Minutes of Meeting 14th January 2019

Minutes of the Upton Parish Council meeting held at 7pm on Monday 14th January 2019

In attendance:- Stuart Fraser (SCF/Chair), Liz Cooper (EC/Clerk), Stuart Norman (SN/Vice Chair),  Brendan Heneghan (BH), Ian Sykes (IS), Cllrs Reg Waite, Janet Shelley, Mike Fox-Davies, Paul Batho.

  1. Apologies for absence

Jo Fidgen (JF), Karen Marshall (KM)

  1. Declarations of interest

None declared.

  1. To receive reports from District & County Councillors – R. Waite / J. Shelley – report attached to these minutes.

M Fox-Davies – report attached to these minutes.

  1. To receive a report from the PCSO

Report attached to these minutes. 

  1. To approve the minutes of the following meetings:-

UPC   29.11.18 – minutes approved & signed off.

  1. Matters Arising and Actions from previous minutes above

EC to contact MF-D re Councillor Priority Fund forms. ACTION EC 

  1. Representations from the public

None present. 

  1. To discuss Planning Application:-


Extension to vestry to provide an accessible WC, St Mary’s Church, Upton

Mr Batho attended the meeting to explain the planning proposal.

The Parish Council voted to ‘Fully Support’ the planning application. 

  1. Clerk’s Financial Report & Approve Expenditure

9.1 Reconciled cashbook to 13.01.19 was presented with no queries.

9.2 Expenses & Invoices

  • Clerk expenses for the period 30.11.18 to 14.01.19 Total £32.40 – approved for payment.
  • Grounds upkeep expenses – none presented.
  • Defibrillator cabinet installation £125.62 + VAT – approved for payment

9.3 Invoices / Standing Orders

  • Microsoft Office £3.80 – ratified
  • HMRC PAYE Monthly SO £41.20 – ratified
  1. To agree UPC Precept for 2019/2020

UPC agreed and voted to raise the precept by rpi of 2.2% to £9376.

  1. To agree UPC Budget for 2019/2020

UPC agreed the budget as presented.

  1. To agree timing of AGM & APM meetings in 2019

UPC agreed the dates and timings of meetings as presented & details are attached to

these minutes.

  1. To discuss the following items:-

       13.1 Web site update training

SCF had spoken to Brian Rippon who agreed to provide training. EC to contact BR to arrange training for Clerk and IS.

13.2 Fire damage cover from Came & Co (SN)

SN confirmed cover is included in came & co insurance. SN to investigate what signage may be appropriate to place at entrances to the Upton rec to inform users of ‘no fires’ on rec. ACTION SN

       13.3 Defibrillator unit installation – publicity/communication

SCF confirmed that the defibrillator unit was installed and registered at the village hall.

Upton Parish Council would like to extend its thanks to the Lime walk Gospel Hall Trust, and in particular Mr Stuart Robertson, for their kind donation of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) unit to the village. Thanks also go to Uptonogood? for paying for the cost of supplying and installation of the cabinet, through money that was historically donated.  Finally, the PC wish to thank UVHAT for allowing the cabinet to be installed to the front of the village hall, and for covering the electricity running costs.

SCF informed the PC that JF would be responsible for PC communications starting with the February Upton News update, which would include the recent installation of the defibrillator at the village hall.

13.4 Stream Road flood defences update

SCF informed the PC that work had been completed in the top part of Stream Road by the District Council to install a pipe to help alleviate flooding in this section of road.

  1. To discuss future planning of the Recreation Ground play areas:-

14.1 Play area inspection rota

14.2 Toddler play area old vs new

14.3 Adventure play area pump track resurfacing / running repairs

The PC agreed that responsibilities for all of the above needed to be agreed and SCF

would instigate this outside of the meeting, for confirmation at the next meeting.

  1. To discuss Parish Councillor Roles & Responsibilities

15.1 IS agreed to speak to a nominated villager about taking on the play area inspection


15.2 JF to take on UPC updates for Upton News and to the village. SCF to speak JF.

15.3 Village roads & highways – Stuart Norman

  1. AOB

16.1 Parking on the grass at the village hall was raised (in terms of access). SCF to

investigate & report back at the next meeting. ACTION SCF

16.2 It was noted that Stuart Fraser and Karen Marshall will be stepping down from the

PC at the end of April as they have both come to the end of their term.  It was agreed

that two new volunteer parish councillors were needed.


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

next meeting.


Date of next meeting:-

Regular Council Meeting, Thursday 21st March 2019 at 7.00pm in the village   

hall meeting room.



District Council Notes for Parish Councillors  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

6 week target date:  3 April 2018

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

Enforcement notice was served.

This was followed by a Planning application reference P18/V1715/HH for installation of oak posts and glass balustrade over flat roof to form balcony to north elevation.  Reconfiguration of window opening to form door providing access to the balcony.

Registered by the Vale on 14th September 2018.

Consultation – 16th July – 9th August 2018.

Target decision date – 10th September 2018.

Decision – REFUSED on 10th September 2018 –

Mr K Naylon submitted an APPEAL, reference APPN/V3120/D/18/3215682, under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against the refusal to grant planning permission by the Vale of White Horse District Council. 

This proceeded under the Householder Appeals Service. 

Stuart Willis BA Hons MSc PGCE MRTPI, an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, was duly appointed.

No public hearing held in this case.

During his investigation a site visit was made on 18th December 2018.

Decision date – 9 January 2019.

The APPEAL has been DISMISSED by the Inspector. 

Modifications to Vale’s Local Plan Part Two:

Subsequent to the notes in our last report, a further letter dated 19 December 2018 was received by the Vale from the Inspector in response to the Vale’s letters dated 20 and 30 November setting out the Council’s response to the concerns in his post hearings letter dated 30 October and enclosing additional evidence relating to transport and air quality.

The Inspector stated he is now satisfied that the examination can progress to the next stage and provided an outline of the Main Modifications to the plan.  In addition to the need to amend the proposals for Dalton Barracks which was dealt with in his earlier letters, the most significant of these modifications is the deletion of the housing allocation of 1,000 dwellings at Harwell Campus, so LPP2 allocations total is 400, referring to planning permission P15/V0575/EZ.

There will be a public consultation early in the year.

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway:

As mentioned in previous notes details on this may be found on the government website – please see the links below –




We will comment on rumours emanating locally.

Grants for voluntary organisations:

New homes bonus community grants – the second round for new applications is open until noon on 28 February.  Applications can be for a minimum of £1,000 and up to 50% (budget permitting) of the cost of capital and one-off revenue projects benefitting the community

Festival/Event grants – open for applications until 28 February 2019 (budget permitting)

Capital grants -currently closed for new applications

Partnership grants – not accepting applications at present.

Other types of council and partnership funds –

Disabled facilities grants – funding for home adaptations – contact grant team on 01235 422403 for more information.

Business rates relief – how to apply for a reduction in your business rates – contact 0845 300 2839

Energy saving grants –helping you make your home more energy-efficient – contact 0800 107 0044

Home improvement loans – support for changes to your home – contact 01235 422403

Funding advice –

The Vale also works with Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA), who support voluntary and community sector groups and organisations based in Oxfordshire and offer all kinds of advice, including sources of funding and getting fit to fund.  OCVA can be contacted on 01865 251948 or admin@ocva.org.uk

Enquiries for Vale grants can be made by visiting the Vale’s website – www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/grants or telephoning grant team on 01235 422405.

South and Vale Business Awards:

Business owners, managers, leaders and entrepreneurs attended the launch of the business awards at Cornerstone on 31st October.

Nominations for the 8 categories will be accepted until midnight on 18th January 2019 or via www.vale4business.com/svba/    Once announced the finalists of each of eight categories will be invited to attend a fabulous awards ceremony at Williams F1 Conference Centre in March next year.

Increased charges to help tackle empty homes problem:

Hundreds of empty homes in southern Oxfordshire could be brought back into use as a result of increased charges proposed by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

The two councils are set to increase the amount of council tax that property owners must pay on homes which are left empty for more than two years, with an even greater premium after five years and the years unoccupied.

Currently there are more than 300 long-term empty properties across the two districts.  With a significant housing shortage, having these homes available again would provide a boost for families who are struggling to find suitable properties to rent or buy.

In 2013 the councils introduced the current premium of 50% additional council tax on long-term empty properties.  This measure has helped to significantly reduce the number of long-term empty homes, dropping from 504 to 183 in South and 136 in the Vale.  The councils now want to target the remaining dwellings and believe that increasing the premium will encourage even more owners to bring their homes into use.

The two councils are proposing that the premium will be as follows –

  • from 1 April 2019 – 100% additional council tax on properties which are empty for 2 or more years
  • from 1 April 2020 – 200% additional council tax on properties which are empty for 5 or more years
  • from 1 April 2021 – 300% additional council tax on properties which are empty for 10 or more years

Thames Water Consultation:

The Vale responded to Thames Water’s consultation on their draft Water Resources Management Plan 2019.

In its letter the Vale has stated that they would like to see a public inquiry to ensure correct processes have been followed in Thames Water’s decision to propose a reservoir and that all of the implications of such a large structure has been fully assessed and explored to the appropriate detail.

They have requested more detailed impact assessments on the environment, highways and landscape to demonstrate that other alternatives have been properly explored.

Didcot Garden Town looks forward to the future:

The Nominated Didcot Garden Town Board met last month to discuss the best way to set up the board for long term and how it will move from the vision phase to delivery of the plan.

The nominated board is currently made up from Oxfordshire County, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Homes England.

The board’s long-term aim will be to look at how to enable individual garden town projects to go ahead and to make the best use of the county’s infrastructure funds from the government.  It will also help include garden town principles for new homes and much-needed infrastructure to Didcot and the surrounding villages.

The nominated board seeks to simplify its structure and form three ‘sounding boards’ made up of parish councils, businesses and community groups to help members make their recommendations.  Other ideas, pilot studies and projects will be discussed at public events to help the future board form its plans.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who chaired the Nominated Didcot Garden Town Board meeting, said “This is an exciting time for Didcot and the surrounding villages – through the garden town work we’re able to unlock the true potential of the area, with both exciting and innovative projects, and with funding for much-needed infrastructure – this will enable housing growth in a way that benefits the whole area.  We’re looking forward to listening to local residents and working with them as we move forward.”

It was proposed that members of the board will meet quarterly and make their recommendations on future developments at each meeting.  Once officially formed, board meetings will be open to the public and minutes made available.  The nominated board members plan to meet in February to review a revised board structure and formally create a Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board.

Vale Leader’s Report to Council Meeting on 12th December 2018:

A full report was released on 13th December and can be found on the Vale’s website. 

South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2034 – have your say 7 January – 18 February 2019:

SODC has been working on a new Local Plan to shape the future of their district.  Following extensive consultation and gathering of evidence, they have now prepared an updated Local Plan which they are ready to publish prior to it being submitted to independent examination.

Before they submit the plan for examination, they are carrying out a six-week publicity period, and are hosting a series of drop-in events at 11 venues across the district, the first of which is being held in Didcot at the Cornerstone Arts Centre on Thursday, 17th January from 3pm to 7pm.

Further details can be obtained from their website.

You can provide comments using the prescribed form before 5pm on 18 February 2019.  Responses can be made in one of the following ways:

Oxfordshire Growth Board:

Last week Oxford Growth Board issued a press release – “Oxfordshire organisations provide exciting visions for county’s future.”

Further details can be found from their website www.oxfordshiregrowthboard.org





Tough decisions taken since 2010 have created a route to financial stability at OCC as the council plans to set its 2019/20 budget at a time when all councils face financial challenges. The main budget proposals are:

  • Investment of almost £6m by 2023 to increase care packages to meet assessed needs for adults with learning and physical disabilities. (Adult Social Care)
  • An increase of £5.8m is proposed to be added to the budget in 2022/23 in adult social care to meet projected increased need as a result of the aging population. The council’s existing planning up to 2021/22 already includes provision for budget increases of £5.0m in 2019/20 and 2020/21 and £5.6m in 2021/22. (Adult Social Care)
  • Invest £3.2m up to 2023 (£800,000 per year) to support the increasing number of children qualifying for school transport – in particular children with special educational needs. (Children, Education and Families)
  • Invest £17m to support the predicted increasing numbers of children in care, including more permanent care staff (Children, Education and Families)

With regard to Council Tax, the council’s plan – agreed at the last budget in February 2018 – to raise Council Tax by 2.99 per cent in 2019/20 and 1.99 per cent in the years thereafter remains the same in the new budget proposals. However, funding for local government beyond 2020 is currently uncertain, with councils waiting for funding decisions from central government which will not be known until late 2019. 


Living longer and living better is the drive behind a new Older People’s Strategy for Oxfordshire.

The strategy sets out how OCC and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group will deliver a positive future for the county’s older population. It was developed following feedback over a three-month period. Residents, health and charity organisations, professionals, businesses, the public sector and community groups were engaged in the strategy development so it could be grounded in what people tell us matters most to them. The strategy’s vision and priorities were specifically co-produced with a wide range of people whose work and lives it affects. The strategy will be used to inform the planning, commissioning and delivery of services across Oxfordshire and will be monitored by the Better Care Fund Joint Management Group reporting to the Health and Wellbeing Board. To read the strategy and have your say online visit here https://consult.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/consult.ti/OPLLLB/consultationHome or request a paper copy of the strategy by calling 01865 334638. The closing date for comments is Feb 1, 2019.


Twenty-nine organisations have been recommended to receive grants from the county council’s adult social care Sustainability Fund. The fund was established last year as part of measures designed to enable the ongoing delivery of daytime support services in Oxfordshire. A grant pot of £250,000 was approved for 2019/20 and community and voluntary organisations were invited to apply for the fund between September 12 and November 2. To allocate the funding to as many organisations as possible, a panel of county councillors and people representing daytime services recommended that a maximum level of 70 per cent of the amount awarded in 2018/19 should be made where applicable. Among those services recommended for funding are Day Break Oxford (£50,000), Age UK (£27,500), October Club (£14,000) and Aspire (£12,500). Applications totalling £244,847 went before Cabinet on December 18.


Plans to create significant new provision for Oxfordshire children with special educational needs (SEND) have been agreed by councillors, with a £15m investment set to create 300 new places which will involve a major rebuild for Northfield School in Oxford. The county council has conducted a wide-ranging review of its special educational needs provision in light of the large increases in the numbers of children with such needs entering the educational system in recent years and the forecast for continued increases in the future. The rebuild of Northfield School would be accompanied by a new school at Bloxham Grove in North Oxfordshire (due to open in 2020) and at Valley Park, Didcot (target date 2023) as part of a free school application process. At a national level, the Department for Education will be rolling out a new assessment approach for pupils with complex disabilities, from 2020. DfE has said “The statutory assessment will replace P scales 1 to 4 and will be based on the ‘7 aspects of engagement’, an assessment approach that focuses on pupils abilities in specific areas like awareness, curiosity and anticipation”. A guidance and training package will be developed and delivered to schools, local authorities, Ofsted and parents prior to programme roll out.


Journeys on Oxfordshire’s roads have already been significantly improved in recent months thanks to an extra £10million being spent by OCC this year on repairing and improving road surfaces. Government announced in November that OCC would get £7.4 in additional funding to top-up this activity. A range of different methods of road repair and sealing are used to extend the life of county roads and reduce the likelihood of potholes forming which include resurfacing, patching, Dragon-patching and surface dressing.


OCC has welcomed the government’s new Waste and Resources Strategy for England, describing it as “ambitious”, with the potential to “transform the way that waste is viewed and managed.” Key points within the strategy include:

  • Introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers to improve the amount recycled when out and about (known as ‘on the go’ recycling)
  • Improved and extended redistribution of surplus food from businesses, and mandatory food waste collections from businesses and households.
  • A national recycling target of 65 percent by 2035 (current national recycling rate is 45 percent)

OCC is committed to protecting the local environment as part of its Thriving Communities initiative. 


Oxfordshire has been named the best performing county council waste disposal authority in England for its recycling rates during 2017/18. The success reflects OCC’s commitment to work with districts to protect the environment. Figures published on Tuesday 11 December by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that Oxfordshire is the highest performing disposal authority, ahead of Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire.

Oxfordshire is ‘top of the pops’ in two categories:

  • The highest proportion of waste which is reused, recycled and composted (57.2%)
  • The lowest amount of general waste (non-recyclable waste) produced per household (430kg).

All Oxfordshire Councils recycled over 50% in 2017/18, (the national recycling rate is 45%). The county has seven Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) that provide recycling facilities for a wide range of items, from batteries to clothes, fridges to plastic garden furniture. They accept over 350 different waste streams, recycling around 60% of the waste accepted.

For further information about Oxfordshire County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/waste