Minutes of Meeting 18th November 2014

UPTON PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council

Upton Village Hall, Tuesday 18th November 2014 at 8.00 pm

PRESENT: Dr R Lott (Chairman), Mr S Fraser, Mr R Traynor, Mrs L Shaw, Mr D Reid, Cllr J Shelley, Mrs A Hoy (Clerk) and one member of the public

1. Apologies for Absence – Mr D Reid, Cllr S Lilly, and Michael Clayden (c/o Denise Clements)

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 received

3. Adoption of minutes of meeting(s) on: 16th September and 28th October 2014:  the minutes were adopted as a true record of the meetings.

4.  Reports

  • County Councillor’s Report –  Cllr Stewart Lilly was not present
  • District Councillor’s Report  – Cllr Shelley reported that she had been advised a grant had been approved for the gents toilets at Upton Village Hall (£4110), and a further grant of £1000 for audio visual equipment.  The Parish Council expressed their gratitude to the District Council.  Cllr Shelley was also aware of the meeting and subsequent email discussions regarding the flood problem in Stream Rd and advised UPC to approach her if there were problems funding the solution, as she might be able to help.  Dr Lott agreed to copy in Cllr Shelley in future correspondence. Cllr Shelley reported that the supply of grants from the Vale was now finished for this year but there would be more available next year.  Cllr Shelley noted that the Vale’s Local Plan was now out for consultation and hoped that UPC would respond before the deadline of 19th December by going onto the website, or by attending one of the public consultation meetings arranged for the next month.  She had noticed an interesting fact in the growth area data regarding Upton, that the village had a higher level of occupied homes than in other local villages. RL
  • PCSO’s report – A report had been received from PCSO Denise Clements in the absence of PCSO Mike Clayden, which included reports of vehicles broken into and work tools stolen, but officers had been able to make some arrests.  Also several arrests for hare coursing and poaching in the last month, which it was hoped would discourage other people from taking up this activity.

5. Public Forum – the Chairman closed the meeting to allow comments to be made on the planning application relating to the Methodist Chapel.  The resident requested the Council to investigate whether there was a covenant in the Chapel deeds that might restrict its sale because he recalled when the Chapel was built that money had been raised by the village and, at the very least, the Methodist Authorities ought to consider giving some of the sale proceeds back to the village.  Mr Fraser agreed to investigate the deeds with the Land Registry and was authorised to purchase the relevant deed at a cost of £6.  The meeting was then reconvened. SF

6.  Matters arising:

Parish Council Meeting on 16th September:

a) Parish plan questionnaire: Mr Traynor reported that the first draft of the questions was being formulated and would be ready early December; there had been only one response to the Upton News article requesting views. The questionnaire will be distributed electronically except where residents receive their copy of Upton News in hardcopy.  The committee was a wide cross-section of the community, including two in the Youth section.  Councillors were requested to make known  any additional questions they would like included ASAP and before the meeting on January 19th when the Council will review the questionnaire. ALL

b) Recreation field access – Mrs Shaw and Mr Traynor reported that closing the car park gate had proved a partial success because there had been no trouble reported and none was anticipated in the winter months.  However, problems arose when closing the gate at night whilst there were still cars in the parking area, and the early morning dog walkers were some times inconvenienced. It was agreed keep the situation under review.

c) Report on OALC training course “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations” – Mrs Hoy had attended a recent NALC legal briefing regarding filming, blogging, tweeting and recording of local authority meetings which were now permitted by law, necessitating an amendment to Standing Orders. Mrs Hoy was requested to incorporate the amendment into the Standing Orders for approval at the next meeting.        ACH

d) Garage Clearance: Mrs Shaw confirmed that agreement had been reached on disposal of staging.  Dr Lott to organise.  RL

e) Storage of marquees – Mr Traynor agreed to draw up plans for appropriate storage boxes and Dr Lott would arrange for a carpenter to make them. RT/RL

Extraordinary Meeting on 28th October 2014 (taken under planning)

7. Business to be transacted:

a) Stream Road flooding: Dr Lott reported on the site meeting that had taken place 23rd October with Messrs Dela and Bostock from the Vale/OCC.  Mr Dela wrote to advise he would look into whether the Vale was able to install a more appropriate inlet screen on Stream Road and also whether they would fund this.  He also advised residents to contact Thames Water if leaks continued to be observed both on the main road and also on Stream Road outside South Springs, as well as any sewer flooding, as without this information they would not carry out works to alleviate the problem. Mr Dela had included a plan of a private surface water drain across rear gardens, which may be blocked.  Mr Bostock offered to survey the drain and possibly incorporate it into his programme. After further discussion it was AGREED that Dr Lott would compose a letter advising the residents of Stream Road of the proposed solution and post it to the affected houses by Friday 21st November and also include the drain plan in the note. It was further agreed that Dr Lott and Mr Fraser would get quotes from contractors to lay a tarmac hump.  If no objections had been received by a deadline of Friday 28th, then work would proceed. RL, SF

b) Annual Community Emergency Planning Survey 2014/15 – Mr Reid would be attending the annual Emergency Planning Event in Abingdon on 19th November, after which he would report on the proposed plan for Upton and complete the survey. DR

c) P14/V2469/O Methodist Chapel – the Council voted to object to the application due to the proposed new access on Fieldside which would be too close to the corner with Station Road, giving inadequate visibility. The proposed planting of a hedge would also render the corner blind, decreasing the safety of the corner for all users. The situation was accentuated by existing on-street parking.

The Council expressed disappointment that the Methodist Church, so long a part of the Upton community had failed to consult with anyone in Upton regarding the future of the land. It was agreed that the Council should contact the trustees in order to try and influence the nature of the inevitable development and to raise the suggestion that a donation from the proceeds of the sale may be appropriate, both to reflect the money raised by parishioners to build and maintain the chapel over 60 years, and the fact that the land was originally a gift from a parishioner (Frank Napper). Clerk

d) Vale Public Consultation on Local Plan 2031 Part 1 (deadline 19th Dec) – Dr Lott asked Cllr Shelley why the Local Plan was not just looking to address the existing local housing need, but actively looking to increase employment in the region which in turn required further housing. Dr Lott made the point that there are other areas of the country that need further employment more than the Vale and that central government should be ensuring this happens. Mr Fraser drew attention to the fact that previous predictions in jobs growth were massively overestimated and that the disputed current predictions were no basis on which to build on green field sites. Cllr Shelley was in agreement but noted that sporadic developments were going through on appeal.  Cllr Shelley thought it unlikely Upton would have houses foisted on it, but advised that once the Plan finishes the consultation stage it will go to central government, who will send it back if they don’t think the housing planned is adequate. Cllr Shelley reiterated that we needed to have the Local Plan in place to be able to fight speculative developments, which even the greenbelt and AONB would not protect against.  Dr Lott agreed to draft a response and circulate to all before putting the response on the website. RL/All

e) Assets of Community – Mr Traynor reported that he intended to complete the forms required to register the George and Dragon public house as a community asset, which had been recently sold by Greene King to Hawthorn Leisure, to prevent its use being changed.  This would give the village 6 weeks to come up with a plan to safeguard the building as a pub.  All agreed with this action. RT

8. For noting:

Planning:

  • P14/V1123/LB Stocks, Stream Road – Proposed Garden Room – application withdrawn and resubmitted.  Further meeting 28th Oct. No strong views. Vale advised.
  • P14/V1821/FUL Water Pumping Station West Hagbourne – conversion to dwelling. No objections, Vale advised.
  • MW.0105/14 – Raymond Brown Minerals & Recycling Ltd., Chilton – retrospective permission granted for installation of security camera mast adjacent to MRF site.

9. Correspondence

  • VoWH Planning; letter on Open Space and leisure facilities.
  • Home Start, request for donation; (advised decision in May 2015)
  • Oxfordshire Association for the Blind, request for donation; (ditto)
  • Didcot CAB, request for donation, ditto
  • Chiltern Sports Contractors, external sports facilities offered
  • ORCC Annual Review 2013-14
  • Neighbourhood Planning Conference, March 2015
  • VoWH : Community Infrastructure Levy consultation (CIL)

10.     Receipts since last meeting

  • £150 for defunct John Deere mower
  • Bank interest September 34p, October 36p

Angela Hoy, Clerk
Tel:  01235 851726
25 November 2014

Appendix A – Schedule of payments

Description Amount
Mrs A Hoy (salary, September & October @ £187.00 per month) BACS payment; £374.00
The Churn Benefice – printing of Upton News (May-Sept) £120.00
TOTAL £494.00