Minutes December 2017


Minutes Of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 7.30 p.m.

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chair), Mrs J Gibson (JG), Mr Mark Shayler (MS), Mrs L Inglis (LI), Mr M Penington (MP), Mr David Lomas (DL), Mrs Charlotte Cameron (CC), Also present: Michelle Taylor (clerk), Mr David Hollick (Lengthman), County Councillor Mike Fox-Davies and one member of the public.

Matters resolved:

  1. All payments were approved.
  2. Not to replace the Ferris mower this season.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.     Clerk to email Cllr Mike Fox-Davies with final number of attendees for A417 meeting in January. As soon as possible
2.     Clerk to email District Councillors to wish a Merry Xmas! As soon as possible
3.      Cllr Lakeland to compose and send Email/letter to Simon at the CIC requesting an outcome from their meeting on Saturday 16th December As soon as possible
4.      Cllr Inglis to email District Councillors asking for their support on the Oxford Cambridge Express Way Group By next meeting

5.      Cllr Gibson and Clerk to compose and send letter to residents in Blewbury regarding overgrown vegetation


By next meeting
6.      Cllr Shayler to finalise the company who will supply and fit outdoor gym equipment at TFF By end of January
7.      Cllr Lakeland to complete online survey- ‘Doctors Surgery and future of GP services in Oxfordshire’ As soon as possible
8.      Cllr Gibson to put a piece in the Bulletin reminding residents of their obligations regarding adjacent paths. By 14th December
9.      Clerk to contact Highways to ask what their plans are for road sweeping in and around Blewbury. By next meeting
10.  Cllr Inglis to email OALC with an update on progress with the Oxford Cambridge Express Way. By next meeting
11.  Cllr Gibson and Cllr Lakeland to investigate Salt bins within the parish, produce a map and see how we go about refilling them for the winter months By next meeting
12.  Clerk to apply for an extension on the Precept date. As soon as possible
Urgent Actions to be followed up at next meeting
1.      Review and update emergency plan.


  • To receive apologies for absence. Apologies Cllr Blythe, Cllr Jacobs and District Councillor’s Reg Waite and Janet Shelley.
  • To record declarations of interest.  No declarations were made.
  • To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meetings held on 8th November 2017 The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  • To receive the County Councillor’s report. County Councillor’s report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex A. Councillor Mike Fox-Davies reported that there is a motion going forward for a cross party group to look into the Expressway and report back. The A417 group meeting was also raised. Action: Clerk to email Councillor Mike Fox-Davies with final number of attendees. Councillor Fox-Davies confirmed he has put a request forward for a speed survey to be carried out along the A417, and will update as soon as possible. Grants were also mentioned for work taken over by Parish Councils from the OCC. A meeting of the grants committee will be held in January after which Councillor Fox-Davies will email the Clerk after to confirm if there are any funds still available so BPC can put forward a claim for a Grant with a deadline of March.
  • To receive the District Councillor’s report. District Councillor’s. report was circulated prior to meeting. Community Projects starting April 2018. See Annex B. Action: Clerk to email District Councillors to wish a merry Xmas! Action: Cllr Inglis to email District Councillors asking for their support on the Oxford Cambridge Express Way Group.
  • To receive the Lengthman’s report. The report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex C. It was reported the Ferris machine was taken for a service and collected unworked on as the quote for repairs was £4,500.00 .  Decision was made to continue to use the current machine as long as possible and identify funds in next year’s budget for a second-hand replacement machine. Lengthman reported he had met with two different companies with regards with the replacement matting at TFF. Awaiting quotes. Also, path in the cemetery was re-dug, request for gravel topping for the path to be added in the budget.
  • Open Forum. Mr Johnston, resident from London Road, raised concerns directly to County Councillor Mike Fox-Davies, over the volume of traffic and speeding vehicles along the London Road, whom reassured Mr Johnston that he has put in a request for a speed survey to be carried out along the London Road, and he would be in contact as soon as he has confirmation. Councillor Mike Fox-Davies raised the A417 meeting which is due in January, and after discussing the issues of the A417, would report back to the parish members.


  • Matters arising
    • To report back on actions arising at previous meeting. All actions were taken.
  • Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising if available. Cllr Lakeland reported that a meeting has been arranged with Ridge and Partners, with a view to have them handle future Capital projects to try and reduce costs. Fundraising continues including one function which raised about £8000.
    • To receive a report from Macfarlanes LLP. Item closed.
  • Recreation Ground
    • To receive an update from working group on the future of the clubhouse and to agree a course of action. It was reported the CIC lease is still in place, as the directors have not yet resigned. Mike Evans and David Flynn have expressed an interest to take over the running of the clubhouse as of March 2018, but not beforehand. Action: Cllr Lakeland to compose and send Email/letter to Simon at the CIC requesting an outcome from their meeting on Saturday 16th December.
  • Planning & Housing
    • To receive the planning committee report. See Annex D for the planning report.
    • To approve responses to current applications:




Springfield Bessels Way Blewbury Didcot OX11 9NJ

Single storey rear conservatory extension. Parish Council has no objection.




7 Millbrook Close Blewbury DIDCOT OX11 9QL

Erection of new single storey rear extension. Parish Council has no objection.





Curtoys Westbrook Street Blewbury DIDCOT OX11 9QB

Demolition of a single storey previous extension and garage and erection of a two storey extension and a new detached garage at Curtoys, Westbrook Street, Blewbury. Parish Council has no objection.



Curtoys Westbrook Street Blewbury DIDCOT OX11 9QB

Demolition of a single storey previous extension and garage and erection of a two storey extension and a new detached garage. Parish Council has no objection.


  • Finance & Administration
    • To receive an update on S106 contributions. Nothing to report

12.2   Notification of External Auditor 2017/2018 Financial year. Reported

  • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts

All payments were approved.


PAYEE Description / Power to spend Amount
M Taylor Clerk’s salary and expenses £689.59
E F de Ridder Clerk’s Salary £93.27
D Hollick Lengthman’s salary and expenses £427.00
NEST Clerk’s pension £52.39
BT Payment Services Ltd Clubhouse line rental and Wifi £27.00
Biffa Waste Services Ltd Waste services £61.39
White Horse Horticulture Grass cutting contract for Pound and Churchyard £270.00
St Michael’s Church, Blewbury Rent for Church Acre (Allotment Plots)



Hags-Smp Ltd Repairs KAP Area £498.00
Lister Wilder Ltd Machinery and Repairs £39.11
SLCC SLCC Membership Renewal £151.00
ALCC ALCC Membership Renewal £10.00
PWLB Loan Repayment £3,621.25
Payment added in last minute:
RT Machinery Ltd Service Ferris £156.00
New Total £6,246.00


  • Risk Management
    • 05/01/17 To receive an update on resurfacing and replacement of safety matting at the Play Space. It was reported that Lengthman David Hollick and Cllr Shayler met with three different companies to carry out the work of the replacement of the safety matting at the Play Space, and our awaiting quotations.
    • 11/10/2017 To review our Emergency Plan. Blewbury Parish Emergency Plan still under review. (Action brought forward Cllr Gibson, Cllr Lakeland and Clerk)


  • To receive an update on any issues relating to the Environment. Nothing to report.
  • To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces. Concerns were raised over vegetation hanging over a resident’s wall. Action: Cllr Gibson and Clerk to conduct and send letter.
    • Update on trees along Church Lane, Blewbury. Clerk confirmed an email has been sent to the OCC requesting a meeting on site- awaiting reply.


  • To receive an update on the outdoor Gym Equipment. Cllr Lakeland reported further on his attendance at the Vale Area Committee in Wantage, Blewbury Parish has been granted £6,200.00 towards the Gym equipment. Action: Cllr Shayler to finalise which company will supply and fit the Gym Equipment at TFF.
  • To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport. Concerns were raised over the amount of leaves on the paths and roads around the village. Action: Clerk to contact Highways to ask what their plans are for road sweeping in and around Blewbury. Action: Cllr Gibson to put a piece in the Bulletin reminding residents of their responsibilities re:  footpaths

        17.1 08/11/17Update on the Oxford Cambridge expressway group. Cllr Inglis will continue with updates. Action:(Item 5) Cllr Inglis to email District Cllr Waite and Cllr Shelley for support towards the Oxford Cambridge expressway group, and to email OALC with an update on progress.

        17.2 13/12/2017A417 Group Meeting. (Action on item 4: Clerk to email Cllr Mike Fox-Davies with final number of attendees)


  • Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. It was reported the VHMC held a meeting on Monday 11th December, and concerns were raised over the condition of the Village Hall, particularly the Vale room. £5,000 was approved out of reserves to carryout outstanding repairs and to freshen up both the Village hall and Vale Room as needed. Concerns were raised over parking conditions especially during the icy period. Salt was distributed over the car park but unnecessary vehicle speeds still caused concern.  Action: Cllr Gibson and Cllr Lakeland to investigate Salt bins within the parish, produce a map and see how we go about refilling them for the winter months
  • Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Email -Have your say on your Doctors Surgery and future of GP services in Oxfordshire Action: Cllr Lakeland to complete online survey
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • Local plan part 2 update-Received


  • Any other business. Exceptionally to deal with business received too late for inclusion in agenda.

Nothing discussed.

  • To set the date of the next meeting of the PC and a date for the meeting of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee meeting will be held on the 8th January 2018, and the next Parish Council meeting will be on 10thJanuary 2018.Action: Clerk to apply for an extension on the Precept date.


Meeting closed 21:00pm 

Annex A:








The Oxfordshire Growth Board comprises the six councils: Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council, together with the county’s Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP). On Budget Day it was announced the Board had reached an outline Housing and Growth Agreement with Government. This will see an additional £215 million of investment over the next five years to build infrastructure, support the delivery of new homes and boost economic productivity across the county. This breaks down as: £30m pa for five years for infrastructure; £60m for affordable homes across the county; and £5m to develop a Joint Statutory Spatial Plan. The Board wants the five-year deal to be the first stage in a sustained partnership with Government to secure the ongoing investment needed to deliver properly planned growth and economic development over the coming years. This will support councils to achieve the ambition of 100,000 new homes across the county over the period 2011-2031, as identified through the 2014 countywide Strategic Housing Market Assessment and Local Plans.




The bids to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), to support the development of the Didcot Garden Town, and West Oxfordshire and North of Oxford Garden Villages, are still being considered by Government with decisions expected in the new year.




The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has published its report to Government on the Oxford-Cambridge arc. It advised on the need for long-term investment funding for new transport infrastructure to harness the region’s economic potential, to benefit local people and boost UK plc in a post-Brexit landscape.




Older people and adults with disabilities are getting a better level of service from care settings in Oxfordshire than elsewhere in England, official figures have again proved. The number of care homes and home care providers in the county rated as “Outstanding” or “Good” by the Care Quality Commission was yet again comfortably higher than the national average when the latest figures were published on November 1. A total of 89 per cent of the 209 Oxfordshire providers are rated “outstanding” or “good” compared to a national average of 81 per cent. The CQC regularly publishes updated national figures and Oxfordshire has for some time outstripped the national averages.




Against a background of increasing demand for care services, particularly from older people with complex problems and needing support, a major campaign to recruit more care staff was launched on 20 November. Make a difference every day is a four month campaign targeted at residents who are Mid-life women aged 50-70, parents aged 25-50 and younger adults aged 20-30 seeking flexibility in work which care work can often provide, and existing social care workers who could recruit people like themselves. The campaign aims to increase understanding of care work opportunities available in both the public and private sectors and will direct people to job opportunities, across both sectors, on the Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers’ website. It is being supported by the county council, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers. The campaign will show the real and positive difference care work makes to peoples’ lives, that it is never too late to start a career in care and it will also refer to a recent county council and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust survey showing 9 out of 10 care workers are proud to work in social care.




OCC’s Trading Standards is asking people to “Take a Stand Against Scams”. This month, National Trading Standards started offering free call blockers to any person living with dementia that is currently receiving scam or nuisance calls. It’s the latest initiative in the Friends Against Scams campaign launched last year to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams and empowering communities. Locally, OCC introduced free training and local awareness sessions, available online and face-to-face to provide people with the confidence and skills they need to identify and prevent scams. Around 100 people have now received training and some have become “SCAMChampions”, which means they are now busy spreading the message and hosting their own sessions to recruit more “Friends”. The campaign aims to inspire action, highlight the scale of the issue by encouraging communities and the nation to talk about scams, change the perception of why people become scam victims and prevent people from becoming or continuing to be a scam victim. More information can be found here: http://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/friends-against-scams-in-oxfordshire-would-you-like-to-become-a-scamchampion/. Applications for a free call blocker for people living with dementia can be made via www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/callblocker




OCC’s Fire and Rescue Service are urging residents to test smoke alarms regularly. The Local Government Association warned that almost 40% of battery-powered smoke alarms failed to activate in residential fires in England in the past year. Figures show that more than a fifth of households never test their smoke alarm and one in 10 homes do not even have a smoke alarm. More information can be found here: http://www.365alive.co.uk/cms/content/smoke-alarms-0


Annex B:


                                  Blewbury Parish Council

District Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday, 13 December 2017

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite




Cllrs Janet Shelley and Reg Waite tender their apologies as they are required to attend the Vale’s full Council Meeting this evening.


Enforcement Investigations:


VE17/627 – Pilgrims Way, The Pilgrims Way, Blewbury OX11 9NG

Reported: 25 October2017

Alleged breach: Breach of conditions 3 & 4 of P16/V0888/HH

Case Officer: Claire Merritt

Site visited: 2 November 17

6 week target date – 6 December 17   12 week target date – 17 January 2018

Still being monitored.


VE17/604 – 7 Millbrook Close, Blewbury OX11 9QL

Reported: 13 October 2017

Alleged breach: Out building in excess of 2.5m high, 0.8m from boundary.

Case Officer: Zoe Spring

6 week target date – 24 November 17.   12 week target date – 5 January 18.

Site visited: 8 November 17

Planning application submitted.


VE17/559 – Flat Favonia, Church Estate, Blewbury OX11 9HE

Reported: 27 September 2017

Alleged breach: Without planning permission the conversion of a garage building to a separate dwelling.

Case Officer: Anne Wilkinson

Site visited: 26 October 17

6 week target date – 8 November 17   12 week target date – 20 December 2017

Immune investigation.  Case now closed.


VE17/494 – Chailey House, Bessels Way, Blewbury

Reported: 24 August 2017

Alleged breach: Landscaping not undertaken in accordance with the scheme approved by P15/V0471/FUL.

Case Officer: Heather Rowe

6 week target date – 5 October 17.   12 week target date – 16 November 17.

Site visited: 7 September 17 and 13 October 17.   Still under investigation.






VE17/223 – Unit 3, Eastfield Farm, Woodway Road, Blewbury

Reported: 21 April 2017

Alleged breach: Unauthorised change of use of an agricultural building to B2 industrial use.

Case Officer: Robert Cramp

Site visited: 4 May 2017

6 week target date – 2 June 2017.  12 week target date – 14 July 2017

Still under investigation.




Didcot Garden Town:


No specific comments to report but please keep up to date by visiting   www.didcotgardentown.co.uk .


Nominate a local business for a prestigious award:

The Vale of White Horse District Council wants your nominations for the V4B Awards for local business.

Anyone can nominate a business for one or more awards:

  • Royds Withy King Large Business of the Year
  • New Business of the Year
  • Innovation Award
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Social Responsibility Award
  • Business Space of the Year
  • Business Leader of the Year
  • Employer of the Year

We know the region has a fantastic variety of businesses operating in science parks, from homes, within villages and market towns.  We want to hear from as many people as possible about businesses, leaders and employers who are deserving of one or more awards.

The Vale4Business team, who support businesses in the district, is organising the awards to celebrate the achievements of local businesses, recognising and rewarding local excellence and success stories.

If you’d like to nominate a business based in the Vale of White Horse District Council area or sponsor an award, please contact the Vale4Business team on info@vale4business.com.

Businesses can apply for direct for the awards by visiting www.vale4business.com/v4bawards.  Nominations are open until 1 February 2018.


Business Networking and Workshops:

The joint South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council annual Business Breakfast will be held on 20th February 2018 at Harwell Campus.


First parkrun event for young people launches in Oxfordshire:

Children looking to get more active now have the opportunity to join Oxfordshire’s first weekly parkrun event for juniors.

Junior parkrun is for young people aged four to 14 years and takes place at Brookes Sport Botley, Harcourt Hill Campus in Botley (OX2 9AT) every Sunday, starting at 9am.

The event is free for all to attend and provides participants with a short 2km route entirely on grass.  Runners just need to register online prior to attending and bring their barcode with them.

To register for junior parkrun and to print off a barcode visit parkrun.org.uk/register/ This link will take you to an external website… .

Each weekend sees thousands of runners attending free parkrun events around the country.  The Saturday 5k parkruns are open to all (although those under 11 need to be within arm’s reach of a parent, guardian or other designated adult). Sunday morning junior parkruns, which are becoming more popular, are run over a shorter distance of 2km, are suitable for all abilities and children can run unaccompanied if they wish.

The events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and people of every ability are encouraged to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to people with more experience.

The junior parkrun in Botley has been launched thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers and Vale of White Horse District Council which secured £3,000 funding for the equipment needed to run the event.

The first junior parkrun took place last month in Botley with more than 80 young people enjoying the event and a further 65 joining in the following week.

Junior parkrun is an entirely non-competitive run.  The most important thing is that the children enjoy themselves.  Parents are also welcome to walk or run alongside their children.  It’s totally free to take part in and is coordinated entirely by a team of volunteers from the local area.

Harcourt Hill junior parkrun will now go from strength to strength and will hopefully inspire others around the county to set up their own junior events.”


Community projects in Wantage and surrounding villages (including Blewbury, Chilton, Harwell and Upton) invited to apply for a share of £43,000 grant funding:

Wantage Area grants are available for projects costing more than £2,000 that won’t start before April 2018.

As we still have a significant amount of funding available for projects in this area, we urge any groups with schemes coming up next year to learn more by visiting the website – www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/grants


Your waste collections – adverse weather condition:

With the snow now disappearing quickly we don’t anticipate any adverse weather conditions for a while.

However, be prepared!!  If at any time during this winter we are faced with adverse weather conditions then this is the recommendation.

If it is safe to do so, please put your bins out as normal.  If the bins in your street aren’t emptied on your normal collection day please leave them out for three days and Biffa will try and come back to deal with them.

If they don’t manage to get back to you within three days of your original collection day, please bring your bins back in and Biffa will come and empty them next time they’re due. If this is the case they will collect extra waste left out next to your bin next time round.


… and finally for 2017,

Janet and Reg

would like to take this opportunity to thank you for

your dedicated hard work and support

during the past year and to wish you and your families

a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year



As Chairman of the Vale, Reg is hosting a St Valentine’s Charity Dinner

at De Vere’s Milton Hill House Hotel on Saturday, 10th February 2018

and he would be delighted if Parish Councillors in his Ward

and local residents and businesses would join him

to support the event with all profits raised

being donated to his two charities.

Details will be sent out to you shortly.


JS & RWW 13 December 2017


Annex C:


Lengthman’s Report

November 2017


Winter is setting in and the grass has virtually stopped growing, so minimum grass cutting this month.


One of the paths in the cemetery has been fully re-instated and weeded. Some topping is probably required. I will try to get more paths done this coming month.


Mowers and strimmersetc have all been de-commissioned for the winter. i.e. Fuel drained and blades sharpened.

The Ferris has gone to RT Machinery for servicing and to look at the oil leaks on the engine and wheel clutch. We are waiting for a quote for repairs.


KAP roundabout has had new base fitted.

TFF Play area still has work to be done with mats etc. I am in touch with Oxfordshire Playing Fields Assn. who may be able to help with putting us in touch with possible contractors to do the work.


Everything else seems to be OK.


See you on 13th.






Annex D:


Planning report for Parish Council 

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:


P17/V2957/HH   Springfield, Bessels Way

Single storey rear conservatory extension. Parish Council has no objection.


P17/V3182/HH   7 Millbrook Close

Erection of new single storey rear extension. Parish Council has no objection.


P17/V3017/LB    Curtoys Westbrook Street             

Demolition of a single storey previous extension and garage and erection of a two storey extension and a new detached garage. Parish Council has no objection.                                   


P17/V3016/HH   Curtoys Westbrook Street             

Demolition of a single storey previous extension and garage and erection of a two storey extension and a new detached garage. Parish Council has no objection.   



Decisions from the District Council:


P17/V2416/HH   Badger’s Holt, South Street           

Proposed two storey side extension, cosmetic changes to external envelope of existing dwelling and internal alterations. Granted.


P17/V2829/HH   Alpha House, Westbrook Street   

Proposed single storey garden room extension to existing private dwelling.    Granted.             


P17/V2814/FUL Blewbury Service Station, London Road  

Proposed forecourt alterations, with 2 No 40,000 litre tank installation, raising of canopy and new shop extension. Granted.