Hook Norton Parish Council
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on
8th April 2010 in the Memorial Hall, Hook Norton at 7pm
Present: the meeting was attended by Councillors Timms [Chairman], Walsham [Vice Chairman], Brotherston, Hayward, Jelf, Leader, Millar, Richardson and Stubbs, together Mr Porter, the Parish Clerk, and four members of the public.
Apologies: were received from Cllrs Kane and Shepley-Cuthbert, and Cllr Stubbs who was delayed and arrived during Item 5, Pauline Walters [Heath Allotment Trust] and Anne Evans [Chipping Norton School Trust]
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Thursday 9th April 2009 were approved as a true record of the meeting.
Conduct of the Meeting: The Chairman welcomed everyone and informed those present that the meeting would be informal.
3. Report by Chairman of the Parish Council: Cllr Timms reported a busy year, his fifth consecutive one as Chairman and, although he had a few months away at the end of the last Parish year, he had been persuaded to return in May 2009. Unfortunately during the Parish year we lost the services of Sharron Barnes and Melvyn Riley and the Chairman thanked them for all their efforts while on the Council. Their replacements are Emma Kane and David Shepley-Cuthbert, both of whom have already proved to be extremely useful members of the team. The Chairman thanked all his fellow councillors for their contribution during the past year and, in particular, those who had chaired the various working groups, the Planning Co-ordinator, Marie Stubbs, our District Councillor, Victoria Irvine, and Ray Jelf who doubles both as our County Councillor and a serving member of the PC. Sadly a wanton act of vandalism in the Play Area resulted in a serious accident to a child, which is to be deplored, but this led to Emma Kane and Jonathan Leader, who chairs the Recreation Group, setting up a working group to obtain funding to re-equip the Play Area and replace tired equipment. The Chairman congratulated Emma who, having devoted considerable time and effort, has obtained grant commitment of over 51,000 with the possibility of further funding by way of a Playbuilder grant. The Chairman also thanked the Clerk, Ken Porter, who continues to give invaluable advice and assistance with the ever increasing burden of bureaucracy and legislation besides producing excellent records of meetings. He also thanked Doug Marshall for his continued support in maintaining standards in the Recreation Area, along with his other environmental tasks. Thanks also went to Pauline Walters for her role in chairing the Heath Allotment Trust and Anne Evans, who represents the village on the Chipping Norton School Trust Fund and their reports follow. Finally he thanked Albert Walsham for his contribution in chairing the working group responsible for the Memorial Hall, which continues to be well supported within the village. Ray Jelf, supported by the Clerk, has virtually finalised the transfer of the lease of the Norman Matthews Hall to the Church and it is pleasing to report that this being fully utilised by both the Church and the Library. Regrettably little progress has been made during the year on the Affordable Housing issue but pressure is being maintained in an attempt to obtain a positive result. Finally the Chairman thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
4. Report by Chairman of the Memorial Hall Trust: Cllr Walsham reported that the Hall has been successfully used during the past year with regular users ensuring that it remains financially viable with their income, together with donations from the Parish Council, supporting the Hall costs. Regular user groups now include the two Brownie packs, Guides, Art classes, Ladies Badminton, and Karate, with a Yoga class having replaced Pilates. A Cub group was using the Hall but, after one term, moved to a venue which provided an outside play area. We hope they will be replaced by a Dance class in due course. Other regular hirers, the Market, the Film Society and the Garden Club, continue to operate successfully and Hooky Players once again had a highly enjoyable summer play as well as the usual brilliant Pantomime. Bi-monthly meetings of the Working group have continued with Hall issues tracked through a working list to ensure all are dealt with. The kitchen and toilets were decorated at Christmas after the water leaks in the new kitchen were finally fixed. Professional cleaning of the floor was planned for the New Year but had to be cancelled due to the adverse weather and will now take place on 14th April. The long term plan is to redecorate the main Hall provided grants can be obtained. Cllr Walsham thanked the Clerk for actively maintaining and filling the Hall diary and the cleaner, Maggie White, who is doing an excellent job. Finally Cllr Walsham thanked all members of the working group for their excellent support and all the user groups for their continued use of the Hall, which maintains its financial viability.
5. Report by the Chairman of the Heath Allotment Trust: in the absence of Pauline Walters, chair of the Trust, the Clerk read her report. The trustees now comprise herself, Ray Gasson, Clive Timms, Nigel Shields and Ray Jelf, who also acts as Secretary. Members met twice during the year, most recently at the AGM on 9th February. During the year the trustees have continued to consider the most effective use of income available and donations recently agreed include allocations to the two schools serving village pupils: 1000 to Hook Norton Primary School and 500 to Chipping Norton School. In addition 750 has been donated to the village library through the Friends of the Hook Norton Community Library, subject to sight of an estimate for items to improve accessibility and utilisation of existing space in an effort to encourage those at a financial disadvantage to use its facilities. The 1000 donated in the previous year to the Hook Norton library through the Friends has been spent appropriately. In order to ensure proper use of money allocated for village pupils at Chipping Norton School it has been agreed that the Chair or Secretary will be present at meetings where requests for funds are discussed and allocated, the latest being on 22 March 2010. The 500 held in reserve for the charity Home-Start will be retained until a local family needs this support. Both tenants are paying the increased half-yearly rent and reviews will continue as appropriate. Public liability for paths and relating to fallen branches on the Trusts land will be raised with the Parish Council. The Trustees will continue to ensure appropriate use of annual income, together with maintaining realistic rents.
6. Report by County Council Representative: Cllr Jelf commented that it had been a difficult year for the administration attempting to balance pressure to keep increases in council tax to a minimum with rising costs and greater calls on resources. Highways has now agreed a contract with Atkins who will be responsible for contracting work w.e.f. 1 April 2010. On a local level Cllr Jelf will be happy to hear from parishioners with any issues to raise on county council matters.
7. Report by the District Council Representative: in the absence of Cllr Irvine there was no report on this occasion.
Report on Chipping Norton School Trust Fund in the absence of Anne Evans the Clerk read her report. The Trustees have met twice in the current academic year and awards were made to two pupils for music and sport, neither of which was from Hook Norton. In September 2009 a new school uniform was introduced with initial funding from the school and a contribution of 350 was made from the Heath Allotment Trust towards the uniform for Hook Norton students.
9. Questions from the Public: Christopher Barry reminded the meeting that District Cllr Irvine had mentioned the creation of 200 new jobs by CDC at the 2009 APM and he wondered if these were all in Bodicote House? In the absence of Cllr Irvine it was not possible to give a definitive answer but the Chairman promised to research.
10. Closure of the Meeting: There being no further business the Chairman formally closed the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.20pm.