MINUTES of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held in the Melland Room on Wednesday 15th January 2020 at 7.30 pm.

In attendance: - Cllrs C Lakeland (Chair/CL), V Humphries (VH), J Gibson (JG), M Shayler (MS), M Penington (MP), M Jacobs (MJ), L Inglis (LI). Miss E Cooper (Clerk/EC), Mr D Hollick (Lengthman/DH).

1.      Apologies for absence

Cllrs C Cameron, M Blythe, District Cllrs H Gascoigne & S Medley.

The Chair stated that he had received a formal resignation from Cllr Cameron with immediate effect, therefore creating a vacancy. Clerk to instigate casual vacancy procedure.

2.      Declarations of interests relating to this meeting

MS (invoice pending), CL & JG (village hall refurb)

3.      County Councillor’s report

None provided.

4.      District Councillor’s report

Received & issued ahead of the meeting & at Appendix A below.

5.      Lengthman’s report

DH reported that he had carried some minor repairs at the Clubhouse (doors, kitchen light). The bandstand roof on TFF would be repaired in better weather.

6.      Open Forum

No members of the public were present.

7.   To approve previous minutes

Minutes of the BPC meeting 13.11.19

Minutes of BPC Finance meeting 02.01.20

Minutes were agreed by council with no changes & signed off by the Chair.

8.   To report on Outstanding Actions from previous meetings and any matters arising

Confirm whether actions are cleared, carried forward or cancelled.

 

No. Actions arising from January 2020 Meeting When
1. DH to call skate park refurb contractor for firm date on refurbishment ASAP
2. CL to feedback to Anita Rendel re donation request for The Friends of Oxford Botanic Gardens February meeting
3. Clerk to write to A McEwan-James re update on Chailey gardens & Footpath 24. Actioned 21.1.20
4. Clerk to invoke casual vacancy procedure Actioned 20.1.20
5. CL to write supportive covering letter to pre-school following donation February meeting
6. CL to chase Jenks for tree survey quote ASAP
7. Clerk to check for more information on road closure in Blewbury ASAP
8. VH to obtain prices on signs for entrance to the village February meeting
9. Clerk to obtain information on raising PC profile on social media (FB/BVS) February meeting
No. Actions arising from December 2019 Meeting When
1.

Bus stops along Bessels Way – Clerk to chase OCC.

 

February meeting
2. CL to respond to the CIC in writing regarding proposals to improve the running and administration of the clubhouse facilities. After VHEMC meeting 16.1.20
No. Actions Arising from October Meeting Target Date
1 Is funding is available for Community Action Groups, working on (for example) climate emergency initiatives. Clerk email to Cllr Hudspeth 7.1.20 C’fwd
5 CL to ask again the S106 officer if ‘football’ allocated money could be used for football activities at the school. February meeting
6

Purchase of bin for play space at village hall. Purchase confirmed.

Clerk’s note:- bin delivered 24.1.20

Complete
12 CL awaiting new lease for Village hall consequent on OCC transferring Blewbury School to an academy. C’fwd

 

9.    Planning & Housing

9.1 Planning committee report

Formal report not received due to the resignation of CC. LI agreed to oversee responsibility for future planning responses.

9.2 Responses to current applications

P19/V3253/FUL Rumseys Barn, London Road, Blewbury

Conversion of existing double garage & swimming pool to form new dwelling.

Deadline 12 noon 24.01.20

The council unanimously voted ‘no objections’ to this application.

10.    Finance & Administration

10.1 Update on CIL or S106 contributions and approve planned expenditure.

10.1.1 Skate park refurbishment update

DH confirmed no work had taken place & would contact the contractor.

Clerk’s note – work expected to commence week beginning 27.1.20.

10.1.2 Any other updates if available

The Chair has sent a request for £11,500 of S106 money for the refurbishment of the village hall.

The sum of £9000 has been allocated to Blewbury specifically for an art installation at the village hall, subject to approval.

10.2 To receive an update on financial arrangements

10.2.1 Online banking – change of bank update

The Clerk confirmed that the Switch process was initiated through Lloyds Bank on 10.1.20.

Lloyds letter 20.12.19 re signatories received

Clerk’s note – subsequently appears that no changes had been made. Chair initiated further changes.

10.2.2 Request for a donation to The Friends of Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum

The council unanimously agreed that whilst this was a good cause, the PC would not be contributing. CL to feed back.

10.3  BPC 20/21 budget

The council unanimously agreed the budget for 20/21.

10.4  BPC Precept 20/21

The council unanimously agreed to the Finance Committee’s recommendation to increase the  precept to £65,000. This was considered a prudent increase (of less than 10p per week based on a  band D property) in order for the council to keep on top of increases in prices & devolved services from the District Council.

10.5  Ratify agreement to make one-off grant to Blewbury Pre-School of £5000

The council unanimously agreed to this one-off grant.

10.6  Approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts :-

 

 

PAYEE

Description / Power to spend

Amount

E Cooper / D Hollick Clerk & Lengthman’s salary and expenses for October £1358.80
NEST Clerk’s pension DD November £69.43
HMRC PAYE Clerk & Lengthman payment November £307.40
Biffa Waste Services Ltd Waste services DD December £94.74
BT Clubhouse line rental DD December £33.00
ALCC Membership renewal £40.00
Shayler Concrete Pumping Supply of gravel for village footpaths (10 tonnes@£25 per tonne)        £300.00
Winterbrook Farm Partners Annual allotment rent

 

£300.00

St Michael’s Church Annual rent for Church Acre (allotments) £150.00
PWLB Loan ref. PW505556 £3506.25
BVHEMC 4th quarter PO grant £300.00
Blewbury Pre-School One off grant £5000.00
Total £11,459.62

 

Major Receipts Dec 2019

Description

Amount

Paid on to Lloyds bank 31.12.19 Set in Stone – CR Memorial £75.00
Total £75.00

 

Barclays Bank Payments

Description

Amount

15.1.20 Ridge continued professional services for the village hall refurbishment £2400.00
Total £2400.00

 

10.7 End of month reconciliations for Lloyds/Santander & Barclays banks

These were approved and signed off by the Chair.

11.    Village hall refurbishment – update from the VHEMC

The Chair attended a meeting with the builders on 13.1.20 during which the contract was signed. A start  date of 20.1.20 was confirmed, with the refurbishment scheduled to take 19-22 weeks. The Chair also informed council that total funds available stand at c £500,000. 

12.    Recreation Ground / Clubhouse

10.1 Update on the recreation ground (TFF / Cricket pitch – if available)

The council was informed of an insurance claim that had been made following an incident in late November. This had been referred to the PC’s insurance company.

10.2 Update on the Clubhouse

Usage of the Melland Room was increasing due to the closure of the village hall. Invoices had been received for the PC use in January. 

13.    Risk Management

13.1 Update on village play spaces (TFF / KAP)

13.2 Update on Compliance

VH to confirm if charges for hard copy minutes should be included in Standing Orders.

13.3 Update regarding trees in the village for which the PC is responsible

The Chair confirmed that he will pursue additional quotes for tree survey work to take place in the spring. However, if no quotes are put forward, he will seek agreement to go with the quote already received from Complete Tree Services of £685 plus VAT.

14.   Update on any issues relating to the Environment

14.1 Report on the recent Sustainable Blewbury meeting

Also see SB email extract below. Chairman thanked MJ for agreeing to be the council’s representative on Sustainable Blewbury.

14.2 Update on the OxCam Expressway

The council agreed to remove this as an agenda item until further information is received.

14.3 Update on the OGB & ONPA

LI attended a recent meeting. Information from made neighbourhood plans is being collated to help influence Oxfordshire’s Joint Spatial Statutory Plan (2050), which is currently being drafted. ONPA is also working on various measures to improve communications between officers & neighbourhood              plan groups across the county.

14.4 Update on the Cleve

A further meeting is to take place with a riparian owner, Environmental Agency representatives and Sustainable Blewbury.

15.   Update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces

15.1 Update on the fence encroachment on footpath 24

No update was available. Clerk to contact Arthur McEwan-James & obtain an update.

15.2 Update on any other issues relating to the above

As 15.1 to include Chailey Gardens/Bridus Way BOAT in communication with Mr McEwan- James.

16.   Update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport

16.1  Conditions of local roads and decide on any course of action

16.1.1 Traffic Regulation Notice 6.1.20 (Blewbury London Road closure/sent BPC 6.1.20)

Clerk’s note:- London Road closure/traffic diversion being reconsidered by Highways.

16.2  Update on the Blewbury Speed Watch group

There is a meeting on 3.2.20 with the PCSO and representatives from Blewbury & Upton PCs to  discuss equipment & training requirements.

VH to look in to cost of new signs at the entrances to the village.

17.   Correspondence – To consider items circulated/requiring a reply/consultations

Traffic Regulation Notice – see 16.1.1 above.

Also to look in to dissemination of PC information via BVS/Facebook.

18.   Date of the next meeting of the PC

        Parish Council meeting Wednesday 12th February 2020, 7.30pm in the Melland Room.

The meeting finished at 9.05pm. 

SB Email Extract 7.1.20

Hi Chris

David Lomas used to come to Sustainable Blewbury core group meetings and update us with anything relevant from the Parish Council (especially any planning applications with environmental
implications), as well as contributing his ideas to our discussions.  Now that he has resigned from the Council, we wondered if another representative would like to join us?  We meet on the first Monday of alternate months; the next meeting will be 2 March at 1930.  On intervening months, we meet at the Blueberry for drinks and more open discussion; again on the first Monday of the month, but attendance at this is much more flexible.

A councillor with an interest in sustainability and planning would be ideal, but anyone with just enthusiasm would be great too.

I hope that this will interest a parish councillor.  If anyone wants more details, I am happy to discuss with them

Kind regards, Jane Kinniburgh
Secretary to Sustainable Blewbury

APPENDIX A

Blewbury Parish Council Wednesday 15th January 2020

Report from District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Happy New Year! We hope that all the residents of Blewbury enjoyed a peaceful and restful Christmas break. Due to purdah rules during the General Election at the end of 2019, we were unable to publish council policy news over the past few months, so this report contains an extensive update on recent developments.

Our News

December Council Meeting

At a busy Council meeting on 18 December, district councillors in the Vale voted to approve motions on a number of topics, including agreeing the council’s commitment to exploring planning polices which encourage sustainability, updating the council’s equality policy and support for the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Councillors agreed that Vale of White Horse District Council would commit to exploring planning policies which positively encourage all renewable sources of energy, including onshore wind farms as part of the next Vale Local Plan and Oxfordshire Plan 2050.

The council also agreed to:

  • condemn all hate crimes and deplore the rise in hate crimes against members of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain
  • condemn all inflammatory rhetoric in political discourse: including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic tropes used by politicians and public servants.
  • adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism in full and without amendment
  • adopt the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia in full and without amendment.
  • ask council officers to update this council’s equality policies to this effect

The council requested that the Leader write to relevant ministers and local MPs requesting that all elections be run using Proportional Representation and also expressing this council’s support for the Votes at 16 campaign; calling for the extension of allow 16- and 17-year olds to be allowed to vote in all elections and referendums across the UK and asks the Electoral Returning Officer to consider participating in any pilot scheme.

The council agreed to request that:

  • officers make contact with the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to assess the views of the new Secretary of State when it comes to the re-organisation of local government
  • the Chief Executive and Leader bring a report on this matter to full council by Summer 2020
  • officers bring forward proposals for the Vale of White Horse to consider a formal merger with South Oxfordshire District Council creating a single district council based on their combined geography with increased financial resilience.

Climate Emergency Advisory Committee

Hayleigh is a member of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, which had its first meeting in October. The committee listened to several speakers from across the Vale, including Miriam Jacobs from Blewbury Parish Council. The speakers raised different areas we should look at when considering the Climate Emergency at the Vale, and the committee agreed recommendations to commission work to be done by officers and to establish a communications plan to engage the community. Finally, they debated and set target dates for a carbon neutral council by 2030 (75% by 2025) and a carbon neutral district by 2045 (75% by 2030)

Work is now being planned and prepared around seven themes: council business, housing, partnership, infrastructure, transport, biodiversity and behaviour change. The Insight and Policy team at the council are now evaluating these plans and working with other service areas to look at the feasibility of some of the options. As part of an Oxford University programme, the team has also secured student consultancy support to capture their creativity and fresh ideas on strategies and techniques to help achieve the challenging targets set out by the committees. The students will create a data pack of information around the urgency of climate change and adaptation. Both committees will discuss the consultancy report and data pack at their next meetings.

In the December meeting of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Leader Cllr Emily Smith confirmed to councillors that the cabinet had agreed the council would aspire to become carbon neutral by 2030 and become a carbon neutral district by 2045.

The next meeting of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee is scheduled for 28 January 2020 and members of the public are invited to attend and speak at the meeting.

A reminder about the function of this new committee:

  • The council declared a climate emergency in February 2019.
  • In response to this, the council voted to establish a Climate Emergency Advisory Committee in July 2019, which meets in public to advise the council’s Cabinet on matters relating to the climate emergency.
  • The role of the committee is to make recommendations on how Vale of White Horse District Council can reduce damage to the global and local environment through its policies and practices. It aims to work with and advise and influence partner organisations.
  • The committee will research ways in which the council can contribute to national and countywide targets on climate and ecological issues and identify sources of external funding relating to the climate emergency.
  • Members of the public can speak to the committee or ask questions about items on the agenda. To be allowed to speak, you must register with democratic services (email democratic.services@southandvale.gov.uk or call 01235 422520) by 5pm on the last working day before the meeting.

October Council Meeting

Local Plan Part 2

The October Full Council meeting saw Council vote to adopt the Vale’s Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2), and motions were passed covering EU citizens’ rights, investments in low carbon funds, the A34 and changes to working with regional development organisations. Hayleigh spoke on LPP2 to highlight that despite our reservations about the plan, adopting it was the best option to prevent more speculative development, which we know that the villages we represent have hugely suffered from in the past.

Council motion on EU citizens’ rights

Sarah used her maiden speech at Council to propose a motion (which passed unanimously) asking officers to prepare a report on what more the council could do to mitigate adverse impacts of the UK leaving the EU on the rights of non-UK EU nationals. The motion also instructs the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Secretary to ask for important clarity on deadlines, evidence and rights of individuals under the current European Settlement Scheme. The Leader of the Council has also written an open letter to all the non-UK EU nationals in the Vale – please help us reach all affected residents by sharing the letter with any friends, family, neighbours or colleagues who might be affected. For more information, and to download a PDF copy of the letter, visit http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/community-advice-and-support/brexit-%E2%80%93-advice-residents/brexit-advice-eu-national.

Local News

Didcot Garden Town Project

Throughout 2019, council officers have been working hard to move ideas for the Didcot Garden Town from the visionary stage to real-life project plans. As all the parishes we (Hayleigh and Sarah) represent lie within the Area of Influence of the Didcot Garden Town, we are actively interested in the project and we intend to keep parish councils and residents up to date about the next steps and upcoming meetings that will support the garden town.

Didcot Garden Town governance matters will be discussed by the Joint Scrutiny Committee on 16 January 2020. The committee will be considering a proposal for a simplified governance structure to form a DGT Advisory Board and three Sounding Boards. The Sounding Boards will consist of a parish council board, a business board and a resident board. We hope that Blewbury Parish Council will be able to participate on the Parish Councils Sounding Board when the governance for Didcot Garden Town is approved.

Papers for the Joint Scrutiny Committee meeting are available at the following link: http://democratic.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=549&MId=2687&Ver=4.

Questions or comments from parish councils ahead of the meeting are encouraged – please contact the Didcot Garden Town project manager, Marybeth Harasz: marybeth.harasz@southandvale.gov.uk.

For more information on the Didcot Garden Town Delivery Plan, published in October 2017, please see the website www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/didcotgardentown for details.

UTC Oxfordshire Public Art Installation

In November 2019, a new sculpture was installed at the UTC Oxfordshire on Great Western Park. ‘Reach’ is a three-metre-high human hand that features individual glass discs, made by students and residents, to celebrate the ground-breaking science and engineering taking place in our local area. More information can be found in the following article: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/news/2019/2019-11/hand-sculpture-reach-installed-great-western-park?fbclid=IwAR3RmxgU-rCJ4X1uauwgYnCOP5nIp2E8Ywek_TOI7jspysPb15HmFYhibgo

Vale News

Christmas Tree Collections

What to do with your Christmas tree now that the festive sea is over:

If you’re a garden waste customer…

Bin crews will come and collect it on your first brown bin collection after Christmas, which start again on Thursday 9 January – just put it out next to your brown bin. Please don’t put it in the bin as it’s often difficult for the crews to get out. Trees larger than 6ft must be cut down.

Don’t worry if you missed the collection during this week – please simply put your tree out before the end of January on your brown bin collection day.

If you’re not a garden waste customer…

Drop it off at one of these special collection points: Location Latest date to be left at collection point
Chilton village hall 20 January
Harwell recreation ground 20 January
Milton burial ground car park 8 January