- Rob Morgan (Chair)
- Laurence Mellor
- Philippa Carter
- Sandy Timms
- Angela Barnes
1. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The Minutes from the February meeting were agreed, signed, dated and duly filed.
Received from Cllr Bridgette Crundwell and CCllr Rodney Rose and DCllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles
3. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
There were no declarations of interest.
4. FINANCIAL REPORT:
- £133.07 OALC subscription Chq No. 100902
- £400.00 Ascott Grapevine Chq No. 100903
- £182.57 Margaret Johnson Office Supplies Chq No. 100904
- £16.99 Laurence Mellor Chq No. 100905 (galvanised chain for use on Nativity Scene)
- £59.88 Philippa Carter Chq No. 100906 (Mulled Wine)
- £5,000 OCC (Project Safe Play)
5. CLERK’S CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT:
An updated Contract of Employment for the Clerk was presented to the meeting for approval. This was duly discussed and approved unanimously. Cllr Morgan signed and dated the Contract and the Clerk was asked to advise Stuart the Responsible Financial Officer accordingly.
6. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
Report received – as follows:
The budget was decided at the Full Council meeting on 18 February. A council tax increase of 1.99% was agreed and whilst any increase should be avoided, this small increase of 46p per week for a band D property means that some valued services can be retained.
There were some difficult decisions to take, however money was reinvested into the priority areas as opposed to reducing spending and the Council’s overall new savings figure remains at £64m, with £31m of savings having already been planned. The Council is on track to have made £170m of savings from 2010 to 2014.
Between 2010 and 2018, savings totalling £265 million will have been achieved by sharing services with other councils and reducing costs, including cutting the number of Directors by 50%.
Despite all the savings and reductions there were some positive announcements:
- An additional investment of £800,000 to end 15 minute personal care visits by extending the time of visits;
- An extra £350,000 will be available for the setting up of a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in Oxfordshire;
- There will be £1m extra for general highway maintenance to be spent across the county – with priorities for this spend to be determined during coming months;
- A total of £400,000 will be set aside as a contingency to deal with issues stemming from flooding and other winter weather issues – the exact nature of how this money will be spent will be determined once full assessments have been made when waters have subsided;
- A total of £315,000 will be invested in community budgets.
The budget proposals were fully supported by the Conservative-led Alliance whilst opposition members voted against the proposals, including those listed above. The three largest parties all proposed a 1.99% increase in council tax (with the Green Party planning a 4.5% increase triggering a costly referendum).
It has been a challenging budget and now we have to make sure we deliver the savings.
6. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT Cont’d
The rain still continued to fall during February, adding to the existing high river levels and water table. The County Council’s Fire & Rescue service worked 24/7 alongside the Highways team to deal with incidents as they occurred; to try to keep residents safe and Oxfordshire moving during the month. There was some innovative work on the Botley Road that meant it remained open during the bad weather as opposed to having to be closed the previous month.
The County Council is not responsible for the planning of houses and developments that is down to the City and District Councils. However, we do have a major part to play as we are responsible for key infrastructure such as education and roads. Currently there is a Strategic Housing Market Assessment taking place across the county to determine what growth will happen over the next 20 years. This will then feed into the Local Development Frameworks of the City and District Councils as to where the final allocated sites will be. Already the Vale of White Horse DC has announced a substantial increase in their housing numbers. The County Council will be assisting in this process to ensure that they are in sustainable locations with the required infrastructure.
Draft Minerals & Waste Plan
Oxfordshire County Council has a statutory duty to prepare a new Minerals and Waste Local Plan for Oxfordshire. The plan sets out planning policies and proposals for the mineral extraction and waste management facilities that will be needed in the county over the next 15 years, and where they should be located.
County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for planning, said: “We are quite early on in the process of developing the plan, but now is the time to have your say… Broadly speaking the plan looks at further working within the areas where there is existing sand and gravel extraction. However those areas alone would not meet all of Oxfordshire’s needs… The good news for the campaigners is that the levels of sand and gravel to potentially be extracted are LOWER than those previously stated as we are using a new method to determine what may be required. We are now using the “10 year Past Sales Average”, in line with current national policy, which generates a lower figure.”
More information can be found at: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/news/2014/feb/have-your-say-new-draft-minerals-and-waste-plan
Education Students on Drink & Drug Driving
The Fire & Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police have organised a hard-hitting demonstration of a mocked-up car crash to show Year 11 pupils the consequences of driving after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
It is part of the Fire and Rescue Service’s Choices and Consequences road safety campaign, an initiative offered free of charge to secondary schools and a strand of 365alive, a scheme aimed at creating a safer county through preventative and educational work. More information at: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/news/2014/feb/pupils-see-first-hand-dangers-driving-under-influence
Rights of Way Consultation
As mentioned last month, the council is consulting on their draft Rights of Way Management Plan to make sure that it reflects public expectations and balances this with the limited resources available. The deadline for responses is midday on Friday 18th April.
Issues ongoing noted below.
Oxfordshire County Council
- Gullies” on London Lane (already marked) – CCllr Rose to look into
- Hedgerow on London Lane – Ongoing CClr Rodney Rose to look into
- looding – After a very lengthy discussion and explanation Cllr Carter asked CCllr Rodney Rose for ongoing permission to shut the road (Shipton Road, Ascott Earl) and use appropriate road blockage. CCllr Rodney Rose completely understood and agreed to look into this and report back
- to Cllr Carter Complete – see Emergency Community Plan
- Home to School Transport – Ongoing – the Clerk was asked to chase this
- Bus Service – CCllr Rose agreed to look at the routes through Ascott-under-Wychwood, in particular the Charlbury taxi bus. Ongoing the – Clerk was asked to chase this
7. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
8. ELECTIONS 2014:
The Clerk reported that she had written to Bill Wragge and Mark Booty, both from WODC and responsible for providing Defibrillators to the rural communities inviting them to attend either the March or April meeting. She reported that she had not received a response, but had managed to speak with Dick Tracey from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS). Dick has agreed to attend the April meeting and present a report on the 50% funding and will bring along an example Defibrillator. Funding was discussed and £900 would need to be funded by Ascott-under-Wychwood. It was reported that the Village Charity had pledged £500 and that the Village Choir offered to donate the proceeds from their next event, which was scheduled to be held in May. Cllr Mellor proposed that in light of the above the Parish Council accept WODC’s offer of a Defibrillator with 50% funding. This was seconded by Cllr Morgan. The Clerk was asked to advise Dick Tracey of SCAS accordingly and confirm his attendance at the April meeting.
10. PUBLIC TIME:
There were no members of the public present and so no public time was recorded.
11. PLANNING APPLICATIONS:
- 14/0228/P/FP Erection of single storey extension to provide garden room at Vine House, 8 Shipton Road New
- 14/0018/P/FP Change of use from agricultural to light industrial unit (Use Class B1©. New doors and windows and installation of solar panels (to allow amendments to elevations, cladding materials and provide additional solar panels) at Kingstanding Barns – Granted
12. RISK ASSESSMENT:
Cllr Morgan presented the updated Risk Assessment for approval. This was duly discussed and unanimously approved.
13. ANNUAL LITTER PICK:
Cllr Carter reported that this was scheduled for Saturday 15 March and that bags and grabbers had been sourced by Cllr Morgan and that signs had been displayed accordingly.
13. ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD RECREATION GROUND:
Cllr Carter and Cllr Mellor reported that the issue of “Moles” had been addressed. Cllr Carter reported that she was due to meet on site with Laurence King from WODC tomorrow, both Cllr Morgan and Cllr Mellor agreed to attend.
14. PROJECT SAFE PLAY:
Cllr Carter reported that a decision on the PC’s grant application to “Sport England” should be received this month. She reported that she had made applications for drainage funding.
15. ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD SPORTS CLUB:
Cllr Carter reported that she and Cllr Mellor had met with Mike Odey, Manager of the Wychwood Forest FC. This had proved a very successful and productive meeting.
Cllr Mellor reported that he had been approached by Swinbrook Cricket Club, who had enquired if they could use Ascott’s cricket square until June as their cricket square had been subjected to excessive flooding. Cllr Mellor reported that he had agreed to meet, on site, to discuss this further.
Cllr Mellor reported that he had been approached by some young parishioners requesting that the cricket nets be put up again this year. Cllr Mellor reported that these may need replacing and after having done some research, at a cost of approximately £50.
Cllr Mellor reported that Windrush School have asked permission to mark out two Rounders pitches.
16. COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLAN:
Cllr Carter reported that OCC Highways signs had now been delivered and stored. Cllr Mellor reported on the salt stock and suggested that the PC should give some thought to the delivery and storage of future salt deliveries.
17. HELPERS OF ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD:
Cllr Carter reported that the Helpers had met and carried out a clearance session on the Culvert Bank, which was very successful. Cllr Carter reported that the next meeting would be in the Playground to give it a general tidy up.
18. MATTERS ARISING:
- Culvert by Tyack’s Yard – Network Rail (NR) – Ongoing
- Stadium light over the Level Crossing – Ongoing
- Letter from OCC re Grass Cutting Grant – £1055.45 for 2014/15. 2015/16 likely to be reduced by 50%.
- Letter from Network Rail – Licence for Ascott-under-Wychwood Community Scheme
- Clerks & Councils Direct
- Cotswold Lion
- Report from CCllr Rodney Rose via Email
20. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business Cllr Morgan declared the meeting closed at 9.15pm and confirmed the next meeting would be Monday 14 April 2014 at 7.30pm and the Annual Village Meeting will be held on Monday 28 April 2014.