HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF HOOK NORTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE MEMORIAL HALL ON THURSDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2019

Present:        Councillors: Watkins, Hicks, Brotherston, Matthews, Wilson, Porter, Muller, Shepherd and Mrs Watts (Parish Clerk).  There were two members of the public in attendance.

19/121 Apologies for Absence – Cllrs Duggan, County Cllr Reynolds and District Cllr Brown  
19/122 Declarations of Interest: Cllrs Matthews had previously declared an interest in planning application 19/01355/F.  Cllr Watkins decaled an interest in planning application 19/01275/F. Cllrs Wilson and Muller declared an interest in a quotation obtained for tree/shrub works and weed killing in the play area.  Cllr Shepherd declared an interest in HN Library Funding.  
19/123   Chairman’s Announcements: there were none.  
19/124 19/124/1     Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 11 July 2019 Cllr Watkins proposed that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 11 July 2019 be resolved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and passed unanimously.  
19/125 19/125/1               19/125/2 19/125/3 19/125/4 Co-option The Parish Clerk had placed an advertisement on the village noticeboards notifying villagers that there were two vacancies on the Parish Council following the uncontested election in May.  She had received one application from Richard Noviss. Cllr Watkins proposed that Richard Noviss be co-opted as Councillor to the Parish Council.  This was seconded by Cllr Porter and passed unanimously.   Mr Noviss was welcomed to the Council table and asked to complete a Declarations of Acceptance of Office.  He was also asked to complete a Register of Members’ Interests form and return it to the Parish Clerk within seven days.  The Parish Council’s Code of Conduct will be emailed to him. Cllr Brotherston will set up a PC email address for Cllr Noviss. Cllr Watkins asked Cllr Noviss to join the Recreation Working group. A vacancy still exists on the Parish Council and interested parties should contact the Parish Clerk for further details rosemary.watts@hnpc.org.uk  
19/126 19/126/1   19/126/2         19/126/3 19/126/4   Report of the Planning Co-ordinator on Planning Applications – (Annex 1) Eleven planning/TCA applications had been received since the last meeting.  There were no objections to ten of them. There was a lengthy discussion about 19/01716/F and 19/01717/LB – proposed major alterations to Central Stores, High St.  Five Councillors had no objection to the proposal providing consideration is given to parking due to the extra residents in the proposed properties.  Cllrs Brotherston and Matthews objected to the application as it stands.  Cllrs Shepherd and Wilson abstained from voting. Cherwell District Council had granted five applications. APP/C3105/W/19/323490 – Brockford Farm, Tadmarton Heath Rd. An Appeal has been submitted by the applicant to the Secretary of State.  
19/127 To Invite Members of the Public to Comment on Planning Applications: application 19/01731/F, Highway House, Park Rd was received by the Parish Clerk from CDC that morning.  The owner of the property explained to Councillors exactly what works were proposed (i.e. demolition of existing dwelling and erection of new dwelling, annex and garage).  There were no objections to the application but the PC will ask Cherwell DC to ensure that one Condition is that the annex cannot be sold off separately at a future date.  
19/128 Reports of Working Groups
19/128/1 Recreation Cllr Wilson is still looking into grants towards the possible purchase of a trim trail for adults.Other matters were discussed at length at item 19/131. 

Initials……………………….

19/128/2 Cemetery and Allotments A third party’s fence bordering the cemetery was damaged by a PC tree falling on it during a storm.  Cllr Hicks has tried to contact the owner in order to discuss repairs but has had no response to date.Friends of Hook Norton Cemetery plan to renovate the circular seat in the cemetery.  They would like to plant a tree in its centre and have asked if the PC will pay for this.  The Friends have been asked to identify the type and cost of a tree and it will then be considered.Further treatment to Japanese Knotweed in the cemetery was carried out in August.Two allotment plots recently vacated have been taken over by new tenants.Councillors will carry out an inspection of allotment plots in the near future.  
19/128/3 Environment A meeting to discuss the grass cutting contract will be set up with Thomas Fox Landscaping in November.Councillors agreed to support a re-cycling initiative fronted by Carol Housby.  A collection bin in the War Memorial Hall will be available for people to leave empty crisp, biscuit and sweet packets etc. (i.e. items that cannot go into the blue bin).  Terracycle recycle virtually any type of plastic, with recycled materials being made into things such as children’s outside play equipment, benches and picnic tables.  
19/128/4 Hook Norton War Memorial Hall Electric sockets, which should have been dealt with when Bannor carried out work earlier this year, have still not been replaced.  Cllr Brotherston to deal.  Cllr Brotherston will also arrange for an outside down-lighter to be put over the War Memorial engraved stone at the front of the buildingThe Memorial Hall roof is in disrepair and needs replacing.  Various options are being discussed, including the need for roof insulation.  Cllr Watkins has obtained two quotations and is awaiting a third.Cllr Watkins carried out a stock-take of the hall last month.  More items have been bought which means there is a full 80-place setting of mugs, plates, dishes, cutlery and tumblers.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  
19/129 19/129/1       19/129/2   19/129/3 Finance/Schedule of Receipts and Payments for Authorisation by the Council: The Parish Clerk presented the schedules of receipts and payments for August and September totalling £10,493.84 for the Parish Council and £785.60 for the Memorial Hall (Annex 3/4).  Cllr Watkins 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 5). The PC accounts for 2018-2019 have been reviewed by external auditors Moore Stephens and certified as being satisfactory, with no matters arising.  The Auditor’s Certificate is on the PC website.  Cllr Watkins thanked the Parish Clerk for once again carrying out this statutory and lengthy annual exercise.  
19/130 19/130/1     19/130/2   Environmental Action Plan: Cllr Muller had circulated his proposed environmental action plan for the Parish Council that afternoon.  Councillors had not had time to consider the document and therefore any discussion was deferred to the October meeting. Cllrs Muller and Noviss will represent the PC at future HN Low Carbon meetings.  
19/131 19/131/1       19/131/2     19/131/3   New Play Equipment: Cllr Wilson reported that the position for an inclusive orbit to replace the damaged gravity bowl had been agreed.  Due to the need for an on-site lavatory, store and fencing the cost will be £9,612, £600 more than previously thought.  Cllr Wilson proposed that the purchase should still go ahead.  This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed unanimously. Cllr Wilson reported that a shelter from Playdale for the play area for young and old to sit in would cost £7,563.  Agreed in principle at the July meeting, Cllr Wilson proposed that the shelter should be purchased.  This was seconded by Cllr Watkins and agreed unanimously. Councillor Wilson was asked to get a second quote for removing old timber around the zip wire and climbing apparatus and for replacing it.

Initials……………………….

19/131/4 Trees are growing too close to play equipment and overhead cables and need cutting back.  One tree needs felling.  Weeds need treating.  Thomas Fox and Paddock & Pitch have both quoted £1,200 for this work.  Since Thomas Fox is the PC’s agreed contractor, Cllr Watkins proposed that the contract should be given to them. This was seconded by Cllr Hicks and agreed by all, other than by Cllr Muller who abstained from voting because he is concerned about the environmental impact of cutting the trees back.  
19/132 Hook Norton Library: Since 2014 the Parish Council has been paying a proportion of OCC’s costs to keep the village library open.  FOHNCL have received a new contract from OCC to extend the Agreement for a further 12 months.  There is a 5% increase in the amount to be paid to OCC but FOHNCL have agreed that they will pay the total cost of that increase.  Cllr Watkins proposed that the Parish Council pay the same amount of £4,338 for a further 12 months.  This was seconded by Cllr Brotherston and agreed unanimously.  
19/133 Southrop Green Common Land – Cllr Hicks had received a request to plant a community orchard on this site.  Councillors would like more details before they will consider supporting the project.  Oxfordshire County Council manages the land and any permission to plant trees will in any case have to come from them.  Future management of the trees and grass cutting difficulties have to be considered.  
19/134 Memorial Headstones:  Cllr Noviss declaredan interest in this matter and left the room whilst the discussion took place.  At the July meeting Councillors agreed that memorial headstones should only commemorate those buried or interred in the plot.  This decision had been questioned by Richard Noviss and his client.  The Parish Clerk had contacted a CofE vicar and the Bishop of Oxford’s office to discuss the request and had received confirmation that adding names of those not buried or interred in a plot would not be permitted.  The decision made in July therefore stands and the request from Richard Noviss and his client was refused.  The Chairman advised Richard Noviss of this decision at the end of the meeting.  
19/135 19/135/1           19/135/2       19/135/3   19/135/4     19/135/5 Report on District Council Matters:  District Cllr Hugo Brown had reported as follows: Full Council on 22nd July:  The Labour Party moved a motion on Climate Change.  This was slightly amended at the Meeting and it was eventually resolved to adopt the following points: to declare a Climate Emergencyto make CDC carbon-neutral by 2030 at both a consumption and production levelcall on Westminster to provide the powers to make the above achievable The Lib Dems and Greens moved a motion on the Partial Review of the Cherwell Local Plan requesting that the Partial Review be suspended until such time as Oxford City’s own “level of housing need” had been properly established.  This was defeated.  The Leader of the Council imposed a 3-line whip on Conservatives to vote against the Motion I submitted a Written Question re: the Partial Review essentially along the same lines as the motion which was not subject to a vote (being, as it was, a question) CDC/OCC Signage Agency Agreement where it was resolved to transfer to CDC responsibility for removing unauthorised signs, landscape maintenance of roundabouts outside Bicester Village, sponsorship of roundabouts Meeting of the Executive on 2nd Sept: Council Tax (C/Tax) Reduction Scheme and C/Tax Discounts for 2020 – 2021:  As of 3 Sept, CDC has opened a consultation with a view to moving to a simpler C/Tax Reduction Scheme which would assess households’ finances against a Government Needs Allowance and then put households into an income band to determine the level of applicable C/Tax Reduction.  The general idea is that for those on Universal Credit whose income fluctuates by small amounts and who previously would have seen the amount of C/Tax Reduction varied accordingly, with all the bureaucracy involved in issuing a new C/Tax bill, will now only see it vary if they move out of their band.  For those who would be adversely affected CDC will provide a transition fund.  This would only apply to “working age” applicants as a separate Government fund operates for those of pensionable age.  With respect to C/Tax Discount (not the same thing as the Reduction scheme), Executive recommends to Full Council (i) an unchanged zero discount for 2nd homes, (ii) an unchanged 25% discount for homes left empty up to 12 months and 0% discount thereafter, and (iii) an unchanged additional premium of 100% for homes left empty for more than 24 months.

Initials……………………….

19/136   Report on County Council Matters:  County Cllr George Reynolds had not submitted a report.    
19/137 19/137/1     Correspondence: The Parish Clerk had forwarded all other correspondence to Councillors during the month and there were no matters outstanding.    
19/138   To Invite Questions and Comments from Members of the Public: there were none.
19/139   AOB: there was none.  

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, 10 October 2019 at 7.30pm.

There being no further business Councillor Watkins thanked everyone for attending and closed the public meeting at 8.46pm.

Hook Norton Parish Council

Dated 10 October 2019