Minutes of Meeting 27th January 2015


Minutes of Meeting of Upton Parish Council

Upton Village Hall Meeting Room, Tuesday 27th January 2015 at 8.00 pm

PRESENT:   Dr R Lott (Chairman), Mr S Fraser, Mr R Traynor, Mrs L Shaw, Mr D Reid, Mr S Norman, Mr P Mulvihill, Cllr J Shelley, Mrs A Hoy and two members of the public

1. Apologies for Absence – Cllr S Lilly, PCSO M 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 received.

3. Adoption of minutes of meeting(s) on: 18th November and 30th December 2014, having been previously circulated, were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4. Reports

County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Lilly was unable to attend but had emailed an invitation to the next A417 Highway Strategy Meeting on 27th February 2015.
District Councillor’s Report – Cllr Shelley reported on the recent fire at the council offices at Crowmarsh Gifford, which had been largely destroyed.  Only urgent matters were being dealt with from temporary local offices, with many staff working from home.  Planning Department had been severely disrupted, and it was not yet known which applications had been lost, with subsequent delays in responding. A temporary website had been set up.  Election paperwork had also been disrupted. Cllr Shelley advised she had taken on the Chair of the NAG committee for the next six months. It was noted that Mr J Lightfoot had stepped down as Upton representative and that a new volunteer was needed to replace him.  Cllr Shelley advised the committee was now more focussed and dynamic and were promoting police activities.  They were updating the mission statement and meeting quarterly. Cllr Shelley agreed to liaise with Mr Reid on local emergency plans, after which she left the meeting.
PCSO’s report – none received to date due to illness

5. Public Forum – The meeting was then suspended to allow the public to express views on the non-closure of Chilton Road.  Mr Mulvihill from the Environment & Economy Department of OCC in charge of Major Projects Commercial Delivery advised there were not enough contributing factors to justify closing Chilton Road at its junction with Hagbourne Hill, with only three slight accidents recorded.  The parishioners stated that in addition to these there had been many ‘near misses’ not recorded and were concerned that it would take a death or serious accident to bring about a change to the anticipated increasing volume of traffic proceeding down Chilton Road.  It was noted that 62 objections to the proposed Highways plan for the area had been lodged, a considerable proportion of the village.

Various possible solutions were discussed, after which it was agreed that if Chilton Road were to remain open, it would be necessary to implement other mitigations to reduce the speed of vehicles descending Chilton Road, improve the safety of the Hagbourne Hill / Chilton Road junction and safeguard cyclists on Route 544 of the National Cycle Network.  The interest of Sustrans in this matter was also noted, as well as the MP Ed Vaizey.  The preferred solution would be the erection of a No Right Turn sign at the Hagbourne Hill/Chilton Road junction, thus eliminating the bulk of the traffic cutting across the main road, increasing safety for pedestrians and cyclists and avoiding vehicles waiting to turn causing hold-ups.  An alternative suggestion would be to install a chicane along Chilton Road, a more expensive alternative that would require purchase of adjoining land if it was not wide enough. The parishioners also requested consideration be given to an alteration to the width of the road at the turning into Chilton Road from the A417 as at present motorists speed round the corner.  Mr Norman also stressed the importance of providing a pedestrian crossing to assist pedestrians crossing from Station Road to Chilton Road,; this would also assist vehicles exiting Station Road, currently very difficult because of the flow of traffic along the A417 which would only get worse.

Mr Mulvihill agreed to discuss these suggestions with Highways and hoped to get a response in a week.

Mr Mulvihill and the public left the meeting, which was then reconvened.

6. Matters arising:

Parish Council Meeting on 18th November:

a) Parish plan questionnaire – Mr Traynor reported that the draft questionnaire (previously circulated) was almost ready to go onto Survey Monkey, who would analyse results; a separate youth section was being completed.  Mr Traynor requested all councillors to read through the questionnaire again and advise him of any changes, omissions etc.  ALL

b) Amendment to Standing Orders “Openness of Local Government”, having been previously circulated, was approved.  Clerk to post revised version of Standing Orders onto website. Clerk

c) Storage of marquees – Dr Lott reported he had received a quotation from Dancover for storage bags totalling £173.20.  All AGREED that these should be purchased immediately. POST MEETING NOTE: Dr Lott advised that Uptonogood would pay for the marquee covers. RL

d) Stream Road flooding: Dr Lott reported he had written to OCC and received a positive response to his request for them to fund the necessary improvement works (£1600 + VAT); they will issue a Purchase Order and UPC will then invoice them for the amount.  It was agreed Mr Reid would put an item in the Upton News advising residents of the forthcoming works. DR

e) Annual Community Emergency Planning Survey 2014/15 – Mr Reid would complete the return of form A to the council, advising the names of Upton’s official representatives comprised of Chairman and Clerk plus emergency coordination group (Mr Reid, Mr Traynor and Mr Ross).  Mr Reid reported on the planning workshop he had attended in Witney; many different communities were represented, with many different approaches being suggested.  He had been contacted by Mr Ian Ross, a local crisis management expert, who had offered very helpful advice. The Emergency Plan itself would identify the main reception centre (Village Hall), plus a secondary site (George & Dragon).  Mr Reid agreed to advise the Landlord. Appendices to the plan would cover flood, snow, adverse weather (wind), and a major event.   A Communications Plan will also be developed – to contact residents by phone, email or door knocking etc.  Finally it would be necessary to solicit people round the village who have useful assets or skills via Upton news, e.g., snow clearing equipment.  Mr Reid proposed submitting form A plus the plan, in 3-4 weeks, all AGREED. At a future date it would also be necessary to test the resilience of the Plan. DR

f) Assets of Community Nomination Form – George and Dragon (circulated) – Mr Traynor updated the meeting on his proposal; he had added in missing items and was ready to submit the form.  He also agreed to discuss it with the George & Dragon Landlord. RT

Extraordinary Meeting on December 2014 (taken under planning)

7. Business to be transacted:

a) Financial Report to 31st December and 2015 Budget – Mr Norman reported the main expense in 2015 would be UVH kitchen upgrade for which there would be a shortfall in the region of £9202 after invoices had been paid and before grant monies and VAT reclaim were received. It was AGREED any shortfall could be subsidised with UPC funds. It was AGREED that all monies set aside in the UVHAT Kitchen fund could be used on any UVHAT infrastructure project. In the Budget it was suggested increasing the Precept to £8000, as UPC had no other income and fixed costs had all increased since last year. After discussion it was AGREED to increase the amenities maintenance figure to £1200.  In addition it was considered prudent to increase the contested election figure to £1700 in view of advice received from South and Vale. Playground reserve to be increased to £2000. Donations would be decided at the March meeting.

b) 2015 Precept – suggested increase of £500 to £8000 – proposed by Mr Reid and seconded by Mrs Shaw, unanimously approved.  Clerk to submit Precept Form to OCC. Clerk

c) Review Election Procedures for May 2015 – Clerk advised relevant documentation would be received from Vale in due course.

d) Methodist Chapel – possible future use:  it was noted that the property was currently rated as D1 Community use. Although considered advantageous to try and retain the building as a second village hall, it was considered unlikely the Methodist Church would allow it to remain so.   After discussion, it was AGREED that Mr Fraser would discuss the matter with Cllr Shelley of Vale Planning Department and seek her advice.  If so recommended, an approach could be made to the Methodist Church requesting them to put in an application for several smaller units of sheltered housing, which would then be fully supported by UPC. SF

e) Damage to goal posts on recreation ground – Mr M Brown had rebuilt the goalposts.  Mrs Shaw noted tyre tracks on the ground, so unlikely damage was caused by children.

f) Proposed new wider gate to future burial ground – As the original gate was never big enough and new mower is even bigger, a much wider gate is needed.  Mr Brown had submitted a quote for £131 and sought UPC approval to commence the work so it could be completed before spring mowing commenced.  This was unanimously AGREED.  Dr Lott to advise Mr Brown to go ahead. RL

g) Footpath 21 – email from Mr M Brown (as footpath warden) had been circulated – it was noted this footpath from Stream Road up to the A417 was overgrown and had a leaning fence, but was still passable. It was agreed the footpath should not be closed, but the fence repaired and a working party should clear the path. Mrs Shaw agreed to speak with the fence owner personally. LS

h) Recreation ground: spraying with herbicide. After discussion it was agreed to accept quote of £280 from herbicide contractor, work to be carried out early spring.

i) Vale Public Consultation on Local Plan 2031 Part 1 – circulated.  UPC made comments directly to Cllr Shelley.

j) Date of Annual Parish Meeting (currently Monday 20th April) – This was AGREED.  Mrs Shaw tendered her apologies as she would not be able to attend.

8. For noting:


  • P14/V1123/LB Stocks, Stream Road – Permission for outbuilding for use as a study and gym granted, subject to prior approval of eaves, joinery materials and verge; no separate curtilage to be created. 17th December.
  • P14/V1821/FUL Water Pumping Station West Hagbourne – conversion to dwelling. No objections, Vale advised.  Permission granted 2nd October 2014
  • MW.0105/14 – Raymond Brown Minerals & Recycling Ltd., Chilton – retrospective permission granted for installation of security camera mast adjacent to MRF site.
  • P14/V2469/Outline Planning Application Methodist Chapel – Vale advised refusal of application on grounds of strong potential interest as community site, harm to existing trees, vehicular provisions inadequate, 18th December.
  • P12/V2469/CM Raymond Brown Minerals & Recycling Ltd., Chilton Waste Transfer Station – permission granted for revised restoration scheme at a lower level. 19th Dec.
  • P14/V2550/FUL  – The Gate House, Upton Road, replacement of existing dwelling with single family dwelling.  Vale advised of UPC objections on grounds of overbearing nature of proposed dwelling.  [Fire at Vale offices may delay decision]

9. Correspondence

  • Came & Co., confirmation of John Deere insurance
  • DVLA – Registering and licensing of new John Deere mower (resubmitted )
  • Message from the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council re budget cuts (circulated)
  • Cllr Stewart Lilly and Patrick Mulvihill – emails regarding Chilton Road (circulated)
  • Vale DC – Upton Parish Register of Electors

10. Receipts since last meeting

  • Bank interest November 38p, December 34p
  • HMRC VAT repayment  £1078.02 Nov

Angela Hoy, Clerk
Tel:  01235 851726
5th February 2015

Appendix A – Schedule of payments

Description Amount
Mrs A Hoy (salary, November & December @ £149.60 per month) BACS payment; £299.20
HMRC PAYE Mrs A Hoy £112.20
Cemetery Loan (DD) £412.91
Storage Bags for Marquees (electronic transfer) £173.20
TOTAL £997.51