Minutes of Meeting 8th January 2008


Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council

held on Tuesday, 8th January 2008 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

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

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk), Mr R Farrell, part-time.

1. Apologies for absence received from Miss B Drew and Mr C Lamont.

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 13th November and the extraordinary meeting held on 10th December 2007.

The minutes having been previously circulated were agreed as a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising

11/09/07 Village of Year: A suggestion has been received that a picnic bench sited alongside the village hall, bearing a plaque, would be a suitable way of using the £200. This idea will be discussed further at the Annual Parish Meeting in April. Clerk

5. County Councillor’s Report

In Mr Lamont’s absence there was no report.

District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell reported that new planning application forms (APP1) will go live on 21 January 2008. The Vale web site will be upgraded on the same day.

He said that legislation had previously made it difficult to prosecute illegal flyposters. The Vale is asking its officers to work out a protocol on how this will be enforced in future. Mr Farrell will write some guidelines for Parish Councils.

7. Villagers’ Open Forum – Nothing to discuss.

8. Parish Transport Representatives Report.

The Chairman thanked Mr Dickens for drafting Upton’s response to the Review of Subsidised Bus Services.

OCC’s Review of external transport posts: A letter has been received setting out how OCC will address the issues. (copy with clerk).

9. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility:

i) Roads and Footpaths:

Improvements to Footpath to Blewbury

Discussions between members of the Council and Blewbury Parish Council are proceeding.


Chilton Road.

Feedback of data from speed camera is still awaited.

Frog Alley

The Chairman is meeting a parishioner on site to discuss how we might proceed with improving the surface of Frog Alley. MB

A417 Footpath

The Landlord of the George & Dragon will decide when he is able to progress this work.


An application to designate the Upton to Didcot cyclepath as a bridleway and add it to the definitive map has been received by The Rights of Way Office. The PC is asked to comment. The Chairman will speak to the Parish Councils of East and West Hagbourne seeking their opinions before drafting a response. The Council is in favour of allowing the existing agreement with the landowners to run its course of 25 years. MB

ii) Recreation Ground:

Replacement trees; Replacements for the damaged/dead trees and shrubs have been planted by the Chairman and Miss Drew.

Trim Trail: Only one response has been received following a request for comments in Upton News and that had been opposed to constructing a Trim Trail. It was agreed to discuss this at the Annual Parish Meeting. Clerk

Grass Cutting: The Chairman reported that 9 volunteers had come forward to offer help in cutting the grass and requested that we revisit the proposal set aside at the PC meeting on 13 November 2007. “That the PC should consider purchasing a 42” ride on mower and a petrol driven self propelled rotary mower and organise its own grass cutting next year”. The cost of the mower would be written off over 5 years during which time the cost saving would be about £600 per year. This year the cost of contract cutting is expected to be at least £1500.

A debate took place on the pros and cons of doing the grass cutting “in-house”. The Chairman said that he had identified a John Deere 48” ride on mower and a Mountfield 20” rotary mower that appeared to be the best buys to meet our requirements. Mr Dickens urged that a risk assessment be carried out, documented training be provided for volunteers, and a written statement be obtained from our insurers giving an assurance that the volunteers and members of the public would be covered by the council’s public liability insurance. A vote was taken on the proposal subject to meeting the requirements proposed by Mr Dickens, 2 members were in favour, 1 against, with 1 abstention.

A letter will be sent to the insurance company and subject to a satisfactory reply the council will go ahead and purchase suitable mowers.

iii) Village Hall:

UVHAT had not met since our last meeting. The next meeting is on 22 January.

iv) Planning:

Nothing to report

v) Young Parishioners:

The Chairman reported that the young parishioners had held a successful Christmas Party.

vi) Communications and other Amenities:

The Directory for local businesses is now on the web site.

vii) NAG:

Mr Dickens is endeavouring to find out when the next NAG meeting is scheduled. JD

viii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee:

Nothing to report.

ix) Playground Management Committee:

Mrs Seelig stated that she needed volunteers to join this committee. The Chairman proposed that Mrs Seelig discuss with the committee and others how best to spend £1300 that was available to be spent on playground improvements in the coming year. TS

x) Energy Saving Initiative:

Miss Drew had prepared a note for the PC on a recent brainstorming session she had held with Mrs Seelig. The PC noted her observations and agreed that Jo Hamilton be asked to give a presentation to which parishioners from West Hagbourne should also be invited. BD

10. Finance

i)Discuss and agree estimates including setting the precept for 2008/9.

A discussion took place on the Estimates and Reserves documents that had been circulated prior to the meeting. It was noted that the Council is in a healthy financial situation. Mrs Seelig proposed that the precept stays at £7,250, this was seconded by Mr Norman, all in favour. Clerk to complete the precept forms accordingly. Clerk

ii) Invoices for payment since last meeting

M Brown – reimbursement purchase of replacement shrubs from Murray McLean £10.22

Society of Local Councils, Annual Subscription £59

Clerk’s Salary – December & January – £304

UVHAT donation for Drop In set up – £25

The PC agreed that the above be paid

iii) Financial transactions since last meeting

Donation £273 from Mr & Mrs Dawson’s light show.

Donation of £500 from Infineum (£400 for playground, £100 Tiddlywinks)

Interest at Bank – November £42.39; December £41.08

The above transactions were noted. Letters of thanks had been sent out by the clerk to Mr and Mrs Dawson and to Infinium.

11. Post Office:

Proposal from the Chairman.

Should the village Post Office be one of the 2,500 Post Offices earmarked to be closed nationally the Parish Council will convene an urgent public meeting to discuss the effects of the closure and set up a procedure for coordinating the protest. Seconded J Dickens, all in favour.

12. Litter Pick

This will take place on 15th March at 10.00 a.m. Clerk to book hall and arrange refreshments. Chairman to arrange the support from the District Council Clerk/MB

13. Correspondence in circulation and recently received

Vale & Downland Museum – Jubilee Refurbishment Appeal – to be considered with other appeals at March meeting. Clerk

SODC Core Strategy – Consultation (see www.southoxon.gov.uk/corestrategy)

ORCC Changes to Post Office Network – meeting 14/2/08 at The Holt Hotel, Steeple Aston with Post Office Ltd to discuss recommendations made in review.

VWH – grants for additional parish cleansing 2008/9

Primary Care Trust Annual Report – to be circulated.

The above correspondence was noted.

Date of Next Meeting:

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday11th March 2008

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 10.15 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486