HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
Present: Councillors: Hayward, Jelf, Kane, Leader, Millar, Richardson, Shepley-Cuthbert and Timms, Mr Porter [Parish Clerk] and one member 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. He confirmed that all councillors had signed their Declarations of Acceptance of Office and were able to participate in the meeting. He also reported that at present there are only eight councillors as Marie Stubbs has reluctantly had to tender her resignation due to new and unforeseen business commitments. Fortunately Derek Brotherston has agreed to stand again and, although he had submitted apologies for not being able to attend the meeting, Cllr Jelf proposed that Mr Brotherston be co-opted and this was seconded by Cllr Timms and passed unanimously.
1. Election of Chairman
The Clerk then asked for nominations and Cllr Timms proposed that Cllr Shepley-Cuthbert, who had indicated his willingness to stand, be asked to take the Chair for the coming Year. This was seconded by Cllr Kane and passed unanimously. Cllr Shepley-Cuthbert took the Chair and thanked the members for their confidence in him.
2. Apologies for Absence
were received from Cllr Brotherston and District Cllr Irvine.
3. Minutes of previous meeting, 14 April 2011, and matters arising
It was proposed by Cllr Timms, and seconded by Cllr Leader, that the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted as a true and accurate record and this was passed unanimously. The Clerk informed the meeting of the excellent work John Blackham and his team of helpers have done in clearing the lower cemetery. Cllr Timms proposed a formal vote of thanks to Mr Blackham and his team and this was seconded by Cllr Jelf and approved unanimously.
4. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations on this occasion.
5.Election of Vice-Chairman
The Chairman proposed Cllr Kane be appointed Vice-Chairman and this was seconded by Cllr Timms and approved unanimously.
6. Appointment of Working Groups
After discussion it was proposed that the new groups be formed as follows:
i) Recreation & Open Spaces Working Group
Cllrs Leader, Brotherston and Kane
ii) Cemetery & Allotments Working Group
Cllrs Richardson and Shepley-Cuthbert
iii) Environment Working Group
Cllrs Millar, Hayward and Timms
iv) Memorial Hall Working Group
Cllrs Kane, Jelf and Richardson, together with Brian Rider
v) Finance Group the Chairman together with the Chairs of each working group.
7. Appointment of Planning Co-ordinator
The Chairman expressed sincere thanks to Marie Stubbs for the excellent work she had done in her time as Planning Co-ordinator. Cllr Timms indicated a willingness to stand if nobody else wished to take on the role and he was elected unanimously, with Cllr Richardson to deputise in the event of his absence.
8. Election of Trustees to Heath Allotment Trust
The Trust administers land which is let to local farmers and distributes the income for the benefit of the parish. Cllrs Jelf and Timms offered themselves for re-election and it was proposed by Cllr Hayward and seconded by Cllr Richardson that both be asked to serve a further term. This was approved unanimously. Cllr Jelf informed the meeting that the role of Clerk/Treasurer within the Trust is now being carried out by Nigel Shields.
9. Appointment of Councillors to be empowered to sign cheques on behalf of PC
The signatories are currently Cllrs Brotherston, Jelf, Timms and Shepley-Cuthbert and it was proposed that the new Vice-Chairman should be added to the list and this was approved unanimously.
10. Report by Planning Co-ordinator on planning applications received
Following Cllr Stubbsresignation the Clerk referred to the applications shown on the schedule and reported that only three decisions had come to hand since the April meeting, all had been granted. In the same period we had received only four new applications and, of the three considered, there had been no objections. The Clerk confirmed that Cllr Stubbs had responded to the planning consultant for Taylor Wimpey as noted in the April minutes and has heard nothing further.
11. To invite members of the public to comment on planning applications
There were no comments from the public on this occasion.
12. 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 2628.96 for the PC and 181 for the MH, plus further cheques for 75 for helium to provide balloons at the Opening of the Play Area, and the insurance premium of 2296.73 from the PC account. The premium has risen significantly following the installation of the new play equipment and there was discussion about seeking other quotes. The Clerk commented that the difficulty is that Aon is still handling a claim against the PC for the unfortunate accident in the Play Area two years ago and. Despite several letters, he has not been told what is happening. Cllr Hayward suggested withholding payment of the premium until a satisfactory response is to hand and the Clerk will write accordingly. It was agreed that cover should remain in place pending resolution of this issue by paying monthly if appropriate. Cllr Millar expressed the view that a notice should be placed at all entrances to the Play Area stating that the PC accepts no responsibility for any accidents which may occur through unsupervised use of equipment and this was seconded by Cllr Richardson and approved unanimously. Cllr Leader will liaise with Mr Marshall to enquire if such signs are held. Cllr Hayward also informed the meeting that a saving can be made by switching our electricity to the green energy tariff through the Hook Norton Low Carbon Group and this would also produce a 5% payback to HNLCG to be used for the benefit of the village. The Clerk will follow this up.
Cherwell District Council:
(i) Cherwell Local Strategic Partnership annual conference at Bodicote House 13June 2011;
Oxfordshire County Council: nothing new on this occasion
(ii) OALC April Newsletter circulated by email;
(iii) CPRE April Bulletin circulated by email
(iv) Banburyshire Community Transport Association Ltd. AGM Bodicote House 25 May 6.30pm;
(v) Wolvercote Commoners Committee requesting details of commons in the parish, this will be provided;
(vi) St John Ambulance request for donation; it remains the policy of HNPC to only donate to worthwhile local groups.
14. Questions and Comments from Members of the Public
There were no comments from the public on this occasion.
15. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 9th June 2011 in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm
There being no further business the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.10 pm