Minutes of Parish Council AGM 18th May 2015

Minutes of Fritwell Parish Council Annual General Meeting held on Monday, 18th May 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall


Present: Councillors Ultsch, Foster, Reeves, Rooth, Stillgoe, Barlow.  District Councillor Kerford Byrnes (arrived 8:55pm), Colin Smith, Jenny Paviour, Mike and Rosemary Dockrey Jenny Edgecombe, Alistair and Glynis Lowdon, Hope Price and the Clerk.

  1. Apologies: District Councillor Macnamara, Police Constable Caroline Brown and Tony Zinopoulis.
  2. Minutes of AGM held on Monday, 19th May 2014

Read, agreed and signed by the Chair as a true record.

  1. Financial Report and Matters
  • The end of year accounts were circulated and discussed.
  • Councillor Foster asked for details of how the New Homes Bonus was spent. Councillor Ultsch explained that it was used along with other income to enhance the village environment and to keep the Precept from rising.
  • Councillor Rooth asked for clarification of the cover provided by the insurance policy. Councillor Ultsch explained that cover was provided against damage to assets and to provide indemnity for Parish Councillors and Officers.
  • It was resolved that the accounts be approved. These were signed by the Chair.
  • Audit: Councillor Barlow queried the Precept figure for 31.3.14 and it was explained that there was a shortfall, made up with a grant from Cherwell District Council. Council approved the Accounting Statements for 2014/2015 and the Statement of Governance in readiness for the Annual Audit (proposed by Councillor Barlow / seconded by Councillor Foster). The documents were duly signed.
  1. Chairman’s Report

Councillor Ultsch welcomed the five new Councillors and the new Clerk.

She explained that 2014-15 had been a busy year with the defibrillator now in place and operational, revised Standing orders adopted, the Emergency Plan almost complete and plans approved for The George and Dragon and Village Hall sites.

It was noted that the fencing to the pond has been much improved, although no final repairs are likely to be completed until 2019. Thanks were expressed to County Councillor Fatemian for his support for this issue.

A donation of £600 has been made to the Forget-Me-Not Club, potholes have been filled in on Church Drive and the annual village Spring Clean event was successfully held. However, the importance of not moving fly tipped hazardous materials such as asbestos were emphasised.

Thanks were expressed to Clive Shepherd for maintaining the speeding signs in the village.

Issues for the forthcoming year include undertaking the Community Speedwatch, liaising with Ardley Parish Council to progress the footpath between Ardley and Fritwell (funded in large part by a grant from Viridor. Clive Shepherd will continue as Fritwell Liaison), dredging silt from the pond (once the ducklings have fledged) and working with other villages to develop the Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan, where representation on the various sub-committees from Fritwell will be vitally important.

Councillor Ultsch concluded by expressing her thanks to the outgoing Councillors and Clerk.

Councillor Reeves queried the order of progress on the George and Dragon / Village Hall sites and Councillor Ultsch explained that the planning approval stipulates that the new Village Hall must be operational before the rest of the development can progress. Councillor Reeves also asked about any stipulations regarding the Gabel End Stones, currently situated within the George and Dragon. Action: Clerk to investigate.

Councillor Foster was present at the Election Count for Fritwell on 8.5.15. She commented on the large number of blank voting papers and suggested that this may be because many residents could not readily identify the candidates.  Mike Dockrey added that similar comments had been addressed to him. Councillor Ultsch noted that there had not been an election for Parish Council for at least 15 years. Should the necessity arise again, the Parish Council will need to address this issue, taking care to operate within the election rules.

  1. Election of Officers

Councillor Ultsch was elected as Chair – proposed by Councillor Foster and seconded by Councillor Rooth. Councillor Ultsch was duly elected.

Responsible Finance Officer: Councillor Barlow was nominated by Councillor Ultsch and seconded by Councillor Foster. He was duly elected. Cheque signatories will be Councillors Ultsch, Foster and Rooth.

Village Hall Committee Representative: Councillor Stillgoe.

Mid Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan Representative: Councillor Ultsch; it was noted that representation from Fritwell would be necessary on a number of sub-committees and it was agreed that Councillors would share this as necessary. Councillor Ultsch will co-ordinate attendances.


  1. Any Other Business


  1. Date of Next Meeting: to be determined following the Annual Parish Meeting
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