Minutes for September 2014

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of Blewbury Parish Council held on Wednesday 10th September 2014 at 7.30 pm in the Vale Room

Councillors present: Mr C Lakeland (Chairman)(CL), Mr B Morgan (BM),Mr R Farrell (RF), Ms J Gibson (JG), Mr M Blythe (MB), Ms V Fox (VF), Mr M Shayler (MS)

Also present: Mrs Elaine de Ridder (clerk), 1 member of the public

Matters resolved:

  1. The Parish Council appointed Hankinson Duckett Associates to carry out the landscape assessment for the Neighbourhood Plan
  2. The new standing orders were adopted
  3. Resolutions passed: to note the resignation of two signatories of the Village Hall Management Committee and to authorise the Clerk to receive amounts due to the Committee and to make payments as necessary on its behalf to suppliers and staff in accordance with the Council’s Financial Regulations as provided for in section 4 of the Public Trustee Act 1906 until new signatories are in place; to note that payments may be due to staff between Parish Council meetings and to authorise the Clerk to use the provision for emergency payments in Financial Regulations to make such payment:
  4. All payments were approved. 
Actions arising from the meeting Target date
1.     BM to install new swing seats As soon as possible
2.     CL to respond to Croquet Club request for additional mowing As soon as possible
3.     Clerk to order replacement sign As soon as possible
4.     Clerk to add payment of grant to BVCIC to next agenda By October meeting
5.     Clerk to order replacement panels for shed As soon as possible
6.     MS to investigate new memorial in cemetery By October meeting
7.     Clerk to follow up on concerns about Ladycroft Park raised with OCC As soon as possible
8.     All councillors to familiarise themselves with the revised standing orders By October meeting
9.     Clerk and CL to review effectiveness of internal audit By October meeting
10.  Clerk to request copies of the Bonfire Night risk assessment and insurance By October meeting
11.  Clerk and Cl to review insurance quotes and renew policy By October 1st
12.  Clerk to contact OALC re pensions By October meeting
13.  Clerk to contact Mark Sumner (Highways) re Coffin Way’s surface. By October meeting
14.  Clerk to write to residents of The Pleasance and Pound Furlong re hedges By October meeting
15.  Clerk to register the VHMC as an employer with HMRC As soon as possible
16.  Clerk to circulate quotes for Biffa bins By October meeting
17.  Clerk to send bus services review to BC 15th November 2014
18.  Clerk to investigate which barriers are causing a problem for mobility scooters By October meeting
19.  Clerk to complete community emergency planning survey As soon as possible
Actions brought forward
1.     Croquet Club boundary to be investigated. On-going
2.     Clerk to review asset register with chairman. On-going
3.     RF to investigate pension options for the clerk On-going

 

  1. Apologies for absence. Mr G Reade (GR), Mr B Cooper (BC), PCSO M Clayden. Apologies for late arrival for Ms Vanessa Fox
  2. Declarations of interest. None made.
  3. Minutes of the meetings held on 9th July and 12th August 2014. One minor amendment was made. The minutes were accepted and signed as a true record.
  4. County Councillor’s report. No County Councillor
  5. District Councillor’s report. No District Councillor. Cllr Shelley has not responded to recent emails. Action: Clerk to contact District Councillor again and request written reports.
  6. Police liaison. PCSO Clayden sent a written report which was read out. See Annex A attached.
    • Neighbourhood Action Group. The next meeting on October 6th. GR to attend.
  7. Lengthman’s report. MS had continued to cut grass in the absence of an appointed Lengthman. Replacement swing seats have been ordered and received for the village hall play area. Action: BM to install new swing seats. The Croquet Club asked that Tickers Folly Field be cut as weeds are starting to set seed. Action: CL to respond to Croquet Club request for additional mowing.
  8. Open Forum. The Parish Council was asked if they could help or intervene in a dispute at the local shop. Although sympathetic to the request, the Parish Council was unable to offer any help and recommended that legal advice and/or further advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau be sought. The Parish Council was concerned to hear that the future of the shop might be in jeopardy. After discussion the Parish Council decided that it would not be appropriate to try and register it as a community asset.
  9. Neighbourhood Plan (NP).
    • Commissioning of landscape assessment. Four quotes were obtained. The working party recommended the appointment of Hankinson Duckett Associates as they felt they offer the best value and have by far the strongest track record in this type of work. The Parish Council appointed Hankinson Duckett Associates to carry out the landscape assessment for the Neighbourhood Plan. It was also confirmed that the housing survey would be coming out at the end of the month.
  10. Matters arising.
    • 14/05/14 Quaker cemetery. RF visited the site with Audrey Long (History Society). A sign would be designed and erected in due course.
    • 11/06/14 Parking along South Street. The situation has improved slightly. A note will be put in the Bulletin to thank residents. Item closed.
    • 10/09/14 A417 meeting. CL attended the meeting and notes were circulated afterwards. Although a cycle route was proposed along the A417 it was dependant on funding. It was proposed that Coffin Way be explored again as an option.
    • 10/09/14 Play Space sign. The sign has disappeared out of the Scout Hut. Action: Clerk to order replacement sign.
  11. Village hall redevelopment
    • Working party report. Steve White (SW) has scheduled a meeting with the quantity surveyors. Further VAT advice would be sought in due course.
    • Nothing to report.
  12. Recreation Ground.
    • 14/12/11 BVCIC. Directors were asked if there has been any progress in arranging a meeting with users to increase revenue. No response has yet been received. It was reported that a new treasurer has been appointed. Concern was expressed about the upkeep and maintenance of the clubhouse. The clerk expressed her dissatisfaction with the state of the Scout Hut. Action: Clerk to add payment of grant to BVCIC to next agenda.
    • 11/12/13 Plant room. Manuals for the plant room are with Andy Bray. It is hoped that a more simplified and economical system would be possible.
    • 09/04/14 Break-in at the store room. The insurance claim was made and a cheque has been received. It was agreed that the Perspex panels be replaced with steel. Action: Clerk to order replacement panels for shed. Item closed.
  13. Following a request for an additional inscription on a memorial, the clerk discovered that no Exclusive Right of Burial (ERB) existed for grave number 35 (burial in 2003). Advice was sought from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM). They concluded that the ERB remains with the Parish Council. A note to that effect would be put on file. It was agreed that a second inscription on the memorial would be granted. It was also mentioned that a new memorial has been erected which seems wider than the rest and as a result causes and obstruction to the mower. Action: MS to investigate new memorial.
  14. Ladycroft Park. The clerk confirmed that no further response was received to the Parish Council’s email to OCC. Action: Clerk to follow up on concerns about Ladycroft Park raised with OCC.
  15. Risk Management.
    • 03/07/13 Review of standing orders. Standing orders were reviewed and circulated prior to the meeting. The new revised standing orders were adopted. Action: All councillors to familiarise themselves with the revised standing orders.
    • 12/03/14 Review of emergency plan. JG is still doing some work on the plan.
    • 09/04/14 Review of register of physical assets. This was discussed with the insurance brokers. A valuation of buildings would have to be carried out in the next few years. Action brought forward: Clerk to review asset register with chairman.
    • 08/05/14 Council document register update. Done. Item closed.
    • 11/06/14 Review of tree register. Done. Item closed.
    • 11/06/14 Festival risk assessments. Pat Mattimore confirmed that risk assessments were carried out and insurance was in place. Item closed.
    • 10/09/14 Review of effectiveness of internal audit. Action: Clerk and CL to review effectiveness of internal audit.
    • 10/09/14 Bonfire Night risk assessment and insurance. Action: Clerk to request copies of the Bonfire Night risk assessment and insurance
  16. Planning & Housing.
    • 02/02/06 Planning Committee Report: See Annex B – planning report, attached.
    • 08/11/12 Current applications:

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.

The Parish Council wanted to investigate the size of the eco-pod and the impact it would have. A response would be drafted and circulated.

P14/V1928/HH The Old Stables Berry Lane Blewbury Didcot OX11 9QJ

Erection of single timber garage on concrete base

Blewbury Parish Council has no objection

P14/V1856/LB and P14/V1855/HH Meers Parcel London Road Blewbury Didcot OX11 9PD

Replacement of dilapidated existing 1960’s flat roofed rear extension with a new rear extension with room in the roof

Blewbury Parish Council has no objection

It was reported that a meeting has been sought with Thames Water. Matters relating to the Chailey House application but the wider water supply and sewer problems in the village would be brought to their attention.

16.3 Tree Preservation Order for Waters Edge, Church End. The Parish Council was informed that this matter has gone to appeal. The PC did not feel it could add any facts and therefore did not send a response to the committee.

  1. Finance & Administration
    • Budget report. The clerk gave a short budget report. Since the work of the lengthman has been carried out by volunteers, considerable savings have been made in the budget set aside for the lengthman, machinery and fuel. Essential repairs to the play areas will increase the cost of the play areas for this year. Spending this financial year on the Village Hall Development project comes to approximately £4500 and on the Neighbourhood Plan approximately £3000 (with over £16,000 received in grants towards the Plan).
    • Conclusion of audit. The clerk received the notice of the conclusion of audit and which are being displayed on the parish notice boards. No matters were brought to the auditors’ attention and no further action was needed. The annual return was presented to the Council, and was approved and accepted. Item closed.
    • Insurance renewal. CL and the clerk met with a representative of Came and Co. The premium for the coming year would be reduced and could be further reduced if a 3 year agreement was made. Came and Co provided 2 quotes and the clerk sought another from Zurich. The latter was a quote for the Parish Council only. A separate quote should be sought for the village hall. As it was clear that considerable savings could be made by seeking a competitive quote for the village hall too, the decision re switching or renewing once all the quotes have been received and compared was delegated to the clerk in consultation with the chairman. Payment should be issued straight away too. Action: Clerk and Cl to review insurance quotes and renew policy.
    • Adoption of disciplinary code and grievance procedure. Will be circulated prior to the next meeting.
    • Lengthman’s job description and scope of work. An advertisement will be published in the Bulletin and depending on the candidates, the job description would be agreed. This would also help decide if outside contractor should be used and if machinery should be replaced.
    • Clerk’s pension. RF has been in contact with OCC about their pension. Some ambiguities have been discovered in the guidance. Action: Clerk to contact the OALC’s HR expert re pensions.
    • Replacement of machinery. See 17.5.
    • Quarterly grant to Blewbury Post Office. Will be paid as normal at the next meeting.
    • Payments for approval to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Description Amount
E de Ridder £842.90
E de Ridder (expenses) £48.77
BT Payment Services Ltd (direct debit) £22.80
White Horse Horticulture £200.00
BDO LLP £360.00
Hags SMP £684.00
Tony Loy Trust £424.60
Blewbury Croquet Club £11.99
Payments relating to Village Hall redevelopment:
·       Ridge and Partners LLP £1,200.00
TOTAL                   £3,795.06

 

All payments were approved.

  1. Allotments.

Nothing to report.

  1. Footways, Footpaths and rights of way

The farmer has cut back the hedges on Coffin Way. Action: Clerk to contact Mark Sumner (Highways) re Coffin Way’s surface. Complaints have been received about the Upton end of Coffin way but the PC felt it was still passable. The hedge on the Playclose has been reported to the PCC. The hedge outside The Pleasance is obstructing the footpath. Action: Clerk to write to residents of The Pleasance and residents of Pound Furlong re hedges. It was reported that the contractors will see to FP 24 and Cow Lane. It was agreed that a hedge cutter could hired for the hedges in the cemetery could be cut.

  1. Roads, Road safety and public transport
    • Complaints about Whites Coaches Friday service. No response yet received re complaints.
  2. Village Hall management committee report. It was reported that a letter was written to the VHMC expressing concern about various matters which appear to be contrary to what would be allowed under the charities act. As a result the chair, vice-chair and treasurer resigned. It is hoped to get signatories changed as soon as possible, but unfortunately some of the signatories are away on holiday. Action: Clerk to register the VHMC as an employer with HMRC.

The following resolutions were considered:

  • to note the resignation of two signatories of the Village Hall Management Committee and to authorise the Clerk to receive amounts due to the Committee and to make payments as necessary on its behalf to suppliers and staff in accordance with the Council’s Financial Regulations as provided for in section 4 of the Public Trustee Act 1906 until new signatories are in place.
  • to note that payments may be due to staff between Parish Council meetings and to authorise the Clerk to use the provision for emergency payments in Financial Regulations to make such payments.

These resolutions were passed to be used when necessary.

    • The clerk obtained quotes from Biffa for a big bin at TFF and to replace the bin at the village hall with a more cost effective option. This would be considered for the next budget. Action: Clerk to circulate quotes for Biffa bins. The clerk reported that the Vale and Biffa have been asked to provide a definitive list of street bins in Blewbury as some bins are missed regularly missed. No response has yet been received.
  1. Correspondence
    • Items requesting a reply & consultations
      • Croquet Club notice board request. The clerk has responded to this request.
      • Email re footpath barriers and Dibleys road sign. The PC felt barriers are important where a footpath leads onto a road. Action: Clerk to investigate which barriers are causing a problem for mobility scooters.
      • Email re availability of minutes. This complaint was noted by the council. The PC will not make draft minutes available to the public and will aim to make minutes available as soon as they have been approved. As noted during the standing orders item, it was not a duty to have to publish it online.
      • Outstandin​g and Inspiratio​nal Volunteers in Oxfordshir​e. Noted
      • Consultation on revised Statement of Community Involvement LP.0087/14. Noted.
      • 2014-15 Community Emergency Plan survey. Action: Clerk to complete community emergency plan survey.
      • Item received after agenda was finalised: Review of subsidised bus services. Action: Clerk to send bus services review to BC
    • Items for information
      • OALC updates. Noted
      • OALC: Revised Legal Topic Notes – Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014. Noted
      • The right for Parish Councils to sell electricity. Noted
      • CPRE “Waste of space” campaign. Noted
      • Directory of Local Community Transport Groups & Services. Noted
      • Local news from Ed Vaizey MP. Noted
  1. Any Other Business. The clerk reported that Mrs Bird rang to ask the Parish Council to thank White Horse Horticulture for their good work, which will be done. She also wanted to know if the road would be closed for the Tour of Britain race and why no-one knew about it. As this was published in the Bulletin and it was clearly signposted, no further was needed.

A complaint was received about dog walkers leaving bags of dog mess in hedges. A note about the matter would be put in the Bulletin.

  1. Details of the next meeting.8th October 2014 in the Village Hall

 

Meeting closed 21h56

 

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

Hello Members of the Blewbury Parish Council, I’m sorry I can’t be with you as I’m currently on a Rest Day in Lieu today.

As some of you are probably aware, a number of dogs were taken from a stable yard by offenders who made off in a pale gold coloured 4×4. Although most of the dogs were later recovered, one sadly died and another is still missing. The missing dog is a Greyhound- Saluki cross. A picture of this dog has been published in the Didcot herald on page 3. The theft took place around 4p.m on Tuesday the 26th of August.

Also there was a theft of a large amount of alcohol from a Marquee that had been set up for a Golden wedding at a nearby stable in Blewbury. This took place over night from the 31/08/14 – 01/09/14. 36 bottles of alcohol and all of the golden wedding presents were stolen. It was reported that a blue short wheel based land rover had been seen close to where the Marquee was set up. Officers have carried out door to door enquiries and at this stage it appears there are no further lines of enquiry to go on.

The hare coursing is upon us again and Police are carrying out regular patrols of the Ridgeway and farming areas. Please, if you see anyone or any vehicles acting suspiciously in the area then contact Thames Valley Police on the non emergency number 101.

In response to a complaint made about speeding along Bessels Lea, I recently set up the Speed indicator and caught a number of drivers speeding. These have all been sent a letter of advice and their details have been added to the Speed watch Data base.

My next have your say Police surgery will be on the 9th of October at Blewbury Post office car park. I will be there from 11.00 a.m till midday.

I sincerely hope, shift and commitments permitting that I will be able to see you all in person at the next parish council meeting.

Thank you

Mike Clayden Police Community Support officer

Thames Valley police.

 

Annex B – report for October Bulletin

Planning Applications – for full details see the Vale website – http://bit.ly/u2FSqN

Responses from the Parish Council:

P14/V1744/RM – Chailey House, Bessels Way – Reserved matters application following outline permission for the erection of 30 dwellings. BPC has no objection but wishes the following comments to be taken into account:

  • The Parish Council will not take on the responsibility for the LEAP.
  • The Parish Council is still most concerned about the impact this development will have on the surface drainage and sewage disposal of the site and surrounding area.
  • Where conditions of a technical nature are imposed, as with sewerage and drainage systems, the Parish Council would like reassurance that these conditions would be enforced and that they will actually work in practice. The Parish Council wishes to see the technical proposals prior to the discharge of conditions.

P14/V1855/HH and 1856/LB – Meers Parcel, London Road – Building a pitched roof over rear extension to provide one room. BPC has no objection.

Decisions from the District Council:

P14/V1348/FUL – Orchard Dene – Construction of shelter for the Blewbury Wagon. GRANTED.

P14/V1339/LB – Meers Parcel, London Road – Repair work to listed building. GRANTED.