MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 10 JANUARY 2019 at 7.30pm

Present:      Councillors: Hicks, Matthews (left 8.30pm), Wilson, Duggan, Lewis, Porter, Muller, Henderson, Shepherd, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and two members of the public (left 8.30pm)

 

19/001 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Watkins, Brotherston, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Brown

 

19/002 Declarations of Interest: Cllr Matthews declared an interest in planning application 18/02091/F.

 

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Vice-Chairman’s Announcements:

Cllr Hicks announced that Cllr Watkins has been in hospital and was therefore unable to attend the meeting.

Cllr Hicks asked Councillors to stand for one minute’s silence in remembrance of Clive Timms, a long standing member of the Parish Council and former Chairman, who sadly died on 21 December.

 

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Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 13 December 2018 and Matters Arising

Cllr Wilson proposed that the Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 13 December 2018 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and passed unanimously.

 

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

Four planning/TCA applications have been received since the last meeting.  There were no objections.

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

18/01756F Extension at Archell Farm – withdrawn by applicant on 21 December 2018.

 

19/006 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.

 

19/007 Reports of Working Groups
19/007/1 Recreation

·        There is a fault on the zip-wire.  Playdale were notified before Christmas and the equipment has been put out-of-action until they can repair it.

·       Phillip Rolls from the Sports and Social Club (HNSSC) is gathering together the necessary information to allow the Parish Council to apply for the HNSSC playing fields to be put on CDC’s Register of Assets of Community Value.

 

19/007/2 Cemetery and Allotments

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

·       Fencing in the cemetery – Mr & Mrs Winwright had written to the Parish Council asking if they could replace the low wire fence on Parish Council land with a taller picket fence to give them more privacy.  Following a discussion it was agreed that the Parish Council will seek advice before agreeing to this proposal.

·       Memorial Bench – Mr Barry had written to the Parish Council seeking permission to install a bench below the wall at the top of the cemetery in memory of Christopher and Venice Barry.  Cllr Duggan proposed that this request be agreed.  This was seconded by Cllr Lewis and agreed unanimously.

·       Cllr Duggan proposed that in future, Exclusive Rights of Burial for children under the age of 12 years in earthen, walled and cremated remains sections should be free of charge to both parishioners and non-parishioners.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.

 

19/007/3 Environment

·       Grass Cutting Contract 2019 – 2021:  Two tenders have been received and they are being evaluated.

·       In June 2018 the Parish Council agreed to purchase two trees for land in Sibford Rd which is being damaged by vehicles.  Cllr Porter had obtained quotations from Wyatt’s’ garden centre; £45 for small 6’ trees and £180 for more mature trees.  Councillor Lewis proposed that two mature trees be purchased up to the value of £400.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed 8 to 1, with Cllr Matthews objecting to the proposal.

·       Cllr Muller is obtaining a quotation for a tree to replace the cherry tree recently felled in the play area because of storm-damage and disease.

 

19/007/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall

·     Cllr Matthew’s proposal for a memorial stone to be made free of charge by a local stonemason was discussed, as was the potential location in the Memorial Hall garden. Cllr Matthews will consult with villagers; Cllr Muller will speak to the PCC as a memorial to the fallen already exists in St Peter’s church.  Councillors were generally in favour of the proposal, subject to the above.  The matter will be discussed again at next month’s meeting.

·     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.  Cllr Brotherston is seeking a second quotation, though enquiries so far indicate that Banner’s quotation is competitive.

·     There appears to be a fault with the remote timer for the heating.

·     A User Group Meeting will be held on 3 April 2019.

 

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

The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for January totalling £1,913.37 for the Parish Council and £142.02 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2/3).  Cllr Wilson moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and agreed unanimously.

The Parish Clerk had provided Councillors with spend against budget details before the meeting (Annex 4).

 

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

Cherwell District Council Meeting 17 December 2018:

Purchase of The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury

·       CDC would be buying this property from OCC for the nominal sum of £1 (plus £50K Transitional Funding)

·       CDC would be taking on various commitment to undertake remedial works to the building (£250K) and short-term revenue support

·       The purpose of the purchase would be to allow this Arts Centre to continue now that OCC is withdrawing support

·       Unanimous approval

 

Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Council Tax Discounts

·       The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is a mandatory scheme (part paid for by the Government) to assist defined groups of Council Tax Payers with their payments, typically those on State Pension Credit

·       Around 6,600 households in Cherwell are eligible, costing gross £740K (net £18K after the application of educed Council Tax discounts)

·       Council Tax Discounts are optional and set locally.  The proposal was that these should remain unchanged;

o   2nd home discount = 0%

o   Empty home discount = 25% for 6 months, 0% thereafter

o   Empty home discount where undergoing major repair – 25% for 12 months, 0% thereafter

o   Empty home premium where empty for more than 2 years = 50%

o   Unanimous approval

 

 

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Executive Meeting 7 January 2019:

Business Rates Retail Relief Policy

·       To enact the Government’s proposals announced in the October 2018 budget to give rates relief to retail properties with a rateable value of under £51K

·       This would only last for 2 years and is fully reimbursable by the Government

 

Local Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme for 2019-2020

·       This scheme is to assist businesses whose business rates increased sharply following the 2017 re-valuations

·       Funding provided by Government to pay for this scheme has reduced significantly

o   736K (2017/18)

o   £358K (2018/19)

o   £147K (2019/20)

o   £21K (2020/21)

 

Draft Business Plan and Summary Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2019/20 – 2023/24

·       One of the key assumptions is that Council Tax will increase by approximately 4% – £5 (Band D)

 

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

Oxfordshire County Council is working more closely with Cherwell District Council in the areas of Housing, Trading Standards and Licencing.

 
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Correspondence:

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

Cherwell District Council has an online resource to enable residents of all ages find something to help them get active, creative, learning or connected.  No single activity charges more than £5 per hour.  All activities are to be open to beginners.  Local activity leaders are invited to promote their activity at

wellbeing-map@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk

 

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

 

19/013

 

AOB: there was none.

 

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 14 February 2019 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.

There being no further business Councillor Hicks thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.59pm.