STANDLAKE PARISH COUNCIL

 

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held in the Village Hall, Standlake on Tuesday 29th May 2012.

Present:

          Mr. C. Naylor                    Chairman

          Mr. R. Reddy                    Vice Chairman

          Mr. J Bayliss

          Mr. J. Rippin

          Mrs. J. Perry

          Mrs. B. Smith

          Mrs. J. Clements

         

          Mr. D. Bevan                    Clerk

Mr. C. Mathew (County Councillor), Mr. S. Good (District Councillor) Mrs H. Fenton (District Councillor), PC Conner (TVP) and 16 parishioners.

1.          APOLOGIES – no apologies were received.

2.          CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS

Mr. Naylor welcomed all attending; he stressed that this meeting was for the benefit of the parishioners and they were welcome to raise any matters the wished. Mr. Naylor noted that many parishioners were at the meeting because of the interest in the application to demolish Fletcher’s Farm but he explained that the council had not yet considered the planning application and would do so at the next full council meeting in June. Mr. Good explained that neither he nor Mrs. Fenton could make any comment as they are members of the Lowlands planning Committee and cannot  speak until the application has been put to that committee.

3.          THAMES VALLEY POLICE REPORT  

PC Conner reported that reported crime was down compared with the previous year. The main concerns of the public remained anti-social behaviour, speeding and parking; TVP continued to take steps to prioritise these areas. He also reminded the meeting that the new 101 number was for use for non-urgent communications and would enable the public to contact the Neighbourhood team; 999 should still be used in emergency such as when a crime is being committed.

PC Conner was questioned regarding the parking outside the school and he said that there was little that could be done beyond ensuring that the restricted area outside the school (zig zag lines) was respected and visits to the school with the aim of educating parents. Several residents complained that a car and a van were parked outside the old Methodist Chapel at The Green causing an obstruction on the corner; PC Conner will investigate and take this up with the resident if necessary.

4.          DISTRICT & COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORTS

Mr. Good made a wide ranging report, which is attached.

Mr. Mathew said he had enjoyed working with the council in the last year and that he reported that OCC now has a new leader, Cllr. Ian Hudspeth.

The enforcement cameras on Newbridge were working but no prosecutions had been made in the past 14 months. Personnel changes in OCC Trading Standards had resulted in a different approach and they say that sending warning letters was less costly than prosecutions and appeared to have the desired effect judging by the lower number of repeat offenders.

Mr. Naylor thanked the councillors and Pc. Conner for their help during the year and for attending the meeting.

5.          St GILES CHURCHYARD UPKEEP

Mr. Naylor explained that some years ago the PC accepted that there was an obligation on the community to contribute to the upkeep of the churchyard, not least because a Public Footpath passed through it, and paid £200 pa in 1996/7; currently the contribution is £800 pa and the PCC were now asking for an increase. Mrs. Sue Miles, Secretary, St. Giles PCC gave the background of ever increasing cost of upkeep and the drop off in volunteers on which much maintenance work depended. She reiterated the points made in her letter (attached) to the PC and it was decided that the PC would consider the request during the 2013/14 Budget discussions to be held in October.

6.          MINUTES

The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 21st June 2011, copies of which had been placed on the notice board, the website, and on the chairs in the hall, were agreed as a true record and signed by the chairman.

7.          MATTERS ARISING

Windrush Way Play Area – Mrs. Smith said that the work was progressing well and, hopefully, the area would be in use by the summer holidays. She noted that a PC contribution of less than £3000 had generated grants of £23000 from WREN and this, with grants from other agencies and charities totalled £31000 to date. This would be sufficient to complete the project as planned. Mr. Naylor thanked Mrs. Smith for her very hard work in bringing the project to this stage in less than one year.

Bus Services – The complaints regarding damage to verges in Heyford Close and speeding have been put to OCC and RH Transport. Both agencies claim that the problem in Heyford Close is one of parked cars forcing bus drivers, on occasion, to mount the verges. Regarding speeding, bus drivers are constantly informed that they are expected to keep within posted speed limits. It would appear that there is very little further action the PC can take..

8.          FINANCIAL REPORT

The clerk presented the un-audited accounts for 2011/12 and explained the background to the figures..

9.          ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Mrs. Gray asked if a bus shelter could be provided at the bust stop on The Downs adjacent to Martin’s Lane to serve people waiting for the Witney bus. There was some discussion about the shelter already on the corner of Heyford Close and Mrs. Gray made the point that this was not used as much as in previous years. The clerk said that the funds that paid for the existing shelter were no longer available but suggested that moving the shelter might provide an answer. The council will examine the options and consult with the residents.

There being no further business, Mr. Naylor thanked everyone for their attendance and the meeting closed at 8.15 pm

 

 

 ................................................................................... Chairman 

 

   ..........................................  Date

 

 

 

Attach: Report by Cllr. (WODC) Steve Good

            Letter from Mrs. Sue Miles, Secretary, St. Giles’ Parochial Church Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moseley House

46 High Street

Standlake

Oxon

OX29 7RT

 

 

24th January 2012

 

Dear Members of the Parish Council

 

Churchyard Maintenance

 

Over the years we have been very fortunate to have had volunteers who have spent an enormous amount of time cutting the grass and generally maintaining the churchyard.  Unfortunately due to various circumstances this is no longer possible

 

The grass cutting in Graveyard 1 (surrounding the church) amounted to £2,280 plus petrol in 2011.  We anticipate that an extra £1,500 will be required for the additional upkeep of Graveyard 2 (the first extension) in 2012, which up to now has been cared for by volunteers

 

Whilst  we appreciate that we received £400 from the Parish Council towards this in 2011, the remaining sum had to be paid out of voluntary contributions from the congregation and the running costs of the church (including grass cutting) amounts to £2,5000 per month, so as you will see our expenses are vast

 

The PCC would like to point out that had an Official Closure of Graveyard 1 been applied for before burials began in Graveyard 2 in the 1960’s, then the Parish Council would have been wholly responsible for the maintenance for Graveyard 1 from that time

 

We would add that the cutting of Graveyard 3 is, at present, being carried out by a volunteer which is a saving to yourselves

 

The church and graveyards are enjoyed by many - be they walkers, dog walkers, joggers or visitors and many comments are passed  regarding the tidiness of the graveyards. It is considered that the graveyards are a facility for the village not just restricted to members of the congregation and feel it is a village responsibility to maintain this tidiness.   Unless more funding can be made available we will have to consider reducing the amount of cuts the grass receives during the year

 

We therefore respectfully request that extra monies from the Parish Council be considered in order that the Parishioners can continue to enjoy well maintained graveyards

 

Yours sincerely

 

Sue Miles – Secretary

For and On Behalf of St. Giles Parochial Council