HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE WAR MEMORIAL HALL, HOOK NORTON ON THURSDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2014 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Watkins, Hicks, Hayward, Wright, Griggs, Matthews, Henderson, Millar, Casson (arrived 7.35pm), Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk), County Cllr Reynolds and one member of the public.
Apologies for Absence – Councillor Brotherston and District Cllr Jelf.
Chairman’s Announcements – the newly commissioned map of Hook Norton is now displayed on the noticeboard outside The Sun Inn.
Declarations of Interest – there were none. Councillor Casson, 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 11 September 2014 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 11 September 2014 be accepted as a true and accurate record. This was seconded by Cllr Watkins and passed unanimously.
A further complaint has been received about grass cutting in the churchyard. The Chairman had received a quotation from the contractor of £37,000 for removing the grass from the cemetery site after every cut (this would be over and above the cost of mowing the remainder of the village). Cllr Kane proposed that this was an unacceptable expense. This was seconded by Cllr Hayward and agreed unanimously.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Two planning/TCA applications were received during September. There were no objections.
Cherwell District Council had granted seven planning/TCA applications
Cherwell District Council refused one application on 3 October 2014 – 14/01087/F – D J Stanton Engineering, Railway Farm, Station Road. Demolition of existing farm buildings. Erection of new build industrial building with associated vehicle yard and car parking.
Revised plans have been submitted for the Bourne Lane estate. The PC is awaiting full details from Cherwell District Council.
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 that she had met with John Blackham to discuss cemetery issues with the following matters arising:
a) Visitors to the cemetery are still putting mixed rubbish in the compost bins (soon to be painted). Cllr Kane has a spare rubbish bin and this will be put next to the compost bins to encourage people to sort waste from compostable materials.
b) The wall separating the old cemetery from the new site has collapsed in parts.
c) Some very old graves are overgrown and the brambles and weeds need cutting back.
d) There are old graves underneath the trees in the lower area, next to the wall. The trees need cutting back to reveal them.
e) Some trees need to be cut back to above head height and away from paths.
f) Nettles and ivy along the edge of the cemetery need to be removed.
g) The grass cutting contractor to be asked again to try to reduce tyre tracks.
h) The communal wheelbarrow stolen from the churchyard has been replaced.
i) Volunteers are needed to help clear some of the overgrowth.
Environment – Cllr Hayward reported:
a) Another person has volunteered to join the Environmental Champions Group.
b) Ben Acreman has been asked to provide a quotation for work to trees at the end of Hollybush Road.
c) The beech trees in the park, (subject to a TPO) are getting a little tall but following a quotation from Ben Acreman and general advice it has been decided not to carry out any work at present.
d) Likewise the ash tree on Rectory Road is safe, despite being slightly lopsided. It is still as described in the recent tree survey.
e) The oak tree in the Ironstone Hollow’s landscape barrier has been felled.
f) The fence at the end of Hollybush Road needs replacing. David Smith has been asked to prepare a quotation.
g) Dog fouling has become nuisance in some areas of the village. People can confidentially report dog fouling offences to help Cherwell District Council’s enforcement officers target hotspot areas and fine owners who fail to clean up after their dog. Offenders who fail to clear up after their dog can receive an on-the-spot fine of £50, which can increase to £1,000 if the case proceeds to magistrates’ court. To report an offence, visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/dogfouling
h) Agricultural vehicles appear to be travelling through the village at too great a speed. The Chairman will contact Ray Gasson to discuss.
i) A resident has asked for double yellow lines to be put outside the Baptist Church. County Cllr Reynolds explained that if agreed by Highways this would cost the PC in the region of £3K. Further, if double yellow lines were to be painted here, OCC would have to consider every other area of the village (i.e. all or none), leaving fewer areas for residents to park. Councillors agreed that it would be cost prohibitive and policing the double yellow lines would be problematical. Residents are asked to park responsibly.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall – Cllr Kane reported:
a) She thanked the Film Society for purchasing the red curtains which have now been hung in the hall. Also Hooky Players for their generous contribution of £2K towards the repairs.
b) The PC has received grants for the repairs from every source it has approached. TOE2 has approved a grant of £4,800 towards the cost of replacing the windows. In total the PC will have received grants of £12,094 and donations of £2,123 towards the cost of repairs (a total of £14,217 which will not have to be taken from the precept).
c) The Guides had asked for permission to display banners and noticeboards on the newly painted walls. Councillors agreed unanimously that the walls should be kept free of display items to provide a blank canvass for all users. There are three large blue portable display boards in the hall and the Guides will be invited to use one of them to display their photographs and notices. The Parish Clerk will liaise.
d) There is a water leak in the ladies toilet.
e) The hand dryer in the men’s toilet is not working.
f) The outside light has stopped working.
g) The oil tank has become contaminated with water and there is no heating from the boiler.
h) Cllr Kane proposed that a SMART control system be bought to operate the boiler. The installation will cost in the region of £230, with a 3G modem costing £50. The boiler will be secured using a PIN number and could be operated remotely. This will ensure that the hall is heated only when the hall is being hired and will prevent users overriding and leaving the system on, wasting fuel. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Hayward and agreed unanimously.
Neighbourhood Plan (HNNP) Sub-Committee – Cllr Hicks reported:
a) The Neighbourhood Plan is still in the six-week consultation period.
b) The PC is working with CDC to appoint an Examiner.
c) CDC is using the service NPIERS to recruit an Examiner and will request three CV’s, one of which will be from Nigel McGurk.
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 October totalling £4,993.53 for the Parish Council and £6.00 for the Memorial Hall. Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Wright and agreed unanimously.
Conclusion of External Audit 2013/2014 – The Parish Clerk reported that the Parish Council accounts from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 were formally signed off by the external auditors, BDO LLP on 10 September 2014 with no matters arising. Noted that future grants from the government and included in the precept payment to be shown as ’other receipts’ in box 3 of the return. Cherwell District Council to provide the Parish Council with details of any grant included in the precept payments. The Clerk formally sought approval and acceptance of the accounts. This was proposed by Cllr Kane, seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.
Charity Commission – War Memorial Hall Accounts 2013/2014 – the Parish Clerk reported that she had sent the 2013/2014 accounts for the War Memorial Hall to the Charity Commission.
Report on District Council Matters: Cllr Jelf had not submitted a report.
Report on County Council Matters: County Cllr Reynolds reported that proposals for an extension to the Hook Norton Primary School are currently out for consultation.
OCC’s budget for 2015/2016 is expected to be tight.
Correspondence – the Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month.
Clay Bank Farmhouse Railings – Following a number of complaints from villagers, the Parish Clerk has been in contact with CDC and OCC about the railings erected on OCC land by the homeowner of Clay Bank Farmhouse. CDC has confirmed that Highways has been negotiating the purchase of the land with the homeowner but this is not a suitable solution and therefore the homeowner has been asked to take the fence down. A response by 13 October is required. If there is no response by that date, further action will be taken.
AOB – there was none.
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 13 November 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 8.24pm.