SHIPTON UNDER WYCHWOOD PARISH COUNCIL
A COTSWOLD VILLAGE AND COMMUNITY
Minutes of the Meeting of the Council
Thursday 21st July 2022, 7:30pm, New Beaconsfield Hall
Present: Jill Mavin (chair), Tim Yates (vice-chair), Carole Arnold, Matthew Colledge, Hilary Hibbert-Biles, Jan Lund, Simon Randall, County Cllr Liz Leffman, District Cllr David Cooper, Parish Clerk Zoe Thornburgh
- Public participation session: there were no members of the public present.
- To receive apologies for absence: there were no apologies received; all Cllrs were present.
- Declarations of interest:
- Approval of minutes from previous meeting
Resolved: The minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 16th June 2022 were approved and signed as a correct record by the Chair.
- Matters arising from the previous minutes: None.
- County Councillor report
County Cllr Liz Leffman reported on the following:
6.1 The recent Bus Summit manifesto has been published and OCC are waiting for the government to approve a £12million plan which includes ticketing, joining up of services and a reduction of fares for young people.
Older people were found to be particularly reluctant to return to using bus services.
The grants previously provided to bus companies to support them during the pandemic will finish in September – OCC are lobbying the Government to renew their support, to avoid a sudden drop in funds.
6.2 The North Cotswold Line Task Force has been lobbying for an increase in rail services. Doubling the line to allow for an increased service to Shipton would cost over £150million so is not in any current plans. However, it is thought that a twice-hourly service to Charlbury or Kingham could be implemented.
6.3 A recent water outage in Burford was quickly fixed by Thames Water, supported by the Fire & Rescue Service. A pipe had burst in Witney owing to an infrastructure problem.
6.4 A meeting is to be arranged later this year, with all agencies linked to the water supply so that local residents can ask questions.
6.5 Council asked whether there was any information available to highlight the bus campaign. Liz will ask the Communications Dept to produce something.
6.6 Council asked for an update on the blocked drains in Milton Road. These have been assessed and will have been placed on a maintenance schedule.
6.7 Council reported that the footpath between Sinnels Field and Ascott Road has become very overgrown. Cllr Leffman will report this to the OCC Footpaths Officer.
6.8 Council reported that several verges on the Leafield Road, near Fiveways, have some standing stones which could be dangerous to drivers or pedestrians. These have already been reported on FixMyStreet, but Cllr Leffman will highlight them to the Highways Dept.
District Councillor report
District Cllr David Cooper reported on the following:
6.9 Many questions have been asked of the new WODC admin, especially regarding sewage. There is no legislative authority at district level of Thames Water, but dates have been requested for their proposals.
6.10 The carbon offset strategy outlined in the new budget is in its early stages. Cllr Cooper will report back with any updates at the next meeting.
7.1 Applications received from WODC
22/01770/HHD 8 Littlebrook Meadow, Shipton-under-Wychwood
Demolition of conservatory to be replaced with a single storey rear extension.
Parish Council made no objection.
22/01772/HHD Licence Cottage, Church Street, Shipton-under-Wychwood
Rear extension to existing cottage at ground and first floors.
Parish Council made no objection, although it had several concerns regarding the neighbourliness of this application and thought that some party wall agreements would be necessary.
22/01847/FUL Lane House Barn, Milton Road, Shipton-under-Wychwood
Change of use of land from paddock to garden and conversion of an existing stable block into a yoga studio and garden machinery store. This application is for minor amendments to a previous application.
Parish Council’s previous statement still stands: no objection.
7.2 WODC decisions
22/01301/FUL Quarry Hill Farm Shipton Under Wychwood
Conversion of outbuilding to create two holiday lets and associated works.
Parish Council made no objection
Approved by WODC 07/07/22
- To approve cleaning of Cospatrick memorial.
3 quotes have been requested but only 1 received. It was noted that the flagstones also need resetting.
Action: Clerk to move this item to the September meeting.
- To consider earmarked reserves 2022/23.
Council approved the current list and do not wish to make any additions.
- To agree plans for Volunteers ‘thank you’.
Plans were outlined for a gathering to thank the Shipton Volunteers and Speedwatch group for their hard work over the last year.
Resolved: Approval was given to spend £150 on drinks for this event.
- To consider overhanging shrubs/trees and general roadside appearance.
A number of hedges and shrubs, especially along Milton Road, are now impeding use of the footpath, causing pedestrians to step into the road. Road signs are also obscured in places.
Resolved: To deliver a polite letter to the relevant homeowners, requesting that some maintenance be carried out. It is hoped that making a report to OCC Highways can be avoided.
Action: Cllr Lund to compile a letter for Council to distribute.
- To discuss action to be taken regarding prolonged parking on grass verges.
Verge parking near Littlebrook Meadow, Meadow Lane and on the village green is increasing, causing damage to the verges and reducing road width.
Resolved: To monitor duration of stay and report if necessary: taxed vehicles to OCC Highways and untaxed vehicles to DVLA.
Action: Cllr Mavin to speak with the Shaven Crown & request that residents be encouraged to use car park.
- To consider placing of trees on playing field.
Council discussed a communication from a Meadow Lane resident, expressing concern regarding some trees planted on the playing field by the Parish Council last year. Despite efforts at the time to speak to all local residents before planting, this lady had not been consulted and felt that the trees were too close to her property. In time, she believed that the trees were likely to block her light and produce intrusive roots.
Resolved: To move the offending trees – if possible, to another site on the playing field.
Action: Cllr Lund to obtain quotes for the work.
- To discuss general hedge maintenance.
Council considered whether the hedges surrounding the playing field should be trimmed more frequently. Most are currently contracted out to Green Scythe for a biannual cut but the high hedge on the western boundary, next to the tennis courts, is cut on request. It was noted that some are currently impeding pedestrians on the pavement and that one hedge is maintained voluntarily by a local resident.
It was also noted that the Green Scythe contract comes up for tender October 2022.
Resolved: To look into the costs of more regular trims.
Action: Cllr Lund to speak with GreenScythe re when the next cut is due, the cost of cutting more than twice a year, and the additional cost of cutting the high hedge on the western boundary by the tennis courts.
Action: Clerk to send out invitations to tender for grass/verge and hedge maintenance, to start March 2023.
- To discuss Shipton Fair issues.
Cllr Randall reported that The Old Prebendal has donated £350 towards Fair costs.
Raffle tickets and flyers have been printed, and Councillors were invited to take some for distribution.
- To discuss action to be taken re outdoor COVID structure at The Wychwood Inn.
Council noted that, whilst temporary structures were permitted without planning permission during the COVID lockdown, this allowance has now finished, and the outdoor extension and pizza oven kitchen at The Wychwood Inn seem to have become permanent.
Resolved: To encourage The Wychwood Inn to apply for retrospective planning.
Action: Cllr Mavin will discuss with the publican.
- To consider purchase of new playground bin.
Clerk explained that an old bin between the playground and village hall is no longer being emptied because WODC is only taking responsibility now for their new dual-purpose bins. Council considered whether to remove the bin or to pay for replacement and fortnightly empty.
Resolved: It was decided that the bin was necessary & that it should be replaced.
Action: Clerk to arrange for installation of new bin and fortnightly empy using £250 bin budget.
- To consider NBH lease, partic floodlighting clause.
Council was reminded that the NBH is responsible for the tennis club lease.
- To consider maintenance of Simons Lane waterway.
Following discussion with the OCC Footpaths Officer, it has been established that this waterway is the responsibility of the adjacent hedge owner.
Resolved: To identify and discuss with the hedge owner.
Action: Cllr Yates to take this forward.
- To review procedure for death of a leading national figure.
Cllr Randall has confirmed that the Wychwood Diocese is happy to take responsibility for hosting a Book of Condolence, in the event of the death of a leading national figure.
Action: Clerk to amend policy.
- To construct a policy structure for locking of NBH gates.
Resolved: Cllr Yates has provided padlock. Following communication with NBH, process for communicating and locking gates to be led by NBH committee supported by Parish Council.
Action: Cllrs Mavin, Yates and Lund to meet with NBH Chair and Manager to agree an emergency plan in light of imminent traveller threat.
- Financial & Administrative Matters:
22.1 To receive the monthly financial summary & approval of payments.
The monthly bank reconciliation was circulated before the meeting.
Resolved: To make bank transfer payments of the following Schedule of Accounts
Sinnels Field Grass Cutting Grant £51.50
Green Scythe Ltd Inv 14585 £1308.67
Green Scythe Ltd Inv 14703 £1363.58
Clerk wages £679.55
HMRC PAYE £163.40
Sam Turner & Sons £1144.00
Wychwood Wild Garden £1000.00
A Touch of Grace £1000.00
BHIB Insurance £455.74
Repay Kay Shortland £18.05
Sophie England Inv 155 £90.00
Ben Jessey £242.00
WOCT Grant payment 2/5 £500.00
Castle Water (direct debit) £36.49
Action: Payments to be authorised by Cllrs Mavin and Randall.
22.2 To receive total income/expenditure of Jubilee Tea
Clerk reported that last month’s Jubilee Tea raised £281.50 against costs of £424.15. Council expressed thanks to several residents who had donated their table deposits.
22.3 To review the Q1 budget.
The Q1 financial summary was circulated before the meeting. Cllr Yates noted that it was very difficult to review Q1 expenditure against budget as the variances are unclear.
Action: Clerk and Cllr Arnold to meet & discuss presentation of expenditure and budget figures, for consideration at the September meeting.
22.4 Authorisation of payments in absence of authorizing Councillors
Council considered how to authorise payments in event of too few registered Councillors at the meeting.
Resolved: To email invoices to any registered, absent Councillor who was able to access a computer.
Action: Clerk to register Cllr Yates and Cllr Colledge for the Unity Internet Banking service.
- Councillor portfolios – to receive reports on activities
Allotments: Planting of the allotment wildflower meadow has been disappointing. Ben Jessey has offered to re-sow and make good at his own expense.
Ragwort has been noted on several plots, which is to be discouraged as it is poisonous to horses and cattle. Allotmenteers have been asked to remove it from their plots and a working party will take place on 12th August to clear any remaining.
Highways: In preparation for colder weather, salt stock was checked. There is plenty in store at the allotment for resident collection. Cllr Hibbert-Biles is to check whether OCC will automatically refill the salt bins.
Defib/Generator: Cllrs Yates and Colledge have received a briefing from Rob Dyer for maintenance of the defibrillator units at NBH and Fiddlers Hill and the generator at NBH. Clerk will deal with the defib administration. The NBH manager has offered to do a monthly check of the generator, and is to receive a briefing from Cllr Yates later this month.
Playground: A ROSPA inspection has been ordered and will take place within the next 6 weeks.
Trees: TreeTech are yet to respond with a date for the tree works resulting from their 2021 survey.
Environment: Cllr Lund is looking into improvements we could make locally, e.g. no-mow May and hedgehog highways.
- To receive reports from Community Groups & Organisations
Wychwood Wild Garden newsletter is now available and can be viewed on the Council website www.shiptonunderwychwood.org, in the News section.
- Report of Clerk, communications and noteworthy correspondence
No correspondence received that hadn’t already been discussed in the meeting.
- Any other business
Following a Planning Inspection of the Wychwood Tennis Club, 19th July, Cllrs Lund and Hibbert-Biles reported that a statement of common ground between the Planning Authority and the tennis club is due to be signed imminently. It is understood that the tennis club have requested written representation, thereby removing the opportunity for comments to be made. Cllr Lund suggested that Council make a request to comment but, following a vote, Council decided that its previous comments were sufficient.
- The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 18th August 2022
The meeting was closed at 9.45pm..
18th August 2022