Minutes of Meeting 8th May 2007


Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council

held on Tuesday, 8th May 2007 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Mr M Brown, Mr J Dickens, Miss B Drew, Mr S Norman, Mrs T Seelig, Mr G de Wilde (part-time),

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

One member of the public attended.

1. There were no apologies for absence.

2. Signing in of new councillors: The Register of Members’ Interests forms were distributed to councillors for completion. Other forms to be signed by incoming councillors were identified and will be distributed and signed as quickly as possible. A copy of The Good Councillor’s Guide to be distributed to councillors. Clerk

3. The Retiring Chairman, Mr de Wilde, handed the copy of the Recreation Ground Title Deeds to the Clerk for retention. Mr de Wilde was thanked for all his past endeavours on behalf of the Parish Council.

4. Election of Officers:

Office Nominee Proposed Seconded

Chairman Mr M Brown Mrs Seelig Mr S Norman

Vice Chairman Miss B Drew Mrs Seelig Mr M Brown

These officers were duly elected.

5. 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 were recorded.

6. Minutes of the meeting of the Upton Parish Council held on 13th March 2007, having been previously circulated, were agreed and signed as a true record.

7. Matters Arising

14/11/06 Safety of Pedestrians. Mr Brown reported that some Speedwatch signs have been fixed to the telegraph poles as necessary.

9/1/07 Stream Road Issues: Mr Brown said that there had been no further progress on Stream Road issues and this will be an item for the Parish Council’s next agenda. Clerk

8. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lamont reported that the future of secondary education in Didcot will be going out for consultation. Two proposals before Cabinet are a new secondary school on Great Western Park or a 14-19 facility which would be co-educational from year 9. This latter is seen as a good option but it would be built in a piecemeal way dependant on contributions from the Great Western Park. He also reported on Oxfordshire County Council’s £750,000 new carbon footprint initiative. He said that the rules on illuminated road signs were likely to be relaxed and that luminous signs might be used in order to cut costs. Mr Lamont reported that there had been a Cabinet re-shuffle and that Ian Hudspith is taking over the responsibility for Highways.

9. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell said that following the recent elections the Vale now has 34 LibDem members. The first meeting of the new District Council will be held on 16th May, he will then find out what his remit will be.

10. Planning

It was noted that UPT/19316/2 – internal alterations and erection of single storey front extension at Fieldside Cottage had now been approved by the Vale.

The Chairman then raised the issue of planning applications with the District and County Councillors. He said that we want to be in dialogue with the Planners to understand how they work. He cited a number of planning applications which have been recently passed by the Vale which have been inconsistent and raised a number of questions. Mr Farrell reassured the meeting that the Vale sought professional advice. He will however check how past decisions have arisen. If the PC has an objection to a particular plan the application then goes to committee. The Chairman requested that he, Mr de Wilde and Mr Farrell have a separate discussion to understand the detail of some of the Vale’s past decisions. Mr Brown said that in future we need the support of our councillors.

Mr Farrell said that he can only fight our corner if he is convinced that we have good grounds. He went on to say that the Vale has to be seen to make reasonable decisions. Mr Farrell suggested we set up and attend a meeting with the Vale Planning Officers to better understand how the Planning Office works. Clerk

11. Allocation of Duties

After discussion the following areas of responsibility were agreed:

1. Roads and Footpaths: Mr S Norman

2. Recreation Ground: Mr J Dickens

3. Village Hall: Mrs T Seelig

4. Planning: Miss B Drew

5. Junior Parishioners – To be agreed

6. Communications and other amenities: Mr M. Brown

7. Attendance at Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG): Mr J Dickens. It was noted that the next meeting of NAG is due to take place on 14th May. JD

8. UKAEA Local Liaison Committee: Miss B Drew.

9. Parish Transport Representatives: Mr & Mrs P Gardiner have been Upton’s representatives for some time and report back to the PC following meetings. Mr Brown said he will speak to Mr & Mrs Gardiner to fully understand their involvement. MB

12. Cooption of new member

Several names were suggested. The Chairman agreed to follow this us by making a personal approach. MB

13. Parish Transport Representatives

No report received.

14. Finance:

a) Financial Transactions since last meeting

Allianz Cornhill Insurance £261.61

Berinsfield Community Business £221.56

ORCC Membership renewal £20

Clerk’s Salary £304 (due end of May)

All were approved for payment.

b) Financial transactions since last meeting

Half Precept £3625 received 20/4/07

Bank Interest £30.47

The above transactions were noted.

It was agreed that Miss Drew and Mr Norman will be signatories, together with Mrs Seelig. Clerk to arrange bank mandate. Clerk

15. Playground Management Committee

Mrs Seelig was actioned to proceed with a quote for a Spring Rocker and safety mats. TS

16. Recreation Ground

a) Land Registry Voluntary Registration – Copy deeds have now been received (Item 3 of these minutes refers)

b) Goalpost replacement – a working party is required to install the new goalposts. MB

17. Correspondence in circulation and recently received

Standards Board for England, adoption of new Code of Conduct

Communities & Local Government, The Local Authorities (Model code of conduct) order 2007

OCC Agreement relating to removal of unauthorised signs.

Vale of White Horse Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report

Postwatch – post office closures

Farming &Wild Life Advisory Group AGM & BBQ, 20th June, tickets £25.

Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association newsletter

Various letters from Vale to Thames Water re reservoir.

S Oxfordshire & Vale, April 07 Newsletter

Minerals Site Proposals and policies document,

Victim Support Oxfordshire & Bucks. Fund-Raising 2007/07

Venturefest 2007, 2 & 3 July, Rutherford & Appleton Laboratory

Oxfordshire & Bucks Mental Health Partnership’s application to become a Foundation Trust.

The above communication was noted.

18. Training

The meeting endorsed the following training:

1) Local Government and Local Councils, an Introduction for councillors and clerks, 7 June, Council Chamber, SODC. Attendee Mr S Norman

2) Getting to Grips with Finance, 4 July Didcot Civic Hall. Attendee Clerk. It was agreed to apply for a bursary for the clerk’s training. Clerk

19. Best Kept Village

The Chairman proposed that Mr & Mrs P Gardiner and Mr M Wright be asked if they would meet with Mrs Seelig and himself to come to a decision whether Upton meets the criteria set out in check list document and whether it should enter any part of the Best Kept Village competition. Clerk to distribute copies of the questionnaire to Mr & Mrs Gardiner and Mr Wright, if they are agreeable to be involved, in advance of this meeting. MB,TS

20. Any Other Business

We will be required to update the Code of Conduct and also Standing Orders for Upton PC. Clerk & MB

21. Date of next meeting: the next Parish Council meeting will be held on Tuesday 10th July 2007

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the Meeting at 10.35 pm

Clare Lightfoot

20th May 2007

Clerk, Upton Parish Council