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Finance & General Purposes Committee 21st September 2015

Wheatley Parish Council

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2015 IN THE MERRY BELLS COFFEE ROOM AT 7.30PM

PRESENT: Councillors P Gregory (Chairman) A Davies, G Birks (until 9.55pm), T Davies, P Hood, R J Reilly, P Willmott, G Stephens and T Newman.

OFFICER: THE CLERK: Gareth Morris

33. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE had been received from Cllr Carr

34. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
• Cllrs Stephens and Gregory declared an interest in item 21 (Tender for tree work) because they had used one of the contractors who had tendered
• Cllr Willmott declared an interest in item 8 as he knew the resident in question

35. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD 20th July 2015 which had been
circulated previously were signed as a correct and accurate record after the
following amendments had been made:
Minute 24 (page 11) 5th line – Change ‘Lanes’ to ‘Lane’
Minute 24 (page12) – add further bullet point – “Parking in the village should be looked at in a holistic way rather than in a piecemeal manner”
Minute 25(ii) – delete ‘70 litres’ replace with ‘430 bags of 70 litres’ each

36. UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM THE MINUTES 20th July 2015
i) Minute 25 – Repairs to Cullum Road Recreation ground –The nest swing leg had been replaced. The bags of bark for the safety surfaces had been spread by a team of councillors, residents and children
Ii) Minute 27(iv) – VPA Cherry tree in the Memorial Gardens – A reply was awaited from the VPA
iii) Minute 27 (v) Bench for Ambrose Rise bus stop – This had now been installed and was appreciated by residents.

37. TO CONSIDER OALC TRAINING COURSES
i) Planning – 3rd November – £35 -3 people have expressed an interest in attending
NOTED & AGREED

38. TO CONSIDER VARIOUS TRAFFIC MATTERS IN THE VILLAGE
i) Vehicle Activated signs
The Chairman spoke to his paper on the cost of Vehicle Activated Signs, which had been circulated with the Agenda. Following a discussion on the merits or otherwise of going with the OCC solar powered signs with the 30 year commuted sum for maintenance and installation which was far the most expensive option Cllr Newman proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that the parish Council purchase 4 solar powered signs from MD Message Maker at £2,685, £10,740.00 in total (plus VAT and installation)
This was AGREED unanimously.

39. TO CONSIDER THE CONDITION OF THE TREES WITHIN THE VILLAGE AND WHAT ACTIONS ARE NECESSARY
• Cllr Stephens reported a large branch had fallen from the plane tree on Littleworth Road
• The hedge at 1 Crown Road had been cut back but still posed an obstruction to those on the pavement – clerk to report
• Footpath between Orchard Close and Crown Road – tree overhanging clerk to report
• Holloway Road (between gate to surgery and scout hut. The upper part of Holloway Road had been cut back the lower part still needed to be done. Clerk to report.
• Hedge at junction of Howe Close and ladder Hill. Clerk to re-report.

40. TO CONSIDER THE REQUEST FROM A RESIDENT OF LITTLEWORTH TO PURCHASE A PORTION OF THE LITTLEWORTH ALLOTMENT LAND
As the provision of allotments was one duty of a Parish Council disposal of such land would be difficult and controversial. There the committee was not prepared
agree to the resident’s request. They had no objection to the resident erecting a 6ft on their property

41. TO BEGIN THE BUDGET PROCESS FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2016-2017
The Clerk reminded the committee that the budget process for 2016-2017 would begin at the next meeting with the intention of recommending the budget and precept at the January 2017 Council meeting

42. TO REVIEW THE CHARGES MADE BY WHEATLEY PARISH COUNCIL FOR SERVICES PROVIDED

• Allotments – charges raised in September 2012 from £6.00 to £10 per plot. Recommend – No Change – AGREED
• Advertisements in Wheatley Newsletter – these charges had only recently increased in January 2011 – Recommend No change for the moment unless 4 pages of colour are agreed – AGREED that this would be looked at further
• Charges for information.- Recommend to keep the existing charges 5p/10p per sheet photocopying – AGREED
• Newsletter subscription – has been £6.00 per annum (6 copies) for a number of years. Printing cost is 89p per newsletter and postage (2nd class) is £1.19 = £12.48 for 6 copies. Recommend £12.50 per annum.
AGREED

43. GRANTS, LICENCES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
i) South and Vale Carers – £200 in 2014-15 – deferred until next meeting
ii) International Tree Foundation – 2015/16 subscription – £50 – AGREED
iii) Wheatley Park School prize giving – £250 in 2014-15 – AGREED
iv) Sue Ryder Nettlebed Hospice – £50 in 2014/15 – deferred until next meeting

44. TO CONSIDER THE REPORTS ON THE PARISH COUNCILLORS’ WALKS AROUND THE VILLAGE
The reports on the two walks had been circulated to all councillors.
The outside workers would be asked to sweep the ally between High Street and Farm Close Road and to strim along the footpath to Kelham Hall Drive and Ladder Hill. The exposed cable mentioned had been reported via the OCC web site,’Fix-My Street’. The trees along the footpath to Station Road were subject to the Tenders to be discussed under item 21. The clerk had contacted both the resident and Shortlift Limited re the trees alongside the footpath to Farm Close Lane.
The clerk would contact Green Scythe re work on the banks of the Ambrose Rise ditch
The Parish Council might consider adopting the path from Cooper’s Close to Littleworth Road
Consideration should be given to better footpath signs.
Cllr Gregory was willing to inspect the allotments.
It was suggested that signs be erected on the Parish Council’s allotment land to prevent against ‘adverse possession’.
The committee thanked Cllr Bell for organising the walks which had been extremely informative and useful

45. TO CONSIDER THE SAFETY REPORT ON THE PLAY EQUIPMENT IN THE RECREATION GROUNDS CARRIED OUT BY ZURICH ENGINEERING LTD
The clerk took the committee through the process of playground inspection. An outdoor worker checked the recreation areas each week for defects etc and each inspection was noted in a log book. Every month or so these log books are checked and signed by the clerk and defects chased up. Every year, in September, the areas are inspected by a specialist, in Wheatley’s case this is Zurich Insurance. This September’s inspection had resulted in no major safety defects but had highlighted issues with the hinges on the gates in Church Road Recreation ground and the possibility of entrapment. Cllrs Gregory and Hood would investigate.

46. CLERK UPDATE
i) Garden waste bin for the Parish Council – was now kept in the Memorial Gardens
ii) VPA Request to plant a cherry tree in the Memorial Gardens.- see minute 36(ii)
iii) Bench for Ambrose Rise bus stop – see minute 36(iii)
iv) Village Christmas tree – Agreed to purchase as in previous years
v) Report on SLCC ‘Roadshow’ in Kettering – the clerk gave a verbal report. One area that needed to be checked was to make sure that the details of Parish Council land registered at the Land Registry was correct eg the Parish Council’s address

47. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
a) Budget to the end of August 2015 was discussed
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 21st September 2015 will be as follows:
Community £570.65
Tracker £148,428.32
Treasury £60,774.98

48. SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS AUTHORISED

Cheque no. Payee Payment details Amount
Cheques paid
106241-41,43-47 GM/SW/JF/OCC/AR/HMR&C June/Aug sals/wages/ 8,178.51
d/d Siemens Financial Services Photocopier lease 426.33
d/d Barclays Bank Bank charges 13/7-12/8 43.12
106221 CPRE 2015/16 Subscription 36.00
106222 OALC Councillor Training 390.00
106223 St Mary the Virgin Parish Church Grant Aid for graveyard 500.00
106228 WPSFMC Balance for 20141/5 1,667.81
106229 BDO LLP External Audit fee 480.00
106230 Lyreco Paper and office supplies 37.49
106231 Gregorz Zasuwa Office window cleaning 5.00
106232 Parchment Printers Aug/Sept Newsletter 1,871.30
106233 Safe and Sound Playgrounds Wobble log repair 361.20
106234 Kingdom Signs Brackets for sign 18.41
106236 SLCC Roadshow in Kettering 85.80
106237 Berinsfield Community Business Verges and Farm Close Patio 674.33
106238 Broxap Ltd Seat for Ambrose Rise 808.80
106239 Annette Richards Aug/Sept Newsletter 680.00
106242 HMRC VAT Repayment 157.76
106243 Post Office Stamps 243.00
106249 Freeths LLP Advice on Playing Field trust 1,980.00
106250 Wheatley Playing Field Trust 10 month loan 5,000.00
Total £23,644.86
Cheques to Pay
106251 Thames Water Memorial Gardens June-Sept 4.88
106252 S Whittingham Cooper’s Close Repair of fence 54.00
106253 NALC Subscription to ‘LCR’ 17.00
106254 Green Scythe Ltd Recs cut July 233.17
106255 SODC Uncontested election charge 85.00
106256 R Taylor landscapes Fixing of seat at Ambrose Rise bs 360.00
106257 SLCC Ref. book 13.45
106258 Lyreco Uk Ltd Paper and office supplies 84.41
106259 Safe and Sound Playgrounds Bark and repair to nest swing 4,011.60
106260 Mainstream Digital Ltd Telephone calls 04/08 to 01/09 1.40
106261 Berinsfield Community Business Verges – August 608.33
GM/SW/JF/AR/OCC//HMR&C Sept sal/wages/pen/PAYE/NICs 4,300.00
Total £9,773.24

INCOME RECEIVED SINCE LAST MEETING

Income details Amount
Treasury Bill Interest 36.33
Photocopying 13.20
Newsletter Advertising 2,212.00
Newsletter payments 9.00
Allotments 30.00
2nd half precept 53,961.50
Total £55,562.26

49. PUBLICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED – NOTED
i) The Haseleys – September 2015*
ii) Little Milton Newsletters –August & September 2015*
iii) Great Milton Bulletin – August 2015*
iv) URC Newsletter – September 2015*
v) Local Council Review (LCR) Summer 2015*
vi) Tiddington with Albury and Milton Common Newsletter Aug/Sept 2015
vii) CPRE ‘Countryside Voice’ & ‘Field Work’ – Summer 2015
viii) Garsington August/September 2015 newsletter*
ix) Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association – AGM 2.00pm Thursday 15th
October 2015 Middle Barton
x) Request from resident to ‘brighten up’ the High Street in the summer
months The clerk read out an e-mail from a resident suggesting that the High Street could be brightened up with hanging baskets possibly sponsored by the Parish Council and/or businesses. Agreed that this be passed on to the Neighbourhood Plan working group to incorporate it in to their request for volunteers.
xI) Letter from resident requesting a zebra crossing across Church Road opposite the Roundhouse. Cllrs were in agreement that a crossing was needed at this point but accepted that the County Council should be responsible but had refused to fund crossings elsewhere in the village. It was pointed out that this was a route to school. It was AGREED that the Parish Council should ask the County Council to provide a crossing. It was also suggested that users of the playground and those with children at the secondary school get involved in the request. It was pointed out that there might be Traffic Regulations governing the siting of crossings in the vicinity of junctions

* On display in Parish Office
9.35pm – Cllr Newman proposed and Cllr Willmott seconded that Standing orders be suspended for 20 minutes – this was AGREED

50. DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 19th October 2015 – NOTED

51. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

• Cllr Birks – Informed the committee that the hearing into our Village Green application had been postponed until late January 2016. The council needed to decide a course of action. Following a discussion Cllr Willmott was asked to arrange a meeting with the Diocese and to circulate a copy of the lease between the County Council and the Diocese. The Clerk would contact our solicitor and ask for his opinion on and the cost of, our application in light of the two legal cases he had circulated.
Wednesday 14th October at 8.00pm, following the Planning Committee meeting, was pencilled in for an extra ordinary parish council meeting to decide the council’s next steps in light of the advice received and the meeting with the Diocese

9.55pm – Cllr Birks left the meeting
9.56pm – Cllr Newman proposed and Cllr Davies seconded that Standing Orders be suspended for a further 20 mins. This was AGREED

52. RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC
Cllr Reilly proposed and Cllr Newman seconded “that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph X of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, namely private contractual and employment matters”
This was AGREED

53. TO CONSIDER THE TENDERS RECEIVED FOR WORK ON THE TREES ALONG FARM CLOSE ROAD, ST MARY’S CLOSE AND LITTLEWORTH
GREEN.

The details of the 4 tenders had been circulated (as Tenders A, B, C and D)
After some discussion Cllr Hood proposed and Cllr Willmott seconded that Tender B for £1,480 be accepted. This was AGREED