HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 14 JUNE 2018 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Porter, Wilson, Matthews Henderson, District Cllr Brown, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and two members of the public
Apologies for Absence – Cllr Duggan and County Cllr Reynolds.
Declarations of Interest: Cllr Matthews declared an interest in planning applications 18/00885/F – Erection of workshop at Ferris Hill Farm and 18/00884/F – Erection of flat over garage, Rectory View, Down End.
Chairman’s Announcements: there were none.
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council held on 10 May 2018
Cllr Porter proposed that the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council held on 10 May 2018 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Matthews and passed unanimously.
The Parish Clerk had placed an advertisement on the village noticeboards notifying residents that there were vacancies on the Parish Council. She had received three applications. She confirmed that all three candidates were qualified to become Councillors and were not disqualified as set out in the LG Act 1972 S79 and S80.
Cllr Watkins proposed that Mr Jonathan Muller be co-opted to the Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks.
Cllr Watkins proposed that Mr David Shepherd be co-opted to the Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Matthews.
Unfortunately Mr Peter Lewis was unable to attend the meeting and his application will be considered at the July meeting.
Messrs Muller and Shepherd were welcomed to the Council table and asked to complete Declarations of Acceptance of Office. They were also asked to complete Register of Members’ Interests forms, to be returned to the Parish Clerk within one week. The Parish Council’s Code of Conduct and Standing Orders will be sent to them in due course. Cllr Brotherston will implement PC email accounts for both Councillors.
Allocation of New Councillors to Working Groups:
Cllr Watkins asked Jonathan Muller to join the Cemetery and Allotments Working Group and David Shepherd to join the Environment Working Group.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1)
Nine planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting. There were no objections.
Cherwell District Council (CDC) had granted five applications.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Reports of Working Groups
• Playdale has now installed the new swing in the play area.
Cemetery and Allotments
• The Parish Clerk had received a retrospective request from the tenant of plot 23 for permission to put a fence around her plot. Cllrs discussed the matter and agreed unanimously that only posts and low see-through rabbit fencing will be approved. Cllr Hicks proposed that the posts and wire fence around plot 23 be approved. This was seconded by Cllr Porter.
• The tree damaging the stone wall in the cemetery has been removed.
• The stone wall will be repaired next week.
• Cllr Matthews confirmed that Banbury Plant Hire will address the muddy area by the bottle banks in the HNSSC car park as soon as possible.
• Cllr Porter recently had an on-site meeting with Mr Depp from OCC Highways to discuss inconsiderate and dangerous parking by some parents/residents by the primary school and damage to grass verges. Mr Depp will not approve any form of kerbing outside the properties affected because he considers it to be ‘too urban’; neither will he agree to OCC providing a lay-by. A long discussion took place to try to find solutions to the ongoing problems during term time. Cllr Watkins proposed that the PC agree to purchase two of three trees for the area of OCC land being damaged by cars (OCC has agreed to maintain the two trees if the PC buys them). This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and agreed unanimously. The Parish Clerk will write to John Rawlings at OCC to confirm these details.
• Drivers are asked to park considerately anywhere near the school and not to use or block residents’ driveways.
• It was unanimously agreed that posters attached to railings and posts in the village advertising a nail salon will be removed.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall
• County Cllr George Reynolds/OCC have kindly given the Memorial Hall a grant of £2,500 towards the cost of working on the Memorial Hall garden over the next few months to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1.
• The event will also be marked by a village event in the Memorial Hall on 10 November. Hook Norton Literature Group has offered to contribute appropriate readings on the day. Offers from other village groups to mark the event would be very welcome – contact email@example.com
• A quotation of £200 from David Green, Bloxham to paint an area of wall in the hall damaged by ingress of water during the winter was accepted. Work will be carried out on 22 June after an early morning hire.
Non-payment by Driver or Hastings Direct for Motor Damage to Village Bench:
A driver demolished the Parish Council bench opposite the Pear Tree Inn on 20 December 2017. It has taken until this week for Hastings Direct to finally respond to the Parish Clerk’s numerous letters of claim with a settlement cheque of £742.
Cllr Watkins proposed that a new bench should now be purchased. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously. Cllr Matthews agreed that the bench could be delivered to Ferris Hill Farm in the first instance. He will then arrange for the bench to be fitted. The Parish Clerk will place an order with Sustainable Furniture – Oxford.
Parish Council Website: Cllr Brotherston has started the process of designing a designated Parish Council website to satisfy External Audit Regulations. Details of the 2017-2018 accounts will be published there in the next week to 10 days. Agendas, Minutes and other Parish Council news will eventually be posted there too. There will be a link to the new PC website via the Village Newsletter.
Heath Allotment Trust (HAT) – Revised Accounts 17/18
The Treasurer of HAT inadvertently made an error in the 2017-18 accounts presented to the Annual Parish Meeting on 12 April, inasmuch as he originally included thirteen months of accounts, rather than the required twelve. The Parish Clerk circulated the revised accounts to Councillors before the meeting.
Ray Jelf had advised the Parish Council that Derek Brotherston has agreed to become Chairman of the Trust following the resignation of Pauline Walters.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council:
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for June 2018 totalling £15,229.34 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £1,198.62 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3). Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.
Report on District Council Matters: District Cllr Hugo Brown reported:
The main pre-occupation of Cherwell DC (CDC) at the moment is the likely demise of the joint working arrangements with South Northants DC as it is believed that this council will be wound up following a general reorganisation of Local Government in Northamptonshire. To this end, CDC has been actively seeking a new partner and it has entered into tentative talks with Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Before anything is decided it will have to go to a vote of both Full Councils. There is some sense in this as County and District perform different but complimentary functions. CDC is acutely aware that having vetoed any move for Oxfordshire to move to Unitary Governance, any joint working with OCC must not be seen as being the first step down that path and that CDC will retain all its political independence.
There have been reports in the press that CDC Planning will recommend refusal for the proposed new service station at Junction 11 of the M40. The next Planning Committee meeting is on 21 June and the application is on the agenda for that meeting.
The 2016/2017 Statement of Accounts for CDC are finally available on-line.
Report on County Council Matters: County Cllr George Reynolds reported:
CDC is to try and save back office costs.
The unitary debate appears to be on the back burner because the Government feels that the Oxfordshire Growth Bid is more important.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were none.
AOB: there were no matters arising.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 12 July 2018 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Watkins thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.25pm.