HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 10th MARCH 2011 AT 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Shepley-Cuthbert [Vice-Chairman], Brotherston, Hayward, Jelf, Kane, Leader, Millar and Richardson, District Councillor Irvine, Mr Porter [Parish Clerk] and two members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
were received from Cllrs Timms [holiday], and Stubbs [business commitment].
2. Chairmans Announcements
In the absence of Cllr Timms the meeting was chaired by Cllr Shepley-Cuthbert.
3. Minutes of previous meeting, 10 February 2011, and matters arising
It was proposed by Cllr Jelf, and seconded by Cllr Hayward, that the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted as a true and accurate record and this was passed unanimously. The Clerk informed councillors that he had just received the nomination papers for the forthcoming election and these were made available.
4. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations on this occasion.
5. Report by Planning Co-ordinator on planning applications received
In the absence of Cllr Stubbs the Clerk reported that seven new applications had been received since the previous meeting and he had received four decisions from Planning Department in the same period, none of which was contentious. Cllr Hayward commented that CDC has discontinued the practice of informing neighbours of applications with effect from 1 March and the only notification will be a Notice in the locality. Full details will be available on the website. The Clerk had understood that applications would still be notified in the Banbury Guardian but District Councillor Irvine clarified that these would only be those where there is a legal requirement. The meeting with Savills to learn of a proposed development in the village has been abandoned as their clients have decided it would be premature.
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 Leader reported that work to repair the wall has been completed but another 3 metre stretch has now fallen and Mr Hutchinson has quoted 1300 + VAT to rebuild this. There was a discussion about the need to obtain other quotes but it has proved so difficult to find a contractor willing to do this work that it was agreed that this requirement could be dispensed with on this occasion. Cllr Leader proposed that Mr Hutchinson be asked to carry out the further repair and this was seconded by Cllr Kane and approved unanimously. A further stretch of wall near the bottom of Watery Lane is in a parlous state and Cllr Leader is seeking quotes to plant natural hedging above. It was agreed that the plants which are in the bank are helping to maintain the wall and he will also enquire about putting in some further suitable vegetation. He has also reminded David Randall that he promised to repair the fencing several months ago. The new play equipment was opened for use almost four weeks ago and is proving very popular. There is still a problem with litter although Mr Marshall visits daily to attend to this. The grass is wearing thin in places and Cllr Kane commented that there are some pinch points but she has had a bag of grass seed donated and this will be utilised on the problem areas later in the year. Arrangements will be made to meet with the grasscutter, Bob Bickley, on site to discuss the future cutting regime. The Police have attended and are impressed with the area and will keep an eye on it. Cllr Leader commented that the British Legion is holding a series of special events on 11th June to raise funds for Help the Heroes and wondered if it would be possible to co-ordinate something in the Park to raise funds? This will be considered further.
(b)Cemetery & Allotments Cllr Shepley-Cuthbert reported that John Blackham has agreed to continue the work clearing the old cemetery and has offered to take the allotment incinerator to the site to burn cuttings. This was agreed with grateful thanks to the volunteers for their excellent work. The Clerk informed the meeting that one tenant has just relinquished his half plot and he will be writing to the person at the head of the waiting list in the next few days.
(c)Environment Cllr Millar reported that Mr Taylor has asked for the weeds to be removed from the top of the wall abutting his garden and Mr Bickley has been asked to deal with these. As the Parish Council has no documentation to prove its ownership of the wall the Clerk will be writing to the owners of the adjoining properties where appropriate to enquire if their deeds can clarify the situation. Cllr Brotherston enquired about the dog bin which was to be sited at the corner of Osney Close and he was informed that the bin from opposite the Old Post Office is to be re-sited there once Mr Marshall has completed some repair work. There is also a new litter bin to be placed in the same location.
(d)Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Cllr Brotherston reported that annual User Group meeting has been postponed until the beginning of the new Parish year as three members of the working group are away at present. He has been liaising with the contractors who repaired the floor in the light of the complaints by the Badminton ladies and they are looking into the surfacing suggested by Julie Sachno at the previous meeting. Cllr Brotherston is still waiting for a quote to repair the front door.
8. Report on District Council Matters
District Cllr Irvine reported that responsibility for operating the concessionary fares scheme will pass from CDC to OCC from 1 April. The new Chief Executive, Sue Smith, has been appointed and she will also be responsible for South Northamptonshire. The next phase is to appoint the shared senior management of the two districts. The budget has been set and there will be no rise in council tax for the coming year.
9. Report on County Council Matters
County Cllr Jelf had nothing to report on this occasion.
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 66807.46 for the PC [including the final payment of 55101.63 for the new play equipment, approved last month] and 5884 for the MH, which includes the payment to ACH for the repair of the floor which is covered by an insurance refund. Cllr Hayward moved acceptance of the payments detailed and this was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and approved unanimously.
(i) Risk Assessment/Review of Internal Audit – The Clerk reminded councillors that, although most items are looked at regularly, it is necessary to review the Risk Assessment annually and note this in the minutes. Members considered the schedule provided by the Clerk and Cllr Jelf noted that all risks seemed to be identified and moved acceptance, which was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and approved unanimously.
11. Hooky Car Club
Cllr Hayward informed councillors that the Club now has its first vehicle with two others to be purchased by the end of the month. The vehicles need to be easily accessible and it is intended to park one outside The Sun. There is a need to place a small inconspicuous key safe adjacent and it was suggested that this could be attached to the bus shelter. This was agreed with the proviso that the householder be contacted first as it believed she may have an interest in the shelter.
12. Royal Wedding Street Parties
The Clerk explained that Cllr Stubbs had asked that this item be placed on the agenda as she felt the PC should be aware of any such arrangements, particularly if the organisers wish to close their respective roads. Cllr Hayward commented that some events are taking place but no members were aware of any formal street party.
Cherwell District Council: nothing on this occasion;
(i) Spring Clean 2011 the Clerk reported that he has asked the Guides and Brownies to do this as in previous years;
(ii) Census Day 27 March guide for councillors, all enquiries should go to Helpline 0300 0201 101 or website www.census.gov.uk;
(iii) Clean Energy Cash Back Bodicote House, Wednesday 30 March
(iv) New Informal Planning Guidance Documents on Wind Turbine Development and Division of Buildings for Residential Use;
(v) Concessionary Travel Scheme & Community Transport [Dial-a-Ride] wef 1 April responsibility for running the Concessionary Fares Scheme transfers from CDC to OCC which will deal with new passes and renewals;
Oxfordshire County Council:
(vi) Revised Household Waste Recycling Centre Strategy OCC seeking new approach to household waste recycling and invites comment on www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/waste;
(vii) OALC February Newsletter circulated by email, Cllr Kane to attend seminar in Didcot in October;
(viii) Banbury CAB seeking donation to help expand into adjacent premises to cope with increase in clients it remains our policy to only donate to worthwhile local causes.
14. Questions and Comments from Members of the Public
Susan French enquired about the sound generator mentioned in the previous minutes and it was explained that this would be silent to adults as the pitch can only be heard by youngsters. As such it acts as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour but the machine we were thinking of is not yet at the prototype stage. Mrs French then commented on the problems of inconsiderate and illegal parking in Osney Close and mentioned that the ambulance is having difficulties accessing properties, several residents had had their vehicles damaged and the grass in front of the properties, which the tenants pay to maintain, is being damaged by thoughtless parking. Cllr Jelf explained that the PC has no power to do anything about this but a note will be placed in the next Newsletter to remind parishioners that there is a public car park outside The Sun and to ask them to respect the welfare of the residents, most of whom are elderly.
15. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 14th April 2011 in the Memorial Hall starting immediately after the Annual Parish Meeting which will commence at 7pm
There being no further business the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 8.25 pm