Minutes for October 2014

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of Blewbury Parish Council held on Wednesday 8th October 2014 at 7.30 pm in the Village Hall

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Mr R Farrell (RF), Ms J Gibson (JG), Mr M Shayler (MS) Mr G Reade (GR), Mr B Cooper (BC)

Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), County Councillor Lilly, District Councillor Shelley, 1 member of the public

Matters resolved:

  1. It was decided that the Village Hall working party could proceed with seeking planning permission
  2. All payments were approved.
Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.     Clerk to write to OCC and Ed Vaizey re Ladycroft Park By November 13th
2.     Clerk to investigate if there was an Open Forum at OCC meetings By November meeting
3.     Clerk to find out if it would be possible to have TFF car park and chalk pits declared non-alcoholic areas. By November meeting
4.     Clerk to respond to residents who complained about anti-social behaviour at TFF car park. As soon as possible
5.     Clerk to report problems with the bins to the Vale As soon as possible
6.     Clerk to contact Andrew Marsden re a separate bank account for Village hall fundraising By November meeting
7.     BC to find out if the bulbs on the vertical and horizontal sanitizer units for the clubhouse are compatible As soon as possible
8.     Clerk to remove empty soil bag at from the cemetery. As soon as possible
9.     Clerk to put the review of the emergency plan in the diary By November meeting
10.  Clerk to investigate the Village Hall Biffa contract By November meeting
11.  JG to complete Open Space consultation By November meeting
12.  Clerk to send entry to Bulletin about mobile library consultation As soon as possible
Actions brought forward
1.     Croquet Club boundary to be investigated. On-going
2.     RF to investigate pension options for the clerk On-going


  1. Apologies for absence. Mr B Morgan (BM), Mr M Blythe (MB), Ms V Fox (VF), PCSO M Clayden.
  2. Declarations of interest. CL declared an interest in the planning and payments items.
  3. Minutes of the meetings held on 10th September 2014. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. County Councillor’s report. County Councillor Lilly reported that Chilton PC withdrew their objection to the new slip road onto the A34 which means that it could now go ahead. Works to Featherbed Lane and the Milton interchange would also start soon. It was reported that infrastructure was high on the agenda for the Science Vale development. Cllr Lilly reported that the County recommended changes to the Vale’s Local Plan and look forward to see revisions. The PC was reminded about the mobile library consultation. It was mentioned that the PC could apply to the community budget scheme for a small grant for village projects. The need for more foster carers were also mentioned.
  5. District Councillor’s report. District Councillor Shelley reported that the hearing date has been set for the tribunal involving the owners of Ladycroft Park. The Vale was anxious that OCC should not enter into negotiations with the owners prior to the tribunal. Action: Clerk to write to OCC and Ed Vaizey re Ladycroft Park. Clerk to investigate if there was an Open Forum at OCC meetings. Cllr Shelley also reported that the Local Plan consultation would start in November.
  6. Police liaison. PCSO Clayden sent a written report which was read out. See Annex A attached. The Parish Council was not in favour of a gate as it was not practical. It was suggested that it might be possible to declare an area a “non-alcoholic area”, which might be a solution for the TFF car park and the chalk pits. Action: Clerk to find out if it would be possible to have TFF car park and chalk pits declared non-alcoholic areas. Clerk to respond to residents who complained about anti-social behaviour at TFF car park.
    • Neighbourhood Action Group. GR attended the recent meeting. Potholes etc could be reported using fixmystreet.com. Residents should be encouraged to set timers to switch on lights when they are not at home. Finally it was reported that the Neighbourhood Watch might return.
  7. Lengthman’s report. MS reported that the tyre on the zip wire needs to be replaced. The clerk has had some expressions of interest following the advertisement for a lengthman. It was reported that the Vale’s contractor has not been emptying the bin at the Recreation Ground. Action: Clerk to report problems with the bins to the Vale.
  8. Open Forum. A member of the public came to express her concern about Ladycroft Park. Her questions were answered by District Councillor Shelley.
  9. Neighbourhood Plan (NP).
    • Commissioning of landscape assessment. The housing survey is being printed and will be coming out by the end of the month.
  10. Matters arising.
    • 14/05/14 Quaker cemetery. RF reported that Mr Ashford has approved a form of words and a design of the stone. The location has been approved by the landowner and it should all be done within the next few weeks. Item closed.
    • 10/09/14 Play Space sign and vandalism. The replacement sign has been received and will be installed shortly. It was reported that children tried to set fire to some equipment but no real damage was done. Item closed
    • 08/10/14 Coffin Way. The clerk spoke to Mark Sumner and it is unlikely that they would have the budget to do any work to Coffin Way. It was suggested that the PC could order the work directly with some involvement of Highways. Mr Sumner was going to let the clerk have the technical details so that she could obtain a quote. As an alternative it could be done with a working party.
    • 08/10/14 Meeting with Thames Water. A very useful meeting took place with Thames Water. A questionnaire from Thames Water would be published on the website so that people could report foul water flooding to them. Item closed
  11. Village hall redevelopment
    • Working party report. The cost of the project was explained to the working party. It was suggested that details of the plans (e.g. heating and lighting) should be closely inspected to see if it could be replaced by cheaper alternatives or done at a later stage. It was decided that they should proceed with a planning application as the next step and the payment for this was approved. The PC acknowledged receipt of the document relating to the management of donations. The VAT advice has been received and was very clear. Action: Clerk to contact Andrew Marsden re a separate bank account for Village hall fundraising.
    • A recent event was held to raise money for the Village Hall project.
  12. Recreation Ground.
    • 14/12/11 BVCIC. It was confirmed that a working party was going to do some maintenance jobs at the clubhouse. MS reported his intention to stand down from the CIC due to time constraints.
    • 11/12/13 Plant room. Problems continue with the sanitizer unit. It could be replaced for about £2860. A quote was requested for a vertical unit which would be easier to maintain. It was agreed to proceed to change the bulbs which is the interim solution. Action: BC to find out if the bulbs on the vertical and horizontal units are compatible.
    • 08/10/14 Acceptance of quotes for plant room maintenance and remedial works. The quotes from GA Electrical were accepted.
    • 08/10/14 Skate ramp maintenance. The clerk has contacted Radii Skatepark Repairs Ltd who will do maintenance works after half-term.
  1. Trees will be pruned in due course. Action: Clerk to remove empty soil bag at from the cemetery.
  2. Ladycroft Park. See District Councillors report.
  3. Risk Management.
    • 03/07/13 Review of standing orders. Adopted at the previous meeting. Item closed.
    • 12/03/14 Review of emergency plan. The revised plan was adopted. Action: Clerk to put the review of the emergency plan in the diary. Item closed.  
    • 09/04/14 Review of register of physical assets. Carried out. Item closed.
    • 10/09/14 Review of effectiveness of internal audit. Carried out. Item closed.
    • 10/09/14 Bonfire Night risk assessment and insurance. The risk assessment has been carried out and a copy of the insurance documents will be sent to the clerk. Item closed.
  4. Planning & Housing.
    • 02/02/06 Planning Committee Report: See Annex B – planning report, attached.
    • 08/11/12 Current applications:

P14/V2199/FUL. Hillview, Bessels Lea Road, Blewbury OX11 9NW

Demolition of part of an existing garage and erection of 1 and 1/2 storey dwelling, provision of garden and access to Bessels Way. The Parish Council has no objection.

CL declared an interest in this item and did not participate in this discussion. P14/V2129/FUL. Blewbury Methodist Church, Chapel Lane, Blewbury OX11 9PQ.

Outline Planning Consent for change of use from Place of Worship to Residential.

There was no objection to this application but the Parish Council supported neighbours’ concern about the lack of off-road parking.

P14/V1944/LB and P14/V1943/HH Tudor Cottage London Road Blewbury OX11 9NY

Repair and conservation of Tudor Cottage. Internal alterations to create a new first floor bathroom. Installation of an eco-pod in the middle of the back garden.

Since responding to this application (see planning report) the plans were amended. It was not clear what those amendments were. The PC’s original views remain.

  1. Finance & Administration
    • Insurance renewal. The renewal decision was delegated to the clerk and the chairman. Following some negotiation, it was decided to renew with Came and Co. They were able to match the renewal quote obtained elsewhere. A saving of £1375 on the previous year was made. Item closed.
    • Adoption of disciplinary code and grievance procedure. The code and procedure were adopted. Item closed.
    • Lengthman’s job description and scope of work. An advertisement with a deadline will be published in the Bulletin.
    • Clerk’s pension. A response is being awaited from the OALC’s adviser.
    • Replacement of machinery. This is dependent on the new lengthman. Smart Water has been obtained from the Police. Machinery will be marked. Item closed.
    • Quarterly grant to Blewbury Post Office. Will be paid directly to the Village Hall. Item closed.
  • Payments for approval to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Description Amount
The Broker Network Ltd £4,814.75
E de Ridder £842.90
E de Ridder (expenses) £138.33
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £22.80
White Horse Horticulture £440.00
PWLB £5,205.00
Oxfordshire County Council £60.08
Post Office Ltd (PAYE & NI) £191.58
Village Hall (Post Office grant) £300.00
Kingdom Signs ltd £47.40
BVCIC £1,500.00
Payments on behalf of the Village Hall:
·       Mrs J Newman £360.00
Payments relating to the Neighbourhood Plan:
·       Mrs Jo Lakeland £20.00
·       Blewbury Village Hall £42.00
TOTAL                          £13,984.84


CL declared an interest in the payments. Two payments were added relating to the Village Hall: £198 to Vale of White Horse District Council for pre-application advice and £75 to Andrew Marsden for VAT advice.

All payments were approved but payments to the Village Hall will be held back until such time as the change in signatories for the Village Hall accounts has gone through.

  1. Allotments.

Nothing to report.

  1. Footways, Footpaths and rights of way

The clerk mentioned that she was in contact with Highways about the state of Watts Lane. If Highways were not willing to fill in the holes, the Parish Council would supply some gravel.

  • It was reported that the hedge at the Pleasance was cut back. Item closed.
  • Village clean up day. It was agreed that gravel should be spread after the clean up day.
  1. Roads, Road safety and public transport
    • Complaints about Whites Coaches Friday service. More complaints about the service were received but there was no response from Whites Coaches or OCC.
  2. Village Hall management committee report. CL reported they are waiting for the change of signatures to have access to the VHMC bank accounts. It was reported that Karen Brooks and Angela Hoy in the Post Office will take care of village hall bookings in future.
    • It was suggested that a Biffa bin should be positioned at the old Scout Hut and not on Tickers Folly car park. Action: Clerk to investigate the Village Hall Biffa contract.
  3. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Proposed extension of time for retention of Stanford-in-the-Vale household waste and recycling centre. Noted
      • Open Space, leisure facilities and playing pitch strategy and amenity space consultation. Action: JG to complete Open Space consultation.
      • Item not on agenda: consultation on mobile library. Action: Clerk to send entry to Bulletin about mobile library consultation.
    • Items for information
      • OALC updates. Noted
      • Latest news for Vale of White Horse. Noted
      • Oxfordshire Highways update. Noted
      • CPRE newsletter. Noted
      • Town & Parish forum report. Noted
      • Council matters – insurance newsletter. Noted.
  1. Any Other Business.

It was mentioned that residents could sign up to “Thames Valley alerts”. It is believed that the Bulletin already subscribes to this service.

  1. Details of the next meeting. 12th November 2014 in the Vale Room

Meeting closed 21h46


Annex A – Blewbury Parish council/ area Beat officers report October 2014

Good evening ladies and Gentlemen of the Blewbury Parish council, I’m sorry I cannot be with you this evening.

My report tonight is brief apart from the recent dog knapping that occurred in the village which I’m sure you are aware of.

I’m still receiving complaints of vehicles doing late night spins in the Recreation car park at Bohams road and reports of youths gathering in the late hours in the play park.

I feel the only way forward to resolve this problem with the vehicles is to have a gate placed on the entrance, although the cricket ground car park would also have to be considered as the vehicles will no doubt move there. I will say that officers that have attended these reports in the past have found no one committing any offences at the time of arrival and we do respond whenever we can depending on the resourcing.

I have mentioned to Elaine De Ridder that I could put up a series ofn Police warning signs in the car park and recreation area and if the Parish council is happy with this suggestion I will make up some well worded posters that will be aimed at those using the area inappropriately and hopefully act as some sort of deterrent.

I was contacted the other day by a local resident to say that he had been informed via face book that youths had been lighting fires in the play park and he investigated this immediately. On his arrival some youths who were present quickly left in their vehicles. As much as I admire the residents community spirit this really should have been reported straight away to the Police as we could have stop checked them and prevented them from leaving.

I would add that we do note all indexes on any youths vehicles and have them checked if its deemed necessary.

I have since checked the skate park and found what looks like some scorched toilet paper with holes that were made from a lighted cigarette but no other damage. Since this check I have notified all Wantage officers to ask them to check the area if they can when passing through the village late evenings and early mornings.

Mike Clayden Police Community Support officer

Thames Valley police.


Annex B – planning report for November Bulletin

Planning Applications

For full details see the Vale website – http://bit.ly/u2FSqN

Responses from the Parish Council:

P14/V1928/HH – The Old Stables, Berry Lane – Erection of single timber garage.  BPC has no objection.

P14/V1943/HH – Tudor Cottage, London Road – Internal alterations and installation of ecopod in back garden.  BPC has no objection, but would like to ask that consideration should be given to minimising the impact of the ecopod, which is a very modern structure, close to a footpath and in the garden of a listed building.

Decisions from the District Council:

P14/V1855/HH and 1856/LB – Meers Parcel, London Road – Building a pitched roof over rear extension to provide one room. GRANTED.