Minutes of Meeting 15th January 2013

Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council in the Village Hall

On  Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 8.00 pm

Attendees:  Mr J Dickens (Chairman), Mr S Fraser, Mr S Norman, Mr B Shaw, Mrs L Shaw, Dr Lott arrived at item (10 ).  Mrs C Lightfoot (clerk).   Part time: Councillor J Shelley.   1 observer 

1. Apologies – none received

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.  Each councillor (with the exception of Mr B Shaw) signed to declare an interest at Item 11(a) Precept Setting.  A letter seeking dispensation from each of these persons was handed to the Clerk and granted as per 31.S.33 of the 2011 Act.

3.  Minutes of meeting held on 7th November 2012: the minutes having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Matters arising

(i) Clerk’s vacancy: it was agreed that an offer should be sent to Mrs Hoy suggesting a starting date of  1st April 2013.   The Chairman to confirm the process with AOLC. JD

(ii) overhanging hedges: it was noted that in general  residents had taken appropriate action.  It was agreed to insert a reminder in the Upton News on an annual basis. BS

(iii) surplus items in tractor shed: these items have been advertised in Upton News and are available free of charge.

(iv) purchase strimmer: Mr Fraser had negotiated a strimmer, brush cutter, helmet and visor from Kalehurst at a cost of ~£900.  Mr Fraser will proceed with the purchase.  SF

5. PCSO’s report – none received since no PCSO was in attendance

6. County Councillor’s Report – in the absence of Mr Lilley no report received

The Chairman noted that a Vehicle Activated Sign has been erected at the entrance to the village on the A417 and he expressed his thanks to Mr Lilley for arranging for this to be done.

7. District Councillor’s Report:

Mrs Shelley reported on the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) which comes in to effect in April 2013,  replacing the current benefits system which assists those on low incomes to meet their council tax payments.  She said the council will address council tax exemptions and discounts which currently apply to unoccupied homes, i.e. second homes, unfurnished or unoccupied dwellings or those requiring structural repairs.

The Local Plan:  she said that work is progressing on the allocation housing supply document for the next 15 years and that the Local Plan will be drawn up this year and submitted to the Secretary of State.

8. Villagers’ Forum:  Mrs Shaw had received a text from a resident (Mr Padden) raising the issue of the poor state of the village roads.  The Chairman noted that the procedure for reporting road issues is for these to be reported to the web site “mystreet”.  Mrs Shaw will advise Mr Padden. LS

9. Planning:

(i) P12/V2104/CM –  It was noted that permission had been granted for the replacement of an extant planning permission in order to extend the time limit for implementation at Chilton Waste Services;

(ii) P12/V1730/DA – Wattle Cottage Farm: Planning appeal decision still awaited and the enforcement order remains in place. Some work has been observed on the site recently and the enforcement officer has been made aware.

10. Reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility:

(i) Roads and Footpath:  Mr Norman reported that £337.50 had been received from OCC in respect of cutting footpaths.   This arrangement will stand for the current year.  It was noted that a “No right of way” sign had appeared on the road between Lynchway and Alden Lane.

The path to the West of Little Acorns Nursery (between A417 and the B road into West Hagbourne) had been obstructed.  Mr Norman will enquire about the validity of this action. SN

(ii) Young Parishioners

Bike Jumps:  Dr Lott advised that as part of the finalisation of the WREN playground grant the PC is required to complete additional proposed works.  He has met with Shoretrax on site to discuss the installation of a cycle track.  Shoretrax suggested this be carried out in 2 phases.

Phase 1: rebuilding, reshape and surface existing dirt roller and jumps.   Construct new dirt and surfaced berm and roller to create a complete loop.  Cost £5k + VAT.

This would take 14 days to complete. Volunteers would be required to help with the spade work.

The advantage of this system is that it is low maintenance as it does not incorporate a timber feature.

Following discussion Dr Lott proposed the PC consider the quotation for phase 1 (as above) at a cost of £5,000 + VAT.  This was seconded by Mr Shaw.

Councillors were in favour subject to:

  • Mr Norman checking on the cash flow position SN
  • Dr Lott checking with Mrs Caffyn on the detail of the WREN grant conditions. RL

New Playground: Dr Lott said that more volunteers are needed to carry out the mandatory weekly check on the playground.

(iii)  Village Hall

Caravan meet 29 March – 1 April:  Dr Lott has forwarded a site map to the Camping and Caravan Club organisers.  A site visit to be held in advance of the camping weekend in order to check on the condition of the recreation ground. RL

(iv) Communications – nothing to report.

(v) Volunteer Group

(a) tree planting along Coffin Way:  Dr Lott will enquire on the availability of hedging plants and whether Parish Councils can apply. RL

(b)  repairs and relocation of notice board:  the clerk reported that Mr True is repairing the vandalised notice board.  Preference is that it be mounted on the metal fence to the right hand side of the gate into the recreation ground. Clerk to liaise with Mr True. CL

(c)    Litterpick – Mr Brown has agreed to assist with administering the litterpick.   Clerk to advise Mr Brown that the preferred date is 16th March.  CL

(vi)  N.A.G. – nothing to report.

(vii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee – Dr Whitmell had circulated a note of the meeting held on  7th December 2012.

(viii)     Parish Transport Rep – nothing to report.

11. Finance:

(a)  Set precept for 2013/2014: following discussion it was agreed to keep the precept at £7,250, this was proposed by Mr Dickens and seconded by Mrs Shaw, with all in favour.

 (b) Invoices for payment:

(i) Broker Network Ltd £106.77 (insurance on new playground)

(ii) M Brown – petrol for mower £25.02

(iii) Clerk’s salary – Gross £321, less PAYE £64.20 = £256.80

(iv) Kompan £12,862.66 (balance on playground)

(v) Society of Local Council Clerks annual subscription £63

All invoices with the exception of Kompan’s  were agreed for payment.  Mr Fraser will speak to Mrs Caffyn (Upton PC’s liaison with Kompan) to resolve the outstanding issues in order to expedite the completion of payment for the Playground. SF

(c)  Receipts since last meeting:

(i)  Bank interest: Nov  68p; Dec 68p

(ii) HMRC repayment of VAT: none

(iii) Cheque received from OCC in respect of  2012 footpath cutting (£337.50)

Receipts were noted.

(d) Financial Statement to end December 2012:  Mr Norman circulated a financial statement showing a balance of £24,673 to the end of December.  He agreed to provide an extrapolation of the  financial position to the year end (31st March). SN

12. Correspondence:

(a)  Letter introducing the new Local Police Area Commander for SODC and Vale was noted.

(b)  Invitation to attend ORCC’s Playground Inspection Training Course 2nd March:

Mr Fraser and Dr Lott have been registered to attend this course.

(c) “United Charities of the Ancient Parish of Blewbury, Upton and Aston Upthorpe.  Following Mrs Whitmell’s resignation as trustee representing Upton Parish Council a new trustee needs to be  appointed.  Clerk to copy background information to councillors for consideration of a suitable trustee.  CL

13. Next Meeting Date:  19th March 2013

Clare Lightfoot, Clerk

Tel:  01235 850486

22nd  January  2013