HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 9 MARCH 2017 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Kane, Hicks, McCall-McCowan, Matthews, Duggan, Griggs, Brotherston, Henderson, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and two members of the public
Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Wright, Watkins, County Cllr Reynolds, District Cllr Brown
Chairman’s Announcements: Taylor Wimpey have carried out the work that is needed to alleviate flooding issues on the new estate and in Bourne Lane. A notice advertising the vacant position on the Parish Council has been put on the noticeboards and the village website.
Declarations of Interest: There were none.
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 9 February 2017 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 9 February 2017 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and passed unanimously.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1)
Ten planning/TCA applications have been received since the last meeting. Councillors objected to 17/00232/Q56, Highpoint Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd, change of use of agricultural building to house.
Cherwell District Council granted five applications, including 16/02621/F, erection of a house on land to the rear of The Old Police House in The Bourne, which the Parish Council had objected to. Councillors have noted that the owner(s) of the plot have made an access route to their land via an un-adopted lane which residents currently use for access to their properties. No consultation with neighbours was made prior to this action.
The applicant has withdrawn 16/02040/F, change of use of agricultural land to holiday accommodation at Field Barn, Whichford Road.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Reports of Working Groups
a) New play equipment – the Chairman is obtaining quotations from Playdale for new swings, monkey bar and a see-saw.
Cemetery and Allotments
a) A quotation of £2.5k – £3k has been received from a specialist firm for ridding the cemetery of Japanese Knotweed. A second quotation is being sought. The vegetation will be dealt with as soon as it starts to grow.
b) Recent strong winds brought down a tree in the cemetery. The remainder of the tree has been felled and the wood removed from site.
c) Invoices for allotment rents 2017-2018 were hand-delivered by Cllr Griggs at the end of February. They are payable by 1 April 2017. Reminders for non-payment each attract a £10 administration fee.
d) The tenant of Plot 30B has asked for permission to erect an 8’ x 6’ shed. Cllr Hicks proposed that this should be approved. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and passed unanimously.
e) A tenant who has two separate tenancy agreements for two half plots has asked if she can pay rent for just one full plot. Councillors unanimously agreed that she, like others, must pay for each half plot that she cultivates in accordance with her tenancy agreements. It was also agreed that as there is a long waiting list for plots, any full plots becoming vacant in the future will be divided in two (i.e. full plots will no longer be available to new tenants).
a) A recent survey of Parish Council owned trees has identified some trees in need of early attention. Cllr Wright is discussing the report with Ben Acreman. Councillors unanimously agreed that £4,000 should be made available immediately for any urgent remedial works. Medium risk issues will be dealt with on a rolling programme over the next three years.
b) The footpath from The Bourne to The Shearings is heavily overgrown. A contractor has been appointed to cut the beech hedge back this month before the birds start nesting.
c) The bus shelter near The Green has been repaired.
d) A new bench has been installed.
e) Old litter bins at the bus stop in East End, the bus stop at The Green and the Memorial Hall are being replaced.
f) A dog bin at the top of Bourne Lane has been hit by a vehicle and is damaged beyond repair. A new bin has been ordered.
g) A quotation for replacing the Parish Council Noticeboard outside the Village Shop is being sought.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall
a) A power socket has been installed by the refrigerator so that an extension lead does not have to be used.
b) A set of long range remote controlled power sockets have been installed.
c) Patches of mould behind the curtains will be dealt with and re-painted.
d) There is possibly a small leak in the ladies’ lavatory.
e) One hirer has again asked that the hall be heated to 23.5 degrees. Councillors agreed that this is not an acceptable level for the hire fees being charged. It will be heated to the acceptable level of 21 degrees as agreed at last month’s meeting. Hirers may use the overhead heaters if they require additional heating, using the £1 coin operated system in the kitchen. The remote control for the overhead heaters is now on the wall to the left of the gents’ lavatories.
f) Councillors are monitoring the amount of oil being used to heat the hall. As a result of the high cost of heating, hire fees will be reviewed in May, with seasonally adjusted hire fees being considered.
g) Any issues appertaining to the Memorial Hall must be directed to the Parish Warden, Wendy Gordon, not the Chairman. The Chairman will not respond to any further emails or telephone calls relating to perceived issues with the hall.
Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan:
a) If anyone in the village would like to update the Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan, please contact Cllr Hicks. The update would need to take into consideration an estate of 38 houses in pre-planning opposite The Grange.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council:
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for March 2017 totalling £3,763.13 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £232.57 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3). Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr McCall-McCowan and agreed unanimously.
Report on District Council Matters. District Cllr Hugo Brown reported:
‘Unitary Government for Oxfordshire’: Cherwell District Council, West Oxfordshire and the City of Oxford remain opposed to Oxfordshire County Council’s plans to disband the area’s city and District Councils and replace them with a single unitary authority for all of Oxfordshire.
The A361 Working Party of the CDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee is building up a detailed dossier of problems on this road.
Cherwell District Councillors’ Allowances: Cherwell District Council Councillors voted through an increase of 1.25% in their Allowances. This followed a recommendation from the District Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel. Not all CDC Members voted for the increase and it is possible for individual Members to refuse to accept the increase.
Report on County Council Matters. County Cllr George Reynolds reported:
He had written to all Parish Councils regarding Oxfordshire County Council’s proposals for ‘One Oxfordshire’. He fully supports Cherwell District Council’s views on the matter and remains opposed to a single unitary authority.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month. There were no matters outstanding.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public:
There were none.
Residents are urged to report potholes via the front page of the recently updated village website.
Confidential Item: deferred
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 13 April 2017 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.18pm.