HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
Present:Councillors:Walsham [Vice Chairman], Hayward, Jelf, Kane, Shepley-Cuthbert and Stubbs, together with Mr Porter [Parish Clerk] and seven members of the public.
1. Apologies for Absence
were received from Cllrs Timms [Chairman], Brotherston, Millar and Richardson, who were all away on business, Cllr Leader [holiday] and District Cllr Irvine, who was attending at Bodicote house. In the absence of Cllr Timms Cllr Walsham took the chair.
2. Chairman’s Announcements
The Chairman had no announcements to make on this occasion.
3. Minutes of previous meeting, 13 August 2009, and matters arising
It was proposed by Cllr Jelf, and seconded by Cllr Kane, that the minutes of the previous meeting be accepted as a true and accurate record and this was passed unanimously by those present at that meeting.
4. Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations on this occasion.
5. Report by Planning Co-ordinator on planning applications received
Cllr Stubbs apologised for arriving slightly late, having been delayed on PC business reporting a matter to the Police. She reported that four applications had been considered since the last PC meeting and, while there were no objections to that for a lawful development certificate relating to Edgecote Cottages, disappointment was expressed that planning had been circumvented. Objections were raised to the applications relating to Nailsworth and the Corner House, Chapel Street. Eight decisions have been received during the period, all being granted. Also the appeal against refusal to grant a single storey front extension at The Cottage, Bell Hill, was successful. Cllr Jelf expressed concern that our request for the Nailsworth application to be considered by Committee had apparently been bypassed due to a change in the plans and the Clerk was asked to write to CDC to express our disquiet.
6. To invite members of the public to comment on planning applications
There were no comments on this occasion.
7. Report of Working Groups
(a)Recreation & Open Spaces Group In the absence of Cllr Leader the Clerk reported that Paul Clarke has started work removing the ivy from the wall and he will start the rebuilding shortly.Unfortunately our application for a grant for the hedge has been turned down but, as it was agreed to put this in place before considering whether grants would be available, we will proceed to order the plants. Motorcyclists accessed the area over the last weekend and caused some damage to the grass by doing wheelies. A new supply of bark has been delivered and laid by Mr Marshall. Cllr Kane then reported that she has applied for grants of 10K from CDC, 5K from Oxford Grassroots and is about to apply for 10K from ToE towards new equipment for the area. She is also to apply for 50/60K from OCC, the closing date being the beginning of March. To facilitate this it might be possible to obtain a grant of 2K to pay for a landscape architect to produce plans of the proposed scheme, the architect in question having been involved in four of the nine successful applications for such funding. There was discussion about whether the area north of the present recreation area, where there is currently no equipment, could be used but, on balance, it was felt that the preference would be to use the existing area. Cllr Hayward commented that, in view of continued access by motor vehicles, we need to come up with a scheme to prevent such access and Cllr Jelf responded that he is investigating erecting a single lockable gate with adjoining pedestrian gate to deal with this problem. Cllr Kane expressed the view that the PC should work with the Play Group to dissuade parents from parking in The Shearings while dropping off children to the Play Group.
(b)Cemetery & Allotments in the absence of Cllr Brotherston there was nothing to report on this occasion.
(c)Environment in the absence of Cllr Millar Cllr Hayward reported that they are conscious that the grasscutting contract is about to expire and the Clerk was asked to put a notice in the Banbury Guardian inviting anyone interested in submitting a tender to contact him. There have been complaints about vegetation blocking footpaths and OCC has been asked to deal with this and their team was in the village for this purpose earlier in the week. The hedge along footpath behind The Shearings now needs attention.
(d)Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Cllr Walsham reported that the working group met last week and there were no major issues. After some delay the tiling in the ladies toilets has been completed so we can now obtain some quotes for painting both toilets and the old kitchen. It has been agreed to invite regular users of the Hall to a meeting on 16 December and all parish councillors are also welcome.
(e)Norman Matthews Community Hall Cllr Jelf thanked Sophia Fox and Mr and Mrs Cooke for their letters expressing concerns about the Hall and reported that the drain in the mens toilets has now been covered. As ever the problems have been getting OCCs contractors to complete the essential work and unfortunately the wall is not drying out as hoped. Cllr Jelf reminded the meeting that he was very much in favour of the PC taking on the lease of the hall, particularly as it was originally intended for use by the library, the Youth Club and the Out of School Club. Unfortunately two of those groups made little or no use of it and he is reluctantly forced to the view that the PC should now give up the lease. He has spoken with the legal department at OCC who have agreed that we may relinquish the lease and have also verbally agreed that St Peters Church can take it over on the same terms. On this basis he proposed that the PC relinquish the lease and this was seconded by Cllr Hayward and approved unanimously.
8. Report on District Council Matters
In the absence ofDistrictCllr Irvine there was nothing to report on this occasion.
9. Report on County Council Matters
Cllr Jelf had nothing new to report on this occasion.
10. Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for authorisation by the Council
Mr Porter presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised totalling 6454.14 for the PC and 313.80 for the MH. Cllr Stubbs moved acceptance of the payments detailed and this was seconded by Cllr Jelf and approved unanimously.
11. Low Carbon Group
Cllr Hayward reminded members that he is the PC representative on the Low Carbon Group and reported that, to date, most activity has been concerned with personal responsibility for reducing carbon emissions. The group has now decided, however, to broaden its aims and has set up groups to look at savings in energy costs by buying from one supplier. Green Energy is to supply electricity to members at a reduced rate and commission from this scheme can be used to support village projects. To operate the scheme an industrial and provident society is being established. The ultimate aim is to bring energy saving technology into the village. The group may need PC support if applying for grant aid in the future.
12. National Highways and Transport Survey
The Clerk reported that OCC is taking part in a pioneering project called the National Highways and Transport Survey and it invites parishes and members of the public to participate. The survey allows parishioners to comment on such diverse things as public transport, the state of roads, footpaths and bridleways and accessibility by bicycle, by means of the site www.nhtnetwork.org. He did add, however, that when he completed the survey there was no way to differentiate between personal views and those of the PC and no location was required.
13. Remembrance Day Parade
The Chairman reminded councillors that the annual parade will take place on Sunday 8 November starting from The Green at 10.30am and asked that as many members of the PC as possible should be present. He also sought approval to make the usual donation of 75 to the Royal British Legion and this was agreed unanimously.
Cherwell District Council:
(i)Annual Parish Liaison Meeting 11 November Cllr Timms and the Clerk will attend;
(ii)Parish Governance Toolkit issued by partnership of NALC and Standards Board to be circulated;
Oxfordshire County Council:
(iii)Use of Road Safety Teams Mobile Information Unit available for use at shows/exhibitions;
(iv)OALC/ORCC Access to Services and Community Transport
(v)OPFA AGM – 21 October at Islip Village Hall
(vi)Sue Ryder Care request for donation to Nettlebed Hospice agreed that our policy only to support local charities and organisations.
15. Questions and Comments from Members of the Public
Sophia Fox, the churchwarden at St Peters expressed disappointment that the PC had taken the decision to relinquish the lease to the Norman Matthews Hall and wondered if the issue had been discussed previously. Cllr Walsham responded that it was discussed at length 2 years before and it had been a very close vote then to retain the hall. Mrs Fox felt that the decision would make a significant difference to the church but Cllr Jelf responded that he did not anticipate that it would as OCC has no difficulty in transferring the lease. Mrs Fox felt the building had a great deal of potential but it is difficult to realise this while the toilets remain is such a state. It was agreed by all that the problems are frustrating but the Clerk pointed out that, as lessee, the Church would be able to apply for grant aid. After discussion it was noted that the PC would not be surrendering the lease immediately which would give the PCC time to discuss the implications. Cllr Stubbs reported that her earlier meeting with PC Doyle had been to report an incidence of graffiti by the electricity sub-station near Ironstone Hollow. The Police are treating this matter seriously and parishioners are reminded to report any such incident to the Police using the 0845 8 505 505 number.
16. Date and Time of Next Meeting
Thursday 12th November 2009 in the Memorial Hall commencing at 7.30pm
There being no further business the Chairman closed the public meeting at 8.30pm