Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 10th March 2020 at 7.30 pm.


          Mr. B. Parnham   Chairman

          Mr. J. Rippin       Vice Chairman

          Mrs. S. Adams

          Mrs. S Garrett

          Mrs. A. Knipe

          Mr. S. Jones

          Mrs. L. Burton (following co-option as councillor)

          Mr. D. Bevan       Clerk

Mr. C. Mathew (OCC), Mrs. H. Fenton (WODC), Mrs. J. MacDonald, Mr. J. Bond-Smith, Mr. B. Smith, Mrs. J. Sangha

1.      APOLOGIES –Mr. S. Good

2.      CO OPTION OF NEW COUNCILLOR – Mr. Parnham proposed, seconded Mr. Rippin, that Mrs. L. Burton be co-opted as a parish councillor – approved unanimously. Mrs. Burton signed her Acceptance of Office and was welcomed to the council.

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

4.      PUBLIC ITEMS – Mrs. MacDonald said she had been approached to be the Standlake representative on the Lower Windrush Valley Project (LWVP) as no councillor was available.  This was welcomed by the members and Mr. Parnham thanked her for volunteering and said she was welcome at any meeting or to contact the council by email. Mrs. Sangha said she is the resident at 98A Abingdon Rd. and was at the meeting to talk about the sewage flooding at her property – see item 9.

5.      COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS – Mrs. Fenton reported that the District’s recycling scheme was paying its way but some people still did not understand the importance of recycling; those in the villages tended to recycle more than urban areas. The District continues to try and improve the water/sewage situation and she expressed her opposition to the continued building of more properties in areas known to have problems – such as the proposal for more houses on the High St, Standlake. The District’s small increase in Council Tax still made it the 2nd lowest tax in England.

Mr. Mathew said that, in the current Financial Year, his Councillor’s Priority Fund had been able to grant funds to the parish council for refurbishment of the village ‘entrance gates’ (£850) and the replacement of the fence at the Rack End children’s’ playground (£1780) as well as contributing to the replacement of windows at the Village Hall. Mr. Mathew reiterated Mrs. Fenton’s remarks regarding any more building until the present sewage/flooding problems are solved and expressed his frustration with Thames Water. Regarding the noise complaints about Sheehans plant, the response is still unsatisfactory in that following complaints the noise appears to cease and then restarts; an ongoing situation unfortunately.

6.      PLANNING

20/00480/HHD: First floor rear extension with Juliet balcony, single storey extensions to rear and side, alterations to front porch and insertion of roof light: 11 The Downs Standlake Witney: Mr And Mrs Parker - no objection

20/00636/HHD: Erection of Shed / home office: Manor Garden Cottage 24A Aston Road Brighthampton: Mr Tim Abbott – no objection.

7.      MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 4th February 2020, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.


Sewage/Flooding – Ongoing contact with TW who confirm the pumps at the Black Horse station are all working but tanking is still necessary. Mr. Parnham and the clerk will attend the meeting with Robert Courts MP on 20th March and will raise all points and the matter of 98A Abingdon road.

Windrush contamination – Mrs. Adams has drafted a letter of support for WASP and this was approved by the council. The clerk will email to those bodies concerned (TW, EA, MP etc.)

Roads/Traffic/Speeding /Traffic Calming – Mr. Jones has asked for costings for the following suggested actions: speed limit changes on Downs Rd. to 40mph, The Downs, Rack End and High St. 20 mph; chicane on The Downs by 30 mph sign; SID’s on A415. The clerk and Mr. Mathew pointed out that the cost of these measures would be significant (e.g. a speed limit change at least £15,000 and a chicane £10,000). Mr. Jones proposed that once the costings were finalised and possible funding examined then they should be put to the residents asking what they considered a priority. Mr. Bond-Smith kindly offered to donate the cost of a speed camera and was thanked by Mr. Parnham on behalf of the council. The type used by Stanton Harcourt, which appears to have the approval of the police, will be investigated. 

Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – Mr. Parnham inspected both playgrounds today and has nothing to report.

Shifford Lane – An OCC officer will look at the implications and report. Mr. Parnham will hasten in one week if nothing further is heard.

Brighthampton Dog Bin - Mr. Parnham proposed that the dog bin be installed at council expense. This did not find favour with the majority of the councillors. Mrs. Garrett suggested that as there was only one request it did not show a wide call for the bin. It was decided not to approve installation at this time and Mr. Parnham will inform the resident.

Mud/blocked drain path by Notice board. – Work has been carried out and looks very satisfactory.

VE Day 75th anniversary – The council insurers have responded and it is in order for the street party to be covered by the council’s public liability insurance.

9.      CORRESPONDENCE – Complaints re tanker at 98A Abingdon Rd.

Mrs. Sangha gave a disturbing, and distressing, report on the problems at her property which have been ongoing since November 2019. In brief, her property has been continually under threat of, and actual, sewage contamination. Thames Water’s only recourse is to park a tanker in her driveway and carry out pumping operations; sometimes 24/7 over long periods. TW will not address why her property, and not adjacent properties, is suffering from this problem. She has practically exhausted all forms of complaint in correspondence with TW and only been offered derisory compensation. She will be grateful for any help the council can give. Mr. Parnham expressed condolences on behalf of the council and will take this up with TW contact and Robert Courts MP at the planned meeting on 20th March.

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

Wileman & sons – bus shelter cleaning                                                                                   £30.00*

PWLB – car park repayment                                                                                                £2141.96*

D C Bevan – clerk salary & expenses                                                                                  £1221.60*

HMRC – clerk PAYE                                                                                                               £292.40*

Absolute Solutions – path clearing                                                                                       £195.00*


The clerk drew the council’s attention to the monthly financial statement noting that this was the last of the current FY. The statement indicates a surplus in line with, or exceeding, the assumptions made when deciding the budget for 2020/21.

The council discussed the risk assessment for the coming financial year. As before, the main risk area is the playgrounds and it was agreed that this was covered both financially and by insurance and there are no other significant risk areas.

12.   DATE OF MAY MEETING (COUNCIL AGM) & ANNUAL PUBLIC MEETING -  It was agreed that the AGM and the APM would be held on the same date in May – 19th – but the AGM commencing at 7.00pm.

13.   ANY OTHER BUSINESS – The next meeting will be on Tuesday 14th April at 7:30 pm in the Youth Club. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.50 pm.


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