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Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 14th December 2022 at 7pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.

In attendance:- Chairman Dermot Mathias (DM)
Councillors Lee Robinson (LR), Mark Shayler (MS),
Mark Blythe (MB), Anne Millman (AM)
Clerk/RFO Liz Cooper
District Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne (HG)

1.     To receive apologies for absence

Councillors L Inglis (LI), M Penington (MP), C Burrow (CB), V Humphries (VH), Lengthman D Hollick (DH), County Councillor S Povolotsky (SP)

2.     To record any declarations of interests relating to this meeting

M Shayler (work connected to the TFF Play Space)

3.     To receive the County Councillor’s report from Cllr Sally Povolotsky

Copy sent to Council 06.12.22 (see Appendix B below).

4.     To receive District Councillor’s report from Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne

Copy sent to Council 13.12.22 (see Appendix C below).

5.     To receive the Lengthman’s report from David Hollick

DH reported via the Clerk that there was nothing to report other than the completion of minor repairs in the Clubhouse (internal door fixed).

6.     To receive a report from the PCSO

None received.

7.   Open Forum

No members of the public present.

8.   To approve previous minutes & report on any matters arising – All Cllrs

 

Minutes of the BPC meeting held on 9th November 2022

Council approved the previous minutes as being a true record.

9. To hear the Planning Committee Report & Planning Responses – LI

 

9.1 To agree or ratify the Council’s response to the following consultations

9.1.1 P22/V2682/FUL Savages Nurseries, Style Acre Tea Room, London Road, Blewbury

Single storey rear extension to tea room.

Deadline 07.12.22

Returned 02.12.22 BPC no objections.

 

9.1.2 P22/V2760/O Mountain Ash, Westbrook Street, Blewbury

Demolition of bungalow & construction of three new dwellings.

Deadline 23.12.22

Returned 12.12.22. BPC no objections with narrative.

 

9.2 To note planning permissions received / withdrawn during the month

 

9.2.1 P22/V2259/LB Borlase, South Street, Blewbury

Permission to install 8 x velux conservation type windows.

Application withdrawn 10.11.22

9.2.2 P22/V2379/LB Mockbeggars House, Church End, Blewbury

Listed building consent 01.12.22

9.2.3 P22/V2378/HH Mockbeggars House, Church End, Blewbury

Planning permission 01.12.22

9.2.4 P22/V2350/LDP Barnfield, Nottingham Fee, Blewbury

Planning approved 01.12.22.

10.    To hear an update on Finance & Administration from the Clerk

 

10.1 Financial updates

10.1.1 End of month reconciliation for November sent in advance of the meeting to the

Chairman. To be agreed & signed at the meeting.

10.1.2 Lloyds Bank account funds as of 30.11.22 were £115,772.53

This sum includes reserves of: –

  • £21,909.51 village hall remaining refurb fund
  • £10,521.28 CIL fund total (revised)

Net funds available £83,341.74

10.1.3 SSE Scout Hut electricity

Following Q3 DD of £166.63, account balance is £10.17 in credit (which has been refunded).

10.1.4 End Q2 results 2022/3

Provided to Council ahead of the meeting.

10.2 Administrative updates

10.2.1 BPC Finance Committee Meeting

To be held Thursday 22nd December at 5pm at the Old Mill, off Berry Lane.

10.3 To agree authorisers for this month’s payments

LR & DM

10.4 To approve payments to be made under the general power of competence and within budgeted amounts as detailed in the table below.

10.4.1 It was noted that the Playgrounds Online invoice was paid by M Shayler in order to secure the goods. MS to raise an expenses claim form.

10.4.2 Council agreed to the late addition of invoices post the issue of the agenda:-

i. Travis Perkins £19.99

ii BWS Clubhouse alarm installation

10.4.3 Council also agreed unanimously to the following:-

i. Red Box carrying out a fire risk assessment for the Clubhouse for £474

ii OPC emptying the septic tank at the Clubhouse for £140

 

PAYEE

Description

Amount

E Cooper/D Hollick/

E Holroyd

Clerk, Lengthman & Hall Administrator salaries & expenses for November£2467.60
NEST DDClerk’s pension December£137.85
HMRCPAYE Clerk, Lengthman, Hall Admin November£439.82
Biffa Waste Services Ltd DDWaste services December£112.32

 

BT DDClubhouse line rental December£40.66
Scottish Power DDClubhouse electricity 01.11.22£300.00
J NewmanClubhouse cleaning November£234.00
Tanfield ChambersCounsel opinion – 2nd payment£780.00
Blewbury Village HallHall hire 5.10.22£20.25
Community Heartbeat TrustSupply of 2 defib units (paid to be ratified)£4368.00
Upton Parish CouncilBPC share of SLCC Membership (full cost £186)£124.00
White Horse HorticultureOne cut of the Churchyard, Playclose, and Pound

One cut of the grass either side of the junction of Westbrook Street and London Road

One cut of the Kids-at-Play

£300.00
Red BoxClubhouse fire risk assessment£474.00
OPCClubhouse septic tank emptying (awaiting invoice)£140.00
Travis PerkinsWood adhesive£19.99
BWSNew Clubhouse alarm installation (now deferred)£1266.00
 Total£11,224.49

 

Receipts

Description

Amount

Abingdon Stone & MarbleCouchman memorial£75.00
Didcock FuneralBanks interment£210.00
 Total£285.00

11.    To receive an update from VHEMC – DM

11.1 Trustees / Counsel opinion update

Once payment is made, DM expects to receive information in writing.

11.2 Cycle shelter update

VHEMC is not considering a cycle shelter.

11.3 Any other updates

None.

12.    To receive an update on the Community Art project – CB & LI

No update this month.

13.    To receive an update on the all things relating to the operation of the Clubhouse & the recreation ground – MP, DH

           13.1 Clubhouse

13.1.1 Alarm system update

The installation of a new alarm system is scheduled for Monday 19th December.

Clerks note:- Following a flood in the Clubhouse over the weekend of 17/18 December, the alarm installation has been postponed.

13.1.2 Fire risk assessment & fire equipment testing update

The fire equipment testing took place on 14.12.2022.

The fire risk assessment is postponed until flood actions have been taken.

13.1.3 Borehole water testing update

This took place on 12.12.2022.

13.1.4 Septic tank emptying update

This took place on 17.12.22.

13.1.5 Music licence requirement

Council agreed that a music licence should be in place. Clerk to arrange.

13.1.6 All other matters relating to the Clubhouse

13.1.6.1 Melland Room IT update – AM

Advice on the existing system was sort by AM & J. Gibson. Council agreed to minor upgrades (introduce HDMI cable) to enable a wider use of the system. AM to progress.

13.2 Clubhouse usage November

Melland Room c40 hours, Sports facilities c20 hours.

The Clerk explained that she is working with the Hall Administrator to produce more meaningful data regarding the use of the Clubhouse.

13.3 Recreation ground

13.3.1 Update on table tennis table siting/installation – LI

Council acknowledged the proposal to place the table tennis table on TFF, but agreed that the exact site must be agreed before any work is undertaken. MS stated that the table must be         fixed to the ground (probably on a concrete base), with grass matting surrounding the table. MS agreed to work out the specifications (size of table, concrete base, grass matting) & report back to Council.

13.3.2 Update on any other aspect of the recreation ground

None.

14.    To receive an update on all aspects of TFF & car park – LR, MS, DH

14.1 Play area / trim trail update – MS

14.1.1 Remedial work to goal

MS confirmed the parts had been received & he would organise the installation.

14.1.2 Play space

The various swing parts to enable the reinstallation of the swings were on order (£1437.60 + vat from Playgrounds Online).

Clerk’s note:- Items delivered on 21.12.22.

MS will also organise the replacement of the planks (treated larch) on the set of round swings.

14.2 Inspections

14.2.1 Annual & quarterly inspections

Annual inspection by RoSPA inc. Play Space, Pump Track, Trim Trail, KAP £635 +vat. Plus hire of cherry picker or similar to enable work at height. Date TBA following completion of                     remedial work at Play Space & Trim Trail goal.

14.2.2 Weekly visual & monthly recorded inspections update – DH

DH reported nothing of concern to note prior to the meeting.

14.3 Any other updates

None.

15    To receive an update on Risk Management & Compliance

15.1 Speed Watch Update – JI

Report received & issued to Council ahead of the meeting.

15.2 Speed Reduction Measures update – CB/LI

15.2.1 CB to confirm the owner of the tree on Bessels way where work may be required to install a SID pole.

15.2.2 Council agreed to the purchase of the cheapest SIDs available.

15.2.3 All climate & plant issues are deferred to January. LR to speak to CB re potential grant application.

 

15.3 Village defibrillators update – Clerk/VH

A new defibrillator has been installed at the Clubhouse.

The Blueberry defib unit is scheduled to be installed in January.

The Clubhouse defib unit installation is on hold following the flood.

15.4 Any update or information on risk management & compliance – VH

None.

16.   To receive an update on issues relating to the Environment

16.1 Information from Sustainable Blewbury – AM

The CIO application is progressing.

Thames Water had carried out a lot of work on their old site to create a nature reserve.

16.2 Any other environmental issues

MS confirmed he had installed a base for the new bin at the entrance to the Recreation Ground car park. The bin will be installed in due course.

17.   To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces – from MP, LI, MB

 

17.1 Update on any future tree work

The Clerk confirmed that two trees identified for work in the old cemetery belonged to the PCC.

Clerk to contact E de Ridder.

17.2 Play Close Footpaths & ecology update

MS is working with PCC representative on the PCC grant application to TOE.

17.3 Any other update on Footways, Footpaths, Rights of Ways & open spaces in & around the village

17.3.1 Chalk Pit signage

Carried forward to the January meeting.

18.   To receive an update on any outstanding consultations – All Councillors

None.

19. To agree the date/venue of the next meeting(s) of the Council – All Councillors

 

BPC Finance Committee meeting Thursday 22nd December 2022 at 5pm in the Old Mill, off Berry Lane

Next full council meeting Wednesday 11th January 2023 at 7.00pm in the Melland Room.

The meeting finished at 8.15pm.

 

Appendix A

NO. ACTIONS FROM THIS MEETINGWHEN BY
1.MS to raise an expenses claim form for Playgrounds Online purchase.ASAP
2.Clerk to obtain details of a music licence for the Clubhouse.ASAP
3.AM to progress changes to IT system in Melland Room.ASAP
4.MS to provide specification & site details to Council for table tennis table.ASAP
5.MS to install new parts to the goal on TFF.ASAP
6.MS to organise remedial work at TFF.ASAP
7.CB to confirm the owner of the tree on Bessels way where work may be required to install a SID poleASAP
8.LR to speak to CB re potential climate & plant grant application.ASAP
9.MS to arrange with DH installation of bin in Recreation Ground car park.ASAP

 

 

10.Clerk to speak to E de Ridder re old cemetery tree work.ASAP
NO.ACTIONS FROM NOVEMBER MEETINGWHEN BY
2.MS & CB to speak regarding grant application strategy for various climate action planting initiativesActioned
3.All to consider community engagement initiatives (pre 2023 elections)January meeting
4.DM to speak BG re village hall bicycle shelter & rack or just rack.Actioned
5.Clerk to engage AVS for Clubhouse alarm systemActioned
6.Clerk to send BT account details to MPActioned
7.AM to speak to E. Eisenhandler regarding an IT spec for the Clubhouse & discuss MPActioned
8.MS to arrange the replacement of cross poles at the TFF Play SpaceC’fwd
9.Clerk to arrange for TFF Play Space inspectionActioned
10.CB to confirm to Council final placement for SID polesActioned
11.Clerk to obtain ‘volunteer’ template & send to CouncilActioned
12.LI to note in Bulletin NDP principle on close boarded fencingActioned
14.CB, LI, DM to discuss a plan for revising the Council’s ‘Green Spaces’ policyOngoing
15.MS to look at the Council being more involved in next year’s Remembrance Day.Deferred to September 23
 No.ACTIONS FROM OCTOBER MEETINGBy When
 1.CB to look at a hedge cutting management plan for 2023.January meeting

 

Appendix B – County Council Update

Oxford traffic filters special: Q&A

The Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance has taken a bold step to reduce congestion in and around Oxford with traffic filters. It’s an issue many residents want to know more about – so below are a few common questions about the plan.

What are traffic filters?

During the times they are operating, traffic filters prohibit private motor vehicles without a filter pass from going through them. Oxfordshire County Council has approved a plan to introduce six filters across Oxford, including at St Cross Road, Thames Street, Hythe Bridge Street, St Clements, Marston Ferry Road, and Hollow Way.

Why is Oxfordshire County Council doing this?

Car use in Oxford has doubled in the last 20 years and is likely to get considerably worse with further housing developments. Road space has not doubled, resulting in high levels of congestion and bus routes becoming unsustainable. Traffic filters are a congestion measure, aimed at reducing the number of private car journeys to free up space for buses. The benefits will include faster bus journeys and faster journeys for anyone using a filter pass.

Does this stop me from driving to Oxford?

No. Everywhere you can currently reach by car in Oxford can still be reached by private motor vehicle. Households outside the city will also get up to 50 filter passes per year (25 per person/vehicle) to go through the filters with their private car. Exemptions also exist for e.g., blue badge holders and carers.

Can I still drive to the Westgate or John Radcliffe hospital?

Yes. Everywhere in Oxford will still be accessible by car. For example, residents that currently drive to and park at the Westgate via Abingdon Road, would need to continue on the ring road and approach via Botley Road. In most cases journey times are likely to only take an additional 5-15 minutes. The filters will make using the Redbridge park and ride much more attractive due to faster buses from Redbridge into the centre.

When will this happen?

Due to the closure of Botley Road in 2023 for work by Network Rail, the measure won’t come into place until January 2024.

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Adult social care in the news: The administration continues to make adult social care and children’s services a priority, where over half of county expenditure takes place. The Oxfordshire Way – a new approach by the council’s adult social care team – aims to support people to live well and independently, within their own communities, for as long as possible. Oxfordshire County Council is providing funding for a ‘Community Catalyst’ programme to support local residents to set up care companies or centres and provide care in the community. A 2022-3 Live Well Oxfordshire Care Guide has also been published with lots of great information on how to find community support and access adult social care. Free copies of the guide: 0345 050 7666.

 

Education commission launched: OCC has launched an independent ‘Education Commission’, tasked with improving educational outcomes for all children and young people. A key goal of the commission will be to look at reducing the gap in educational attainment for disadvantaged children and children with special educational needs and disabilities. The commission will speak to all interested parties about what a world class education system might look like for Oxfordshire and what needs to change. The commission will be independently chaired and made up of members representing educational settings, establishments, and key stakeholder groups across Oxfordshire.

 

Budget setting process kicked off: The process of setting OCC’s annual budget has been kicked off with a public consultation. Within the context of rising inflation and rising demand for OCC’s services (e.g. adult social care, SEND), the administration is seeking to create a balanced and fair budget that protects our most vulnerable residents. Since the government has not provided funding to meet the costs of inflation, OCC has been required to make savings of £44m of real-terms savings. However, the administration has sought to protect budgets impacting vulnerable residents, with particular emphasis on children with special education needs and disability. The consultation closes on 19 December.

 

Plan to rationalise OCC property portfolio: OCC owns a whopping 905 sites around the county, including 13 offices. Led by finance cabinet member Cllr Calum Miller, OCC is being instructed to rationalise its property portfolio to realise savings by giving up leased buildings and deliver on climate goals.

 

Council cabinet set to decide on leasing land to Oxford United for new stadium

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet is set to make a decision on 24 January 2023 about whether to enter formal negotiations regarding leasing council-owned land to Oxford United Football Club (OUFC) for the development of a new football stadium.

Discussions have been taking place between the council and the club since late 2021 about leasing council-owned land for the development of an 18,000-capacity football stadium. In March 2022, the cabinet asked officers to seek further information from the club on their proposals. This information was provided in November 2022.

A site at Stratfield Brake in Kidlington had initially been proposed by the club, but it was recognised there were considerable challenges associated with it. Officers have now identified another potential location between Oxford and Kidlington and are discussing its suitability with the club.

The alternative site is located south of Kidlington roundabout, west of Banbury Road and east of Frieze Way.

The decision about whether or not to enter into formal negotiations with OUFC about the lease of land will be taken in public at a cabinet meeting on 24 January. It is important to recognise that a decision by cabinet would not give a green light to go ahead with the development of the stadium. This would be subject to the full democratic planning process, led by the local planning authority Cherwell District Council.

Cllr Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Earlier this year we ran a public engagement exercise to better understand the opportunities and concerns relating to the stadium proposal. More than 3,700 people responded from across the county and beyond. Overall, a strong majority expressed support for us to begin discussions with the club. However, a majority of local residents expressed reservations.

“We listened to the many points raised during our engagement exercise and began exploratory discussions with the club with clear principles in mind. These include maintaining a green barrier between Oxford and Kidlington, improving public access to high-quality green spaces, enhancing facilities for local sports groups, developing local employment opportunities and increasing education opportunities for our young people.

“Any development must have a positive impact on the lives of people in Oxfordshire both in this specific locality and beyond – it needs to bring improvements that will benefit residents in years to come.

“We listened carefully to feedback from local residents and have taken account of the concerns they raised. The alternative site is separated from Kidlington and Gosford by two major roads, while the current leasing arrangement means its use would not impact community sports facilities or access to Stratfield Brake as a community amenity.

“The new site also has the advantage of being close to Oxford Parkway railway station and the Park and Ride, which would enable greater walking, cycling, bus and rail use among fans. We are, however, very mindful that – like Stratfield Brake − the site is in the green belt.

“As the county‘s only professional football league club, we know that Oxford United is close to the hearts of thousands of people across this county. The club has a long and distinguished history and is an integral part of the county’s heritage and presence.

“We fully recognise the challenges facing OUFC and we are doing everything we can to help them achieve a long-term home in the county and a sustainable future.

“Our officers are reviewing all the information and the responses received and will be making a clear recommendation to cabinet about whether or not to enter into formal negotiations with the club about the potential use of land for the development.

“The cabinet will now debate this on 24 January and decide whether they agree with the recommendation from officers. If the cabinet decides to enter formal negotiations with OUFC, any final proposal by the club would then need to be put through the planning process at Cherwell District Council, which provides further opportunities for the public to provide their views before elected members take a decision.”

 

Thames Water

Had a meeting with their senior teams about leakages and concerns, waiting on data requested at meeting.

Working on multiple water consultations, WRSE and then Rapid Gate 2, still waiting on Thames Water – please see attached meeting dates from GARD.

 

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Parish round-up

Not all parishes are covered – below is a selection of the main updates.

 

East Hendred

  • 20mph consultation: The 20mph scheme is going to cabinet member decisions on 8th December

Continued issues with Mud Bikes on Icknield way / reported in to police and countryside access teams

Chilton 

  • 20mph consultation: 20mph is now closed – due to go to cabinet member in Feb 2023.

Also attended a DRT bus service discussion with the transport planning team for buses. Chilton was mentioned although no one was invited so I have asked for this to happen for the next meeting and will share the Q&A when it comes to me.

VAS Concerns raised and cabinet visit on 14th Dec to look at the issues on the scheme of Chilton / Upton cycle way.

Steventon 

  • 20mph: Consultation is open 

Works on the high street are nearing completion

The giant “bells” have been painted and I did notice a HUGE black mark already!

Stonebridge road / rest works has been assigned to next financial year

Attended the Water Summit

Reading SESRO Ofwat Rapid papers – digesting them!!

West Hendred

  • Went through initial crossing designs, now pending consultation to open which have been assured before Christmas 2022.

 

Ardington & Lockinge

Still trying to get the school buses to come back through the village due to safety concerns raised – hoping to hear before Christmas if this can start in Jan 2023.

Public meeting about Camp Soul – had several post bag complaints which I’ll raise with organisers.

Upton

Cabinet visit on 14th December around cycleway concerns.

Blewbury 

Initial safety inspection done ref crossings, pending feedback and further steps.

Raised concerns about the chalk streams with Thames Water.

Harwell

Chasing High Street consultation

Chasing 20mph install

Pole for SID in discussions

Pushing with Taylor Wimpey on Valley Park residents forums

 

December

I’m afraid I am struggling to get to many parish meetings this month due to multiple other public and council meetings. Please do contact me as usual with any burning issues / needs. I will send apologies by emails to clerks.

 

All consultations are found here –

https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk

 

Cllr Sally Povolotsky FRSA (She / Her), County Councillor for Hendreds & Harwell Division,
Mobile – 07939 912997

 

Appendix C

Monday 12th December 2022 Monthly Parish Update

Vale of White Horse District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Hello! Whether you are celebrating Christmas or just taking a break at the end of the year, we wish you and your families an enjoyable and restful festive period. There are now several community warm spaces available locally, providing a welcome space for all, with free refreshments and activities for children. The following are available in the local area, with an online map of locations at https://www.warmwelcome.uk/

  • Mondays – 2pm to 5.30pm at Snell’s Hall in East Hendred.
  • Tuesdays – 9am to 2pm at St Michael’s Church Hall in Steventon.
  • Wednesdays – 1pm to 5pm at Didcot Community Partnership, 99 Station Road (entrance via red door off Lydalls Road).
  • Thursdays – 1pm to 4pm at The Harwellian Social Club in Harwell.
  • Fridays – 10am to 12 noon at the GWP Southern Community Centre.

Cost of Living Support

If you or someone you know is in need of support over the winter months, a reminder that the council has put together a Cost of Living Help webpage for more information about financial and housing support, and local community food services. You can also contact the council’s Community Support Hub for practical support and advice: call 01235 422 600 (Mon to Thurs 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm) or visit www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub. Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale can provide you with free, confidential advice via 0808 278 7907. Vale Community Impact can provide free advice too, call them on 01235 765348.

Council Services at Christmas

Abbey House Council Offices – Reception will close at Abbey House from 4pm (phone lines at 4.30pm) on Friday 23 December and will reopen on Tuesday 3 January.

Waste collections – all you need to know about waste collections over the Christmas and New Year period – including the changes to the collection dates and what to do if collections are disrupted – is on our webpage for  Vale Christmas waste.

Housing – If you know anyone who is at immediate risk of being made homeless while our offices are closed, contact our out-of-hours service, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number to call for South Oxfordshire is 01235 422410 and in Vale 01235 422420. If you see someone sleeping rough and in an emergency situation you can call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914.

Planning – Any planning applications or post submitted after we close for Christmas, including electronic submissions, will be treated as having been received on our next working day, Tuesday 3 January 2023

Council tax and benefits services – If any residents need urgent help with council tax or benefits during the holidays, Capita’s phone lines will be open as usual between 28 and 30 December.

Emergency Situations – There are details of what to do and who to contact during an emergency on our website – Emergency situations Vale

We use these monthly updates to keep you updated on our activities, general council news and any COVID-19 developments. We also post regularly on our councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues or concerns, either via Facebook message or email: hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk and sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk.  

 

Local News

Valley Park Update

There are currently several live planning applications for Valley Park, which are listed below along with an update on the status of each provided by the Vale planning officers. Note that the consultation for the first phase of housing, the 246 homes referred to by Taylor Wimpey as “Primrose Gardens”, closes on 21st December – please add your comments to the planning application on the Vale website.

As the development of Valley Park progresses over the coming years, there will be an increasing number of planning applications relating to the development. We always endeavour to keep you updated with the key news relating to Valley Park, including highlighting opportunities to comment on the applications. In the meantime, valleypark.uk is an excellent informal resource, listing all of the information and planning applications relating to the development. Thank you to David Marsh from Harwell village for putting together such a useful website!

P22/V2744/RM – 246 dwellings

This is a revised scheme for Taylor Wimpey’s first phase of development in the north west of the site. This application is currently at consultation stage with the consultation period closing on 21 December 2022. Note from Hayleigh & Sarah: this application replaces the earlier P22/V0539/RM, which was withdrawn prior to the approval of the Strategic Design Code.

 

P22/V2066/DIS – Strategic Design Code

This application has been approved.

P22/V2408/DIS – construction environmental management plan (CEMP)

A revised CEMP was submitted and has been approved.

P22/V2441/DIS – addressing any contamination

This application has been approved in so far as it relates to the north west ‘corner of the site. A further application(s) will be needed to address any contamination on other parts of the Valley Park site.

P22/V2798/DIS – Framework Plan

This application has just been validated. It relates to condition 10 of the outline permission which requires a Framework Plan to be approved. The Framework Plan relates to the north western ‘corner’ of the Valley Park site.

P22/V2338/DIS – housing delivery document

The applicants have been asked to revise the document to ensure consistency within it, reconsider density of housing in some parcels of the site and clarify the status of a parcel of land and whether it is to include housing or not. A response is still awaited.

P22/V2381/DIS – watercourse crossing

The applicant is seeking to use box culverts for four road bridge crossings. No details of the box culvert designs have been provided and the design(s) has been requested by officers. A design has been received and will be considered.

P22/V2407/DIS – phasing plan

The applicants have been asked to provide the chronological order of development and to correct errors in the document. A response is still awaited.

P22/V2624/DIS – Surface and foul water drainage

This seeks approval of surface and foul water drainage details associated with Taylor Wimpey’s and Persimmon’s first housing parcels in the north western part of the site.

 

New ‘Western Valley Parish Council for 2023 – previously known as ‘Harwell East’

At a meeting on 6th December 2022, the Vale of White Horse District Council Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee agreed that the new parish on land previously within Harwell parish east of the A34 would come into existence in 2023 with elections in May. The new parish will be known as Western Valley, have an unwarded parish council known as Western Valley Parish Council and have 8 councillors.

The meeting was recorded and is available to watch online – the item on the new parish starts at 7 minutes 5 seconds into the video. The decisions about the new parish were made by the committee following a public consultation which took place earlier this year. The name of the new parish required careful consideration, as although it had previously been referred to as ‘Harwell East’, the consultation responses indicated very clearly that residents in the area of the new parish do not consider themselves to be affiliated with Harwell. The majority of residents suggested a name referencing the town of Didcot, however the committee agreed that this would not be appropriate for a number of reasons, including the fact that Didcot is not part of the Vale of White Horse District.

The final name of ‘Western Valley’, originally suggested by Harwell Parish Council at their meeting in August 2022, was agreed by the committee as a suitable name which references the ‘Western’ of Great Western Park and the ‘Valley’ of Valley Park, whilst giving the area its own identity separate from both Harwell and Didcot. It is important to note that the new parish council will be able to request further name changes in four years’ time, when the next Community Governance Review takes place.

Map showing the location of the new ‘’Western Valley’ parish – previously referred to as Harwell East – highlighted in blue

 

Background: The district council undertakes a Community Governance Review every four years. After the 2014 Community Governance Review, the council resolved to create a new parish with the working title of ‘Harwell East’, comprising the part of Harwell Parish that lies to the east of the A34 – see map below. All of Harwell village will remain within the existing Harwell Parish, however the section of Great Western Park which is currently in Harwell Parish will become part of the new parish, as will the entirety of the new Valley Park development. At its meeting in June 2018 the Community Governance and Electoral Issues Committee agreed to defer the creation of the new parish until after the 2019 elections. The district council’s Democratic Services are now working on the creation of the new parish for implementation at the next local elections in May 2023.

 

Opportunity to join an accessibility panel for rail passengers

East West Rail is looking for people to join their proposed new Accessibility Advisory Panel aimed at helping understand the barriers for disabled rail passengers. The panel will consist of up to eight people who live between Oxford and Cambridge, representing a broad range of people with disabilities and impairments. More information and how to apply to the Accessibility Advisory Panel can be found here.

Climate & Environment News

Put your Christmas recycling knowledge to the test and you could win a hamper worth £100

People across South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse have the chance of winning a fantastic hamper worth £100 by putting their Christmas recycling knowledge to the test.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have launched a new quiz which aims to help encourage people to put the correct items into their domestic recycling bin over Christmas and to reduce the amount of contamination.During 2021/22, more than 2,600 tonnes of kerbside recycling across the two districts, or an average of 8.5 per cent of all recycling collected, had to be rejected as it is had been contaminated with non-recyclables!

The problem is at its worst over the Christmas period when people leave out a lot more rubbish.  Last year this resulted in 434 tonnes of recycling being rejected between December and January.To take part in the quiz for the chance to win the hamper, and for more information on Christmas waste, reuse and recycling head to whitehorsedc.gov.uk/christmaswaste   

Council encourages tree planting ahead of National Tree Week

As National Tree Week begins on Saturday, Vale of White Horse District Council is encouraging community groups and residents across the district to plant trees to help tackle the climate emergency.
Through its partnerships, and its policy for planting trees on council-owned land the council aims to contribute to national tree planting campaigns including the government’s target to increase tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025.

Final Park and Charge electric vehicle charging hub goes live

The roll-out of hundreds of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in council-owned car parks in Oxfordshire has been completed. This includes 62 charging points in five of our council car parks in Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage.
The final EV charging hub in the Park and Charge Oxfordshire project went live this month at Claremont short stay car park in Bicester.
It marks the completion of the 20th hub successfully delivered in the project and means a total of 250 EV charging points have been delivered across the county since May 2021.

Hundreds enjoyed all the fun of the (eco) fair

What does a bike shop have in common with a sustainable children’s clothing company and a wildlife trust?  The answer is that they were all stallholders at the super successful Didcot Eco Fair held earlier this month.
In total 37 organisations, local companies and charity groups were at the fair at Cornerstone arts centre showcasing some of the best of South Oxfordshire’s sustainable economy.
Hundreds of local people attended the family-friendly event hosted by South Oxfordshire District Council with support from Sustainable Didcot on 5 November.

Extended deadline for the Climate Action Fund

The Vale has extended the deadline for organisations to apply for the Climate Action Fund until 4 January. This is to ensure all of the funding is used, and we can support as many projects which help to tackle climate change and increase people’s awareness and knowledge of the climate emergency as possible. Proposals could focus on areas such as the natural environment, energy, waste and consumption, or transport and travel.

Previous recipients have included Stanford in the Vale parish council for the rejuvenation of a community garden and Friends of Abingdon Building Trust to help support their Plot to Plate sustainable food festival. Any organisations who wish to apply are asked to visit our Climate Action Fund webpage for more details. Note – for those who already applied by the previous deadline, this extension won’t delay their awards. We are busy reviewing those received so we can award funding by the original timetable.

Council News

Full Council meeting – 7th December 2022

Change of Leadership at Vale of White Horse District Council

Cllr Bethia Thomas is the new Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council. She was chosen by councillors during a vote at the Council meeting on 7th December.

Her election as Leader comes after Cllr Emily Smith chose to stand down having led the council since the local elections in 2019.

Cllr Thomas, who was deputy leader and is a ward member for Faringdon, has been a district councillor in Vale of White Horse District Council since 2019, and has served on the Cabinet since her election, as Cabinet Member for community engagement.

This means there are some changes in the Council’s cabinet.

Cllr Bethia Thomas: Council Leader and Community engagement
Cllr Andy Crawford: Finance and corporate assets
Cllr Neil Fawcett: Deputy Council Leader and strategic partnerships and place
Cllr Debby Hallett: Corporate services and transformation
Cllr Helen Pighills: Healthy communities
Cllr Sally Povolotsky: Climate emergency, the environment and technical services
Cllr Judy Roberts: Development, infrastructure and development management

You can read the statement from the former leader, Cllr Emily Smith here.

Action on the cost-of-living: Hundreds of low-income households to benefit from paying less council tax

1,400 households in the Vale of White Horse will benefit from a more generous council tax support (CTS) scheme following action to help those most at risk during the cost-of-living crisis.

At their meeting on Wednesday 7 December, district councillors at the Vale voted to remove restrictions requiring households on CTS to make a contribution towards their annual council tax bill. The changes will be introduced from April 2023 when the new tax year begins.

Nearly £6.5 million awarded to help local businesses

More than 2,000 businesses have received a much-needed relief award totalling almost £6.5 million to help reduce their business rates thanks to South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

In total, £6,471,842 was allocated to businesses, using the government’s Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF), to help organisations that were unable to receive previous government Covid-19 grants despite having been badly affected by the pandemic.

Action taken to help deliver affordable housing

A new housing delivery strategy and action plan to help bring more genuinely affordable homes to the Vale of White Horse has been approved by Cabinet Members.

The new housing delivery strategy aims to meet current and future local housing needs and intends to bring more well-designed net zero carbon housing to help tackle climate change.

Agenda

AgendaPDF download
Blewbury Parish Council Meeting Wednesday 10th April at 7pm in the Melland Room in the Blewbury Clubhouse

Meeting minutes

MeetingPDF download
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 10th April at 7pm in the Melland Room at the Clubhouse
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 6th March 2024
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 14th February 2024 in the Melland Room at the BLewbury Clubhouse
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 10th January 2024 at 7.00 pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 13th December 2023 at 5pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 8th November 2023 at 7.00 pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 11th October 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 13th September 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 12th July 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the June Parish Council Meeting Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Annual Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 10th May 2023 at 7.00pm in the Vale Room at the Blewbury Village Hall.
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held at 7pm on Wednesday 12th April 2023
Blewbury Annual Parish Meeting Wednesday 26th April 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the March 2023 Blewbury Parish Council Meeting Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Finance Committee Meeting held on Thursday 22nd December 2022
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 8th February 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting Held on Wednesday 11th January 2023
Blewbury Parish Council December Meeting Minutes
Blewbury Parish Council Meeting November 2022
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 5th October 2022 at 7.00 pm in the Vale Room at the Blewbury Village Hall.
BPC Minutes August 2022 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Minutes July 2022 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Minutes June 2022 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Annual Meeting Minutes May 2022 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Minutes April 2022 Download the PDF
The AGM of the Blewbury Village Society & The Blewbury Annual Parish Meeting Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council March 2022 Minutes Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council February minutes Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council January Meeting Minutes Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Finance Committee Meeting December 2021 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Meeting December 2021 Download the PDF