Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of Upton 16th April 2012

UPTON PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of Upton

Held on Monday 16th April 2012 at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall

Present: Mr J Dickens (Chairman), Mr S Fraser, Mr S Norman, Mr B Shaw, Mrs L Shaw

Ms J Shelley (District Councillor)

Mr S Lilly (County Councillor)

Mrs J West (Upton Village Hall Amenities Trust)

Dr D Whitmell (UKAEA Stakeholders)

2 members of the public

1. Apologies for absence

No apologies for absence were received

2. Minutes of the annual parish meeting held on 11th April 2011 were read.

The minutes were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

3. Annual Reports

(i) Parish Council Chairman

Mr Dickens opened the meeting by welcoming those present. In his report he thanked the Playground Working Party for their hard work in securing a grant from WREN and getting the project to the point of going out to tender. He said that we were grateful to Uptonogood who had made a significant financial contribution towards the project. He noted that an improvement had been made to Coffin Way and a traffic calming measure had been put in place in the Chilton Road. Mr Dickens referred to the difficulty in communication to the whole village and urged parishioners to keep an eye on the village notice board for information on extraordinary meetings which are arranged at short notice.

(ii) Parish Council Finance

Copies of Payments and Receipts for 2011/2012, and a status report prepared by Mr Norman and the Clerk were circulated. The accounts showed a reserve of ~£7000k.

Mr Betts asked whether it would be prudent to increase the precept in order to cover the cost of those tasks which were outside the Working Group’s remit. Mr Simpson said that as a rule of thumb reserves should equal 6-12 months expenditure. It was agreed that the precept should remain as at present.

(iii) District Council

Ms Shelley reported that the Vale’s Corporate Plan finishes this year. She referred to the Interim Housing Supply Policy (IHSP) which is a scheme to plug the gap in the shortage of housing in the Vale. The final policy is expected to be adopted at full council on 16th May 2012 at which point, any sites judged suitable will be invited to submit a planning application. She reported that the Vale had frozen council tax for the current year, 2 hour free parking had been introduced in the Vale’s car parks, frontline services had been protected.

A copy of Ms Shelley’s reported is filed with these minutes.

(iv) County Council

Mr Lilly reported that this had been a tough year with £119M being cut from OCC’s budget. He said that no libraries had been closed in the county, potholes were nearly up to speed, vulnerable children and the trafficking of children were priority. More schools were applying for academy status.

Transport: he reported that:

  • Oxfordshire had the best countywide bus services with more commercial routes.
  • OCC was working to enhance freight traffic on the rail, taking 16,000 tons off the A34 annually.
  • Didcot Parkway’s improvements had now begun.
  • Cabinet of the Council were meeting to discuss Local Transport Plan No 3 (LTP3).
  • The “Harwell Relief Road” which would relieve congestion in the villages was back on the agenda.

In conclusion Mr Lilly reminded the meeting that the Big Society Fund is available for village projects. He would like to be kept informed of any applications which we make.

(iv) Parish Transport Representative

A report by Mrs West was circulated, copy of which is attached to these minutes.

In her report Mrs West said that the new contractor’s drivers had initially had problems with knowing the route and in some instances left before the due time. She urged passengers to report any such incidents to the company. The Chairman thanked Mrs West for her report.

(v) United Charities: Mrs Whitmell, in her report, again reiterated that if anyone wished to nominate a recipient for a grant she should be contacted. Clerk to contact Mrs Whitmell to ask if it would be appropriate to advertise this in Upton News. Clerk

(vi) Blewbury School: a report by Mrs Andrea Brown, together with a letter from OFSTED, was circulated. It was noted that the school had received a good OFSTED report.

(vii) UVHAT: In her report Mrs West thanked Mr Simpson for his excellent work as treasurer and for bringing the new UVHAT deed to completion. Mr Hetherington was also thanked for his plumbing services over many years. It was noted that Mrs Caffyn has now been appointed as Treasurer and Mr Fraser has offered to help with small plumbing jobs. Mrs West was thanked for her report and for her tireless work for the village hall.

(vii) Neighbourhood Watch: Mrs Davies reported that during the year theft of oil, theft of dogs and a burglary had been reported. She said after 12 years as Neighbourhood Watch representative she was handing the baton to John Lightfoot. Mrs Davies was thanked for her commitment to NW in the past.

Ms Shelley stated the importance of reporting any incident of crime to the police.

(viii) St. Mary’s Church: a report was circulated, no questions were raised.

(ix) UKAEA Stakeholders: Dr Whitmell said that the impending storage of waste at Harwell will not affect Upton. He will keep an eye on what is happening and keep us informed.

Dr Whitmell was thanked by the Chairman for his work on this forum.

4. Open Forum

(i) Additional Dog Bin: it was suggested that an additional dog bin be installed on the footpath which runs along the side of the cemetery. (Clerk’s note: the annual cost of emptying a bin is ~£58). No decision was made.

(ii) Harwell Enterprise Academy: a letter had been received in this connection. Further information can be found on the Upton Village web site.

(ii) Revisiting the Parish Plan: it was agreed that this be considered by the Parish Council.

(iii) Cycle Track to Blewbury: it was suggested that an eye be kept on further improvements.

5. The Chairman’s Closing Remark

The Chairman thanked those present for their attendance.

The meeting closed at 9.20 p.m.

6. Date of next meeting – Monday 1st April 2013

Clare Lightfoot

Clerk Upton Parish Council
30th April 2012