- Philippa Carter
- Sandy Timms
- Peter Rance
- Brian Leach
- Pauline Plant
- Liz Leffman
- Jake Acock
- Angela Barnes
Members of the Public
2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
The Minutes recorded from the virtual meeting held on 14 October 2020, were approved as a true record and will be duly signed, dated and filed when actual meetings resume.
3. Declarations of interest
4. Financial Report
Bank Balance £54,253.04
23 Sept WODC Precept £11,250.00
4 Sept Interest £1.17
200157 17 Sept Wel Medical £46.68 Parts for Defibrillator
200158 24 Sept P Carter £396.90 Proctor’s fertiliser
200159 6 Sept S Barnes £5,575.00 Annual Invoice
200160 6 Sept Wel Medical £243.48 Parts for Defibrillator
200161 31 Oct A Barnes £227.86 Salary
200162 31 Oct HMRC £57.00 PAYE
200163 8 Oct P Carter £279.56 various items for notice boards
200164 12 Oct WODC £85.67 Commercial waste collection
200165 12 Oct UBICO £100.15 Dog Waste bin emptying
Bank Statement reconciliation and detailed summary of the Parish Council funds emailed for approval at the October (virtual) meeting. These were agreed and duly signed.
Cllr Carter asked all councillors to consider items for setting the budget for the next financial year with a view to discussing these and reporting back to RFO Stuart Fox.
To be carried forward to the November meeting.
5. Reports from County and District Councillors
CCllr Leffman reported on the replacement wooden posts on the Green and confirmed that it would be more cost effective for the PC to source and erect these themselves. She confirmed that the post were originally sourced from Blenheim Sawmills. Cllr Leffman also reported on the request for 20mph signs, she confirmed that Richard Fairhurst and James Wright, both based at OCC would be the best people to speak to, to discuss the next steps to take re a consultation. CCllr Leffman also reported on the Active Travel Money which had been promised and equated to £680k, she reported that nothing further had been heard about this funding.
CCllr Liz Leffman said that OCC had no money remaining in this Financial Year, i.e. to end March 2021 and that only emergency basic maintenance would be carried out.
DCllr Acock reported that he had been working on a Youth Campaign video to show to the young about the implications of being irresponsible during COVID-19. He reported that WODC had seen their first female leader elected – Michelle Mead.
6. Public Time
No public time recorded.
(a) 20/01592/OUT – land North East of 51 High Street
(b) 20/02138/HHD – 2 Wychwood Court
(c) 20/02234/HHD – Ascott Hill Farm
8. Matters Arising
Nothing to report.
(b) Neighbourhood Plan (NP)
WODC Officer acknowledged receipt of the application for the Designated Area and stated that this would now be online for public consultation until 18 November 2020. If there are no objections it will then be presented to the WODC Cabinet for approval.
Cllr Leach reported: the Traffic sub-group for the Neighbourhood Plan has been meeting fortnightly, facilitated by Cllr Leach and with Richard Smith acting as consultant. The other members are John Cull, Mark Pigeon, Keith Ravenhill, Sue Richards and Naomi Tiley. The group has now met on three occasions: First Meeting: to outline the purpose of the group and to explain the background to the NP and the wider Parish Vision to which the group will be contributing. This widens the remit beyond purely planning matters; but will act as a source of evidence to back up the NP and to counter some of the misleading statements made in recent development applications. Second Meeting: to brainstorm and circulate ideas, and to consider the feedback from the Initial Questionnaire and the Speed Survey conducted by the PC in January. Third Meeting: to prioritise those ideas and to set out and assign the first actions. A wide variety of topics has been suggested, ranging from one-way systems to a safe cycle path to Shipton (offering better access to community facilities and public transport) for younger people. In addition, the group has been evidence gathering with regard to parking violations and dangerous parking.
Until the Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation has been formally accepted, the priority of the group is to look into concerns raised regarding parking and speed, with an emphasis on the dangers of inconsiderate parking and the likelihood of this leading to a collision, as well as concerns over blocked access to and egress from properties and the ability for large and emergency vehicles to reach all parts of the village. Specific pain points are the areas adjacent to the pub, with the increased number of external visitors; Church View/Heritage Lane and the school run. These are set against a greater number of vehicles being parked in the village through the day as more people are working from home.
Before the group feels empowered to go before the owners of the pub and the school, the members feel that the village itself must set a good example so we can meet in a spirit of cooperation not confrontation. The group seeks permission from the PC to start a Considerate Parking campaign to point out the dangers posed by bad parking. The group proposes an initial three-fold action plan: Leaflet every household with the top line and point to follow up article in the Grapevine. Grapevine article/campaign along with excepts from the Highway Code so that people know their responsibilities and what they in return should expect from their neighbours. Competition for young people to design some awareness signs, the winning entries to be put up around the village. Possibly also invite the school to engage in this as it affects the safety of their pupils as well as villagers.
The group is looking into various concerns and possible actions to try to encourage responsible driving through the village and prevent it becoming a rat run. This includes consideration of a 20mph zone, which would be difficult if not impossible to enforce; but alongside other measures to prompt drivers that they are in a residential village and should slow down. Examples might include cobbling part of the road where people cross from The Green to the High Street; erecting gates on the entrance to the village to signal the change in condition, possibly with a welcome sign and slow down message (one of those by the children?); Dead Slow for Horses signs; weight restriction on the bridge and possible short term hire of a friendly Vehicle Activated Sign to indicate speed.
9. Risk Assessment and Ground Maintenance
Two new village notice boards are installed and the third will be installed this month.
The tree surgery quote from Nicholsons was presented to the PC for re-shaping the
fir tree at the gate of the Playground. It was suggested at the last PC meeting that this should be done this winter and the ash tree suffering from early die-back should be left for another year. A large bough has broken and is hanging from a beech tree at 5 Shilling Corner. It is close to the A361 but not quite overhanging. Cllr Carter recommended asking C Cllr Leffman for advice. Rabbit Proof Fencing to the playing field is due to be installed early November.
Wooden Posts on Green If OCC can supply posts only – I have asked Liz to find out if that is possible and how much they would cost – then the contractor who will be installing the rabbit proof fencing can install them. Cllr Rance proposed the PC accept the quote from Nicholsons, this was seconded by Cllr Plant and agreed unanimously.
Cllr Carter reported that the residents along High Street had voted to not lock the gates in to the Playing Field
10. Community Emergency Plan
Deep flooding occurred in the areas around Ascott Earl and the Chipping Norton Road on the weekend of October. No properties were flooded. Road gulleys were badly blocked at Ascott Earl and entry to the under-road pipe for the Coldwell brook was blocked which caused more flooding on the road than necessary. Cllr Carter met OCC Highways drainage engineer, Simon Holloway, who will arrange for gulley cleaning and Cllr Carter will speak to the riparian owner about organising a working party for the Coldwell Brook. The Chipping Norton Rd was closed for 48 hours and FLOOD triangles deployed at both ends of the village for a longer period. Cllr Carter sent regular reports to OCC Highways, according to agreed protocol.
New WOCT timetable has been operating since mid-September.
The village use of the Halts service remains modest, with some 3 or 4 adults plus 2 schoolchildren, but Finstock remains exceptionally low compared with pre Covid use. The previous concern that the evening return train could become difficult under Covid social distancing with large numbers using it to Hanborough and Charlbury, seems to have been avoided so far. All this said however, a very recent UK Train usage Franchise wide study has cast very gloomy clouds on post Covid financial returns. At present HMG is funding the services the franchises are operating at extreme loss, but only to March 2022. The figures are awful, in that rail usage is massively down, and public surveys show that a high number will keep to home working, cycling or any other means even after Covid is beaten, to reflect changed work patterns and retained anxiety about crowded travel environments! Frankly, the existing rail franchise business model is broken and will not recover. So what? HMG will have to rethink its justification for statutory rail services to cut its massive subsidy costs, and our Halts Service can hardly be immune.
Having recorded in the Sept Meeting Cllr Rance’s concern over the hedges on the Chippy Road masking the priority signage for the river bridge, the hedge was trimmed the very next day.
Culverts and Drains: Following the extreme wet spell of the recent weeks which caused the Chippy Road to be flooded and closed, Cllr Rance inspected the culvert on the River Bridge side of the railway line on Sunday afternoon, and the drains on the bridge itself. The culvert whilst working, was severely constrained by debris and silt, and a large amount of material had to be removed to return it to full operation. Also at the bridge, its metal grill drain was completely overgrown by vegetation and blocked with mud, as was the Chippy Hill side ditch soak away that adjoins the bridge parapet. All are now cleared, but Cllr Rance gave this report to draw attention to the risk that such vital flood reduction facilities are at risk without a dedicated human resource to inspect and clear them regularly.
Rotten Posts on Green verge: Sadly but hardly surprising, OCC cannot find funds to replace these two posts, and their commercial quotation to our PC is clearly not value for money. It would appear that yet again, the PC must find ‘self-help’ alternatives.
The Parish Council received complaints from residents about serious parking issues in the vicinity of the Swan Pub during a weekend Cllr Carter took advice from Community
Officer Wesley Smith and passed this on to residents and the Swan management.
Nothing to report.
14. Reports from Organisations
The Sports Club held its first official Sports Club Committee Meeting on Monday 5 October 2020. All agreed that the Sports Club should remain separate from the Parish Council, that one official meeting will be held each year with ad hoc meetings throughout the year as already happens. The annual accounts were presented and the Club agreed that it is in a position to formalise a new rental agreement with the Parish Council. It is keen to be seen to be contributing fairly to the village community – in funds as well as with voluntary work.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report
From Astrid Harvey re Neighbourhood Plan designated consultation was now online and ends on 18 November 2020
Numerous emails re car parking by the Swan
WODC planning applications (noted under planning)
16. Any Other Business
Grapevine Article – announcements of retirement.
There being no further business, Cllr Carter declared the meeting closed at 9.30pm.
Cllr Philippa Carter (Chairman)
Date: Monday 9 November 2020 (held remotely)