Minutes of Meeting 20th March 2017

Meeting of Upton Parish Council in Upton Village Hall Meeting Room, Monday 20th March 2017 at 6.00 pm

Present:-  Mr S Fraser (Chair/SF), Miss E Cooper (Clerk/EC), Mr S Norman (SN), Ms K Marshall

(KM), Mr R Trainor (RT), Mr D Reid (DR), Mr M Brown (Upton News), Cllr Shelley, Cllr Lilly

  1. Apologies for Absence

      None, although apologies for late attendance were given by SN and Cllr Lilly in advance.

  1. 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.

Duncan Reid declared an interest with 7.3 of the agenda.

New Register of Members Interest Forms were signed by SF/SN/RT

  1. 1 Adoption of minutes of meeting: 16th January, 30th January and 20th February 2017

      The above minutes, having been previously circulated, were agreed to be a true record and were

signed by the Chair.

             3.2 Matters arising from minutes / action points from last meeting

There were no matters arising and all action points were cleared.

  1. Parish Council vacancies

PC vacancies update – two names of potential candidates for new councillors were raised. RT &

SF to speak to individuals. ACTION RT / SF

  1. Reports
    • District Councillor’s Report

Cllr Shelley presented the report for the District Council, which was produced but not issued to the PC prior to the meeting (copy attached).

  • County Councillor’s Report

Cllr Lilly (joined the meeting at 6.30pm) and presented the report for the County Council, a brief synopsis is as follows:-

The NHS is struggling in Oxfordshire. For example 2% of the population come under ‘care of the elderly’, but this takes 50% of the budget. 700 more care workers are required over the next 2 years. 3% of the council tax is ring fenced for care of the elderly.

651 children are in care in Oxfordshire.

The southern slips for the A34 north of Abingdon have been given the go ahead. It is also widely agreed that the A34 is beyond capacity and is subject to other discussions.

In education 90% of secondary school places for September have been 1st choices. However school absenteeism is a problem.

The possibility of a reservoir at Steventon is being looked into again. Also the Steventon railway bridge (built in 1837) is subject to a de-listing application in order that it can be taken down and be replaced as part of the electrification of the train line.

Better Oxfordshire – The proposal called: ‘A new council for a Better Oxfordshire’ is available at www.betteroxfordshire.org, along with a joint statement from Council Leaders. The Secretary of State is unlikely to comment on the proposal during the ‘purdah’ period leading up to the county council elections on Thursday 4 May. Thereafter he may indicate his view of the proposal, and could invite views from local and national stakeholders before making a final decision. If successful, representatives from all six councils in Oxfordshire would be asked to work together to manage the transition to a new council. Work has already started on developing an approach that would enable the councils to work together effectively.

  • PCSO’s report – emailed in advance and is detailed below:-

‘A shed break-in or ‘burglary (non-dwelling)’ was reported on Tuesday 7th and may be     connected to the increase, at this time of year, of hare coursing activity. Entry was achieved by using a scaffold pole found in the garden near the shed and power tools were stolen. I would strongly advise residents look at their security about the house and garden removing the means to force entry where possible. Otherwise Upton remains a peaceful village without the associated antisocial behaviour associated with larger communities.’

  1. Public Forum

Mr M Brown attended to talk about Upton News. He also added his knowledge regarding the Defibrillator machine – see 7.2 below.

  1. Matters arising (general):
  •   Recreation site report from G de Wilde (email dated 28.11.16)

The report was discussed and it was agreed that the potential need for a larger car park

and the moving of the small playground should be discussed at a future meeting. It was

agreed that the suggested reseeding of areas of the rec be approved.

  •    Public Defibrillator machine outside village hall – RT

The history and current situation regarding defibrillators in Upton was discussed. The

parish has one full pack and one responder. The cost of a new pack is in the region of

£1700 – 1900. RT will look in to the potential of financing and buying a one that can be

kept on or near the Village Hall subject to UVHAT’S agreement. ACTION RT

  •   Use/hire of  marquee on 8 July 2017 (up on 7th, down on 9th)

DR excused himself from this discussion as the hirer is his wife. It was agreed that the

marquee would be loaned out for a £50 donation. The money will be passed to the Clerk

for banking.

  •   Upton road and byway closures (email 9.3.17 refers)

This was briefly discussed.

  •   Local Plan Pt 2 (email 9.3.17 refers)

This was briefly discussed.

  •   Draft Walking & Cycling Design Guidance

This has been distributed to various cycling and walking groups for them to comment on


  •   Summer Town & Parish Forum 2017 (email 8.3.17 refers)

EC read out the email regarding the above which is scheduled for Wednesday 12 July

from 6-9pm in Wantage. RT said he could possibly attend this. ACTION RT

  •   GO Active Gold – Year 2 Upton (2018?)

      ACTION EC to find out a bit more about this.

  • Policy for Producing the Upton News

Mr M Brown discussed how the Upton News was presently created, which is largely by

his 12 year old granddaughter Lucy with some small help from himself.  Mr Brown suggested some publication policies for Upton News, which he hoped the PC would introduce. The Councillors unanimously agreed that the PC should have no control or editorial input over Upton News and that Upton News should remain totally independent. It was agreed that the PC would continue to contribute to the printing costs of Upton news. EC raised the point that last year 6 issues were printed, but this year it was 10, next year it would be 12 more than doubling the original budget. EC will make provision in the budget. IT was suggested that Upton News could be self-financing through advertising (as per Blewbury News). All agreed with the idea of advertising and including more coverage of local people and events. It was agreed that agendas, draft minutes, final minutes and monthly general updates would continue to be sent by the Clerk to Mr Brown, either as part of the monthly update, or as and when they are available. ACTION EC

SF asked MB to pass on the PCs thanks to his granddaughter Lucy for her wonderful efforts.

Note:- The dissemination of urgent news to Upton residents will be discussed at a future  meeting. ACTION EC

  • Emergency Contact for UPC (from Oxfordshire Guide to Producing Community Emergency

Plans).  RT to send updated version to EC. ACTION RT

7.11     UPC Document Storage File

The key to the storage file was located and EC will establish what this contains and bring

the accompanying documents up to date. ACTION EC

  1. Business to be transacted:

8.1       UPC Cashbook

UPC financial report to 20 March 2017 (Clerk)

EC presented the reconciled UPC cashbook up to 20.3.17. Once the few final entries are made,

this will be concluded for end of year and the 2017/8 cashbook put in to use. ACTION EC

8.2       Draft Budget for 2017/8

The draft budget was largely agreed upon, with a few final amendments to be made. EC will reissue for final agreement. ACTION EC   

8.3       UPC Pension Arrangements

SN produced a letter from The Pensions Regulator stating the Staging date for UPC was 1st

January 2017 and  the deadline for declaration is 31st May 2017. EC confirmed that although the

PC was not obliged to contribute in to a pension due to the salary level, the Clerk still had the

option of contributing. However the PC had to make a declaration by the stated date or there

would be legal consequences. EC to consider her options and either set up a pension of opt out

on behalf of the PC. ACTION EC

8.4       Transparency Code for Smaller Parishes

Information accessed through Upton Village web site requiring updating:-

  • Model Publication Scheme – EC to update. ACTION EC
  • Standing Orders – minor amendments agreed, EC to issue updated version. ACTION EC
  • Financial Regulations – minor amendments agreed, EC to issue updated version. ACTION EC
  • Budget Estimates – replaced by cashbook. EC to ensure new & old cashbooks updated on web site. ACTION EC
  • Financial Reserves – replaced by cashbook. As Budget Estimates above.
  • Aims & Objectives – leave 16-17 minor amendments and updates for 2017/18. ACTION EC to send to SF
  • Planning Application Procedures – updated and approved. EC to send for updating on web site. ACTION EC
  • Risk Assessment – KM to update. ACTION KM
  • Contracts – all agreed the PC did not have any contracts so Nil return to be entered. ACTION EC
  • Asset Register –New goal posts to be added. ACTION EC
  • Gifts & Donations. EC to check previous cashbooks & update, then to SN to check. ACTION EC / SN
  • Risk Register – with KM to create new version. ACTION KM

8.5       UPC Councillors & Clerks training 17/18

            Allocation has been made in the budget for one course per councillor in 2017/18. EC to

provide a list of available training. ACTION EC

            Clerk’s note – OALC training to end of year provided 28.3.17.

8.6       Internal / External Audit

            EC explained that 2016/17 would be the last year for an external audit for UPC by BDO.

Future external audits are not required for a council of this size. However, an internal

audit would need to be considered for next year. SF asked that internal audit be put on a

summer agenda for discussion. ACTION EC

8.7        UPC Annual General Meeting and / or Annual Parish Meeting

It was agreed that both meetings stand, with the APM in April and the AGM in March. EC

to find out information regarding last year’s APM and send out invites. ACTION EC

  1. Planning:

            9.1       P17/V0252/HH Amendment PL001

            Garage plan – deadline extended to 21.3.17. PC voted ‘no strong views’. ACTION EC

            Clerk’s note:- PC response actioned online & by post 21.3.17.

9.2       P17/V0107/FUL

Email from Sally Appleyard 10.3.17 refers. No PC action required.

9.3      Update on meeting with Mr Thornhill re land at the back of George & Dragon. SF & RT met with Mr Thornhill on site. They agreed that the meeting was very constructive, however, all elements of this area needed further discussion, including consulting with neighbours to gain agreement or otherwise, before further planning applications were made.   Action  SF to organise meeting with residents, PC , Mr Thornhill and representative from DC planning dept.       

  1. For noting:

10.1     Correspondence

            A discussion regarding installing CCTV at the village hall would be referred to the next

meeting as correspondence was received too late for the agenda. ACTION EC to include

on the next agenda.

10.2     Receipts since last meeting

Bank interest – Feb 2017 29p

Mar 2017 32p

10.3    UPC Meeting Dates 2017/8

                  ACTION EC to send to all. Clerk’s note – sent out 28.3.17.

Liz Cooper, Clerk to UPC

29th March 2017

Tel:  01235 798038