Parish Councillors Present:
Stuart Fox (Chairman)
Elaine Byles (Vice Chairman)
Members of the Public:
Apologies were received from Cllr Laurence Mellor.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
Cllr Stuart Fox and Cllr Elaine Byles declared an interest in Item No. 7 on the Agenda, the Grapevine. Due to there not being a quorum the Clerk was asked to carry this forward to the May meeting whereby the Parish Council would discuss their donation to the Grapevine.
3. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING:
The Minutes from the March meeting held on Monday 8 March were agreed and duly dated, signed and filed.
4. CONTINGENCY PLAN:
5. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
CCllr Rodney Rose reported that there was going to be a new contract for highways works. The existing contract with Enterprise was due to end at the end of June, but this had been brought forward and new tenders had been sought. Amey and two other contractors had placed a bid for a ten year contract commencing on 1 April 2010. The new contractor was confirmed to be Atkins and the contract would be for ten years with a possibility of being for twenty years. CCllr Rose reported that £1.2million had been injected into Highways to get potholes repaired and now that the new contractors were in place it was hoped that works would be carried out more efficiently over the summer months.
CCllr Rose reported that there was to be a wash-up meeting on 22 April to discuss the procedures that Highways would be following when there is heavy snowfall and adverse weather conditions. A leaflet will be distributed explaining to people what their County Council will and will not be doing in such conditions. There will also be an Area Stewardship whereby an Officer will be specifically designated to parish councils. Finally CCllr Rose reported that the replenishing of salt bins should be done around October/November. He then reported on the Shipton Road. He had met with one of his engineers and after inspection confirmed that it would not be possible to put white lines in the middle of the road, but on the boundary edge by Gypsy Lane they felt that this does need white lines and it would be addressed. CCllr Rose reported that there was no funding to remove the Verge.
6. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
DCllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles reported on the new Chipping Norton Hospital, in particular the maternity section and confirmed that there will be two bedrooms plus two bedrooms with birthing pools as well as a multi-use room. She reported that the bid for the Olympic Flame had gone in and explained that if the bid was won this was for the Olympic Flame to be lit either in Burford or Blenheim. DCClr Hibbert-Biles reported on the letter from the Thames Valley Care Agency with regard to the application by M S Mann for preliminary consent for inclusion in the Oxfordshire Pharmaceutical List from Premises at Shipton Stores, High Street, Shipton-under-Wychwood, which has been granted. After discussion the Clerk was asked to write and appeal to the Thames Valley Primary Care Agency pointing out that Shipton-under-Wychwood already has a fabulous Surgery with parking facilities and which also serves Ascott-under-Wychwood. It was also noted that this decision would mean a large loss of income to the Wychwood Surgery and would have a detrimental impact on the residents. There were also concerns raised that there is no shop at this address and the site currently has planning issues.
The Clerk was asked to carry this forward to the May meeting.
8. STREET LIGHTING:
The Clerk reported on a complaint that she had received from a parishioner with regard to the street lights in Dawls Close and Meadowbank being turned off. This was a decision the Parish Council made when asked by Oxfordshire County Council to reduce their carbon footprint and they agreed to the street lights being turned off, with the exception of Shipton Road. After discussion the Clerk was asked if she had received any complaints from parishioners in Dawls Close or Meadowbank she confirmed that she had not. The Parish Council decided that it would keep this under review, but at this stage it would not ask for these lights to be turned back on as it would not be fair on parishioners who lived in areas where the lights would remain turned off. The Clerk was asked to let the parishioner know.
9. ELECTIONS 2010:
The Clerk reported that WODC had advised that there were four nominations in and so the quorum had been met and a further parish election would not need to take place. She confirmed that at the May meeting, which is on Monday 10 May 2010, the first item on the Agenda would be the election of a Chairman and Vice Chairman. The current Chairman, Cllr Stuart Fox would then step down and the meeting continue.
10. ANNUAL PARISH MEETING:
The Clerk confirmed the Hall had been booked and all invitations to the local organisations had been sent and the reports were slowly coming in. Cllr Bridgette Crundwell gave her apologies for the Annual Parish Meeting.
11. MATTERS ARISING:
• 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. Works Complete (the Clerk was asked to keep this on the list to monitor)
• 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.Works Complete (the Clerk was asked to keep this on the list to monitor)
• 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.
• Salt Bins and gritting/clearing the roads (preferred routes): Refer to CCllr Rodney Rose’s Report.
• Shipton Road: A parishioner had asked the PC about the possibility of white lines in the middle of the road and road signs advising road users to slow down. Refer to CCllr Rodney Rose’s Report
11. MATTERS ARISING Cont’d:
Ditch opposite Sunset House
Cllr Rob Morgan reported that he had spoken with Graeme Tandy at Network Rail (NR) – ongoing.
The Clerk was asked to write again to Roger Shepherd and request the outstanding rent of £10.
Natural History Project
The Clerk had written to Cynth Napper at ONCF requesting if they would consider placing bird boxes and bat boxes on 5 Shilling Quarry and the Playing Field. Ongoing
Cllr Fox reported that he had spoken with Tyacks to enquire if they would cut down the Ash Trees and take the wood away, but this was not something they carried out. The contractor Splitwood was asked to cary out the works accordingly as agreed.
• Letter from the Ascott-under-Wychwood Charity explaining that under the Constitution of the Charity, there is a provision (article 9) that there must be at least five trustees of which at least one should be a member of the Parish Council. Due to Cllr Fox and Cllr Byles standing down the PC will need to appoint a trustee.
• Letter from Thames Valley Primary Care Agency advising that the application by M S Mann for preliminary consent for inclusion in the Oxfordshire Pharmaceutical List from premises at Shipton Stores, High Street has been granted.
• WODC Meeting of the Standards Committee
• AON Insurance; a letter advising that the administration of the PC’s Insurance policy has been transferred from Allianz Insurance plc to AON Insurance and inviting renewal at a premium of £1737.93
The Clerk was asked to add the letter from the Ascott-under-Wychwood Charity on the Agenda for May for the new elected Council to discuss.
10/0199/P/S73 Non-compliance with condition 4 of planning permission 07/0930/P/FP to allow inward opening doors and flush balustrade at Bay Tree Cottage, The Green Ascott-under-Wychwood.
10/0281/P/FP Erection of single storey side extension at 14 Shipton Road, Ascott-under-Wychwood
14. PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL:
The Clerk reported that she had asked a contractor to take a look at the Lime Trees and offer a verbal quotation as a ballpark figure. This quote was the same as had been already received, this being approximately £4800. Cllr Fox had advised Mr Stedeford to approach the Parish Council, giving them plenty of notice, when they decide to have the works done and their request for a donation would be considered.
15. FINANCIAL REPORT:
VAT Repayment £488.91
Allotment Rents £17.50
Tiddy Hall rent £136.00 Chq No. 100722
The Accounts for the year to 31 March 2010 were presented to the meeting and discussed and approved. The Annual Return was discussed and the Accounting Statement read and agreed. The Annual Governance Statement was read to the meeting and agreed. The Annual Return was then signed by the Chairman and the Clerk as a true record.
16. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Cllr Morgan asked the Clerk to include the year in the heading on the monthly updates.
Cllr Crundwell reminded the Clerk to send a copy of the letter to WODC Planning when sending an objection to a planning application to the Cllrs. The Clerk agreed, but pointed out that there had been very few applications and no objections of late.
Cllr Byles asked when the Risk Assessment was due and Cllr Fox confirmed that this would be imminent.
Cllr Fox reported that he was meeting the Oxford Mail outside the Signal Box on Thursday 15 April to discuss NR change of decision in removing the Signal Box.
17. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
Q: Philippa Carter reported that there was nothing to report on the flood relief works.
Q: Philippa was asked if she would prepare a short report for the Annual Parish Meeting?
A: Philippa agreed.
There being no further business, Cllr Fox closed the meeting at 9.50pm and confirmed the next meeting would be the Annual Parish Meeting which will be held on Monday 26 April. The Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday 10 May 2010.