Parish Council notices

NEXT COUNCIL MEETINGS

The next meetings, which take place at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, are on the Tuesdays listed below. If you wish to discuss something, we always have a slot at the beginning of the meeting for this purpose.
12th March 2019
23rd April 2019
• 28th May 2019
• 16th July 2019
• 27th August 2019
• 8th October 2019
• 19th November 2019
• 7th January 2020
LAST COUNCIL MEETING

The following topics were discussed at the March meeting:
  • Village green and car parking in the vicinity
  • Bus shelter at Shores Green
  • Drainage at High Cogges
  • Traffic speed – Speed Indicator Device
  • Letter box collections
  • Defibrillator
  • Salt spreader
  • Footpaths.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR A PART TIME
PARISH COUNCIL CLERK / FINANCIAL OFFICER
PAID POSITION APPROX. 3-4 HOURS A WEEK

Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer

Location: home-based with attendance at Parish Council meetings held every 6 weeks, possible attendance at other community meetings dependent on PC involvement.
Hours: approximately 3 or 4 hours per week.

NJC Scale LC1 (£9.77 to £11.22), starting point depending upon experience and transferable skills. The PC provide a laptop.

The Clerk provides administrative and clerical support to the Council and, as the Responsible Financial Officer, will be required to manage the Council’s finances. Duties will include:

  • Managing the meetings of the council meetings including preparing the agenda, taking the minutes, monitoring actions and decisions.
  • Ensuring the PC is up to date with policies, assessments, training, FOI and data protection rules.
  • Ensuring planning applications are considered, and submitting responses to the District Council.
  • Managing the Parish Council’s finances, preparation of accounts and reconciliation, payment of invoices, banking, end of year accounts, submission of accounts for external audit, VAT reclaim, preparing for budget review and precept.
  • Dealing with a variety of correspondence and public notices.
This role would suit someone with previous administrative experience and who has a basic knowledge of computers and accounts. We are a small parish and therefore our precept is only just over £7000pa. Accounts are not complicated or arduous. You will work closely with the Chairman and training will be given.

If you are interested, please contact me using the details below so that I can tell you more.

Nicky Brooks, Chair of the Parish Council
nicky@oxcomm.co.uk / 01993 701137

NOTICE OF VACANCY
IN OFFICE OF COUNCILLOR

PARISH OF SOUTH LEIGH

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN

Pursuant to section 87(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, that Mr S. Stace, formerly a Member of the above named Parish Council, has ceased to be a Member of the Parish Council, and that a vacancy now exists in the office of Councillor for the Parish.

If, within 14 days°˜ after the date of this notice (i.e. no later than 4 April, 2019), a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made to the Head of the Paid Service, West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodgreen, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 1NB by TEN electors for the Parish, an election will be held to fill the vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

If there is an election, it will take place not later than 6 June, 2019.

Dated: Friday 15 March, 2019

Mr J. Ashwell
Clerk to South Leigh Parish Council

  • In computing any period of time for this purpose, a Saturday or Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a bank holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning must be disregarded.

CAN YOU SUPPORT OUR PARISH BY BECOMING A PARISH COUNCILLOR?

Winston Churchill and Pelé summed up what being a Parish Councillor is all about!

The first said,
"You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give." And Pelé stressed, "No individual can win a game by himself."

Here in our own parish, a hugely rewarding opportunity has arisen for someone to give just a little time to our community and become part of the Parish Council team.

I hope that this person might be you, so please don’t stop reading here!

The Parish Council is vital to every resident because it is the first tier of Government in the UK, it is our voice, and it represents all of us in key matters that affect us.

So, what does being a Parish Councillor involve?

  • It’s a voluntary and highly rewarding role.
  • We meet once every six weeks in the Village Hall.
  • We deal with parish matters from grass cutting and planning applications to issues like the attempt by Gladman to impose a town in our countryside.
  • Our main purpose is to represent everyone’s views and to ensure that our parish remains the pleasant and thriving community we love.
  • Of course, we address subtle changes too, those that will keep South Leigh and High Cogges thriving and vibrant.
  • There are some financial decisions... like how we raise and spend our budget to the benefit of all who live here.
  • We also get a real say in the long-term development of the parish using the Neighbourhood Plan as a guide.
  • And we identify and act on other issues that are important to the lives of parish families we represent, like the A40.
So, if you are over 18, a resident of the parish and on the electoral register, and can attend evening meetings once every six weeks, as well as having an interest in local issues, you can help our team represent the views of the whole community, then this opportunity might well be for you!

If it might be, just contact me, Nicky Brooks, using the contact details below or drop me a note at Keble House, Church End, South Leigh and I’ll be delighted to tell you more. There’ll be no obligations, of course!

Nicky Brooks, Chair of the Parish Council
nicky@oxcomm.co.uk / 01993 701137

Stanton Harcourt Farms
The Parish Council has received a letter from Mr. William Gascoigne, owner of Stanton Harcourt Farms, regarding access to his land. Every parishioner should please read this to comply with the law and for their own safety.
OCC logo
Dear Parish and Town Council colleague,

County councillors asked me for a briefing on highways maintenance and we thought it would be a useful for parishes and town councils too.
By clicking the button, you can download the briefing which is intended to explain our approach to road maintenance, with some facts and figures to show progress as well as the scale of the challenge.

Hopefully, the briefing answers some of the questions you may have as we know this is a live issue in many areas.

I’d welcome
feedback on the content so we can improve the format when we do an update in the autumn.

Best wishes,

Eddie Gibb, July 2018
Head of Communications, Oxfordshire County Council
Download Briefing
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Thames Valley Police have released their 'Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley’s new Police and Crime Plan'. 
 
A summary version of the plan has now been published detailing the five strategic priorities for policing and crime for the next five years.  The summary is available to download by clicking the button.
Download Plan
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Parish Councillors and their contact details can be found here.

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As many will know but a few may have forgotten there is a defibrillator attached to the north side of the Village Hall, that is the right hand side.

Recently it has been out of action due to a fault with the locking mechanism. This was corrected only for us to discover the battery needed replacing along with the pads. These have now been replaced so everything should be in working order.

The cost of these items comes out of Parish Council funds and therefore ultimately everyone’s council tax. By the way... we are not talking £4.99 for a battery, it was £155.00 with the total cost £235.08.

If the situation arises that you need to urgently gain access to it, use your phone to ring 999 (you will
always get a response even where there is no mobile signal for ordinary calls) and someone will give you the code to open the box and lead you through the procedure and assist with details of how to treat the person in need before an ambulance reaches you.

NOTICE OF CONCLUSION OF AUDIT

Notice is hereby given that the audit for the year ended 31st March, 2018 was completed on 22nd January, 2019.

The accounts are now available to download by clicking the button below or the originals can be inspected by arrangement with John Ashwell who can be contacted between the hours of 10.00 and 17.00 on 01993 703534

Download
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PARKING

The Parish Council asks that
cars should not be parked half on pavements and half on the road. We understand why this practice has developed but unfortunately it has the effect of breaking down the pavements and verges.
DOGS AND THE LAW

Dog owners are reminded that it is now compulsory to have their four legged friend microchipped. Any dog that is found not to have been microchipped could see the owner facing a fine of £500.
 
West Oxfordshire District Council picks up about 100 stray dogs every year, many of which are not microchipped, making it difficult for them to be reunited with their owners.
 
The animals are taken to council-appointed kennels with owners charged for accommodation and other costs until they are returned. If unclaimed, the stray is usually re-homed through an animal rescue centre.
Electrical item sparks bin lorry fire
 
West Oxfordshire District Council is urging residents to take care about what they put in their household rubbish bin after one of their contractor’s vehicles caught fire.
 
The incident happened in Little Tew when the crew heard an explosion in the back of the vehicle and saw flames coming out.  Fortunately their speedy action prevented the fire from spreading beyond the back of the truck. 
 
Using thermal imaging the Fire Brigade could tell that the fire had been caused during the compacting process when a laptop containing four large lithium batteries was crushed.
 
This is a stark reminder of the importance of disposing of electrical goods safely. Smaller unusable electrical items can be recycled at most of our recycling sites and larger electrical items taken to one of the county’s Waste & Recycling centres such as Dix Pit in Stanton Harcourt. The ‘crossed out wheelie bin’ symbol found on many electrical items means that they should not be put into normal household rubbish bins.
 
The containers for small electrical items, which are known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) banks, are a bright pink colour. The nearest ones are at Sainsbury's car park in Witney and the car park at the Eynsham Medical Practice. Anything with electrical or electronic parts from straighteners to shavers, and toys to toasters, can be placed in the pink WEEE banks.
 
Producing electrical items uses a lot of energy and valuable materials, including precious metals like gold and silver. Electrical equipment can also contain chemicals such as lead and mercury. These chemicals can get into the environment and harm people or animals if items are not disposed of carefully.
 
As part of the recycling process valuable or harmful materials are removed safely and re-used or disposed of. Recycling materials such as aluminium from computers saves raw materials and energy.
NOTICE BOARD

This has now been installed next to the rather dirty telephone kiosk. It is not large but is considered to be of sufficient size and should last for many years. It was made in Northmoor so we have supported local industry. There is only one key so if you want to display a notice, please contact me -
clerk@southleigh.info

PLANNING PERMISSION

Please be aware that if you extend your property by incorporating part of a field you will need planning permission for change of use from agricultural to domestic from the local district council.

GRASS CUTTING

Approximately 21% of our Precept pays for cutting the Village Green, the rear garden of the Hall and assisting the church with the cost of cutting the churchyard.

STRAY DOGS

The responsibility for collecting stray dogs has changed from the Police to West Oxfordshire District Council. The Police will still deal with dangerous dogs.

Anyone who has lost or found a dog should telephone the council on 01993 861020 during normal working hours or 01993 705056 after 5pm and at weekends, or online by clicking
here.

People interested in re-homing a stray dog can apply by logging completing the 'Application to re-home a dog' form found by following the link on the same web page.
COUNCIL TAX SCAM WARNING

West Oxfordshire residents are being warned to guard against bogus callers telling them their council tax bands maybe too high.
 
Several residents have been in touch with the District Council saying callers from the ‘Claims Review Bureau’ have contacted them offering to work on their behalf to obtain a reduction in exchange for a fee of about £80.
 
But staff have emphasised that anyone wanting to appeal against their band can do so for free by contacting the District Valuation Office.
 
Cllr. Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “This is a scam and residents must ensure they do not pass on any financial or personal details to these callers. Appealing against a council tax band does not require a third party and is free. Anyone receiving one of these calls should end the conversation as quickly as possible.”
 
Residents wishing to appeal against their council tax banding can do so by contacting the District Valuation Office on 03000 501 501.
 
To report a suspected scam, contact Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards on 0845 051 0845.
 
The District Council has also reminded residents that staff would never ask for a customer's bank details via email.
The Parish Council is hoping to have the opportunity to use a speed radar gun in the not too distant future but will need a few volunteers to help at the roadside. It is recommended that three people are available whenever the system is in use - one to hold the gun, one to shout out the registration details and one to write them down.

If would be preferable to have a rota of volunteers so that no one person is committed for too long so if you are interested please email me on
clerk@southeigh.info or telephone 01993 703534.

Once we have a list we will ask the local PCSO to come and explain how to operate the system.

Please help with what most people think is a very worthwhile endeavour.

John Ashwell
LITTER BLITZ - 2019

A big thank you to the following public spirited people who all helped to clear the roadside verges of litter.
  • Richard Law and Jane Lewis
  • Graham & Janet Soame
  • Liz Winslade
  • Martin Spurrier
  • Nick & Alex Kellaher
  • Caroline & David Auger
  • Russell & Anne Cherry
  • Ros Pearce
  • Last but not least Sid Washington for providing the advertising board.
Thank you to those who pick up litter as and when who are not included on this list.

John Ashwell 01993 703534
BE 'IN-THE-KNOW' ABOUT PLANNING APPLICATIONS NEAR YOUR HOME
Want to find out when someone puts in for planning near your home? Interested in tracking the progress of planning applications for our village?
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You can now sign up to receive emails from West Oxfordshire District Council to find out when a planning application is registered within 500 metres of your home, and choose whether to track its progress or submit your views about the application quickly and simply online.

The email notifications service is part of improvements to the planning section of the council’s website to make it easier to find out about applications online.
What’s more, you can also get weekly reminders about your waste collections so you know which bins to put out, as well as opt to receive alerts in the event of changes to your collections due to bank holidays.

To register to ‘Be in the Know’:
visit
www.westoxon.gov.uk/beintheknow and follow the simple registration steps.
To find out more about planning in West Oxfordshire, see
www.westoxon.gov.uk/planning or call 01993 861000.
FURZEY BREACH

The shooting rights for this area (from the top of Church End down towards the A40) have changed hands. The new gamekeeper has asked that we keep to the footpaths and particularly that we no longer walk through the wood.

Come the autumn they are likely to be shooting in this area and sometimes using rifles rather than smaller and less powerful guns. They have suggested that they will put warning / information signs up to the opening to the footpath (village end) to warn people when the shoots are taking place. They shouldn’t shoot over the footpath, and of course you have every right to use a designated footpath at any time, but with the signs up you might choose to walk a different way of those days.

The gamekeeper seems a reasonable man who is trying to do his job so please do take note of this warning.

Nicky Brooks, Chair Parish Council, June 2015
ROADSIDE VERGES
 
The Parish Council is concerned that grass cuttings and other garden waste is being deposited on roadside verges in a couple of localities within the village. We hope this practice will stop immediately as it is regarded as Fly Tipping and the District Council will prosecute when and where necessary. It is suggested anyone wishing to dispose of garden waste should ask the District Council for a green wheelie bin which they will supply free of charge.

LOCAL PLAN

The latest draft local plan for our area has just been published. This is a public document which anybody can ask to view. The plan includes the suggestion that the junction at Shores Green allowing access to and from the A40 towards Oxford be extended into a 4-way junction to allow traffic access in both directions. The plan also includes extra housing and a Park and Ride on Oxford Hill. The Parish Council is very concerned that these plans will have a significant effect on the amount of traffic that will go through the village. We have had a meeting with the County and District Councils to discuss this fully and we will be submitting a report on the village's behalf. Please do look at the local plan - you can download the entire document from
this website - and write expressing your views to the relevant councillor, either district, county or parish.

To make things easier, the Parish Council chairman has submitted the relevant pages of the local plan which are available
here. Additionally, you can see a table showing the expected increase in traffic flow through the village here.

The following points will be included in the Parish Council's submission:
  • Single track road.
  • Blind bends.
  • Rural environment.
  • Flooding.
  • Lack of grit during the winter.
  • No footpaths.
  • Light pollution - the new junction would be lit.
  • Increase in noise.
  • Unsafe for cyclists.
  • New housing in Witney, Carterton & Curbridge will increase the level fdic on the A40, causing more traffic congestion and so tempting more people to use the village as a cut-through - no updating of the A40 to remove 'pinch-points' close to Oxford is planned in the near future.
We have asked that a full traffic survey be conducted to ascertain the numbers and destinations of vehicles currently using the village roads and work will be undertaken to assess the changes that the proposed new junction might bring to traffic volume through our village.

CODE OF CONDUCT

To conform with the law we must state that the Code of Conduct adopted by West Oxfordshire District Council has been adopted as the code for members and co-opted members of South Leigh Parish Council with effect from 1st July 2012 or such other date as may be specified in regulations, to replace the current code of conduct.