Minutes of a Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held by Zoom, on 8th February 2022 at 7.30pm
Mr. B. Parnham Chairman
Mr. J. Rippin Vice Chairman
Mrs. L. Burton
Mrs. J Macdonald
Mrs. A. Knipe
Mr. D. Jeffcoat
Mr. T. Ward
Mr. D. Bevan Clerk
OCC Cllr. Mr. D. Levy, Ms. A. Stribany, Mr. S. Grace, Mr. C. Maynard
Before the meeting opened, the clerk announced a change to the agenda: the LWTC club house proposal will not now be discussed at this meeting.
1. APOLOGIES –WODC Cllr Ms. L. Nicholls
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Mr. Rippin declared an interest in planning application 21/04126/RES 25 Rack End and withdrew from that discussion.
3. PUBLIC ITEMS – Mrs. Stribany made a report on the First and Last bus service (418). In general, the service is going well; however, there have been some technical problems with the vehicles (now resolved) but the service has always prioritised the transport of Bartholomew pupils to/from Standlake. While the volunteer drivers are very good, it has been found necessary to hire others. Mr. Jeffcoat asked about passenger numbers. Ms. Stribany replied that, although there are more Bartholomew students than anticipated, other passenger numbers are below those expected (compared with the forecast based on the old 18 service pre COVID) and the service will require more funding; an application for funds may be made to the Parish Council. Mrs. Macdonald asked if the service only stopped at designated bus stops? Ms. Stribany said that the service was not a ‘hail and ride’ service, however the drivers would, on request, pick up and drop off passengers if it was safe to do so.
Mr. Grace introduced himself as the Conservative party candidate in the District Council elections in May. He said he had strong links to Standlake having grown up there and having family in the village. There were no questions for Mr. Grace.
Mr. Maynard introduced himself as the Liberal Democrat party candidate in the District Council elections in May. He is also the chair of the Witney Oxford Transport Group which is a cross party not for profit group exploring the possibility of a rail link from Carterton and Witney to Oxford with a connection to the main line. Mr. Maynard said OCC have today (8th February) passed a budget including funds for a feasibility study of the proposal to be completed within 3 months. In answer to a question from Mr. Jeffcoat, Mr. Maynard said the connection to the main line was envisaged to be in the Hanborough, Cassington area. Mrs. Macdonald asked what the time scale for completion would be, assuming the feasibility study was favourable, and funds were available? Mr. Maynard said he would like to see completion within 8 years, but he accepted that this was probably unrealistic.
4. COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
WODC – see Cllr. Nicholls’ report attached to these minutes.
OCC – see Cllr. Levy’s report attached to these minutes. Cllr. Levy added that OCC today had passed their budget and noted that the coming year would be challenging. HGV strategy will have an impact on many villages, though Standlake is protected because of the 18 Tonne limit at Newbridge. Mr. Ward was concerned about apparent number of heavy vehicles through Standlake. Cllr. Levy replied that the cameras on the bridge would catch 18t plus vehicles and fines would be issued; over £1,000 had been issued in the past month.
matters application for the appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale of
plots 1,2,3,4,7 and 8 of planning approval 17/00629/FUL. No objection but require condition that all landscaping and planting be agreed before grant of permission and that the condition be enforced.
of attached garage and construction of two-story side extension. New
window in existing bedroom: Elsdene, The Downs: Mr. And Mrs. Emery. No objection.
21/04032/HHD: Demolition of conservatory, construction of part single part two storey rear extensions, new masonry chimney, alterations to existing window openings and associated alterations: 25 Rack End Standlake Witney: Mr J Collett & Miss A Firth. No objection
5. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 14th December 2021, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record, and were signed by the chairman.
6. MATTERS ARISING
Sewage/Flooding - Mr. Parnham reported the following: Thames Water: the loose manhole on High Street by the Woodlands junction is noted. The chamber needs to be rebuilt and TW are raising works orders/permits for the works to be undertaken. A further loose manhole on High Street opposite number 16 has been reported and will be investigated. I have submitted photographs of the kerbs/finish at the High Street pumping station as I disagree with TW the works are complete and will continue to pursue this. OCC: the works at Woodlands raising the path and road are complete and no further issues at this stage. Will continue to monitor.
Mrs. Macdonald noted that there is a loose manhole cover and substantial damage to the road surface outside Church Mill; Mr. Parnham will report this to TW.
Roads/Traffic/Speedwatch – Mrs. Knipe: I am pleased to report that following the amount of effort put in by Robert Maxwell Standlake Speedwatch is now live. A total of 13 sites around the village have been approved and last week four sessions were conducted with 4 motorists’ details being sent through who met the criteria set. They will now receive letters from TVP and details logged. However, visibility of people out in high-viz jackets and radar gun and the SID device will act as a deterrent. A further 4 sessions are arranged for this week and as more volunteers come up to speed this can be increased. Mrs. Macdonald said she had volunteered for Speedwatch but had heard nothing further; Mr. Parnham assured her that she was not forgotten. The co-ordinator was working through the list of volunteers, and she would be called.
Now that Speedwatch is underway we can start to look at other schemes including solar powered SID devices on Abingdon Road, reducing the speed limit on The Downs where is goes from 50mph on the A415, to 60mph and then down to 30mph in the village, 20mph zone in parts of the village, pedestrian crossings on the Abingdon Road and chicanes as you come into the village. We are in contact with OCC and a meeting is arranged with Cllr. Levy next week to start finding out more about the different schemes and initiatives. We can then get further opinion from residents before coming back to the Parish Council for further discussion.
Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – Mr. Parnham said he had inspected both Recreation Grounds this morning. Apart from 'Mr Mole' being very busy at Rack End Rec nothing additional to report. As previously noted, an inspection will be arranged with Absolute Solutions in March to obtain costings for remedial works (weed kill, bark top-up etc).
Environment – Mrs. Burton reported: We have had a very busy couple of months. Wildflower plug plants have been distributed to the school and interested villagers to nurture for spring planting. Wildflower seed and spring bulbs have been planted in the village which hopefully will soon be emerging. Mr. Collieu has kindly donated a wild cherry tree and a rowan which we planted on a very cold and stormy day in December. at the recreation ground. Lastly a couple of days ago we erected bird boxes and a couple of insect towers. Many thanks go to our incredible hard-working team. Thanks are also due to the funding from the Parish Council and that of Lucy Kennery of L.W.V.P who claimed the T.O.E. grant on our behalf.
Aston Rd. Village Gates - Mr. Parnham said these have now been ordered and should be in place in four to six weeks. Thanks are due to Cllr. Levy for contributing half of the cost from his Councillor Priority Fund.
Willows by church – Mr. Pascoe has a problem with some equipment but will carry out the work as soon as possible.
Jubilee 22 – Mr. Rippin has received only 3 replies to his request for residents to be involved. However, he has been informed that a resident, Mr. LeHuray, has arranged a meeting on 15th February with several interested parties at the Black Horse; Mr. Rippin will be attending as will the clerk and Mr. Parnham.
Martins Lane - Mr. Parnham is in contact with OCC and asking for clarification on their position which seems to be ambiguous. Mrs. Macdonald suggested the fishing club might be approached for a contribution to the cost of filling the potholes. After some discussion Mr. Parnham said that he thought the best course of action now was to continue his discussions with OCC and, in the meantime, asked Mrs. Macdonald if she would take some photographs of the lane.
7. CORRESPONDENCE – no significant correspondence.
8. ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the financial situation was essentially the same as last month. He has been advised that the grant (towards the ’gates’ on Aston Road) from Cllr. Levy’s Councillor Priority Fund has been approved and will be paid shortly.
The following accounts were approved for payment:
For CPRE - subscription £36.00*
HMRC - clerk PAYE £361.60*
Absolute Solutions - p'grnd repairs £145.00*
B Parnham - chair expenses £23.32*
Absolute Solutions - hedge cutting, repair £435.00*
E Wileman & Sons – bus shelter cleaning £30.00*
9. BUS STOP ON RACK END – There were no objections to the proposed bus stop sign and timetable for the new 418 service to Eynsham.
10. 20 MPH RESTRICTIONS – Mr. Parnham has arranged a meeting with Cllr. Levy for next week to discuss this and other traffic calming measures.
11. REPLACEMENT FOOTPATHS WARDEN – the clerk said that up until the beginning of the pandemic a resident, Mr. Bob Hunt, had carried out a watching brief on the local footpaths so that problems could be identified and reported; Mr. Hunt has now retired, and the clerk asked if any councillor would take on this task. Mrs. Macdonald volunteered to do so and Mr. Jeffcoat agreed to help as well. The clerk will send details of the local rights of way to all councillors.
12. MAY 2022 ELECTIONS – The clerk reminded the councillors that they were all 7 Parish Council seats were up for election on May 5th 2022. He asked if all sitting councillors intended standing again and briefly explained the procedure for the election. Full details will be available at the April meeting. Mrs. Macdonald asked how many councillors there should be on the Council, and the clerk confirmed that the number was 7.
13. DATE OF NEXT MEETING - The next meeting will be held on 8th March 2022 at 7.30pm. Mr. Jeffcoat gave his apologies for this meeting. Mr. Parnham said that he intended to hold this meeting by Zoom and this was agreed.
14. There being no further business, the meeting closed at. 8.40pm.
Chairman .................................................................... Date …………………………………………………
OCC news 8th February 2022- Cllr. Dan Levy
I am writing this prior to the County Council meeting on 8 February, at which the budget for 2022-23 will probably be approved. However, I can confidently confirm that there are some important details contained in it which will effect the Eynsham Division.
Some of the biggest items in the budget are the major infrastructure plans – the bridge over the railway and river on the Oxford bypass which has to be replaced, HIF1 (which is the road being built as part of the housing project imposed on South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse near Watlington and Didcot) and our very own A40 HIF2 project. Unfortunately, the previous administration signed up for each of these without taking account the inevitable cost and time overruns that occur with major projects. So although the HIF bids have funding from central government, any cost overrun may well end up having to be paid for by the County Council, which in turn may well impact on other, better projects. The cabinet member for finance in the previous administration said recently in a public meeting that they weren’t expecting inflation, so they assumed it would all be ok!
The HIF2 A40 project will go to planning committee within the next few months. As you may know I have been very critical of the whole project, but we are going to have to make the best of it. There is still work to do to iron out some of the flaws and to improve the bits that require improvement.
There is money in the budget for a feasibility study for the potential railway between Witney, Eynsham and Oxford. This is a real first step towards making the railway happen, and is fantastic news.
There is also preparatory work for building a cycle path from Eynsham along Lower Road to Hanborough station. This is also fantastic news, as it is very much needed, to allow people from Eynsham and from Salt Cross to get to the transport hub at Hanborough without driving and in safety. It is also worth remembering that the County Council has applied for funding from the government for active travel schemes, and that the path from Botley to Eynsham is on the list of possible uses.
The County Council continues to prioritise active travel. The small zero emissions zone in central Oxford prevents the use of non-electric vehicles in a few streets, and has led to a boom in the use of cargo bikes, like the one in the photo
In other places there has been a requirement to make some difficult choices. There will be a continuous cycle route on Woodstock Road, to encourage people to cycle, including to the numerous schools in the area. At the moment there are parts of the route where even young pupils have to cycle on the main road. This will mean some of the bus lanes will have to be removed – this is regrettable, though it is worth remembering that most of Woodstock Road currently has no bus lanes.
Our Sewage Treatment Works continue to be in the news, unfortunately. South Leigh’s plant is out of operation, and sewage is being taken by lorry to Cassington. And Cassington STW has been filmed apparently putting untreated or partially treated sewage into the Thames even when it isn’t raining. Aston continues to have problems with the pumping station. I was pleased to see a number of local residents at the demonstration in Port Meadow recently calling for Thames Water to invest in infrastructure and stop polluting our rivers. One of the local MPs made an impassioned speech – unfortunately it wasn’t our MP. I will continue to have a dialogue with TW- who to their credit recognise there is a problem, and have been more responsive recently when there has been local sewage flooding.
Finally, could I urge everyone to remember that Covid hasn’t gone away, and therefore to keep being careful and considerate. Numbers in Oxfordshire, and specifically in West Oxfordshire, are increasing rather than decreasing.
As ever, please contact me with any issues, comments or suggestions. Dan.email@example.com
WODC report 8th February 2022- Cllr. Lysette Nicholls
The A40 consultation portal in open on the county council website and can be accessed via the WODC website as well.
The WODC Welch Way office in the town centre is being refitted to accommodate more front line staff to meet customers so will be closed for a few weeks whilst this takes place.
The local plan is being reviewed this year to ensure we have enough land supply to meet housing requirements. Have been advised we do (5.6 years worth) but will keep you updated .
West Oxfordshire District Council is offering free online training courses to help local businesses remain Covid resilient as restrictions ease.
The courses take place online beginning on Monday 7 February at 2pm for two hours and every Monday and Friday until 4 March. Interested persons can register online via the WODC.
If I can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.