Council Minutes

Minutes 12.01.15

Minutes of Meeting Held on 12th January 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

Present: Councillors Fisher, Hughes and Ultsch.  District Councillor Kerford-Byrnes, Jason Barlow, Rachael Clark, Rosemary Dockrey, Robin England, Colin Smith, Gill Simmonds and the Parish Clerk

  1. Apologies: Councillors Dockrey, Sharp and Shepherd, A Zinopoulos
  2. Declarations of Interest: None
  3. Public Participation: Mrs Dockrey reported on the conifer on the Green, Mr Barlow reported on the verges in North Street, District Cllr Kerford- Byrnes reported as follows:
  • The Local Plan Inspection has been completed and the result is due around March. Hopefully it will be approved and implemented.  Any changes the Inspector makes will be binding.
  • Bicester is designated as a garden city. The only differences will be in administrative, organisational and financial terms. The additional possible £100million is likely to to be used by a new motorway Junction – 9A.
  • Houses in rural areas – there is reason to be cautiously optimistic as 750 houses will be spread across a wider number of villages and only according to the ability to accommodate them. The number will be reduced by existing approved plans.
  • Cherwell DC is already merged with S. Northants and has been given permission to share aspects of the work with Stratford Upon Avon which will bring significant savings.
  • Boundary Commission – changes will take effect from May 2016. Cllr Kerford- Byrnes is due for re-election this year but it will only be for a year’s tenure.
  1. Minutes of Meeting Held on 15th December 2014: Approved and signed as a true record.
  2. Matters Arising from the Minutes
  • Community Speedwatch: the matter is on hold until the request for volunteers is in the Three Parishes
  • War Memorial: the Diocese has given approval for the work to be carried out, the Clerk has applied for a grant and is now awaiting information about the start date of the work.
  • Local Heritage Sites: the information has been sent to Cllr Hughes. He and the Clerk will complete the necessary documentation.  The assets identified are the reading Room and the water pump.
  1. Financial Matters
  • Balances

Balances carried Forward                   8190.08

Add Receipts                                      8582.06


Less Payments                                    3604.23


Current Account                     1883.66

Less unpresented Cheques        524.79


Business Saver Account                               11809.04


Business Saver Account includes £1859 in Cemetery Account

  • Transactions since last Meeting: Receipts £1.51 Payments £339.99 (VAS Battery £14.99, Internal audit £48, Clerk’s Quarter Salary £277)
  • Future Payments: Resolved: that approval be given for the following payments: Clerk’s Quarter salary, £277, OALC subscription approx. £133, Village Hall £105, Emptying Dog waste bins approx. £262
  • Budget and Precept: the Clerk reported in Cllr Dockrey’s absence that the previous budget had been calculated on the same figures as last year. Since then information had been received from CDC that the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Grant to offset losses caused by the changes to the way Council Tax was calculated would be the same as last year, ie £439.09 (and not £1623 as previously indicated).  This, therefore, does not affect the budget figures for income.  The Council will also receive a New Homes Bonus of £527.   Cllr Hughes expressed concern that reserves were in  becoming too high but in view of the possible future reduction in the CTRS grant, end of New Homes Bonus, unknown potential costs of work on the pond and other expenses it was Resolved:  that the revised budget be approved.  It was further Resolved: that the precept for 2015/2016 be set at £6500 and would include the CTRS Grant of £439.09.
  1. Planning Matters
  • George and Dragon: conditional approval has been given, though formal letter has not yet been received.  Conditions protect highway safety, neighbours well being and local amenities.  The new Village Hall has to be ready for use before the fist occupants take up residence.
  • 98 East Street: although unable to access the plans on the disc provided Cllrs had visited the site and had no objections.
  • 7 Town Well End: no objections
  • 20 North Street – approval received for tree work
  • Cherwell Local Plan: Mr England expressed concern over the number of potential houses designated for sites F16 and 17 as he had only recently read the communication from the Parish Council.  Cllr Ultsch and District Cllr Kerford-Byrnes gave background to the decision and pointed out that the consultation period had now closed.  However Mr England could write with his objections to Adrian Colwell, Head of Planning.  Concerns were expressed about the difficulties in accessing information on the CDC website and the arbitrary decisions on the other sites.  The Parish Council had not raised objections to the use of the sites owing to the long historical protection of Mancetter’s Field from housing, existing plans for Covert farm and George and Dragon site.  If the Council did receive plans for housing on the designated sites then Mr England would have the opportunity to make objections.
  1. Pond
  • The tree has not yet been planted. Resolved: that the Clerk will pursue the matter with Mr Robson.
  • Removal of Silt: The Clerk has been in contact with OPC, the company used by the County Council. The work can be done but the disposal of the silt will be very costly at £200 per ton.  An estimate is being prepared.  Resolved:  that Cllr Hughes contact farmers to see if they will accept the silt on fields.
  1. Cemetery
  • Fencing: a third estimate has been received from JE Millerwhich is significantly lower than the other two.  Resolved: that the estimate from Miller’s be accepted and he be asked to carry out the work.
  • Noticeboard: No reply has been received from Mr Shorey about the cost of making one. Resolved: that Cllr Hughes contact him for an estimate.
  • Bench: Sarah Ross has been informed of the Council’s approval for a new bench, subject to seeing the type intended.
  1. Emergency Plan

Cllr Shepherd and the Clerk have produced a first draft which was well received by the Council and some suggestions made for inclusion.  The next step is for the Clerk to contact suggested volunteers to ask for their approval for inclusion in the plan as volunteers.  An annex relating to Utility is yet to be drafted.

  1. Office Equipment for New Clerk

Resolved: that Mrs Simmonds  obtain costs for the purchase of laptop, office package, printer, laminator, fireproof filing cabinet and other equipment necessary for her to undertake the post of Clerk.

  1. Correspondence

Approval was given for an application for a memorial in the cemetery to Jordan Girling.

  1. Any Other Business
  • Verges in North Street: Mr Barlow expressed concern about the erosion of the grass verges. The matter has been raised before to no avail but the Clerk will contact Highways Department for advice.
  • Tree on the Green: Mrs Dockrey reported that a bough had been broken off and that the tree needs work.  The Clerk will contact the Tree officer at CDC and ask for advice.
  • Dog Waste: Cllr Ultsch asked that a request for owners to dispose of their dogs’ faeces in the special bins provided rather than the litter bins.  Another reminder is needed for owners to use the bags provided.
  1. Next Meeting

Monday 16th March 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall


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