Minutes of Meeting 19 January 2016


Minutes of the  Meeting of Upton Parish Council

Upton Village Hall, Meeting room, Tuesday 19th January 2016 at 8.00 pm

PRESENT: Dr R Lott (Chair), Mr S Norman, Mr R Traynor, Ms K Marshall, Mrs K Fletcher, Cllr S Lilley (OCC), Cllr J Shelley & Cllr R Waite (DCC),  Mrs A Hoy (Clerk) and two Members of the public.

1.         Apologies for Absence: Mr S Fraser

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.         Adoption of minutes of meeting: 17th November and 18th December 2015, having been previously circulated, were agreed to be a true record and were signed by the Chairman.

4.         Reports

  • County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Lilley reported that the amount being given to the County Council by the Government had again been slashed, with a further £20m of cuts on top of the £50m announced before Christmas.  Out of this the CC had to finance childcare, an increasing elderly population and unaccompanied child refugees which had increased sharply.  He commented on the recent Highways meeting held on 3rd December, particularly as it pertained to Chilton Road and Hagbourne Hill. He also mentioned the devolution of Oxfordshire and the exhibition in Oxford of a flood alleviation scheme.
  • District Councillor’s Report – Cllr Waite had sent a report, which he briefly discussed. He reported that the decision on the planning application for Owlscote had been postponed until 31st January.  He also talked about the Greater Didcot Garden Town idea, about which he promised to keep the PC up to date; this scheme would bring alleged benefits to the villages surrounding Didcot and the DC was keen that PCs should be involved in the planning, for which there would be meetings in February/March.  He mentioned the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, for which there might be some funds available.  South and Vale Councils were also holding breakfast meetings at Science Vale, anyone wishing to attend was encouraged to register online.  New grants were also available for local schemes, details on the Vale’s website.  Finally he congratulated all present on their high level of waste recycling but reiterated that it has to be kept uncontaminated to avoid purchasers of the waste refusing it.  Dr Lott asked when the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was to be introduced and what the maximum payment to a PC would be per dwelling.
  • PCSO’s report (no PCSO in post at present)

5.         Public Forum:  A417 Pedestrian Crossing The daughter of the resident living on the corner of Chilton Road again told the PC about her problems crossing the road in the mornings/evenings, sometimes taking up to 15 minutes to cross safely.  Her father stated that in his view the road alterations had not reduced the speed of traffic entering Chilton Road.. He hoped this would be evaluated when the scheme was finished, and that the current poor state of the verge would be attended to.  Cllr Lilley assured them it would be, but reiterated that there was no money to pay for a crossing, which would cost in the vicinity of £35-45,000. However, before he left the meeting he promised to discuss the possible siting of such a crossing with Highways, as he explained the location was difficult owing to the proximity of both Station Road, Chilton Road and the A417 to the 30mph speed limit just a few feet up the road.  If it proved possible to install a crossing in this area, he promised to do what he could to find some money, echoed by Cllrs Waite and Shelley from the DC.  Other ways of funding it could be through S.106 money from developers of housing in the area, or a local benefactor.  Dr Lott asked whether a central refuge could be installed, but it was agreed that the road was not wide enough to allow a wheelchair, pushchair or bicycle to be safely stood in the centre of such a refuge.  Public Forum was then closed and the meeting resumed.

6.         Matters arising:

Parish Council Meeting on 15th September:

a)                  Emergency Planning update – Mr Traynor presented a draft Emergency Plan based on the Oxfordshire guide.  He advised that a group of “first responders” with relevant skills needed to be identified together with a list of available resources (generators, four wheel drive vehicles, etc.,) A notice will be put in the next Upton News requesting this information.  RT

b)                  Parish plan update – Mr Traynor reported on printing options.  The Clerk advised that the Benefice Centre was not able to print on card and recommended an alternative printer who had previously printed for the Blewbury Bulletin. Clerk to pass on contact details to Mr Traynor.          Plan to be launched at Annual Parish Meeting in April.         Clerk/RT

c)                  Prospect Road – marginal improvements noted but still many unfilled potholes.  Clerk requested to notify FixMyStreet website again but also to ask if the PC could do its own repairs if provided with materials.    Clerk

d)                  Adopt Recreation Ground Rules:  These had been circulated and posted on the website.  Dr Lott proposed the Rules should be adopted; seconded and unanimously agreed.  Clerk to arrange for the Rules to be posted on the Upton Website.   Clerk

e)                  Post Office Outreach  – Clerk reported a disappointing response so far; she suggested a further mention in the next Upton News and that the matter should be on the agenda for the Annual Parish Meeting in April; if no appreciable response, the matter would be dropped.   Clerk

f)                   Data Storage: Dr Lott recommended using Office 365 with which several members already have experience; this would give the PC access to other Cloud services at a minimal cost.  Meeting to be arranged between Clerk and Chairman to activate account and set up direct debit payment.   Clerk/RL

7.         Business to be transacted:

a)                  Review of Smaller Authorities audit arrangements. Vote to opt in or stay out of the Smaller Authorities Audit arrangements.  After discussion, Mr Norman and the Clerk expressed their wish to remain with the current External Auditor even though as a PC with a turnover of less than £25,000 this might not be necessary.

b)                  OALC Courses in 2016: circulated (email). Mr Norman endorsed the Clerk’s request to attend two half-day training courses on audit procedures and internal audit requirements.  This was agreed.

c)                  Financial Report end of 3rd quarter to 19th January: Mr Norman presented these figures, which were accepted as a representation of the PC’s current financial situation, which was considered satisfactory.

d)                  Precept. Decide on appropriate amount to request. After discussion it was considered prudent in the light of further cuts to OCC and DCC budgets, to increase the precept. This was in view of the likely need to self-fund items that might otherwise have been funded centrally. By a majority vote it was AGREED to request a raise in the precept of £500, to £8,500, signed by the Chairman.   Clerk to advise South and Vale accordingly.       Clerk

e)                  Confirmed date of Annual Parish Meeting to be Monday 18th April.

f)                   Dates of UPC meetings 2016/17 (circulated). Dr Lott had requested a change of meeting dates from Tuesday to Monday from the beginning of the next financial year.  There were no objections, so it was agreed to make this change.  Clerk to advise all concerned.

g)                  Acceptance of £3360.35 donation from Uptonogood? Dr Lott, representing Uptonogood, was thanked for the generous donation of these funds for use on “recreation ground facilities” (both new and maintenance of existing).

h)                  Acceptance of £3440.35 donation from Uptonogood? for use on the village hall under the  direction of UVHAT.  Dr Lott representing Uptonogood was thanked for the generous donation of these funds, which would go towards purchase of new tables and trolleys.

i)                    OPFA Annual Membership Renewal £40 – agree or decline; after discussion it was agreed not to renew this membership.

8.         Planning:

  • Methodist Chapel – Ms Marshall reported that a short informal meeting with Westwaddy architects had taken place on site so that they could report to the Methodist Church on the best potential use of the site.

For noting:


  • Letter from Lord Lieutenant of Oxford requesting PCs celebrate Queen’s 90th birthday; it was suggested that a picnic on the recreation ground might be an appropriate way to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, and the Clerk was requested to publish this in Upton News for comment by the village.                                                                                 Clerk
  • Letter from Lloyds Bank announcing changes to financial services compensation scheme limit, reducing from £85 to £75,000. Noted.
  • Letter from Vale enclosing Precept Form and requesting response by January 16 (extended to 22 January). Noted.
  • Copy of complaint to VoWH from Alex Smith re response from Vale on a planning matter.
  • SLCC Renewal of Clerk’s subscription. Noted.
  • OPFA request for renewal of membership. Declined

Receipts since last meeting

  • Bank interest, Nov 16p, Dec 15p
  • Uptonogood donations, 8th Jan, totalling £6800.70

Angela Hoy, Clerk
Tel:  01235 851726
21st January 2016


Appendix A – Schedule of payments

Description Amount
Gopak: Tables & Trollies for UVHAT 2679.47
Kalehurst: Self-propelled mower service and parts 114.50
Kalehurst: Ride on mower service and parts 307.18
Clerk’s SLCC membership subscription 2016 77.00
Clerk’s salary Nov/Dec @ £149.60 (S/O) 299.20
OALC Training Courses (Audit; Clerk) 84.00
Cemetery Loan (DD) 412.91
TOTAL 3974.26