HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017 at 7.45pm
Present: Councillors: Kane, Watkins, Hicks, Matthews, Griggs, Henderson, Brotherston, McCall-McCowan, Duggan, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and seven members of the public
Apologies for Absence – County Councillor Reynolds and District Cllr Brown
Election of Chairman: The Parish Clerk asked for nominations for Chairman. Cllr Watkins proposed that Cllr Kane, who indicated her willingness to stand, be asked to be Chairman for the coming year. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks. There were no other nominations and the proposal was passed unanimously. Cllr Kane signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took the Chair.
Election of Vice-Chairman: Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Watkins, who indicated her willingness to stand, be elected as Vice-Chairman. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston. There were no other nominations and the proposal was passed unanimously. Cllr Watkins signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
Declarations of Interest: Cllr Kane declared an interest in the land behind her house in Osney Close.
Appointment of Responsible Financial Officer: Cllr Kane proposed that the Parish Clerk be appointed as Responsible Financial Officer for the coming year. This was seconded by Cllr McCall-McCowan and passed unanimously.
Appointment of Planning Co-ordinator: Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Hicks be re-elected as Planning Co-ordinator. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and passed unanimously.
Appointment to Working Groups
a) Recreation: Cllrs Kane, McCall-McCowan and Matthews
b) Cemetery & Allotments: Cllrs Hicks and Duggan
c) Environment: Cllrs Griggs, Matthews and McCall-McCowan
d) Hook Norton War Memorial Hall: Cllrs Watkins, Brotherston and Henderson
e) Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan: It was agreed unanimously that this group should be disbanded
Appointment of Councillor to Heath Allotment Trust: Cllr Kane proposed that Cllr Brotherston be appointed to the Heath Allotment Trust to represent the Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Matthews and passed unanimously.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 13 April 2017 and Matters Arising
Cllr Watkins proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 13 April 2017 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and passed unanimously.
The Parish Clerk had placed an advertisement on the village noticeboards notifying villagers that there was a vacancy on the Parish Council following the resignation of Nick Casson. She had received three applications from David Shepherd, Janeen Wilson and Jenny Taylor. Jenny Taylor was unable to attend the meeting and therefore her application could not be considered. Following a discussion with the candidates, Cllr Kane asked Councillors to vote by show of hands for their preferred candidate. Janeen Wilson was co-opted with seven votes to two. Cllr Kane proposed that Janeen Wilson be co-opted as Councillor to Hook Norton Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks. She was warmly welcomed to the Council table and asked to complete a Declarations of Acceptance of Office. She was also asked to complete a Register of Members’ Interests form and return it to the Parish Clerk. The Parish Clerk gave her a copy of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct.
Cllr Kane thanked David Shepherd for his application.
Cllr Kane reported that Thomas Wright had resigned from the Parish Council due to pressure of work. She thanked him for his contributions to the Council during his time as Councillor. The vacancy will be dealt with in the usual manner and if no Election is called, the vacancy will be filled by co-option. Previous applicants may apply.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Four planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting. Councillors objected to 17/00872/Q56, change of use of agricultural building to dwelling at Fant Hill Farm.
Cherwell District Council had granted six applications, two of which Cherwell District Council had not consulted the Parish Council on.
Cherwell District Council had refused 17/00416/F & 17/00417LB Petra, Netting St – two-storey rear extension. The Parish Council had not objected to this application.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council:
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised on the schedules for May totalling £5,969.95 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £314.36 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3). Cllr Kane moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Matthews and agreed unanimously.
Attendance List 2016 – 2017: The Parish Clerk had circulated Councillors’ Attendance List for 2016 – 2017 before the meeting (Annex 4).
Parish Council Risk Assessment 2017 – 2018: The Parish Clerk had circulated the risk assessment for 2017-2018 before the meeting (Annex 5).
Internal Audit 2016 – 2017: The Parish Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer confirmed that an internal audit of both the Parish Council accounts and the Memorial Hall accounts for 2016 – 2017 has been conducted by Mr David Ralls (MAAT), Banbury with no matters arising. The Parish Council accounts will now be sent to external auditors BDO for verification.
To Approve End of Year Accounts for 2016 – 2017:
The Parish Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer had circulated the Parish Council year-end figures and balances before the meeting. Cllr Kane proposed that these be accepted as a true and accurate record of the year’s accounts. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously. The accounts were signed-off by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer (Annex 6).
Annual Governance Statement: The Parish Clerk & Responsible Financial Officer had circulated the annual Governance Statement before the meeting. There were no matters arising and they were signed off by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer).
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month. Other correspondence: –
Could a rubbish bin be put in the play area?
Could a green and a blue bin be put alongside the bottle banks outside the primary school? Cllr McCall-McCowan will speak to Cherwell District Council.
Oxfordshire County Council no longer mows the verges at the top of Park Rd. Cllr Kane will ask the Parish Council’s contractor to add it to his schedule.
Cllr Hicks will ask if the Friends of Hook Norton cemetery would be prepared to brush grass clippings off graves. More volunteers are needed to help maintain the cemetery.
The rope climb on the small slide equipment is missing a plastic cap. Cllr Kane will report this to Playdale.
Cemetery footpath: Friends of Hook Norton Cemetery had undertaken a study of restoring an old footpath in the cemetery from the top gate down to the steps. Their study results showed that the project would be very time consuming and expensive and would have to be carried out by a specialist contractor. Councillors agreed unanimously that they could not commit to such a scheme at this time.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public:
Members of the Film Society pointed out that some chairs in the Memorial Hall were stained and in dis-repair. The Chairman had obtained a quotation for replacing them with plastic chairs but the Film Society were of the opinion that they would be too uncomfortable to sit on for any length of time and that they might lose members because of that. Cllr Henderson will now liaise with the Film Society over this matter. He will assess which chairs need cleaning or replacing. He will report back to the Parish Council when this exercise is complete.
The grass verge on the left going in to Osney Close has been badly damaged by vehicles. This matter had been discussed by the Parish Council before. Cllr Hicks proposed that the Parish Council should obtain quotations for repairing the area and putting down meshed plastic matting. This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and agreed by all Councillors other than Cllr Kane, who abstained because of a conflict of interest. Cllr Griggs will get an updated quotation for the work.
a) Due to the General Election being held in the Memorial Hall on 8 June, the next Parish Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7 June 2017 at 7.30pm.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7 June 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 8.45pm.