Minutes of Meeting 22nd September 2010

Minutes of Upton Parish Council Meeting in the Village Hall on Wednesday 22nd September 2010 at 8.00 pm

Attendees: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Dr R Lott, Mr D Mason, Mr S Norman, Mrs L Shaw,

Mrs C Lightfoot (clerk), PCSO D Clements (part time), Mr R Farrell (part time) and Mr S Lilley (part time)

1. Apologies received from Mr J Dickens

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 28th July 2010 and Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on 8th September 2010 having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising;

(i) Recreation Ground Gates: Mr Brown has spoken to Mr Churchman regarding the ongoing opening and closing of the recreation ground gates. It has been agreed that Mr Churchman will continue as he has done in the past, ie during term time he will open the gates early morning, closing them after the children’s bus returns from school.

(ii) John Deere Registration: the clerk is obtaining a certificate of newness for the John Deere mower in order to get the machine registered with DVLA. (Clerk’s note: certificate of newness was received on 25th September. Now awaiting registration document from DVLA.)

5. PCSO’s Report. PCSO Clements reported that the summer had passed by with a reduction in anti-social behaviour. Hare Coursing operations are starting. She confirmed that the routine police surgeries held in the village will continue.

6. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lilley reported that the County Council is scrutinizing budgets as top priority. He reminded the meeting of the Big Debate Roadshows which are in progress to enable parishioners to have their say regarding cuts to the County Council’s budgets. He promised to keep a watching brief and will report back on anything pertinent to local parishes.

Potholes: should there be a prolonged period between reporting potholes to Highways and action being taken he will pursue this on our behalf. He said that holes likely to cause serious vehicular damage are given priority.

Local Transport Plan No 3 has been published on 20th September in which no serious modifications have been made for this area. He said that monies coming from the Great Western Park Development will be ring-fenced for road improvements local to the development including the Harwell relief road.

7. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell said that the Coalition Government is consulting on a scheme of awarding “new homes incentives” to Councils, there is broad agreement in Oxfordshire on the initial proposals. He reported that the Vale and SODC are objecting to the proposed closure of Didcot Magistrates’ Court. He noted that the Standards Board is to be abolished and in future the responsibility of dealing with councillors who break the rules will be a criminal matter dealt with by the courts, this is likely to be more cost effective. Proposals recently released will give the Local Ombudsman more teeth.

8. Villagers’ Forum – none

9. Planning: nothing to report since the extraordinary planning meeting held on 8th September.

10. Status reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths:

Mr Norman reported that he and Mr Shayler (Blewbury PC rep) had met with Mr Mark Sumner (OCC footpaths officer) and walked the length of Coffin Way, looking particularly at the area over the stream. Mr Sumner suggested some levelling and bringing in of aggregate. However since Mr Sumner did not regard the footpath as a safety hazard it would be regarded as low priority. It would appear that there is a gap between our expectations and what OCC can afford. We await the outcome of Mr Sumner’s discussion with the farmer.

As an alternative consideration was given to a good D-I-Y job of flattening the area to enable the ride on mower to be run down the path.

It was noted that the gate at the back of the George & Dragon remains locked.

ii) Amenities including Recreation Ground:

Dr Lott informed the meeting that youths were actively raising funds to get a digger to sculpt the cycle humps. He said that the area was being kept tidier.

It was agreed that the issue of bin emptying needs to be resolved before a decision is made on getting an additional bin by the humps. MB

iii) Young Parishioners including Play Area:
Dr Lott said that the George & Dragon propose to run a weekly meat draw with the proceeds going to a good cause. It was felt that improving the play area might be such a cause. The PC felt this to be a generous offer. Mr Mason will draft a covering note, to be checked by Mr Simpson (internal auditor) to be passed to the pub.

Mr Mason has now got a group together to look at the possibility of obtaining grants and to undertake local fund raising for a major improvement programme for the Play Area.

Dr Lott thought that there might be an option of sharing the Uptonogood proceeds with the Play Area Fund in 2011.

iv) Communications:

Mr Brown said that it had been policy not to run adverts in Upton News in the past. After discussion it was agreed to continue along these lines although parishioners private adverts are acceptable. Mr Brown reminded councillors that all emails generated on behalf of the council should be copied to the Clerk or himself to be stored on disc.

v) Volunteer Group:

Dr Lott reported that the Volunteer Group had recently undertaken the major task of laying the matting to extend the car park. This had taken a great deal of effort but had achieved an excellent result. Post Office lane is an area needing attention in due course.

vi) N.A.G.: – nothing to report

vii) UKAEA Local Liaison Committee:

Mr Brown stated that we were not presently represented on this forum, he is still awaiting the file from Mrs Seelig. In the absence of the information he will make contact with UKAEA directly.

viii) Parish Transport Rep: – nothing to report.

ix) UVHAT:

Mrs Shaw reported on the meeting of UVHAT held on 13TH September. She said that the chief item of business concerned the new Village Hall Trust Deed which was presented by Mr. Simpson in draft. This document will be sent to the Charity Commissioners for their comment. She also mentioned the regularization of land on which the hall stands. Arrangements are being made for the footprint of the hall, plus one meter around the building, plus the patio to be transferred to UVHAT. In exchange the land currently owned by UVHAT will be transferred to the Parish Council. Mr. Brown has been asked by UVHAT to draw up a plan of the area in order that this can be taken forward.

11. Finance

i) Payments since last meeting:

Clerk’s Salary: £321 + expenses £7.39

M Brown, expenses: fuel for grass cutting – £40 + Boddingtons Ltd (pins for car park matting) £158.63

The above expenses were noted.

ii) Receipts since last meeting:

Proceeds of Barn Dance (Mr & Mrs S Powell) – £1343.10

Bank interest July 38p, August 35p

VAT Repayment – July £7.94, August £19.41

These receipts were noted.

12. Correspondence recently received

  • Parish News from the Rural Service
  • The Playing Field
  • OALC Members Update – August
  • PCT Health News – July 2010
  • No Need to Nuclear, campaign letter
  • Didcot Community Forum notification of meeting 27th September 2010
  • Notification of Oxfordshire’s Community Climate Conference – 13th November
  • Thank you from the Chairman of the Vale following her visit to the fete.

The above correspondence is in circulation either in hard copy or by email.

13. Date of next meeting: The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 16th November 2010.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

24th September 2010