NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 8th JULY 2010 AT 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Timms [Chairman], Shepley-Cuthbert [Vice-Chairman], Brotherston, Hayward, Jelf, Kane, Leader, Millar, Richardson and Stubbs, Victoria Irvine [District Councillor], PC Richard Miller, Mr Porter [Parish Clerk] and four members of the public.
Before the formal meeting started the Chairman introduced PC Richard Miller to everyone attending. PC Miller has replaced Gerry Doyle as the officer responsible for Cherwell South, the area in which Hook Norton is located. PC Miller informed councillors that he would be happy to attend meetings to discuss particular issues of concern but it would be helpful to have reasonable notice in case he needs to carry our some research to answer issues. He went on to explain a new initiative in community policing, Community Engagement Service Points, which are set up at a convenient point within the locality, usually to coincide with regular functions within the village which are well attended. The concept requires volunteers from the community to act as liaison points. He suggested that a trial period of three months would identify whether Hook Norton felt a need for such an initiative. He was also keen to stress that he wants parishioners to report incidents, no matter how trivial, so that a picture can be built up of particular issues which occur in the village. He will amplify these points in an article for the Newsletter. Cllr Jelf enquired whether this initiative was to replace the Neighbourhood Action Groups but PC Miller explained that this was to focus on specific issues within Hook Norton and the NAG would be continuing looking at wider issues in the larger area. Cllr Kane mentioned the refurbishment of the Play Area and asked that the Police keep an eye on the area when the work was being carried out. PC Miller then left the meeting at 7.50pm to attend a reported incident and the formal meeting commenced.
1. Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies on this occasion.
2. Chairmans Announcements
The Chairman had no announcements to make on this occasion.
3. Minutes of previous meeting, 10 June 2010, and matters arising
It was proposed by Cllr Hayward, 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 present at that meeting.
4. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations on this occasion.
5. Report by Planning Co-ordinator on planning applications received
Cllr Stubbs again thanked everyone for assiduously attending meetings and reported that there had been no objections to any of the applications received in the past month. She also reported that limbs had been cut from the willow tree in Park Hill, which is subject to a TPO. This has been reported to the arboriculturalist at CDC and District Cllr Irvine will follow this up to ensure that appropriate action is taken against those responsible.
6. To invite members of the public to comment on planning applications
There were no comments from the public on this occasion.
7. Report of Working Groups
(a)Recreation & Open Spaces Group Cllr Kane reported that the past month has been one of some concern as we learned about three weeks ago that the Playbuilder grant of 47K was likely to be withdrawn. With the help of County Cllr Jelf support was garnered from within the county, as other authorities were also affected, and it now seems that OCC has been successfully persuaded that commitments have been made as a result of the grants and, while we still await formal confirmation, it appears that the funding is now safe. However, as a result of the uncertainty, progress was put on hold until we could be sure of full funding. In the meantime the Aiming High grant of 23K has been received and another 6.8K in the Supporters account will now be transferred to the PC. Initial plans utilising some of the trees in the area have had to be shelved on advice and the supporters group hope to meet with the landscape architect next week to consider the basic requirements following which a basic layout will be presented to the PC for approval. Thereafter quotes will be sought from three suppliers and once the final design has been approved the plans will be made available for parishioners to see. The terms of the various grants are such that it is imperative that the work be completed by 31 March 2011 so we are working on a fairly tight schedule. It was agreed that a further payment of 1K could be allocated to the landscape architect to allow her to oversee the project to ensure that all goes according to plan. Cllr Stubbs thanked Cllr Kane for her splendid efforts in spite of the various impediments to progress. Cllr Jelf then reported that he has had a price for a five-bar gate to be erected at The Shearings entrance at 190 + VAT, plus the cost of erection. Cllr Leader will arrange for the purchase of the gate and contact Martin Beck to ask if he can erect it on our behalf.
(b)Cemetery & Allotments Cllr Brotherston reported that he and Cllr Richardson had met with Mr and Mrs Souch and agreed that some of the overhanging vegetation on the cemetery side of the stream needs to be cleared and Tim Burchell will be asked to deal with this. The Clerk also commented that there are several War graves in the lower cemetery, for which we receive payment from the War Graves Commission, so a formal programme of maintenance should be instigated.
(c)Environment Cllr Millar reported that he had received a petition from residents of Osney Close for a dog bin, a rubbish bin and a grit bin. It has been established that there are two dog bins at either end of the cemetery in Tite Lane and one of these will be moved to the corner of Osney Close. The Clerk reported that arrangements had been made to place a grit bin on the corner but OCC had run out of stocks and a re-order is to be submitted in September. A new litter bin will be ordered to be attached to the telegraph pole. It seems that OCCs contractors have now arranged for street lights to be switched off overnight but times seem to vary quite considerably and there are one or two areas where the lights still remain on all night. The general feeling was that we are happy with the present situation but the Clerk will informally enquire about the anomalies. We have also received a letter from a resident about trees in the landscape barrier at Ironstone Hollow and both Cllrs Millar and Hayward had attended to look at these. Generally it was agreed that they are of a uniform height and do not appear to causing any damage. If overhanging gardens the resident is permitted to trim them back to the boundary.
(d)Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Cllr Brotherston referred to notes of a working group meeting held on Monday evening when it was agreed that most of the essential work has now been completed but that a programme of regular maintenance should be continued to improve the overall appearance of the Hall, including redecoration of the main hall and replacement of curtains. Cllr Stubbs has agreed to try to raise funds for these objectives and pointed out that, as the Hall is the village war memorial, it would be a target to achieve something notable for the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Cllr Hayward mentioned that funds might be available from the HN Low Carbon Group if the improvements include installing energy efficiency measures.
Report on District Council Matters
District Cllr Irvine had little to report as the summer is generally a quiet time but the latest edition of the Cherwell Link, due out shortly, does have some useful information on CDCs achievements and aims. Cllr Jelf enquired whether pledges for this year reflect recent cost cutting imposed by central government and Cllr Irvine responded that the magazine was prepared before the recent emergency budget but CDC had adopted a cautious strategy.
Report on County Council Matters
Cllr Jelf reported that there is to be a special Council meeting on 27 July when a revised budget will be set reflecting the recent cuts imposed by central government.
10. 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 2910.37 for the PC and 161.50 for the MH. Cllr Shepley-Cuthbert moved acceptance of the payments detailed and this was seconded by Cllr Kane and approved unanimously.
11. Oxfordshire Guide to Rights of Way
Cllr Hayward informed the meeting that OCCs Countryside Service has just produced a Countryside Access Guide focusing on access issues and unofficial rights of way. Often paths have become de facto rights of way but, if not registered by 2026, these could be lost. DW has walked all the official paths in the parish but it is acknowledged there are some unofficial ones which probably do need to be identified and registered. After discussion it was agreed to give some thought to the best way to proceed and consider again at the August meeting.
Cherwell District Council:
(i) Parish Liaison Meeting Feedback letter to circulate;
(ii) Planning Futures Newsletter to circulate;
Oxfordshire County Council: nothing on this occasion;
(iii) Thames Valley Police Rural Surgery – Friday 6 August at Bodicote House from 1600-2000 the Chairman will attend;
(iv) Sarah Durham email to Clerk expressing concern about new contractors using double-decker buses to pick up schoolchildren in the morning County Cllr Jelf will take this up with the Education Dept,
13. Questions and Comments from Members of the Public
Two residents of The Shearings, John McLaughlin and Roy Goldsmith, expressed some gratification that there is to be a gate at the Play Area although they both consider that this might be open to vandalism and feel a removable bollard might be a better option. However their main concern is the continued use of The Shearings by parents dropping off and collecting children attending the Play School. The bottom end of The Shearings is owned jointly by CDC and the five residents who are responsible for the maintenance of the road which is suffering considerable damage from the unwanted number of vehicles constantly in and out of the area. Cllr Jelf will discuss this with Highways with a view to a notice being put up at the entrance to The Shearings to indicate there is no vehicular access to the Play Area and he will also discuss whether the road could be adopted.
14. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 12th August 2010 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.52 pm