HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 8 MAY 2014 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Watkins, Hicks, Henderson, Brotherston, Matthews, Casson (arrived 7.45) Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and three members of the public.
The Parish Clerk welcomed those attending. She asked for nominations for Chairman. Cllr Hicks proposed that Cllr Kane be elected as Chairman and she indicated that she was willing to stand. There were no other nominations. Cllr Watkins seconded the proposal and it was passed unanimously. Cllr Kane signed her Acceptance of Office and took the Chair.
Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Hayward, Wright, Millar and County Cllr Reynolds
Chairman’s Announcements – Cllr Kane advised Councillors that due to personal reasons, Graham Usher had resigned from the Parish Council. Councillors thanked Graham for his contribution to the Parish Council over a number of years. The Parish Clerk will start the process for filling the vacancy.
Declarations of Interest – there were none. Councillor Casson, arriving after 7.30pm, was asked by the Chairman on arrival to declare any interests. He had none.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 10 April 2014 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 10 April 2014 be accepted as a true and accurate record. This was seconded by Cllr Matthews and passed unanimously.
Election of Vice-Chairman – Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Watkins be elected as Vice-Chairman and Cllr Watkins indicated that she was willing to stand. There were no other nominations. Cllr Hicks seconded the proposal and it was passed unanimously. Cllr Watkins signed her Acceptance of Office.
Election of Responsible Financial Officer – Cllr Kane proposed that Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) be re-elected as Responsible Financial Officer for 2014 – 2015. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and passed unanimously.
Appointment of Working Groups
The maximum for each working group is five. Each group will elect a Chairman at its first meeting. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the PC to be non-voting ex-officio members of all groups. After discussion it was proposed that the groups for 2014-2015 be formed as follows:
Recreation & Open Spaces Working Group – Cllrs Kane and Brotherston
Cemetery & Allotments Working Group – Cllrs Hicks, Henderson and Wright
Environment Working Group – Cllrs Hayward, Millar and Matthews
HN Memorial Hall Working Group – Cllr Kane, Brotherston, Henderson and Watkins
Neighbourhood Plan Sub-Committee – Cllr Hicks
Election of Planning Co-ordinator – Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Hicks be re-elected as Planning Co-ordinator. This was seconded by Cllr Watkins and passed unanimously.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Five planning/TCA applications were received during the month. 14/00549/F – a site visit to Bacon Farm is planned before a decision can be made. Cllrs objected to 14/00638/AGN, erection of open fronted straw store.
Cherwell District Council granted five planning/TCA applications and refused 14/00142/OUT, erection of two staff cottages at The Firs Garage.
CDC had asked the Parish Council to suggest road names for the Station Road site; suggestions put forward were The Sidings, Buffers and Railway Close. However, A C Lloyd Ltd has suggested Coppage Close or Coppage Sidings and The Grange. Houses will be named after locomotives (e.g. Arlington, Hazeley).
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications – no comments.
Hook Norton Library - Pauline Walters had written to the PC to advise Councillors that the trustees of FOHNCL have been actively engaged in fundraising and in negotiating a solution with OCC to maintain the library’s opening hours. A long-term plan has been devised and the shortfall in staff funding will be reduced from £9,155pa to £4,940pa. Cllr Kane proposed that the sum of £4,000pa, approved at the PC meeting on 14 March 2013, be upheld. This will be paid to OCC in bi-annual instalments of £2,000 (October and April) over the next three years. FOHNCL will fund any shortfall. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.
Parish Council Risk Assessment 2014 – 2015 and Annual Governance Statement – the Parish Clerk had circulated these details before the meeting. Cllr Hicks proposed that the assessment be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr Casson and passed unanimously.
Attendance List 2013 – 2014 – The Parish Clerk circulated these details to Councillors before the meeting.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council
The Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised on the schedules totalling £7,033.74 for the Parish Council and £126.50 for the Memorial Hall. Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Casson and approved unanimously. Councillors thanked Solid Structures (UK) Ltd for the work it had carried out to date on the Memorial Hall and for the generous discount applied to the invoice.
Internal Audit 2013-2014 – the Parish Clerk confirmed that an internal audit of the Parish Council accounts and the Memorial Hall accounts for 2013 – 2014 had been conducted by Mr David Ralls, Banbury with no matters arising. The Parish Council accounts will now be sent to external auditors BDO for verification.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month.
The tenant of allotment Plot 11 had asked permission to erect a small shed on the plot. Graham Usher had agreed to the request.
Cllr Kane reported that a villager had complained about grocery adverts being duck-taped to the outside wall of the post-office. They were unsightly. Cllr Kane had approached the postmaster, asking him to take them down but to no avail. She reported the matter to Cherwell District Council, who had issued an enforcement notice. The adverts have now been removed.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public – complaint about the amount of dog faeces being left on the streets in Hook Norton. People are asked to clear up after their pets. A new webpage has been designed where people can confidentially report dog fouling offences to help CDC’s enforcement officers target hotspot areas and fine owners who fail to clean up after their dog. Offenders who fail to clear up after their dog can receive an on-the-spot fine of £50, which can increase to £1,000 if the case proceeds to magistrates’ court. To report an offence, visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/dogfouling
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 12 June 2014 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.20pm.