Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of Blewbury Parish Council held on Wednesday 10th December 2014 at 7.30 pm in the Vale Room
Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Mr R Farrell (RF), Ms J Gibson (JG), Mr M Shayler (MS), Mr G Reade (GR), Mr B Cooper (BC), Mr B Morgan (BM)
Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), County Councillor Lilly, 1 member of the public
- It was agreed to go ahead with the installation of the steel panels should the second quote be less than £500.
- It was decided that expert advice needs to be sought to advise the PC on a cost-effective solution for the high energy consumption at the clubhouse
- All payments were approved.
|Actions arising from the meeting
|1. Clerk to submit funding request for surfacing Coffin Way to Stewart Lilly (OCC)
||As soon as possible
|2. RF to circulate draft response to the Local Plan consultation and clerk to submit final response to the Vale.
||19th December 2014
|3. Clerk to send letter about parking provision to the Vale and OCC. Clerk to circulate letter to other Parish Councils.
||By next meeting
|4. CL to respond to BVCIC. CL to investigate professional advice re plant room
||By next meeting
|5. MS to obtain quote for the repairs to the equipment store and to go ahead with the installation
||As soon as possible
|6. Clerk to request that the annual inspection should be done at the end of January so that the new lengthman can assist MS with repairs
As soon as possible
|7. Clerk to circulate risk management plan.
||By next meeting
|8. Clerk to contact Cllr Shelley to ask for more details about the drainage scheme for Chailey House
||As soon as possible
|9. Clerk to ask for a stop press email for volunteers for gravel spreading
||As soon as possible
|10. Clerk to consult internal auditor re procedure of choosing a pension scheme. RF to seek advice from an independent adviser
By next meeting
|11. Clerk to enquire if all the works to Rubble Pit Lane has been carried out
||By next meeting
|12. Clerk to reply to Dibleys resident about the bus shelter and to suggest she approached Dibleys for a shelter on their land
||As soon as possible
|13. CL to write to Didcot Parkway Station Master
||As soon as possible
|14. JG to put a note about the Learning Disability consultation in the Bulletin
||As soon as possible
|Actions brought forward
|1. Croquet Club boundary to be investigated.
|2. RF to investigate pension options for the clerk
|3. Clerk to order new bin once a lengthman has been appointed
||By February meeting
- To receive apologies for absence. Janet Shelley, PCSO D Clements, Ms V Fox (VF), Mr M Blythe (MB).
- To record declarations of interest. None made.
- To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 12th November 2014. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
- To receive the County Councillor’s report. County Councillor Lilly reported that trading standards have been confiscating potentially dangerous fake alcohol. There was a report of the inappropriate disposal of asbestos in Westbrook Street. The Parish Council was unaware of any complaints in this regard. Cllr Lilly has been made aware of problems with roofs in Dibleys which he will investigate. He also made a plea for more foster parents to come forward in the County. Work to the Milton intersection will start on January 3rd and works to the new Chilton slips will commence on January 5th. Works to the Steventon bridge has be postponed.
- To receive the District Councillor’s report. District Councillor Shelley was unable to attend the meeting.
- Police liaison. PCSO Clements sent a written report the clerk. See Annex A attached.
- Neighbourhood Action Group. Nothing to report
- Open Forum. Concerns were expressed about the recent pollution in the Millbrook. The Environment Agency has become involved but there was an impression that despite requests to stop, the work and pollution continued. Residents were asked to report further concerns to the EA.
- Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The working party met on December 8th and started drafting the conclusions from the housing needs survey. Indications are that residents are against in-filling and would prefer new development, if any, in green fields outside the village. The next step would be to identify sites which should be protected as well as suitable sites for development. The clerk reported that a developer has been contacting her to enquire about the stage the Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan is at. The enquiry has been passed on to the working party.
- Matters arising.
- 08/10/14 To receive an update on approach for funding reference Coffin Way. The clerk obtained a quote but Highways was not happy with the proposed surfacing. A new quote was sought and will be used for the application of funding. Action: Clerk to submit funding request to Stewart Lilly (OCC).
- 12/11/14 The purchase of Playclose bins to be considered in January. No action needed at this time.
- 03/12/14 To consider the Parish Council’s response to the draft Local Plan. RF was in the process of drafting a response, which would be added to the minutes in due course. Most of the response would be on the second part, which included parking provision and design guide. (See annex B). Action: RF to circulate draft response and clerk to submit final response to the Vale (Deadline 19th December). Clerk to send letter about parking provision to the Vale and OCC.
- To report back on actions needed on closed items
- To receive an update on issues raised re the Croquet Club boundary. Investigations are on-going.
- Village hall redevelopment
- To receive an update on the progress of the Working party and fundraising. Nothing to report.
- Recreation Ground.
- 12/11/14 To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. To consider financial assistance needed in the next financial year. It was reported that a letter was received from Simon Barrett. Their view was that the BVCIC would still be dependent on the PC for financial assistance for the next year, mainly due to the decline in sports teams in the village and lack of bookings for the Melland Room. No solutions or suggestions were made on how to improve the situation. It was decided that expert advice needs to be sought to advise the PC on a cost-effective solution for the high energy consumption at the clubhouse. It was also suggested that questions about how the revenue of the bar is distributed should be raised. Concerns were also expressed about the way bookings were made which would influence revenue for the Melland Room. Action: CL to respond to BVCIC. CL to investigate professional advice re plant room.
- 08/10/14 To receive an update on plant room maintenance and remedial works. Some of the maintenance works has been carried out and will be completed in due course.
- 08/10/14 To receive an update on skate ramp maintenance. The clerk has been in contact but again no firm date could be set.
- 12/11/14 To approve the cost for labour reference equipment store repairs. The panels have been ordered and will be delivered before Christmas. Another quote was still being awaited for the cost of installing the panels. One quote of £500 for the day was received. It was agreed that if the other quote was for less than £500, they would be asked to go ahead straight away with the installation of the steel panels. Action: MS to obtain quote for the repairs to the equipment store and to go ahead with the installation.
- Ladycroft Park.
- To receive an update on Vale and County actions re Ladycroft. A letter was circulated with a summary from the Vale.
- Risk Management.
- 12/11/14 To receive an update on annual inspection of play areas and repairs needed prior to the inspection. The sign has been put up and the additional railings at the KAP play area has been installed. Some actions are still needed at the Play Space. Action: Clerk to request that the annual inspection should be done at the end of January so that the new lengthman can assist MS with repairs.
- 12/11/14 To approve the reviewed risk management plan and diary of annual events. The review has been carried out. Action: Clerk to circulate risk management plan. Item closed.
- 12/11/14 To receive an update on the annual review of cemetery fees. The review has been carried out. The fees will remain unchanged for the coming year. A complaint was received about a memorial which has been “tampered” with. The resident was informed that the stone masons were seen to be doing some work at the memorial. Item closed
- 12/11/14 To receive and update on the Village Hall risk assessment. The risk assessment has been carried out and a copy was sent to the clerk. Item closed
- Planning & Housing.
- 12/11/14 To receive an update on the Barton Willmore speculative approach. A holding response was sent and no response was received from them.
- 02/02/06 To receive the Planning Committee Report. It was mentioned that the discharge of conditions were being sought on the Chailey House application, most important of which were the conditions re drainage. Action: Clerk to contact Cllr Shelley to ask for more details about the drainage scheme for Chailey House. See full report – annex C. The Parish Council expressed concern that a petition on behalf of private individuals appeared on two occasions in the Post Office. As this was a public space paid for by tax payers, the PC was of the opinion that is should not be used to express partisan, controversial or political opinions.
- 08/11/12 To approve responses to current applications:
P14/V2567/HH White House, London Road, Blewbury OX11 9PDProposed single storey conservatory circulation link between existing house and detached garage/annexe. No objection.P14/V2529/LDP Orchard House, Bessels Lea, Blewbury OX11 9NWSingle storey rear extension. No objection.
- Finance & Administration
- To receive a report on the Replacement of the Lengthman. Two excellent candidates were interviewed. David Hollick has been appointed as new lengthman. He will start in January. Details of the other candidate was passed on the Village Hall Management committee and they will employ him as a handyman. Item closed.
- To receive a report on play areas and village upkeep. Safety checks are up to date. The gravel spreading was a success but more gravel was needed for footpath 24 behind Eastfields. A stop press email will be requested to ask for more volunteers for Sat Dec 13th. Action: Clerk to ask for a stop press email for volunteers for gravel spreading.
- To receive an update on the setting up of the Clerk’s pension. RF circulated a note about the pension. It was recommended that the PC does not continue with the County Council’s scheme immediately. The internal auditor should be consulted to see if he is happy with the proposed procedure. Advice from and independent financial adviser should be sought as well. It was agreed that it should be delegated to the clerk, in consultation with RF to seek the advice. Action: Clerk to consult internal auditor re procedure of choosing a pension scheme. RF to seek advice from an independent adviser.
- To receive a report on the clerk’s appraisal. To consider the recommended national salary award for 2014-2016. To make arrangements for cover during Clerk’s holiday. CL and RF carried out the clerk’s appraisal and reported back. The clerk thanked the Parish Council for their support the past year, especially during family illness. The national salary award was agreed to, which will start in January. It was recommended and agreed that the clerk would move up a “spinal point” in April 2015.
- To decide on a date for the finance committee meeting. To instruct the clerk to prepare the accounts to 30th November for consideration by the finance committee. The finance committee meeting will be on January 14th and the next Parish Council meeting on the 21st.
- To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
|Payment made prior to the meeting: A Steadman and Son
|E de Ridder
|E de Ridder (expenses)
|BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit)
|Blewbury Village Hall (Post Office grant)
|Post Office Ltd (PAYE and NI)
|Synergy Boreholes and Systems Ltd
|Payments on behalf of the Village Hall:
|· Payment made prior to the meeting: Mrs J Newman
|· Mrs J Newman
|· Mrs K Brooks
|· Bettles Plumbing
|· Post Office Ltd (PAYE and NI)
|Payments relating to the Neighbourhood Plan:
|· Angela Hoy
All payments were approved.
- Footways, Footpaths and rights of way
- To receive an update on the gravelling of footpaths. See 16.2.
- To receive an update on the issues raised about Cow Lane and to consider the cost of a sign. The Parish Council considered the request to put a sign on Cow Lane. As the Parish Council does not own Cow Lane, the PC felt upon consideration that it would be inappropriate. The PC did write to stable owner advising them about the issues on Cow Lane and that they may be committing a trespass by going up Cow Lane. A note to that effect has also been put in the Bulletin. Item closed.
- To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport. Some works have been carried out on Rubble Pit Lane. Action: Clerk to enquire if all the works to Rubble Pit Lane has been carried out. A resident from Dibleys wrote to the clerk requesting a bus shelter at the Load of Mischief or anywhere else on the bus route. The Parish Council is unable to put a shelter up at the Load of Mischief, as the land is privately owned. Action: Clerk to reply to Dibleys resident about the bus shelter and to suggest she approached Dibleys for a shelter on their land. The Parish Council will be complaining to the Didcot Parkway Station Master about taxis taking up and blocking the temporary parking bays which should be used by people dropping off passengers. Action: CL to write to Didcot Parkway Station Master.
- Items requesting a reply & consultations
- The Big Plan: Oxfordshire’s Learning Disability Strategy 2015 – 2018. Action: JG to put a note about the Learning Disability consultation in the Bulletin.
- Didcot Community Forum. Noted.
- Items for information that have been circulated
- OALC update. Noted.
- Emergency planning toolkit. Noted.
- Any Other Business.
They clerk passed on two messages of thanks to the Parish Council. It was mentioned that a note will be put in the Bulletin, to thank those dog owners who clean up after their dogs. A note should be put in the Bulletin about the Parish Council elections as new candidates will be needed.
- Details of the next meeting. Finance committee meeting on14th January 2014 in the Benefice Centre. Parish Council meeting on 21st January 2015 in the Vale Room.
Meeting closed 21h22
Annex A – Report from PCSO Clements
It’s been a good month and the only incident to report is that on the 6th December some scrap metal collectors tried to take a car battery from someone’s garden in Blewbury but they were spotted, challenged and left empty handed.
I would also like to mention that to date there have been over 40 arrests since September for Hare coursing/Poaching. This is sending out a very positive message to those concerned.
If you have any issues please let me know and I would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a safe New Year.
PCSO C9845 Denise Clements
Milton Park and Wantage East Neighbourhood Team
Wantage and Grove Police Base
Annex B – Response to Local Plan
Blewbury Parish Council’s response to the Vale’s Local Plan 2031 Part 1 consultation
Strategic sites and policies
Core policy 4: Housing needs: This Council repeats its objection made in earlier consultations that the housing requirement is based on economic forecasts for 16 years in the future. Economists struggle to produce meaningful forecasts for just two or three years ahead.
Core policy 17: Highway improvements: Blewbury Parish Council welcomes the proposed improvements to the highway infrastructure and particularly to the strategic cycle network. The Council asks that plans are brought forward for a cycleway between Upton and Blewbury so that Blewbury residents can gain direct cycle access to cycleways to employment sites at Harwell and Didcot
In reading your Design Document we can find no reference to space standards. We see this as a serious omission as good internal design is essential to the quality of life, not just for today’s residents but to future generations.
Although there are no national standards for the amount of household space considered to be essential for comfortable living, there is much evidence on which such standards could easily be built. In September 2011 RIBA published its paper “The case for space: the size of England’s new homes” which provides a blueprint for the space required for comfortable living. Also, in some areas minimum space standards are required for social housing. If the amount of space is seen as important for social housing, why not for all developments? Both the Greater London Authority and Bristol City Council have worked on creating space standards and their reports are available on the web. If other forward thinking local government authorities can promote such policies, why can’t the Vale?
In recent years, planning policies requiring a high minimum density and developers anxious to squeeze ever more units out of expensive sites have combined to create housing that is meanly provided with living space by comparison with previous decades. Unless this trend is reversed, present day housing developments risk becoming notorious for the low quality of amenity that they provide within the home and could go the same way as 1960’s tower blocks in terms of unpopularity.
We believe that internal space is a topic central to civilised living. Apart from the obvious need for space for cooking, eating, living and storage, adequate space is essential to maintain essential privacy, to allow children quiet conditions for homework, to ease pressure on the bathroom facilities, and many more. Academic research provides evidence of the damage that overcrowding can do to residents.
We appreciate that the Vale is under great pressure to finalise its Local Plan as quickly as possible but ask that important issues such as this are not overlooked.
Parking: We have no real issue with much in Parking Principles DG31 to DG50 but believe that the County Council’s parking standards are in urgent need of revision and that continued use without amendment is sowing problems for the future. The trend in recent years towards developments of greater density combined with increasing ownership of ever larger cars is causing parking strain in new developments. These social changes need to be reflected in revised parking standards.
Annex C – planning report for Christmas Bulletin
For full details see the Vale website – http://bit.ly/u2FSqN
Responses from the Parish Council:
P14/V2470/FUL – Land on South Street, opposite Borlase – proposed new dwelling. BPC objects.
We continue to believe that this site, although small, makes a significant contribution to the conservation area and that its development would be contrary to policy HE1 (see our comments on P14/1114/FUL).
If the Council is minded to grant permission for development, we feel that the new application is on a more appropriate scale than the previous one. We suggest, however, that the boundary treatment might be revisited as a hedge or lower wall would be less intrusive than a 1.8 metre high wall. Also, any development on this very prominent site requires the very highest quality materials if it is to do justice to its sensitive position.
P14/V2567/HH – The White House, London Road – Single storey conservatory link. BPC has no objection.
P14/V1806/FUL – Downside, Westbrook Street – Change of use to self-contained annexe. This application has been withdrawn.
Decisions from the District Council:
P14/V2199/FUL – Hill View, Bessels Lea Road – Erection of new dwelling. GRANTED.
P14/V2219/LB – Hall Barn Close – Addition of chimney pots to existing chimney stacks. GRANTED.
P14/V2274/HH – Mockbeggars Cottage, Westbrook Street – Single storey side extension: conservatory. GRANTED.