Parish Councillors Present:
Oxfordshire County Council:
Rodney Rose, County Councillor
Members of the Public:
Nigel Braithwaite, Rob Morgan, Richard Franks.
Received from Nick Leadbetter and Peter Greening.
There were three amendments, the first and second being being under Matters Arising, OCC Highways – should read Highways were going to be in Ascott on Wednesday 12th March to carry out a trial of a process in High Street which reuses the existing road surface when repairing defective areas. The second should read Highways were looking to replacing the large posts, which have been erected down the reinstated verge with the smaller wooden posts and the possibility of placing these smaller wooden posts down the one side of the Green also. The third amendment was under Planning, the last application noted should read Single Storey Side Extension at Vicarage Cottage, 20 London Lane. The minutes were then signed, dated and filed.
3 MATTERS ARISING:
OCC Highways – Ongoing – Clerk to now chase hard with regards to:
- the removal of the white lines in the middle of the road down the one side of the Green
- the replacement of the smaller wooden posts on the reinstated grass verge
- smaller wooden posts being erected down the one side of the Village Green
- ongoing road surfaces including the numerous potholes throughout the Village
Pavilion/Sports Club – Ongoing.
Village Shop – Ongoing.
Parish Conservation Plan – Stuart Fox reported, as Project Manager for the development of the Pound, that the builders would be siting the stones on Thursday and that Bridgette will assist. Bridgette and Elaine have tried to identify the individual stones in advance of Thursday to help Stuart and the Builders. Still no response from the electricity company – clerk to chase.
5 Shilling Quarry – Ongoing, Clerk to chase re. the quotation for a post & barbed wire fence to be erected.
2a Shipton Road – Ongoing
Cornbury Estate – Clerk to write to the Estate Office with regards to the stream/culvert to the North West side of the railway line.
Risk Assessment – Stuart Fox reported that this was now complete and the following would need to be addressed:
- Playing Field – the bark to be measured and possiblly replenished. The wooden bar to be extended and replaced at the end of the slide. The side of the slide steps has a large piece of grass which needs to be removed.
- Village Green – the annual tree inspection, Clerk to chase Andrew Jackson.
- 5 Shilling Quarry – the trees would need to be looked at in the future.
- Parish Council must consider inspecting the tree around the playing field next Winter.
Bus Service Review – Peter Greening has been appointed this role, has put up the posters and circulated questionaires. Stuart has given details to Peter of the responsible councillor at Shipton-under-Wychwood, Robert McConnachie, as a contact for future cooperation over transport matters.
Action Peter Greening
Code of Conduct Training – A letter had been received from WODC notifying the Parish Council that there were several training sessions available. All Councillors present and Clerk agreed that they would attend the June session to be held at the Beaconsfield Hall. Before replying Clerk to ask Nick and Peter to confirm they wished to attend also.
Sports Field Sign – Clerk to chase District Councillor on progress.
Stuart Fox reported that the Environment Agency report had been temporarily withdrawn due to some inaccuracies, but the report did mention Ascott and noted that the work on the railway bridge was a priority, including narrowing or removing the former farm track and also on the right bank, a tree was overhanging which would be dealt with by either pollarding or removal. It also noted the possible construction of a flood bund. Stuart Fox then reported on the following progress, as follows;
i Oxfordshire County Council Highways
The railway culvert was clear and the ditch would need cleaning out.
Mr Franks asked for it to be noted on record that the river needs to be cleaned as even the small amount of rainfall made the river rise at a fast pace. He also asked for it to be noted that Thames Water needed to address the sewage problem in the Village, which goes back to Milton-under-Wychwood sewage reclamation plant. Clerk to write to Jenny Elliot at Thames Water.
ii Gypsy Lane
OCC have confirmed they will carry out works to increase the size of pipes, which should help the water flow.
iii Network Rail
Stuart had been in talks with Network Rail who had confirmed that there was no damage to the river bridge, but was waiting for his legal team to clarify the status of the farmr track. They would like to narrow or remove the track and smooth the curve of the retaining wall to aid water flow.
Brian Ridley will pollard the tree that falls on his land. It had been noted that there was a blocked culvert between the footway crossing and under the railway line. Stuart will investigate this culvert, which is situated on Nick Carter’s land as it might provide another escape route for the river in the event of another catastrophic flood.
iv Early Warning Systems
Stuart reported, in Nick Leadbetter’s absence that Nick had met with Mr Jeffrey from Moreton Town Council to discuss a flood early warning arrangement. Moreton were more than happy to do this and Nick had suggested inviting Mr Jeffrey to the next informal discussion in the pub.
Action Nick Leadbetter
v Lord Rotherwick
Stuart reported that Lord Rotherwick had sent apologies for the delay in addressing the issues with the river, this was because effort has been concentrated on the Fawler end and he plans to move resources and staff to the Ascott area in August.
vi Riparian Owners
Stuart reported that he had written to Mr Izod twice, but had received no response. It was suggested that the District Councillor was advised of this and asked to apply more pressure, as had been previously discussed. Clerk to contact Hilary Hibbert-Biles.
vii Ascott Recovery Committee (ARC)
Stuart reported that Nick and he had had various meetings with the representatives of ARC to discuss its future. It had been decided that ARC would come to a natural end and that a flood sub-committee reporting directly to the Parish Council would be formed. Draft Terms of Reference had been prepared, which were circulated to the meeting and public to read. After discussion it was asked for the third paragraph to be changed to read “signed by the Chairman”, this was done.
It was confirmed that the Ascott Parish Contingency Plan would now be accepted by the Council and would be published in the next edition of the Grapevine. It was reported that numerous items of flood equipment had been purchased – shovels, waders etc. Stuart was asked to investigate the supplier of the walkie talkies used at the Wildlife Park, the loud hailers were yet to be purchased.
Action Stuart Fox
It was reported that on 25th July there would be a joint meeting of the Wychwoods to be held at the Beaconsfield Hall. David Cameron would be attending and all flood issues would be discussed. It was asked if Bill Oddy could put sand bins around various points in the Village – these being 2 at the Tiddy Hall, 1 to 2 at the Playing Field and possibly 2 outside Tyack’s Yard. The need for Wychwood Court and the Green will be greater than along the east end of the High Street. Roger Shepherd to be asked about siting the bins at the Tiddy and approached about storing the tools we had purchased for the emergency risk in the old scouts room at the Tiddy Hall.
Action Stuart Fox
Bridgette read out an article regarding Sewerage Undertakers (Thames Water) who would undertake necessary works. It was asked to be noted that a Telemetry system should be placed down all of the rivers.
Stuart then asked the meeting if the meeting were happy for a sub-committe to be formed – all agreed to this. Robert Morgan queried the contact numbers and names list where it noted the wrong telephone number for Highways. The correct number was given by County Councillor Rodney Rose and noted accordingly.
- Letter received from Burford School Association
- Letter received from OCC Mobile Library Service
- Cotswold & Malvern Line News Booklet
- Letter from Milton-under-Wychwood PC Flood Early Warning System
- Letter received from OCC Highways re. a letter to them fro Mr T Lyon
- Letter from OPFA
- Letter from Keith Mitchell OCC
- Letter & Posters from Cotswolds Cons. Board Dry Stone Walling
- Letter from South East England Regional Housing Board
- Letter from OCC Subsidised Bus Services
- Letter from Keith Butler at WODC – Code of Conduct Training
Clerk asked to reply to the letter from Burford School Association advising them that on this occasion the Parish Council were unable to assist.
08/0261/P/FP ERECTION OF SINGLE STOREY SIDE EXTENSION at VICARAGE COTTAGE, 20 LONDON LANE, ASCOTT-UNDER-WYCHWOOD
7. FINANCIAL REPORT:
Allotment Rents £7.50
Payments Out £
Carrera Graphics £610.00 Cheque No. 100631
Clerks quarterly salary £470.46 Cheque No. 100632
Clerks quarterly expenses £110.04 Cheque No. 100633
HM Revenue £132.69 Cheque No. 100634
Bridgette Crundwell £375.78 Cheque No. 100635 (flood equipment)
Bridgette Crundwell £95.92 Cheque No. 100636 (flood equipment)
Stuart Fox £105.75 Cheque No. 100637 (Ascott Barrow Grant)
The annual accounts to 31 March 2008 were then circulated, read and approved – these were then signed by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer and filed. The Statement of Accounts to 31 March 2008, which is a summary of the accounts as required by the auditors was then circulated for approval. This was then signed by the Chairman and the Responsible Financial Officer. Clerk to note page number and reference as Page 3, Item 7. Financial Report, paragraph 3. The Annual Governance Statement in the audit document was discussed by the Council and the questions answered and approved in these minutes, Page 3, Item 7. Financial Report, paragraph 3.
It was reported that the insurance renewal had been received at a premium of £1516 – other quotes are being sourced to compare.
8. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT:
Rodney Rose reported that Milton-under-Wychwood will be holding full Parish Council elections on 1st May. Rodney reported on his role on the board for the Control Centre of the Fire Service, South East where he had visited and did express concerns on the future of the smaller Fire Stations and the effect this centre was going to have.
Rodney reported on the needs of identifying suitable land in the Wychwoods to build suitable retirement accommodation after the survey in July.
9. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORT:
10. PUBLIC QUESTIONS:
Q: Rob Morgan asked why the Precept had risen by 40%?
A: Stuart Fox answered that this was due to flood relief and finishing the Pound project and to keep adequate reserves. Stuart also confirmed that should all of these additional funds not be used, this would then reduce next year’s precept.
11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Elaine Byles asked if anybody knew how long the Leafield Road would be closed. Rodney Rose advised that he would look into this and report back.
Elaine reported that she had received a telephone call regarding a bonfire at Crown Farm. WODC had already been contacted by a parishioner as had the Fire Brigade and the Police – it was confirmed that this was arson. Stuart Fox had spoken to Mr & Mrs Badger and it was agreed that the only course of action was to let the heap burn itself out.
Stuart Fox asked if the PC wanted to take part in the Oxfordshire Village of the Year competition – all agreed not to take part.
It had been noted that the Swan Public House had a “flood marker” inside the pub and it had been suggested that perhaps a flood marker could be placed somwhere in the Village to show the flood level outside. This idea was rejected.
Stuart Fox advised the meeting that Jane Bowley from the Wychwood Project has been invited to the May meeting to talk about the completion of the Parish Conservation Challenge.
There being no further business Stuart Fox closed the meeting at 10.05pm and reminded all that the Annual Meeting would be held in the Tiddy Hall next Monday 21st April at 8.00pm. The May meeting would be held on Monday 12th May at 8.00pm.