Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 6th May 2014 at 7.00pm.
Mr. R. Reddy Vice Chairman
Mr. J. Rippin
Mrs. J. Perry
1. APOLOGIES - apologies were received from Mr. C Mathew.
2. PUBLIC ITEMS – no member of the public wished to speak.
3. COUNTY and DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORTS –
Mrs. Fenton reported that she had initiated efforts to ensure planning permission was dependent on developers ensuring sufficient sewage disposal irrespective of Thames Waters’ assurances. It would appear that this has been achieved regarding a recent application for a development in Aston and she will continue to press this at further planning committee meetings.
Mr. Good, acting on concerns by residents and the PC regarding apparent works being carried out at the fishing lake on Croft Lane, introduced Mr. Nick Bassett the owner of the lake now known as Pickford’s Pool. Mr. Bassett explained that bought the pool and adjacent land from a fishing syndicate of which he was a member and he is in the process of undertaking a fairly long term project to improve the water quality for fish by removing the trees causing leaf litter and to alleviate the effect of flooding by making a gently sloping bank rather than the existing sharp drop-off. Trees and hedging will be replanted back from the pool to encourage wildlife which is is the overall objective. To this end he has been taking advice from the Environment Agency, English Heritage and WODC. He agreed the chain link fence is unsightly but the proliferation of otters in the area has made it essential to preserve any fish in the pool and he is examining ways of making it less so.
Mr. Naylor thanked Mr. Bassett for coming to explain his work and also thanked Mr. Good for his intervention.
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
There were no declarations of interest.
14/0164/P/FP – grant of permission –conversion of garage/annex to dwelling with associated parking – Green Acres, Brighthampton – noted.
14/0405/P/FP – grant of permission erection of boundary fence between existing wall and hedge – 29 Aston Rd B’hampton – noted.
14/0547/P/FP – alterations and erection of single storey extension – West Oxon Sailing Club, Hardwick – no objection..
Minutes of the Meeting held on 8th April 2014, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.
7. MATTERS ARISING
Flooding, Sewers, Winter, etc – nothing further to report at this meeting.
Busses, Bus Stops – nothing further to report at this meeting.
Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – Mrs. Perry noted that as she was leaving the council another person would have to take over responsibility for the recreation/playground. This was noted and will be raised at the next meeting when the new council was in place.
Traffic/Speeding – nothing further to report at this meeting.
Highway Maintenance - Mrs. Perry said that a pothole outside 31 High St. was reported some time ago nad despite visits from Highways to mark it out no action has been taken. The clerk took the details and will ask Mr. Mathew to follow up.
Footpaths – nothing further to report at this meeting.
Roads, Newbridge – Mr. Naylor has observed a Noble Foods HGV northbound on the Abingdon Road at Brighthampton. While not being able state categorically that the vehicle had crossed Newbridge there was little doubt that is where it came from. It was decided that this should be taken up with Noble Foods directly and Mr. Good said he would provide the contact details..
8. CORRESPONDENCE – there was no significant written correspondence..
9. INSURANCE QUOTATIONS FOR YEAR 2014/15
The clerk had circulated the three quotes for insurance all of which offer similar levels of cover for consideration by members. The quote by Came & Co. (Hiscox Insurance) was accepted and it was unanimously agreed that the 3 year contract offered the best value for money. It should be noted that this represents a saving of almost £800 over the current year.
10. ADOPTION OF ACCOUNTS AND ANNUAL RETURN 2013/14
The clerk had circulated the Annual Return for 2013/14 and it was unanimously agreed that this be adopted and was duly signed by the chairman. The clerk will now pass the accounts to the internal auditor, Mr. Nick Hunt, for his examination: the Audit date is 21st July.
The following accounts were approved for payment using the new procedure approved at the March meeting:
St Giles Church PCC 600.00
ORCC Subs 14/15 65.00
Absolute Solutions 2x grass cutting 600.00
OALC - good councillor guides 25.60
Came & Co - Insurance premium 14/15 801.98
12. COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR ALTERNATE SUPERFAST BROADBAND PROPOSAL
Mr. Naylor said he held to his view that the council should not promote a commercial company but accepted that the only realistic option to provide a service to those who wanted superfast broadband, and would not be served by the promised partial BT upgrade, was Gigaclear Ltd. Mr. Hunt said that the company needed 180 confirmed orders to begin construction; the present number was 75 and Gigaclear had now put a sales representative in the village who was confident of driving this to over 100 by the end of May. It appeared that many people were still unaware of their own situation and options despite efforts by the Broadband Group involving leaflet drops and an event in the Village Hall and it has become apparent that there is a loss of momentum which the council could address.
After much discussion it was accepted that the need for superfast broadband, primarily to allow proper, efficient, home working both for business and educational projects as well as entertainment, was vital to the community. Furthermore, it was agreed that this would not be provided to the whole village under the proposed OCC/BT ‘rollout’ and that residents should be made aware of this and informed of the only realistic other option is of fibre optic to each premises being offered by Gigaclear.
It is clear that this is not an either or option, and anyone who is satisfied with the service they currently receive would not need to pay to connect to the superfast option. However, the council is cognizant of the fact that to cater for some pressing needs now, and certainly to cater for the expansion of net services that will require high speed/high capacity in the future, then for the whole village to be ‘future proofed’ an option in addition to the OCC/BT scheme is essential.
To that end, the clerk will draft a flyer for the council’s approval, pointing out these facts and ensuring residents have access to the information on the pros and cons of the schemes. Once the draft is approved, Mr. Hunt agreed to arrange village wide distribution of the flyers.
13. MEMBER’S REPORTS
Mrs. Perry reported a long term pothole outside 31 High Street (see Highway Maintenance above)
Mr. Naylor said that nominations for the forthcoming Parish Council election had been received and as the number of nominations equalled the number of seats then the candidates would be elected unopposed. Mr. Reddy and Mrs. Perry have stood down (Mrs. Bayliss having resigned at Christmas) and Mr. Naylor proposed a vote of thanks, which was passed unanimously, to both councillors for their work with the council. In particular, Mrs. Perry has been responsible, not only for overseeing and fundraising for the modernisation of the recreation ground and playground at the Village Hall but also for its monitoring and upkeep and will be missed by the whole village.
14. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The clerk reminded members that the next meeting, the AGM, will be on 10th June and the Annual Parish Meeting will be on Wednesday 18th June. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.10 pm.
...................................................................................... Chairman .................................................................... Date