Minutes of Meeting 18th January 2011


Minutes of Meeting held in the Village Hall, on Tuesday 18th January 2011 at 8.00 pm

Present: Mr J Dickens (Chairman), Mr M Brown, Mr D Mason, Mr R Farrell (part time), and Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk)

1. Apologies received from Dr R. Lott, Mr S Norman, Mrs L Shaw & Mr S Lilley

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 16th November and Extraordinary Parish Council meetings held on 7th December 2010, having been previously circulated, were signed by the Chairman as a true record.

4. Matters Arising:

(i) high speed internet: it was noted that there had been 100% response from the Blewbury exchange to the BT initiative, thus subject to survey, we qualify for an upgrade of our internet connection.

(ii) Scottish & Southern High Voltage Cable. The clerk has been in touch with Mr Simon Barrett (solicitor), asking if he will act on our behalf in connection with the Easement. We await his response.

5. PCSO’s Report – in the absence of a PCSO there was no report.

6. County Councillor’s Report – Mr Lilley has been in touch with the clerk saying that he is holding a quarterly meeting with Highways and if there are any issues we wish to raise these can be forwarded to him.

7. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell suggested we visit the Vale’s website and comment on the Chief Executive’s initial budget. He noted that the Vale’s grant from central Government had been reduced by 16%, with a further reduction of 11% next year.

Bin Collection: Councillors raised the issue of non-collection of bins when adverse weather coincided with the Christmas holiday period with the upshot that 4 weeks elapsed between collections. Mr Farrell said that there is no contingency in the contract for back up collections. He will raise our complaint with the Vale.

Localism Bill: Mr Farrell was asked if the Vale would be disseminating information to Parish Councils on this Bill. He said that he was not aware of any plans for the Vale to do so since its policy department probably does not have the spare capacity to do this.

Planning: Mr Farrell mentioned that in a recent appeal decision in the Vale, relating to building in a garden, the Inspector had upheld refusal by the Vale suggesting that following a recent directive from the government it may become more difficult to obtain permission to build in gardens that are seen as being a valued open space to the community.

8. Villagers’ Forum – no villagers present.

9. Village Hall

The Clerk noted that the minutes of a recent UVHAT meeting stated that the land regularization issue is still ongoing.

UVHAT, together with the Parish Council, had agreed to a Caravan Rally to be held on the Recreation Ground over the Easter weekend from Thursday 21st – Monday 25th April. The clerk was asked to contact UVHAT to enquire whether some of the receipts from the rally could be passed to the Parish Council to be used towards the upgrading of the playground. Clerk

10. Planning

The outcome of the following planning applications was noted:

UPT/368/368/3-X – proposed erection of 2 dwellings in the garden of Kameki.

Vale have notified that this outline planning application has been withdrawn.

UPT/21068/2 – 5 Fieldside: application approved.

11. Status reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths

Signage in Chilton Road

Mr Brown reported that residents in Chilton Road had for sometime been requesting some measures that would reduce the speed of the traffic coming down the road. The Highways department has now offered to erect more visible “30” signs and to place a 30 roundel in the road. It was agreed to accept this.

Road safety in village

A discussion ensued on the merits of reducing the speed limit to 20mph on village roads, and who would subsequently police them. It was agreed that villagers should be consulted and this should be done as part of a review of our Parish Plan. This will be an agenda item for the Annual Parish Meeting. Clerk

ii) Amenities including Recreation Ground – Nothing to report.

iii) Young Parishioners including Play Area

Location of playground & progress on Playground improvements

Mr Mason reported that the working group had made 2 grant applications. The ball park figure for the new playground is £50k to include safety matting. He said that community support is vital and an “open day” will be held when children can help draw up ideas and explore the siting of the playground. In keeping with the rural location, timber play equipment will be considered. A phased approach might have to be adopted.

Cycle jumps: reshaping the jumps will be dealt with by volunteers in the spring.

iii) Communications

Inserts in Upton News: Becci’s mobile shop has requested putting a flyer in the next Upton News. The Parish Council had no objection since the shop is seen as an added amenity for the village and we should take action to support it.

iv) Volunteer Group:

Dr Lott had sent a note suggesting that the time was right to tidy up Post Office Lane. The Council agreed to the proposal.

v) N.A.G. – no report

vi) UKAEA Local Liaison Committee: Mr Brown is still not receiving communication from UKAEA and will chase up the Secretary. MB

vii) Parish Transport Rep: nothing further to report

12. Finance

i) Agree estimates and set precept for 2011/12

Copy of the proposed estimates and reserves for 2011/2012 having been previously circulated, were discussed. Following discussion Mr Dickens proposed an amendment that the precept be kept at £7,250, seconded by Mr Mason. All were in favour of the amended proposals.

Clerk to complete the Precept request form as appropriate. Clerk

ii) Payments since last meeting:

Kalehurst Garden Machinery, mower annual service, £254.14
Half year repayment to PWLB (Dec 2010) £412.91
Clerk’s Salary: £321
Donation to village Christmas tea party £40
Subscription to Society of Local Council Clerks – £61

Payments were agreed.

iii) Receipts since last meeting:

Bank interest November 36p, December 37p
VAT Repayment – November £42.20
Annual payment from OCC in respect of footpath cutting, £450

Receipts were noted.

13. Risk Assessment and Assets Register 2011/2012

Mr Brown reported that he had made a first attempt at revising the Parish Council’s Risk Assessment document. He concluded that the Parish Council’s insurance policy appeared to be anomalous and clarification should be sought. The Chairman will seek further advice on the current policy. JD

The revised Assets Register is with Mr Mason for updating of replacement values for the play equipment.


14. Correspondence recently received

  • Copy of letter from parishioner to Vale planning department re Hitherto
  • Berinsfield Community Business offering grounds services
  • Local Govt Boundary Commission: Electoral Review of Oxfordshire
  • Clerk to Didcot Town Council: closer working relationships with neighbouring parishes.
  • South Oxfordshire proposed submission core strategy: Consultation ends 21 January – visit www.southoxon.gov.uk/corestrategy

All correspondence had been circulated.

15. Date of next meeting: The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 15th March 2011

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

25th January 2011