HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE WAR MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2019

Present:        Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Wilson, Porter, Muller, Duggan, Shepherd, Noviss and Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk).  There were no members of the public in attendance.

19/158 Apologies for Absence – Cllr Matthews, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Brown.  
19/159 Declarations of Interest: there were none.  
19/160 19/160/1   19/160/2   Chairman’s Announcements: A vacancy exists on the Parish Council.  Anyone wishing to be nominated should register their interest with the Parish Clerk rosemary.watts@hnpc.org.uk . Congratulations to Julie Wood (1st Hook Norton Guides and Commissioner for Swere Valley) for being named Runner up in the Volunteer of the Year Award organised by Sanctuary Housing and CDC. Julie was awarded this for the huge amount of time and effort she has put into Girl Guides for well over 20 years. Thanks also to the organisers for putting on such a great event on Tuesday evening.  
19/161 19/161/1     Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 10 October 2019 Cllr Wilson proposed that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 10 October 2019 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Muller and passed unanimously.  
19/162 19/162/1   19/162/2 19/162/3   19/162/4     Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1) Seven planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.  There were no objections.  Cherwell District Council had granted eleven applications. Cherwell District Council had refused two applications 19/01303/Q56 – Crushill Farm and 19/01265/CLUE – Croft Farm APP/C3105/W/19/323490 – Brockford Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd. An Appeal has been submitted by the applicant to the Secretary of State.  
19/163 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: there were no members of the public in attendance.  
19/164 Reports of Working Groups
19/164/1 Recreation Last month Councillors agreed to purchase four fruit trees to plant alongside the fence on the eastern side of the play area, subject to cost. Cllr Porter had discussed the matter with Wyatts Garden Centre and the cost will be £26 per tree (two eating apples, 1 Bramley apple and a conference pear).  Tim Burchell will plant them. Cllr Porter will ask Wyatts how tall the trees are likely to grow to ensure suitability for the area.Playdale will commence installing the new inclusive orbit and shelter w/c 9 December.Cllr Wilson is obtaining quotations for replacement bark.  
19/164/2 Cemetery and Allotments A third party’s fence bordering the cemetery was damaged by a PC tree falling on it during a storm.  Two quotations have been obtained for replacing the bespoke metal panels.  Cllrs agreed to accept the quotation from Birdy Blacksmiths in the sum of £1,240.  The Parish Clerk will contact the PC insurers to ascertain whether or not the cost can be met by them.  The tree stump must be removed before the fence can be replaced.  Cllr Duggan will contact Ben Acreman to arrange.Councillor Duggan and the Allotment Association carried out an inspection of allotment plots on 15 October 2019.  There were no matters arising.Ben Acreman has reported that a tree near the stream in the cemetery is diseased and needs felling.  Councillors agreed unanimously that this this must be dealt with as soon as possible.  Cllr Duggan will instruct Ben Acreman to go ahead with the works.
19/164/3 Environment Cllr Shepherd will inspect an overgrown beech hedge that runs along the path behind the properties of The Shearings and Doily Close and report back to the Parish Clerk  
19/164/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Six x 13A sockets have been replaced.Cllr Brotherston has been asked to arrange for an outside down-lighter to be put over the War Memorial engraved stone at the front of the building.A third quotation for a replacement roof has been obtained.Cllr Watkins is setting up a group of like-minded who want to see the hall thrive and survive (i.e. Friends of Hook Norton War Memorial Hall).  Anyone interested in joining this group should contact Cllr Watkins via amanda.watkins@hnpc.org.uk  
19/165 19/165/1       19/165/2     Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council: The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for November totalling £18,759.53 for the Parish Council and £341.07 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2/3).  Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and agreed unanimously. The Parish Clerk had sent Councillors spend against budget figures before the meeting (Annex 4).  
19/166 Charity Commission – War Memorial Hall Accounts 2018/2019: the Parish Clerk confirmed that she had submitted the required details of the War Memorial Hall accounts 2018-2019 to the Charity Commission.  
19/167 Budget & Precept 2020-2021: The Parish Clerk, having discussed the matter with the Chairman, had emailed a proposed budget for 2020-2021 to Councillors before the meeting (Annex 5).  Following a discussion, Cllr Hicks proposed that the precept should remain at £80K for 2020/2021. This would allow for any increased grass cutting/hedge maintenance costs, repairs to walls, removal of Japanese Knotweed from the cemetery, purchase of new play equipment, maintenance of play areas on existing and new housing estates, the survey and maintenance of PC owned trees and other services which OCC seek to transfer to parishes.  Any spend over and above that will be taken from reserves.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.  
19/168 Appointment of Internal Auditor 2019-2020:  Mr David Ralls AAT; ACCA, Springfield Avenue, Banbury carried out last year’s internal audits.    Cllr Hicks proposed that Mr Ralls be appointed again to inspect both the Parish Council and War Memorial Hall Trust accounts for 2019/2020.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and agreed unanimously.  
19/169 VE Day 75th Anniversary – May 2020:  The Parish Council will mark this anniversary in the Memorial Hall on 8 and 9 May.  Cllrs Wilson and Porter agreed to co-ordinate the event with other organisations in the village.  The Parish Council will pay for a hedge of red and white roses which will be planted in the Memorial Hall gardens.  Tim Burchell and Keith Saunders have kindly agreed to do this in the next few weeks.  Daffodil bulbs have been purchased to plant under the roses.  
19/170 Parish Council Noticeboard by the Bus Stop:  Cllr Watkins proposed that the PC agree to pay circa £1K for a replacement noticeboard to house the new village map.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.  The Parish Clerk will liaise with John McCormick and Ben Hill who are producing the map.  
19/171 Defibrillator Training:  Cllr Duggan will liaise with First Responders to see if a defibrillator/resuscitation training session can be arranged for interested villagers.  
19/172 19/172/1       Environmental Action Plan: Cllr Muller circulated his revised environmental action plan for the Parish Council to consider before the meeting (Annex 6).  Following a short discussion Cllr Muller proposed that the plan be accepted by the Parish Council for this financial year. This was seconded by Cllr Porter and agreed unanimously.  
19/173 Grass Cutting: Cllr Shepherd had circulated a map of the areas that are currently cut by Thomas Fox.  He briefly discussed un-adopted areas and the possibility of managing some areas for the benefit of wild flowers/biodiversity.  A meeting will be held with Thomas Fox in November/ December to agree next year’s schedule of work.  
19/174 19/174/1               19/174/2                   19/174/3       19/174/4     19/174/5   Report on District Council Matters:  District Cllr Hugo Brown reported as follows: The Executive on 7 Oct: Community Nature Plan – Restoring and Enhancing Nature and Green Spaces: It was endorsed that a minimum of 10% bio-diversity net gain be achieved through engagement with the Planning Process (Net Gain has been described as a measurable target for development projects where impacts on biodiversity are outweighed by a clear mitigation hierarchy approach to first avoid and then minimise impacts, including through restoration and/or compensation. Adhering to these Net Gain principles (i.e. pursuing all principles together) will help in under-pinning good practice for achieving and sustaining Net Gain). The Council Meeting on 21 October:  There were two motions on the proposed Oxford – Cambridge Expressway (i) Leader of the Council Barry Wood moved that until more clarity was forthcoming on the route, standards of construction and mitigation measures that the Council should maintain “an open mind” and neither approve nor condemn, at this stage, the Expressway.  This was carried although I did make it clear that when more details were known I might, at that stage, vote against the proposals (although that will, as always, be a whipped vote), and (ii) the Lib Dem members of Kidlington moved that CDC vote immediately to condemn the Expressway and that the money be used instead on east-west rail.  Because the earlier motion had been carried, this motion was not, in the event, moved. The Green Councillor for Kidlington moved a motion that CDC requests the Ox Local Government Pension Fund to divest all its holdings in non-renewable energy companies and re-invest the funds only in renewable energy companies.  This was defeated. There was also a motion moved “deploring the decision of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to downgrade maternity provision at the Horton to a mid-wife led unit for the foreseeable future”. This was carried.  The Executive on 4 November (the decisions from this meeting have not yet been published):  Proposal to extend CDC’s participation in Refugee Resettlement – Exec will be asked to approve accepting a further 6 families (in addition to the 12 already accepted) Proposal to include Care Leavers (i.e.: those who have left care) as a class of person eligible for Council Tax Discount – 18-21 year olds could get 100% discount, 21-25 years olds could get discretionary discount  
19/175 19/175/1   19/175/2   19/175/3   Report on County Council Matters:  County Cllr George Reynolds had reported as follows: The joining of senior management continues but the intention is to ensure local contacts are maintained and that there can be no lessening of our services to residents. The rest of OCC time is now being spent on climate change, e.g. reducing the carbon output with the use of electric vehicles and changing street lights to LEDs etc.
Electors who are interested in the progress of the Oxford Cambridge expressway will have to wait until the new year, since every government decision will be held up by the election period.

19/176 19/176/1           19/176/2             19/176/3   Correspondence: R C Baker Ltd, Spring Hill Farm, Barford St Michael had written to the Parish Clerk thanking the residents of Hook Norton for their patience and understanding during their silage operations. They appreciate that some residents find their machinery intimidating and noisy.  They acknowledge complaints received regarding their tractor drivers; they take safety very seriously and carry out regular checks on their team during operations.  They are confident that their drivers do respect the law and remain within the legal speed limits. At last month’s meeting a question was raised about a long fence being erected on the Highway Verge outside Oak House, Swerford Rd.  The Parish Clerk contacted OCC to establish whether or not this had been authorised by them.  OCC had replied stating that they had written to the owners/occupiers of the property asking them to remove the fencing from the Highway Verge, as it is not permitted to erect any structure that would infringe upon it.  OCC has also asked them to remove the hedges/trees which they have planted to the front and side of their property, also on the Highway Verge. The Parish Clerk had forwarded all other correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding.
19/177   To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were none.
19/178 19/178/1   19/178/2   AOB: Cllrs Shepherd & Noviss are booked to go on a training course on 18 March 2020 (Roles & Responsibilities for new Councillors). Cllr Watkins asked Councillors to consider where public noticeboards could be placed in the village to house notices of general interest.  

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, 12 December 2019 at 7.30pm in Hook Norton Primary School (Study Centre).

There being no further business Councillor Hicks thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 9.04pm.

Signed ……………………………………..

Hook Norton Parish Council