Wheatley Parish Council
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 20th JULY 2015 IN THE MERRY BELLS HALL AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors P Gregory (Chairman) A Davies, T Davies, P Hood, R J Reilly,
P Willmott, J Carr, G Stephens and T Newman.
OFFICER: THE CLERK: Gareth Morris
Also present: Nine members of the public
17. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – None
18. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
19. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD 15th June 2015, which had been circulated previously, were signed as a correct and accurate record with the following amendment:
Minute 16 –Second paragraph, second line replace ‘Primary School’ with
20. UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM THE MINUTES 15th June 2015
i) Minute 114(iii) – Handrails at entrance of Memorial Gardens These had now been installed.
21. TO CONSIDER OALC TRAINING COURSES
i) Role and Responsibilities – Tuesday 8th September – Didcot Civic Hall -10.00am to 3.00pm – £65 – 3 places booked – Cllrs Hood, Gregory & T Davies to attend £234 – noted
ii) Chairmanship – Wednesday 2nd September – Didcot Civic Hall 10.00am to 3.00pm – £65 – Cllr Stephens to attend – booked – £78 – noted
iii) Getting to Grips with Finance – Wednesday 30th September – Didcot Civic Hall- 10.00pm to 3.00pm – Asst Clerk Annette Richards to attend – booked – £78 – noted
iv) SLCC Regional Roadshow – Kettering – £69 – for the clerk – Agreed
22. TO CONSIDER VARIOUS TRAFFIC MATTERS IN THE VILLAGE
i) Vehicle Activated signs
Cllrs Hood and A Davies had made enquiries from private companies about
vehicle activated signs and would pass their information to the clerk. It was
Agreed that the Chairman of F&GP and the Clerk should investigate the
possibilities with a view making a decision to report to the next council meeting.
The clerks of Garsington and Tiddington to be contacted for information re their
ii) OCC consultation on extra double yellow lines along Church Road
The Clerk explained that there had been many suggestions over the years for trying to alleviate the traffic congestion along Church Road. The current OCC Consultation on three extra lengths of double yellow lines along the south side of Church Road between Friday Lane and Holloway Road arose from a meeting between Parish Councillors, Mark Frances (OCC Highways) and a representative from the Arriva Bus Company (Oxford Bus Company did not send a representative). The OCC Engineer suggested that a low impact, low cost solution
would be to put three short lengths of double yellow lines along the south side of Church Road to allow vehicles, especially buses, to pull in to allow vehicles travelling east to pass without having to mount the pavement on the north side. The Arriva Bus Company Representative thought this would be a solution to the
problem. It was suggested that before the Parish Council requested these extra
lines, on which OCC would consult, they (the Parish Council) undertake their own
informal consultation of residents along this stretch of London Road.
The Clerk wrote to 15 residences outlining the scheme with a plan and received 4 replies, only one of which was an out and out objection. These responses having been reported.to the Parish Council were sent to OCC Highways with the request that the extra yellow lines be installed if they (OCC) felt that the formal consultation stood a chance being favourable.
He reminded the meeting that one of the three stretches of extra lines would be in front of the Merry Bells car park entrance and would not remove any parking.
The Chairman said that at the moment we were in a period of consultation and that the Parish Council would just have to wait for the outcome.
23. TO CONSIDER THE CONDITION OF THE TREES WITHIN THE VILLAGE AND WHAT ACTIONS ARE NECESSARY
The clerk reported that the Area Steward (OCC Highways) had said that the Parish Council did not have any powers in relation trees/hedges in private ownership but that OCC did.
The clerk had reported, either directly to an OCC Inspector or via the Fix my street’
Website, a number of locations:.
• 1 Crown Road – a notice had been posted that the hedge was being taken down and replaced by a fence.
• Hedge at the northern junction between Howe Close and Ladder Hill
• The overgrown area on Holloway Road above the bottom exit from Morland House Surgery. The clerk understood that OCC Highways had said that there was no safety hazard her. However Cllr Carr had received a letter of concern from a Health Visitor and this had been passed on to OCC Highways.
• Pedestrians using the extremely narrow and uneven pavement over the bridge over the River Thame were being impeded by overhanging foliage.
• Parking in the village should be looked at in a holistic way rather than in a piecemeal manner
The clerk was about to put out to tender work on the trees in the following areas:
The horse Chestnut in St Mary’s Close; the Horse Chestnut on Littleworth Green and the tree along the Farm Close Road footpath
24. TO CONSIDER THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PARISH COUNCIL AND THE POLICE
The Chairman began by giving a synopsis of the Thames Valley Police organisation for the area.
This item had resulted from the bad feeling caused by the ticketing of motorists along the double yellow lines outside the United Reformed Church. Following the reopening of Friday Lane there had been complaints from some lorry drivers that they couldn’t complete their 450 degree circle to turn up Friday Lane. The police had also begun to issue tickets for those over staying the two hour parking along the High Street.
8.36pm The Chairman asked for comments from the public present.
Some of the comments made were as follows:
• It was already difficult to park in the village and removing more parking spaces would just add to the problem. Businesses, their employees and their clients were inconvenienced by not being able to park near their premises.
• Some had been surprised by the consultation on the extra double yellow lines and that the Parish Council’s consultation and not been extensive enough.
• The ‘old practice’ of not ticketing worked well and why couldn’t that continue?
• There was a question re weight restrictions in the village.
• The effect on hearses and wedding cars in front of the church was queried.
• When asked directly by the Chairman whether or not they were in favour of parking enforcement a number answered ‘No’
8.55pm – the Chairman declared the Committee back in session
In answer to the ‘weight restriction’ in the village the answer was that, yes, it was in existence, but the clerk had been told by OCC Trading Standards that they did not have enough staffing to come out to the village. Also it was likely that a number of ‘over weight’ lorries were legitimately travelling through the village.
The Chairman replied to the question on hearses and wedding cars, that there could be liaison with the PCSOs for traffic control.
Some councillors felt that they should have been informed that the Police had been asked to ‘increase’ their clampdown on illegally parked vehicles by the Parish Council. Others said that the Parish Council did not have the power to demand that police take action on any matter and that the police could be trusted to use their own initiative.
The Chairman brought the discussion to an end.
25. REPAIRS TO CULLUM ROAD RECREATION GROUND
i) Repair to wooden support of nest swing £635.00 – Agreed
ii) Bark surfacing – 430 bags of 70 litres – £2,708.00 – Agreed
iii) Installation of bark surfacing – £1,862.00 – It was Agreed that councillors themselves would undertake the installation
26. GRANTS, LICENCES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
i) CPRE 2015 Subscription – £36 – Agreed
ii) Grant to St Mary’s – Maintenance of graveyard – Section 214(6) LGA 1972
£500 – Agreed
27 CLERK UPDATE
i) Update of Information Booklet – the updated edition was now being distributed around the village by councillors
ii) Garden waste bin for the Parish Council – payment authorised this meeting
iii) Defibrillator training – Sat 18th July – this had been very well received by the participants
iv) VPA Request to plant a cherry tree in the Memorial Gardens. – following the granting of permission by the Parish Council the clerk had contacted the Diocese who had said a Faculty would be needed. He had forwarded the form to the VPA for details of the tree. He would then send that on to the Parochial Church Council at St Mary’s for their permission and then it would be sent to the Diocese in order for a Faculty to be granted.
v) Bench for Ambrose Rise bus stop – it was hoped that this would be installed towards the end of August
28. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
a) Budget to the end of June 2015 had been circulated and noted
A completed copy of reconciled bank statement was signed by the by Chairman & RFO
After the cheques below have been paid the balances on the council’s accounts as at 20th July 2015 will be as follows:
29. SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS TO BE AUTHORISED
Cheque no. Payee Payment details Amount
106196-201 GM/SW/JF/OCC/AR/HMR&C June sals/wages/pen/PAYE/NICs 4,068.21
d/d Barclays Bank Bank charges and interest 185.47
Cheques to Pay
106202 Green Scythe Recs May cuts X2 466.34
106203 Arrow Accounting Internal Audit 2014/2015 607.04
106204 Claire Logic ESET Smart Security 3 years 67.90
106206 Kingdom Signs Feather Flag 195.60
106207 Berinsfield Community Business Verges cut June 608.33
106208 Parchments of Oxford Information booklet 797.18
106209 Taylors Services Handrails at Memorial Gardens 1,320.00
106210 Thames Water Memorial Gardens 6.35
106211 R Bell Travel SODC Planning Committee 19.96
106212 Vale of White Horse Garden Waste Bin 33.30
106213 Merry Bells Management C’ttee Office rental – 25.06.15-24.09.15 1,133.02
106213 Merry Bells Management C’ttee Hall Hire April-July 2015 117.00
106214 Southern Electric Electricity 14.04-15-06.07-15 68.74
106217 Green Scythe Recs June cut x 2 466.34
106219 Irwin Mitchell Legal Fees – Village Green Application 360.00
106220 Swift Digital Photo copies May- Jun 2015 22.18
GM/SW/JF/AR/OCC//HMR&C July sal/wages/pen/PAYE/NICs 4,000.00
INCOME RECEIVED SINCE LAST MEETING
Income details Amount
Tracker Interest 18.07
Newsletter Advertising 3,770.00
30. PUBLICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED – noted
i) The Haseleys – June 2015*
ii) Little Milton Newsletter –July 2015*
iii) Great Milton Bulletin – July2015*
iv) URC Newsletter – June 2015*
v) Local Council Review (LCR) Summer 2015*
vi) Shotover Preservation Society 2015 Summer Newsletter
vii) Letter from resident re cycle event
A resident had first of all visited the office and had then written with safety concerns about a cycle event through the village held one Saturday. She felt that the Parish Council should have been informed and they in turn should have informed the residents. The clerk had told her that he had not been informed but if she sent him the telephone number on the signs that had been posted he would contact the organisers and report the matter to the Parish Council.
Cllr Newman said that he had also been contacted by the resident and had learnt from the organisers that they had informed OCC Highways and the Police. They had also positioned marshals at road junctions to ensure safety.
The committee was satisfied with Cllr Newman’s summary. The clerk would reply to the resident.
* On display in Parish Office
31. DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 21st September 2015 – noted
32. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
• Cllr Stephens – the Ramblers Association had set up a scheme called ‘The Big Path Watch’ whereby the public are encouraged to walk the footpaths and report what they find. He had joined the scheme and he encouraged fellow councillors to do the same
• Cllr Newman – the Shotover Preservation Society’s AGM was taking place at the Horspath Hub the following evening (21st July)
• Cllr Hood – reported a conversation with Mr Bendor-Samuel (Primary School Governor) where he had said the Primary School would fight the Village Green application.
• Cllr Willmott – The first meeting of the Playing Field Trust would take place on 22nd July 2015.
A new agreement with Wheatley Park School was close to being finalized.
The playing fields would be handed over to the Parish Council on 31st August 2015 and then they would have to be handed over to the Trust.
As the Trust, when it starts in September, would have no funds a request would have to be made for a loan from the Parish Council.
The meeting closed at 9.36pm