Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 7.30pm in the Vale Room of the Village Hall.

In attendance:- Cllr Chris Lakeland (CL/Chair), Liz Cooper (EC/Clerk), Cllr Jane Gibson (JG), David Hollick (Lengthman/DH), Cllr David Lomas (DL), Cllr Mark Shayler (DL), Cllr Mark Blythe (MB), Cllr Vaughan Humphries (VH), Cllr Michael Penington (MP), District Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne, Mrs Lydia Inglis
  1. Apologies for absence

BPC Cllrs Charlotte Cameron, Miriam Jacobs, County Councillor Mike Fox-Davies, District Councillor Sarah Medley

  1. Declarations of interests relating to this meeting

None declared.

  1. County Councillor’s report

Please see Appendix B below.

  1. District Councillor’s report

HG agreed to produce a report in advance of the meeting, on which she would expand and take questions at the meeting. MB asked that HG hold accountable district council leaders on all fronts and take the opportunity to reassess ‘flawed’ policies (i.e. number of new houses in Oxfordshire). LI also commented on previous communications with Ian Hudspeth and welcomed a potential change in direction in considering the environment and the people already living in the area. HG agreed to take away comments and review current thinking.

  1. Report from the PCSO

None provided. The PC agreed in future to refer to local police updates provided via email.

  1. To receive the Lengthman’s report (see Appendix A below)

 In addition to the report, DH reported that rabbit damage at the cemetery and TFF was quite bad.

However, the PC agreed that no remedial action should be taken at this time.

Also footpath / hedge near Savages – becoming unmanageable. CL & DH to investigate.

Cleeve clearance to be organised between DH, MP and MB.

  1. Open Forum

No members of the public were present.

  1. To report on Outstanding Actions from previous meeting(s) and any matters arising

To report whether actions are cleared, carried forward or cancelled – see table below.

  1. Village hall refurbishment

CL provided an update in advance of the meeting on the ongoing fund raising to date on behalf of the Parish Council (see table below). He also emphasised that these are not guaranteed and that the result of each application would be given as soon as it is known, whether successful or not.

Asda Foundation £15,000 Asked to get back to them Oct/Nov, as money must be spent within 6 months of grant award
TOE £7,000 Will hear in Oct 2019
Pye Foundation £5,000 Cannot specify amount but would hope for at least £5000 if successful
DEFRA Village Hall Improvement Fund £25,000 Will only accept projects up to £375,000, so have presented a sub-set
Lottery £90,000  
Post Office £3,000  
Bernard Sunley £5,000 Cannot specify amount but would hope for at least £5000, which is what they previously pledged.
Doris Field £5,000  
Wren £75,000  
Sports Council £22,500  
Total £252,500

 

  1. Recreation Ground

14.1 Update on the Clubhouse if available.

CL stated that the Vale were to carry out the essential annual water test on 13th June for which CIC would pay the cost.

14.2 Update on the recreation ground.

The lack of a play area inspection report was raised. The inspection took place at the end of April 2019, but no report or invoice had been received. EC to contact Rynat Ltd. Clerk’s note:- Play area         inspections carried out on 30.04.19. Report subsequently received & distributed. No invoice received.

Cllr Shayler reported that the BBQ at TFF was now complete. DH asked if some sort of signage should be put in place? CL suggested ‘donated by’ or ‘thanks to’. MS to provide EC with details of         donors in order to write thank you letters.

  1. Planning & Housing

11.1 Planning committee report

A report was provided by CC ahead of the meeting. The last two applications received are detailed below.

11.2 To approve responses to current applications

P19/V1206/HH Hidden Cottage, Westbrook Street, Blewbury – single storey rear extension.

Deadline 12th May 2019. PC agreed to ‘no objections’ to this application via email.

P19/V1248/LB Ashbrook House, Westbrook Street, Blewbury – Replacement rainwater goods.

Deadline 27/28 June. The PC agreed via email ‘no objections’ to this application.

11.3 Neighbourhood Plan / OGB / 2050 Plan

MB attended the Oxfordshire Neighbourhood Plan inaugural meeting recently. MB & LI are neighbourhood plan representatives. There is concern that there is no input from neighbourhood               plans to the 2050 strategic plan. Next meeting 25.6.19. Also more consultation/input from local groups should be taken in to account for OGB.

  1. Finance & Administration

12.1  Update on CIL or S106 contributions and approve planned expenditure.

12.1.1 Skate park refurbishment

The PC agreed that some remedial work was required on the boards as gaps were starting to appear.

12.1.2 An S106 request for £800 was made for the resurfacing of the TFF car park. CL was asked to provide proof of ownership of TFF in support. No further response as yet, slow progress with S106.

12.1.3 JG & VH agreed to take responsibility for CIL fund usage. To provide a steer as to  appropriate use. PC agreed to use money for skate park refurbishment. EC to verify existing quote and obtain a second for comparison. MS agreed to inspect the skate park himself. The question of metal versus wooden surfaces was raised & needs to be fully considered, as to which is the most cost effective over time.

12.2  Update on the Accounts and Audit for 2018-2019.

12.2.1 Report on the completion of the internal audit

EC reported that the internal audit, carried out by IAC Audit & Consultancy Ltd, was concluded and signed off on 22nd May 2019 with no major comments.

12.2.2 To sign off external audit paperwork

The PC agreed to sign off of the completed audit papers and these were duly signed by the Chair and RFO.

12.2.3 To formally agree the start date of the period for the exercise of public rights (30 days to include the first 10 days of July).

The PC agreed for the published date to be Friday 14th June, with a start date of Monday 17th June and end date of Friday 17th July.

12.3  Update on future payment approval process.

12.3.1 Online banking – change of bank. The PC agreed that in order to have the online access required (administrator and authorisers), it would be necessary to change bank accounts, as the existing bank does not provide the administrator facilities. EC to look in to the process of moving from Santander to Lloyds Bank.

12.3.2 Scrutiny process – first quarter scrutiny April, May June 2019.

Cllr Michael Penington agreed to act as scrutineer on a quarterly basis. The first scrutiny will take place in July (for April, May, June). Clerk to provide necessary details to MP in July.

12.4. To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts. EC stated that she was trialling an invoice only system, without vouchers.

PAYEE

Description / Power to spend Amount
E Cooper / D Hollick Clerk & Lengthman’s salary and expenses for April. £1329.52
NEST Clerk’s pension £69.43
White Horse Horticulture Grass cutting contract May 2019 @£200 per month for Pound, Playclose & Churchyard. £200.00
BT Payment Services Clubhouse line rental DD June       £31.08
Biffa Waste Services Ltd Waste services DD June £75.79
Pear Technology Support & Updates for Maplink £102.00
SSE Scout Hut Electricity (paid to be ratified) £38.23
Hughie Willett Machinery Ltd Used Ferris 36 Pedestrian Mower (paid to be ratified)

£3810.00

 

PWLB Loan ref. 103 07103 payment 3.7.19 £3535.00
Total   £9191.05

 

Major Receipts April 2019 Description Amount
None    

 

Barclays Payments Description Amount
The Churn Benefice Printing of flyers for the Blewbury village hall refurbishment £75.00

 

All payments were approved and signed off by two signatories.

  1. Risk Management

17.1 Update on TFF Play Space and quotes for TFF car park resurfacing.

See 12.1 above. MS in addition agreed that the least amount of work required was the filling of pot holes in the car park, which could be done by regrading the surface in the short term (if no funds  forthcoming from S106).

17.2 GDPR – to receive an update on GDPR

VH agreed to take responsibility for GDPR & complete any necessary documents. He reported the following:-

GDPR was adopted in to law in 2018.

GDPR includes the cemetery, but not the people in it.

There is no need to appoint a ‘GDPR officer’ within the council.

The Blewbury web site requires an SSL certificate.

A policy would be required for people using personal email / devices for council business.

17.3 JG had written to and received a response from the Vale regarding the Watery Lane Wall. The wall is not considered to be in a state of potential collapse and there is no further action for the PC.

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to the Environment

18.1 Report on the recent Parish Council / Sustainable Blewbury meeting re climate  emergency.

CL reported that a recent SB meeting was well attended by councillors to discuss the above. DL (on behalf of SB) said a small group of people from the village was required, with a leader, to push  forward a strategy of sustainability for the village. It was also suggested to the District Councillor that  it would be good to share what other parish councils may be looking at under the same banner.

18.2 Recycling in the county was raised in light of recent TV programs. EC to write to OCC for confirmation of what happens to the county’s recycling. Clerk’s note: email sent & responded to               19.6.19 (circulated to PC).

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces

19.1 Missing barrier on London Road – reported to FixMyStreet 24.4.19

EC to report this directly to Highways as a safety issue. Clerk’s note:- email to Highways 19.6.19.

19.2 Chailey Gardens – JG confirmed that the work was agreed to although had not yet been carried out.

Also Belway had refused to put in the hoggin path (from eastern end Chailey Gardens where it joins Bridus Way), where previously this was agreed. JG stated had agreed again to put the hoggin path in. However future maintenance would likely be down to the PC. JG concluded by saying when the work is carried out residents would need to be informed as the path would be closed whilst work               took place.

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport

20.1 Update on the Oxford Cambridge expressway

Announcement expected in July – no further update.

20.2 To discuss the conditions of local roads and agree on any course of action

Resurfacing taking place in patches on the London Road. No further update.

CL reported the deterioration of Heather Way (leading to village hall, responsibility of PC). CL asked if pot holes could be filled with hard core? MS to investigate & see if there is a short-term solution.

CL to look at long term solutions.

20.3 To receive an update on the Blewbury Speed Watch group if available

CL confirmed that he had completed the training to become a part of Speed Watch online, and that other volunteers had come forward. This should be followed up with PCSO lead training.

  1. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC.

 No specific update provided. VH agreed to take a look at the Parish Council element of the web site to suggest improvements.

  1. Correspondence

22.1 Items requesting a reply & consultations – nothing significant to report.

22.2 Items for information that have been circulated – nothing significant to report.

  1. Website Correspondence and Uploads on PC section.

       Nothing significant to report.

  1. To set the date of the next meeting of the PC.

Wednesday 10th July 7.30pm. 

 

No. Actions arsing from June meeting Target Date
1 Play area annual inspection. EC to chase report and invoice. July meeting
2 JG / VH to provide a steer on CIL money expenditure. July meeting
3 MS to inspect skate ramp and provide feedback. July meeting
4 MP to liaise with EC to carry out first financial scrutiny in July July
5 EC to investigate switch from Santander to Lloyds July meeting
6 Footpath / hedge laying near Savages. CL & DH to investigate ASAP
7 MS to investigate & see if there is a short-term solution to pot holes in Heather Way. July

 

No. Actions arising from AGM (May) Target Date
1 Application for CC fund through Cllr M F-D of £1875 – CL Actioned
2 Cllr M F-D to speak to colleague regarding speed reduction actions that may assist the village Actioned
3 CL to respond to Community Emergency Plan. Also speak to Chris Willison Actioned
4 DL to discuss with SB creating a list of measures that individuals can do to reduce impact on environment/climate Ongoing
5 JG to speak to Vale regarding Watery Lane Actioned
No. Actions arising from April meeting Target Date
1 DH to carry out monthly electricity meter readings and send to Clerk. End of each month

 

No. Actions arising from March meeting Target Date
8. CL to action transfer of funds from Santander current account to deposit account to create ‘Black Swan reserve of £10,000. Unable to action until new banking arrangements in place.
No. Actions arising from February meeting Target Date
4. DH & MP offered their help in the refurbishment of the sign/artwork at the Cleeve Ongoing

 

 Appendix A – Lengthman’s Report

 May 2019  

Very busy month with lots of grass cutting.

All footpaths are in good condition. Footpath 24 has had gravel reinstated where the new houses have been built.

The play areas are all good and well used. Although the BMX track is hardly used now.

No safety report from John yet received.

We have received a quote for the refurbishment of the skate ramp.

The Recreation Ground and TFF are looking good.

We have purchased a replacement for the ‘Beast” with a newer 36-inch cut Ferris. Unfortunately there is a small issue, which the vendors are dealing with. Apart from this the mower is in excellent condition and should last for many years.

Blewshed have now installed a new external door to their area which is very substantial with several security features.

One final issue is rabbit damage both in the Cemetery and TFF.

David. 

 

Appendix B – REPORT TO BLEWBURY PARISH COUNCIL JUNE 2019

FROM CLLR MIKE FOX-DAVIES 

Social Workers Identify County Lines Risk

Social workers from Oxfordshire County Council are set to use a new “screening tool” as part of their work to help children being exploited by so-called “county lines” drugs gangs and those who may be at risk of being exploited.

The numbers of such children at any one time is comparatively small both locally and nationally. But organisations in Oxfordshire regard any child being abused as one too many and are determined to make it hard for drugs gangs to operate in this way.

Councils, Thames Valley police, the NHS and other organisations in Oxfordshire have had real success with a “screening tool” that helps frontline staff to spot children at risk of child sexual exploitation.

Now the approach has been adapted to cover all forms of exploitation including child drug exploitation. The screening tools lists the factors that in combination would show if a child may be starting to become at risk of being exploited – triggering professionals to act quickly.

Details of rolling road closures for professional bike race announced

Details of short ‘rolling road closures’ have been announced for the Oxfordshire stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour professional cycling race on Wednesday 12 June. The county council has been working closely with the event organisers to minimise disruption to road users.

Typically, the lead motorcycle instigating the closure is 15 minutes ahead of the lead rider. The closure then remains in place until all riders and race cars have passed through.

Starting in Henley-on-Thames at 10:30am, the race will traverse the Chilterns via Pishill to Watlington, before returning via the climb of Britwell Hill to Sonning Common and Goring.

After crossing the River Thames at Wallingford, the route will pass through Didcot, Harwell and Wantage, crossing the Vale of White Horse to Faringdon, before looping through the West Oxfordshire towns of Burford, Charlbury and finally Woodstock; the finishing line will be in the grounds of Blenheim Palace.  The leading cyclists are expected to cross the finishing line just after 2:15pm.

We have published a full list of roads closed on race day here, including a fly-through map, and video showing how a ‘rolling road closure’ system will be used to minimise disruption.

County council announces major £3.5m highway improvement programme

More than more than 50 miles of road across Oxfordshire will be given a new lease of life thanks to the ‘surface dressing’ technique which waterproofs and extends the life of roads.

The cost of the work is in the region of £3.5m which is seen as a good investment, potentially preventing the need for more costly resurfacing for several years.

Surface dressing is an excellent way to extend the life of roads and is cost effective. It is just one of a range of techniques that we use to improve and preserve the condition of our highways across Oxfordshire.

Many people will know surface dressed roads for their appearance soon after the work is done. However after a short period of bedding in, loose chippings are swept away and the surfaces are indistinguishable from any other except for the absence of cracks and potholes. Skid resistance is also improved.

The county council has gained a reputation in recent years for innovation and, as part of the surface dressing programme this year, will be trying out a technique called ‘Surface Seal’ – an additional treatment added to a newly dressed road, which prevents prevent defects, cracks, and potholes. The surface seal also enhances the appearance of the new surface giving a deep and uniform black which is comparative to a new asphalt surface.

Electric vehicles contribute to county council’s carbon neutral commitment

Oxfordshire County Council has taken delivery of a new fleet of electric cars and vans for its fire and rescue service and general staff pool car resource. As the largest council in Oxfordshire, the county council has already taken a strong lead and committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. Achieving that aim will benefit the county’s thriving communities and mean radically changing the way some things are done. Along with the commitment to being carbon neutral the county council has also signalled its dedication through high-profile sustainable energy projects like Local Energy Oxfordshire, the V2GO charging initiative as well as seeking to reduce the number of miles its staff travel by encouraging flexible working and greater use of virtual meeting technology. The vehicles can travel up to 160 miles on a single charge and will be used by Fire Safety Officers and as pool vehicles. There are charging points at fire stations and County Hall.

New funding for alcohol reduction services in Oxfordshire

Funding has been secured from Public Health England for the development of alcohol services across Oxfordshire. A grant of £215,000 has been awarded, as part of £6m allocated to local authorities for 2019-20, to make it easier for people with alcohol problems to access help.

This follows the PHE enquiry findings in 2018 that there are high levels of unmet need, with an estimated four in five alcohol-dependent adults not accessing alcohol treatment.

The funding will be used for projects across the county, including a new standalone alcohol clinic in Oxford, provided by community drug and alcohol service Turning Point, which will support those people who may not identify as being dependent on alcohol.

This funding will also support a homeless hub in Oxford city centre run by Oxford City Council, a family-focused county-wide community project, and a homelessness hub run by the Salvation Army in Bicester.