Minutes of Meeting 9th January 2007


Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council

held on Tuesday, 9 January 2007 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Mr G de Wilde (Chair), Mr M Brown, Mr P Fletcher, Mrs C Hall, Mrs T Seelig, Dr S Whatmore and

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk).

Mr R Farrell (District Councillor) & Mr C Lamont (County Councillor) were present part-time.

PC Steve Lynch and 3 members of the public attended.

The Chairman introduced PC Steve Lynch who has been appointed Neighbourhood Specialist Officer. PC Lynch said that he has 9 years experience as a beat officer and he and his 9 PCOs look forward to working with us. He said that PCOs will be a visible presence around the village and from time to time will operate ”SID” speed detection equipment on the A417 in Upton. Speeding motorists will be sent a warning letter. If possible he would like any incidents reported directly to him. He anticipates being tied in to this role for 3 years. Following discussion PC Lynch left the meeting.

1. There were no apologies for absence.

2. Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to declare any personal interest and the nature of that interest which they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting (please refer to the notes at the end of agenda).

None recorded.

3. Minutes of the meetings of the Upton Parish Council held on 14th November 2006, having been previously circulated, were agreed and signed as a true record.

4. Matters Arising

10/01/06 Chilton Road Traffic Calming Device: ongoing MB

12/9/06 Big Tree: Oak Leaf Tree Services have carried out the work in the Recreation Ground.

14/11/06 Non-Contentious Planning: nothing further to report

14/11/06 Safety of Pedestrians. Mr Brown said that the appropriate signs were available from Speedwatch via NAG. Unfortunately communications with NAG were tardy and nothing had materialised since the NAG meeting which he attended in November. MB

14/11/06 Restored Bench: the bench at the corner of Chilton Road and the A417 has now been restored. Thanks were expressed to Mr de Wilde and Mr Brown.

14/11/06 Millenium Yew has been planted in the New Burial Ground. Mr Brown suggested that its history be put on the village web site. MB

5. County Councillor’s Report.

Mr Lamont reported on the full meeting of the Council which he had attended earlier this day. The Council Leader has been given authority to oppose any moves towards the county setting up “Unitarian Authorities”. The basis for applying for Unitarian Authority is that it should be cost neutral, however Price Waterhouse’s costing for a unitary option is £12m in the first year.

Five Advice Centres will be funded for 1 more year. Council tax rise will be 4% without cutting services, this is being achieved by efficiency savings, a shared service centre and greater use of IT.

He said that the Highways Agency had made a presentation on the Wolvercote Viaduct and it was disappointing that the width of this is to be the same as at present. Major roadworks are commencing on the A34.

He concluded by saying that Thames Water were beginning Stage II of their public consultation which is concerned with the design of the proposed reservoir. He stressed the importance of saying at this stage what leisure facilities should be incorporated.

6. District Councillor’s Report.

Mr Farrell reported that the prospect of a Unitary Council was pretty dead. The important decision facing the Vale is the division of 3,000 houses coming to the Didcot area. Since we are below the level suggested in the Barker report it is possible that even more houses will be wished upon us. The phase about to get underway is for an additional 4,200, that will be followed by another 3000 starting in 2014 that they are just starting to talk about and this 1500 is the number that SODC have volunteered above the requested totals in return for a large government grant towards infra-structure, a total of 8,700 by 2026.

7. Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG

Mr Brown had attended a meeting in November when speeding issues and vehicular traffic on cycle paths were issues raised on behalf of Upton. So far he had received no further feedback from the NAG meeting.

8. Planning Applications

UPT/13614/1 – Kent Cottage, Fieldside, erection of single storey side garage and single storey rear conservatory for Mr & Mrs C Smith. – permitted

UPT/1972/3 – Village Hall extensions and alterations – permitted

Subsequent to the agenda for this meeting being published another planning application has been received. It was agreed to discuss this at an Extraordinary PC meeting, date to be confirmed, possibly Tues 16 January. Clerk

9. Villagers’ Open Forum

Vehicular Parking in Chapel Furlong. A letter has been received from Mrs Gardiner regarding vehicular parking in Chapel Furlong, The clerk was asked to telephone PetPals advising them that as this is a footpath vehicular parking is not permitted. Clerk

Broken fence and poor state of stream bed in Stream Road. Mr Brown, the Highways Department and residents had met to discuss the situation in Stream Road. Highways have agreed to replace the fence but state that the residents own the stream and it is therefore their responsibility. The residents of Midway, Prospect Road were totally unaware that they should maintain the stream. Mr Brown asked the Parish Council’s agreement to him getting a working party together on Saturday 13th January to clear the stream, as a one-off. This was agreed. MB

Renaming part of Stream Road. Mrs Joel said that drivers get confused about which part of Stream Road they are looking for. In an emergency time could be wasted by large vehicles going the wrong way down Stream Road and then finding it difficult to reverse. Mrs Joel suggested that the section of Stream Road, turning right down Pound Lane be redesignated “Stream Lane”. The Parish Council agreed that if Mrs Joel had total agreement of all the residents in Stream “Lane”, the PC would take this up with the District Council. Dr Whatmore proposed that the PC investigates better signage, in particular a larger “no through road” sign at the junction of Pound Lane and Stream Road. Seconded by all present. Clerk

10. Parish Transport Representatives

No report received.

11. Finance:

Financial Transactions since last meeting

Accounts for Payment:

Slade, Son & Taylor – £75 – fee for copy of deeds of recreation ground from Land Registry (paid)

Mr G de Wilde – reimbursement for repairs to seat at junction of A417/Chilton Road £73.95 + £5 fee to Hedges for witnessing Statutory Declaration (paid)

Annual Subscription to Society of Local Council Clerks – £55

Clerk’s Salary – £304 (chq dated 31/1/07)

Burial Ground Loan repayment – 31/12/06 – £412.91

Oakleaf Tree Services – £411.25

It was agreed that the above outstanding accounts be paid

b) Financial transactions since last meeting

Bank Interest – 10/10/06 – £26.66

Bank Interest – 10/11/06 – £31.83

Proposed Estimates 2007/08

The estimates for 2007/08 having been previously circulated were discussed. It was proposed by Dr S Whatmore and seconded by Mrs C Hall that the estimates be accepted. All in favour.

Mr P Fletcher proposed that the PC invoices the New Burial Ground reserve fund for £2,300 in respect of the work carried out. Seconded by Mrs Seelig. All in favour. Clerk

Proposed Precept 2007/08

The Chairman proposed we keep the precept unchanged for the third year at £7,250, seconded by Mrs Seelig. All in favour. The statutory precept form was duly signed by the Chairman.

12. Playground Management Committee

Mrs Seelig reported that Mr & Mrs V Dawson had raised £177 through their Christmas lights towards a “rocker” for the play area. [Clerk’s note – the money was deposited in the PC account on 12/1/07].

The clerk was asked to write a letter of thanks to Mr & Mrs Dawson. Clerk

The PC agreed that if necessary we should add to this sum and investigate a suitable piece of equipment forthwith. Comments have been made that the surface under the slide is slippery. Mrs Seelig will see if she can improve this by brushing with a yard broom. TS

Mr Brown proposed that Mrs Seelig head up a group to schedule replacing equipment in the children’s play area, taking into account the village hall extension plans.

13. Recreation Ground

a) Land Registry Voluntary Registration – Mr de Wilde has signed the statutory declaration and furnished Slade, Son & Taylor with appropriate OS maps. We are now awaiting copy of deeds.

b) Goalpost replacement – Mrs Seelig is submitting the grant application. TS

14. Parish Plan Update

Amenities & Environment: Dr Whatmore gave a verbal update. She said that following the tree planting, wild flowers will be sown in March. The Chairman will contact White Horse Contractors to spray the sport playing area. GdW

Dr Whatmore will get 2 estimates for the ball wall (anticipated cost £900) and a decision will be made at the March PC meeting. Dr Whatmore said that she has 2 laminated diagrams of the layout for the landscaping and, with Mrs West’s permission, she would like to display them in the foyer of the hall. SW

Social, Learning and Voluntary Activities: Mr Brown submitted a comprehensive report, copy attached to the minutes.

Youth Facilities. Mrs Seelig said that there had been a lack of interest on the part of possible members and helpers to enable a youth club to be started in Upton. She noted there is a thriving youth club in Blewbury and details should be included on the Upton web site. Mrs Seelig’s report is attached.

It was noted that 35 children, between the ages of 2 and 11 had attended a very successful Christmas party in the hall organised by Mrs Karen Fenn and helpers.

Mr Brown suggested that we ask in our next PC newsletter if there are any volunteers to organise activities for young people. MB

The Chairman thanked Dr Whatmore, Mr Brown and Mrs Seelig for their reports.

Footpath – Mr de Wilde said that little progress has been made. He proposes that a meeting is held with the residents at the bottom of High Street to see what might be possible. Mr Brown will also attend. Mr Farrell suggested that somebody from Blewbury should be invited. A report will be made to the next PC meeting. GdW/MB

15. Correspondence in circulation and recently received

Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2011

Vale of White Horse Statement of Community Involvement adopted

Oxfordshire CC Environment & Economy – Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Development Framework, Adoption of Oxfordshire Statement of Community Involvement.

SODC: Local Government and Rating Act 1997 – review of parish arrangements for the area known as Great Western Park, Didcot

Oxfordshire Fire Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Consultation Action Plan 2007-8

Oxfordshire Highways: Highway Management Arrangements, “removal of unauthorised signs agreement” to follow.

Email from West Hagbourne PC re replacement of stiles with kissing gates on the path between the end of Chapel Furlong and West Hagbourne. Work due for completion mid-March 07.

Thames Water – Major Resource Development Stage II – invitation to comment.

The above communication was noted.

16. Village Litter Pick

Proposal 3: that the Parish Council organises a litter pick for Saturday 24th March. Proposed Mr Brown, seconded Mr P. Fletcher. Mr Brown was asked to organise this MB

17. George & Dragon

Proposal 4: After discussion this proposal was withdrawn. It was decided that individuals going along to the George and Dragon was the best way forward, rather than a formal offer of help.

Date of next meeting – 13 February 2007

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 10.40 pm

Clare Lightfoot

16th January 2007

Clerk, Upton Parish Council