HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE WAR MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 10 OCTOBER 2019

Present:        Councillors: Hicks, Matthews (arrived 7.34pm – left 8.25pm), Wilson, Porter, Muller, Duggan, Shepherd, Noviss, County Cllr Reynolds and Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk).  There were three members of the public in attendance.

19/140 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Watkins, Brotherston, and District Cllr Brown  
19/141 Declarations of Interest:  Cllr Wilson declared an interest in an application to put down a hard-standing at 6 The Glebe.  Councillor Matthews, arriving after 7.30pm, was asked by the Vice-Chairman to declare any interests.  He had no interests to declare.  
19/142   Vice-Chairman’s Announcements: a vacancy exists on the Parish Council.  Those wishing to be nominated should register their interest with the Parish Clerk rosemary.watts@hnpc.org.uk .  
19/143 19/143/1     Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 12 September 2019 Cllr Hicks proposed that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 12 September 2019 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Wilson and passed unanimously.  
19/144 Village Map – John McCormick/Ben Hill: Messrs McCormick and Hillexplainedthat this document isbeing developed because it will be useful to residents, visitors and local businesses.  The front of the map will have Ordnance Survey level detail in the graphics, a full index of house numbers and names for the village.  The back will have a parish map and index as well as a selection of local 2020 images of the village.  It will be given free of charge to local village charities who will sell it to raise money.  The map will be available in early December. A sample of the map was shown to Councillors and they agreed unanimously that the map could be displayed in the Parish Council noticeboard by the bus stop in the High Street.  The glass front will have to be changed to prevent the sun spoiling it.  Cllr Hicks thanked them for the considerable work that had been undertaken to date and for bringing draft documents to the meeting for Councillors to look at.  
19/145 19/145/1     19/145/2 19/145/3   19/145/4     Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1) Six planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.  There were no objections to five of them.  Some concerns were raised about 19/01898/F – a new 2.0m fence to be put to the front of Wheelwrights Cottage, Chipping Norton Rd. Cherwell District Council had granted one application. A 5-day Notice had been received to fell a Sequoia Dendron Giganteum at The Crooked Cottage, East End. APP/C3105/W/19/323490 – Brockford Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd. An Appeal has been submitted by the applicant to the Secretary of State.  
19/146 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications:  a developer of a plot in Rope Way asked if he could discuss his plans for the site.  Cllr Hicks explained that the Parish Council will only discuss planning applications when they have full details in front of them from Cherwell District Council.  
19/147 Reports of Working Groups
19/147/1 Recreation Before the meeting Cllr Watkins had proposed that some fruit trees should be purchased to plant alongside the fence on the eastern side of the play area.  Cllr Muller proposed that costs, type of trees and the number of trees suitable for the site should be sought.  This was seconded by Cllr Duggan and agreed unanimously.  Cllr Porter will discuss the matter with Wyatts.The Parish Clerk was asked to chase Thomas Fox for a date for carrying out hedge/vegetation/tree maintenance in the play area. 
19/147/2 Cemetery and Allotments A third party’s fence bordering the cemetery was damaged by a PC tree falling on it during a storm.  Cllr Duggan had managed to contact the owner in order to discuss repairs.  They will obtain two quotes for a new metal fence and submit them to the PC for consideration.Friends of Hook Norton Cemetery have renovated the circular seat in the cemetery.  They want to plant a tree in its centre and last month asked the PC to pay for this.  The Friends had identified a number of trees as being suitable specimens and had decided on Betula Fetisowii at a cost of £116.57 plus VAT.  Councillors agreed to the payment and thanked the Friends for dealing with the matter.Final treatment to Japanese Knotweed in the cemetery was carried out on 25 September.  However, Eco Control Solutions noted that there is still some viable growth present.  They will continue to monitor and treat the area free of charge until fully eradicated.Councillors will carry out an inspection of allotment plots with the Allotment Association on 15 October 2019.The Allotment Association plans to hold an annual competition for allotment holders.  
19/147/3 Environment Concern was expressed about the speed with which tractors are travelling through the village and the amount of damage they are causing to highway verges.  The Parish Clerk will write to the farmer.  
19/147/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Councillors expressed concern that electric sockets, which should have been replaced when Bannor carried out work earlier this year, have not been dealt with.  The Parish Clerk was asked to contact Cllr Brotherston and ask him to deal with this as a matter of urgency.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.Cllr Matthews will deal with a dislodged roof-tile on Monday.Cllr Watkins would like to set 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  
19/148 19/148/1       19/148/2     Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council: The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for October totalling £6,615.39 for the Parish Council and £306.60 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 2/3).  Cllr Hicks moved acceptance of the payments detailed.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and agreed unanimously. The Parish Clerk had sent Councillors spend against budget figures before the meeting (Annex 4).  
19/149 19/149/1       Environmental Action Plan: Cllr Muller had circulated his proposed environmental action plan for the Parish Council to Councillors last month.  He expressed disappointment that the only comments he had received from Councillors to date were negative.  Following a discussion it was agreed that Cllr Muller will update his proposed plan and send it to Councillors before next month’s meeting so that it can be discussed again.  
19/150 19/150/1         19/150/2   Play Area: Councillor Matthews had obtained a second quotation from ALH Carpentry for removing old timber around the zip wire and climbing apparatus and for replacing it in the sum of £2,590. Since both quotes were similar, Councillors had agreed that the contractor who could start work the earliest would be appointed.  Whites Woodwork can start the work on 21 October and they were appointed. The ‘Orbit’ and a ‘Shelter’ have been ordered from Playdale.  A deposit cheque has been signed and will be sent to Playdale with other documentation next week.  
19/151 3-Year Tree Survey: the independent 3-year survey of Parish Council owned trees is due at the end of 2019.  The Parish Clerk had obtained a quotation of £1,380 + VAT from the PC’s contractor Sacha Barnes for carrying out this inspection.  Cllr Hicks proposed that the quotation be accepted.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and agreed unanimously.    
19/152 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.  Cllr Shepherd was asked to send Councillors a list of the areas he was referring to before the next meeting.  A meeting will be held with Thomas Fox in November/ December to agree next year’s schedule of work.    
19/153 19/153/1   Report on District Council Matters:  District Cllr Hugo Brown had reported as follows: The Executive of CDC at their meeting on 7 October discussed a “Community Nature Plan, Restoring and Enhancing Nature and Green Spaces” whose objective is to “clarify recent Government guidance relating to restoring and enhancing nature and green spaces; to seek approval for bio-diversity net gain guidance; endorsement of seeking a minimum of 10% bio-diversity net gain through engagement with the planning process; approval of bi-diversity in the built environment guidance”    
19/154   Report on County Council Matters:  County Cllr George Reynolds had nothing to report that affected Hook Norton.    
19/155 19/155/1       19/155/2                           19/155/3                         19/155/4 Correspondence: Julie Wood has been nominated for Cherwell ‘Love Where You Live’ Volunteer Awards.  An awards evening will take place on 12 November in the Council Chambers, Bodicote House.  The event is an acknowledgement of people’s hard work, enthusiasm, care and dedication to helping others. In July OCC wrote to the Parish Council asking for Councillors’ comments on a request to have a path laid from steps leading from 6 The Glebe onto Sibford Road.  At the PC meeting on 11 July 2019 Councillors were unanimous in opposing this request.  To allow it would be to set a precedent for other residents in the road requesting and being allowed paths leading directly on to the Sibford Rd.  The aesthetics of the area would then be seriously spoiled.  The Parish Clerk had replied to OCC stating that the PC would not support the application.  OCC had come back with a ‘softer option’ of buff unbound granular material and the owner had submitted a written report in support of her application. Following a long discussion Councillors agreed to stand by the unanimous decision of 11 July 2019 not to support any form of hard standing to the steps of this property (Cllrs Wilson and Noviss abstained from voting.)  To do so would allow a precedent to be set for other residents in the road requesting, and being allowed paths leading directly on to the Sibford Rd.  The aesthetics of the area would then be seriously spoiled.  The potential for parking on the hard standing was also raised as a concern. The Parish Clerk will notify OCC of this decision. Bourne Lane Estate: the PC had received an email from Andrea Gingell, Customer Liaison Officer for Taylor Wimpey stating:  “If people are walking across the orange Land on the attached plan, this is Public Open Space for use by the public. Only if they use the dark brown land on the attached plan does it become an issue of private rights of way.  The dark brown land denotes the Private Accesses which ‘serve the Property’ therefore only owners of those plots which need to use the Private Accesses within private boundaries to access their properties have the right to do so.   This is where information has been misconstrued previously. We are sorry for causing any confusion previously and I can confirm that the information supplied in this email is the opinion of our Solicitor and Divisional Legal Manager for Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire”. The plan referred to by Ms Gingell to will be put on the Parish Council noticeboards for the duration of the current Minutes. Further details can be obtained from Taylor Wimpey. The Parish Clerk had forwarded all other correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding.    
19/156   To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were none.
19/157 19/157/1   19/157/2   AOB: Cllrs Wilson and Muller will represent the Parish Council at the Remembrance Service on 10 November 2019. A question was raised about a long fence being erected on the highway verge outside Oak House, Swerford Rd.  The Parish Clerk will contact OCC to establish whether or not this has been authorised by them.  

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, 14 November 2019 at 7.30pm.

There being no further business Councillor Hicks thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 9.05pm.

Hook Norton Parish Council

Dated 14 November 2019