WHEATLEY PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 4th JANUARY 2016 IN THE MERRY BELLS HALL AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors: G Stephens (Chairman), J Carr, R Bell, P Hood, A Walkey,
P Willmott, P Gregory, P Bignell, R Reilly, I Roberts and T Newman
OFFICERS: Gareth Morris, Clerk to the Parish Council
Also present: County Councillor Anne Purse,
103. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE had been received from Cllrs Birks, A. Davies, T Davies and Coleridge
104. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – The Chairman declared that he was a Trustee of the Playing Field Trust
105. MINUTES of the extra ordinary meeting of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th December 2015 which have been circulated with the Agenda were signed as a correct and accurate record
106. UPDATE from the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 2nd November 2015
i) Minute 61(i) Request from VPA to plant a cherry tree in the Church Road Recreation Ground rather than the Memorial Gardens. Following a site visit the Chairman of F&GP and the clerk felt the best location would be at the northern end of the recreation ground, under the cliff, to the west of the youth shelter.
107. UPDATE from the minutes of the extra ordinary meeting of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 9th December 2015
The Clerk reported that he had asked our solicitor to write to OCC that the Parish Council wished to withdraw the application. However first of all a request for an adjournment had to be made and agreed by all the parties. This had been done. Since then nothing more had been heard either about the Application or the Memorandum of Association.
The Chairman said he would write a piece for the newsletter, however having spoken to Mrs Wickens (Community Governor) and with permission of the Parish Council, he intended that a joint statement would be put in the newsletter. He read a preliminary statement. The Parish Council had no objection to its content
108. THE MINUTES of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on the dates below were received:
i) Wednesday 11th November 2105 which had been circulated previously
ii) Wednesday 9th December 2015 which had been circulated previously
109. THE MINUTES of the meetings of the F&GP Committee held on the dates below were received:
i) Monday 16th November 2015 which had been circulated previously
ii) Monday 21st December 2015 which had been tabled
Minute 99(iv) – Cllr Bell raised the possibility of organising a litter pick. To be put on the F&GP Agenda
Minute 89(ii) Vehicle Activated Signs – the officer had now replied that “I have forwarded your email below to him and will be in contact as soon as I have a reply”. Await further correspondence.
110. TO APPROVE A REVISED BUDGET FOR 2015-16 AND THE 2016-17 BUDGET
i) To resolve to approve the Parish Council revised budget for 2015-2016 as recommended by F&GP committee on 21st December 2015. ii) To resolve to approve the Parish Council budget and precept for 2016-2017 as recommended by F&GP committee on 21st December 2015.
ii) The F&GP recommends that the precept is raised by £1,500 to cover the
shortfall in income from the County Council
The last F&GP Committee went through each expenditure item and had added £2,000 for the cost of maintaining the part of the field at Littleworth that the Parish Council would be responsible for.
As far as income was concerned it was felt that the income for cutting the verges from the County Council was likely to be lost. Therefore the precept should be increased by £1,500 in order to cover this. The money lost from SODC on the Council tax reduction scheme should be made up from using SODC’s grant scheme more effectively
Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded the two resolutions above. These were AGREED unanimously
111. TO REPORT PROGRESS ON HOUSING FOR THE EXCEPTION SITE NORTH OF LONDON ROAD
SODC had informed the Parish of a couple of ‘non material’ amendments requested by Taylor Wimpey which they (SODC) had no objections to. An extension of time to end of January had been requested by Taylor Wimpey in order to complete the Section 106 details and to allow time to submit further information in response to pre-commencement conditions placed on the application
The Parish Council had received correspondence from Webb PR, working for Taylor Wimpey. They “would very much like to issue a press release about the success of this application and as a great example of Taylor Wimpey’s engagement with the local community”, with input from the parish Council. They would also like “to put together a case study about this development, for use on the Taylor Wimpey website and, again, we will be happy to share this with you for approval prior to it being put online”. Finally they mentioned “the possibility of organising a sod cutting ceremony in the new year and when the section 106 agreement has been signed by all parties. This would involve both representatives from Taylor Wimpey and the parish council, along with any other organisations that you may think it appropriate to attend, taking part in a photoshoot on site to make the cutting of the first sod.”
It was felt that the Parish Council would like to see any press release first and then decide whether to give a quote or issue its own release
The Parish Council had also received a communication from SODC suggesting that the development should have two road names and two had been suggested
by Taylor Wimpey (Windsor drive and Merton Close). As the council did not like either of the two names suggested by Taylor Wimpey.
Cllr Bell proposed and Cllr Newman seconded that there should just be one road name. This was AGREED unanimously. It was further AGREED that as this matter should go to the next Planning meeting.
8.24pm The Chairman declared the Council out of session
County Councillor Anne Purse – The County Council had been hit with a further
£20m need for cuts. The Cabinet had written to the Government objecting to this
She felt that a reprieve for the abolition of subsidies for bus services and the closure of the Children’s Centres was unlikely
District Councillor Toby Newman – tabled a report on what was happening at SODC. One extra item was that at the December meeting the council had decided to adopt the Armed Services Covenant.
8.41pm The Chairman declared the Council back in session
112. TO APPROVE THE ADDITIONAL PARAGRAPHS TO THE PARISH COUNCIL’S FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AS RECOMMENDED BY THE F&GP COMMITTEE ON 21ST DECEMBER 2015
The clerk explained that the financial regulations had changed to allow Parish Councils to use electronic/internet banking plus the fact that the Barclays Bank in the village had closed meant it was opportune for the Parish Council to take advantage of internet banking for the transfer of funds, setting up direct debits etc. The Council should be satisfied, however that there were controls in place to counter the possibility of fraud etc.
The F&GP committee recommends that section 6 of the council’s Financial Regulations is change in line with those recommended by the National Association of Local Councils.
Cllr Gregory proposed and Cllr Bell seconded the recommendation made by the Finance and General Purposes Committee. This was AGREED unanimously.
113. TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE FROM CHAIRMAN ON THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN APPLICATION
The Chairman of the Council reported that there had been two meetings of volunteers each attended by 20+ people. 18 people had put themselves forward for the steering group and there was to be a meeting on 19th January at Holton Village Hall in order to elect a Chairman.
SODC would be putting the area contained by the Neighbourhood Plan (the whole of Wheatley and the area of the Brookes University campus in in Holton) up for consultation between 11th January 2016 to 22nd February 2016.
The Clerk asked that the steering group be told that all orders had to come through the Parish Office and all invoices to come to the Parish Office for payment
114. TO CONSIDER THE USE OF THE MAPLE TREE CHILDREN’S CENTRE IN THE EVENT OF ITS CLOSURE
Following a discussion on the matter it was AGREED to keep the item on the Agenda but omit the words “in the event of its closure
115. TO CONSIDER MATTERS RELATING TO THE WHEATLEY PLAYING FIELD TRUST
A report from Cllr Willmott had been tabled and circulated to all councillors via e-mail earlier in the day.
There was a concern over the condition of playing surfaces and the Trust had signed up to a scheme run by Twickenham whereby advice could be obtained.
The lower pavilion had been pressure cleaned inside and out. In regards to the lease from the Parish Council to the Trust the Clerk had contacted a solicitor to act for the Parish Council and would chase him up.
The clerk undertook to circulate to all councillors the information sent to the solicitor on a proposed lease and Joint User Agreement.
116. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM CLLR GREGORY ON THE TOWN AND PARISH FORUM HELD ON 4th NOVEMBER 2015
Cllr Gregory’s report had been circulated with the Agenda. He drew the
Council’s attention to the fact that there was money available for items that the
Parish Council may wish to bid for. The first period for grant application would
be 1st February to 1st April
Cllr Newman said that SODC had just completed a review and there was a whole new procedure for applying for grants which simplified the process.
117. TO DISCUSS THE BETTER RECORDING AND SUBSEQUENT FOLLOW-UP OF ACTION ITEMS
The Chairman had requested this item to be put on the Agenda. He suggested a spreadsheet separate from the minutes which recorded the action, the date it was created and the date it should be completed etc. He had designed such a document in ‘Google documents’. Cllr Hood proposed and Cllr Gregory seconded that this ‘Action Tracker’ system be adopted. This was Agreed.
118. REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE BODIES
i) The Merry Bells Management Committee – nothing new to report
ii) The Howe Trust – nothing new to report
iii) Thames Valley Police – An update for December had been tabled
iv) Wheatley Windmill Preservation Society – the first group visit to the mill had taken place on New Year’s Day
v) Flood Group meeting – New pumps for the London Road pumping station had been installed. Negotiations were still continuing with Shotover Estate for a location for a holding pond
vi) Neighbourhood Action Group – No report
9.47pm – Cllr Newman proposed and Cllr Willmott seconded that Standing Orders be suspended for 15 minutes in order to finish the Agenda. This was AGREED
119. CALENDAR OF MEETINGS – NOTED
i) Planning Committee – Wednesday 13th January 2016 – 7.30pm
ii) F&GP Committee – Monday 18th January 2016 – 7.30pm
iii) Planning Committee – Wednesday 10th February 2016 – 7.30pm
iv) F&GP Committee – Monday 15th February 2016
v) Parish Council Meeting – Monday 7th March 2016 – 7.30 pm
120. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
• The clerk read out a letter from Cllr Birks saying that, having moved from the area, she was resigning from the Parish Council after 20 years’ service. He reported that the Chairman had written to Cllr Birks accepting her resignation, reluctantly, and wish her all the best for the future. The clerk would set the process for the election of a new councillor in motion the following day.
It was agreed that a letter be sent to Mrs Birks on behalf of the Parish Council thanking her for all her hard work for the council over a long period.
The meeting closed at 9.53pm