Minutes of the Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Youth Club, Church End, on 8th August 2023 at 7.30pm


          Mr. B. Parnham               Chairman

          Mrs. J. Macdonald

          Mr. D. Jeffcoat

          Mrs. Knipe

          Mr. D. Bevan                   Clerk

WODC Cllr. L. Nicholls. Mr. and Mrs. Goodall, Mr. A. Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. Gaffney, Mr and Mrs Brown.

1.                                                                                                                                          APOLOGIES – Cllr. D. Levy, Cllr. Maynard, Mr. J. Rippin, Mr. J. Clements.

2.                                                                                                                                          DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – There were no declarations of interest.

3.         PUBLIC ITEMS – Only Mr. and Mrs. Goodall wished to speak. Mrs. Goodall forcefully expressed her dissatisfaction with the council’s procedures in deciding the extent to which the proposed 20mph speed limit would apply, the council’s consultation on the matter and on other traffic related issues. Mrs. Goodall’s main complaint was that the Abingdon Road, most of The Downs and Heyford Close/Windrush Way were not included in the proposal.

Mr. Parnham said that the council had acted in good faith and had used all normal avenues available to ascertain public opinion on the proposals. Furthermore, the council had consulted with OCC Highways as to what might be possible, and the outcome of those discussions resulted in the final proposal by OCC - which then went to the legal consultation period which has just ended. The results of that proposal are expected to be put to the relevant OCC committee at the beginning of September; once the date is known the Parish Council would advertise this.

Considerable discussion with Mr. and Mrs. Goodall continued, and they were clearly not content with any of the council’s explanations. Mr. Parnham then said that the discussion was becoming circular, closed the Public Items section and reopened the meeting to continue with the business of the evening.


Cllr. Nicholls said that, because of government changes to the provision of building land, the Local Plan was being renewed and would now run to 2041. The new proposals would directly affect how development in West Oxfordshire will proceed, with different emphasis on where smaller developments will be granted. This will directly affect villages such as Standlake, Stanton Harcourt etc. The plan will go out to consultation from 30th August 2023 for 8 weeks and Cllr. Nicholls said it was vital that residents expressed their views. To that end, she asked that the council distribute a summary (which she will provide, including a link to register inclusion in the consultation) to as wide an audience as possible. The clerk said he would do this via the usual channels.

Cllr. Nicholls advised that the matter of the application to build a large dwelling in Chapel Lane would come before the Lowlands Planning Committee on Monday 14th August and there will be an opportunity for members of the public to speak at the meeting. The clerk said he had received a request from Mr. Gaffney (Chapel Lane resident) asking if a member of the Parish Council would speak at the meeting to support the residents’ objections to the application. Mrs. Macdonald kindly agreed to do this.

PLANNING – 23/01786/S73: Variation of conditions 2 and 7 of planning permission 17/00629/FUL to allow design changes to plot 2. 17/00629/FUL: A hybrid application for the proposed development of ten 'self-build' dwellings, with full details provided for 4 dwellings and 6 outline dwellings with all matters apart from access reserved.: Land to The Rear Of 65 High Street Standlake. Objection: no valid reason given to need variation of condition.

23/01628/FUL: Conversion of existing agricultural open cart shed by way of complete reconstruction to form a private residential dwelling house. Demolition of existing rearing pen and change of use of the site from agricultural to residential use. Modification of existing entrance: Former Magdalen Farmyard Abingdon Road Standlake: Mr Andrew Townsend. No objection. Request condition to prevent any further development on site.

23/01877/HHD: Erection of 1.7m high composite fence to replace existing fence and hedge: 54 Abingdon Road Standlake Witney: Mr Jon Austin. No objection.

5.         MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 13th June 2023, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record, and were signed by the chairman.


Sewage/FloodingMr. Parnham reported the following: High Street - gully clearing was underway last week and hopefully this will lead to further investigation taking place. OCC have been asked for an update. Nothing further to report from Thames Water.

Roads/Speedwatch/20 mph restrictions – Mrs. Knipe reported the following: Despite a number of operators being away on holiday, 22 sessions were held during July (including some evening sessions) and a further 185 offenders were reported to Thames Valley Police (TVP).  Of these, 4 had no MOT, 2 no TAX and 2 SORN.   TVP report this information to DVLA.  A further two sites that our Speedwatch Group can operate from have been approved by TVP - an additional site on Abingdon Road close to the Cricket Club and one on the A415 leaving the village heading to Witney.  Standlake is certainly getting a reputation for having a very active Speedwatch Group at different locations and different times of the day.  A sincere thanks to all operators who give up their time, many of whom still work but find the time to make our roads safer.

Please, we need more volunteers - even if you can give 1 hour per month that would be great - drop an email to speedwatch@standlakepc.org.uk

Other matters: 20mph zones – the formal OCC consultation is complete, and the proposals will come before the OCC committee in early September. Pedestrian Crossings [Safe zones] / Traffic Calming on village entrances - meeting with OCC to be arranged. Speed Indicator Devices [SIDS] - along the A415. Cost is an issue here but as above meeting with OCC to be arranged. Average Speed Devices - cost is prohibitive and cannot by funded by external sources including the Parish Council. Downs Road - reduction from 60mph to 50mph - surveys are required in the first instance but would need to be funded by the Parish Council which is not in the budget for this year.  We will continue to pursue.

Playground/Recreation Ground & MaintenanceMr. Parnham reported that there were no issues at Rack End playground. Mr. Clements reported by email that there were no issues at Windrush Way.

Environment Mrs. Macdonald reported the following: The wildflower area at the village hall is growing well. Lucy Kennery (LWVP) assisted SNRN to survey the species diversity at the bank on 16th June, and we recorded a substantial increase in species diversity, and a greater proportion of wildflowers and less of nettles and docks etc, which was the outcome we had hoped for. The pollinator patch around the hall was flowering well and supporting a variety of invertebrate activity. The “lost” bird box at the village hall has been replaced (LWVP) and the other 2 unsuccessful boxes there, have now been relocated at the Church. Sadly, Lucy Kennery will be moving to pastures new at the end of July, and we would like to register our enormous thanks for her help, expertise, and enthusiasm for our projects over the past years. The school leavers had a workshop last week and each child made a bird box from the kit provided, to take home and use as a memory of their time at Standlake School.

Mrs. Macdonald also requested that the Coronation funds provide 2 planters for the village – 50cm x 50cm x 50cm. 3 sacks of compost and cash to purchase 8 lavender plants. She would like to site the planters - beside the bus shelter at the end of Martins Lane, (there is sufficient room between the 2 manhole covers) and across the road at the entrance to Heyford Close, close to the site where the old bus shelter is to be removed.

Mrs. Macdonald said there was enthusiasm for another village Litter Pick in the Autumn. She asked if the council would support this effort and pay for the hire of the Village Hall on the 28th October 2023. This was agreed unanimously.

Coronation – Mr. Parnham said that the cost of the planters was awaited.

Defibrillator at School – The new defibrillator is now installed and registered. Thanks are due to Mrs. Macdonald for her efforts in bringing this to a satisfactory conclusion.

Removal of Bus Shelter at Heyford Close – defer to September meeting.

CCTV in car park - Mr. Clements reported by email that he had contacted a supplier of the equipment who would be carrying out a survey of the site in the near future, suggest a solution, and produce an estimate of cost.

Co-option of new councillor - Mr. Parnham said that 3 residents had expressed interest and he is following up these expressions of interest.

War Memorial – The clerk has received two quotes so far but does not expect the third company to follow up. One quote was in excess of £2000 and the other, from a local company was for £845 plus VAT - this being more in line with previous cleaning in 2018. Additional to the quote for cleaning is a further £125 plus VAT for repainting the lettering. In the clerk’s opinion this does not need doing as the letters are not at all faded. The current quote for cleaning only is £100 above the budgeted figure and it was agreed that this should be accepted and, once the cleaning was completed another inspection of the lettering should be made.

7.         CORRESPONDENCE – there was no relevant correspondence.

8.         ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the council’s financial position remains satisfactory and within budget.

Received: Mr. Parnham - from final sale of mugs £245.

The following accounts were approved: (paid*)

Uk 2 - .com domain renewal                             £17.39*

UK2 - .uk domain renewal                                 £11.99*

UK2 - website hosting                                       £89.99*

BNBG - bird boxes                                           £100.00*

B Parnham – coronation expenses                  £219.45*

C Cleland – Churchyard mowing                    £372.50*

AGM – 1o coronation mugs                               £35.40*

D C Bevan - A4 pads for Speedwatch                  £7.45*

Absolute Solutions – mowing                         £370.00*

WELmedical – defibrillator                            £1057.14*

St. Giles church – share of mugs profits         £159.20*

C Cleland – c’yard mowing                              £372.50*

HP – laptop                                                      £799.99*    

FOSS -share of mugs profits                           £159.20*

Wileman – bus shelter cleaning                        £30.00*

The laptop has been delivered and the clerk presented it to the meeting. While the cost was £11 over the budget figure the clerk will be purchasing a subscription to Microsoft 365 suite of office programs and this will be a saving of £41 below the budget figure.

9.         HORNSWAY - Mr. Parnham expressed thanks to all the volunteers who helped to clear the undergrowth from the path. As far as the upkeep of the path is concerned, the clerk explained that, because this was a paved public footpath, this was clearly the responsibility of OCC Highways. He explained that, prior to the cutting of central government funds to local authorities, the path was cut up to four times per year. However, following these cuts one of the savings OCC made was to cease to cut verges within 30mph areas except on safety grounds, and parishes were informed of this. Mr. Parnham said he was in contact with OCC regarding this and believed the commitment was to cut once a year, but he cannot confirm this and is still awaiting a definitive reply. Mr Jeffcoat commented that, if more frequent cutting is needed than OCC are prepared to carry out, it may be possible to arrange more volunteers working parties to do this.

10.      SCOUTS FIREWORKS – A request has been received for the Scouts to hold their annual fireworks display at the recreation ground, Rack End, on 4th November 2023. It was agreed that this should be granted subject to the usual conditions regarding turf replacement and clean up post the event. Mrs. Knipe said that in past years the parking of cars on Rack End during the event was chaotic, with parking on footpaths and obstructing residents’ driveways. After some discussion the conclusion was reached that there were no practical methods of remedying this. However, the clerk will raise this with the organisers when informing them of the council’s decision.

11.          DATE OF NEXT MEETING - Mr. Parnham said that the next meeting will be held in the Youth Club on Tuesday 12th September 2023 at 7.30 pm. There being no further business, the meeting closed at. 8.30 pm.



Chairman   ....................................................................  Date …………………………………………………