Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 13th May 2020 at 7.30 pm. This meeting was held remotely via an e-conference application.
1. Apologies for absence
Mr D Hollick (Lengthman), Cllr M Shayler
2. Declarations of interests relating to this meeting
3. County Councillors report (see Appendix B below)
MF-D agree to investigate the bus stop question at Sheencroft Cottages.
MF-D to find out if permission is required to attach TVP signs to village signs
Council asked why work on the BOAT between Bridus Mead & Chailey Gardens had still not started, when
the work was approved to go ahead in better weather.
4. District Councillors report (see Appendix C below)
CL asked HG to find out if the DC had a policy on the use of fungicides and pesticides.
MJ to send details of her findings on fungicides and pesticides to HG.
5. Lengthman’s report (see Appendix A below)
CL confirmed that the London Road cemetery gate post would be removed as soon as possible, until repairs can be carried out.
6. Open Forum
No members of the public were present.
7. Approve previous minutes
Minutes of the BPC meeting 08.04.20 were approved with no changes.
8. Actions from this meeting & outstanding actions from previous meetings
|No.||Actions from this meeting||When|
|1.||Bus stops along Bessels Way to Sheencroft Cottages. MF-D to investigate||June meeting|
|2.||Is permission required to attached TVP sign to village signs from OCC/Highways? MF-D to investigate||ASAP|
|3.||MF-D to investigate start of work on BOAT||ASAP|
|4.||CL to find out if there is a need for community support funding within the village||ASAP|
|5.||HG to find out if the DC had a policy on the use of pesticides||June meeting|
|6.||MJ to send details of findings on pesticides to HG||June meeting|
|7.||LI to send HG details of current planning response form||June meeting|
|8.||EC to look at cost of No Parking sign & white line painting||June meeting|
|9||LI/CL devise letters to Beeswax & other landowners around Blewbury (see 15.2.2 below)||ASAP|
|No.||Actions from April meeting||When|
|1.||EC to ask Beeswax to provide a written update on current work (happening & planned) for dissemination to village.||Cleared|
|2.||MJ to look at more environmentally friendly weed killers & report back to council.||Cleared|
|3.||EC to issue notice on Facebook regarding use of the chalk pits during this time.||Cleared|
|4.||CL to produce an annual Chair’s Report & send to Clerk||Cleared|
|5.||LI to produce an annual Planning report & send to Clerk||Cleared|
|6.||CL to consider how funding could be made available to help in the community.||Cleared|
|No.||Actions from March 2020 meeting||When|
|4.||VH to look at remedial work required at KAP.||C’fwd until further notice|
HG to find out:-
1. Why carbon neutral new housing specs are not being applied now?
2. What are the minimum space standards being applied to new housing?
2. What is the DC doing to improve the running of its offices?
3. What kinds of climate emergency initiatives might receive funding?
|By email – outstanding|
|No.||Actions arising from February 2020 Meeting||When|
|6.||Clerk to work out Blewshed proportion of electricity usage & inform Blewshed for payment||O/S|
|13.||CL to explore alternative environmentally friendly electricity suppliers for the Clubhouse/Melland Room and Scout Hut.||O/S|
9. Planning & Housing
9.1 Planning committee report
In addition to the responses below, LI reported that a letter was received from Lime Walk Gospel Hall Trust regarding lighting & trees.
LI confirmed to HG that the wrong planning response form was being sent out for consultation responses. LI to send relevant emails to HG to investigate.
9.2 Approve responses to current consultations
9.2.1 P19/V3002/FUL Amendment no.1, Linnets, South Street
Change of description only. BPC response no objections 5.5.20
9.2.2 P20/V0899/HH + amendment 1 Pilgrims Rest, Pilgrims Way
Single storey rear extension & side, loft conversion etc.
BPC objected to this consultation in view of an accurate map of the site not being provided.
9.2.3 P20/V0937/HH Penridge, Church Road
Demolition of existing entrance porch. Alterations & extensions to existing dwelling.
BPC response no objections 30.4.20.
9.2.4 P20/V1011/FUL Churn Farm, Bohams Road
Erection of 65m x 40m equestrian sand school.
BPC response no objections 14.05.20.
9.3 Planning permissions received during the month
P20/V0542/HH Fieldside House, London Road, Blewbury
9.4 Planning applications withdrawn during the month
P19/V2018/FUL Land off Hollow Way
Digestate storage lagoon.
10. Finance & Administration
10.1 Update on CIL or S106 contributions and approve planned expenditure
10.1.1 Acknowledge receipt of CIL payment of £2268.25. Nature of spend to be agreed at a later date.
10.2 Update on financial arrangements
10.2.1 PWLB scheduled April payment rejected by Santander. PWLB acknowledged their error.
Confirmed debited to Lloyds bank 6.5.20.
10.3 Update on BPC audit progress
Clerk confirmed figures close to being finalised. All paperwork held electronically to be sent to the internal auditor.
10.4 Approve end of month reconciliations for Lloyds/Santander & Barclays banks
Sent in advance of the meeting to CL. To be signed at a later date.
10.5 Approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Description / Power to spend
|E Cooper / D Hollick||Clerk & Lengthman’s salary and expenses for April||£1259.53|
|NEST||Clerk’s pension DD April||£69.43|
|HMRC||PAYE Clerk & Lengthman payment April||£118.00|
|Biffa Waste Services Ltd||Waste services DD April||£88.13|
|BT||Clubhouse line rental DD April||£35.04|
|Came&Co||Motor Mower annual insurance wef 1.5.20 (paid 24.4.20 to be ratified)||£149.35|
|SSE||Scout hut electricity DD 18.5.20||£69.10|
|White Horse Horticulture||April & May cuts of Playclose, Pound & Churchyard @£200 per cut||£400.00|
|BVHEMC||PO Grant first quarter||£300.00|
|M&J Didock||Tankard burials||£390.00|
Barclays Bank Payments
|24.04.20||Ridge and Partners||£1800.00|
|27.04.20||MD Group invoice 3||£55085.32|
11. Village hall refurbishment update
CL confirmed that one quarter of the work was complete. Estimated completion was now end of June, according to Site Manager, but this may be optimistic.
CL asked that the council agreed to Ridge and Partners carrying out analysis work for grant providers at a cost of c£600 – £1000, which would be in addition to the original agreement with Ridge. The council unanimously agreed.
CL confirmed that work on the post office refurb would take place between 22 May and 25 June.
12. Recreation Ground / Clubhouse
12.1 Update on the Tickers Folly Field recreation ground and car park
Council confirmed that the play areas, skate park & fitness trail remained out of use.
12.2 Update on the Clubhouse (inc. cricket pitch, Melland room & car park)
12.2.1 Agree the parameters for a new clubhouse parking sign
Council agreed in principle to a ‘No Parking’ sign, together with a white line on the ground. EC to look at costs.
13. Risk Management
13.1 Update on village play spaces (TFF / KAP)
See 12.1 above.
13.2 Update on Compliance
No update this month.
14. Update on any issues relating to the Environment
14.1 Update on environmentally friendly fungicides and pesticides
MJ provided information for consideration on the use of fungicides and pesticides & alternatives on 13.5.20.
14.2 Agree premise of Green Spaces Policy for the village (JG email 9.4.20 refers)
Council agreed to the production of a Green Spaces Policy with JG as the lead, assisted by CL and with technical input from MJ.
MB stated that no pesticides or fungicides are used in the management of the Manor grounds.
Council agreed in principle to manual/mechanical methods of weed management, to the trialling of such methods and to cease the use of fungicides and pesticides around the village.
14.3 Update from Sustainable Blewbury meeting
No update this month.
14.4 Update on the OGB & ONPA (if available)
LI reported that the Cabinet member for OCC wanted to help improve communications between Neighbourhood Planning groups and planning departments.
15. Update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces
15.1 Update on Coffin Way / Cycle Path
LI reported that no response had been received from the Rights of Way contact.
15.2 Any other issues relating to the above
15.2.1 JG would add to the council’s next bulletin entry a note to villagers regarding overgrown vegetation onto footpaths & roads.
15.2.2 EC confirmed that Beeswax were issuing updates via Sustainable Blewbury in the Bulletin. EC asked Beeswax to update the council on any immediate information so this could be posted on
BVS/BPC page on Facebook. CL / LI to agree on general letter to Beeswax & other landowners around Blewbury promoting the sharing of positive information.
16. Update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport
16.1 Discuss the conditions of local roads and decide on any course of action
No update this month.
16.2 Update on the Blewbury Speed Watch group
See 3. Above.
17. Correspondence – To consider items circulated/requiring a reply/consultations
Letter from R. Jenrick MP (via OALC 1.5.20)
18. Date of the next meeting of the PC
Wednesday 10th June 7.30pm via an e-conference system.
The meeting concluded at 8.53pm.
LENGTHMAN’S REPORT – APRIL 2020
As you probably know from your own gardens this has been a very busy month cutting grass and strimming.
All areas are in good condition except for a broken gate post on the kissing gate on the London Road of the Cemetery. This has been chained up until we can get a replacement post and also a section of fencing which needs replacing.
All equipment and buildings are good with no issues.
Please keep safe and good luck with the virtual meetings.
REPORT TO BLEWBURY PARISH COUNCIL MAY 2020
FROM CLLR MIKE FOX-DAVIES
Following the past period of lock-down, this is the start of the New Normal!
This report includes some items that may have been repeated in other arenas, but I have tried to exclude those regularly featured in the press.
New COVID-19 testing sites
As part of the Department of Health & Social Care’s (DHSC) intention to widen access to Covid-19 testing through Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) run by the military, Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum (TV LRF) has been working closely with each partner local authority to identify, select and develop suitable MTU sites. There are around 5 sites currently either operational or under active consideration in Oxfordshire. I’m pleased to say that the following sites have been approved by the Department of Health & Social Care as a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) for Oxfordshire and its communities:
- Carterton Leisure Centre
- Chipping Norton New Street Car Park
- Didcot Civic Centre
- Banbury Bodicote House
- Bicester Village
Bookings for these testing sites will be managed in line with current DHSC guidance. Further information can be found at the .gov.uk site
Councillor Priority Fund update
This week the council has paid £6,675 in total to help support COVID-19 specific applications as agreed by councillors, with a running total of £36,255 since the fund opened. This week we have fulfilled applications from
- A first steps families hub, helping families with children aged 0-5.
- Food provision and community support for a parish council and village charity.
- A youth club, providing support and entertainment for children and young people during lockdown
Our team is ready to process new applications as soon as they come in. The application form for the 20/21 Councillor Priority Fund and guidance on how to apply is on our website at oxfordshire.gov.uk/councillorpriorityfund.
Re-opening of Oxfordshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres
Oxfordshire’s HWRCs will re-open on 18 May. OCC want to manage their re-opening sensitively so the sites can operate safely, do not become overwhelmed or impact negatively on travel.
Please emphasise that Government guidance says that trips to an HWRC should only be made if ‘essential’ – that is if the waste cannot be stored safely without harm to health. The Government guidance states: “It would be reasonable for residents to undertake a journey to a HWRC if the waste or recycling could not be stored safely at home or disposed of through other legitimate routes such as a dedicated collection. By this we mean that the waste/recycling could not be stored on their property without causing a risk of injury, health or harm to the resident or other members of their household or harm to public health and amenity.”
OCC will begin a proactive communications to residents at the beginning of next week and a full list of FAQs is now live on our website: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastereopenquestions. If you have any questions about the re-opening of Oxfordshire’s HWRCs please contact the waste management team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Road repairs still rolling
Miles of Oxfordshire road are getting a new lease of life as work to deliver the county council’s massive spring and summer list of repairs is continuing at pace. Having just completed 110 miles of surface dressing across the county, our road crews are now turning their attention to three structural patching projects at:
- Spring Lane, Watlington
- Manor Road, South Hinksey
- A417 Challow Road, Wantage
There is also a programme of safety schemes starting in mid-May to resurface the following roads:
- B4027 Milford Bridge
- B4030 Steeple Barton
- A4095 North Leigh (Boddington Lane)
- London Road, Wheatley
- Southwold Ln Rbt, Bicester
- A4185 Rowstock Rbt
Transport and Infrastructure work will be key to the country’s economic recovery and this work is all part of the county council’s promised £32m repair pledge. Although the use of the roads has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, please remind your communities they can still report safety-related problems with public highways, such as potholes, directly to the county council via https://fixmystreet.oxfordshire.gov.uk/
Libraries open for online business
While our library buildings may be closed, we want to remind residents our digital library service is very much open for business. We are offering 1000s of eBooks, eAudio, newspapers and magazines to borrow for free and we’ve even got a music streaming service, with over 60,000 albums. Residents can get involved and discover everything on offer at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/libraries. We’d also encourage them to head over to our Oxfordshire Libraries’ Facebook page for our weekly Bloomin’ good book club and songs and stories to entertain the younger members of the family from our fantastic library service team.
Refreshed coronavirus webpages and new easy read COVID-19 guide
The county council’s coronavirus webpages have been transformed to provide a more accessible hub of information. The new look pages are easier to navigate and provide up-to-date information.
Local Economy and Business
District and City Council colleagues are continuing to work incredibly hard to communicate and action the significant changes that are being developed by Government to support residents, the economy and businesses through COVID-19.
A recent key focus for our district council and city council colleagues has been on actively contacting businesses that are yet to submit their details for grant support in response to COVID-19, including those who already receive 100 percent rate relief. If you are aware of any business that may benefit from funding support and has yet to apply, please point them towards the local council website. Here they can find more information, confirm their eligibility for a Business Grant and apply.
Quick links are below:
- Cherwell District Council
- Oxford City Council
- South Oxfordshire District Council
- Vale of White Horse District Council
- West Oxfordshire District Council
Self-employed people in urgent need of financial assistance are being advised by the Government to apply for Universal Credit and Council Tax Reduction. This will provide them with support until a grant for the self-employed becomes available in June.
Scam awareness for business
At a time when Oxfordshire businesses are already facing challenges posed by COVID-19, the proliferation of related scams directly targeting business are adding further strain. We are supporting Businesses Against Scams, a new element of the successful Friends Against Scams initiative, run by National Trading Standards. They provide free online training to protect and prevent businesses, employees and customers from becoming victims of scams. Please help us to promote this initiative www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/
Democracy in Oxfordshire has passed a landmark moment with committee meetings being staged electronically for the first time ever and our first virtual Full Council meeting took place on Monday 4 May at 10:30 through MS Teams.
Hello from Hayleigh & Sarah
Coronavirus Update from your Local District Councillors
Thursday 7th May 2020
Hello! We hope that everyone is keeping well, staying safe and staying at home. As another sunny bank holiday weekend approaches, coinciding with the VE Day celebrations, we’re looking forward to seeing the photos of all the themed decorations and creative efforts from our wonderful community. For ideas and inspiration of how to celebrate whilst staying at home, see the information below from the council. We’re honoured to have been asked to be the judges for the Decorate Your House competition organised by the Harwell Helpers – we’ll be announcing the winners on our Facebook Page and in the Harwell Village Community Facebook group on Saturday! Well done to the Harwell Helpers for organising this fab competition, and of course to all the other volunteer support groups (Blewbury Good Neighbours, Chilton Mutual Aid, Great Western Park Community Support and the Upton village WhatsApp group) for your continued work in supporting your communities and keeping spirits up.
Note the following four key messages from the council ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend:
- Help is available
- Friday’s waste collections moved to Saturday
- Stay at home – get gardening
- VE day celebrations at home
For the most up-to-date information on how to find help and support, and any changes to the district council’s services, please take a look at the dedicated Vale webpage for updates: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/covid19
Remember the simple message: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives
Community Support Update
Help is available over the Bank Holiday Weekend
Our support service for people who need urgent help as a result of current government guidelines will be running over the weekend. Please don’t wait until the last minute to call us as the bank holiday might make it more difficult to get hold of the items you need. Our advice is to think ahead.
The first step if you need help is to check with your friends or family, or a trusted neighbour. If they can’t help, then your local volunteer group might be able to and, if you have no success with either, please don’t hesitate to call or email us.
Call us on 01235 422 600 or email email@example.com
The support line is open Bank Holiday Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm each day.
VE Day celebrations at home
It’s tempting to go out and visit friends and family during a Bank Holiday weekend, but its important we remain at home and follow the national guidelines. This weekend everybody has a great reason to stay at home to take part in the national ‘at home’ celebrations to commemorate 75th anniversary of VE Day this Friday.
We’re asking everyone in our district to ‘make it red, white and blue’ this weekend to help mark what’s an important date in our history. Residents can get involved by baking and make red, white and blue, cakes, buns or muffins, or dress your front garden, house, car, pet or lockdown partners up in red, white and blue. Take photos and share them on social media to show your celebrations.
The VE Day website has heaps of information on how you and your household can get involved at home. It has dedicated educational packs that you can use to teach your children all about why we’re celebrating, and there’s a party toolkit that includes print off bunting and posters to display in your home and windows. They’ve set up a few special events that people can join in from home including an afternoon tea with recipe ideas from celebrity bakers such as Bake-Off host Prue Leith and previous winner Nadiya Hussain, and a 1940s musical play list. Head to the VE Day website to download your educational packs and a toolkit.
We’ve begun collecting small electrical items, textiles and batteries again, meaning we are now once again offering a full waste collection service for all our residents.
Friday’s waste collection moved to Saturday
If your waste collection is usually on a Friday, then this week’s collection day will change to give our collection crews the bank holiday off. Instead, we’ll come and empty your bins on Saturday 9 May – these collections will start at 6am so we recommend putting your bins out the night before. To find out more head to our website: whitehorsedc.gov.uk/bankholiday
Get gardening – extra garden waste collections next week
If you’re a garden waste customer, this weekend’s the time to spend getting it in shape, as we’ll be collecting one extra bin’s worth of garden waste on your first brown bin week after the bank holiday. A bin’s worth of waste is around three large bin bags, which you should leave next to your brown bin on your usual collection day during week commencing 11 May. Trade waste bags will not be accepted., however you can re-use old compost bags.
There is no specific update on council tax this time. Where possible, you should continue to pay your bills as normal. Residents who are currently not being paid, and are struggling to pay their council tax bill, are encouraged to apply for Council Tax Reduction – their account will then be put on hold for 30 days while their application is processed: whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ctrs
Last week, the Secretary of State gave councils a heads up that the government will be extending its grants scheme to small businesses that don’t currently pay business rates – for example, businesses operating from serviced offices. We’re expecting the guidance to follow soon, and we’ll share the full details as soon as they are available.
A quick update on the current scheme from the council’s business support team:
- We’ve paid all of the straightforward requests we’ve received
- We’re processing all straightforward grant requests on the day we receive them (it takes a couple of days for payments to reach bank accounts)
- We’re putting all available resources into working through the remaining requests that require additional checks as a matter of urgency – this is to ensure we’re not giving money out to ineligible businesses. We’re hoping to have all these queries resolved by 20 May.
Businesses in the Vale of White Horse that are yet to submit their details for grant support in response to COVID-19 are being urged to do so as soon as possible via the form on the website: whitehorsedc.gov.uk/businessrates
The South & Vale Business Support team stays up-to-date on the latest government advice and support, and can advise on rates relief and business support grants:
- Visit their website for the latest info and to sign up for their e-newsletter: svbs.co.uk
- Follow them on Twitter @TeamSVBS
- They have put together a very useful list of local businesses which are still trading: https://www.svbs.co.uk/open-businesses/
- If your business isn’t listed yet then email them on firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know you’re still open
The Planning department has put together a comprehensive overview of how the service is currently running, and has informed all parish councils in the district via a letter from our Head of Planning. Key points to note are below:
New neighbourhood plan workshops
We’re planning to introduce a new workshop for neighbourhood plans once they’ve formally been adopted. The workshops will give the people who made the plans the opportunity to discuss the policies with our officers who consider planning applications to give them a better understanding of why policies were made. We’ll be offering these workshops for all currently adopted plans in due course.
New planning application comments template
We’ve attached a new template that you can use to provide comments on planning applications if you would find it useful. The template is based on feedback you provided us at the last Town and Parish Council planning training session.
#CornerstoneAtHome Make a Leaf Project
Running out of creative project ideas to do during lockdown? Cornerstone Arts Centre and Didcot Garden Town are asking residents in the Didcot area to make a leaf to celebrate Didcot’s green future. Your artwork will feature in a dedicated exhibition – your chance to be part of the history and art of Didcot Garden Town! Deadline for entries is Thursday 14th May – for more info & how to enter please visit: https://www.cornerstone-arts.org/whats/make-leaf
Charities and Support
Citizens Advice Oxfordshire South and Vale is an independent charity that provides the local Citizens Advice service. They have been working hard to support the local community during the Coronavirus crisis and are encouraging people to seek their advice when they have a problem they can’t resolve. Have a look for advice online at http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/coronavirus. If an answer cannot be found, please call Adviceline on 0300 330 9042 or email us at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Motherkind Café
We can only imagine how challenging it must be to be in lockdown with young children or newborn babies right now. If you’re in this position and would like to chat with some friendly faces who share what you’re going through, search Facebook for The Motherkind Cafe, a post-natal wellbeing and emotional support group for mums in Oxfordshire. They are a volunteer-led peer support group with a range of online support available for mothers feeling overwhelmed, including a weekly informal zoom call, regular blog articles and a new podcast.
Take care, stay safe, stay home!
We will endeavour to keep you updated on the council’s response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 through future newsletters and our dedicated councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues or concerns – our email addresses are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.