Minutes of Meeting 28th January 2009


Minutes of a Meeting of Upton Parish Council in the Village Hall on

Wednesday, 28th January 2009 at 8.00 pm

Present: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Mr D Mason, Mr S Norman, Mrs T Seelig, Mrs Lightfoot (Clerk),

Mr R Farrell (part time), Mr C Lamont (part time) PCSO C Johnson (part time).

1. Apologies received and accepted from Mr J Dickens

2. Declarations of Interest

None recorded

3. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on Wednesday 26th November 2008 having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising

i) Future of volunteer groups – it was agreed to add this to the agenda of the Annual Parish Meeting.

ii) Model Publication Scheme – discussion on this item is recorded at item 13.

5. Police Report

PCSO Johnson reported that a car had recently been stolen from Fieldside. She said that there will be heightened police activity to counter vandalism on Churn Hill. She noted that the SID machine had picked up 36 speeding vehicles on the A417 in Upton during a 3 month period at the end of 2008.

6. Co-option of additional councillor: Mr Brown reported that he is hopeful that an additional councillor will be co-opted at our next meeting.

7. County Councillor’s Report. Mr Lamont quoted from the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership report:

an additional £2.3M has been granted for Didcot Centre improvements; Didcot Railway station is to undergo a £5.4M redevelopment. Oxford is bidding for the City of Culture in 2010.

8. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell spoke of the budgetary problems faced by the Vale largely due to the high usage of the concessionary bus fare scheme. This is being addressed over the next 2 years by SODC and the Vale sharing services resulting in the merger of senior management posts and a number of redundancies being made. There is to be rationalisation of waste collection, household waste will remain on weekly collection, landfill waste will be every other week.

9. Villagers’ Forum – in the absence of parishioners there was no discussion.

10. Planning Applications

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. It was noted that this application was permitted on 7th January 2009.

UPT/15731/3 09/00018/FUL – Renovation of barn including vertical extension to provide family room, utility room, shower room, master bedroom and en-suite bathroom at the Coach House, Alden Farm Lane. Applicants Mr & Mrs J Carpenter. These plans were discussed and the Parish Council had no objections. The Clerk to write to the Vale accordingly. Clerk

Beeching Close Update: The Chairman reported that he and Mr de Wilde had met with the Vale Planners. He said that this meeting had been disappointing with the upshot being that only minor concessions had been made. Due to the errors in the original Highway’s report the Vale have agreed to request another report from the County Council Engineers, the response is still awaited.

11. Parish Transport Representative

No replacement has yet been found for Mr & Mrs Gardiner. A note will go in Upton News to ask if anyone will undertake this role. The clerk to advise that the temporary contact for this parish will be the Clerk. It was noted that the next P.T.R. meeting is to take place on 15th April 2009 in Oxford.

12. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths

Mr Norman reported that a confusing email had been received from Oxfordshire County Council advising that they are responsible for keeping footpaths clear. The Chairman had responded to the email asking for clarification.

ii) Recreation Ground. The Chairman reported that the mowers have been serviced. He reported that he will be contacting the existing group of volunteers plus 2 additional ones in the next few days with a view to putting together this summer’s rota. He will also be putting a request in the Upton News for any additional volunteers who may like to help out.

iii) Playground. Mrs Seelig and Mr Dickens will discuss the inspection rota. They will also look at a “play humps” concept.

iv) Village Hall. The Chairman reported that the presently available funding would not allow for the immediate installation of the dividing partition and therefore there would be a considerable delay in providing a small meeting room at the end of the main hall. To counter the problem some modifications are being suggested, ie 1 metre added to the length of the extension to enabling the archive room to become a 12’ x 15’ meeting room. The Parish Council agreed to submit the revised plans at a cost of £335.

v) Planning – see item 9.

vi) Young Parishioners. Mr Mason continues to review suggestions for addressing activities for young parishioners and will have some ideas in place for the March meeting.

vii) Communications and other Amenities. The Chairman expressed his thanks to Mr Brian Rippon for the work he continues to do on the Web site and in particular for the work he did to allow the council to meet its obligation to the Model Publication Scheme.

viii) NAG. Mrs Celia Davies, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, had attended the recent NAG meeting on behalf of Upton.

ix) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee. A PC representative to replace Ms Drew on this committee has not yet been agreed.

x) Playground Management Committee. Nothing further to report

xi) Energy Saving Initiative. No response has been received from parishioners following the article in Upton News. The idea will be discussed at the annual parish meeting in April.

13. Finance

i) Discuss and agree estimates including the setting of Precept for 2009/10.

Budgets having been previously circulated were discussed. It was agreed to keep the precept at £7250. Both the Estimated Budget for 2009 – 2010 and the predicted council Reserves will now be posted on the web.

ii) Statement of Financial Situation.

The Chairman reported that this year’s financial situation was exactly where we would expect it to be. It was noted that interest on our account has dropped from £32 to £7 per month.

iii) Invoices for payment since last meeting

PWLB – Loan repayment 29/12/08 – £412.91

Clerk’s Salary & expenses – December & January 09 – £333.18

Society of Local Council Clerks, annual subscription – £61

VWH Dog bin emptying – period 1/7/08 – 31/12/08 – £97.46

The above payments were agreed

iv) Financial transactions since last meeting

Bank Interest: Nov £32.01, Dec £7.03

The above receipts were noted.

14. Model Publication Scheme.

The council had more than met its initial obligation in setting up a Publication Scheme that meets with the government requirements. It just remains to put 7 or 8 more documents on the village website, about 60 have already been posted.

The Parish Council unanimously approved both the Annual Council Plan 2008-9; and

The Document Storage Proposed System, both had been previously circulated. Both documents will now be put on the web.

The implementation of the Publication Scheme whilst it had created a lot of work has also resulted in a major overhaul of how the council stores its documentation for the long term, this in turn is also going to result in a lot of additional work for the Clerk and for the Chairman.

Mr Norman apologised for not yet having reviewed the council’s Financial Regulations, he promised to complete the job in the next few days and return them for publication. SN

15. Litter Pick: It was agreed to hold the village annual litter pick on 28th March.

Meet at the village hall at 9.30 for tea and biscuits and set off between 9.45 and 10.00. The Chairman will organise it as for previous years. MB

16. Nomination for VWH Chairman’s Community Awards Lunch

The council had received a request to nominate a parishioner who has made a significant contribution to sport to attend the annual Chairman’s Community Awards Lunch at the Guildhall. It was agreed to nominate Mr Brian Arnold in recognition of his contribution to local rugby. MB

17. Correspondence recently received

i) Your Vale Your Future – strategy for sustainable communities 2008-2016. Copies of this document were distributed to members for retention.

ii) Your Vale – Your Future. Comments on core strategy preferred options requested by 27th February 2009.

iii) “Communities in Control: real people, real power: code of recommended practice on Local Authority publicity” – consultation paper

iv) Southern Central Oxfordshire Transport Strategy (SCOTS) – draft for comment by 28th April 2009

v) VWH – Grants for additional parish litter cleansing 2009-10

vi) TOE – 10th Anniversary report

vi) ORCC Review – Autumn/Winter 2008

viii) UKAEA Harwell Decommissioning Update. Winter 2008

ix) VWH – Budget proposals 2009/10

x) Local Community Flood Groups

xi) VWH – Air your views on air quality in Abingdon

xii) Arts a la Carte – Workshops in the community

viii) Home2School Newsletter – Spring 2009

The above correspondence was noted.

18. Date of next meeting: The next meeting is to be held on Wednesday 25th March 2009.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

4th February 2009