Minutes of Meeting Tuesday 18th November 2013

Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council held in Upton Village Hall on Tuesday 18th November 2013 at 8.00 pm

Attendees: Dr R Lott (Chairman), Mr S Fraser, Mr S Norman, Mr B Shaw, Ms L Shaw

Part time: Councillor S Lilley, Councillor J Shelley, PCSO M Clayden, Mr B Rippon (Items 4(vii),11(iv) ) Mr B Tibbetts (Public Forum)

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. Mrs Shaw declared an interest in item 8 Public Forum as the area indicated for the table tennis table would be immediately alongside her boundary fence.

3. Minutes of meeting held on 10th September and the extraordinary meeting held on 30th September 2013, having been previously circulated were agreed to be a true record and signed by Dr Lott.

4. Matters arising:

Parish Council Meeting on 10th September

(i) Angela Hoy gave a brief summary of the recent SODC Finance training course she had attended with Mr Norman, and agreed to download the pdf document “Governance and Accountability for Local Councils, A practitioners Guide” which formed the basis of the course. Mrs Hoy reported that it was good practice to review the Budget frequently and definitely at a halfway point in the year, i.e., the October/November meeting. Dr Lott requested that Mrs Hoy and Mr Norman review the UPC Financial Regulations document from 2007 and provide a gap analysis for the next meeting. AH/SN

(ii) John Deer Ride on Mower: it was noted that the mower currently had a SORN declaration and therefore could not be driven on the public road. After discussion it was AGREED that in order to comply with the law the Council should tax and insure the machine. However, it would only be necessary to instigate such insurance and tax for the limited period that the mower would be in use. Mr Shaw agreed to investigate alternative insurance quotes and advise by next meeting. BS

(iii) Roles and Responsibilities: Dr Lott had circulated an email, requesting councillors to state their current duties. Dr Lott expressed his concern that the UPC website was currently incomplete and there were various documents under the Model Publications Scheme which needed to be added. Mr Traynor agreed to take on the coordination of the Volunteer Group and also help with the electronic side of the website. Other councillors’ roles would be maintained, as detailed on the website.

(iv) Time Keeping: Dr Lott requested all councillors to read the UPC Standing Orders. He emphasised that councillors needed to review their roles between meetings and report items in advance of meetings to cut down on excessively long meetings. This item to be reviewed at next meeting. ALL

(v) ROSPA Report: Mr Fraser read out the key points from this report; in the ‘old’ playground the gate was considered an entrapment risk and should be altered, and the matting under the climbing frame should be improved. In addition the slide did not meet current standards. Mrs Shaw reported that only £500 per year was set aside for repairs. In the large playground ROSPA had advised that the pump track did not meet current standards as no recommended route direction is displayed Dr Lott agreed to draw up a list of improvements with costings to bring the playgrounds up to standard, including inspecting the matting. Mr Traynor agreed to organise the volunteers and source materials and also speak to Mike Brown regarding the gate. RL/RT

(vi) Parish Plan Questionnaire: Mr Shaw advised that subsequent to a long meeting with Derek Whitmell, he had reworked the 2004 Parish Plan questionnaires, one for adult residents and one for the youth of the village. He still needed to speak to John Dickens for his input. Mr Shaw agreed to circulate the questionnaires by email for councillors to study and comment by next meeting. ALL

(vii) Electronic Archiving: After discussion, it was agreed to form a small committee to find the best way to organise electronic archiving, probably using Cloud storage on the Web; Dr Lott, Mr Rippon and Mrs Hoy would liaise and report in the next two weeks. RL/BR/Clerk

(viii) Labelling of Dog/Litter Bins: Dr Lott reported that the label proposed in September’s meeting had been misplaced by the county council and therefore in the meantime he advocated using a “Keep Britain Tidy” label, for which the artwork was free. The alternative “Tidyman” logo was not high enough resolution and printing would cost £17 for two. Mrs Hoy offered to speak to Blewbury Parish Clerk to ascertain where they had sourced their bin labels. Clerk

(ix) Risk Register Review: Mrs Shaw had circulated the Risk Register with her email of 16th October, with two outstanding items; in addition the question of riding the John Deere mower on the road needed to be added. Mr Norman reported that there were inconsistencies in the register when compared with Came & Co’s items of value. Dr Lott also queried the value of the bus shelter which did not appear to be insured, although it was a low risk. Mr Norman agreed to establish the cost of insurance. It was agreed that any valuable items not already security-marked should be marked as soon as possible, Mr Traynor agreed to arrange. It was noted that the gate to the recreation ground was not being locked as prescribed, to prevent cars being driven onto the ground. However, this was not considered a significant risk and it was agreed that the wording should be changed to allow vehicles during special events. Mr Norman and Mrs Shaw agreed to finalise the Risk Register as soon as possible. SN/LS

There were no matters arising from the extraordinary meeting held on 30th September.

5. PCSO’s report: PCSO M Clayden apologised for his previous lack of attendance, due largely to changing shift patterns, but advised he was happy to attend in his own time when possible. He reported that action had been taken to apprehend those participating in hare coursing in Cholsey, South Moreton and Blewbury, but none had been reported in Upton; he was grateful to members of the public who had notified the Police of such incidents. He was keen for articles to be published in Upton News and to be put up on Noticeboards around the village. The latest campaign was the “Bright Idea” poster, recommending residents leave a light on when out, to discourage burglars. He had also recently undertaken speed checks on the A417. Out of 83 motorists tested, only one was speeding, although he agreed that this small rate of transgression might be due to motorists warning each other. Dr Lott asked about postcode-marking the new Stihl strimmer and PCSO Clayden recommended the SmartWater system which cost £15 but could be used on many items; Mr Traynor agreed to follow up with PCSO Clayden and purchase said SmartWater system. RT

6. County Councillor’s Report: Councillor Lilley referred to Dr Lott’s query from a previous meeting about school buses from Upton to Blewbury, and remarked that the whole question of school buses was being reviewed at present. He would report when he had news. Cllr Lilley reported that Lisa Michelson was the Council’s Broadband Communications Engagement Officer who would bring councils up to date with BT’s progress in getting Broadband to 90% of the population by 2015. Cllr Lilley also advised that electrification of the rail line to Swansea would commence in 2014, with new trains coming on track in 2016/17. There would be a delay in the dismantling and re-erection of Steventon Bridge (a listed Brunel building), now commencing in October 2014 during which time the road would be closed. The whole electrification project was due for completion by the end of 2016. Cllr Lilley reported that he would be inviting councils to attend a meeting in February in County Hall Oxford to hear the latest progress on the A417 proposals. Mr Norman had attended the meeting called by Chilton Parish Council to discuss their concerns at the proposed plans, particularly in relation to Hagbourne Hill (Mr Norman advised he would attend the February meeting); Cllr Lilley thought these worries were unnecessary as this particular option was unlikely to happen. Mr Norman also queried whether there was any progress in providing a safe road crossing in Upton; Cllr Lilley promised to review when the budget had been finalised. Cllr Lilley was pleased to report £1.3m income in the first year of use of the incinerator at Ardley processing domestic waste, which had resulted in a saving on landfill costs of £10m.

7. District Councillor’s Report:

Councillor Shelley reminded the meeting that although the Vale was responsible for planning policy, they had no control over the provision of highways associated with planning permissions, which was the OCC’s responsibility. Cllr Shelley mentioned the Thames Valley Alerts, which this month noted that Land Rovers were car thieves’ current favourite vehicle. She advised that parking would be free in the Council’s car parks in Abingdon on 30th November, and on 7th December in Wantage for Christmas shopping. Cllr Shelley reported that the Vale is in consultation with OCC as they wish to rent the two upper floors of the District Offices at Abbey House, Abingdon. This would mean that some but not all Vale departments would relocate to the SODC offices at Crowmarsh Gifford.

Councillors Lilley and Shelley left the meeting.

8. Villagers’ Forum:

Mike Tibbetts had been in discussion with Dr Lott over the provision of a concrete table tennis table on the recreation ground, to be paid for by Uptonogood funds after having given grants to various good causes including UVHAT and the school (a summary could be found on the website). Mr Tibbetts reported that there were various options to be discussed between UPC and UVHAT, including the location of the proposed table. Mrs Shaw expressed her concern at a possible proposed option whose location was adjacent to her boundary fence. Mr Tibbetts handed over a plan and described the installation, which would require a maximum 9m x 5m playing area which should be hard standing; the cost would be £2k which included delivery and installation, in addition to which some provision should be made for landscaping, benches for spectators etc. It was AGREED that a small committee be formed to evaluate the proposal, to report in 2-4 months. Mr Tibbetts agreed to chair the group and Mr Traynor volunteered to assist, having had experience of such tables at his school where they had been very popular. An additional person, preferably from UVHAT, would be useful. It was also AGREED that this committee would investigate the purchase of two marquees using a further £1200 from Uptonongood, as UVHAT had previously declined the option of ownership. Mr Tibbetts left the meeting. RT

9. Planning

(i) P13/V1034/FUL – 3 Fieldside, erection of new 3 bed dwelling – withdrawn 29/10.

(ii) P13/V1606/HH – Flett Cottage, High Street – proposed side extension comprising utility, front bedroom + en-suite – permission granted

(iii) P13/V0702/FUL – Wattle Cottage Farm – appeal lodged 26/9, appeal start date 24th October. Vale to advise when a date for the hearing has been arranged. Noted.

10. Finance:

(a) Invoices for payment:

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

(ii) HMRC PAYE Clerk’s Salary (3 months) £96.00

(b) Receipts since last meeting:

(i) Bank interest Sept 22p, Oct 36p

(ii) VoWH precept £3,625.00 Sept

(c) Budget 2013/2014 – half yearly review. Due to time pressure, it was agreed to defer this item. Mr Norman and Mrs Hoy to liaise and report whether the council was on budget. SN/Clerk

11. Reports from Councillors on areas of responsibility:

(i) Roads and Footpath: Mr Norman to issue invoice to Vale to cover cost of grass cutting. SN

(ii) Young Parishioners: nothing to report

(iii) Village Hall: It was noted that the new hand-driers had been installed and were working well. Dr Lott had amended a draft Memorandum of Understanding between UPC and UVHAT. After discussion on the subject of allowing bouncy castles (a known risk), it was recommended that the wording be amended to show that the hirer of the bouncy castle should be responsible for taking out liability insurance; Dr Lott agreed to send the amended version of the MOU to Mrs Shaw who would discuss it with UVHAT for their comments.

(iv) Communications: Pursuant to the resignation of Sarah Sayer as Editor of Upton News, Mr B Rippon had offered to act as Editor as well as continuing as Webmaster until another Editor could be found. It was suggested that an advertisement could be placed in the Upton News, perhaps suggesting that someone representing the views of the younger residents of the village might apply. The issue of printing hard copies for approximately 90 households was discussed and it was AGREED that this should continue; Clare Lightfoot had advised that the Parish Church Office had offered to print these copies at a cost of £20 per month and, after further discussion, Dr Lott proposed this offer should be accepted, seconded by Mr Shaw. Mr Rippon requested the council provide more news for the publication, in addition to what could be could be gleaned from the Minutes. Mr Shaw and Mrs Hoy were asked to provide this. Mr Rippon was thanked for his assistance and left the meeting. Clerk/BS

(v) Volunteer Group: Mr Traynor agreed to take over the organising of this group.

(vi) N.A.G. – nothing to report

(vii) UKAEA Stakeholders Committee – nothing to report

(viii) Parish Transport Rep – nothing to report

12. Correspondence:

a) Resignation and appointment of Trustee for United Charities – noted

b) CAB Abingdon, request for donation – review March 2014

c) OAB Oxford, request for donation – review March 2014

d) OCC School Admissions (circulated and notice posted)

e) OCC Consultation on Home to School Transport (notice posted)

f) Chiltern Sports Contractors – offer of services, keep on file

g) CPRE – letter re Vale’s Five ~Year Housing Land Supply Statement (circulated)

h) Dog’s Trust – free micro-chipping in the community offer – Mrs West advised re Village Fair

i) A34 College Farm Bridge Beedon improvements (notice posted)

j) OALC Training Course – Roles and Responsibilities (Feb 2014) – Mrs Hoy passed details of this course to Mr Traynor. Invoice to be brought to next meeting and course booked. RT/Clerk

13. Next Meeting Date: Tuesday 21st January 2014

Angela Hoy, Clerk

Tel: 01235 851826

27th November 2013