Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting 10th April 2007

UPTON PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of Upton

held on Tuesday, 10th April 2007 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Mr G de Wilde (Chairman), Mr M Brown, Mr P Fletcher, Mrs C Hall,

Mrs T Seelig

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk)

Mr C Lamont (County Councillor)

Mr R Farrell (District Councillor)

Mr J Sayers (St Mary’s Church)

Mr & Mrs P Gardiner (Parish Transport Representatives)

Mrs J West (Upton Village Hall Amenity Trust)

14 members of the public attended.

1. Apologies for Absence: received from Dr S Whatmore who was unwell.

2. Minutes of the meeting of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 11th April 2006, having been distributed at the beginning of the meeting, were proposed as a true record by

Mr Rippon and seconded by Mr Sayers. The minutes were duly signed by Mr de Wilde.

3. Chairman’s Report – copy attached

4. Clerk’s Report – copy attached

5. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lamont described the areas for which the County Council has responsibility, ie education, libraries, fire service and highways. He now chairs the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee which, amongst other things, has responsibility for reviewing the proposed reservoir. He said that the Audit Commission ensures that the County Council follows best practice and that Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) has been awarded 4* status, ie an excellent authority providing good services and value for money. The bid for OCC to become a Unitary Authority has failed. (one member said that the resurfacing, particularly in High Street, was in his opinion a shoddy job and he urged Mr Lamont to ensure that the job was not signed off until remedial work had been carried out.)

6. District Councillor’s Report

In response to the Chairman’s report, Mr Farrell referred to the Local Plan which was adopted in July 2006. He said that the Plan had been put out to consultation so that everyone, including parish councils, could comment. The Plan sets a framework to accommodate pressures which arise.

He said that it was disappointing that the Government had refused to set up Unitary Government. In response, The Vale is outsourcing services which in turn means the Vale district council is getting smaller. It is no longer transparent to citizens who does what. He said that the Vale Housing Association has joined with Sovereign Housing and it is hoped that tenants will get a better service. Mr Farrell said he would like to be made aware of any difficulties being experienced following this merger.

With regard to the new Reservoir, he said that Thames Water had not satisfied TheVale or the Environment Agency of the requirement for this. He said that Thames Water had used worst case expectations, along with generous head room to arrive at their position.

7. Reports from Parish Council Representatives on other organisations:

  • Blewbury School – Mrs Fletcher, School Governor – being unable to be present, sent a written report – copy attached
  • Upton Village Hall Amenities Trust – this report was given by Mrs West – copy attached
  • Parish Transport and Footpaths – Mr Gardiner reported – copy attached
  • St Mary’s Parochial Church Council – Mr Sayers, Churchwarden, reported – copy attached
  • Neighbourhood Watch – Mrs Davies who was unable to be present sent a written report – copy attached
  • United Charities of the Ancient Parish of Blewbury – Mrs Whitmell who was unable to be present sent a written report – copy attached.

8. Villagers’ Open Forum

Questions raised:

a) Mrs Gardiner spoke of her concern about the stagnant stream on the far side of the A417. Mr Brown said that there is a blocked culvert which the landowner will unblock when he is able to get to it. Mr Farrell said that the District does have some responsibility and he will make enquiries. This matter will be added to the agenda for the new Parish Council.

b) Mr Betts asked about the footpath between Upton and Blewbury. He said that it is difficult to use the footpath to get children to school in Blewbury. Residents at both the Upton and Blewbury end of the path are concerned about motorcycles and vandalism. The Chairman said that Sustrans have issued a document on how to avoid intrusions. The new Parish Council will pursue this with Blewbury Parish Council as urgent.

c) “can we ask our County Councillor to improve allocation of funds to improve village roads”.

d) “can we be sure that we retain a weekly rubbish collection”

e) it was noted that we are experiencing better community policing.

f) Are there enough nominations for the Parish Council. Yes, there are 5 nominees.

g) it is disappointing that the new kissing gate between Upton and West Hagbourne is unsuitable for pushchairs

h) the meeting was asked whether we should participate in the Oxfordshire’s Villages of the Year Competition 2007. This was unanimously agreed.

9. Date of next meeting: the next Annual Parish Meeting will be held on

Tuesday 8th April 2008

The Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.55 pm

Clare Lightfoot

13th April 2007

Clerk, Upton Parish Council