The following Councillors were present: Mr N Braithwaite (Chairman), Mr M Pearce, Mr S Fox, Mrs W Pearse Mrs E Byles. Also present were Mrs H Hibbert-Biles (District Councillor) and 2 members of the public. Mrs M Ismail, Parish Clerk was in attendance.
1. APOLOGIES Received from Rodney Rose, County Councillor. Mrs Hibbert-Biles apologised for not sending her apologies for the last meeting.
2. MINUTES The minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2003 were agreed and signed.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Sewerage: The Clerk had spoken to John Clark at WODC and reported that there had been a meeting with WODC and Thames Water on 10th October. Thames Water have appointed a specialist from Halcrow and he had confirmed defects and blockages in the highway gullies, drains, ditches and culverts under the railway. Thames Water have agreed to do the work but will not say when. Clerk had also spoken to Margaret Skivington at Thames Water but she could not confirm whether the CCTV survey had been done. A meeting is to be held with WODC and Thames Water on 11th November. District Councillor will attend and report back.
Vandalism: Nothing further reported on the playing field and pavilion but there have been problems with graffiti at Tiddy Hall. Clerk to contact Roger Shepherd for details and to contact the police if appropriate.
Publication Scheme: No progress on risk assessment
Village Shop: John Cull gave a report on progress. Purchase confirmation is awaited but should be completed any day now. Sue Richards of the Management Committee has been appointed as Shop Manager. The project is within budget and all money is in place in the form of grants, mortgage etc. Volunteer training has been organised. A low key opening is planned for 24th November to give the staff time to settle in before the official opening by Ben Kingsley on 29th November at 11.00 am. The Parish Council was asked to provide a list of people who should have official invitations to the Grand Opening. When the shop is open a Monitoring Committee will be formed consisting of John Cull, Darrell Penning, Stuart Fox, Sue Richards and two of the volunteer staff. It is hoped to have a good period up to Christmas with extra Christmas goods in the shop and orders for turkeys. The Chairman thanked John Cull for his report and said that it was a great achievement that the shop is ready to open in such a short time.
Kerbing Shipton Road: Reported to Highways
Dawls Close Sign: This has been done
Playing Field Hedge: The work has been done
Jubilee Mugs: Chairman is in touch with Mr Flatt
Plaque on Pavilion: Form returned to Sport England
Kerbing around The Green: The damaged kerbing has been repaired
Signpost: New arm on signpost requested from Highways
Salt Container: Broken container reported to Highways. There may be a charge
Give Way Sign: Reported to Highways
Bar Gate at Playing Field: Work has been done on loose post and estimate received to replace the other post. The estimate was agreed. Clerk to order work.
Martyrs Seat: Small stones have been removed to avoid children throwing them around The Green.
Hedge Opposite The Green: The Clerk has contacted Cornbury several times but no action as been taken so far. Clerk will talk to the Agent at Cornbury.
Building in Coal Yard: Clerk has received confirmation that planning officers are investigating a possible lack planning permission.
a) A letter had been received from Sue Richards of 45 High Street suggesting several things that might improve the village. The various suggestions were discussed. Clerk to reply. Action: Clerk
b) A letter had been received from Thames Valley Police asking individuals to complete a questionnaire which they can download from the Internet or telephone for a hardcopy. A notice has been put on the notice board with the relevant information.
c) Oxfordshire Woodland Trust had written requesting a donation. This was refused. Clerk to reply. Action: Clerk
d) The Wychwoods Day Centre had requested a donation. The Chairman felt this was difficult to refuse because people from the village attend the centre and we have always given a £50 donation. Mr Fox felt that all Parish Council was committed this year and they could not be a special case. The request was refused. Clerk to write explaining that we are unable to contribute at present but hope to do so in the future.
e) Oxford Record Office who organised an exhibition of local work last year have written to ask permission to use the image of the tapestries used in the exhibition on their web site. This was agreed. Clerk to reply Action: Clerk
f) Cornhill Insurance had written for information about the required work on the tree on the green. Chairman had spoken to Andrew Jackson but he prefers to wait until all the leaves are off the tree before starting work on it. Chairman will speak to him again and report back to Clerk. Action Chairman/Clerk
g) Notice has been received of temporary closure of the railway line for track renewal from 11pm on 5th January to 6.30 am on 6th January.
03/1960/P/FP CHANGE OF USE FROM AGRICULTURAL TO AGRICULTURAL/EQUESTRIAN ALLOWING LAND, COVERED ARENA, HORSE WALKER AND STABLES TO BE USED IN CONNECTION WITH EXISTING LIVERY BUSINESS AND NON-COMPLIANCE WITH CONDITION 4 OF PLANNING PERMISSION W2001/0730 TO ALLOW OUTDOOR ARENA ALSO TO BE USED FOR PURPOSE OF THE LIVERY (PART RETROSPECTIVE). New
This application was discussed and it was agreed that the plans and wording of the application is very unclear and that further clarification is required before the Parish Council can comment on the plans. Chairman to write to planning officer.
03/1773/P/FP ERECTION OF TWO STOREY REAR EXTENSION AND TWO SINGLE STOREY SIDE EXTENSIONS at 49 SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Outstanding
W2002/0866 CHANGE OF USE OF GROUND FLOOR SHOP TO RESIDENTIAL at CORNER HOUSE FARM, HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD.
W2003/1639 ERECTION OF CONSERVATORY at 51 SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Granted
6. FINANICAL REPORT
Mr Fox reported that the Audit is now complete and The Annual Return has been approved and accepted. Notices will be displayed to that effect. A report showing income and expenditure from 1st April to 31st October and comparison with forecast was circulated.
In: Paid Out:
Precept 3777.00 Audit 141.00
Grass cutting Grant 507.00 OPFA Subs 25.00
Clerks ¼ yr Salary 436.80
Clerks Tel 7.50
Petty Cash 40.00
7. COUNTY COUNILLORS REPORT
There was no report
8. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT
Mrs Hibbert-Biles reported that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee have been in negotiations with the Ambulance Trust to try and reach agreement for arrangements before the trust take over responsibility on 1st December. The situation is on going. It was hoped that Langston House might move to Tall Trees in Shipton but it has been purchased for development. However, the current planning consent is for community use only and it may come back on the market. Mrs Hibbert-Biles had attended a Highways Seminar and urged the Parish Council to let her know if any planning applications have highways implications. WODC budget is coming up for review and it is possible that council tax will rise again.
9. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
See any other business
10 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) Mrs Pearse had received complaints about the bonfire that Crown Farm has going permanently in the field at the top of London Lane. There have been several complains about this. District Councillor will report to Environmental Health
Action: Mrs H Hibbert-Biles
Declaration of Interest
b) Lower Green: Councillor Elaine Byles declared an interest in the next item. Before leaving the room she wished to make a statement. She explained that she and her brother Philip Pratley had offered to purchase the land from the Charity but had been advised this was not possible. The claim for adverse possession was an alternative way of allowing the land to be transferred to them. It was their intention to make a substantial donation to the Charity to reflect the value of the land.
b) Councillor Elaine Byles and her brother Philip Pratley have applied to the Land Registry to claim adverse possession on the land known as Lower Green. This land was given to the village by Lord Churchill in 1838 so that the revenue from the rent of the land could be used for the poor of the village. Mrs Byles and Mr Pratley claim they have grazed their horses on the land for over 12 years without paying rent and therefore have adverse possession rights. Mr Shane Barnes claims that his investigations have shown that rent has been paid during the last 12 years for animal grazing to his family and that other people were grazing the land in 1991. Mr Barnes maintains that his records show that he has rolled, fenced, and cut back trees on the land during this time. The claim has been registered with the Land Registry and the last date to challenge the claim is 27th December 2003. Mr Pearce, a Trustee of the Poor’s Estate had attended a meeting of the Trustees and the situation was discussed.
It was agreed that the Clerk would contact OALC to find out if the Parish Council would be allowed to provide funds to help the Poor’s Estate with legal fees.
11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The meeting closed at 10.10 pm. The next meeting will be held on Monday 8th December 2003.