Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 1st October 2019 at 7.30 pm.
Mr. B. Parnham Chairman
Mrs. S. Adams
Mrs. S Garrett
Mrs. A. Knipe
Mr. D. Bevan Clerk
Mr. C Mathew (OCC councillor), Mr. S Good & Mrs. H Fenton (WODC councillors), Ms. J Lancaster, Mrs. S Miles (St. Giles Churchwarden) Mr. J. Bond-Smith, Mr. B. Smith
1. APOLOGIES – Mr. J Rippin, Mr. S. Jones, Mr. S. Hoskin
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – There were no declarations of interest.
3. PUBLIC ITEMS – Ms. Lancaster said that she was representing her father who is the applicant for planning permission to build a dwelling at Delaware Cottage, 1 The Butts and she outlined her father’s objection to the council’s reasons for objecting to the application. In brief, Mr. Lancaster did not consider the council’s reasons to be valid in the light of the Planning Inspector’s dismissal of those objections in his ruling on a previous application – even though the appeal was refused on a technicality which had now been resolved. Ms. Lancaster therefore asked the council to review their decision and withdraw the objection. Mr. Parnham said that the council would be discussing the matter later and she was welcome to stay but not speak during the discussion. Ms. Lancaster decided to stay and observe.
Mrs. Miles was present to give an update on the status of the church and was invited to speak – see item 11.
4. COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS –
WODC: Mrs. Fenton reminded the meeting that last Year’s successful Water Day was being repeated on 27th October at 10am. She also informed the meeting that, for family reasons, she probably would not be attending many meetings in the near future. Mr. Parnham and Mr. Mathew wished her well and hope she would return soon.
Mr. Good had nothing to report to affect the parish but informed the meeting he was now cabinet member with responsibility for Community Safety Partnership, Crime and Disorder, Scrutiny of Police and Crime Commissioner and Neighbourhood Policing. Mr. Parnham noted the lack of visible police presence and the increase in crime and anti-social behaviour in villages and asked what was being done about it. Mr. Good said the police were undoubtedly over stretched but, hopefully, the recently announced increase in recruiting will help.
OCC: Mr. Mathew reported that political changes in South Oxfordshire may impact on the Growth Plan which will have implications for funding of improvements to the A40.
Regarding the complaints about noise from Sheehan’s recycling plant at Dix Pit affecting residents in Standlake and Stanton Harcourt. This has recently stopped following complaints, but the conditions of the planning permission from WODC are not clear and attempts to clarify matters with WODC have failed. He asked Mr. Good what was happening and Mr. Good replied that he was now in touch with the situation and would report back.
5. PLANNING – Review of objection to application 19/01556/FUL Delaware Cottage. The clerk reminded the councillors of the correspondence with the WODC planning officer concerned and the officer’s response: that the council was entitled to object regardless of any decision by the officers or inspector regarding a previous application, but the officer also confirmed that the technical objection by the inspector had been resolved.
There was considerable discussion amongst councillors and it was decided by 3 to 1 that the objection be withdrawn.
6. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.
7. MATTERS ARISING
Village Shop – nothing further to report at this meeting.
Roads/Traffic/Speeding – Mr. Jones has met with OCC traffic advisor and a number of solutions are being looked at. Mr. Jones will update in person at the next meeting.
Recreation Ground/Playgrounds – The goalposts have now been re-sited and the old goals reseeded. The bolt at Windrush Way Playground has been repaired.
Public Footpaths– Hornsway –NTR at this meeting. Bridge Rails – OCC are still investigating ownership.
8. CORRESPONDENCE Sheehan’s noise complaints – see OCC councillor report. WI request to Noble Foods for financial support with provision of litter bins – the request has been refused by NF – Mr. Parnham will write to NF. Request for council support in letter to parents re school parking – Mr. Parnham will draft a letter.
9. ACCOUNTS – the following accounts were approved for payment.
Absolute Solutions – re-site goalposts £160.00
St Giles church - churchyard upkeep, 2nd half £600.00
D C Bevan – laptop battery £30.98
Wileman & Sons – bus shelter cleaning £30.00
Moore – audit fees £240.00
10. EXTERNAL AUDIT REPORT FY 2018/19 – the external auditors have approved the council’s accounts for 2018/19 with a minor observation on how reporting of grants received are recorded. This was unanimously accepted.
11. ST.GILES CHURCH – Mrs. Miles began by saying the church had received praise for the ceramic poppy display which was provided by the parish council. She then reported that the costs for the churchyard upkeep had risen and would appreciate the council considering an increase in support for the mowing. There followed a discussion with the clerk about closed churchyards and the responsibilities of local authorities thereafter. Mrs. Miles said she understood that the churchyard had been closed for existing burials in the nineteen fifties but had no documents to support this. The clerk said he had looked into this, and understood there were several ecclesiastical and legal stages to this procedure, culminating in an Order in Council under the Burial Act 1853 but there seemed to be no record of this happening.
Mrs. Miles said that she wanted to apprise the council of the critical financial situation facing the church itself, indeed if matters do not improve then it is very likely that the church will have to close in 3 years’ time. To the surprise of some members she said that the Church of England did not support the church in any way and all expenditure, including the Rector’s salary, had to come from money raised at services etc.; she gave the example of a recent Sunday collection - £10. Mrs. Miles concluded by saying that, in the New Year, the churchwardens will be circulating a letter to all residents advising them that the very existence of St. Giles is under threat unless more funding is forthcoming and that this should not be considered as a purely religious matter but that of preserving an ancient and much loved building. She then thanked the council for the time to explain the situation.
12. VILLAGE XMAS TREE – a request has been received for a contribution to the village Xmas Tree. The Gun Dogs club provide the tree and erect it with lights; this year the cost is £140. Mr. Parnham proposed a grant of £70 and this was agreed unanimously.
13. WILLOWS OPPOSITE CHURCH – the willows need heavy trimming, short of full pollarding, and Absolute Solutions have quoted £290; this was approved unanimously.
14. ANY OTHER BUSINESS – The next meeting will be on Tuesday 12th November at 7:30 pm in the Youth Club. The December meeting will be on 17h December. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:20 pm.
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