Minutes of the meeting of Upton Parish Council held at 7.00pm on Thursday 26th November 2020. This meeting was held via an e-conference system.

In attendance:- Cllr Ben Shaw (Chair/BS), Miss E Cooper (Clerk/EC), Cllrs Peter McLaughlin, David Beckles & Brendan Heneghan. County Cllr Mike Fox-Davies, District Cllr Sarah Medley. One member of the public.


  1. Apologies for absence


  1. Declarations of interest in the items on the agenda

None declared.

  1. Approve the minutes of the following meeting & note any matters arising: –

UPC   17.09.20

UPCX   20.10.20

UPC unanimously agreed to approve the previous minutes with no changes.


  1. Report from the County Councillor – see Appendix A below

Cllr MF-D highlighted the 20s Plenty Campaign, regarding the potential introduction of 20mph speed

limits in Oxfordshire villages.

The Chairman highlighted the Chilton Road closure notices came after the road was physically closed &

asked for better communication in future. He also requested better signage regarding the road closure

than there is at present. Cllr MF-D to look in to this.


  1. Report from the District Councillor – see Appendix B below.

Cllr SM highlighted the continues support for communities and businesses from the DC. Also

supermarket vouchers available via the CAB. BS to ensure this information communicated to the village.

Didcot Garden Town – BS confirmed he now represents Upton & Blewbury on the Resident Sounding


SM highlighted bids for climate emergency change initiatives deadline 11.1.21.

BS asked about grants for decarbonisation of public buildings. SM to supply more information if



  1. Representations from the public

A member of the public asked for the council’s help in the restoration of 2 benches in the

Upton parish on the Sustrans route. UPC agreed to consider the offer of a local artist to do the work and

to consider the price.


  1. Update from the Chair on the current community Covid-19 response in the village, inc.

WhatsApp help group

The Chairman confirmed he had joined the WhatsApp group & that it was still going strong. He also

confirmed that fortunately there was no one in the village in need of financial support. So further

support was going to people in Didcot.


  1. Outstanding actions from previous meetings & actions from this meeting: –


No. Action from this meeting When by
1. BS to ensure information on DC support & supermarket vouchers goes out to the village. ASAP
2. All to consider the remedial work on benches. Jan meeting
3. EC/BS to examine documents held in VH meeting room filing cabinet. Actioned.
  No. Actions from September Meeting When By
1. MF-D to see if more information is available on C-19 testing in the area following reports of problems from BH C’fwd Jan meeting
2. BS to obtain quote for remedial work on zip wire, chain cover & seat Cleared
3. BH to look in to benefits of two types of fence on the rec Cleared
4. Clerk to send historic documents found to date to BH. Cleared


  1. To ratify or agree the council’s response to the following planning applications: –

9.1  P20/V2094/FUL 3 Fieldside, Upton

Proposal to erect 2 storey building to side of existing property to offer 2 bed

accommodation. Inc parking space.

UPC objected to this consultation.

9.2 P20/V2138/HH Owlscote Barn, High St, Upton

P20/V2137/LB Owlscote Barn

Proposed demolition & rebuilding of existing outbuilding. Raising boundary

wall & building gable in brickwork.

UPC objected to these consultations.

9.3  P20/V2389/FUL Land off Hollow Way

Construction of new digestate storage lagoon, perimeter soil und, hard

surface turning pad & security fencing.

UPC objected to this consultation.

9.4 P20/V2773/LB Regularisation of unauthorised works to listed building known

as Owlscote Barn

Deadline 28.11.20

UPC objected to this consultation.

9.5 EC & BS agreed to start an examination of papers held in the filing cabinet in the meeting room of

the village hall, with the objective of removing planning papers that do not need to be kept and

uncovering any historical documentation.


  1. Update on UPC Finances and Administration

10.1 Outcome of Clerk’s appraisal

Regular weekly telecon with the Chairman.

Recognised time for CiLCA.

Highlighting importance of communications for response from councillors.

Discussions between councillors to take place ahead of meetings in order to come

to meetings with agreements, thereby reducing time spent in meetings.


10.2 Agree any remedial actions to the Clerk’s hours/hourly rate

10.2.1 Confidential – agreement on pay as agreed in performance review???

10.2.2 Clerks agreed working hours & days

The already agreed 20 hours per month would stand, & would primarily be

carried out on a Monday, Tuesday & Thursday. Additional hours up to 8 per month. Council

unanimously agreed.

10.3 Clerk’s new Job Description

The job description was unanimously agreed.

10.4 To agree the following payments: –


Date Payee £


Clerk’s salary SO

Inc additional hours (8) as agreed [LGA1972 s112(2)]

Not publicly disclosed
25.11.20 Clerk’s expenses [LG(FPA)1963s5] £0
Oct, Nov HMRC PAYE SO (£52.20pm – Oct, £46.00 Nov) £98.20
19.10.20, 19.11.20 Microsoft Office365 Sept & Oct DD @£3.80pm

[LGA1972 s111]

10.11.20 Royal British Legion Donation [LGA1972 s137]

Agreed by email, to be ratified.

12.11.20 Survey Monkey Response Fees [LGA1972 ss15(5)&34(5)] £200.00
  TOTAL        £505.80

+ Clerk’s salary above


10.5  Receipts

Bank interest October .11p, November .11p

10.6 To sign off bank reconciliation to date

Provided in advance of the meeting. To be physically signed at a later date

10.7 Update on UPC budgets

The Chairman explained the updated budget layout to the council. This was now more in keeping

with professional standards. Council unanimously agreed to move forward with this format in

principle. BS to produce final version for formal agreement at January’s meeting.

10.8 Any other financial or administration updates

10.8.1 Recreation ground fencing – BH confirmed following discussions with the owners of the

land adjoining the recreation ground, the conclusion is that they do not want people to

continue to trespass on their land & would welcome a fence on the rec. This therefore

needs to be formally accounted and planned for within the UPC budget. Council

unanimously agreed that future budget meetings should be conducted as standalone

meetings, with recommendations reported at the next full council meeting.

10.8.2 It was noted that the CC are reviewing the dog bin situation & are not currently installing

any new ones.


NOTE:- Council agreed to close the meeting at this point as it was 11pm.


All other agenda items were deferred to a continuation meeting to be held at 7.30pm on Thursday 3rd December 2020.


Date of next full council meeting: –

Thursday 14th January 2021 at 7.30pm via an e-conference system





Oxfordshire update

As I am sure everyone is now aware, a four-week national lockdown has been introduced for

England, which ends on 2nd December. This move comes in the wake of rapidly rising infection levels across the country and a significant rise in hospital admissions. More information on the national restrictions and what it means can be found on the government’s website.

What are the new restrictions?

  • People must stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, such as education, childcare, and work which cannot be done from home.
  • Pubs, restaurants, and non-essential shops and businesses will have to close, although hospitality venues can continue to provide takeaway and delivery services.
  • Schools, colleges, universities and early years settings can remain open.
  • People must not meet socially indoors or in a private garden with family or friends who are not part of their household or support bubble.
  • People should reduce the number of journeys they make and avoid all but essential travel.
  • People are allowed to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place with members of their household or support bubble.
  • A maximum of two people from different households – excluding children under school age – are allowed to meet outdoors for the purpose of exercise or to visit an outdoor public place.

Detailed information about the new restrictions is available on the gov.uk website.

What public services will remain open?

Under the new national restrictions, a greater number of public services can remain open than under the previous lockdown. This includes schools, colleges, and early years settings; household waste recycling centres; and registrar’s offices. Public outdoor spaces including parks, gardens and playgrounds will remain open. Outdoor markets will also be able to continue, although trade will be limited to food and other essential items.

The overwhelming majority of Oxfordshire County Council’s services will still be delivered without interruption. We will continue to provide care and support to vulnerable residents through home visits and our community support services; and our formally organised support groups that provide mutual aid or therapy will continue, with a maximum of 15 participants.

Our registration services will continue to provide birth registration and notices face to face in

COVID-secure offices, while death registration will continue by phone. However, weddings and civil partnerships will be paused, in line with national guidance.

What will temporarily close?

The government has confirmed that entertainment venues, including museums and galleries, must temporarily close. This means that the Oxfordshire Museum and the Oxfordshire History Centre have closed until 2 December. Libraries have also closed, although the home library service will continue to operate, as will the online library service. A potential new click-and-collect service is being investigated for the libraries, together with limited access to public network PCs across a small number of


All OCC staff have been asked to work from home if at all possible and it is only in exceptional circumstances that they should go into the office. Staff working in frontline services will continue to do so in line with the COVID-compliance measures.


Support for extremely vulnerable people and self-isolating residents

The over 60s and the clinically vulnerable people have been recommended by the government to minimise their contacts with others during the lockdown period. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, including working from home.

If anyone has a received a letter from the government about receiving additional support, they have been identified as being extremely vulnerable. In order to benefit from this support, they need to register themselves on the national system if they have not already done so. If they require additional support their district council will be informed and will make contact with them to identify their needs in more detail. If they need urgent support then they can contact their district council directly.

If residents do not have the means to register and have no one who is able to assist, they can

call us on the number below.

  • Call 01865 897820
  • Email shield@oxfordshire.gov.uk.
  • The service is open 8.30am – 5pm Monday – Thursday, and 8.30am – 4pm on Fridays.

Closed Saturday – Sunday and Bank Holidays


We coninue to work closely with our partners in health, the district councils, police and the universities to issue extended #StopTheSpread communications, including urging people to follow the new restrictions, communicating the symptoms and ensuring understanding and reminding children and young people they must wear face coverings on school transport.

Vaccine News

News that possible COVID-19 vaccines could be on the horizon continue to make headlines,

including the update on the Oxford vaccine from earlier this week, which is showing an encouraging immune response in older adults. Whilst this continues to bring cause for hope, it remains very early days for all the vaccine trials and we must be patient. All the vaccines need to be reviewed and any potential safety hurdles cleared.

New lockdown funding available for businesses

District council colleagues are now processing applications for the new government funding available to businesses that have been forced to close in the current lockdown. Known as ‘Local Restrictions Grant Support Grant (Closed) Addendum’, this grant may also be distributed to businesses which have had to adapt their business model because of the measures, for example to provide a reduced service such as takeaways or click and collect.

To qualify for this grant, businesses must have been:

▪ open as usual on 4 November 2020

▪ providing services in person to customers from the premises

▪ required to close the main part of the business, due to the national lockdown

restrictions imposed by government

▪ liable to pay business rates for the premises on 5 November 2020 (even if they have not paid their business rates this financial year due to a relief or exemption).

We want all eligible businesses to benefit from this financial support, advising them to visit their city council or district council website to find out how to apply.

Residents warned against COVID-19 scams

Our trading standards team is continuing to warn residents to be on their guard against criminals and scammers exploiting the pandemic. The team has received numerous reports of scams targeting people by email, text messages, and on the doorstep. More information is in our recent news release about some of the scams the team are aware of. Please do share this important information with residents, groups and organisations in your division.

Oxfordshire wins £2.98 million to transform active travel

This is 25 per cent more than our indicative allocation for tranche 2 and recognises the ambition of our active travel plans. It brings the total amount we have been awarded to £3,283,500.

The scale of this second award reflects the bold proposals we submitted. The five schemes we put forward – three in Oxford, one in Bicester and one in Witney – are designed to have the greatest impact in terms of air quality, physical activity and environmental benefit. They are projects which go to the heart of supporting healthy and vibrant communities and will help enable a sustainable and safe recovery from the pandemic. In addition to the funding from the DfT, we have been given £1.4m in funding from OxLEP – subject to sign-off by the OxLEP Programme Subgroup next Wednesday – which has been allocated to the schemes in Witney and Bicester. This funding combined with the award from the DfT will enable us to fully fund all five of the tranche 2 active travel schemes. Read

our news story for more.

New speeding taskforce group aims to save lives

Residents will be given more of a say on how to stop drivers speeding in their neighbourhoods, thanks to a new organisation set up to tackle the problem in Oxfordshire. The speeding taskforce group is a joint initiative involving Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Thames Valley Police and the Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner. Announced to coincide with Road Safety Week, its aims include educating drivers about the dangers of breaking the speed limit and helping communities to tackle the issue. Councillor Liam Walker, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Delivery and Operations, who sits on the taskforce, said “Speeding is rightly one of the top issues that residents in Oxfordshire are concerned about and this is an opportunity for us to

all work closer to explore new ways to reduce it. We all have a responsibility as drivers to play our part and through this new taskforce I hope we can work closely with communities to start looking at solutions to reducing speeding on our roads. “This may involve more enforcement from Thames Valley Police or the county council changing the layout of roads or reducing speed limits in areas, but the key point of this group is to bring us together so we can start to have these conversations and focus on the

changes needed so we can save lives.” The speeding taskforce group is made up of Cllr Walker, Paul Fermer (Oxfordshire County Council’s Assistant Director of Community Operations), Matt Barber (Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley), Superintendent Colin Hudson (Head of Roads Policing Unit for Thames Valley Police) and Andy Ford (Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue

Service’s Road Safety Manager). Matt Barber, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, said: “Speeding and road safety is a legitimate concern for almost every community in the Thames Valley. By taking a strategic approach, which involves improving Community Speedwatch, more targeted, intelligence-led

police enforcement and safer road management by councils, we can cut speeding, reassure

communities and, ultimately, save lives.” Initial virtual meetings have been held to identify how the different organisations can share data about key accident and speeding hotspots. The group wants to focus on more awareness campaigns, alerting drivers to the effects and consequences of speeding and giving the issue as much attention as drink-driving or not wearing a seatbelt. It also aims to support communities that want to help tackle speeding by ensuring they have the support to set up Community Speedwatch groups in their area to monitor motorists who break the limits.

Pandemic won’t stop Oxfordshire’s roads from being gritted

As temperatures start to dip, the county council’s winter weather response springs into action, becoming one of our key frontline services that keeps almost half of the roads across Oxfordshire free as possible from winter hazards. The pandemic will not stop our efforts – we are ready to go. This year we have trained 15 extra drivers, will have 25 gritter lorries on the road at any one time, and will use approximately 220 tonnes of salt per treatment. For more information about our winter service, please read our news story.

Launch of zero emission zone consultation

Together with Oxford City Council, yesterday (Friday 20 November) we pressed go on our final consultation on proposals for the pilot stage of the Zero Emission Zone for Oxford. This first stage covers an area of central Oxford and is due to be launched in August 2021. It aims to help cut vehicle emissions in the city and improve local air quality. The consultation runs online until 17 January 2021 and can be found here.

Oxford-Cambridge Arc event, recording now available

Earlier this week, the Leaders Group of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc hosted an online event which outlined the economic vision for the Arc, set out the big themes for innovation-led growth in the area and provided an opportunity for public conversation about the Arc’s recently launched economic prospectus. For those councillors unable to attend the live online event or for those wishing to recap on the session, a recording is now available online. This is approximately 80 minutes in length and is introduced by Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, in his role as Chair of the Arc Leaders Group.

Hand it back campaign

As part of our joint ‘hand it back campaign’ with Oxford Health, Oxford University Hospitals and supplier NRS Healthcare, please encourage residents in your division to return any unused health and social care equipment loaned to them so others can take advantage of it.

Worldwide manufacturing of items including bed rails, pendent alarm equipment/sensors (telecare) and mattresses has slowed because of the pandemic, meaning new ones may be harder to come by. The pieces of unused equipment being sought are:

▪ chairs, beds, bed rails and mattresses

▪ wheeled commodes

▪ any electrical items

▪ walking and toilet frames

▪ pendent alarm equipment/sensors (Telecare)

▪ slings.

Anybody wanting to give back equipment can arrange a collection by calling NRS Healthcare on 01869 225420 or by sending their details to enquiries@oxfordshire.nrsuk.net




District Councillor Report Upton Parish Council Thursday 26th November 2020

hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk Page 1 of 4 sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk

Upton Parish Council

Thursday 26th November 2020

Report from District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Coronavirus Update and Community Support

Councils providing vital community and business support through the second lockdown

The new national lockdown restrictions, in place from 5 November to 2 December mean:

  • You must work from home if you can
  • You should not socialise with people who are not from your household, indoors.
  • You may only meet with one person from another household and must stay outdoors
  • All non-essential shops to close, but may offer click and collect or delivery services.
  • Food stores, supermarkets and pharmacies will stay open
  • Hospitality businesses to close, but may offer take-away deliveries or click and collect (excluding alcohol)
  • Gyms, leisure centres and leisure venues like cinemas and museums to close
  • Schools, colleges and universities remain open

The council is very aware that the winter lockdown will be tough on some of our residents and businesses, but we’re

here for anybody who urgently needs our help.

The councils’ Community Hub, which has been up and running since the first lockdown in March, is on hand to

answer calls and emails from people struggling to access support and essentials during the lockdown and have

nobody else to turn to. The Community Hub can put people who need help getting essentials in contact with

community groups and volunteers providing doorstep support in their neighbourhoods. The councils also have some

practical support available for eligible people facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

This helps provide a vital lifeline to a way to access basics like food and prescriptions for those who are vulnerable or

isolated, as well as a friendly voice at the end of the phone for those who need it. The message to anybody who is

unsure if they need help, or if they’re unsure if the councils can help, is if in doubt, get in touch! It can sometimes

take a day or two for support to reach people, so anybody who thinks they’ll be in need should not wait until they’ve

run out of supplies before getting in touch.

To contact the Community Support Team:

call: 01235 422 600 Monday to Thursday 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm

email: communitysupport@southandvale.gov.uk fill in an online form at: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub

Remember, for the most up-to-date coronavirus information relating to district council support and any changes to services, please take a look at the dedicated Vale webpage for updates: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/covid19

Business Support: the councils also provide a local support service for businesses in the districts worried about the impact the lockdown will have on their operations, providing helpful guidance and pointing them in the direction of the support that is available – see svbs.co.uk.

District council services: for the time being, the majority of our public-facing services are operating as normal. We will let you know if anything changes in the coming weeks. Regardless, the best way for people to access our services now, throughout the lockdown and beyond, is via our websites, which are also the best place to get the most up to date information on the pandemic and any impact it is having on our services: whitehorsedc.gov.uk . The council offices on Milton Park remain closed to the public, as they have been since March. Gyms and leisure centres are closed to the public (for more formation go to the Better UK website – better.org.uk), as are all community centres.

Local News

Projects moving forward for Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board

Members of the Didcot Garden Town Advisory Board met recently to hear about the latest developments for Didcot

Gateway and other key initiatives around the town. You can watch the meeting in full via https://youtu.be/QfXTrFSOKGo. The board were updated on the district councils’ plan to build their new offices at

Didcot Gateway, which will be located opposite the railway station. During the meeting Homes England’s proposal

and online community engagement, which took place during this summer, to redevelop the Gateway area was

discussed. The district councils are pleased to be working with Homes England to ensure the new councils’ offices

provide an important part of the overall sustainable redevelopment of the site.

Members were updated on a range of initiatives, including plans for a new health centre and a county council led

project to improve roads and cycle paths for the wider garden town area. The board obtained feedback from

councillors who had attended the first meeting of the Parish Council Sounding Board. The virtual session was

chaired by Cllr Ian Hudspeth and was attended by eight parish councillors from the garden town’s surrounding

villages. Their views on housing quality, maintaining green buffers between town and villages, transport links and

infrastructure plans for residents living in more rural areas will be used to inform projects which will benefit the


The Didcot Garden Town team will be engaging with local residents and businesses, through resident and business

led Sounding Boards, which will provide further information on the projects with the opportunity to feedback on the

new proposals. If you’d like to hear more about the latest developments in Didcot Garden Town or are interested in

joining one of the resident or business sounding boards, you can sign up to the latest newsletter here.

The first-ever Didcot Garden Town residents and community groups sounding board meeting is taking place online

at 5.30pm on Monday 30 November You have until midnight tonight to register for. Register and get involved with

the projects happening in and around Didcot via www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/didcot-garden-town

Climate and Environment

Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

We’re looking into applying for government funding that could help make some of our buildings across both districts

more energy efficient. The recently announced Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme focuses on low-carbon heating

and improvements to help reduce energy consumption like insulation, glazing and ventilation.

The scheme offers grants to finance up to 100 per cent of the costs of capital energy-saving projects for nondomestic

public sector buildings. It could provide very welcome resources to help both councils meet their own

Climate Emergency targets. The timescales for applying for the funding are tight, with bids required by 11 January

2021 and we’re now looking into putting forward bids for a priority list of sites for both councils.

This work will involve input from a number of different teams, including Property and Active Communities and will

link into other work going on like the Strategic Property Review. We will keep you up to date with progress on this

exciting initiative. Parish councils are also eligible to apply to this scheme.

Tree Planting Guide introduced by Climate Emergency Advisory Committee

As suggested by the Vale’s Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, the council’s Specialist Planning team have

created a handy Tree Planting Guide for Community Groups. This can be found on the following dedicated webpage,

alongside useful advice on Tree Protection Orders: https://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/vale-of-white-horse-districtcouncil/planning-and-development/wildlife-trees-and-landscape/trees/


Council Matters

Full council

At a Special Meeting of Council on 22nd October, the Vale’s new Corporate Plan was considered and formally

adopted. The Corporate Plan sets out the strategy and overarching projects for the Council, so councillors welcomed

the incorporation of targets to address the climate emergency and to build healthy communities. The minutes of the

meeting, including reports on the Corporate Plan, can be found here:



Councils raise objections to Government’s proposed reforms to the planning system

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have written separate letters to Robert Jenrick objecting

to many of the Government’s proposed reforms to the current planning system. The Government’s proposed

changes were outlined in the Planning for the Future white paper. You can read our full response here: Vale letter

Oxford to Cambridge Arc prospectus

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc is a strategic area incorporating the ceremonial county areas of Oxfordshire,

Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The Arc Leaders Group is a body comprising

most of the local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and universities from across the Arc.

On 17 November the key figures behind Oxfordshire-Cambridge Arc are hosting a virtual event to launch the Arc

Economic Prospectus and to give people a chance to find out more about the what it means for the region.

The event takes place online from midday until 1.30pm and is the first in a series which will explore different aspects

of the Arc’s development, including how it intends to unlock investment, promote world-class research and drive

innovation-led growth. To find out more and to register please visit the event’s the event’s webinar page.

Parking Policy Consultation

Your chance to comment on proposed changes to off-street parking in the Vale

People in the Vale of White Horse have the chance to comment on some proposed changes to parking arrangements

in the district council’s off street car parks. Over the summer Vale of White Horse District Council’s Cabinet agreed to

amend the district’s parking policy, including measures to encourage the use of electric vehicles in order help tackle

the climate emergency, and changes to parking in Rye Farm and Hales Meadow car parks in Abingdon.

The council is now giving people the chance to have their say before the new parking policy is finalised early in

  1. The council will also seek comments from statutory consultees such as the Police, the highways authority and

town and parish councils.

The following changes are being proposed:

  • Additional parking for electric vehicles and powers to issue fines for parking non-electric vehicles in electric

charging bays, or for leaving an electric vehicle in the bay when it’s not charging

  • removing the parking for lorries in the Rye Farm car park, Abingdon and creating more spaces for smaller


  • formalising the parking bays in Hales Meadow car park, Abingdon for coaches and campervans

To find about more about the proposals and to take part in the consultation please visit

www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/parking. The consultation is open until Thursday 19 November.

UK terror threat level

We’ve been advised by Thames Valley Police that, as precautionary measure following recent events in France and

Austria, the UK’s terror threat level has been changed from Substantial to Severe. There is no specific intelligence to

suggest any threat to our communities at this time, but Thames Valley Police has said that it means we should all be

more vigilant.