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.
4. COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
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.
7. MATTERS ARISING
Sewage/Flooding – Mr. Parnham had nothing further to report at this meeting.
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.
District Councillor report 12 Sept 2023 Cllr. Charlie Maynard email@example.com
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.