Minutes of Fritwell Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 13th July 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
Present: Councillors Ultsch, Foster, Reeves, Rooth, Stillgoe, Barlow. District Councillor Kerford Byrnes and the Clerk.
Residents: Helen Metcalfe, Grace Williams, Colin Smith, Jenny Paviour, Mike and Rosemary Dockrey Anthea Unsworth, Margaret Boyce, Janet Britton, Michael Stewart, Geoff Price.
Apologies: County Councillor Arash Fatemian
Declarations of Interest: Jason Barlow declared interests in the verges in North Street and the item from Fritwell Parochial Church Council (PCC).
Public Participation: Grace Williams (PCC) Margaret Boyce (Pond) Rosemary Dockrey (Souldern Road repairs, builders’ rubbish, East Street to the Church path) Helen Metcalfe (Footpaths).
Glebe Land, Brackley Road: Grace Williams (Church Warden) circulated a map of the Glebe land under discussion. The PCC has received a letter from The Diocesan Board of Finance, giving notice under Section 20(5) of the Endowments and Glebe Measure 1976, of the intended sale of part of Fritwell Glebe land for possible development. The PCC have negotiated that the 21 day consultation period be extended until the end of August 2015. Although the PCC is the only body that the Diocese has to legally notify of this decision the PCC is anxious that the village is aware of the Diocesan action.
Helen Metcalfe (PCC Secretary) has approached Cherwell District Council to ascertain how any proposed development would fit in with the Local Plan. She was informed that the land in question is NOT part of the Local Plan as it currently stands. It is anticipated by CDC that the Local Plan will be approved on 22nd July 2015. The sites identified in this document have been assessed for suitability for building purposes and it is likely that they will be developed. CDC currently has sufficient identified sites to meet the anticipated need for housing in Cherwell over the next 5 years and the Planning Department is unlikely to act against the provisions of the Local Plan. Any building on this Glebe land would be in addition to the sites already identified.
Mike Dockery (Church Warden) was at pains to point out that Fritwell PCC will not benefit financially in any way from this proposed sale.
However, Oxford City Council does need more housing in the near future and are looking for support from adjacent District Councils. If proposed development of the Glebe land was considered to alleviate shortages in Oxford City and consist of a very high proportion of Affordable Housing, these factors might alter the situation.
Fritwell Parochial Church Council is aiming to consult as widely as possible and is considering holding a public meeting to gauge local opinion. Councillor Ultsch requested that the PCC keep the Parish Council informed of developments. Helen Metcalfe requested notification of the Parish Council’s initial response to the Diocesan intended sale by Sunday 19th July 2015.
Action: Councillor Ultsch to ascertain views from other members and inform the PCC.
District Councillor Kerford-Byrnes presented an update on current issues from Cherwell District Council:-
- CDC is currently rolling out a programme to inform Parish Councils of planning applications in their area electronically. This could be delayed for Fritwell as long as possible if we so desire.
- Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan: Regular meetings are being held for the affected villages but attendance has so far been low. A referendum will be held for all the villages in the Mid-Cherwell area in due course. Councillor Ultsch expressed concern that Fritwell has not received notifications of these meetings.
Action: Councillor Ultsch to investigate.
- Cherwell Local Plan has finally been endorsed by the Inspector and found to be ‘Sound’ and eligible for adoption by CDC. However, housing numbers have been changed due to a review of housing in Oxfordshire. Once the Plan has been adopted by CDC, there follows a 6 week period when residents or other interested parties can lodge a judicial review. Once this 6 week period has passed without such an intervention, the Local Plan will be viable.
- The Inspector endorsed 750 housed to be built across Category A villages (including Fritwell and also Kidlington). These will not be allocated equally but in a manner ‘proportional to the areas concerned’; i.e. the existing infrastructure and amenities of each village will be taken into consideration. However, the start date for this allocation was 31st March 2014 and therefore all developments agreed since this date are included. Currently, 500 houses have been allocated in this way, leaving 250 still to be agreed. The period covered by this Plan ends in 2031 and clearly further developments are likely to be required during this period. The implications are that the 250 houses mentioned will be readily approved but other applications will be considered. Interestingly, a proportion of Care Home places can count towards the total figure of homes required.
- Local Plan 2 will consider sites for future development, should the need arise.
Councillor Ultsch thanked Councillor Kerford-Byrnes for his helpful input.
- Minutes of Meeting held on Monday 16th March 2015,
Read, agreed and signed by the Chair as a true record.
Matters arising from these minutes:-
- Election of Vice Chair: Councillor Rooth was proposed by Councillor Ultsch and seconded by Councillor Barlow. He was duly elected.
- Additional Responsibilities: Mike and Rosemary Dockrey have kindly agreed to continue to organise dog bins and bags; Councillor Barlow will take over administration of the Cemetery; Councillors Foster and Stillgoe will share responsibility for the maintenance of footpaths; Councillor Ultsch will work with the Clerk, Gill Simmonds, to update and finalise the Emergency Plan; Mike Dockrey and Charles Hughes have agreed to continue responsibility for winter salt spreading, with Councillor Rooth as reserve. The grit bins are mostly full at present and Peter Surman holds supplies for the salt spreader. Action: Clerk to ascertain current level of supplies in hand.
- Community Speedwatch: The speed gun is now available for loan from Ardley Parish Council. Action: Clerk to contact previous volunteers and arrange training with Community Police officer.
- Roll of Honour: Work is due to start Thursday 16th July 2015.
- Cemetery Notice Board: Doug Goward has agreed to erect this alongside hedge trimming and strimming work at the Cemetery in the near future. It was noted that a burial will take place on 21st / 22nd July 2015. Action: Clerk to notify Doug Goward so that he does not schedule his work then.
- Financial Report and Matters
|Balances brought forward||£|
|At beginning of Financial Year||12715.02|
|Current Account as of 11.6.15||1306.57|
|Less Unpresented Cheques||1053.35|
|Add Receipts and Transfers||50.00|
|Business Saver Account as of 11.6.15||14692.77||14692.77|
|Includes Transfer to Current Ac|
|Business Saver Account includes £2404.06 in the Cemetery Account|
|Transactions this Financial Year||.|
|Parish Precept||3469.55||Petrol for mower||47.50|
|Reservations of graves||750.00||Postage||11.21|
|Interment of ashes||50.00||Bacon butties||50.54|
|Village Web design||35.00|
|Invoice for Roll of Honour||996.00|
|Invoice for Cemetery Notice Board 400.00|
|Clerk’s SalaryPayment for painting village gates||277.00|
Retrospective and future payments were approved; proposed Councillor Ultsch and seconded Councillor Barlow.
Councillor Barlow has investigated the possibility of any councillor cleared as a signatory with the bank, using internet or telephone banking to transfer money between the two accounts.
It was agreed to set up an Excel spreadsheet to track actual expenditure against planned expenditure on a quarterly basis. Action: Clerk, Councillors Barlow and Rooth to meet and set this up.
- Planning Matters:
- Sunnyside, 56 North Street: Single storey front extension; Approved
- Old School, Old School Lane: Tree works; Approved
- The Limes, 94 East Street: Tree Works; Approved
- Jasmine Cottage, 70 East Street: Tree works; Approved
- Holywell, 7, The Lane: Tree works
- Bay Tree Cottage,76 East Street; extension
- 23 East Street; Tree works
- Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan – Area approved but not designated as business area
- A change of use has been applied for relating to the bomb shelters at the Heyford Base with the aim to develop these as business units instead of storage.
- Verges in North Street: Two very constructive letters have been received from resident Roger Angold. These were circulated and discussed. The issue of erosion of verges remains unresolved; bollards can look unsightly once the angles have been disrupted by time and collisions; the speed of traffic entering the village from Somerton is an issue; various traffic calming measures were discussed; the use of the village as a ‘cut through’ when there is congestion on the motorway is a serious concern; verges on East Street need to be considered too.
Action: Clerk to contact OCC and request their input and costings for traffic calming measures; additionally, to ascertain whether or not the use of boulders to prevent erosion is still regarded as a hazard. Also to target North Street when Community Speedwatch volunteers are operational.
Action: Councillor Barlow to contact JE Miller to find out if he has a contact with appropriate authorisation to work adjacent to highways.
- Pond: Contractor Richard Smith has the necessary equipment to extract silt from the pond but dumping costs can be prohibitive unless a local site is found. The Clerk has written to 7 local farmers and two have so far replied, agreeing to take silt after harvest.
Action: Clerk to write to Jeremy Brown and John Malins, expressing thanks and to liaise with the contractor regarding dates.
- Village gates: These have been repainted by Bernie and Sue Girling and all Councillors and residents agreed that the results were superb. It was agreed that as the older bus shelter requires some maintenance, Bernie and Sue be approached to undertake this work.
Action: Clerk to write letter of thanks to Bernie and Sue, enclosing payment and requesting a meeting to discuss a quotation for the bus shelter and repainting of Stop signs.
- Bus Subsidies: Councillor Foster drew attention to the ongoing review of bus subsidies by OCC. The online consultation ends at midnight 14th July 2015. Fritwell’s services are considered ‘high risk’ from potential cost saving cuts as the subsidy is high.
Action: Councillor Foster will complete an online feedback form, expressing the concern of the Parish Council to any cuts that will affect residents of Fritwell.
14: Correspondence: Attention was drawn to the changes in the mobile library timetable and the poster placed on the notice board. Action: Clerk to ensure these changes are included in our submission to the next issue of The Three Parishes.
Councillor Rooth suggested investigating the costs of the Parish Council funding copies of The Three Parishes for all Fritwell residents, to promote communication.
Action: Councillor Rooth to investigate and research costings.
Parish Council aspirations: Councillor Foster suggested ways to enhance a sense of community within the village, for example by exerting leverage on developers to provide small areas of land for projects such as a community orchard.
Residents are also invited to approach the Parish Council if they are interested in setting up allotments. Although this has been done in the past, it could now be revisited.
Action: Clerk to include this in the submission to The Three Parishes, along with a request for further ideas for projects to develop a wider sense of the village community.
Additionally, it was suggested that The Three Parishes be used to encourage volunteers to come forward so that a register can be established, listing those with skills they are willing to use on behalf of the village. Action: Clerk.
Councillor Stillgoe reported on a recent meeting of the Village Hall Committee. An archaeological survey has been undertaken at The George and Dragon site as a condition of planning approval, but nothing of significance was revealed. Two old boundary markers were discovered at the existing Village Hall site.
Date of Next Meeting: Monday 28th September 7.30pm at the Village Hall.