Minutes of Meeting 10th September 2013

Minutes of a Meeting of Upton Parish Council in the Village Hall on Tuesday 10th September 2013 at 8.00 pm

Present: Dr R Lott (Chairman), Mr S Norman, Mr S Fraser, Mr B Shaw, Mrs L Shaw, Mr R Traynor, Mrs A Hoy (Clerk)

Part time: Cllr S Lilly

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Janet Shelley, Mr Michael 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 held on 16th July and 12th August 2013. The Minutes were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman,

4. Matters arising:

Parish Council Meeting on 30th May:

(i) Co-option of Mr Robert Traynor as Councillor on Upton Parish Council; in the absence of any requests from electors for an election and having received approval from Vale of White Horse District Council, Mr Traynor was unanimously co-opted as Councillor until formal elections in 2015. The Chairman welcomed Mr Traynor to the Council. Mr Traynor had completed the required Declaration of Acceptance of Office and Register of Members’ Interests forms, which the Clerk was instructed to file and advise the Monitoring Office at VoWHDC. ACH

(ii) Update on footpath and cycle path to Blewbury: Richard Farrell from Blewbury Parish Council had advised that Mark Shayler, another Councillor, had been in touch with the Blewbury landowners in May 2013 and thought it was too soon to raise the matter again, despite the land having changed hands recently. After discussion it was agreed that the topic would most likely form part of the revised Parish Plan for Upton, and as such should be pursued again on publication.

(iii) Parish Plan (PP): Mr Shaw had discussed the Plan with Mr Dickens and between them they had drawn up a set of questions to put to the Village. Mr Derek Whitmell had also offered his help, having worked on the last PP with Will Betts. Mr Shaw agreed to process the raw data gathered and compare with the last Plan so that a final set of questions could be formulated; a decision would then be made how to disseminate the questions. Mr Shaw requested those present to advise him of any items they wanted included in the PP. Dr Lott asked if there was an electronic version of the previous PP, Mr Shaw agreed to source. BS

(iv) Risk Register: Mrs Shaw apologised for not having had time to complete this task, which she assured the Chairman would be completed by the November meeting. The related subject of document storage was raised and it was decided to add this to November’s agenda and invite Brian Ripon for advice. LS

(v) New litter bin: Dr Lott had been advised by VoWH that they would not empty the new bin because it was not on “relevant land”, i.e., private land. UPC was advised to empty the new bin into the existing general waste bin near the Village Hall, to which Jessie West (UVHAT) had no objection. This would involve the volunteer rota emptying the bin and keeping a supply of black sacks under the new bin. A letter had also been received from VoWH advising of an increase in the cost of emptying from 0.68 per bin to £4.03 plus a 15% administration fee, a total of £4.63 per bin per week! VoWH suggested that as the public could now put bagged dog waste into ordinary refuse bins, purchasing two new bins at an approximate cost of £125 each and installing them in place of the existing dog waste bins would not require any extra emptying. Mr Fraser reported that bins could be pre-printed with a message such as “bagged dog waste may be placed in this bin”. After discussion it was proposed and agreed to purchase two replacement bins. Mr Fraser agreed to source the bins and Dr Lott agreed to speak to the Council to arrange regular collections. RL/SF

5. PCSO’s report – although unable to attend, Michael Claydon had sent a report outlining the various initiatives he and his team were involved in, including a crime prevention article to local bulletins and promotion by Thames Valley Police of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators; anyone interested should contact Carol Rudd on 01235 556937. The next Police Have Your Say meting will be held in Upton Village Hall between 15-16:00 on 28th September.

6. County Councillor’s Report: Cllr Lilly had sent a report of the meeting he chaired on 13th August, attended among many others by Dr Lott, regarding key issues raised by the Parishes on the A417 both present and proposed. He reported that he had a lot of feedback on these notes, with the main concern being Hagbourne Hill. He discussed the proposed four-way junction at Chilton which was going into capital progression and MP Ed Vaizey had requested to be kept informed of actions in this regard. Dr Lott asked whether the proposed four-way interchange would lessen the strain on Hagbourne Hill; Cllr Lilly advised that this was only one of the ideas being discussed. “Ready for Winter” planning meetings were being held throughout the district to help the parishes prepared for winter with supplies of salt etc. He commented that the Council was providing Home/School transport for more than just their own schools, but this was under review and provision likely to be cut. Dr Lott reminded Cllr Lilly that when Upton School closed, the village was promised a school bus to ferry children from Upton to Blewbury; Cllr Lilly promised to look into this. BT Broadband was on track to provide high-speed broadband to 55-66,000 homes, proximity to the Science Park UK no doubt helpful in this regard. He advised that the Thornhill Park and Ride facility was being doubled in size with new charges being applied. Regarding public transport within the region, he noted that gantries ready to electrify the railway from Paddington to Cardiff were already in place, but noted that modifying Steventon Bridge (a listed building) would cost millions and cause the road to be closed for weeks.

Cllr Lilly left the meeting. Dr Lott advised that he would be unable to attend the meeting organised by Chilton Parish Council to discuss the A417 and the ramifications for Chilton of the proposed 4-way interchange; Mr Norman agreed to attend in his place. Clerk to advise Chilton of change of representative. ACH

7. District Councillor’s Report: Mrs Shelley had sent her apologies.

8. Villagers’ Forum: No members of the public present.

9. Planning

(i) P13/V1019/HH – The Gatehouse, Reading Road – granted.

(ii) P13/V1606/HH Application for proposed alterations at Flett Cottage, High Street – outcome awaited.

(iii) Wattle Cottage Farm P13/V0702: Decision – Refusal of Planning Permission on 2nd August 2013. No appeal lodged.

10. Reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility:

(i) Roads and Footpaths: Nothing to report.

(ii) Young Parishioners: Nothing to report.

(iii) Village Hall: Caravan Meet requested for September 2014. Mrs West had no objections with the request. Mr Shaw queried whether the problems with drainage had been resolved ; after discussion it was noted that Thames Water are dealing with blockages as they occurr and it was not a concern for the PC. Mrs Shaw raised several other matters relating to the VH, including better signage for the car park and the matted area in the field; Dr Lott agreed to arrange for a photograph/plan of the approved area to be erected in the hall. RL

In addition, the question of public liability for the adjoining grassed area was raised in the context of a hall hiree utilising it for additional space (e.g. for a bouncy castle). Mrs Shaw agreed to check where the PC stood with our insurers. LS

It was noted that the number of people in the VH was limited by the number of toilet facilities. The Clerk was asked to confirm to UVHAT that their request for a donation would be dealt with in March 2014. ACH

(iv) Communications: Nothing to report.

(v) Volunteer Group: Dr Lott advised that he had sent a note of thanks to the Volunteer Group for their sterling work in clearing the weeds around the VH.

(vi) N.A.G.: No report received

(vii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee: nothing to report

(viii) Parish Transport Rep: No report received

11. Finance:

(a) Adoption of audited accounts: It was unanimously agreed that the accounts should be adopted.

(b) Invoices for payment:

(i) Clerk’s salary: £160.56 less PAYE £32.00 paid by BACS

(ii) Glasdon UK Ltd. – new litter bin £203.83*

(iii) BDO LLP – audit costs £120.00*

(iv) Dr Lott – Noticeboard expenses £19.94*

(v) ROSPA – inspection of old playground £96.00

(vi) OALC – Finance Training Course (2) £144.00*

(vii) Mr Fraser – Recreation ground maintenance £15.17*

(viii) Mrs Hoy – Local Council Admin book; postage, £66.00

(ix) Mike Brown, fuel and equipment repairs, £203.90

*paid since last meeting

(c) Receipts since last meeting:

(i) Bank interest July 37p + August 32p

(ii) HMRC repayment of VAT £1,100.47

(ii) 2nd Half Precept £3625 (to be received October)

(d) HMRC had written confirming the appointment of Mr S Norman as agent for the PC for submission of VAT returns – noted.

(e) Date for next audit: letter from BDO advising dates available for next audit. Clerk to liaise with Mr Norman and confirm to BDO date selected. ACH/SN

12. Correspondence: The following items were noted.

  • VoWHDC – email request to participate in consultation on Council Tax (poster on noticeboard)
  • VoWHDC – Chairman’s Community Awards Lunch, 19th October/Nominations: deadline is 13th September; it was agreed to nominate Mike Brown and Jessie West, Clerk to send form. ACH
  • VoWHDC – Council Tax Briefings, 15th or 21st October – attendance requested but meeting will be videoed and made available on YouTube.
  • VoWHDC – Awards for Young People – poster displayed on Noticeboard
  • Community Emergency Planning Survey 2013/14: Mr Fraser is dealing and will report at next meeting. SF
  • VoWHDC – Byelaws to Regulate Skin Piercing – circulated; for noting and keeping with byelaws

13. Next Meeting Date: Tuesday 19th November 2013

Angela Hoy, Clerk

Tel: 01235 851726

12th September 2013