Minutes of Meeting 16th September 2014

UPTON PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council
Upton Village Hall, Tuesday 16th September 2014 at 8.00 pm

PRESENT: Mr S Fraser (Chairman), Mr R Traynor, Mrs L Shaw, Mr D Reid, Cllr S Lilly, Cllr J Shelley, Mrs A Hoy (Clerk) and 20 members of the public

1. Apologies for Absence: Dr R Lott, Mr S Norman, PCSO 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 items under consideration at this meeting. None declared.

3. Reports:

a. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Lilly reported on the recent A417 meeting and advised that on the last day of the public consultation, an objection had been received from Chilton PC to the planned slips as an “uncalled for development” at Chilton which would necessitate holding a public enquiry and delay implementation of the scheme until at least Jan/Feb 2015.. A second objection had been voiced by the landowners at the top of Chilton Road to the proposed closure, stating this would cause difficulties with their agricultural equipment. Cllr Lilly was investigating the options. He reported that the work at Hinksey Hill would be completed in November, but that the Steventon Bridge project would start in January and last 9 months. Cllr Lilly also advised that there was a proposal to redevelop the forecourt of Oxford Train Station. He confirmed that the grant application for the kitchen refurbishment at Upton had been lodged and he would keep UPC advised of progress. He was also keeping an eye on local subsidised bus routes and their viability. Finally he advised that there was a need in Oxford for 500 more child carers, and also that more complaints had been received from senior citizens about dishonest traders.

b. District Councillor’s Report – Cllr Shelley also commented on a rash of local break-ins with thefts of tools from vans, and recommended marking of equipment to safeguard property. Cllr Shelley reported that council tax could now be paid online which would reduce paper documents. She also reported that Matthew Barber (Vale Chairman) had represented Oxford planning authorities at the London SHMA conference on housing numbers, which would require additional consultation to meet the forecast need of 20,500 housing units between 2011-2031; developers had been accused of land banking which was exacerbating the problem and required action. Cllr Shelley also commented on the proposed Oxford Garden City; in discussions with developers it appeared that this would only contribute 5,000 units. Cllr Shelley stated that there was to be a new planning infrastructure strategy incorporating Section 106 funding on the website which she promised to email to UPC.

c. PCSO’s report – PCSO M Clayden had sent a report, as he was unable to be present. He had visited the recent Upton Fete and fingerprinted local children (much to their delight), security coded bicycles and dispensed advice to residents. He expressed his willingness to attend other events if invited. PCSO Clayden advised that residents should not be alarmed if they saw more police vehicles coming through the village, this was part of a campaign to prevent thefts from farms and outbuildings as well as hare-coursing. He closed his report with a comment about the amount of building work going on in the village and requested that Thames Valley Police be contacted on 101 if these caused any problems with access.

4. Public Forum: The Chairman welcomed parishioners to the meeting to discuss the problem of Stream Road flooding and explained that the Parish Council does not have control over any part of Stream Road and was therefore restricted in how it could help, should the flooding reoccur. He suggested that a working group of Stream Road residents be formed to discuss options. It was noted that the gully under the road [position?] had been blocked for a long time and it was not possible to remove the metal grille to clear it. However, several parishioners reported that the County Council had been very helpful clearing culverts on the far side of the A417 where it appeared the wrong type of grate had been installed which was apparently not large enough; Highways had denied any responsibility because Stream Road was unadopted and it was therefore up to OCC to deal with it. Discussion ensued about whether the road could be adopted by the Council who would then have to maintain it, but this was dismissed as the road was not up to the standard required. A new resident of the village then produced a letter from OCC dated February 1999 (inherited from the previous owner) that stated that they were going to fix the problem with the installation of a new gulley. The Chairman scanned this letter and sent copies to UPC, and a copy of the letter was given to Cllr Shelley who promised to take immediate action by consulting with Mark Bostock at OCC and Peter Dela, Principal Engineer at the Vale. A request was made to clear away the sandbags that had helped to stem the flood earlier in the year, as they were unsightly. Mr Traynor agreed to inspect the sandbags and remove them if thought necessary. Farmers enclosing the stream with a too narrow conduit, as well as a dogleg in the stream’s route, had caused problems at certain points. It was also reported that banks were overgrown and the Council had sent out enforcement notices to clear vegetation to allow passage for waste collection vehicles. It was noted that Thames Water were currently fixing the recurrent problem of water running down from Alden Farm onto the A417. Several parishioners also mentioned the problem of insurance companies refusing cover for flood damage because of the incidence of natural streams.

To summarise, the Chairman reiterated that individual households would continue to be responsible for clearing vegetation from their boundary with the stream; a working party should be organised to clear Post Office Lane; Cllrs Shelley and Lilly were requested to establish whether their respective Councils were responsible for maintenance of the drains and if so, for improvements to be made; and a map of the drainage system would be helpful. It was agreed that action should be taken before the onset of winter. Cllr Lilly had kindly brought supplies of four guidance leaflets entitled “Oxfordshire be Ready” which covered riparian ownership, ditches and drainage, hedges and trees and snow, which were available for parishioners to take and also in pdf form; Mrs Shaw agreed to draft a note to go with copies of the riparian ownership leaflet to be posted to houses in Prospect Road who had not been invited to the meeting, and it could also be mentioned in the Upton News. Councillors and parishioners then left the meeting.

The Chairman reconvened the meeting.

5. Adoption of minutes of meeting(s) on: 15th July, 25th July, 11th and 20th August having been previously circulated, were agree to be a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

6. Matters Arising
Parish Council Meeting on 15th July:
a) Parish plan questionnaire, progress update – Mr Traynor had circulated an update on his recent actions which included other Parish plans being reviewed by the Steering Group who had been given various tasks including contacting Blewbury PC, sourcing funding, examining ‘Survey Monkey’ and discussing with villagers both at the Upton Fete and via Upton News for their views. These would be discussed at their next meeting and the information used to formulate the survey. Mr Traynor thought it would be possible for him to print the Plan in due course. RT
b) Play Area – ROSPA report – Noted that the repair materials had now arrived and a working party would be organised to install them. RT
c) Cushion Fall – Mr Fraser promised to order the relevant materials. SF
d) Recreation field access – Mrs Shaw reported that the gate had been closed intermittently, partly due to mislaying of the padlock. It was agreed to continue the trial period to end September and report at next meeting. LS
e) Kalehurst Machinery – quotes for new lawn mowers: Mike Brown had reported earlier in the month that the John Deere mower’s engine had given up. Two quotes were received from Kalehurst Garden Machinery Ltd and after discussion it was unanimously AGREED that the best option was to purchase the larger machine X540 at a cost of £5035 (including 20% discount) + VAT as it would enable the volunteers to mow the area much more efficiently. It was also AGREED to purchase a second machine to replace the self-propelled mower, which was also in need of replacement. Uptonogood had offered the sum of £2500 towards the cost of mowing equipment, and the Clerk was requested to write a letter of thanks to Uptonogood for their kind donation. AH
f) Report on OALC training course: Mr D Reid reported that he found the course on Roles and Responsibilities extremely useful and recommended it to those who may not yet have undertaken this training. Mr Fraser mentioned that he had not yet had the opportunity, nor Mr Traynor. The Clerk agreed to book both Councillors onto the next suitable course. Mr Reid wondered whether it would be worth recording some meetings, particularly where contentious or complicated matters were discussed; this would require a change to Standing Orders. These developments would be the subject of the training due to take place on October 2nd which the Clerk would be attending. AH

7. Business to be transacted:
a) Adoption of audited accounts: the completed report had been received from BDO together with their invoice for £120. It was unanimously AGREED to adopt the completed accounts and pay the Auditor. In Mr Norman’s absence, the half-yearly financial statement was not discussed.
b) Garage Clearance: Mrs Shaw reported that the polling booths had been removed, and some other items sold. A decision needed to be made on whether to keep the staging, Mrs Shaw agreed to ask UVHAT. It was noted that a better method of storing the new marquees was urgently needed – Mr Fraser and Mr Reid to investigate options. LS/SF/DR
c) Annual Community Emergency Planning Survey 2014/15: Mr Fraser agreed to complete this year’s survey. However, it was also suggested that it would be a good idea to develop the PC’s own emergency plan and maybe attend a training event. Mr Reid agreed to investigate and report to the next meeting. DR

8. For noting:

Planning:

  • P14/V1123/LB Stocks, Stream Road – Proposed Garden Room – PC objected, application withdrawn and resubmitted. Site meeting 9th August, PC discussed 11th August.
  • P14/V1211/HH Ridgewood Grange, Chilton Road – proposed erection of detached double garage, no objection. Approval granted.
  • P14/V1242/HH Downleigh, Newmans Close – proposed single storey garage extension; raising front gable and conversion of loft space; two storey rear extension – PC objections. Approval granted.
  • P14/V1311/HH and P14/V1312/LB – Upton Manor – glazed link extension to ancillary barn, no objection. Approval granted.
  • P14/V1227/AG Ingham’s Farm Chilton Road – erection of hay/straw barn, no objection. Vale advised formal planning application not required.
  • P14/V1821/FUL Water Pumping Station West Hagbourne – conversion to dwelling. PC had no objection but various comments passed to Vale 25th August.

9. Correspondence

  • ROSPA Report on recreation and playground.
  • ORCC Annual Conference and AGM, 18th September
  • Community Information Network/AGE UK – leaflets/poster for distribution.

10. Receipts since last meeting

  • HMRC Vat repayment £234.28
  • Bank interest July 36p, Aug 39p
  • Vale Precept, £3750.00
  • Uptonogood £1010.00 (Village Hall)

Angela Hoy, Clerk
Tel: 01235 851726
22 September 2014

Appendix A – Schedule of payments

Mrs A Hoy (salary, July and August @ £149.60 net per month) BACS payment; £299.20
Kingdom Signs, white posts £16.68
BDO Audit Costs £120.00

TOTAL £435.88