Mr D Hollick (Lengthman), County Cllr M Fox-Davies
3.1 The effects on the residents of Blewbury
LI reported that the Good Neighbours scheme was working well in the village, with people looking out for their immediate neighbours and helping out village wide.
All play areas, including the fitness equipment on Tickers Folly Field are out of use until further notice, but the green spaces remain open for exercise, with adherence to social distancing guidelines.
The cemetery was closed to visitors, but has since been re-opened. Current guidelines must still be observed.
3.2 The effects on the working of the Parish Council
The Parish Council remains at full strength and all meetings will be held remotely until further notice.
Both the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual General Meeting have been cancelled.
Arrangements are in place for the signing of cheques as required.
3.3 To agree if any emergency measures need to be introduced
Emergency measures are under revision, should they need to be extended, and for future use. New and updated regulations are being closely monitored.
Reports are being issued and disseminated on a regular basis from Cllr Mike Fox-Davies. A report was not provided specifically for the meeting.
The District Councillors explained how the council had re-prioritised its activities to put a great deal of resource in to helping communities at this time. More details at Appendix B. Information is regularly updated and disseminated.
District Councillors stated that funding could be made available for community groups via the Parish Council.
CL to consider how funding could be made available to help in the community.
LI to speak to other community group coordinators re how funding could help if needed.
SM and HG were happy to take questions regarding funding directly.
MP asked if any stats were available of how this area was affected by the virus? SM said that the Local Residents Forum was reporting to the COBRA Committee, but this information was not known. MP suggested stats may help with people’s behaviour. SM will feedback to the District Council.
SM & HG also confirmed that all planning considerations were carrying on as normal as far as possible in the current situation.
HG stated that their action points (see below) had not been answered as there had been no meetings and resources were assigned elsewhere.
Minutes of the BPC meeting 11.03.20. These minutes were approved by the council with no changes and will be signed at a later date.
|No.||Actions from this meeting||When|
|1.||EC to ask Beeswax to provide a written update on current work (happening & planned) for dissemination to village.||May meeting|
|2.||MJ to look at more environmentally friendly weed killers & report back to council.||May meeting|
|3.||EC to issue notice on Facebook regarding use of the chalk pits during this time.||May meeting|
|4.||CL to produce an annual Chair’s Report & send to Clerk||24.4.20|
|5.||LI to produce an annual Planning report & send to Clerk||24.4.20|
|6.||CL to consider how funding could be made available to help in the community.||May meeting|
|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|
|No.||Actions arising from December 2019 Meeting||When|
|1.||Bus stops along Bessels Way – Clerk to chase OCC.||O/S|
9.1 Planning committee report
Planning permission has been received for the following consultations:-
P20/V0161/FUL Land adjacent to The Nurseries, London Road
P20/V0191/HH Ashdown House, Berry Lane
P19/V1952/BLE Amend 1 Green Bushes, Westbrook Street
P19/V1951/HH/BLE Amend 1 Green Bushes, Westbrook Street
Planning permission has been refused for the following consultation:-
P19/V3253/FUL Amend 1 Rumseys Barn, London Road
9.2 Responses to current applications
P20/V0542/HH Fieldside House, London Road, Blewbury
Proposed alterations & extension to existing kitchen.
Deadline noon 11.04.20
Blewbury Parish Council voted no objections to this consultation.
10.1 Update on CIL or S106 contributions and approve planned expenditure.
The council unanimously agreed to formally accept the conditions of the S106 grant for the Village Hall Refurbishment, the sum of which is c£11000. Whatever part the sum is not spent by the end of the current financial year, it would be returned.
CIL – c£2200 had been awarded to the council this month.
10.2 Update on financial arrangements
10.2.1 Online banking update
Lloyds online banking is working fully. Due to the current difficulties in contacting Barclays Bank, it was agreed not to pursue an online banking set-up.
10.3 To approve payments to be made under ancillary powers and within budgeted amounts
Note:- All payments through Lloyds, with the exception of BT (Santander).
Description / Power to spend
|E Cooper / D Hollick||Clerk & Lengthman’s salary and expenses for March (paid online 09.04.20)||£1286.73|
|NEST||Clerk’s pension DD March (paid 6.4.20)||£69.43|
|HMRC||PAYE Clerk & Lengthman payment March||£118.20|
|Biffa Waste Services Ltd||Waste services DD (26.4.20)||£110.16|
|BT||Clubhouse line rental DD March||£33.00|
|OALC||CiLCA Mentoring Programme (paid 16.03.20 to be ratified)||£330.00|
|PWLB||Loan repayment 497831 (29.4.20) DD 29.04.20||£4627.50|
|Downland Villages Transport Group||Annual donation||
|Red Box Fire Control||Service attendance Clubhouse (paid 16.3.20 to be ratified)||£189.60|
Major Receipts Dec 2019
|Vale of White Horse DC||BPC Precept 06.04.20||£32,500.00|
|Reeves Memorial||Powell Memorial||£75.00|
Barclays Bank Payments
|25.03.20||Professional services to date for the refurbishment of Blewbury Village Hall including post-contract administration and project management.||£2220.00|
10.4 To sign of end of month reconciliations for Lloyds/Santander & Barclays banks
Reconciliations were submitted via email and agreed, but physical signatures would take place at a later date.
The council members acknowledged receipt of circulated update on the Village Hall Refurbishment. CL confirmed a ‘Lighting’ meeting would take place on 09.04.20, with progress meeting the following week (all remotely held). Work was still ongoing, but had slowed due to current conditions. A second bill of c£20,000 was expected this month.
CL also confirmed that Heather Way, leading to the village hall, was owned by the Parish Council (road and pathways). The resurfacing of such would be included in village hall discussions at a later date.
12.1 Update on the Tickers Folly Field recreation ground and car park
The closure signs on the play areas were still in place. No other update.
12.2 To receive an update on the Clubhouse (inc. cricket pitch, Melland room & car park)
12.2.1 To instruct the council to issue a Section 146 (return of lease) notice to the CIC
CL had spoken to S Barrett regarding the S146 notice and the CICs ability to obtain a small business rate relief grant, which would enable remedial work to take place at the Clubhouse (when circumstances allow). CL asked for the council’s approval of the S146 notice, but to be issued at a future date. Council unanimously agreed.
13.1 Update on the claim relating the Clubhouse incident
No update this month.
13.2 Update on village play spaces (TFF / KAP)
All play spaces are closed until further notice.
13.3 Update on Compliance
Information from the council on the current situation, including helpful information and changes to regulations are being posted on Facebook as appropriate and necessary.
14.1 Update from Sustainable Blewbury meeting
Nothing to report this month.
14.2 Update on the OGB & ONPA
LI had recently spoken to the Head of Neighbourhood Planning regarding problems with communication between development management officers and NDP groups in the Vale. SM requested LI to copy correspondence to her in case she could be of help. New meetings are planned between Vale officers and NDP groups, starting with the newest NDPs first. Blewbury, having had its NDP made in 2016, will be further down the list for such a meeting.
15.1 Confirmation of the fence encroachment rectification on footpath 24
JG confirmed that the fence encroachment had been rectified.
15.2 Update on Coffin Way / Cycle Path
LI stated that communications had been exchanged, but there was no update this month.
15.3 Update on grass cutting contract tender.
15.3.1 To decide on stipulating a more environmentally sensitive fungicide as a condition of the spraying element.
Following a discussion, the general consensus was that environmentally weed killer should be used and the council should set an example. MJ agreed to look at more environmentally friendly and reasonable alternatives to chemical weed killer and advise council accordingly.
CL requested that further discussion take place over email, so a decision can be taken/ratified at the next meeting.
15.3.2 Council agreed unanimously to continue with Whitehorse Horticulture as the grounds contractor for specified village areas. (Letter to Whitehorse Horticulture dated 23.3.20 & subsequent response refers). EC to issue confirmation letter (Clerk’s note:- Letter issued 14.04.20).
15.4 Update on any other issues relating to the above
EC was asked to put a notice on Facebook regarding use of the chalk pits during this time.
16.1 Conditions of local roads and decide on any course of action
None this month.
16.2 Update on the Blewbury Speed Watch group
16.2.1 To approve ordering equipment
The council agreed to the purchase of equipment as and when the Speed Watch group is able to start.
No action can be taken until training is completed and no training can currently be undertaken.
Approval had been received for use of the Thames Valley Police logo on the entrance signs to the village.
CL to confirm the shopping list of items required (speed guns, PPE etc). The council unanimously agreed in principle to the purchase at the appropriate time. Also to confirm the size of the signs as entrances to the village to VH. CL also confirmed that money raised for the council from the Rat Pack concert would be used for the purchase of the equipment.
Largely relating to the Coronavirus. See item 3 above.
Council to formally agree the following:-
18.1 That the Annual Parish Meeting is cancelled. Any representative reports received will be circulated and published online towards the end of April.
Council unanimously agreed. LI to produce a Planning Report. CL to produce the Chair’s Report.
18.2 That the holding of the Annual General Meeting will be via an e-conference app and can currently be held up to the end of May.
Since the agenda was written, further information had been issued by NALC stating that the AGM need not be held this year. Council therefore agreed that this meeting would be cancelled, but a regular Parish Council meeting would still be held on Wednesday 13th May.
18.3 All future, regular monthly meetings of the council will be held via an e-conference system, until further notice.
Council unanimously agreed.
The meeting concluded at 20.53pm.
Very wet start to the month but then good weather allowing for grass cutting to start in earnest.
All footpaths, the Recreation ground and play areas have been cut and are mostly in good condition although a couple of paths have wet muddy patches.
There have been a few repair jobs this month, namely the KAP gate which had a broken hinge and the replacement of the posts are rails at the bridge near the Chapel which has been damaged for some time and had become dangerous.
As a result of the Coronavirus the KAP play area has been closed and the gates chained up. Also I have removed all the swings and zip wire seat from TFF play area. Some need replacing anyway as they have splits.
I hope you are all keeping well and not too bored!!
Hello from Hayleigh & Sarah
Coronavirus Update from your Local District Councillors
Thursday 9th April 2020
Hello! We hope everyone is managing to stay safe and well whilst staying at home. The fantastic local support groups in the communities we represent have been doing an amazing job ensuring that food, supplies and medicine are delivered to their neighbours in need. Councillors and council staff have put together the following message of thanks to all the incredible volunteers across the Vale, which of course includes Blewbury Good Neighbours, Harwell Helpers, Chilton Mutual Aid, Great Western Park Community Support and the Upton village WhatsApp group: https://youtu.be/-PcgotRHFao
This update provides our summary of all the recent news from the Vale of White Horse District Council relating to how council services are affected, and how the council is supporting community volunteer groups and vulnerable residents. Ongoing updates are posted on our councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley, and on the Vale of White Horse Facebook and Twitter accounts.
For the most up-to-date information on how the district council’s services are affected, please take a look at the dedicated Vale webpage for updates:
As the Easter Bank Holiday weekend approaches, we hope that everyone can enjoy the sunshine in their gardens or during their daily exercise. The council’s parks and open spaces are open for residents to use for their daily exercise if they live locally, whilst observing social distancing guidelines, but they must not be used for recreational activities like sports, picnics or sunbathing.
Remember the simple message: Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.
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.
Arts and entertainment in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse have gone online! If you’re struggling to keep the kids entertained, or you’re fed up with endlessly scrolling through uninspiring choices on video streaming services, Cornerstone Arts Centre and The Beacon are here to help.
Cornerstone in Didcot
The Beacon in Wantage
There are lots of ways people are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, whether it’s due to a loss of work, anxiety and stress, or simply trying to adapt to a very different way of life. The council have pulled together the following list of support services to help with this:
Mental Health support
Drugs and alcohol