanimously. After the vote Tony Evans reminded members that the Recs and Services Committee had agreed to the location of the skate park, subject to relocation of the existing zip wire. It was possible that moving the zip wire might cause or identify damage which would need additional funding, he said. Also the play equipment on Johnsons  eld was due to be revamped and that would take a signi cant chunk of future Section 106 funds.
High Street streetlights
As reported previously, the existing lamp standards have reached the end of their life and are due to be replaced by MKC. There
30 Phonebox Magazine | December 2016

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