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This meeting was in place of the September meeting, which was cancelled due to the death of the Queen Elizabeth II, & the October meeting originally scheduled for 12th September.

In attendance:- Chairman Dermot Mathias (DM)
Vice-Chair Lydia Inglis (LI)
Councillors Michael Penington (MP), Lee Robinson (LR), Mark Shayler (MS),
Camilla Burrow (CB), Vaughan Humphries (VH)
Clerk/RFO Liz Cooper
Lengthman David Hollick (DH)
County Councillor Sally Povolotsky (SP)
District Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne (HG)
Members of the public Anne Millman (AM)

1.     To receive apologies for absence

Mark Blythe, PCSO G Kirby

2.     To record any declarations of interests relating to this meeting

None declared.

3. To co-opt a new Councillor

Council unanimously agreed for Anne Millman to be co-opted to the Council. Anne duly completed her Acceptance of Office & Register of Interests forms.

4.     To receive the County Councillor’s report from Cllr Sally Povolotsky

In addition to SP’s report, the safety of traffic on Hagbourne Hill was raised. At SP’s suggestion, Council agreed to add their voice to a letter on a safety review for this road. DM to pursue.

SP stated that funding for ‘cost of living’ activities would shortly be available for Council & other official groups to consider applications. If approved, funding would be almost immediately available. CB to consider on behalf of Sustainable Blewbury.            

5.     To receive District Councillor’s report from Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne

In addition to her report, Hayleigh confirmed that the District Council has agreed that the area to the east of the A34 within Harwell, up to the boundary with South Oxfordshire, could become ‘Harwell East’ a new parish which would cover all of Valley Park and more than 900 properties in Great Western Park. The District Council has now moved temporarily to Abbey House in Abingdon, pending the construction of new premises in Didcot. Full Council meetings will take place at the Beacon in Wantage.

6.     To receive the Lengthman’s report from David Hollick (see Appendix B below)

DH stated a new hedge cutter had been active in cutting hedges around TFF. An invoice is expected when the work is complete. The hedge cutter may then be engaged formally for this work. CB to look at a hedge cutting management plan for 2023.

DH suggested that the lavender hedge in the car park bordering the tennis courts should be removed (as it could go on the bonfire) & be replaced in the spring. However, Council agreed not to remove the hedge until the spring. CB to suggest a low maintenance shrub replacement.

DH also suggested that the roses at the entrance to the recreation ground & the hedge around the band hut required some work.

7.   To receive a report from the PCSO

The PCSO confirmed that there are no other reports of concern for the village, other than the theft of a catalytic convertor from a vehicle on the 13th September (but unfortunately no lines of enquiry in relation to this).

8.   Open Forum

To receive representations from members of the public.

No members of the public were present.

9.   To approve previous minutes & report on any matters arising – All Cllrs

 

Minutes of the BPC meeting held on 8th June 2022

Minutes of the BPC meeting held on 13th July 2022

Minutes of the BPC meeting held on 10th August 2022

Council unanimously approved all minutes as being a true record.

10. To hear the Planning Committee Report & Planning Responses – LI

In addition to confirming responses below, LI stated she planned a walk around the conservation area with Boris van der Ree next week to discuss the updating of issues arising from the draft conservation area appraisal. This information should ultimately feed into a review of Blewbury’s NDP, to include new policies on green spaces, energy efficiency and new eco buildings. DM said that the Vale/SODC’s joint local plan should be decided first, for so that NDP policies remain consistent. CB suggested that local villages should work together on overarching NDP policies on environmental issues. DM to investigate potential grants to assist and arrange a meeting with officers at the Vale.

10.1 To agree or ratify the Council’s response to the following consultations

10.1.1 P22/V1878/HH & P22/V1880/LB Laurences, Nottingham Fee, Blewbury

Single-storey rear extension & alterations to dwelling.

Deadline 04.09.22

BPC no objections 05.09.22

10.1.2 P22/V1945/HH 6 Chailey Gardens, Blewbury

Single-storey back extension, two storey side extension & new front entrance porch to existing dwelling.

Deadline 09.09.22

BPC no objections 08.09.22

10.1.3 MW.0101/22 Chilton Recycling Facility

Continue development by permission water of storage tank to 31.12.32.

Deadline 09.09.22

BPC no objections 08.09.22

10.1.4 P22/V1876/FUL Winterbrook Farm, Blewbury

Retrospective planning permission for change of use from Agricultural land to dog walking field with small shelter.

Deadline 13.09.22

BPC no objections 13.09.22

10.1.4.1 P22/V1876/FUL Winterbrook Farm, Blewbury – Amendment no.1

BPC no objections 29.09.22

10.1.5 P22/V2032/HH Upstones, Berry Lane, Blewbury

Proposed ground floor rear & side extensions.

Deadline 21.09.22

BPC no objections 29.09.22

10.1.6 P22/V1876/FUL Amendment no.1 Winterbrook Farm, Blewbury

Retrospective planning permission for change of use from Agricultural land to dog walking field with small shelter – car parking.

Deadline 23.09.22

BPC no change to previous response.

 

10.2 To note planning permissions received / withdrawn during the month

10.2.1 P22/0538/HH Thatcher Cottage, Church Road, Blewbury

Planning permission 09.08.22

10.2.2 P22/V1699/HH Morters, Church Road, Blewbury

Planning permission 31.08.22

10.2.3 P22/V1833/HH Gable Cottage, Westbrook Street, Blewbury

Planning permission 26.08.22

10.2.4 P22/V1817/HH Lantern Cottage, South St, Blewbury

Planning permission 08.09.22

10.2.5 P22/V0901/FUL Methodist Church, Chapel Lane, Blewbury

Application to withdraw variation of conditions withdrawn 05.10.22

11.    To hear an update on Finance & Administration from the Clerk

11.1 Financial updates

11.1.1 End of month reconciliation for August & September sent in advance of the meeting to the

Chairman. To be agreed & signed at the meeting.

11.1.2 Lloyds Bank account funds as of 31.08.22: –

£98,549.67

This sum includes reserves of: –

  • £21,909.51 village hall remaining refurb funds
  • £15,273.28 CIL funds

Net funds available £61,366.88

11.1.3 Lloyds Bank account funds as of 30.09.22: –

£125,022.94

This sum includes reserves of: –

  • £21,909.51 village hall remaining refurb funds
  • £15,273.28 CIL funds

Net funds available £87,840.15

11.1.4 2nd half of precept of £37,500 received 07.09.22

11.2 Administrative updates

11.2.1 BPC Audit update

11.2.1.1 External audit 21/22 update

External Auditor Moore concluded the BPC audit on 09.09.22 with no comments.

The following documents were published on the Parish Council page of the village  web site & on the noticeboard on 20th September: –

  1. The Statement of Accounts & Annual Governance Statement
  2. The auditor’s certificate & opinion
  • Notice of Conclusion of Annual Audit

11.2.1.2 Internal Auditor for 22/23 update

To confirm the appointment of Harry Hood of Abbott Denton & Co Chartered Accountants as IA for 22/23

Council unanimously ratified its decision to appoint Abbott Denton as its IA for  22/23.

 

11.2.2 Council Insurance

Renewed with effect from 1st October. Council to agree one or three year duration.

Council agreed to continue with a one-year agreement & review prior to renewal in 2023.

Clerk to confirm to Gallagher & pursue clarification on the level of claims made in the last 5 years, including how that has affected this renewal fee.

11.2.3 Council to adopt updated BPC policies/procedures – All

– Discipline Policy & Procedure

– Grievance Procedure

– Equality & Diversity Policy

Council unanimously agreed to accept the updated policies.

11.2.4 Council to agree & adopt Terms of Reference for HR Committee – DM

DM to revise the HR Terms of Reference & issue to all.

11.2.5 Councillors Roles & Responsibilities – DM

11.3 To agree authorisers for this month’s payments – All current signatories

LI & DM.

11.4 To approve payments to be made under the general power of competence and within budgeted  amounts as detailed in the table below – All Councillors

 

 

PAYMENTS

DESCRIPTION

AMOUNT

E Cooper/D Hollick/

E Holroyd

Clerk, Lengthman & Hall Administrator salaries & expenses for August (paid to be ratified)£2205.71
E Cooper/D Hollick/

E Holroyd

Clerk, Lengthman & Hall Administrator salaries & expenses for September£2119.36
NEST DDClerk’s pension August (paid to be ratified)£92.09
NEST DDClerk’s pension September£92.09
HMRCPAYE Clerk, Lengthman, Hall Admin August (paid to be ratified)£319.20
HMRCPAYE Clerk, Lengthman, Hall Admin September£287.60
Biffa Waste Services Ltd DDWaste services September£112.32

 

Biffa Waste Services Ltd DDWaste services October£140.40

 

BT DDClubhouse line rental September£40.66
BT DDClubhouse line rental October£40.66
Scottish Power DDClubhouse electricity 01.08.22£300.00
Scottish Power DDClubhouse electricity 01.09.22£300.00
J NewmanClubhouse cleaning August (paid to be ratified)£162.00
J NewmanClubhouse cleaning September£216.00
Complete Tree ServicesRaising canopy of copper beech on Pound 30.08.22 (paid to be ratified)£312.00
Upton Parish CouncilOne Quarter share of Lloyds compensation (paid to be ratified)£12.50
MooreExternal audit£360.00
GallagherParish Council insurance 01.10.22 – 30.09.23 (paid to be ratified)£7520.29
Pear TechnologyAmendments to cemetery mapping software£216.00
Calders & GrandidgeTFF playspace poles£1092.96
White Horse HorticultureGrass cutting contract September£180.00
Tom CoatesHedge trimming (invoice not received prior to meeting)£TBC
 TOTAL£16,121.84

RECEIPTS

DESCRIPTION

AMOUNT

R Barker

Clark burial

£285.00

Co-op Funeral

Osborn ashes interment

£210.00

VoWHDCPrecept 2nd half (received 07.09.22)£37,500.00
Lloyds BankCompensation£50.00
Blewbury AllotmentsAnnual rent£520.00
 TOTAL£38,515.00

12.    To receive an update from VHEMC – DM

12.1 Trustees / Counsel opinion

DM explained that to remove the unfair clause from the VHEMC trustee document, a counsel’s opinion must be sought & this would cost in the order of £1300 to seek opinion & action. DM to consult with B Gibson & counsel. Counsel’s opinion is £650 & if Council agree with the opinion given, this will be requested in writing for a further £650. Council agreed with proposal to seek           Counsel’s opinion.

12.2 Cycle shelter update

Cycle racks are available from County Council (via SP). DM to speak to B Gibson re this & progress on the shelter.

12.3 Any other updates

None.

  1. To receive an update on the Community Art project – CB & LI

LI to approach D Harber. AM requested involvement & will look at other networks. LI to send existing details to AM.

14.    To receive an update on the all things relating to the operation of the Clubhouse & the recreation ground – MP, DH

          14.1 Clubhouse

14.1.1 Alarm system update

Clerk to re-send Chris Lewis alarm system upgrade information to MP.

14.1.2 Council to ratify decision to allow free of charge art classes for refugee families run by Charlotte Houlihan.

Duly ratified by Council.

14.2 Recreation ground

14.2.1 Removal of lavender hedge from car park

See item 6. above.

14.2.2 In addition, Council agreed for MP & LR to consider how additional car parking could be created at the recreation ground (plus the consideration of white dividing lines) & TFF.

15.    To receive an update on all aspects of TFF & car park – LR, MS, DH

15.1 Play area / trim trail update

15.1.1 Remedial work

15.1.1.1 Play space

Replacement poles would be formally ordered tomorrow when payment had been made.

15.1.1.2 Trim trail

MS to repair goal area when parts received.

15.1.2 Annual & quarterly inspections

Clerk to contact the previous inspector & request a formal inspection in mid-December 2022.

15.1.3 Weekly visual & monthly recorded inspections update

15.2 Any other updates

15.2.1 BVS Bonfire night Saturday 05.11.22

The Clerk confirmed that the BVS has supplied copies of their risk assessment & insurance for this event.

15.2.2 Outdoor table tennis – LI

LI is pursuing.

16    To receive an update on Risk Management & Compliance – from the Clerk & VH

16.1 Update on TFF incident on 1.5.22

No update had been received on the above.

16.2 Update on the renewal of Council insurance

See 11.2.2 above. DM & the Clerk explained the situation as regards the current broker, & the previous & new insurer, & how the claims over the last 5 years had affected the change of insurer &           the increase in premium.

16.3 Speed Watch Update

Report provided in advance of the meeting.

16.4 Speed Reduction Measures – CB/LI

20mph within the village – already agreed & to be implemented.

Measures on the A417 & Bessels Way – CB confirmed she had discussed the siting of SID poles on the A417 & Bessels Way with a Highways representative. LI stated concerns about locating a SID on the historic Pound. CB to progress towards a final location plan for further agreement with Council.

CB confirmed that OCC would pay for the poles, with the Council paying for the SID units. CB also confirmed that the Speed Watch team had agreed to move the SIDs around as necessary, & also that the SIDs can face in either direction.

16.5 Village defibrillators update – VH

Council confirmed 2 units should now be ordered. Clerk to action.

16.6 Any update or information on risk management & compliance – VH

No other updates.

17.   To receive an update on issues relating to the Environment – from CB

17.1 Information from Sustainable Blewbury

CB to update the Council’s ‘Green Spaces’ Policy, considering SB objectives.

DM will speak to MB regarding his offer to talk to Chris Kauntze about laying a hedge along one (or both) sides of the concrete path leading to the Thames Water site.

CB to raise this year’s leaf & conker clearance with SB.

17.2 Any other environmental issues

None.

18.   To receive an update on any issues relating to Footways, Footpaths, rights of way and open spaces – from MP, LI, MB

18.1 Update on any future tree work

DM stated he had toured the village with a representative from Complete Tree Services & that there  was more tree work to be considered. DM to advise Council accordingly.

18.2 Play Close Footpaths & ecology update

Richard Page of the PCC has obtained a grant to fund the laying of a hedge along part of the  north west side of the Play Close hedge. Path work is still under discussion.

18.3 Any other update on Footways, Footpaths, Rights of Ways & open spaces in & around the village

18.3.1 Chalk Pit signage

CB will write an ecology statement for a new panel which will be installed at the chalk pit.

The panel will need to be robust & small. CB & LI to discuss with Kingdom Signs.

19.   To receive an update on any outstanding consultations – All Councillors

19.1 Settlement Questionnaire

Completed by Clerk on 06.10.22.

20. To agree the date/venue of the next meeting(s) of the Council – All Councillors

 

Next full council meeting Wednesday 9th November at 7.00pm in the Melland Room.

 

 

The meeting finished at 9pm.

 

Appendix A

 

NO.ACTIONS FROM THIS MEETINGWHEN BY
1.CB to look at a hedge cutting management plan for 2023.November meeting
2.Council agreed to add their voice to a letter on a safety review for Hagbourne Hill. DM to spk SP.November meeting
3.CB to consider ‘cost of living’ activity funding application on behalf of Sustainable Blewbury (if qualify).November meeting
4.CB to suggest a low maintenance shrub replacement for lavender hedge.

 

November meeting
5.Clerk to confirm one year insurance with Gallagher & to pursue obtaining clarification on the level of claims made in the last 5 years & how that has affected this renewal.Actioned aw response
6.DM to investigate potential grants to assist revision of NDP.

 

November meeting
7.DM to revise HR ToR & reissueNovember meeting
8.MP & LR to consider how additional car parking could be created at the recreation ground (plus the consideration of white dividing lines) & TFF.November meeting
9.Clerk to contact the previous inspector & request a formal inspection in mid-December 2022.Actioned
10.Clerk to check with DH re inspection qualification.November meeting
11.CB to propose final sites for SID polesNovember meeting
12.Clerk to place order for 2 defib units.Actioned
13.CB to update the Council’s ‘Green Spaces’ Policy, considering SB objectives.ASAP
14.DM will speak to MB regarding his action to speak to Chris Kauntze about hedge laying along the concrete path to the Thames Water site.November meeting
15.CB to raise this year’s leaf & conker clearance with SB.November meeting
16.DM to advise Council on future tree work.November meeting
17.CB will write an ecology statement for a new panel to be installed at the chalk pit.November meeting
18.CB & LI to discuss chalk pit panel size with Kingdom Signs.

 

November meeting
19.LI to approach D Harber re art projectASAP
20.DM to spk B Gibson re free cycle rack, & shelter progressNovember meeting
21.DM to consult B Gibson & Counsel re VHEMC trustee documentASAP
No.Actions from June meetingWhen By
3.Cllr Inglis to lead on Red Lion Asset of Community Value application, together with Andrew JarvisC’fwd

 

No.Actions from May meetingWhen By
9.Mark Shayler to build lockable cover over TFF standpipe.C’fwd

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix B – Lengthman’s Report

September 2022

Very little to report this month. Most of the hedges have been cut either by myself or Tom Coates from Aston with a flail tractor. Hopefully he will be available again next year. (He also does the tennis club hedges). Virtually no grass has been cut as weather has not really produced much growth. Footpaths, Recreation Ground Cemetery and TFF Have just started to produce some growth so will need attention in October. All equipment and buildings are in good condition. TFF play area remains out of commission. KAP is all OK.  D Hollick

August 2022

Nothing exception to report this month.

No rain means no grass cutting this month. Footpaths and other grass areas are all OK but very brown!

I have started cutting some of the lower hedges which do not involve cutting a height. I have also spoken to John Ogden about getting some of the other hedges cut.

Equipment and buildings are all OK. D Hollick

 

 

 

 

 

Signed by the Chairman ……………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

Appendix C                  OCC news

Oxford traffic filters: A consultation is ongoing for the installation of 5 ‘traffic filters’ in Oxford. These filters permit buses, taxis, vans, motorbikes etc. to travel through them, but prevent most private cars through (exceptions for e.g., care workers,

blue badge holders etc.). They are enforced with ANPR and run from 7am to 7pm. These filters are considered essential for improving the reliability of buses and reducing private car movements (a key goal of OCC).

Close public consultation: 13 October 2022

20mph rollout continues: Our villages have started to see consultations go out on 20mph limits (including e.g. Blewbury, Harwell) To fit with the fast rollout timetable these have been short consultations, but have included input from parish

councils and myself as county councillor. Blewbury CMD is 13.10.22.

Cost of living help: OCC has approved measures to support residents this winter as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. This includes emergency welfare, Council Tax support and warm places (e.g., libraries, grants for community centres) for people

struggling with heating bills. Locally as you will know I am actively engaged in running the HEG larder which anyone can use upto 15min drive, the community cafe, roots and shoots community kitchens in Steventon and Hendreds and other initiatives

that our wonderful communities are working on.

Fixing crumbling bridges is being prioritized & will cost up to £80m over the next 5 years. I’ve been getting updates on the Steventon Bridge and will discuss that with the Parish this week.

At full council in October, councillors will debate a motion to request the government to write off the ringfenced SEND. There is still no news from the government on how the money intended to be raised from the rise in National Insurance and used for adult social care will be replaced.

Major overhaul of highways planning: OCC has become the first in the country to adopt a new approach to planning called “DeSIDe and Provide”. DeSIDe and provide means that when OCC is consulted on planning matters, our response will

be based the kind of sustainable and active transport we want to see, rather than ‘predicting’ the number of car journeys and trying to accommodate them in the road system. This is essential so that we can meet our ambitious climate change targets

and build more sustainable communities from the outset.

Failing ambulance service scrutinised by councillors: I took part in the health committee meeting that asked tough questions to leaders of the NHS is Oxfordshire. The service has been rated as inadequate and requires significant improvement. Time and time again when I go to this committee, I see how the government is failing the NHS and that without a course change – things will go from bad to worse.

Thame River Conservation Conference: The conference, held in Great Haseley, heard how pollution from sewage is continuing to cause severe environmental damage to nature and to leisure. Positive stories were shared from local action groups – like Watlington Environment Group, with a campaign being led by the Thame River Trust to establish bathing water status for parts of the river and its tributaries. Now hoping to link this into the reservoir campaign too, given the state of the Thames pollution.

Upton Crossing has started, not without some teething issues, at point of writing a 3 way traffic controlled system was being actioned after much local feedback.

Steventon – Rowstock Relief – hopefully everyone’s had letters about the rescheduled meetings – and after asking, officers are putting a pop up consultation on in Steventon too!

East Hendred – table tennis time! Am so happy we managed to secure one of the 8 free tables for the village, this will be a great addition especially for our older children. Plus organised / attended several events for Big Green Week and towards cost of living crisis.

Harwell / Rowstock speeding concerns – have highlighted the issues with SID data and that speeding is picking up despite measures and will be writing to TVP.

Hagbourne Hill – met with director of highways and expressed concerns, data and several papers have come in I need to read and will liaise with the PC at the next meeting.

West Hendred – I put pressure on director of highways about the delays – I note the survey line is out on the A417 which is the starter to final designs, so that’s a step in the right direction. More info when I have it.

Ardington – crossing / school bus concerns – am writing to bus company as simplest answer is buses to come back through the village, more info when I get it! There’s no funding I’m aware of for a crossing yet!

Former Esso – appeal is in, have spoken to Rowstock residents group, we need the MP on board asap!

Reservoir – several meetings with officers and fellow councillors, the deadlines and consultation “alignment” is out of order and I’ll be writing in several capacities to OFWAT around that and timings! Meanwhile supporting GARD and local parishes.

Casework – increasing around cost of living, bills and huge concerns around food and fuel poverty. Vale community impact is a hugely valuable resource and I hope to see more guidance from the county soon!

 

Sally Povolotsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix D

Monday 11th September 2022 Monthly Parish Update

Vale of White Horse District Councillors – Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne and Cllr Sarah Medley

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – Statement of Condolence

It is with great sadness that we join our residents in this period of national mourning following the announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on Thursday 8th September. Our leaders and chairs of both Vale and South Oxfordshire district councils, councillors, chief executive and officers would like to express their sincerest condolences and sympathies to all members of The Royal Family and everybody touched by the loss of our Sovereign.

 

Her Majesty ruled for longer than any other monarch in British history and served as our Head of State with great dignity, composure and compassion. Throughout her reign, she was a strong and reassuring figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during enormous social change and demonstrated unwavering support to many through challenging times.

 

She was truly loved, valued and respected by people across the world and her presence will be greatly missed by many in the South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse community.

 

It is with great pride that we have been able to serve the British public during her reign.

 

Cllr David Rouane, Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council

Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council

Cllr David Turner, Chair of South Oxfordshire District Council

Cllr Margaret Crick, Chair of the Vale of White Horse District Council

Mark Stone, Chief Executive of South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils

 

Paying Tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

We’ll be joining everyone in this nine-day period of national mourning and will be flying the union flag at our offices at half-mast as a mark of respect.

The council website will be kept updated with details of local events happening during this period of national mourning.

 

You can sign a Book of Condolence at our offices on Milton Park near Didcot between 8.30am and 5pm every day, including Saturday and Sunday. The address is 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB.

 

We’ve also made space for people to lay flowers at the base of the flagpole. Please remove all packaging, wires etc. beforehand so all your floral tributes can be safely composted after the national mourning period.

 

You can also find out what is happening nationally, details of the mourning period, funeral arrangements and sign the National e-book of Condolence at royal.uk.

 

A representative from our council attended the Oxfordshire Proclamation at Carfax Tower where the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire read the Proclamation on behalf of the whole county and all its districts. You can read the Proclamation here.

 

Some town and parish councils in our district have details on where you can sign Books of Condolence and lay flowers more locally to you. This page has a full list of towns and parishes with details available – including Blewbury, Harwell and Chilton.

Monday 19th September – offices closed and waste collections postponed

To mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the district council offices will be closed on Monday 19 September. The council will reopen as normal on Tuesday 20 September.

Waste collections will not go ahead on the day of the funeral and so collections that week will take place a day later than normal. Please see the timetable below.

Our leisure centres will be closed on the Monday as well.

 

Waste collection dates:

Usual collection dayRevised collection day
Monday 19 SeptemberTuesday 20 September
Tuesday 20 SeptemberWednesday 21 September
Wednesday 21 SeptemberThursday 22 September
Thursday 22 SeptemberFriday 23 September
Friday 24 SeptemberSaturday 24 September

 

Community Support

The Council Community Support Hub

The Community Support Hub, originally set up by the council in 2020 in response to the pandemic, is still available for anyone in need of help: if you have COVID-19, or if you are struggling financially due to the cost-of-living crisis, or if you are just finding life difficult due to the pandemic. Whether it’s practical support or just advice, get in touch. Call: 01235 422 600 (Mon to Thurs 8.30-5pm and Fridays 8.30-4.30pm) or visit www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/communityhub.

 

Help with energy bills – new support for those on low income in the Vale of White Horse

Households on low income in the Vale of White Horse will soon receive a one-off payment to help with the rising cost of energy bills.

Those living in properties which are in council tax bands E to H and who are in receipt of council tax support will receive a single one-off payment of up to £172.

Households in council tax bands to D in receipt of council tax support, who should have already received the mandatory £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate, will receive a single ‘top up’ payment.

 

Business Support – Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund

Further funding will soon be available to support some businesses impacted by the pandemic with their 2021/2022 business rates. For further details, see the Business Support website.

Ukraine

General Ukraine queries:

For housing and community support in South and Vale:

Local News

Didcot & Villages Healthcare update

We (Hayleigh and Sarah) joined patients from the three Didcot GP practices at a public meeting held at the Didcot Civic Hall on Monday 12th September. The meeting was organised by the Patient Participation Groups of the three medical centres, in order to provide an in-person update on the latest healthcare news in Didcot. Below is our summary of the key points.

Dr Alex Hart, Clinical Director for the Didcot Primary Care Network, gave a comprehensive overview of the multiple challenges currently facing the local GP surgeries. This includes funding pressures, a national shortage of GPs affecting recruitment, and a combination of new medical conditions, altered thresholds for treatment and increasingly complex treatment options.

Dr Hart explained how the structure of healthcare has changed in recent years. Historically we are all used to being able to phone our GP surgery and speak to a receptionist who then makes an appointment for us to see either a GP or a nurse. Nowadays the staffing structure at a GP surgery is much more complex and includes GPs alongside a set of associated specialists such as physiotherapists; often an appointment with the relevant specialist is therefore more appropriate than simply meeting with your GP.

Dr Rachel Ward from Woodlands Medical Centre introduced Social Prescribing as a new treatment method. This takes a holistic view of a patient and their lifestyle and seeks ways to address underlying causes of conditions. For example, traditionally a GP would prescribe only medication to a patient with diabetes, whereas Social Prescribing considers factors such as stress and poor diet and suggests how these can be improved through additional support. Social Prescribing can help alleviate pressure on GP surgeries by addressing some of the root causes of the current high demand for services.

Dr Ward emphasised that Social Prescribing can be easily accessed by anyone who feels they would benefit, and patients can be referred in a number of ways: via any member of the Didcot Primary Care Network team, or after hospital discharge, or via housing associations or schools. Patients can also self-refer via the local charities SOFEA and Age UK Oxfordshire, who are working closely with the Didcot Primary Care Network – see their websites for more information on Social Prescribing.

Local COVID and flu vaccination clinics will also include a team of social prescribers present who can provide more information and resources, particularly relating to the current cost of living crisis. On the note of COVID, an update was provided on an upcoming autumn booster which will be provided by the Didcot Primary Care Network to the highest priority patients, including those in care homes or who are unable to leave their homes due to illness. The booster will otherwise be available through community pharmacies and the Kassam stadium.

The new GP surgery planned for Great Western Park was also discussed. Dr Alex Hart provided an overview of the historical decisions relating to the site and the current complex situation involving the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (now the Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire – BOB -Integrated Care Board), Woodlands Medical Centre, the Vale of White Horse District Council and the developer. Please see our (Hayleigh and Sarah’s) report from July 2022 for more details on this.

The meeting concluded with a discussion and Q&A around the current pressure on the Didcot GP services, and the projected increase in demand in coming years as the local population continues to grow. Dr Hart stated that the three key ways that patients can assist with lobbying for more support is by writing to the BOB Integrated Care Board, Healthwatch and the local MP. Patients are also encouraged to join the Patient Participation Group (PPG) for their GP practice, as the PPGs work closely with patients and the practices to provide feedback and try and address issues such as access to appointments. More details about the PPGs can be found on their websites below:

https://www.woodlandsmedicalcentre.com/patient-participation-group

https://www.didcothealthcentre.com/get-involved

https://www.oaktreehc.co.uk/about-the-patient-group

Change of Bin Day for some residents in South and Vale

Since the waste collection routes were first planned more than ten years ago, there have been many changes to the number and distribution of homes across the districts, resulting in uneven rounds. By introducing new collection routes, Biffa can make them more efficient meaning they use less fuel. This is more cost-effective and better for the environment. The new routes are of a more equal size which is also fairer on the collection crews.

There will be changes to the collection day for up to 20% of households across both South and Vale council areas. If you are affected by this change, you should have already had a tag on your bin informing you. Details on which day, and when the change happens will be shared in due course.

 

Residents’ feedback to help finalise new ‘Harwell East’ parish 

A new parish in the Harwell area could improve local representation and feedback from the local community will help to help influence the final plans. Everyone living in the Harwell area is currently represented by Harwell Parish Council however, with more homes being built and a growing population, residents could be better served if the area was divided into two parishes.

 

Vale of White Horse District Council has agreed that the area to the east of the A34 within Harwell, up to the boundary with South Oxfordshire, could become ‘Harwell East’ a new parish which would cover all of Valley Park and more than 900 properties in Great Western Park.

 

Local residents are now being asked to comment on a series of recommendations for the parish, including its name, the type of council they wish to have for the area and the number of councillors it should have.

To find out more and to submit your comments, please visit survey.southandvale.gov.uk/s/HarwellEastConsultation.

The consultation runs until 30 September 2022. 

The Beacon’s autumn season starts soon for all to enjoy
We have some great shows and events lined up for The Beacon’s autumn season. Tickets are now on sale for the Comedy Club 4 Kids, where some of the best stand-ups perform for a young audience. Don’t miss on some must-watch movies on the big screen with ‘Elvis’ on Saturday 1 October at 7.30pm.

 

Climate & Environment News

Over £91,000 allocated to protect newts and other species

New freshwater habitats and wetlands will be created in East Hanney, Garford and Grove to help provide an ideal environment for wildlife to thrive, including protected species such as Great Crested newts.

Cabinet members at Vale of White Horse District Council agreed to allocate £91,232 of developer contributions; money collected as part of developers’ agreements to build new homes in the area.

The funds will go to the Freshwater Habitats Trust, an Oxfordshire charity, to create wetland habitats and floodplain restoration at Manor Farm, which has sites in Garford and East Hanney, and Wantage Sewage Treatment works in Grove.

Is your community planning a Great Big Green Week event?
If you are planning events for Great Big Green Week (24 September to 2 October), please register it on the Oxfordshire Great Big Green Week website, so your event can be publicised. It would be great to have lots more events listed for our area.
Further information can be found on the national Great Big Green Week website and for suggestions on how communities can get involved, please see the downloadable A-Z of Ideas.

 

Council News

District councils to be temporarily based in Abingdon

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils will soon be moving on from the office building that has been our home for the past seven years.

At the end of September, to significantly reduce unnecessary costs, the councils will be moving to some temporary office space in the Vale’s Abbey House building in the centre of Abingdon where they plan to stay for a couple of years while South Oxfordshire District Council completes the development of a new office building at Didcot Gateway.

Committee meetings will take place in Abbey House, whilst Vale Full Council meetings will take place the Beacon in Wantage, as it can accommodate all the members of the council. As always, the meetings are open to the public, should you wish to attend, and you may still join remotely, should that be more convenient.

Comments now open on proposals for better business space at Milton Park

People are being invited to comment on a planning review that could increase space for more business investment and improve the quality and sustainability of buildings at Milton Park.

The revised plans are part of the council’s review of an existing Local Development Order (LDO), which is a way for local planning authorities to create an area that can help encourage businesses to move into or grow. They can also support the local economy and speed up the construction of the right type of buildings and infrastructure in the right location without the need for planning permission.

Homes urged to respond to voter registration reminder

Households across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are being urged to respond as soon as possible if they receive a reminder to update their voter registration details.

 

We use these monthly updates to keep you updated on our activities, general council news and any COVID-19 developments. We also post regularly on our councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any issues or concerns, either via Facebook message or email: hayleigh.gascoigne@whitehorsedc.gov.uk and sarah.medley@whitehorsedc.gov.uk.  

 

Agenda

AgendaPDF download
Blewbury Parish Council Meeting Wednesday 10th April at 7pm in the Melland Room in the Blewbury Clubhouse

Meeting minutes

MeetingPDF download
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 10th April at 7pm in the Melland Room at the Clubhouse
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 6th March 2024
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 14th February 2024 in the Melland Room at the BLewbury Clubhouse
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 10th January 2024 at 7.00 pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 13th December 2023 at 5pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 8th November 2023 at 7.00 pm in the Melland Room at the Blewbury Clubhouse.
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 11th October 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 13th September 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 12th July 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the June Parish Council Meeting Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Annual Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 10th May 2023 at 7.00pm in the Vale Room at the Blewbury Village Hall.
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held at 7pm on Wednesday 12th April 2023
Blewbury Annual Parish Meeting Wednesday 26th April 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the March 2023 Blewbury Parish Council Meeting Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Finance Committee Meeting held on Thursday 22nd December 2022
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 8th February 2023 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Minutes of the Blewbury Parish Council Meeting Held on Wednesday 11th January 2023
Blewbury Parish Council December Meeting Minutes
Blewbury Parish Council Meeting November 2022
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 5th October 2022 at 7.00 pm in the Vale Room at the Blewbury Village Hall.
BPC Minutes August 2022 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Minutes July 2022 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Minutes June 2022 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Annual Meeting Minutes May 2022 Download the PDF Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Minutes April 2022 Download the PDF
The AGM of the Blewbury Village Society & The Blewbury Annual Parish Meeting Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council March 2022 Minutes Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council February minutes Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council January Meeting Minutes Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Finance Committee Meeting December 2021 Download the PDF
Blewbury Parish Council Meeting December 2021 Download the PDF