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Minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee 15th February 2016

Wheatley Parish Council
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 15th FEBRUARY 2016 IN THE MERRY BELLS COFFEE ROOM AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors: P Gregory (Chairman), G Stephens, J Carr, P Hood, P Willmott (until 8.10pm), R Reilly, T Davies & A Davies

OFFICER: THE CLERK: Gareth Morris

Also present; County Councillor Anne Purse & 2 members of the public

116. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE been received from Cllr Newman

117. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Cllrs Stephens & Cllr Willmott for item 5 as they were both members of the Playing Field Trust

118. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD 18th JANUARY2016 – which had been circulated previously were signed as a correct and accurate record

119. UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM THE MINUTES 18TH JANUARY 2016
i) Minute101(i) – VPA Cherry tree in the Church Road Recreation Ground
The clerk had contacted Aaron Savage of VPA and asked him to contact the office but he hadn’t as yet
ii) Minute 101(ii) – Vehicle Activated Signs –The Chairman and the Clerk had written to County Councillor David Nimmo Smith, Cabinet member for Environment, on 4th, outlining the Parish Council’s grievance with the County Council over the delay in getting the paperwork out to the Parish Council so the signs could be installed. A reply had been received that day which said the letter had been forwarded to the relevant officers and (they) would respond in full as soon as possible. The committee expressed its disappointment at the delay by the County Council.
County Cllr Anne Purse, at her Saturday Surgery had been asked to take up the matter which she would do when she attended the County Council on Tuesday.
iii) Minute 101(iv) – Littleworth Allotments – the Chairman of the Committee and the clerk had held a site meeting with a number of allotment holders the previous Friday. This had proved very useful in hopefully allying fears of the allotment holders of the parish Council’s intention of keeping the land for allotments and in finding out from the allotment holders the which land they owned and which land the Parish Council owned.
iv) Minute 115 – 3rd bullet point – bus subsidies. Cllr Tim Davies, the Parish Council’s Public Transport representative, had hosted an extremely successful public meeting for residents from a number of parishes which had been attended by a representative of Heyfordian Buses who have devised a new timetable to replace the 103/104.

120. TO RECOMMEND TO FULL COUNCIL LEASE AND GRANT AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE PARISH COUNCIL AND THE WHEATLEY PLAYING FIELD TRUST

The chairman reminded the committee that at its last meeting Cllrs Newman, Gregory and Carr and the clerk had been tasked with dealing with the lease and solicitors. They had met on three occasions and had had one meeting with the solicitors at their offices.
This had resulted in the lease that was now before the committee for recommendation to full council. When the clerk circulated the lease, councillors were asked to submit questions before this meeting so answers could be ascertained. Only Cllr Bell had done so. The address given in the lease was the address.of the Councillor who filled in the application form for the Charities Commissioners. The official address was in fact the Parish Office.
Was it sensible to have the postal address of the trust at the pavilions, the same address could be used as in the first instance. What about the ability of the Rugby Club to be able to apply for grants. The Rugby Club could be granted a separate lease covering the land they occupy. Who seeks planning permission? The Trust or the freeholder? Either could, but the solicitor suggested it should be the body gaining the most, in this case, the Trust.

The Chairman said that our solicitors had asked for the names of the Trust’s solicitors.

Cllr T Davies had a number of question; the first was reinstatement and the second was on the tenant using the land as collateral for a loan and the third was on the review of the rent. The Chairman asked Cllr T Davies if he could put these questions in writing to the clerk. This he said he would do.

Cllr Willmott said that the Trust could not operate under the lease in its current form, it was totally in appropriate, a management committee might as well be used. If the terms are not suitable for the Trust then the Trust will dissolve. If a lease was not in place by Easter, when the Trust had to produce their accounts then the Trust would dissolve. Cllr Willmott went on to say that the Parish Council had not accepted its ownership or responsibility for the playing fields since September 2015. He said that there was a fire risk, Legionnaires Disease, complete disregard for social inclusion as there is no disabled access to the buildings.

8.10pm Cllr Willmott left the meeting
Cllr Davies proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that a break clause in the lease be 40 years. There vote was tied with 3 votes in favour and 3 votes against with 1 abstention. The Chairman used his casting vote against the proposal (Standing Order 58). The motion thus Failed.

Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr Hood seconded that the council undertakes a Health and Safety repot on the buildings at the sports field. This was Agreed by 6 votes in favour with 1 abstention

Cllr Hood proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that the committee was not in a position to recommend the lease to full council. This was Agreed with 6 votes in favour and 1 abstention

The Chairman asked if the committee was happy if the 4 people (Cllrs Gregory, Carr and Newman and the clerk) who had been dealing with the lease and the solicitors continue to act on behalf of the Parish Council. This was agreed.

Cllr T Davis proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that the Trust is written to expressing regret that the committee was not in a position to recommend the lease to full council and that the Trust is asked for their Heads of Terms. This was Agreed by 6 votes in favour and 1 abstention.

121. TO CONSIDER THE NUMBER OF ADVERTISING SIGNS IN THE VILLAGE
It was suggested that a standard letter be prepared in the Parish Office which could be sent as a matter of course to the offending Estate Agent or business.

122. TO CONSIDER THE CONDITION OF THE TREES WITHIN THE VILLAGE AND WHAT ACTIONS ARE NECESSARY
Land at the eastern corner of St Mary’s Close and London Road. It was Agreed to ask Kavan Ring (Buryhook) to attend to the trees and vegetation.

123. TO CONSIDER SUPPORT FOR THE MAPLE TREE CHILDREN’S CENTRE
The County Council was to decide the budget the next day.

124. GRANTS, LICENCES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS – None

125. CONSIDER THE REPORTS ON THE PARISH COUNCILLORS’ WALKS
AROUND THE VILLAGE
The footpath alongside the Ambrose Rise stream had been strummed and tidied up
Footpath at the back of Barlow’s Close – a quote for the removal of the vegetation etc. had been received from Green Scythe for £1,398.00 (ex VAT)
Cllr Stephens proposed and Cllr Hood seconded that the Parish Council goes ahead with work. The was Agreed unanimously

Cllr Stephens proposed and Cllr Hood seconded the Parish Council pursues a claim for the ownership of the land. This was Agreed unanimously

126. TO CONSIDER THE REQUEST FROM THE NEIGHBOURHOOD ACTION GROUP FOR A JOINT PARISH COUNCIL/THAMES VALLEY POLICE ACTION DAY
It was Agreed to invite Inspector Harling (TVP) to the Parish Council meeting on
Monday 7th March

127. CLERK UPDATE
i) Repair to Nest Swing, Church Road Recreation Ground – repairs had been completed the previous Friday.
ii) Litter Pick – “Clean for the Queen”
There had been a request from Mr Kevin Heritage at Wheatley Park School was that could a group of pupils do a ‘clean up’ of the council’s recreation areas on Friday 4th March.
iii) HM Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, HM the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Celebrations in June 2016.
Cllr T Davies was hosting a meeting of interested parties on the next Wednesday.
iv) Request from Fusion Youth and Community to use Church Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 23rd April for their St George’s Day Funday – GRANTED
v) Request for Wheatley May Day Committee to us Church Road Recreation for the Maypole Celebrations on Monday 2nd May 2016 – GRANTED
vi) Request for grants from SODC – noticeboards, benches, cycle sheds (Merry Bells) – It was felt that the Merry Bells should make their own application.

128. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
a) Budget to the end of January 2016 had been circulated with the Agenda
Signing of A completed copy of reconciled bank statement was signed by the Chairman & RFO
b) Balances
After the cheques below have been paid the balances on the council’s accounts as at 15th February will be as follows:
Community £3,680.09
Tracker £98,461.78
Treasury £60,887.99

129. SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS AUTHORISED

Cheque no. Payee Payment details Amount
Cheques paid
106396-402 GM/SW/JF/OCC/AR/HMR&C Jan sals/wages/pen/PAYE/NIC 4,332.21
106421 Arbor – Tree Specialists St Marys/L’worth Green/FCR path 1,480.00
106423 Holton Village Hall Neighbourhood Plan meeting 36.25
d/d Barclays Bank Charges 14/12/15-12/01/16 23.13
Total £5,871.59
Cheques to Pay
106422 Annette Richards Feb/Mar newsletter 680.00
106424 Buryhook (Kavan Ring) Xmas tree/willows Kelly’s Rd. 876.00
106425 Swift Digital services photocopies 50.09
106426 Parchment Printers Feb/Mar newsletter 1,871.30
106427 Mainstream Digital Telephone calls 4/1/16-28/1/16 1.79
106428 J Carr Postal surcharge 1.50
106429 The Post Office Stamps 350.00
106430 Green Scythe Ltd Ambrose Rise Footpath 333.60
106431 Berinsfield Community Business Verges January payment 608.33
S/O Wheatley Playing Field Trust Monthly standing order 833.33
GM/SW/JF/AR/OCC//HMR&C Feb sals/wages/pen/PAYE/NICs 4,000.00
Total £8,314.01

INCOME RECEIVED SINCE LAST MEETING

Income details Amount
Treasury Bill Interest 37.21
Newsletter Advertising 100.00
WPFT Feb repayments of loan 500.00
Total £637.21
130. PUBLICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED AND NOTED
i) The Haseleys February 2016*
ii) Little Milton Newsletter – February 2016*
iii) Great Milton Bulletin – January/February 2016*
iv) URC Newsletter – January 2016*
v) Holton, Waterperry & Waterstock News – January 2016*
vi) Tiddington with Albury and Milton Common – February/March 2016*
vii) TVP Neighbourhood Team – Wheatley/Chalgrove January 2016 Newsletter*

* On display in Parish Office

131. DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 21st March 2016 – noted

132. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION – None

The meeting closed 8.42pm