THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING OF UPTON VILLAGE

DRAFT Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting of Upton held in the Village Hall at 7pm on Wednesday 4th May 2022, facilitated by the Parish Council.

 

Present:- Mr B Shaw (Chair / BS), Miss E Cooper (Clerk / EC). Also present:- District Cllr H Gascoigne (HG),               County Cllr S Povolotsky (SP) and approximately 50 Upton residents.

 

Reports received from various groups were made available to view from 6.45pm.

 

 

  1. Welcome and opening remarks – Parish Council Chairman Ben Shaw

BS noted the number of attendees in the hall & thanked everyone for attending.

 

  1. Apologies for absence

No apologies were received in advance of the meeting.

 

  1. Chairman’s Report

BS covered the main points of his Parish Council Chairman’s report. He also stated that the other

reports were available to read at the back of the hall.

 

  1. Open Forum

Questions from those present to the Parish Council or other groups represented.

A list of 9 questions were submitted by J Fidgen, with other resident nominated to speak on the

subjects.

 

4.1 To discuss traffic calming measures on the A417 (Di Rabetts/DiR)

DiR highlighted concerns regarding the speed of traffic through the village. County Cllr S

Povolotsky updated as follows:-

20mph in the village – Upton is in the second tranche which currently is the end of 2022,

beginning of 2023.

A417 crossing – this is scheduled for September/October of 2022.

DiR was particularly concerned about how traffic calming might be introduced at the Blewbury end

of the village.

SP added that there is a bigger picture ‘safety review’ with a push for other alternative transport

methods, as roads need to be made safer for all.

SP advised people to continue to use Fixmystreet as they have a 28 day response.

 

4.2 To discuss plans to erect a fence along the end of the Rec (proposed by Brian Rippon/BR)

BR expressed his opinion that a palisade fence would be completely unsuitable.

Other suggestions included a gate at that end of the field. BS stated that the other side is

private land. Also the purchase of a strip of land to enable access. This would involve major costs,

works & maintenance.

BS confirmed that previous quotes for a fence were in the region of £16k. He also confirmed the

need for a fence (the land the other side is private/Council should be legally compliant with

covenant) & that no decisions had as yet been made.

 

4.3 To discuss the viability of a cycle path between Upton & Blewbury (Kieron Humphrey/KH)

County Cllr S Povolotsky confirmed that work to change Coffin way from a footpath to a bridleway

started last September. This is a long process & SP hoped to have the next update in June. An

estimate for creating a ‘banded surface’ route is c£250-295k. SP stated again this is part of the

bigger decarbonisation picture.

 

4.4 To discuss improving verges in the village for wildlife (Kieron Humphrey/KH)

KH explained he had spoken to County Cllr S Povolotsky regarding verges at the village end

of Chilton Road, Upton, which he would like to fill with wild flowers. KH stated that wilding is a

science backed way to promote diversity. The verges are the responsibility of the county council &

he indicated that the Parish Council could take on responsibility for the verges from the County

Council. A case would need to be put forward to the Parish Council detailing how the verges would

be planted & cared for now & into the future, together with any potential costs involved,

immediately & in the future.

 

4.5 To discuss plans to erect a fence around the toddlers’ playpark (Guilia Rippon/GR)

GR asked about plans to place a fence around the new toddler play area. This has been

discussed by the Parish Council, but no decisions yet made due to the high costs. The fence must

meet child friendly regulations & consideration will be given to a wooden fence (cheaper to install,

but required maintenance) or a recycled plastic fence (twice as expensive as wood, but no

maintenance).

Derek Whitmell said there was a Magnox socio economic fund that may help.

Bins on the rec were also raised at this point. Replacement bins are in the budget for this year, but

consideration also needs to be given to the emptying of the bins, which is under investigation.

Placing 2 or 3 wheelie bins around the rec was suggested. A volunteer would then need to move the

bins to the gate on waste collection days.

 

4.6 To discuss overflow parking in the Rec (Jacqui Reid/JR)

JR acknowledged that additional parking was required for specific events, & that the level of

matting used for the overflow was not designed for the level of use. BS explained that part of the

precept increase was to make improvements to the overflow parking. This needs to be revisited by

the Council, but this may not be this year due to a lack of resource.

JR said that the village hall would be happy to contribute to ideas & solutions.

 

4.7 To discuss maintaining access to the Rec (Duncan Reid/DR)

DR thought the closing of the gate to the rec at night was preposterous. BS explained that ‘out of

hours/anti-social behaviour’ use of the car park was why the gate had been closed at night &

opened early in the morning. Anti-social behaviour was reported to the police & patrols had been

increased. D Whitmell said traditionally the gate was always locked at night.

A new combination lock was suggested.

 

4.8 To discuss the near-doubling of the precept (Jo Fidgen/JF)

JF complained that the increase of the precept had not been discussed ahead of residents receiving

their council tax bills. BS explained that everyone was welcome at Parish Council meetings.

Clerk’s note:- UPCX Meeting 7.12.21, item 5.1.1 re precept refers.

JF requested that all plans are published in all the usual places. Also requested more information in

minutes. The Clerk said that more information could be included in the minutes.

BS explained that this was a two-way street & that residents can contact Councillors outside of

meetings.

 

4.9 To discuss plans for the installation of CCTV in the Rec (Rob Traynor)

Mr Traynor was not present at the meeting.

B Heneghan (BH) explained that with CCTV came the problem of GDPR. BH will look in more detail

at potential funding for such systems & whether it is worth investigating.

 

  1. BH gave an update on Speed Watch

5 volunteers are undergoing online training.

Teams of 3 are required.

Requested more volunteers to put themselves forward (please contact the Clerk).

BH is teaming up with Harwell & Blewbury who have Speed Watch up & running.

 

  1. The Chairman again thanked all for attending & brought the meeting to a close at 9.40pm.

 

  1. Date of the 2023 Annual Parish Meeting – Wednesday 26th April 2023

 

 

 

 

Reports received from:-

 

UPC Chairman

UPC Finance

County Councillor

District Councillor

Blewbury Primary School

Downland Village Transport Group

Harwell Stakeholders Group

St Mary’s Church

United Charities

Upton Nature Garden