WHEATLEY PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 2nd MARCH 2015 IN THE MERRY BELLS HALL AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors: D Lamont (Chairman), J Reilly, G Stephens, J Carr, R Bell
S Coleridge, C Dalton, A Knapp, R Old, P Willmott, G Birks, J Coveley and E Stacey
OFFICERS: Gareth Morris, Clerk to the Parish Council
Also present: Cty Cllr Anne Purse, Mr M Fenton (Taylor Wimpey), Mr S. Brown (Woolf Bond) and 20 members of the public
95. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE had been received from Cllrs Bailey and Davies
96. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Cllr Coleridge as a Governor of the John Watson School declared an interest in item 20 on the confidential agenda.
97. MINUTES of the meeting of the Meeting of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 5th January 2015 circulated previously with the removal of ‘R Old’ from those present and added to ‘Apologies’ and in Public Forum (page 3 ) in Mr Bettess’ report, second line, ‘Road’ be added after ‘London’.
98. UPDATE from the meeting held on Monday 5th January 2014
i) Minute 90 – the clerk had yet to contact Cllr Davies.
99 THE MINUTES of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on:
Wednesday 14th January 2015 which had been circulated previously were received
100. THE MINUTES of the meetings of the F&GP Committee held on Monday 19th January 2015 which had been circulated previously and on Monday 16th February 2015 which had been circulated with the Agenda were received
101. THE MINUTES of the meetings of the TRAC Committee held on 7th January 2015 which had been circulated previously and the meeting on 18th February 2015 which had been circulated with the Agenda were received
102. TO REPORT PROGRESS ON HOUSING FOR THE EXCEPTION SITE NORTH OF LONDON ROAD
Mr M Fenton from Taylor Wimpey and Mr S Brown from Woolf Bond gave a presentation on the 2 options for site north of London Road. There would be 50 units, 38 affordable and 12 private.
A public exhibition would be held in the Merry Bells on Friday 27th March and Saturday 28th March
8.52pm The Chairman declared the Council out of session and asked for questions from the public
Resident 1 – Would the gap in the wall made by Taylor Wimpey’s surveyors be repaired?. – A; Yes
Resident 2 –Will there be measurement of sound from A40 taken before and after the development is completed?. A; This could be a condition of planning permission
Resident 3 – Is London Road to be widened? A – No
Will local stone be used? – A – The exhibition will give examples of materials to be used.
Resident 4 – What will be the parking facilities? – A – At least 2 per dwelling.
Cllr Bell – said that the number of 3 & 4 bedroom units was excessive. Wheatley needed more 1 and 2 bed units.
8.18pm The Chairman declared the Council back in session
The Chairman thanked Mr Brown and Mr Fenton for their attendance and presentation and looked forward to the exhibition at the end of the month.
103. TO NOTE AND RESPOND TO SODC’S INVITATION TO CONTRIBUTE TO A STUDY OF THE GREEN BELT AROUND WHEATLEY
SODC had invited the Parish Council to send representatives to a ‘Green Belt Community Assessment Event’ held on 11th February. Cllrs Stephens and Bell attended. As a result the Parish Council was invited to contribute to a study of the Green Belt around Wheatley. Due to time constraints, deadline 26th March, a start had been made on the study, volunteers had been sought but more were needed.
The results will be measured against the criteria that green belt land has to fulfil which are given in the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012)(NPPF).
The explaining the reason behind going ahead with the study. A number of councillors expressed their concerns about participating in the study. They felt that the time scale was far too short and due process had not been followed.
Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr Birks seconded that “The Parish Council does not participate in this study”.
The motion was Agreed by 9 votes in favour to 2 against with 2 abstentions.
104. TO NOTE THAT SODC, THE Vale District Council and OCC have decided not to actively pursue the implementation of civil parking enforcement
The clerk read out a letter from SODC stating that SODC, the Vale and County Councils have decided not to actively pursue the implementation of civil parking enforcement. This was Noted
9.46pm – The Chairman declared the Council out of session and asked for contributions from the floor.
Cty Cllr Purse Green Belt – whilst it might be possible for authorities to ‘swap’ Green Belt areas it was not possible in Oxfordshire due to the Berks and Bucks boundaries.
OCC’s decision to make the Chief Executive redundant was to be rescinded and a new vote taken.
OCC would be discussing the possibility of new unitary authorities.
The independent review in to the child-sex scandal in Oxfordshire would be published the following day
John Reay – would it be possible for the District and County Councillors reports to be items on the Agenda?
District Councillor Bell – reported that SODC had agreed a reduction in the Council tax; however the opposition group had proposed that the Council Tax remained the same but had been outvoted by the main group.
District Councillor Carr – As a result of the fire the Council would be renting offices in Milton Park from May. It could be 3 or 4 years before they could return to their Crowmarsh Offices
105 TO NOTE THE FOLLOWING CONSULTATIONS BY SODC
i) South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2031 Refined Options closing date 2nd April
Larger Village Allocations – Wheatley – “Wheatley is one of our largest villages, it is inset in the Green Belt and has very limited opportunities for expansion. We asked our core Strategy Inspector if we could alter the Green Belt boundary at Wheatley, making an exceptional circumstances case to allow for some more homes to be built, but he rejected this request. We have therefore pursued an exception site approach in Wheatley to achieve some desperately needed affordable housing. We have identified a site to the north of the London Road and a scheme for 50 homes is being prepared. We do not need to allocate this site in the Local Plan.”
The consultation was noted
ii) “Proposal to change the way some services are delivered in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse” Closing date 9th March https://consult.southandvale.gov.uk/portal/southandvale/cs/consultation_corporate/corporate_services_contract
The consultation was noted.
106. TO AGREE TO RECEIVE AGENDAS ELECTRONICALLY
The Clerk explained that due to a Legislative Reform Order in January 2015
Parish Councils, can if they agree, receive agendas electronically. This could save Wheatley Parish Council up to £500 per annum in postage as well as savings in paper and printing costs. Paper copies would still be available from the Parish Office and posted on village notice boards. Cllr Stephens proposed that the Parish Council agrees to receive agendas electronically. This was Agreed
107. TO CONSIDER MATTERS RELATING TO WHEATLEY PARK SPORTSFIELD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
i) To agree the Trust Members – Following advice from a solicitor, Cllr Willmott reported that the number of Parish Councillors (4 out of 7) would be unacceptable to the Charity Commissioners. It was Agreed, therefore, to appoint 3 Parish Councillors, (Cllrs Willmott, Lamont and Stephens); Mr Richard Cosier, from the Rugby Club: one from Wheatley Park School (to be informed) two from the Community (Mrs M Blake and A N Other)
ii) To agree a sum for legal fees – It was Agreed to spend a maximum of £2,000 on legal fees
iii) Other matters concerning the Sportsfield Management Committee – none
108 TO CONSIDER THE RISK ASSESSMENT PLAN 2015-16
The clerk reported that he had completed the Risk Assessment Plan for 2015- 2016. It was available for inspection in the Parish Office. It was Agreed that the Plan be accepted and the Action Plan, which had been circulated to all councillors be signed by the chairman.
109. REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE BODIES
i) The Merry Bells Management Committee – No report
ii) The Howe Trust had started to look more at its charitable functions; perhaps funding staff at the primary school for extra curriculum activities, especially sport.
iii) Thames Valley Police – In January TVP received 58 calls from the Wheatley Area- 49 Miscellaneous, non-urgent calls: 3 theft; 3 shoplifting and 3 ASB
iv) Flooding Committee Thames Water are renew the pumps at the sewage works on London Road.
110. CALENDAR OF MEETINGS – NOTED
i) Oxford Brookes University – Residents’ Association Meeting – 3rd March 6.45pm
ii) Planning Committee – Wednesday 11th March 2015 – 7.30pm
iii) F&GP Committee – Monday 23rd March 2015 – 7.30pm
iv) Annual Parish Meeting – Tuesday 7th April 2015
v) Planning Committee – Wednesday 8th April 2015 – 7.30pm
vi) Thame CPRE AGM – Tuesday 14th April 2015 – Great Hasley Village Hall – 8.00pm
vii) TRAC Committee –– Wednesday 15th April 2015 – 7.30pm
viii) F&GP Committee – Monday 20th April 2015– 7.30pm
ix) Parish Council Meeting – Monday 18th May 2015 – 7.30 pm
111, RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC
Cllr Reilly proposed and Cllr Birks 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 unanimously
112. MINUTES OF THE CONFIDENTIAL SESSION OF THE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 5TH JANUARY 2015 which had been circulated previously were signed as a correct and accurate record
113. THE MINUTES OF THE CONFIDENTIAL SESSIONS OF THE F&GP COMMITTEE HELD ON: 19th JANUARY 2015 which had been circulated previously and the 16th FEBRUARY 2015 which had been circulated with the agenda were received.
114. TO REPORT ON PROGRESS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL’S APPLICATION APPLYING FOR VILLAGE GREEN STATUS FOR THE PLAYING FIELDS AT LITTLEWORTH ROAD.
The Parish Council had now received the County Council’s objections to the Parish Council’s Village Green application and following a cordial and positive meeting with the Diocese the Parish Council would now write to our solicitors for further advice. A modest fee was agreed.
115. TO CONSIDER LAND THAT MAY BE SUITABLE FOR A NEW VILLAGE BURIAL GROUND
A resident had contacted Cllr Carr suggesting a number of sites within the village that might be suitable. One, it turned out, would not be available and another one was probably unsuitable for drainage reasons. However Cllr Carr agreed to follow up a third site.
The meeting closed at 10.01pm