Councillors Present were: Mr N Braithwaite (Chairman), Mr M Pearce, Mr S Fox, Mrs W Pearse, Mrs E Byles, Mr Rodney Rose (County Councillor), Mrs H Hibbert-Biles (District Councillor).
In Attendance: Mr Ralph Grant, Area Engineer – Oxfordshire Highways
Members of the Public: Miss S Tustain, Mr F Russell and Mr Morgan
Parish Clerk: Mrs A M Barnes
1. APOLOGIES – No Apologies.
2. MINUTES: Agreed, numbered, signed and filed.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Walk through Ascott-under-Wychwood Leaflet: Roger Shepherd had given the leaflet back advising that the main problem is the quality, in particular the photographs. He did offer a photographer would be happy to re-take the photographs free of charge, however there would be the cost of the typesetting at £60 and then the cost of having the photographs printed off. This would be £85 per 100 and £113 per 150 photographs. It was agreed that these costs could escalate and in effect take away the original authenticity of the leaflet. Stuart Fox agreed to re-take some photographs, the leaflet could then be tidied up. Chairman to arrange the printing.
Action Stuart Fox / Chairman
Post Box: Clerk has spoken with Mr. Matthew Large at Royal Mail, Banbury, who confirmed that nothing would be done on this project until well in to the New Year. However he would keep us informed. Clerk followed this conversation up with a letter. Ongoing.
Crown Farm: Elaine Byles reported that major drainage work had been carried out before Christmas from the farmyard being connected into the main public sewer into Heritage Lane.
Railway & Culvert: John Clark had telephoned Clerk regarding the ditch/land. Network Rail would need this clearing before they could continue their work, which they were very keen to get on with. The Chairman was going to speak with John Clark to clarify and he has a plan which clearly shows the land belongs to Railtrack, immediately to the West of the railway crossing.
Chestnut Drive / Cottsway: Clerk had been telephoned by Michelle Bowerman, who apologised for the lack of response. Cottsway were going to re-address the situation and would be sending flyers to all residents. They would also speak with the residents again and liaise with NAG and report back to us. Ongoing.
Churchyard Kissing Gate: Ongoing.
Oxfordshire County Council – Highways: Mr Ralph Grant, Area Engineer for Oxfordshire Highways was in attendance. Firstly Mr. Grant apologised for the lack of response generally and in particular to the last letter written to Councillor Rodney Rose. Mr Grant reported on the outstanding issues as follows:
- 30 mile speed sign London Lane – this could not be moved back as it would be encroaching onto a rural area and not highways. However further lighting could be added. The Street Lighting department had been approached for a quotation to fix a light to a post and if the quotation was no more than £2000 this would be ok to proceed and would be funded by Oxfordshire County Council. However if more than £2000 the Parish Council may be asked to contribute.
- White Lines – Mr Grant admitted that the contractors used had missed some of the white line painting, but did confirm that the job would be finished as soon as a sufficient amount of work was available to give the contractors in this area.
- Road Sign – A362 spelt incorrectly – “Ascot” – This job was in hand and the person responsible was very apologetic for the error. However the sign would need to come down again and be redone.
- Road Sign – Railway Crossing – Mr Grant confirmed that a replacement sign should be back up within 6 weeks.
- Road Repairs / Potholes – Fairspear had now been done. The Green – Mr Grant confirmed that the contractors will be instructed to go back and do the whole stretch of road – however this is not deemed an emergency.
- High Street – This has been inspected and Mr. Grant accepts that treatment is necessary – timescale would be within the next 3 years hopefully, when it would be completely re-dressed.
- Water/drainage Chipping Norton Hill – Mike Pearce expressed concerns to Mr. Grant regarding the water pouring down the hill into Ascott, especially at this time of year. Mr Grant asked Mike to indicate/mark where the problem was on his map – this will be investigated.
- London Lane – drains – Mr Fox reported that the gulleys were full of silt and rubbish again. Mr Grant advised that he could increase the frequency of gully emptying to hopefully aleviate the problem (from once to twice a year).
Pavilion / Sports Clubs: A draft Lease Agreement, with two small amendments had been left with Mr. Wood before Christmas. Mr. Wood has been away and as yet has not replied regarding this. Chairman confirmed that there was no problem with the Parish Council’s Insurers and now that had been confirmed the “letter of comfort” could be drafted and sent.
Shop Report: Mr Fox reported that the year end sales for 2005 equalled £116,269 and this was 11.8% ahead on the previous year. The run up to Christmas saw the shop have a record week where takings were in excess of £3420. A certificate had been presented to the shop as runners up in the “Village Shop of the Year” competition. This was presented by OALC.
Letter received from WODC inviting Parish Councillors to attend a Strategic Partnership Forum meeting to be held at Witney Lakes. This was declined and Clerk to reply accordingly.
Letter received from OALC regarding the increase of clerks salaries from April 2006. This was passed to Stuart Fox.
Action Stuart Fox
05/1933/P/FP: CONVERSION OF GARAGE TO STUDY/HOBBY ROOM TO INCLUDE INSERTION OF WINDOW at 47 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. Granted.
05/2246/P/FP: ALTERATIONS AND ERECTION OF SINGLE AND TWO TWO STOREY EXTENSIONS at 47 SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. New
05/2265P/FP : EXTENSION OF ALL WEATHER GALLOP TO INCLUDE CONSTRUCTION OF SAFETY RAILINGS (Retrospective) at BRASSWELL LANE FIELD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. New
05/2290/P/FP: ERECTION OF TWO STOREY REAR AND SINGLE STOREY SIDE EXTENTION at 49 SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. New
05/2314/P/FP: ALTERATIONS AND ERECTION OF FIRST FLOOR EXTENSION. CONSTRUCT NEW GARAGE TO REPLACE EXISTING at 33 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. New
06/0025/P/FP: ERECTION OF ROOF BETWEEN FARM BUILDINGS TO PROVIDE STORAGE AREA FOR FARM EQUIPMENT at 13 THE GREEN, CROWN FARM, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. New
Clerks quarterly Salary 409.50
7. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT
Mr Rose reported that Council Tax was set to increase by 4.375% being slightly more than inflation, albeit this was as bigger an increase that had been anticipated.
There were to be no cuts in front line services and there was in fact an additional spend available of £29 million.
8. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT
Mrs Hibbert-Biles reported that the Supporting People grant budget had been agreed with cuts of 15% across the board, except for older people. An extra £1/2 million had been awarded. The extra has been put aside for next year when large cuts were to be expected.
Mrs Hibbert-Biles also reported that Waste/Recycling is now deemed to be a major project for the future. A “consultation” is due to take place to encourage more members of the public to participate/opt in. A percentage of participants is hopefully going to reach 45%.
It was also reported that Mrs Hibbert-Biles had been in touch with NAG recently and it would appear that this scheme is going well.
9. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Question: Miss Tustain advised the Parish Council of speeding problems in the Village, particularly along the Shipton Road. Miss Tustain reported two incidents which had happened leading up to Christmas, one of which resulted in the motorist becoming very abusive to a resident of the Shipton Road.
Answer: The District Councillor reported that NAG were aware of the problem and this was to be their next target project. Claire McIntosh of Chipping Norton Police had enquired for suggestions to run “Speed Checks” within the Village. The District Councillor was due to meet with Claire McIntosh and would advise her accordingly.
Question: Miss Tustain asked if the brambles could be severely cut back on the Railway.
Answer: Chairman would be speaking with John Clark about this and other issues with with Network Rail.
Question: Miss Tustain expressed the view that the recycling boxes were too heavy when full and she simply could not lift or move them and therefore did not participate in recycling. She also felt it was not safe to leave these boxes on the pathway.
Answer: The District Councillor advised that operatives would carry the boxes through the house, if asked and that the boxes would be changed in the future – hopefully to include wheels. Again this would depend on the “consultation” noted earlier.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Stuart Fox asked about how to move forward the Parish Conservation Plan. It was thought The Pound would benefit from this scheme and would be a good start. Stuart is going to invite Jane Bowley to a daytime meeting at The Pound to discuss the re-build of the stone wall. It was considered that Mr. and Mrs Burleigh be contacted to advise them what was going on. Clerk to write accordingly.
11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Meeting closed at 9.25pm and the next meeting will be held on Monday 13th February, 2006 at 8.00 pm in the Tiddy Hall, Ascott under Wychwood.