Minutes December 2016

Of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 14th December 2016 at 7.30 p.m.

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chair), Mrs J Gibson, Mr M Shayler (MS), Mrs L Inglis (LI), Ms M Jacobs (MJ), Mr D Lomas (DL). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), David Hollick (Lengthman), 3 members of the public.


Matters resolved:

  1. The Knowles and Son’s tender for the Village Hall refurbishment was accepted and were appointed to proceed with Phase 1.
  2. All payments were approved.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      Clerk to pass on contact details of land owners. Clerk to contact Highways re possible horse/riders signs for Blewbury By next meeting
2.      CL to confirm the appointment of Knowles to the Village Hall working party. Immediately
3.      Clerk to contact PWLB with date for advance of the loan (on 29/12) 29th December
4.      CL to contact BVCIC to ask that work be completed at the Clubhouse prior to the work starting on the Village Hall As soon as possible
5.      CL to complete Independent Review of Members Allowances By review deadline
6.      CL to reply to the cemetery letter As soon as possible
7.      CL to speak to John Ogden re a possible hedge for the cemetery As soon as possible


The meeting was preceded by a presentation and a question and answer session by the Didcot Garden Town team.


  1. To receive apologies for absence. Apologies from Mrs C Cameron (CC), Mr M Blythe (MB), Mr M Penington (MP), District Councillor Waite, District Councillor Shelley.
  2. To record declarations of interest. MS declared an interest in payments. LI declared an interest in the planning item.
  3. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th November 2016. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. To receive the County Councillor’s report. County Councillor Lilly reported that the S278 (Highways) agreement with Bellway for Chailey Gardens has not yet been signed. It has been reported that both independent inspectors for the District and County Councils recommended that the status quo should not go ahead and that a unitary council is the way forward. It was reported that the legislation re S106 and CIL have changed. The Harwell relief road construction has started. Cllr Lilly reported that he would not stand again at the end of his term as councillor.
  5. To receive the District Councillor’s report. District Councillor’s report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex A. Both District Councillors are at a full Council meeting at the District Council where the Local plan and Blewbury’s Neighbourhood Plan would be adopted.
  6. To receive the Lengthman’s report. The lengthman’s report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex B. The lengthman and Mark Shayler were thanked for the improvements to the Tickers Folly car park.
  7. Open Forum.

Concerns were expressed about the lack of bridleways around the village. Residents reported that in the past they had much better access to the countryside which meant they did not have to ride their horses on the roads. Not all of the paths they used to use were official bridleways. Residents were encouraged to contact land owners directly to talk about access and to apply for a DMMO to have bridleways officially recognised. Action: Clerk to pass on contact details of land owners. 2.      Clerk to contact Highways re possible horse/riders signs for Blewbury.

  1. Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP). To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan if available. The referendum had a positive result and the plan would be ratified by the District Council. The total number of ballot papers counted was 562. The number of votes cast in favour of a “YES” was 531. The number of votes cast in favour of a “NO” was 31. Turnout 42.9%. See Annex C.
  2. Matters arising
    • To report back on actions arising at previous meeting. All actions were taken.
  3. Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. It was reported that the working party is continuing to pursue more grants.
    • To receive a recommendation from West Waddy ADP and the working party re a preferred contractor. To accept the tender and to appoint a contractor for the refurbishment project. See note in Annex D. Four tenders were received although more were invited and the contract was posted on the contracts finder website. Knowles price is by far the cheapest at £416,565, including a contingency of £42,250. This is not out of line with our QS Cost Plan of £424,666. Phase 1 cost has been confirmed as £264,855. The Parish Council unanimously accepted this quote and appointed Knowles for Phase 1. The Parish Council is committed to proceed with Phase 2 as well provided that adequate funds could be raised. Action: CL to confirm the appointment of Knowles to the Village Hall working party. Clerk to contact PWLB with date for advance of the loan (on 29/12).
  4. Recreation Ground

Permission was given for the work to the plant room and heating system to be carried out. Action: CL to contact BVCIC to ask that due concern be given to the likely increased usage during the refurb when heating and water must be available.

  1. Planning & Housing
    • To receive the planning committee report. See Annex E for the planning report.
    • To approve responses to current applications

LI declared an interest in this item:

P16/V3035/HH and P16/V3036/L Chapmans, Nottingham Fee

 External repairs; new windows; raising of chimney stacks to conform to fire safety standards; relocation of internal staircase.

Parish Council has no objection.

  1. Finance & Administration
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Description Amount
E de Ridder (salary and expenses) £1,091.46
D Hollick (salary and expenses) £378.28
D Hollick (car park works) £360.00
NEST (pension contribution) £61.66
BT Payment Services Ltd £25.44
Biffa Waste Services Ltd £56.83
Downlands Villages Transport Group £150.00
Oxfordshire South & Vale Citizens Advice £150.00
South & Vale Carers Centre £50.00
Post Office Ltd (for Southern Electric) £268.91
St Michael’s Church Blewbury PCC £150.00
Society of Local Council Clerks £139.00
Association of Local Council Clerks £10.00
Didcot Plant (2 invoices) £533.72
Shayler Concrete Pumping Ltd £540.00
Payments relating to the Village Hall refurbishment
West Waddy ADP £2,205.00
PROVISIONAL TOTAL                            £6,170.30


MS declared an interest in one of the payments. The West Waddy amount was confirmed. All payments were approved.


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

The District Council confirmed that they are responsible for some trees on Footpath 24 and will be taking action. JG mentioned that she has been in contact with Highways re the Savages path.

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

The Parish Council was notified that South Street will be closed to enable work to be done by Thames Water. Details will be published in the Bulletin.

  1. To receive an update on the plan of action for the Tickers Folly Community Orchard.
    • To agree that the Orchard be named “Mike Edmunds Orchard”. Agreed.

It was reported that the plans had to be amended again following some concerns from the Croquet Club despite being agreed to before. It was confirmed that the Parish Council owns TFF and that the Croquet Club has a lease only related to the club’s lawn and clubhouse.

  1. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. Update circulated prior to the meeting.
  2. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Independent Review of Members Allowances. Action: CL to complete.
      • Emails about Bridus Way & Whites Orchard. Noted. The clerk has replied
      • Too late for the agenda: Letter re ownership of exclusive right of burial. A letter was received requesting the transfer of ownership. The clerk sought advice and it was confirmed that the Parish Council cannot transfer ownership without the consent of the current owner. Action: CL to reply to the cemetery letter.
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • OALC update. Noted
  1. Any other business. Exceptionally to deal with business received too late for inclusion in agenda.

MS mentioned that the cemetery’s fence on London Road is not in good condition. It would be a good idea to plant a hedge instead. Action: CL to speak to John Ogden re a possible hedge for the cemetery.

CL mentioned that councillors should consider joining committees e.g. the Village Hall Management Committee.

  1. To set the date of the next meeting. The next meeting of the Parish Council is on 11th January 2017. The finance committee meeting date will be confirmed.


Meeting closed 21h10



Annex A

Blewbury Parish Council

Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday, 14th December 2016

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite




Cllr Janet Shelley and Cllr Reg Waite very much regret they are unable to attend as they are summoned to the Vale’s full Council Meeting at The Beacon, Wantage


Forthcoming Planning Committee Meetings scheduled as follows –

Wednesday, 11th January 2017 – cancelled today, 14th December

Wednesday, 1st February 2017

Wednesday, 1st March 2017

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017

–               Please note these dates are subject to change.


Enforcement Investigations:

VE16/394 – 12 London Road, Blewbury

Breach – Without planning permission, erection of a tee house (raised platform).  Date registered: 31 August 2016.  6 and 12 weeks target dates – 14 September and 26 October 2016.  Case Officer: Corey Webster.

VE16/610 – Blewbury Garage, London Road, Blewbury

Breach – Display of illuminated signage without advertisement consent.              Date registered: 2 December 2016.   6 and 12 weeks target dates – 13 January 2017 and24 February 2017.   Case Officer:  Corey Webster.


Local Plan 2031, Part 1:

The Planning Inspectorate wrote to tell the Vale that their Local Plan 2031 (Part 1) is sound and can be adopted by the council, subject to modifications.

The Plan, which will ensure communities are more protected from speculative development, goes before the full Council meeting tonight, 14th December, and is expected to be adopted.

Your District Councillors take this opportunity to thank the Parish Councillors and all residents of Blewbury for their indepth involvement and dedication in preparing and submitting their views, comments and reports to part 1 of the Local Plan.


Didcot Garden Town:

Residents from Didcot’s surrounding villages are being asked to give their views on the future of Didcot Garden Town.

Didcot’s Garden Town status, awarded by the government in 2015, encourages the creation of green spaces, trees, gardens, allotments, walking and cycle ways to create a town which is a stimulating place in which to live and work.

We want as many people as possible in Chilton, Harwell, Upton and Blewbury to say a say in shaping the vision for the future.  Please visit the new interactive Didcot Garden Town website to post your comments and suggestions.


Annual Business Breakfast:

The confirmed date for the South and Vale District Councils’ annual Business Breakfast is 21st February 2017 from 07.30 to 10.30 am at De Vere Oxford Thames hotel.

Book NOW – register at www.slido.com using the event code #SVBB17.  Alternatively contact the Vale’s Economic Development Team.



Local businesses including self-employed men and women are encouraged to join Vale4Business to receive eNewsletters, details of future events and to play a key part in the Vale’s future economic success.


Council’s Christmas office hours:

The Vale of White Horse District Council’s offices will close at 3.00 pm on Friday, 23d December and re-open at 8.30 am Tuesday, 3rd January 2017.


Free Christmas Car Parking:

Abingdon – Saturdays – 17th and 24th

Faringdon – Saturday, 17th

Wantage – Fridays – 16th and 23rd.


Christmas Waste Collections:

Details can be found on the Vale’s website which also provides information about what Christmas waste can be recycled.

Garden Waste – collections will be suspended for a week over Christmas – you’ll be able to leave double the amount of garden waste out when they start again in the week commencing 16th January 2017.

Christmas trees – if you have a brown bin, the Vale can collect your real Christmas tree from you in the New Year.  Just leave it next to your brown bin (please don’t put the tree in the bin as it’s very difficult to get it back out again).  If you don’t have a brown bin, you can take your tree to one of the drop-off points listed on the web-site.

Bulky waste – Collections will be suspended over the Christmas period.  The last collection for electrical waste will be Friday, 23rd December.  These collections for electrical and non-electrical waste will resume again on Monday, 16th January.


Recyclable waste – thank you:

To reduce contamination of recyclable waste with food and dirty nappies we’ve been encouraging residents to recycle loose or use clear sacks so that refuse collectors can see what’s in the bins before emptying them.


We’ve had a good response to our campaign and seen a huge reduction in the use 0f black sacks.  As a result, you are helping us to recycle more waste.  Thank you very much for your continued support.


Waste collections – what to do in bad weather:

In the event of bad weather it is possible waste collections could be affected.

Here’s what to do –

– if your bins are not emptied on the scheduled day leave them out for two more days and we will do our best, weather permitting, to come back.

– if, after three days, they haven’t been emptied, take your bins back in and put them out for the next scheduled collection date.

– leave extra waste out beside the bins in a suitable container, e.g. open box or a clear sack.


Between 28th December and 13th January we will work to the published waste collection schedule only.  During that period if your bins have not been emptied due to adverse weather take them back in and we’ll empty them on the next scheduled collection date. To keep up-to-date about any disruptions please don’t hesitate to refer to the Vale’s website.


Harwell Link Road:

Contractors are due to start site clearance for the Harwell Link Road in preparation for the main phase of work in the New Year.

The £11.8 million project is part of a package of improvements that focus on improving access to the Enterprise Zone and reduce local congestion.

Work is expected to be completed in Spring 2018.  Find out more about the Harwell link road scheme.


New Business Competition:

The Vale is sponsoring a new competition for businesses under two years old.

Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition 2017 (SONBC ’17) is open for applications from 1 January to 28 February.  The competition is to find the brightest rising stars in local business, whatever their trade or industry.

The winner will receive a serviced office rent-free for a year, plus a host of other great prizes to help boost their business including: expert branding and website advice, social media coaching, IT consultancy and support, accountancy services and a full programme of business mentoring.

For more information and to download an application form visit www.sonbc.co.uk


Apply for work experience opportunities:

Every year the Vale has a variety of work experience placements on offer to give young people an opportunity to find out more about careers in local government.

Placements are available throughout the year and range from one to two weeks or longer placements for older students.

For more information see How to apply for Work Experience on the Vale’s website.


JS & RWW 14th December 2016











No issues at present. A large fallen tree branch was removed from Moreton Path by OCC.

Possibly one more grass cut this year.




No issues. Paths have been sprayed by contractor.




Mark Shayler and I have installed a new concrete ramp at the entrance to the car park and resurfaced several areas with new gravel. We still have to obtain a new gate for TFF to replace the temporary one. This should be done fairly soon.

TFF- no issues




TFF_-We still need to do a few remedial works where the safety matting is exposed and in some cases, damaged. This could mean a closure of the play area to allow work to be done, new soil and grass seed established.

KAP – No issues




No issues




No issues




No issues





Annex C











Annex D


Blewbury Parish Council

Blewbury Village Hall Refurbishment – Commencement of Phase 1

Note by Steve White

Price and Choice of Builder

The tender documents for the refurbishment of Blewbury Village Hall were sent to six builders on 13 October.  Four compliant tenders have been received with the tender from Knowles of Oxford being the cheapest and best value.  The team met Knowles on 5 December to confirm that they had understood the brief and could deliver the job at the price tendered, which will be firm in the contract.  West Waddy, our architects, have written to advise that the Parish Council can feel confident to appoint Knowles to undertake the works.


Cost and Phasing

Knowles’ price, plus fees and unrecoverable VAT will give us a total price for the job within the project estimate of £500,000.  However, as we are planning to do the job in two phases, the total costs will be increased by duplicating site set-up and clear-up costs, by some logistical inefficiencies and by inflation.  Moreover, we don’t know for how long Knowles will hold their price for the second phase.  There is therefore still a risk that the project could turn out to cost more than £500,000 and some prioritisation will be required in the second phase.

Knowles have been asked for a priced phasing of the works, which is still awaited.  On the basis of their price for the whole job, we do not expect the total costs of phase 1, which will include the toilets, kitchen and Vale Room, to exceed £250,000, including fees and VAT.  However, this needs to be confirmed.


The project has pledges of £297,850 from Parish Council reserves, a Parish Council loan, grants, village fundraising and personal and business donations.  If phase 1 costs £250,000 this gives us enough to complete phase 1 with around £50,000 still in reserve for phase 2.  This prudently takes no account of other grants which may be won, of further fundraising or personal donations, which continue to be received.


Cash Flow

A cash flow analysis for phase 1 has been carried out based on the above figures.  The analysis shows a positive cash flow except for one month when it goes negative by £10,000.  To provide additional resilience, the Village Hall Management Committee has agreed to make available £10,000 from their reserves as working capital, if required.  This may well be required if we raise no more money over the next six months.



Taking account of:

  • Knowles’ price
  • West Waddy’s recommendation
  • The current level of funding available
  • The cash flow analysis, supported by Management Committee reserves.

It is recommended that the Parish Council agrees to appoint Knowles for phase 1 of the contract, commencing work in the new year, at a total phase 1 cost including fees and VAT of no more than £250,000.

14 December 2016





Annex E


Planning report for Parish Council  – December 2016

Planning Applications

All Blewbury planning applications, decisions and Parish Council responses, including items under consideration, can be found in the ‘Parish’ section of the Blewbury website
(http://blewbury.co.uk/parish/planning/), which is updated once a week. Links are also provided to the main Vale Planning site, where full details can be obtained.


Responses from the Parish Council:

P16/V2826/HH & P16/V2636/LB    Bohams House, Westbrook Street

Proposed partial barn conversion to form new studio & store (planning permission & listed building consent)

Parish Council has no objections.


P16/V3035/HH & P16/V3036/LB    Chapmans, Nottingham Fee

External repairs; new windows; raising of chimney stacks to conform to fire safety standards; relocation of internal staircase (planning permission & listed building consent)

Parish Council has no objections.


Decisions from the District Council:

P16/V2749/HH          The Hut, South Street          

Demolition of existing conservatory; new entrance porch extension and roof alterations to existing private dwelling




Enquiries regarding planning in the parish may be sent to blewburypc@gmail.com