- Brian Leach
- Sarah Russell
- Keith Ravenhill
- Sue Richards
- Angela Barnes
- Stuart Fox
- Councillor Liz Leffman
West Oxfordshire District Councillor
- David Cooper
Members of the Public
|NAME||PARISHIONER / ORGANISATION|
|Elaine Byles||Parishioner & Wychwood Folk Club|
|Per Henriksen||Ascott Village Shop|
|John Cull||Village Charity|
|Mark Pidgeon||Parishioner & Wychwood Folk Club|
|Margaret Burden||West Oxon Community Transport|
|Simon Gidman||Parishioner / Tiddy Hall|
|Motoko Aritake-Wild||Parishioner / Forge Gallery|
|E. M. Kingsley||Parishioner / Facebook Group|
|David Betterton||Wychwood History Society|
1. WELCOME & SIGN IN
Attendees were welcomed, and asked to sign in.
2. FORMAL REPORTS
PCllr Brian Leach invited everyone to take a seat and asked the County Council and District Council to address the meeting;
OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
CCllr Liz Leffman reported;
The past 12 months have been particularly eventful. In May I was re-elected as the County Councillor for the Charlbury and Wychwood division. The County Council election resulted in 21 Liberal Democrats, 21 Conservatives, 19 Labour and 3 Green party members being elected. The Liberal Democrats joined with the Green party and Labour to form the Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance, or OFDA. I was elected Leader of the County Council and have held that role since then. Although the role of leader is demanding and very busy, this has not stopped me from fulfilling my responsibilities as the County Councillor for the division. I have made sure that I regularly attend Parish Council meetings. The County Council has published their 9 priorities which have informed our budget for the new financial year. At the heart of this is our commitment to combat climate change, and tackling inequalities, whether these are health and wellbeing related, transport related or educational inequalities. We have set aside £8million to introduce 20 mph speed limits across the county, and Ascott has expressed an interest in being one of the communities that will have the reduced speed limit installed. One of my roles as Leader is to sit on the North Cotswold Line Task Force. I am in a strong position to lobby for the line to be fully doubled and have agreed with the Task Force members that the current plans for the line will be reviewed to allow for this to be done. This could mean a significantly improved train service from Charlbury and Kingham. Under the existing plans, there was no provision for doubling the line between Hanborough and Charlbury, meaning that would have had to continue with just one train per hour, while stations further up the line would have had at least two per hour. If I can achieve the complete doubling then Charlbury and Kingham can have at least two trains per hour in the future, and Ascott station can survive.
The cost of doing this this considerable but we are looking at innovative ways of financing this. Bus use has been badly affected by the pandemic, and usage is currently around 70% of where it was two years ago. I am working with the bus companies on a Bus Service Improvement Plan.
This would include better information about bus services, as well as better ways to pay including inclusive tickets, allowing people to make a journey using more than one bus route. In the short term, we are working with the bus companies to encourage people back onto the bus through a publicity campaign. OCC won a bid for money to introduce electric buses in Oxford, one of only three cities that will benefit from this, the other two being Norwich and Bristol. We are also working with the City council to introduce bus filters and ways of making the park and rides more attractive, thus reducing car journeys in the city. However, we recognise that if we are to reduce the county’s carbon
footprint, access to bus services in rural areas is essential and the WOCT Wychwood Warbler is a vital part of that. We have an ambitious plan for the county, which will significantly benefit resident. Over the next three years we plan to make a big difference, which should be visible to everyone.
WEST OXFORDSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL
DCllr David Cooper introduced himself as the newly elected District Councillor for West Oxfordshire District Council.
Cllr Brian Leach (Chairman) – reported on the activities of the parish council for the previous year and priorities for the year ahead:
– Development proposals and the appeals that had been fought (Cow Sheds and Blue Cedar), with special thanks to Nick Paines, QC and to Richard Smith, Solicitor for their invaluable assistance.
– Focus on traffic with an application for a 20mph zone and white lines to remind drivers to park responsibly and legally.
– Flood prevention and ditch clearance, with the commissioning of a new flood zone map from Edenvale Young (this was displayed for the public comment on a rolling presentation).
– Ongoing maintenance throughout the village, including reminding residents that they can make use of the Fix My Street app/website to report issues such as potholes, blocked drains and vegetation.
– Current status of the ongoing Neighbourhood Plan.
Cllr Leach completed the report by reminding those present that the PC are volunteers and that we are always open to contact.
Stuart Fox, Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) addressed the meeting to give a full account of the Parish Council’s financial income and expenditure. Copies of the Accounts for the financial year ended 2021/2022 were available for all to view, ask questions and take away.
3. ORGANISATION SHORT TALKS
Cllr Brian Leach gave a presentation on planning and how the Parish Council deals with applications. A slide show was presented showing how the Village has grown and developed, how this has impacted on services and amenities and the conservation of the Village.
Parishioner Per Henrikson gave a presentation on how changes in the way the shop is run to enable sustainability and compete with the local shops in neighbouring villages and towns. A comprehensive price comparison on products was shown.
Please visit the Village Shop’s website: ascottvillageshop.co.uk
WEST OXFORDSHIRE COMMUNITY TRANSPORT (WOCT)
Margaret Burden, representative for WOCT addressed the meeting to give an overview of the work of WOCT and in particular the 210 service, which is under serious threat due to lack of use and funding. Margaret urged everyone to use this service, if they did not want to lose it and thanked the Parish Council for their donation.
Motoko Aritake-Wild thanked the Village for their support. Please visit forgeatwychwood.co.uk.
WYCHWOOD HISTORY SOCIETY
David Betterton gave a presentation on the Wychwood History Society, which was founded in 1981 for further information, please visit the website wychwoodshistory.uk.
ASCOTT UNDER WYCWOOD FACEBOOK PAGE
Cllr Brian Leach gave a presentation on the Village Facebook page, how it was used to support the parishioners and how it is monitored.
Parishioner John Cull addressed the meeting to give a presentation of the Village Charity’s purpose, aims and what the Charity had achieved.
Please visit the Village Charity Website: https://ascott-under-wychwood.org.uk
4. OPEN FORUM Q & A SESSION
Cllr Leach addressed the meeting, thanking everyone for their reports and opened the floor for Q & A session
Q: Parishioner Gill Kenny asked the Parish Council how did they interact with the community, for example Cottsway with regards to unsocial behaviour?
A: CCllr Liz Leffman and DCllr David Cooper reached out, offered support and gave their details.
5. CHAIRMAN TO CLOSE MEETING
Cllr Brian Leach, thanked everyone for attending the Annual Parish Meeting in its new format.
The meeting was brought to a close at 9.45pm
Cllr Brian Leach (Chairman)
Date: Tuesday 12 July 2022