Minutes of Meeting 16th November 2010


Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held in the Village Hall

on Tuesday 16th November 2010 at 8.00 pm

Present: Mr M Brown (Chairman), Dr R Lott, Mr S Norman, Mrs L Shaw, Mrs C Lightfoot (clerk),

PCSOs Baker and Deane

1. Apologies – Mr J Dickens and Mr D Mason

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 22nd September and Extraordinary Parish Council meetings held on 16th October and 1st November 2010 having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters Arising:

(i) The clerk reported that the John Deere tractor mower is now RTA compliant

5. PCSO’s Report

PCSO Deane reported that poachers had recently been arrested in the Village Hall car park. “Operation Migrate”, targeting illegal hare coursing, is about to commence.

6. County Councillor’s Report

In his absence, Mr Lilley has agreed to email his report to be forwarded to councillors in due course. Clerk

7. District Councillor’s Report – no report received

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

9. Village Hall:

i) Update on land regularisation.

Mr Brown said that Mr Barrett, the acting solicitor, has recommended that the land comprising the footprint of the hall and the patio be sold to UVHAT for £1. A plan of the land involved has been drawn up by Mr Potter and passed to Mr Barrett to progress the matter.

10. Planning – nothing to report

11. Status reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths:

It was noted that the village footpaths had been well maintained by our volunteer work force.

Mr Norman had raised an invoice for £450 for the clerk to send to OCC. A complaint had been received about the slippery footbridge on the path at the rear of the George & Dragon. As this is a health and safety issue Mr Norman will ask OCC to deal with the problem. There are some fallen trees along Common Way, it was agreed that this needs to be dealt with before next summer either by volunteers in agreement with the landowner or by OCC. SN

Coffin Way: as the fields on both sides of Coffin Way have been planted it was agreed that Mr Norman, Dr Lott and a representative of Blewbury Parish Council hold a site meeting with the land owner in February 2011 with a view to the path being levelled such that the PC would be able to keep the path mown. SN,RL

ii) Amenities including Recreation Ground

Scottish & Southern Electricity – high voltage cable

Mr Brown and Mr Dickens had met with a representative of the SSE who wished to discuss re-routing a high voltage cable through the recreation ground. The cable is currently running within the boundary of Mousehouse. A channel would need to be dug in the recreation ground around the perimeter of Mousehouse and Lonicera and out to the road alongside the cherry trees. SSE will produce a schedule of work to be agreed by the Parish Council. Mr Brown reported that he had asked SSE to hand dig the required trench alongside the cherry trees to prevent damage to them.

iii) Young Parishioners including Play Area

Progress on Playground – A note had been circulated by Mr Mason detailing actions taken towards playground improvements. A committee has been formed, a questionnaire has been delivered to each house; grants are being sought. Mr Brown congratulated Mr Mason on the progress so far. As suggested in Mr Mason’s email, Mr Brown asked members to give consideration to the location of any new playground equipment such that it can be fully discussed at the next meeting. Comments have been made that during the winter the existing play area is dark, damp and slippery. Mr Brown suggested that removal of the overgrown shrubs and trees in that area would alleviate this problem. ALL

Dirt jumps – Dr Lott said that he will be contacting Cyclox to see if they can help with plans for sculpting jumps. If plans are available these will be brought before the PC. The young people have raised £100 towards the cost of doing the work, one of the parents is willing to undertake the work which will necessitate using a mini digger. It was agreed that this work will best be done in the spring after the ground has dried off. RL

iv) Communications

Formalisation of communication routes:

With external agencies: Mrs Shaw said that she felt that the recent teething trouble with the new waste collection scheme could have been more professionally dealt with as 3 councillors had taken it upon themselves to contact the District Council although one was acting as a resident not as a councillor. Mr Brown said that the councillor who takes the lead on each topic should be the one to follow up issues. In the past he has dealt with all waste problems from the village including litter collecting, fly tipping and previous missed collections and as a result immediately dealt with the problem this time. It was agreed that at the next allocation of duties in May, dealing with waste problems would be an area to be allocated.

Within the Parish Council on Planning Matters: It was agreed that the most important task that the Parish Council performs relates to planning. Since planning applications have to be discussed within 21 days of their receipt an extraordinary PC meeting is usually convened at fairly short notice and concern was expressed that it is often the case that not all councillors are available to be present and that this put additional pressure on those that do attend. After discussion it was agreed that every effort must be made to ensure:

As many councillors as possible attend planning meetings.

The lead member for Planning investigates local issues and reports on them at the start of the meeting.

That all members attending the meeting ensure they are familiar with the details of the applications prior to the meeting. (All the details are on the District Council web)

Where meetings have to be arranged at fairly short notice the clerk contacts neighbouring property owners to make them aware of details of the meeting.

To the residents on Planning Matters (ie website and Upton News). Mrs Shaw asked that a full statement of the Parish Council’s response to the District Council be published in the Upton News. Mr Brown said that due to the usual pressure on space in Upton News it would not be possible to print the full reply but every word is published on the village web and on the District Council web for those who may be interested. It was agreed in future to publish in the Upton News just the title of the box that the P.C. has to tick when it returns its responses and reference to further details being on the village web site.

v) Volunteer Group

Dr Lott said that the major outstanding task is Post Office Lane. Tidying Common Lane, with the landowner’s permission, might be a task for Spring 2011.

vi) N.A.G. – no report

vii) UKAEA Local Liaison Committee:

Mr Brown had attended a recent meeting that was primarily concerned with reorganisation of responsibility for the de-commissioning work, there was little of interest to Upton. He will circulate the minutes of the meeting when they become available: MB

ix) Parish Transport Representative:

The Local Transport Plan 3 2011- 2030 Consultation document is now on the County Council website.

12. Finance

i) Review of half yearly accounts. The half yearly accounts were reviewed, it was noted that we are close to budget with no matters of concern.

ii) Payments since last meeting:

Clerk’s Salary: £321 + DVLA registration of mower £55.00 & number plate £20

M Brown, expenses: fuel for mower £40; replacement parts for goal posts £42.19

Request for donation for Village Tea party – say £40. It was agreed to support this.

The above payments were agreed.

iii) Receipts since last meeting:

Vale of White Horse, 2nd half year precept – £3625

Prize from ORCCs 90th birthday draw – £100

Bank interest September 23p, October 40p

VAT Repayment – September – £697.82

The receipts were noted.

13. Correspondence recently received:

  • Mobile shop visiting village hall car park commencing Tuesday 23 November
  • SLCC Berkshire Branch October newsletter
  • CPRE Campaign briefings: September & October
  • High Speed Internet
  • Rural Intelligence Foundation – raising the profile of key rural issues
  • Town & Parish Council newsletter

All the above correspondence is in circulation.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 10.10 p.m.

14. Date of next meeting: The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 18th January 2011

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

18th November 2010