Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club, on 11th October 2016 at 7.00pm.
Mr. P. Willis Vice Chairman
Mrs. B. Smith
Mr. J. Rippin
1. APOLOGIES – were received from Mrs. J. Clements, Mr. J. Hunt and Mr. Owens.
2. PUBLIC ITEMS – Mr. Naylor welcomed the PCSOs and stressed that they were always welcome at any of the council’s meetings. He said that as usual speeding and parking at the school generated the most comments from residents.
Ms. Syphas said she had been in contact with Mr. Naylor regarding a Community Speedwatch scheme and Mr. Naylor confirmed that he now had 5 or 6 volunteers for the programme; Ms. Syphas will email Mr. Naylor with a selection of dates for training. While results from the Speedwatch cannot be used for prosecutions it can be used to generate warning letters to offenders and, hopefully, information collected by the scheme will provide evidence to generate action from the police traffic enforcement.
With regard to school parking, the PCSOs said they were aware of the problem – which affects the vast majority of schools in Oxfordshire – and can only give advice and encouragement by attending at school run time and working through the school to raise awareness among parents. They pointed out that because the District council had not ‘adopted’ the zig zag white lines (as was the case in other local authorities) they could not issue tickets to offenders. Mrs. Fenton believed this was the case but Mr. Mathew thought it would be an OCC matter: Mr. Naylor asked them to investigate this and report back which they agreed to do. Mr. Naylor will also speak to the head teacher.
The PCSO’s concluded by saying that, overall, crime levels in Standlake remained very low - as was the case in previous years. Mr. Naylor thanked them both for attending.
3. COUNTY and DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORTS – Mrs. Fenton reported that a new online housing system will allow tenants to choose from a selection of available properties from within their entitlement group. It was felt that this would give tenants a better sense of ‘ownership’ of their homes. Mrs. Fenton said that the proposed closure of Deer Park Medical Centre was to be regretted but had now been delayed for six months so patients could register at other practices in Witney.
Mr. Mathew restated his firm support for a unitary authority for Oxfordshire and urged the districts to come to an agreement.
The Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan Core Strategy was still with the inspector. The Stonehenge Farm dig will commence shortly with a water suction system routed under the road to transport the gravel to Lynch Hill for processing.
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – there were no declarations of interest..
5. PLANNING – there were no planning applications for discussion.
6. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th September 2016, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.
7. MATTERS ARISING
Busses, Bus Stops – The Comet bus to Eynsham no longer runs via Standlake and has been reduced to once a week from Northmoor – this due to lack of support. Mrs. Smith said that the pick up scheme for rides to Eynsham continues to expand with requests for more drivers. It is vital to support the 15 and 16 services through Standlake to ensure their continuation after the 6 month trial period which ends in January.
Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – The LWTC have requested permission to erect a permanent notice board displaying club information at the entrance to the courts: approved unanimously. Mr. Naylor has replaced the old basketball net.
On further examination the ‘Monkey Square’ main posts and crossbar were found to be more rotten than originally thought; the posts and crossbar have been removed as their current condition is considered dangerous. The new estimate for repairing, by replacement of 2 uprights and 1 crossbar, is £1167.00 – some £800.00 more. It was agreed unanimously that these repairs should go ahead, while accepting the clerk’s advice that this will overspend the current maintenance budget.
Traffic/Speeding – See Public Items.
Footpaths – nothing further to report
Roads, Newbridge – Mr. Naylor said he was annoyed at the attitude of the OCC representative appearing in the recent BBC programme on weight limit enforcement in Oxfordshire. His statement that more involvement from the local community was required at Newbridge completely ignored the efforts by parish councils and Mr. Mathew. Mr. Mathew agreed and said he had written expressing his concern at this attitude but had not yet received a reply..
Flooding/Sewers/Winter – nothing further to report.
Highway Maintenance - nothing further to report.
8. CORRESPONDENCE – request for donation from Victim Support and Oxon. Association for the Blind. Agreed unanimously to donate £50 each to be approved at next meeting.
Absolute Solutions – mowing/litter picking 12/09 330.00
Absolute Solutions – mowing/litter picking 04/10 330.00
BDO – Audit fees 240.00
Smiths of Bletchington – village hall carpark surface 2160.00
D C Bevan – domain name renewal 15.58
C R Naylor – basketball nets 7.00
10. AUDIT REPORT 2015/16 – the clerk presented the Audit Report for 2015/16 and it was noted that the auditors had no observations.
11. BUDGET 2017/18 –the initial budget for next year was discussed and the clerk said that the precept would clearly have to be increased if only to recoup the contribution to the resurfacing of the Village Hall car park but over budget expenditure on playground maintenance. It was also clear that increased costs in other areas should be considered and budgeted for. The clerk’s salary was also discussed, noting that no increase had been paid since 2008 and an increase of £127 (2.03%) would be required to bring the salary into line with the Society of Local Council Clerks recommended salary for 2016/17. Discussions will continue at the next meeting with the aim of setting the precept by the December meeting.
12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS – Mrs. Smith received a complaint that the builders at 65 Abingdon Road were obstructing the footpath with scaffolding etc. and she has spoken to the foreman who assured her that they would ensure that the path was kept clear in future; Mr. Naylor said that, from his experience, the obstruction of a footpath was illegal and, if required, a temporary closure order should have been applied for.
The clerk asked that the December meeting be postponed to 20th December as he will be away on the 13th; this was agreed.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.40pm.
...................................................................................... Chairman .................................................................... Date