Minutes of Meeting 17th September 2019

Minutes of the meeting of Upton Parish Council held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 17th September 2019

In attendance:- Mr B Shaw (BS/Chair), Miss E Cooper (EC/Clerk), Cllrs P McLaughlin (PMcL), I Sykes (IS) & J Fidgen (JF). Also in attendance Cllr S Medley & 3 members of the public.

  1. Apologies for absence

Cllr S Fraser, Cllr M Fox-Davies

  1. Declarations of interest in the items on the agenda

Cllr B Heneghan declared an interest in planning application P19/V2018/FUL as he is a


  1. Minutes of the previous meetings

UPC AGM 14.5.19

UPC 23.07.19

The above minutes were signed by a councillor present at the meetings with no changes.

  1. County Councillor Report

Provided prior to the meeting & included at Appendix A below.

  1. District Councillor Report

Provided ahead of the meeting & included at Appendix A below. Cllr Medley talked through the

report and answered questions from those present.

  1. Representations from the public

7.1 A donation from Upton News in the sum of £50 was handed to the Clerk from Mike Brown.

7.2 Three members of the public attended the meeting to inform the council of their endeavours to close Chilton Road in Upton to vehicles. The Chair asked that a formal request to the council be provided, including all the reasons given for the closure request with supporting evidence. The council could then formally discuss & record.

Mike Brown also stated he was arranging a meeting with the County Council (Cllr MF-D) & would like a PC representative at this meeting. On provision of all supporting evidence to date, together with a formal statement from the group, the PC was not against providing a representative, nor introducing this as a regular agenda item.

It was noted that the Chilton Road was part of Sustrans Cycle Track 544.

  1. 8. Update from Cllr Jo Fidgen on status of project work

Cllr Fidgen began by stating that she was resigning from the council from this meeting. Her formal resignation had already been received by the Chair and Clerk. Cllr Fidgen expressed her willingness to help on project work, such as the play areas, as part of a committee.

– Defibrillator Training (brought forward from item 14)

An interest in defibrillator training was expressed at the APM by villagers. Clerk to

contact other PCs for information. BS to contact last first responder in village for information.

  1. Outstanding actions carried forward from previous



No. Description When by
1. BH to review Clerk’s hourly rate following June meeting discussion Cleared – see 11.4 below
2. IS to update draft process for play area and rec ground inspections Cleared – see 12 below
3. EC to finalise signatory details for bank & action Cleared – see 11.5 below
4. All councillors to consider Planning training course and arrange with Clerk Cleared
5. BH to investigate krystal.co.uk with a view to revising UPCs IT set-up Cleared – PMcL taking forward see 16 below
6. BH to spk GdeW re new mower spec. Cleared – no new mower req’d
8. PMcL update on review & completion of the Annual Community Emergency Planning Survey. Cleared


  1. To agree the council’s response to the following planning applications:-

10.1 P19/V2018/FUL Land off Hollow Way

Construction of a new digestate storage lagoon, perimeter soil bund, hard surface turning pad and security fence.

Deadline 18.9.19. UPC voted to ‘object’ to this application for the following reasons:-

– Rise in level of transport over what is a unmade dirt track road, mainly used by horses, cyclists &walkers.

– Rise in number of Sat Nav misdirected vehicles to the area

– Noxious gases & smell – potential for increased levels of carbon dioxide

– Potential for substances to seep into the ground, howsoever caused

– The lagoon will be built in an area of AONB

10.2 P19/V1960/HH Lattons, High Street, Upton

Conversion of existing residential garage/workshop into ancillary accommodation to the main house.

Deadline extended to 18.9.19. UPC voted ‘no objections’ to this application.

10.3 P19/V1929/HH Gate House, Reading Road, Upton

Retrospective – erection of entrance gates with brickwork piers, erection of post and rail fence, together with close boarded fence, alteration of ground levels reconfiguration of existing drive.

Deadline extended to 18.9.19. UPC voted ‘no objections’ to this application, but with the following comments:

– The height of the gates including the top ball may have been underestimated and together with the rise in ground above that of the neighbouring property, may be considered overbearing.

  1. 11. To receive an update on UPC Finances

11.1 To agree the following payments:-


Date Payee £
28.8.19, 28.9.19 Clerk’s salary SO Not publicly disclosed
17.9.19 Clerk’s expenses £17.50
July/Aug HMRC PAYE SO £86.00


Microsoft Office365 July & August DD @£3.80pm £7.60


11.2 Receipts

11.2.1 Uptonogood donation in the sum of £4342.26 on 2.8.19

11.2.2 HMRC VAT refund in the sum of £72.10 on 23.8.19

  11.2.3 The second half of the precept was received on 06.9.19 in the sum of £4688

11.2 Agree to a reconciliation sign off at bi-monthly meetings wef September 2019

The council agreed to a formal sign off of UPC accounts at bi-monthly meetings. The

September reconciliation was duly signed by the Chair.

11.3 Agree on who/how to deal with financial dealings previously carried out by Mr S

Norman (PAYE, VAT, Audit, Grant Applications)

Carried forward to the next meeting. Clerk to speak to internal auditor for guidance.

11.4 Clerk’s Salary

Following an action from the June meeting, BH, together with information obtained by BS,

the council discussed & agreed an increase in the Clerk’s hourly rate wef September 2019.

The Clerk was asked to leave the room while the council agreed for the Clerk’s salary to

move from SCP10 to SCP12 of the NALC pay scales. The Chair requested that an annual

review was scheduled in April of each year. The Clerk was asked to make the necessary

adjustments to the salary & HMRC PAYE standing orders online.

11.5 Lloyds Bank Signatory Papers

New paperwork from Lloyds bank deleting 3 old signatory & adding 2 new signatory was

duly signed by PMcL & IS, & witnessed by BS. The Clerk noted that having made a

complaint to Lloyds regarding the inadequacies of their processes and therefore the length

of time it was taking to make these changes, a sum of £42 had been credited to the UPC

account as compensation for the Clerk’s time.

  1. Update on the Play Areas maintenance, upgrades and inspections

IS reported that he had compared the requirement of the PC insurance policy against the

informal play area inspections. The potential rate of one inspection per week was not

commensurate with current actions taken. Is proposed to make the move to a

maintenance contract and would start by asking Kompan to carry out a site visit. This would

provide an idea of actions included and costs.

  1. ‘Rec regeneration plan’ following the APM & RoSPA report this year

Carried forward to the next meeting.

  1. Discuss the need for regular tree inspections

Carried forward to the next meeting.

  1. Update on potential Speed Watch activity in Upton

IS had spoken to the Chair of Blewbury Parish Council, Chris Lakeland, to discuss the potential

of sharing equipment & costs. More information is required before this can be formalised in

any way. BH to speak to Blewbury Chair re speeding data.

  1.  Update on UPC IT Strategy

Following an update on the existing IT set-up, the council agreed to stay with the existing

Krystal set-up and for PMcL to obtain a quote for ongoing costs in moving the PC element of

the village web site to under the PC’s control.

The meeting finished at 10.40pm.

Date of next meeting:- Thursday 28th November 2019 at 7.30pm, in the meeting room of the Upton village hall.

Actions from this meeting:-

No. Description By when
1. Clerk to contact other local PCs for information on Defib use training. November meeting
2. BS to contact last first responder in village for information November meeting
3. Rec ground signage discussion – all Cfwd to Nov meeting
4. Agree on who/how to deal with financial dealings previously carried out by Mr S Norman (PAYE, VAT, Audit, Grant Applications)

Clerk to speak to internal auditor for guidance.

November meeting



5. Clerk to make agreed adjustments to salary & HMRC SOs Actioned.
6. BH to speak to Blewbury Chair re speeding data. November meeting
7. PMcL to obtain a quote for ongoing costs in moving the PC element of the village web site to under the PC’s control. November meeting

Appendix A



Oxfordshire County Council starts planning to replace Kennington bridge

Oxfordshire County Council has announced that the A423 Kennington Bridge is to be replaced at an estimated cost of around £40m. The bridge and road will remain open for at least two years before construction work starts while design takes place.

Inspections for planned maintenance work to replace supporting bearings to extend the life of the bridge revealed that deterioration was quicker than expected and repairs are no longer a viable option.

More charging points to support electric vehicles

The electric car revolution is set to continue in Oxfordshire thanks to a successful county council bid for a slice of a £37m government fund. Oxfordshire is set to host to two major initiatives to provide more charging points for electric vehicles (EVs)

Park and Charge will see up to 300 chargers installed in residential ‘charging hubs’ using car parks located in residential areas where properties don’t have their own off-street parking.

The second project, VPACH (Virgin Park and Charge), will use existing Virgin Media cabinets to reduce the cost of installing roadside EV chargers and minimise the amount of street clutter needed for power supply.

Work to start on Bicester’s new 600-pupil school

Work is set to begin on a brand new 600-pupil school for Bicester as Oxfordshire County Council continues to plan to meet demands for the school places in the county in coming years.

Since 2011 more than 6,000 new places have been created in Oxfordshire secondary schools, including Aureus School and UTC Oxfordsire, in Harwell Parish. Further planned changes in the 2020s – including Whitelands and a new all-through school in Grove Airfield – will see the overall number of school places created since 2011 rise to around 8,000.

Around 88 per cent of children and their parents achieved their first choice of school in Oxfordshire in 2019 despite continued rising demand for places. The county is consistently ahead of national averages for first places being awarded.

Radical changes that improve the lives of families are set to be introduced in Oxfordshire

A pioneering approach that has radically changed the way children’s social care operates in Hertfordshire is set to be adopted by Oxfordshire County Council.

The “Family Safeguarding” model has seen the number of children on child protection plans by fall 55 per cent in 30 months in Hertfordshire. Social workers have been working in small integrated teams centred around individual families in need alongside experts providing specialist mental health, drugs and alcohol, and domestic abuse services.

By taking a “whole family approach” rather than focusing on just the child, families have been able to access the support they need from within that one team of experts. As a result, in Hertfordshire, there’s been a 39 per cent reduction in the number of days children spent in care, a 53 per cent drop in hospital admissions for adults in the families and a 66 per cent reduction in contact with the Police for domestic abuse. Four other children’s social care teams have also been adopting the new approach.

There has been 80 per cent rise in children in care in Oxfrodshire from 2011 to 2019. There are now 780 children in care compared to 425. On current trends and without the changes we plan, children in care would rise to around 915 by 2023.

This new approach will offer a way of beginning to reverse those trends.

Council seeks out more local foster carers

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet has agreed a £1m investment in its in-house fostering service, which will increase the number of local carers and reduce the number of children who are placed with carers outside of Oxfordshire.

By enhancing the support given and amount paid to foster carers, the county council’s in-house service will become competitive with independent foster care agencies and other providers across the country.

Free school transport for disabled young people is retained

Young people with special education needs and disabilities will continue to be funded by Oxfordshire County Council, following a decision by Cabinet members on Tuesday, 16 July.

A cross-party group of councillors reviewed the service for students with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) aged 16 or older to find savings needed by the council in response to reduced government funding.

The council has worked with 14 SEND schools to identify the necessary £300,000 of savings for post-16 home to school transport; removing any current need to change existing SEND free transport arrangements. A separate fund has also been created to provide transport for children to go to after-school activities.

Appendix B

District Councillor Report Upton Parish Council Tuesday 17th September 2019 hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk  sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

Upton Parish Council Tuesday 17th September 2019 Report from District Councillors Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Our News

Hayleigh joins new Climate Emergency Advisory Committee

At the Full Council meeting on 17th July, Council voted to establish a brand-new Climate Emergency Advisory Committee. This politically balanced committee will consider the council’s environmental impact and look at how we can make sustainable choices to deliver the services we provide to our residents. Hayleigh used her maiden speech at Council to show her support, and to highlight the work of local groups such as Sustainable Blewbury and Sustainable Harwell. Hayleigh is now a member of the committee, with Sarah as a substitute. The first formal meeting is due to take place in October and will be open to the public.

Letter to Transport Minister on opposition to the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway On 17th July, Council voted to officially oppose the building of the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, due to the negative impact that it will have on the residents and the natural environment across the Vale, and the extra traffic it will bring to the already overstretched A34. Cllr Debby Hallett, Deputy Leader of the Vale, has written to Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport to express the council’s opposition to the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway. You can read a copy of the letter here.

Local Plan Part 2

Deputy Leader of the Vale, Cllr Debby Hallett, has written to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to raise concerns about the process required to adopt the Local Plan. In the letter Cllr Hallett invited the minister to revisit the Inspector’s report, specifically looking at Oxford’s unmet housing assessment and allocated development in the Green Belt. You can read the letter to the Minister here. Formal meetings to consider the adoption of LPP2 are set to take place on the following dates: • Scrutiny – Thursday 19 September • Cabinet – Friday 4 October • Council – Wednesday 9 October

Upton Village Fete

On the first Saturday in September we had a lovely afternoon at the Upton Village Fete. A fab range of stalls from local groups, selling everything from jams & preserves to zero-waste products, and we enjoyed the delicious homemade pizza and cakes! It was great to chat to residents and learn more about the St Mary’s church renovation project, as well as watching the impressive gymnastics display in the main arena. The Morris-dancing horse was definitely one of the highlights of the day! A brilliant event bringing the whole community together, well done to the organisers and everyone involved in making it such a success – we’re looking forward to next year’s fete already.

Social Media

A reminder that we now have a dedicated councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley. We are updating this regularly to share information with residents. To stay up to date with the latest news, please Like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter: @hayleighhelium and @SarahMedley91. District Councillor Report Upton Parish Council Tuesday 17 th September 2019 hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk  sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

Vale News

Every household must confirm their details

Household Enquiry Forms (a.k.a. “yellow letters”) are being sent to every home in the district, and residents are required to confirm everyone over the age of 16 that lives in their property. As soon as you receive your yellow letter, visit householdresponse.com/southandvale to confirm your details or update your information (you will need the two-part code on the yellow letter to do this). For residents that don’t have access to the internet, you can confirm your details by post using the pre-paid envelope that comes with the letter.  If all the details are correct, you can also confirm this by phone using the contact numbers on the letter.

Polling stations review

The councils are carrying out a review of the polling districts and polling places to help ensure that they meet the needs of voters. All views are welcome, and the council is especially keen to hear from disabled residents and those who have experience of assisting disabled people with access requirements. Comments are open until Friday 27 September. Have your say by visiting the Vale website http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ or send a written response to Electoral Services, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, OX14 4SB.

PopUp Business School in Shrivenham – 7 th – 11th October

The PopUp Business School is coming to Shrivenham on 7-11 October. Would-be entrepreneurs from the Vale can attend the free five-day course taking place at the Viscountess Barrington’s Memorial Hall from 10am-3pm. The school gives positive and practical training on how to get a business idea off the ground through a series of hands-on workshops. Registration is now open via popupbusinessschool.co.uk/shrivenham.

Festival Grants now open

Funds are now available for community events or festivals taking place within the next 12 months. We’d especially like to see events that bring communities together and projects that aim to become self-funding in future years, or wish to provide residents with new opportunities that may not otherwise be possible without initial funding from us. For more information on this and all of our grants, please see whitehorsedc.gov.uk/grants. If you have any questions, please email them Community Enablement team or call them on 01235 422405.

Reading transport consultation

The Planning Policy team will be preparing a response from both district councils to Reading Borough Council’s consultation to help form their next Local Transport Plan 2036. If anyone regularly commutes to Reading and has any comments, please email the Vale team by Friday 6 September. The borough council wants to hear from as many people as possible on how they can help get people to their destination, to make transport in the town more affordable and accessible and to lead a carbon neutral future for Reading. All the details on the consultation and drop-in sessions are available via pclconsult.co.uk/transport2036 and its open until Friday 20 September.

Electric vehicle charging points consultation

The government has recently published a consultation on electric vehicle smart charging points and regulations. They are proposing that UK charge points have a smart charging function included – meaning that people can charge their car during off-peak periods when electricity demand is low. You can read the consultation and take part here. Comments can be submitted until 11.45pm on 7 October.

Consultation on proposals to support the deployment of 5G

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) wants to know what people think of proposals to reform the planning system to support the network upgrades required to deploy 5G and extend network coverage for mobile phones, particularly in rural areas. Planning Policy officers are preparing responses to this consultation on behalf of both councils. You can find more details by visiting the MHCLG consultation page. If you have any comments please email them to the Vale Planning Policy team on planning.policy@whitehorsedc.gov.uk by Tuesday 14 October.