Minutes for July 2015

Of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 8th July 2015 at 7.30 p.m


Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Ms J Gibson (JG), Ms V Fox (VF), Ms Lydia Inglis (LI), Ms Charlotte Cameron (CC), Ms Miriam Jacobs (MJ), Mr M Penington (MP), Mr M Blythe (MB). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), Mr D Hollick (lengthman), District Councillor Waite, County Councillor Lilly and 5 members of the public

Matters resolved:

  1. It was agreed that a quote should be sought to survey the clubhouse and plant room.
  2. All payments were approved.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      MJ to email Cllr Lilly with details about bus timetable problems By September meeting
2.      CL to approach OCC re bus shelters By September meeting
3.      Clerk to contact Stephen Methven re the right to buy on an exception site By September meeting
4.      Clerk to circulate MP’s recommendations re the clubhouse plant room Immediately after the meeting.
5.      MB to ring Gillian Ghosh re a DMMO application for the top of Cow Lane By September meeting
6.      Lengthman to look at the bus shelter and provide a quote to redecorate it. By September meeting
7.      CL to respond to complaint re cyclists on footpaths As soon as possible.
8.      Clerk and CL to review internal audit. By September meeting
9.      Clerk to order replacement picnic bench By September meeting
10.  Clerk to respond to bin request As soon as possible.
11.  Clerk to speak contractor re St Michael’s request to leave some of the churchyard uncut As soon as possible
Actions brought forward
1.      CL to review tree register By September meeting
2.      Clerk to review document register By September meeting


  1. To receive apologies for absence. Apologies from Mr M Shayler (MS), District Councillors Shelley and Waite. Apologies for possible late arrival were also received from Mr M Penington as he was returning from abroad.
  2. To record declarations of interest. No declarations made at the start of the meeting.
  3. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting on 10th June 2015. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. To receive the County Councillor’s report. The County Councillor reported on budget cuts and how it is affecting emergency services. A combined service is now run with Hampshire. Works to construct the Hagbourne Hill roundabout will commence in September, which will cause some disruption. The Milton interchange works are running behind. It was also reported that the OCC objected to the application for 4500 houses in Valley Park as the existing infrastructure cannot cope. There is insufficient water supply and foul water drainage and the gas main supply. There is also insufficient capacity in schools and medical services with no contributions coming forward as yet. Problems with the new bus timetables were also briefly discussed. Action: MJ to email Cllr Lilly with details about bus timetable problems.
  5. To receive the District Councillor’s report. No District Councillors present.
  6. To receive the Lengthman’s report. See Annex A. The hedge on FP24 (Bessels Lea end) was brought to the lengthman’s attention. The lengthman would inspect and if the PC can’t do anything, a letter would be written to the residents. The replacement of the mower was discussed. The theft of the new picnic table was mentioned.
  7. Open Forum.

The Cleve was discussed. Silt was now a serious problem and needed to be removed. Access to the Cleve can prove difficult. The Borlase planning application was also discussed reiterating points about the possible loss of listed buildings, the AONB and the conservation area.

Following the request made for a bus shelter at the previous meeting, the residents attended again asking if there was a solution seeing that both Dibleys and the owners of the Load of Mischief do not want a shelter on their land. The PC explained that it was sympathetic to the need for a bus shelter but as the main stop was on private land there was no suitable space for a shelter, nor was there anywhere along the South Street route. Action: CL to approach OCC re bus shelters.

  1. Neighbourhood Plan (NP). A sub-committee has met but not the steering group. It is believed that the landscape appraisal is imminent. The clerk reported that on the recent “You and yours” radio programme, Woodcote’s NP was discussed which made it possible for new developments to be offered exclusively to existing residents for 6 months before going on the open market.
  1. Matters arising.
    • 11/02/14 To receive an update on works at the TFF Playspace. One of the new picnic benches has been stolen despite being concreted in. The other was slightly damaged. It was agreed to replace the picnic bench. The platform was removed from the border swing. Work to the zip wire needs to be completed.
    • 02/06/15 To explore the implications of “the right to buy” on exception sites. A standard response was received from Ed Vaizey. Recent newspaper articles commented on concerns from Housing Associations about the same matter. Action: Clerk to contact Stephen Methven re the right to buy on an exception site.
  2. Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. The planning application is being prepared.
  3. Recreation Ground.
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. MP has investigated the situation at the clubhouse and in particular the over-engineering of the plant room and the resulting high cost of electricity. It was agreed that a quote should be sought to survey the building and plant room in order to change it to a simpler system and to make it more energy efficient. It is believed that the air source heat pumps might be worth selling on. Action: Clerk to circulate MP’s recommendations re the clubhouse plant room.
  4. Planning & Housing
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update on speculative approaches. Only about 100 people attended the recent exhibition by Landmaze re development on land behind Cossicle Mead. It appears that they are aware of the flooding risk on this land as well as problems with sewers. The importance of getting the Neighbourhood Plan drafted as soon as possible was reiterated.
    • 02/02/06 To receive the planning committee report. See Annex B.
    • 08/11/12 To approve responses to current applications

P15/V1216/LB and P15/V1215/FUL (amended) Land Opposite Borlase, South Street: Conversion, Extension & Renovation of Existing Barn and Loggia to form a New Dwelling. Blewbury Parish Council objection stands.

P15/V1512/HH 2 Eastfields. Proposed loft conversion including addition of new gable roof and new roof lights.

In principle Blewbury PC has no objection but as the plans have not yet been circulated, judgement would be reserved.

P15/V1480/O Upperton The Pilgrim’s Way. Outline application for subdivision of existing site and erection of a single storey 3-bedroom dwelling

Plans for this application have also not yet been sent out and would have to be studied before an opinion is formed.

As there was a recent approach about Church Moor, the possibility of making an application for it to be declared a Community Asset was discussed. When investigated before the rules stated that as it was not in current use by the village it could not be done.

  1. Finance & Administration
    • To receive an update on the setting up of the Clerk’s pension. CL reported that expert advice is being sought from Meirion James. The forms will be completed during the summer.
    • To receive a budget report. The clerk reported back on where the PC stands on budget. Budgeted expenditure is as expected but the unexpected expenditure has come to £3,433.24, mostly relating to additional safety measures and software for cemetery management. The trailer for the tractor was not budgeted for but necessary. Maintenance of mowers is still within budget very close to the maximum amount. The final maintenance of the skate ramp came from earmarked reserves.
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Description Amount
E de Ridder (salary and expenses) £908.86
D Hollick (salary and expenses) £539.09
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £22.80
White Horse Horticulture £200.00
Biffa Waste Services Ltd £71.04
Lister Wilder Ltd £29.00
Oxfordshire County Council £210.08
Post Office Ltd (PAYE & NI £497.75
BDO LLP £360.00
Hetherington Heating £1,045.30
P Clarke £175.00
Payments relating to Neighbourhood Plan
Hankinson Duckett £982.80
BVCIC £60.00
Payments relating to Village hall refurbishment
West Waddy ADP £1,211.17
TOTAL                            £6,312.79


All payments were approved.

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces. MB reported that negotiations are on-going with Beeswax with the right of way issue. It is important that a DMMO be sought. Action: MB to ring Gillian Ghosh re a DMMO application for the top of Cow Lane.
    • To decide on an action on Cow Lane following concerns raised in the DMMO response. It was agreed a note should be put in the Bulletin in the autumn to monitor use of Cow Lane by horse riders. Item closed until October.
    • To receive an update on The Cleve clean-up plan. An estimate for silt removal will be sought. It was mentioned that the Manor sought help with silt removal in their water ways in the past.
  2. To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport.
    • To consider redecorating the existing bus shelter. JG and the clerk removed most of the graffiti in the bus shelter but it was clear that it would need a new coat of paint. Action: Lengthman to look at the bus shelter and provide a quote to redecorate it.
    • To contact Highways to enquire about traffic calming measures they would consider on the A417. The clerk has contacted Highways but no response has so far been received. A complaint was received about cyclists using footpaths. Although it is illegal the Parish Council would not like this to be enforced as it is safer for cyclists to use footpaths in a considerate manner than using the A417. Action: CL to respond to complaint re cyclists on footpaths.
  3. Cemetery
    • 02/06/15 To receive an update on the cemetery mapping software and training. The map has been posted to the clerk but not yet received.
  4. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. CL reported that the village hall is showing a small profit for the preceding year.
  5. Ladycroft Park update. To receive an update from the Vale about Ladycroft Park issues. The clerk wrote to Ed Vaizey. Nothing further to report.
  6. Risk Management
    • 08/07/15 Review of effectiveness of internal audit process. Action: Clerk and CL to review internal audit.
    • 02/07/15 To decide if the TFF picnic bench should be replaced. The bench was stolen within weeks of it being installed despite benches being bolted down. It was agreed that the bench should be replaced. Action: Clerk to order replacement picnic bench.
  7. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Request for a bin at Cow Lane. The PC noted the exchanges of emails re a bin on Cow Lane. A domestic wheelie bin would not be appropriate and Highways refused a bin there in the past. Action: Clerk to respond to bin request.
      • Request from St Michael’s PCC about grass cutting. The clerk will speak to the contractor re the grass cutting but any additional cost incurred as a result of not cutting some of the grass for two months would have to be met by the Church. Action: Clerk to speak contractor re St Michael’s request to leave some of the churchyard uncut.
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • OALC update. Noted.
  1. Any other business

Councillors were reminded to contact the clerk before the agenda is drafted if they wanted to include anything on the agenda. JG informed councillors that Woodlands surgery would no longer be allowed to bring prescriptions to Blewbury. Following an earlier enquiry, it was confirmed that boundary issues in general are not within the Parish Council’s remit. As for the specific case, the chairman did meet with a resident and it was clear that building was carried out in accordance with the plans submitted to the Vale.

  1. To set the date of the next meeting

The next meeting will be held on 11th September in the Vale Room.  

Meeting closed 21h40

Annex A – Lengthman’s report

Lengthman’s Report June 2015


All paths are in good condition. Considerable grass and hedging growth this month.

The Horse Chestnut tree at the entrance to Heather Way has had all it’s lower branches removed which were obstructing the sight lines and causing a danger. I will monitor this and keep it pruned.


Good condition.  Grass and weed treatment seems to be working.

Some tree pruning is needed which I will attend to in July.

TFF, Car Park & TFF Play Area

Play Area equipment all in good order. TFF good. Car Park has usual litter problems.

I propose to trim up the lower branches of the trees in the central area to improve access for mowing.

Village Hall KAP Area

All in good order.

Storage Buildings

No issues


Tractor in good condition. Broken number plate replaced.

Ferris Mower ( ‘the beast’ ). MS has welded a broken casing and re-inforced the vulnerable sections.

Orec Mower. This is now very old and causing some problems. It was bought from Wests many years ago and I have spoken to Julian West who tells me it is on it’s last legs and he will not touch it.

The problem is the gears. It has 3 but one one (the slowest) is working. This is the mower most used especially for footpaths and around the graves in the cemetery.


Annex B

Planning report for Parish Council  – July and August 2015 Bulletin

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/V0939/FUL – Land behind Westbury, Westbrook Street.  Erection of detached dwelling (Amendment.).  NO OBJECTIONS to this application but wish the following comments to be taken into account:  One of the primary concerns expressed by neighbours of a two storey garage has been addressed but we would urge the authority to stand by their original decision that a single storey property is the solution on this site.

Decisions from the District Council:

P15/V0409/HH – 12 London Road – Two storey extension at front and rear.  Amendment to original planning permission.  GRANTED.
P15/V0193/FUL – Westbrook Farm – Development of 4 houses.  (Amendment).  GRANTED.

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