Minutes of Meeting 17th September 2018

Minutes of the meeting of Upton Parish Council held at 7pm on Monday 17th September 2018 in the village hall meeting room.

In attendance :- Stuart Norman (SN/Vice chair), Liz Cooper (EC/Clerk), Karen Marshall (KM), Brendan Heneghan (BH), Janet Shelley (District Councillor/JS)

  1. Apologies for absence.

Stuart Fraser, PCSO Gary Kirby, Reg Waite, Mike Fox-Davies

  1. Declarations of interest.

None declared.

  1. Reports from District & County Councillors

JS – talked through the key points of her report (see below).

EC highlighted items of note from M Fox-Davies report (see below).

  1. Report from the PCSO

Circulated 10.9.18 (details below).

  1. The minutes of the following meetings were approved

– UPCX 20.08.18 (note there are no minutes for this meeting as it was not quorate).

– UPC   30.07.18

  1. Matters Arising and Actions from previous minutes

JF asked if meeting days/times could be changed to make it easier for councillors who do not work locally to attend. EC stated that dates and times could be flexible and with the agreement of the council, agreed to look at future meeting dates.

UPC agreed for JF to laminate a minimum of 5 of each of the two designs for the A4 ‘rubbish’ posters to be displayed around the rec.

JF is still investigating whether a dog poo bin or standard bin (that also takes dog poo) that will be emptied on a regular basis would be best.

SN to obtain fire safety guidelines as they pertain to an area such as the Upton rec – carried forward to the next meeting.

EC to check details for the free sapling as discussed at the last meeting.

UPC agreed that the cushionfall for the children’s play area should be delivered on the afternoon of 28th September, with villagers invited to help with the distribution. EC to liaise with contractor and MB for villager notification.

Clerk’s note:- Delivery arranged for the afternoon of 28.9.18 (c1pm) and MB volunteer notice sent 21.9.18.

  1. Representations from the public

Ian Sykes attended the meeting.

  1. Planning Applications

8.1 The Barn, High Street, Upton


Discharge of conditions (many) of planning permission P15/V2407/LB

No PC response required.


Variation of condition 2 on P15/V2406/FUL

UPC voted No Objections to this application.


Proposed detached garage with ancillary accommodation above & hardstanding. Proposed new 1.66mh facing brickwork boundary wall to front of site.

UPC voted to Object to this application for the following reasons:-

  1. The height of the garage – over dominating.
  2. The brick wall – use of hedges is more in keeping with the village.


Proposed internal alternations, varying from P15/V2407/LB

UPC voted No Objections to this application.


UPC voted to object to this application on the basis it was objecting to P18/V1921/HH above.


8.2 P18/V2119/FUL

Braeside (now The Burrow), Orchard Close, Upton. Replacement dwelling & garaging; works there to.

UPC voted No Objections to this application.

8.3 P18/V1839/HH

Norton House, Chilton Road, Upton. Single storey & two storey rear extension. Dining room extension with extension to bedroom over, to front of house.

UPC voted No Objections to this application, but noted the existing covenant raised by the neighbour.

  1. Clerk’s Financial Report & Approve Expenditure

9.1 Updated cashbook report to 14.09.18 – presented by EC. Noted that 2nd half of

precept had been received.

9.2 Expenses & Invoices (to be paid)

–      To agree payment of Clerk’s working from home allowance

UPC agreed unanimously to the payment of £18pm.

  • Clerk expenses for the period 31.07.18 to 17.09.18 Total £93.60 (inc payment from home allowance backdated to April 2018).
  • Grounds upkeep expenses £72.95 (12.5.18 – 16.9.18) payment agreed.
  • 8.18 , Microsoft Office 365 (by SO) , £3.80

9.3 Expenses & Invoices (paid, to be ratified)

–    RoSPA playground inspection £201.60 inc VAT (paid online 8.8.18)

This payment was ratified by the council.

  1. To agree the updated Standing Orders for UPC (circulated 10.8.18)

       UPC asked for the SOs to be re-sent for further consideration.

Clerk’s note:- SOs emailed 21.9.18.

  1. To agree UPC Councillor new email addresses

Councillors were requested to set up outlook email addresses in the format given

By the end of September. SCF will assist with this if required.

  1. To agree which defib cabinet to be purchased

UPC agreed on the purchase of ‘3000’ cabinet at a cost of £695 + VAT. EC to obtain details from SCF and action purchase. 

  1. To hear an update on the Recreation Ground Activity:-

13.1 Inspection Rota – KM agreed to speak to Duncan Reid regarding this.

13.2 RoSPA report findings (circulated 6.8.18) – UPC agreed to all view the element

highlighted in the report on the afternoon of 28.9.18 at 7pm if not earlier.

  1. Siting of SSE pole in corner of rec

UPC unanimously ratified this decision.

  1. AOB

Note:- No decisions can be made under AOB. This is for information only or items for the next meeting.

The Clerk informed UPC of a planning application for Flett Cottage which had been received, but did not need PC input because the proposal was within permitted boundaries.

Meeting finished at 8.45pm.  

   Date of next meeting:-

   Regular Council Meeting, Thursday 29th November 2018 at 7.00pm pm in the village 

   hall meeting room.


Upton Parish Council

District Notes for Parish Councillors on Monday, 17th September 2018

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite  

Planning Enforcement Investigations:

VE18/99    The Gate House, Reading Road, Upton OX11 9HP

Reported:  20 February 2018

Alleged breach:  House not built in accordance with the approved plan for P16/1903/FUL unauthorised addition of balcony and access.

Case Officer:  Clare Merritt

Site visited:  26 February 2018 and 28 March 2018 and 17th May 2018

6 week target date:  3 April 2018

Enforcement notice served.

Local Plan Part 2:

The Inspector’s examination and questions on several matters, including the proposed development of 1,000 dwellings in Harwell Campus, was undertaken in The Beacon, Wantage last week.

Cllr Reg Waite attended the lengthy Inspector’s examination on matter 7 – Harwell Campus as an observer.  This lasted for 6 hours – from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Kitchen Waste:

The Vale can now collect and recycle your used cooking oil as part of our food waste service.

Oil is collected every week.  After cooking, any left-over oil can be allowed to cool before being poured into a plastic bottle no bigger than a 1 litre size.  The bottle and contents can then be placed into your kerbside food waste caddy along with other food waste and put out for the weekly collection.

The oil is highly calorific and so makes a lot of energy.  In fact, one litre of used cooking oil can generate enough electricity to make 240 cups of tea! 

More residents satisfied with council’s work – but work still to be done:

More residents are satisfied with the Vale Council’s work and almost three-quarters believe the services it provides are ‘good’, according to a survey.

Researchers spoke to 1,100 residents across the Vale for the Council’s Residents’ Survey, which is carried out from time to time to help the council identify priorities and shape the way it works, as well as providing information about residents’ attitudes and satisfaction rates.

Seventy -nine per cent said they were satisfied with how the council runs things.  This is up by seven per cent since 2015 when the council carried out its last Residents’ Survey.

More residents also felt the council did a ‘good’ job for people like them – up by five per cent to 69 % – and trust in the council remaining high with 83 per cent saying they trusted the council ‘a great deal’ or ‘fair amount’.

However, there was a drop in satisfaction in some areas.  This includes providing value for money – down by eight per cent to 61%, which is in line with national trend.  Despite the decrease, satisfaction remains higher than the national average, which has ranged from 47 to 56 per cent over the last five years, according to the Local Government Association.

Satisfaction with council services remains largely consistent and over seven out of ten residents thought the quality of services provided by the council were good overall. There has been a significant increase in satisfaction for some areas including

–      Housing – up by 15% to 72%

–      Environmental protection, covering issues such as fly-tipping – up by 18% to 82%

–      Public toilets – up by 11% to 50%

–      Community safety – up by 6% to 79%

Waste and recycling continued to receive the highest satisfaction rate of all services, with 83 per cent.  However, satisfaction with this service has dropped since 2015 by 4 per cent.

Whilst we are pleased many of our residents are satisfied with the way the Vale operates, we are under no illusion that there is room for improvement and we want residents to feel confident that we are providing not only good value for money, but best value.

Janet and Reg would welcome your thoughts and suggestions where you feel improvements can be made.

Pub in West Hanney shut down after two dead mice found:

Owners of the freehold fined £1,495 to cover the Council’s costs following a routine but unannounced inspection by Environmental Health Officers on 15th August 2018 when they discovered a mouse infestation.

New managers in post:

Donna Pentelow is now the Head of Community Services.  She will be overseeing the council’s art and community centres, active communities and community enablement teams.

Michelle Wells is the Insight and Policy Manager.  Michelle will be looking at existing and future policy partnership working with other councils and government, and future project funding.  She will also be overseeing Didcot Garden Town until a new manager is in post.

Houses in multiple occupation:

New legislation comes in on 1 October, which affects landlords of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

As licensing authorities, both South and Vale grant licences to larger HMOs that are three or more storeys and occupied by five or more people forming at least two separate households.

From 1 October, the legislation changes so that smaller properties used as HMOs will also require a licence.  Other changes to be introduced include national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation and the requirement to landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.

More information can be found on the Vale’s website.

If you have any information on HMOs in Upton Parish that may require a licence, please refer matters to Reg and Janet; or e-mail our Environmental Health Team with copies to us, or by phoning 01235 422403.

Householders Yellow Enquiry Form -Annual Canvass update:

The elections team inform us that the annual canvass campaign is going quite well with 64 per cent of households in the Vale having responded to date and 65% in South (more than 87,000 homes so far)

Please encourage residents to respond quickly and online if possible as it is much more efficient to the council.  Reminder letters are being sent out to roughly 34,000 homes.

By law, each household must confirm their details.  Anyone who fails to do so could be fined up to £1,000.

SmartWater scheme launched:

Officers from Thames Valley Police have been visiting households in Botley and Cumnor to launch a crime prevention and anti-burglary scheme in partnership with the Vale’s Community Safety Team.

The council gave funds to buy 500 new household S588oitymatWater kits – a unique forensic marking solution registered to an address and helps retrieved stolen items to be traced back to its original owners.  The kit protects property, deters thieves and helps the police to convict criminals.

The police will be rolling the scheme out to other area in the South and Vale at a future date.  You can find out more information on Thames Valley Police website.

A total of £3.1 million available for projects via the European Social Fund:

Businesses and charities are encouraged to bid for major funding, supporting better access to the jobs market.

OxLep are encouraging businesses and charities to ‘be ready’ after the Education and Skills Funding Agency published two European Social Fund (ESF) project specifications, with the aim of supporting people to gain access to the workplace.

OxLEP’s  Annual Revue Event:

OxLep will be holding its 2018 annual review event on Tuesday, 25 September at Satellite Applications Catapult, Harwell Campus.  Anyone interested should register their place by visiting their website – www.oxfordshirelep.com

At the event OxLep will be reflecting on what has been a ‘game-changing’ year for Oxfordshire, looking back on some of their achievements and the emerging economic themes over the last 12 months, including their Local Industrial Strategy, the Oxfordshire Growth Deal and the emerging ‘Oxford-Cambridge Corridor’.

They will also share the progress they continue to make strengthening the county’s economy through robust and effective relationships between businesses, academia and the public sector.

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway route announced:

Last week the government announced that ‘Corridor B’ is its preferred option for the proposed Oxford Cambridge Expressway.

The government stated that this route would see a road pass either to the north-west or south-east of Oxford then north to Bicester and beyond.

Further details can be seen on websites referring to – The Government’s announcement; A written statement to Parliament from the Department for Transport, Highways England, and Jesse Norman MP; and Highways England’s page on the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

In case you missed them, here are the initial responses from the Leaders of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

Statement from South:

Cllr Jane Murphy, Leader of SODC, said, “It’s important that progress is now being made on the Oxford to Cambridge Corridor.  Our residents have been waiting for an update on this issue, which will have a significant impact on life in Oxfordshire.  We are disappointed the announcement doesn’t bring the clarity or certainty our residents need about the route around Oxford.  We are now calling on the government to confirm their intentions as soon as possible, and we stand by our position that the route to the west of the city is the best outcome for our residents.”

Statement from the Vale:

Cllr Roger Cox, Leader of the Vale, said, “We’re supportive of the principles of the Oxford Cambridge Corridor and we’re pleased to see some progress from the government.  However, we don’t yet have detail on the government’s final thoughts for the expressway’s proposed route around Oxford, and we have particular concerns about the impact on communities and the environment if the government proposes the route to the west of Oxford.  It’s very important that we get the opportunity to discuss with the government the potential impact of the remaining options on our communities.”

Three-year housing land supply:

Following a consultation in July, councils in Oxfordshire now only need to provide a three-year supply of land for housing, instead of the five-year supply normally required by the government.

The government has agreed to this change while the councils work together with the other Oxfordshire Councils on a Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP), the document that will address how we collectively plan to deliver 100,000 homes across the county by 2031, which was agreed as part of the Oxfordshire Growth Deal.

This means it is now much less likely for developers to win planning permission on appeal after the Vale has rejected their applications.

You can read the full written statement from the Parliamentary Under Secretary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Councils recover over £1.2 million in Council Tax:

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils recovered over £1.2 million in council tax arrears last year thanks to tough enforcement action.

In 2017/2018 the councils issued more than 5,000 court summonses to people who had repeatedly failed or refused to pay their council tax.  Magistrates then granted liability orders against almost 4,000 of those individuals. This meant enforcement action, including the use of bailiffs, could be taken to retrieve the money.

Bailiffs recovered over £900,000, with most of those in arrears eventually paying the money they owed.  The councils were forced to take further action against 64 people.  More than £140,000 (plus costs) was recovered after 28 people received charging orders, which allows the councils to enforce the sale of their property to retrieve the money.

The councils also took committal to prison action against 36 people, with four receiving suspended prison sentences.  This enforcement action recovered almost £173,000.

The councils are also recovering and saving a further £272,000 after 80 people were caught claiming discounts on their council tax that they weren’t entitled to.  This resulted in 53 discount cheats being fined and ten prosecuted in court.

Town and parish forum:

The next Vale Town and Parish forum takes place on Monday, 24th September, 6.30pm to 8.15pm at The Beacon in Wantage. All Parish Councils are encouraged to attend.  Has Upton PC registered?  To sign up, or for more information, please e-mail -policy.partnerships@southandvale.gov.uk

JS & RWW 17 Sept 2018




Councillors at OCC and Cherwell District Council have approved a proposal for a partnership between the two local authorities, including the appointment of a joint chief executive. The partnership arrangement will offer long-term opportunities to join up services for residents, reduce the costs of providing services, and secure investment in Cherwell to enable the continued growth in homes and jobs. The partnership proposal came after the financial problems in Northamptonshire County Council, which has implications for Cherwell’s existing partnership with South Northamptonshire Council, created an opportunity to explore closer joint working. The joint arrangement was approved by county councillors on 10 July and Cherwell councillors on 16 July, and will come into effect on 1 October. Partnership arrangements under a single chief executive will make joint working more effective and deepen the partnership arrangements. Spatial and transport planners already work closely together on schemes related to housing and infrastructure, and that will be make day-to-day working simpler as they are working to a single chief executive. Following a formal internal recruitment process, Yvonne Rees, the current chief executive of Cherwell and South Northamptonshire councils has been appointed to the new post of joint chief executive of Oxfordshire and Cherwell councils, with a start date of 1 October. The post of county council chief executive, currently occupied by Peter Clark, will be made redundant.


Thousands of students are preparing to take their crucial next steps after receiving A-Level results at schools and colleges across Oxfordshire last month. Confirmed pass rates for the county as a whole will be confirmed when national figures are published later this year. In the previous two years the key benchmark of two or more A-Levels at the A*-E pass rate was achieved by around 95 per cent of students. For anyone unsure of their next steps after A-Level or GCSE exam results, further help can be found at the Oxme website and through the National Careers Service which has a helpline number – 0800 100 900. Throughout the results period and beyond, county council staff will be available via the web chat service on the Oxme website or over the phone (01865 328460) to talk to young people and parents about the wide range of learning and employment opportunities available in Oxfordshire for 16-19-year-olds, and to help with applications. Details of drop-in sessions can also be found on the council’s website.


OCC is carrying out a detailed review of the costs and liabilities related to its properties following the Carillion collapse so that a robust financial plan can be considered by councillors in the autumn and included in the council’s budget. Carillion provided services on behalf of OCC including maintenance of council buildings; property services, and building work such as school extensions. OCC made a net payment of £10.6m at the end of December 2017 to Carillion to cover work already completed as part of the final settlement to end the contract with the company, limiting any future financial liability. However, the costs of dealing with ongoing construction and property maintenance problems following the Carillion collapse have not yet been calculated but are expected to be “very significant”. Surveys to assess defects in buildings including schools are continuing across the county council’s properties. Compliance with health and safety requirements is also being considered, with any safety issues that emerge being dealt with quickly.


The latest published figures on people who are unnecessarily in hospital while they await confirmation of care arrangements have been published. The figures for June 2018 show that on average 90 Oxfordshire residents had their hospital discharge delayed. This is 9% fewer than in May and less than half the number of people delayed than the same time last year. Oxfordshire’s delays figure trajectory continues to be better than national improvement with a 0.3% improvement in the last month and a drop of a quarter in the last year.


Commuters returning to work after the holiday period are being encouraged to walk or cycle, for all or part of their journey, by OCC. The council is championing healthy alternatives to the car, which will also help to reduce congestion and pollution on the county’s roads. Exercise is widely recognised as one of the best ways to improve physical and mental health. Daily physical activity lowers the risk of depression and dementia by around 30 per cent according to the Department of Health. Exercise also reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and strokes. The council has appointed an active and healthy travel officer, using central government funding, to assess existing walking and cycling routes. Priority will be given to improvements and maintenance schemes designed to encourage active travel and reduce pollution. Over 85,000 new jobs and 100,000 new homes are planned in Oxfordshire by 2031. The council is committed to ensuring that as the population grows, infrastructure is in place to encourage healthy travel options. Streets and spaces will be developed to put first the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. OCC’s Cycling Champion, Councillor Suzanne Bartington, said: “Active travel is win, win, win – for health, the environment and local economy. I encourage Oxfordshire residents to try foot or bike even for only part of their journey and feel the positive benefits for themselves.” For further information about the benefits of active travel, visit the website: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/whycycle


Almost every primary school child in the county will now be able to get free cycle safety training after the award of an £84,500 Bikeability grant which will pay for an additional 2000 places. The bulk of cycling training in the county is carried out by a 700-strong army of volunteer instructors under the Oxfordshire Cycle Training Scheme, which has been running for more than 40 years. Training is offered to children from nine-years-old and up and is a mixture of learning about the Highways Code and practical ‘on the road’ tuition. Parents and carers who want their children to take part in training should contact their school’s head teacher.


Gary Kirby, PCSO C9455

Wantage and Grove Neighbourhood Police Team

Non emergency number: 101


There are no crimes of note to report for the Village.

We continue to patrol the rural areas in regards to rural crime such as hare coursing which we have had several reports on in the Blewbury area.

This also includes theft from vehicles in the beauty spot areas, in particular those car parks situated on the ridgeway. Please ensure that if you use these area’s that absolutely nothing is left in your vehicle or in view.

Domestic burglary remains a priority and patrols continue to deter this. Now the darker nights are starting and with the clocks changing next month, now is a good time to think about using timer switches for some lamps in your home. Making your home look occupied.

If you would like a free crime prevention survey on your property or any advice please do contact me.