WHEATLEY PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
HELD ON MONDAY 6TH JULY 2015 IN THE MERRY BELLS HALL AT 7.30PM
PRESENT: Councillors: G Stephens (Chairman), R Bell, P Hood, A Davies, T Davies, P Willmott, A Walkey, P Gregory, P Bignell, J Carr, G Birks,
R Reilly, S Coleridge and T Newman
OFFICERS: Gareth Morris, Clerk to the Parish Council
Also present: County Councillor Anne Purse and seventeen members of the public
Mr S Bond and Mr B Farmery (Woolfe Bond/Taylor Wimpey/Cole Easdon) also attended for item re Housing Development, north of London Road
34. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – none
35. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
i) Cllr Newman declared an interest in item 8 ( Minute 41 Application for housing development o north side of London Road – as a member of the SODC’s planning Committee
ii) Cllr Coleridge declared an interest in item 10 (Minute 43 Village Green Application) as a Governor of John Watson School
iii) Cllr Hood declared an interest in item 10 (Minute 43 Village Green Application) as the Treasurer of the Cool Kids club
36. UPDATE from the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 18th May 2015
i) Minute 18 – Parish Council Stall at Merry Bells Fayre 4th It was agreed that the event was a great success. The clerk to write a letter of thanks to the MBMC
37. MINUTES of the Extra Ordinary meeting of the Parish Council meeting Wednesday 24th June 2015 which had been circulated with the Agenda were signed as a correct and accurate record
38.UPDATE from the minutes of the Extra Ordinary meeting held 24th June 2015
Minute 31 – Resolution from Cllr T. Davies. The Clerk reported that “Items for Information” now appeared at the end of each Agenda. Minutes were now being put on the website as soon as completed marked” Draft – subject to confirmation”
Minute 32 – First steps regarding the possible adoption of a neighbourhood plan.
The Clerk had e-mailed the clerk of Holton Parish Council informing her of Wheatley Parish Council’s first steps in deciding whether or not embark on a Neighbourhood and invited any Holton Parish Councillor to attend a meeting with Beryl Guiver, Planning Officer SODC which had been provisionally booked for Wednesday 5th August at 7.30pm
With the permission of the meeting it was AGREED to move to item
39. TO REPORT PROGRESS ON HOUSING FOR THE EXCEPTION SITE NORTH OF LONDON ROAD
To consider the planning application for housing on an exception site on the north side of London Road between the Park Hill Roundabout and Fairfax Gate
Mr Stephen Bond of Woolfe Bond gave an overview of the site history and the application and how it had changed following the public consultation and exhibition and meetings with SODC at which Parish councillors were present.
At the end of the presentation the Chairman asked for questions from the councillors.
Cllr Newman – said that application was on SODC’s website but the 28 days public consultation had not yet started as no officer had been appointed.
Cllr A Davies – asked about the crossings – Ans. One would be light controlled and the second one would be dropped kerbs only.
Cllr Bell – wanted clarification on further meetings. Ans. If, as a result of responses to the application, any changes would form an amendment to the application and go out to consultation
Cllr Coleridge – felt there should have been a better location mix of affordable and market housing. Ans There had been much debate on this issue. The mix would be ‘tenure blind’ (unable to see the difference between the affordable and market houses) it was felt that this design, given all the various parameters, was the most appropriate balance to meet the housing needs.
Cllr Birks – questioned the ‘non-controlled nature of the 2nd crossing Ans. It is irregular/incompatible to have two light controlled crossings (or even with one with belisha beacons) in such close proximity
Cllr T Davies – said he was delighted with the traffic safety measures. He highlighted the problem of extra sewage and could the Wheatley system cope. Ans. The capacity questioned had been put to Thames Water and a study would be made
Cllr Bell – SODC Housing dept. had asked for an increase in the no. of smaller units, but this it had only increased by 2. Ans. SODC is happy that the mix is appropriate to meet the housing needs identified
Cllr Bell had been unable to see any reference to street lighting. Ans. Given the nature of the site it would be more usual for street lighting to be devised at a later date
Cllr Gregory – pointed out that the exit/entrance at the eastern end was quite close to the Fairfax Gate one and the junction between Church Road and London Road.and asked would that pose a problem? Ans. Following discussions with OCC Highways it was not thought it would pose a problem.
8.06pm The Chairman declared the Parish Council out of session and invited comments from the floor on the planning application
Mr D Lamont – he understood that 2 light controlled crossings had been promised as had double yellow lined by the Glebe and St Mary’s Close. Ans. Two light controlled crossings had never been on the Agenda for reasons already discussed. Ans Double yellow lines could be requested and it would fall to Taylor Wimpey to pay.
Mr R Gordon – Wanted to know the regulations concerning the permitted distances between crossings. An. OCC had said that you cannot have a second controlled crossing given what is already in place on London Road.
Mr Gordon – noise was obviously a serious issue and he raised questions about what was written in the ‘Noise Report’. Ans. Where a development was built near part of the national road network noise levels are allowed to be higher than the norm. At the moment SODC’s Environment Officers had accepted the report and its findings
Mr Gordon – would noise monitoring post development be recommended. Ans. Yes, this would be likely
Mr D Lamont – if the zebra crossing east of the Park Hill roundabout was removed would another light controlled crossing nearer the development be permitted? Ans.
Taylor Wimpey would raise the matter, along with the double yellow lines with the County Council. Residents could also lobby SODC on the matter.
Mr A Johnson – felt that there was lack of clarity and ambiguity in the application. He asked who to go to at SODC in order to ask for clarification Ans. Mr Peter Brampton
Mr J Reay – adding more crossings along London Road may deter traffic in so much as they find another way through the village. Had Taylor Wimpey considered this? Ans..It was felt that this extra crossing would have an insignificant effect.
Pedestrians would use the crossing, go along the Glebe and the footpath through to Church Road and then go through the SODC or the Merry Bells car park to get to the High Street
8.24pm The Chairman declared the Parish Council back in session
(Item 8 Continued) TO REPORT PROGRESS ON HOUSING FOR THE EXCEPTION SITE NORTH OF LONDON ROAD
he clerk announced that SODC had given the application number and a description which was:-
P15/S2121/Ful – Erection of 51 dwellings, with access from London Road, together with associated landscaping and open space provision. (Rural Exception Site)
Cllr Carr proposed and Cllr Gregory seconded that the Parish Council recommends SODC approves the application.
This was AGREED nem con with one abstention (Cllr Newman who served as an SODC Councillor on the SODC Planning Committee and had declared an interest)
The Chairman thanked Mr Bond and Mr Farmery for their attendance
41. TO NOTE THE RESIGNATION OF CLLR JOYCE COVELEY AND TO DECLARE A VACANCY ON THE PARISH COUNCIL
The meeting was sad to note the resignation of Cllr Joyce Coveley. The Chairman said that Cllr Coveley was first co-opted on to the Parish Council in 1999 and had served ever since. She had been a stalwart of the Planning Committee. She would be greatly missed. It was agreed that the clerk should write to Mrs Coveley, The council declared a vacancy and the clerk would inform the Returning Officer at SODC and post the relevant notices.
42. TO REPORT ON PROGRESS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL’S APPLICATION APPLYING FOR VILLAGE GREEN STATUS FOR THE PLAYING FIELDS AT LITTLEWORTH ROAD.
To consider the following resolution:
The Parish Council be free to vary the extent of the area covered by the Village Green Application in order to reach a timely agreement with ODST (Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust) for the partitioning of the Littleworth Road playing field, thus facilitating a manageable and secure boundary for Wheatley Primary Academy whilst at the same time protecting village use, in perpetuity of part of the field.
The context is that the PC’s representatives discussed partition of the field with Oxford Diocesan Trust at, inter alia, a meeting on 9th January 2015, followed by partition being informally agreed at a meeting between representatives of the Parish Council, ODST and the Primary Academy on 24th April 2015, ODST having made it clear at all meetings that the field was too big for, and not required by, the Primary Academy; also that there was plenty of space available in the field for the above parties to be accommodated.
8.30pm The Chairman declared the Parish Council out of session and invited comments from the floor
Mrs Liz Wickens Community Governor of the Primary Academy. The compromise the resolution proposes meets the school’s specific needs the school can fence in the school’s immediate site perimeter. She said that the responsibility for the maintenance of the village green was unclear. She felt that the restrictions on village green usage might be something that residents of the village might regret in the future. The school was also concerned about the health and safety and access issues that the John Watson School may have with their proposed building work.
Chairman of the John Watson School Governors – there had been no consultation between the John Watson School and the Parish Council over this issue. As it stands the proposal is not acceptable. The school has concern about access to their land and they need 24 hour access. The school would start building work in October. They also questioned who would have responsibility for maintaining the area of the village green
Head Teacher of the John Watson School – safeguarding issues were very important to the school and any increased use by adults of the land would be worrying.
Mr J Reay – felt that residents especially those on Littleworth Road should have been consulted.
County Councillor Anne Purse – stated that there were likely to be cut backs in the County Council supported subsidized public transport. Another cutback would be in Children’ Centres.
The County Council was doing regular weight limit checks and enforcement in Watlington and Little Milton and the Haseleys. In Watlington they have a scheme
District Councillor Newman – He had asked if additional signage at the entrances to the village re the weight limits could be provided
Mr D Lamont – asked about the Vehicle Activated Signs that the previous council has approved. The clerk replied that in November the County Council had estimated a cost of around £11,000 for the four requested. The Parish Council had now been told that this cost had risen to £23,000 due to a calculation error in the original estimate. The F&GP Committee had felt that it could not go ahead without further investigation.
9.04pm The Chairman declared the Parish Council back in session
Item 10 continued (Village Green Application)
Cllr Willmott wished to counter the ‘facts’ that had been included in a letter that went out from the Primary Academy, on this issue, to parents and carers which was also available at the Fayre on Saturday.
Cllr Birks. A compromise that would work for all parties was now in reach. The landowner (the County Council) should maintain the land, though it was likely that the Parish Council would be asked to pay some of it.
The access issue to the John Watson school had been discussed with Mr Joyner of Diocese and he said that the County Council, which has the responsibility for the John Watson school and the Diocese should be able to reach a solution over the access to the John Watson school. Mr Joyner did not believe that this was an issue to affect the village green. Any access to the John Watson school would affect the Diocese portion of the land.
The motion, as it appeared on the Agenda (and at the start of Minute 42) was
proposed by Cllr Carr and Seconded by Cllr T Davies.
The was AGREED by 13 votes in favour, none against – Cllr Coleridge who had
declared an interest, did not vote
44 THE MINUTES of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on Wednesday 20th May 2015 and Wednesday 10th June 2015 which had both been circulated previously were received
45.THE MINUTES of the meetings of the F&GP Committee held on Monday 15th June 2015 which had been circulated previously were received.
46. TO RECEIVE AND NOTE THE REPORT OF THE INTERNAL AUDITOR, MR P HOOD
The report of the Internal Auditor had been circulated with the Agenda.
The only recommendation from the auditor was that the Risk Assessment undertaken by the Parish Council is approved, adopted and minuted within each financial year for that year. (See minute 50 below)
Cllr Gregory proposed and Cllr T Davies seconded that the report of the Internal Auditor be received and noted. AGREED
47. TO CONSIDER MATTERS RELATING TO WHEATLEY PARK SPORTSFIELD MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE AND THE WHEATLEY PLAYING FIELD TRUST
i) To receive the audited accounts for of the WPSFMC for 2014/2015 (see enclosed papers) and to agree to pay the balance that the Parish Council has to pay of £1,667.81. This was Agreed
Report on Sportsfield management Committee – Cllr Bell asked a question on the redundancy of the two employees of the Committee. Cllr Willmott confirmed that all due process had been carried out and the two employees would be made redundant as from 31 August 2015. It was expected that the County Council would pay 80% of the cost of redundancy pay but they had not confirmed that as yet
Point 4 on the report related to the fact that the new residents in the bungalow next to the sports field had a Rottweiler. The school and written to the owners and so had Cllr Willmott on behalf of the management committee. Two PCSO’s had paid a visit. It was Agreed that, as landowners, the Parish Council should write to the owner and Holton Parish Council with their concerns.
ii) Matters concerning the Wheatley Playing Field Trust
Cllr Willmott reported that matters were progressing and it was hoped that an agreement would be reached with Wheatley Park School in the next fortnight. For bookings they were looking at an on-line system in order to reduce costs.
Cllr T Davies was concerned that there should be protection for the Parish Council in terms of ownership of the land that any decision concerning use, development and using the land as collateral for a loan must be referred back to the parish Council, also he was concerned that the £10,000 contribution by the Parish Council could be a burden on it. The Trust should look to reducing this cost to the Parish Council. Cllr Willmott replied that it would be difficult to raise enough revenue to cover the costs of running the field in the evenings and at the weekends. The Trust had been looking at ways to raise extra revenue and to make savings.
48. TO CONSIDER THE WHEATLEY VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION’S REQUEST TO PLANT A CHERRY TREE IN THE MEMORIAL GARDENS.
The clerk read out a letter from the Chairman of the Village Produce Association requesting permission to plant a cherry tree in the Memorial Gardens to mark the Association’s 75th birthday. The Parish Council granted the request. The clerk would check with the Diocese to see if there were any procedural issues.
49. TO CONSIDER OXFORDSHIRE County Council’s Public consultation on proposed changes to subsidised bus services and to the Dial a Ride service in Oxfordshire – Ends 14th September 2015
Public meeting – Weds 8 July in OCC County Hall, Oxford – 19.00pm-20.30pm www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation
The County Council was considering two options:
Option 1 – removing all subsidies – Bus Route 280 – at risk – Sunday and Bank Holidays – first service in the morning and one evening service
Services 103/104 services were fully subsidised
Option 2 – Prioritise Routes – on the following grounds.
- a) – services used by older/disabled passengers
- b) – peak hour running
- c) – evenings and weekends
The 103/104 & 275 services were deemed ‘low risk’
It was agreed notices to go up at the bus stops and in the news letter
50 TO RECEIVE THE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR THE PARISH COUNCIL FOR 2015-2106 (copy in Parish Office) AND TO SIGN THE ACTION PLAN
The Parish Council had received and signed this Risk Assessment at its March meeting. However given the Internal Auditor’s recommendation (see minute 46 above) it was coming to the Parish Council again to be signed in the financial year that it related to.
It was AGREED to receive the Risk Assessment and it was signed by the Chairman.
Cllr Walkey pointed out that under ‘Drainage’ specific mention should be made of the stream from Westfield as well as the Ambrose Rise ditch. The clerk agreed to add that.
51. TO CONSIDER THE PARISH COUNCIL’S USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
The Chairman had asked for this item to be put on the Agenda. He said he felt that to improve communication between the Parish Council and the residents and the council should adopt a form of social media, such as ‘Twitter’. This account would announce the availability of agendas and minutes and direct people to the Parish Council website.
Cllr Newman proposed and Cllr Hood seconded that the Parish Council should adopt the use of ‘Twitter’ This was AGREED unanimously
52. REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE BODIES
i) The Merry Bells Management Committee – Cllr Gregory – Mrs Mary Blake was the new Chairman. The Fayre had been a success and it should be repeated.
ii) The Howe Trust – No Report
iii) Thames Valley Police – No Report
iv) Brookes University Resident Associations’ meeting – Cllr Bell – There had been no discussion on the future of the Wheatley Campus. There had been a survey of student and staff travel movement. There was a large no. of students with car park passes. From September there will be a pay as you go system for student parking
v) Public Transport Meeting for Parish Council representatives – the OCC Consultation on Bus subsidies and the Dial-a-Ride service had been discussed
vi) Wheatley Park School – No report
vii) Wheatley Windmill – Cllr Stephens – looking for volunteers
Cllr Walkey asked how these reports were chosen. The clerk replied that they were from Parish Council representatives on those bodies or meetings were Parish Councillors attended on behalf of the Parish Council
53. CALENDAR OF MEETINGS – NOTED
i) Planning Committee – Wednesday 8th July 2015 – 7.30pm
ii) F&GP Committee – Monday 20th July 2015 – 7.30pm
iii) Planning Committee – Wednesday 12 August 2015 – 7.30pm
iv) Parish Council Meeting – Monday 7th September 2015 – 7.30 pm
v) Planning Committee – Wednesday 9th September 2015 – 7.30pm
54. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
- Cllr Newman –SODC Report funding for a Neighbourhood plan – £10,000 available from SODC and £7,500 from central government. John Howell MP now has responsibility for Neighbourhood Planning and he is willing to attend the meeting with SODC Officers.
Business rate rules for amateur sports clubs had changed
The deadline for bids between £15,000 and £100,000 from SODC under the Community Capital Grant was 24th July
- Cllr Stephens – councillors’ village walkabout – the date would be 10th or 17th August at 6.30pm. Cllr Bell
- Cllr Walkey – The URC would be holding a farewell service for their minister, Tanya Rasmusson the following Sunday. Counsellors would be welcome.
- The Clerk – OCC would starting formal consultation along Church Road on the short lengths of extra double yellow lines along the south side of Church to allow vehicles to pull in, to allow on coming vehicles to pass.
Meeting closed at 10.22pm