Upton Parish Council Minutes January 2020

MINUTES of the meeting of Upton Parish Council held at 7.30pm on Thursday 16th January 2020 in the village hall meeting room.

In attendance:- Cllrs B Shaw (Chair/BS), P McLaughlin (PMcL), B Heneghan (BH), I Sykes (IS) & E Cooper (Clerk/EC)


  1. Apologies for absence

Cllr D Beckles, District Cllrs H Gascoigne & S Medley.


  1. Declarations of interest in the items on the agenda

None declared.


  1. To approve the minutes of the following meetings & note any matters arising:-

UPC 28.11.19

The council accepted the minute as they stood & these were signed off by the Chair.


  1. Report from the County Councillor

None provided.


  1. Report from the District Councillor

Provided in advance of the meeting. See Appendix A below.


  1. Representations from the public

None present.


  1. Outstanding actions carried forward from previous meetings :-



Action Points from January meeting

When by

1 Clerk to instigate mandate papers to change Lloyds Bank signatories ASAP
2 Clerk to incorporate large project reserves in budget for 20/21 ASAP
3 IS to confirm any current maintenance required within the play areas. ASAP
4 BH to speak to Bob Lott regarding the pump track resurfacing & costs. ASAP
5 BS to speak to Graham de Wilde to obtain a full list of grounds maintenance requirements ASAP
6 BH to contact Cllr H Gascoigne for an update on tree records held by the DC ASAP
7 PMcL to draft the start of a re-located toddler play area.


March meeting
8 IS to confirm play area maintenance requirements ASAP
9 PMcL to open a Krystal account to aid the transfer of Parish Council element of village web site. ASAP


Action Points from November meeting

When by

3 Clerk to pursue Defib training Early 2020
4 Cllr Gascoigne to see if plan of Upton village trees exists within the DC. January meeting
6 Planting of trees in old/new cemetery. Question of ownership to be raised with Upton church. Clerk also to respond to requestor. January meeting


Description – O/S Action Points

When by

7. Rec ground signage discussion – EC to resend info to PC for discussion at January meeting C’fwd


8. Agree the council’s response to the following planning applications :-

8.1 P19/V3240/HH Stowe House, High Street, Upton

Two storey side extension

Deadline 17.01.20 (extended from 14.1.20). UPC no objections.

8.2 P19/V2967/LB As above

No response required.

8.3 P19/V3231/HH Pointers Corner, Chilton Road, Upton

Add a small utility room extension to the east side of property. Rebuild the terracing

to support new utility room. Deadline 18.01.20. UPC no objections.

8.4 P19/V3305/HH Vale House, High Street, Upton

Proposed conversion of curtilage listed storage barn into ancillary accommodation.

Deadline 24.1.20

UPC no objections, but commented on clarity of change of curtilage, together

with concerns over egress to and access from properties in this area.

8.5 P19/V3306/LB

Vale House, High Street, Upton

See 9.5 above. UPC no objections.

8.6 P19/V3307/HH

Vale House, High Street, Upton

Proposed two-storey extension, conversion of the attached garage & associated

Alterations. Deadline 28.1.20. UPC no objections.

9. Update on UPC Finances

9.1 To receive an update on signatories with Lloyds Bank

PMcL agreed to be a new signatory on the Lloyds bank account. Clerk to

instigate mandate papers.

9.2 To agree the following payments :- 




28.12.19,28.01.20 Clerk’s salary SO Not publicly disclosed
16.01.20 Clerk’s expenses (increased from £5.40 as per agenda, due to further mileage incurred) £9.00
Dec, Jan HMRC PAYE SO (@£44.80pm) £89.60
19.12.19, 19.1.20 Microsoft Office365 Dec & Jan DD @£3.80pm £7.60
10.12.19 OALC Website Accessibility training course 22.1.20 (to be ratified paid 10.12.19) £60.00

inc VAT

10.12.19 Cllr P McLaughlin expenses (to be ratified, paid 10.12.19) £6.00

9.2  Receipts

Bank interest (Dec) £.50

9.3  Budgets

9.3.1 Half yearly results for 19/20

Payments & Receipts to date sent ahead of meeting. The council

agreed that funds for larger projects (car park extension, new toddler play

area, grounds contractor) should be listed accordingly, funds accumulated

as reserves & reserves transferred to business bank instant account. Clerk

to action.

9.3.2 Draft budget for 20/21

The budget for 20/21 was agreed by the council, with changes for

large projects as in 10.3.1 above.

9.4 Precept for 20/21

The council unanimously agreed to increase the precept to £10,136, an

increase of 7.5%, equating to .29p per household, per month (based on a band D

property). This will help meet a small proportion of planned costs in the new

financial year.

9.5 Bank reconciliation to date

The Chair signed off the bank reconciliation.


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

10.1 IS confirmed that weekly inspections were ongoing. IS to confirm

current maintenance requirements within the play areas (inc. De-mossing

(chemical free), bark turnover & sturdy repairs to play equipment).

10.2 BH to speak to Bob Lott regarding the pump track resurfacing & costs.

10.3 BS to speak to Graham de Wilde to obtain a full list of grounds

maintenance requirements in order for comprehensive quotations to be obtained

from grounds contractors.

10.4 PMcL to draft the start of a re-located toddler play area.


11.‘Rec regeneration plan’ following the APM & RoSPA report in 2019

The council agreed that a 5-year plan covering the following should be written:-

– A grounds contractor needs to be appointed asap. Three names had been

put forward. Dependent on 11.3 above.

– Car park extension – location & costs

BH to speak to UVHAT to re-establish formal links with this group and open

discussions regarding help with car park extension.

– Relocation of toddler play area


12.Update on car park extension plans

PMcL / BH had worked on obtaining quotes & understanding the full implications of

creating a car park extension. Current costs are c£25k if taking up part of the rec,

largely due to drainage costs. Acknowledging discussions from the previous  Annual

Parish Meeting, the council will look at the alternative of creating an extension to the

existing car park by using the space that will be left vacant when the toddler play

area is relocated.


13.Parish Council web site plan of action

PMcL updated the council on his progress in the transfer of control of the PC

element of the village web site to the PC. This transfer was imminent at the time of

the meeting. The Chair proposed & was seconded in opening a Krystal account to aid

the transfer. PMcL to action. BS also to speak to Brian Rippon re transition and any

further actions required.


14.Changes to UPC Standing Orders

Minor changes & updating to UPC’s Standing Orders were agreed and signed off

by the Chair and Clerk.


15.Update of Defibrillator training

Clerk is progressing this.


16.Regular tree inspections

Clerk to contact Cllr H Gascoigne for an update on tree records held by the DC.


17.Speed Watch activity in Upton

BH confirmed a meeting to be held on 3rd February 2020 with the PCSO &

representatives from Blewbury Parish Council.


18.Village annual litter picking day

PMcL to speak to R Traynor re any arrangements.


19.UPC meeting dates for 2020

The council unanimously agree to hold regular bi-monthly meetings on Thursdays

at 7.30pm. UPCX meetings as they arise, but same start time. APM & AGM

are scheduled for Thursday 23 April and Thursday 21 May respectively and will

be confirmed nearer the time.


The meeting closed at 10.35pm.


Date of next meeting:- Thursday 19th March 2020 at 7.30pm, in the meeting room of the Upton village hall. 


Appendix A


District Councillor Report Upton Parish Council Thursday 16th January 2020 hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk , sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

Upton Parish Council Thursday 16th January 2020 Report from District Councillors Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley


Happy New Year! We hope that all the residents of Upton enjoyed a peaceful and restful Christmas break. Due to purdah rules during the General Election at the end of 2019, we were unable to publish council policy news over the past few months, so this report contains an extensive update on recent developments. Our News December Council Meeting At a busy Council meeting on 18 December, district councillors in the Vale voted to approve motions on a number of topics, including agreeing the council’s commitment to exploring planning polices which encourage sustainability, updating the council’s equality policy and support for the

voting age to be lowered to 16. Councillors agreed that Vale of White Horse District Council would commit to exploring planning policies which positively encourage all renewable sources of energy, including onshore wind farms as part of the next Vale Local Plan and Oxfordshire Plan 2050. The council also agreed to:

  • condemn all hate crimes and deplore the rise in hate crimes against members of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain
  • condemn all inflammatory rhetoric in political discourse: including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic tropes used by politicians and public servants.
  • adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism in full and without amendment
  • adopt the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia in full and without amendment. • ask council officers to update this council’s equality policies to this effect

The council requested that the Leader write to relevant ministers and local MPs requesting that all elections be run using Proportional Representation and also expressing this council’s support for the Votes at 16 campaign; calling for the extension of allow 16- and 17-year olds to be allowed to vote in all elections and referendums across the UK and asks the Electoral Returning Officer to consider participating in any pilot scheme. The council agreed to request that:

  • officers make contact with the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to assess the views of the new Secretary of State when it comes to the re-organisation of local government
  • the Chief Executive and Leader bring a report on this matter to full council by Summer 2020
  • officers bring forward proposals for the Vale of White Horse to consider a formal merger with South Oxfordshire District Council creating a single district council based on their combined geography with increased financial resilience.

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee Hayleigh is a member of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, which had its first meeting in October. The committee listened to several speakers from across the Vale, including Miriam Jacobs from Blewbury Parish Council. The speakers raised different areas we should look at when considering the Climate Emergency at the Vale, and the committee agreed recommendations to commission work to be done by officers and to establish a communications plan to engage the community. Finally, they debated and set target dates for a carbon neutral council by 2030 (75% by 2025) and a carbon neutral district by 2045 (75% by 2030) Work is now being planned and prepared

around seven themes: council business, housing, partnership, infrastructure, transport, biodiversity and behaviour change.

The Insight and Policy team at the council are now evaluating these plans and working with other service areas to look at the feasibility of some of the options. As part of an Oxford University programme, the team has also secured student consultancy support to capture their creativity and fresh ideas on strategies and techniques to help achieve the challenging targets set out by the committees. The students will create a data pack of information around the urgency of climate change and adaptation. Both committees will discuss the consultancy report and data pack at their next meetings. In the December meeting of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Leader Cllr Emily Smith confirmed to councillors that the cabinet had agreed the council would aspire to become carbon neutral by 2030 and become a carbon neutral district by 2045. The next meeting of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee is scheduled for 28 January 2020 and members

of the public are invited to attend and speak at the meeting. A reminder about the function of this new committee:

  • The council declared a climate emergency in February 2019.
  • In response to this, the council voted to establish a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee in July 2019, which meets in public to advise the council’s Cabinet on matters relating to the climate emergency.
  • The role of the committee is to make recommendations on how Vale of White Horse District Council can reduce damage to the global and local environment through its policies and practices. It aims to work with and advise and influence partner organisations.
  • The committee will research ways in which the council can contribute to national and countywide targets on climate and ecological issues and identify sources of external funding relating to the climate emergency.
  • Members of the public can speak to the committee or ask questions about items on the agenda. To be allowed to speak, you must register with democratic services (email democratic.services@southandvale.gov.uk or call 01235 422520) by 5pm on the last working day before the meeting.

October Council Meeting Local Plan Part 2 The October Full Council meeting saw Council vote to adopt the Vale’s Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2), and motions were passed covering EU citizens’ rights, investments in low carbon funds, the A34 and changes to working with regional development organisations. Hayleigh spoke on LPP2 to highlight that despite our reservations about the plan, adopting it was the best option to prevent more speculative development, which we know that the villages we represent have hugely suffered from in the past.

Council motion on EU citizens’ rights Sarah used her maiden speech at Council to propose a motion (which passed unanimously) asking officers to prepare a report on what more the council could do to mitigate adverse impacts of the UK leaving the EU on the rights of non-UK EU nationals. The motion also instructs the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Secretary to ask for important clarity on deadlines, evidence and rights of individuals under the current European Settlement Scheme. The Leader of the Council has also written an open letter to all the non-UK EU nationals in the Vale – please help us reach all affected residents by sharing the letter with any friends, family, neighbours or colleagues who might be affected. For more information, and to download a PDF copy of the letter, visit http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/community-advice-and-support/brexit-%E2%80%93-adviceresidents/brexit-advice-eu-national.

Local News

Didcot Garden Town Project Throughout 2019, council officers have been working hard to move ideas for the Didcot Garden Town from the visionary stage to real-life project plans. As all the parishes we (Hayleigh and Sarah) represent lie within the Area of Influence of the Didcot Garden Town, we are actively interested in the project and we intend to keep parish councils and residents up to date about the next steps and upcoming meetings that will support the garden town. Didcot Garden Town governance matters will be discussed by the Joint Scrutiny Committee on 16 January 2020. The committee will be considering a proposal for a simplified governance structure to form a DGT Advisory Board and three Sounding Boards. The Sounding Boards will consist of a parish council board, a business board and a resident board. We hope that Upton Parish Council will be able to participate on the Parish Councils Sounding Board when the governance for Didcot Garden Town is approved. Papers for the Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting are available at the

following link: http://democratic.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=549&MId=2687&Ver=4. Questions or comments from parish councils ahead of the meeting are encouraged – please contact the Didcot Garden Town project manager, Marybeth Harasz: marybeth.harasz@southandvale.gov.uk. For more information on the Didcot Garden Town Delivery Plan, published in October 2017, please see the website www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/didcotgardentown for details.

UTC Oxfordshire Public Art Installation In November 2019, a new sculpture was installed at the UTC Oxfordshire on Great Western Park. ‘Reach’ is a threemetre-high human hand that features individual glass discs, made by students and residents, to celebrate the ground-breaking science and engineering taking place in our local area. More information can be found in the following article: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/news/2019/2019-11/hand-sculpture-reach-installed-great-westernpark?fbclid=IwAR3RmxgU-rCJ4X1uauwgYnCOP5nIp2E8Ywek_TOI7jspysPb15HmFYhibgo

Vale News

Christmas Tree Collections What to do with your Christmas tree now that the festive sea is over: If you’re a garden waste customer… Bin crews will come and collect it on your first brown bin collection after Christmas, which start again on Thursday 9 January – just put it out next to your brown bin. Please don’t put it in the bin as it’s often difficult for the crews to get out. Trees larger than 6ft must be cut down. Don’t worry if you missed the collection during this week – please simply put your tree out before the end of January on your brown bin collection day. If you’re not a garden waste customer… Drop it off at one of these special collection points: Location Latest date to be left at collection point Chilton village hall 20 January Harwell recreation ground 20 January Milton burial ground car park 8 January If you want to get rid of it later, you can also take it to these locations in South Oxfordshire. For more information visit http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/recycling-rubbish-andwaste/christmas-waste/what-do-your-christmas-tree District Councillor

Pop-Up Business School in Didcot Would you like to learn how you can make money from your passion for FREE? We’ve arranged for the Pop-Up Business School to come to Didcot Civic Hall on 27-31 January to teach you how to start your own business! Sign up now via https://www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk/didcot.html Future Homes Standard Consultation The government wants to hear opinions on options to increase the energy efficiency requirements for new homes. It is running a consultation on the “Future Homes Standard”, which is open for comments until early next year. All new homes will be required to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and higher levels of energy efficiency from 2025 and this consultation is the first stage of a two-part survey to change building regulations. The consultation is open until 7 February 2020 for comments via their website.

Landscapes review

An independent review, commissioned by the government, has found that National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) across the country are not doing what they’re intended to do, especially in relation to nature conservation. The review, known as The Glover Report, has set out a number of positive proposals which aim to make National Parks and AONBs more effective. Included in the proposals are measures to help ensure that everyone can access these special areas and that the local communities that are an important part of these landscapes continue to thrive. The review supports giving greater status to both National Parks and AONBs. It recommends that AONBs are given greater recognition in the planning system, making sure local councils have to consult with AONB management groups on local planning applications, and while developing planning policies. It also suggests that they should be provided with help when working with planning authorities on the preparation of new local plans. To find out more please see:

• a summary of the report, including what it means for our districts

  • the full report.