Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting 8th April 2008

UPTON PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of Upton

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

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

Mrs T Seelig

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk)

Mr C Lamont (County Councillor)

Mr R Farrell (District Councillor)

Mr P Gardiner (Parish Transport Representative)

Mrs J West (Upton Village Hall Amenity Trust)

10 members of the public attended.

1. Apologies for Absence: received from Mr & Mrs M Collins, Mrs C Davies, Mr J Sayers,

Mr & Mrs M Weston, Dr D Whitmell.

2. Minutes of the meeting of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 10th April 2007 were read by the Clerk. The minutes were agreed to be a true record and duly signed by the Chairman.

3. Chairman’s Opening Remarks In his opening remarks, the Chairman said that this meeting is an invaluable forum where parishioners can express their opinions on what they would like to see happen in the coming year and by doing so helping to set the Parish Council’s future agenda. (A copy of the Chairman’s report is attached.)

4. Financial Report The Chairman reported that our reserves at 1st April 2008 stand at £12,364. This reserve has built up largely due to work being carried out by volunteers. The Parish Council has agreed to make a grant of £7,000 towards the village hall extension project and has earmarked £1,400 for improvements to the children’s playground. (A copy of the finance report is attached.)

5. Interactive Sessions:

  • County Councillor: Mr Lamont spoke about future changes in waste disposal. He said that whilst recycling remains top priority, the County Council is moving away from landfill to incineration. He told the meeting that modern incinerators are designed in such a way that the effluent is purer than city air. Heat generated by the incinerator will produce electricity. Sutton Courtenay is a possible site, however there are issues with regard to pollution and road transport.
  • District Councillor: Mr Farrell reported that the Vale will implement new methods of waste collection by 2010: maximising recycling in order to keep down tax on landfill. He commented on the failure to become a “Unitary” council which he felt to be essential in streamlining services and cost saving. He told the meeting that the Vale’s council tax is the 9th lowest, but this is capped, therefore the Vale had difficult budgeting decisions to make (eg community grant reduction, concessionary fares starting at 9.30 not 9.00 a.m.).

Mr Joel said that there had been a lack of road sweeping after the autumn leaf fall. Mr Farrell said he would investigate road sweeping being carried out.

The Chairman thanked both Councillors Lamont and Farrell for the effort they put in on our behalf. He said he would like to record his thanks to the Vale’s fly tipping and collection people who always react very quickly, and also to Toby Warren had been helpful with regard to the Post Office closure issue.

The following reports, copies of which are attached to these minutes, were on display in the hall.

  • Blewbury School – Mrs Fletcher (School Governor)
  • Parish Transport and Footpaths – Mr & Mrs Gardiner (Parish Transport Representatives)

Mr Gardiner said that we were expecting to hear this week whether the bus service is going to continue, following a review being carried out by Oxfordshire County Council.

  • St Mary’s Parochial Church Council – Mr Sayers (Churchwarden)
  • Neighbourhood Watch – Mrs Davies (Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator)
  • United Charities of the Ancient Parish of Blewbury – Mrs Whitmell (Trustee)
  • Upton Village Hall Amenities Trust – Mrs West (Chairman)

The Chairman thanked the authors of each of the above reports and said that the village appreciates the work which is being done, in particular he paid tribute to Peter and Juliet Gardiner who walk our footpaths on a regular basis, picking up litter as they do so.

6. Village Hall Extension: Information pertaining to the village hall extension project had been on view before the meeting. Mrs West said that as a result of the parish plan, plans had been drawn up to extend the length of the hall, this would be separated from the existing hall by retracting doors, thus allowing 2 meetings to take place simultaneously, there would also be storage space and a room for archives. Mrs West explained the procedure for applying for funding. She said that any application for funding needs support from the village and households will be asked if they will be prepared to help either financially or by organising a fund raising project. The meeting was generally in favour of the village being asked to contribute.

7. Village of the Year

2007: The chairman thanked Belinda Drew, Graham de Wilde and Ben Shaw for presenting our case to the judges. He said that only one suggestion had been received on how we might use the £200 Runner-Up award, ie a picnic table for the recreations ground. It was felt that we should hold off until we know what we are doing with the hall.

2008: the meeting was in favour of entering the competition again.

8. Chairman’s closing remarks

In conclusion, the Chairman thanked a vast number of volunteers who carry out a range of tasks within the village. He also thanked parishioners for their attendance at tonight’s Annual Meeting. (A copy of the Chairman’s remarks is attached).

9. Date of next meeting: the next Annual Parish Meeting will be held during the second week of April 2009, day to be announced later.

The Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.50 pm

Clare Lightfoot

13th April 2008

Clerk, Upton Parish Council