Parish Councillors Present:
Jane Bowley, Wychwood Project
Members of the Public:
Received from Rodney Rose.
2. ELECTION OF A CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN:
It was proposed by Nick Leadbetter that Stuart Fox be elected as Chairman, this was seconded by Bridgette Crundwell. It was proposed by Bridgette Crundwell that Elaine Byles be elected as Vice Chairman, this was seconded by Nick Leadbetter.
The Minutes for April were approved, but not signed, dated or filed as files were still with the auditor.
4. GUEST SPEAKER: Stuart Fox introduced Jane Bowley from the Wychwood Project who had come to the meeting to finalise the Parish Conservation Challenge as this was now coming to an end after some two and a half years. Jane reported that the challenge was to work with some 20 of the smaller parishes which had had varying levels of success, Ascott being one of the more successful in its development of the Village Pound. It was also reported that as part of the Challenge she had been working with the local primary schools, which had produced a 30 metre drawn tapestry. Finally, Jane reported that a new project was to commence with a 3 year funding – this is called “V” Involved part of the National Youth Volunteering organisation which would be working with the 16 – 25 age range. Stuart Fox proposed a show of thanks to Jane for all her help in the Parish Conservation Challenge.
5. MATTERS ARISING:
OCC Highways – Ongoing – Clerk reported that the white lines had now been removed, but the list of works outstanding remained as below:
- the replacement of the smaller wooden posts on the reinstated grass verge
- smaller wooden posts being erected down the one side of the Village Green
- ongoing road surfaces including the numerous potholes throughout the Village
Pavilion/Sports Club – Ongoing.
Village Shop – Stuart Fox advised the meeting that the Shop’s AGM will be held on 27th May at 7.30pm in the Swan Public House.
Parish Conservation Plan – Stuart Fox reported that Millfield were going to place a membrane and then slate chippings around the Ascott Barrow to help prevent weed growth around the stones. Clerk reported that Shane Barnes would finish his works on the Pound at the weekend; the gates etc. Stuart suggested a wooden rail be placed approximately 10″ away from the stones, all the way around them so that this would contain the chippings. Clerk to ask Shane Barnes to complete these works also.
Clerk reported that she had at long last received a response from Ross Noonan at the Electricity company, who confirmed that a schedule of works to remove the pole was in place and that he would notify the Clerk when this was going to happen.
5 Shilling Quarry – Ongoing, Stuart Fox to chase Nick Gibbs.
Action Stuart Fox
2a Shipton Road – Ongoing
Cornbury Estate – Nick Leadbetter will be contacting Christine Wilson in reply to her email regarding trees and riparian owners.
Action Nick Leadbetter
- Playing Field – the bark to be measured and possibly replenished. The wooden bar to be extended and replaced at the end of the slide. The side of the slide steps has a large piece of grass which needs to be removed.
- Village Green – the annual tree inspection
- Cricket Screens on the Playing Field
- 5 Shilling Quarry – the trees would need to be looked at in the future.
- Parish Council must consider inspecting the trees around the playing field next Winter.
It was reported that Shane Barnes will be addressing the Playing Field issues. Andrew Jackson reported that the tree on the Village Green was in excellent condition, the crown was good and there was no infection. He suggested some remedial works to be done in the Autumn. John Cull reported that the damaged screens had now been demolished and that a letter had been sent to the Cricket Club asking them to obtain quotations for new screens, as there is the possibility of some funding available from WODC. Nick Leadbetter proposed a show of thanks to Andrew Jackson for his inspection of the horse chestnut tree on the Village Green, which he has now done, free of charge.
Bus Service Review – Peter Greening reported that nothing had yet been received back from ORCC and that he will be contacting Robert McConnachie at Shipton-under-Wychwood Parish Council to discuss the bus service review and its effects on the Wychwoods.
Action Peter Greening
Code of Conduct Training – Clerk has replied, just waiting for confirmation from WODC for place allocation.
Sports Field Sign – Clerk to speak with Lawrence King to ascertain cost etc., but requesting that the sign be attached to the pole that is already in place for the Village Shop.
OALC Training Courses – Bridgette Crundwell requested that she be booked on the October planning course. Clerk to arrange this.
Nick Leadbetter reported that he had had two on-site visits with Network Rail (NR) and the Environment Agency and it was confirmed that the top of the priority list for NR is to widen and rebuild the retaining wall, protecting the vertical section on the South side of the rail bridge, to then smooth the retaining wall which would ease the river flow. Nick also reported that the money was available and work was scheduled to start in July/August and would take approximately two weeks.
Nick reported that with regards to the culvert at the level crossing, the responsibility is shared half with OCC Highways and half with NR. Nick expressed his desperation at attempts to speak and meet with Gordon Hunt – Hilary Hibbert-Biles agreed to speak with Gordon and ask him to contact Nick.
Action Hilary Hibbert-Biles
Clerk to email Nick Bob Lightfoot’s email address so that sand bins can be sought and placed throughout the Village at the Tiddy Hall, the sports field and by the level crossing. Nick then asked the Parish Council to consider and agree the following actions:
- To fix a date to meet with Gordon Hunt
- To seek the connectivity report from Thames Water
- To draft a letter on behalf of the PC to our local MEP, James Ellis about financial assistance for riparian owners
- To seek sand bins from Bob Lightfoot
- To repeat request for the Environment Agency’s program of work on the Ascott stretch of the river
- To form the sub-committee and ask that they start thinking of identifying specialist people/volunteers.
Stuart then asked Nick to become Chairman of the sub-committee, Nick asked for it to be minuted that he did have reservations about taking a lead role as a co-opted member but was prepared to take on the role with the support of the Council. He said the sub-committee could not be autonomous and must report all deliberations and proposed actions to the Parish Council. The Terms of Reference were discussed and it was thought that where the Parish Council had originally been asked for it to be changed so that Stuart Fox as Chairman was the only person to sign letters, this was now deemed unworkable. It was approved that all letters should be sent out on parish council letterhead and signed for and on behalf of the Parish Council. Apart from this amendment the rest of the Terms of Reference should remain unchanged.
Nick, as Chairman of the sub-committee reported that volunteers would need to be sought, but keeping to a maximum of 4. John Cull was asked if he would join the sub-committee, he confirmed he was happy to do so.
Clerk reported that the letter had been signed and sent to the Bishop of Oxford’s flood Appeal to request for grant. John Cull reported that Sarah Boyd ran a charity fund in Witney and had advised him that the Parish Council may wish to write a letter as a worthy cause enquiring about any possible funding. Peter Greening agreed to speak with Sarah to find out more about the Charity.
Action Peter Greening
- Letter from ORCC – Membership for 2008/09
- Letter from OCC – Home 2 School Newsletter Summer 2008
- Clerks & Councils direct
- Cornbury Park – Brochure
- Letter from Cotswolds AONB – Management Plan 2008 – 2013
- Email from Mr George, Boundary House re. the BT Telephone Box
Clerk to reply to Mr George giving the Parish Council’s response that the Village should have a working phone box and that the removal of such is not an option.
No planning applications.
9. FINANCIAL REPORT:
Allotment Rents £7.50
BAC’s receipt £312.79 (VAT refund)
Payments Out £
Shane Barnes £85.66 Cheque No. 100638
(new battery for the tractor)
10. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
No report, apologies sent.
11. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
Hilary reported that she would be looking at the WODC Report before it is sent out, however the report once agreed would then need to go to WODC’s legal people before being sent out to the public. Hilary was confident that this should be by mid June.
Hilary also reiterated to the meeting that if there were any planning application objections, then she must be made aware so that she can help get the application to committee.
12. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
Q: John Cull reported that he had received a request from the Pre-School who use the Tiddy Hall for replacement fencing at the back of the Tiddy Hall.
Q: Andrew Jackson advised the meeting that the phone box in the Village did have nettles, waist high. He also asked about the drains throughout the Village, in particular the Shipton Road and Church View where they were full of gravel.
A: Hilary would look into.
13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Elaine Byles had been asked by Susan Ryan to bring up the steps that lead down to the Tiddy Hall and was it possible for white lines to be painted on the edge of them for people with impaired vision? Also Susan Ryan was concerned about the wooden post near the toilets. After discussion it was decided this was a matter for the Tiddy Hall, Elaine would advise Susan Ryan when she next saw her.
There being no further business Stuart Fox closed the meeting at 9.40pm and reminded all that the June meeting would be held on Monday 9th June at 8pm in the Tiddy Hall Room.