HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018 at 7.30pm

Present:          Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Porter, Wilson, Henderson, Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk) and two members of the public

 

18/059 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Duggan, Matthews, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Brown

 

18/060 Election of Chairman:  The Parish Clerk asked for nominations for Chairman.  Cllr Hicks proposed that Cllr Watkins, who indicated her willingness to stand, be asked to be Chairman for the coming year.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter.  There were no other nominations and the proposal was passed unanimously.  Cllr Watkins signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office and took the Chair.

 

18/061 Election of Vice-Chairman: Cllr Wilson proposed that Cllr Hicks, who indicated her willingness to stand, be elected as Vice-Chairman.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter.  There were no other nominations and the proposal was passed unanimously.  Cllr Hicks signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

18/062 Declarations of Interest:  Cllr Wilson declared an ongoing interest in the Local Community Housing Project, as the land in question backs on to her garden.  Cllr Brotherston declared an ongoing interest in work being carried out for the Parish Council to ensure that it complies with GDP Regulations – his company, Active Connexions Ltd, will be dealing with monthly G-Suite for Parish Council emails and Xero account for payroll.

 

18/063 Appointment of Responsible Financial Officer: Cllr Watkins proposed that the Parish Clerk be appointed as Responsible Financial Officer for the coming year.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and passed unanimously.

 

18/064 Appointment of Planning Co-ordinator: Cllr Watkins proposed that Cllr Hicks be re-elected as Planning Co-ordinator.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and passed unanimously.

 

18/065 Appointment of Councillor to Heath Allotment Trust:  Cllr Watkins proposed that Cllr Brotherston be appointed to the Heath Allotment Trust to represent the Parish Council for the coming year.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.

 

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Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 12 April 2018 and Matters Arising

Cllr Hicks proposed that the minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 12 April 2018 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and passed unanimously.

 

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

Three planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.  There were no objections.

Cherwell District Council (CDC) had granted four applications.

On 27 April 2018 Cherwell District Council confirmed the Tree preservation Order (TPO 37 – 2017) on a Beech tree on land adjacent Braeside, Rope Way.

17/01922/F – 1 Austins Way: Appeal by the applicant to the Secretary of State against Conditions imposed by Cherwell District Council – APP/C3105/W/17/3192352

 

18/068 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no matters arising.

 

18/069 Area by Bottle Banks in HNSSC car park:  Cllr Matthews had submitted a quotation of £400 plus VAT for making a more stable base of type 1 granite for the bottle banks in HNSSC car park to sit on.  This will stop rain water gathering in that area.  Cllr Watkins proposed that the quotation be accepted.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.

 

Initials……………………….

 

18/070 Neighbourhood Watch:  Cllr Wilson had tried to contact various people about Hook Norton joining a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme but to date she had not received any response.

 

18/071 Updating Website:  After a short discussion it was agreed that the Parish Council will have its own website, rather than just having a section on the village website.  This will satisfy External Audit Regulations and make it easier to keep information up to date.  Cllr Brotherston will look into the matter.

 

18/072 Community Housing Project: Tim Lunel had submitted a detailed Community Consultation report to Councillors before the meeting.  Surveys were delivered to each home in early March.  The good response to that survey (548) gives a strong indication of community feeling.  The survey clearly shows that there is wide support for the project in the village (72%) although it had been noted that 24% of those who returned negative responses were generally concerned about increased pressure on the existing village infrastructure as well as concerns about parking.  Thirty-seven people actively want to live in one of the community homes.  Their needs vary but as yet the qualifying criteria for the scheme have not been agreed with Cherwell District Council.

 

18/073 Good Neighbour Scheme: Paul Cann gave a short presentation on a Good Neighbour Scheme in Hook Norton, ‘Hooky Neighbours’.  The elderly and infirm in the village sometimes need help with everyday life and challenges, such as getting about,  getting odd jobs done, getting to the shops or hospitals or just needing a chat.  To date there are twenty volunteers.   Hooky Neighbours is also working closely with Chipping Norton School – Year 12 has already volunteered to help.   Email Hookyneighbours@gmail.com or telephone 07930 483927 if you would like to be a volunteer or if you know someone who might need some help.

 

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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 May 2018 totalling £8,294.03 for the Parish Council (Annex 2) and £274.12 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3).  Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and agreed unanimously.

Insight has addressed difficulties with the new payroll system being accessed.

 

18/075 Attendance List – 2017-2018: The Parish Clerk had circulated Councillors’ Attendance List for 2017 – 2018 before the meeting (Annex 4).  A copy will be posted on the PC noticeboards and on the web.

 

18/076 Parish Council Risk Assessment 2018-2019: The Parish Clerk had circulated the risk assessment for 2018-2019 before the meeting (Annex 5).  There were no matters arising.  Cllr Wilson proposed that the risk assessment be adopted for the coming year.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously.

 

18/077 Annual Governance Statement: 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 if 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 Chairman and Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer).  A copy of this document will be posted on the PC noticeboards and on the web.  (Annex 6)

 

18/078 Internal Audit 2017-2018:  The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer confirmed that an internal audit of both the Parish Council accounts and the Memorial Hall accounts for 2017 – 2018 has been conducted by Mr David Ralls (MAAT), Banbury with no matters arising (Annex 7 & 8).  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.

Initials……………………….

 

18/079 Approval of End of Year Accounts 2017-2018:  The Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer had circulated both the Parish Council and Memorial Hall year-end figures and balances for 2017-2018 before the meeting.  Cllr Hicks proposed that these be accepted as a true and accurate record of the year’s accounts.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and passed unanimously.  The accounts were signed-off by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer (Annex 9 & 10).

 

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Correspondence:

The Parish Clerk had forwarded all correspondence to Councillors during the month.

The Sports and Social Club Committee had asked who they could approach to have gates installed at the access to the club grounds, as there have been some individuals joy-riding across the pitches at night and this is churning the ground up.  The Parish Clerk had contacted CDC who confirmed that the site does not fall within their ownership, rather, having checked with the Land Registry, the site is registered under two separate Titles, one being Oxfordshire County Council.

A complaint had been received about a dead tree behind 22 Ironstone.  This tree has been classed by the consultant as medium priority and so it will be removed in due course.

 

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

 

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AOB:

Councillors agreed unanimously that they would very much like to see more members of the public attend Parish Council meetings.

Applications for the vacant posts on the Parish Council will be considered at the Parish Council meeting on 14 June.  Applications should be sent to the Parish Clerk rosemary.watts@hnpc.org.uk by the end of May.

A request to cut back a hedge was discussed.  The hedge is on the contractor’s schedule and will be trimmed at some point during the summer season.  Since OCC withdrew funding the Parish Council now spends £16,500 on grass cutting and hedge trimming.  The Parish Council cannot afford to have hedges trimmed as often as some individuals might like.  To compensate there are several groups of Environmental Champions in the village who are prepared to oversee some of the smaller issues, such as trimming back hedges.  There is a meeting of the Environmental Champions in the War Memorial Hall on Wednesday, 20 June at 7.30pm, led by Cllr Porter.  Villagers are cordially invited to attend the meeting to meet current Environmental Champions and Councillors.
New play equipment and artwork has been installed by the Parish Council in the children’s play area.

War Memorial Hall Garden Project:  the Parish Council is to give the War Memorial Hall garden a makeover so that it is a truly fitting Memorial Garden.  Volunteers are needed to help Councillors with this project; from the design to the implementation.  The contact is amanda.watkins@hnpc.org.uk

Cllr Watkins has applied to County Cllr Reynolds for a grant towards the War Memorial Hall Garden Project.

 

18/083 Confidential Item: this was discussed after the closure of the open meeting.

 

 

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on 14 June 2018 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.

 

There being no further business Councillor Watkins thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.38pm.

 

 

Signed ……………………………………..

Hook Norton Parish Council

Dated 14 June 2018