HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2015 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors Kane, Hicks, Griggs, Watkins, Henderson, Brotherston, Casson, District Cllr Jelf, County Cllr Reynolds (part), Mrs R Watts (Parish Clerk) and one member of the public.
Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Wright and Matthews
Chairman’s Announcements: Hook Norton’s Apple Day was a very enjoyable experience for villagers – many thanks to the organisers.
Declarations of Interest: Cllr Kane declared an interest in two Tree Works applications (TCAs). Also a planning application by Banbury Plant Hire – for clarification – she maintains their website.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 10 September 2015 and Matters Arising
Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the meeting on 10 September 2015 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and passed unanimously.
The Parish Clerk has asked OCC Highways to consider putting a salt bin on the Hook Norton/Swerford Road near ‘Southfield’. OCC has confirmed that they will inspect the area but have not come back with a definitive answer. If approved, the cost to the Parish Council will be £250 + VAT.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications – Annex 1
Ten planning / TCA applications had been received since the last meeting. Cllr Kane left the premises whilst items she had declared an interest in were discussed.
Cherwell District Council had granted nine planning / TCA applications, including 15/01290/F which Councillors had objected to and had asked to be ‘called in’ (erection of one new dwelling at Priory Cottage, Netting St). The Parish Clerk will write to the Chief Executive of CDC and The Leader of the Council to complain about District Councillors ignoring Parish Council concerns.
Cherwell District Council refused 15/01406/F – proposed new dwelling at 13 The Glebe. The Parish Council had not objected to this application.
Application withdrawn by applicant – 15/01061/F Fodge Farm; conversion of agricultural building to holiday cottage.
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.
Reports of Working Groups
a) Playdale has sent the quarterly inspection report for the play area.
b) Kim Cooke has carried out litter picks at Bourne View.
Cemetery and Allotments
a) A new water stop cock is going to be installed in the cemetery. This will be turned off during the winter months to prevent frost damage.
b) Some allotment holders are overdue with their rental payments. Reminders attract a £5 surcharge.
c) Cllr Griggs and volunteers have planted 4,000 spring bulbs along the Tite Lane wall. These were kindly donated by Mrs Jelf. David Shepley – Cuthbert has donated a further 300 bulbs which will be planted soon. Councillors thanked everyone involved in donating and planting the bulbs.
d) Paula Clarke has written to complain that the seat near her husband’s grave had been overturned, presumably to make strimming easier. A flower pot on the grave had also been damaged. The Parish Clerk had emailed the grass cutting contractor to see if he could throw any light on the matter.
a) There is a new Parish Council noticeboard outside the Memorial Hall. Councillors thanked Fred Mair and Nick Casson for installing it.
b) The Parish Council noticeboard outside the shop needs attention. Cllr Kane proposed that subject to the shop owner’s consent, a new noticeboard should be purchased. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.
c) The Parish Clerk has spoken to BT about the filthy state of the telephone box outside the Memorial Hall. They have agreed to inspect/clean it.
d) The gully in the dip of the road by Moors House, Station Road had become blocked and the road was flooded earlier in the week. OCC Highways cleared the gully after complaints from the Parish Council, the Police and County Councillor Reynolds.
e) A villager has asked if a stone memorial to the war dead could be situated on the triangle of grass opposite the village shop. Although there is a memorial in the church naming the war dead, Cllrs agreed in principle to volunteers raising funds for a memorial. This would be subject to OCC Highways agreeing to a memorial being put on this piece of highway land.
f) A complaint had been received about the number of estate agents’ boards being put on public land on the corner of Hollybush Rod with Station Road. The boards are unsightly and at odds with the conservation area. The Parish Clerk will write to all the agents concerned giving them seven days to remove their signs. If they fail to do so, the Parish Council will arrange for the sign to be taken down and disposed of.
g) Sarah Morris addressed the Council about starting an ‘Incredible, Edible Hook Norton’ group in the village. The idea is that volunteers, with land owner’s permission, will grow herbs and vegetables in raised beds on land around the village for anyone to pick and use. The beds would be adopted by groups of people who would do much of the planting and maintenance themselves. Sustainable food would be produced, which would lead to a stronger, healthier more resilient population. Councillors welcomed the initiative and Cllr Kane proposed that the first raised bed be situated in the Memorial Hall garden. This was seconded by Cllr Griggs and agreed unanimously.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall
a) The faulty hand drier in the gents’ toilet has been replaced.
b) Replacement windows – work is ongoing to identify a supplier.
c) Kim Cooke has cleaned the insides of the kitchen cupboards.
d) Tim Burchell has been asked to deal with weeds outside the Memorial Hall.
Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan (HNNP) sub-Committee
a) The Executive of Cherwell District Council approved the HNNP on 5 October. It will now go to full Council for approval on 19 October, after which it will become a statutory part of the local planning process and anyone wishing to build in the village will have to demonstrate that they are complying with the policies in the plan.
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 October totalling £6,838.45 for the Parish Council and £190.72 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2). Cllr Watkins moved acceptance of the payments detailed. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.
Charity Commission – War Memorial Hall Accounts 2014/2015 – the Parish Clerk reported that she had sent details of the 2014/2015 accounts for the War Memorial Hall to the Charity Commission.
District Council Report: District Cllr Jelf had nothing to report.
County Council Report: OCC’s reduced budget for 2016-2017 is harsh and is almost certain impact on Parish Councils. OCC Highways in particular is looking to devolve some areas of its work to Parish Councils.
Correspondence: The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month. There were no matters outstanding.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were no matters arising.
a) The post office in Hook Norton is closing on 17 November 2015. The Post Office is optimistic that it may be able to move it to another location in the village but this will take time. In the meantime it will send the mobile van that currently goes to Great Rollright and Great Tew to Hook Norton for one hour on a Friday afternoon (time to be confirmed). The Sun Inn has kindly offered to let the van park on its land in front of the public house.
b) Taylor Wimpey has allowed a generator to point over a resident’s garden, causing damage to produce and hens. Taylor Wimpey has offered compensation to the resident and this is being considered.
c) A complaint has been received about the lack of road sweepers going through the village. County Cllr Reynolds explained that Cherwell District Council only has one road sweeper for the whole of the district and that only kerbed roads are swept.
d) A complaint has been received about weeds growing outside the ‘TV shop’ house, opposite the village shop.
e) Councillors congratulated Hook Norton Football Club on their progress in recently playing Weston-Super-Mare.
The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 12 November 2015 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.