Councillors Present were: Mr N Braithwaite (Chairman), Mr M Pearce, Mr S Fox, Mrs W Pearse, Mrs E Byles, Mrs H Hibbert-Biles (District Councillor).
Members of the Public: Mr F Russell, Mr J Cull
Parish Clerk: Mrs A M Barnes
Wychwood Project – Talk / Report by Mr N Mottram and Jane Bowley
Mr Mottram gave an outline of how the Wychwood Project is progressing and how the project could benefit local parishes in many different ways. Jane Bowley then spoke of how through a range of activities the Wychwood Project aims to raise awareness of and appreciation for the history and identity of Wychwood. To conserve and restore the distinctive character of the landscape within the Norman Royal hunting Forest boundaries. The project has given advice and help to 35 communities on local projects, including hedgerow surveys, pond and heath restoration, hedge laying, coppicing and stone walling.
There is £500 available per parish, which could be used towards a suitable project – Jane Bowley advised that the Parish would need to look at all options as the decision would be that of the Parish Council. Mike Pearce and Stuart Fox to see if the Parish Conservation Plan could re-start. Parish Council to review options and then get back in touch with Jane Bowley to ascertain how to move forward.
1. APOLOGIES None received.
2. MINUTES Agreed, numbered, signed and filed.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Risk Assessment: Niall Burman had been contacted and the tree work will be started again on Thursday. Chairman did advise that there would be no electricity in the Pavilion on Thursday and the relevant people had been advised.
Kerbing and Paving: No progress, despite Clerks letter to County Councillor outlining this problem and several other problems. Chairman is going to write further.
Post Box: No progress
Railway and Culvert: District Councillor had been in contact with John Clark at WODC and spoken about the ownership of the land. District Councillor was advised that it would be best if Mr & Mrs Gripper were contacted as they would be able to confirm. John Clark going to be given their telephone number.
Mike Pearce expressed that the brambles need cutting back on the Railway, in particular when driving from the Shipton Road. Visibility is very poor – Clerk to write to British Rail.
Chairman suggested writing to John Clark at WODC and invite him to join the Parish Council at either the next meeting or a future one that would be convenient to him to discuss these points.
Speed Signs on London Lane: No progress from Highways, despite the Clerk having written to the County Councillor expressing the Parish Council’s concerns at the length of time being taken and lack of communication. Chairman to write to the County Councillor further.
Crown Farm Planning: Planning Application 04/2165/FP – as reported last month has been granted now, albeit with conditions. Enforcement Officers are investigating the businesses within the Yard.
Memorial Plaque: Complete.
White Line Painting: No progress from Highways, again despite Clerk having written to County Councillor expressing the Parish Council’s concerns at the length of time being taken and the lack of communication being received. Chairman to write to County Councillor further.
Chestnut Drive Play Area: No further progress.
Churchyard Kissing Gate: An article has been put into the Grapevine for the people of the Parish to express their views and opinions.
ROSPA: A quote from Phillip Pratley at Wychwood Wrought Iron has been received. This is to supply an extra 14 spindles. The quote is £146.87, which includes labour and parts. Clerk to write and accept quotation.
Road Outside 5 The Green & Fairspear – Potholes: No progress from Highways, again despite Clerk having written to County Councillor expressing the Parish Council’s concerns at the length of time being taken and the lack of communication being received. Clerk did mention that a phone message had been left for Mrs M Ishmail (previous Clerk) who had passed this on. Clerk returned the call and was advised that the person who was dealing with this was on annual leave, but it had been passed to Paul Wilson and he would call me back – call reference is 62910. To date no communication received. Chairman to write again further to County Councillor.
Pavilion / Vandalism: A report of further vandalism to the main door to the Pavilion. This had been kicked in at the front at the approximate time of 8.30 am. The Toddler Group had tried to enter the door at around 9am, but couldnt open the door. This has been reported to the Police. The door is back in working order now. Chairman also reported that a message had been left for him that a car had been vandalised on the Green, again this has been reported to the Police.
Street Signs: No progress
Shop Report: Stuart reported that the Village Shop was 11% ahead on last year. The new member of staff has now settled in very well.
Wall on boundary of Playing Field: Chairman has been up and inspected this. Fortunately the wall is in the top right hand corner of the Playing Field and is not considered to be a source of danger. This was discussed with Peter Swan also and he was given permission to trim the tree which intrudes onto his side.
a) Letter received from Oxfordshire County Council regarding Highway Management arrangements. The letter outlined the current arrangement with the County Council for grass cutting. This arrangement will come to an end on 31st March 2006 and the Parish Council can enter into a formal Agency Agreement from 1st April, 2006, but confirmation was requested by the end of November, 2005. Alternatively the Parish Council could request further information. Clerk to write and request further information.
b) Letter received from ORCC requesting a donation to John Hardwicke’s Retirement Presentation, together with an invitation to the Lunch. A £20 donation to be sent, together with letter declining the lunch invitation. Copy of letter to be sent to Stuart for files.
c) OVID Questionnaire – Stuart going to complete.
d) Letter received from The Wychwood Project requesting a donation. A £50 donation to be sent, together with covering letter, copy of letter to be sent to Stuart for files.
e) Letter received from Gerald Simper, the Parish Contact for the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, enclosing a draft copy of a Circular Walk Through Ascott Leaflet that is to be made available free from the Shop, but requesting a donation. A request for any comments or suggestions was asked for in the letter – Chairman requested that where the leaflet refers to “Yew Tree Farm”, this should read “the Yew Tree Farm Complex”. Clerk to write accordingly.
04/1659/P/FP: DEMOLISH EXISTING DWELLING. ERECTION OF 9 DWELLINGS WITH ASSOCIATED GARAGES, ACCESS AND LANDSCAPING AT 2A SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Refused
05/1607/P/FP: SUBDIVISION OF COTTAGE TO CREATE TWO DWELLINGS. ERECTION OF TWO STOREY EXTENSION AND ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING ACCESS at COTTAGE AT CENTURIES HOUSE, LONDON LANE, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. Granted
05/1757/P/FP: ERECTION OF TWO STOREY SIDE EXTENSION AND FRONT PORCH at 18 SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. Granted
05/1829/P/FP: CHANGE OF USE OF LAND FROM AGRICULTURAL TO DOMESTIC GARDEN INCLUDING THE ERECTION OF GREENHOUSE New
05/1933/P/FP: CONVERSION OF GARAGE TO STUDY/HOBBY ROOM TO INCLUDE INSERTION OF WINDOW at 47 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. New
Stuart Fox produced a list of necessary expenditure and requested a figure the Parish Council considered reasonable to keep as a buffer for unforeseen costs. It was agreed a minimum of £1500. This was also to help Stuart obtain a more realistic figure to request for the precept.
Refund on VAT for the Lighting 855.34
Shane Barnes – Grass Cutting for 2005 2100.00
Mike Pearce – Padlock for Gates 26.49
R.A. Newman – Hedge Cutting 34.78
OALC Posters – 6.00
Wychwood Project 50.00 (Section 137 Expenditure)
ORCC – John Hardwicke’s Retirement 20.00 (Section 137 Expenditure)
7. SPORTS CLUBS / PLAYING FIELD
A meeting had been held between John Cull, Roger Shepherd, Mike Pearce representing the Parish Council and Mr Alan Wood, The Windrush School on 17th October, 2005. This was primarily to discuss the possibility for The Windrush School to increase their use of the the Playing Field / Pavilion facilities. Mr Wood was looking for between 3 to 4 afternoons per week from 3.30pm to 5.00pm, which would include hosting visiting schools. Mr Wood had expressed he would make a commercial financial contribution and in return he would ideally like to enter into a 5 year Contract/Agreement.
After the first meeting was held, a further meeting was held with other users of the Pavilion / Playing Field i.e. football clubs, toddler groups etc. and the majority thought this was a positive move. The Parish Council also held this view, but expressed that this would need to be given careful consideration and therefore a further meeting would be arranged by the Sports Club to explore Mr. Wood’s requirements in more detail.
8. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT
9. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT
Mrs Hibbert-Biles reported that the Government had still not announced a figure / allowance, albeit it will be less than the previous year with regards to Supporting People. They were still fighting to keep Wardens and currently working on Children/Adoption services.
It was also reported that Chipping Norton Hospital had only been granted 2 extra beds and an X Ray unit, which is after the inital consultation. Mrs Hibbert-Biles has requested a meeting with Nigel Webb the Chief Executive for clarity on the exact position with the Hospital.
10. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
No Public Questions.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Chairman did mention to the District Councillor the West Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011 Proposed Modifications, whereby Ascott-under-Wychwood is now classified as a small village “Group A”. The Parish Council expressed concerns what effect this change would have on the Village, with regards to planning etc. Mrs Hibbert-Biles is going to investigate this.
12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The meeting closed at 10.20 pm and the next meeting will be held on Monday 12th December, 2005 at 8.00 pm.