Minutes January 2016

Of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 13th January 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 Lydia Inglis (LI). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), David Hollick (Lengthman), District Councillor Waite, PCSO Jennings, one member of the public.

Matters resolved:

  1. The social media policy was approved and adopted.
  2. The budget for 2016-17 was approved. The precept was set at £55,000.
  3. It was agreed to apply for view-only online banking for the clerk.
  4. All payments were approved.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      Clerk to write to grave owners about sunken graves As soon as possible
2.      LI to obtain a quote from Kingdom Signs By February meeting
3.      JG to circulate notes about TFF orchard project By February meeting
4.      CL to circulate draft letter to BVCIC By February meeting
5.      Clerk and  CL to write to Ed Vaizey about major applications in the village. Clerk to contact North Wessex Downs AONB As soon as possible
6.      Clerk to return Precept form to the Vale As soon as possible
7.      Clerk to contact Beeswax about a Bulletin entry to advertise the meeting in the village hall As soon as possible
8.      Clerk to pass on details of the Beeswax meeting to resident who complained about hedges.

By February meeting



  1. To receive apologies for absence. Apologies from Ms Charlotte Cameron (CC), Mr M Blythe (MB), District Councillor Shelley, County Councillor Lilly.
  2. To record declarations of interest. MP declared an interest in the Cleve.
  3. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th December 2015 and the finance committee meeting of 6th January 2016. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.

The chairman welcomed PCSO Jennings. No formal report was given.

  1. To receive the County Councillor’s report. A report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex A.
  2. To receive the District Councillor’s report. The District Councillor’s written report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex B. Large scale applications in the Vale, including the Woodway and new Chailey House applications in Blewbury were discussed. It was recommended that the PC writes to the planning committee when an application is referred to committee. The progress of the Local Plan was also briefly mentioned.
  3. To receive the Lengthman’s report. See Annex C. The weed killing in the cemetery has not been very effective. Some graves need attention and grave owners will be written to. Christmas wreaths will be removed in February. Following on from a meeting with John Clark, some replacement play equipment and safety matting will have to be ordered.  Quotes for the replacement basket swing and other equipment were put before the council. It was agreed that the more durable “Huck” basket swing should be ordered as well as the necessary safety matting and other items recommended by Mr Clark. It was reported that an amount was included in the next year’s budget to repair potholes on the TFF car park. It was agreed work needed to be carried out in the cemetery to deal with sunken graves. Action: Clerk to write to grave owners about sunken graves.
  4. Open Forum.

A resident came to listen to item 12.3 but nothing was discussed during Open Forum.

  1. Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP). To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan if available. An update was circulated. Good progress has been made and the consultation period will start in February.
  2. Matters arising
    • 13/01/15  To receive designs and quotes for Clubhouse and Melland Room signs. Two quotes were received but it was recommended that Kingdom Signs should also be approached. Action: LI to obtain a quote from Kingdom Signs.
    • 13/01/15 To agree in principle the planting of a community orchard on Tickers Folly Field. Following the meeting on site it was agreed in principle to proceed with the orchard. Action: JG to circulate notes about TFF orchard project.
    • 13/01/15 To receive an update on the Cleve clean-up and improvement plans. A short report was given. The Carramores planning application might address some issues experienced at the Cleve. Residents along the stream will be consulted on future plans which might affect them. The removal of the silt will also be pursued in due course.
  1. Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. Following the request from the PC, Steve White wrote a short report about the history of the project which was circulated to all councillors. The current position was briefly explained.
  1. Recreation Ground
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. A letter will be sent to the BVCIC which will explain the current financial situation and the extent to which the Parish Council still supports it financially. Action: CL to circulate draft letter to BVCIC.
  2. Planning & Housing
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update on speculative approaches. To consider a name for the new Chailey House development. The developer suggested “Chailey Gardens” as a name for the development. The Parish Council has no objection to the name.
    • 2/02/06 To receive the planning committee report. See Annex D.
    • 08/11/12 To approve responses to current applications

P15/V1944/O: Land west of Woodway Road. AMENDMENT Outline application for the demolition of existing agricultural building and erection of up to 35 no. dwellings (Class C3), with new access off Woodway Road (all other matters reserved). (As amended by Illustrative Masterplan Drawing No: 14-156-1021 and Design and Access Statement addendum accompanying agent’s letter of 18 December 2015).

Blewbury PC objects to this application. Action: Clerk and  CL to write to Ed Vaizey about major applications in the village. Clerk to contact North Wessex Downs AONB.

P15/V2706/HH, P15/V2707/LB: New Inn Cottage, London Road. Adding double front gates with a side gate to the front of the property.

Blewbury PC has no objection.

P16/V0002/HH: Haycroft, Bessels Way. Demolition of existing single storey elements to the rear of the property. New double storey rear extension, and single storey to rear and side, to provide improved floor space and 2 additional bedrooms to the existing property.

Blewbury PC has no objection.

P16/V0001/HH: Marathon, Bessels Way. Demolition of existing single storey elements to the rear of the property. New double and single storey rear extension to provide improved floor space and two additional bedrooms to the existing property.

Blewbury PC has no objection.

Too late for inclusion on the agenda:

P15/V3038/O    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 has not yet been notified of the deadline for this application. The Parish Council will object to this application.

  1. Finance & Administration
    • To adopt the Social Media Policy. The policy was circulated prior to the meeting and adopted.
    • To receive a report from the finance committee meeting. To consider and approve the budget and the precept for 2016-17. The report and the minutes of the finance committee meeting were circulated prior to the meeting. The budget for 2016-17 was approved. Due to the high expenditure in the previous financial year, increased expenditure in servicing village assets and play areas and the anticipated loan for the village hall, it was agreed that the precept should be increased to £55,000. Action: Clerk to return Precept form to the Vale.
    • To agree to arrange for “view only” online banking for the clerk. It was agreed that view-only online banking for the clerk for all bank accounts should be applied for.
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Description Amount
E de Ridder (salary and expenses) £894.25
D Hollick (salary and expenses) £204.00
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £23.98
Biffa Waste Services Ltd £69.79
Blewbury Village Hall Executive Management Committee £300.00
Post Office Ltd (PAYE & NI) £466.52
Lister Wilder £20.78
Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils £102.00
Payments relating to the Neighbourhood Plan  
Dorian A.T.A Crone £6,178.20
TOTAL  £8,259.52

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 about a Bulletin entry to advertise the meeting in the village hall.
  2. To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport. Maranda St John Nicolle has agreed to be the village transport representative with the help of Hillary Wongraven. Hillary will be attending meetings when Maranda is unavailable. It was suggested that it might be an idea to use the school bus for community purposes.
  3. Cemetery
    • 02/06/15 To receive an update on the progress with cemetery mapping software. Nothing to report.
  4. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. A VHMC meeting is planned for the next week. On the agenda is the possibility to run all village facilities with a joint management body. Surveillance cameras will also be discussed.
  5. Risk Management
    • 09/09/15 To receive an update on the changes needed prior to the annual inspection of play equipment. It was agreed that the replacement equipment should be ordered as soon as possible.
    • 14/10/15 To sign off on the Annual Review of Risks facing the Council and to agree a timetable. The plan was approved.
  1. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Meetings between Parishes and commercial bus operators to scope out route options. Hillary Wongraven to attend.
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • Request for permission to carry out work to fences at the Tennis Club. Request past on to BVCIC.
      • OALC update. Noted.

Correspondence too late for the agenda:

An email was received about flailed hedges. Action: Clerk to pass on details of the Beeswax meeting to resident.

An email was received about a potentially hazardous tree at the edge of the Cleve. Highways has been notified.

  1. Any other business.

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

  1. To set the date of the next meeting. 10th February 2016.

Meeting closed 21h42


Annex A





Oxfordshire County Council has now received details of future grant funding from central Government and the levels are even worse than feared. The council had been preparing for up to £50m of savings from 2016 to 2020 (on top of the £292m it is already in the process of making for the period from 2010 to 2018). However, on the basis of figures provided by central Government last month, OCC will have to make £20m further savings on top of the £50m, bringing the total saving to £70m over the next four years. Central Government has changed the formula for funding councils, and it seems shire counties, particularly in the south of England, have come off worst.

The list of proposed savings for £50 million was already controversial, with many members of the public opposing them. To achieve the additional £20 million savings, no area of the council can be exempt other than those where there is a statutory obligation to provide for the most vulnerable in the county (i.e.The elderly & children at risk). This means other areas will suffer disproportionately, which will involve some very difficult and controversial decisions. By law, the Council has to pass an approved & balanced budget with no revenue borrowing. The Cabinet recommendations will be published 18th January for decision 26th January, before the budget goes to Full Council on 16th February.



OCC Leader Ian Hudspeth, District Leaders, LEP representatives and health colleagues attended a meeting with the Secretary of State in December to put forward the case for Oxfordshire devolution. The meeting was very positive, however Government has not yet said what it will ask for or offer. Any move towards a Combined Authority is very much dependent on this and will be preceded by a governance review. All aspects of the offer and governance have to be agreed by each individual council before a Combined Authority can be created.




Oxfordshire’s High Volume Pump has been deployed to flood-hit areas in the North to assist with operations. The pump is crewed by seven fire-fighters, all of whom volunteered to go and help – thus missing out on New Year celebrations with their own friends and family. OCC Leader Ian Hudspeth personally thanked them for their commitment. So should we all – they do excellent work!




A public drop-in event will be held on Tuesday 19th January in Oxford Town Hall. This event is running from 2:30pm to 7pm and is taking place as part of the consultation on the route options. All interested parties are invited to attend this event, or any of the other four local events:


  • Wednesday 20th January – Abbey House (Council Offices), Abingdon, OX13 3JE
  • Friday 22nd January – South Oxford Community Centre, OX1 4RP
  • Wednesday 27th January – Kennington Village Centre, OX1 5PG
  • Thursday 28th January – West Oxford Community Centre, OX2 0BT


The consultation is an opportunity for the public to view and comment on the various options that have been developed for the channel. It will be also be available online.


New Oxfordshire Libraries app


Oxfordshire Libraries can now be accessed from smart phone or tablet. People can:

  • manage their account
  • search the catalogue
  • renew and reserve books.


Bar code scanning is available on devices with a front-facing auto-focus camera.


Search for ‘Oxfordshire Libraries’ at the App Store or Google Play.


applications deadline for primary school places


Families with children due to start primary school this year are being urged to ensure they don’t miss the 15 January applications deadline.


Parents or carers of children born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012 should visit the primary school admissions pages and apply online where possible.


Primary or junior school applications also need to be made for children currently attending an infant school who were born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009.


County’s youngsters improve in core subjects


Oxfordshire’s eleven-year-olds have surged ahead in reading, writing and maths tests, according to the latest figures.


The proportion of the county’s pupils reaching Level 4+ in all three core subjects at Key Stage Two increased to 81 per cent in 2015 – up from 79 per cent last year.


It means the county has moved above the national average of 80% on this measure. The proportion of children making expected progress between the ages of seven and eleven is also higher than the national average for reading and writing, and in line for maths.


The recent Oxfordshire Reading Campaign, backed by the Oxford Mail and delivered by the National Literacy Trust, helped targeted primary schools make significant improvements in literacy attainment at Key Stage One and Two in recent years – with many schools intending to carry on using the programme.


Melinda Tilley, OCC’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, said: “This campaign work has helped create and sustain a real culture of reading and writing in participating schools, and I think it’s fair to say we are seeing this reflected in these improving results.”


WODC LOCAL PLAN (West Oxfordshire District Council)


The decision by the inspector to postpone the second hearing of WODC’s local plan to allow more work to be done on the housing target suggests more sites are required. In the papers for the Woodstock East application WODC mentioned that part of the site has been identified as suitable for housing development in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) for around 180 dwellings. Should this smaller site come forward then it might not be able to address the capacity issue of the Primary school, which is already full. Any development needs to produce the appropriate infrastructure otherwise it only makes the situation worse.



Annex B


Blewbury Parish Council

Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday, 13th January 2016

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite






Cllr Janet Shelley tenders her apologies for absence as she is attending a Planning Committee Meeting at The Beacon, Wantage.




Speculative Development Planning Applications:


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

Dwellings on land off Woodway Road, Blewbury

Case Officer: Peter Brampton

Received: 14th August 2015

Registered: 17th August 2015

Consultation: 17th August to 16th September 2015

Target decision date:  was 16th November 2015, but

this has now been moved to 31st January 2016 following receipt

of amended plan dated 18th December 2015.


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



Greater Didcot Garden Town:

Very little further news to report at this stage but the following may be helpful to Parish Councils.

There will be meetings with the town and local parish councils in February/March to explain matters in greater detail – this will help to kick start community engagement and progressing the garden town master planning

The Vale and South Oxfordshire are currently awaiting funds from the government.

The reason for naming the bid the greater Didcot was intended to provide reassurance that the project could also bring benefits to local villages who wish to be involved.

Officers will be meeting shortly to produce a project plan and once the two authorities have acquired additional officer resource they will launch the project.  The setting up phase will take some time whilst waiting for funds and recruiting staffing resources.

It will be ensured those villages closest to Didcot do not lose their identity, and that they benefit from rather than suffer from the town’s growth.

We will keep you up to date but meanwhile please do not hesitate to e-mail your concerns to Reg and Janet who will collate the feedback for taking forward.

Finally we would confirm that the Motion (reported in last month’s Parish Councillors’ notes) put before the full Council meeting on Wednesday, 16th December 2015 by Cllrs Gervase Duffield and Reg Waite was passed unanimously.  Both will keep abreast of matters to ensure their demands are met and that they will avoid an urbanised ‘greater Didcot’.



Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday:


Beacons throughout the country will be fired on Thursday, 21st April.  The Vale’s participation will be reported to all parishes when full details prepared.


The Vale is interested to learn of any special activities or events proposed by Parish Councils or village groups and you are requested to pass details and dates to your District Councillors please.




Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner Election:


The next elections will take place across the country, including Thames Valley, on Thursday, 5th May 2016.


Further details will be provided later.




South & Vale Business Breakfast Meeting in Harwell:


South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils invite businesses to the 2016 Business Breakfast at The Science and Technologies Facilities Council at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
The event is taking place on Tuesday 1 March and will include presentations from Councillor Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of White District Council, and the Chief Executive of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils, David Buckle. The key note speaker will be announced shortly.
The event starts at 7.30am and a complimentary breakfast will be available.



…. And finally, a comment on our MP, Ed Vaizey:

Yesterday, Ed became the longest serving Culture Minister in history.



Annex C – Lengthman’s report

Lengthman Report December 2015




No Issues. All clear with some grass growth but nothing excessive.


No issues. Quite a lot of moss regrowth even after the weed treatments this year. (Elaine, should we put a reminder about the removal of Christmas wreaths at the end of January, in the Bulletin?)

TFF, Car Park & TFF Play Area

Elaine, Chris & I had a pre-inspection meeting with John Clarke who does our annual inspections. Due in Feb 2016. He raised a few issues concerning the equipment at TFF. A) The matting needs extending on the fall area of the platform swing. B) The basket swing must be replaced as the old one is badly worn and dangerous. C) Some of the mushrooms should be repositioned to avoid potential falling injuries. D) A safety chain should be attached to the top of the platform swing.

The car park is now very “pot holey” and needs attention. Mark Shayler is getting a quote for 10tons of aggregate and we will need to hire a roller as well. It would also pay us to get a small digger at the same time to try to rectify the drainage of the hollow of the long swing ,which fills with water.

There was also a meeting to discuss the Orchard Project with SB at TFF.

Recreation Ground

No issues


Village Hall KAP Area

No issues


Storage Buildings


No issues



We have now purchased a new Orec mower from Julian West and had the small Hayterette mower repaired and serviced.

This now means that we should be well equipped to the next few years.

Finally, A Happy New Year to everyone.



Annex C


Planning report for Parish Council  – January 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/V2751/HH – Codrington, Pilgrim’s Way – Addition of two dormer windows.  BPC has no objection.

P15/V2721/HH – House next to Upperton, Pilgrim’s Way.  BPC objects to this application – as before – with reference to saved policies of the 2011 Local Plan.

  • The proposed dwelling is situated in the North Wessex Downs AONB and would have a detrimental impact on the character and landscape of the area and would not conserve or enhance its natural beauty (Policy NE6).
  • Limited infilling has been allowed in Blewbury but this site is located outside the village envelope which excludes it from the normal application of the saved policy (Policy H11).
  • The development would be intrusive to existing properties on the North side of Pilgrim’s way (Policy DC9).
  • The sub-division of the property to form an additional dwelling would harm the character or appearance of the building and the surrounding area (Policy H14).

We would also like to point out that the garages currently being built, which are marked on the application as existing garages, are at present under construction, but they are not the garages for which planning permission was granted in July 2014.

It is expected that the applicant will make good the road after the building works are completed, as this road is owned and maintained by all those living on it.

P15/V2798/HH – The Dial House.  First floor dormer window and ground floor front extension.  BPC has no objection.

P15/V2854/FUL – Hill View, Bessels Lea Road.  Detached dwelling with detached garage, with access to Bessels Way.  BPC has no objection.

P15/V2986/AG – Churn Farm.  Grain store extension.  BPC has no objection.


Decisions from the District Council:
P15/V0925/HH – Royston, Bessels Way
– Extensions and additions.  GRANTED.

P15/V2377/LB and P15/V2376/HH – Hall Barn Close, Chapel Lane – Addition of porch to kitchen extension. Relocation of the gas meter. GRANTED.

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