Minutes of a Meeting of Standlake Parish Council, held in the Youth Club, Church End, on 26th April 2022 at 7.30pm
Mr. B. Parnham Chairman
Mr. J. Rippin Vice Chairman
Mrs. L. Burton
Mrs. J Macdonald
Mrs. A. Knipe
Mr. D. Bevan Clerk
Mr. B Smith
1. APOLOGIES – OCC Cllr Mr. D. Levy. WODC Cllr Ms. L. Nicholls.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – There were no declarations of interest.
3. PUBLIC ITEMS – No member of the public wished to speak.
4. COUNTY & DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
OCC – see Cllr. Levy’s report attached to these minutes.
5. PLANNING –
22/00864/HHD: Two story extensions at side and rear: 20 Heyford Close Standlake Witney: Mr Dan Cannon. No objection.
22/00793/S73: Variation of condition 2 of planning permission 17/00629/FUL to allow revisions to the design, layout, and appearance of plots 9 and 10: Land to The Rear Of 65 High Street Standlake. In the light of the council’s objections to the original application, the council therefore objects to any further changes to the approved plan on the same basis especially if the height of the new houses is to be increased..
6. MINUTES - Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 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 reported the following: TW have identified the loose manhole covers and a schedule of work is awaited. Mr. Parnham has a meeting with TW on 5th May and will revisit the unfinished surface work at the High St. pumping station.
Roads/Traffic/Speedwatch – Mrs. Knipe reported the following: We now have 12 trained operators and one in progress. This is excellent news and a big thank you for giving up your time. The more operators we have it means we can operate earlier, later and over weekends. Since we started at the beginning of February, we have managed to have 45 roadside sessions and 150 offenders have been reported to Thames Valley Police. Of the 150 offenders, 4 had no MOT, 7 no TAX and 1 vehicle was under SORN. 3 of those were travelling at 48mph on Abingdon Road, and 1 on Church End at 46mph. Average speeds of offenders so far is 38mph. Considering it is a 30mph zone these speeds are appalling and shows the importance of Speedwatch. We do need more volunteers but hopefully as visibility of the group increases more volunteers will come forward. Mr. Parnham said that Speedwatch is getting noticed around the village and receiving positive reactions. He and the clerk will be meeting with OCC on 27th April to discuss further traffic calming measures as reported at the March meeting, including 20mph restrictions in the village.
Playground/Recreation Ground & Maintenance – Mr. Parnham said Absolute Solutions have carried out the majority of the agreed refurbishing work in the playgrounds. The outstanding items are the refitting of the motorbike ride at Rack End and the purchase and fitting of 2 replacement swing seats at Windrush Way; this should be accomplished in the next 2 weeks.
Environment – Mrs. Burton reported: In collaboration with Oxford Amphibian and Reptile Society and L.W.V.P we have placed several refugia on the Church grounds and the allotments, and collated data to complete a survey. Many thanks to the volunteers who helped plant wildflower plug plants at the recreation mound. Lucy Kennery has forwarded details for a grant for a pollinator patch at the village hall borders. We have also been attending the village market to promote biodiversity. Thanks to everyone who has supported us especially Jessica Crumpton who has shared the profits of her sales of her photographic cards and prints of our local wildlife. Plants are beginning to grow.
Aston Rd. Village Gates - Mr. Parnham said these have now been installed and the response has been positive. Mr. Jeffcoat and others commented that the synthetic material looked remarkably like wood and had the added benefit that maintenance would consist of just washing and wiping over.
Willows by church – Absolute Solutions will carry out a ‘tidying up’ exercise and then carry out a full pollarding in the Autumn.
Jubilee 22 – Mr. Rippin confirmed the sequence of events for the village celebrations as: Thursday 2nd June – lighting of beacon at Oxford Downs Cricket Club; Friday 3rd – exhibition at St. Giles church; Saturday 4th – street party and other activities in the High St.; Sunday 5th – individual arrangements for ‘The Big Lunch’. Mrs. Macdonald asked for further details and Mr. Rippin confirmed that details would be advertised around the village when final details were confirmed.
Regarding the exhibition at St. Giles, it was expected that various village groups would set up their own displays and it was agreed that the Parish Council should have its own display highlighting the work of the council. Mrs. Macdonald suggested several ways this might be done and Mr. Jeffcoat volunteered to coordinate this effort. Mr. Jeffcoat asked if councillors would send him a soft copy of a suitable photograph of themselves.
Regarding commemorative mugs, Mr. Parnham said that he, along with Mr. Rippin, Mrs. Knipe and Mrs. Macdonald had agreed that, in keeping with past events of this kind, the provision of mugs would be to infants and juniors at Standlake Primary School. Mr. Parnham said that the Parish Council will provide funds for these, separately from the Jubilee Committee, and Mrs. Macdonald has arranged for a competition amongst the children to provide a design for the back of the mugs (the official Jubilee design being on the front).
Martins Lane - Mr. Parnham has been in correspondence with OCC and his full report is attached to these minutes. Mrs. Macdonald said that it was apparent some work had already been undertaken by users of the lane. Mr. Parnham said that this was done with their own responsibility and any further comment was down to OCC when they inspected the lane as promised in the correspondence.
418 Bus – The requested business plan from First and Last Mile was received too late to be distributed and examined before this meeting; Mr. Parnham has informed the company that the matter will now be raised at the May meeting.
May Elections – The clerk noted that the present councillors had all been elected unopposed and they would be required to sign their Acceptance of Office at the May meeting. Mrs. Macdonald asked what to do with the ‘Register of Interests’ form received from WODC; the clerk said that he would take the completed forms and send them to WODC.
Memorial Bench on Hornsway – Some time ago Mr. Andrew Mitchell had asked for permission to remove the old, damaged bench on Hornsway and replace it with a new bench in memory of a recently deceased relative. Permission was granted and Mrs. Macdonald now noted that the new bench had been installed; she remarked how good it looked, that it was comfortable to sit on and that the construction and fitting of it was of a very high quality. The council welcomed this, and Mr. Parnham will write to Mr. Mitchell and pass on these comments.
8. CORRESPONDENCE – Grant request from Witney Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Mr. Jeffcoat stressed the importance of the work done by the CAB. After some discussion it was agreed a grant of £75 should be made. Mr. Jeffcoat said he would match that personally to make up the grant to £150.
9. ACCOUNTS – The clerk reported that the council had finished the FY21/22 and started the FY22/23 in a healthy position. Although there was no dispute as to the accuracy of the figures, there was much discussion between the clerk and Mr. Jeffcoat regarding the format and presentation of the figures. Mr. Parnham ruled that any further discussion should take place outside the meeting.
Received: WODC Precept 1st half - £12,500.00
The following accounts were approved for payment:
Absolute Solutions – repairs £46.80* FY21
Amazon - Jubilee bunting £109.90* FY21
HMRC - clerk PAYE £361.80* FY21
B Parnham – Speedwatch equipment £2.99* FY21
Glasdon UK Ltd – Aston Rd. gates £1881.05*
Absolute Solutions - pgnd refurbishment £832.87*
Absolute Solutions - grass cutting £365.00*
Qik - portable toilet for Jubilee £138.00*
OALC – subs £300.01*
OPFA – subs £45.00*
10. CLERK SALARY INCREASE - Mr. Parnham said an increase in the clerk’s salary had been included in the present budget in anticipation of a national award which had now been confirmed at 1.75%. He recommended that this now be paid, and it was agreed unanimously.
11. LETTER TO MP RE VIRTUAL MEETINGS – OALC have produced a template letter for writing to MPs in support of allowing virtual meetings. It was agreed to support this, and Mr. Parnham will write to the MP.
12. LITTER PICKING - Mrs. Macdonald suggested that the Parish Council, being appreciative of the WI annual litter pick, should support a litter picking group that would be properly equipped and meet on a regular basis. It was agreed that this was worthy of support by the council and that this should be a village initiative, supported by the council contributing to the purchase of picking tools and hi-visibility jackets etc. Mrs. Macdonald volunteered to coordinate this, make enquiries and report back. Mr. Jeffcoat volunteered to help.
13. DATE OF NEXT MEETING - Mr. Parnham noted the next meeting would be 17th May 2022 to be held in the Youth Club, Rack End at 7.30pm. The clerk reminded councillors that this would also be the Annual General Meeting of the council when the offices of chairman, vice chairman and responsible financial officer would be elected by councillors.
14. There being no further business, the meeting closed at. 9.00pm.
Chairman .................................................................... Date …………………………………………………
OCC news 26TH April 2022- Cllr. Dan Levy
. We are in a period of “purdah” leading up to the District Council election in May, during which the County and District Council public announcements will be fewer and more restrained. That of course does not mean that activity has stopped in the County Council.
As you may have noticed Covid has not gone away. Rates in Oxfordshire continue to be very high. A high proportion of my councillor colleagues have had it in recent weeks. Including me. It is regrettable that the government has made it much harder for people to test to see if they have Covid, including people who want to test before visiting vulnerable residents. All we can do is continue to be careful, wear masks in crowded places, and act as though the government hasn’t withdrawn the advice previously in place.
There are a number of very big issues at County Hall at the moment. The Fair Deal Alliance has tentatively given the go-ahead for the HIF1 scheme in the south of the county, subject to the government and Homes England guaranteeing any cost over-runs, and with an expectation that the new road will prioritise buses over cars. However, we understand that there are lots of objections from key parties, including the Environment Agency, so this plan has a long way to run.
We have also agreed to keep progressing the possible move of Oxford United to near Oxford Parkway Station, subject to a lot of work on protecting the green belt and minimising car usage by spectators.
HIF 2, which is the scheme that people here focus on most, as it is the A40 changes, will now go to planning later than the April planning meeting that was expected. There have been lots of comments and objections, including from each of the parish councils on the route, and from me. The Shores Green new junction on the A40 at Witney is also heading towards the planning application stage – my expectation is that it will have an effect on routes to Stanton Harcourt and beyond, and potentially to changed travel patterns between the A40 and A420. I can’t immediately see that it will have an effect on Standlake, but it is worth considering. As an aside, the signage warning about the weight limit on Newbridge has been updated to show more current numbers of breaches.
Martins Lane – correspondence Mr. Parnham/OCC Countryside Access Team
As you are aware I have been in dialogue with OCC regarding Martins Lane. This is the response:
Martin's Lane is in open rural countryside and during the winter months users should be prepared for and expect surface conditions to be worse during this time.
Unlike our Highways counterpart, the Countryside Access team have no defined standards for maintaining surfaces (i.e. depths/dimensions for intervention where potholes occur) because our routes are rural, unsurfaced and change with the seasons. I will come out and inspect the lane in the summer to get a better view of its condition.
I then asked about third parties becoming involved in the repair:
In theory this is a great idea, however if a third party wishes to undertake work to the surface of a public highway (with the landowner’s permission) then they will need to ensure that the relevant risk assessments, method statements and public liability insurance to the sum of £10m are in first and the specification will need to be agreed with OCC.
Whilst the work is being carried out it may also be necessary for a temporary closure of the lane, which will need to be applied for with 12 weeks’ notice to our TTRO team – further information can be found here:
Requesting a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) | Oxfordshire County Council
If a closure is not necessary then they will need to ensure that there is advanced signage at both ends of the bridleway, and a banksman might need to be present to assist members of the public across the site.
I will push for an inspection date and results/action. If a third party then wishes to become further involved I will make the appropriate introductions.