Councillors Present were: Mr N Braithwaite (Chairman), Mr M Pearce, Mr S Fox, Mrs W Pearse, Mrs E Byles, District Councillor Present: Mrs H Hibbert-Biles.
In Attendance: Mr James Alcock ORCC
Members of the Public present: Mr F Russell, Miss S Tustain
Parish Clerk Mrs A M Barnes
Affordable Housing – talk /presentation by Mr James Alcock ORCC
Mr Alcock from ORCC gave a presentation on affordable housing. Research has shown that the average income is £25k, thus highlighting the difficulties being faced by people wishing to get a start on the property ladder. Subsidised houses are built by housing associations and are available to rent, part-rent or buy. The relevant stages are firstly to send a Housing Needs Survey to every house for completion. Secondly would be to identify appropriate sites and thirdly to appoint architects. Mr Alcock confirmed tht the Parish Council would be kept involved at every stage. Mr. Alcock’s role is Independent Adviser and he had prepared a Housing Needs Survey relevant to the Parishioners of Ascott-under-Wychwood. It was agreed that Councillors would read the prepared document and the Clerk would get back in touch with Mr. Alcock with any amendments or additions. Copies of the document were circulated to the Councillors, who should notify the Clerk of any concerns or changes.
No apologies received.
Amendment to the the February minutes under Matters Arising OALC Letter Clerks Salaries. Where it states “The increase applicable is £2353.80 with mileage expenses increasing to 52.7p per mile”. This should read “The increase applicable is to £2353.80 with mileage expenses increasing to 52.7p per mile”. The minutes were amended, agreed, signed and filed.
3. MATTERS ARISING:
Post Box: Matthew Large from Royal Mail had e-mailed the Clerk to advise that he had visited Ascott-under-Wychwood and a larger Post Box could not be warranted. Council requested that Clerk reply expressing the need for a larger opening.
Cottsway/Chestnut Drive: Clerk had received no response despite chasing. District Councillor, Mrs Hilary Hibbert-Biles advised writing to Bill Oddy at WODC with copies to Andrew Tucker, Strategic Director.
Oxfordshire County Council Highways: There are still some four outstanding issues to be resolved. In particular the water/drainage problem on Chipping Norton hill. The water is particularly bad at present and with freezing temperatures at night and early morning the river bridge is very dangerous. At the January Parish Council meeting we were advised by Ralph Grant that the Street Lighting department had been approached for a quotation and providing the quotation was no more than £2,000 this could be authorised and Oxfordshire County Council Higways would fund. Clerk to write to Ralph Grant to advise on the water problem and request an update on the 30 mph sign.
Pavilion/Sports Clubs: Nothing further to report. Council decided that no rent would be charged to the Cricket Club in future. It is anticipated that the payment will be made to the Sports Club instead.
Shop Report: The filming had taken place and the film company had given a donation of £50. January/February has seen a 12% increase on last year. Monies raised from a Quiz Night was £700, this will go towards paying off the Shop’s mortgage.
Parish Conservation Plan: The Open Morning in February was very successful with some suggestions, as follows;
- Rebuild the wall of the Pound
- To plant native wildflowers along road verges
- To look into setting up roadside nature reserves where the verges are wide enough
- Manage the Churchyard as a “Living Churchyard” to encourage wild flowers to grow in some areas
- Putting up nest boxes for Barn Owls and other birds
These are to name, but a few. Stuart Fox will now approach TOE regarding the procedure for applying for grants. Clerk to write and thank Jane Bowley for all her efforts and the time she had given up to make the Open Morning such a success.
Action Clerk/Stuart Fox
Annual Rent for The Pound: It was agreed the Clerk would write to Mr. and Mrs. Burleigh for the annual rent and to advise them that work on the stone wall would be started, albeit this would not affect this growing season. Action Clerk.
Grasscutting 2006: After quotes having been received it was agreed the contract would be given to Shane Barnes.
Notice of Election Posters and Councillors Election papers had been received. Posters have been displayed on the appropriate Notice Boards throughout the Village.
Letter from WODC Environmental Services regarding 2006 contract for commercial waste at the Pavilion. Clerk to complete and send back. Action Clerk.
05/2265/P/FP – EXTENSION OF ALL WEATHER GALLOP TO INCLUDE CONSTRUCTION OF SAFETY RAILING (Retrospective) at BRASSWELL LANE FIELD, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD.
06/0125/P/FP – ERECTION OF FIRST FLOOR AND SECOND FLOOR EXTENSIONS at 18 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD.
06/0424/P/FP – CHANGE OF USE FROM REDUNDANT BARN TO HAIRDRESSING SALON (Retrospective) at CROWN FARM, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD.
06/0425/P/FP – CHANGE OF EXISTING FARM WORKSHOP TO WORKSHOP & METAL ART STUDIO (Retrospective) a CROWN FARM, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD.
06/0443/P/FP – ERECTION OF DETACHED GARDEN ROOM/STORAGE at 35 HIGH STREET, ASCOTT UNDER WYCHWOOD.
6. FINANCIAL REPORT
£7.50 Plot 10 Allotment Rent
£300 Grapevine Donation (S137 Expenditure)
7. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT
8. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT
Mrs Hilary Hibbert-Biles reported that Council Tax had increased by 3%, the National average being £180. West Oxfordshire still has the second lowest Council Tax payments in the Country. It was also reported that the Audit Commission had given WODC a ‘3’ for their use of resources. A very pleasing result and they were performing well.
Mrs Hibbert-Biles also reported that £91k had been donated to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) with an additional £52k towards two projects – the Rural Advice project and the Partnership Project.
Claire McIntosh, Chipping Norton Police had been approached by Mrs Hibbert-Biles with regards to speeding through the Village. Police had attended the Village to do a “speed check”, but unfortunately this was at the wrong time of day. They were going to be asked to re-visit.
Finally, Mrs Hibbert-Biles advised Council that she is up for re-election in May and has thoroughly enjoyed working alongside this Parish Council.
9. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Q: Miss Tustain asked if the brambles could be cut back on the river bridge as they are very overgrown?
A: Clerk to write to Bill Izod requesting this and also to cut back/take out all dead wood. Whilst writing Clerk to advise Mr Izod that very recently a tree had come down in the road in front of one of the Councillors.
Q: Miss Tustain asked if the brambles/hedge could be cut back at the top of Chipping Norton hill where the road joins the A361 as visibility is extremely poor.
A: Clerk to write to Mr Izod and request this be done as soon as possible.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Walk Through Ascott Leaflet was handed round, it was agreed that with a few minor changes to the photographs and the map this was ready for print. Mr V Lewis was to be approached to see if he could do an improved plan.
Mike Pearce suggested a “Litter Pick” on Saturday 25th March, to meet at the Tiddy Hall at 10am. Clerk to contact WODC Environmental for Bags, Gloves and Posters. Notice to be dropped off at the Village Shop.
It was decided that the Parish Council Annual General meeting is to be held on Monday 10th April, 2006 at 8pm in the Tiddy Hall. Clerk to book hall and write out to relevant organisations accordingly.
11. NEXT MEETING
Meeting closed at 9.55 pm and the date of the next meeting is Monday 3rd April, 2006 at 8.00 pm in the Tiddy Hall.