Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 10th July 2018 at 7.30pm.


          Mr. J. Rippin       Vice-Chairman

          Mr. S. Jones

          Mrs. S. Garrett

          Mr. B. Parnham

          Mr. D. Bevan   Clerk

Mr. S. Good (WODC councillor), Mr. C. Mathew (OCC councillor)

1.      APOLOGIES – were received from Mr. C. Naylor, Mrs. S. Adams and Mr. S. Hoskin

2.      PUBLIC ITEMS – none.

3.      COUNTY AND DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS. Mr. Mathew said that OCC were going ahead with sharing a chief executive with Cherwell council and this will save money. He continues to oppose the  current plans for the A40 and stresses a need to explore other alternatives including light rail between Carterton/Witney to Oxford. This is particularly important in the light of increase in housing at Eynsham Garden Village (2200) and the possibility of a Barnard Gate development of approximately 3000 houses.

Mr. Good congratulated Standlake on their successful campaign in the Spitfire Homes appeal. He reported that the new Publica and Ubico companies are working well in delivering services and will help to keep council tax low, as the consolidation of back office services with other councils is already achieving. He mentioned that he understands that WODC has a £500k Community Support Grant available but was not sure of the conditions required.


5.      PLANNING

18/01834/HHD: First floor extension with the insertion of roof lights and Velux windows to rear. Erection of front porch: 15 High Street Standlake Witney: Mrs P Cook. No objection.

The clerk, on behalf of Mr. Naylor, noted that approval had been given to the building of 3 houses at Croft Farm with access on Martin’s Lane. This decision very disappointing but approval was the Lowlands committee’s view. However, there is a condition (17) in the approval that the developer should explain, before construction, how they propose to prevent Martin’s Lane being used as a through route;  this has been an item of concern to us for some time as the lane is already being used in that fashion. Mr. Good was asked to monitor this and report back which he agreed to do.

The decision to approve came to light by accident and the councillors are in agreement that it seems nonsense that we are notified of applications but not of decisions. If for nothing else it is important that we learn why applications have been refused so we can take into account the reasons why; equally, in fact probably more important, is that we see approvals so we can note any conditions (see next point) and monitor their compliance. This has been discussed before and WODC approached with requests to do this but with no result. Mr. Good was asked to ensure we get these notifications in the same way we get applications and he agreed to look into this.

6.      MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th June 2018, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.


Footpaths – Martin’s Lane – The clerk has had no reply from OCC Countryside Services regarding the signing Martin’s Lane as a bridle path and the illegality of driving vehicles on it. It is noted that a condition to the grant of permission for 3 houses at Croft Farm requires the developer to show how vehicles will be prevented from using the lane as a through route. Mr. Good was asked to monitor this and inform the council accordingly.

Busses/ Bus Stops – The shelters have now been cleaned and the contractor will clean every three months. Mr. Pascoe has noted that there is an open ditch behind the shelter on The Downs and recommends a simple fence to prevent accidents; it was agreed that the clerk asks for an estimate of this work.

Recreation/Play Ground – the clerk, on behalf of Mr. Naylor, said that there was a tree overhanging New Road by the recreation ground; Mr. Parnham said he would investigate and report by email.

Roads/Traffic/Speeding – OCC have circulated a document outlining their pothole repair strategy which merely lays down the criteria for repairs and explains the financial constraints under which they must operate. The clerk noted that he had seen a press article saying that OCC were actively looking at asking parishes to take on responsibility for repairing potholes with money from OCC. Mr. Mathew said he knew nothing of this and asked the clerk to send him the article.

Mr. Parnham said there was a need to increase the awareness of Speedwatch and expand as necessary; he volunteered to join the scheme which is run by Mr. Naylor.

General Maintenance – the work to repair and renovate the village ‘entrance gates’ has now been completed. Mr. Parnham noted the number of invoices paid to Absolute Solutions and asked if other suppliers had been investigated. Mr. Rippin and the clerk explained that others had been involved in the past but Absolute Solutions came out best on most criteria. Most important was the fact that they’re based in the village and are flexible - often responding very quickly to emergency and urgent requests – as well as being able to undertake all kinds of repair and maintenance work. Furthermore their pricing seems competitive and they have not increased the basic grass cutting charges for more than 3 years.

8.       CORRESPONDENCE –Mulberry Bush School  re dog bin – see item 10 below.

9.      ACCOUNTS – the following accounts were approved for payment.

Absolute Solutions – cutting around bus shelters                                                                £140.00

Absolute Solutions – repair/refurb village ‘gates’                                                                 £850.00

SOS – balance of support for opposing Spitfire Homes appeal                                             £789.28

D C Bevan – domain renewal/hosting, APM photocopying                                                    £117.87

Absolute Solutions – grass cutting, weed control p’ground                                                  £410.00

E. Wileman – bus shelter cleaning                                                                                           £60.00

10.   SHIFFORD LANE – NOTICE, DOG BIN – Mrs. Adams has reported (via email) that the ‘No Through Road’ marker on the street nameplate in Shifford Lane is so faded it is ineffective. The clerk has spoken to OCC and they will inspect this sign and the ones at Woodlands and Manor Crescent.

The Mulberry Bush School has complained that a dog bin (which has been in situ for many years) is unsightly as they have made an additional entrance to the school alongside it; they have asked for it to be moved. This was discussed and rejected; this is not the main entrance to the school, the bin has been there many years and is in an ideal place to service walkers on both Shifford Lane and Abingdon Road and, finally, WODC advised that the council would have to pay for re-siting the bin. However it was accepted that the bin was not in good condition, as is the case with many around the village, and WODC will survey the bins and replace as required at their cost. The clerk reminded the councillors that the bins were provided by WODC some years ago free of charge, including weekly emptying: to install a new bin today would cost in excess of £200 and approximately £150 per year to empty.

Mr. Rippin said he had been approached with a request to have another bin installed in a lane off the A415 just south of Shifford Lane. Mr. Parnham said that as a dog walker there were plenty of bins in the village already and, the light of the discussions above, another was not needed. This was agreed.

11.   REPORT OF SEWAGE DISCHARGE INTO WINDRUSH AT BOURTON ON THE WATER – Mrs. Adams has reported (by email) that a BBC programme alleges that Thames Water have been discharging raw sewage into the Windrush at Bourton and possibly other locations downstream and that this may affect Standlake.. Mr. Good said WODC were aware of these allegations and had summoned TW and the Environment Agency to a meeting to discuss. He will keep us updated as to the progress of enquiries.

12.   AUGUST MEETING – REQUIRED OR NOT? It was decided a meeting was not required. The next meeting will be on 11th September. Mr. Parnham and Mr. Good tendered their apologies in advance.

13.   ANY OTHER BUSINESS –Mr. Parnham has been asked about The Bell – its future and the current state of the building. It was agreed that there was only rumour as to the future of the building and that it’s dilapidated condition was regrettable. The clerk will write to Mr. M. Webb and ask for clarification. There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm.


....................................................................................... Chairman   .................................................................... Date