Minutes of Meeting 13th May 2008


Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council

held on Tuesday, 13th May 2008 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

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

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk), Mr R Farrell (part-time), PCSOs Clarke & Gardiner (part-time)

Mr B Simpson (Internal Auditor) (part-time)

1. Apologies for absence received and accepted from Mr M Brown

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 recorded

3. Election of Officers

Office Nominee Proposed Seconded

Chairman Mr M Brown Mr J Dickens Mrs T Seelig

Vice Chairman Miss B Drew Mrs T Seelig Mr S Norman.

4. Co-option of Additional Parish Councillor

Mr David Mason had been approached by the Chairman and is willing to become a member of the Parish Council. The meeting was unanimously in favour of his co-option. Mr Mason will be invited to attend the July meeting.

5. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on 11th March & 2nd April 2008.

Mr Farrell requested the following amendment to the minutes of 11th March. Item 6. AONB at Rear of George & Dragon, penultimate para, should read “Mr Farrell defended the action taken by the Vale Enforcement Officer in protecting the ANOB stating that enforcement of such matters had a lower priority than issues such as unauthorised work on listed buildings, building work without permission or incorrectly positioned of TPO’d trees”. Mr Norman proposed that the amendment be made, seconded by Mr Dickens, all in favour. The duly amended minutes of 11th March and the minutes of 2nd April 2008 were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising

11/03/08 Field at rear of George & Dragon: we are awaiting a response from Mr Hood to our letter of 5th May 2008.

11/03/08 Youth in Vale: our nominee, Ben Shaw, had been invited to attend the Celebration of Youth in the Vale but unfortunately was unable to attend.

11/3/08 Post Office Closure: despite our protestations the post office is due to close on 9th June. Mr Brown is seeking an urgent discussion with Mr Partington of Post Office Ltd to understand what financial support is required to maintain the service, or at the very least what outreach service is being offered.

4/04/08: Planning Applications UPT/16887/1 & UPT/20480 have both been approved by the Vale.

Neighbourhood Action Group

PCSOs Gardiner and Clarke joined the meeting to address any issues we wished to raise. They said that they have an engagement plan which involves door to door visiting. They reported that the SID machine is now fully operational. PCSO Gardiner emphasised that we should not hesitate to call the non-emergency number in the event of any problem occurring in the village.

7. Model code of conduct

Proposal 1 by Miss Drew. That our acceptance of the Model Code of Conduct agreed at our meeting in September 2007 included Para 12(2) and that if the proposal is accepted at our meeting the clerk should write to the District Council to clarify the situation.

The clerk confirmed that following the PC meeting in September 2007 our standing orders were updated to include Para 12(2), however in her email to the Vale she failed to say that in adopting the Model Code of Conduct Para 12(2) had been included. Mr Norman seconded the proposal and it was agreed unanimously. Clerk to confirm to the Vale. Clerk

8. County Councillor’s Report: In Mr Lamont’s absence there was no report.

District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell spoke about 2 additional burdens being placed on the District Council by the Government, ie the responsibility for stray dogs, and also a responsibility for food safety. These additional responsibilities provide the Vale with the problem of balancing resources against funds.

Mr Farrell said he will enquire whether we can get some help with sweeping leaves in the autumn. RF

10. Future Meeting dates

Miss Drew proposed that as from and including July 2008, Parish Council meetings shall be held on the 4th Wednesday of every odd number month. Seconded by Mrs Seelig, all in favour. Clerk to issue a list of meeting dates.

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

12. Parish Transport Representatives Report. The clerk reported that the new bus timetable had now been published. She said Mr & Mrs Gardiner were to be congratulated on their efforts in maintaining the bus service. (Clerk’s note: I have since learned from Mr & Mrs Gardiner that the bus users are most unhappy at the 9.00 a.m. service being taken off. This provided a vital link for trains to Oxford.)

Oxfordshire County Council is asking for comments on the Bus Strategy document.

13. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility:

i) Roads and Footpaths:

Improvements to Footpath to Blewbury: negotiations with landlords – ongoing. Mr Norman reported that Blewbury PC is keen to follow up Mr Kauntz’s idea of providing a cycle path alongside the A417.

ii) Recreation Ground: the recreation ground has been rolled and the fence repaired. Mowing is proceeding with volunteer labour. The delivery of the self-propelled mower is imminent.

iii) Village Hall: Mr Brown had attended a funding meeting with UVHAT and reported, in writing, to the meeting that the cheapest quote for the hall extension, to include the car park and folding doors, is £114k. The intention is to apply to The WREN Community Challenge for a grant of £82,000. A third party funder, probably the Parish Council, will be required to cover 11% of WREN’s total costs, ie £9k in order for this application to be considered. After discussion, the meeting agreed to this in principle.

iv) Planning: a letter had been received from the Vale asking for comments on the proposal to reduce the crown by 20% on a chestnut and sycamore tree at Corderoys, which is in a conservation area. Miss Drew will talk to the Vale to find out exactly what this entails. BD

v) Young Parishioners: nothing further to report

vi) Communications and other Amenities: in a written note, Mr Brown suggested that since Upton News is now more lengthy, the Parish Council should discuss increased printing costs with the Churn Benefice if it approved of the increase in size. The PC was in agreement with paying an appropriate rate. The point was made that if Upton News becomes too lengthy perhaps it is less likely to be read.

vii) NAG: Mr Dickens will be attending a NAG meeting on Wednesday 14th May. JD

viii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee: No report.

ix) Playground Management Committee: safety mats are due for delivery on 6th June. A working party will be required to lay them. MB

Mrs Seelig said that she did not think it possible to buy a suitable piece of play equipment with the money available. Mr Dickens agreed to join the Playground Management Committee. An additional member of this committee is still needed.

x) Energy Saving Initiative: nothing further to report.

14. Lead Roles 2008/9

The Parish Council discussed a re-alignment of areas requiring lead roles. The following areas were suggested:

Roads and Footpaths – to deal with issues arising

Recreation Ground including Playground – to deal with improvements

Youth – to coordinate activities and to gather new ideas

Communications and Amenities – to produce Upton News, liaise with web manager and to coordinate the maintenance of village amenities

Energy Saving Initiative – to initiate new energy saving projects.

There are also several smaller tasks that are to be allocated

Village Hall – to serve on the UVHAT committee.

NAG – to attend the NAG committee

UKAEA – to liaise with Harwell Site

Finance – to be first port of call for Clerk on financial matters

Transport – to liaise with Mr & Mrs Gardiner

Village Workforce – to mobilize the workforce when required.

It was agreed to allocate tasks when our new councillor is present.

15. Village of Year 2008. After discussion it was agreed that Miss Drew will ask Mr de Wilde if he would take the lead in pulling together a proposal. BD

16. Finance

i) Invoices for payment

Clerk’s salary – April & May – £304

Oxford Association of Local Councils – subscription – £107.11(net)

Vale of White Horse –dog bin emptying – £46.21 (paid)

M. Brown – reimbursement for mowing costs – £71.99 (paid)

Clerk – refreshments for annual meeting £14.68 (paid)

*Wicksteed – safety mats – £630 (net) – delivery due 6/6/08

Allianz Insurance – £337.53

ORCC Subscription – £20

M Brown – fuel for tractor – £40

Payment of these invoices was agreed, with the exception of Wicksteed. Mr Norman thought it was unusual for payment to be requested in advance of goods being supplied. (Clerk’s note – Wicksteed confirm that the invoice had been raised in error, payment is not due until end of June.)

iii) Financial transactions since last meeting

Bank interest – March £33.17, April £34.30

These credits were noted.

iii) Audit Plan Mr Brian Simpson presented his Audit Plan (copy attached to these minutes) for consideration. The Chairman proposed “That the Council accepts the Audit Plan drafted by our internal auditor, Mr Brian Simpson”, this was seconded by Mr Norman. The Clerk thanked Mr Simpson for his invaluable advice and help with the year end accounts on behalf of the Parish Council.

iv) Risk Assessment:

The Risk Assessment had been revised by the Chairman and Vice Chairman to take particular account of the new arrangements for grass cutting. Miss Drew proposed that the revised Risk Assessment (dated May 2008), having been circulated before the meeting, should be adopted, seconded by Mrs Seelig, all in favour.

v) Adoption of Accounts:

Copies of the statement of accounts were distributed and discussed. It was proposed by Mr S Norman that the accounts be accepted, seconded by Mr J Dickens, all in favour.

vi) Annual Governance Statement:

Copy of the Annual Governance Statement, having been distributed prior to the meeting, was discussed.

Miss B Drew proposed that the Annual Governance Statement be signed, seconded by Mr J Dickens, the Council unanimously agreed that the Annual Governance Statement be signed by the Chairman.

vii) Charitable Donations:

Requests had been received from FWAG, Oxfordshire Children’s Information Service and Home Start (Southern Oxfordshire). It was agreed that these requests be dealt with in March 2009 along with any other requests which may arise.

viii) Clerk’s Salary.

Proposal 3 by Chairman, “That the salary of our Parish Clerk should be increased in accordance with the terms of her contract such that she is paid on the pay scale LCI17 as from 1st April 2008.” This was seconded by Mr J Dickens and unanimously agreed.

17. Correspondence recently received

i) Vale of White Horse – Your Vale Your Future. Miss Drew will attend the meeting at Faringdon on 22nd May. This event will discuss the draft Vale Sustainable Community Strategy. BD

ii) Thames Water’s draft Water Resources Management Plan. Visit website on www.thameswaterconsult.co.uk

iii)Letter from Richard Owen, Traditional Mole Catcher.

The above correspondence was noted.

Date of Next Meeting:

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd July 2008 at 8.00 p.m.

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 10.35 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

18 May 2008