HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2017 at 7.30pmMINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2017 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Kane, Watkins, Hicks (left 8.25pm), McCall-McCowan, Duggan, Griggs, Henderson, Wilson, Porter, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and one member of the public
Apologies for Absence – County Cllr Reynolds, District Cllr Brown, Cllrs Brotherston and Matthews
Chairman’s Announcements: there were no announcements.Declarations of Interest: there were none.
Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 12 October 2017 and Matters Arising
Cllr McCall-McCowan proposed that the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12 October 2017 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1)
Eight planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting. Councillors objected to 17/00390/TCA, removal of a specimen Tulip Tree on common land east of Beanacre Cottage and south east of Rope Way.
Cherwell District Council (CDC) has granted six applications. There were no objections to five of these. Recommendations had been made regarding 17/01740/F, 13 The Bourne.
17/00377/TCA Scotland Mount Road. A Five-Day Notice was granted on 24 October to fell an Ash tree.
The Parish Council has received a number of complaints from residents about work which has started on the Gladman site in Sibford Road 17/00950/REM. Issues have been raised about safety for the primary school children. Councillors are particularly concerned that work appears to have started before all planning applications have been approved and that the site entrance being used by heavy machinery is not the one on the plans, which is further up the road. The Parish Clerk will write immediately to the Planning Department and District Cllr Hugo Brown.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Reports of Working GroupsRecreation
a) A joint on the rota-bounce in the play area has failed and the apparatus is out of use. The supplier is going to replace the equipment free of charge.
b) Repairs to the baby-swing have been arranged.
c) Cllr Kane is obtaining a quotation for a see-saw & monkey-bars for the play area. d) Tree works were carried out in the play area this week by Acremans Arboriculture Ltd.
Cemetery and Allotments
• Cllr Griggs had obtained three quotations for repairing walls in the cemetery. Cllr Kane proposed that the quotation from Chris Hobbs of Chipping Norton be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.
• Councillors thanked Mr Collier for supplying a number of spring bulbs for the cemetery. Cllrs also thanked Cllr Griggs for planting them.
• Treatment of the Japanese Knotweed in the cemetery is visibly taking effect, with the weed wilting and dying-off.
• Cllrs Kane and Hicks will meet John Blackham on 18 November to discuss any future plans for the cemetery.
• New tenancy agreements for allotment holders were sent out on 1 November. Tenants have until 28 February 2018 to return them to the Parish Clerk.
• Cllr Kane recently met with Pat Groome of the Allotment Association to discuss the allotments in general.
• Cllr Kane proposed that the quotation of just under £4K from Ben Acreman for dealing with a number of trees identified in Sacha Barnes’ tree survey 2017 as needing urgent attention, be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously. Work will commence as soon as possible. Medium and low priority issues will be dealt with over the next two years.
• Cllr Kane thanked Cllr Griggs for dealing with nettles and weeds in Ashburton Lane.
• Cllr Kane will obtain a quotation from Glasdon for purchasing a set of white gates for the Firs Garage entrance to Hook Norton.
• The blue and brown bin outside the primary school gates are being misused and will be removed.
• The bottle banks outside the primary school will be removed as soon as an alternative site can be found for them.
• Formal Consultation – new Disabled Persons’ Parking Place in Hook Norton. Oxfordshire County Council has reported that the ‘calling-in’ period has now ended and the Cabinet Minister has decided not to approve the proposed disable bay in High Street as there was not enough demand for it. Only two disabled people asked for it and one of those is leaving the village in the next few months. They were asked to canvass more support from other badge holders locally but no more people came forward.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall
a) The roller-blind mechanisms on three blinds have broken. Cllr Watkins will arrange for a local tradesman to repair or replace them.
b) New chairs have been ordered for the hall. They will be delivered by 20 November.
c) Glass in the damaged double glazed window in the lobby has been replaced.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council:
The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for November 2017 totalling £5,934.53 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £731.99 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3). Cllr Watkins moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr McCall-McCowan and agreed unanimously.
Budget and Precept 2018-2019: the Parish Clerk, having discussed the matter with the Chairman, had emailed a proposed budget for 2018-2019 to Councillors before the meeting (Annex 4). Following a short discussion, Cllr Kane proposed that the precept should remain at £80K next year. This would allow for an increase in the cost of grass cutting, repairs to walls, removal of Japanese Knotweed from the cemetery, maintenance of play areas on new housing estates and other services which OCC is seeking to transfer to parishes. Any spend over and above that will be taken from reserves. This was seconded by Cllr McCall-McCowan and agreed unanimously.
Appointment of Internal Auditor for 2017-2018 Accounts: Mr David Ralls AAT; ACCA, Springfield Avenue, Banbury carried out last year’s internal audits. Cllr Kane proposed that Mr Ralls be appointed again to inspect both the Parish Council and War Memorial Hall Trust accounts for 2017/2018. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and agreed unanimously.
Report on District Council Matters. District Cllr Hugo Brown reported:
Castle Quay Shopping Centre: Cherwell District Council (CDC) is potentially making an investment in the Castle Quay Shopping Centre. If approved at Full Council, this investment would involve CDC acquiring the 15% which it does not own, thus giving it 100% ownership. There are numerous hurdles to be overcome before it is taken to Full Council, including scrutiny by the Budget Planning Committee and the Accounts, Audit and Risk Committee, but if this is ultimately approved, it will give an exciting opportunity to re-vamp this significant part of the Banbury retail and leisure scene.
Cherwell Design Guide: At the Executive Meeting held on 6 November, it was proposed that a brand new Cherwell Design Guide be put out to consultation The Design Guide covers all aspects of new housing development, architecture, street-scape, road layouts etc. It is an extremely long but well put-together document and can be found on the CDC website.
Developer Contribution: In November 2016 CDC published a draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SDP) and undertook a six-week formal public consultation. The document was drafted to complement and operate alongside an emergency Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule. Government has now ‘paused’ the introduction of CIL which has necessitated a substantial re-drafting of the SPD. Given the extent and nature of these changes, it is necessary to undertake a further public consultation prior to the adoption of the SDP. Further refinement may be necessary following the Autumn Statement. At the Executive Meeting on 6 November, it was proposed to approve the public consultation. The full document can be found on the CDC website.
Strategic Housing Market Assessment: At the group meeting on 1 November, District Cllr Brown asked the Leader of the Council whether or not CDC would be responding to the consultation (closing 9 November) into the proposed revised methodology for assessing housing need. If this proposed revised methodology is accepted, the revised housing numbers for Oxfordshire fall from 100,000 to 68,000 (for the period 2011-2013) and for Cherwell from 22,800 t0 15,200. The Leader confirmed that CDC would be responding but cautioned that this would not necessarily result in fewer house in Cherwell due to the significant economic growth enjoyed within and planned for the District.
Report on County Council Matters. County Cllr George Reynolds had nothing to report.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month. A letter from Friends of Hook Norton Community Library requesting further funding from the Parish Council will be discussed at the December meeting.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were none.
Concerns were raised again about safety issues on the two school buses that currently serve Hook Norton children travelling to Chipping Norton School. These are old double-decker buses that do not have seat-belts fitted. At one point this week some children were forced to stand on the moving bus due to lack of seats. Concerns were also raised about the speed that these buses travel at along narrow country roads, with unrestrained children sitting on both upper and lower decks. Cllr Kane will write immediately to Ian Hudspeth of Oxfordshire County Council (c.c. County Cllr Reynolds) to express the Parish Council’s concerns.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 14 December 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 8.40pm.