Minutes of Meeting 23rd September 2009


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

Wednesday, 23rd Sept 2009 at 8.00 pm

Present: Mr J Dickens (Chairman), Mr M Brown, Mr D Mason, Mr S Norman, Mr G Summers,

Mr B Simpson (part time), Mr R Farrell (part time), Mr S Lilley (part time) & PCSO M Claydon (part time)

1. Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Seelig

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. Any Member arriving after the start of the meeting is asked to declare personal interests as necessary as soon as practicable after their arrival even if the item in question has been considered. None recorded

3. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on Wednesday 22nd July 2009 having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising

i) Dog Bin: see item 11(vi)

ii) Footpath to Blewbury – taken under item (11i)

iii) Cutting Footpaths – taken under item (11i)

iv) Development of Recreation Ground around Village Hall – taken under item (9)

v) Swine Flu Precautions: a note setting out proposed local plans in the event of a swine flue outbreak was published in the August Upton News.

5. PCSO’s Report

PCSO Claydon reported on recent activities with the Speed Indicator device in Chilton Road he said that in the first instance warning letters will be sent to offenders. During recent village Police Surgeries anti-social incidents were continuing to be raised as an issue. Diaries had been distributed to households in Fieldside. He will be gathering these in to establish a pattern of occurrences. He reported that a Section 59 had been given to a young person using a motorcycle on the recreation ground. Operation Migrate dealing with hare coursing is about to commence. He wished to reassure the people of Upton that the Police are there for us and that frequent patrols are undertaken through the village at various times through the night and day.

6. County Councillor’s Report

i) South Central Transport Strategy Study: Mr Lilley reported that Cabinet have met and endorsed the recommendation. Further consultation and detailed costing now have to be pursued. He agreed to email the plan to the Clerk.

ii) Oxfordshire County Fire Service has come out 4th for efficiency in a Government audit.

iii) Incinerator: the preferred supplier is VIRIDOR. Planning applications will be considered at a meeting on 19th October.

iv) Rural Bus Services: Mr Lilley spoke of the importance of rural bus services and the need for value for money to be demonstrated where subsidies are involved. Mr Summers (PTR) will keep Mr Lilley informed of any problems encountered with the service.

7. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell said the District Council welcomed the production of SCOTS. He referred to the knock on effect for social housing citing the “Section 106 Agreement”.

The Vale is currently starting to build its budget and is faced with the difficulty of a drop in income from interest and other revenue streams.

8. Villagers’ Forum. No villagers were present.

9. Co-option of Deputy Clerk

i) Proposal 1 That the Council co-opts Mr Brian Simpson as Deputy Clerk until March 31st 2010 to assist with the additional workload that will result from going ahead with the construction of the Village Hall extension. Proposer Mr M. Brown, seconded by Mr Summers, all in favour. It was noted that this is a voluntary post, however the Parish Council agreed to reimburse Mr Simpson any out of pocket expenses.

ii) Deputy Clerk’s Report on Village Hall Extension. Mr Simpson circulated a note detailing the estimated cost of the hall extension and source of funds (attached). It was hoped that the work would commence mid-November, with a completion date around end February 2010.

Mr Simpson explained that there were 2 obstacles relating to cash flow. The Council must pay VAT in advance of recovering it from HMRC. (HMRC have agreed VAT can be reclaimed on a monthly basis instead of 3 monthly as at present.) Invoices need to be paid upfront, and are then submitted to SEEDA for the grant to be paid. Mr Simpson said that to enable the Parish Council to apply for a bridging loan permission has to be granted by the Secretary of State for Local Government. He proposed that we hold an Extraordinary Meeting in 4 weeks time (~22nd October 2009) to give formal agreement to apply for borrowing.

It was agreed that the Clerk and Deputy Clerk should arrange a meeting with the bank to investigate the cost of borrowing. BS/CL

Mr Brown said that he had been asked to act as technical interface between the contractor and UVHAT. He is intending to discuss with the contractor taking out of the contract the removal from site of subsoil, topsoil and brickwork. The old brickwork can be used as a foundation to the patio and the soil used to construct a multi-use grass platform. It was agreed to insert an article in Upton News to gauge the feeling of villagers in respect of using the soil to create the platform and the possibility of removing the existing mounds. JD

iii) Land Ownership: Mr Brown said that part of the land on which the village hall extension is to be built, according to the deeds, is currently owned by the Parish Council. Likewise part of the children’s playground is owned by UVHAT. Mr Summers proposed that rationalization of the land ownership be undertaken. The PC will liaise with UVHAT on this matter. CL

10. Planning

UPT/4960/3 – Maslina and UPT/10946/2 – Midway, Prospect Road

It was noted that both these applications have been permitted.

Mr Duffield, Director of Planning. has now replied to our letter accepting 2 of our suggestions. In future it is hoped we will receive an automated notification of minor amendments and also have sight of the officer’s report before the planning committee meeting.

Fieldside Cottage: Mr Farrell reported that an enforcement notice is to be issued in respect of the boundary wall.

Beeching Close: Mr Brown reported that the Ombudsman has taken the matter up with both the District and County Councils

11. Reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths

Footpath to Blewbury:

Mr Norman reported that Blewbury Parish Council had put the ball back in our court to liaise with the landowners. Mark Sumner (Oxfordshire CC) is agreeable to attend a meeting with the landowners and Parish Councils. If agreement could be reached, Mark Sumner would be prepared to supervise levelling of the path, ensuring the width be maintained. Mr Norman will arrange a meeting with Blewbury Parish Council and Mark Sumner. SN

Cutting of Footpaths:

Mr Norman outlined the role which could be undertaken by the Parish Council ? in respect of keeping footpaths clear. The only footpath in Upton which is currently in need of attention is that behind the George and Dragon. The Chairman proposed that Mr Norman arranges, through Mark Sumner, for the Oxfordshire CC Task Force Supervisor to propose a way in which the Parish Council could take responsibility for maintaining all the footpaths in the parish. SN

ii) Amenities including Recreation Ground:

Mr Brown put forward the idea that the humps in the recreation ground be levelled to enable grass cutting to be more effectively carried out. Mr Dickens proposed that a note be put in Upton News to seek reaction to this idea. JD

iii) Young Parishioners including Play Area:

Playsafety Annual Inspection Report had been circulated. There were no major issues arising.

iv) Village Hall: see item 9.

v) Communications: nothing to report.

vi) Volunteer Group:

The following tasks have been completed:

Dog Bin has been erected at the end of Chapel Furlong adjacent to the Sustrans Cycle track.

Outside tap installed for village hall.

Notice board repaired and reinstated.

Work already planned:

Repair patches on Recreation Ground

Tidy up Post Office Lane

Tidy up area and install planter alongside Bus Shelter

The Volunteer Group Steering Committee will walk around the hall and frog alley on Saturday 26th September to discuss tasks which they might undertake.

vii) N.A.G:. no report

viii) UKAEA Local Liaison Committee: Mr Brown to attend the next meeting

ix) Parish Transport Rep: Mr Summer’s report attached.

x) Energy Saving Initiative: Clerk to ask Mrs Seelig to arrange for Mr Ian Bacon to attend the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting on Thursday 22nd October to give an overview on the workings of the ESI in Blewbury. The Parish Council will then be better placed to determine whether an open meeting be held in Upton. CL/TS

xi) Community Responders:

Proposal 2. That the Parish Council donates £250 on behalf of the village to the South Central Ambulance Service League of Friends in appreciation of them donating £1600 of equipment for the use of the Village’s Community Responder Group. Proposed by Mr M Brown, seconded by Mr G Summers, all in favour. It was noted that parishioners have also collectively donated £235.

12. Finance

i) Completion of Audit – the Clerk reported that the audit is not yet complete. BDO have requested a copy of our Risk Assessment.

ii) Payments since last meeting

Invoices for payment:

Glasdon – purchase of dog bin – £109.73

Playsafe – inspection fee – £82.80

Mrs Maytham – expenses re village tea party – £8.33

Mr Brown – purchase of fuel for mowers – £182.73

Clerk’s Salary – £311.80

iii) Receipts since last meeting: bank interest July 68p, August 71p

Repayment of VAT – £50.97

The above payments and receipts were noted.

13. Correspondence recently received

i) OCC Countryside Services

ii) OALC – August update

iii) CPRE Briefing July – August 2009

iv) Police Update – August & September

v) ORCC News Bulletin September

vi) Letters from Chairman of Vale thanking us for hospitality

Correspondence has been emailed to councillors or is in circulation.

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

Meeting closed at 10.45 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk
Tel: 01235 850486
29th Sept 2009