HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 9th APRIL 2009 AT 7.30pm
were received from Cllrs Brotherston, Hayward and Leader, together with District Cllr Irvine who had a family funeral to attend in Somerset.
2. Chairman’s Announcements
Cllr Walsham had no announcements to make on this occasion.
3. Minutes of previous meeting, 12 March 2009, and matters arising
It was proposed by Cllr Jelf, and seconded by Cllr Richardson, that the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted as a true and accurate record and this was passed unanimously by those who were at that meeting. The Clerk informed the meeting that the Notice of a Vacancy to fill the place of Clive Timms had not produced a call for an election but David Shepley-Cuthbert has offered his services. Unfortunately, due to holiday commitments, he was unable to attend this meeting but will attend in May. The Clerk also read a letter from the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Keith Mitchell, in response to our complaint about the lack of gritting in the village during the February snow, basically confirming that a number of similar villages were also cut off and that no commitment could be given that such a situation could not recur. Cllr Jelf informed the meeting that an accident on The Bourne during the earlier hard frost had led us to discover that that priority for gritting in this area around the fire station had lapsed and this has now been re-established.
4. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Millar declared an interest in Item 11.
5. Report by Planning Co-ordinator on planning applications received
Cllr Walsham reported that only four new applications had been considered since the previous meeting and there were no objections. A subsequent application to thin and crown a field maple at Dolce Vita in Rope Way had been looked at and a response has therefore been sent indicating no objection to this. Cllr Walsham also referred to a decision just to hand relating to the application at Edgecote Cottages which CDC has declined essentially on the basis that there was limited car parking space for three dwellings and vehicles would have to reverse or manoeuvre on the highway, and also on the basis of over-development of the site. The Clerk has written to CDC about a number of outstanding tree applications and Cllr Walsham had also made contact when the tree at Holly House was cut and he understands that CDC will not notify PCs in future of decisions on tree applications.
6. To invite members of the public to comment on planning applications
There were no comments on this occasion.
7. Report of Working Groups
(a)Recreation & Open Spaces Group – In the absence of Cllr Leader the Clerk reported that quotes for repairing the wall have been received from Paul Clarke and Dennis Mill and he intend to hold a working group meeting shortly so that formal proposals can be placed before the PC at the May meeting. In the meantime Mr Marshall continues to carry out routine maintenance.
(b)Cemetery & Allotments – In the absence of Cllr Brotherston the Clerk reported that Cllr Brotherston had met with John Blackham, Chairman of Allotment Association, on site at the end of March to review the overall state of the plots. Whilst there are a couple of plots requiring a little attention the overall impression is of an attractive and well kept area. It is clear that the efforts of the Association has produced results and encouraged lots of hard work from the plot holders. A further inspection will take place in three months but a big thank was expressed to everyone concerned for all their hard work which has made the area something the village can be proud of.
(c)Environment – Cllr Millar referred to a letter from Tony Brummell, of CDC, about street nameplates at East End and confirmed that this would be looked at again by the working group. The major problem to resolve is the collapse of part of the churchyard wall into the garden of Talbot House. We now have four quotes, which were discussed by those present and it was finally proposed by Cllr Jelf that the lowest quote, from Barry Perkins for £3850 + Vat plus the supply of any necessary stone, should be accepted. Mr Perkins is known to be the favoured choice of the householders and this was seconded by Cllr Millar and passed unanimously. It was also agreed that Ben Acreman should be asked to give his opinion on a tree which appears to have pushed against to the wall and which may need to be taken down. Cllr Millar also referred to the recent questionnaire about street lighting and stated that the results will be available by the time of the May meeting and the working group’s recommendations will be available for discussion at that meeting.
(d)Hook Norton War Memorial Hall – Cllr Walsham reported that Bicester Roofing has now finished the repairs and we must wait for the next heavy rain to discover whether these are sufficient. If the roof continues to leak we will probably have to re-tile the extension as the present tiles are not suitable for the slope of the roof. A plaque has been affixed in the kitchen in recognition of the grants awarded for the extension. The steering group will then look at what needs to be done to redecorate the old kitchen and the ceiling of the new one which was stained by the leaks.
(e)Norman Matthews Community Hall – Cllr Jelf had nothing new to report on this occasion.
8. Report on District Council Matters
In the absence of District Cllr Irvine there was nothing to add to the full report she had provided to the Annual Parish Meeting earlier in the evening.
9. Report on County Council Matters
Cllr Jelf had nothing to add to the report he had provided to the APM other than that county elections will take place on June 4th to coincide with the European Union elections.
10. Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for authorisation by the Council
Mr Porter presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised totalling £2188.99 for the PC, together with two further invoices just to hand for £592.25 to Bicester Roofing for repairs to the Memorial Hall roof and £358.14, being the annual subscription to Oxfordshire Association for Local Councils and £134.77 for the MH. Cllr Riley moved acceptance of the payments detailed and this was seconded by Cllr Jelf and approved unanimously.
11. Works in Bells Lane
Cllr Millar referred to work undertaken on the pathway at Tilly’s Cottage which is totally out of keeping and an eyesore in a Conservation Area. The Conservation Officer at CDC, Dr Rose Todd, has visited and was horrified at what had been done. Cllr Jelf commented that, whilst not in the least defending Highways, the work at Tilly’s had been carried out without planning permission and while they had contacted Highways about reinstating the pathway no indication of the type of material to be used was given The Highway Inspector immediately stopped the work and had the kerbing removed but it is a public right of way. Cllr Millar confirmed that it is shown as a bridleway on the Ordnance Survey and Cllr Jelf confirmed that the land in front of the cottage belongs to the owner. Mike Buxton, the Enforcement Officer at CDC, has also visited and while confirming that planning permission was not required to make the building safe anything further does require consent. From the floor Mrs Briggs commented that the work on the road is way over the top; the colour is glaring and the camber adds to its intrusiveness. Any remedial work which can be done to reduce the visual effect would certainly be beneficial. Concern was also expressed about parking in Bells Lane as one shed at Tilly’s has been blocked so will no longer be available for garaging vehicles. Mrs Briggs felt that any subsequent planning applications should include provision for parking. There was also concern that there may be a hidden agenda with a large area of undeveloped land between the cottages. Cllr Jelf commented that, if the planning application does not provide for parking, that will constitute the strongest possible grounds for objection. It was agreed that the PC should write to the Head of Highways expressing grave concern that work of this nature has been allowed in a Conservation Area and asking that the road be returned to a loose surface as it was originally; copies to be sent to County Cllr Ian Hudspeth and to Tony Baldry MP. The Clerk will also notify ORCC in view of the damage caused in the Conservation Area and ask if they can exert pressure for remedial action. The Clerk was also asked to write to CDC to express our concern about the increasing number of retrospective applications we now see. Cllr Jelf thanked nearby residents for bringing this matter so quickly to everyone’s attention. From the floor Christopher Barry voiced his support for the PC in acting on this matter which is symbolic of what is often seen to happen these days.
12. The Beam Scheme
Cllr Stubbs reported that there has been quite a lot of interest in the scheme and she will therefore arrange a meeting of those interested in the Memorial Hall.
Cherwell District Council:
(i) Support for Rural Housing Development – letter to inform us of recent changes, to be circulated amongst councillors;
(ii) Cherwell Countryside Forum – Developing a Vision for the Future of Rural Cherwell –invitation to attend meeting at Steeple Aston on 22 April;
(iii) Cherwell Recreation Strategy Action Plan 2009/10 – first draft, to be circulated;
(iv) Parish Presentation on Development Control Matters – enquiring whether we wish to send a representative to a presentation on recent changes in Planning matters – the new Planning Co-ordinator will attend and we will offer to host the local meeting;
(v) Applegate, East End – enquiry re street nameplates in the area to be looked into by Environment Working Group [see Item (c) above].
(i) Oxfordshire Campaign Briefing March 2009
(ii) Oxford Green Belt Way Walk and Rally, April 19 – walk and rally to protect Green Belt
14. Questions and Comments from Members of the Public
Christopher Barry enquired about the damaged sign at The Green and the Clerk will report this to the appropriate officer at CDC.
15. Date and Time of Next Meeting
Thursday 14th May 2009 [Annual General Meeting] in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm
There being no further business Cllr Walsham closed the meeting at 8.25pm
[Chairman Hook Norton Parish Council]
Dated 14th May 2009