Minutes of Meeting 24th September 2008


Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on

Wednesday 24 September 2008 at 8.00 p.m. in the Village Hall

Present: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Mr J Dickens, Ms B Drew, Mr D Mason, Mr S Norman,

Mrs T Seelig (part time), Mr C Lamont (part time), Mrs C. Lightfoot (clerk)

1. Apologies for absence received and accepted from Mr Farrell.

2. Declarations 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. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on Wednesday 23rd July 2008. Mr Norman asked that in the penultimate sentence in item 11(i) be amended to read “Mr Norman said this did not seem to be a practicable idea”. With this minor amendment, the minutes having been previously circulated, were signed as a true record by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising: there were no matters arising.

5. County Councillor’s Report:

Mr Lamont told the meeting that since Oxfordshire County Council now works in partnership with other bodies, ie PCT, Voluntary Sector, Police, Quangos, etc it no longer makes strategic decisions on its own. He said that County Councillors are now removed from representing the people and there is a perceived democratic deficit.

6. Planning Application

UPT/1062/4 – application made by Mr & Mrs E Johnson for erection of a dwelling with garage and erection of a replacement garage at Rowlands, Church Street. The Vale of the White Horse Planning Department has advised that this application has been withdrawn.

UPT/18307/3 – re-application for erection of single 2 storey family dwelling at 1 Beeching Close for Mr Curran. The Chairman and Planning Officer, Ms Drew, had studied the new application which was very similar to the earlier application . The only perceived changes were that the boundary fence had been moved back and the splay at the entrance had been altered. The clerk has responded to the Planning Department reinforcing the comments that had been made to the earlier application.

UPT/8232/4 – application to build summerhouse/store at Manor Lawns for Mr M Collins. The plans were viewed and no objections raised. Clerk to advice the Planning Department accordingly. Clerk

UPT/832/5 – modification of planning obligation – application by Mr R Napper. The Chairman will endeavour to find out the implications of this application and advise councillors by email so that a decision can be made. MB

9. Villagers’ Forum: there were no villagers present.

10. Parish Transport Representatives Report: the clerk advised the meeting that she has asked bus users how the new timetable was working. The cessation of the 9.00 a.m. bus has created the biggest difficulty. She has written to Oxfordshire CC conveying this. In their reply they state that some adjustment to the times might be possible when they undertake a review, usually after about 9 months or so.

11. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths – nothing new to report. Mr Norman requested that the PC should debate any change of status before implementation be carried out. Complaints have been received about the overgrown footpath at the back of the George & Dragon . The clerk has been assured by the tenant that the footpath is being cut this week.

ii) Recreation Ground: the Chairman reported that the drive belt on the tractor mower had broken. Kalehurst Garden Machinery Ltd will collect the mower to repair and service it. A check will be carried out to determine why the drive belt has broken after only 60 hrs use.

Working parties will be arranged for the morning and afternoon of Saturday 11th October to position slabs in front of the ball wall and to lay safety surfaces beneath the swings and the climbing net. MB

iii) Playground: the ROSPA report was noted. The following items need to be considered: adjustment to gate catch to prevent finger entrapment, height of overhanging branches to be at least 2.4m

iv) Village Hall: The Chairman reported that village contribution to the hall fund has almost reached its original target of £10k.

v) Planning: in light of Ms Drew’s resignation from the Parish Council, Mr Brown agreed to act as councillor responsible for planning until a further councillor is co-opted.

vi) Young Parishioners: Mr Mason said that he is open to suggestions and he hoped to bring a proposal to the next meeting. DM

vii) Communications: the Chairman reported that the web site is undergoing a major revamp and will be back on line any day. (Note – it is back)

viii) NAG: nothing of relevance to Upton to report. Mr Dickens proposed that Mrs Celia Davies,

Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator be invited to attend future meetings. This was agreed.


ix) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee: nothing to report. It was noted that a new nominee is required. Mrs Seelig expressed an interest in taking on the responsibility of representing UPC on this forum, a decision will be made at the next meeting.

x) Playground Management Committee: It is proposed to co-opt 2 new members to this committee to replace Colin Batchelor and Kathryn Fletcher who have resigned. Mrs Seelig to advise the Chairman of anything that needs the attention of the working party. TS

xi) Energy Saving Initiative: Mrs Seelig will pick up on this initiative and report to the next meeting.


13. Finance

i) Invoices and payments since last meeting

Mrs C Lightfoot – donation to village tea party – £10 (paid)

Vale of White Horse – dog bin emptying (April – June) £41.47 + VAT (paid)

Clerk’s Salary – August & September – £311.80 + £24.99 expenses

Vale of White Horse – dog bin emptying (July – Sept) £41.47 + VAT

M. Brown – purchase of petrol for grass cutting £93.91

A. Brown – purchase of items for Tiddleywinks playgroup – £71.86

Playsafety Ltd – fee for annual inspection of play equipment £69.00 + VAT

The above payments were noted and agreed. The Chairman said that receipts and expenditure is in line with budget.

ii) Financial transactions since last meeting

Bank Interest: July 29.48, August £28.99

These receipts were noted. Clerk has invoiced Mr & Mrs Wright for 2 cuts to footpath at the rear of the George & Dragon.

The clerk asked for a nominee to become signatory in place of Ms Drew. Mr Dickens was proposed. Clerk to arrange bank mandate. Clerk

11. Correspondence recently received

i) Letter from Chairman of Vale of White Horse thanking the village for hospitality at Tea Party 29/7/08

ii) invitation to attend Didcot Community Forum meeting on 30 September

iii) invitation to renew subscription to FWAG

iv) SE England Regional Assembly – Partial review of the SE Plan: Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs. Response to consultation document required by 21 November 08

v) CPRE “Fieldwork” magazine

vi) Guide to Roadsafety in Oxfordshire 2008/9

vii) Joint Strategic Planning Unit – Publication of the joint minerals and waste core strategy DPD

The above items of correspondence were noted.

12. Future of Volunteer Group: the Chairman floated the idea that the Volunteer Group might be set up as a charitable trust. This Group might feed back to the Parish Council ideas on what might be done to improve the village. The idea is to be debated at the next meeting. Clerk

13. Changes on the Parish Council: a letter of resignation from Ms Drew was read. The Parish Council expressed their gratitude to Ms Drew for her contribution and wished her well in her move away from Upton.

14. Date of next meeting. The next meeting has been arranged for 26th November at 8.00 p.m.

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

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

26th September 2008