HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE VIRTUAL MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD THURSDAY 11 JUNE 2020 AT 7.30PM

Present:      Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Wilson, Duggan, Muller, Shepherd, Porter, Noviss, Gregory, County Cllr Reynolds and Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk/RFO).  There was one member of the public in attendance.

20/058Apologies for Absence – Cllr Matthews and District Cllr Brown  
20/059Declarations of Interest: Before the meeting Cllr Matthews had declared an interest in planning application 20/00825/F  
20/060 20/060/1    Chairman’s Announcements: Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for their continuing commitment to the Parish Council during these last few months. It has been difficult for everyone for different reasons and we have still managed to run the Parish Council, together with the services that we oversee, as near to normal as possible. I would also like to thank the villagers of Hook Norton, and in particular the village shop which has kept open throughout and the butcher, who put a home delivery service in place in lieu of the shop remaining open. The Surgery ensured that villagers have received medication and prescriptions – and thanks to those Councillors who immediately volunteered as a delivery team if needed.  Also, the volunteer fire fighters who have continued with the excellent service that they offer. Although VE Day celebrations were cancelled, one of the village youngsters, Eloise Rux-Burton, asked for the Parish Council’s help via Hooky Neighbours, to put together a village VE Day tea which she then distributed to our more elderly residents (the ones who would have been invited to the Memorial Hall). I am pleased that we were able to give £300 from the VE Day budget that we had already agreed to help this to go ahead. Hooky Neighbours also applied for a grant from District Councillor Hugo Brown’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund, and I am pleased to say that he awarded them £250.  I would like to thank Hugo Brown for overseeing that.  
20/061 20/061/1    Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 12 March 2020 Cllr Hicks proposed that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 12 March 2020 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and passed unanimously.  
20/062 20/062/1Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on 19 March 2020 Cllr Watkins proposed that the Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on 19 March 2020 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.  
20/063 20/063/1 20/063/2   20/063/3 20/063/4Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1) Seven planning/TCA applications had been received in May.  There were no objections, although comments were made about the proposed size of glamping tents at Nil Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd – 20/01341/F Cherwell District Council had granted one application. Cherwell District Council has yet to confirm decisions on 26 applications.  
20/064 20/064/1   20/064/2     20/064/3Appointment of Planning Co-ordinator 2020 At the PC Meeting on 12 March 2020, Cllr Hicks indicated that after many years acting as PC Planning Co-ordinator she was ready to hand over the post to another Councillor. Cllrs Watkins proposed that Councillor Muller, who had indicated before the meeting that he would be willing to take on the role, be appointed to the post.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and agreed unanimously. Cllr Watkins thanked Cllr Hicks for tirelessly carrying out the Co-ordinator role for so many years.
20/065Reports of Working Groups
20/065/1Recreation Weeds in the play area were treated on 2 June by Thomas Fox Landscaping.Cllr Wilson had obtained a quotation from Banbury Turf for replacing and laying BS play bark in the play area in the sum of £1,950 plus VAT. Cllr Wilson proposed that this quotation be accepted.  This was seconded by Cllr Watkins.  Nine Councillors approved the payment; Cllr Duggan abstained from voting.  The Parish Clerk will place an order.In April the Parish Clerk asked Playdale to carry out the annual inspection of play equipment but this has been delayed because of lock-down.  
20/065/2Cemetery and Allotments All allotment rents for 2020-2021 have been received.There are nine people on the waiting list for allotments.The spring inspection of allotments will take place in the autumn.An area of stone wall in St Peter’s churchyard has fallen down where ivy has been removed.  The area has been taped off.  Cllr Duggan is seeking quotations for repairs.Two roses on a grave have been damaged.  The Parish Clerk is dealing with the matter.  
20/065/3Environment There were no matters arising which have not been reported elsewhere in the Minutes.  
20/065/4Hook Norton War Memorial Hall All community halls remain closed due to Covid-19.The hall will be deep cleaned once the government sanctions the opening of community halls.  A risk assessment of hall usage will then be carried out.A hand sanitizer unit has been purchased and put in the hall entrance for hirers to use.The Parish Clerk/RFO applied to Cherwell DC for a grant for community halls closed because of Covid-19.  Cllr Watkins reported that a grant of £10k had been received.Cllr Brotherston is arranging for appliances to be PAT tested.A certified inspection of the hall’s electrics was due in April.  Cllr Brotherston will arrange for this to be done by 31 July to comply with insurance requirements.Cllr Watkins thanked volunteer Keith Saunders for continuing to weed the hall garden during lock-down.  
20/065/5Environmental Action Group Cllr Muller had nothing to report at this stage due to lock-down.   The environmental plans will be revised in due course.  
20/066 20/066/1      Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council: The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for June totalling £3,601.60 for the Parish Council and £281.28 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2 and 3).  Cllr Watkins moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.  
20/67Attendance List 2019-2020: The Parish Clerk had circulated Councillors’ Attendance List for 2019 – 2020 before the meeting (Annex 4).  A copy will be posted on the PC website.  
20/68Parish Council Risk Assessment 2020-2021: The Parish Clerk had circulated the risk assessment for 2020-2021 before the meeting (Annex 5).  Parish Council owned trees had been added to the report.  Cllr Duggan questioned when the GDPR procedures will be put in place.  Cllr Watkins asked Cllr Brotherston to take that matter forward. Cllr Watkins proposed that the risk assessment be adopted for the coming year.  This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and agreed unanimously.  
20/69To Approve the Internal Audit Report of Parish Council Accounts 2019-2020 The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer confirmed that an internal audit of the Parish Council accounts for 2019 – 2020 had been conducted by Mr David Ralls (MAAT), Banbury with no matters arising (Annex 6).  Copies of the signed-off end of year summary statements had been sent to Councillors before the meeting.  The Parish Council accounts will now be sent to external auditors, Moore Stephens for verification.
20/70To Approve the Annual Governance Statement 2019-2020 The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer had circulated the Annual Governance Statement before the meeting.  The Parish Council has arrangements in place for effective financial management during the year and for the preparation of accounting statements.  A budget is prepared and approved annually.  The Parish Council maintains adequate systems of internal control, including measures designed to prevent and detect fraud.  Proper opportunity is provided during the year for the exercise of electors’ rights in accordance with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations.  Reasonable steps are taken to ensure that there are no matters of actual or potential non-compliance with laws, regulations and proper practises that could have a significant financial effect on the ability of the Parish Council to conduct its business.  There were no matters arising and the statement was signed off by the Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer and Chairman.  A copy of this document will be posted on the PC website.  (Annex 7)  
20/71To Approve the Accounting Statement 2019-2020 The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer had circulated the Accounting Statement 2019-2020 before the meeting.  She confirmed that the Accounting Statements in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return had been prepared on an income/expenditure basis following the guidance in Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities and that they present fairly the financial position of the authority.  The statement was signed off by the Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer and Chairman.   A copy of this document will be posted on the PC website.  (Annex 8)    
20/72Internal Audit War Memorial Hall Accounts 2019-2020 The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer confirmed that an internal audit of the War Memorial Hall accounts for 2019 – 2020 had been conducted by Mr David Ralls (MAAT), Banbury with no matters arising (Annex 9).  Copies of the signed-off end of year summary statements had been sent to Councillors before the meeting.  The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer will send audit details to the Charity Commission.  
20/73Hayway Lane – The Parish Clerk confirmed that she had submitted an application (with 20 statements from residents) to Oxfordshire County Council (Countryside Records) asking for an Order under Section 53(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to modify the Definitive Map by adding Hayway Lane as a public footpath.  All decisions regarding this matter rest with Oxfordshire County Council, not the Parish Council.  
20/074 20/074/1   20/074/2       20/074/3    Tree Survey Unfortunately, due to a technical error, Cllr Shepherd could not be heard by the meeting.  Cllr Watkins therefore proposed that his report on the tree survey be deferred to the July meeting. Cllr Shepherd has asked five contractors to submit quotations for high priority work.  Three had indicated an interest and had submitted quotations.  Cllr Watkins proposed that Treetech be accepted as the contractor for the coming three years.  This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and passed unanimously. Cllr Duggan asked whether a PDF copy of the tree survey had been put on the PC website.  Cllr Brotherston confirmed that it had not but that he would address the matter.  
20/075 20/075/1         20/075/2             20/075/3  Community Housing Update and Query Hook Norton Community Land Trust (HNCLT) is currently drafting its Allocations Policy and is hoping to agree a Principle Agreement with Cherwell District Council Housing Strategy Team.  An unresolved problem is that Cherwell District Council (CDC) expects tenancies to be allocated to people currently living in the Cherwell District. HNCLT asked if the Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan (HNNP) could be altered to encompass this.  Cllr Hicks reported that the Parish Council had reviewed the allocation policy in the HNNP and at this time, does not feel that the wording should be amended.  In appendix D, page 20 of the HNNP, it says ‘…then applications will be invited from residents in the parishes adjacent to Hook Norton’.  It does not state that those parishes have to be within CDC and there was never any intention to limit this to CDC parishes.  Therefore, people residing in adjacent parishes in West Oxon and Warwickshire should be considered, as long as there is a proven need or connection to Hook Norton. Cllr Hicks will respond accordingly to HNCLT.  
20/076 20/076/1  Correspondence: The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the previous two months and there were no matters outstanding.   
20/078  AOB: a grant of up to £1,500 is available to local under-21 youth groups for tree planting.  Cllrs will notify local groups (guides, brownies etc.).  

The next virtual Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday, 9 July 2020 at 7.30pm.

There being no further business Councillor Watkins thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.30pm.

A confidential item followed.

Signed ……………………………………..

Hook Norton Parish Council

Dated