Minutes of Meeting 25th March 2009


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

Wednesday, 25th March 2009 at 8.00 pm

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

Mr G Summers, Mr R Farrell, Mr C Lamont (part time), PCSO L Gardner & colleague (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 28th January and the Extraordinary meeting held on 12th February 2009 having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising

i) Future of volunteer groups ) the Chairman proposed that these items be deferred

ii) Parish Transport Representative ) to the Annual Parish Meeting

iii) Model publication scheme – see Item 10(vi)

iv) Litter pick – this is scheduled to take place on 28th March at 9.30 a.m.

v) Vale of White Horse Chairman’s Community Awards lunch – Mr Brian Arnold was nominated to attend and had written to the Parish Council thanking us for his nomination and saying that the event had been very enjoyable.

Police Report

PCSO Gardner reported that there had been no notified incidents in Upton since 28th February 09. Additional patrols are being made to address problems in the Frog Alley Farm area and incidents of poaching and criminal damage on the Ridgeway. The SID machine is in evidence regularly on the A417 and Chilton Road. Regularly police surgeries are being held in Upton. If dates are provided they will be advertised in the Upton News

5. Co-option of additional councillor

The Chairman welcomed Mr Summers to the Parish Council as a co-opted member.

6. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lamont reported that the County Council had received its Annual Audit and Inspection and in the area of education had received a lower rating than previously. He said that there were a number of factors which made this a difficult area to address.

7. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell outlined the difficulty faced by the Vale due to the drop in interest rates. The Vale’s budget had been set in February with a resultant 4.8% rise in council tax. He said that a number of redundancies had been made following the merger of the Vale and South Oxfordshire DC. Further savings will be achieved with the joint waste collection due to commence in October 2010.

8. Villagers’ Forum

Mr Summers reported that there had been complaints about rats in various parts of the village.

After discussion the Chairman proposed that we establish the extent of the problem by placing a note in Upton News requesting feedback from parishioners. The Parish Council will then investigate hiring the services of a professional company to deal with the problem. MB

9. Planning Applications

The following planning applications have been permitted with conditions:

UPT/15731/3 09/00018/FUL – Renovation of barn including vertical extension to provide family room, utility room, shower room, master bedroom and ensuite bathroom at the Coach House, Alden Farm Lane, UPT/20176/1 – Demolish roof to existing and raise ridge height to create new first floor and room in the roof, also kitchen area to ground floor. Single storey sun room to side aspect at Stream Cottage.

It was noted that the Vale have not clarified the position of agricultural land being used in this application. Mr Farrell will check the position. RF

10. Reports from Councillors’ on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths:

Cycle Track from Blewbury to Upton

Mr Norman reported that further discussions had taken place with the landowners, and modified proposals had been put forward, but it seemed unlikely that the cycle track would be agreed in the near future.

ii) Recreation Ground: The Chairman said that the recreation ground would benefit from spraying off the plantains. This would have to be undertaken by a professional contractor at an estimated cost of £250. It was agreed that this should be considered at the Annual Parish Meeting.

iii) Playground: Mrs Seelig said that a new inspection rota had been distributed. Safety tiles need removing to the Drayton tip.

iv) Village Hall: the revised planning application is under consideration by the Vale.

v) Young Parishioners: nothing further to report.

vi) Communications and other Amenities: The Chairman reported that the work on the Model Documentation Scheme which required about 100 hours of effort from councillors is now just about complete. The list of documents now displayed on the website is very impressive. The concern now is the time it will take to keep the system up-to-date.

vii) NAG: Mrs Davies, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, will attend future NAG meetings on behalf of the Parish Council.

viii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee: Mrs Seelig has agreed to attend future meetings.

ix) Energy Saving Initiative: Mr Farrell agreed to put us in touch with the appropriate person in Blewbury in order that the Parish Council can make an informed decision about the merits of taking this initiative forward. RF

11. Finance

i) Statement of Financial Situation.

The Chairman reported that he had checked expenditure and receipts almost to year end and was satisfied they are in line with expectations. Copies of receipts, expenditure and the completed estimates sheet will be circulated to members soon after the end of the financial year. They will also be posted on the website. Clerk/MB

ii) Invoices for payment since last meeting

Clerk’s Salary – February & March 09 – £311.80

Milton Garden Machinery (servicing mower) – £71.93

Mr B Simpson – copies of plans for Village Hall extension – £21.16

Mr M Brown – reimbursement of fuel for mowers – £33.10

The above payments were agreed.

iii) Financial transactions since last meeting

Bank Interest: January £1.34, February £1.32

The above receipts were noted.

iv) Distribution of Council’s Charitable donations

After discussion the following donations were agreed:

£200 St Mary’s Church (towards upkeep of cemetery and production of Upton News)

£25 Mr & Mrs G Churchman (gratuity for locking recreation ground gates). This payment is justified under para 8 of the Local Govt Act 1972.

£50 Air Ambulance

£50 South and Vale Carers

£40 CPRE annual subscription

12. Correspondence recently received

i) BDO – local council briefing Spring 09

ii) Nominations requested for Community Policing Awards

iii) VWH Core Strategy Preferred Options Evidence Base. Evidence can be seen on Vale website – comments requested by 30th March

iv) CPRE Fieldwork publication – March 2009

v) Oxfordshire CC – Consultation on proposed changes to shelter grants scheme – March 2009

The above correspondence was noted.

13. Date of next meeting:

The Annual Parish Meeting is to be held on Monday 6th April 2009.

The next Parish Council meeting is to be held on Wednesday 27th May 2009.

14. Additional Item – Frog Alley

It was agreed to discuss this as an additional item so that thoughts can be put forward for discussion at the Annual Parish Meeting.

The Chairman said that Frog Alley is classified as a road and responsibility for its maintenance rests with the County Council but he did not think it correct in these times of restricted budgets to ask them to use their resources to make it usable for traffic. About 12 months ago the Parish Council published an idea in the Upton News to install a gate just below the pumping station and make the bottom 300m pedestrian only and asked the County Council to agree to permanently closing the road no decision has yet been made. The original idea does not now have the full support of the Council.

The following actions were agreed:

  • Mr Norman to put a proposal together on what the council should be looking to do in Frog Alley in the future. This proposal will need to be agreed by all members of the council. SN
  • If “A Volunteer Workforce” is formed at the Annual Parish Meeting it is to be asked to consider clearing the stream in Frog Alley. This action was originally requested by a parishioner.

15. The Chairman concluded the meeting by saying that he wished to resign as Chairman at the end of the current term of office having completed 2 years.

Meeting closed at 10.10 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

2nd April 2009