WHEATLEY PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 7th SEPTEMBER 2015 IN THE MERRY BELLS HALL AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors: G Stephens (Chairman), R Bell, P Hood, A Davies,
T Davies, A Walkey, P Gregory, P Bignell, J Carr, G Birks (until 8.00pm),
R Reilly, I Roberts and T Newman
OFFICERS: Gareth Morris, Clerk to the Parish Council
Also present: County Councillor Anne Purse and 4 members of the public
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE had been received from Cllrs Coleridge and Willmott
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Hood, as Treasurer of the Cool Kids Club, declared an interest in item 5 (the Village Green application)
Cllr Stephens, as a Trustee of the Wheatley Playing Field Trust, declared an interest in item 14(ii) (Matters concerning Wheatley Playing Trust)
- CLLR IAN ROBERTS WAS WELCOMED ON TO THE COUNCIL AND SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE. He stated he would rather wait a while before he joined one of the standing committees
- RESOLUTION TO EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC (ITEM 5 ONLY)
Cllr Birks proposed and Cllr Carr 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
- 59. TO REPORT ON PROGRESS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL’S APPLICATION APPLYING FOR VILLAGE GREEN STATUS FOR THE PLAYING FIELDS AT LITTLEWORTH ROAD AND DECIDE ON A STRATEGY FOR THE PROPOSED ENQUIRY
Following an update from Cllr Birks, Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr Walkey seconded that “the Parish Council asks our solicitor to request an adjournment of the hearing and to continue talking to the Diocese. This was AGREED by 8 votes in favour with 1 against and 3 abstentions.
8.00pm Cllr Birks left the meeting
- MINUTES of the meeting of the Parish Council meeting held on 6th July 2015 which had been circulated previously were signed as a correct and accurate recordafter the following amendment had been made:
Page 17, Minute 47(ii), line 6 after ‘and’ delete ‘also’ and add ‘that any decision concerning use, development and using the land as collateral for a loan must be referred back to the Parish Council. He also raised concern….’
- 61. UPDATE from the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 6th July 2015
- i) Minute 48 – Cherry tree planting in Memorial Gardens. The Clerk had been told by the diocese that a Faculty had to be obtained before the tree was planted. He had downloaded the form and had sent it off to the Village Produce Association for the details of the tree to be filled in.
- ii) Minute 51 – Use of Social Media – the clerk reported that a ‘Twitter Account’ has been set up for the Parish Council. Name: [email protected]
- THE MINUTES of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on the following dates were received
- i) Wednesday 8th July 2105 – circulated previously
- ii) Wednesday 12 August 2015 – circulated previously
- THE MINUTES of the meeting of the F&GP Committee held on the following date were received:
- i) Monday 20th July 2015
- TO RECEIVE AND NOTE THE REPORT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR ON THE 2014-2015 ACCOUNTS
The report of the External Auditor on the 2014-15 Accounts had been received.
In their opinion “ the information in the annual return is in accordance with proper practices and no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.”
Cllr Gregory proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that the External Auditor’s report be received and noted.
- TO REPORT PROGRESS ON HOUSING FOR THE EXCEPTION SITE NORTH OF LONDON ROAD
Reported that the SODC Planning officer had informed him that they (SODC) and the developers would be in talks over possible SODC amendments to the scheme
e.g. continuing the road to the north of the site the whole length of the site.
Cllr Newman said he would inform the Parish Council if any amendments were
- TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO PROCEED WITH A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
‘The chairman reminded the meeting that although the PC was the proper body to initiate a Neighbourhood Plan, the plan actually belonged to wider community and that proper engagement with, and active involvement of the community was critical to the success of the project.’
Following a discussion on the merits of a Neighbourhood Plan Cllr Bell proposed and Cllr Newman seconded that “This Parish Council undertakes a Neighbourhood Plan”
This AGREED with ten votes in favour, none against and two abstentions
A named vote had been called for:
Those in favour: Cllrs Stephens, A Davies, Bell, Gregory, Walkey, T Davies,
J Reilly, Hood, Bignall and Newman
Those against: None
Those abstaining: Cllrs Roberts and Carr
Cllr Davies proposed and Cllr Newman seconded that a working group be set up and to report back to the next full Parish Council meeting. This was AGREED
Cllrs A Davies, Bell, Walkey, T Davies, Hood and Newman volunteered to serve on the group
8.47pm The Chairman declared the council out of session
County Councillor Anne Purse
- OCC Bus Review – whilst the 103/104 were considered low risk she was worried about bus services for Cuddesdon
- OCC Consultation on Recycling Centres –at the moment OCC were not allowed to charge for visiting site. She believed OCC would write to the Government to try and get the rules changed
- Local Transport Plan – she was concerned that the idea of a link road from the A34 near Abingdon to the M40 at junction 8a seemed to have been resurrected.
- Children centres – 40 out of the 43 were threatened with closure. If the Maple Leaf Centre in Wheatley closed she was concerned about what would happen to the building
Cllr Carr asked for the Youth Centre be put on the next Agenda.
District Councillor Toby Newman
- SODC was starting a consultation on parks.
- They were seeking views on the relaxation of Sunday trading laws
- 12th October – there would be a ‘double’ collection of garden waste
- Young Achievers Awards – 2 X £250 were available.
9.07pm the Chairman declared the Council back in session
With the agreement of the meeting the Chairman proposed that item 16(ii) be taken now. This was agreed
- REPORT FROM THE DRAINAGE AND FLOOD GROUP
Mr Roger Bettess was asked to address the meeting.
Mr Bettess reported that Monson Engineering (SODC) was still in discussion with Shotover Estate over a holding pond near Westfield.
He was in discussions with Thames Water & the Environment Agency over the storm discharge of untreated sewage in to the Wheatley Ditch
Discussions were also taking place with the Environment Agency over the Wheatley Flood map
Clearing out road gullies – he was chasing up the County Council on the matter.
The group would like the support of the Parish Council to put an article in the newsletter, flyers and letters to riparian owners as to their responsibilities for water course maintenance
Thames Water were beginning to ‘tanker’ away the effluent to another treatment works so there would be no discharge in to the Wheatley ditch, 24/7. Thames Water have given the assurance that these tankers should not be going through the village.
There was a danger if there was very wet weather and the storm tanks became full there would be a discharge into Wheatley ditch.
Mr Bettess was thanked for his report and for the work he undertook in the Flood and Drainage Group
Cllr T Davies pointed out that SODC had earmarked money for the work in Westfield in this financial year and it shouldn’t be lost through not reaching an agreement with the Estate. He suggested that the District Councillor take this up.
Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr T Davies seconded that the Parish Council request
the Flood and Drainage group to take action to make riparian owners aware of their obligations. This was Agreed.
Cllr Davies expressed an interest in joining this group
- TO CONSIDER THE LETTER FROM THE REVEREND NIGEL HAWKES RE THE CLOSURE OF THE CHURCHYARD TO FURTHER BURIALS.
The clerk had circulated a letter from the Reverend Nigel Hawkes (Vicar at St Mary’s) stating that the space for burials was running out with, perhaps 5 years of usable space. With extension of the burial ground and the re-use of areas ruled out the Parochial Church Council had resolved to close the churchyard when it is full. It was AGREED that this should be considered by the Working Group on the Neighbourhood Plan
- TO CONSIDER MATTERS RELATING TO WHEATLEY PARK SPORTSFIELD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE AND THE WHEATLEY PLAYING FIELD TRUST
- i) Wheatley Park Sportsfield Management Committee – the report submitted by Cllr Willmott was noted. In answer to a question from Cllr Bell the clerk replied that he believed that the redundancy pay to the two employees had been paid out the Sportsfield management account.
- ii) Matters concerning the Wheatley Playing Field Trust – the report was noted
- a) To consider the requested loan from the Parish Council for £5,000 to be repaid over 10 months. Cllr Reilly proposed and Cllr Davies seconded that the loan be made. This was AGREED
- b) To consider setting up a standing order to pay the Parish Council’s £10,000 annual contribution in 12 equal instalments (£833.33).Cllr Davies proposed and Cllr Newman seconded that the standing order be set up for One year only. This was AGREED
- TO CONSIDER OXFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES STRATEGY IN OXFORDSHIRE
The consultation document from the County Council had been circulated to each councillor. Following discussion Cllr Roberts proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that
The Parish Council write to the County Council requesting that all the recycling centres be kept open.
- TO CONSIDER THE SETTING UP OF WORKING GROUPS
- i) Parking within the village – It was Agreed that this would be discussed by the Neighbourhood Plan working group.
- ii) Drainage within the village Thames Water discussed under minute 67
- TO APPOINT TWO PARISH COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES TO THE HOWE TRUST TO REPLACE CLLRS DALTON AND COVELEY
It was AGREED that Cllrs Gregory and Newman be Parish Council representatives on the Howe Trust
- TO AGREE THE PARISH COUNCIL’S REPRESENTATIVES TO A MEETING AT COUNTY HALL CALLED BY OCC TO “LOOK AT WAYS TO DELIVER PUBLIC SERVICES DIFFERENTLY” (September 21st 18.00-21.00 County Hall)
Cllrs Walkey and Bell agreed to go to this meeting.
- TO CONSIDER THE REPORTS ON THE PARISH COUNCILLORS’ WALKS AROUND THE VILLAGE
Cllr Hood proposed and Cllr Reilly seconded that these reports be sent to the F&GP Committee. This was AGREED
- TO CONSIDER AN ACTION PLAN FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE AREA IN FRONT OF AND INCLUDING THE OLD TOILET BLOCK IN THE HIGH STREET.
It was AGREED that this be item be considered by the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group
- REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE BODIES
- i) The Merry Bells Management Committee – Cllr Gregory reported that building works had been recently been carried out and further refurbishment would start soon.
- ii) The Howe Trust – no report
iii) Thames Valley Police – In August Wheatley had 6 incidents of ASB and 2 burglaries (non-dwelling)
- iv) Wheatley Windmill Preservation Society – Cllr Stephens reported the Society was looking for ways to increase their cash flow eg they had recently been a venue for wedding photos.
- v) Flood Group meeting – 26th August 2015 – dealt with under minute 67
- vi) Reception and Sounding of Retreat – Oxfordshire (The Rifles) Battalion – Army Cadet Force – Cllr Carr had attended in the place of the Chairman who was away. She said she felt it was important to accept such invitations and the evening had been most enjoyable.
- CALENDAR OF MEETINGS – NOTED
- i) Planning Committee – Wednesday 9th September 2015 – 7.30pm (Cllr Stephens sends his apologies)
- ii) F&GP Committee – Monday 21st September 2015 – 7.30pm
- iii) Planning Committee – Wednesday 14th October 2015 – 7.30pm (Cllr Bignell sends her apologies)
- iv) F&GP Committee – Monday 19th October 2015
- v) Parish Council Meeting – Monday 2nd November 2015 – 7.30 pm (Cllr Stephens sends his apologies)
- ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
- Cllr Carr reported that she had had a number favourable comments over the new seat at the Ambrose Rise bus stop
- In reply to a question from Cllr Hood on vehicle activated signs the clerk said that there would be a report going to the Finance and General Purposes Committee
The meeting closed at 10.15pm