HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2018 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Kane, Watkins, Hicks, Duggan, Henderson, Porter, Matthews, Wilson Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk), District Cllr Brown and one member of the public
Apologies for Absence – Cllr Watkins, Griggs, Brotherston and County Cllr Reynolds
Chairman’s Announcements: Cherwell District Council has confirmed that the vacancy on the Parish Council can be filled by co-option. An advertisement for the vacant post has been posted on noticeboards and on the website. The closing date is 29 January 2018. The vacancy will be filled by co-option at the February meeting.
Declarations of Interest: there were none.
Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14 December 2017 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 14 December 2017 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Porter and passed unanimously.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1)
Three planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting. There were no objections.
Cherwell District Council (CDC) had granted nine applications, including revised details on the Gladman site, 17/00950/REM – the Parish Council had raised a number of objections to this application but none of the objections had been successful.
17/02009/CLUP, Hunters Lodge, Sibford Road – application Withdrawn by Applicant. The Parish Council had not objected to the application.
ABS/253/10.15 Swerford Park Farm – consultation by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) regarding the diversion of part of the bridleway under S119 of the Highways Act
OCC approved MW.0080/17 Banbury Plant Hire – continued use of lower yard in connection with waste transfer and MW.0081/17 waste management to continue without complying with Conditions 3, 8 and 10.
Cllr Duggan will attend an OALC training course on planning on 7 February at West Oxfordshire District Council.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Reports of Working Groups
• Cllr Kane is obtaining a quotation for a see-saw & monkey-bars for the play area.
• Branches on some conifers in the play area were damaged by the recent snow. Acreman Arboriculture has dealt with the matter.
Cemetery and Allotments
• New tenancy agreements for allotment holders were sent out on 1 November 2017. Thirty-one of the forty-five tenants have returned their signed agreements. The remaining tenants have until 28 February 2018 to return their agreements to the Parish Clerk. Failure to return the signed documents by the due date will result in the Parish Council, with 12 month’s written notice, terminating the tenancies.
• Green Gym of Chipping Norton have lifted the bark in the play area and weeded and tidied the area.
• Cllr Hicks will ask Friends of the Cemetery if they would welcome a few hours of Green Gym’s time helping them to carry out a winter tidy-up of the cemetery. This would be financed by the Parish Council.
• The bottle banks outside the primary school are to be removed as soon as possible. Cllr Kane has contacted the Sports and Social Club to see if they would have any objection to them being moved to a suitable area in their car park. The matter is under consideration.
• A salt/grit bin has been ordered from Oxfordshire County Council for the corner of The Grange/The Sidings. OCC will inspect the area before agreeing to the purchase.
• A large lorry attempting to turn down Bell Hill has damaged the verge.
• A vehicle demolished the bench opposite the Pear Tree Inn on 20 December. The Parish Clerk has made a claim against the driver’s insurance.
• Cllr Griggs and Roy Davis have cleared the path through the Ironstone Hollow estate
• A missing bus stop sign and pole were removed by OCC because the pole was rusted through. It will be returned in due course.
• A resident has complained to Cllr Kane about the grammar used on the ‘20s Plenty’ signs in the village.
• County Cllr Reynolds and Cllr Kane have raised concerns with Ian Hudspeth at OCC about safety issues on the two school buses that currently serve children travelling to Chipping Norton School. Cllr Kane had raised a FOI enquiry with OCC asking for their risk assessment details. OCC replied stating that they had not carried out any risk assessments. This was a matter for the school and the bus company to deal with.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall
• Cllr Watkins is obtaining a quotation for or repairing or replacing the broken blind mechanisms.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council:
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for January 2018 totalling £2,150.72 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £221.97 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3). Cllr Duggan moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and agreed unanimously.
Report on District Council Matters. District Cllr Hugo Brown reported:
Castle Quay – At the Full Council Meeting on 18 December it was unanimously voted on that CDC should proceed with purchasing the 85% of Castle Quay Shopping Centre which it did not own and also to proceed with developing Castle Quay 2 (CQ2). While the purchase price of Castle Quay has to remain confidential, the expected development cost of CQ2 is in the order of £60m. The combined investment is very significant. This is being financed entirely by loans at very favourable interest rates and the income stream from Castle Quay will be sufficient to meet the capital financing costs of the acquisition. CQ2, once developed, will house a hotel, cinema, supermarket and restaurants and is seen as vital to attract foot-fall not only to Castle Quay itself, but also to Banbury Town Centre. The project is not being undertaken primarily as an investment exercise (although it is expected to be more than self-financing) but principally to act as a launch-pad for the regeneration of Banbury – something CDC was far from confident would be achieved if left to a commercial developer. I sit on both the Budget Planning Committee and the Accounts, Audit & Risk Committee and a very significant amount of my time (and that of other Councillors on these committees) was devoted to combing through finer details to satisfy ourselves as to the viability of this project.
Horton Hospital – CDC launched, in conjunction with others, a Judicial Review into the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to downgrade services at the Horton Hospital. A 2-day hearing was held at the High Court in December in front of Mr Justice Mostyn with CDC, and others, arguing six points relating to:
1. the split nature of the consultation
2. misleading information on maternity care
insufficient information generally
not meeting the Government’s new test for bed closures
legitimate expectation of Cherwell residents for a functioning General Hospital in the North of the District
inadequate ambulance service effect – i.e.: transporting patients between the Horton and the JR in Oxford
Mr Justice Mostyn dismissed all six points. Cllr Barry Wood, Leader of CDC, expressed his “bitter disappointment” and further commented “Despite this, the Council will not rest on its laurels and will now focus its attention on the referral of the obstetrics service to the Secretary of State for Health and his hopeful instruction to his specialist panel to review that decision”.
Report on County Council Matters. County Cllr George Reynolds reported:
OCC will be discussing whether to increase the Council Tax by 4.99% or 5.99%.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were none.
There was a brief discussion about the Gladman Estate and CDC approval of 17/00950/REM. Any complaints about the approval should be made to Cherwell District Council direct, not the Parish Council. The Parish Council made a number of objections at the various consultation stages and can have no further input now that approval has been granted.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 8 February 2018 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.13pm.