Minutes February 2016

Minutes
Of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 10th February 2016 at 7.30 p.m

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Ms J Gibson (JG), Mr M Penington (MP), Mr M Shayler (MS), Ms M Jacobs (MJ), Ms V Fox (VF), Mrs L Inglis (LI), Mrs C Cameron (CC), Mr M Blythe (MB). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), David Hollick (Lengthman), County councillor Lilly. No members of the public.

Matters resolved:

  1. It was agreed that up to £150 could be spent on soil and turf if needed.
  2. All payments were approved.

 

Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      Lengthman to unblock the stream As soon as possible
2.      Clerk to thank Dermot Mathias and the BNDP team. Clerk to email Ian Bacon with email address of Parish Councils

As soon as possible

 

3.      Clerk to contact Highways re the Recreation Ground sign By March meeting
4.      CL to investigate and obtain a quote for alternative lighting solution for the car park By March meeting
5.      Clerk to check cemetery map and return it to Pear Technologies. By March meeting
6.      MP to report back on joint management structure for village facilities By March meeting
7.      Clerk to write to the Environment Agency/Vale about the Carramores ditch As soon as possible
8.      Clerk to obtain quotes from the existing internal auditor as well as two others By March meeting
9.      Clerk to contact Beeswax again to confirm the meeting. JG to produce posters

As soon as possible

 

10.  CL to circulate proposals for the common land where the tree was cut down By March meeting
11.  Clerk to report flooding in front of Middle Ashbrook and in Eastfields to Highways By March meeting
12.  CL to investigate who is responsible for the upkeep of stiles on a footpath. By March meeting
13.  Clerk to contact Highways re the B4016. By March meeting
14.  Clerk to contact the Church re grass clippings As soon as possible
15.  Clerk to send a follow-up email about the hit and run As soon as possible

 

  1. To receive apologies for absence. Apologies from District Councillors Waite and Shelley.
  2. To record declarations of interest. CL declared an interest in the payments.
  3. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 13th January 2016. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. To receive the County Councillor’s report. The county councillor reported on the County’s budget cuts, the future of rural bus services, the Hagbourne Hill road works and devolution.
  5. To receive the District Councillor’s report. The District Councillor’s written report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex A.
  6. To receive the Lengthman’s report. See Annex B. It was mentioned that there is a blockage in the stream under the bridge leading from the Playclose to Red Lion. Action: Lengthman to unblock the stream.
  7. Open Forum.

Nothing was discussed during Open Forum.

  1. Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP). To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan if available. It was reported that meeting was well attended and that the official 6-week village consultation on the draft Development Plan runs from 1st February to Monday 14th March 2016. Action: Clerk to thank Dermot Mathias and the BNDP team. Clerk to email Ian Bacon with email address of Parish Councils.

 

  1. Matters arising
    • 13/01/15  To receive designs and quotes for Clubhouse and Melland Room signs. The quote from Kingdom Signs was received. It was unclear who installed the original Recreation Ground sign on London Road and if it could be added to.  Planning permission might also be needed. Action: Clerk to contact Highways re the Recreation Ground sign.
    • 10/02/16 To decide on a course of action about recreation ground car park lighting. There were some complaints that the PIR lights at the Recreation Ground car park were not always effective. “Dusk to dawn” lighting might be an alternative. Action: CL to investigate and obtain a quote for alternative lighting solution for the car park.
    • 10/02/16 To agree expenditure relating to the cemetery and receive an update on the electronic records and map. The clerk reported that the second draft of the map was received back for comment. It was reported that grave owners have been written to informing them of the levelling of the graves. The clerk has also put notices on all the gates. It was agreed that up to £150 could be spent on soil and turf if needed. Action: Clerk to check map and return it to Pear Technologies.
  2. Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. A leaflet will be produced to inform residents about the proposed scheme.
  3. Recreation Ground
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. MP will be looking at possibilities for a possible joint management structure for the village hall and clubhouse. Action: MP to report back on joint management structure for village facilities.
  4. Planning & Housing
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update on speculative approaches. The Woodway application was refused. Objections are still being submitted to the Chailey House application.
    • 2/02/06 To receive the planning committee report. See Annex C. The Carramores planning permission was briefly discussed and it was agreed the Parish Council should write to the Vale about the possible re-opening of the ditch and ask that residents be consulted. Action: Clerk to write to the Environment Agency/Vale about the Carramores ditch.
    • 08/11/12 To approve responses to current applications:

P15/V3038/O    (Land adjacent to) Chailey House, Bessels Way        Application for outline planning permission for the erection of 57 new dwellings with associated parking and amenity provisions, on land on the western side of Bessel’s Way.

The Parish Council will submit an objection.

 

P16/V0192/FUL Westbrook Farm, Westbrook Street.  Demolition of existing farm buildings and construction of 4no. dwellings

Blewbury Parish Council objects to this application.  It is contrary to the saved policy of the Vale Local Plan DC1 Design and the emerging Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan Part 7 – Housing Design and Village Character Assessment.

The design (including detailing and materials) of Plot Number 1 is out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing local properties and the other plots in the proposed development.  A higher standard of design is expected in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   It stands in a very prominent position, as seen from across the fields and from the A417.

The previous version of this application was more visually acceptable.

 

P16/V0183/HH Load of Mischief, South Street . Single and two storey extensions.

The Parish Council has no objection. We assume that the wall will remain, as it is necessary for the bus stop and the Parish Council notice board.

 

P16/V0169/HH May Cottage, London Road.  Rear conservatory extension  

The Parish Council has no objection.

 

P16/V0107/HH Penny Chase, Bessels Way.    Single storey side extension to Annex

The Parish Council has no objection.

 

P16/V0125/HH Cherry Trees, London Road.  Proposed ground floor side and rear extension

The Parish Council has no objection.

 

  1. Finance & Administration
    • To identify and appoint an internal auditor. The internal auditor has until recently done the work on a voluntary basis but he proposes to charge for his services. Due to the changing nature of the internal audit requirements, it will be a good time to re-assess the process and ensure that the PC gets value for money. Action: Clerk to obtain quotes from the existing internal auditor as well as two others.
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts

 

Description

Amount
E de Ridder (salary and expenses) £886.68
D Hollick (salary and expenses) £320.59
NEST (pension contribution) £53.45
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £23.98
Biffa Waste Services Ltd £21.55
Online Playgrounds (Fenland Leisure) £1,466.64
Blewbury Village Hall Executive Management Committee £170.50
Post Office Ltd (for Southern Electric) £19.06
Oakleaf Tree Services Ltd £504.00
South and Vale Carers Centre £50.00
* Information Commissioner £35.00
Payments relating to the Neighbourhood Plan  
Alex Elderfield £15.00
* J. Lakeland £73.84
* I. Bacon £37.50
TOTAL £3,677.79

All payments were approved.

 

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces
    • To receive an update re the meeting with Beeswax Farms. The date has been set for 23rd of February. Action: Clerk to contact Beeswax again to confirm the meeting. JG to produce posters.
    • To receive an update on the DMMO application and approve a draft for the Bulletin. Some forms have been received back and something will be put in the Bulletin in due course.
    • To receive an update about the Cleve path and tree work. A tree at the edge of the Cleve was reported to the PC. As the resident who reported it claimed the tree was not on his land (Penridge), nor was it on the neighbours land (Cleve Cottage) Highways was contacted. Highways referred it back to the PC saying that the tree was on common land and therefore PC responsibility. Two tree surgeons came out to look and advised the PC that the tree was at imminent risk of falling and should be felled immediately. Both submitted quotes. The clerk and the chairman instructed Oakleaf Tree Services to carry out the work immediately. Action: CL to circulate proposals for the common land where the tree was cut down.

A resident has complained about the puddle in front of Middle Ashbrook when it rains. Flooding in Eastfields was also mentioned. Action: Clerk to report flooding in front of Middle Ashbrook and in Eastfields to Highways.

The resident also complained about a stile on the path to East Hagbourne. Action: CL to investigate who is responsible for the upkeep of stiles on a footpath.

 

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport. A “bus group” has been formed and has met. They are meeting with Thames Travel to discuss alternatives to the 94/95 bus. The state of the B4016 was mentioned. Action: Clerk to contact Highways re the B4016.
  2. Cemetery
    • 02/06/15 To receive an update on the progress with cemetery mapping software. See 9.3.
  3. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. The VHMC is open to a merger to run all facilities in the village.
  4. Risk Management
    • 09/09/15 To receive an update on the changes needed prior to the annual inspection of play equipment. The replacement equipment has been ordered. The clerk has contacted the inspector for a date for the annual inspection.
  5. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Complaint about cemetery hedge laying. CL replied to the complaint.
      • Complaint about grass clippings in the old cemetery. This was investigated and the PC believes the grass clippings are not from the Recreation Ground but from the cemetery itself. It will be referred back to the Church. Action: Clerk to contact the Church re grass clippings.
      • The clerk mentioned an email about a “hit and run” on London Road. The Police was unaware about the incident. The family will be urged to contact the Police. Action: Clerk to send a follow-up email about the hit and run.
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • Town and Parish Forum Final Report. Noted
      • OALC update. Noted.
  1. Any other business.

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

It was mentioned that a piece should be included in the Bulletin about the increase in precept.

  1. To set the date of the next meeting. 9th March 2016.

 

Meeting closed 21h39

 

 

Annex A

 

Blewbury Parish Council

Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday, 10th February 2016

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite

 

Apologies:

 

Cllrs Janet Shelley and Reg Waite tender their apologies for absence as they are required to attend a Committee Meeting at the Vale’s offices in Milton Park.

 

Speculative Development Planning Applications:

 

P15/V1944/O – Outline planning permission for up to 35 (revised from 40)

     Refusal 29th January 2016.

 

P15/V3038/O – Outline planning permission for the erection of 57 new dwellings

with associated parking and amenity provision s, on land on the

Western side of Bessel’s Way.

Case Officer: Peter Brampton

Received: 22nd December 2015

Registered: 7th January 2016

Consultation: 7th January to 10th February 2016

Target decision date: 7th April 2016

10 Feb 16 – Consultation expires today.  All other detail remain.

Greater Didcot Garden Town:

No further news at present – will forward details as received.

Councils join forces to save £50 million

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils are set to save a total of £18 million over the course of the next nine years, by signing a contract with two companies to run some mainly back-office services.

South and Vale councils are working with three other councils in the south of England to draw up a shared contract so two companies can run some of their internal departments like HR and IT.

The five councils, separated geographically but united by their vision to deliver improved, more affordable services are set to save more than £50 million through a pioneering procurement believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

There have been examples of councils working together to secure savings through shared contracts but this is the first time that a group of councils have looked beyond their neighbours to achieve this.

In 2014, despite being more than 85 miles apart, the councils (Hart District Council and Havant Borough Council in Hampshire, Mendip District Council in Somerset and South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils in Oxfordshire) embarked on an ambitious project to consolidate their purchasing power into one entity to award contracts to deliver a suite of services on their behalves.  The focus for the project was on securing better value for money services for residents.

This work culminated last week with the last of the councils agreeing to award a contract to Capita to deliver a range of corporate services including HR, IT and finance and to Vinci to provide facilities management and property services.  The contracts will collectively save the councils more than £50 million over a nine year period.

As well as delivering enormous financial savings, at a time when funding streams for local councils are being tightened considerably, the new contracts are expected to improve services for residents.

The councils will be benefitting from the two companies’ extensive experience across the public and private sectors to continually review and improve services across the organisations.

In agreeing these deals the five councils have broken the mould for outsourcing with this being the first to involve councils from very different parts of the country, proving location is no longer a barrier to achieving savings if partners are committed to joint working and share the same goals. It’s a move that’s being closely observed by central government and many local authorities across the country.

Cllr John Cotton, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “The bigger picture here is that many councils are having to cut frontline services due to pressures on their budgets – we spotted this opportunity to make significant savings early on so that we were in a better position to weather any future financial storms and in order to continue to provide the most efficient public services possible.”

Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Over the past 5 years we’ve made enormous savings thanks to our shared working with South Oxfordshire. Partnering with more councils to achieve bigger economies of scale was the next logical step to help us protect our key public services. Services will be maintained and improved for residents, but in the background we’ll be much more cost-effective.”

Subject to the contracts being signed on 31 March 2016 they’re expected to start in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse in August 2016 and for the remaining councils between July and October 2017.

The councils will manage the contracts through a new joint monitoring team, which will see staff from across the organisations working together.  For the rest of the staff affected it could mean relocating to centres of excellence operated by the two companies in order to improve resilience in service delivery.

The councils and both companies will be providing support, advice and training to staff throughout the transition to the new contracts.

Cut down on paper bills – sign up for an online council tax account today!

People who sign up to view their council tax bills online will have all the information they need in one convenient place and help to cut down on unnecessary printing and postage costs.

Next month Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils will send out bills to council tax payers.  However, sending bills out by mail costs thousands in printing and postage costs and also takes up significant time.

To help reduce this cost, and make it more convenient for people who like to keep a copy of their bills, the councils are urging people to register for a secure online council tax account.

The councils begin printing paper bills on 19 February so need people to sign up for an online account before then, otherwise they will get their 2016/17 council tax bill though the post as normal.

People who sign up for an online account can view their account details, make payments, view their billing history, set up direct debits and notify the council easily of any changes in circumstance.

The service also has additional resources for landlords, business rate payers and housing benefit recipients.

To register to view your council tax details online please visit www.southoxon.gov.uk/counciltax or www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/counciltax.

Once you have registered, each time a new e-bill is ready to be viewed on our website you will be sent a short email alert.

Estimates, assumptions and information emerging from meetings:

 

Oxfordshire is expected to need 100,000 new homes (in addition to existing 280,000) and have 85,000 jobs by 2031.

 

Roads such as A34 are at capacity and public transport provision does not meet the needs of residents and commuters, huge investment in transport infrastructure is needed to support that growth.

 

Around 30,000 new jobs and 23,000 additional homes by 2020 to be on track to meet identified requirements for 100,000 new homes and 85,000 jobs by 2031.

 

Fewer than 2,000 people claim job seekers allowance, while around 15,000 people are on long term employment support benefits.  Education attainment in some deprived parts of Oxford is below national and regional averages.

 

Major employers report a skills shortage, particularly in relation to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) occupations.

 

Rising demand for health, social care and public health.  Ageing population with the number of over-85’s in the county expected to rise from around 15,000 to around 24,000 between 2011 and 2026.

 

The number of people with multiple conditions is increasing, as is the number of people with learning disabilities.

 

There is an increase in births, particularly in Cherwell and Didcot.

 

Solutions to these challenges and many more are currently under discussion with Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell, West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and OxLep (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership) under their devolution bid to the Government to take control of spending for transport schemes and health and social care.

 

Retirement of CEO, Vale and South Oxfordshire District Councils:

 

As outlined under agenda item 16 for the Council’s meeting to be held on Wednesday, 17th February, you will observe David Buckle will be retiring later in the year.

Get Clean for the Queen in 2016

Released by Vale & SODC on 9th February 2016

Throughout February and early March, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils are encouraging everybody to get together with their communities and make sure the neighbourhood is sparkling clean ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday.  The whole country is having a big clear-up on the weekend of 4 – 6 March.

If you’re interested in setting up your own litter picking group, register on the Clean for the Queen website and email waste.team@southandvale.gov.uk.  Biffa will contact you to give you some Clean for the Queen hi-vis gear, sacks and litter-pickers and some tips on how to make your clean up a success.

Waste crews are also carrying out some extra clean-ups across the district – if there’s a particular ‘grot spot’ in your area that you think could do with a bit of a polish, give them a call on 03000 610610 or email waste.team@southandvale.gov.uk, and you could be in with a chance of having your very own spring clean.

For more information, including a competition for schools to take part in, visit the Clean for the Queen website.

RWW & JS

9th February 2016

 

Annex B – Lengthman’s report

 

LENGTHMAN’S REPORT

JANUARY 2016

 

FOOTPATHS

No issues. One cut this month only.

 

CEMETERY

No issues except sunken graves which, after research, I understand is actually our responsibility. I will deal with them this coming month.

 

TFF, CAR PAR & TFF PLAY AREA

Car park still awaiting attention to holes.

Elaine has now ordered all the necessary equipment to service the Play Area which should be delivered in February.

 

RECREATION GROUND

No issues

 

VILLAGE HALL KAP AREA

No issues

 

STORAGE BUILDINGS

No issues

 

EQUIPMENT

No issues

Annex C

Planning report for Parish Council  – February 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:

P15/V1944/O – Land West of Woodway – Amended proposal for up to 35 dwellings.  BPC objects. For details of the objection, see the Parish Council planning page on the Blewbury website.

P16/V0001/HH – Marathon, Bessels Way – Demolition of existing single storey elements and creation of double and single storey extensions.  BPC has no objection.

P16/V0002/HH – Haycroft, Bessels Way – Demolition of existing single storey elements and creation of  single storey extensions to rear and side.  BPC has no objection.

P15/V2707/HH and P15/2706/LB – New Inn Cottage, London Road. Adding double front gates with a side gate to the front of the property.  BPC has no objection.

P15/V3038/O – Land west of Bessels Way at Chailey House – Application to build 57 houses.  BPC objects. For details of the objection, see the Parish Council planning page on the Blewbury website.

P16/V0125/HH – Cherry Trees, London Road – Proposed ground floor side and rear extensions.  BPC has no objection.
P16/V0169/HH – May Cottage, London Road – Conservatory extension.  BPC has no objection.

P16/V0107/HH – Penny Chase, Bessels Way – Single storey extension to annex.  BPC has no objection.

P16/V0183/HH – The Load of Mischief, South Street – Single and two storey extensions. BPC has no objection.  We assume that the wall will remain, as it is necessary for the bus stop and the Parish Council notice board.

P19/V0192/FUL – Westbrook Farm – Four new dwellings.  Blewbury Parish Council objects to this application.  It is contrary to the saved policy of the Vale Local Plan DC1 Design and the emerging Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan Part 7 – Housing Design and Village Character Assessment.

The design (including detailing and materials) of Plot Number 1 is out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing local properties and the other plots in the proposed development.  A higher standard of design is expected in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   It stands in a very prominent position, as seen from across the fields and from the A417.

The previous version of this application was more visually acceptable.

 

Decisions from the District Council:

P15/V2534/HH and P15/V2535/LB – Carramores, Church Lane – Alterations to existing single storey extension, erection of replacement garage/workshop.  GRANTED.

P15/V2798/HH – The Dial House.  First floor dormer window and ground floor front extension.  GRANTED.

P15/V1944/O – Land West of Woodway – Amended proposal for up to 35 dwellings. REFUSED.

P15/V2721/HH – House next to Upperton, Pilgrim’s Way.  New dwelling.  GRANTED.

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