The following councillors were present: Mr N Braithwaite (Chairman), Mr M Pearce, Mr S Fox, Mrs W Pearse, Mrs E Byles, Mrs H Hibbert-Biles (District Councillor). Also present were Mr J Cull, Mrs S Markwell and Mrs S Richards from the Village Shop Management Committee, Mr R Gould, Ms S Gaskell from the Environmental Agency and four members of the public. Mrs M Ismail, Parish Clerk was in attendance.
1. APOLOGIES Received from Mr R Rose, County Councillor.
2. MINUTES Minutes of meeting held on 12th May 2003 were agreed and signed.
3. VILLAGE SHOP REPORT
Mr J Cull, Chairman of the Village Shop Management Committee reported on progress of the Village Shop Project. The report is attached to these minutes.
Q. The District Councillor asked if there would be a Post Office in the shop
A. This has not yet been decided. Mr Cull explained the committee were looking at the possibility of a part time Post Office Service. Negotiations were taking place between the travelling Post Office, which presently operates from The Swan, and it is hoped this might provide an increased service.
The Chairman hoped there would be an increased Post Office service and made the point that many of questionnaires had requested a post office as a top priority for the shop.
Mrs Smith suggested that seating should be provided as there is sometimes a long wait for the post office services and this could be difficult for older people.
Q. The District Councillor asked about ordering of small quantities of supplies for the shop and arrangements for bulk purchases and whether the committee had considered joint ordering with other small shops.
A . Mr Cull explained that the Sainsburys Community Venture Scheme is being considered which sells to small shops at a discount.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Rod Gould and Shani Gaskell from the Environmental Agency attended the meeting to address the problems concerning flooding and foul sewerage pollution in Shipton Road. They reported that new pumps and panels were installed in March and Thames Water has carried out an extensive survey of the problems and the report from this should be completed by the end of June. The report will include; a survey of residents, silt check, assessment of the condition on the drains, drop down tests at the pumping station to see how effective the pumps are and an assessment of the infrastructure. Thames Water are also compiling similar reports for Milton and Shipton which should be completed by September. Thames Water have advised that the person to contact with complaints or queries is Margaret Skivington on 0845 9200800.
Rod Gould explained that Environmental Agency had not been aware of the problems as they are primarily responsible for the rivers and they get involved if foul sewerage is entering the river. Incidents need to be reported so that a pattern of the frequency of complaints against Thames Water can be recorded. Their roll is to enforce and if necessary prosecute Thames Water if they build up a picture of continual polluting. Complaints should be reported on the Freephone number 0800 807060 and these will be passed on to Environmental Health and Thames Water.
Mr Franks made the point that a pattern will not emerge as the problem only happens under heavy conditions and incidents may not be reported often enough to build up regular pattern but it is serious for residents who have raw sewerage in their gardens.
Mr Collins felt the fundamental problem was that the sewers were very old and inadequate and were not built to cope with the increased population and need replacing. He had spoken to Thames Water who claim they have no money to do the work.
Mr Pearce made the point that these complaints have been reported to Thames Water for many years.
The District Councillor has asked for an enforcement order against Thames Water to upgrade the pumping station and will send the report from the County Engineer to the Environmental Agency.
The Chairman thanked Mr Gould and Ms Gaskell for giving up their evening to attend the meeting.
5. MATTERS ARISING
Vandalism in the Playing Field: Mr Pearce had spoken to Mr Shepherd and he will deal with the broken tiles on the pavilion roof.
Sewerage: See Item 4 above.
Overgrown Hedge on Chipping Norton Road: It was agreed that the Clerk would write to Mr Izod again in July when the nesting season is over. Action: Clerk
Crime and Disorder: Mr Oddy from WODC will speak at the meeting in July.
Rubbish near the Railway Line: A complaint has been received about the amount of rubbish at the coal yard run by Tyack. The Clerk has written to them. District Councillor will investigate.
Publication Scheme: Risk Assessment still outstanding.
Shop: Mr Fox confirmed that under section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972 the Parish Council is limited to spending of £3.50 per elector per annum. This is expected to rise to £5.00 shortly. If the Parish Council wish to make a grant or donation to the village shop section 124 of the Act would require the Parish Council to purchase the property and lease it back to the Community Shop Association. This section of the Act allows the acquisition of land by the Parish Council for the purposes of the benefit, improvement or development of their area and “land” includes buildings or premises upon it. This is then a statutory power and the Parish Council can spend on it without the financial restrictions of section 137.
The District Councillor confirmed that the grant application for leaderplus funding had gone forward to the funding bodies with approval from WODC.
Animals on the Allotments: Mr Pearce has spoken to Mr Cunningham and explained why it is not possible to keep chickens on the allotments.
Kerbing Shipton Road: The kerbing has collapsed opposite 2A Shipton Road. Clerk has reported it to Highways.
Dawls Close Sign: The street sign has fallen down. Clerk has reported to Highways.
Neighbourhood Watch Signs: These have been found damaged in the field. It was agreed not to put them up again.
A letter had been received from David Cameron requesting information about lottery funding. He is trying to introduce a Bill to address the fact that so little national lottery money goes to village hall building projects. Clerk to reply with information about the successful lottery application for the pavilion. Action: Clerk
A letter had been received from Sandy Markwell of the Village Shop Fund Raising Committee advising of arrangements for a Fun Run event of 14th September.
W2002/1445 DEMOLITION OF EXISTING DWELLING AND ERECTION OF SIX DWELLINGS AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW VEHICULAR ACCESS TO GARAGE COURTYARD at 2A SHIPTON ROAD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Appeal Pending. Hearing has taken place.
03/0630 DEMOLISH EXISTING CONSERVATORY AND OUTBUILDINGS. ERECTION OF TWO STORY SIDE EXTENSION AND FRONT EXTENSIONS PROVIDING NEW PORCH, WC, LOG STORE, WORKSHOP, DOUBLE GARAGE (WITH LOFT SPACE ABOVE) AND UTILITY ROOM (WITH PLANT ROOM AND STORAGE ABOVE).
CONSTRUCTION OF TWO STOREY, SELF-CONTAINED GRANNY ANNEXE WITH SINGLE STOREY LINK THROUGH TO MAIN HOUSE. ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING ACCESS at THE CEDARS, 8 LONDON LANE, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Outstanding
W2003/0801 EXTENSION TO FRONT ELEVATION TO PROVIDE BAY WINDOW AND PORCH at 17 CHURCH VIEW, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Granted
W2003/0676 DEMOLISH EXISTING PORCH. ERECTION OF SINGLE STOREY EXTENSION, PORCH AND CONSERVATORY. CONVERSION OF LOFT TO BEDROOM SUITE at 6 HERITAGE LANE, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Granted
W2003/0577 ALTERATIONS TO BARN AND CHANGE OF USE FROM
AGRICULTURAL TO AGRICULTURAL/EQUESTRAIN at CROWN FARM, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD Outstanding The meeting arranged with the Planning Officer and the Crown Agent to investigate planning issues at Crown Farm has not yet taken place.
W2002/0866 CHANGE OF USE OF GROUND FLOOR SHOP TO RESIDENTIAL at CORNER HOUSE FARM, HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. Outstanding
W2003/0899 DEMOLISH EXISTING GARAGE. ERECTION OF NEW DETACHED DWELLING WITH OAK FRAMED GARAGE AND REVISED ACCESS at LAND AT 19 CHURCH VIEW, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD. Outstanding
8. FINANCIAL REPORT
Paid Out: ORCC Subs 20.00
OALC Subs 105.99
Transfer of funds to village shop account 863.40
Waste Contract 87.07
Insurance: The clerk had received a quote from Cornhill Insurance of £251 to add the tractor and gang mower to our general insurance policy. This was considered too expensive. Chairman to obtain another quote through a broker.Action: Chairman
The Annual Report was completed and the Statement of Accounts approved and signed. Ref. No 183 (page number in minute book)
Draft Financial Regulations to be adopted by the National Association of Local Councils were circulated and Mr Fox urged councillors to read them carefully.
9. REPORT FROM DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
Mrs Hibbert-Biles reported that the Council was made up of 29 Conservatives,
12 Liberal Democrats, 2 Labour and 5 Independents.
Some of her duties will include Urgency Committee, Chair of Economic and Social Overview Scrutiny Committee, National Service Framework for Older People and she has requested to be included on the Buses Working Party and Highways.
She hoped the report from Mr King would enable the sewerage situation in Ascott to move forward. The fight to save Langston House was still going on and the working party have received lots of letters but the situation is not looking very hopeful. David Cameron has given his commitment to trying to save the home. Funding is becoming more difficult as the council have to bid regionally. The NHS Trust Ambulance Trust wants to close Witney and Chipping Norton Ambulance stations. A one stop shop for Local Council information has opened in Witney.
10. PUBLIC QUESTIONS There were no public questions.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Councillors Guide: The Clerk was asked to order more copies of the Good Councillor Guide. Action: Clerk
Notice Board: Notices are being stolen from the notice board at the end of High Street. It was agreed to put up a notice warning that it is a criminal offence to remove Parish Council Notices. Action: Clerk
12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The meeting closed at 9.55 pm. The next meeting will be held on Monday 14th July 2003.