HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 13 JUNE 2019

Present:        Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Matthews, Wilson, Muller, Shepherd, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk), County Cllr Reynolds and two members of the public

19/087 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Duggan, Porter and District Cllr Brown  
19/088 Declaration of Acceptance of Office: Cllrs Matthews, Brotherston and Shepherd were asked to sign their Declaration of Acceptance of Office.  
19/089 Declarations of Interest: there were none.  
19/090   Chairman’s Announcements: Cllr Watkins had been pleased to represent the Parish Council (PC) at the Induction of Reverend Janet Faull in Hook Norton on 22 May.  
19/091 19/091/1     Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council held on 9 May 2019 Cllr Watkins proposed that the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Parish Council held on 9 May 2019 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.  
19/092 19/092/1   19/092/2   Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1) Six planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.  There were no objections. Cherwell District Council (CDC) had granted nine applications, one of which at The Blackbird, Chapel Street and at the request of the PC came with Condition 13 – the detached annexe shall be used solely as ancillary accommodation to the existing house and as such shall not be sold, leased or used as an independent dwelling unit.  
19/093 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.  
19/094 Reports of Working Groups
19/094/1 Recreation The annual inspection of the play equipment has been undertaken by Playdale.  Councillors agreed unanimously that the quotation for repairs in the sum of £1,677.63 plus VAT should be accepted.  The Parish Clerk will order the works immediately.Cllrs Wilson and Muller will look at Playdale’s website to ascertain what piece of play equipment could be purchased to replace the recently broken roundabout.  Cllr Wilson thanked Cllr Matthews for removing this damaged item from site.  
19/094/2 Cemetery and Allotments An inspection of the allotments took place in April.  Two half plots were seen to be in need of cultivation and tidying.  The Parish Clerk has written to the tenant.One tenant has failed to pay the full annual rental.  Reminders have been sent.A resident has advised Cllr Hicks that a greenhouse on the allotments is in a state of disrepair.  She will inspect the greenhouse as soon as possible.A third party’s fence bordering the cemetery was damaged by a PC tree falling on it in a storm.  Cllr Hicks will contact the owner to discuss repairs.Earlier this year, a resident asked the PC if they could replace the low wire fence in the cemetery by the stream with a taller picket fence to give them more privacy.  This would enclose a piece of PC land within their garden.  Initially the PC was mainly in favour of allowing this but on taking advice from OALC, it became apparent that this should only be done by engaging solicitors to draw up a formal agreement between the two parties to protect the PC’s land in future years.  Councillors agreed unanimously that in the light of this new information and the potential legal costs, (it would not be the right use of villagers’ money), permission to replace the fence could not be given.  The Parish Clerk will write to the third party advising them of this decision.
19/094/3 Environment Someone is regularly dumping grass cuttings on the roadside verge by the Bourne Lane estate.  This is fly-tipping and the person responsible is asked to get rid of grass cuttings in their brown wheelie bin.The white gates at the entrances to the village are in good condition other than the ones by Scholars Gate.  These need some attention but this will be done once the contractors and their heavy vehicles are off site.Cllr Shepherd met Thomas Fox Landscaping on site last week to discuss areas of grass not currently being cut.  The Parish Clerk was asked to provide Councillors with the street map and accompanying indexes that were sent out to contractors during the Tender process.  Councillors are asked to study them and any queries or areas under review will then be discussed as an agenda item at the PC meeting in July.  
19/094/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Cllr Watkins thanked Cllr Matthews for installing the recently purchased WW1 bench in the hall gardens.Thomas Cleaning carried out a deep clean of the hall on 22 May.  
19/095 19/095/1       19/095/2 Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council: The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for June totalling £4,146.49 for the Parish Council and £3,231.83 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2/3).  Cllr Wilson moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously. The Parish Clerk sent Councillors end of quarter spend against budget figures for 2019-2020 before the meeting (Annex 4).  
19/096 Standing Orders:  the Parish Clerk had sent Standing Orders to Councillors before the meeting.  Cllr Watkins proposed that these be adopted by the Parish Council for the year 2019 – 2020.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and passed unanimously.  
19/097 Vacancies: Two vacancies exist on the Parish Council after the un-contested election in May.  The Parish Clerk will set in motion the procedure for advertising these positions.  Interested parties should contact the Parish Clerk via rosemary.watts@hnpc.org.uk.  
19/098 19/098/1             19/098/2       19/098/3     19/098/4       19/098/5     Environmental Action Plan: Cllr Mullerproposed thatthe Parish Council should consider adopting an Environmental Action Plan by taking the following action: Appoint a councillor to coordinate a draft plan to put before the next PC meeting. Councillors to propose actions for inclusion in the draft plan prior to the next PC meeting. That the PC produces an Environmental Report, detailing progress on the plan, at the next Annual Parish Meeting. Possible ideas for inclusion in the plan are creating of a wildlife area in currently unused part of the playground – also possibly in the Cemetery; finding a way to encourage organic or green practices in the allotments; managing the grass cutting to promote wildflower growth, invertebrates and birds; looking at ways to reduce oil usage in the Memorial Hall. A representative of HNLC gave an interesting overview of things the group are planning to improve the environment in the village (e.g. providing points across the village for electric cars to re-fuel). Councillors agreed that they would work together with HNLC to produce and Environmental vision for the village.  Cllr Muller offered to coordinate the PC’s plan and Councillors gratefully accepted his offer.  Cllrs Muller and Shepherd will represent the PC at a HNLC open meeting on 23 July. Cllr Muller asked fellow Councillors to send him suggestions for improving the environment in Hook Norton before the next meeting.  
19/099 19/099/1 Report on District Council Matters:  District Cllr Hugo Brown had reported as follows: There was a meeting on 14 May where the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of CDC were elected.  David Hughes, former Chairman of the Planning Committee was elected Chairman of the Council and Hannah Banfield was elected Vice-Chairman.  
19/099/2                 19/099/3   19/099/4   Also at that meeting the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Committees were elected.  I was re-elected to the Accounts, Audit and Risk Committee (as Vice-Chairman) and also to the Planning Committee.  This latter could put me in a difficult position with regards to applications coming from Hook Norton.  As a Member of the Planning Committee, I have to be completely agnostic about any application until it is aired at Committee, which means that I cannot support, or decry any application in advance of a Planning Committee Meeting.  However, this does not prevent me supporting or decrying an application as Ward Member and I could appear before the Committee in that capacity rather as a Member of the Committee. At the same meeting the Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan was approved.  This Plan is the most ambitious to date encompassing 12 parishes, including Hook Norton. The Cherwell Lottery is in the final stages of being set up, with the first draw due to take place on 6 July.  Tickets cost £1, with 50p going to a good-cause nominated by the player.  Tickets can only be purchased on-line from the Cherwell Lottery website www.cherwelllottery.co.uk. There is a 1-in-50 chance of winning, with a top prize of £25,000. If anyone would like their charity / not for profit organisation to be considered as a “Good Cause Partner” (i.e. to received lottery funding) they should send an email to cherwelllottery@cherwell-dc.gov.uk.    
19/100 19/100/1 19/100/2   19/100/3   Report on County Council Matters:  County Cllr George Reynolds reported: There is little to report and nothing that would concern the residents of Hook Norton. CDC continues to divorce itself from South Northants DC and share services with OCC.  This is resulting in a change of personnel across the Councils. No major road re-surfacing repairs are planned for the Hook Norton area.    
19/101 19/101/1   19/101/2 Correspondence: The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding. A resident has written to CDC complaining about refuse lorries backing up The Butts on Sibford Road.    
19/102   To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public:  A member of Hook Norton Website & Facebook team explained that the small team of people work hard to offer this facility to villagers.  They are setting up a Community Interest Company and over the summer intend to formalise licences.  They are happy to issue any press releases or notices from the PC.  
19/103   AOB: there was none.  

The next Parish Meeting will be held on Thursday, 11 July 2019 at 7.30pm.  Councillors were reminded that there is no PC meeting in August.

There being no further business Councillor Watkins thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.34pm.