Parish Councillors Present:
- Rob Morgan (Chairman)
- Bridgette Crundwell
- Pauline Marshall
- Laurence Mellor
- Philippa Carter
- Rodney Rose
- Angela Barnes
Members of the Public:
- Lord Rotherwick
Apologies were received from DCllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles.
2. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 11 October were agreed and duly signed, dated and filed.
3. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
There were no declarations of interest.
4. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
CCllr Rodney Rose reported that the main emphasis was on the October spending review. Transport were looking at cuts of 40% on the revenue budget and 50% on the capital budget. He reported that Ian Clark, the Area Steward for Ascott, should be in touch with a view to meeting the Parish Council and conduct a “walk through” the Village. On a more optimistic note CCllr Rose reported that a Triathlon was scheduled to be held in September 2011 which would include councillors from South Oxfordshire, the Police etc. etc.
5. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
6. LORD ROTHERWICK (Cornbury Park Estate)
Cllr Rob Morgan introduced Lord Rotherwick and welcomed him to the meeting. Lord Rotherwick reported that finances were tight and with regard to green energy there would be no turbines. He reported that the Estate was looking at the possibility of a commercial solar farm within the Forest, which would not be visible. Lord Rotherwick reported that a new promoter, Mama Group (owned by HMV) had been appointed for the Cornbury Festival. He reported that farming was as expected and as forecast ie milling wheat at £200 per tonne. He reported that his Forestry department had been caught out by the weather and that poplar trees in Fawler had fallen under the river bridge and these would take one to two months to clear. Finally Lord Rotherwick reported that a footpath between Finstock and Charlbury would be cleared and eventually hardcored. There followed a short Q & A session and Cllr Rob Morgan thanked Lord Rotherwick for attending the meeting.
7. SPORTS PAVILION:
Cllr Mellor and Cllr Carter reported that progress was being made, albeit slow.
8. FINANCIAL REPORT:
The Clerk presented the prepared forecast to the meeting again in order to set the Precept for 2011/2012. After discussion it was proposed by Cllr Crundwell that the Precept should be increased in line with inflation at 3%, an increase of £304.50 which equates to £10,804.50. The proposal was agreed unanimously.
Second half of the Precept £5250.00
9. MATTERS ARISING:
Oxfordshire Highways and Network Rail:
- Beyond the Level Crossing: Works now done, but needs to be checked that it has been jetted Ongoing
- Ditch on the Charity Land: Ongoing
- Salt Bins and gritting/clearing the roads (preferred routes) : The Clerk was asked to contact CCllr Rodney Rose about the salt bins in the Village which are in poor repair and request that the three are replaced Ongoing
Cllr Crundwell reported that takings had been up for the past five weeks.
Natural History Project:
Carols round the Christmas Tree:
This was discussed and as the erection of the Tree is scheduled to happen before the next meeting, final details were discussed and noted as follows:
- Erection of the Tree is on Saturday 4 December – all to meet on the Village Green at 10.30am to help. The Clerk was asked to remind Robin Walker.
- It was agreed that the Carol Service would commence at 7.00pm on Christmas Eve. Cllr Carter confirmed that she had invited the Ascott Songsters and that Daphne Abe hopes to attend.
- The Clerk reported that SEC would connect the electricity supply on Wednesday 10 November
- Cllr Morgan would check the lights and the transformer
- The Clerk was asked to organise the leaflet noting the date and time and bring to the December meeting for distribution
- Carol Sheets – these are currently in the Tiddy Hall cupboard – the Clerk would collect and distribute at the December meeting
- Buckets/Collectors – the Clerk was asked to speak with Stuart Fox and enquire if he would be happy to organise the collection
- It was confirmed that the Charity that would benefit from the collection is the Wychwood Day Centre
- The Village Charity would confirm, once they had had their meeting, that they were happy to supply and serve Mince Pies and Mulled Wine at the end of the service
10. COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLAN: (replaces the Contingency Plan)
Cllr Carter gave the following update; the booklet ‘Are You Ready’ has been distributed this month. This was produced by the Emergency Services and various County Councils, including OCC, to help residents be better prepared for any type of major emergency. The PC delivered this with their own covering letter explaining the fact that Parish Councils have been asked to write a ‘voluntary’ self-help Community Emergency plan. The letter outlined the steps the PC is prepared to take in a major emergency.
The letter also asked for residents to come forward to offer help and the use of specialist equipment, and it included a list of emergency numbers. The PC insurance for public liability has been checked and Stuart Fox advised that it does cover volunteers who have been asked to undertake a task for the PC.
Each Parish Councillor now holds a copy of the basic Emergency Plan. A copy will be sent to WODC, Hilary Biles and the PC clerk. Volunteers are key to the success of any action and this list is being developed. The full Emergency Plan is to be kept at Tiddy Hall – the designated co-ordinating point/refuge.
All PC equipment is to be checked, logged and marked this month and the procedure on sandbagging finally decided. A permanent location of the Road Flood Signs has been established and all councillors informed. Councillor Mellor has written clear instructions for the PC water pump; storage of the pump and fuel has been agreed. He has agreed to take responsibility for checking the pump’s working order. The emergency mobile phone is to be checked and charged at each PC meeting.
WODC have asked for a point of contact to unlock the sand bin. Ron Spears of WODC explained to Councillor Carter that the sand and sandbags are WODC property and the council may require sandbags from Ascott to help another community in the vicinity. Councillors Morgan, Mellor and Carter have been named as keyholders.
10. COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLAN Cont’d:
Contact has been made with Shipton PC, Charlbury TC and the Cornbury Estate with regard to receiving and sending warnings in the event of a flood. It has not been possible to re-establish contact with Moreton but a new contact in Bledington is emerging. Shipton PC have sent a copy of their emergency plan and passed on the link to the new online EA reading of their guage at Shipton Bridge. There is some debate about how often the website is updated and this will be monitored. If it is hourly (as Shipton PC believe) then the information could be extremely useful in giving Ascott accurate flood warning.
Following a short discussion on the need for maintaining the improved drainage of the village, it was agreed that the PC should walk the village together with a view to developing a general village maintenance strategy. This will be done before the December meeting.
No new planning applications had been received.
10/0894/P/FP Erection of single storey rear extension at 9 High Street Ascott-under-Wychwood – the Clerk was asked to check the status of this application with WODC.
14. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
- Cllr Morgan reported that he had enquired with Network Rail about the PC landscaping the bank which is now free of weeds following the upgrade to the ditch opposite Sunset House – no reply had been received. The Clerk was asked to add this to matters arising to be discussed at the December meeting.
- The Clerk was asked to add Village Maintenance and Notice Boards to the Agenda for December’s meeting.
16. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
There were no public questions.
There being no further business, Cllr Morgan closed the meeting at 9.45pm and confirmed the next meeting would be held on Monday 13 December 2010.