Minutes of Meeting 11th September 2007


Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council

held on Tuesday, 11 September 2007 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Miss B Drew, Mr S Norman, Mrs T Seelig, Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk).

Mr C Lamont and Mr R Farrell, part-time.

1. Apologies for absence received from Mr J. Dickens.

2. Declaration 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).

None were recorded

3. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on Tuesday, 11th July and the extraordinary meeting held on 16th August 2007. The minutes having been previously circulated were agreed as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising:

9/1/07 Stream Road Issues. Nothing further to report.

8/5/07 The spring rocker has now been delivered and installed.

8/5/07 Goal posts have been replaced. It was noted that one is leaning.

8/5/07 Village of the Year. Upton has been selected as runner up in the Vale of the White Horse District.

5. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lamont reported on a meeting he had attended discussing Sustainable Community Strategy.

He expressed his concern about the Government directive to set up an array of partnerships. Councillors will make an input to committee but the partnerships will have veto. He has reservations about the effect this will have on local democracy.

District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell reported that a hard copy of the Inspector’s Report on proposed house building in the South East Region for the next 20 years is now available and will be debated by the Vale Executive once the implications have been understood. A significant change suggested to the original report is that infrastructure may now be provided in parallel with development not as original suggested, before development starts.

He said that there had been a shift in planning guidance, in the past houses have been built where they are most sustainable, ie fringe of existing settlements, this is still the main thrust, however where developments sustain communities this can be factored in.

He confirmed that bins are now being emptied in Stream Road. If problems recur he should be contacted.

The Planning Enforcement officer is attending to the issue in the field at the back of the George & Dragon.

Mr Farrell assured the meeting that he will be doing everything within his power to keep open village post offices in the Vale.

7. Villagers’ Open Forum – No matters were raised.

8. Parish Transport Representatives Report. Notification has been received from Oxfordshire County Council that a review of subsidised bus services will take place in 2008. The Chairman has discussed the situation with our Parish Transport Representatives and it has been agreed to ask parishioners, through Upton News, for views of usage of local buses. MB

9. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility:

i) Roads and Footpaths:

Frog Alley:

Mr Norman reported that he had established that the status of Frog Alley (as far as Frog Alley Farm) is an “unmade road”, therefore it is the County Council’s responsibility to maintain it.

Cycle Track to Blewbury:

Mr Norman had been in correspondence with Sustrans who responded that they had been in discussions with Blewbury P.C. in 2004 regarding this project and it had not been taken forward. He has also approached the section of the County Council responsible for getting children to school who have reported back that the scheme formed part of the Didcot Integrated Transport Plan 2006 – 2011 published in 2004. It was agreed that the scheme should go ahead between 2008 and 2011 at a cost of £115,000. but unfortunately Government funding was no longer available and the idea has been dropped. The feedback from both sources surprised all members of the council, the Chairman proposed that a meeting between Abi Barclay-Watt, Stuart Norman and himself should be arranged as quickly as possible to discuss the implications and to agree the next step forward. SN/MB/AB-W


A complaint had been received from a parishioner about overhanging trees at the junction on the A417 leading to the Horse & Harrow, West Hagbourne. The Chairman has asked the County Council Highways Dept. to take appropriate action.

The Chairman has been in discussion with the landlord of the George and Dragon and with the Highways Dept about the possibility of extending the A417 footpath as far as the pub.

Chilton Road:

The Chairman reported that the County Council is not prepared to restrict the flow of traffic in Chilton Road to try to reduce the problem of excessive speeding. They are however prepared to improve the road signs and install roundels on the road to make drivers more aware of the speed limit. It is proposed to set up a recording camera for a period of 2 weeks, if excessive speeding is recorded the Highways Dept will consider the installation of gates and a V.A.S.

ii) Recreation Ground: No report available


iii) Village Hall: Mrs Seelig reported that UVHAT meets on 18 September.

iv) Planning: It was noted that planning application UPT832/4 (Barn at Inghams Farm) has been permitted. Planning application UPT/20176 (Extension to house in Stream Road) has been withdrawn. Mr Norman said he would find it helpful to see plans before a planning meeting. It was agreed that the clerk will notify councillors that plans are available in parallel to passing them to Miss Drew for her comment. Clerk

v) Young Parishioners: A youth page on the web has been created by Sarah Stoves and Brian Rippon. It is intended to include a ‘Young Upton’ page in the next issue of the Upton News that will be used to introduce the new web page.

vi) Communications and other Amenities:

The Chairman stated that he intended to look at possible ways in which the council could work with local businesses to the benefit of both parties. When completing the Village of the Year entry form the council had been unable to tick any of the boxes in the section on working with local businesses. MB

vii) NAG: No report available.

viii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee: Miss Drew will be attended a meeting of this forum on 13th September. BD

ix) Playground Management Committee: Mrs Seelig drew attention to the missing palings. The Chairman and Mrs Seelig will meet at the play area to decide on how many additional safety mats are required. MB/TS

A £25 donation towards the play area had been received from Mr Betts. Clerk to write to thank him.


x) Energy Saving Initiative: Miss Drew has set up a meeting for 14th September. It was agreed to add this topic under “reports from councillors” at subsequent meetings. BD/ST/SN

10. Finance

(i) Proposal 1:

Mr M Brown proposed that the following be added to our Financial Regulations and that the implementation date be backdated to 3rd May 2007.


The Parish Council shall pay expenses as follows:-

A car user allowance of 20p per mile shall be offered to all councillors or parishioners undertaking journeys on behalf of the council.

Reimbursement of bus, train or taxi fares shall be offered to all councillors or parishioners undertaking journeys on behalf of the council.

Councillors or parishioners may claim any identifiable out-of-pocket expenses including telephone calls, postage, stationary or any other materials required to undertake duties on behalf of the council.

All claims to be submitted to the Finance Officer and be approved by the Finance Officer and a member of the council before payment.

After discussion this was proposal was seconded by Miss Drew. All were in favour.

The Finance Officer will update the Financial Regulations to record the above modification.


(ii) Invoices for payment since last meeting

Wicksteed Leisure – Rocker and Safety Mats for children’s playground – £1092.75 (paid)

Berinsfield Community Business – 3 cuts of recreation ground during August – £332.34

Oxfordshire Assn of Local Councils. Course on planning £23.50

Clerks’ salary & expenses, + £20 for villagers’ tea party, & £18.85 parts for repair of 6 aside goalpost, paid by clerk on personal credit card. Total (£344.25)

Vale of White Horse – uncontested parish election – costs incurred £64.22

Vale of White Horse – dog bin emptying – £46.21

It was agreed that the above invoices should be paid.

iii) Financial transactions since last meeting

Donation of £25 from Mr W Betts towards playground

Receipt from HM Customs, refund of VAT. £101.72

Interest at Bank (July & August) £76.12.

The above transactions were noted.

11. Training & Seminars:

District Council Reception, 17 September, Chairman to attend

Parish Liaison Meeting, 27 September, Mrs Seelig to attend

ORCC AGM and presentation of Calor Gas awards, 3rd October, Chairman, Miss Drew & Mr de Wilde to attend.

Your Vale Your Future meeting at Wantage, 9 October, Chairman, Mr Norman and Miss Drew to attend

How Local Councils fit into the Planning System meeting at Didcot, 10 October, Miss Drew to attend

12. Correspondence in circulation and recently received

Government Office: Regional spatial strategy for the South East – publication of the panel report – report available from clerk on CD

Vale of White Horse (VWH): Review of polling districts and places

Correspondence between a parishioner and HSE re dangerous occurrence across footpath

Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) Autumn Newsletter

VWH, Town & Parish Council Code of Conduct

VWH, Agenda for Standards Committee for information

VWH, Vacancy for a member on the independent remuneration panel.

The above items were noted.

13. Village of the Year

At the Village of the Year judging day the ORCC invited Upton to make a 10 minute presentation to a Parish Plan training day to be held on 20th Oct on the advantages of having a Parish Plan. It was agreed to ask Mr de Wilde to make the presentation. MB

As a result of its success in the Village of the Year competition the parish will receive a certificate and a cheque for £200. It was agreed to ask parishioners in the next Upton News how they would like to see the £200 spent. The awards will be made at the A.G.M. of the ORCC on Oct 3rd and Upton has again been asked to make a 10 minute presentation to the meeting, this time outlining the progress the village has made in the last few years. MB

14. Any Other Business

Adoption of Code of Conduct.

The Chairman said that at our last meeting he had omitted to get the council to adopt the new code of conduct.

He proposed that we adopt the code of conduct and work to it in conjunction with our own local code of conduct. This was proposed by Miss Drew and seconded by Mrs Seelig and carried unanimously.

Clerk to notify the Vale offices accordingly. Clerk

Date of Next Meeting:

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 13th November 2007

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 10.05 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

19 September 2007