Minutes of Meeting 13th November 2007


Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council

held on Tuesday, 13 November 2007 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Mr J Dickens, Miss B Drew, Mr S Norman, Mrs T Seelig,

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk).

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

1. There were no apologies for absence.

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).

The Chairman declared an interest in Item 9 iv and would not take part in any vote on the issue.

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

4. Matters Arising

10/7/07 Energy Saving Initiative: Miss Drew said that she will be arranging a meeting. BD

11/9/07 Village of the Year: one suggestion had been made that the £200 prize money should be used to benefit the village hall. Since the hall is to undergo improvements it was agreed to defer a decision on where the money should be spent.

5. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lamont reported that the topic most relevant to this council is the review of bus subsidies which is taking place in 2008. He said that the introduction of per passenger/journey costs meant that longer routes could be penalised in favour of shorter routes. Mr Lamont urges PCs to let him have their views.

District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell spoke about planning and joined the discussion on local issues See 9 iv

7. Villagers’ Open Forum – in the absence of villagers there was no discussion.

8. Parish Transport Representatives Report.

Review of Bus Subsidies: Mr & Mrs Gardiner had prepared a note following information received from the County Council setting out options. Mr & Mrs Gardiner are of the opinion that the service should stay as it is, as the alternatives would be disastrous for Upton. Mr Dickens agreed to review the information and prepare a draft response from the PC. JD

9. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility:

i) Roads and Footpaths:

Cycle Path to Blewbury:

Mr Norman reported that a meeting is taking place on 23rd November 2007 with Mr S Pratt (Sustrans), Mark Sumner (Oxfordshire County Council), Mark Sutherland (Safeway to School), Abi Barclay-Watt (Blewbury PC), Mr Brown and himself. SN/MB

Chilton Road:

The Chairman reported that a speed camera had been set up in Chilton Road for 2 weeks. We are awaiting feedback of the data.

Frog Alley

The Chairman reported that a meeting had taken place with the Highways Department to discuss the upkeep of Frog Alley which is their responsibility. The Council is requesting that the road be usable for people to walk down all year round.

A417 footpath

The Chairman reported that Greene King have agreed for the A417 footpath to be routed through the George and Dragon garden and expressed his gratitude that the Landlord had offered to put up the cost of the materials. 6 people have already volunteered to help with the labour for this project. The landlord will let us know when he wants to proceed.

ii) Recreation Ground:

The Chairman reported that 15 of the 57 trees and shrubs have died, disappeared or been badly damaged either due to the mowing machine or rabbits. He will re-order replacements. MB

Ballwall: the graffiti has now been removed and the wall treated with anti-graffiti paint.

Trim Trail: Mr Dickens said that the cost of 3-4 items of equipment around the proposed track would be about £900 each. He did not think it sensible to make up a bark filled running track but any other all-weather surface is likely to be very expensive. It was agreed to ask through the next Upton News what demand there would be for a trim trail before we seek detailed costing and funding. MB

Grass Cutting:

Mr Brown put the proposal that the PC should consider purchasing a 40” ride on mower and a petrol driven self propelled rotary mower and organise its own grass cutting next year. Mr Dickens said he had reservations about the size of the machine being considered and also envisaged difficulty with getting the volunteer labour. After discussion it was agreed to hold this proposal in abeyance until the volunteer situation has been clarified. MB/Clerk

The clerk was asked to seek 3 quotes for grass cutting from companies used in the past. Clerk

iii) Village Hall:

Mrs Seelig reported that UVHAT had asked if the PC would contribute towards the fee for building regs. The Chairman said that when applying for grants for the village hall he hoped that it would be a joint venture with the PC to include both the extension to the hall and to the car park. The Chairman said the PC expected to contribute a considerable sum towards the total project in order to encourage other grant organisations to come forward with funding. The larger this contribution can be the more likely we are to get support and therefore it would not appear to be beneficial to contribute in a piecemeal fashion. He assured UVHAT of the council’s full support for the project.

iv) Planning:

The Council expressed their disappointment over the Vale’s decision to permit the outline plan for Hitherto (UPT/20226). In response Mr Farrell pointed out the Vale had insisted on solutions to many of the points raised by the P.C. including concerns over parking and the entrance onto the road. After a frank discussion it was agreed that we have to wait to see what is to be proposed in the actual planning application.

With regard to the land at the back of the George & Dragon, Mr Farrell suggested that the PC seek another meeting with the Planning Dept at the Vale to discuss our concerns about the lack of action on the part of the Vale’s Enforcement Officer. After discussion it was agreed that the clerk should draft a letter to the District Council voicing our concerns. Clerk

v) Young Parishioners:

The Chairman reported his disappointment at the lack of any feedback regarding the ‘Young Upton’ initiatives in both the Upton News and on the Website. The ideas will continue for at least another 2 months but if there is no interest forthcoming or indication of the website being used they will almost certainly wither. MB

vi) Communications and other Amenities:

The Chairman reported that Mr Rippon is working with the Council to produce a local business directory on the webite. MB

vii) NAG:

The next meeting of NAG is to be held on 26 November at 1900 hrs at Unit 6, Milton Park


viii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee:

Miss Drew will produce a short report for the next Upton News. BD

ix) Playground Management Committee:

The ROSPA report highlighted safety tiles, gate entrapment and low branches as being of medium risk. The report will be circulated to members. The Chairman will arrange for a tidy up to take place as soon as all the leaves are down. He proposed that we review the issue of safety mats such that the work will take place in the spring, in the meantime further information will be sought from mat suppliers and ROSPA. MB/TS

10. Finance


BDO have now completed the audit. They recommend that we add fidelity guarantee cover to our insurance. After discussion it was agreed that the clerk should arrange for this to be done when our policy comes up for renewal. Clerk

i) Invoices for payment since last meeting

Invoice from Playsafety Ltd – annual inspection fee – £77.55 (paid)

Playing Fields Assn – annual subscription – £30

M Brown – purchase of Wood Stain for Ballwall – £18.57

BDO Audit Fee – £141.00

Berinsfield Community Business, Grass Cutting £315.56 (final invoice for 2007)

Transport Costs: Mr Brown £17.40, Mr & Mrs Gardiner £10.30

Clerk’s Salary – October & November, and postage – £308.78

John Dickens – anti-graffiti paint £85.50

The PC agreed that the above be paid.

ii) Financial transactions since last meeting

October – 2nd Precept payment received – £3625

£200 received from Oxfordshire Rural Community Council – 2nd prize in Calor Village Competition

Bank interest – Sept & Oct £71.50

Repayment of vat – £491.88

These items of income were noted by the PC

13. Training and Seminars

Code of Conduct training: 13th & 20th November, Wantage Civic Hall, 6.30 p.m. The clerk said all councillors were urged to attend this training. Clerk to confirm that she and Mr Norman will attend.

Feedback from Seminars attended

How Local Councils fit into Planning System.

Miss Drew reported that it had been a very good seminar and helped her a great deal in understanding how the planning system should work.

Parish Liaison Meeting.

Mrs Seelig said that this had been a good opportunity of networking with the 3 tiers of council. Topics discussed included sustainable housing and parish liaison meetings.

14. Correspondence recently received

Open Space, Sport & Recreation Provision Strategy. Vale of White Horse draft supplementary planning document.

Your Vale – Your Future. Issues & Options Report for future Vale Development document distributed to members.

Oxfordshire Assn of Local Councils – Winter General Meeting 26 November, 7.30 p.m. Kidlington

Ways to tackle climate change, publication by DEFRA, October 07. Document passed to BD.

CPRE invitation to join.

Vale Carers – notice of AGM and invitation to subscribe

Invitation from ORCC to attend Celebration of Rural Affordable Housing in the Vale

16th November, 1200 noon at Denman College.

Didcot Community Forum Meeting – 20 November, 6.30 p.m. at Didcot Town Football Club

Letter from Julie Mayhew Archer thanking us for hospitality at Fete

The above correspondence was noted.

Date of Next Meeting:

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 8th January 2008

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 10.50 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

15 November 2007