Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9th October 2019 in the Vale Room of the Village Hall.
- Apologies for absence
Cllr M Blythe, District Councillors S Medley & H Gascoigne
- Declarations of interests relating to this meeting
- County Councillor’s report (received in advance of the meeting and available at Appendix B below)
Cllr MF-D to find out if funding is available for Community Action Groups, working on (for example) climate emergency initiatives.
Cllr MF-D to investigate repairs to the damage to bollards/street furniture at the entrance to Bridus Way/Chailey Gardens/White’s Orchard.
Cllr MF-D confirmed that he has been unable to establish ownership of the London Road barrier. He will get in touch with Highways again & if ownership is denied, the PC will consider how to progress the matter.
- District Councillor’s report (received in advance of the meeting and available at Appendix B below)
MJ agreed to go to the first meeting of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee on 15th October.
- Lengthman’s report (received in advance of the meeting and available at Appendix A below)
DH confirmed he had spoken to the skate park contractor and work would begin in the next two weeks.
- Open Forum
6.1 A riparian owner of the Cleeve wished to discuss a report they had commissioned on the water levels and general condition. Although the report was not received in time for the meeting, there was intention to cover it under the heading of ‘Correspondence’. However, the riparian owner left the meeting at this point. CL agreed to write a letter regarding the report.
6.2 The developer of Green Lea attended as this property was on the agenda. The PC confirmed that there were no further objections to the fence/hedge issues. The developer confirmed he would replace the fence with a hedgerow.
- To approve previous minutes
Minutes of the BPC meeting 11.9.19 were approved and signed off with no changes.
- 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 previous meetings||Target Date|
|6||MS to investigate & see if there is a short-term solution to pot holes in Heather Way.||Ongoing|
|10||Cllr MF-D to send details of cycle path links to Clerk||ASAP|
|11||Cllr MF-D to follow up on dead tree on Coffin Way development.||Cleared|
|12||Cllr MF-D to follow up on wooden barrier gap on London Road. Cllr raised the question of ownership of the barrier as could not establish it was CC.||C’fwd|
Actions arising from September meeting
|3.||Cllr Gascoigne to send Climate Action Group details to CC for meeting on 15 October.||ASAP|
|4.||OCC Highways officer – EC to follow up on email sent regarding BPCs immediate concerns||October meeting|
|6.||CL to write to CIC Trustees and encourage them to engage a contractor to solve waste pipe problem.||Ongoing|
|7.||CL to speak to the tennis club regarding their plan for disabled parking, once the plan is received.||Ongoing|
|14.||CL to speak to Cllr M F-D re purchase/sharing of speed watch equipment. AW response Cllr MF-D||Ongoing|
- Village hall refurbishment
CL confirmed that tenders for the refurbishment would be opened at the offices of Ridge and Partners on 15th October with himself, the Clerk and two representatives from the refurbishment committee in attendance. If all goes well, the contractor will be appointment mid/end November, with work to start early January 2020.
Art feature post refurbishment work – CL stated that a team had been put together to discuss the design of an artwork feature to be installed at the village hall with S106 money (c£9000) being made available.
- Recreation Ground & Play Spaces
10.1 To receive an update on the Clubhouse if available
The CIC has assured CL that the clubhouse will fund the repair of the waste pipe.
CL to respond to the Tennis Club regarding S106 money, following confirmation that this money is for the clubhouse and not the tennis club. CL reported he had asked the S106 officer if ‘football’ allocated money could be used for football activities at the school.
10.2 To receive an update on the recreation ground if available
No significant update.
10.3 JG requested that a bin with cover be provided for the play space at the village hall. JG to contact Broxap for quote. The PC agreed to the purchase of a bin and to site the bin inside the space, close to the fence/gate.
- Planning & Housing
11.1 To receive the planning committee report
CC updated the PC on planning.
11.2 To approve responses to current applications
11.2.1 P19/V2170/FUL Y Worry, Bessels Lea, Blewbury
Demolition of existing bungalow & replace with new dwelling. Deadline 12 noon 10.10.19
The PC unanimously agreed to ‘no objections’ with a comment on the siting of the air pump.
11.2.2 P19/V2312/HH 4 London Road, Blewbury
Single storey rear extension & front porch extension.
Deadline 12 noon 19.10.19
The PC unanimously agreed ‘no objections’ for this application.
11.2.3 P19/V1589/FUL Amendment no.2, Greenlea, Bessels Lea, Blewbury
Variation of condition 2, 6 & 8
Deadline 12 noon 14.10.19
The builder of this property joined the meeting at this point and stated that he was replacing a fence with a hedge. The PC agreed unanimously ‘no objections’ for this application.
- Finance & Administration
12.1 To receive an update on CIL or S106 contributions and approve planned expenditure.
12.1.1 Skate park refurbishment
DH confirmed this work would take place in October.
12.1.2 TFF car park surface
DH and MS confirmed that the car park resurface work was complete. The Clerk confirmed receipt of an invoice for the hire of equipment, but not for provision of materials. MS to send invoice to the Clerk.
12.2 To receive an update on financial arrangements
12.2.1 Online banking – change of bank update
The Clerk confirmed receipt of both a cheque book and paying in book for the new account with Lloyds Bank, indicating that the account was open and ready for use. The PC agreed unanimously to the transfer of £30,000 in funds from the PC’s Santander account to the Lloyds account. A cheque was subsequently written & authorised.
12.2.2 To agree to change payment to HMRC from quarterly to monthly, wef October payment (to be paid before 19th November).
This change was unanimously agreed by the PC.
12.3 To 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 September||£1041.60|
|NEST||Clerk’s pension September||£69.43|
|HMRC||PAYE Clerk & Lengthman quarterly payment, July, August, September||£444.10|
|BT Payment Services||Clubhouse line rental DD September||£33.00|
|Biffa Waste Services Ltd||Waste services DD September||£94.74|
|Rynat||Annual Play Area Inspection||£270.00|
|Didcot Plant||Equipment for TFF car park resurface||£233.71|
|Terramech Investigations||Engineers time to write environmental report on the Cleve||£240.00|
|PWLB||PW497831 DD repayment 29.10.19||£4680.00|
|Moore Stephens||External Audit Fee (paid, to be ratified)||£480.00|
|Major Receipts August 2019||Description||Amount|
|20.09.19||Ashes grave memorial||£75.00|
|09.10.19||Continued professional services for the refurbishment design & preparation.||
- Risk Management
13.1 To receive an update on TFF Play Space
CL had been notified of the poor state of the lime trees and that Anthony stiff had offered to arrange an inspection on behalf of the PC.
13.2 GDPR – to receive an update on GDPR
No update this month.
13.3 To discuss necessary actions regarding trees in the village for which the PC is responsible
CL reported increased concerns on trees in the village on two counts:
- Condition & vulnerability during adverse weather.
CL had previously developed a report on village trees with PC responsibility, but the situation was not clear in terms of this and ownership of trees not the responsibility of the PC.
Clerk to contact Came & Co re coverage for trees.
- Update on any issues relating to the Environment
14.1 To receive a report on the recent Sustainable Blewbury meeting
No update this month.
14.2 To receive an update on the OxCam Expressway
No update this month.
14.3 To receive an update on the OGB & ONPA
A meeting is scheduled for 10th October which LI would be attending.
- Update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces
15.1 Missing barrier on London Road
Cllr MF-D questioned ownership as no evidence it was County Council. The PC questioned whether the owner of the fallen tree should be responsible for the cost of replacing the barrier. Awaiting response from Highways as to responsibility.
15.2 To agree date for footpath gravel laying for this year in the village. It was agreed that this should take place after the leaf clearance (w/e 23/24 November) in early December – to be organised by Sustainable Blewbury. A date would be set at the November meeting.
15.3 To discuss the situation with village salt bins for this winter.
JG reported that a letter had not yet been received regarding supply of salt.
- Update on any issues relating to roads, road safety and public transport
16.1 To discuss the conditions of local roads and decide on any course of action
No update this month.
16.3 To receive an update on the Blewbury Speed Watch group
Awaiting information from Cllr MF-D regarding funding. CL also stated that an idea of numbers of volunteers from Upton and Harwell was required and if there is to be a financial contribution from Harwell.
- Village Hall Management Committee.
No update this month.
18.1 Items requesting a reply & consultations
None to report.
18.2 Items for information that have been circulated
18.2.1 CL urged councillors to attend the free Code of Conduct training (dates circulated) and to read the information on Bias in Decision Making. All to contact Clerk if able to attend.
18.2.2 Cleeve report. The PC agreed the report was inconclusive. Cllr MP suggested installing a measuring post to monitor water levels & give an indication of when a blockage occurs. The PC agreed to this in principle. MP to confirm details to CL who will write to the riparian owner in question.
18.2.3 Notification of Blewbury School becoming an academy – the PC agreed for CL to respond to the County Council stating the PC had no objection to required changes to the village hall lease.
- Date of the next meeting of the PC
Wednesday 13th November 2019 7.30pm
The meeting closed at 9.30pm.
|No.||Actions Arising From This Meeting||Target Date|
|1||Cllr MF-D to find out if funding is available for Community Action Groups, working on (for example) climate emergency initiatives.||November meeting|
|2||Cllr MF-D to investigate repairs to the damage to bollards/street furniture at the entrance to Bridus Way/Chailey Gardens/White’s Orchard.||November meeting|
|3||Cllr MF-D to confirm with Highways ownership of London Road barrier||ASAP|
|4||CL to write to property owners if 3 above is denied by Highways to get barrier repaired.||Dependent on 3 above.|
|5||CL to respond to the Tennis Club regarding allocation S106 money. CL also asked the S106 representative if ‘football’ allocated money could be used for football activities at the school.||November meeting|
|6||Purchase of bin for play space at village hall – JG to obtain quotes. EC to confirm purchase.||November meeting|
|7||MS to send invoice to the Clerk for TFF car park surface materials.||ASAP|
|8||To set a date for gravel laying & agree which paths||November meeting|
|9||Salt bins – aw letter re supply JG||November meeting|
|10||Councillors to contact Clerk if wish to attend Code of Conduct Training||ASAP|
|11||MP to confirm details of water monitoring stick for Cleve.||ASAP|
|12||CL to check changes to Blewbury School element of lease & speak county council.||ASAP|
Appendix A – Lengthman’s Report September 2019
September has again been a quiet month for grass cutting as the weather has been so dry. However there has been some maintenance work completed.
The multi swings at TFF Play area have been sorted out by wedging the posts and adding some extra bolts to the cross members to prevent movement.
The car park at TFF has been re-dressed with self-compacting aggregate.
The fencing around the skate park has had nearly all of its posts renewed and the wires re-tensioned. The re-boarding of the ramps should be done this month.
The newer Ferris mower has had a new clutch fitted.
I have started hedge cutting along Bohams Road side of the cemetery and will continue later this month.
Footpaths Cemetery and play areas are in good condition.
REPORT TO BLEWBURY PARISH COUNCIL OCTOBER 2019
FROM CLLR MIKE FOX-DAVIES
Councils commit to cutting traffic congestion and improving public transport into Oxford
Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council announced bold plans to tackle congestion on all major routes into Oxford and improve public transport connections into and across some parts of the city, particularly the city’s eastern arc. (This is an area outside the city centre that links parts of north Oxford, Marston, Headington and Cowley).
The two councils want to make a real improvement to journey times for commuters and quality of life for residents, including improved air quality, by reducing the number of cars travelling into and around the city. The key points of the ‘Connecting Oxford’ proposal are:
- Restricting car traffic by introducing additional ‘bus gates’ across the city to improve journey times for people travelling into and around the city.
- New high frequency fast bus routes connecting neighbouring towns and the Park & Rides to Oxford’s eastern arc.
- New and improved cycle and walking routes.
- A charge for workplace parking provided by larger employers in the eastern arc, which would help fund the proposed transport improvements and create a disincentive to drive to work.
- Improved journey times for commuters driving into and around the city as a result of less congestion
People with hidden disabilities to benefit from Blue Badges
People with hidden disabilities, including autism and mental health conditions now have access to Blue Badges, removing the barriers they experience when they travel. This is a national change to the service being introduced by the Department for Transport as part of the governments Inclusive Transport Strategy. The County Council administer this service locally on behalf of the Department for Transport.
Roadwork permits will reduce delays for road users
New powers have been approved that will give Oxfordshire County Council more control over roadworks. From December the council will introduce a new system that means companies wanting to work on roads around Oxfordshire will have to apply and pay for a permit in order to work on the highway.
These will clearly set out how the work will be done, the duration, times of work and how traffic will be managed. When there are clashes between different sets of work the council will also require companies to collaborate more closely to minimise disruption.
While the council will have the power to refuse permission for planned work to take place if it believes the proposed timings or planned approach will cause unnecessary disruption, emergency unplanned work needed for things such as pipe bursts will be unaffected.
The council’s highways team hope to achieve a reduction in roadwork duration – removing around 8,900 days of work from Oxfordshire’s roads annually – around a 10% reduction.
Oxfordshire County Council works on action plan to go carbon neutral
Following last week’s climate strikes, Oxfordshire County Council has confirmed its commitment to reducing its own ‘carbon footprint’ to zero by 2030.
The council started a long-term programme five years ago to cut carbon emissions but Councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for the environment, accepts that young people have challenged organisations such as the county council to move faster.
Since the county council motion in April 2019 acknowledging the climate emergency, the council has been working on a new action plan to accelerate the climate action programme to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The council has already delivered an average 6% per year reduction in carbon emissions since 2011 – double its target – but is determined to do more. Oxfordshire County Council is delivering a series of ‘green’ initiatives, including helping install more solar panels on schools.
As part of its ‘big switch’, the council is committed to replacing street lights with low energy lighting over the next four years. This will reduce Oxfordshire’s greenhouse emissions from streetlighting by 70%. The investment will also include a communications system between streetlights, allowing dimming of groups of lights when they’re not needed.
The council supports a 65-strong network of Community Action Groups (CAG) at the forefront of community-led climate change action. They organise events and projects on issues including waste, transport, food, energy, biodiversity and social justice.
Groups are working to establish community fridges to reduce food waste and share surplus. They run workshops, teaching residents how to repair items, keeping products in use for longer. Working with local businesses, they help them reduce their impact on the environment and set up refill stations for water and detergents to reduce waste from single use plastics.
County council leader calls on South Oxfordshire councillors to approve their local plan
In response to a question at the county council meeting on 10 September about the future of government housing infrastructure funding (HIF), council leader Ian Hudspeth called on South Oxfordshire district councillors to adopt their local plan next month (10 October).
“We have been successful in bringing in government funding of £535 million for infrastructure, which is really good news. But there is a problem in South Oxfordshire related to our first, successful housing infrastructure fund bid for Didcot garden town. To go ahead, the government require that there is positive progress made with the Local Plan.
“If councillors in South Oxfordshire take the decision on 10 October not to approve the submitted local plan, then immediately the garden town project stalls and we risk £218m of vital funding. If we do not succeed with the first housing infrastructure project, the government has made it clear we are unlikely to succeed with the second bid for improvements to the A40 worth £102m. That in turn throws into question the projects already funded through our growth deal, which would need to be revised.
“If they take the decision not to approve the local plan in its current form, they will be risking a total of £535m of much-need infrastructure for Oxfordshire. That can’t be right, because residents want this infrastructure. So the decision taken by South Oxfordshire councillors is not just about South Oxfordshire – it’s about the whole of Oxfordshire.
“That’s why I am urging South Oxfordshire councillors to consider the wider implications when they make their decision next month.
Blewbury Parish Council – Wednesday 9th October 2019
Report from District Councillors
Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley
First Climate Emergency Advisory Committee on 15th October
As mentioned in our last report, Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne has joined the newly established Climate Emergency Advisory Committee. The first meeting of the committee is due to take place at 6pm on Tuesday, 15 October 2019, at Meeting Room 1, Council Offices, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB. The meeting will be open to the public, and we would encourage anyone with ideas or opinions on this crucial topic to register to speak at the meeting and address the committee. The agenda for the meeting is available via the agenda link on the following page: http://democratic.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=608
Local Plan Part 2
Council will be considering options for adoption of the Local Plan Part 2 at the next Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 9th October at 7pm. The meeting will take place at The Beacon, Portway, Wantage, OX12 9BY and the agenda is available on the following page: http://democratic.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=2589&x=1
Council Leader writes to government on future funding concerns
Cllr Emily Smith, has written to Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to express serious concerns regarding the future funding of local government, particularly at district council level. Between 2011 and 2018, there has been more than a 20 per cent reduction in funding from the government. We’ve been able to plug the gap by making savings, but this has now become increasingly difficult. Cllr Smith has written to say that ongoing costs have continued to grow, the promised finance reforms have been delayed and the New Homes Bonus is set to come to an end, without replacement, and so more clarity is needed on the government’s plans.You can read the full letter here.
Chair’s Charity Dinner
Chair of the Vale, Cllr Margaret Crick will be hosting a glamorous black-tie dinner on 1 November at the Guildhall in Abingdon from 7.30pm. Tickets are £50 each for a welcome drink and three course dinner with all the proceeds going to the Chair’s two chosen charities – Earth Trust and Practical Action. To book your place, please contact Karen Dodd by emailing email@example.com or calling 01235 422082.
A reminder that we have a dedicated councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley. We are updating this regularly to share information with residents. To stay up to date with the latest news, please Like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter: @hayleighhelium and @SarahMedley91.
Jobs Fair in Didcot
On Tuesday 15 October our South and Vale Business Support team are teaming up with Soha to host a jobs fair at Cornerstone Arts Centre. The event takes place between 1pm and 5.30pm. There’ll be an assortment of flexible and part-time roles on offer, including vacancies that are tailored for young people and for those coming back into work. Please help spread the word to friends and family.
Didcot Garden Town update
Didcot Garden Town has provided this handy summary of the project which also explains how it will be delivered. The document highlights that Blewbury village is within the “Area of Influence” of the Garden Town, meaning that the Parish Council and residents are important stakeholders for the delivery of the project, as specified in the governance structure near the end of the document.
Milton Park 2040 vision
MEPC have been working on a 2040 Vision project, looking at environmental, social and economic factors that have an influence on Milton Park now and in the future. Visit MEPC’s website to find out more and to download the full report.
Every household must confirm their details
Household Enquiry Forms (a.k.a. “yellow letters”) are being sent to every home in the district, and residents are required to confirm everyone over the age of 16 that lives in their property. As soon as you receive your yellow letter, visit householdresponse.com/southandvale to confirm your details or update your information (you will need the two-
part code on the yellow letter to do this). For residents that don’t have access to the internet, you can confirm your details by post using the pre-paid envelope that comes with the letter. If all the details are correct, you can also confirm this by phone using the contact numbers on the letter.
PopUp Business School in Shrivenham – 7th – 11th October
The PopUp Business School is coming to Shrivenham on 7-11 October. Would-be entrepreneurs from the Vale can attend the free five-day course taking place at the Viscountess Barrington’s Memorial Hall from 10am-3pm. The school gives positive and practical training on how to get a business idea off the ground through a series of hands-on workshops. Registration is now open via popupbusinessschool.co.uk/shrivenham.
Changes proposed to support Vale residents on low income – have your say
Residents and local organisations in the Vale of White Horse are being asked to comment on some proposed changes aimed at supporting people on low income. The Council is proposing to make three amendments to its Council Tax Reduction Scheme to benefit some people of working age who receive a reduction in their council tax payments. To find out more and comment on the proposed changes please visit https://survey.southandvale.gov.uk/s/ValeCTRS/ before 5pm on Wednesday 9 October 2019.
Community grants worth up to £75,000 are now available
Local groups in the Vale of White Horse can apply for grants totalling up to £75,000 as part of a community grant scheme which has opened this month. Groups can apply for a minimum of £1,000 (and up to 50 per cent of the total cost) towards projects which benefit the local community. The final amounts awarded will depend on the number of applicants. Applications are invited between 2 September 2019 – midday 28 October 2019. Decisions will be made by the end January 2020. http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/community-advice-and-support/grants/new-homes-bonus-community-grant
Festival Grants now open
Funds are now available for community events or festivals taking place within the next 12 months. We’d especially like to see events that bring communities together and projects that aim to become self-funding in future years, or wish to provide residents with new opportunities that may not otherwise be possible without initial funding from us. For more information on this and all of our grants, please see whitehorsedc.gov.uk/grants. If you have any questions, please email them Community Enablement team or call them on 01235 422405.
Consultation on proposals to support the deployment of 5G
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) wants to know what people think of proposals to reform the planning system to support the network upgrades required to deploy 5G and extend network coverage for mobile phones, particularly in rural areas. Planning Policy officers are preparing responses to this consultation on behalf of both councils. You can find more details by visiting the MHCLG consultation page. If you have any comments please email them to the Vale Planning Policy team on firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 14 October.
Cutting congestion and improving public transport
Traffic and transport in Oxford city has a knock on effect for our residents. Oxfordshire County and Oxford City Councils have produced a new ‘Connecting Oxford’ proposal to improve air quality and the time it takes to travel into and around the city by:
- restricting car traffic
- introducing additional ‘bus gates’
- reallocating road space to pedestrians and cyclists
- new high frequency bus routes
- charging for workplace parking
- discounts for new bus services for those paying workplace levy
The two councils are asking for feedback to develop a more detailed project proposal. You can find out the full details on the Connecting Oxford proposal here. The deadline for submissions is 20 October.
Smartwater helps to protect property
Our Community Safety team is doing its bit to combat burglary by funding SmartWater kits, part of an anti-burglary scheme in partnership with Thames Valley Police to protect properties, deter thieves and help convict criminals. SmartWater is a colourless liquid that contains a unique forensic code. The kits are registered to an address and the solution can be applied to valuables, for example; electricals, bicycles, work tools and jewellery. If marked items are stolen and recovered by the police, the Smartwater can be detected by a UV light and used to trace them back to the owner. So far, we’ve given out 400 kits to residents who have either been a victim of burglary, or in areas where there has been a series of thefts in South Oxfordshire or the Vale. You can find out more information about SmartWater on TVP website and you can purchase a kit via SmartWater