Minutes of the Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Youth Club, Church End, on 8th November 2022 at 7.30pm


          Mr. B. Parnham               Chairman

          Mr. J. Rippin

          Mrs. L. Burton

          Mrs. J. Macdonald

          Mr. D. Jeffcoat

          Mr. J. Clements

          Mr. D. Bevan                   Clerk


OCC Cllr Mr. D. Levy, WODC Cllr. Ms. L. Nicholls, Mr. C. Francis (LWTC) Mrs. S. Garrett, .and 7 members of the public.

1.         APOLOGIES – Mrs. A. Knipe, Cllr. C. Maynard.

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

3.         PUBLIC ITEMS – Mr. Parnham asked if any members of the public wished to speak.

Mr. Francis spoke on behalf of the Lower Windrush Tennis Club in support of the application for a building to provide changing room/viewing area for use by members of the club. Mr. Francis said the facility was needed to support the club in its aim to encourage engagement in the sport and, in particular, it would allow parents to watch children being coached in the game of tennis.

Mrs. Garrett spoke on behalf of residents unable to attend the meeting regarding the application for changes to the proposed building at The Bell. The main objection was that any relocation of the two proposed buildings would likely go beyond the natural building line of adjacent properties and without a plan showing the wider area including adjacent buildings it was impossible to decide. Mr. Parnham said this would be taken into consideration when the council discussed the application.

4.         COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS – see Cllr. Levy’s report attached to these minutes.

5.         PLANNING – Cllr. Nicholls said that a statement from planning officers on the availability of land supply was expected in the next 7 to 10 days. In the meantime, the balance of decisions by officers on applications was to be one of approval. She urged parish councils to use concrete reasons, such as known flooding/sewage risks or lack of infrastructure when objecting to applications. Cllr. Levy agreed and commented that parishes could no longer rely on the Local Plan policies as a basis for objection until the land availability question was settled. In answer to a question about the apparent lack of support when councils objected on grounds of local flooding (and provided photographic evidence), Cllr. Levy explained the problem was OCC having to use Environment Agency flood maps which were out of date and having none of their own.

22/02689/FUL: Erection of a detached cabin building to provide changing room/viewing area for use by Lower Windrush Tennis Club (LWTC). Tennis Courts Rack End Standlake: Mr. Clive Francis. No Objection

22/02688/HHD: Replacement of existing single story side extension with two-story side extension: 4 Church End Standlake: Mrs. Catherine Tuohy. No Objection.

22/02872/S73: Variation of condition 2 of planning permission 21/01497/FUL to allow design changes to dwelling (Plot 1) together with changes to layout, including provision of visitor parking for Plot 1, additional parking for Plot 2 and realignment of dwelling (plot 3): The Old Bell 21 High Street Standlake: Mr. Fletcher.  Until a more relevant plan is provided it was felt impossible to decide whether to make a formal objection. The clerk will request further information from the planning officer,

6.         MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 11th October 2022, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record, and were signed by the chairman.


Sewage/Flooding - Mr. Parnham said that there was nothing of note to report and he will continue to monitor the situation as we enter the winter period.

Roads/Traffic/Speedwatch Mrs. Knipe reported the following by email. During October, 24 sessions were held, and 134 offenders were reported with the top speed being 48mph. Since the group started in February 22, 919 speeding offenders have been reported - 21 of those had no MOT, 20 no tax and 3 vehicles on SORN.  This information is passed by TVP to DVLA for action. Sincere thanks are extended to the 15 volunteers who are helping to make our village a safer place.  However, more volunteers are still required - - even if volunteers can only give up 30 minutes a month that will help – and can contact the group by emailing to speedwatch@standlakepc.org.uk. Owing to police rules sessions can only take place between sunrise and sunset and at our approved locations.

With regard to what is locally known as the 'Golden Balls' junction, OCC has confirmed the order is with the lining contractor who is currently still working to finish the summers lining programme before the onset of unfavourable weather.  They cannot give a precise date as the work is very weather dependent, but it is in the pipeline, and we will continue to monitor.

Unfortunately owing to other circumstances there is nothing to report at this meeting with regard 20mph/traffic calming but updates will follow.


Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – Nothing to report at this meeting.

Environment Mrs. Burton said that the bird box project was so successful it was oversubscribed, so another 20 boxes were required at a cost of £100. Also, there was evidence of barn owl activity in the vicinity of St. Giles church, and Mrs. Burton proposed that a survey by Barn Owl Conservation Ox be carried out which would identify the optimal placing for a box; the total cost would be £75.  It was agreed both these projects should be funded from the Nature Recovery Network budget.

Bike Rack in Car Park –This is awaiting installation.

Defibrillator at School – Mrs. Macdonald said it was expected that the new box will be installed on 17th November.

Buses/Bus Stop/Shelter – Mr. Jeffcoat said the council been approached by local resident Brenda Smith on behalf of a number of people who catch the bus to Witney regularly from the stop in the High Street opposite Lincoln Farm Park.  There is currently no shelter at this stop which means that it is quite exposed to the elements, especially in the winter.  This is due to the prevailing westerly wind direction along the road. 

Mr. Parnham has measured the grass verge adjacent to the existing stop and Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Transport Department has confirmed that there is sufficient space for a shelter to be installed. They are prepared to cover the cost of supplying and erecting the shelter. 

There was a proposal to install a shelter on this site several years ago, but this was never progressed due to the lack of funds at the time. It is understood that the owners of the single-story property next to the site also objected to the proposal. It is not clear why, but potentially it was because the shelter would obstruct the view from the front of their home and also a lack of privacy due to passengers staring at their house. Therefore, it would be advisable to consult the owners before asking OCC to go ahead. Mr. Jeffcoat added that he would be prepared to approach them on behalf of the Parish Council if it is decided to do so. This was agreed.

Mr. Jeffcoat confirmed that the bus stop, currently outside The Bell, will be relocated opposite the existing Witney – bound stop at Woodlands.

Willows on river bank – The willows owned by the Parish have now been pollarded and it was agreed that the company had done a very good job. The clerk will write to Mr. Davies expressing the council’s thanks.

8.         CORRESPONDENCE – Community First planning consultancy. Community First (formally Oxford Rural Community Council - ORCC) is an organisation of local councils of which Standlake is a member. It was agreed that this free facility may well be of use in the future and will be kept under review.

9.         ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the accounts remained in a satisfactory state and were within budget.

The following accounts received were approved: (paid*)

Zoom - renewal           £143.88*

J G LeHuray - Xmas tree          £160.00*

Wileman - bus shelter cleaning           £30.00*

D C Bevan - Microsoft 365 renewal     £79.99*

C Cleland - churchyard mowing          £352.50*

Mrs. Macdonald – mileage       £36.00*

Absolute Solutions – mowing  £370.00*

THD Tree Care - willows cut   £900.00*

10.       BIRD/OWL BOXES – see matters arising ‘Environment’.

11.       STANDLAKE WELCOME BROCHURE – The Lower Windrush Benefice (LWB) - the parishes of Standlake, Northmoor, Stanton Harcourt and Yelford - are proposing to produce a welcome brochure for new residents. Mrs. Macdonald showed a mock-up of the brochure which consists of a generic cover (common to all four parishes) with pockets for insertion of information leaflets specific to the individual parish. To cover the cost of producing the brochure the LWB is asking for a grant of £200 towards Standlake’s share. This was agreed, to be taken from the Community Fund budget.

12.       BUDGET 2023/24 – The clerk presented the draft budget for 2023/24 and made clear that having to finalise the budget before end of December 2022 (a WODC requirement) meant that a number of forecasts had to be made without firm information being available as to the situation at the beginning of FY 23/24. Discussions between councillors and the clerk resulted in making minor adjustments, resulting in the required Precept for FY 23/24 remaining the same as the current year i.e.- £25,000. The final budget will be approved at the December meeting.

13.       DATE OF NEXT MEETING - Mr. Parnham said that the next meeting will be held in the Youth Club on Tuesday 13th December 2022 at 7.30 pm. This will be the last meeting before Christmas and, as in past years, only urgent matters will be discussed – planning, accounts payable and setting of the Precept for FY 2023/24. Mrs. Burton tendered her apologies for that meeting.

14.       There being no further business, the meeting closed at. 9.15 pm.


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


Dan Levy County Councillor Report, November 2022

Cost of living

Cost of living support for low-income pensioners and families: OCC are sending a one-off payment of £85 to 11,000 lower income pensionable households to support with energy bills. Eligible residents will receive an Oxfordshire-branded letter from the 2 Post Office, redeemable for cash at Post Office branches. Schools and colleges will provide children entitled to free school meals with a £15 voucher.

£100K pot to help community organisations with energy bills: Applications for grants between £250 and £3000 can be made through the Oxfordshire Community Foundation. Expected to be popular - deadline is 21 November 2022.

Council Tax: WODC has agreed a new exceptional hardship scheme on top of the statutory council tax discount scheme that goes to WODC Cabinet next week.   OCC has agreed to match the WODC discounts, which is important because the bulk of council tax receipts go to the County Council.

Council votes to request more energy support for off-grid residents: Many residents in rural areas live without access to mains energy and instead use heating oil, bottled gas, or other forms of fuel.  That is certainly true in many parts of rural Oxfordshire including many households in the division I represent.  The leader of the council will write to government to request off-grid residents receive the same level of support (£400) as on-grid residents. 

Rather surprisingly Conservative councillors abstained on the motion on the basis that local authorities shouldn’t “interfere” in central government decisions.


Care provision

OCC supports care business start-ups: OCC is supporting new ‘micro enterprises’ to become established care providers, helping local businesses to grow, and develop greater local choice for people looking for additional support. The Community Catalysts’ programme takes people through the standards, so that new micro-enterprises have a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver quality care. Over one hundred people have signed up and have the combined capacity to support one thousand people in the county.

 Renewed call on government to fund Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND): OCC is appealing to the government to urgently address the national funding issues facing all local authorities providing SEND services for children and young people. The county council has also submitted to the Department of Education bids for two further special free schools.


Environment and transport

Tree services team successfully bids for funding: OCC tree services team has been successful in a bid to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Funding will be used to provide two new community tree and woodland planting officers who will work to increase tree cover across the county.


 More sustainable streetlights policy: OCC has approved a new policy for streetlights to reduce impact on climate change and the environment. The policy considers the impact of light pollution on nature and dark skies in assessing where lighting should be added. When new lighting is necessary, dimming and reduction in operating hours will be used to preserve the night sky.


Parking standards for new developments: Developers will need to follow a revised set of guidelines when they consider parking provisions for new developments. New standards place much more emphasis on cycles, shared car clubs, and public transport than on multiple cars per household. A graduated approach is taken to allow for increased need for parking in rural settings.


Cheaper Park and Ride tickets up and running: Passengers can now buy a combined ticket covering both parking and return bus travel for £4 for a car with only 1 adult and £5 for a car and 2 adults. With both options, up to three children under 16 can travel for free. Drivers are encouraged to purchase a combined ticket through the RingGo parking app, or at one of the onsite ticket machines.   You may have seen that work has started on the Eynsham Park and Ride.


Oxford traffic filters: Public consultation closed on 13 October 2022. The next step is for the cabinet to take a decision on 29th November 2022, where the cabinet will consider the outcomes of the public consultation and the closure of Botley Road for a year by Network Rail to accommodate improvements to the railway.   Network Rail’s decision is unwelcome, although the station improvements are needed and the bridge under the railway does need replacement.   As a reminder, there will be nowhere in the city that cannot be reached by car.  The filters just make the route different, to speed up buses.

Salt Cross Garden Village.    The consultation on the planning inspector’s amendments to the WODC Area Action Plan has now closed.  The County Council, along with many residents and groups, and along with WODC itself, has strongly called for the obligation for new housing to be Net Zero to be put back into the plan.

Freight strategy.  The cabinet member responsible has suggested that the new strategy is being prepared.  I will continue to press for heavy traffic to be routed away from villages and for proper enforcement – the use of APNR cameras on Newbridge demonstrates their effectiveness.

Policing.  I met last week with the Police and Crime Commissioner and with the head of the Thames Valley roads policing team and reminded them that speed management is an important part of their responsibilities.  They are of course strapped for resources and reliant on Speedwatch volunteers, but that isn’t good enough.


As ever, please contact me with comments, queries, and suggestions.