HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 14th MAY 2009 AT 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Brotherston, Hayward, Jelf, Leader, Millar, Richardson and Walsham, together with Mr Porter [Parish Clerk] and four members of the public.
The Parish Clerk welcomed those attending and opened the meeting as the first item on the Agenda was the election of Chairman. Before proceeding he informed everyone that Cllrs Barnes and Riley had both tendered their resignations from the PC and Notices of Vacancies have been put up. The earlier Notice of Vacancy had not produced a call for an election but Clive Timms had indicated his willingness to return if that was the will of the PC. Cllr Jelf proposed that Mr Timms be co-opted as a member of the Parish Council and this was seconded by Cllr Walsham and passed unanimously. Mr Timms then signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took his place on the PC.
1. Election of Chairman
The Clerk asked for nominations and Cllr Walsham proposed that Cllr Timms, who had indicated his willingness to stand again as Chairman if there are no other nominees, be elected and this was seconded by Cllr Jelf and passed unanimously. Cllr Timms took the Chair and welcomed those members of the public present.
2. Apologies for Absence
were received from Cllr Stubbs and District Cllr Irvine.
3. Minutes of the Meeting of 9th April 2009 and Matters Arising therefrom
The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting, proposed by Cllr Jelf, seconded by Cllr Richardson, and passed unanimously by those who had attended the meeting. The Clerk informed the PC that the Guides and Brownies completed the annual litter pick on Monday 20 April and it has been our custom to send a donation of £50 in appreciation. Cllr Jelf moved that a similar donation be sent to each pack on this occasion and this was seconded by Cllr Walsham and approved unanimously. The Clerk then reported that he had received a reply from Huw Jones following his letter about the pathway at Tilley’s Cottage. Copies were given to councillors prior to the meeting and as a Planning Meeting would take place after the formal meeting it was agreed to defer discussion until that time.
4. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Millar declared an interest in the planning application on Tilley’s Cottage and Cllr Richardson declared an interest in Item 16.
5. Election of Vice-Chairman
Cllr Jelf proposed Cllr Walsham if he was prepared to stand for another year and, having received confirmation, this was seconded by Cllr Hayward and passed unanimously.
6 Appointment of Working Groups
The Chairman asked members if they were happy with the current framework and, while some discussion may take place, it was agreed to keep the formation as it is at present. The Clerk reminded the meeting of the present composition of each group. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council are non-voting Ex-Officio members of all groups. Cllr Richardson offered to serve on the Environment and the Cemetery & Allotments groups. The Chairman asked that each group convene before the next PC meeting and elect chairpersons. After discussion it was proposed that the new groups be formed as follows:
a) Recreation & Open Spaces Working Group
Cllrs Leader and Jelf
b) Cemetery & Allotments Working Group
Cllrs Brotherston and Richardson
c) Environment Working Group
Cllrs Millar, Richardson and Hayward
d) Memorial Hall Working Group
Cllrs Walsham [Chairman], Brotherston and Stubbs, together with Brian Rider.
7. Appointment of Chairman of Finance
With the formation of the Finance & General Purposes Group, which is to meet regularly, it was agreed that a Chairman of Finance is no longer appropriate as the Chair of the PC will effectively take this role.
8. Appointment of Planning Co-ordinator
Cllr Walsham had indicated his wish to stand down from this role after four and a half years and Cllr Jelf offered to fill the position and this was approved unanimously.
9 Appointment of 4 representatives to the Management Committee of the Norman Matthews Community Hall
In view of on-going issues with OCC it was agreed that Cllr Jelf should continue to act as co-ordinator, there being no necessity for a formal Management Committee as this task would be dealt with by the Finance & General Purpose Group.
10. Election of Trustees to the Heath Allotment Trust
After discussion it was noted that none of the existing trustees falls due for re –election this year. The trustees are Pauline Walters [Chair], Ray Jelf [Secretary], Ray Gasson, Nigel Shields and Clive Timms.
11. Appointment of 4 Councillors to be empowered to sign cheques on behalf of the Parish Council and Memorial Hall Trust
The signatories are currently Cllrs Brotherston, Jelf and Walsham, and as Cllr Timms had not yet been replaced, pending this meeting, it was agreed that the existing signatories should remain.
12. Report of Planning Co-ordinator on planning applications received
Cllr Walsham referred to the schedule of matters outstanding and reported that there had been only been two items for consideration since the last meeting, those relating to 8 Well Bank and South Hill View, and we had no objections. He also reported that one application, for tree works at The Old Rectory, has already been approved by CDC, despite the fact that we still technically have several days before we need to submit comments. This again calls into question the validity of discussing tree applications. Three remaining items outstanding are to be discussed after the formal PC meeting.
13. To invite members of the Public to comment on Planning Applications
Mrs Briggs referred to a letter she had sent the Clerk about the application at Tilley’s Cottage and she was invited to attend the Planning Meeting to discuss this issue. Cllr Walsham stressed that she should also write separately to CDC with her objections or comments.
14. Report of Working Groups
(a) Recreation Group – Cllr Leader referred to a most unfortunate incident which had occurred in the Play Area on Friday 8 May when a child had been badly injured on the multiplay unit. Cllr Walsham had attended the following day and met the father and Mr Marshall has submitted a report which has been circulated to councillors. The equipment has been cordoned off and a notice put up reporting it out of use although some older children have been seen using it. It has been established that the damage to the unit was caused by vandalism as it was certainly in good working order at 5pm that evening. After some discussion on what should be done with the equipment it was agreed that the working group will look at it and other items in the Play Area and report back to the next PC meeting. The wall remains a problem and again the question of placing bushes in front was discussed. Cllr Hayward felt that, if we rebuild the wall without bushes to impede access, children will simply continue to climb over. It was agreed that the working group will look at this again and at rebuilding the wall by the entrance, which is likely to cost £1500/2000.
(b) Cemetery & Allotments – Cllr Brotherston had nothing to report on this occasion.
(c) Environment – Cllr Millar referred to the issue of street lighting and whether it should be switched off between 12.30am and 5.30am and informed the PC that the on-line poll had resulted in 130 wanting it switched off with only 21 against, while forms returned to the Post Office were 27/5 in favour of a switch off. On that basis we will respond to OCC to confirm that we are happy for the lighting to be switched off during the hours stated. The litter bin in Bourne Lane is unserviceable and the working group will look at this to decide upon a replacement. Cllr Jelf reported that he had received representations from residents in the Burycroft Road area for a dog bin. The Clerk will make enquiries of CDC about price and availability and Cllr Jelf will confirm the desired location.
(d) Hook Norton War Memorial Hall – Cllr Walsham referred to the minutes of the group meeting held on 6 May and reported that the repairs to the roof of the kitchen extension have been carried out by Bicester Roofing and we now await heavy rainfall to see if they have been successful. The next item for action is redecoration of the old kitchen area, with some touching up of water damage in the new, and redecoration of both sets of toilets. Specs have been established and we will seek quotes for the work to be carried out during the summer holidays. Cllr Walsham also referred to the Hall accounts for the year ended 31 March 2009 which showed an excess of income/expenditure of £1365 with a balance of £4535 although this will reduce as the annual insurance premium is to be paid at the end of the month [see below].
(e) Norman Matthews Community Hall – Cllr Jelf had nothing new to report as we are waiting to OCC to agree a date for the remedial work on the building.
15 Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council
The Clerk presented the attached schedules of receipts and payments for approval and apologised to the PC for a bank charge incurred as a result of the current account going briefly overdrawn. This had happened because the Precept had been later than usual in arriving into the account. There are two additional payments to make, both being the annual insurance premiums, £448.77 for the PC and £735.50 for the MH. Mr Porter reported that he had obtained two other quotes for the MH insurance, both of which were higher than our existing insurers. On this basis he recommended payment of both premiums. Cllr Millar proposed acceptance of the items of expenditure detailed, totalling £9016.51 for the PC and £826.02 for the MH, and this was seconded by Cllr Jelf and approved unanimously.
The Clerk then presented the PC Accounts for 2008/9 and sought formal approval from the PC. Cllr Richardson moved acceptance of the Accounts and this was seconded by Cllr Hayward and passed unanimously. The Clerk also provided councillors with copies of the MH accounts.
16 East End/Lane End
Cllr Millar reminded the PC that representations had been made by Mr and Mrs Hamilton and we had subsequently received a letter from Tony Brummell, of CDC, about street nameplates in the area. Mr and Mrs Hamilton had wanted to be present when this matter was discussed and asked that we defer until next month when they would be able to attend. However it was generally felt that the other residents wanted the issue resolving and it was agreed to continue. Cllr Millar commented that Mr and Mrs Hamilton have amassed significant evidence to show that the lane was called Lane End in the 1950s and 1960s but Cllr Richardson commented that she had spoken with the other residents and all were firmly against renaming it. Cllr Hayward reminded the PC that there was a property at the other end of the village known as Lane End Cottage and he felt this would inevitably lead to some confusion. CDC has recommended improving the signage in the area, replacing the street signs at the end of the village and opposite the bus stop and also considering a further sign by the dead end sign on the corner of the lane. Cllr Millar therefore proposed that things be left as they are but that CDC be asked to replace the street nameplates as recommended. Cllr
17 Review of Bus Services
The Clerk reported that in view of representations made by the PC and our Transport Representative, Isita Pickering, a further service has been added with the final bus to Banbury from Chipping Norton at 1905 being diverted to come through the village with effect from 31 May. This will mean that people working late in Chipping Norton will be able to return by bus and those wanting to go into Banbury in the evening will have this option.
18. Guidance for Community Emergency Plans
The Clerk referred to an email received from OCC requesting that PCs consider putting in place Emergency Plans and circulating a leaflet and a guidance template. It was agreed to circulate a hard copy of these documents for councillors to read and defer action until the next meeting.
Cherwell District Council:
(i) Business Rate Referral Scheme – details circulated but it does not really apply;
(ii) Parish liaison Meeting – 17 June – the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Clerk will attend;
(iii) Cherwell Community Planning Workshop – 20 May;
(iv) Event Recycling – details of recycling bins available – Snippet in next Newsletter:
(v) Cherwell Rural Strategy 2009-2014 – brochure to be circulated;
(vi) Notification of European and County Elections to take place on 4 June;
(vii) Local Primary School review – meeting Carterton Community College 11 June;
(vii) Calor Village of the Year Competition;
(viii) OALC AGM Monday 12 June Exeter Hall, Kidlington – Cllr Jelf will try to attend;
(ix) Equality and Human Rights Commission – Public Sector Duties – circulating;
(x) Richard Harris – letter enquiring if he can move boundary fence, land in question believed to belong to OCC and letter passed to footpaths officer.
20. To invite Questions and Comments from members of the Public
Barbara Hicks enquired, on behalf of a friend, about a high hedge and what can be done. This does not impact on the Highway but the Clerk will write asking politely that it be trimmed.
21. Date and Time of Next Meeting
Thursday 11 June 2009 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall
There being no further business the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 8.58pm
[Chairman Hook Norton Parish Council]
Dated 11 June 2009