Minutes of a Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Youth Club, Church End, on 9th November 2021 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. D. Bevan       Clerk

OCC Cllr. Mr. D. Levy, WODC Cllr. Ms. L. Nicholls, Ms. A. Stribany, Ms. P. Gaffney and one other member of the public.

1.      APOLOGIES –Mr T. Ward

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

3.      PUBLIC ITEMS – Ms. Stribany announced that the First and Last bus service to Eynsham would commence on 4th January 2022; 3 minibuses have been purchased; checks and training for drivers is ongoing, however it is not yet clear where the OCC money for students will go (see Cllr. Levy’s attached report below).


WODC – Cllr. Nicholls has made enquiries regarding the Section 106 money reported at the last meeting. It is confirmed that the money is unallocated at this time and cannot be returned to the developer; it can be used for any social/low-cost housing in the immediate area, not necessarily in Standlake. Cllr. Nicholls said the ‘Charge and Park’ electric vehicle charging point scheme is starting in Witney and Eynsham. In answer to Mr. Jeffcoat Cllr. Nicholls said there was no indication yet of the demand for the charging points and in answer to Mrs. Macdonald she said there would be 67 points in the area.

Mr. Parnham asked if there had been any response from Robert Courts MP regarding Thames Water. Cllr. Nicholls said that TW were now dealing directly with councils and a meeting with Mr. Shaw (WODC) regarding responses to planning applications was awaited.

OCC – See Cllr. Levy’s report below. Regarding the 20mph speed limit, councils could now apply for this restriction once they’ve decided on the areas to be covered but Cllr. Levy cautioned that the roll out of this could take time. As to enforcement, it was not known if TVP would fully enforce a new limit given the scope of the initiative, but they had indicated this may happen. Mr. Parnham asked if a change of speed limit on the Downs Road from 60 to 50 would be part of this without having to go through the normal lengthy and expensive current procedure, and Cllr. Levy said he thought so but would check.

5.      PLANNING - There were no new planning applications. The clerk advised that the application for conversion of The Bell and the construction of two associated dwellings has been approved with certain conditions regarding drainage, maintenance of existing trees etc.

The clerk said that the Neighbour Notification scheme, by which WODC advised immediate neighbours of any planning application that may affect them, had ceased many years ago now relied on the yellow notices pinned somewhere adjacent to a proposed development. The clerk had considered for some time that this was unsatisfactory and proposed that applications received by the council should be advertised via the website, Standlake News and Facebook; hopefully being further distributed by word of mouth.  This was agreed unanimously.

6.      MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 12th Oct 2021, 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 reported the following: Thames Water have completed their recent works and cleaned up the High St. sewage pumping station site. They have also responded to a loose manhole cover in the High St., and it will be fixed. Mr. Jeffcoat said that the clean-up work at the High St. SPS has not been completed as promised i.e., the surface has been left with a sand covering and not gravel. Mr. Parnham will take this up with TW.

Mr. Parnham also reported that OCC said a contractor has visited Woodlands and a quotation is awaited; a date for commencement cannot be confirmed now. Regarding High St. flooding, OCC have checked the highway drainage system and can find no blockages. OCC are of the opinion that, following heavy prolonged rain, the problem is caused by the water being unable to drain away into the River Thames. It may be possible to do some local carriageway patching to alleviate the problem and OCC will look to having this added to the Woodlands work.

Mrs. Macdonald said that the lack of road markings, particularly at the entrance to Manor Crescent, was preventing the commencement of cycle training for children and asked if this could be rectified. Mr. Parnham said he will take this up with OCC.

Roads/Traffic/Speedwatch Mrs. Knipe reported the following:  There are now 17 volunteers and thanks must be extended to Mr. Robert Maxwell who has stepped up as the Speedwatch Co-Ordinator. We have a 'GO LIVE' date of the 26th November and Mr. Maxwell is working towards this for registration of the group, training and access to the online reporting portal. This is very important as reported previously and will mean the Group will have Public Liability Insurance in place as part of the scheme.  At the training session on the 23rd October a number of residents did comment and offer words of encouragement to the members in high-viz jackets; hopefully more will come forward as volunteers!

Mr. Maxwell has arranged two further sessions on Thursday 11th and Saturday 20th November, both commencing at 10am in the Village Car Park next to the Church.  In addition to becoming familiar with the equipment (SID and radar gun), these sessions will be as though live speed checks are being done and how to record the required information of the vehicle which needs to include make, model, registration, colour, speed, time of offenders to see if there are any difficulties and work on solutions.

Quotes have been obtained for solar powered SID's for Abingdon Road initially and OCC will assist to agree the location of the devices.  Budgetary costs including installation comes to circa £6k.  OCC, as part of their current speed reduction initiatives, may fund installation of the mounting poles and hopefully we can approach Cllr. Levy for support of the capital expenditure of the SID's through his Councillor Fund.

Talking with OCC it may be possible to obtain assistance from them to cover the legal and other costs to bring down the speed limit on The Downs from 60mph to 50mph, so this will be pursued along with what areas of Standlake should be reduced to 20mph not 30mph.  Consideration though must be given to the fact that, if there is a lower limit, who will enforce it?

Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance Mr. Parnham said he would be inspecting the playgrounds shortly. Mr. Rippin said the Scouts fireworks had been very successful and the ground had been cleared up well, though there appeared to be some turf left over.

Environment Mrs. Burton thanked the Parish Council for their continued support and reported that two trees, provided by a donor, would be planted on the bank at the Recreation Ground. Mrs. Macdonald said that part of the grant from TOE was to provide signage boards on the wildflower bank indicating those who contributed to the provision of the bank such as the Parish Council, TOE etc.; these and mounted on posts would be in A3 landscape format. Mr. Jeffcoat asked if contact details would be provided and Mrs. Macdonald said that the SNRN website address would be provided.

Village Gates - Mr. Parnham has met with OCC and decided on narrower gates, given the width of the verges, and a revised quotation is awaited. OCC has suggested that the two properties nearest the gates should be notified about the installation and Mr. Parnham will arrange this. The matter of the signage was discussed, and it was decided that it should read ‘Brighthampton with Standlake’. Mr. Jeffcoat reported that all the other gates have now been painted and he was thanked for his efforts in this.

Bus Shelters – Absolute Solutions will be fitting the Perspex this coming week.

Willows by church – Awaiting Absolute Solutions action. Mrs. Macdonald asked what would happen to the cuttings and the clerk said the intention was to chip them and use to top up the bark surfaces in the playground.

YC path hedge – The hedge has now been cut and the path cleared.

S106 Seminar – See Cllr. Nicholls’ report at item 4 above.

Bus to Eynsham – First to Last have announced the service will start 4th January 2022. See Ms. Stribany’s report at item 3 above and Cllr. Levy’s report below.

Jubilee 22 – Mr. Rippin has been in contact with the Scouts and will follow this up. Mr. Parnham stressed that residents needed to come forward as the format of the celebration must come from them.  An email account has been set up – jubilee22@standlakepc.org.uk – for general use regarding the Jubilee and to encourage contact from the public.

8.      CORRESPONDENCE – Donation requests from: Witney Baby Bank, Volunteer Link Up. It was decided to donate £50 to Volunteer Link Up.

9.      ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the financial situation was essentially the same as last month.

For approval/payment:

Zoom subscription                                                     143.88*

Absolute Solutions – mowing                                     365.00*

J G LeHuray – village Xmas tree                               £140.00*

Crocus Ltd – spring bulbs                                        £102.09*

Chris Cleland – c’yard mowing                                 £352.50*

J Parkers bulbs – spring bulbs                                   £49.93*

Amazon – Kaspersky total protection renewal          £20.09*

These payments were approved.

10.   BUDGET 2022/23 – The clerk and Mr. Parnham presented the proposed budget for FY 22/23. Apart from increasing the Community Fund to cater for possible further Speedwatch equipment purchase, there was little change from the current year, after allowing for likely increases in the cost of services. After some discussion it was proposed that the Precept be kept at the current level i.e., £25,000. The final decision on the Precept will be made at the December meeting; this is to meet the WODC deadline of 8th January 2022 for receiving the parish council Precept.

11.   MARTINS LANE - Mr. Jeffcoat has reported that the promised work to fill potholes on the lane has not been done. Mr. Parnham said he was aware and, as the lane was a bridleway, he had contacted OCC who were investigating and would report back.

12.   DATE OF NEXT MEETING - The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th December at 7.30pm. Unless government guidelines change, or Mr. Parnham considers it would not be safe to do so, the meeting will be held in the Youth Club, Church End.

13.   There being no further business, the meeting closed at. 9.05pm.


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


OCC news 9th November 2021- Cllr. Dan Levy

There is an alarming increase in the incidence of Covid 19 in Oxfordshire, and I would urge everyone to remember that the epidemic is by no means over, and to carry on taking the sensible measures we all followed previously.

The budget did no favours to local government finances – the key labour costs, particularly in social care, have gone up, and we are being told by the Treasury that we should try to meet these costs via an increase in local taxation.   The much-publicised increase in National Insurance for NHS and Social Care purposes will initially send nearly all the money to the NHS, while the additional NI costs to OCC are approx. £1.5m per annum.      The lack of money makes it even more important that we focus on the key issues facing the County, not least the climate emergency.    

It is also likely that the resurgence of inflation won’t be reflected in the settlement for local government, and it will certainly affect the major infrastructure projects we have inherited, such as the A40 work.

The County Council has a new consultation system, Let’s Talk Oxfordshire.   https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/ It is much easier to use than the previous system, and we very much hope more residents will use it than before.

Local issues.

The “First and Last” bus service to Eynsham and Hanborough is now scheduled to start on 4 January to coincide with the schools going back.   I hope that it will be used by lots of residents.    It will be helpful to have feedback once it starts, for instance if there are issues with timetables or overcrowding.   There will be a dedicated school bus run by First and Last in addition to the morning scheduled service.  If there excess demand from pupils then there is a guarantee from the County Council that additional service will be laid on next term.  The whole school transport policy will be reviewed by the County Council as there are clearly anomalies and inefficiencies, and unnecessary issues for parents and pupils.

I continue to be in dialogue with Thames Water about the issues with pollution and flooding in the area, including the deplorable level of raw sewage coming out of the SH and Cassington plants among others .  It was disappointing to see the House of Commons reject a bill originating in the Lords to address this issue.  We wait to see if TW’s work in Standlake will be effective

The new 20 mph zone scheme was, as expected, approved by OCC, and applications from parishes are now welcomed.  They require the parish to have consulted with residents (not necessarily via a formal consultation) and the approval of the local county councilor to the proposal, which you will certainly get for your village.  Clearly you may want to think about where a zone, or zones, might be.

The County Council is currently capturing HGV data at key points all over the county.  We want to review the whole HGV routing.  This is a complex task, as changing one route invariably has an effect elsewhere. 

Finally, Dix pit will be shut on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 November for a deep clean. 

Please contact me by phone 07852 748362 or email dan.levy@oxfordshire.gov.uk