- Philippa Carter
- Sandy Timms
- Peter Rance
- Brian Leach
- Pauline Plant
- Liz Leffman
- Jake Acock
- Angela Barnes
Members of the Public
No apologies received.
2. Minutes of the Last Meeting
The Minutes recorded from the virtual meeting held on 8 June 2020, were approved as a true record and will be duly signed, dated and filed when actual meetings resume.
3. Declarations of interest
4. Financial Report
Bank Balance £53642.27
200143 Chris Badger £225.00 work on salt store
200144 A Barnes £227.96 July Salary
200145 HMRC £57.00 PAYE
200146 S Fox £2.49 Ring binder for 2020/21 vouchers
200147 Galebreakers £182.40 tarpaulin for salt store
200148 Chris Badger £160.00 Pavilion fire exit handrail
200149 P Carter £72.45 Sadolin etc for play equipment
200150 P Carter £36.85 Wood treatment for play equipment
200151 Wickstead Leisure £744.00
Cllr Carter reported that the project to renovate the Tiddy Hall toilets is to start imminently. The total cost is £25,000 and the project should be completed in 2 weeks. The PC had agreed to grant fund up to 10% of the total depending on the success that the trustees have in obtaining other grants. Unfortunately, they have not been able to secure as much as hoped and so Tiddy itself will contribute £5,000 and the trustees have asked that the PC contribute the full £2,500. Village Hall grants are not part of a Parish Council’s S137 budget allowance. This was proposed by Cllr Leach, duly seconded by Cllr Rance and agreed unanimously.
Bank Statement reconciliation
Agreed and signed.
To be carried forward to the September meeting.
Internal Auditors Report
The Internal Audit was completed by Margaret Ismail, who reported the following:
PV8: Cheque No 200044 for £17.68 to A Barnes is not shown as cancelled in minutes of 13th May. The chq was re-issued and shown in minutes of 10th June. So the minutes record it as a payment twice.
Minutes of 14th October not signed.
PV50: Cheque no 200089 for £547.28 recorded in minutes of 11th November as £546.07.
Expenditure amounts in minutes of 10th Feb do not show cheque numbers against amounts.
Cheque no 200116 to Maylarch for Asbestos removal for £3558.00 shown as cancelled in Cash Book but not shown as cancelled in minutes of 9th March or on chq stub. The cheque was issued at the Council meeting for the wrong amount and Stuart Fox later issued a cheque for the correct amount.
Mins of 6th April do not show cheque numbers against expense amounts.
There is no Payment Voucher for Chq no 200114 for Clerks Expenses of £21.28.
The cheques, noted below, were issued at the Parish Council meeting held on the 9th September but not recorded in the September Minutes.
200070 P Carter £22.56 Materials for salt store.
200071 ROSPA £115.80 Playground inspection
200072 CLPG £15.00 Subscription
200073 RPC £576.00 Picnic bench
September Precept payment is shown in Minutes of 9th September and 14th October.
The Clerk and Stuart Fox (RFO) discussed the outcome of the Internal Audit both came to the conclusion that the cheques noted missing from the September minutes was due to them being agreed and issued at the meeting. Both will be more vigilant in the recording.
5. Reports from County and District Councillors
CCllr Leffman reported that OCC were beginning to hold Scrutiny meetings and County Hall meetings remotely. Highways had completed works around the Station area and had a programme for cutting vegetation back. She reported that £600k had been given to the Government to actively promote a travel programme to aid walking and cycling. OCC received half of this grant – £300k. Cllr Leffman reported that she had donated funds from her Priority Fund to struggling families and children.
DCllr Acock reported that there no motions carried as no Scrutiny meetings had been held. He reported that Face Coverings would be mandatory from tomorrow in all shops and on public transport. He reported on talks about all councils to become unitary and to abolish district councils and have one large council. He reported that there was to be a white paper at the end of September.
6. Public Time
No public time recorded.
20/00340/FUL – Withdrawn
19/02811/FUL – rejected. Developers have 6 months to consider an Appeal, which is until 12 August 2020.
8. Matters Arising
(a) Footpaths – ongoing
(b) Neighbourhood Plan (NP)
The Parish Council is the Designated Body for this NP and as such takes ultimate responsibility. The Steering Group (SG) is its Neighbourhood Plan ‘sub-committee’; it has met twice online and notes of the meetings have been presented to the Parish Council. Members of the SG include Richard Smith, Brian Leach, Philippa Carter and Naomi Tiley. The first tasks were to set up the dedicated website and deliver an introductory flyer. The flyer explained the reasons for a NP and directed all residents to an initial questionnaire and a set Frequently Asked Questions which give more detailed explanation. Both are available online and in printed form from the shop. The other essential first step is to establish the ‘Designated Area’ and formally register the fact that Ascott-u-W is writing a Neighbourhood Plan with WODC. This takes several months. Meanwhile, the results of the questionnaire will be analysed, the project scoped and a budget set in preparation for grant applications. P Cllr Leach agreed to register interest in training sessions which CPRE Oxfordshire may run.
9. Risk Assessment and Ground Maintenance
Playground – There has been a working party to undertake maintenance and repairs – many thanks to residents Nick Carter and Richard Squires. Subsequently, the playground has been opened under new Covid-19 guidelines and with signage in line with advice from WODC. After a 12-month delay Wicksteed have now repainted the slide. Mr Weaver (resident) has donated a picnic bench to the playground which Shane Barnes has concreted in.
Pavilion – Chris Badger has installed a wooden handrail at the kitchen door of the pavilion. The PC had taken into account the advice about avoiding crowd crushing in the event of a fire. It was felt that a robust wooden hand rail would be a good compromise as it would not hold if many people pushed against it but it would act as a guide for normal usage so that the person would know which way to leave the raised platform (especially important in the dark).
Pound – Shane Barnes has concreted in the second bench.
10. Community Emergency Plan
Snow – The Salt Store is now built and the salt installed – many thanks to Chris Badger, Tony Hill, Michael Tucker and Nick Carter.
Covid 19 – Shop delivery of prescriptions to homes has now been cut back to pre-Covid arrangements. Prescriptions from Wychwood and Charlbury surgeries will continue to be delivered to Ascott Village Shop on Wednesdays and should be collected by the customer or helper. The shop will arrange for a home delivery if absolutely necessary. A note has been delivered to everyone that had been receiving home deliveries. Many thanks to Richard and Carol Squires for taking on this service so smoothly – the Wychwood Pharmacy was most impressed and very grateful as it reduced footfall to the surgery during the worst of the emergency. Thank you also to Debra Cull for organising home grocery deliveries.
Ascott Village Shop has remained open all the time with all staff being extremely diligent about hygiene. 2 people or a family group are now allowed in at one time. The village owes a great debt to Bridgette Crundwell and all the committee for the hard work that they have put in to keep the shop safe and running smoothly during this time.
Covid 19 – thank you to P Cllr Plant for taking responsibility for closing and opening the Playing Field every day. The PC agreed to review this arrangement at their September meeting.
Good news at last. WOCT have published a temporary, though reduced bus service timetable commencing 27th July. It focuses upon journeys to and from Witney for workers, Ascott 08:16 & 10:28 arriving Witney 08:47 & 10:54, with returns arriving at Ascott at 12:25, 15:39 & 17:50. Given Covid rules, social distancing etc is crucial, but on peak passenger times, a second bus will travel in convoy. Villager Buses are currently planning a service commencing 3rd August but its extent depends on the drivers they have available, and social distancing impact on usable seats too! Hence nothing is firm enough to publish.
Here again, good news in that on Monday 6th July the Halts weekday service resumed. However, Cllr Rance is advised by those who relied upon it pre Covid, that most if not all, are either furloughed or home working, so usage from Ascott at least may be minimal. Thus is hardly surprising however, as GWR Franchise are operating trains at HMG direction, with both parties knowing the much reduced financial rewards are simply not sustainable. The future, like so much that is Covid impacted, is wholly unpredictable, so we must await events rather.
There is now a weight restriction on Burford Bridge and P Cllrs were concerned that this would impact on the amount of traffic passing through Ascott. Even more reason to get on with the Neighbourhood Plan.
C Cllr Leffman reported that 2 roadside hedges are on the Highways schedule to be cut back and these are from Manor Farm entrance to the level crossing and from the signal box to Station Place.
Cllr Leach reported that the 2 plots that were unused are now being used and have been cleaned up. It was also reported that the Dog Poo bin had come away from its fixings and was now laid on the grass. Cllr Leach agreed to send a photo of where this should be re-sited to the Clerk and she would organise for this to be repaired/replaced.
14. Reports from Organisations
The cricket club has started games and they hope to continue to play friendlies at home on Sunday afternoons until the end of August after which they will organise away matches. They have worked hard to build site screens and gather the equipment they need. They have also been helpful with general maintenance work to the ground and Pavilion. The match attracted a lot of support.
P Councillors discussed the possibility of allowing the football team to have a TV in the Pavilion to check football results while they have post-match refreshments. The PC agreed in principle as long as the TV is not left in view as it might be an incentive for a break-in. The Sports Club will have an aerial professionally installed and the football club will pay the licence fee. This permission is granted under the understanding that the pavilion will be completely vacated by 6pm.
Cllr Carter (in her position as Sports Club chairman) asked the PC for permission to allow rabbit-proof fencing to be erected on 2 sides of the Playing Field. The Sports Club will fund the project. Cllr Rance proposed granting permission, Cllr Plant seconded the proposal and it was agreed unanimously.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Margaret Ismail – Internal Audit Report
Invoice from Wicksteed Leisure
CPRE Oxfordshire Parish Council Summer Survey
OCC – CCllr Liz Leffman re overgrown hedges
Clerk & Councils Direct
16. Any Other Business
Cllr Carter reminded everyone that the Grapevine Article was due at the end of the month.
There being no further business, Cllr Carter declared the meeting closed at 9.00pm.
Cllr Philippa Carter (Chairman)
Date: Monday 14 September 2020 (held remotely)