Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held by Zoom conference call on 4th May 2021 at 7.30pm
Mr. B. Parnham Chairman
Mr. Rippin Vice Chairman
Mrs. A. Knipe
Mrs. L. Burton
Mr. D Jeffcoat
Mrs. J Macdonald
Mr. D. Bevan Clerk
Cllr. C. Mathew (OCC) Dr. G. Dooley and 6 members of the public.
1. APOLOGIES – Mr. S Good
2. ELECTION OF OFFICERS - Mr. Parnham stood down as chairman. Mr. Rippin assumed the chair and asked for nominations for chairman.
Mrs. Knipe proposed Mr. Parnham as chairman, seconded by Mrs. Burton; passed unanimously.
Mr. Parnham signed his acceptance of office and re-convened the meeting as chairman: he then called for nominations for Vice Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer.
Mr. Jeffcoat proposed Mr. Rippin as vice chairman, seconded by Mrs. Macdonald; passed unanimously. Mr. Rippin then signed his acceptance of office.
Mr. Parnham proposed Mr. Bevan (Clerk) as Responsible Financial Officer to the council, seconded by Mr. Rippin; passed unanimously.
Mr. Rippin agreed to act as the council trustee on the Poor's Allotments Charity, agreed unanimously.
Mr. Jeffcoat agreed to act as the council representative on the Village Hall committee.
3. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – there were no declarations of interest.
4. PUBLIC ITEMS – No members of the public wished to speak.
5. COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
Mr. Mathew has spoken to Thames Water (TW) and received further unsatisfactory answers to questions regarding the sewage infrastructure and its environmental impact. He wished the council all the best with their future dealings with TW. Mr. Parnham thanked Mr. Mathew for all his work over the years as our county councillor and said he would be a ‘hard act to follow’.
6. PLANNING -
21/00781/HHD: Erection of detached carport: Cherington The Downs Standlake: Mr Stephen Newett. No objection.
21/00840/HHD: Single storey extension to existing garage and open front porch: Orchard House 26 High Street Standlake: Ms Belinda Dimmock-Smith. No objection.
7. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 13th April 2021, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and will be signed by the chairman at a later date.
8. MATTERS ARISING
Sewage/Flooding – Mr. Parnham reported the latest communication from TW who have updated their water infiltration plan for Standlake and are in the process of allocating funding for this and other work; it is hoped this will be confirmed in late May.
Roads/Traffic/Speeding/Traffic Calming – Mrs. Knipe reported that she and Mr. Bond-Smith had made further speed checks and, once again, Pulham’s coaches have been seen exceeding the 30 mph limit. She said it is concerning the number of violators on the road approaching St. Giles church from The Downs and suggested an email from the school to parents and teachers reminding them of the limit; Mr. Parnham will contact the school about this suggestion. Mrs. Knipe will assume the chair of the Speedwatch committee and said that now Covid restrictions were being lifted more volunteers were required: Mrs. Macdonald volunteered to help.
Mr. Rippin noted that the flashing school lights at The Butts are still not working. The clerk said he had reported this, first in December 2019 and again in April this year, as well as sending an email to OCC – with no reply or action. Mr. Parnham will take this up with his contact at OCC.
Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance - Mr. Parnham said there was nothing to report regarding either Rack End or Windrush Way.
Environment – The clerk reminded the meeting that he suggested a budget of £700 for the Standlake Nature Recovery Network but this was not confirmed, and he asked if this had the councillor’s support; this was agreed unanimously. Mrs. Macdonald thanked the council for supporting the Network. Mrs. Burton reported that OCC no longer undertook the planting of trees but outsourced to contactors, a list of which they have supplied, and this may well alter the estimates she put forward. Mrs. Burton also confirmed the flyers are being printed and will be distributed to all households over the coming weekend.
Hornsway Bench – Mr. Rippin reported that the resident is building a bespoke bench and is awaiting supplies. He also reported that further investigations seemed to confirm that the old bench’s origins were unknown and that it was extremely unlikely its replacement would cause offence.
Martins Lane – The clerk has spoken with the chairman of Standlake Drainage Board (Mr. Townsend) and discussed the council’s concerns with him. Mr. Townsend is aware of conflicting opinions on the scale of upkeep of the lane but stressed that this was an agricultural lane and should be considered as such. He did say that he would do what he could to address any suggestions the council may have - within the bounds of cost and practicality. After some discussion it was agreed that filling in potholes to facilitate a safer surface for joggers etc. would be sufficient. The clerk will convey this to Mr. Townsend.
Defibrillator at school – Mrs. Macdonald confirmed that the battery and pads have been replaced at a cost of £230, the unit was registered with SCAS and inspected regularly. Mr. Parnham suggested a donation of £50 towards the cost and added that the unit should be moved outside the gate, which while not locked at present, could be. Mrs. Macdonald said that the school were content to move the unit but there would be a cost. Mr. Jeffcoat proposed a donation of £50 towards the battery and £50 towards the cost of moving. Mr. Parnham said an estimate should be obtained for moving the unit. A lengthy discussion followed. The clerk intervened to say that there appeared to be two proposals and suggested a formal proposer and seconder for each. Mr. Jeffcoat said he would withdraw his proposal. Mr. Parnham proposed a donation of £50, seconded by Mr. Rippin, passed unanimously.
Village Gates - Mr. Parnham thanked the volunteers who cleaned and, in some cases, painted the gates. Mr. Jeffcoat asked about the lack of gates at the Aston Road entrance and if the Standlake sign by the Village Hall could be replaced as it appears to have been vandalised. The clerk said that the Aston Road should have had gates but OCC, for whatever reason, did not complete the installation when the other gates were installed as part of traffic calming measures in 2002/4. Whatever action is taken in the future will have to be paid for by the parish council. Mr. Rippin seemed to remember that one of the problems was that there was controversy as to what name should go on those gates Standlake and or Brightampton. The clerk said he had received a telephone call from a resident of Brighthampton who raised the matter of lack of signs with that name on them. Mr. Parnham said he would contact OCC and inquire as to a way forward.
9. CORRESPONDENCE – no significant correspondence received.
10. ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the first half of the Precept has been paid and is reflected in the balances on the monthly financial report. Also see reference to the insurance renewal below which is included in the current balance on the financial report.
The following accounts were approved for payment:
Came and Co – insurance renewal 21/22 £993.25
11. ANNUAL RETURN FY 2020/21. The clerk asked for formal approval of the Annual Return (copy of which had been circulated to councillors before the meeting). This was agreed unanimously.
12. INSURANCE RENEWAL – A renewal notice for the council’s insurance cover with a premium of £993.25 has been received and is due 1st June. This is the second year of a three-year fixed agreement; the only increase over the 2020/21 premium consists of cover adding the recently purchased Speedwatch equipment plus an index linked increment.
13. CO-OPTION OF NEW COUNCILLOR – The council now has authorisation to co-opt a new councillor to replace Mrs. Garrett who has resigned. Mr. Parnham proposed that Mr. Tony Ward of Brighthampton be offered the post as he had applied for an earlier vacancy and appeared suitable: this was agreed unanimously. Mr. Parnham will inform Mr. Ward and the clerk will initiate the process with WODC.
14. JUNE MEETING – In the light of government’s refusal to authorise the continuation of remote meetings (citing lack of Parliamentary time) while, at the same time, not removing the restrictions on social distancing etc. a decision on the June meeting was required. Mr. Parnham said he was not prepared to chair face-to-face public meetings until those restrictions have been removed. He said it was possible that the meeting could be held after the 21st June, but this would mean, effectively, cancelling the June meeting as it would fall on 22nd June. Taking all this into account, Mr. Parnham proposed holding the meeting as usual on Tuesday 8th June by Zoom conference call: this was agreed unanimously.
15. ANY OTHER BUSINESS – The next meeting will be by Zoom conference call on Tuesday 8th June 2021 at 7.30pm. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.45 pm.