Minutes of Meeting 26th November 2008

Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on Wednesday, 26th November 2008 at 8.00 pm in the Village Hall

Present: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Mr J Dickens, Mr S Norman, Mr C Lamont (part time),

Mr R Farrell (part time) and Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk)

1. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Mr Mason (business commitments)

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. Election of vice chairman.

The Chairman said that the election of vice chairman was for a period of 6 months, until May 2009.

Mr Norman was proposed by Mr Dickens, seconded by Mr Brown. Mr Norman was duly elected.

4. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on Wednesday 24 September 2008 and an Extraordinary Meeting held on 16th October 2008 having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

5. Matters Arising from meeting of 24th September:

  • Future of Volunteer Group, it was agreed that we defer discussion until a full council was present.
  • Clerk is arranging for the bank mandate to be updated to reflect Mr Dickens becoming signatory.

6. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lamont reported that there is to be an extraordinary meeting of Oxfordshire County Council on 27th November. This is in order to change the constitution and to adopt the “Strong Leadership Model” resulting in the leader serving a 4 year term. Plans for incinerators in Ardley and Sutton Courtenay will come before the Planning and Regulatory Committee in January.

7. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell told the meeting that the Core Strategy is to be discussed by the Development Control Committee and Vale Executive on 3rd December. The preferred options will go out for consultation in January.

8. Villagers’ Forum – in the absence of any villagers there was no discussion

9. Planning Applications

UPT/832/5 – modification of planning obligation – Mr R Napper: the Chairman reported that this is simply a question of the farmer having to maintain a certain number of fields so that the farm remains viable. The PC had no objections to this.

UPT/18307/3 – erection of single 2 storey family dwelling at 1 Beeching Close. The Chairman has been invited to meet with the Chairman of the Development Control Committee, a Legal Representative, Mr Farrell and Mr Gilbert on 27th November at which questions raised in recent correspondence will be addressed. The Chairman said all we wanted from the Vale Planners was openness, consistency and honesty.

UPT/20226/1 – Hitherto – this has now been permitted. Mr Farrell said that the PC letter of objection was read out at the Development Control Committee. He said that unless the objection has a planning principle grounding then our objections will fail. The Chairman asked Mr Farrell how can we obtain a copy of “Planning Principles” in order to learn. Answer –You cant as they are spread all over the place.

UPT/8232/4 – erection of summerhouse/garden store at Manor Lawns, High Street for

Mr M Collins – permitted.

UPT/17100/1 – Insertion of 2 dormer windows to rear of property, alterations to windows, repositioning of rear door and windows, trimming, cutting and cropping of existing purlin and formation of bathroom in attic space at Stocks, Stream Road. Applicant Dr S Whatmore. The PC examined the plans and had no objections. Clerk to reply accordingly. Clerk

10. Parish Transport Representatives Report

Oxfordshire County Council have written requesting that PTRs in future be PC members in order that there is just one point of contact. Mr & Mrs Gardiner have written resigning from this role. The clerk has written to thank them for their diligence over the past 8 years. A new PTR is required and this will be an agenda item at the next PC meeting. Clerk

11. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths: cycle track to Blewbury – Mr Norman reported that this is ongoing.

Frog Alley: no further progress has been made. (to allay his concerns, Mr Norman was asked to look into the consequence of downgrading Frog Alley from an unmade road to a footpath) SN

Mr Norman will contact Highways to request bushes at the junction of A417/road to Horse and Harrow be trimmed back to facilitate better vision. SN

ii) Recreation Ground – working parties have completed laying new safety surfaces in the Playground. A start has been made on laying the old rubber clad, concrete slabs, in front of the ball-wall to improve the surface for playing cricket etc. Leaves have been cleared up and low branches have been removed in the Playground as per ROSPA report.

The Chairman said that a letter of thanks will go to those involved with mowing the grass during the past season. The self propelled mower will be serviced after Christmas.

iii) Playground – Mr Dickens reported that Mrs Tibbetts and Mrs Lott have agreed to serve on the Playground Committee. He will devise a rota for playground inspection. JD

iv) Village Hall (Progress on funding for Extension) £100 has been donated by the 1st Upton and Blewbury Brownie Pack and a surplus of £135 was made on the Hansel and Gretel production, this brings the total contributed from the village including the promises to £9161.

v) Planning: See above. There was a general discussion about the shortcomings of the local planning system and the way it is organised such that the Parish Council cannot have any say in the size of new buildings or the materials of which they are constructed.

vi) Young Parishioners – in the absence of Mr Mason there was no report

vii) Communications and other Amenities – nothing to report

viii) NAG – the next meeting has been deferred until 15th January 2009. Mr Dickens will attend.

ix) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee: Mrs Seelig is reviewing the file to see if this is a Committee which she will undertake. It was noted that a villager has complained about the road humps in Curie Avenue.

x) Energy Saving Initiative

The Chairman proposed that he ask through Upton News whether there is anybody willing to join a working group to take this initiative forward. MB

12. New Model Publication Scheme

The Chairman proposed we adopt the Government Model Publication Scheme as written, seconded by Mr Dickens, all in favour. It was noted that we are required, under the Freedom of Information Act, to hold a directory of all documentation and where it can be found, either in hard copy or on the web. Mr Dickens, Mr Norman and Mr Brown will meet on Sunday 30th November at 9.00 a.m. to discuss what is immediately required. JD/SN/MB

13. Finance

i) Audit Report: in their report BDO noted that our assets were under insured. A revised asset register was distributed. The Chairman proposed that each councillor reviews this alongside the PC’s Risk Assessment and return to the next meeting with an informed view on whether or not we should raise our insurance cover. ALL

Mr Norman proposed that the PC has noted the recommendations in BDO’s Audit Report and has taken appropriate action. Seconded by Mr Dickens, all in favour.

ii) Invoices for payment since last meeting

Clerk’s Salary – October & November – £311.80

Mr Brown – £65.57 – petrol for grass cutting and sundry items for making gate for mower to enter the new burial ground.

The above payments were agreed.

iv) Financial transactions since last meeting

Bank Interest: Sept £28.88, Oct £27.68

Precept – £3625

The above receipts were noted. However, the £20 invoice raised on Mr & Mrs Wright for 2 cuts to footpath at rear of George & Dragon remains unpaid. The clerk was asked to write to Mr & Mrs Wright. Clerk

v) The Chairman stated that he had reviewed the current financial situation and that both spend and receipts were in line with budget predictions. The Chairman and the Clerk will meet in the next few weeks to prepare next years budget such that the pre-cept can be set at the next meeting.

14. Correspondence recently received

i) Oxfordshire Playing Fields Assn, Annual Report 2007-08

ii) VWH – Local Community Flood Groups

iii VWH – Future Development in Vale – Core Strategy

iv) Vale Youth Magazine (VYM) – 1st edition

v) Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust Strategy 2008 – 2013 – feedback meeting 2 December

vi) VWH Community Safety Partnership Forum – 11 December 9.30 a.m. Clerk to contact Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator to invite her to attend. Clerk

vii) Communities & Local Government consultation: Communities in Control: Real people, real power: codes of conduct for local authority members and employees. To respond by 24/12/08

viii) CPRE – Anti litter Campaign

The above correspondence was noted.

15. Date of next meeting. The next meeting is to be held on Wednesday 28 January 2009.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

27th November 2008