MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE WAR MEMORIAL HALL, HOOK NORTON ON THURSDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2014 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Hayward, Wright, Casson, Griggs, Matthews (arrived 7.40pm), Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and three members of the public.
Apologies for Absence – Councillors Henderson and Millar and County Cllr Reynolds
Chairman’s Announcements – there were no announcements.
Declarations of Interest – Councillor Griggs, being an allotment holder, declared an interest in the revision of allotment fees for 2015/2016. Councillor Matthews, arriving after 7.30pm, was asked by the Chairman on arrival to declare any interests. He had none to declare.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 10 July 2014 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 10 July 2014 be accepted as a true and accurate record. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and passed unanimously.
Gladman Developments – 14/00844/OUT. The Parish Council opposed outline planning permission for 54 dwellings on OS Parcel 6680 north of the Primary School. The application was refused by Cherwell District Council on 4 September on the grounds of odour coming from the neighbouring farm.
OCC has no funds to deal with the weeds growing in the pavement on High Street. The Parish Council has therefore arranged for a contractor to treat them with weed killer in the first instance and to then remove them.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Twelve planning/TCA applications were received during July and August. The Parish Council had objected to an application by D J Stanton Engineering at Railway Farm.
Cherwell District Council had granted eleven planning/TCA applications, including 14/01078/PAMB – OS Parcel 9361 & buildings west of Archell Farm (agreed on a ‘Notice of Determination’).
Cherwell District Council refused two applications; 14/00463/F – The Bell Inn, change of use from former public house to wholly residential use and 14/00844/OUT – OS parcel 6680 North of Primary School, erection of 54 dwellings.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications – there were no comments from members of the public attending.
Reports of Working Groups
Recreation – Cllr Kane had nothing to report.
Cemetery and Allotments – Cllr Hicks reported:
a) A second complaint has been received about grass cutting in the churchyard. Cllrs agreed that villagers should be asked via Facebook and the village website whether or not they would accept an increase in the Council Tax to pay for additional cuts and grass clearance to be carried out in the churchyard.
b) A wheelbarrow recently provided in the cemetery for general use has been stolen.
c) People are still putting rubbish in the compost bin. Wrappings and oasis should be put in the rubbish bin provided.
d) The compost bin will be painted soon.
e) More volunteers are needed to help keep the churchyard tidy. Anyone willing to help should contact Cllr Hicks or the Parish Clerk.
b) The charge for ‘non-payment’ reminders will increase immediately to £5 per letter. If there is no response from the tenant after two reminder letters, the plot will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. These proposals were seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed by all other Cllrs (Cllr Griggs abstained from voting, being an allotment holder). Rents will be reviewed each September. The Parish Clerk will advise tenants and send out invoices for the year 2014 – 2015.
Review of Cemetery Fees 2015
Cllr Hicks proposed a small increase in fees wef 1 January 2015 (Annex 4). This was seconded by Cllr Hayward and agreed unanimously. Fees will be reviewed each September.
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 August/September totalling £25,523.80 for the Parish Council and £174.44 for the Memorial Hall. Cllr Casson moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.
Report on District Council Matters: Cllr Jelf had not submitted a report.
Report on County Council Matters: County Cllr Reynolds had contacted the Parish Clerk to say that he had nothing to report.
On 20 August Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) wrote to the Parish Council asking it to gather local opinion on popular and well used local footpaths. Details were put on Facebook and the village website and members of the public were invited to add their views. A number of residents had replied and from this it became clear that all the footpaths around Hook Norton are used regularly. Cllr Hayward will reply to OCC’s letter confirming this fact. Cllrs are, however, concerned that this may be the start of the process of OCC declassifying lesser used paths.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month.
Cllr Hayward had received correspondence from Michael Austin asking for permission to provide a seat in the cemetery in memory of his mother and stepfather. Cllr Hayward proposed that the Parish Council accept this request, there being a site where a seat once used to be. This was seconded by Cllr Kane and agreed unanimously.
There had been a motor accident at the bottom of Middle Hill and a resident had raised the question of congestion in that area.
A resident had complained about a house in the village standing empty for a number of years and being in disrepair. The house is privately owned and Cllrs, though sympathetic, can do nothing about this complaint.
Cllr Kane proposed that in future tea or coffee will be made available to Cllrs at PC meetings. This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public – there were no matters arising.
A confidential item was deferred until next month.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 9 October 2014 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.43pm.