Minutes of the Upton Parish Council Thursday 19th March 2020.

Minutes of the Upton Parish Council meeting held on Thursday 19th March 2020 in the village hall.

In attendance:- Cllrs B Shaw (Chair/BS), D Beckles (DB), B Heneghan (BH). Miss E Cooper (Clerk/EC), Mrs J Reid (UVHAT/JR)

Clerk’s note:- The council agreed via email to operate emergency measures for this meeting. The meeting was quorate with three councillors in attendance. The Clerk and a representative from UVHAT were also present and occupied the main hall and sat a safe distance apart. 

  1. Apologies for absence

Cllrs P McLaughlin, I Sykes, District Cllr H Gascoigne, County Cllr M Fox-Davies

The council acknowledged the resignation (by email) of Cllr Ian Sykes with immediate effect. Clerk to instigate notice of vacancy. ACTION Clerk.

  1. Declarations of interest in the items on the agenda

BH declared that he could not take part in the discussions on the contractor for the garage doors as the contractor was known to him.

Clerk’s note:- The council agreed to bring to the top of the agenda item 18. Coronavirus & its effects on the village and the working of the Parish Council.

  1. Coronavirus and what current guidelines mean for the council and community

The council and Mrs Reid (JR) on behalf of UVHAT, discussed the situation in

the village. Clerk to provide JR with details of how the Blewbury community

helpers  are supporting those in need at this time. The council agreed to set

aside a £1000 discretionary emergency fund, which will be reviewed regularly.


JR confirmed that the hall was closed to all hiring events, with other uses under

discussion (as of date of meeting). UVHAT and the Parish Council would

continue to share information and help within the community as necessary and

within government guidelines.


JR also stated that there used to be a ‘Welcome to the Village’ information pack

for new comers and she would look in to this with a view to helping community

relations. Action JR.


The council agreed (proposed BS, seconded BH), that the emergency measures

would include delegation of decisions to one councillor and or the Clerk should

this situation arise. The holding of physical meetings was subject to review prior

to agreed dates (at the time of the meeting). Clerk to look at adding Emergency

Measures to the Standing Orders. ACTION Clerk.


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

UPC 16.01.20

The minutes were approved by council with no changes and signed off by the


  1. Report from the County Councillor

Not provided other than information on the Coronavirus, which had been


  1. Report from the District Councillor

Provided in advance of the meeting and included at Appendix A below.

  1. Representations from the public

None present.

  1. Outstanding actions carried forward from this and previous



No. Action Points from March Meeting When by
1. JR to look in to previous Welcome to the Village’ pack. May meet
2. Clerk to look at adding Emergency Measures to the SOs. May meet
3. BS to confirm any immediate remedial actions to play area equipment. ASAP
4. Clerk to nominate other contractors to quote for new toddler play area. o/s
5. JR to look in to documentation held by UVHATconcerning the village hall / PC history May meet
6. Clerk to contact MB & CL re PC / UVHAT history May meet
7. Clerk to instigate councillor vacancy procedure ASAP
8. BS to provide Clerk with details of residence to write to regarding detritus on rec. ASAP
9. BH to write para for Upton News for volunteers for Speedwatch. ASAP


No. Action Points from previous meetings When by
1. Clerk to instigate mandate papers to change Lloyds Bank signatories – Second signature added to paperwork & returned to Lloyds 23.3.20  ASAP
2. Clerk to incorporate large project reserves in budget for 20/21 End fin year
3. IS to confirm any current maintenance required within the play areas – BH provided an update on remedial measures required. March meeting
4. BH to speak to Bob Lott regarding the pump track resurfacing & costs. C’fwd ASAP
5. BH to contact Cllr H Gascoigne for an update on tree records held by the DC – BH confirmed information obtained. To share with council. ASAP
6. PMcL to draft the start of a re-located toddler play area. C’fwd ASAP


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

8.1 P20/V0267/HH Fernwood, High Street, Upton

Retrospective application – windows arrangements

Deadline noon 20.3.20

The council agreed no objections to this application. 

  1. To receive an update on UPC Finances

9.1 Update on Lloyds bank accounts

Change of signatories paperwork had been returned from Lloyds Bank,

requiring a further signature. This was duly signed by BH & returned to

Lloyds Bank by post on Monday 23 March.

9.2 Ratify the agreement made by email to proceed with a quote for

replacement garage doors from Mr A Hamey in the sum of £1000 on the

grounds of safety & security.

The council confirmed its decision to instigate this work due to security and

safety concerns.

9.3 Agree the following payments listed in the table below.

The council agreed all payments. 




28.02.20,28.03.20 Clerk’s salary SO Not publicly disclosed
19.03.20 Clerk’s expenses £28.55
Feb, Mar HMRC PAYE SO (@£44.80pm) £89.60
19.02.20, 19.03.20 Microsoft Office365 Feb & Mar DD @£3.80pm £7.60
24.02.20 OALC Planning training – B Heneghan £60.00 inc VAT
20.03.20 OALC annual membership £140.42 inc VAT
19.03.20 Home Start donation £25.00
  TOTAL £351.17

+ Clerk’s salary SO above.


9.4   Receipts

Bank interest (Jan, Feb, Mar) .55p, .57p, .50p

Annual wayleave payment £2.00

9.5  Sign off bank reconciliation to date

The Chair duly signed off the bank reconciliation.

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

In the absence of IS, a full update was not available. BH to confirm any

Immediate remedial requirements on the adventure play area. ACTION BH

  1. Update on the ‘rec regeneration plan’

11.1 Toddler play area

A quotation had been received for the decommissioning of the toddler play

area and creation of a new area on the rec. This was under scrutiny by the


Clerk to nominate other contractors for quotations. ACTION Clerk

11.2 Pump track

Discussion postponed.

11.3 Grounds maintenance contractor

One quotation had been received for regular maintenance of the rec and

other areas of the village. A further two quotes were expected.

11.4 Any other areas requiring attention within the recreation area

BS to provide details of residence to write to regarding detritus dumped on


  1. Update on car park extension suggestions

The council acknowledged the correspondence received from residents. The

council also acknowledged that the decommissioning of the toddler play area,

creation of additional car parking spaces and creating different green/garden

spaces would all form part of a five year plan. Options will be at a future meeting.

However, in the current climate this subject would be postponed until further


  1. Update on the progress of the village web site

The Clerk reported that significant progress had been made in updating the

Parish Council element of the village web site and the Cllr McLaughlin was doing

a good job in improving all aspects of the site.

  1. Update on proposed Speed Watch activity in Upton

A meeting had taken place with the PCSO & a Blewbury PC representative. The

cost of equipment is expected to be less than first thought. However, as training

cannot currently take place, this will be reviewed at the earliest opportunity in the

future. BH will write para for Upton News to ask for volunteers to join

Speedwatch. ACTION BH

  1. Discuss information gathered on the history of the rec & village hall & any

subsequent actions required.

The council agreed that with information uncovered so far (from previous

minutes) the relationship between the council’s ownership of the rec and

UVHAT’s ownership of the hall was not clearly defined. JR agreed to look in to

documentation held by UVHAT to help establish the history and confirm any

results via BH. ACTION JR

Clerk to speak to M Brown and C Lightfoot to see what historical information

may be gained. ACTION EC

  1. Discuss any required plan of action to:-

16.1 Create a five year parish council plan

While it was agreed that this was required, in view of the current health

situation and with two councillor vacancies, its creation would take some


16.2 Revise the Parish Plan (2015/16)

While it was agreed that the plan was in need of revision in line with 16.1

above, for the same reason given above, this would take some time.

  1. Agree the format of this year’s Annual Parish Meeting (APM) scheduled for 7pm

on Thursday 23rd April and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for

Monday 18th  May 7.30pm.

The council acknowledged that in the current COVID-19 crisis, no in person

meetings could take place until further notice following government guidelines.

Following advice from OALC, the APM would be conducted by email only with

distribution and publication of any reports submitted in the normal way.

The AGM would take place in a to be agreed format as late in May as possible

(date TBC).

  1. Discuss any actions or advice to be taken in light of the Coronavirus

Discussed at start of meeting.

  1. Resignation of Cllr Ian Sykes.

Acknowledged at start of the meeting.


The meeting finished at 8.40pm.


Date and format of next meetings:- 

To be confirmed.



Upton Parish Council – Thursday 19th March 2020

Report from District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Our News

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update from the Vale of White Horse

The situation with the Coronavirus update has escalated in the past few days and is having an impact on everyone across the community. See webpage for up to date information as it affects the District councils’ services and residents. www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/news-events/coronavirus-covid-19-information

Vale of White Horse Council is in constant contact with partner organisations across the county who are doing everything they can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Oxfordshire are protected.

For specific help for parish councils, please contact the Oxfordshire Association for Local Councils

You can find out more information on the Public Health website, which is kept up to date daily.

Severe weather advice

The Vale website has a Severe Weather page for anyone looking for advice on where to find assistance or more information on floods, snow and ice, loss of utilities or storm damage:http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/weather During the winter months, the pages are kept up to date with any latest information, including any disruption to our waste collections.

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee

The Climate Emergency Advisory Committee (CEAC) has not met since our last report, however the next meeting will be held on Monday 30th March 2020 at 6.30pm at 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB. The agenda and information pack will be available on the following page: http://democratic.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=608&MId=2697

To find out more about what the council is doing to tackle climate change visit the website pages http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/environment/climate-change

New: Leader’s Blog

Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, has started a new Leader’s Blog to give residents more of an idea about all of the things the District Council is involved in. Her first blog post discusses International Women’s Day, the recent Big Botley Green Day, Grove Station and Climate Change. Click here to read the Blog.

Vale News

Survey on planning consultations

We’ve launched a public consultation to find out what residents, businesses and community groups think about how we can run our planning consultations in the future. Once adopted, our Statement of Community Involvement will form part of our Development Plan and will set out how communities will be able to influence new planning policy documents, such as the Local Plan. It also sets out the ways in which residents can comment on planning applications. The consultation is open for comments until 5pm on Thursday 9 April. You can find more information on our website here.

Tackling violent crime and supporting vulnerable young people

The Community Safety team recently hosted a conference to raise awareness about how partner organisations can work to tackle violence in our districts, particularly those involving people under the age of 25. Thames Valley Police delivered presentations on youth intervention in schools, and on how they are using local policing to tackle exploitation and county drug lines. Local charity SOFEA (South Oxfordshire Food & Education Alliance) spoke about how they help young people by combining educational programmes with work, focusing on boosting self-esteem and emotional intelligence. The team also manage a monthly ‘Joint Tasking Meeting’ to tackle complex cases that need to be considered by more than one agency. This brings together staff from district councils, police, social care, mental health teams, drug and alcohol services, and housing providers. The aim is to provide targeted support for vulnerable people who may be a victim of county drug lines, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, and anti-social behaviour, whilst dealing with any offending behaviour. This work, and the feedback provided at the conference, will feed into the South and Vale Community Safety Partnership Plan 2020/21, which will be published this June and is likely to have a strong focus on reducing violent crime.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.