- Philippa Carter
- Sandy Timms
- Peter Rance
- Brian Leach
- CCllr Liz Leffman
- Angela Barnes
Members of the Public
- Pauline Plant – parishioner
- Paula Nielsen and Carol Anderson
(representing Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust AMET)
DCllr Jake Acock, report submitted, please refer to Item No. 5.
2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
The Minutes recorded from the meeting held on Monday 11 February 2019 were approved as a true record, duly signed, dated and filed.
3. Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest to record.
4. Financial Report
This was circulated prior to the meeting to all councillors.
200023 13/02 I D Godden £120.00 Boiler Service
200024 28/02 Jacob Davies £165.00 Replacement Cheque
200025 04/03 Tiddy Hall £22.80 Hire of Hall
200026 07/03 OALC £138.97 2019/20 Subscription
Bank Balance £62,385.59:
To be discussed and finalised at the April meeting.
5. Reports from County and District Councillors
CCllr Leffman reported that the budget was now approved. A £30m budget for roads had been agreed on a rolling budget. She reported that the 2050 plan consultation had been presented to the District Council and a broad discussion held, albeit very vague. This was ongoing. CCllr Leffman reported on the growth board, which although did not affect Ascott under Wychwood does affect Chipping Norton on a large scale.
DCllr Acock sent his report, via email;
Over the last year, since being elected last May, I have been learning what it means to be a district councillor, and being a district councillor in an opposition post. My main role is to challenge how the Conservative-run administration works and to represent the people of the ward at the District Council.
One platform I stood on (hopefully most of you will remember this, alongside my desire to lobby the county council to fix our roads!) was to change how a District Councillor works- to try and improve communications between people, Parish and District Council. The last year has taught me a lot how politics works externally and internally. We need change so the people of the ward can have their voices heard more.
I am now going to outline the new approach I wish to try out for the next six months.
Firstly, the people of Ascott and Shipton do not really turn out in force to PC meetings and it is mainly PC work that is discussed, with the odd interception from a District or County Councillor.
I feel that I do not know enough of what the PCs are doing in my ward- I would really like that to change. Therefore, I would like to suggest that I send you a written report every month and then after the said Parish Council meeting, if you can send me a written report back. I can then understand the specific problems you wish for me to raise in the council chamber or with officers at the District Council. Perhaps we could create a special role for a Parish Councillor who liaise with me as the ‘District Councillor liaison councillor’. This will also allow any case work that is given to the Parish Council to be passed direct to me.
Another radical reform I would like to address, which not all of you will agree with, is not to attend Parish Council meetings as often as other councillors in the past have. For example, I believe this to be an archaic system that is for a by-gone age. We have social media, email and telephones. Every single piece of case work I have been given, has come by email, not at a PC meeting. I want to be a modern district councillor acting in a new way for the right age period.
Finally, I would like to hold join surgeries quarterly that are advertised all over the villages.
I will keep in touch regularly through my written reports; attend the AGMs and any special meeting; if there are issues which need to be addressed then I will attend the said Parish Council meeting.
I do believe we need to move forward in a positive way and I believe these two reforms will change how we keep in touch and will help our jobs to become easier.
6. Public Time
Cllr Carter welcomed Paula Nielsen and Carol Anderson, Trustees of AMET. Cllr Carter then withdrew from the discussions and passed the Chair to Cllr Timms who invited Ms Nielsen and Anderson to address the meeting. Carol and Paula gave a presentation of where AMET were up to with regards to their Charitable Status, their 3 to 6 month plan and their plan to engage with all stakeholders. They asked if they could assemble information boards between the Martyrs Seats on the Village Green, to give more information. After consideration, it was agreed, unanimously that mock boards should be produced and assembled first in order to gauge public opinion and interest.
No planning applications to consider or review.
8. Matters Arising
a) Gigaclear – work has continued in the High St and also in Maple Way. Residents have reported breakages in electricity supply and many instances of lack of consideration for people trying to park or access their properties. At Cllr Carter’s site meeting with Dave Spittle a promise was given that work on The Green and outside Tiddy Hall would take place in the half term. This did not happen. The excavation outside the Pound has been filled in but we are informed that this will be dug up again when the electricity board is ready to make connections. Cllr Carter has informed Annie Holden who is the most affected.
b) OCC Grasscutting contract – ongoing
c) Footpaths – Resident Sue Richards met Katherine Wickens of Pudlicote House while walking along the river bank on Pudlicote land. They had a friendly conversation about the permissive path which runs from the Mill footbridge to the Manor Farm footbridge. Mr and Mrs Wickens are happy to continue with the current arrangement but Mrs Wickens stated that they are private people. A number of Ascott residents have indicated that they would help with an application for the circular footpath to be formally adopted on the Definitive Footpath Map. No other paths have been identified as missing from the Definitive Map.
d) Defibrillator – Cllr Sandy Timms reported that training had been arranged for 23 March.
e) Heritage Lane; dog poo bin – the Clerk had chased WODC. Ongoing
f) Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust (AMET) – please refer to Item No. 6 Public Time.
g) Litter Pick – This was extremely well attended so that litter was collected from the far end of Shipton Rd, along Gypsy Lane to the Parish boundary, to the top of Chipping Norton Rd, to Ascott Mill, Kingstanding Farm and the Parish Boundary with Leafield. Thank you to everyone involved and especially to P Councillors who were the last to finish. Our youngest litter picker was 9 months old and several dogs came along for the walk!
h) Dropped Kerbs – We are still waiting all permissions to come through from Cottsway so that we can proceed to the next step.
i) Annual Parish Meeting – date set for Monday 29 April, to be held in the Tiddy Hall.
j) Wychwoods Working Together – Milton PC have confirmed that this will be held on Wednesday 3 April. The time and venue will be confirmed.
k) Co-option – WODC notices were posted on boards announcing that there was a vacancy for the Parish Council with a deadline of 11 March for applications. We await the result from WODC.
Cllr Leach reported that the water tanks had been delivered. The Clerk reported that the new tenancy agreements and rent requests had been sent out to all tenants.
10. RISK ASSESSMENT & GROUND MAINTENANCE
- Utility overboxes have been installed by the football manager, Mike Ody. Many thanks to him.
- I D Godden have installed a boiler condensing pipe inside the Pavilion to replace the one which ran outside and would freeze during cold spells, causing the boiler to fail. They are still unable to balance the heating system and have recommended that a newer more powerful pump be installed. The quote is for £220 +VAT supply and install.
- 2 trees have been pollarded in the playing field and playground following the tree survey. 2 more will be pollarded in September, as advised by the surgeons, Nicholsons.
- The ivy on the playing field front walls and the brush at the top of the playing field has been cut back by Nick and Philippa Carter.
- Ferreting took place in the playing field to reduce the damage done by rabbits and the invoice paid by the Sports Club. Access to neighbouring fields was granted by Cornbury Estate and several male rabbits were trapped.
- Cllr Carter suggested that the PC consider closing the gaps in the playing field perimeter on Priory Lane with fencing and a gate so that the playing field could be locked at night. High St residents are increasingly concerned about outsiders causing trouble in the playing field during the late evenings and there have been several conversations with the police in recent months. There has also been an increasing amount of vandalism which resulted in the PC paying for new outside lights, condensing pipe and utility overboxes to the Pavilion. Also the playground has only 1 picnic bench left from the original 3.
11. COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLAN
Cllr Carter has been asked by resident Miss Tustain if the Parish Council would inform residents whenever they are unable to salt pavements or roads during snow events.
The two leads on Snow Emergency Planning, Chris Badger and Michael Tucker, have finalised their plans for a salt store at the side of the Pavilion and estimate the cost to be £1,300 (a reduction of £1,000 on the original plan). The snow plough will simply be covered by tarpaulin beside the salt store and the tractor hopper will be stored with the tractor in the owner’s barn.
Whilst the Cotswold Line Promotion Group (CLPG) continue their efforts to explore with GWR Franchise, better services from and to Ascott, there is no inkling that the GWR franchise will change their stance of only complying with that obligated on them in their HMG proscribed contract! It is possible that the new timetable for May onwards could introduce significant changes to the times and frequency of services given the new trains now operating having better acceleration capability. This won’t however mean extra trains at Ascott!
WOCT have very reluctantly decided to apply for approval to have their services cut back to begin and end at Milton rather than Chippy. This because of poor, unsustainable custom on the Chippy leg. This will affect a few Ascott based users. Cllr Rance is assured by WOTC that if approval is gained, adequate warning will be given to all users including those from Ascott.
Chipping Norton River Bridge
Given the entirely unexpected recent hedge trimming on the left hand field edge of the approach to the river bridge towards Chippy Hill, Cllr Rance advised OCC officer, and the latter decided that the new road signage no longer needed moving closer to the bridge, planned originally as it was masked by the said hedge. Cllr Rance reported that after consultation OCC had recommended the Traffic Calming Give Way System. This was discussed and Cllr Carter proposed that the PC go ahead with OCC’s recommendation. This was seconded by Cllr Leach and agreed unanimously.
14. Reports from Organisations
(a) Ascott-under-Wychwood Sports Club – the Pavilion and grounds have been booked out for a private party, the Pre-School Fun Day and the Charity Fun Run.
(b) Wychwood Library – nothing to report
(c) Helpers of Ascott-under-Wychwood – please refer to Item No. 8.
WODC Claire Bromley Oxfordshire Plan last chance to comment
WODC Meeting with Towns & Parishes 7 March 2019
OALC February update 2019
Cotswolds Conservation Board eNewsletter spring 2019
Windrush Valley School – dog fouling
WODC – free copy of Register of Electors 2019
Community First (Bus) 2019/20 Membership offer
OALC Letter and subscription invoice
Letter from parishioner Miss Siobahn Tustain – Cllr Carter presented the letter of complaint from Miss Tustain regarding the proposal for a priority system at the Chipping Norton Rd bridge, the state of the roads, the lack of access to PC meetings for those with walking disability and the increasing dependency on internet and e-mail by the Parish Council. Miss Tustain concluded that Ascott Parish Council would do better to resign completely and allow WODC to run the village. Cllr Carter has delivered copies of minutes and reports particularly about road issues and will visit Miss Tustain after the PC has discussed the issue of disability access to the monthly meetings.
16. Any Other Business
There being no further business, Cllr Carter declared the meeting closed at 10.20pm
Cllr Philippa Carter (Chairman)
Date: Monday 8 April 2019