Minutes of Meeting 30th July 2018

Minutes of the meeting of Upton Parish Council (UPC) held at 7pm on Monday 30th July 2018 in the village hall meeting room. 

Present:- Stuart Fraser (Chair, SCF), Liz Cooper (Clerk/EC), Stuart Norman (Vice Chair, SN), Jo Fidgen (JF), Cllr R Waite (RW), Cllr Janet Shelley (JS), Cllr Mike Fox-Davies (MFD), Hamish Blythe (HB), Lesley Shaw (LS)

  1. Apologies for absence.

Gary Kirby (PCSO), Brendan Heneghan, Karen Marshal

  1. Explanation on The Loop application from Hamish Blythe

The Loop – a car sharing app / platform, with a focus on Blewbury, Upton and the Astons.

HB attended the meeting to explain this project, (previously called Ryde). It is a social enterprise, designed to bring drivers and passengers together to reduce pressures on number of cars on the road, in car parks and help people who may not otherwise easily be able to get from A to B. It is proposed that passengers pay £1 per mile, drivers can claim the standard 45ppm HMRC rate and 10ppm would go to the PC. Participants will need to register, together with a photo & driving licence for security purposes. Launch is scheduled for mid-August. Further details are available from HB, via the Clerk.

  1. Reports from District & County Councillors
  2. Waite / J. Shelley – report incorporated below. Also noted:-
  • JS gave a summary of Gate House situation and planning enforcement breaches to date.
  • RW will forward information on medical facts in Great Western Park when he has these.
  • RW stated that funds are available on application for village events for a period of 3 years (with funds reducing year on year).
  • JS stated that the NAG group still exists, led by Andrew Forsythin Wantage.
  • Fly tipping may be on the increase and all are asked to be vigilant and call 101 for suspected incidents.

M Fox-Davies – report incorporated below. MFD also noted:-

  • Council Community Fund. MFD urged the PC to apply.
  • Community Speed Watch. Clerk to speak to Blewbury Clerk re additional information and report back to UPC.
  • Thames Water Reservoir at Steventon. The CC are objecting to this application.
  • MFD to forward information from Oxford CC & the Woodland Trust regarding planting of trees for the Armistice Day 100th anniversary.
  1. To hear representations from the public

LS attended the meeting to raise concerns over the recent incident of a fire in the toddler play area and the removal of a sycamore tree, both to the rear of her property.

4.1 Fire on the rec 14.7.18

A fire started in the early evening of 14.7.18 in the toddler play area. The fire brigade were called by a neighbour and a high pressure hose reel was used to extinguish the fire and prevent any fire spread.

SN agreed to look in to fire regulations and report back to the PC.

The PC agreed that defined rules for fires on Parish Council land are required which should include, but not be limited to; the siting of fires in the future, not to leave a fire unattended and smouldering fires must be put out.

SCF to speak to GdeW

4.2 Removal of sycamore

Lesley expressed her surprise at not being informed about the removal of a tree which gave some privacy to her garden. The Chair stated if further tree work is required, a member of the council would try to speak to neighbouring residents. The Chair further stated that the tree in question was confirmed as ‘sick’ by a tree surgeon and had to be removed. (Clerk’s note:- this has subsequently been clarified as the tree had numerous long thick nails driven in to it).

  1. PCSO Report

No report received.

  1. To record declarations of interest from councillors regarding items on the agenda.

None declared.

  1. To approve the minutes of the following meetings:-
  • UPCX 02.05.18
  • UPCX 20.06.18

Minutes were approved & signed by SCF.

  1. To go through any Matters Arising and Actions from previous minutes above

Play area resurfacing – JF had samples of woodchips from different supplies & explained

the differences. The PC voted (3-0) to accept the quote for ‘cushionfall’ woodchips from

Giffords at a cost of £1344 inc VAT & Delivery. JF to ensure formal quote is sent for the

attention of the Clerk. Clerk then to action order. JF to check the availability of

machinery & volunteers to aid with the distribution of the material.

  1. To discuss Planning Application P18/V1715/HH

The Gate House, Reading Road, Upton. Installation of oak posts & glass balustrade over flat roof to form balcony to north elevation. Reconfiguration of window opening to form door access to balcony.

Deadline 10.8.18

The PC agreed to OBJECT to this planning application as it is already the subject of an enforcement action regarding the unauthorised addition of the balcony and access.  The PC fully support the enforcement action being taken.

  1. To discuss Upton Rec Car Park Security

After a discussion regarding the security of the rec,  UPC agreed not to instigate or install any additional security measures at this time.

  1. To discuss UPC’s Local Council Insurance

       The Clerk explained that the insurance premium from Came&Co had increased this

year due to an increase in the sums assured. On balance, the increase of £10.95 was

agreed in order to maximise the sums assured.

  1. To hear Clerk’s Financial Report & Approve Expenditure

13.1 Updated cashbook report to 30.07.18

The cashbook was circulated in advance and no questions were raised on it’s


13.2 Expenses & Invoices (to be paid)

  • Clerk expenses for the period 15.5.18 to 30.07.18 Total £10.80
  • Came&Co Local Council Insurance £558.54 + VAT
  • Grounds upkeep expenses £TBC – none presented.

The PC agreed to the two expenses being paid as listed above.

13.3 Expenses & Invoices (paid, to be ratified)

  • Purchase of laptop for Clerk’s use £232.58 + VAT (paid online 05.07.18)

The council ratified the purchase of the laptop above.

  1. Updated Financial Regulations for UPC (circulated 3.7.18)

The PC agreed to the updated Financial Regulations.

  1. Update on UPC IT Policy – SCF

 SCF stated that due to the costs involved in adding councillor email address to

Office 365, that other (free) email address would be arranged for the councillors.

Clerk to check that access to PC documents can be arranged.

Clerk to see if a Standing Order can be set up through the bank to pay Office 365

monthly. Clerk’s note:- Actioned 1.8.18

  1. Update on the provision and installation of a defibrillator cabinet to the village

       hall – SCF

       SCF confirmed that the donation offer of a defibrillator unit to the PC was still on the

table. SCF also confirmed he had a quote for c£750 + VAT for a lockable cabinet plus

installation at c£115 + VAT. SCF to copy PC & Clerk in on spec & quotes. The PC voted

3-0 to install the defibrillator cabinet, based on the information given.

  1. Update on the Recreation Ground Inspection Rota – KM

       Carried forward to the next meeting.

  1. To discuss various concerns around the rec:-

18.1 Further tree work (Mr Nelson’s emails dated 3.7.18 & refers). SCF confirmed that branches overhanging a property neighbouring the rec had been removed.

18.2 Previous tree work – confirm work completed

See 4.2 above.

18.3 Fire on rec Saturday 14.7.18

See 4.1 above

18.4 Additional / replacement Bins (dog waste or otherwise on the Church path). A request was received for a dog waste bin to be sited on Church Street at the junction of the footpath that goes past the St Mary’s church.  It was agreed in principle by the PC subject to further enquiries. SCF to speak to Biffa.

  1. AOB

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

The meeting closed at 9.45pm.   

   Date of next meeting:-

   Regular Council Meeting, Monday 17th September 2018 at 7.00pm pm in the village hall  meeting room.