Minutes June 2016

Of the Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 8th June 2016 at 7.30 p.m

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Mr M Penington (MP), Mrs C Cameron (CC), Mr M Shayler (MS), Mr M Blythe (MB), Mrs L Inglis (LI), Ms M Jacobs (MJ), Ms V Fox (VF). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), David Hollick (Lengthman), County Councillor Lilly, 1 member of the public.

Matters resolved:

  1. PSB Consulting Engineers were appointed as M&E consultants for the Village Hall refurbishment.
  2. Section 1 and 2 of the annual return was approved and accepted.
  3. The internal auditor’s report was circulated and accepted
  4. It was agreed to change the current Biffa waste collecting contract to weekly collections
  5. All payments were approved.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      LI to send Cllr Waite a copy of relevant part of the Countryside Act As soon as possible
2.      Lengthman to fix the fence at the cemetery. As soon as possible
3.      MP to ask CIC to remove discarded equipment from the recreation ground As soon as possible
4.      MP to ask Cricket Club to remove their own rubbish and recycling after matches and practices As soon as possible
5.      CL to investigate clubhouse car park lighting By July meeting
6.      MB to approach Beeswax informally about rescheduling the meeting As soon as possible
7.      Clerk to order Clubhouse sign By July meeting
8.      LI to investigate Ashbrook signs and make a recommendation re planning application response By 17th June 2016
9.      Clerk to display notices for exercise of public rights By 9th June 2016
10.  Clerk to send information about the VOA to MP By July meeting
11.  JG to put a note in the Bulletin about protecting sensitive corridors and protecting wildlife habitat and nesting birds. JG to put a deadline for DMMO forms in the Bulletin. By Bulletin deadline
12.  JG to draft and circulate TFF usage policy By July meeting
13.  CL & lengthman to draft a maintenance and safety policy and circulate By July meeting
14.  JG to draft a response to the Healthwatch consultation and put a note in the Bulletin By Bulletin deadline


  1. To receive apologies for absence. Apologies from Mrs J Gibson, District Councillor Shelley, County Councillor Lilly.
  2. To record declarations of interest. MS declared an interest in payments. CL declared an interest in planning.
  3. To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 11th May 2016. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. To receive the County Councillor’s report. The County Councillor’s report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex A.
  5. To receive the District Councillor’s report. District Councillor Waite reported on the progress made with the Local Plan. The Vale has announced that some grant funding is available. See Annex B for written report. Action: LI to send Cllr Waite a copy of relevant part of the Countryside Act.
  6. To receive the Lengthman’s report. The lengthman’s report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex C. The requests from the Croquet Club were considered and action has already been taken where appropriate. It was reported that some fence posts need to be replaced at the skate ramp. CL and MS will carry out safety checks during the Lengthman’s holiday. Actions: Lengthman to fix the fence at the cemetery. MP to ask CIC to remove discarded equipment from the recreation ground. MP to ask Cricket Club to remove their own rubbish and recycling after matches and practices. CL to investigate clubhouse car park lighting.
  7. Open Forum.

A member of the public came to restate her concerns about perceived Beeswax farming practices and express regret that the Parish Council decided not to write to them addressing her concerns. It was explained that this was as a result of professional advice from the OALC. Individual councillors and parishioners are encouraged to talk to Beeswax in a personal capacity if they wish to do so. It was reported that an arranged meeting had been postponed and it has not been possible as yet to arrange a further meeting. Action: MB to approach Beeswax informally about rescheduling the meeting.

  1. Blewbury Neighbourhood Development Plan (BNDP). To receive an update on the Neighbourhood Plan if available. The plan has been submitted and will go to through the consultation and examination phases in due course.
  2. Matters arising
    • 13/01/15  To receive designs and quotes for Clubhouse and Melland Room signs. Quotes for an additional fingerpost sign was sought and approved. Action: Clerk to order Clubhouse sign.  
  3. Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. Tender documents are in the process of being drawn up.
    • To approve the appointment of the M&E consultant. Three quotes were sought by West Waddy. The working party recommended that PSB should be appointed on the basis of their price, their focus on heating and ventilation (where we are most in need of advice) and their proximity to West Waddy, which make for ease of working. It was agreed to appoint PSB.
  4. Recreation Ground
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. The clerk advised that the invoices for the agreed works at the plant room should be paid directly by the Parish Council.
  5. Planning & Housing
    • 12/11/14 To receive an update on speculative approaches. Nothing to report.
    • 02/02/06 To receive the planning committee report. See Annex D.
    • 08/11/12 To approve responses to current applications

P16/V0236/A           Ashbrook Mews, Westbrook Street    Small fascia sign showing Ashbrook Serviced Apartments with arrow to be put on external wall of 1 Ashbrook Mews at junction of Westbrook Street and A417. BPC has concerns about the scale of the sign which is in the curtilage of a listed building within the conservation area. Action: LI to investigate Ashbrook signs and make a recommendation re planning application response.


Applications received too late for the agenda:

P16/V0192/FUL Westbrook Farm Westbrook Street Demolition of existing farm buildings and construction of 4no. dwellings (Amended). BPC objects as before.

P16/V1410/AG Blewbury Centre Besselsway Agricultural storage building. BPC has no objection


The clerk reported that the fence has been removed from the Hill View application and will be subject to a separate application. The Planning Enforcement team is aware of this. CL left the meeting for the discussion of the Hill View application.

P16/V0834/HH Hill View Bessels Lea Two storey side and rear extension. BPC notes that the fence on Bessels Way has been removed from this application.  We will be objecting to that application when it comes.  To the present application, Blewbury Parish Council has no objection.


  1. Finance & Administration
    • Accounts and audit for 2015-2016. Proposal and acceptance of annual accounts. To note the start of the period for the exercise of public rights. The annual return was circulated together with the explanation of significant variances. The annual return was approved and accepted and it was agreed that Section 1 and 2 should be signed. The period for the exercising of public rights will start on Friday 10th Action: Clerk to display notices for exercise of public rights.
    • To receive and accept the internal auditor’s report. The internal auditor’s report was circulated and accepted.
    • To agree increased waste collections for the recreation ground. It was agreed to change the current Biffa waste collecting contract to weekly collections.
    • To note the Valuation Office Agency’s alteration to the rating list entry relating to the Old Scout Hut. The clerk registered with the Valuations Office and changed the Scout Hut’s address to the correct one. The new rateable value was noted but every year a 100% discount is usually given. Action: Clerk to send information about the VOA to MP.
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts



E de Ridder (salary and expenses) £993.67
D Hollick (salary and expenses) £730.38
NEST (pension contribution) £62.10
BT Payment Services Ltd £25.44
Biffa Waste Services Ltd £33.31
White Horse Horticulture £200.00
Lister Wilder Limited £66.37
CPRE £36.00
Vale of  White Horse DC £37.00
Mr A Allen £300.00
Shayler Concrete Pumping Ltd £301.79
Didcot Plant Ltd £123.93
Payments relating to the Queen’s birthday celebrations  
Originzone Ltd £115.00
A.P. Mattimore £43.20
I. Bacon £35.99
Kingdom Signs Ltd £72.00
Payments relating to the Village Hall refurbishment  
West Waddy ADP £1,575.00
Vale of White Horse District Council £1,020.00
TOTAL                            £5,771.18


The clerk pointed out that the payments relating to the Queen’s birthday celebrations were paid from a grant obtained from the Vale. It was agreed that the clerk’s pay rate be increased in accordance with the national pay awards. All payments were approved.


  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces. A quote of £3620 + VAT was received for possible upgrading of the Savages footpath. No action will be taken at this stage. The issue of some overgrown hedges on this footpath was raised with Highways. If Highways do not have a solution, the clerk will write to the residents offering a solution.

Action: A deadline for will be set in the next Bulletin for DMMO forms.

The footpath next to Tudor Cottage was briefly discussed. Action: A note will be put in the Bulletin about protecting sensitive corridors and protecting wildlife habitat and nesting birds.

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport. The new timetable for the 94 bus which will be extended to the Didcot schools will be published soon. There will be no 95 bus. The loss of the mobile library was briefly discussed.
  2. Cemetery
    • 02/06/15 To receive an update on the electronic cemetery map system. The cemetery map has been finalised and a date has been set for installing the software.
  3. Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. Nothing to report.
  4. Risk Management
    • 09/03/16 To receive Public & Employers liability certificates from grass cutting contractor. Received. Item closed.
    • 11/05/16 To draft and agree a policy about the use of TFF. Action: JG to draft and circulate TFF usage policy
    • 08/05/16 To draft and agree a policy for maintenance and safety at the Playspace. Weekly checks are carried out but recent events have proven that it is not always sufficient. A revised policy for maintenance is needed to ensure safety. Action: CL & lengthman to draft a maintenance and safety policy and circulate. The clerk expressed concern that there have been two accidents at the Playspace in recent weeks, both involving adults using the equipment. Action: Clerk to investigate an additional sign for the Playspace.
  5. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Changes to the Vale of White Horse district council constitution – planning scheme of delegation. Noted
      • To discuss whether the PC should respond to the Healthwatch request and publish in Bulletin. Action: JG to draft a response to the Healthwatch consultation and put a note in the Bulletin.
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • OALC update

Councillors were encouraged to attend unitary councils workshop on 28th June and the OALC AGM.

  1. Any other business. Exceptionally to deal with business received too late for inclusion in agenda. Several issues for the Bulletin were mentioned including a note of thank you to the young people who camped at the Chalkpits and left it in pristine condition.
  2. To set the date of the next meeting. The next meeting of the Parish Council is on 6th July 2016.


Meeting closed 21h25


Annex A







As previously reported, Oxfordshire’s District Councils have appointed consultants PwC to prepare a report on the future of local government in Oxfordshire, and OCC has appointed consultants Grant Thornton to do the same. The districts’ previously preferred option that comprised four unitary councils, including parts of Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire has collapsed because of legislative issues relating to cross-border authorities. It is unclear whether the reduced size of four unitaries that don’t include the neighbours could be viable.


PwC will report in June, followed by Grant Thornton in July. All councils will then submit proposals to central government in the autumn, following a period of public consultation. In advance of this, stakeholders can participate in a ‘call for evidence’ here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/oxfordshire-evidence


Additionally, town and parish councils have all received personal invitations to attend workshops to discuss the issues on the following dates: DO TRY TO ATTEND. We are all council Tax Payers!!


Date Locality
Mon 6 June Thame
Tues 7 June Henley
Thurs 9 June Witney
Tues 14 June Chipping Norton
Wed 15 June Banbury
Thurs 16 June Faringdon
Tues 21 June Bicester
Wed 22 June Abingdon
Tues 28 June Didcot
Wed 29 June Wantage


Names of delegates and the preferred meeting should be emailed to: ask@oxfordshire.gov.uk.




Bus subsidies will end on 20 July. A full update on the work that has taken place to minimise the impact of the withdrawal of the subsidises (including using public buses for home to school transport, allocating S106 funding where available and the launch of a new pilot scheme using the downtime of our fleet vehicles) can be obtained from the OCC website here: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/subsidisedbuses.


To summarise for the routes in my division I summarise, as follows. However, do use the web link highlighted above for information. Timetables should be available shortly.


Route 94: Didcot/Blewbury/Hagbournes: New timetable from 24th July. Mondays to Friday only service. Peak hours extended to Didcot Schools.


Route 95: regret this service will cease on 23rd July.


Route 97: regret this service will cease on 23rd July.

Route A1: regret this service will cease on 20th July.


Route X1 :This will be renumbered as Route 32A, from 24th July.  It will operate every hour between Wantage and Abingdon, Mondays to Saturdays. Some journeys will also now serve Culham. Will still serve Ardington Turn, but not the village itself. I am still pursuing this aspect to re-instate Ardington Village. It will no longer link to Oxford itself as the X32 will continue.


Route X2:  Many amendments to this service from 24th July. Will co-ordinate with 32A (above) to link to Oxford. Service increased to two buses per hour. New Extension to serve Hithercroft Industrial Estate at Wallingford.


Route X32:  Remains unaltered. Some modifications impact on Chilton at certain times, but East Hendred will now get X32 on some journeys to make up for loss of X1.


Timetables will explain the details further, and should be available early July. OR

Visit the Thames Travel website


Recently announced results show that last year, Oxfordshire’s Adults Social Care services ranked as the 6th best of 152 upper tier authorities in achieving outcomes judged against the ‘Adult Social Care Outcome Framework’. This framework measures how well services achieve outcomes that are most important to people and informs the development of reporting local priorities and progress to citizens. Last year Oxfordshire performed above the national average on 20 of the 27 measures included in the framework.



Vale House, a 40 bed specialist dementia home in Sandford, has recently been inspected by CQC and as a result was given the most positive grading available to the inspectorate. It is the first in the county to be rated ‘outstanding’ by the CQC – a feat achieved by only one per cent of homes in the South East. The home is privately run and the organisation is ‘not for profit’. The original Vale House was located in Botley, and began operating in 1990.  It relocated to Sandford in 2012, after the organisation bought the land from Oxfordshire County Council. Vale House had won a competitive tender process to build their new home, fulfilling the ambition of OCC to use the land for a specialist Dementia Care Home for the people of Oxfordshire. OCC buys 25 of the 40 beds in the home and has ambitions for similar projects elsewhere in the county.


A £2m boost to the future provision of all children’s services in Oxfordshire has been agreed by OCC’s Cabinet with a further £1m of one-off funding set to help communities keep yet more of the current children’s centres network open. The plans build on the brand new service for 0-19 year olds agreed by the Cabinet in February and deliver services from 18 locations with strengthened outreach services – as opposed to the eight originally proposed. The new £14m service includes £2m of additional money agreed by county councillors in February and would provide a safe, effective and co-ordinated system that targets resources on protecting the most vulnerable families – and works hand-in-hand with schools, health services, voluntary and community groups. By combining children’s social care and early intervention in one seamless service, it represents a completely fresh approach to delivering services for children, young people and their families at a time of rising demand and reduced Government funding.


A new initiative by OCC and NHS has seen then number of delayed transfers of care reduced by 30% since December 2015, despite higher demands over the winter and a reduction in hospital beds. The Oxfordshire health and social care system has long struggled with the timely discharge of patients from acute and community hospitals to the next stage of their care. This is often referred to as ‘bed-blocking’ or ‘delayed transfers of care’, which are costly to the system as a whole and can increase people’s dependence rather than promoting their independence.

The initiative involved the block purchase of 150 care beds and the development of an integrated hub to manage assessments and bed allocations.



OCC elected a new Chairman for the 2016/17 council year at its Annual General Meeting in May. Cllr Michael Waine is OCC’s elected representative for the Bicester Town Division. He taught in Oxfordshire for 37 years, 27 of which were as Headteacher of Glory Farm School in Bicester. He previously served on OCC’s cabinet and is chairman of the Bicester Learning Academy.




A landmark decision to take decisive action to solve transport problems on the A40 between Witney and Oxford has been made by OCC’s Cabinet. A long-term strategy will be pursued which will focus on a new dual carriageway from Witney to a new Park and Ride at Eynsham, as well as further bus priority lanes connecting the Eynsham Park and Ride toward Oxford.

Council transport planners will now draw up more detailed plans which, it is hoped, will help to secure more than £50m in government funding to make the proposals a reality.


Cllr Stewart Lilly



Annex B

Blewbury Parish Council

Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday, 8th June 2016

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite




Cllr Janet Shelley tenders her apologies.


Speculative Development Planning Applications:


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

     Refusal 29th January 2016.

                                     For your information Planning application no P15/V0969

                                     for 50 dwellings on land in Lower Road, Chilton was

                                     refused 29 October 2015, but applicant has now

                                     submitted an Appeal. Appeal start date – 2nd March 16.

     The Appeal Hearing will be held in Upton Village Hall for      

     4 days commencing Tuesday, 6th September 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

More than 200 objections submitted.

Applicant submitted amended application 29 Feb 2016

  • still for 57 dwellings and target decision has now

been revised to 29th July 2016.                 


EU Referendum Update:


Registration to vote at the EU Referendum election on Thursday, 23rd June closed at midnight on Tuesday, 7th June.


Garden bins:


Residents can sign up to garden waste service in June and July and receive 10 per cent off their annual fee.  Existing garden waste customers can order an extra bin at the discounted rate.

New Phone Numbers:


The Vale now has a new main phone number 01235 422422.


The new department numbers are as follows –

  • Planning – 01235 422600
  • Building control – 01235 422700
  • Environmental health, food and safety – 01235 422403
  • Licensing – 01235 422556
  • Elections – 01235 422407
  • Car parks – 01235 422417
  • Community safety – 01235 422590
  • Street naming and numbering – 01235 422344


Latest on Ladycroft Park:

The Vale have recently received the Tribunal decision regarding the latest hearings from Ladycroft Park which took place on 3rd and 4th May. The hearings were looking at two things, the compliance notices regarding one of the new units placed by the northern boundary of the park and the Vale’s refusal to agree to vary several conditions on the site licence.

We were very pleased that the Tribunal agreed with the Vale on all the points in dispute.  They upheld our notices requiring signage at the entrances to the park, for a new site plan and regarding the removal or re-siting of one of the two new units at the northern boundary of the park.  The Tribunal also agreed that the site licence conditions that we had refused to change were reasonable and should stay in place.  Given the previous approach by the site owners we do expect them to attempt to appeal these decisions.

The next stage with Ladycroft is the appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal (Lands Chamber) on 20 June against the lower tier Tribunals decision from November of last year regarding unit 61 adjacent to the bridle way.


Improving the Vale’s Homechoice service:


The Vale has launched a brand new service to help people looking for a suitable affordable home – it provides users with a personalised action plan that explains exactly what options are available to them, and what they should try first.


It’s available through the Homechoice websites, and not only is it very helpful to residents, it will help the Vale to reduce the number of unnecessary calls to the Vale’s housing needs team.


The new service is mobile-friendly so people on the housing register can search for homes to bid on when they’re out and about.


New law to promote home ownership:


The Housing and Planning Act 2016 which is designed to help more people buy or build their own home, has become law.  There are a number of ways this will impact on the planning service, including the need for councils to promote the development of starter homes.


 Free Parking:


To help celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, the Vale is offering free parking in all its car parks on Saturday, 11th June.


District Councils set out proposals to secure more powers and funding for Oxfordshire residents:

Oxfordshire’s district councils have set out their proposals to secure more powers and funding for the people of the county.

All five district councils – Cherwell, Oxford, South, Vale and West – have released videos explaining why District Unitaries would be best for their areas.

The five councils have also launched a new website, www.oxfordshire.vision This link will take you to an external website…

The aim is to give Oxfordshire residents easy access to all the information about the proposals and how they will affect them.



JS & RWW 08 Jun 2016



Annex C


MAY 2016



Footpaths are in mainly in good condition especially after an excellent morning’s gravelling on some of them. Thanks Mark for organising the gravel and superb dumper driving and everyone who turned out to help.

One path of concern is the back path to Savages which gets very muddy sometimes.


No problems.

TFF & Car Park

TFF is fine but the Car Park still needs more surfacing.

Play Areas

KAP has no issues

TFF Play Area is in generally good condition except for the basket swing issue and the muddy hole of the single swing. Also I have had to remove one of the wooden mushrooms as it was rotting badly. There looks like a couple more will need to come out in the near future.

Recreation Ground

The cricket season is now in full swing so grass cutting is minimal. However there is a lot of rubbish around the edges of the field i.e. old goalposts, old cricket nets, old rope and rusty old gang mowers. It would be good to get these cleared as they become a hazard when mostly covered with grass etc. Could we write to the Cricket Club and Football Club?

Storage Buildings

No issues


The broken pipe on the tractor has been replaced thanks to Mark’s engineer. A new belt has been fitted to the Ferris so now all equipment working well.

Annex D

Planning report for Parish Council  – June 2016

Planning Applications

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

Responses from the Parish Council:

P16/V0883/HH – Carramores, Church Road.  BPC has no objection, but a request that any diversion or change in the streamflow should be subject to the judgment of the Environment Agency and that the interests of the downstream residents be taken into account.

P16/V0904/HH – 4 Sheencroft Cottages – proposed garage conversion and extension, including loft conversion.  BPC has no objection.

P16/V1106/FUL – Alden Farm – Change of use for milking parlour to three dwellings.  BPC has no objection.

Decisions from the District Council:

P16/V0376/FUL – The Nurseries (Savages), London Road – Alterations and extensions, new gates and parking area.  GRANTED.

P16/V0650/FUL – The Blueberry, London Road.  Single storey infill extension to the rear and relocation of existing pergola to the north.  GRANTED.

P16/V0883/HH – Carramores, Church Road.  Variation on panning permission, number P15/V2534/HH.  GRANTED