Minutes June 2017

Of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
held in the Vale Room on Wednesday 14th June 2017 at 7.30 p.m.

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (CL) (Chair), Mr M Shayler (MS), Mrs L Inglis (LI), Mr M Penington (MP), Mr Mark Blythe (MB), Mrs Charlotte Cameron (CC). Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), Mr David Hollick (Lengthman), District Cllr Janet Shelley, 1 member of the public.

Matters resolved:

  1. It was resolved that the clerk ask for further advice from Mr Steele re the BMX track. Action: clerk.
  2. The Parish Council resolved to appoint Miss Taylor as the new clerk.
  3. The Parish Council resolved to support an application for grant funding for outdoor gym equipment
  4. All payments were approved.


Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.      Clerk & CL to circulate dispute resolution policy By next meeting
2.      Clerk and CL to draft the new clerk’s contract. As soon as possible
3.      Clerk to seek advice from Mr Steele re the BMX track. As soon as possible
4.      CL & Clerk to arrange for extension of allotment lease. By next meeting
5.      Clerk to follow up with the Vale re the tree on FP24 By next meeting
6.      LI to draft a response Didcot Garden Town consultation. By next meeting


  • To receive apologies for absence. Apologies District Councillors Waite, County Councillor Fox-Davies, Mrs J Gibson (JG), Ms Miriam Jacobs (MJ), Mr David Lomas (DL). Mrs L Inglis (LI) sent her apologies for late arrival.
  • To record declarations of interest. No declarations were made.
  • To approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 10th May 2017. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  • To receive the County Councillor’s report. County Councillor Fox –Davies was unable to attend the meeting. A written report was circulated. See Annex A.
  • To receive the District Councillor’s report. District Councillor Shelley attended the meeting and sent a joint report with Cllr Waite. See Annex B. The recent complaint regarding a dead tree adjacent to the cemetery was discussed with Cllr Shelley. She agreed to discuss the matter with County Cllr Fox-Davies.
  • To receive the Lengthman’s report. The report was circulated prior to the meeting. See Annex C. The lengthman will meet with Jason Woodage to obtain a quote for the replacement of the safety matting.
  • Open Forum.

Nothing discussed.   

  • Matters arising
    • To report back on actions arising at previous meeting. The dispute resolution policy will be circulated once completed. Action CL and clerk to circulate dispute resolution policy. All other actions taken.
  • Village hall redevelopment
    • To receive an update on the progress of the working party and fundraising. A response is being awaited from Ridge re a scaled down refurbishment project. It is hoped that the tender documents will be simplified.
    • To receive a report from Macfarlanes LLP. Nothing to report.
  • Recreation Ground
    • To receive an update from the PC representative on the BVCIC. Work has started on the plant room. Negotiations are ongoing as to a joint management structure for all the village facilities. The clerk has informed WREN that the CIC intends to stand down.
  • Planning & Housing
    • To receive the planning committee report. See Annex D for the planning report.
    • To approve responses to current applications:


P17/V0883/FUL King William House, London Road   Erection of a 3 bed detached dwelling with integral garage on land adjacent to King William House. (Amended).

Parish Council objects as before.


P17/V1217/HH    Cottrills, London Road           Demolition of existing 20th Century garage. Construction of new garage with room above on same footprint

Parish Council has no objections


P17/V1218/LB    Cottrills, London Road           Demolition of existing 20th Century garage. Construction of new garage with room above on same footprint

Parish Council has no objections


P17/V1429/LB    The Old School, Church Road           Insertion of reversible mezzanine floor and access stair structure to part of main range. Please see design and access statement for details

Parish Council has no objections


  • Finance & Administration
    • To receive an update re applications for the clerk & RFO vacancy. Cllr Lakeland reported that 3 excellent applications were received. The successful candidate was Miss Michelle Taylor. The Parish Council resolved to appoint Miss Taylor with immediate effect. Mrs de Ridder will continue to work alongside Miss Taylor until end July. Action: Clerk and CL to draft the new clerk’s contract.
    • To receive an update on S106 contributions. Cllr Lakeland explained that the S106 schedule relating to Chailey Gardens has been sent to the Parish Council. He has asked the Vale for clarification of certain items, especially reference to a “MUGA”. It is hoped that fitness equipment for a wider age range would be acceptable.
    • To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts


PAYEE Description / Power to spend Amount
E de Ridder Clerk’s salary and expenses including new phone, laptop and software £1,578.73
D Hollick Lengthman’s salary and expenses £922.25
NEST Clerk’s pension £54.53
BT Payment Services Ltd Clubhouse line rental and Wifi £27.00
Biffa Waste Services Ltd Waste services £48.74
White Horse Horticulture Grass cutting contract for Pound and Churchyard. Weedkilling £275.00
Jonathan Kent Clubhouse Plantroom repairs £255.00
PWLB Village Hall refurbishment loan repayment £3,650.00
Pear Technology Services Ltd Maplink – cemetery software £102.00
OALC New clerk training £78.00
Rynat Limited Annual play area inspections £270.00
Trish Ingham Internal audit services £105.00
Ashbrook Ltd Clubhouse Plantroom repairs £189.52
TOTAL   £7,555.77


All payments were approved.


  • Risk Management
    • 05/01/17 To receive an update on annual inspection of play areas. To decide on a course of action for resurfacing and replacement of safety matting at the Play Space. To decide on a course of action re the Skate ramp and BMX track. The report has been received and circulated. The lengthman has approached White Horse Horticulture re the replacement of the safety matting.  It was resolved that the Rob Steele from Radii should carry out the annual maintenance to the skate ramp. It was resolved that the clerk ask for further advice from Mr Steele re the BMX track. Action: clerk.
    • To agree the extension of the allotment lease. Mr Allen has agreed to extend the lease with another 5 years. It was resolved that the allotment lease should be extended by 5 years. Action: CL & Clerk.
  • To agree the application for grant funding for outdoor gym equipment. Cllr Shayler investigated the possibility of outdoor gym equipment for the village. The Parish Council resolved to support an application for grant funding for outdoor gym equipment
  • To receive an update on any issues relating to the Environment. It was reported that the village picnic for the opening of the Mike Edmunds Orchard was well attended.
  • To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces. The clerk reported that Highways will be replacing the stile on the East Hagbourne path. Action: Clerk to follow up with the Vale re the tree on FP24.
  • To receive an update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport.  There will be a meeting to discuss the future of the 94 bus. Although the service is being used, concern has been expressed that not enough people are paying for the service as the main usage is coming from bus pass users. The local PCSO reported that residents were encouraged not to park on the pavement.
  • Village Hall Management Committee. To receive an update from the VHMC. There has not been a meeting since the last PC meeting. New policies have been drafted for the hall.
  • Correspondence
    • Items for information that have been circulated
      • OALC update. Noted.
      • Didcot Garden Town consultation. Circulated. Action: LI will draft a response.
    • 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. The next Parish Council meeting will be on 12th July 2017.


Meeting closed 21h07


Annex A









The County Council election results are as follows:


Conservative                        31

Labour                                   14

Liberal Democrat                                13

Other                                                        5


The Conservative Group was one short of a majority, but has maintained the alliance formed with two independents in the last administration and has thereby formed the ruling group again.


The new Cabinet comprises:


Leader of the Council                                                                         Ian Hudspeth

Deputy Leader of the Council                                                          Judy Heathcoat

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care                                          Lawrie Stratford

Cabinet Member for Children & Family Services         Steve Harrod

Cabinet Member for Environment                                                  Yvonne Constance

Cabinet Member for Finance                                                            David Bartholomew

Cabinet Member for Local Communities                                      Mark Gray

Cabinet Member for Property, Cultural Services          Lorraine Lindsay-Gale

Cabinet Member for Public Health & Education                          Hilary Hibbert-Biles


Parish councils will be particularly interested in the creation of the new Cabinet post ‘Local Communities’. One of the key tasks for the portfolio holder is to re-energise the ‘Oxfordshire Together’ campaign that promotes closer working between OCC and parish councils.




The Leader has stated that he intends to make ‘Social Care’ and ‘Highways Infrastructure’ key priorities for the new administration.




Although the local elections have passed, the imminence of the General Election meant that ‘purdah’ restrictions still applied to the council’s publicity during the pre-election period i.e. up to the close of poll on Thursday 8 June. During the purdah period, the council had to comply with restrictions outlined in Section 2 of the Local Government Act 1986. In addition a ‘Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity’ published in 2011 makes clear that particular care should be taken in periods of heightened sensitivity, such as in the run up to an election. The Act defines publicity as “any communication, in whatever form, addressed to the public at large or to a section of the public.” Generally, the Act says that we should “not publish any material which, in whole, or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party.” The Code of Practice recommends that authorities should generally not issue any publicity which seeks to influence voters and that publicity relating to individuals involved directly in the election should not be published unless expressly authorised by statute. For this reason, although the general Election is now also past, the parish report is brief this month.




For the reasons above, the County Council, Oxford City Council and the four District Councils have agreed not to promote their standpoint on the issue of Unitary Government for the period of purdah. In any case, the matter cannot be realistically progressed until a new Government is in place.




A new website to support victims of crime has been launched by the Police and Crimes Commissioner. Victims First www.victims-first.org.uk is a new online resource for victims of crime which has advice on what to do and how to get help. It includes information and advice for victims including signposting them to services to help them cope and recover from the impact of the crime. It also includes a section on the Victims Code explaining clearly what help victims can expect from the police and other criminal justice agencies if they report the crime. The focal point of the website is a directory which allows victims to find relevant support in their area. Members of the public are able to use the website to refer themselves directly to the PCCs own support services or find information and contact details for other organisations. This support is available regardless of whether or not the victim has reported the crime to the police.




Bus Service


Following information from the Parish I have contacted the relevant department within the County Council, supporting the position of the Parish that the withdrawal of the bus service would leave many residents without transport as ‘prisoners’ in their own homes. Until the new contract is awarded, they cannot open discussion with me, but have offered me a meeting in early July and I will report further at the next Parish Council meeting.


Steventon Bridge


As featured in the local press, Steventon Bridge is now likely to close for circa 10 months starting around November, to allow actual work on the track to over the Xmas and New Year period. However, this is not yet a final position and discussions are still ongoing between Railtrack, the Parish and OCC.


Abingdon Reservoir


Now back as the potential site for the second largest reservoir in the UK. I am sure there will be a lot of consultation and objection to the project, so will keep all local parishes up to date.



Annex B


                               Blewbury Parish Council

District Notes for Parish Councillors on Wednesday 14th June 2017

from Cllr Janet Shelley & Cllr Reg Waite


Enforcement Investigations:


VE17/303 – Red Lion Pub, Chapel Lane, Blewbury

Alleged breach: Erection of play structure/raised platform within the curtilage of grade II listed building without planning permission.

Case Officer: Anne Wilkinson

Site visited: 8 June 2017

Case closed


VE17/289 – Red Lion Pub, Chapel Lane, Blewbury

Alleged breach: Without planning permission the erection of a building.

Case Officer: Anne Wilkinson

6 week target date – 6 July 17.  12 week target date – 17 Aug 17.

Site visited: 8 June 2017.




New automated switchboard service shortly:

As part of the five council partnership, Capita will soon be launching a new automated switchboard for South and Vale residents and customers.


When someone calls our customers services line, they’ll be prompted to say the name of the officer or the service they want, and they will be automatically forwarded to the correct number.  If they don’t know or remain silent, they will be forwarded to an operator to talk to.



Oxfordshire flood alleviation scheme consultation:


The Environmental Agency is holding a public consultation on the design of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme from 22 June to 20 July.  They are holding drop-in events at local libraries for the general public – there are two which are local to the Vale.


  • Friday, 30 June, 2-7pm at Kennington Library
  • Tuesday, 11 July, 9.30am – 2pm at Botley Library


The consultation opens at 9am on 22 June.



Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults:

If you have any concerns about the wellbeing of any children, young people or vulnerable adults who you are working with, please report your concerns, in confidence to one of the officers at the Vale (names from Reg and Janet) using the report concern form in the safeguarding policy.

Say something if you see or believe you know something.

Information is displayed on the Vale’s and South’s websites.


Waste vehicle breakdowns

Due to continuing vehicle breakdowns during the past few weeks, our waste collection crews haven’t been able to finish some of their rounds. This has continued to affect a number of villages.  On behalf of the Vale we give residents our apologies for the inconveniences caused.

If the bins in your street aren’t emptied on your normal collection day, please leave them out and we’ll get back to empty them as soon as we can.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience – we are working with Biffa to minimise the disruption. We’re getting a brand new fleet of vehicles in the summer, which means breakdowns will be much less likely to delay your waste collections.



Biffa bin cleaning service:

Biffa has launched a new bin washing service in South and Vale – residents can pay a monthly fee to have their bins washed on a regular basis.

We are not involved in this service and it is not part of their contract with us, so please direct any queries, feedback or complaints about the service directly to Biffa on 0808 164 1000.  There’s more information at www.biffawheelieclean.co.uk.

They are currently putting bin hangers on bins in the districts to advertise the service – they are doing this with our permission.




Over 60? Register now for the 2017 Vintage Village Games


Residents aged 60 and over in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse will again have the chance to compete in their very own indoor games.


Following the successful launch last year, the Vintage Village Games returns to southern Oxfordshire for 2017.


The Vintage Village Games will see people try fun and friendly team games of indoor Croquet, Skittles, New Age Bowls and New Age Curling.


The Vintage Village Games takes place on the following dates:

  • 27 June –  Wootton and Dry Sandford Community Centre, 12noon to 2pm
  • 12 July –   Nettlebed Village Club, 10am to 12.30pm
  • 17 July – Harwell Village Hall, 10am to 12noon
  • 19 July –  Greet Memorial Hall, Warborough, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

To sign up for the Vintage Village Games, or for more information, please call 01235 422219 or email participation@southandvale.gov.uk.


The Vintage Village Games sessions are being organised by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils as part of their GO Active Gold initiative which helps people aged 60 and over live more active lifestyles by offering physical activities to those in rural areas.


JS & RWW 14 June 2017



Annex C

Lengthman’s Report


May 2017 


Annual Inspection

We have now had John’s annual inspection report which is favourable overall with just a few minor things to be acted upon.

i.e. drainage to single swing site, restraint bars to multi swings and the removal of some of the “mushrooms” which are rotting.



Overall good condition but some hedges are infringing somewhat. Bottom end of Savages and Moreton Path.



No issues


TFF & Car Park

No issues


Play Areas

KAP- no issues except painting sometime in the future.

TFF- Ongoing concern about the BMX track! Still nobody owning up to the unauthorised digging.

I have spoken to Rob Steele (our tame expert) who has inspected it and deems some of the ramps to be dangerous and should be removed.

I have also spoken to Jason Woodage about re-matting some of the play areas and re-profiling the single swing to stop the water problem. We will meet hopefully next month.


Recreation Ground

No issues



No issues



Ferris mower has had to have new blades otherwise no problems.



Annex D

Planning report for Parish Council  – July/August 2017

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/V1643/LB    2 Bacon Almshouses Church Road               

Replacement of rear elevation, sitting room and bedroom window frames. Strip roof beams in sitting room and entrance hall to original wood and Sitting room/entrance hall – replace cracked, shallow concrete slab floor with limecrete floor.                                                       

Parish Council has no objection.     


P17/V1218/LB    Cottrills London Road     

Demolition of existing 20th Century garage. Construction of new garage with room above on same footprint.

Parish Council has no objection.     


P17/V1217/HH   Cottrills London Road     

Demolition of existing 20th Century garage. Construction of new garage with room above on same footprint.

Parish Council has no objection.                     


P17/V1429/LB    Blewbury Pre-school Playgroup, The Old School, Church Road Insertion of reversible mezzanine floor and access stair structure to part of main range.

Parish Council has no objection.                     


P17/V1316/HH   Fairview, Bessels Lea Road           

Loft Conversion with raised roof, and porch.

Parish Council has no objection.                     


P17/V0883/FUL AMENDED   King William House London Road

Erection of a 3 bed detached dwelling with integral garage on land adjacent to King William House.

Parish Council objects. The amended plans address the PC’s concerns about the boundary treatment, but Council stands by its original comment regarding the scale of the proposed house. (Council is aware that previous planning decisions are material. An unopposed application for a two bedroom dwelling was granted in the past; in terms of mass within the plot, a two-bed dwelling remains Council’s preference for this site.)



Decisions from the District Council:


P17/V0535/FUL Hunts Grave Farm Woodway Road

Demolition of existing structures. Erection of three dwellings, with gardens including boundaries, and parking areas   .



P17/V0798/LB    Hall Barn Close Chapel Lane        

Strip wooden beams and doors to sitting room to remove existing stain and varnish.



P17/V0885/FUL Greenlea, Bessels Lea Road           

Demolition of existing dwelling. Development of 2 new dwellings.



P17/V1001/HH   Linnets, South Street        

Proposed loft conversion and extension. Proposed ground and first floor extensions. Proposed new detached garage.



P17/V0334/FUL Land at Pound Furlong London Road

Development of a new 2 Bedroom Chalet Bungalow with dormer features.




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