HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 14 JANUARY 2016 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Hicks, Griggs, Watkins, Henderson, Matthews, Casson, Wright, Mrs R Watts (Parish Clerk) and two members of the public.
Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Brotherston, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Jelf
Chairman’s Announcements: there were no announcements.
Declarations of Interest: Cllr Kane declared an interest in item 10, web hosting for the village website.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 10 December 2015 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 10 December 2015 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and passed unanimously.
At the December meeting District Cllr Jelf agreed to ask officers at Cherwell District Council when Section 106 monies from the Developers of The Grange will be passed to organisations in the village. The Parish Clerk will contact Cllr Jelf to see if he has received a reply.
The Parish Clerk had placed an advertisement on the village noticeboards notifying villagers that there were two vacancies on the Parish Council following last year’s election procedures. She had received one application from Kate McCall-McCowan, Woodbine Cottage, Bridge Hill, Hook Norton, OX15 5PN and one from Danny Duggan, 24 Ironstone Hollow, Hook Norton, OX15 5NA. Cllr Kane proposed that Kate McCall-McCowan be co-opted as Councillor to Hook Norton Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and agreed unanimously. Cllr Kane proposed that Danny Duggan be co-opted as Councillor to Hook Norton Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Wright and agreed unanimously. Both co-opted Members completed Declarations of Acceptance of Office and will complete Register of Members’ Interests forms, to be returned to the Parish Clerk. They were warmly welcomed to the Council table.
The Parish Clerk tabled the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct (14 June 2012) to all Councillors.
Copies of the Council’s Standing Orders will be tabled at the next meeting.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Four planning / TCA applications have been received since the last meeting. There were no objections.
Cherwell District Council had granted three planning / TCA applications.
The Planning Inspectorate has upheld the Appeal by Gladman Developments Ltd to build 54 dwellings on OS Parcel 6680, north of the primary school in Sibford Road. Cherwell District Council has confirmed that it will Legally Challenge this decision, as The Inspectorate has ignored the approved Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Reports of Working Groups
a) The quarterly inspection report of the play area had been received from Playdale, with no matters arising.
Cemetery and Allotments
a) Two allotment holders are overdue with their rental payments and reminders have been sent. Reminders each attract a £5 surcharge.
b) Cllr Hicks proposed that allotment rents for 2017-2018 remain at £22 per full plot and £14 per half plot. Reminder letters remain at £5 per letter. This was seconded by Cllr Wright and agreed unanimously.
c) A villager has asked if he could set up a community garden on an allotment plot. Councillors agreed unanimously that the allotments cannot be used for this purpose (i.e. tenancies state that a tenant cannot sub-let or part with any part of an allotment garden and that a tenant is only permitted to grow vegetables and flowers for domestic consumption by him/herself and his/her family). Community gardens are already being identified in the village by Sarah Morris (e.g. the Memorial Hall garden) and villagers are encouraged to contact her if they want to become involved in community gardening.
d) The dry stone wall between the upper and lower cemetery needs attention. Cllr Griggs has obtained one estimate for repairs in the sum of £1,200. He is seeking a second quotation. Cllr Griggs also applied to the Tesco Local Community Grants scheme in 2015 indicating interest in obtaining a grant towards paying for the repairs. If selected, a more detailed application has to be submitted by 16 January 2016. To date Cllr Griggs has not received a response from Tesco inviting further information.
a) Kim Cooke has submitted a monthly report. He had picked litter from The Sidings. Cllr Griggs had picked litter (mainly beer cans) from the verge at the top of Ironstone Hollow.
b) The grass verge opposite The Sidings has been damaged by contractors’ traffic. The Parish Clerk will write to A C Lloyd asking them to reinstate it.
c) One of the white gates at the entrance to the village in Station Road has been knocked down. Councillors will inspect the gates at each end of the village to check for damage.
d) An enquiry had been made about ownership of shrubs and vegetation in Watery Lane on land abutting Old School End. Councillors confirmed that the land is owned by OCC.
e) The footbridge across the stream at the bottom of Bridge Hill needs attention, as do the drains there which have been partially blocked with tarmacadam. The Parish Clerk will report the matter to OCC.
f) The stream is blocked with vegetation and debris and flooding is being experienced at certain pinch points. The Parish Clerk will contact the Environment Agency.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall
a) Cllr Matthews has replaced the missing tile from the roof. The Chairman thanked him for dealing with this.
b) Cllr Matthews has provided a water butt for the Memorial Hall garden free of charge. Again, thanks were given.
c) Work to replace windows and doors will start week commencing 1 February and should be completed within the week. The hall is not available for hire during this period.
Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan (HNNP) sub-Committee
a) Cllr Hicks had nothing to report.
Training for Councillors: Training courses are being held by OALC on 2 March and 5 October in the Civic Hall, Britwell Road, Didcot, OX11 7JN. Cllr Wright would like to attend the March session. The Parish Clerk will reserve a place as soon as bookings are being taken.
Web Hosting for the Village Website: for the past 7-8 years Cllr Kane has provided hosting for the village website free of charge. The village has no alternative arrangement in place should Cllr Kane be unable to service the site and in addition, due to traffic levels a more robust server is needed. Cllr Kane has identified a suitable provider (cost £71.88) and she proposed that they be appointed. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and approved unanimously.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised on the schedules for January totalling £2,099.37 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £5.53 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3). Cllr Wright moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and agreed unanimously.
District Council Report: District Cllr Jelf had not submitted a report.
County Council Report: County Cllr Reynolds had submitted a report:
Phase 1 of work to the primary school is expected to start in the near future.
The OCC increase in Council Tax is expected to be 3.99%.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month. There were no matters outstanding.
A resident has reported seeing a crack in the bridge in Station Road. The Parish Clerk will write to the owner to alert her of the fact.
Vanessa Porter is heading a project to raise funds for the primary school (British Village Goes Back to the Future). To be held on 14 May, villagers are encouraged to get involved (contact: Friends of Hook Norton School email@example.com or call Vanessa Porter direct on 01608 737497).
The Post Office has written to confirm that they are proposing to change the Post Office service provision to Hook Norton. A new agent has been appointed, providing them with the opportunity to incorporate Post Office services into their existing convenience store in the High Street. Local Public consultation starts 6 January 2016 – 17 February 2016. Views can be shared on postofficeviews.co.uk quoting code 28613799.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were no members of the public attending.
There were no matters arising.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 11 February 2016 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.35pm.