Wheatley Parish Council
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 20th AUGUST 2012 IN THE PARISH OFFICE AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors: J Reilly (in the Chair), S Coleridge, E Bailey, E Stacey, J Carr & R Old
OFFICER THE CLERK: Gareth Morris
ALSO PRESENT: County Councillor Anne Purse
MEMBERS HAD BEEN REMINDED BY MEANS OF THE AGENDA THAT IF THEY HAD AN INTEREST TO DECLARE IN ANY AGENDA ITEM, THEY SHOULD DO SO IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING IN THE BOOK PROVIDED FOR THIS PURPOSE
17. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE had been received from Cllrs Anderson, Bell & Birks
18. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
19. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD 18th JUNE 2012 which had been circulated previously were signed as a correct and accurate record.
20. UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM THE MINUTES 18th JUNE 2012
(i) Minute 8 – Bollards on north side of Church Rd – the clerk to arrange a meeting with Arriva
(ii) Minute 6 – 2011-12 Final Accounts – Query from External Auditor re Fidelity Guarantee – there is a need to increase the parish’s fidelity guarantee due to the level of the reserves held at the start of the financial year when half the precept is received. The clerk to advise the council’s insurance company
(iii) Minute 10 – Grass cutting of verges and recreation grounds The clerk has been in contact with the grass cutting company and informed them of the parish’s concerns. There is a problem of cutting Church Road Recreation area during the school holidays as there have been children playing there when the contractors had gone in. In such circumstances the grass is not cut
21. TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON PROGRESS ON THE PARISH COUNCIL’S PROJECT TO PROVIDE TWO EVENINGS YOUTH PROVISION AT THE YOUTH CENTRE
A meeting had been held on 17th July at the Maple Tree Centre to discuss the Youth Club provision. Cllrs Stacey and Carr had attended along with County Councillor Purse, Dan Evanhuis and others (Fusion) and representatives from OCC and users of the centre.- Record of meeting to be circulated.
The F&GP committee emphasised that the provision should be 2 weekday evenings a week, 7pm to 9pm.
Costings for the use of the centre had just been received – £3,163.51per annum.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Parish Council and the Headteacher and Governors of Great Milton Primary School (who are responsible for the running of the Centre) would go before the next Parish Council meeting.
Cllr Carr made the following points:
The age groups should not be mixed; the Parish Council needs sight of the Qualifications and CRB checks of the youth workers/leaders; volunteers should not be leaders; neighbouring villages should be encouraged to send their young people to the centre and to contribute to the cost,
County Councillor Purse said that in her statement to the cabinet of Oxfordshire County Council in support of the bid she had emphasised the need for strong, qualified youth leaders due to the problems that Wheatley had had youth anti-social behaviour in the past. She said she would encourage other villages to come on board.
22. To consider AND REPORT ACTIONS FOLLOWING THE FLOODING IN THE VILLAGE ON FRIDAY 6TH JULY INCLUDING asking OCC to arrange a special clearance of all the village gullies before the onset of winter.
It was Agreed to write a letter of thanks to the Oxfordshire Fire Service for all their work on the 6th July in dealing with the flooding that took place in the village.
It was also Agreed that OCC be requested that the blocked gullies in the village should be cleared –especial attention should be paid to those on Ladder Hill, Station Road, Holloway Road and London Road.
23. TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER THE REPLY FROM OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL ON THE COST OF PROVIDING A FOOTPATH AROUND THE ROUNDHOUSE AT THE JUNCTION OF HOLLOWAY ROAD AND CHURCH ROAD
Costings had been received from the County Council re providing a footway around the Roundhouse.
It would cost £7,000 to provide a footway from Holloway Road around the Roundhouse stopping at the bus stop and a further £4,000 for the footway to extend to the ‘Keep Clear’ sign on the road by the
Gates. This extra section would have an effect on the on-street parking which the Highways Department
would not be happy with.
Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr Stacey seconded that the F&GP committee recommend to full council that the Parish Council requests the County Council proceeds with providing a footway around the Roundhouse from Holloway Road to the bus stop pole on Church Road for a cost of £7,000. This was AGREED
24. TO CONSIDER THE EFFECT OF THE NEW FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS FOR LOCALISING SUPPORT FOR COUNCIL TAX
As part of the 2010 Spending Review the Government announced its intention to localise support for Council Tax from 2013-14 and to reduce expenditure on this benefit by 10%.
The existing arrangements for council tax benefit are standardised across the country and are paid for out of national taxation. The new arrangements will be implemented by amending the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The new localised schemes will be implemented in the financial year 2013-2014. The Bill is central to delivering the Government’s commitment to reducing expenditure, increased devolution of services through Localism and cutting benefits with the aim of stimulating economic growth. This Government will only be providing a grant to fund 90% of the council tax benefit liability so the localised schemes have to address how to cope with the 10% shortfall in funding. The potential impact on town and parish councils as precepting authorities could be considerable particularly where there is a high proportion of council tax benefit claimants. The Government expects billing and local precepting authorities to work together to manage the potential impact of the Council Tax reductions on the local precepting authority Band D council tax levels
South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils will be holding four seminars to explain the implications of the new scheme. All town and parish councils are invited to attend a seminar at either venue (maximum of two attendees from each town/parish).
The seminars will take place at:
South Oxfordshire DC – two sessions, between 12.30 and 13.30 lunchtime and between 18.00 to 19.00 in the evening. Both to be held in the council chamber at Crowmarsh on 19 September
Agreed that the clerk and Cllr Reilly attend on behalf of the Parish Council
25 TO CONSIDER A RESPONSE TO THE CONSULTATION ON THE ELECTORAL REVIEW OF SOUTH OXFORDSHIRE BEING CARRIED OUT BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY COMMISSION
This item had been referred to F&GP from Parish Council meeting held on 2nd July
It was Agreed that it would be sensible for Wheatley and Holton to be in the same ward. The clerk to respond making the case to the Commission.
26. TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FROM THE WHEATLEY ARCHIVES TO USE WHEATLEY PARISH COUNCIL’S WIFI SYSTEM TO ALLOW THE ARCHIVES TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET.
There was a mixed response to the request. Some Cllrs expressed concerns over security and the ethicacy of a public body allowing its wifi connection to be used by another body. Other councillors felt that provided the wifi was password protected and usage by the Archives did not affect the speed of the parish council’s connection, then there should not be a problem.
The clerk was asked to do some more research.
27. CLERK UPDATE
i) Tree work in the village –The clerk indicated that he would be asking for more work to be done on the trees in the village.
ii) Consultation – Cheque Signatories Legislative Reform Order – Parish Councils were being consulted on the use of electronic means of payment. The Clerk reported that he felt being able to pay wages and salaries by BACS would be more convenient for the employees. It was Agreed that this be the Parish’s response to the consultation.
iii) To consider paying the 2012 Society of Local Council Clerks Subscription for the clerk – £175 – Agreed
iv) FOR INFORMATION ONLY- The County Council had asked for the Parish Council’s views on the 275 Oxford/High Wycombe service using the London Road only through the village ie not coming down Holloway Road and along Church Road. To be on next Parish Council Agenda.
28. TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE PARISH COUNCILLORS’ VILLAGE WALKABOUTS HELD IN JULY – Noted
Replacement of sand pit at Cullum Road – a brief discussion took place on what might be installed. Cllr Dalton had written to the committee suggesting a sensory garden might be provided. However over all the committee felt that maybe ‘adult’ fitness equipment might be welcomed.
It was suggested that the committee should start its next meeting at Cullum Road recreation area – Agreed.
29. GRANTS, LICENCES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
i) Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) 2012 Subscription – £29 – AGREED
ii) Wheatley Park School prize Giving – request for grant aid – AGREED £200
30. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
a) The budget to end of July 2012 had been distributed and discussed &
a completed copy of the reconciled bank statement was signed by the Chairman & RFO
After the cheques below had been paid the balances on the council’s accounts as at
20th August 2012 would be as follows: Community £4252.85
31. SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS TO BE AUTHORISED
|Cheque no.||Payee||Payment details||Amount|
|105531||Oxford Air Ambulance||Grant Aid||100.00|
|105539||WPSFMC||2nd Quarterly payment||2,000.00|
|105540||Thames Water||Memorial gardens||7.90|
|105541||Berinsfield Community Business||Verges and rec cutting||1,073.64|
|Cheques to Pay|
|105549||Parchment printers||Aug/Sept newsletter||1,484.90|
|105550||J Watson||Aug/Sept newsletter||680.00|
|105551||Acanthus Clews Architects||New Holton pavillion||3,000.00|
|105552||K Ring (Buryhook)||Collection & disposal of rubbish||180.00|
|105553||Swift Digital Services||Photocopies 13/4 – 18/7||123.47|
|105554||C Dalton||Travel to planning training||8.70|
|105555||Berinsfield Community Business||Verges+recs – June & July||1,793.28|
INCOME RECEIVED SINCE LAST MEETING
|Treasury Deposit Interest||42.89|
32. PUBLICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED – NOTED
i) The Haseleys – Newsletter June 2012*
ii) Little Milton Newsletter July 2012*
iii) Great Milton Bulletin July 2012*
iv) Holton, Waterperry & Waterstock News – July 2012*
v) Letter from The Howe trustees re allotments – Agreed that the clerk invite them to report to each Parish Council meeting
vi) Wheatley Neighbourhood Police Team –August newsletter*
vii) Oxfordshire playing Fields Association Summer Newsletter*
viii) Letter from Church Road resident re condition of north side pavement –Agreed that the clerk reply to the resident.
ix) The Oxfordshire University Trust Hospitals TORCH magazine*
x) SODC – Modifications of Core Strategy following May & June Examination in Public*
xi) CPRE – ‘Countryside Voice’ – Summer 2012*
xii) Clerks and Councils Direct – July 2012 issue*
* On display in Parish Office
33. DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 17th September 2012 – noted – it was agreed that the meeting convenes at Cullum Road Recreation Ground
The meeting closed at 9.10pm