Parish Councillors Present:
West Oxfordshire District Council:
Hilary Hibbert-Biles, District Councillor
Ascott Recovery Committee (ARC):
Lord Rotherwick, Cornbury Park
Members of the Public:
Apologies were received from Chairman, David Wilkinson.
The November minutes were agreed, dated, signed and filed.
3 MATTERS ARISING:
Cornbury Estate – Lord Rotherwick introduced himself and thanked the delegates from the Parish Council that attended the Estate Plan meeting. Lord Rotherwick confirmed that the second phase of the Estate Plan was going to be in February and he would be inviting the Council to attend again. Lord Rotherwick then went on to discuss the various issues that Ascott-under-Wychwood had with regards to hedgerows, stone walls and general repairs throughout the Village, which were the responsibility of Cornbury. He explained that there were two Trusts and unfortunately two sets of land agents responsible for the overseeing of these repairs and the general maintenance. Lord Rotherwick explained that the whole of the land management had now been given to Bidwells and that standards should now be much higher. Lord Rotherwick advised the meeting that as neighbours to Ascott-under-Wychwood he did want to work with the Village and could only apologise for the past experiences. He also asked that if there were any issues, could the Parish Council write or contact the Estate Office.
Q: Elaine Byles asked Lord Rotherwick if Cornbury had any future plans for development in Ascott?
A: Lord Rotherwick answered “No” none for the foreseeable future.
Q: Siobhan Tustain asked about the repairs to the stone wall in the middle of the Village?
A: Lord Rotherwick explained that he had contracted a professional stone waller to complete the whole job, who was in fact away on holiday, but would return to finish this.
Q: Roger Shepherd asked about the plant & machinery that Cornbury used and would it be possible for Cornbury’s contractors to move down river to assist in the re-moving of the trees from the river in Ascott?
A: Lord Rotherwick answered that he used a contractor called John McCann, who was now completely booked up doing all of Cornbury’s work, especially on the water courses, however he was more than happy to discuss this and asked Roger to get in touch with him.
Elaine then offered Lord Rotherwick to leave the meeting if he wished. Lord Rotherwick thanked the Parish Council again and reiterated that he now hoped communications, as neighbours to Ascott, could continue in a more positive way. Elaine thanked Lord Rotherwick for attending before he left the meeting.
OCC Highways – Ongoing – Clerk to chase again. It was however noted that due to all of the repairs relating to flood work, some of the outstanding items would now take longer to address.
Pavilion/Sports Club – Roger Shepherd advised that the playing field was now very wet and numerous football matches had been cancelled. Roger also advised about the maintenance of the field with regards to drainage and it was suggested by Stuart Fox that Roger speak with John Cull and seek some professional quotations to look at any ways of improving this issue. Hilary would also look into the possiblity of any grants that may be available to assist with this, once quotations and an idea of cost and works involved had been found.
Action District Councillor
Village Shop – Ongoing
Parish Conservation Plan – Stuart reported that Museum Services were designing the signboard for the Pound and that he did wish to order a bench. Shane Barnes had organised a digger to level the ground and generally clear it, but unfortunately due to bad weather this did not happen. He has confirmed that the works will be done over the next week or so. Hilary Hibbert-Biles advised Stuart there may be some Millenium benches available. Hilary would look into this and let Stuart know.
Action District Councillor
Freedom of Information Act – Clerk reported that she had attended the course, which proved very helpful and informative. Clerk felt that the Parish Council were doing all they could in accomodating this.
5 Shilling Quarries – this was discussed and a conclusion was made to shelve the idea of selling this parcel of land. However the safety of the site would need to be addressed, in so far as putting up signs and the possibility of having to fence it. Clerk to contact Kath James at WODC Environment & Health department and make some enquiries.
2a Shipton Road – Ongoing
Post Office – The current facility being run by John Naish appeared to be working well, however Hilary Hibbert-Biles reported that there were further plans to close more rural post offices and urged the Parish Council to write to Postwatch and advise how important the local facility within the Village was for both old and young people. Clerk to email Hilary for details of whom to write to.
Action Clerk/District Councillor
Precept – Stuart Fox reported that last year’s precept figure of £9,668 could remain at that figure, but asked the meeting to consider any increases of expenditure, such as support for flood relief work etc. All agreed that the precept should be increased to £13,500 to take into account £2,000 for remedial work flood prevention, £1,000 provision for moving the Ascott Barrow Stones in case further grants cannot be raised and a £1000 reserve.
Risk Assessment – Ongoing
Internal Audit – to be discussed at the January meeting.
RoSPA Report – Clerk had circulated this and there were a few areas of concern re the play equipment on the playing field. Lappset were supposed to have done all works necessary back in the Summer. Clerk to contact Lappset again for them to re-visit the site, perhaps with a member of the Parish Council being present. The report also pointed out that all of the loose fill surfaces were in need of deep raking – clerk to ask Shane Barnes to do this. Bridgette suggested that the Parish Council apply for a grant to replace the “high risk” see-saw and also suggested that it was time to extend the length of the safety area at the end of the slide – clerk to ask Shane Barnes to do this also.
Flooding – A meeting had been held earlier to discuss how the Parish Council felt about funding and supporting this issue. The Clerk read out the points that had been clarified, which Roger Shepherd noted on behalf of ARC. A draft letter had been prepared by John Cull, which if approved would be sent from the Parish Council. The Parish Council had numerous concerns with the content of the letter which would be discussed with John at the Charities Meeting on Thursday 13th December.
· Letter received from WODC Support for the Arts 2008/9
· Letter received from Lady Rotherwick, Cornbury Park; re the draft estate plan and presenting this on the evening of Thursday 7th February 2008 (will need to reply)
· Letter received from The Public Catalogue Foundation
· Letter from OCC Environment & Economy – Review of external transport posts
· Letter from Oxfordshire Carers’ Forum – requesting donation.
07/1816/P/LB INTERNAL ALTERATIONS at ASCOTT EARL HOUSE, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD
07/1924/P/FP ERECTION OF DETACHED DWELLING at LAND ADJACENT TO 14 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD.
5(a) PLANNING BREACHES:
ENFORCEMENT REFERENCE: 06/0345
ALLEGED BREACH: WORKS NOT BEING BUILT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPROVED PLAN: 07/0521/PF/P at 35 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD
6. FINANCIAL REPORT:
Payments In £
Payments Out £
WODC Trade Waste collections £113.04 Cheque No. 100620
Citizens Advice Bureau £50.00 Cheque No. 100621 (S.137 Expenditure)
7. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
8. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
Hilary Hibbert-Biles reported that the Independent re-configuration Panel were now looking at the Horton Hospital. The maternity cover at Chipping Norton Hospital had now been reduced to between a 2 to 6 hours discharge time for mother & baby and this was felt to be extremely insufficient support. Hilary reported that she had walked along the river bank from Ascott to Shipton with Jim Sokal of the Environment Agency and confirmed that a letter had been drafted and would be going to all ripearian owners. One issue that Hilary did have was the question of the safety of the actual bridge in Ascott. Hilary confirmed to the meeting that the Wychwoods were now listed in the first priority group, along with Witney with regards to flood repair and prevention works.
Hilary reported that “Support for the Arts” had been extended to January 2008 and urged the meeting if they knew of anyone suitable to apply. She also reported that Waste Contract was due to be looked at on Wednesday 12th December and finally that there was still extra money available in the hardship grant, but this would only be available until 31st December.
9. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
No public questions.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Stuart Fox reported that he had been asked if the Parish Council could help with clearing the pathway through the Churchyard and replenishing the gravel. Mark Abrey also advised that the Church were planning to re-gravel part of the other pathway at the side of the Church and suggested they amalgamate the two. The Parish Council were happy with this.
Elaine Byles had received a complaint from a neighbour of the Windrush School re. the security lighting that had been erected in the school grounds.
It was reported that the surface water running from Chipping Norton hill down over the river bridge was particularly bad again – indeed someone had fallen on the ice and there had been a car accident as a result of the water freezing.
It was also reported on the amount of “Dog Mess” around the Village and in the Churchyard.
There being no further business, Elaine Byles as Vice Chairman closed the meeting at 10.05pm and confirmed the next meeting to be held on Monday 14th January 2008.