Present:      Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Wilson, Duggan, Lewis, Porter, Muller, Shepherd, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and one member of the public


18/166 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Henderson, Matthews, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Brown


18/167 Declarations of Interest: Cllr Shepherd declared an interest in the allotment fees for 2020/2021





Chairman’s Announcements:

Cllr Watkins thanked everyone who had contributed to the WW1 Centenary event in the Memorial Hall on 10 November and for making it such a memorable and successful occasion.













Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 8 November 2018 and Matters Arising

Cllr Watkins reported that issues arising from the use by Hook Norton residents of pathways on the new Taylor Wimpey estate are still being dealt with by Taylor Wimpey and Cherwell District Council Planning Department.  When the Parish Council has received their reports, they will be published in the Minutes verbatim as per its usual policy.  The Parish Council can have no input into these legal matters.

Cllr Hicks proposed that the Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 8 November 2018 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and passed unanimously.









Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1)

One planning/TCA application had been received since the last meeting.  There was no objection.

Cherwell District Council (CDC) had granted six applications.  There were no objections.

17/02292/F Erection of new house at Byeways, East End – the applicant had appealed to the Secretary of State against refusal of this planning application by Cherwell District Council – APP/C3105/W/18/3197197.  The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal on 13 November 2018.


18/171 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.


18/172 Reports of Working Groups
18/172/1 Recreation

·       Although the Parish Council had previously agreed to purchase a goal post for the play area, positioning of the equipment was proving a problem for health and safety reasons.  Councillors agreed unanimously that the matter should be put on hold until a solution can be found.

·        There is a fault on the zip-wire.  It will be put out-of-action until Playdale can repair it.

·       Hook Norton Sports and Social Club (HNSSC) had asked the Parish Council to apply for the playing fields to be put on CDC’s Assets of Community Value Register.  Cllr Watkins proposed that the Parish Council put forward an application to Cherwell District Council.  This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and agreed unanimously.  Mr Phillip Rolls from HNSSC is gathering together the necessary information for the Parish Clerk.


18/172/2 Cemetery and Allotments

·       Repairs to the entrance gate in the lower cemetery are in hand.

·       Allotment Fees 2020/2021; Cllrs Duggan, Hicks and Muller had discussed the allotment fees before the meeting.  Cllr Duggan proposed that the fees for 2020/21 remain at £24 for a full plot and £15 for a half plot.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.


  ·       Cemetery Fees 2019; Cllrs Duggan, Hicks and Muller had discussed cemetery fees before the meeting and had concluded that Hook Norton is in line with other areas.  Cllr Duggan had circulated a proposed table of fees for 2019 before the meeting; there was a proposal that children under 12 (rather than under one month) will be buried or interred free of charge.  The fees for Parishioners and Non-Parishioners had been clearly set out.  Cllr Duggan proposed that the table of fees for 2019 be accepted.   This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.  The Parish Clerk will notify local undertakers.

·       A second bench in the cemetery has been damaged.  Friends of the Cemetery have removed it.


18/172/3 Environment

·       Grass Cutting Contract 2019 – 2021:  an advertisement for this contract went out with the closing date/time for returning Tenders to the Parish Clerk being midday, 13 December.  Two tenders have been received and are to be evaluated.

·       The bus shelter near The Sun Inn is in disrepair.  Cllr Watkins proposed that a quotation from Dave Smith of £2,035 plus VAT for repairs be accepted.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and agreed by all, other than Cllr Duggan who abstained from voting.

·       Cllr Shepherd had signed up to a 30-day trial of Parish Online, which provides a digital mapping website with access to aerial photography, post codes and OS maps.  The cost would be £186 per annum.  After a short discussion Councillors agreed that this matter be put on hold until such time as the need for a mapping tool is required.

·       A complaint had been received from a resident of The Maltings about the new estate on Sibford Road being marketed as ‘The Maltings’.  The Parish Clerk immediately contacted Lioncourt Homes Ltd who stopped the printing of publication literature and re-named the estate Scholars’ Gate.  They explained that Cherwell District Council had approved the estate being called ‘The Maltings’ in their submission to them in January 2018.

·       Cllr Muller proposed that a cherry tree should be purchased to replace the one in the play area which had recently been felled because of storm-damage and disease.  This was seconded by Cllr Watkins and approved unanimously.  Cllr Muller will obtain a quotation for evaluation.

·     The Parish Clerk had contacted Acreman Arboriculture to ask for invoices for essential tree works carried out by them in 2017 and 2018.  She has now received invoices for payment.


18/172/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall

·     WW1 ‘Tommy’ in the Memorial Hall gardens will soon be removed and given to the Village Museum.

·     A wrought-iron bench has been ordered for the garden to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1.

·     The back fence is falling apart and is dangerous.  Cllr Watkins proposed that a quotation of £920 from Adam Hope to remove the old fence and replace it with new be accepted.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.

·     Cllr Matthew’s proposal for a memorial stone for the Memorial Hall garden was deferred until the January meeting.

·     PAT testing of appliances is complete.  A kettle failed the testing and has been thrown away.  A new one will be purchased.

·     Hooky Players had obtained quotations from Banner of £903.02 for new safety/exit lights and £709.31 for ambient wall lighting.  Unfortunately they are unable to contribute anything towards these costs.  After a discussion Councillors agreed that Cllr Brotherston would obtain a second quotation before any decision could be made.

·     Cllr Watkins mentioned getting more information on the funding available in the Government budget for improving, refurbishing and maintaining village halls.

·     A User Group Meeting is planned for 3 April 2019.







Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council:

The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for December totalling £10,733.54 for the Parish Council and £1,117.79 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2/3).  Cllr Wilson moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.

Cllr Muller asked the Parish Clerk to provide spend/against budget details each month.



















Report on District Council Matters:  District Cllr Hugo Brown reported:

On 3 December The Executive approved an agenda item entitled “Draft Housing Strategy 2018-2013 ‘Cherwell – A Place to Prosper’”. There were dozens of pages for this item and buried amongst the detail was the telling line, which I brought to the attention of my fellow Conservative Councillors at our Group Meeting, which reads:

“Oxfordshire County Council forecasts a population of 203,900 in Cherwell by 2031, an increase of 38%.  These population forecasts take into account the ambitious homebuilding outlined in the Local Plan for the Council, which is the main driver for the forecast increase in population.  The Office of National Statistics population projections, which are entirely based on trend data and do not take into consideration the housebuilding of local authorities, predicts growth for the 25 years will be approximately 8.7%.  This means the population would be 160,443 in 2043” [note: a smaller population in 2043 than we are building for by 2031].  As I pointed out, this confirms the widespread suspicion that Cherwell is building way in excess of what is needed to satisfy “local need” and that if the real intention is to develop a suburban hinterland for Oxford, London and Birmingham they should at least be honest about it.  I will keep fighting.

I was re-selected as a potential candidate for next year’s CDC elections which will enable me to stand for Election as your Conservative District Councillor next May.







Report on County Council Matters:  County Cllr George Reynolds reported:

It is likely that OCC will again raise the precept to the maximum 2.99% for 2019-2020.

The OCC Cabinet Member for Environment is looking for suggestions for highway works for next year’s works schemes.  Please let Cllr Reynolds know if you have any ideas and he will add them to the list.






The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding.




To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public:  there were none.




AOB: Cllr Lewis recommended Councillors and residents attending one of the very informative training sessions in January of Hook Norton Community First Responders, one of which was held in the Memorial Hall this week.


The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 10 January 2019 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.

There being no further business Councillor Watkins thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.37pm.