Minutes of a meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Standlake Youth Club on 16th February 2016 at 7.00pm.
Mr. J. Rippin Vice Chairman
Mrs. J. Clements
Mrs. B. Smith
Mr. N. Owens
Mr. J. Hunt
Cllr (OCC) Mr. C Mathew, Cllr. (WODC) Mrs. H. Fenton; Mr. B. Barber (V Hall) Mr. P. Clements, Mrs. H. Milne (LWTC), Mr. C. Barnes, Mr. C. Horan
1. APOLOGIES –apologies were received from Mr. Good, and Mr. Willis.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – Mr. Naylor and Mr. Hunt declared an interest as members of the LWTC and withdrew; Mr. Rippin assumed the chair.
3. L W TENNIS CLUB – PROPOSAL FOR CLUBHOUSE.
A site visit was made by Mr. Rippin, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Owens, Mr. Willis and Mrs. Milne on 17th January to examine the proposed site. As a result of that meeting there was discussion as to the merits and objections to the site proposed by the children’s playground and the area to the west of court No. 3. A decision was reached by a vote of 3 to 1 that the site adjacent to the playground was not acceptable, mainly because of encroachment on open ground around the playground. However it was unanimously agreed that there was support in principle for a clubhouse on the land behind court 3.
Mrs. Milne was disappointed in the decision but asked that an explanation be made to the Toddler Group who had been very supportive of the original proposal. Mr. Rippin agreed to meet the chair of the group and give that explanation.
Mr. Naylor re assumed the chair and Mr. Hunt re-joined the meeting at 7.20pm.
4. PUBLIC ITEMS
Mr. Barber reported on the VH carpark and said that the hall committee was well aware of the need to take action and was continuing to examine various options. The tarmac option was out of the question on the grounds of cost and different types of gravel surface were discussed. Mr. Naylor thanked him for the update and said that when a way forward was found the PC would consider a request for support.
5. COUNTY and DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORTS –
Mr. Mathew reported that OCC passed the budget today and some more money has been made available from central government has allowed some cuts to be reinstated and does mean more money is available for children’s services. The present bus services will continue until June this year but he warned that the X15, 18 and 19 were the most heavily subsidised and must be considered as vulnerable.
There appears to be some S106 money held by OCC that is specific to Standlake and Mr. Mathew will continue to follow this up and let the clerk have details.
Mr. Naylor asked as to the status of the waste and recycling site at Dix pit and Mr. Mathew assured him that, as things stand currently, the site will remain open for at least another 18 months.
Hanson Concrete Products are constantly breaking the routeing agreement on the B4449 through Sutton and, while this is not a direct concern to Standlake, Mr. Mathew asked for support in correspondence with OCC regarding enforcement of this agreement. Mr. Naylor assured Mr. Mathew that the enforcement of routeing agreements was is everyone’s interest and he could count on Standlake’s support.
Mrs. Fenton said she had very little to report. The clerk asked her to follow up the request for information from WODC Planning regarding the off-site affordable housing contribution promised by Mr. Cade; the last correspondence was in November and the clerk will forward this to Mrs. Fenton who agreed to make enquiries.
16/00313/HHD; erection 2 storey rear extn, addition of first floor over existing bungalow; Glenden, 59 High St – no objection
16/00316/FUL; erection of one dwelling and detached garage; land east of 137 Abingdon Rd – objections: building line, loss of open space, precedent.
16/00359/FUL; change of use land to form garden 131 Abingdon Rd – no objection
Minutes of the Meeting held on 12th January 2016, copies of which had been previously circulated to all members, were agreed as a true record and signed by the vice-chairman.
8. MATTERS ARISING
Busses, Bus Stops – see County Councillor’s report. Mrs. Smith said that there was great concern amongst the Witney/Abingdon college students using the X15 as its withdrawal would have a disastrous impact at exam time..
Assets of Community Value – Mr. Owens has been contacted by one of the owners of The Bell (Mr. M. Webb) informing him that the application for ACV status has resulted in their bankers withdrawing support for the business: this will have an adverse effect while the owners are fighting a case against their insurers. Mr. Owens proposed that the ACV application be withdrawn at least temporarily. This was discussed at some length before being put to a vote; the result was 4 against the proposal (i.e. let the ACV application stand) 1 against (Mr. Owens) and 1 abstention.
Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – due to the unseasonably warm weather in December and early January a cut of all grass was carried out on 21st January. Repairs have been carried out to the fence at the Rack End children’s playground and non-slip strips have been added to the steps on the climbing tower. Mr. Hunt noted that the multi games surface needed cleaning; he advised that the LWTC was in the process of engaging a company to clean the court surfaces and suggested that the two be combined. The clerk said that this arrangement had worked in the past and it was agreed that Mr. Hunt arrange for the LWTC work and the games area be combined.
Mr. Rippin suggested obtaining nets for the goal posts. It was agreed this should be done and Mr. Rippin will investigate provision of the nets.
Village Communications – the clerk is still awaiting an estimate to rebuild the general notice board at the Post Office.
H.M. Queen Birthday – Mr. Rippin asked if the OD Cricket Club would be prepared to host the beacon lighting for HM’s birthday in April. Mr. Owens said he was sure that was the case and would confirm at a later date.
Village Hall Car Park – see Mr. Barber’s comments in Public Items.
Footpaths – Mr. Bob Hughes (footpath warden) has updated the council by email on his recent findings. He is basically satisfied with the state of the paths and has carried out some pruning on Horn’s Way.
Flooding/Sewers/Winter – Mr. Hunt reported on the document ‘Thames Water Drainage Strategy – Standlake’. This is a long document but does cover all aspects of general and Standlake specific drainage problems.; it is available on the website. It does not offer permanent specific solutions but rather a strategy for more monitoring and use of tankers as required. There was some discussion regarding perceived causes of the sewage flooding and Mr. Barns (member of the public) expressed his opinion that much of the problem was due to leakage into the ‘laterals’ from individual properties. The clerk remembered that tackling this had been the subject of a TW and WODC initiative as far back as about 1990 and enforcement action taken; it would appear TW no longer consider this a viable option. The council will continue to monitor events.
Roads, Newbridge – nothing further to report at this meeting
Traffic/Speeding – nothing further to report at this meeting.
Highway Maintenance - nothing further to report at this meeting.
9. CORRESPONDENCE – no significant written correspondence; all emails distributed to councillors.
Absolute Solutions – mowing, repairs 547.69
St Giles Church – grant for disabled access 500.00
11. PROPOSED INCREASE IN PRECEPT FOR COMMUNITY FUND
Mr. Owens proposed that a community fund be set aside each year out of precept to support village organisations with grants of money. Mr. Naylor and the clerk restated the council’s position that it was open to any organisation approach the council for help in funding a project; the examples of, amongst others, the recreation ground, V. Hall car park and access and, more recently, Windy Way Play Area were quoted. If time was not critical then a grant would be included in the next budget and Precepted for, but if support was needed urgently then there was no objection to using the reserves.
After some discussion it was generally agreed that a sum of £3000 pa should be set aside for projects but Mr. Naylor said that he was opposed to keeping any more un budgeted funds that would increase council tax. The clerk stated that, while the council’s reserves of £8k would be considered on the low side, for a council with a Precept of around £21k, he considered that Standlake’s financial risk was of a very low order. As the council has no buildings to maintain, the only risk relate to the recreation ground and the 2 children’s playgrounds and there were no foreseeable circumstances in which a reserve of £8k would be called upon. He proposed that, rather than increase the Precept as a matter of course, the £3k sum be kept separate from the normal reserves which would be reduced to £5k. In this way a Community Fund would be established for organisations to apply for grants without having to wait for the budget process; whatever amount was removed from the fund could be restored by increasing the next Precept. This was agreed and will be implemented in the FY 16/17.
12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.15pm.
...................................................................................... Chairman .................................................................... Date