Minutes of Meeting 15th March 2011

Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council in the Village Hall on Tuesday 15th March 2011 at 8.00 pm


Mr M Brown (Acting Chairman), Mr J Dickens, Dr R Lott, Mr D Mason, Mrs L Shaw,

Mrs C Lightfoot (Clerk)

Mr R Farrell and Mr S Lilley (part time)

1. Apologies received from Mr Norman and PCSO Clayden

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 received

3. Minutes of meeting of Upton Parish Council held on 18th January and Extraordinary Parish Council meetings held on 22nd February 2011, having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman

4. Matters Arising:

(i) high speed internet – this issue is ongoing

(ii) Scottish & Southern High Voltage Cable: Mr Barrett has agreed to act on behalf of the PC

(iii) Signage in Chilton Road. New 30 signs have been erected on entering the village from Chilton Road. A letter of thanks to be sent to Highways. The roundels are still awaited. Clerk

5. PCSO’s Report

A written report had been received from PCSO Clayden. Following the clerk’s discussion with him regarding illicit motorcycling on a piece of land in Upton parish, located south of the Ridgeway, co-owned by 43 persons, he confirms that the police are aware and 2 bikers have been issued with Section 59s. Smoke from bonfires in the field at the rear of the George and Dragon has caused visibility problems on the A417. He requests that if this hazard continues the police should be made aware.

6. County Councillor’s Report

Mr Lilley reported that a grant of £1.2M is being made by Central Government towards repairing Highways. OCC is making £600k available for local communities and he will put us in touch with the appropriate person in County Hall so that we can investigate whether our playground scheme can attract a grant. He said that cabinet had now approved Local Transport Plan 3 – which encompasses the Harwell relief road. It is likely to be several years before finance is in place.

WRG are applying to build a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant north of the Power Station in Sutton Courtenay parish.

Bus Subsidy Review: Mr Lilley said that this is of vital importance to this rural community, he suggests that Upton and Blewbury make strong representation and he is willing to lend his support. (Clerk to contact Mr Homer, PTR, to enquire if he would like to help us make a case.) Clerk

He noted that the rail bridge project at the Milton interchange is overrunning, the knock on effect being that the time frame for the Didcot Station Forecourt project will slip.

7. District Councillor’s Report

Mr Farrell reported that the Vale has now set its budget with Council Tax remaining unchanged. The process was difficult as the grant from Central Government had reduced from £7.1M to £5.98M.

Front line services have been largely preserved. Pain had been felt during the past 2 years with the introduction of joint service arrangements with SODC which necessitated redundancies. A number of senior officers had taken retirement with the net result that the Vale’s staffing levels are thin and less experienced.

Reservoir: Mr Farrell said that the Government’s inspector had not given the green light. The recommendation had been made that more work is required on the water plan.

Localism Bill: the bill is complex but at its heart are powers that will fundamentally change the role of parish councils. Under Power 1 PCs will have the right to produce Neighbourhood Plans, ie the future development of a community will be determined by the PC. He said that in reality this was unrealistic for small PCs as professional help would be needed and the cost of this would be ~£18k.

8. Villagers’ Forum – none

9. Planning

UPT/21353 – proposal for single dwelling at rear of 3 Fieldside. It was noted that this application has been withdrawn

UPT/3451/12-CM – extending time period to 31 December 2010 for use of 2 storey office building without complying with conditions 2 of planning permission, at Prospect Farm. It was noted that permission has been granted.

UPT/11998/5 – Solar panels, supported by “A” frames, in rear garden at Pointers Piece, Chilton Road. Applicant Mr & Mrs Thomas. The plans were discussed and there were no objections. Clerk to advise the Vale accordingly. Clerk

10. Status reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility

i) Roads and Footpaths

· Maintenance of footpaths

Mr Norman has emailed Mr Mark Sumner of OCC to seek a contract for the Parish Council to continue with cutting village footpaths. The PC agreed that by cutting the footpaths “in-house” we achieve a much better result.

Clerk to remind Mr Norman that that there is a safety issue which OCC need to address concerning a slippery foot bridge near the old railway line towards Chilton which needs to be covered in wire. Clerk

Dr Lott has spoken to Mr Bucknell to ask permission for a working party to clear fallen tress and debris along Common Lane. RL

· Update on Sewerage Pipeline from Chilton to Upton:

Mr Brown said that no one on the Parish Council had been aware of the implications of this scheme until a vast number of heavy lorries, laden with hardcore, were seen proceeding up the Lynchway. He telephoned Optimise who admitted they were in error in not having contacted us. All their negotiations had been with the Chilton PC although in reality Chilton was virtually unaffected by the work.

Mr Brown has been told that the project, scheduled to be completed by end of June, should be completed by end of May. The Parish Council have a number of serious concerns:

i) The Lynchway, which will be closed towards the end of the project, could be unfit as part of the route for our annual Uptonogood cycle ride;

ii) Inconvenience to local parishioners whilst the A417 near the G&D is controlled by traffic lights;

iii) The Frog Alley pumping station may not be able to cope with the additional volume;

It was agreed that the PC will write to Optimise setting out our concerns. MB/Clerk

ii) Amenities including Recreation Ground

· Uptonogood

Dr Lott said that Uptonogood would he held on Saturday 18th June, with camping in the Recreation Ground on Friday 17th & Saturday 18th June. A note will be put in Upton News to ensure that residents are made aware. There are some concerns about using the Lynchway

and also permission being granted to use Common Lane which is classified as a footpath.

· Goal Posts

Dr Lott reported that one of the small goal post was broken, Mr Brown agreed to replace it the next day. MB

iii) Young Parishioners including Play Area

· Playground

Mr Mason said that 2 grant applications had been unsuccessful and the applications need refocusing and the vision statement revising. The PC agreed that the committee should pursue the proposal made by KOMPAN who can arrange help with grant applications. Should this be successful KOMPAN would either carry out the work or charge £1k for the input made.

iv) Village Hall

· Land Regularisation: the deeds have now been signed off by the PC and UVHAT and the matter is being completed by Mr Simon Barrett, solicitor.

v) Communications – Nothing to report

vi) Volunteer Group

· Work on Common Lane will be organised as quickly as possible, if sufficient effort is available the overhanging ivy in Post Office Lane will be cut back but this is not seen as important.

vii) N.A.G. – No report

viii) UKAEA Local Liaison Committee – The next meeting is scheduled for 18th March.

ix) Parish Transport Report – No report

11. Finance

i) Payments since last meeting:

M Brown/purchases from Staples for document storage system £44.27

Clerk’s Salary: £321

Subscription to Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils – £133.07

Subscription to Oxford Playing Fields Association – £35

The above payments were agreed.

ii) Receipts since last meeting:

Bank interest January 39p, February 35p

VAT Repayment: January £12.24, February £15.27

Annual payment from OCC in respect of footpath cutting, £450

The above receipts were agreed

iii) Agree charitable donations

A number of requests had been received during the year including: Air Ambulance, CAB,

South & Vale Carers, Oxfordshire Association for the Blind, CPRE, Sue Ryder “Chair Appeal” for Nettlebed Hospice, Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers, Oxfordshire.

Whilst these charities were all deemed to be worthy, it was agreed that donations would be made as follows:

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

£25 – Mr 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 & Vale Carers

£50 – Upton Methodist Church

12. Risk Assessment & Asset Register

A Risk Assessment and Asset Register, compiled by Mr Brown, had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The Parish Council ratified both these documents.

13. Parish Council Administration

· Document Storage

Mr Brown said that the document storage system was now complete and had been done in accordance with the Government’s Model Publication Scheme. The clerk expressed thanks to Mr Brown for having achieved this excellent system.

· Registering PC as an employer with HMRC

The clerk noted that under a new directive from HMRC the Parish Council is required to register as an employer. Clerk

14. Correspondence recently received

· Didcot Volunteer Centre car scheme: a letter had been received advising that the DVC’s grant from OCC is being reduced and requesting our support. The clerk was asked to write supporting DVC which provides transport for hospital and doctors appointments. Clerk

· Vale on Line Communications

· Meeting Everyone’s Needs – Vale Survey

· Rural News Digest – February & March

· Oxfordshire Car Share

· OALC February Issue

· British Legions 90th Birthday – invitation to organise an event 10-12 June

· Electoral Review of Oxfordshire

All correspondence had been circulated either by email or in hard copy.

15. Dates for noting:

The following dates were noted: Annual Parish Meeting – Monday 11th April at 8.00 p.m.

Election of Councillors – Thursday 5th May Nominations to be made by noon on 4th April.

The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 17th May at 8.00 p.m.

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel: 01235 850486

20th March 2011