- Philippa Carter
- Sandy Timms
- Mark Tribe
- Peter Rance
- Graham Ranson
- Liz Leffman
- Tom Simcox
- Angela Barnes
Members of the Public:
- No members of the public
There were no apologies.
2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
The Minutes recorded from the July meeting were approved as a true record, duly signed, dated and filed.
3. Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
4. Financial Report
The Clerk presented a copy of the RFO’s financial report. This was discussed and approved.
The RFO included in his report the outcome of the External Audit, carried out by BDO LLP. There were 2 minor issues to record;
(i), The External auditors report was not minuted – What is the issue?
The completion of the 2016 audit and the external auditors report for the year to 31 March 2016 has not been minuted as considered by the small authority (Parish Council)
Why has this issue been raised?
The smaller authority are not acting in accordance with proper practices which state that our recommendations must be reviewed and considered. The smaller authority has also answered yes to the question about taking action in respect to previous years audit recommendations.
What we recommend you do?
The smaller authority must ensure all subsequent audit reports are reported to it and minuted as received. If recommendations are made, an action plan should be drawn up to ensure that the recommendations are carried out.
(ii). Minor issues – What is the Issue?
The following issues have been raised as minor issues or omissions have been identified in the current year’s Annual Return:
The smaller authority has included Council Tax Support (CT5) grant monies received in box 2, rather than box 3, receipts.
Why has this issue been raised?
This is to draw these minor errors to the attention of the smaller authority.
What do we recommend you do?
The smaller authority should ensure in future years that the above minor errors or omissions are not included in the Accounting Statements.
The Clerk duly recorded the above and that the Parish Council had received this year’s audit report, this was reviewed and considered. She confirmed that the Notice of Conclusion of Audit had been displayed on the village notice boards.
There is no income to record.
£133.71 Chq No. 101077 P Carter various repairs on Playing Field
£10.00 Chq No. 101078 CLPG Subscription
£888.00 Chq No. 101079 David Ogilvie Engineering (Martyrs Benches)
£360.00 Chq No. 101080 BDO LLP External audit
£50.00 Chq No. 101081 Simon Gidman (fertiliser for playing field)
To start planning for next year’s Precept;
Cllr Carter explained that the precept is the small portion of Council Tax which is granted to Parish Councils to carry out their duties every year. The level of precept is determined and then requested by the Parish Council every December. If agreed with WODC, then it will be granted in 2 tranches during the following financial year. Cllr Carter asked P Cllrs to start considering whether there were any expenditure proposals that colleagues would like to make for the year 2017/18 so that these could be costed and discussed during October and November.
Cllrs looked back over the past 2-3 years during which Ascott Parish expenditure had been markedly affected by County Council budgets cuts. The grant for cutting verges within the village has been severely reduced; in association with other Parish Councils, Ascott is now financially supporting the Wychwood Library in Milton and the Villager Bus Service through Ascott; it manages village Emergency Equipment for winter and flood resilience plus the Defibrillator and contributes towards the Wychwood Day Centre. Many of these costs are not our traditional core responsibilities and so monies within our discretionary budget (S137) have to be used. Cllr Carter believes that this should not be right and has asked C Cllr Liz Leffman to look into the issue.
Financial Regulations – the Clerk reminded the PC that these need to be reviewed and suggested this could be done at the October meeting whilst discussing the Precept.
5. Reports from County and District Councillors
CCllr Liz Leffman – reported on the wooden posts that had now been erected by the Village Green. PCllr Carter asked CCllr Leffman if she had had a chance to speak with OCC Highways with regards to the gravel at the field entrance north of the river bridge. CCllr Leffman agreed to look into this again.
CCllr Leffman reported that the new lights outside the primary school in Milton-under-Wychwood were now complete and Ascott PC did not need to contribute. She also reported on a new bus service “Witney Community Bus Alliance” and that this was up and running in Witney, which might be cascaded to the Wychwoods. CCllr Leffman reported that she was working on a motion going to council for rural GPs to offer them a financial incentive in order to keep them as otherwise losses to the rural GP services would have a critical impact. Cllr Leffman reported that she would keep the PC updated.
DCllr Tom Simcox – reported on the new blue topped bin which will house all household recycling, with the exception of glass, and collections begin at
the beginning of October. Glass will be accepted for recycling if put out in one of the old black boxes. DCllr Simcox reported that the final draft of the Local Plan is getting closer to being approved. Officers were hopeful this could be in place by Christmas or the New Year.
6. Public Time
There was no public time.
Ongoing Application – 17/02545/HHD Erection of conservatory to rear elevation at 1 Dawls Close
Ongoing Application – 17/02445/HHD Erection of single storey side extension at 1 Station Place
Approved Application – 17/02017/FUL Erection of garage with self-contained annex at Ascott Hill Farm
Rejected Application – 17/01067 Land North West of 18 London Lane Construction of 5 dwellings and formation of vehicular access
Approved Application – 17/00918/FUL Development on site of garages, south of Maple Way
(16/02793/FUL 18 Maple Way Erection of 6 dwellings & associated works)
8. Matters Arising
(a) County, District & Parish joint surgery – the next joint surgery is scheduled for Saturday 30 September. DCllr Simcox reported that he had obtained a board to advertise the surgeries.
(a) Wychwood Church of England Primary School – donation to MUGA ongoing
(b) Wychwoods Working Together
Meeting up with Shipton and Milton PC Thursday 26 October at the Shaven Crown – the Clerk was asked to reply and explain that unfortunately Ascott PC would not be able to make this date due to prior commitments.
(c) OCC Grasscutting contract – Cllr Carter asked CCllr Leffman to meet with her to discuss this. CCllr Leffman would be in touch with a suitable date and time.
(d) Hedgecutting – the Clerk to contact the contractors, R A Newman to organise the Playing Field hedge to be cut in November.
9. Risk Assessment & Ground Maintenance
a) Martyrs’ Seats – These have been delivered and re-sited. Everyone agreed that it had been a job well done and for a reasonable cost. Particular thanks must go to Angela Barnes for making the arrangements and Shane Barnes for dismantling and erecting the seats. Cllr Tribe suggested that we re-consider the organisation of cleaning the seats which can be a daily job when the birds are particularly active. Two residents near the Green had offered to help with this task; to increase the number of volunteers Cllr Tribe suggested approaching the Martyrs’ Trustees. Cllr Carter agreed to do this.
b) Five Shilling Corner – nothing to report.
c) The Pound – the new wall between the Pound and the neighbours’ orchard has been vandalised. Cllr Carter was alerted by a member of the Wychwood Project Volunteers who had passed through recently. Re-building will need to be organised and the volunteers recommended that we considered having the toppers cemented.
d) Dog Bins and Waste Bins – all replacement bins confirmed and now installed by WODC
e) Memorial Playing Field and Playground – Very many thanks must go for the hours and hours of hard work that volunteers, supported by Shane Barnes, have undertaken so that the pitch will be playable this soccer season. Expert volunteer Simon Gidman was supported by Laurence Mellor, Nick Carter, Peter Rance, Graham Ranson, Tony Gillings, Philippa Carter, Charles Marshall and several members of Ascott United FC. The unexpected remedial work became necessary due to the extremely dry weather since the spring and the guidance which Simon Gidman was able to give to the volunteers has been absolutely key to the success of the project.
10. Community Emergency Plan
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Cllr Ranson gave an update on the potholes throughout the village. Unfortunately he has been advised that some were “not deep enough”to be repaired. CCllr Leffman agreed to speak to the Highways team about this. Cllr Carter thanked C Cllr Liz Leffman for arranging the replacement of broken posts on the verge by the Green.
13. Reports from Organisations
(a) Ascott-under-Wychwood Sports Club
Ascott United FC had to be a wandering club throughout last season and are looking forward to returning to their home ground. They have flourished during that time and now field 2 senior teams and a third team of 17/18 year olds. They have asked if it would be possible to mark out 2 pitches – this is currently being considered. Play will resume in October.
(b) Wychwood Library
Cllr Timms gave a brief summary of the Library meeting she attended on the 24th July. All seems to be going well with the Library, there are enough volunteers, although they can always accommodate more. There are small operating issues but nothing major and they were very pleased with the number of children who had signed up for the summer activities. The County is now offering a Home Delivery Service for those unable to attend a library. There are 150 volunteers to 600 customers. The Wychwood Library is starting its own home delivery service but they don’t have many volunteers yet so are reluctant to advertise themselves as the won’t be able to service the potential need. It would be great to have some volunteers in Ascott so if you know anyone who has time on their hands and would enjoy this kind of volunteering do point them my way or send them to the Library. A large part of the evening was spent talking about financing and the costs involved in libraries. Locally the library hold a regular Wednesday coffee morning with funds going to the Library. The Friends of the Wychwood Library also raise small amounts of money and they pay for the Wi-Fi. Proceeds from the book stall at Milton Village Fete was ploughed back into the Library. It is being run on a shoestring but everyone seems happy with it. Cllr Carter proposed that Ascott increase their donation to £565, this was seconded by Cllr Timms and agreed unanimously.
(c) Helpers of Ascott-under-Wychwood
Helpers of Ascott-under-Wychwood – All volunteer work has been focussed on the Playing Field (see item 9 e)
OALC August Update
Shipton PC inviting Ascott and Milton to join them on Thursday 26 October at the Shaven Crown
Mark Hopwood GWR
Clerks & Councils Direct
CLPG Summer/Autumn Newsletter
Wychwood Project Forest Update Summer 2017
WODC Recycling service changes (displayed)
Letter from MP Robert Courts + Poster (displayed)
15. Any Other Business
a) Residents have complained several times about the inconsiderate parking opposite the pub. Immediately the large container was removed, Cllr Carter asked the management if they would have the white lines in the car park re-drawn so that the space was used efficiently. This has not yet been done. Residents are particularly angry about cars parking on the opposite verge thus making the tarmacked walkway impassable. Cllr Tribe suggested that the pub should take responsibility for asking patrons to be considerate and he will speak to the management.
b) Our Cotswold Volunteer, Gerald Simper, contacted Cllr Carter to point out that the frame containing the sign at the Ascott Earl sheepwash was damaged. He asked if repair could be arranged by local volunteers. Cllr Ranson may be able to help.
c) Elaine Byles had written to ask if the Parish Council would allow dogs on leads to enter the Playing Field during the morning of the Fun Run, as has been allowed in the past. Dogs would be kept on the lead and owners responsible for any dog mess. The Parish Council agreed unanimously to allow this one-off exemption.
There being no further business, Cllr Carter declared the meeting closed at 9.45pm and confirmed the next meeting will be on Monday 9 October.
Cllr Philippa Carter (Chairman)
Date:9 October 2017