HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 at 7.30pm
Present: Councillors: Kane, Hicks, Hayward, Watkins, Cooke (departed 8.40pm), Millar, Casson, County Councillor Reynolds (arrived 8.38pm), Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and three members of the public
Apologies for Absence – Councillors Usher and Brotherston
Councillor Kane had nothing to report.
Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 11 July 2013 and Matters Arising
It was proposed by Cllr Hicks and seconded by Cllr Watkins that the minutes of the previous meeting on 11 July 2013 be accepted as a true and accurate record and this was passed unanimously.
There were no matters arising.
Declarations of Interest – Cllr Millar declared an interest in the review of allotment rents for 2014-2015.
Vacancy for Parish Councillor – Co-option – The Clerk had placed an advertisement on the village noticeboards notifying villagers that there was a vacancy on the Parish Council following the resignation of Jonathan Leader. She had received one application from David Charles Graham Henderson, Highgrove House, East End, Hook Norton and his details and CV had been passed to Councillors before the meeting. Cllr Millar proposed that Mr Henderson be co-opted as a Councillor to Hook Norton Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr Casson and unanimously agreed. Mr Henderson completed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office and a Register of Members’ Interests form. He was warmly welcomed to the Council table.
Cllr Henderson declared an interest in the Memorial Hall, being Treasurer to the Film Society.
Report of the Planning Co-Ordinator on Planning Applications Received
Nine planning applications/TCAs had been received (Annex 1). There were no objections other than to the proposed work at Railway Farm, Station Rd (13/01002/F) by D J Stanton Engineering. This application was later withdrawn by the applicant. The Parish Clerk will invite the applicant to the next Parish Council meeting so that Councillors can support the applicant in submitting a revised planning application. 13/01009/AGN was withdrawn by N Matthews and re-submitted under 13/01121/F. No objections were raised to various tree works at Priestfield House, High St other than to the felling of an oak tree.
Cherwell District Council had granted seven applications (Annex 1).
To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications – There were no comments from the members of the public attending.
Reports or Working Groups
Recreation – Cllr Kane reported:
• The annual inspection of the play equipment had identified damage to the goal net. A replacement will cost circa £1,000. Cllrs will make enquiries to see if it can be repaired. Minor faults which had been identified will be rectified.
Cemetery and Allotments – Cllr Usher had sent a written report:
• Tim Burchell continues to undertake small maintenance jobs at both the cemetery and the graveyard.
Environment – Cllr Hayward reported:
• Delivery vehicles are using Netting Street to access Hook Norton Brewery, driving on the pavement and narrowly missing thatched roofs. He had spoken to James Clarke who confirmed that he periodically sends memos to companies asking them not to drive through the village to gain access to the Brewery. He will write to relevant companies once again.
• He had met with Ben Acreman to discuss the recent tree survey. To carry out all the works over two years will cost circa £10,000. Initially work will be carried out to trees at the front of Ironstone Hollow.
• The wall along the path at the playgroup side of the recreation ground has been repaired. Cllrs are very pleased with the end result.
• The Clerk sent two quotations to Cherwell District Council’s insurers for repairs to the wall in Watery Lane which was damaged by their refuse freighter. The insurers had only offered a 50/50 settlement because the wall is obscured by vegetation. Cllr Casson will seek legal advice on this matter before the Parish Clerk responds to the insurers. A request by the Parish Clerk to Cherwell District Council asking them to send a smaller refuse vehicle down Watery Lane has been refused.
• The Parish Clerk has written to the Minister of the Baptist Church again advising him of the Parish Council’s concerns about the Baptist church wall. Since she had not received a reply to any of her letters, Cllrs agreed that a note should be put in the Newsletter advising parents and children to take extra care when walking past the wall.
Hook Norton War Memorial Hall – Cllr Kane reported:
• She had submitted the application for a grant from ORCC for repairs to the roof.
• The oil tank level meter is faulty. Cllr Brotherston will arrange repairs.
• The Memorial Hall’s insurers have asked for a further survey of the hall to be submitted. Cllr Brotherston will arrange for the Structural Engineer to inspect.
Neighbourhood Plan Sub-Committee – Cllr Hicks reported:
• The recent survey covering the whole Parish had resulted in 183 replies.
• Drop-in sessions held in Memorial Hall in August were well attended. Two further open meetings will take place on 26 September in the Memorial Hall and on 28 September in the church.
• Sub-groups have been formed covering Potential Policies to Meet Goals and Objectives (Julia Edwards), Consultation Report (Linda Chalcraft), Sustainability (Rob Gardner), Communications (Pete Watkins) and Funding Report (Allison Hicks).
Report on District Council Matters – In the absence of District Cllr Jelf, there was nothing to report.
Report on County Council Matters
• County Cllr Reynolds said that OCC’s review of school transport is going back out to consultation in the next couple of months.
• The recently issued broadband map is only indicative of the proposed service for Hook Norton in 2015. A more detailed map will follow.
• County Cllr Reynolds has been allocated a certain amount of money from the Big Society Fund. Parish Councils and local groups/bodies are welcome to apply for funding. Cllrs agreed that the PC will apply for funding for repairs to the Memorial Hall roof. County Cllr Reynolds will send an application form to the Parish Clerk.
Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council
The Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments and sought approval to pay the cheques itemised on the schedules totalling £8,563.87 for the Parish Council and £169.46 for the Memorial Hall. Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed, this was seconded by Cllr Casson and approved unanimously.
Cllrs Hayward and Hicks will complete the necessary forms to enable them to become signatories to the Memorial Hall accounts.
BDO LLP – External Auditor’s Report of Accounts 2012-2013 – The Parish Clerk reported that the accounts from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013 were formally signed off by the external auditors, BDO LLP on 17 July 2013 with no issues being raised. The Clerk formally sought approval and acceptance of the accounts. This was proposed by Cllr Kane, seconded by Cllr Casson and passed unanimously.
Recording of Parish Council Meetings – The Parish Council had received a request from Louis Friend to video Parish Council meetings. Mr Friend had been invited to the meeting to discuss the matter but had sent apologies. It is hoped that Mr Friend will attend a future Parish Council meeting so that his request can be discussed more fully.
Review of Allotment Rents 2014 – 2015
The allotment year runs 1 April – 31 March, with rents payable 1 October. Cllr Usher had contacted the committee of the Hook Norton Allotment Association (HNAA) to discuss the annual rent review. The Chairman and Secretary of the HNAA had proposed that an increase of 50p to £21.50 per full plot and 25p to £13.25 per half plot be considered by the Parish Council. These rates would be for the 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015 allotment year, payable 1 October 2014. Cllr Hayward proposed that the suggested rates for 2014/15 be agreed. This was seconded by Cllr Casson and unanimously agreed with the exception of Cllr Millar, who having an interest in the matter, abstained from voting.
The Parish Clerk confirmed that she will be sending out invoices for the 2013-2014 allotment year this week.
Cllr Hayward attended the Cherwell Community Land Trust (CCLT) launch and AGM on 10 September. CCLT was formed through a partnership with Cherwell District Council in 2012. Their aim is to support local communities to develop affordable housing and other community assets which will help sustain those communities now and into the future. CCLT will effectively act as a steward for any assets developed which means that any income from schemes will be reinvested directly back into the community, ensuring that the homes and facilities are provided for the long term. Homes are for part buy/part rent or for rent and will be prioritised for local people. Where the CCLT has a development opportunity it will actively work with the local community to discuss local needs and involve people in planning and carrying out the development.
Working closely with Cherwell District Council’s own Build! Development programme, many of the schemes will be for self-build or self-finish by the initial residents, who in return will benefit from their labour through obtaining a home at reduced cost.
The key aims for CCLT are
• The provision of well designed, high quality and energy efficient homes
• To help promote employment and skills development through the provision of housing and other community assets.
The Bell Inn – Cllr Cooke e-mailed Graham Wyatt at Cherwell District Council on 6 September asking for the latest position. Having chased a reply up twice, Cllr Cooke received the following response: “Additional details have been received from the applicant regarding the impact of the development on the listed building, following concerns raised by our Conservation Team. The Conservation Team are considering this additional information and a decision will be made, hopefully by the end of the month. Whether the application will be refused or approved is still for consideration.”
Appeal on the Proposed Bourne Lane Development
A decision is due on 24 September 2013 and Cllrs will meet with Sir Tony Baldry MP when the decision is made known.
Local Heritage Assets – Following on from the Parish Council’s ‘Community Right to Bid’ on The Bell Inn, Cllr Cooke proposed that the PC should consider putting forward other ‘Crown Jewels’ in the village to Cherwell District Council. Cllrs unanimously agreed that the following properties should be considered:
the playground, playgroup, library, village shop, post office, Pear Tree Inn, Hook Norton Brewery, St Peter’s Church, the Baptist Chapel and the Sports & Social Club.
Stanton Engineering Site
Cllr Cooke said that it was envisaged that work on the infrastructure of the site would begin in November.
The S106 Agreement covers the War Memorial Hall and outdoor recreational facilities.
Cllrs discussed the need for additional salt bins in the village. It was unanimously agreed that bins should be purchased for the junction of Down End with High Street and Osney Close. The Parish Clerk will ask OCC to suggest suitable location sites for these two areas.
The Parish Clerk will order the free supply of salt from OCC for 2013/2014, to be stored at Ferris Hill Farm.
The Parish Clerk had forwarded all email correspondence to Councillors during the month.
To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public
A resident has mowed the grass at the junction of Clay Bank with Round Close Road for a good number of years. She asked the PC to take back responsibility for the Clay Bank side. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk will speak to the Contractor.
A resident reported that the Cotswold School bus still parks outside the fire-station each morning, causing a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians. The Parish Clerk will write to the bus company and the school.
There being no further business Councillor Kane thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.57 pm.