HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN HOOK NORTON WAR MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 12 MARCH 2020

Present:      Councillors: Hicks, Brotherston, Muller, Shepherd, Noviss, Gregory, Porter (arrived 7.34pm), Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk).  There were no members of the public in attendance.

20/038 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Watkins, Matthews, Wilson, Duggan, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Brown  
20/039 Declarations of Interest: there were none.  Cllr Porter, arriving after 7.30pm, was asked by the Vice-Chairman to declare any interests.  She had no interests to declare.  
20/040 20/040/1   20/040/2   Vice- Chairman’s Announcements: Cllr Hicks indicated that she wanted to hand over the role of Planning Co-ordinator at the May meeting.  She asked Councillors to consider who might take over the role. Coronavirus (COVID – 19): Parish Councils are bound by legislation and much of that legislation is quite old (Local Government Act 1972) and so the ability to alter processes and procedures in the face of what is now a pandemic is limited, particularly at the end of the financial year.  The Parish Clerk had been advised by OALC that Parish Councils should follow central government guidance –  https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response At today’s date, that guidance has not forbidden small or large scale public events and so it is business as usual, with sensible hygiene precautions in place.  This will no doubt change in the coming weeks.  The Parish Clerk will forward any further information from NALC/OALC as it arrives.  
20/041 20/041/1     Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 13 February 2020 Cllr Hicks proposed that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 13 February 2020 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Shepherd and passed unanimously.  
20/042 Community Housing Update: Catherine Ryan was not able to attend the meeting.  
20/043 20/043/1       20/043/2 20/043/3 20/043/4   Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1) Six planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.  There were four objections and 2 abstentions to 20/00390/F 64 Goldings Road – single storey rear extension and objections to 20/00234/F Falcons Nest, Park Road – Retrospective application – construction of garden office. Cherwell District Council had granted three applications. 19/02867/F Bacon Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd; application withdrawn by the applicant. APP/C3105/W/19/323490 – Brockford Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd. An Appeal has been submitted by the applicant to the Secretary of State.  
20/044 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.  
20/045 Reports of Working Groups
20/045/1 Recreation Cllr Wilson is obtaining quotations for replacement bark.  Bark is also needed under the new shelter.The latch to the small gate in the play area is broken.  Cllr Wilson is arranging a repair.Cllr Muller will get a price for a mature ornamental cherry tree for the play area.The Parish Clerk has asked Playdale to carry out the annual inspection of play equipment.  
20/045/2 Cemetery and Allotments Invoices for allotment rents 2020/2021 went out at the end of February, payable by 1 April. A £10 administration fee is added for all reminders.  Councillors thanked Cllr Hicks for hand delivering the invoices around the village.An inspection of allotment plots will take place in the spring, date to be confirmed.  
20/045/3 Environment There were no matters arising which have not been reported elsewhere in the Minutes.  
20/045/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Cllr Brotherston has ordered outside down-lighters.  They will be put over the War Memorial engraved stone at the front of the building in the next few days.Cllr Brotherston is arranging for appliances to be PAT tested.A certified inspection of the hall’s electrics is due in April.  Cllr Brotherston will arrange for this to be done.A meeting of Friends of the War Memorial Hall which was due to take place in the hall on 29 April has been postponed due to Coronavirus. A User Group meeting due on 8 April has been postponed due to Coronavirus.  
20/045/5 Environmental Action Group Cllr Muller had nothing to report at this stage. He will present a full report at the annual parish meeting in May.  
20/046 20/046/1       Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council: The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for March totalling £3,981.14 for the Parish Council and £392.02 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2/3).  Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.  
20/047 20/047/1   20/047/2     20/047/3   20/047/4   20/047/5 20/047/6   20/047/7 Tree Survey The 3-Year survey of Parish Council owned trees was carried out by Sacha Barnes Ltd in January 2020.  Cllr Shepherd is project-managing that report. Cllr Shepherd has asked five contractors to submit quotations for high priority work.  Three have indicated an interest and he will be meeting them on site.  Medium and Low Risk trees will be dealt with in financial years 2 and 3. Three or four trees may have been omitted from the survey schedule.  Cllr Shepherd will make enquiries into ownership. Wildlife areas have been identified in an area between Ironstone Hollow and Hollybush Rd and in the lower cemetery. Bird and bat boxes are to be put up in the cemetery. Councillors agreed unanimously that where trees have had to be felled or have fallen, new trees will be planted, either near the felled trees or in a more suitable location. Tree survey – following a split decision of 4-3, the motion that the full tree survey and Cllr Shepherd’s working spreadsheet (both in a read-only format) will be put on the PC website was carried.  
20/048   Planters for Four Entrances to the Village:  Cllr Noviss will make site visits to establish appropriate sizes and then source written quotations for both stone planters and planters made of wooden sleepers.  It is envisaged that eight planters will be required.  
20/049 Request for Bus Shelter – Ironstone Hollow:  The Parish Clerk had circulated details of a wooden bus shelter for to Councillors to consider before the meeting.  The cost would be circa £6k but vandalism of a wooden structure remains a concern.  Councillors agreed that local carpenters/joiners should be asked to quote for making a similar shelter.  Cllr Brotherston will contact two local tradesmen.  
20/050 20/050/1       HGVs Park Road and Speeding Brick Hill The PC had received a complaint about HGVs being driven along Park Road.  Councillors fully support ‘NO HGVs’ or ‘UNSUITABLE FOR HGVS’ signs being put either end of the road.  However, the PC does not have the authority to do this, it being a highways issue and therefore the responsibility of OCC.
20/050/2 The PC had received a complaint about people driving without due care and attention along Brick Hill.  Unfortunately OCC highways are not prepared to lower the speed limit here because there have been no reported accidents.  In any case it would not be policed. The PC sympathises with the complainant but is unable to deal with this highway issue.  Drivers are asked to drive responsibly through the village.  
20/051 VE Day 75th Anniversary – May 2020:  an exciting itinerary has been drawn up by the action group.  Tea and cakes will be served in the War Memorial Hall on the morning of 9 May.  Donations of cakes would be appreciated and also help from the Councillors for both Friday and Saturday.  
20/052 20/052/1                                         20/052/2                                     20/052/3     Report on District Council Matters: Before the meeting District Cllr Hugo Brown reported as follows: Executive Meeting, 24th Feb Partial Review of the Cherwell Local Plan 2011 -2031 (Oxford’s Un-met Housing Need)  – This was to consider one Main Modification, proposed by the Planning Inspector, involving relocating all of the 410 houses proposed to be allocated to Woodstock (outside the Green Belt) to other sites which had already been approved for new housing and releasing c. 20 Hectares of Green Belt Land on some of those sites.  The figure of 4,400 new houses in Cherwell to meet Oxford’s need was confirmed.  Executive resolved to recommend to Full Council that the Main Modification be approved and submitted to the Sec. of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Business Rates Relief Policy – This would be a revision from the scheme which currently allows 1/3 off business rates  for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51k to a revised scheme allowing for a 50% discount and to include cinemas and music venues as well.  The net cost to CDC would be neutral as all relief awarded would be reimbursed by the Government.  Executive resolved to recommend to Full Council that the revised scheme be adopted. Business Rates Retail Pub Relief Policy – This is a scheme whereby pubs with a rateable value of less than £100k would benefit from a £1,000 business rate discount for 1 year from April 2020.  The net cost to CDC would be neutral as the pub relief awarded would be reimbursed by the Government.  Executive resolved to recommend to Full Council that the scheme be adopted. Full Council, 24th Feb Motion: Tree Planting – CDC to commit to doubling tree cover in Cherwell District from current c. 3,000 Hectares to c. 6,000 Hectares by 2045.  This would allow for the planting of c. 3m trees over the next 25 years.  The opposition moved an amendment to shorten the time-frame to 2030 but this was defeated and the original motion was approved unanimously. Motion: Peat Free Compost – deferred to next Full Council as it involves significant budgetary implications. Final Budget, Business Plan and Council Tax for 2020/21 – Approved a £5 per annum increase for Band D Council Tax, with proportionate variance for other bands. Local Discretionary Business Rate Relief Scheme for 2020/21 – Approved to disburse £21k to qualifying businesses subject to relief not being below £50.  171 businesses will share this £21k and they will automatically receive the relief.  This £21k figure has fallen dramatically since 2017/18 when it was £736k, 2018/19 when it was £358k and 2019/20 when it was £147k. Members’ Allowance 2020/21 – the Independent Remuneration Panel recommended that Members’ Allowances should increase in line with the increase to be awarded to Staff.  Negotiations with Staff have yet to be completed but a 2% outcome seems likely.  Full Council approved although many members decline to accept the increase. Executive Meeting, 2nd March Nothing relevant to Deddington Ward was discussed at this meeting.
20/053   Report on County Council Matters:  Before the meeting County Cllr George Reynolds reported that there were no matters to report affecting Hook Norton.  
20/054 20/054/1   Correspondence: The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding.  
20/055   To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public:  there were no matters arising.  
20/056   AOB: Cllr Brotherston said that Janeen Wilson has been appointed as a Trustee of the Heath Allotment Trust.  

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday, 9 April 2020 at 7.30pm in the War Memorial Hall.

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

A confidential item followed.

Signed ……………………………………..

Hook Norton Parish Council

Dated 9 April 2020