Parish Councillors Present:
Stuart Fox (Chairman)
Elaine Byles (Vice Chairman)
Laurence Mellor (co-opted at February meeting)
Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum:
Members of the Public:
Pippa Carter and Andrew Timms
No apologies received.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
There were two declarations of interest declared under Item No. 12 the Village Grapevine. Cllr Stuart Fox and Cllr Elaine Byles declared their interest when the Parish Council discussed its annual donation to the Grapevine.
3. CO-OPTION OF LAURENCE MELLOR:
The co-option of Laurence Mellor was proposed by Cllr Stuart Fox and seconded by Cllr Bridgette Crundwell. Cllr Mellor was welcomed to the Parish Council and his paperwork was given to the Clerk.
4. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING:
The Minutes of the January meeting were agreed and duly signed, dated and filed.
5.Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006:
(Presentation by Cynth Napper Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum)
Cllr Fox welcomed Cynth Napper to the meeting and invited her to start her presentation. Cynth explained the role of the Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC) and how Parish Councils’ obligation fitted in to it. She gave a 15 to 20 minute powerpoint presentation on the Act, what it means for parish councils and ways for councils to comply. Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 relates directly to parish councils and sets out their responsibilities with regard to their local biodiversity. It affects council’s decisions on local planning applications and their dealings with their grounds maintenance. Cllr Fox thanked Cynth on behalf of the Parish Council for the very informative presentation and for taking the time to attend.
6. CONTINGENCY PLAN:
7. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
CCllr Rodney Rose gave a report to the meeting; he reported that a Snow Policy, this being a guide for Parish Councils would be issued. He confirmed that the budget was being set and would incorporate an increase in council tax (2.75% in 2010) and hopefully a zero increase next year.
It was brought to CCllr Rose’s attention the concerns of parishioner Mrs Ledger, these being the speed at which traffic travelled from Shipton through to Ascott. Mrs Ledger had spoken with Cllr Byles enquiring if signs to warn drivers to slow down could be erected and also the possibility of white lines in the middle of the road (please refer to correspondence). CCllr Rodney Rose agreed to ask an engineer to visit the site and assess the situation and report back at the March meeting.
8. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
9. ELECTIONS 2010:
The Clerk reported that she would be attending an Elections Briefing at WODC offices on Monday 15 February and would report back accordingly. Ongoing
11. MATTERS ARISING:
• Water accumulating on the corner of High Street and London Lane: It was agreed that OCC Highways would arrange for the drain to be lowered in order to allow the water to escape.
• Water accumulation outside Sunset House: It was agreed that in the short term OCC Highways will arrange for their contractors to clear the leaves and silt to allow water to drain more freely into Network Rail’s ditch and in the longer term the Parish Council will need to discuss this with Cornbury Estate.
• Beyond the Level Crossing: It was agreed that you will replace the screen where the ditch enters the culvert under the road with one that will not get blocked with leaves and debris. It was noted that this cannot be done until after April when the department budget will be in place.
• Ditch on the Charity Land: It was agreed that the ditch was in good condition and well maintained, but there was a problem because the pipes feeding from the culvert into the ditch were too low and the water and the level of the ditch needs to be lowered so that the pipes are above the water level. This would improve water flow and help to prevent the culvert becoming full of silt.
• Manor Farm entrance: It was agreed to clear the drainage pipes on the righthand side of the road from the Manor Farm entrance to the river bridge.
• Curb stone on the corner of London Lane: The clerk has informed OCC Highways that the loose curb stone has now disappeared.
• Potholes on London Lane: The Clerk has informed OCC that the potholes were now 3″ to 4″ in depth.
Ditch opposite Sunset House
Cllr Morgan will speak with Network Rail to confirm they are the riparian owner and to discuss the pooling of water from the ditch.
Cllr Fox reported that he would speak with Mary Barnes with regard to taking on the bookings. The Clerk was asked to remind Roger Shepherd about the removal of the site screens.
11. MATTERS ARISING Cont’d:
The Clerk reported that she had spoken with Christine Wilson with regard to Cornbury Estate waiving the annual allotment rent in exchange for the Parish Council continuing to administer the tenants and was waiting for a reply. The Clerk was asked to write to the allotment tenants to request their rents for 2010.
Natural History Project
Ideas were still being discussed. Ongoing
The Wychwood Day Centre
Carry forward to the March meeting.
12. THE VILLAGE GRAPEVINE:
Cllr Stuart Fox and Cllr Elaine Byles declared an interest. The Clerk reported that the Parish Council gave a donation annually which last year was £400. The Grapevine costs between £800 and £900 to produce and the Clerk asked the council for their consideration this year. Cllr Morgan proposed the same figure as last year £400. Cllr Crundwell counter-proposed a donation of £200 and this was seconded by Cllr Morgan.
The correspondence envelope was circulated and all cllrs were asked to give some thought to the WODC document Planning for the Future consultation on the Core Strategy Preferred Approach. This document will need to be read and any comments or input from the Parish Council need to be sent by March 22. The Clerk suggested this would be put on the March Agenda.
• ORCC Area Review of Subsidised Bus Services: Witney area 2010
• OCC Highways letter from Paul Wilson confirming salt bins will be re-filled
• OCC Highways email response from Gordon Hunt re outstanding Highways issues
• OPFA Newsletter
• Forest Update Autumn/Winter
• Clerks and Councils Direct
• WODC Planning for the Future consultation on the Core Strategy Preferred Approach
09/1579/P/FP Erection of a conservatory at 3 Wisteria Cottage Cook Row High Street
15. FINANCIAL REPORT:
The Village Grapevine £200.00 (S.137 expenditure) Chq No. 100715
16. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Cllr Fox asked for suggested dates for the annual Litter Pick and it was decided that this would be held on Saturday 27 March 2010, meeting at the Village Shop at 10.30am.
Cllr Byles reported on a telephone call she had received from Mrs Ledger of Shipton Road wishing to bring to the Parish Council’s attention;
(a) the path opposite her house consists of tarmac and grass and a large vehicle has driven over the grass, spraying mud onto the path. Mrs Ledger wondered if the Parish Council would consider removing the grass.
(b) the double bends and speeding traffic approaching the Village from Shipton. Mrs Ledger asked if white lines could be put in the middle of the road, together with warning signs.
(c) Mrs Ledger was concerned about the lack of a salt bin near her property.
(d) Mrs Ledger advised Cllr Byles that she had a 4×4 vehicle and was happy to offer help to the Village in anyway she could should we have more adverse weather.
Please refer to the County Councillors report under Item 7.
Cllr Mellor asked about the Parish Council Website and the difficulty he had finding the correct version since it was updated. Cllr Mellor asked if it was possible to see how many “hits” the site had. The Clerk was asked to enquire and speak with Paul Cunningham. Cllr Mellor asked if it was possible for a diary of events for the year ahead to be made available. The Clerk would give this some thought.
Cllr Morgan asked if the grass verge outside 30 and 32 High Street had repaired itself. It was reported that the grass had grown back and there was no further damage.
17. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
Q: Pippa Carter asked if the Parish Council would like a flood update and gave a report on the progress from December. Pippa advised that the update was going to go into the Wychwood Magazine.
There being no further business, Cllr Fox closed the meeting at 10.00pm and confirmed the next meeting would be Monday 8 March 2010.