Minutes of the Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Youth Club, Church End, on 12th September 2023 at 7.30pm


          Mr. B. Parnham               Chairman

          Mr. J. Rippin                  Vice Chairman

          Mrs. J. Macdonald

          Mr. D. Jeffcoat

          Mrs. A. Knipe

          Mr. J. Clements

          Mr. D. Bevan                   Clerk

OCC Cllr D. Levy, WODC Cllrs. L. Nicholls and C. Maynard, Mr. and Mrs. Goodall, Mr. B. Smith, Mrs. C. Hill and one other member of the public.

1.      APOLOGIES – There were no apologies.

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

3.      PUBLIC ITEMS – The unnamed member of the public questioned the council’s procedures in deciding the extent to which the proposed 20mph speed limit would apply on the Abingdon Road, most of The Downs and Heyford Close/Windrush Way. She was disappointed that these roads were not being included in the proposal, especially the second two.

Mr. Parnham said that the council had acted in good faith and had used all normal avenues available (Standlake News, Standlake People group on Facebook, and the village website) to ascertain local public opinion on the proposals and updates were reported in the council’s minutes over the past year. Furthermore, the council had consulted with OCC Highways as to what might be possible, and the outcome of those discussions resulted in the final proposal by OCC which was available to the public for the legal consultation period. The result of this, showing general acceptance, were approved by the OCC Cabinet at a public meeting and will now be implemented in Standlake. Cllr. Levy endorsed Mr. Parnham’s comments and also said that other methods of managing traffic were being examined.

A general discussion on traffic calming and speed limit enforcement followed, with Mr. Parnham stressing the success of the Speedwatch group, quoting the reduction in the percentage of vehicles being reported to TVP for exceeding the posted speed limit. However, he stressed the need for more volunteers.


OCC: See Cllr. Levy’s attached report. He also reported that work would be undertaken to improve the sight lines at the junction of Standlake Rd. and Cow Lane which had been the site of several incidents/accidents.

WODC: Cllr. Nicholls reminded the meeting that it was important that residents responded to the WODC consultation on the Local Plan 2041. Regarding the outline application for 10 houses at Eagle Farm, Cllr. Nicholls said that the outcome of a consultation on flood risk was awaited before a decision was made; this is expected within the next few weeks.

See Cllr. Maynard’s attached report.

5.      PLANNING – 23/01983/LBC: Internal and external alterations to include the erection of a single storey extension. 23/01982/HHD: Erection of a single storey extension: Midway Lancott Lane Brighthampton. No objection.

23/02172/LBC: Replacement windows and doors. 23/02171/HHD: Replacement windows and doors: Hampton House 21 Aston Road Brighthampton. No objection.

23/02223/OUTL: Outline planning application (with all matters reserved except access) for the erection of four new buildings to the rear and side of the existing site for flexible uses including Class E (g, ii) (industrial processes), Class B2 (general industry) or Class B8 (storage and distribution), and other associated works. Cotswold Farm Standlake Witney: Noble Foods Limited. No objection but restating condition to minimise light and noise pollution.

Notice of appeal – land north of 48 Abingdon Rd. Noted.

6.      MINUTES – Mr. Goodall had requested (by email) that the word ‘forcefully’ be removed from the record of his wife’s comments to the council on 8th August regarding matter of the proposed 20mph speed limit change. The clerk, supported by the chairman, said that only the councillors who were present at that meeting should decide on this question. All four councillors agreed that the word should remain and, therefore, the Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 8th August 2023, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record, and were signed by the chairman.


Sewage/FloodingMr. Parnham had nothing further to report at this meeting.

Roads/Speedwatch/20 mph restrictions – Mrs. Knipe reported the following: During August, 19 sessions were held including 3 on Bank Holiday Monday so sincere thanks to the operators who made themselves available.  A number of early evening sessions were also held.

From over 6,000 vehicles counted, a further 177 offenders were reported to Thames Valley Police (TVP).  Of these, 4 had no MOT, 2 no TAX and 2 SORN.  TVP report this information to DVLA. During the sessions, it averages that 2% of drivers are speeding which is a 3% reduction from when Speedwatch started in February 2022 which shows the effectiveness of the scheme.

Thanks to all operators who give up their time, many of whom still work but find the time to make our roads safer. Please, we need more volunteers - even if you can give 1 hour per month that would be great - drop an email to speedwatch@standlakepc.org.uk

Other matters: 20mph zones - this was approved by the OCC cabinet minister responsible on the 7th September.  The meeting was attended by Dan Levy (OCC County Councillor) in person and Chair Brian Parnham virtually by Teams.

A meeting has been arranged for Friday 15th September with OCC, Dan Levy, Brian Parnham, the clerk and Robert Maxwell (Speedwatch Co-ordinator to discuss options for: Pedestrian Crossings/Safe zones on Abingdon Road•Double-whites from Golden Balls junction to village gates•Traffic Calming on village entrances •Speed Indicator Devices [SIDS] •Downs Road - reduction from 60mph. An update will be provided at the next meeting.

Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – The report by RoSPA/PlaySafety’s annual inspection of the play areas at Rack End and Windrush Way has been received. There were no urgent items to be addressed and Mr. Parnham reported that there were no issues at Rack End playground. Mr. Clements said he would check on Windrush Way in the next few days but was aware of the waste bin being full. Mrs. Hill said that she had been the original key holder responsible for the bin for a number of years. However, she had passed that responsibility to another resident who was now unable to carry out those duties due to ill health. Mr. Clements will look into this.

Environment/Standlake Nature Recovery Network Mrs. Macdonald reported the following: The wild flower bank at the Village Hall has been cut by Absolute Solutions, cost £120 paid by Mrs. Macdonald to be reimbursed from PC grant; Three SNRN volunteers raked up the arisings – thanks for their hard and exhausting work in the extremely challenging heat; Stuart Bridger will start work on hedge laying the hedge at far end of new burial ground on Sunday 8th October and brash will need to be collected and chipped.  Any volunteers to help on the day will be very welcome! Village Litter Pick. 10 – 12 Saturday 28th October. Joint venture with SNRN, Parish Council and WI.  Mrs. Macdonald has contacted WODC and will collect extra bags and pickers. The WI will supply tea and cake to volunteers.  The PC has agreed to pay for hire of the Village Hall and a poster has been designed which will be sent out via Standlake News, Facebook etc.  Spring bulbs to be planted around the village will be purchased and distributed free to people attending the village market on Saturday 7th October.

Mrs. Macdonald asked if the SNRN could be treated as a separate entity for budgetary purposes. She suggested that the Network could open a bank account into which the council could pay its grant – this would allow the network to purchase items without having to request that the clerk do this. This was agreed unanimously.

Coronation – Mr. Parnham presented the estimate of the cost of the two planters as £245; this was agreed unanimously.

Removal of Bus Shelter at Heyford Close – after some discussion, it was decided not to proceed with removal of the shelter.

CCTV in car park - Mr. Clements said his initial investigations were not supportive of CCTV but he will email the clerk with a full recommendation.

Co-option of new councillor - Mr. Parnham said he is still searching for a replacement councillor.

War Memorial – The clerk said that the cleaning would commence within the next week.

Hornsway cutting – Mr. Parnham has still not had any reply from OCC to his requests for information on the frequency/schedule of cutting. Cllr. Levy will investigate the situation and report back.

8.      CORRESPONDENCE –A request has been received from West Oxon Citizen’s Advice (WOCA) for a donation. After some discussion it was agreed that the council make a grant of £75. Mr. Jeffcoat said he would personally match that amount and Cllr. Maynard said he would also personally match the total of £150.

9.      ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the council’s financial position remains satisfactory and within budget.

Received: OCC grant £400 for defibrillator replacement.

The following accounts were approved: (paid*)

Microsoft 365 - purchase                                              £59.99*

Absolute Solutions - mowing                                      £370.00*

Playsafety - playground inspections                          £303.60*

C Cleland - churchyard mowing                                  £372.50*

Absolute Solutions – mowing, playground repairs     £400.00*

PWLB – car park loan repayment                              £2142.96*

Mrs Macdonald – reimburse for mowing                    £120.00*

Moore – Audit fees                                                      £252.00

D C Bevan - clerk salary                                             £1648.60

HMRC - clerk PAYE                                                      £393.80


10.      EXTERNAL AUDITORS REPORT FY 2022/23 – the clerk presented the auditor’s report, which did not identify any areas of concern, to the council. This was accepted unanimously.

11.   DATE OF NEXT MEETING - Mr. Parnham said that the next meeting will be held in the Youth Club on Tuesday 10th October 2023 at 7.30 pm. There being no further business, the meeting closed at. 8.30 pm.



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


OCC County Councillor Report, 11 September 2023  Cllr. Dan Levy  dan.levy@oxfordshire.gov.uk

I hope you have had a good summer, and that the disappointing weather wasn’t too disruptive. Nor the recent heatwave. Notwithstanding people taking holidays, work at the County Council has carried on.

20mph  Standlake and Brighthampton’s 20mph scheme was approved by the Cabinet Member responsible last week. It has taken a lot of work by the parish council and County officers to reach this point, andI am really pleased that it is happening. I know a lot of people have been upset that Downs Road isn’t included. We will work on other speed mitigations for Downs Road and for Abingdon Road.The work to introduce the 20 zone, such as signage, will happen as soon as possible.

Road maintenance There has been progress during the summer on fixing some of the worst bits of the roads. That includes the A40 carriageway near Cassington. The road between Aston and Ducklington will be relaid in works scheduled to have commenced this week and to finish in about 7 weeks. During this much needed work, please note that there is signage of there being no through road through Yelford for motor traffic, as it is unsuitable for high traffic volumes.

National Rail. Botley Road in Oxford remains closed to cars at the railway bridge. It will reopen at the end of October, and work on the station will move away from the bridge area. The road will then reclose for another 6 months in the spring. As was predictable, the work isn’t on schedule, as interesting architectural features have been found under the bridge. National Rail are now working 24 hours a day to get back on time.

HIF1 Didcot/Culham As you may have heard, following the failure of the project to build a new road in the area of the old power station to get planning permission, partly because of objections from local parish councils, the Secretary of State has called in the application. It is a very odd situation and more will become clear over time. I am appalled by the attack – not for the first time – by the government on the ability of local authorities to decide things locally.

HIF2 A40 project As expected, because of the funding being inadequate to cover the original plan put together a few years ago by the former County Council administration, the plans have been revised to be more modest. The A40 will remain largely untouched to the west of Eynsham (bar the new access arrangements for Salt Cross, West Eynsham and the Park & Ride). The bus lanes will be built as planned between Eynsham and Wolvercote. The bike lane on the south side of the A40 will be upgraded and there will be no bike lane on the north. The details of the revised plans are being put together and I will continue to work with officers to make the scheme as effective as it can be.

Like my predecessor Charles Mathew, I have said from the start that I don’t think the A40 changes will make things much better, but we will need to make the most of what we are being offered, not least because the P&R is well towards completion. In the meantime, we continue to make progress with the project to restore a railway between Carterton, Eynsham and Oxford – that would really make things better.

Shores Green Approval has been given for making the Shores Green junction on the A40 (the one to the north of South Leigh) 4 way. This will relieve traffic in Witney. As part of the approval, there will be some new traffic calming measures in South Leigh, to prevent rat running. This will be combined with South Leigh’s new 20 mph zone. It will be interesting to see what the effect of the new junction will be on all the villages south of the A40.

Schools School has restarted. There are a couple of schools in Oxfordshire, but not in our immediate area, that have had to close classrooms because of RACC issues. The failure to invest in infrastructure – as shown also by the lamentable performance of Thames Water – will always lead to higher cost and disruption in the long run.

Buses First and Last Mile, which links Stanton Harcourt to Standlake, Eynsham and Hanborough, is looking for volunteer drivers. If anyone can help it would be brilliant. And can I remind everyone that they are offering £2 fares, even though they are not reimbursed for the shortfall in income in the same way that the big bus companies like Stagecoach are.

District Councillor report 12 Sept 2023  Cllr. Charlie Maynard   charlie.maynard@westoxon.gov.uk

West Oxfordshire’s Local Plan to 2041 WODC are asking for your views on how you think the district should develop. These inputs will contribute to the key document which will outline what development will happen where in the district over the next 18 years. Here’s the link - https://yourvoice.westoxon.gov.uk/en-GB/. Please sign up, have a good read and get your views in ahead of 25th October. For my part, I believe that we need a much lower housebuilding rate in West Oxfordshire than we currently have, which was set by the previous Conservative administration at more than 10,000 houses in just ten years. As you’ll see in Scenario 8 in the above link, the A40 is forecast to be 30 minutes slower by 2031 than it currently is. I believe that we should be aiming for approximately half the current build rate, and we should be locating the great majority of those homes around rail stations along a railway line linking Carterton, Witney and Eynsham to Oxford. This approach has many advantages, including giving us a fast, reliable, and clean transport solution along the A40 corridor, reducing pressure on housebuilding in our villages and allowing us to use the homes to help fund the railway through land value capture. Whether you agree with me or not, I hope the above is a stimulus for you to go and look for yourself – and give your views.

Housing There’s light at the end of tunnel here. Once the district’s Local Plan is five years old, any calculation of five-year housing land supply can be undertaken on the basis of the “standard method” figure. The five-year anniversary is on September 27th. Given that, the plan is for the district to move over to the standard method from 27 September onwards, with an updated housing land supply position statement being published in October. This is hugely important as it allows us to reduce our housing targets by approximately 30%, down from the 10,000+ that we are currently on the hook for this decade.

Thames Water WODC colleagues and I met with Thames Water last week. We’re making some good progress on linking sewage requirements to planning and on getting to the bottom of the disaster that is Brize Norton sewage pumping station. However, I left the meeting even more concerned that the government is clamping down on spending, will be seeking monies from customers rather than TW’s shareholders and debtholders, and that important expansion work will be pushed out. This does not bode well for funding for expanding our local works in Standlake and in Stanton Harcourt, both of which are repeat offenders in terms of dumping sewage.