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Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Annual Meeting held remotely on Wednesday 12th May 2021

In attendance:- Miss E Cooper (Clerk/EC), Cllrs M Penington (MP), J Gibson (JG), P Kilroe (PK), V Humphries (VH), M Blythe (MB), L Inglis (LI), M Shayler (MS), M Jacobs (MJ). Mr D Hollick (Lengthman/DH). District Councillor H Gascoigne, County Councillor S Povolotsky. Mr D Mathias
  1. Election of a Chairman

Cllr M Blythe was proposed, seconded & all were in favour of him being Chairman for this meeting only.

  1. Election of a Vice Chairman

Cllr L Inglis was proposed, seconded & all were in favour of her being vice-chairman until the next annual meeting.

  1. Co-option a new councillor

Mr Dermot Mathias was duly & unanimously co-opted to the council. He completed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office & Register of Interests forms immediately.

  1. Declaration of Acceptance of Office forms

LI to complete a new Declaration of Acceptance of Office form & forward to the Clerk.

  1. Complete the Register of Members’ Interests forms

All councillors confirmed there were no changes to their previous Register of Interests.

  1. Apologies for absence

None.

  1. Declarations of interests relating to this meeting

None declared.

  1. County Councillor’s report

Cllr Sally Povolotsky introduced herself as the newly elected County Councillor for Hendreds & Harwell.

SP asked that any current issues be raised with her. Council raised the cycle path between Blewbury & Upton, & the speed of traffic on the London Road & Bessel Way.

  1. District Councillor’s report (see Appendix B below)

HG reported that the next full council meeting is Tuesday 25th May.

HG has an answer & will send to the Clerk for distribution to council. Briefly recycling is sold overseas & this operation is audited by DEFRA. 

  1. Report from the PCSO

No report this month.

  1. Lengthman’s report (see Appendix A below) 
  1. Open Forum

No members of the public were present.

  1. Approve the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14th April 2021

Minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as a true record.

  1. Outstanding Actions from previous meetings and any matters arising

Confirm whether actions are cleared, carried forward or cancelled.

No. Actions from this meeting When by
1. Clerk to check budgeted funds for the Clubhouse & it’s booking administration Actioned
2.

Clerk to send invoice to OCC contact.

 

June meeting
3. PK to establish what contribution may be required for booking administration. June meeting
4. EC to source Clubhouse keys for MP & PK. June meeting
5. LI to arrange for a specialist to view the workings of the Clubhouse & advise on operational options accordingly, in conjunction with DH & MB (plus MP & DM if available). July meeting
No. Actions from April meeting When by
1. Cllr M-FD to source contact for OCC/School lease Cleared
2. JG to speak to cleaner re preopening clean at Clubhouse. Cleared
3. Cllr HG to source official answer to what happens to recycling in Oxfordshire & to send details of next meeting to MJ. Cleared
4. DH to replace corner post at skate park. Cleared
5. JG to draft response letter to Croquet Club Cleared
6. EC to speak to loss adjusters re overtime claim Cleared
7. EC to send details of leases to MP Cleared
8. MP to send previous report on Cleve to MJ. C’fwd
No. Actions from March meeting When By
6. MP to speak to RSS re cricket club arrangements Cleared
9. DH & MS to discuss options for the clearing of the cemetery footpaths C’fwd

 

14. To hear the Planning Committee Report & Ratify/Agree Planning Responses

14.1 To agree the council’s response to the following consultations

14.1.1 P21/V0959/HH Tylers, Bessels Way, Blewbury

Alterations/extension to existing private dwelling to convert/extend existing garage to bedroom.

Deadline 16.5.21

BPC no objections.

14.1.2 P21/V0717/FUL Blewbury Riding and Training Centre, Bessels Way, Blewbury

Construction of steel frame barn.

Deadline 20.5.21

BPC no objections.

14.1.3 P21/V1029/HH The Bungalow, South Street, Blewbury

Replacement of windows and front door. Painting of external walls.

Deadline 22.5.21

BPC no objections

14.2 To note planning permissions received during the month

14.2.1 P21/V0431/HH Grove House, Bessels Way, Blewbury.

Permission granted 20.4.21.

14.2.2 P21/V0338/HH Beavers, South Street, Blewbury

Planning permission 4.5.21

  1. 15. Finance & Administration

15.1 General Power of Competence

The Clerk recently attained the CiLCA qualification & notified council by email on 5.5.21.

15.1.1 Council to resolve to adopt the General Power of Competence as it meets the criteria with a  qualified Clerk and a minimum of two-thirds of the total number of councillors being elected (6 out of 9). Council unanimously resolved to adopt the General Power of Competence with immediate  effect & to review same at next post-election annual meeting.

15.1.2 Council to agree to Clerk moving to a substantive grade on the NALC pay scale

Council unanimously agreed for Clerk to move to NALC LC2/24 wef May 2021.

15.2 Update on CIL or S106 contributions

Existing CIL money to be used for KAP remedial work, including repainting the sign.

15.3 Update on the Accounts and Audit for 2020-2021. To note the start of the period for the exercise of public rights.

The Clerk reported the start of the internal audit had been delayed due to the reallocation of an auditor. Documentation was now with the internal auditor, with expectations of sign off at the June meeting. The expected dates for the period for the exercise of public rights are Friday 11th June to Thursday 22 July 2021.

15.4 Agree two authorisers for this month’s payments

Cllr JG & PK agreed to authorise payments.

15.5 Approve payments to be made under general power of competence and within budgeted amounts

All payments were approved with the agreed addition of a clubhouse cleaning payment for £30.

PAYEE Description Amount
E Cooper / D Hollick Clerk & Lengthman’s salary & expenses for April £2046.71
NEST DD Clerk’s pension £85.60
HMRC Clerk & Lengthman PAYE for April £237.49
Biffa DD Waste collection service4s £95.95
BT DD Clubhouse line rental April £37.20
Came&Co Tractor insurance renewal wef 10.5.21 (paid 23.4.21 to be ratified) £141.88
Scottish Power Clubhouse electricity £100.92
SLCC CiLCA Referral payment (paid 23.4.21 to be ratified) £30.00
SSE DD Scout Hut electricity £30.33
White Horse Horticulture One cut of churchyard, pound & playclose April 2021 £200.00
CPRE Annual membership wef 22.6.21 £36.00
Total £3042.08

 

Major Receipts Description Amount
Cemetery fees Memorial & burial fee £285.00
HMRC VAT reclaim £3165.81
Total   £3450.81

 

15.6 Update on Cemetery Management

The Clerk recently attended a course on cemetery management & concluded that the council was largely compliant in all aspects. A review of all cemetery rules & regulations will take place in the near future. Clerk stated that consecration of a new piece of ground was not necessary.

  1. Village hall refurbishment & VHEMC
    • Update on the final elements of refurbishment

JG reported there was still a downpipe to be installed at the back of the hall. The hall is in use & taking future bookings. The village hall has also applied for a licence to hold weddings.

  • Update on the OCC/PC/VH lease

The VHEMC has produced an invoice to send to the OCC contact for £475.20 (in arrears to cover winter term of the 2019-20 school year i.e. 15 weeks Sept to Dec 2019, with little activity since then).

Clerk to send invoice to OCC contact. 

  1. Clubhouse & Recreation Ground

17.1 To receive an update from the Clubhouse Working Group

17.1.1 Post flood remedial work

This is complete with the exception of one replacement smoke detector.

17.1.2 Clubhouse opening update

17.1.2.1 The Clubhouse is opening with Art Weeks on 15th May & other bookings are being made.

17.1.2.2 The Pricing Policy, as presented by the Clubhouse Working Group, was ratified by all present. All agreed that running costs must be monitored alongside any income. MP & PK agreed to be emergency contacts. EC to source keys for MP & PK.

17.1.3 Any other Clubhouse considerations

17.1.3.1 A plumber was contacted regarding replacing the kitchen sink taps, but no work has yet been carried out.

17.1.3.2 An electrician is being sought to test the disabled toilet alarm system & PAT test all electrical items.

17.1.3.3 JG continues to work on all necessary documentation in relation to the hiring of the  Clubhouse.

17.1.3.4 Clerk to check budgeted funds for the Clubhouse & it’s booking administration. PK to establish what contribution may be required for booking administration.

17.2 Update on the use of the recreation ground

The Cricket Club will be booking Friday nights & Sunday days for the season. MP confirmed Cricket Club are responsible for the changing room & pitch.

  1. Tickers Folly Field & Car Park

       18.1 Update on all aspects of TFF

The skate park was inspected on Monday 10th May. Report & invoice will follow.

The car park is not in best condition (holes). DH stated it is difficult to know what to do as any remedial work is not long lasting.

  1. Risk Management

19.1 Update on Compliance & GDPR

No update this month.

19.2 Any other updates relating to risk

No update this month.

  1. To receive an update on any issues relating to the Environment

20.1 Update from Sustainable Blewbury

MJ stated that a group is being formed to manage the Cleve.

20.2 Any other issues relating to the environment

Thames Water are forming a project to deal with their old site.

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

MJ reported that some residents had made repairs to PilgrimsWay.

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

      The Council had recently examined information regarding the implementation of a 20mph speed limit within the village. The Council agreed that the lead time to implementation & estimated costs would outweigh the benefit to the village & would therefore not actively pursue at this time.

  1. Update on any outstanding consultations or correspondence

      None.

  1. To set the date and venue of the next meeting of the PC.

To be held on Wednesday 9th June 7.30pm, in the main hall of the Village Hall. 

The meeting finished at 8.55pm. 

 

APPENDIX A

LENGTHMAN’S REPORT APRIL 2021  

Grass cutting well under way.

Footpaths in good condition.

I have removed the broken fence panels which were blocking Moreton Path beside the mobile home park.

Playgrounds are being very well used.

The Kids at Play sign has been removed for re-painting.

TFF play park has a few wear issues but nothing serious.

Broken corner post on the skate park has been replaced and wires re-tensioned.

All equipment and buildings are OK.

New notice boards have been put up at the Village Hall.

Heather Way road sign has been refurbished.

Some remedial work has been done at the clubhouse.

David

 

APPENDIX B 

Blewbury Parish Council Wednesday 12th May 2021

Report from District Councillors

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Coronavirus Update and Community Support

Community Support Hub

The Community Hub continues to be available to help people access support and essentials during the lockdown if they have nobody else to turn to and can be contacted on the usual details below. The councils’ Housing Needs team are available to help people who are at risk of being made homeless or who are sleeping rough – for more details visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/housing. Support is also available to residents who are experiencing financial difficulties – to find out more please visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/benefits. If you are having difficulty paying your council tax please visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/counciltax

To contact the Community Support Team: call: 01235 422 600 Monday to Thursday 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm email: communitysupport@southandvale.gov.uk

fill in an online form at: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub

Remember, for the most up-to-date coronavirus information relating to district council support and any changes to services, please take a look at the dedicated Vale webpage for updates: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/covid19

The current focus of our Community Hub is to distribute the grant funding made available by central government to support our residents having difficulty affording food and utility bills. We continue to allocate supermarket vouchers and direct bill payments to residents. Since 1 April the community hub team has handled 74 enquiries, 36 referrals – of which seven were for food parcels – as well as 13 self-isolation referrals.

The Hub is also running the Transportation Grant Scheme (more on this later in the repot) to support voluntary and community organisations with transportation costs. This could be for transporting residents safely to vaccinations, for their shopping or helping those voluntary and community organisations still supporting people through the pandemic with other transportation costs. For full details please see our websites South/ Vale. The scheme closes on 14 May.

Finally, just a reminder that any residents struggling to get to their vaccination appointment can contact our community hub team who will work with them to find transport for them.

COVID-19 Rates and Vaccines

At the time of writing, vaccination programme has now opened up to those aged 40 years and over.

There’s been a slight drop in Covid-19 infection rates in South Oxfordshire, down to 14.1 and a rise in Vale to 25 (from 18.4 in both districts last week). The county rate remains around the same at 21.4 per 100,000 of the population.

The latest figures are updated on the county council’s interactive dashboard on a daily basis.

Test and Trace £500 payments

The government recently expanded the scheme to pay £500 to eligible people who lose income having been told to self-isolate through the Covid test and trace system – it now includes eligible parents and guardians who lose income if their kids are sent home from school due to positive cases among students or staff. A revised application form will be available on our website soon.

Restart Grants

The Restart Grant is a one-off grant for rate paying businesses that predominantly deliver in-person services for the general public. It will pay up to £6,000 for non-essential retail businesses, and up to £18,000 for hospitality businesses, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym or sport business premises.

We’re doing everything we can to get these grants out to businesses as soon as possible but a change in government guidelines means it’ll take a little longer than we were hoping.

As soon as we can offer more information on how businesses can apply for the scheme, we will send out details via our South and Vale Business Support newsletter. Businesses can sign up to our newsletter here.

Once the scheme is available, the applications will be open until 30 June 2021 and final payments will be made by 31 July.

Covid signage for businesses, leisure and community centres

We’ve made some new Covid-19 safety guidance posters for all types of businesses. Over the past few weeks we’ve already helped shops, pubs, cafés and hairdressers in our larger town centres to display some helpful guidance, and have now adapted these so that any business based in our district can download and print off the posters they need.

Business support during the pandemic

For more details about the grants available to businesses visit svbs.co.uk.

Council News

Full Council – 24th March

Meeting minutes published here. The AGM of Vale of White horse will be held in person (venue TBC) on Tuesday 18th May.

Next Full council, AGM – 18th May.

Applications for Section 106 funding reopen

The Vale have begun to accept new Section 106 funding applications, after pausing them earlier this year to help with our Covid-19 responses. While we’re able to work on new applications, as we are still providing Covid 19 support, it may still take slightly longer than usual to approve the funds. You can find details on how we allocate our S106 funding on our website.

Town and Parish Forum – Climate action

Please save the date for the Town and Parish Councils forum which will be taking place Monday 24 May 2021 from 6-8pm on Microsoft Teams. Following feedback on topics for the forum, this year’s event will be on the climate emergency: ‘Climate Action – how can we take action together?’. The event will be an opportunity to hear about the climate action work in the Vale of White Horse, to feed back on the themes of the Council’s draft Climate Action Plan, and to discuss how we can work with our communities to meet our climate targets. We will also hear from a local organisation on biodiversity and nature work in our communities. More details will follow, including an Eventbrite link to sign up to the event and workshops but for now please mark this date in your diary. We are looking forward to discussing climate action and working together on this going forward.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please email Elizabeth.kingdom@southandvale.gov.uk.

Assets of Community Value

Registration is now open for the Assets of Community Value (ACV) online event taking place on Wednesday 12 May from 12 noon to 1pm.

This will be the first online event of the year in our programme of engagement activities with town and parish councils and is open to all Town and Parish councillors in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse.

The event is aimed at those who are interested in learning more about the statutory ACV process, which forms part of the Localism Act and gives local groups a right to nominate a building or land for listing by the local authority as an asset of community value. Led by James Carpenter, Head of Corporate Services, the session will explain both the legislation and the tests an ACV nomination needs to satisfy to achieve a successful listing and will highlight the resources available to guide nominating groups through the process.

Participants can also submit questions to James, although we ask that questions are emailed in advance of the event and by 5pm on Friday 7 May please to communityenablement@southandvale.gov.uk

Please register for your place via Eventbrite. The deadline for registration is Tuesday 11 May at 5pm.

If you have any event queries, please email communityenablement@southandvale.gov.uk

Local News

All three Great Western Park community centres now open

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have opened all their community centres on Great Western Park.

The Northern, District and Southern centres, two of which are brand new buildings, are now available for residents and groups to hire with priority bookings given to groups helping to support Covid-19 responses.

Last year, the district councils took over the District and Southern centres from Taylor Wimpey and, during lockdown, have modified them to ensure they comply with health and safety regulations, and work has been carried out on all three centres to introduce all the necessary Covid-19 safety measures.

With the government guidance permitting community centres open from 12 April, the councils have been able to reopen the Northern centre and open the doors, for the first time, to the Southern and District centres for hire.

The District Community Centre is a large facility and is built opposite the main shopping area on Great Western Park. It has a large hall and many function rooms for people to hire for their activities.

The Southern Neighbourhood Community Centre, on the newest part of the development, has a main hall and smaller meeting rooms with an outside multi-use games area. Most recently the Great Western Park Covid-19 support group, who provide food for the local community, has been using one of the rooms to help support local residents in need.

The Northern Neighbourhood Community Centre was originally opened in 2015 and is the smallest of the three centres. Prior to the pandemic the hall and adjoining kitchen area was a very popular venue and regularly used by local community groups.

Suzanne Malcolm, Acting Deputy Chief Executive of Place, at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils said: “We are excited to be able to open our Great Western Park community centres for hire. At the moment, we are prioritising bookings for Covid-19 support, but in the future, we hope to open all three buildings to all users so they can become brilliant community assets for all our residents.”

You can find out more about the hiring the centres below:

southoxon.gov.uk/northern-centre

southoxon.gov.uk/southern-centre

whitehorsedc.gov.uk/district-centre

New High Sheriff of Oxfordshire

The new High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Imam Monawar Hussain MBE DL (see pic attached), was sworn in on Thursday 8 April at a virtual ceremony.

Monawar’s theme for this year as High Sheriff is Celebrating Oxfordshire’s Heroes. He will be dedicating his year to celebrating and recognising acts of altruistic kindness and generosity by individuals, voluntary groups and businesses from across Oxfordshire during, but not exclusively, the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monawar and his wife Robina live in Cowley, Oxfordshire. His contact details are: Oxfordshire@highsheriffs.com